Orts & Sorts

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 reginaldgreenway who is now Following.

The word ‘ort’ comes down to us from the 14th century. It is an English word meaning ‘a bit of leftover food.’ In those days, the orts would be returned to the stewpot or fed to the pig. Royal households would give their orts to the poor in public displays of generosity. Nowadays, this word is beloved of crossword puzzle writers and Scrabble players. For two years I worked in a lab run by a professor from Kansas. One day he threw the expression ‘orts and sorts’ into a conversation. Although I had never heard it before, I took it to mean ‘bits of this and that.’ Apparently, this expression was unique to his family — if you Google the term, there are no results. ‘Of a sort’ is a pejorative term implying that something is not up to standards. ‘Ort of a sort’ could mean a truly questionable left-over food or it could be another made-up term. Some people distain left-overs and throw out perfectly good food [chicken carcass with meat still on it; cooked vegetables]. To me, that is unconscionable food waste. Up-cycle your orts into delicious soups or salads for Fast or Slow Days. Do your budget and the planet a favor.

Today’s menus have no theme — they are a bit of this and that, representing some favorite meals from older posts. You will want to eat them all and have no orts remaining.

Cottage Cheese & Pear: 164 calories 3.5 g fat 5 g fiber 10 g protein 26 g carbs [24 g Complex] 61 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB GF  This is from the Fast Diet book and it is a great way to start the day. I added the pecans to this for deeper flavor and more protein.

4 oz pear [of which Comice is the best] 1/3 cup fat free cottage cheese ¼ c. blueberries ½ Tbsp pecans, finely chopped  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]

Section the pear into slices and remove the core. Do not bother to peel the pears. Fan the segments on a plate in a circle. Place the cottage cheese in the center, sprinkle with the berries and nuts. Pour the optional beverages of choice. Good stuff!

Shrimp Quick-fry with Udon Noodles: 267 calories 7 g fat 24 g protein 33 g carbs   PB The back of a bag of udon noodles supplied this recipe and then I adapted it. This is one of my go-to meals.

1 oz of dry udon [or soba] noodles 3 oz raw shrimp, cut in half across the body 2 oz carrot, peeled and sliced into coins 1½ oz green cabbage 1 oz onion 1- 1/2 tsp soy sauce 1 tsp olive oil 1 oz chopped green onion

Put the frozen shrimp in a bowl with a little water to thaw. Cook noodles in a quart of water about 4 minutes. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, shell, and peel the raw shrimp. Slice the shrimp across the body. Heat the oil in a cast iron pan or wok. Add the carrot, cabbage, and onion and some of the water from the thawed shrimp. Stir-fry/steam for 3 minutes. Add the shrimp and any remaining liquid and cook one minute more. Toss the cooked noodles into the pan and mix to warm them. Add , salt, pepper, and soy sauce. Toss to mix ingredients. If you think this sounds complicated and long, I did it in 25 minutes and that included peeling carrots and cleaning shrimp. Satisfying and good to eat.  NB: If you don’t like shrimp, substitute just under 2 oz sliced chicken breast.

J. S. Bach

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to green smoothie diet who is now Following.

Johann Sebastian Bach is probably my favorite composer. When I was a child, my mother always had the classical music station WQXR on the radio, and she would name the composers as the music played. In college choir, we sang Bach pieces a few times over my four years of singing. Wonderful, soaring music. In art class, I came to appreciate the Baroque period without making the connection to Baroque influences in music. Baroque art is filled with drama, light and shadow, and evokes emotion in the viewer. Now I can hear that Bach’s music is the same: rich and ornate, the listener cannot fail to be moved. JS Bach was born on March 21, 1685. His father taught him to play the violin and harpsichord, and the boy sang in the church choir. Orphaned at age 10, Bach was taken in by his older brother who was also a musician. His brother taught him musical composition and to play the organ. At age 15, JS was on the move, something he would do frequently over his career. For the next 23 years, he went from town to town, working as church organist here, as the court musician there, always moving on due to religious politics or disputes about wages. JS was not a difficult man. He was devoted to his music and his growing family, and expected to be treated fairly. All along the way, Bach honed his skills and became more inventive in his music. He perfected the ‘fugue‘ and he promoted musical improvisation. The father of 4 musicians, Johann Sebastian Bach is considered to be one of the greatest composers of all time. Three of his works were included on the ‘Golden Record’ on which NASA recorded music and other ‘sounds of Earth’ to send into space on the Voyager I in 1977. Music for the ages. 

Bach was born in Thuringia, a region of Germany which prides itself on its sausages. So sausage it will be, as part of breakfast, as part of dinner. Celebrate his birthday tomorrow by listening to his music.

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 beveragesPB GF  A hearty breakfast to start your day right.

1½ 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 = 35 calories ¾ oz apple sage leaves, 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 sausage and apple. Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Add the sausage/apple and stir to warm them and cook them a bit. Whisk the eggs with the sage, salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the sausage/apple in the pan. Scramble to your favorite degree of doneness. Partake of your beverages of choice.

Sauerkraut and Sausage: 255 calories 5.5 g fat 12.6 g fiber 21.5 g protein 33.5 g carbs 196.4 mg Calcium  GF PB  This is the sort of food that fueled Bach, Goethe, and Luther. Check the calories and you will see that this is not a fattening meal.

