The Frigate Meduse

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 July 2, 1816, the French naval vessel La Meduse sank off the coast of West Africa. She had set sail, full of optimism and colonial hubris from Southern France, bound on a mission for all the wrong reasons. On board were soldiers and a governor, sent to subdue Senegal and re-claim it for France. The captain was an incompetent political appointee and the governor, eager to begin his duties, urged a change in course and full speed to get there sooner. Mis-reading the charts, they ran the ship aground on a sandbar 60 miles off Mauritania. Did they ditch the cannon to lighten the ship and float her off? No. They put the captain, governor, and soldiers in the two lifeboats, left 17 sailors on board, and 147 passengers/crew were placed on a rickety raft. After two days of towing the raft, the lifeboats cut her loose — leaving those survivors with 6 casks of wine, 1 cask of water, and a bag of biscuits. Thirteen days later, they were rescued. Only 15 people remained. Some had fallen overboard, some were thrown overboard. Some mutinied and were killed, many died of hunger and thirst, some were eaten due to their raft-mates’ hunger. It was a horrible story when told in 1817, and told it was when the ship’s surgeon and the geographer wrote about it. This caught the attention of Theodore Gericault who painted a vast [16×23 foot] canvas, now called Le Radeau de la Meduse. It is a dramatic, astonishing, evocative, disturbing, realistic, and unforgettable work of art hanging in the Louvre.

Our menu for the day begins in Southern France, as did the voyage of the Meduse. The salt cod in the eggs was probably part of the ship’s stores when she set out. The day ends in Senegal, now free of the yoke of colonial rule, with a delicious meal of fish and avocados .

Marseille Omelette: 156 calories 8 g fat 0.7 g fiber 16.5 g protein 4 g carbs 69.6 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  Garlic, tomatoes, salt cod, and lavender: all flavors of Marseille on your breakfast plate.

1 ½ 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  1/3 oz salt cod, soaked 1 clove garlic, minced large pinch dried lavender 2 oz sliced fresh tomatoes, salted and sprinkled with herbs   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]

The night before: soak the salt cod in water for 30-40 minutes, until softened. Mince and combine with the garlic and lavender.  Next morning: Heat a cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Whisk the eggs with the flavorings and pour into the hot pan. Instead of scrambling it, allow it to cook until the bottom is cooked and the top is firming up. Gently flip it to the other side to cook briefly. Plate with the tomatoes. Serve with the beverages of choice.

Senegal Tuna-Avocado Salad:  264 calories 14.6 g fat 6.4 g fiber 13 g protein 18 g carbs 30 mg Calcium  PB GF  This is my version of a meal which I enjoyed at Bissap Baobab, an excellent Senegalese restaurant, since closed, in Oakland, CA. 

2-1/2 oz white/Albacore tuna 2 Tbsp celery, minced pinch or 2 ground ginger ½ tsp lime juice Sriracha sauce ¾ oz apple, diced 2 oz avocado 2 Tbsp radish or alfalfa sprouts 4 oz cherry tomatoes ¼ oz [½ cup] baby spinach leaves 1 tsp + ½ tsp mayonnaise made with olive oil Lightly combine the tuna with the celery, ginger, dash of Sriracha, lime juice, apple, and ½ tsp mayonnaise. Arrange the spinach leaves in the center of the plate and mound the tuna on top. Slice the avocado and layer on top of the tuna. Mix remaining mayonnaise with Sriracha to taste and drizzle over the avocado. If the cherry tomatoes are not bite-sized, cut in half. Place tomatoes around the edge of the plate and sprinkle with sprouts. A fine meal when you want a taste of lands where the sun shines brightly.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
70-calorie whole grain breadcooked brown rice
raclette cheesewatermelon
blueberriesMediterranean Vegetables w/ chickpeas
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

skim milk + onion + whole cloveschicken breast + lemon
bay leaf + white whole wheat flourapricot preserves/jam
butter + haddock + smoked haddockDijon mustard
shrimp + puff pastry + spinachdelicata squash + sweet potato
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Peter and Paul

Gen  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 J-O-G-E who is now Following.

