Glaciers

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.

Glaciers are fascinating things — though made of soft ice, they can sculpt rocks and change entire landscapes. There are rivers flowing through and beneath them. They are made of layers and although they look white, the ice is actually blue. They form when snow from the previous year doesn’t melt and then more snow adds to that the next winter. The snow compresses under its own weight and turns to ice. If the ice becomes 30 feet thick, it is officially deemed a ‘glacier.’ Around the world, they are melting at a great rate. This changes the weather, ecosystem around it, and even the elevation of the land. But curiously, a new glacier has been forming on the West coast of Newfoundland, Canada. Our family saw it in its infancy in 1992, at Gros Morne National Park, and it has been growing ever since. On June 25, 2018, it snowed in Newfoundland, to the amazement of many. An area of ice cools the air around it, causing more snow to fall, fueling the glacier build-up further. This is why we call it ‘climate change’ — some places get warmer, while others become colder.

Breakfast is white and creamy, like a pile of snow, and it is served cold. Similarly, the dinner is a cold meal, best enjoyed on a hot day.

Citrus Breakfast: 149 calories 1.3 g fat 1.7 g fiber 15.7 g protein 19 g carbs [5.5 g Complex] 118 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage PB GF  Is this the breakfast you imagine when you think ‘go on a diet’? Does it look like starvation rations? Banish those thoughts! Delicious, nutritious, and filling, this is a great breakfast for anyone, anyday. It is a vitamin-blast.

½ cup reduced-fat cottage cheese 2 Tbsp fat-free plain or fat-free French Vanilla yogurt   1 clementine, peeled and sectioned 2 Tbsp black currants  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Combine all the dairy and fruit [or combine the dairy and garnish with fruit after plating]. Knowing that I would have a busy morning, I did this the night before and refrigerated it. Great for a grab-and-go meal, if you prep it the night before.

Gazpacho:  171 calories 6.3 g fat 2.4 g fiber 13.8 g protein 14.6 g carbs 57.6 mg Calcium   PB GF – if using GF croutons This is from Craig Claibourne’s Gourmet Diet cookbook from 1980. We used to make this, then it fell out of the repetoire. Time to re-embrace this classic Summer soup.  HINT: Serves 3 [three]. Makes a fine follow-up lunch. 

1 pound red ripe tomatoes 1 tsp minced garlic ½ cup diced onion ½ cup green or red pepper in ½” dice ½ cup cucumber, diced 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar 1 Tbsp olive oil ¼ cup tomato juice generous grinds of black pepper + pinch Aleppo pepper or cayenne pepper  garnish per serving:  2 oz shrimp, peeled, cooked, cut in ½“ pieces ¼ oz [about 5] whole-grain croutons

Core and dice the tomatoes. Put them into a blender. Add the next seven ingredients in order. Put the spices on top and turn the blender on to medium speed. When you are finished, all the ingredients should be mixed throughout but there should still be chunks of vegetables. Measure 1 cup of the soup into each bowl and top with the garnishes and a pinch of finishing salt. Just what we need in the Summer.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ……… single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz egg + plain yogurtmango + pineapple 
zucchini + feta cheeseoven-roasted plantain slices
flour + watermelongoat cheese
self-rising flourcoconut dumpling
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

eggplant + egg + basil + reduced-fat cottage cheese Albacore tuna + lime juice + spinach leaves
canned tomatoes + Parmesansprouts/microgreens + celery
part-skim ricotta cheese + zucchini or fresh spinachavocado + mayonnaise + Sriracha
whole-grain pasta + garlic powdercherry tomatoes + apple + ginger
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Voting Rights

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 June 18, 1872, Susan B. Anthony showed up to vote. She was promptly arrested and fined $100 for her temerity. Anthony campaigned tirelessly against slavery and then turned her sights on women’s right to vote. Her strong suits were organizing and strategizing as she and Elizabeth Cady Stanton lead a large nationwide push for equality for women. Some might criticize her for speaking against the 14th and 15th Amendments, which gave black men the right to vote. Anthony was not a racist — she thought the new amendments should go further to include women, too, both black and white. Her Quaker upbringing caused her to be ardent for “Men, their rights, and nothing more. Women, their rights, and nothing less.” She never got the right to vote, but her wish for “liberty and justice for all” [words of F. Bellamy, 1892] inspires all of us to action.