1½ cups sauerkraut, canned or bagged or fresh 2 tsp caraway seed 2 oz/ 1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened ½ cup onions, chopped coarsely 1 chicken sausage with apple [OR other 110 calorie sausage] left whole or sliced into ½” chunks 1½ cups raw collard greens OR Kale OR Chard, chopped or sliced cross-wise in ¼” strips [chiffonade] salt + garlic powder + pepper to taste.

Thaw the sausage if it is frozen. Combine the sauerkraut, caraway seed, applesauce, and onions in a saucepan large enough to hold the sausage [if leaving whole]. Cook slowly, uncovered until half of the liquid is gone. Add the sausage, cover, and continue to cook until everything is hot. Meanwhile, put the collards into ½ cup water with seasonings, and cook covered until the greens are tender, about 10 minutes.

Pi Day

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.

March 14th is Pi Day. Why? As any math student will tell you, the value of Pi = 3.14………, thus 3-14 is the day to celebrate that value. What is Pi? If you took a bowl and measured the distance through the center from one side to the next, you have measured the ‘diameter’ of the bowl. Now you use a measuring tape to determine how far it is around the rim of the bowl and you have found the ‘circumference’ of the bowl. If you divide the circumference by the diameter, the result is always 3.14…….. This concept dates from the ancient Greeks, and Archimedes was the first to quantify the number. Actually, it has been considered impossible to quantify the number fully, because it is ‘irrational.’ Nine divided by three = 3.00 — it comes out evenly. But no matter how many decimal places you take it to, the value of Pi does not seem to end. So we thought… This is a common device in Sci-Fi films and TV shows: the wayward computer is told to ‘resolve Pi to the last decimal place,’ knowing full well that it was impossible. [If you prefer fractions to decimals, Pi can be approximated as 22/7.] In 2010, a super computer and a super mathematician finally resolved Pi to its 2-quadrillion digit end. Sorry, Mr. Spock.

A baker would celebrate March 14 as PIE Day. On a Fast Day, we will enjoy our pies without crusts — but they are pies just the same. Pie for breakfast is a lovely tradition in New England. Quiche is a pie by another name. Enjoy pie as you calculate the value of Pi to the 100th decimal place — by hand.

Pumpkin Pie Breakfast:  216 calories 4 g fat 2 g fiber 7.4 g protein 38.5 g carbs 98.5 mg Calcium   PB GF  My mother developed this recipe and to me it is the Gold Standard of pumpkin pies.  When prepared without a crust, it becomes more suitable for a Fast Day. NB: Mind the optional calories in the beverages to stay under 300 for the meal. Prepare the custards the day before

1 ramekin of Pumpkin Pie ** 1 chicken breakfast sausage [36 calories each]  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories

Remove a ramekin of custard from ‘fridge and place on a plate. Do this first to take off some of the chill. Cook the sausage and prepare the optional hot beverage. Enjoy being a ‘Yankee’ who has pie for breakfast.

**Pumpkin Pie Custards Serves 6Heat oven to 400 F. Spritz 6 ramekins with non-stick spray.
1½ cups pumpkin puree ½ cup brown sugar, not packed ½ cup white sugarCombine in a sauce pan and heat at a low setting.
1 cup milk, non-fat
2 two-ounce eggs
Whisk together, then stir into the pumpkin.Take sauce pan off heat.
¼ tsp mace + ½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger + ½ tsp salt
pinch ground cloves 1 tsp cinnamon + pinch allspice
Stir the spices into the mixture. Taste to see if any flavors need to be adjusted.
Pour into ramekins. Put in oven, bake 10 minutes.
Turn oven down to 350F, bake 20 minutes or until a knife poked in the center comes out clean.
Cool custards and refrigerate. Serve cool or at room temperature.

Salmon Quiche: serves 6  Per serving: 110 calories 6 oz fat 0.5 g fiber 9.6 g protein 3.5 g carbs 56 mg Calcium  PB GF This goes together so quickly and tastes so nice, that I urge you to serve it at your next luncheon or guest occasion. You can serve as a dinner and then for a subsequent breakfast and/or lunch. 

Get a piece before it is all gone!

2 oz salmon, cooked 1 cup grated zucchini ½ cup coarsely-chopped onion 6 eggs 2 Tbsp reduced-fat ricotta 2 Tbsp plain fat-free yogurt dill weed salt to taste pepper to taste   salad, per serving: 48 calories 2.4 g fat 2 g fiber 1 g protein 6 g carbs 25 mg Calcium ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp flavorful vinegar 1 cup greens such as baby greens or mesclun 1 oz tomatoes, diced 1 oz cooked, chilled beets, sliced or cubed ½ oz carrot, grated

Spritz an oven-proof quiche pan [I used one that is 8.5”diameter x 2” deep] with non-stick spray. Crumble the salmon into the bottom of the pan and top with the zucchini and onion. Whisk eggs with the ricotta, yogurt, dill, salt, and pepper. Pour into the pan and bake at 350 F. for around 30 minutes, or until puffed and set in the center.  Serve with a side salad and some local, seasonal vegetables.

