Vasco da Gama

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

On May 20, 1498, the first Europeans reached the Indian subcontinent by sea.  Vasco da Gama was the leader of the expedition under orders from King Manuel of Portugal. Up until then, no one had any idea of reaching India by sailing around Africa — but it worked.  By following the currents in the South Atlantic Ocean, da Gama rounded the southern tip of Africa [which the explorer Dias optimistically named the Cape of Good Hope] and then followed the currents up the east coast.  He took on a native pilot and arrived at Calicut [aka Calcutta, now Kolkata].  Da Gama’s return to Portugal with spices and silks earned him wealth and fame.  How did this sit with the Indians?  Not too well, aperently — he was sent back to put down a rebellion against Portugal and then returned as governor in 1524, when he died. Was da Gama’s arrival in India a good thing? Probably not — colonialism is rarely beneficial to the colonized people. But it established a link between ‘East’ and ‘West’ and perhaps some good has come from the mixing of cultures.                                                                                                                                                   The meals today begin with vegetables and Indian curry cooked into eggs. Appropriate since curry is a melange of spices the like of which the Europeans craved.  Dinner is purely Eurocentric: fish and chips with a Portuguese twist: just the sort of thing you get when cultures meet in the kitchen.

Curried Vegetable Bake: 123 calories   5 g fat  1.3 g fiber  7 g protein  11.6 g carbs [9.5 g Complex]   41.5 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.   PB GF   If you like the warm, spicy taste of curry, then feel free to add more to this dish.Curry Bake

one 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                     1/2  oz broccoli, cooked and diced                                                                                                              1/2 oz carrot, cooked and diced [HINT: use leftovers from a dinner]                                     1 Tbsp Indian curry powder -OR-  4 Tbsp curry sauce [see Sidekicks I, from Sept. 17, ’17] additional curry powder, salt, garlic powder, all to taste                                                                   2 oz applesauce                                                                                                                                  Optional:  blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                         Optional:  5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and set the toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the vegetables, seasonings, and the curry powder/sauce until well blended. Whisk the egg into the mixture and turn into the ramekin. Bake about 15 minutes while you portion the applesauce and prepare the optional beverages.

Portuguese Fish & Chips:   260 calories    6.3 g fat     4.7 g fiber   24 g protein    28 g carbs [27 g Complex]    60 mg Calcium    PB GF – if using GF flour  From our favorite dinner place in Souris, PEI, 21 Breakwater , comes this house specialty from the chef’s native cuisine. The batter is so light that it lets the lime-infused fish shine through. The recipe takes little time to accomplish. I have described it in detail so you can be successful.Portugese Fish & Chips

3 oz tilapia or hake or other firm-fleshed white fish                                                                                                                          1 fl. oz lime juice or lemon juice                                                                                                                    1 egg white + 1 egg yolk, separated                                                                                                  2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour                                                                                                3 oz sweet potato, peeled                                                                                                                 ½ tsp canola oil                                                                                                                                 ½ tsp granulated garlic     +   ¼ tsp paprika    +      black pepper                                                                                                                           2 oz asparagus or broccoli

Marinate the fish in the lime juice with a pinch of salt and pepper for up to 30 minutes. Set the oven to 425 F. Peel the sweet potato and cut lengthwise into 1/4” slices. Cut each slice into 1/4” sticks. Put the oil in the non-stick pan that you will use to cook the fish. Add the potato sticks to the pan and toss about to coat with oil. Combine the granulated garlic, paprika, and pepper, and sprinkle on the potato sticks. Toss to distribute the seasonings. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil with the dull side up. Spray liberally with non-stick spray. HINT: You could do this 1-2 hours in advance.Distribute the potatoes on the pan so they do not touch. Put in oven for 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, put the asparagus on to cook. Take the fish from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Dredge lightly with flour. Whip the egg white into soft peaks. Fold in the egg yolk and remaining flour from dredging the fish. Heat the non-stick pan and spray with non-stick spray. Remove the fries from the oven and turn them over. Return to oven for 10 minutes more. Dip the fish in the egg batter so that it is coated on all sides. Cook the fish on one side over medium heat for 6 minutes, then on the other side for 6 minutes or until fork tender. When fries are done, turn off oven, open the door, and leave the fries in there for up to 5 more minutes. Plate all that good food and live it up.

Stuffed

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

When my sister and I were children at the table, and my mother would ask, “Would you like some more to eat?”, there were two answers which were not allowed. “I’m full” and “I’m stuffed.” It had to do with the inelegance of the phrasing. [The polite response was, “No, thank you.”]  Heck with that — today we will talk about meals that are ‘stuffed’ and will fill you up on a Fast Day.