Susan B. Anthony was born in Massachusetts and spent her adult life in New York State. Sausage and apples would have been a familiar flavor combination to her. Although servants did her cooking, she would surely appreciate the convenience that a modern woman has of preparing a lot of food in advance and freezing future meals. Such is the soup for our dinner. This strategy frees her up for campaigning, working, and making the world more just for everyone.

Sausage-Apple ScrOmelette: 152 calories 10 g fat 0.5 g fiber 12.8 g protein 3.5 g carbs 43.2 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  A hearty breakfast to start your day right.

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.  1 link chicken breakfast sausage = 33 calories ¾ oz apple sage, fresh or dried   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Dice the apple and slice the sausage. Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Add the apple and cook them a bit. Add the sausage to warm it. Whisk the eggs with the sage, salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the sausage/apple in the pan. Let cook, as an ‘omelette plate’ to your favorite degree of doneness, and plate. Partake of your beverages of choice. YUMM — sweet apple, savory sausage.

Soupe au Pistou:  212 calories 5 g fat 5.6 g fiber 9 g protein 34 g carbs 74 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF bread and pasta  Here is the summer soup of Southern France: garden vegetables with a basil pistou [pesto in Italian] to flavor it. The recipe is from Anne Willan’s Country Cooking of FranceHINT: This makes enough for 9 [nine] one-cup servings or 6 [six] 1-½ cup sv. = 271 calories/bowl, with bread.

½ cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed 1 cup thinly-sliced leeks ½ pound [8 oz] tomatoes, ½ inch dice ½ cup carrots, ½ inch dice 2 cups potatoes, ½ inch dice 8 oz zucchini, ½ inch dice ½ cup onion, diced 2/3 cup green beans, cut in 1” pieces ½ cup peas, fresh or frozen 1-¼ oz short pasta, such as orzo or ditalini or tiny shells ¼ cup pesto, purchased or homemade 1 one-ounce slice whole-grain sourdough bread

Prepare all the vegetables. Simmer them in 1 quart of water with salt and pepper for 20 minutes. Add the peas and simmer 5 minutes more. Add the pasta and simmer 5 minutes more. Take off the heat and stir in the pesto. HINT: If possible, cool, cover, and let sit in a cool spot for 8-24 hours to deepen the flavors.  Taste for seasoning. Serve with a slice of whole grain sourdough bread. Delicious for dinner or lunch. Freeze the remainder.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ……… single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz egg + applesaucereduced fat cottage cheese
Bechamel sauce + spinachfat-free French Vanilla yogurt
celery + onion + ham + basilclementine
celery seed + dill + garlic powderblack currants
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

eggs + shrimp + celery + spinachtomatoes + garlic + onion
mushrooms + scallion + sesame oilItalian pepper + cucumber
bean sprouts _ ground gingerred wine vinegar + shrimp
hoisin + oyster + soy saucesolive oil + tomato juice
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Mix Up

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.

“Mixed up” refers to someone who is a little crazy, as in “You can’t blame him, he’s really mixed up.” That sad lad’s past might cause him to become involved with bad company [c. 1900]. “He went to jail after being mixed up with some gang members.” The term “crazy mixed up kid” is from the 1940s-50s, could be a condemnation of teenagers by adults OR a bit of a compliment, meaning someone who was ‘hep’ and not a conformist. To “mix it up” says that a quarrel or fight is going on. A baseball announcer might say, “Uh-oh — they seem to be mixing it up at third base…” as the umpires and coaches rushed over. Further, “mix ups” can be the result of confusion [c. 1800]. Waitress: ‘I’m sorry — you didn’t order the venison? I must have mixed up the order.” In food preparation, we mix up the ingredients to incorporate them. All in all, the words ‘mixed up’ can leave a non-English speaker a little mixed up in a conversation. English is said to be the most difficult language to learn.

Our menus today have no particular theme — taken together, they are as mixed up as can be. We start with a sweet, loving breakfast and move on to a spicy, angry dinner [‘arrabbiata’ means ‘angry’ in Italian]. Guess that makes me a little mixed up.

Peachy Waffle Hearts148 calories 3.4 g fat 3.6 g fiber 3.6 g protein 29 g carbs [13.7 g Complex] 59.4 mg Calcium  PB GF– if using GF waffles Where is it written that hearts are reserved for Valentine’s Day? Make this breakfast to show someone that he/she/they are loved. Make it for yourself for affirmation.