Anthems

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

We hear national anthems played at sporting events, especially the Olympics. [Most] every nation has one: some of them are controversial, some of them have interesting stories. The oldest national anthem is that of Japan, words dating from the 10th century, music from 1880s. China’s song, the March of the Volunteers, began as the theme of a propaganda movie made in the 1930s to inspire citizens to resist the invading Japanese. The French anthem, La Marseillaise, is a rousing soldiers’ song from the French Revolution. The problem is that the words are blood-thirsty: bloody flags being raised and gore flowing in fields. Sounds better if you don’t know French… The Americans’ Star Spangled Banner was written in the middle of a battle and describes the joy of observers at seeing the flag still flying over the fort at dawn — the battle was not lost. It is criticized as being jingoistic [‘conquer we must’], and some propose America the Beautiful as a more suitable song. And then there is the anthem of Spain: completely un-singable because it has no words — melody only. It was composed in 1761 and attempts have been made to add lyrics but they have failed. What does your nation’s anthem celebrate? The beauty of the land? The courage of the soldiers? The spirit of the people? The anthem of Ukraine proudly proclaims that “Ukraine will not perish” and describes the peoples’ willingness to fight for their freedom. May they succeed.

To honor the cuisine of two of the nations mentioned today, we have a breakfast from Japan and a dinner from the region of France where the anthem originated.

Jian Bang  [Japanese Rolled Eggs]: 149 calories 8.5 g fat 1 g fiber 13 g protein 6 g carbs [4 g Complex] 72.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF Number One Son prepared these for us as part of a larger Japanese breakfast, and they are amazing. I added the crab and leek to make a good thing even better. Yup, guilding the lily.

1½ 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  2 Tbsp crab meat, frozen or fresh 2 Tbsp leek, finely sliced ½ Tbsp soy sauce ¼ tsp sugar 1½ 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]

Spritz a non-stick pan with non-stick spray. Cook the crab and leek until you can smell the leek, but don’t brown it. Remove from pan. Beat the egg with the soy sauce and sugar, and divide into 2 parts. Spritz the pan again and reheat. Put half of the egg in the pan and swirl/tip the pan to spread it out into a rough round. Distribute the crab and leek all over the egg. When top of egg is set enough that it is still moist but won’t jiggle much, roll the egg into a roll from one side of the pan to the other and leave it there. Pour the remaining egg in the pan and cook until almost set. Roll the roll across the pan again to incorporate the newly-cooked egg. Outside of the egg should be a little brown due to the soy sauce. Prepare the beverages and fruit and enjoy your meal from Japan.

Chicken Provincal: 252 calories 12.5 g fat 4 g fiber 25.4 g protein 15 g carbs 57 mg Calcium   PB GF– if using GF flour   This recipe is from the Culinary Institute of America, with a few tweeks by me. It glows with the warm tastes of Province. Despite what a buffet waiter told me, it is pronounced ‘pro-vohn-saal‘ — NOT ‘pro-van-kal.’ HINT: The recipe serves two [2] people.

6 oz chicken breast, boneless & skinless 2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour 2 tsp olive oil 1 garlic clove, minced 1 anchovy fillet 2 Tbsp dry white wine 1 c tomatoes, chopped, juice retained 1/4 c. chicken stock 5 cured black olives, sliced pinch salt 2 pinches rosemary per serving: 2-3 oz broccoli florets

Fillet the chicken breast meat by cutting it along the thin side to create 2 slices. These will cook faster, as well as looking like more food on the plate! Sprinkle the flour over the chicken to coat it lightly. Heat the oil in a small non-stick skillet and cook the chicken on one side. Turn once to cook the other side, remove from pan. Put the garlic, anchovy, tomatoes, and wine in the pan, mashing the solids with a spoon as they heat. Add the chicken stock, olives, and rosemary to the pan and cook until the sauce thickens. Return the chicken to the pan to heat it briefly. If the sauce gets too thick, add some tomato juices or water or more stock. Cook the broccoli and enjoy your meal from southern France.

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

1 two-oz egg2 oz smelts
70-calorie whole grain breadgozleme bread: white whole wheat flour + yogurt
Mediterranean Vegetables deglet noor dates
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

two 2-oz eggs + lower-fat ricotta veal + dried fig + dried apricots + dates
mushrooms + garlic + zucchini carrot + onion + white wine
lemon juice + Parmesan + oniontomato paste + olive oil
mozzarella cheese + thymebay leaf + rosemary + cucumber
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Montaigne

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 A.C. Cockerill who is now Following.

A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.

The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.