Saint Peter and Saint Paul began their lives very differently and in the same region, but ended their lives similarly and in the same city [maybe]. To dissect that, we’ll start with their origins. Peter [then called Simon] was the son of a fisherman in the Galilee area of the Roman Province of Judea. Paul [then called Saul] was born a Jewish Roman citizen in Tarsus [now in Turkey]. Peter was one of the first followers of Jesus, while Paul, at first, ardently persecuted Christians. After Jesus’ death and resurrection and the conversion of Paul, they both traveled widely to promote the new religion’s beliefs. It is said that Peter went to Rome to become the bishop of the growing Christian congregation there. Paul, arrested in Israel for his faith, claimed the privilege due him as a Roman — to be put on trial in Rome. In Rome, we are told, they both were martyred for refusing to abjure their Christianity. The church of Saint John Lateran, in Rome, displays ornate reliquaries which are said to contain their heads.

In view of their Levantine origins and in honor of the Feast of Its Peter and Paul, our breakfast contains flavors which they would recognize. The dinner is one you might enjoy today, whether in Rome or in your own home.

Zucchini-Feta Fritters & Fruit:  178 calories 5.3 g fat 2.7 g fiber 8.4 g protein 31.6 g carbs 208 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB GF – if using GF flour  Savory with the feta, sweet with the melon – a flavor adventure for breakfast.

4 zucchini-feta fritters ** TIP: start them hours in advance 3 oz watermelon 2 Tbsp plain, fat-free yogurt   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]

Start the fritters the night before to allow the zucchini to drain thoroughly. Using 1.5 Tablespoons per fritter, place the batter on a hot griddle which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Flatten the fritters, and cook on both sides until well browned. Plate with the melon and yogurt. Serve with beverage of choice, noting their calorie count. [Refrigerate the remaining batter until you have time to cook and freeze the remainder.]

**Zucchini-Feta Fritters makes 23-24   each: 34 calories 1.3 g fat 0.3 g fiber 1.5 g protein 3 g carbs 34 mg Calcium  1-1/8 pound [18 oz] zucchini salt 1 two-oz egg 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled or diced ¼ cup fresh dill weed OR 2 Tbsp dried 2 Tbsp fresh parsley ¼ c white whole wheat flour ¼ cup self-rising flour Grate the zucchini and put it in a collander over a bowl. Sprinkle liberally with salt and use your fingers to toss the zucchini to distribute the salt throughout. Let sit several hours or overnight. Place the zucchini in a clean bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Combine well. Heat a griddle/large skillet and spray with non-stick spray.  TIP: I used a 1.5 Tbsp scoop, but a heaping tablespoon would do as well.  Make piles of the batter on the cooking surface, then flatten them outand cook until well-browned on both sides

Eggplant Parmesan: 263 calories 5.6 g fat 4.8 g fiber 19 g protein 44 g carbs [20 g Complex] 203 mg Calcium  PB GF I love eggplant parmesan but I can’t stand cooking all those slices in oil [!!] and then layering everything together. This preparation is just what I need. HINT: This recipe serves 2 [two] people. Dear Husband enjoyed this.

4 slices peeled eggplant to a total weight of 6.5 oz ¼ c part-skim ricotta cheese ½ cup reduced fat cottage cheese ½ oz egg 1-½ cup canned whole tomatoes basil + garlic powder 3 oz zucchini ribbons [use a vegetable peeler to slice lenghtwise] OR 2 oz spinach leaves 1 oz whole-grain linguine [or other of your choice]

Sprinkle the eggplant slices liberally with salt and lay them in a collander on a plate and let sit 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the ricotta and cottage cheeses with the egg. Combine the tomatoes with the basil and garlic powder. Rinse the eggplant slices and bake at 375F on an oil-sprayed pan for 15 minutes or until tender. Spray two 8” oven-safe saute pans OR one larger pan with non-stick spray. Measure ¼ c of tomato into each pan and flatten it out. Lay two slices of eggplant, slightly over-lapping, on the tomatoes in the pans. Smear 1 Tbsp of tomato on each eggplant slice. Arrange 2-3 Tbsp of ricotta/cottage cheese mixture on each slice. Put any extra tomato sauce on top and then a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400F for 15+ minutes or until eggplant is soft. Cook the pasta for 4 minutes, then take off heat. Add the zucchini to the pasta and let it sit, covered, for another 2-3 minutes. If using spinach, add it to the pasta pan with one minute to go. I like to serve it all in the skillet in which it was baked, but you can plate it to your individual wishes. Melty and tender – just the way I like it.

