Saint Agnes

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.

Agnes was a child who, after being murdered in a Roman persecution, became a saint. Her innocence attracted a cult of followers and her feast day, January 21, has been celebrated since the 4th century. One aspect of her veneration involves young women traditionally following a ritual of fasting on January 20 in the hopes of dreaming of their future husband.  John Keats incorporated this in his Romantic poem The Eve of St Agnes. It tells the tale of star-crossed lovers, Madeline and Porphyro.  She fasts and falls asleep.  Porphyro sneaks into the castle and gains admittance to her chamber with the help of Angela, the old Nurse [further shades of Romeo and Juliet]. While Madeline sleeps, her would-be lover sets a fantastic feast of expensive delicacies in her room.  She wakes, sees the object of her dreams [the guy not the goodies], and they escape to his castle to get married.  All rather racy for a poem related to 13-year-old Agnes. The name ‘Agnes’ is Greek, meaning ‘chaste’ but it is similar to the latin word for ‘lamb.’  Therefore the innocence of Agnes and of little lambs is forever linked.                                                                   In honor of Agnes, we will enjoy a breakfast based on Porphyro’s fantastic feast and a dinner of lamb stew.  Also, we are Fasting — not because we want to see visions of a ‘dream-boat’ but because we want to be healthy.

Porphyro’s Picnic:   252 calories  5.7 g fat   6 g fiber   6.5 g protein   53 g carbs [43 g Complex] 128 mg Calcium   PB GF V  This is based on the foods described by Keats in his romantic poem  The Eve of St Agnes.  The meal is rather sweet despite its low calorie count – perhaps it needs some other taste to cut it. A cup of black coffee? Full of fiber, this meal is sure to kick-start your tally of fruits/vegetables for the day.porphyro's picnic

2 Tbsp low-fat French Vanilla yogurt + 2 Tbsp almond meal                                                                      2 oz apple, diced                                                                                                                                                         2 oz melon, cubed ¼ cup pitted plums [I used canned plums in light syrup, drained and rinsed], use fresh if in season                                                                                                                              2 tsp cider syrup [or use 2 tsp syrup from the plums] + ¼ tsp ground cinnamon                            ¼ oz Medjool date, cut in 4 pieces.  [in the photo you see more dates, but there should be fewer]                                                                                                                                                                                     NO smoothie                                                                                                                                                    black coffee or black tea or lemon in hot water

Stir the yogurt and almond meal together and spoon onto the center of the plate. Chop the apple, cube the melon, and arrange them around the almond cream, along with the plums. Place the pieces of date at random. Combine the cider syrup with the cinnamon and drizzle it over the apple and melon. All set to eat and you still have 48 calories left over. Not responsible for what happens if you eat this by moonlight on January 20.

Lamb Stew with Glazed Vegetables:  317 calories**    8 g fat**   5.8 g fiber   24 g protein  31 g carbs    62 mg Calcium  GFif using GF flour   The recipe is from Salute to Healthy Cooking, so you know it is good. We have enjoyed this often. If you double the recipe, then you’ll have some to freeze for another meal. Yes, the calorie count is a bit high, but it is worth it. NB: One serving = ¾ cupLambstew

½ pound lamb shoulder, boneless and cut in cubes                                                                                    ½ cup onions, chopped                                                                                                                                         ¾ tsp white whole wheat flour OR GF flour                                                                                                  1 oz dry red wine                                                                                                                                                    ½ Tbsp tomato paste                                                                                                                                                  1 tsp thyme + 1 bay leaf                                                                                                                                               ¾ cup carrots, cut in 2” batons                                                                                                                         ½ cup cubed potatoes                                                                                                                                            6 pearl onions                                                                                                                                                                  1 cup [5 oz] turnips, cut in 2” batons                                                                                                                        ½ tsp sugar** 1 tsp butter**                                                                                                                                 cold water                                                                                                                                                           optional:  1/4 cup green peas, cooked and added after plating

Sear the cubed lamb on all sides [about 3 minutes] in a heavy pan which has been sprayed with non-stick spray or oil. Cook the meat in batches so the pan doesn’t cool down. Remove the cooked meat to a Dutch oven and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the onions in the same cooking pan and sauté them with enough water to make them sizzle. When the onions are transparent, add the wine to deglaze the pan, stirring the brown bits up from the bottom. Heat the oven to 350 F. Sprinkle with the flour and stir to mix. Add to the Dutch oven. Pour in enough cold water to go to the top of the lamb but not cover it. Stir in the thyme and bay leaf. Heat to a simmer on top of the stove on medium heat. Then cover and put the casserole in the oven. Bake 1 hour, checking once in a while to adjust the temperature to make sure the stew is not boiling. After 1 hour, add the carrots, put the cover back on and bake for 15 minutes. Add the potatoes, put the cover back on and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. While the potatoes are baking, put the pearl onions and turnips in a small non-stick pan with the sugar and butter** and enough water to rise half-way up the onions. Simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered and shaking the pan ocaisionaly. Add salt and pepper. Reserve, off the heat until the lamb is cooked. Plate the stew with the vegetables, adding the optional peas if you wish.  [add ___ calories and ___ g fiber]

** If you were to cook the onions and turnips without the butter and sugar, you would reduce the calories to 297 and the fat to 6.3 g.