What is a ‘philosopher’? It is someone who seeks wisdom. And where is this prize found? Michel de Montaigne decided, on his 38th birthday [February 28] in 1571, to trade in most of his way of life to seek wisdom in his own thoughts. He moved out of the family chateau to a tower across the courtyard. Alone with a bed, a writing desk, and his 1000-volume library he began to ‘try’ to figure out life’s great mysteries. [He went back to the chateau for meals. He also attended local social events.] The word ‘try’ is important because he called his writings ‘essais’ based on the French verb ‘essayer,’ meaning ‘to try.’ Who was Montaigne? He was the son of a family made very wealthy trading in salted herring. His mother was the daughter of prosperous merchants in Bordeaux. The family obtained noble rank due to his father’s military service, helped by the fact that 2 generations back they had converted from Judaism to Christianity. His father valued education and designed an unusual learning plan for his son. From shortly after his birth until his 3rd birthday, young Michel lived exclusively with a local peasant family — to learn empathy for simple folk. From age 3 to age 6, there was a tutor who spoke only latin to him — as did his parents and all the servants — making latin his native tongue. At age 6, off to a humanist boarding school, then studying law in his teenage years. Mayor and city councilor of Bordeaux; suffering from kidney stones; friend of kings: Montaigne stored up experiences which he later put in writing. His three books containing his 107 essays were published in two books in 1580, and the third, posthumously, in 1595. Free-wheeling in structure and organization, the writings range from cannabalism, to having thumbs, to the education of children, to tomorrow is a new day, Montaigne found a new way of expressing himself and inspired writers and thinkers for centuries.

As a nod to the Montaigne Family fortune, we will enjoy herrings at breakfast. The dinner salad evokes his childhood with a shepherding family. Will these meals make you philosophical? Who knows.

Herring Plate: 195 calories 8 g fat 4.4 g fiber 8 g protein 13.5 g carbs [11 g Ccomplex] 33 mg Calcium  PB  If you like herring, this is the breakfast for you. It makes a nice change from morning eggs and it is prepared in no-time-flat. NB: Do NOT eat herring if you are taking MOAI antidepressent medicine, as herring is high in tyramine.

3 Finn Crisp crackers  1.25 oz herring marinated in wine [not sour cream] 2 Tbsp whipped cream cheese 4 Bing cherries OR ½ cup strawberries, sliced  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]   Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories

Do I need to describe this preparation? Spread the cream cheese on the crackers and pile on the herring. Delicious and so satisfying.

Shepherds’ Salad: 286 cal 15 g fat 5 g fiber 13 g protein 23.6 g carbs 311 mg Calcium  PB GF  This delightful meal is from Lynne Rossetto Kaspar’s The Italian Country Table. I have included a version of the original cooked salad dressing, but you may use a simple herbed vinaigrette if you prefer.

½ oz salami 1/3 c white beans 2½ cups [3 oz] lettuce, from the garden, the store, or wild sorrel, dandelion, or lambs quarters 1 oz mozzerella 1 radish, thinly sliced 2” celery, thinly sliced on diagonal ½ oz chicken breast 2 tsp of boiled dressing** OR 2 tsp vinaigrette dressing++

Prep your toppings: slice the salami rounds into matchsticks; shred the lettuce; cut the cheese into strips about ¼” square; slice the radish and celery. Measure 2 tsp dressing into a serving/salad bowl and add the lettuce. Toss to coat with the dressing. Arrange the meat, beans, cheese, and radishes in decorative groupings. Hearty and delicious, even if you didn’t have to forage for it yourself.

**SHEPHERDS’ SALAD DRESSING:  makes 1/3 cup enough for 7 servings  1 serving = 2 tsp = 32 calories 

3 Tbsp olive oil 
4” rosemary
6 sage leaves
Put in a pan and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
4 smashed cloves garlic 
pinch of hot pepper flakes
Peel the garlic cloves and crush them with the side of a large knife. Add to the pan and stir for a few seconds.
½ cup red wine vinegar Add vinegar and boil the liquids down to 1/3 cup.
Strain and cool before serving. Put the remainder in a jar and store. 

++Vinaigrette Dressing makes 6 Tbsp, enough for 9 servings  1 serving = 1½ tsp = 52 calories 1 Tbsp cider vinegar + ¼ tsp salt : stir together and let sit 5 minutes 4 Tbsp olive oil + 1 ½ tsp cold water + ½ tsp tarragon or thyme : whisk together Add the vinegar and whisk again.

Saint Valentine

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 darkoweightlosstips who is now Following.

February 14 is the Feast of Saint Valentine. But which one? The priest at Rome — or the bishop of Terni — or the one in northern Africa — which one??? The Catholic Encyclopedia lumps all of them together on February 14. None of them have much to do with love or courting — except for an apocryphal tale of one signing off a note to a girl as “your Valentine.” [The girl was not his girl-friend.] So how did men who’s heads were cut off on February 14 come to be the patron saint of lovers? Chaucer, writing in his 1382 poem ‘The Parlement of Foules’ [that’s ‘fowls’, not ‘fools’,] made up the idea that birds choose their mates on February 14. After that, the pairing of Valentine’s Day with being lovey-dovey was repeated often in French and English literature. And so it is that today we have a “Hallmark Holiday,” complete with tie-ins to greeting cards [145 million sold], candy makers [$27 million], restaurants, flowers, and sales of diamonds. Or, if you prefer, there is always Galantines Day on February 13.

I like to celebrate February 14 by hiding those little, foil-wrapped chocolate hearts where Dear Husband will be surprised to find them: jacket pocket, coffee mug, sock drawer — you get the idea. Sometimes he finds them months later, which adds to the fun. Also, I show my love in heart-shaped foods, as you see at breakfast. Don’t be alarmed by ‘cutting the heart in two’ at dinner. Think of it as one of those pairs of charms shaped like half of a heart, where you have one and your dearest friend [male or female] has the other.