Clam-Stuffed Mushrooms:   205 calories   6.4 g fat   4.3 g fiber  18.4 g protein   20.2 g carbs   98 mg Calcium    PB- if you don’t mindClam-Stuffed Mushrooms the meatballs in the stuffing  GF- if using GF bread  So we had these small portobello mushrooms in the ‘fridge, and I thought “Stuff them!” and they were good! And very filling, despite the LOW calorie count.                                                                3.5 oz mushroom caps [four 2-3” mushrooms]                                                                                      ½ cup clam stuffing [see SPICY May 23, 2018]                                                                                2 oz tomatoes                                                                                                                                                  ½ oz SnapPea Crisps                                       Poach the mushrooms briefly [2 minutes] in boiling water to cover. Using a paring knife, dig out any stem in the cap to create more of a cavity for the filling. Chop the stems and add to the clam stuffing. I used a large cookie-scoop to distrubute the stuffing into the caps. Bake at 400° F. for 15-20 minutes. Plate with the cool tomatoes and the crunchy Crisps. Easy to prepare, a treat to eat.

Cucumber Boats with Salmon: 258 calories 12.4 g fat 3.2 g fiber 20.4 g protein 19 g Cucumber Boat w: salmon and 3-bean saladcarbs 162 mg Calcium PB GF  So easy for the summer or anytime.                                     2-¾ oz cooked salmon                                                                                                                    one 3.5 oz cucumber, of which you will use half to serve one                                                                1/2 Tbsp watercress sauce [see Sidekicks II, posted 4 Oct, 2017]                                                  1 tsp Dijon mustard                                                                                                                           1/8 oz leek [2 Tbsp]                                                                                                                                               ½ cup 4-bean salad [see Sidekicks I, posted 17 Sept, 2017]                                             Slice the leek and blanch in a little water in the microwave. In a bowl break up the salmon and combine with the sauce, mustard and leek. Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out most of the seeds with a melon-baller. Discard the seeds.  Mound the salmon into the cucumber boats and plate with the 4-bean salad.

Ham-Stuffed Fish: 260 calories  3.5 g fat   23 g protein  16 g carbs  139 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF bread  Another recipe of unknown origin. Glad I saved it.                                4 oz tilapia or perch                                                                                                                           1 oz sliced ham from the deli                                                                                                          1/2 tsp soy sauce + ½ tsp sherry + 1 egg white                                                                              ½ piece of whole-grain 70-calorie bread                                                                                               1 Tbsp finely-chopped walnuts                                                                                                              1-2 oz carrots, julienned or sliced as coins                                                                                                 1 scallion                                                                                                                                         Slice the fish so that it is in 2 pieces of equal length and thickness. Crumble the bread into the finest crumbs and blend thoroughly with walnuts. Whip the egg white until it is very frothy. Blend in the soy sauce and sherry. Make a ‘sandwich’ of the ham slice between the two pieces of fish. Dip in the egg mixture to coat, then dip in the bread/walnuts. Cook in a heavy non-stick pan, sprayed with non-stick spray, until fish is cooked – about 5 minutes per side. Cook the carrots. Plate the fish and carrots and sprinkle with sliced scallion.

Morning to Night: Puttanesca

How this Fast Diet http://the fast diet.co.uk Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Probably everyone knows that the ‘origin of Puttanesca Sauce‘ is connected to Ladies of the Night. Or is it?? Some people say it is from Lazio [Rome], others say Naples.  It seems that the story behind it is as full of holes as an alibi by a philandering husband back from a week-end ‘conference.’  Where ever this sauce came from, it is delicious — full of bold flavors and very easy to prepare with ingredients from jars in the pantry.  Make up a big batch and freeze it in portions.  It is so versatile — on a Fast Day, we will use it at breakfast and at dinner;  on a Slow Day, you could serve it on pasta.

PUTTANESCA SAUCE: makes 5 cups            SAUCY, 6-Dec-2017                                              1 cup = 117 calories 3.6 g fat 5.2 g fiber 3.4 g protein 15 g carbs 125 mg Calcium                              1 Tbsp = 7 calories 0.2 g fat 0.3 g fiber 0.2 g protein 0.9 g carbs 8 mg Calcium                            1 cup chopped onion                                                                                                                            1 or 2 cloves garlic                                                                                                                                                            2 tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                        5 cups whole tomatoes, canned and drained                                                                                                                                  1 cup mushrooms                                                                                                                                  2 anchovies                                                                                                                                              ½ cup canned black olives                                                                                                                2 Tbsp capers

Cook the onions and garlic in oil and some of the tomatoes’ juice until transluscent. Add all the other ingredients, mashing the tomato to break into smaller chunks. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour to thicken.

Puttenesca Bake: 268 calories 6 g fat 2.5 g fiber 13 g protein 39 g carbs [34 g Complex] 231 mg Calcium   PB GF  Once you have Puttanesca Sauce in the freezer, preparing this breakfast is very easy.Puttenesca Bake

one 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                   1.5 Tbsp puttanesca sauce, drained of excess liquid                                                                        ½ Tbsp Parmesan, grated                                                                                                                  ¼ cup peaches canned in juice                                                                                                         5-6 oz green smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]                                                      blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water

Set the toaster oven at 350° F.  Spritz an oven-proof ramekin or small casserole [if serving 2 or more] with non-stick spray. Whisk the eggs with the sauce and cheese. Pour into the baking dish and heat for 12-15 minutes. Portion the peaches and prepare the beverages. Que bella!