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.

Fannie Farmer

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.

On the shelf in the kitchen is a cookbook that used to have a gold-colored cover. The book’s binding is reinforced with packing tape and the pages are stained with the splatters of cooking. This is the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, 11th edition published in 1965.  On January 6, 1896, the first edition was issued under the title The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook.  Miss Fannie Merritt Farmer, a woman with a disability who did not attend cooking school until the age of 30, had written a book which explained the chemistry of cooking and which established uniform measurement of ingredients that everyone could use. She became a media mogul and culinary icon, the Julia Child or Martha Stewart of her day. The book was an instant success and became the classic of  the American kitchen.  My mother used it faithfully [I have her copy] and gave me my own when I became engaged. So many good recipes! My adaptations of several of them have already appeared in this blog, some recipes used as-is.                                                                                                               The breakfast for this anniversary is an old favorite of our’s, Shirred Egg [p 103 in my copy] and for dinner the thrifty housewife’s go-to: Swiss Steak [p 163]

Shirred Egg:   271 calories  8.5 g fat  3.3 g fiber   15.8 g protein  38.8 g. carb  275 mg Calcium  PB GF– if using GF bread       I learned to prepare this dish when working on my Girl Scout ‘Cooking’ badge. We still eat it because it tastes so good. Easy to serve to guests, too.Shirred Egg

One 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                  1 Tbsp half&half   [Blend Cream, 10% milk fat]                                                                                         salt & pepper to taste                                                                                                                                             1/2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese                                                                                                                                    half a slice of 70-calorie bread, toasted                                                                                                            2 oz apple slices or 2 oz strawberries                                                                                                      blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                               5-6 oz fruit smoothie, green smoothie or natural apple cider

Heat the toaster oven to 325° F. Spritz a 1-cup ramekin with cooking oil or spray. Break the egg into the cup, and pour the half&half on top. Sprinkle with cheese, add salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 12-15 minutes, then let sit 2-3 mins while you toast the bread. Plate with the toast and fruit. Serve with your choice of beverages.

Swiss Steak:  267 calories  6.3 g fat  6.5 g fiber   28 g protein  27.5 g carbs   104.8 mg Calcium This is a recipe from Fannie Farmer’s cookbook which I fondly remember from my childhood. HINT: This recipe makes enough for two [2], so save half of it for a future lunch or dinner.

½ pound chuck steak, cut 1 to 1.5” thick                                                                                                          1.5 Tbsp white whole wheat flour + salt + pepper                                                                                         8 oz stewed tomatoes                                                                                                                                            ¼ cup minced green bell peppers                                                                                                                    ¼ cup minced onion                                                                                                                                             herbs to taste, such as rosemary or parsley                                                                                               per serving: ½ cup cut green beans + ½ cup carrots sliced as coins

Leave the meat in one piece or cut into two parts. Combine the flour, salt, and pepper and dredge the meat in it. If you wish, pound the meat with a tenderizing tool or the edge of a sturdy plate. Combine the tomatoes with the vegetables and herbs. Heat a heavy skillet with a lid and spray it well with oil or cooking spray. Brown the meat on both sides and pour the tomatoes over it. Cover and cook very slowly for 2 hours until the meat is very tender, adding water if the tomatoes are in danger of sticking. This can be cooked on the cooktop at low or in the oven at 325 F. Steam or boil the beans and carrots to serve along-side the beef with its sauce.

Tolkien

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.

J.R.R. Tolkien did not set out to be a world-famous fantasy writer. Born in South Africa on January 2, 1892, he became a professor of linguistics at Oxford. There he dabbled in writing with a group called The Inklings. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis traded ideas and critiqued each other’s work. [This is why both their fantasy series feature talking trees, elves, and Christian allegory.] At heart, Tolkien was a lover of the linguistic roots of modern English and of old myths.  He wanted to create an English mythology and produced The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Silmarillion, and many songs, poems, and short stories. Tolkien’s work is beloved the world over for the universal human insights set in a fantasy landscape.  The Quest and Coming of Age themes are compelling and the characters are memorable. The works may not be the history of England and its language, but they are worth reading at any age.                                                                                                                          Since Tolkien was such a devoted chronologist of all things English, today’s meals would please him as well as making sure that no Hobbits become fatter.  The mushroom breakfast is based on the casserole given to Frodo by Farmer Maggot’s wife. And the dinner is a classic meal from the 1700s.