3 sections of waffle that are heart-shaped [our waffle-maker has 5 sections] 3 Tbsp French Vanilla yogurt, low-fat 2 Tbsp almond meal/almond flour 3 oz peach 2 oz pear   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 3 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [44 calories]

Combine the yogurt with the almond meal and let it sit to thicken a bit. Can be done overnight. Mash the peach through a sieve to make a mush. Warm the waffles to take off any chill and spread with the peach mush. Pipe or spoon the yogurt around the edges of the hearts and plate with the pear. A pretty treat.

Shrimp Arrabbiata:  287 calories 8.5 g fat 6.4 g fiber 16 g protein 30 g carbs [21.8 g Complex] 240 mg Calcium   PB GF – if using GF pasta The box of pasta says that this recipe is from Sarah Leah Chase’s book Cold-Weather Cooking. I added the shrimp and it is great.  HINT: This recipe serves three [3] people. Invite friends or enjoy on two following days.

1-½ oz pancetta or serrano ham, sliced in ribbons 3 cloves garlic, sliced 1 tsp red pepper flakes or more to taste 6 plum tomatoes, diced 3 oz whole-grain ‘penne’ pasta 6 oz shrimp 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan or Romano cheese   per person: 3 oz asparagus + 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Remove the shells from the shrimp and set aside. Spray a saute pan with non-stick spray. Add the pancetta and garlic and cook until garlic is golden-colored. Add the crushed red peppers and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes and simmer. Meanwhile, put the pasta in boiling salted water and cook for 3 minutes, then remove pan from heat but do not drain. Scoop out the pasta and add to the tomatoes, along with several tablespoons of the pasta-cooking water. Add the shrimp, some salt, and 1 Tbsp grated cheese to the tomatoes and cook until the shrimp are done. The pasta will continue to cook in the liquid from the tomatoes – if getting too dry, add some more water. Cut the asparagus into 1” pieces and cook in boiling water until soft to your taste. Test the pasta to find out when it is done. Portion and plate with grated cheese on top. Restaurant quality, at home.

Going South

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. Welcome to amyrichards who is now Following.

“Going South” has several connotations. In a business sense, it means a downward trend in sales or income. To First Nations people of far North America, going South means that something is going wrong, like the food stores going bad. As the Treebeard character muses in the Two Towers movie: “I always like going South: somehow it seems like going downhill.” In modern times, residents of Canada and the Northern US are called ‘snow birds’ because of their going South for the winter.

Today’s foods check off two of the meanings of Going South. We are ‘going South’ for a breakfast of Hoe Cakes which was a popular food item there among all classes of people. The dinner is useful if you have a bin of vegetable about to ‘go South,’ which you can turn into a fine meal. If your attempts at dieting have been going South, try the Fast Diet. It works for us.

Hoe Cakes with Fruit & Yogurt:  173 calories 1.7 g fat 4 g fiber 13 g protein 36 g carbs 75 mg Calcium  PB GF  Here the old Southern meal of cornmeal cakes is updated with healthy fruit and yogurt. HINT: The recipe yields 6 hoe cakes, which is enough for two servings of 3 cakes each.

3 Tbsp yellow cornmeal  2.5 Tbsp hot water  Combine by stirring well to make a mush. Let sit for 15 minutes.
1 oz egg white ¼ tsp yeastStir into the warm cornmeal mush and let sit for 1-12 hours. TIP: I did this the night before.
2 Tbsp cornmeal 2 Tbsp water ¼ tsp saltMix into the mush. If you take some up on a fork, it will sit on the tines, with a little batter dribbling through. If it is not like this, add more cornmeal or more water.
Using a little less than 2 Tbsp of batter, drop onto a hot griddle sprayed with non-stick spray. Make 6 cakes. Cook on both sides. Best if eaten fresh.
per serving: 1/4 cup blueberries 1/2 tsp honey, warmed 4 oz [1/4 c] plain, fat-free yogurt
2 slices Canadian Bacon
Put the yogurt and honey in a small dish and stir to combine. Add the fruit and stir it in.
Warm the Canadian bacon on the same griddle used to cook the cakes.
Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or tea or lemon in hot water or mocha cafe au lait [65] Serve with the bacon. Enjoy the dish of berried yogurt on the side or slathered on the hoe cakes.