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.

Franklin and His Stove

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.

Benjamin Franklin was a Renaissance Man and a true participant in the Age of Enlightenment. By trade, a printer and humor-writer; by philosophy, a humanist; by necessity, a diplomat and political strategist; by avocation, a scientist and inventor. In his time, buildings were heated by fireplaces — smokey, inefficient affairs that really did not work too well. On or about June 11, 1742, Franklin invented his ‘Pennsylvania Fireplace’ which came to be known as the Franklin Stove. He did not patent it and so an English ironmonger was able to take out his own patent, disenfranchising Franklin and his own stove manufacturer. Might that have fueled Franklin’s ire at high-handed Englishmen which resulted, 30 years later, in the American Revolution? Not for me to say. The Franklin stove caught on, despite the improvements of Count Rumford in fireplace design later in the century. Today, many homes have a wood stove based on Franklin’s idea. They really take the chill off Winter.

Although born and raised in Massachusetts, Ben Franklin is forever linked to Philadelphia. Today’s breakfast utilizes the classic Philadelphia Scrapple for its flavor. The dinner features a more modern Philly meal, but the garnish evokes the Liberty Bell, a sacred shrine of the Revolution in Pennsylvania.

Scrapple Scramble: 168 calories 14 g fat 2.2 g fiber 11.4 g protein 9.4 g carbs 64.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF – scrapple is supposed to be made with cornmeal and buckwheat flour, not wheat flour  This is a great way to use any left-over scrapple, in case you cooked too much earlier in the week.

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.   ½ oz scrapple, cooked, diced 2 Tbsp scallion or chives, sliced thinly 1.5 oz pear    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 scrapple and slice the scallion. Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray and cook the scrapple and scallion until they are warm. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and pour over the ingredients in the pan. Scramble to your liking. Plate with the fruit and enjoy your beverage of choice. This is a real taste of South-Eastern Pennsylvania!

Philly Cheesesteak en Casserole: 264 calories 11 g fat 1.2 g fiber 33.7 g protein 11.3 g carbs [8.9 g Complex] 263 mg Calcium    The iconic street food of Philadelphia has been made over for Fast Day. By the way, provolone is the original cheese for this dish – NOT Cheeze-Whiz.

2-1/2 oz rare roast beef, shaved into very thin slices 0.8 oz Provolene cheese [2 thin slices] 1 oz onions, sliced 1-1/2 oz broccoli florets 1 slice 70-80-calorie whole-grain bread [Martins’ is the best choice]

In a small skillet sprayed with non-stick spray, cook the onions in a little water until they are limp but not browned and set them aside. Take a slice of Martin’s potato bread and cut out a bell shape [for the Liberty Bell, of course] using a 3-4” cookie cutter. Lightly toast the bread. Add the beef to the pan and cook the meat while chopping at it with a metal turner. Add the onions when the beef is grey-colored and soft. Boil/steam the broccoli while the meat cooks. Lay the cheese over the meat and take off the heat. The cheese will melt onto the beef. Make room in the pan for the broccoli and top with the bell-shaped bread. Enjoy your taste of Philadelphia while you hum the theme to Rocky.

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

heart-shaped waffle sections1.5 two-oz eggs 
almond mealchicken breakfast sausage [@33 cal]
low-fat French Vanilla yogurtapple
peach and pearsage
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

pancetta + shrimpcanned white beans + leek
red pepper flakes + plum tomatoestomatoes + carrot + potato
whole wheat pasta zucchini + onion + chunky pasta
Parmesan cheese + garlicgreen beans + peas + pesto
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Rhubarb!

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.

If these were ‘normal times,’ this past week-end would have been a whirl-wind of activity. Our town’s Rhubarb Festival usually occurs the first Friday/Saturday of June. Some of us started it in 2013, to raise money for the library‘s building fund and to have our own ‘village fete.’ As the years went on, the Festival increased to quite an event, and this year was to be bigger and better. But these are not ‘normal times.’ Our State is slowly re-opening, more cautiously than some — and caution is good. But town and county festivals and fairs are casualties of that. Still, the rhubarb grows like crazy in our 20′ x 20′ patch. Last year, I took the prizes for the ‘longest stalk’ and ‘widest leaf’ — best rhubarb in town! Gotta use it!