Fruit Hearts: 198 calories  5.6 g fat 2.5 g fiber 13 g protein 26 g carbs 82.6 mg Calcium  NB: These values are for the Fruit Hearts alone and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF — if using GF bread  This breakfast looks as if it came from the pastry cart, but it fits within our guidelines for Fasting. If you don’t mind doing ‘fiddly food,’ treat someone you love — including yourself! — to a special breakfast. HINT: The recipe is a serving for 1 [one]. Scale up as needed.

1 oz whole-grain bread cut into two hearts, using a 2+” heart-shaped cookie cutter 1 oz Canadian bacon/back bacon OR deli-sliced ham cut into hearts with the same sized cutter 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce 2 Tbsp low-fat French Vanilla yogurt 1 Tbsp almond meal fresh fruit of your choosing: fresh raspberries or sliced strawberries or peach slices or blueberries 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]

First, stir the yogurt and almond flour until thoroughly combined. It will thicken slightly. Cut the bread into two hearts and the Canadian Bacon into two hearts. HINT: I did this the night before, storing the bread in a plastic bag overnight to prevent them from drying. Gently cook the bacon hearts so that they are warmed through yet retain their pinkness. Lightly toast the bread hearts. Spread the applesauce evenly over each heart. Pipe the yogurt/almond around the edge of each heart, then arrange the fruit in the center. Sip some low-fat cafe au lait this morning and think loving thoughts.

Family Omelette: 286 calories 17 g fat 2 g fiber 17 g protein 10 g carbs 109 mg Calcium  PB GF  Susan Herrmann Loomis serves this for a quick family dinner.  HINT: Serves two [2] For Valentine’s Day, I baked it in a heart-shaped cake pan to share with Dear Husband. Delicious!

3 two-oz eggs 3 slices uncured bacon 2 oz baby sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly 1 Tbsp scallions/chives, minced 2 oz chevre [goat cheese]   per person: 1/2 cup coleslaw

Chop the bacon into ½” strips. In a non-stick pan, cook the bacon and potatoes until they begin to get some color, 3-4 minutes. Drain off some of the fat into a heart-shaped cake pan. Put the cooked bacon and potatoes in the pan in an even layer. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and pour over the bacon and potatoes in the pan. Sprinkle with goat cheese and chives. Bake at 375F for 10-15 minutes, when it will be puffed and turning brown. Plate each half and serve with coleslaw. Voila! A meal to show that you care.

Flexible Flyer

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.

As a child, I loved to go sledding. [That’s ‘coasting’ to some of you.] A prized Christmas gift was a Flexible Flyer sled and I used mine every chance I got. Some children liked the saucer-style sleds, but not I. Although I longed to have a sledding party for my birthday, mid-January always brought a thaw. Sigh. The Flexible Flyer sled was manufactured in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Samuel Leeds Allen in 1889. Since his company made farm equipment all winter, he wanted a product to keep his skilled employees busy in the summer. The design of the sled was innovative: the steel runners could be twisted by a steering bar, thus allowing control of the sled’s path. Initially the sled was not a good seller, but Allen wisely waited and interest picked up. During winters of the early 1900s, hundreds of sleds were sold daily. Sleds were made in many sizes and could be steered with the hands, while lying down, or with the feet, while sitting up. I have two Flexible Flyers, both in the ‘Airline’ model designed in 1935. One is the ‘Junior’ at 51 inches long and the other is the ‘Racer’ at 60 inches long, given to me by an aunt who sledded with her husband. In my Golden Years, I have rediscovered the joys of sledding, especially when the air is crisp and the full moon is making the snow sparkle. That’s a treat.

The smooth mound of white dairy products in the breakfast is like a sledder’s dream hill on a snowy day. And after a long day of sledding, there is nothing like a warming bowl of home-made soup for dinner.

Citrus Breakfast: 149 calories 1.5 g fat 1.5 g fiber 15.5 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 beveragePB GF  Banish any thoughts that this classic ‘diet meal’ will leave you hungry. Delicious, nutritious, and filling, this is a great breakfast for anyone, any day. And it has tons of Vitamin C and A and D.

½ cup reduced-fat cottage cheese 2 Tbsp fat-free French Vanilla yogurt 1 clementine, peeled and sectioned OR 2 oz orange segments 2 Tbsp black currants OR blueberries 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]

TIP: Sometimes the cottage cheese and yogurt can benefit from sitting in a sieve for 20 minutes to drain off extra whey. Combine all the dairy and scoop it onto the plate. Pour fruit on top and watch it roll down the snowy hill. If you plan for a busy morning, combine everything the night before and refrigerate it. Great for a grab-and-go meal. It is a vitamin-blast.

‘Therapeutic’ Chicken Soup: 278 calories 3.4 g fat 5 g fiber 18.5 g protein 36 g carbs [26 g Complex Carbs] 78 mg Calcium   PB  The recipe is from It’s All American Food by David Rosengarten. Simple, filling, and Granma says it is good for you.  NB: Food values are for one serving of 2 cups of soup! One cup is a very hearty serving.