Fajitas with Chicken + Vegetables:  286 calories 5 g fat 3.9 g fiber 24 g protein 35 g carbs [ g Complex] 183 mg calcium  PB  A quick, delicious, and a good way to use vegetables. HINT: This recipe serves 2 [two] people.

1 tsp oil + 3 tsp water 6 oz chicken breast 2 cups veg, including: >3 oz sweet pepper + 4 oz zucchini >1 oz red onion + 1.25 oz broccoli 1 tsp chili powder + sprinkle AdoboCut the meat into strips. Cut the vegetables into strips or other edible sizes. Heat oil in wok, stir-fry meat, veg, and seasonings for ~ 7 minutes or until cooked and vegetables begin to brown
four 5” corn tortillasWrap in damp kitchen towel. Nuke 30-45 seconds. -OR- Warm on a griddle or in a dry skillet until pliable and starting to brown.
1 Tbsp plain nonfat yogurt per tortilla Divide the meat/veg among the tortillas and top with yogurt.
1 lime ¼ c cilantro leavesServe as garnish

Fasting for Lent

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.

We are now five weeks into Lent, the Christian church’s period of fasting and reflection. Why is it called ‘lent’? The word is from Old English ‘lencten’ which references the season of Spring. Why is one to fast during Lent? The 40 days are a remembrance of Jesus’ 40-day sojourn in the desert before he began his ministry. During that time he fasted and pondered his life ahead. What should that Lenten fasting entail? After the Council of Nicea in 325 CE, fasting was a serious thing: one meal per day, in the evening, with no meat, fish, eggs, or butter on the table. Today there are still those who do not eat eggs or meat during Lent, especially on Friday. Members of Protestant sects ‘give up’ favorite foods [chocolate; liquor] during Lent or forgo behaviors that they wish to change [smoking; over-eating]. As with any change in behavior, when the trial period is over, does one resume the behavior? 5:2 Fasting should become a lifestyle, not just something to do for a little while and then stop. Lent should make us think about permanent changes. This is a good time to start a Fasting Lifestyle.

The menus for tomorrow feature seafood, not meat. There are no eggs and no dairy. But that doesn’t stop them from being delicious.

Gravlax & Grannies:  126 calories 3.6 g fat 2.3 g fiber 11 g protein 13 g carbs [13 g Complex] 25.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB GF  At the Inn at Saint Peters we enjoyed their Smoked Trout with Apples appetizer. It occurred to me that this could be a fine breakfast for those who enjoy a savory/seafood taste in the a.m. I substituted mackerel gravlax for the smoked trout, just because that was on hand, but it was a grey-brown instead of the lighter hue of the trout or the pink of a salmon. Suit yourself.

1 oz mackerel gravlax OR 1 oz smoked trout [DuckTrap brand is very good] 2 oz Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced; each slice cut into 1/2-moons ¼ c blueberries + 2 raspberries for color   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Slice the fish with the grain to create thin slices. Arrange the fish and apples in overlapping slices around the plate. HINT: I did this the night before, covered it with clingwrap and put it in the ‘fridge. So quick the next morning!! Brew your hot beverage, blend or shake your smoothie, dish out those healthy blueberries, and breakfast elegantly.

Shrimp with Lime + Cilantro 228 calories 4.7 g fat 1.3 g fiber 30 g protein 15 g carbs [7 g Complex] 90 mg Calcium   PB GF  These are such a popular combination of flavors that there are many recipes on line. This one is from Skinnytaste.com, cut down to a single-serving size and with a few additions.

5 oz raw shrimp, cleaned and halved if large. [I used tiny cold-water shrimp] ¼ tsp ground cumin 1 oz brown rice Maifun noodles 1/3 tsp olive oil + water 2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed ½ of one lime 2 Tbsp or more chopped cilantro/coriander leaves 1 large [½ oz] lettuce leaf

Prepare your mise en place.  Put the shrimp in a bowl. If they thawed in the bowl, pour off the liquid and reserve it. Toss the shrimp with the cumin plus salt and pepper. Cook the noodles in 3 cups boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain, rinse, and reserve. Crush the garlic. Cut the lime in half and chop the cilantro/coriander leaves. Heat a non-stick saute or cast-iron pan. Add the oil and the drained shrimp. Let cook for 2 minutes, then turn over to the other side. Add some of the reserved water if needed to avoid sticking. Put the garlic and noodles in the pan and cook for one minute. Squeeze the juice from the lime over the pan, add the cilantro and stir well. Take off heat. Center the lettuce leaf on the plate and spoon the shrimp on top. Wonderful flavors!