Our breakfast features a genuine New Hampshire rhubarb pudding, from neighboring Greenfield. Very good! For dinner, how about some grilled or baked fish with a Rhubarb Sauce? Two are offered below. Eat rhubarb!

Rhubarb Pudding:  142 calories 3.3 g fat 1.7 g fiber 10.6 g protein 24 g carbs [4.5 g Complex] 155 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB GF – if using GF flour Hayden Pearson has a wonderful dessert call “Blanche’s Super Rhubarb Pudding” in his iconic Country Flavor Cook Book. This is a scaled-down version that is fit for breakfast: slightly tangy, lightly sweet.

6 Tbsp cooked, mashed rhubarb 1 two-oz egg + 1 egg white 1-1/2 Tbsp sugar 2 Tbsp flour OR 2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour 2 Tbsp milk ½ tsp baking powder   per person: 1 slice Canadian Bacon [= ½ oz back bacon]  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 caloriesOptional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Cut up 1 cup rhubarb and stew it in a little water. Drain thoroughly and mash. Measure the 6 Tbsp you need and save the remainder for another use. [Add to a smoothie; serve with yogurt] Whisk the egg and white, then add all the other ingredients [but not the bacon!] Spoon into a baking dish which has been sprayed with non-stick spray. HINT: I did all this the night before. A real time-saver. Bake at 350 F until the batter is firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. While the pudding bakes, cook the bacon and prepare the optional beverages. Delicious.

BRISTOLIAN SAUCE:  makes 2 cups = 16 fluid ounces    Per fl oz [2 Tbsp]: 16.5 calories 0 g fat 0.5 g fiber 0.2 g protein 3.4 g carbs [0.9 g Complex] 25 mg Calcium  PB GF Britishfoodinamerica is the source for this recipe. Very simple to prepare.  TIP: Prepare the sauce hours in advance to give the mace a chance to develop its flavor. I suggest hot-water canning in small jars to preserve it, or freeze the leftover sauce.

1 lb chopped rhubarb
½ cup hard cider [alcohol]
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Tbsp brown sugar
½ teaspoon mace or nutmeg
Put everything in a heavy pot and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the rhubarb breaks down — usually in 15 minutes or less.
Puree/mash the sauce. Serve cold or hot.

RHUBARB AGRODOLCE:  makes 2 cups  = 16 fluid ounces   per fl oz: 23 calories 0.8 g fat 0.6 g fiber 0.3 g protein 3 g carbs 27 mg Calcium  PB GF Todd English uses this in the preparation of chicken. But we have used it for fish as well. The name mean ‘sour-sweet.’ Extra sauce can be frozen or canned in boiling water.

1.5 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced ½ cup onion, chopped 1 pound rhubarb, chopped in ½” diceSpray a non-stick pan with cooking spray. Add the ginger, with some water, and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the rhubarb and cook for 4-5 minutes.
1 Tbsp butter ¾ cup hard cider 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped Add each item one at a time, stirring thoroughly after each addition. Bring to a low boil and cook until reduced by half – about 10-15 minutes.
1.5 tsp brown sugarAdd sugar and stir to combine.

Ramadan

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.

Many religions incorporate fasting into their customs. The Islamic faith elevates it to a different status during their observance of Ramadan. During the month-long event, fasting is strictly observed from sun-rise to sun-set. NO eating. NO drinking. The fast is in recognition of the month during which the holy book, the Qur’an, was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed in the 7th century. When one is fasting, one has time to contemplate the word of God and to re-evaluate one’s life in that context. After sundown, dinner is served. Is it possible to do a 5:2 type of Fasting during Ramadan? Sure, why not? As long as you eat your Fast breakfast before sun-up and you wait until after the sun goes down to enjoy your Fast dinner. If you are Muslim, I wish you “Ramadan Mubarak.”  If you are not Muslim [neither am I], read some of the Qur’an or Ask a Muslim a question, whether at the online site or with a colleague from work.

If you decide to Fast while fasting, here are some menus to try. The Leventine eggs are made with flavors found in the countries where Islam first took hold. The dinner is a popular meal in that area, too.