Mackerel Puttanesca: 298 calories  17 g fat  3.3 g fiber  22.6 g protein  7.6 g carbs  66.4 mg Calcium  PB GF  Pierre Franey is the source of this simple repast.  Such an easy meal, especially if your sauce is left-over homemade or from the supermarket shelf. Delicious and satisfying. [Don’t be concerned about the fat: it is from the mackerel which is high in Omega 3, so it is good fat] Mackerel Puttanesca

4 oz of mackerel [or other rich, oily fish] fillets                                                                                                  ¼ cup puttanesca sauce, homemade [see SAUCY, Dec 6 ’17] or from a jar                                        2 oz green beans

If using fresh fish, broil the fish for 4-5 minutes per side to cook it. If using mackerel which has been frozen after cooking, thaw to room temperature. NB: Mackerel does not keep well in the fridge uncooked. If you have to buy mackerel prior to the day you will serve it, filet the fish and broil it as soon as you get back to the kitchen. Then you can hold it for a day or two, or freeze it for longer. Mackerel does not freeze well uncooked.  Cook the green beans. Heat the sauce and mackerel together in a covered pan until warm. Plate. Done in minutes!

Lenten Fare

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Now we are entering the 4th week of Lent and you might be running out of food ideas.  When I was a child, my mother would always ask what my sister and I would “give up for Lent“.  Sometimes it was candy or chocolate, but then we would always say bubble gum. [We were forbidden to chew gum of any sort, so that was said in jest. I’m sure my mother always hoped we’d stop bickering with each other.]  Six weeks was a long time to a child.  Adults sometimes vow to eat more plainly; to give up meat; or to practice other food-related abstentions. The idea of Lenten eating is to deprive yourself.  Here are some ideas for meatless meals, for Lent or anytime you want to eat on a lower trophic level. You won’t feel deprived. Just virtuous.

10-Grain Pudding:  181 calories  1.3 g fat  5.4 g fiber  10.4 g protein  35 g carbs [29 g Complex]  43.5 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the cereal pudding only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB  V   Delicious hot cereal for any day of the week. The applesauce and maple syrup give just the right touch of sweetness.10-Grain Porridge

1/4 cup uncooked Bob’s 10-Grain Cereal                                                                                 2 Tbsp cottage cheese                                                                                                                                     1 tsp maple syrup                                                                                                                                                              1.5 Tbsp applesauce                                                                                                                     large pinch of nutmeg + large pinch of cinnamon                                                                       blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                  3 oz berry-yogurt smoothie [40 calories], green smoothie or natural apple cider

Put the cereal in 3/4 cup of boiling water, turn down to a simmer and cook, covered, for 8 minutes. HINT: Do this the night before. Cool the cereal, then mix in the cottage cheese, maple syrup, applesauce and spices until well-combined. Put into a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 30-45 seconds until hot through. Pour the optional beverages and you will have a warm, filling start to your day.

Codfish Brandade:   250 calories   5.8 g fat   5.7 g fiber  77 g protein  22.3 g carbs   270 mg Calcium   PB GF    Since salt cod is so popular all over southern France, it follows that Brandade is a favorite. The garlic, olive oil, and fennel mark this version as Provençal. [HINT: This batch serves 4. Either invite friends or use what you need and freeze the remainder.] The recipe is from Jacques Pepin.Brandade w: tomatoes & Carrots

8 oz salt cod                                                                                                                                     ¼ cup potatoes in 1/2” cubes                                                                                                                        1 cup cauliflower puree                                                                                                                     ½ cup milk                                                                                                                                         4 cloves garlic                                                                                                                                    ¼ tsp fennel seed                                                                                                                                          1 tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                         ¼ tsp pepper, more to taste                                                                                                            per serving: 4 oz sliced tomatoes  +  2 oz raw carrot, as coins or sticks + parsley leaves

Soak the cod in water for 8 hours. Drain and put in a sauce pan covered with cold water. Bring to a boil, turn heat to low and cook gently for 5 minutes. Drain. Pick over the fish to break it into 1” pieces, removing bones, skin. Put fish in a pan with potatoes, cauliflower, garlic, fennel, and milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and gently simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes until vegetables are tender. Pour it all into a food processor and process it for about 10 seconds. Add the pepper and add the oil with the machine running. Mixture should be smooth and thick. Adjust seasonings. Divide the brandade into 4 portions. Freeze the remainder. Slice the tomatoes and spread with brandade. Serve remaining amount in a bowl with the carrots stuck into it. Very traditional flavor.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion for Monday: …………………..single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs
cottage cheese   + granulated garlic Swiss cheese  + cooked pork
cod brandade [St Bernard 19-Aug-’18] 3%-fat ham
peach + blueberries dab of mayonnaise  + dill pickle
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday: ……………………single portion for Thursday:

zucchini   +  garlic + mozzarella Ham chunks + fresh pineapple
roasted red peppers  + Parmesan cheese asparagus +  Swiss cheese
1 slice polenta [Sidekicks II, 4-Oct-2017] Béchamel sauce with cheese  [Sidekicks I, 17-Sept-2018]
firm white fish  +  herbs de province Yorkshire Pudding [Not by Bread.., 7-Feb- 2018
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Soup Time