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ……… single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs
apple + mustardhorseradish
bacon + sage + pearfresh parsley + beets
Ricotta + Parmesan cheesesapple sauce + cinnamon
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

rabbit meat + portobello mushroom salad greens + fresh parsley
ham + onion + chicken stockcelery + apple + walnuts
herb savory + carrot + thymehard-boiled egg + cooked lamb
Arnold-brand sandwich thinhorseradish dressing
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Mehmet II

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. Welcome to ParisVitamin who is now Following.

On March 30, 1432, Mehmet, the second of that name, was born in Edirne, Turkey. His father was the Sultan Murad II, and Mehmet received an excellent education: literature, architecture, fine arts, military science, languages [7 of them!], philosophy, and science. At this time in Western Europe, culture was just emerging into the Renaissance. Mehmet went on to found the Ottoman Empire, conquering first Constantinople [now Istanbul] in 1453, which ended the Byzantine Empire. He next conquered the Greek city states, then the Anatolian peninsula, and the Balkan states. He ruled for 30 years and was known for his erudition and for religious tolerance. Mehmet was painted by the Italian Bellini, wearing a distinctive headdress [‘mücevveze”, a tall cylindrical headgear], which became popular with future Ottoman leaders. And, oddly enough, he is my ancestor! How is that possible for someone with French/English/German antecedents? Ah, that is a tale for a future blog about Mehmet’s Son.

In recognition of his Eastern Mediterranean origins, a plate of felafel seems appropriate for breakfast. And the dinner of stuffed cabbage is caught up in the story of a Swedish King captured by the Ottomans.

Felafel Plate:  219 calories 5 g fat 4.8 g fiber 16.3 g protein 30 g carbs [25.7 g Complex] 165 mg Calcium   NB: Food values given are for the main meal only, and do not include the optional beveragePB GF  A simple meal, yet full of nutrition and flavor.

4 felafel patties 4 oz canteloupe melon or pineapple, cubed in bite-sized pieces 3.5 oz fat-free Greek-style yogurt ½ tsp mint leaves  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water NO smoothie today

Warm the felafel patties or use at room temperature. Chop the mint leaves and combine with the yogurt. Prepare the beverage of choice and plate the food to please the eye.

Danish Stuffed Cabbage:  282 calories 5.7 g fat 5.7 g fiber 35 g protein 25 g carbs 125 mg Calcium   PB GF — if using GF bread   Craig Claiborne’s International Cookbook provided this recipe. Its history involves a Swedish king and the Ottoman Empire. Very royal origin for a common meal found everywhere cabbages are grown.

4 oz turkey meat, raw 2 oz pork meat, raw 2.5 oz veal, raw ½ cup fresh bread crumbs [from whole-grain 70-calorie bread] 2 oz milk 1 oz egg white sage + salt + pepper 4 whole cabbage leaves from a whole head 1/3 c pickled beets dab of mustard

Put the meats, sage, salt, and pepper in the food processor and mince. Spritz a saute pan with non-stick spray and cook the meat until it doesn’t look raw. Cool meat. Combine the bread and milk, stir, let sit until soggy. Add the egg white and meats and stir to combine well. Set aside. Put a head of cabbage in a pot with enough water to cover and bring to a simmer. When the outer layer begins to cook, remove the outer leaf. Return the cabbage to the pan of simmering water. Continue to remove the outer leaves as they cook, until you have 4. Return them to the poaching water and cook until very limp. [Put the rest of the cabbage away for something else.] Cut a ‘V’ at the base of each leaf to remove the thickest part of the leaf’s rib. Orient the leaf so the ‘V’ is away from you. Put ¼ cup filling on the leaf. Fold the near side over the filling, tuck in the sides, and continue to roll. Place seam-side down in an oven-proof dish large enough to hold all four rolls. Pour some of the water in which you poached the cabbage into the dish until it comes 1/2-way up the rolls. Put on a lid or foil and bake at 350 F. for 20 minutes or until heated. Plate with the pickled beets and a dab of mustard. Fit for an Ottoman Emperor.

You OK?

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. Welcome to strawberryred who is now Following.