Levantine ScrOmelette: 142 calories 8 g fat 1 g fiber 10 g protein 5 g carbs [4.6 g Complex] 50.5 mg Calcium  PB GF  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  “Levantine” refers to the Eastern Mediterranean, where “the sun rises.”  These fine ingredients yield a flavorful result. The sun rising in the East will smile on you.

1 ½ 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 Tbsp mediterranian vegetables, chopped [see Sidekicks II, 4-Oct-’17] 1.5 tsp hummus 1 black olive, minced 1 oz strawberries    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]

Whisk the eggs, then stir in the hummus and vegetables. Pour into a saute pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray and scramble to your taste or prepare as an omelette. Pour the optional beverages and plate with the berries.

Red & Green Shakshuka: 220 calories 10.6 g fat 5.3 g fiber 11.6 g protein 16.7 g carbs [15 g Complex] 207 mg Calcium   PB GF  There is Red Shakshuka and there is Green. And here we have the combination.

½ tsp oil ¼ c onion, chopped 3 Tbsp chopped celery 1 clove garlic, chopped 1/3 cup red or green sweet pepper, chopped 1.5 cups fresh spinach ½ cup mashed whole tomatoes 1/3 cup eggplant cubes cumin + paprika + oregano 1 egg 1.5 Tbsp Feta Cheese

Use a cast iron or other oven-safe skillet that has an oven-safe lid. Set the oven at 375 F. Cook the onion and celery in the oil until a bit softened. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the sweet pepper, tomato, and eggplant, along with the seasonings. Cook until tender. Put the spinach in the bubbling vegetables and stir/toss them until the leaves are softened but not limp. Make a slight indentation in the vegetables and crack an egg into it. Sprinkle with the Feta. Cover the skillet and bake it for 5 minutes. Check to see if egg is done to your liking. If not, recover and cook another minute or two. Serve in the skillet.  NB: You could cook two eggs on top for one person if you wanted to boost the protein. 290 calories / 15 g fat / 5.3 g fiber / 18 g protein / 17 g carbs / 235 mg Calcium

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
cabbage + white beanscorned beef
duck fat + leeks + porkcabbage + apple
garlic powder + cayenne cottage cheese + thyme
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

4 oz fish 2 crepes/galettes [Sidekicks I, Sept. ’17]
chickpea ragout chicken breast + mozzarella
Mediterranean Vegetables [Sidekicks II, ’17]
chèvre + herbes de Province
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Fast Day, New Hampshire

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

When I first moved to New Hampshire, I was interested to note on a calendar that the day following Easter was marked as “Fast Day.” “How clever!” I thought. “After all that Easter candy and treats, to have a special day of no eating. Brilliant.” But this is not the case. The tradition of Fast Day harks back to colonial times. It seems that in 1681, the President of the [governing] Council was gravely ill, so a day of prayer and fasting was declared for his recovery. Didn’t work. He died. But for centuries afterward, the day was observed anyway, on the 4th Monday of April, and only in the past 50 years has fallen into disuse. I think the grand old idea should be revived! I declare tomorrow, the day after Easter, to be a Fast Day. Wherever you are, eat only 600 calories. Think hard about how to change your relationship with food. Start small, and see what can be accomplished by little steps.

As for foods for Fast Day, the mushroom and sausage are hearty New England flavors; and the mussels in the dinner will remind the world that New Hampshire has 18 miles of seacoast — in case you forgot.

Mushroom-Sausage Bake: 138 calories 7.6 g fat 0.7 g fiber 10.3 g protein 6.3 g carbs [5.9 g Complex] 40 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF Here’s a fine combination of rich flavors. Breakfast deserves flavors like this.

1 Applegate sausage [or other chicken sausage at 33 calories] 1 two-oz egg ¼ oz mushrooms 3/4 tsp Parmesan cheese, grated 1/4 tsp dry mustard 1 oz unsweetened applesauce + 3-4 raspberries 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]

Cook the mushrooms [if raw] by poaching in a little hot water for a minute, then chop. Slice the sausages thinly. Combine the mushrooms and sausage slices, and sprinkle with the cheese and mustard. Stir to distribute the flavors. Spritz a ramekin with oil or non-stick spray and set the toaster oven at 350F degrees. Put the mushroom-sausage mixture into the ramekin. Whisk the egg and pour into the ramekin. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Spoon out the applesauce and garnish with the berries. Pour the optional beverages. Happy breakfast.