FarmWife Mushroom Pudding:  300 calories   6 g fat   3.1 g fiber  14.5 g protein  34 g carbs [20.8 g Complex]  345 mg Calcium  PB  Having heard this described in books, I searched and searched until I found this recipe in Theodora FitzGibbon’s A Taste of England.

½ oz [around one strip] American/streaky bacon                                                                                                  ½ cup assorted mushrooms, chopped                                                                                                               3 Tbsp chicken stock                                                                                                                                               ¾ tsp white whole wheat flour                                                                                                                                                       ½ Arnold Multi-grain Sandwich Thin -OR-   1/3 cup Yorkshire Pudding batter […Not By Bread…Feb 7 ’18]                                                                                                                                                         1/2 oz pear

Cook the bacon partially, blot off the fat, and cut in strips. Pour off the bacon fat but return 1 tsp to the pan. Saute the mushrooms in the fat and remove them. Pour some of the chicken stock into the pan and sprinkle in the flour while whisking to prevent lumps as it thickens. Add the remaining stock and some pepper. Put the bacon and mushrooms into the sauce and cook over low heat. Pour into an oiled oven-proof dish and top with the Sandwich Thin or the Yorkshire Pudding batter. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes [if using Sandwich Thin] -OR- for 2o minutes [if using the Yorkshire Pudding.] NB: you can serve it out of the dish or turn it out on the plate.  Enjoy with the pear and have a hearty day.

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 18thcentury. 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.Pheansant Casserole

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 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 Thins 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.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

one 2-oz egg                                                       apple or strawberries Next week I will provide some favorite side dishes for Fast Days
whole-grain bread, 70 calories
blend cream/half&half
parmesan cheese Find a new favorite in 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:

Beef chuck steak +  green pepper
stewed tomatoes   + onion
white whole wheat flour
green beans   +  carrots Find a new favorite in the Archives
Sparkling water Sparkling water

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.

Very Grimm

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.

Children’s and Household Tales were first published on December 20, 1812.  Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm did not intend their work as happy bed-time stories for children. Their intent was to collect German folktales before they disappeared in an increasingly industrial society. The stories were to re-educate the German public about their cultural past and to earn money for their impoverished brothers and sister. [Food or a lack thereof is a constant theme in their stories.]  The book was a best-seller, partly due to the fact that it fit well with the Romanticism of the era: stories set in the wild forest; tales that harked back to a simpler if not a kinder time. Popular in our own time, ‘fairy tales’ show us the darker sides of human nature, but in the end things usually work out. That’s reassuring.

In the theme of Grimm’s tales, we will eat porridge for breakfast — but not cook it to excess as in the story Sweet Porridge.  We will know when to stop. Many of the stories take a truly gruesome turn as in The Juniper Tree [a film Disney will never make!], so we will have organ meats in the form of haggis spring rolls for dinner. Re-read some of the works of the Brothers Grimm today.

10-Grain Porridge:   300 calories  1.5 g fat   5.1 g fiber  16 g protein   50 g carbs [39 g Complex]   215 mg Calcium   PB   Delicious hot cereal for any day of the week.10-Grain Porridge

1/4 cup uncooked Bob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Cereal                                                                                                                                                        2 Tbsp cottage cheese                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 tsp maple syrup                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               1.5 Tbsp applesauce, unsweetened                                                                                                                                                                                                                        pinch of nutmeg + pinch of cinnamon                                                                                                                                                                                 blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                             3 oz fruit smoothie, green smoothie or natural apple cider

Put the cereal in 3/4 of a 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-save bowl and cook in the microwave for 45 to 60 seconds [if cold from last night] OR for 30 seconds until hot through. Pour the beverages and you will have a warm, filling start to your day.

