Italian Style

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.

“Italian Style” can mean many things.  There is the style of dressing [fashionably].  The style of driving [with abandon]. The style of decorating [looking rustically antique].  The style of living [leisurley]. The style of eating [abundantly].  From films such as “La Dolce Vita” and from books such as Under the Tuscan Sun, non-Italians suddenly get the yen to depart for Chianti-shire and never return. Italian food can be carb-laden [potato-topped pizza is a thing] or light [Mediterranean Diet, any one?] and goes way beyond pasta+tomato sauce+lots of grated cheese.  Today our meals celebrate Italian ingredients!

Aubergine ScrOmelette w: pears

Aubergine ScrOmelette: 128 calories  7.5 g fat  1 g fiber 10.4 g protein 4.6 g carbs [3.5 g Complex]  61 mg Calcium   PB GF  Eggplant, or malanzana in Italian, goes back to at least the 12th century in Italy.  Once considered a cause of insanity, you could go nuts over the combination of eggplant and tomatoes. They can be cooked and frozen in season to eat all year.

1-1/2 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 to store in the ‘fridge for next week.                                       1-1/4 oz fresh tomatoes, diced OR same amount of tomato sauce, such as Hunt’s                           1-1/4 oz eggplant                                                                                                                                 ¼ oz onion OR 1 clove garlic, smashed and chopped                                                                      large pinch Herbes de Province + pinch crushed red pepper flakes                                                 1-1/4 oz pear                                                                                                                              blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                       5-6 oz fruit smoothie [88 calories] or green smoothie or natural cider

Chop the eggplant and onion/garlic. Simmer the vegetables and herbes in the tomato sauce in a covered pan until they are tender. If too thick, add a little water. Whisk the eggs with the vegetables and put into a hot pan spritzed with cooking spray. Scramble or cook as an omelette. Slice the pears and prepare your beverages. Savor the flavors of summer.

Turkey Piccata

Turkey Picatta:  257 calories   5 g fat   1.3 g fiber   31 g protein   21 g carbs  28 mg Calcium   GF Rush Hour Cooking provided this recipe which is one of our all-time favorites. Quick and delicious.

4 oz uncooked turkey breast                                                                                                                                      salt & pepper                                                                                                                                                             ½ tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                                                1 Tbsp white wine                                                                                                                                                      1/3 cup chicken stock                                                                                                                                                                      1.5 tsp lemon juice                                                                                                                                                                   2 Tbsp shallots, minced                                                                                                                                             pinch garlic powder                                                                                                                                                       2 tsp capers                                                                                                                                                                    3 oz tomatoes, sliced                                                                                                                                             ¼ cup brown rice

If starting the rice from scratch, cook it now. Combine the wine, stock and lemon juice. Pound the turkey meat, if needed, to even out the thickness. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Slice the tomatoes and sprinkle with some good salt.  Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and saute the turkey on both sides until cooked through, adding a little of the stock mixture if needed. Remove turkey to a plate and keep warm. Add the stock mixture and shallots to the pan along with the garlic powder, stirring up the brown bits on the pan. Cook down until only 3-4 tablespoons of sauce remain. Lastly add the capers. Warm the rice [if using cooked left-over rice] and slice the tomatoes. Plate the rice, drizzling 1 Tbsp sauce over it. Plate the turkey, pouring the remaining sauce on it. Plate the tomatoes.

Ingredients for next week: breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg1 two-oz egg
unsweetened applesaucechicken stock
pan muffin [Not by Bread, 7-Feb-’17]mirin + soy sauce
sweet onion
asian noodles: rice/wheat/buckwheat
Whatever you need for your smoothieWhatever you need for your hot beverage
Whatever you need for your hot beverageWhatever you need for your smoothie

Dinner, single portion:

chicken breast, cookedsavoy cabbage
rich chicken brothbulk Italian sausage
celerychickpeas or other white beans
parsnip  +  parsleyonions
Egg Noodlesscallion
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Boxing Day

In Old England, Dec 26 was one of the four Rent Days of the year. You had to report in person to your liege lord and pay in cash or in kind.  Well, the holidays are over and now it is time for us to pay the piper.  Did the bathroom scale tell you that it is finally time to get healthy? If so, today is the day to begin the Fasting Lifestyle.