Moules Gratinees:  268 calories 14 g fat 3 g fiber 19 g protein 35 g carbs [11 g Complex] 168.7 mg Calcium   PB GF – if using GF crackers This is a spin-off of a dish we enjoyed in Brittany: they used scallops but mussels work wonderfully. There are those who opine that you never combine cheese with seafood but they are WRONG.  HINT: This recipe serves two [2].

10 oz [22] mussels ½ cup Bechamel Sauce with cheese   1 oz grated Cheddar cheese 1 Tbsp white parts of scallion + 1 Tbsp green parts of scallion   per serving: 2 oz broccoli + 2 Triscuit crackers or GF crackers of your choice

Cook the mussels in a little bit of water until the shells open. Remove from shells. In a sauce pan, put the Bechamel, the cheese, scallions. Cook gently until warmed through and the cheese is melted. Add the mussels and pour into oven-proof dishes such as ramekins or porcelain ‘shells’ or genuine shells, such as surf clam or scallop. Bake at 375 F for 15-20 minutes, until bubbly and starting to brown. Plate with the broccoli and crackers for a really good and easy meal.

Madama Butterfly

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 Rachel Alexandra who is now Following.

On February 17, 1904, Giacomo Puccini‘s opera Madama Butterfly debuted in Milan at La Scalla Opera House. It was loudly and soundly booed, possibly by a claque of the composer’s rivals, and the opera was withdrawn. This was a stunning blow to Puccini. Ever since he saw an American company perform a short play about an American sailor and his ill-fated affair with a Japanese girl, Puccini wanted to turn it into an opera. He learned Japanese songs from the ambassador’s wife; one of his librettists went to Japan to gain some authenticity. After the disastrous premiere, the team reworked the piece and re-staged it in May to great success. Now the poignant story of the selfish Lt Pinkerton and the trusting Cho-Cho-San [called “Butterfly”] is one of the most popular works in any company’s repertoire and the aria Un Bel Di makes you sad just to hear it, especially when you know the tragic ending.

While we ponder the tale of poor Butterfly, we will eat a very Japanese breakfast which is good tasting and easy to prepare. For dinner, a rather American meal of fish combined with ham and walnuts.

Japanese Onion Soup with Onsen Tamago Egg: 215 calories 5 g fat 2.2 g fiber 16 g protein 29 g carbs [9 g Complex] 48 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg soup and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  Our Younger Son prepared this for us one morning after a lot of heavy eating and it was a revelation: light yet hearty and so delicious. “Onsen Tamago” means ‘hot spring’ and it is a very different [to me] way to cook a soft egg.  HINT: This recipe is enough for 2 servings. Very easy to save for another breakfast or lunch one or two days from now.

2 two-oz eggs cooked Onsen Tomago-style** ½ cup sweet onions 2 cups chicken broth 3 Tbsp soy sauce + 2 Tbsp mirin 1 oz Japanese noodles, such as soba @ 95 calories/ounce garnish: scallions, chopped + Sriracha, to taste 2 oz melon   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

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

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

Ham-Stuffed Fish 270 calories 3.5 g fat 23 g protein 16 g carbs 139 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF bread  Another recipe of unknown origin. Glad I saved it.

4 oz tilapia or perch 1 oz sliced ham from the deli 1/2 tsp soy sauce + ½ tsp sherry + 1 egg white ½ piece of whole-grain 70-calorie bread 1 Tbsp finely-chopped walnuts 1 oz carrots, julienned + 1 oz celery, julienned + 1 oz beets 1 scallion

Slice the fish so that it is in 2 pieces of equal length and thickness. Crumble the bread into the finest crumbs and blend thoroughly with walnuts. Whip the egg white until it is very frothy. Blend in the soy sauce and sherry. Make a ‘sandwich’ of the ham slice between the two pieces of fish. Dip in the egg mixture to coat, then dip in the bread/walnuts. Cook in a heavy non-stick pan, sprayed with non-stick spray, until fish is cooked – about 5 minutes per side. Cook the vegetables. Plate the fish and vegetables and sprinkle with sliced scallion.