How this Fast Diet  Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600.  On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post for another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Winter + Soup — was there ever a more perfect pairing? Here in Northern New England, we do winter.  Robert Frost [Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening] winters.  John Greenleaf Whittier [Snowbound, A Winter Idyl] winters. And in our household, we enjoy the season.  If you don’t like winter, move to a different latitude instead of griping about it.  Winters are dangerous but they are often beautiful and they are good for our local environment. Plus, Spring and Summer are even more enjoyable after a hard winter. The calendar might say that Spring is on the way, but we know better.  Live in the moment and appreciate the weather where you are. During Winter, eat soup.                                                                                                          Today’s meals include a Japanese breakfast soup with a ‘Hot Spring Egg’ and a French dinner soup.  Each will warm your innards.

Japanese Onion Soup with Onsen Tamago Egg:  195 calories  5 g fat  1.6 g fiber  15.6 g protein  24 g carbs [9 g Complex]  43 mg Calcium   PB GF  Our Younger Son prepared this for us one morning after a day of heavy eating and it was a revelation: light yet hearty and so delicious. “Onsen Tamago” means ‘hot spring’ and it is a very different [to me] way to cook a soft egg. HINT: This recipe is enough for 2 servings. Easy to save for another breakfast or lunch one or two days from now.Onsen Tamago Soup

2 two-oz eggs                                                                                                                                  ½ cup sweet onions                                                                                                                         2 cups chicken or beef broth                                                                                                                      3 Tbsp soy sauce                                                                                                                                2 Tbsp mirin                                                                                                                                      1 oz dry  Japanese noodles, such as soba @ 95 calories/ounce                                                  Sriracha, to taste                                                                                                                                garnish: scallions, chopped                                                                                                                 2 oz melon                                                                                                                                  blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon juice & hot water                                   NO SMOOTHIE

Onsen Tomago Egg:    HINT: The eggs can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. 2 whole eggs in shells                                                                                                                           1 liter water   +    1 cup cold tap water                                                                                         Bring 1 liter of water to a boil. Once it boils, remove it from the heat, and add 1 cup of cold water. Using a slotted spoon, place eggs into the hot water and cover. Let sit for 17 minutes, then remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Serve hot or refrigerate for up to 2 days. NB: You can cook up to 4 eggs with this same volume of water.

Onion Soup:  Cook noodles according to package, shock in cold water and put in serving bowls. Place sliced onions and stock into pan and bring to boil. When stock comes to boil, reduce heat to a strong simmer and cover. Cook until onions are soft (they should not be rigid when you pick them up with chopsticks). When onions are almost finished, add soy sauce, mirin, and sriracha and stir. If the liquid has reduced noticibly, add water. When the onions are finished, pour the onion and broth over noodles. Carefully crack onsen tamago egg into broth. Garnish with green onion and serve the melon on the side. Eat with chopsticks and a Japanese spoon.

Cabbage-Sausage Soup: 264 calories  11 g fat  5 g fiber  14 g protein  25.5 g carbs [22 g Complex]  66 mg Calcium   PB GF   Since this is Jacques Pepin’s recipe, I’ll let him say it: “When the weather gets cooler in the fall, I make soup. I generally cook up a big batch and freeze some for whenever I need it. This one, with sausage, potatoes, and cabbage, is hearty and good for cold weather.”Cabbage Soup

8 ounces mild Italian sausage meat                                                                                               1 ½ cups onions, sliced                                                                                                                             6 scallions, cut into ½-inch pieces (1¼ cups)                                                                                6 cups water                                                                                                                                 1 cup chickpeas                                                                                                                           16 oz potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks                                                                       8 ounces savoy cabbage, chopped/sliced                                                                                   1¼ teaspoons salt

Chef Pepin continues, “Break the sausage meat into 1-inch pieces and place it in a saucepan over high heat. Sauté, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to keep the meat from sticking, for 10 minutes, or until the sausage is well browned. Add the onions and scallions and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the water, chickpeas, potatoes, cabbage, and salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 45 minutes.” Portion for storage or serving. One serving = 1 cup.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion for Monday:  ……….. single portion for Thursday:

watercress or microgreens   10-Grain Cereal, Bob’s Red Mill
plain yogurt, low-fat + honey applesauce  + maple syrup
Golden Berries or Blue Berries reduced fat cottage cheese
Camembert cheese nutmeg  + cinnamon
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday:   …………….. single portion for Thursday:

rabbit meat   +  onions + herb savory salt cod   + garlic cloves
3% fat ham  +  chicken broth + thyme olive oil + boiling potato  + cauliflower
portobello mushrooms + potato starch milk  + carrots  +  black pepper
Arnold Sandwich Thin or whole-grain bread  +  carrots fennel seed  + tomato slices
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Stolen

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Isabella Stewart was an excellently-educated young New Yorker of a good family when she married Jack Gardner of Boston. Their honeymoon on the Continent and a subsequent trip for her health lead to Mrs Gardner’s love of the art and architecture of the Italian Renaissance.  Eccentric, larger than life, and rich as Croesus, Isabella was a great collector of art. She and her husband planned to build a museum for their collection and after his death, Mrs Gardner completed their ambition in 1903 — The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the Fens, in a park designed by Fredrick Olmstead. It is a fabulous place and houses an eclectic array of art.   On March 18, 1990, the museum was robbed.  Five million dollars of art vanished, taken by men dressed as police in a well-orchestrated heist. [The event is always referred to as a ‘heist.’]   To this day, the whereabouts of the art is unknown and the $10,000,000 reward is unclaimed. The tale of the theft is as remarkable and unusual as Mrs Gardner herself.