Holiday-After Breakfast   282 calories   6.3 g fat    2.3 g fiber    16 g. protein 37.7 g carb   216.7 mg Calcium          This is a simple breakfast for the day after a holiday, using a few left-overs from the dinner table or freezer. We usually enjoy Yorkshire Pudding at Christmas, so it is easy to make an extra batch: some for the freezer and some for the next day.  Boil your egg the night before or poach it in the morning.  If your Christmas included ham or turkey or beef, those become part of breakfast too.  Or serve one Applegate sausage per person.                                                  

The Yorkshire Pudd recipe is from the King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook. HINT: make the batter the night before to save time in the morning.                                                 Yorkshire. Pudding batter:                 one 2-oz egg                      1 cup flour            ½ tsp salt                       ½ cup water                          ½ cup fat-free milk                                                                                           Mix all the ingredients together and let the batter stand at room temp for 30-60 minutes or in ‘fridge overnight. You will need 1/3 cup of the batter per person. HINT: The remainder can be frozen in 1 cup or 1/3 cup batches for future meals. When it is time to use the batter, beat it with a rotary beater until it is frothy.                                                                                    For the breakfast:  1 two-oz egg, hardboiled                                                                                                   ¾ oz ham OR beef OR turkey OR sausage                                                                                                       ¼ cup Yorkshire Pudding batter with added herbs. HINT: This batter is left over from before and you put some in the freezer. Add a pinch of thyme and a pinch of basil.                  2 oz pineapple OR ¼ cup mixed berries                                                                                                       pinch of chopped mint leaves                                                                                                                           5-6 oz fruit smoothie or natural apple cider                                                                                                                                                                  blackish coffee or tea or lemon in hot water

Whip batter with a rotary beater. Pour batter into a mini-muffin pan, bake at 400 for 13 minutes. Warm the meat or not. Mix the fruit with the mint. Plate the meat, Yorkshire Pudding,  egg, and fruit. Brew your hot beverage, prepare your smoothie. Sit down and relax with your easy breakfast of left overs.

Soup       Take any of the soups or chilis which you prepared in the past few weeks or months, and thaw it for dinner. Asparagus: see ABCs of Soup Nov. 16.  Baked Bean: see ABCs of Soup Nov. 16.  Chicken Noodle: see ABCs of Soup Nov. 16.  Chili Non Carne: see Chilly Weather Dec. 16.   Venison Chili: see Chilly Weather Dec. 16.. Minestrone: see Mmmmmm Feb. 17.  Thai Butternut Squash Soup: see After Easter Mar.27.  Now is a great time to put your feet up and have an easy, satisfying meal.  Got family visiting?  Put out a soup smorgasbord and everybody will be fed well.       And while we’re talking about it,  read  “Soup Could Be the Secret To Slimming Down (No Cleanse Required)” and see why I’m sold on soup.

A-B-Cs of Soup

Nothing is nicer on an late Fall evening than to curl up with a hot satisfying bowl of soup.  Did you know that our word ‘supper’ comes from the French word meaning ‘to eat soup’? The recipes presented today are delicious and easy to prepare. They are easy to eat, too, and have the benefit of providing multiple meals to store in the freezer for busy days.

Asparagus Soup   242 calories   10.7 g fat   7 g fiber   16.3 g protein   33 carb   [GF] PB   This fabulous soup is from Salute to Healthy Cooking and we have been loving it for years. Despite its rich taste, it is very low in calories and fat. HINT: the recipe makes enough for 6 servings. Freezes very well for easy meals later. I serve it here with Finn Crisp crackers covered with melted cheese. If you want to eliminate them, go ahead.asparagus soup

One and a half pounds asparagus                                                                                                          ½ c onion, roughly chopped                                                                                                                           1 cup potato in 1 “ dice                                                                                                                                     5 cups chicken stock                                                                                                                                        4 oz raw chicken breast cut into 4 pieces                                                                                                    salt & pepper                                                                                                                                                  per serving:  1 ½ tps Boursin cheese     4 pieces of Finn Crisp crackers           1 ½ oz Swiss cheese [1 deli slice]

Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus and cut spears roughly in half. Pour the chicken stock into a sauce pan. Add the onion and asparagus. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables so that it will steam/poach while the asparagus is cooking. Bring the liquid to a simmer and put on a lid. Remove the chicken when it is cooked and put it in the blender. When the vegetables are cooked, remove them and put in the blender. Cook the potato in the pot and cook until soft. Pour the stock and the potatoes into the blender with evrything else. Blend until smooth. Return to the pan and season to taste. Cool and divide into 3 portions [or 6 portions if you are serving one] for the freezer.

To serve, thaw the soup and warm it gently. Adjust seasonings. Cut the slice of cheese into 4 strips, 4” x 2”, and put a portion on each cracker. Warm in the oven until cheese melts. Delicious.