1½ cups excellent chicken broth, homemade or purchased 2 oz [½ cup] parsnips, diced 1 oz [¼ cup] carrots, in coins ¼ cup celery 2 oz cooked chicken breast, cut in ½” cubes ½ oz Pennsylvania Dutch noodles   3 Tbsp parsley

Prepare the vegetables. Cook the noodles in water until just underdone. Heat the stock to a simmer and add 3-4 Tbsp water, which will boil away as you cook. I added the parsnips first and cooked for about 5 minutes, then added the carrots. After another 5 minutes, I put the celery in the soup. Cook until all the vegetables are tender, then adjust the seasoning of the broth. Add the pasta and chicken. It will need extra flavor now since the pasta will have used it up. Add the parsley and cook about 5 minutes longer.

Airline Series:  The Airline sleds came out in 1935 with the ends of the runners turned back to the top of the last cross support.  This major change was meant to prevent other sledders from impaling themselves on the sharp end of another’s sled when running into them.  There were numerous Airline models, each with its own name: Ace (37″); Pilot (41″); Patrol (44″); Pursuit (47″); Junior (51″); Chief (55″); Racer (60″); Cruiser (65″); and (108″).  The Airline names were eventually dropped with a number/letter replacing them, but with the same lengths as before, and the length being the model number.

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

whole-grain bread, 70-calories/slice1.5 two-oz eggs 
applesauce + almond flour/mealtomato sauce
ham slice/Canadian Bacon/back baconbell pepper + garlic
0% fat French Vanilla yogurt + fresh fruitparsley + apple or pear
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

1.5 two-oz eggs + uncured bacon2 buckwheat galettes
fingerling potatoes, purple or red-fleshed 3%-fat ham
chèvre + chives or green onionsbechamel sauce, no cheese
side salad with blueberriesJarlsberg cheese + side salad
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Plumbing

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.

Let’s talk about plumbing: the industry that has grown up around the bathroom and your plumbing. In ancient Greece, ‘using the toilet’ was a public event. There were stone benches with 7 or 8 holes spaced along its length. Underneath the bench, a rivulet of water in a trench carried away the waste. People of the Minoan civilization on the Island of Crete had invented the flush toilet around 2000 BCE, but that relied on water flowing from higher up hill, not feasible in flatter landscapes. Romans used the Greek system of benches-and-trenches, as one can see at Roman forts around the old empire. Most people used a simpler method: a hole in the ground, with a log across it to sit upon. [Boy Scouts use this system when they set up camp.] ‘Indoor plumbing’ consisted of chamber pots, which were then dumped in the street. Towns and cities had streams of sewage running down the middle of streets well into the 1800s. The Industrial Revolution brought lots of people into close quarters in cities, often with many families sharing one latrine. Communal wells were sometimes contaminated with human feces, leading to outbreaks of typhoid fever and cholera. Eventually, in the 1800s, cities like Paris developed sewage systems. But still there were not many indoor toilets. Thomas Crapper, an ambitious English plumber, began to change things. His innovations include the trap under the sink or toilet to prevent sewage smells from coming into the house; the man-hole cover; improvements to the ball-cock that regulates water in the tank; and, best of all, the design show-room which made people want to upgrade the facilities. He did NOT invent the flush toilet. When Yanks went to England for WWI, with the word ‘c**p’ in their vocabulary. They thought it hilarious that toilets were labeled “T. Crapper” for the company that made them. Thus, calling a toilet ‘the crapper’ came into the parlance, and real indoor plumbing came into vogue.

Many people who start a diet eliminate fiber in the diet and that makes it difficult for them to eliminate waste. [yes, that was a play on words] In the Fast Diet, a well-balanced diet is encouraged. January 27 is the anniversary of Thomas Crapper’s death in 1910. We will put fiber in our diet with broccoli in the breakfast and whole-wheat dough for our pizza at dinner. The Mayo Clinic says that women should have at least 21 grams of fiber daily, and men should have at least 30 grams.

Korma-Broccoli Bake: 130 calories 8 g fat 4 g fiber 8 g protein 9 g carbs 62.5 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPG GF   The combination of curry and vegetables is terrific in eggs. See if you agree. 

One 2-oz egg 1 oz cooked broccoli ½ oz korma sauce [52 calories/ounce] 2 oz strawberries

Chop the cooked broccoli and place in an oven-proof dish which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Whisk the curry sauce with the eggs and pour over the brocccoli. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes. Plate with the fruit and have a great day.

Cep Pizza:  274 calories 6.4 g fat 7 g fiber 10 g protein 42 g carbs 109 mg Calcium   PB  Pizza on a Fast Day?? With a real crust?!? Yes. And it is made with delicious cep mushrooms with dried ham and Parmesan for a feast of rich flavors.  HINT: This one 8” pizza serves 2 [two] people.

Six slices of pizza to serve two people. Here you see one side salad, enough for one.