In recognition of the infamous heist, today’s meals were ‘borrowed’ from other places.  However I always give credit where credit is due and acknowledge my sources: The cookbook from the 1990s version of Peter Christian’s Tavern [New London, NH] and French Regional Cooking by Anne Willan. [‘Mrs Jack’ would have liked the Florentine connection.]  I’m not stealing from anyone, but if you eat like me you might lose a lot.

Ham Florentine Bake: 133 calories  6.5 g fat  1 g fiber  8 g protein  6 g carbs   61.5 mg Calcium   PB GF  This bake is so flavorful that you will not notice the tiny calorie count. Same ‘ham Florentine’ used to fill crêpes for dinner. Same kind of delicious. The ham Florentine is from Shirley Edes’ Peter Christian’s Recipes.Ham Florentine Bake

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                       2 Tbsp ham Florentine mixture – see Savory 27 Jan, 2019 [I had put some in the freezer]                                                                                                      2 oz applesauce                                                                                                                                     5-6 oz fruit smoothie [79 calories] or natural apple cider                                                    blackish coffee [53 calories] or tea or lemon in hot water

Set the toaster oven at 350° F.  Spritz an oven-proof dish with non-stick spray. Whisk the egg and stir in the ham Florentine mixture. Pour into prepared dish and bake for 12-15 minutes. Portion the applesauce and pour your choice of beverages. This is a breakfast to prepare often.

Trout with Hazelnuts: 267 calories  18 g fat  3.3 g fiber   21 g protein   6.3 g carbs  75 mg Calcium   PB GF   From Savoie, France comes this recipe, via Anne Willen’s French Regional Cooking. Hannibal is supposed to have dined on local trout as he crossed the Alps with his elephants. Very easy to prepare [the trout, not the elephants] and absolutely delicious. Trout w: hazelnuts + haricots

3 oz trout, boned and trimmed                                                                                                                             1 tsp butter                                                                                                                                                           ½ oz hazelnuts, coarsly chopped 2 oz French green beans [haricots]

Start cooking the beans. Heat a heavy saute pan and spray with non-stick spray. Put in the trout and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slowly cook the trout on one side for about 3 minutes. Turn the trout to the other side.  Add the butter to the pan along with the nuts. Continue cooking everything slowly until the fish is done, roughly another 3 minutes. Drain and season the beans, plate them with the trout, and top the fish with the nuts in butter. Enjoy your culinary visit to the French Alps.

St Anthony

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Monday, eat the meals that will be posted on Sunday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

If you say the name ‘Anthony’ to anyone from New England, it will generate thoughts of an old TV ad for a brand of pasta which showed Anthony’s mother calling him home to dinner. Or you may have heard of a St Anthony who’ll help you find lost objects.  In fact, there are 23 Saints named ‘Anthony’ in the ‘Saints & Angels‘ list on line. Tomorrow will be the feast day of the original Anthony, a hermit who lived in the 5th century in Egypt. He is best known for his severe fasting [eating only every 3 days] and sleeplessness in an effort to quell his inner demons. One of the most repeated themes in art is The Temptation of Saint Anthony.  Gustave Flaubert spent his life in the off and on writing of a novel by the same name.  Saint Anthony’s attributes [the things a saint is holding when depicted in art] are a pig [representing domestic animals of whom he is the patron saint] and a staff in the shape of a Tau cross [known as St Anthony’s cross].                                     In addition to farm animals, Anthony is the patron saint of salami-makers.  Going with that theme, breakfast is a scramble containing salami and dinner is a stir-fry of pork, for St Anthony’s Pig.

Salami Scramble:  299 calories  9.8 g fat   2.3 g fiber   18 g protein   30 g carbs   297 mg Calcium   GF   From the deli department to the breakfast table, salami makes for an easy breakfast.salami scramble

1 ½ two-oz eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.                                                                             ¼ oz thinly-sliced salami                                                                                                                               pinch of Moroccan spice  +  salt                                                                                                                         1.5 oz pear or apple slices                                                                                                                             blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                 5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or unpasteurized apple cider

Slice the salami slices crosswise, then into squares. Whisk the eggs with the seasonings, then pour into a hot sauté pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray.  Sprinkle with the salami before the eggs set.  Flip the eggs over to cook to your preference.  Slice the fruit, pour the beverages. Easy, yummy, satisfying.