*Baked Bean Soup   285 cal  3.5 g fat  8.3 g fiber   11.4 g protein    31.8 g carbs    83.4 mg Calcium  PB GF   This classic is from the Fannie Farmer cookbook and it sure hits the spot. Super easy to prepare.  OK, the carb count is high, but look how low the fat is! And baked beans are good for you!baked bean soup w: grapes & caulifower

1 cup baked beans, canned                                                                                                                               1/8” slice onion, chopped                                                                                                                               1 stalk celery, chopped                                                                                                                                ¾ cup canned diced or stewed tomatoes                                                                                                   1 ½ cup brown stock/beef stock                                                                                                                  dash hot sauce                                                                                                                                              salt & pepper                                                                                                                                                 per serving:  2 lemon slices  [OR squeeze of lemon juice in the soup]                                      1/2 hard boiled egg, sliced or diced to sprinkle on top

Simmer beans, onion, celery, and tomatoes in a covered pan for 30 minutes or until celery is soft. Add brown stock, hot sauce, salt, and pepper and heat through. Run it all through the blender or food processer. Serve with lemon slices and egg slices as a garnish. Fast, easy, inexpensive, good.

Chicken Noodle Soup   293 calories   10.1 g. fat    20 g. protein      28 g. carbs  HINT: This makes enough for two servings. Invite a friend or freeze for another easy meal.Chicken Noodle Soup

3 cups chicken or turkey broth                                                                                                                   2 oz chicken white meat, diced or shredded                                                                                         1 oz broken spaghetti or linguine                                                                                                            ¼ c. white beans, drained and rinsed if canned                                                                                 1.5 oz carrot, diced                                                                                                                                               1.5 oz green beans, cut into 1” pieces                                                                                                               1 0z Canadian or back bacon, slivered                                                                                    seasonings to taste: salt, pepper, dried thyme, dried sage                                                                    Per serving: 1 tsp grated Parmesan cheese + generous sprinkling of parsley

Bring the broth to a simmer and cook the noodles until almost tender. If the chicken is raw, throw it in the pot to cook. Add the beans, carrot, green beans, Canadian bacon and seasonings. When heated through, ladle into bowls and top with the cheese and parsley. Yum. Yum.

Still With ME?

If you read ‘About this Blog’ on my first posting, you might have followed the links to Dr. Mosley and his Fast Diet. If you have, then you will see why I’m so excited about this lifestyle change. This has been very successful for us and it should work for you, too. Monday would be a good day to start Fasting…. try it on Monday and see how you like it.

Monday menu:       286 calories for breakfast         293 calories for dinner. 

Flamenco EggsBaked Eggs Flamenco:  Spray a small ramekin with non-stick spray. Put 1 Tbsp. chopped tomato or 1 Tbsp tomato puree into the cup along with 1.5 tsp parsley, 1.5 Tbsp onion, and 1.5 Tbsp bell pepper.  Stir in salt and a large pinch cayenne pepper. Microwave for 2 mins. Add one egg and bake at 350°F for 15-18 minutes, depending on how well you like your egg cooked. Toast either 1/2 slice of whole-grain 70 calorie bread [ex: Nature’s Own at Shaw’s or Demster’s Thins at Sobey’s] or bread that has 70 cals for 2 slices, which is shown. On the side are 2 oz  melon or 2 oz apple or 1 oz grapes.  I enjoy this with the smoothie described in the 1st blog and with almost-black coffee.  If you don’t want the smoothie, add the other half of the bread and double up on the fruit.      HINT: you could use that extra portion of fruit later in the day if the hungries hit.

Chicken Noodle Soup:  Usually we have a seafood meal on Mondays because we like fish and it is so good for you. But its been cold and this soup hits the spot.              HINT: This recipe makes enough for 2 servings. Invite a friend or freeze the rest for a meal in a hurry.   Heat 3 cups low-fat chicken stock and add 1.5Chicken Noodle Soup oz  [that’s 3″ at 1″ diameter] diced carrot. Cook until the carrot is almost soft. Add 2 oz chicken or turkey white meat, 1 oz broken spaghetti noodles, 1/4 cup canned white beans, 1.5 oz [1/3 c.] green beans and 1/2 oz [1.5″ x 3″] cubed Canadian bacon [back bacon for friends in Canada]. Simmer until the noodles are cooked, adding water if the soup looks too thick.  10.1 g Fat;  19.9 g Protein; 28.3 g Carbs

Start your Fast Diet on Monday and join me for a menu for Thursday, too.