OK” [also spelled “Okay”] is a true Americanism which has spread around the world. There are several explanations of how the term came to be. Mostly, it boils down to meaning ‘all right’ or ‘all correct’ which was either intentionally or unintentionally misspelled as ‘orl kerrect.’ When Martin Van Buren ran for as second term as president in 1840, people called him ‘Old Kinderhook,‘ after the town in New York where he was born. “OK” became part of his campaign sloganing. On March 23, 1839, it appeared in print for the first time, in the Boston Morning Post. The term was introduced to the world during World War I, as American doughboys took the saying to Europe. Then it ‘went viral’.

But back to the title of this message — are YOU OK? My little part of the world has very few cases of the COVID-19 — so far. Our governor has declared a state of emergency. Our local school district is closed, as are the churches and libraries. Dear Husband and I are staying close to home and probably you are too. This is a good chance to practice your home cooking, since you won’t be frequenting restaurants. I am not being flippant. Cooking at home is one of the best ways to get some control over what and how much you eat, and thus control your weight. You might even find out that you enjoy it! Here are two of our favorite easy-to-prepare meals. Best wishes for your health.

Avocado-Lobster Bake: 145 calories 7 g fat 2.2 g fiber 11 g protein 10.3 g carbs [9.4 g Complex] 64 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beveragesPB GF  When I thought that avocado and ricotta would make a nice bake, Dear Husband had one suggestion: add lobster! Well why not?

1 two-oz egg ¼ oz avocado ¾ Tbsp ricotta 3/4 oz lobster meat OR crab 2 oz pear Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Set the toaster oven to 350 F. Spritz a ramekin or other oven-proof dish with cooking spray and put the lobster meat on the bottom. Mash the avocado with the ricotta, then whisk in the egg. Pour over the lobster, season as you wish. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Slice the fruit and prepare the optional beverages. Sumptuous.

Smorrebrot with Salmon:  257 calories 8 g fat 3.1 g fiber 14 g protein 28.6 g carbs [~15 g Complex] 48 mg Calcium   PB  A classic summer sandwich from Sweden: a delicious meal without heating the kitchen.

1 slice [1.5 oz] sourdough rye bread @ 110 calories [the bread should be dense, not fluffy] 1 Tbsp whipped cream cheese 2-4 large leaves of fresh spinach 1.5 oz thinly-sliced tomato, slice and salt about 30 minutes earlier 1 or 1.5 oz smoked salmon [you have some calorie wiggle-room] ½ hard-boiled egg, sliced 1-2 oz strawberry

Spread the bread with the cream cheese and lay the spinach leaves on top. Place the tomato slices atop that. For the next layer, put down the salmon, topped by the egg slices. Plate with the berries and enjoy a wonderful meal, whether or not it is a hot Summer night.

De la Tour

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.

Georges de la Tour was an artist of the Baroque period. In that school of art, there was drama! there was emotion! there was an intriguing play of light and dark. But de la Tour put his own stamp on art which is unmistakable. Born on March 19, 1593, he was the son of respected bakers in the Dutchy of Lorraine. After working in the studios of local artists, Georges set out on his own. That he married a member of the minor nobility speaks to his rise in status. It is not known how he came to know of the work of the Italian painter Carivaggio, but the connection is very clear. Unlike the influential Carivaggio and sculptors like Bernini, de la Tour traded the action and in your face emotion for a stillness and a deep meditative mood. He loved the contrast of deep shadows and light — most of his paintings are illuminated by a single candle. How masterfully he shows just as much as he needs to in that small amount of light! How much symbolism he conveys with that light as well. Take a look at Joseph the Carpenter to see what I mean, especially how the flame lights up the child Jesus. A true work of art!

Our breakfast is the eponymous food of de La Tour’s home region, but not as a quiche. The dinner shows a harmony of flavors, tinted in the dark tones which the artist favored.

Bake Lorraine: 180 calories 11 g fat 1.2 g fiber 12.7 g protein 7.6 g carbs [4.4 g Complex] 193 mg Calcium   NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beverages.  GF  You’ve heard of Quiche Lorraine? Well, here it is, as a crustless bake, with all the flavor intact. Very do-able for breakfast. Make sure your next meal has lots of fiber, as this meal has next to none.

1 two-oz egg ½ slice uncured bacon 3 Tbsp whole milk ½ oz Swiss cheese [Emmenthaler, Gruyere] pinch cayenne pepper + pinch nutmeg 2 oz strawberries   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Dice the bacon and cook it until crispy. Drain and blot. Grate or finely chop the cheese. Spray an oven-proof dish with non-stick spray and put the cheese on the bottom. Whisk together the egg, milk, and seasonings. Pour over the cheese, then sprinkle the bacon on top.  HINT: I did all this the night before. Bake in a 350F oven for 17 minutes. Plate with the fruit. A creamy, delicious treat!