Pork & Pepper Stir-fry:  211 calories   6.3 g fat   5.8 g fiber   24.3 g protein   16 g carbs [10 g Complex]  37.6 mg Calcium   PB GF  This stir-fry has a lot of preparation but the result is rich in the wonderful flavors of East Asia. The recipe does not include rice, but if you read on you will see totals with rice. HINT: This recipe makes enough to serve 2 [two] people. Food values above are for ONE serving.pork & peppers w: rice garnish

6 oz pork tenderloin, sliced as matchsticks                                                                                                  1.5 tsp dark soy sauce + 4 tsp dark soy sauce                                                                                                       ½ tsp honey + ½ tsp honey                                                                                                                                 ½ tsp minced garlic + another ½ tsp minced garlic  = one clove of garlic                                            1/8 tsp crushed red pepper                                                                                                                               1 tsp peanut butter                                                                                                                                                  ½ c carrots, cut as matchsticks                                                                                                                               1 tsp canola oil                                                                                                                                                                     5.5 oz green bell pepper matchsticks                                                                                                                  ½ lg red bell pepper matchsticks                                                                                                                      ½ tsp garlic    +     1.5 tsp minced fresh ginger                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               garnish:   2 sliced scallions                         Sriracha

First prepare a mise en place. Seriously — do it. Combine the pork, 1.5 tsp dark soy sauce, ½ tsp honey, ½ tsp minced garlic, and the red pepper flakes in a bowl and stir to combine. In a microwave-safe custard cup combine 4 tsp dark soy sauce, ½ tsp honey, and 1 tsp peanut butter. Microwave it briefly and stir to combine. Put the carrots in a small pan of boiling water and cook for one minute. Drain the carrots and save the water. Heat a wok or cast iron skillet over high heat and add the canola oil. Add the pork mixture and stir-fry for one minute. Remove the cooked pork to a clean bowl and stir in the soy-honey-peanut mixture. Put the carrot-cooking water in the dish that had the soy-honey-peanut mixture and swirl it around to get those flavors in the water. Pour the flavored water into the wok and add the red and green peppers. Stir-fry for one minute, adding more water to keep it sizzling. Add the carrots, ginger, and garlic to the wok and stirfry with the peppers for one minute more. Return the pork to the wok and stir-fry until heated, about 1 more minute. Plate with optional rice [if using – see below], top with sliced scallion and some Sriracha, if you wish.

If using ¼ cup medium-grain white rice as a garnish, then add these food values:                         50 calories   0 g fat   0.3 g fiber   1.0 g protein   11 g carbs [simple]   0 mg Calcium                             If serving with ½ cup medium-grain rice, then add these food values:                                            100 calories   0 g fat   0.6 g fiber   2 g protein   22 g carbs [simple]   0 mg Calcium

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion Monday:                     Breakfast, single portion Thursday:

apple  +  melon Next week there will be an exploration of
plum  + date  + almond meal ‘foods in wrappers’
cider syrup  +  cinnamon
French-vanilla yogurt, low fat Choose a favorite from the Archives
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

Dinner, single portion Monday:                           Dinner, single portion Thursday:

lamb shoulder  + onion Several options will be offered or
dry red wine + tomato paste choose a favorite from the Archives
turnip  + carrot + potato
pearl onions + thyme + bay leaf
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Morning to Night: Felafel

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.                                                                           Welcome to Trinity L. who is now Following.

Felafel is a ubiquitous street food in the Eastern Mediterranean and it should be healthy. But too often it is deep-fried, adding needless calories and fat. On a Fast Day good felafel can take you from morning to night with some delicious and satisfying meals. The origin of felafel goes back to the lands now called Palestine and Israel, but once called Sameria, Judea, Idumaea.  Let’s not get bogged down on who invented it — let’s celebrate how good it is and how easy it is to eat in a variety of forms. Felafel in eggs and a felafel-topped salad are fine forms of feasting. I’ll give you the basic recipe, then you can decide how to use it.

Felafel:       1 batch = 648 cal 25.4 g fat 21 g fiber 32.5 g protein 72 g carbs 214 mg Calcium  each patty= 30 cal 1.2 g fat 0.8 g fiber 1.6 g protein 4 g carbs 8.5 mg Calcium    GF PB  V  From the good old Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen, these are easy to prepare and set you up for several servings of future meals.                                                                                                                                  2 cups canned chick peas     [I like Goya brand  TIP:  if you use dried chickpeas, you will get a grainer product. Factor in the time to reconstitute and cook them]                                                            1.5 cloves garlic, crushed [add as much as you enjoy!]                                                                                 ¼ cup celery, minced                                                                                                                                           ¼ c. scallions, sliced                                                                                                                                                    1 raw egg                                                                                                                                                                                            1.5 tsp tahini                                                                                                                                                                 ½ t. cumin    +   ½ t. tumeric   +   ¼ t. cayenne  + ¼ t. black pepper     +  1.5 t. salt                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Combine everything in food processor until ingredients form a uniform paste. Scoop into a bowl and chill 1 hour. Form into balls on a silicone mat or parchment paper on a cookie sheet. I used a 1  Tbsp scoop and then flattened the patties slightly. TIP: You don’t have to bake them now. You could freeze the patties on a cookie sheet, then put them frozen into bags to cook later.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. The patties should be heated through and have an outside ‘crust’ which is firm to the touch. In most recipes, you will cook them further. At this point you want them to be firm enough to store well. There will be about 25 of them. Use now or cool and freeze for later use.