6-oz whole wheat pizza crust, at room temperature 1 oz cep/porcini mushroom, chopped ½ oz cooked spinach, chopped 3 Tbsp/1/5 fl oz crushed tomatoes 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped 1/3 oz proscuitto, chopped 4 tsp grated Parmesan   per person: one side salad with beets and cucumbers 

Heat the oven to 490F. Have one rack in the middle and one rack at the bottom position in the oven. Brush a baking sheet with enough olive oil to cover an area 8 inches in diameter. Press and stretch the pizza dough into an 8” round on the oiled baking sheet. If the dough won’t cooperate, let it rest for 2 minutes. Combine the spinach, tomatoes, and parsley, and spread the mixture on the pizza crust. Top that with the chopped mushrooms and meat, then sprinkle with Parmesan. Place the pizza on the baking sheet in the oven for 3-4 minutes. Time to prepare the salad. Now open the oven and see if you can lift the pizza off the pan with a turner. If the pizza is too floppy, return it to the oven for another minute or so. When the pizza is baked enough not to be floppy, take it off the baking sheet and put it on the lower rack, with no pan at all.  Continue to bake another 3 minutes, until the top begins to bubble. Remove the pizza to a rack to cool and ‘out-gas.’ It must be on a rack, not the cutting board or counter or plate. Remove the pizza to a cutting board and cut into 6 pieces. On each of two plates, place the salad and 3 pieces of pizza. A bit of Pizza Heaven on a Fast Day.

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

1 two-oz egg1 two-oz egg + plain fat-free yogurt 
green bell pepperdill weed + garlic + paprika
catsupgozlema bread: white whole wheat flour
onion plain fat-free yogurt
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

half of a trout per servingolive oil + onion + garlic + ground lamb
buttertomato puree + gr. coriander + paprika + gr. cumin
hazelnuts/filbertsfresh spinach + mint leaves + scallion + parsley
haricots or green beans feta cheese + tomato + olives + gozlema bread
Sparkling waterSparkling water

The Cherry Orchard

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.

The Cherry Orchard, the last play by Anton Chekhov, had its debut in 1904 on his birthday January 17. He called the play a comedy, viewers often see it as a drama, but in its heart it is an allegory of the times in which he lived. In brief, the play centers around a land-owning lady who returns to her childhood home. There she had lived with her husband, raised their children, and suffered the death of her husband and son. Due to her inability to manage money, she and her family are on the edge of bankruptcy. A solution might be to cut down the family’s large cherry orchard and sell off lots for summer cottages, but the family will not hear of it. By the end of the play, the land has been sold, the family leaves their home forever, and the cherry trees are being cut down as the curtain falls. Why a play about this silly woman and her trees? The story takes place in post-feudal Russia. The serfs have been freed and can become upwardly mobile — like the business man who buys the land. In pre-Revolution Russia, there was a clash of old ideas [privileged aristocrats exiting Stage Left] and new ideas about individual rights [enter Marx and Lenin Stage Right]. The orchard represents class differences: for the serfs it means hours of labor to prune the trees, to harvest and process the fruit; for the upper-class it is a lovely place to picnic and enjoy because of the work of others. The orchard represents a land-based, old-world economy, cutting it down paves the way for modern ‘Western’ ways of life. The audience got the point and the play has been popular with audiences ever since.

Our meals today are typically Russian, and yes, there are cherries. Blinis lead the way in Act I. And a very typical cabbage soup for the serfs stars in Act II. For everyone, a recipe for Russian-style tea — not the ersatz version from the 1960s, but the genuine article.

Buckwheat Blini Breakfast: 213 calories 5 g fat 3 g fiber 9 g protein 31 g carbs 67.6 mg Calcium NB: The food values shown are for the plated items only, not for the optional beverages. Blini are associated with Russia and caviar. Here they appear in more humble company at breakfast. Sour Cherry Syrup  is just the thing to top them, though cherry jelly thinned with water would be good too. Russians would serve this with strong black tea, sweetened with honey, and garnished with a slice of lemon, called Zavarka.

2 buckwheat blini** 1 oz ham 1 Tbsp/ ½ fl oz Sour Cherry Syrup Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or black tea with honey + lemon or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or Zavarka++ [21-64 calories]

If previously-made, warm the blini and roll them. Warm and roll the ham, too. Plate them all and lash with the syrup. A simple and tasty meal.

**BUCKWHEAT BLINI:  one batch yields 16 six-inch pancakes, ~1 oz each each = 72 calories 2 g fat 1.6 g fiber 2 g protein 10 g carbs 30 mg Calcium 

1¼ c skim milk ½ c all-purpose flour ½ c white whole wheat flour ½ c buckwheat flour ¾ tsp dry yeast 1 tsp salt 2 two-oz eggs 2 Tbsp butter 3-4 Tbsp water

Heat the milk until warm to the touch. Whisk together the flours, yeast, and salt. Melt butter and let cool a bit. Mix with the warm milk, then whisk in the eggs. Combine wet and dry ingredients until no lumps remain. Let rest 90 minutes on the counter or 12 hrs in a cool place. After the resting, stir the batter and heat a well-seasoned or non-stick skillet. Spritz with non-stick spray, then wipe with a bit of paper towel. To make 6” diameter blini, I used a 3 Tbsp scoop. The batter is thicker than crepe-batter, but thinner than most pancake-batter. It begins to cook as soon as it hits the pan, so tip/rotate the pan with one hand as you add batter with the other. Then use a scraper to nudge the batter over the edges. Cook on one side, as holes form on the top. Then turn and cook on the other side.  TIP: they freeze well

++Russian Tea, Zavarka: with 1 tsp honey = 21 calories 0g fat, fiber, protein 5.5 g carbs 0.3 mg Calcium with 1 Tbsp honey = 64 calories 0g fat, fiber, protein 16.5 g carbs 1 mg Calcium

1-2 cups of teaRecipe from  Peter Kolesnichenko
4-5 heaping tsp loose leaf tea1 cup boiling hot water Put tea into a small tea pot and add water. Let steep 10+ mins, ensuring all tea leaves have sunk to the bottom.
boiling water for tea = kipyatok (кипяток)Pour some tea concentrate into a cup, then fill the cup with boiling water. Adjust amounts, depending on your preferrence.
1-2 tsp honey per cup lemon slice per cupAdd honey and a lemon slice. Keep topping up zavarka with hot water and enjoy drinking real Russian Tea.