Beef & Beet Salad: 243 calories 8.5 g fat 3.2 g fiber 24 g protein 17 g carbs [10 g Complex] 24 mg Calcium  PB GF  This unusual salad was found in James Peterson’s Glorious French Food. Should you have left-over roast beef, this is the dish to try. It is crazy easy. Easy, too, to serve to a group.

2.75 oz thinly-sliced roasted beef 3.5 oz pickled beets, as thinly-sliced rounds a few spinach leaves, cut as chiffonade dill pickle spear 1.5 tsp dressing*** 

***Dressing [makes 6 Teaspoons] 2-1/4 tsp Dijon mustard 1 Tbsp chopped shallot 1-1/2 tsp red wine vinegar 4-1/2 tsp olive oil

Slice the beef and the beets as matchsticks about 2-3” long. Put beef, beets, and spinach in the serving bowl/plate and drizzle the dressing over the top. Gently toss to coat the salad with the dressing. Plate it. Wonderfully simple, yet complex in taste.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ……… single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz eggNext time I will discuss fables
lobster meat about fasting.
avocado + ricottaFind a new favorite breakfast
pear in the Archives.
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverage optional hot beverage

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

110-cal sourdough rye breadchicken breast
smoked salmon + spinachsatay sauce + peanut butter
whipped cream cheesecauliflower
tomato + hard-boiled eggcherry tomatoes
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Caroline Herschel

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. Welcome to fenderf who is now Following.

You may have heard of Caroline Herschel’s famous brother, William who discovered the Planet Uranus. Or his famous son, John. Caroline was another story. Born on March 16, 1750, in Germany, she learned music along with her older brothers. But two diseases in her childhood ended her education, stunted her growth [she never topped 4’3″], and left her partially blind. Her mother was horrified to have a ‘cripple’ for a child and told her she was worse than worthless. The girl became more of a servant than a daughter. Small wonder that, after William was offered a post as composer/choir master at Octagon Chapel in Bath, England, he called for Caroline to be his housekeeper [I think to ‘rescue’ her] and she gladly accepted. William became interested in astronomy and the faithful Caroline, a self-described “well-trained puppy dog,” was his assistant. Soon, she knew as much about astronomy and telescopes as her brother. In 1782, she began recording her own notes about the sky and the following year she discovered two new nebulae. In 1786, Caroline began to discover comets, not as William’s assistant, but in her own right. Eventually, she wrote a new star catalogue, discovered 8 comets, 14 nebulae, and 2 star clusters. Not bad for a woman almost blind in one eye! Thus she made a name for herself in a man’s world: she was awarded a medal and a salary by George III of England, and a gold medal by the King of Prussia. And to think you never had heard of her.

Our meals today, like Caroline, begin in Germany and end in England. Both are delicious. [The meals, not the countries]

German Breakfast:  136 calories 2.8 g fat 4.4 g fiber 9 g protein 15 g carbs [5 g Complex] 104.4 mg Calcium Sturdy whole-grain bread, some curd cheese with chives and a slice of ham will get you going in the morning, just as it does for the inventive Germans.

1 slice 70-calorie whole-grain bread [we like Dave’s ‘Good Seed’] 2 Tbsp small-curd cottage cheese, reduced fat 1-2 Tbsp chopped chives [cheese + chives is similar to ‘quark‘ in Germany] ½ oz slice of 3%-fat ham from the deli, thinly-sliced 1 oz pear   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [75 calories] or lemon in hot water Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

The night before: chop the chives/scallion and mash into the cottage cheese to make the curd cheese more creamy. The next morning: toast the bread lightly and spread with the ‘quark-like’ cheese-chive mixture. Place the ham slice on top of the cheese and plate with the pear. Serve with hot beverages of your choice and have a “guten Morgen.”

Pheasant Casserole: 250 calories 9.5 g fat 5.4 g fiber 22.5 g protein 21.6 g carbs [19 Complex] 86 mg Calcium PB This recipe is based on one from English Provincial Cooking by Elisabeth Ayrton and it dates back to the 18th century. Whole partridges were stewed with onion, carrot, and cabbage for 2.5 hours and served on thick slices of bread. Well, this is a modified version and it is delicious. This uses left over cooked pheasant meat and works well.