Felafel Bake:  271 calories   6.6 g fat   3.1 g fiber   15.2 g protein  40 g carbs   198 mg Calcium   PB GF   Here we use 1 of the felafel patties which we prepared and froze earlier. Great time-saver! Amazing in eggs!Felafel Bake w: blueberries

1 two-oz egg one felafel patty, thawed [see Stocking Up I-4-’18]                                                                            1 Tbsp tomato puree or crushed tomatoes                                                                                                            ¼ c blueberries                                                                                                                                                                     blackish coffee, blackish tea, or lemon in hot water                                                                                   5-6 oz smoothie or natural apple cider

Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and set the toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the felafel and the tomato until well blended. Whisk the egg into the felafel and turn into the ramekin. Bake about 15 minutes while you portion the berries and prepare the beverages. What a simple, delicious breakfast.

Felafel with Mixed Salad: 295 calories   13.6 g fat   7.3 g fiber   15.5 g protein  29 g carbs [28 Complex]   174 mg Calcium   PB   GF   V    What a healthy plate of food! When you have felafel in the freezer, a quick meal like this is almost instant. If you prep the vegetables in advance, this would be a good ‘make-ahead’ meal for the end of a busy day.felafel w: mixed salad

6 felafel patties                                                                                                                                                           2 cups lettuce, I like to slice large leaves cross-wise into 1/2” strips                                                         2 oz tomatoes, cherry tomatoes or cut in 1/2” cubes                                                                                      1 oz carrots, grated                                                                                                                                                       1 oz beets cut in large dice [canned beets would be a real plus]                                                                1 oz Feta cheese in large crumbles                                                                                                                    ¾ tsp flavored olive oil   +  ¾ tsp white wine vinegar                                                                                    salt + pepper to taste

Thaw the felafel patties. If unbaked, heat in a 400° F. oven for 10-15 minutes. Prepare the vegetables for the salad. Whisk the vinegar and oil, then toss the salad vegetables in the dressing. Top with the felafel and feta crumbles.

Johannes Kepler

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Monday, eat the meals that will be posted on Sunday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Although there is a space telescope named after him, most people would be hard pressed to recognize the name of Johannes Kepler.  Yet he revolutionized how we view the solar system and brought us out of the Middle Ages of astronomy once and for all.  He was the assistant to the famous Tycho Brahe [cf 13 December 2017] in Bohemia and inherited the detailed written observations of his mentor.  By applying his superior mathematical skills, Kepler developed his 3 Laws of Planetary Motion. Today’s breakfast illustrates those theories.  1]  Planets move in elliptical [egg-shaped] paths around the sun. [In his time, the 1500-year old ideas of Ptolemy said that orbits were perfect circles.]   2]  When planets reach the point of their orbit where they are farthest from the sun, they travel slower, but go faster closer to the sun.  The two figs mark places where a planet would go faster or slower in its orbit.  3]   The time it takes a planet to orbit the sun [many scientists in the 1500s held that the Earth was in the center of the Solar System] is proportional to its distance from the sun. In the photo, the ‘orbital path’ of the spinach leaves would be shorter if it were closer to the egg yolk [egg yolk = sun.]                     These ideas were huge in their day and yet they made few ripples in the scientific community, with no scandal of excommunication.  The time was almost right for recognizing that the old ideas were based on opinion and that scientists could prove, by observation and calculation, that their theories were correct.                                                                                                                             Since Kepler’s side hustle was as an astrologer [the magic side of star-gazing], dinner gives a nod to the recent Winter Solstice, a time of dread and disruption in the ancient Solar Calendar.  Kepler’s birthday is tomorrow. He was a Capricorn.

Fig & Chèvre Plate:    294 calories  8.7 g fat  5.7 g fiber  17 g protein  43 g carbs [33 g Complex]   325 mg Calcium   PB GF  Simple, elegant, and much more filling than it looks.Fig + Chevre Plate, black

½ hard-boiled egg                                                                                                                                                                    1 dried fig, mass of 0.65 oz or 16 g                                                                                                                       1 oz chèvre cheese                                                                                                                                                      ¼ oz baby spinach                                                                                                                                             blackish coffee, blackish tea, or lemon in hot water                                                                                            5-6 oz fruit smoothie or green smoothie or natural apple cider

Rehydrate the dried fig by covering with water and microwaving or heating for 1 minute. Let the fig sit in the water for another few minutes, then cut in half. Arrange the spinach leaves in an oval. Dab the leaves with crumbles of the goat cheese. Plate the egg half and the fig halves. HINT: I composed the plate the night before, covered it with a plastic bag, and kept it cool until breakfast. Instant breakfast!