Haggis Spring Rolls:  262 calories  12.8 g fat  2.8 g fiber  23 g protein  26 g carbs  41 mg Calcium The first time I enjoyed these was at the Whiski Rooms in Edinburgh, along with a wee dram of single malt. Today, the whisky is in the dipping sauce to complete the fusion of Asian-Scottish flavors. This meal has my husband’s approval.Haggis Spring Rolls

4 six-inch rice spring roll wrappers/skins                                                                                                                                                                          8 Tbsp haggis filling see Spicy  12-September-2018                                                                                          1 cup lettuce leaves sliced into <1/2” strips +  1/2 oz carrot, grated  + cherry tomatoes                                                                                     1 tsp flavored olive oil +  1 tsp red wine vinegar finishing salt                                                                                                             1.5 tsp Thai hot chili sauce + ½ tsp single malt Scotch whisky                                                              

Put water into a wide, shallow dish such as a pie plate. Lay a tea towel on the counter. Place onespring roll wrapper in the water. Initially, the wrapper will look like a piece of thin, stiff, whitish plastic. Soon it will become more transparent, colorless, and pliable. Remove it from the water while still a little stiff [do NOT let it become limp] and lay it on the tea towel. Place 2 Tbsp haggis filling on the lower 1/3 of the wrapper, arranged as a little log. Roll it up, folding the sides in after the 1stturn. Move finished roll to the side as you repeat the steps. Heat a 10” cast-iron skillet over medium flame and spray with non-stick spray. Place the spring rolls in the pan with room between them. Cook slowly on one side, then roll onto another side. Continue until all the rolls are browned on each side. Prepare the salad and plate it. Combine the chili sauce and the whisky in a dipping cup. Plate the haggis, and try not to read Grimm’s Fairy Tales while you dine.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg 1 two-oz egg, hard-boiled
avocado baby spinach
whole-grain bread chèvre cheese [goat cheese]
fig, dried or fresh
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:

pork tenderloin, roasted or raw + sesame oil + pickle juice whole-wheat tortillas, 170 calories each
ground ginger + soy sauce + ground garlic crushed tomatoes   + onion
cucumber + carrot + red bell pepper mozzarella cheese
baguette + Asian sweet chili sauce mushrooms  +  prosciutto
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Saint Lucy’s Day

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.

December 13 is one of our favorite days. I read the Swedish legend of Saint Lucy when I was in 6th grade and was charmed by the idea of a daughter taking breakfast in bed to her parents while wearing a wreath of candles in her hair. So I made a white robe [my mother never asked where that sheet went], and a pine-cone wreath, and wrote some new words to the tune of “Santa Lucia” — and the rest was history.  Saint Lucy visited our house annually when our sons were little [a new song was written then], and she will make an appearance this year too.  We devote the evening to decorating the Christmas Tree while enjoying an easy-to-eat dinner. It is possible to have a family celebration and still remain on the Fast Diet — try these menus.  Or, change your Fast Day to the day before the festival day or the day after.                                                                                                                     Since the original Lucy/Lucia was born in Sicily, we’ll prepare eggs with the flavors of that island.  For dinner we move to the Baltic region with a meal that followers of her northern version would recognize.

Sicilian ScrOmelette:  298 calories  11 g fat  2.4 g fiber  19 g protein  31 g carbs 290 mg Calcium PB GF  A protein-packed salad meets eggs for breakfast.Sicilian ScrOmelette

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 salami sausage                                                                                                                                             ¼ oz mozzerella                                                                                                                                                         2 Tbsp chopped wild greens [ex: dandelion] or arugula                                                                          blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                               5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or unpasturized apple cider

Chop the sausage, the cheese, and the greens, and combine them gently. Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper, then pour into the heated pan. As the eggs set, sprinkle the sausage mixture over the eggs. Scramble or fold as an omelette and enjoy with the beverages of choice.

Herring Salad:   278 calories    6 g fat   6.8 g fiber  16 g protein   24 g carbs   103 mg Calcium PB GF     Luchöw’s Restaurant will live in memory as long as a certain generation still breathes. And there was a lot to remember about it: the decor, the old-world service, the menu. Not a hokey tourist trap – it was the genuine article. This is one of their fine Old World recipes. NB: if you take a MOIA anti-depressent, be aware that herring has high amounts of tyramine. 0-41 -1/2 oz herring marinated in wine, drained                                                                                                                   1/4 cup beets, cooked, cooled and diced                                                                                                            1 -1/2 oz apple, peeled and diced                                                                                                                       1/4 cup white beans, drained and rinsed                                                                                                       1/2 hard-boiled egg, sliced                                                                                                                                     2 Tbsp onion, minced                                                                                                                                          1/2 oz dill pickle, chopped                                                                                                                                    pinch sugar   +  2 tsp vinegar, or more                                                                                                                1 cup lettuce, shredded

Whisk the vinegar and sugar in a bowl until the sugar dissolves. Add remaining ingredients and toss gently until everything is well-incorporated. Taste to see if it needs more sugar or more vinegar. A herring-lover’s delight.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

Search the Archives for a new Bob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Cereal
     favorite breakfast. cottage cheese   +   nutmeg
maple syrup    +  cinnamon
blueberries or raspberries
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:

Search the Archives for a new Haggis filling [Spicy II, 12-Sept-2018]
           favorite dinner. rice spring-roll wrappers
lettuce  +  carrot +  cherry tomatoes
flavorful oil  + good vinegar
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Emily Dickinson

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 FoodStories who is now Following.