2-1/2 oz cabbage, sliced 1-1.5” thick 1.5 oz baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise ¼ oz onion rings [which I forgot to put on the top] 2 Tbsp chicken or pheasant gravy 2 oz pheasant [or chicken] meat, cooked and taken off the bone ½ Arnold Multi-Grain Sandwich Thin

Prepare the carrots, cabbage, and onion and steam them for 25 minutes until the carrots are tender. If the cabbage is not yet done, leave it in the steamer with the lid on but off the heat until needed. Warm the pheasant in the gravy + 2 tsp of the water from the steaming liquid. Warm the Arnold Thin in the toaster oven. Plate the bread. Spoon a tablespoon of gravy on top. Place the meat atop the bread. Stir the warm vegetables into the warm gravy and plate them. Put the onion rings on top and pour any remaining gravy over the meat.

That Telegram

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.

In 1917, war was marching with heavy tread through Europe. In the USA, President Woodrow Wilson had problems on his southern border with Mexico. Wilson had been elected on the motto “He kept us out of war” due to his reluctance to enter into World War I. We were not at war with anyone but in 1848 the war with Mexico concluded and in 1854, the US bought land on the Mexican border to add to Arizona and New Mexico. Border relations were sometimes tense. In March of 1916, the revolutionary leader Pancho Villa lead a raid across the US border to capture weapons from an arsenal at Columbus, NM to promote his victory over a rival. Then came that telegram. It was sent from the German Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in Mexico, in code. Intercepted by British Intelligence in January, 1917, the decryption was sent to Washington in late March. There it raised hackles and alarm bells as it was splashed across front pages from coast to coast. Herr Zimmermann had instructed his representative in Mexico to encourage the government to invade the US should Wilson enter the war on the side of the Allies. The quid pro quo? If Mexico would invade the US for us, then after we win the war, Germany will give you back land that the US took from you. That did it. Sentiment across the country switched overnight from non-involvement to pro-war and on April 6, 1917, the US entered the war.

A popular Mexican food gives its flavors to breakfast, while our dinner is named for the charismatic Pancho Villa himself. Here’s hoping for good relations between Mexico and the US.

Enchilada Bake:  140 calories 6 g fat 1.7 g fiber 15.3 g protein 12.5 g carbs [11 g Complex] 75 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beverages. PB GF  Since we enjoy enchiladas for dinner, why not have the same flavors at breakfast?

1 two-oz egg 1 Tbsp crushed tomatoes, slightly drained ½ oz fresh green chili peppers, minced 1 Tbsp plain, non-fat yogurt ¼ oz chicken breast, cooked and chopped 1/8 oz Monterey Jack or Cheddar ½ tsp cornmeal ¼ tsp oregano [preferably Mexican] + pinch chili roja [red pepper flakes] 2 oz apple OR applesauce Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] 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. Put the cornmeal and minced chilis into an ungreased cast iron skillet and toast them over direct heat until cornmeal becomes darker in color and fragrent. Do not let the cornmeal burn or scorch. Remove from hot pan to a bowl. Into the ramekin, put the chicken and the cheese. Whisk together the egg, cornmeal, chilis, half of the yogurt, and seasonings, and pour over the eggs. Bake 12- 15 minutes while you portion the fruit and prepare the beverages. Top the eggs with the remaining dollop of yogurt.

Eggs Pancho Villa: 283 calories 9 g fat 6 g fiber 16 g protein 30 g carbs [29 g Complex] 157 mg Calcium  PB GF  From La Cuisine magazine comes another eggs-for-dinner meal.  TIP: doubles easily.

3/4 cup garbanzo beans, canned, drained, rinsed ¼ cup chopped onions 1 clove garlic, chopped or pressed 1/3 cup crushed tomatoes 1 two-oz egg ¼ oz Swiss cheese, grated ground cumin + chili powder to taste

Cook the onions and garlic in the tomatoes until they are soft.  [HINT: this could be done in the microwave] Add some water if the tomatoes get too thick. Stir in the beans and the spices. Turn into an oven-proof dish about 4” wide. As you can see above, this works well for a small cast iron pan. Poach the egg and put it on the beans/tomatoes. Top with grated cheese and bake at 400 degrees F. for 3 minutes.