Winter Solstice Pizza: 281 calories   10 g fat  2.8 g fiber  16 g protein  15.6 g carbs [7.8 g Complex]  223.4 mg Calcium PB   On the solstice, we like to prepare a pizza with elements of the season past [mushrooms represent Fall] and of the season to come [cured meats stand in for Winter]. Fabulous flavors!Winter Solstice Pizza

1 whole wheat tortilla [ex: Herdez 8” Fajita-style Tortilla], must be 170 calories or less                                                                                                                         1.5 Tbsp crushed tomatoes + pinch granulated garlic                                                                                        1 oz mozzerella cheese, grated                                                                                                                                 1 oz mushrooms, chopped                                                                                                                                                         1/3 oz prosciutto                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Tbsp onion, chopped                                                                                                                                      generous sprinkling of Italian Herbs + crushed red peppers to taste                                                                                                                                     

Heat the oven to 400 F. Spread the tortilla with the crushed tomato sauce and garlic. Chop the prosciutto roughly and combine it with the mushrooms, onion, and cheese. Distribute over the pizza shell. Sprinkle with herbs, crushed red pepper, or other seasonings to taste. Bake for 5-10 minutes. Light some candles and enjoy pizza on the longest night of the year.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

Next week I will discuss options for American bacon   +  mushrooms
      New Year’s Eve entertaining Cheddar cheese   + chicken stock
choose a favorite from the Archives Yorkshire Pudding Batter [..Not by Bread…18-Feb-2018  OR Arnold Sandwich Thin [100 calories]
       for breakfast white whole wheat flour
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

Dinner, single portion:

Next week I will discuss options for cooked pheasant meat
           New Year’s Eve entertaining carrots  +  cabbage  + onion
 choose a favorite from the Archives pheasant or chicken gravy
         for dinner Arnold Sandwich Thin [100 calories]
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Adam & Eve

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.                                                                      Welcome to GlutLust who is now Following.

Tomorrow will be the Feast Day of St Adam and St Eve. Bet you didn’t know they were saints, did you? Me neither.  Medieval and Renaissance artists loved to depict the once- happy pair — after all, they were naked!! So we see them being created in sculpture by Lorenzo Maitani; succumbing to temptation in painting by Lucas Cranach  and in engraving by Albrecht Dürer; and being expelled from Eden in fresco by Masaccio;  One of my favorites*  is from bronze doors of Bishop Bernwald in Hildesheim, Germany begun in 1015. It shows God pointing accusingly to Adam, who fairly writhes in embarrassment over his nakedness. Adam points to Eve to blame her for their mistake. And Eve points to the Devil [a small dragon at her feet] to blame him, as if to say ‘the dog did it’!  A wonderful examination of human nature.      *[thanks, Pflug]                                                                                                  Going from the sublime to the ridiculous: in old diner parlance, if the waitress yelled at the cook, “Adam and Eve on a Raft” it meant an order of poached eggs on toast.  We will extend the ‘raft’ simile a bit to include the toast that is served under any food. At breakfast, the toast will hold the trendy avocado as well as the Adam/Eve egg, while at dinner it will be bread with Vietnamese toppings.

Avocado Toast:  273 calories  10.4 g fat  5 g fiber  14.4 g protein  32.5 g carbs   210 mg Calcium PB  GF – if using GF bread  Avocado Toast has been all the rage in celebrity diets, so we decided to try it. Very nice with the egg on top and a hearty whole-grain bread underneath.Avocado Toast

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                  o.8 oz avocado                                                                                                                                                                 1 slice 70-calorie whole-grain bread                                                                                                     blackish coffee or tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                                 ¼ cup unpasturized apple cider or 3 oz fruit smothie or green smoothie

Lightly toast the bread while you fry or poach the egg. Spread the avocado over the bread and top with the egg. Pour the beverages and you are all set for a healthy day.

Banh Mi: 300 calories   7 g fat   4.8 g fiber  20 g protein  36.7 g carbs   47 mg Calcium  PB   The recipe for this popular Thai/Viet street sandwich came in the mail from Eating Well’s Shape magazine. Just a few tweeks and it worked splendidly for a Fast Day. Dear Husband is fan.Bahn Mi

3 oz pork tenderloin, previously cooked or raw                                                                                                     1 tsp Asian sweet chili sauce + ½ tsp soy sauce                                                                                            1.5 oz cucumber, cut in 2-3” strips                                                                                                                     1.5 oz red sweet pepper, cut in 2-3” strips                                                                                                         2 oz carrot, shredded                                                                                                                                              2 Tbsp pickle brine [juice from a jar of pickles] + ½ tsp sesame oil + ¼ tsp ground ginger + ¼ tsp ground garlic + pinch sesame seeds                                                                                                         1-1/2 oz baguette slices, cut 1/4” thick

Slice the pork thinly and brush with Asian chili + soy sauce mixture. If meat is uncooked, briefly sauté until just pink. Combine the pickle brine with the sesame-ginger -garlic-sesame to make a dressing, and set aside in a small bowl. Slice and grate the vegetables and toss in the sesame-ginger dressing. Slice the bread and arrange it on the serving plate. Top with pork, then with vegetables. Serve remaining vegetables on the side. Done!  We ate everything with our fingers.