If you were to list New England poets, Emily Dickinson would be right up there. And yet, no one heard of her work until after she was dead.  The Belle of Amherst Massachusetts was born on 10 December, 1830, smack-dab in the middle of a cultural revolution. In religion there was the Second Great Awakening. In politics, there was the growing abolitionist movement. In literature, there was Emily Dickinson penning poems in obscurity as she baked [one poem written on a chocolate wrapper] or cleaned [one poem written on the label for silver polish]. She kept house for her lawyer father and brothers and, according to legend, hardly ever went further afield than the garden of the family home. Her correspondence took her far away as she wrote to distant friends. After her death, her sister had her poems published, leaving readers bemused and/or excited by her verse.  In 1955, her collected works and her letters were printed and Emily Dickinson were rediscovered by an enthusiastic audience.  The poem that haunts me the most is The Bustle in a House, one of her most approachable poems about death. Dickinson wrote that she thought in a ‘New-England-y’ way. So true.                                                                                                                        Emily Dickinson did the cooking in the household, and I approve of good food made from scratch.  When she wrote to her ‘mentor’ H.W. Higginson describing her cooking for the household, she said, “People must have puddings.” In that spirit, breakfast is based on a French pudding, the flameuse which Emily would have liked.  And dinner is an old New England favorite.

Cherry Flamusse:   291 calories     5.3 g fat    2.2 g fiber   15.4 g protein   46.7 g carbs [34 g Complex]  316 mg Calcium   GF – if using GF flour   This breakfast custard is borrowed from the dessert section of the cookbook, and it works very well either way! It is similar to a clafouti, but simpler. Served with cherries or any fresh fruit, it is sure to be a hit. HINT:This makes enough for 2 [two] servings: share with a a friend or save the rest for a future breakfast or dessert. [Without the morning beverages, the dessert has 177 calories.]Cherry Flamusse

2 two-oz eggs                                                                                                                                                                     6 oz milk                                                                                                                                                                   4 tsp flour OR tapioca flour                                                                                                                                    1.5 Tbsp sugar                                                                                                                                                         10 sweet cherries, pitted                                                                                                                                      ½ clementine                                                                                                                                                                                                              blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                  3 oz  green smoothie or fruit smoothie

Spritz 2 ramekins [or an oven-proof dish with 1.5 cup capacity] with non-stick spray. Cut the cherries in half and arrange on the bottom of the dish. Whisk eggs until foamy, then add flour and sugar, whisking until there are no lumps. Stir in the milk and pour the batter over the cherries. Bake at 375 F. for 20 minutes. Turn the flamusse out of the dish so that the cherries are on top. Plate with the clementine sections, serve with the beverages. You won’t believe this is a ‘diet.’

Red Flannel Hash:  249 calories   9.2 g fat   1.9 g fiber  12.6 g protein  17.8 g carbs [16 g Complex]  43 mg Calcium  PB GF   This is a venerable New England farm meal, with the recipe coming from Hayden Pearson’s Country Flavors Cookbook.Red Flannel Hash

1 cup cooked diced beets (1/3” dice)                                                                                                                 1/3 cup diced potatoes (1/3” dice)                                                                                                                        ¼ cup diced onions                                                                                                                                                      2 slices Canadian Bacon/back bacon, diced                                                                                                                                                                                              one 2-oz egg lots of salt and pepper to taste

Cook, peel, and dice the beets and set aside to cool. [HINT: do this the day before]  Peel and dice the potatoes. Put potatoes into a pan of tap water and put the pan on the burner. Turn on the heat and let the pan sit, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the water starts to boil around the edges. Take off the heat and leave potatoes to cool in the water. Then drain and set aside. Dice the onions and bacon. Spray a saute pan with non-stick spray and add the Canadian bacon. Cook it as crisp as you wish, or not so crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside. Add the onions with 2-3 Tbsp water, and cook until the onions are transluscent and the water is mostly gone. Now put the potatoes in the pan with the onions, add salt and pepper to taste. Stir until the potatoes are cooked. Add the beets and bacon to the pan and continue to cook until heated through. Meanwhile, fry the egg: sunnyside-up or over easy as you prefer. Plate the hash and top with the egg. Country dining.