Shchi – Russian Cabbage Soup: 280 calories 4 g fat 4.6 g fiber 8 g protein 45 g carbs 37.5 mg Calcium  PB GF- if using GF bread or omitting. This hearty soup can be made with beef and beef stock or with chicken stock or vegetable stock. For Russians, it is the taste of Rodina, the Mother Land.  HINT: This recipe makes enough for four [4] servings.  Recipe author Julia Frey says that this soup ‘will give you the energy you need in the dead of winter.’ [ the name of the soup is pronounced like the word ‘she.’]

4-5 one cup servings
½ of an onion  1 carrot 
1 bay leaf 3-4 whole peppercorns a pinch of salt
1 L./4 c chicken stock
Cut carrot in 3-4 pieces. Combine all the ingredients for the broth and cook 1½ hrsIf using beef: add 1/3 pound stew beef and water. After cooking, remove beef with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Strain broth through a fine sieve to clear it. Discard vegetables and spices. OR use 1 qts quality Brown Stock or Chicken Stock. I used chicken stock, simmered for 30 mins with these ingredients to give the stock a richer flavor. I did not add meat.
7 oz potatoPeel potato, cut in 1/2″ chunks. In a soup pot, put broth, beef and potatoes and bring to a boil.
3/4 cup shredded carrot ½ cup onion 1½ tsp butterShred the carrot and chop the onion.
Saute carrots and onions with butter over low heat until tender and the onions translucent, ~10 mins.
1 cup cabbage, chopped When soup boils, add cabbage and vegetables, [and beef if using] cook  5 mins and turn heat off. Do not to overcook the vegetables! 
2 Tbsp parsley, fresh 1 tsp dill, dried salt and pepper Chop parsley. Add herbs, salt, and pepper to taste. 
As always, soup tastes better if you prepare it ahead of time and let it sit for a few hours or overnight.
2 tsp whipped cream cheese
1 oz sourdough rye bread
Serve each bowl with a dollop of cream and the optional bread.

The Rubicon

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 leaneatinghacks who is now Following.

On January 10, 49 BCE, Julius Caesar had a decision to make. He had conquered Gaul, extending the Roman territory into modern France. This established him as an army general of note and a force to be reckoned with. Now it was time to return to Rome. He wanted to be hailed as a victorious general, heaped with praise and honor. But the Roman Senate was filled with his political enemies — instead of congratulations, they wanted to punish and exile him. Caesar and his legion were camped just north of a tiny river called the Rubicon. It marked the northern limit of the Roman Republic. To cross it with an army would be an act of war against the Republic. For Caesar, to cross it without an army would mean arrest and political defeat. He considered his options. It would be a gamble… Caesar is believed to have quoted a line from his favorite Greek playwright, saying: “Alea iacta est.” [in English, “Let the die be cast.”] He crossed the Rubicon.

Are you at a cross-roads about your health? Do you have a decision to make? Is your weight a concern? Or your cholesterol count? Are you concerned about being pre-diabetic? The choice is to do nothing [and risk serious health consequences] or to try 5:2 Fasting, which you are sure would be difficult for you. So try this: treat yourself to one Fast-style dinner this week and see how you like it. The recipe below is easy to prepare and puts a goodly portion of food on your plate. Go ahead, try it. Don’t have any pork? No problem! Substitute 6 oz of shrimp [making a two-person amount] in the same recipe. Cast the dice and be a winner.

Pork Noodle Quick-fry: 262 calories 8.5 g fat 5 g fiber 34 g protein 32 g carb 73.5 mg Calcium  PB Found on the back of a bag of soba noodles, this recipe is quick and easy and good to eat.  HINT: this is enough for TWO. Instead of soba noodles, you can use udon noodles.

2 oz Soba or Udon noodles 
1 qt water
Heat water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook 4 minutes. Drain, rinse, and cool.
3 oz cabbage OR 1 c snow peas
2 oz onion
1 cup [4 oz] carrot 
3 oz broccoli
Shred the cabbage and the carrot.
Slice the onion and chop the broccoli.
If using snow peas, remove the strings and leave whole.
1 tsp sesame oil cooking sprayHeat a heavy frying pan or wok. Add oil and heat it, then spray with cooking oil. Add vegetables and stir-fry 3 minutes.
5 oz roasted pork tenderloin  HINT: use pork which was cooked previouslySlice pork into ½” rounds, then slice cross-wise into sticks. Add 2-3 Tbsp water to the wok along with meat. Stir-fry 1 minute
2 oz scallions
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Slice scallions diagonally. Add to wok with soy sauce and cook until everything is hot.