Two Richards

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 eriefitnesstips who is now Following.

If one said, “King Richard of England,” two people might come to mind: Richard the Lionheart [first of that name] and Richard the Third. We have been trained by Hollywood to think that #1 was a great man and by Shakespeare to think that #3 was a monster. Curiously, each was crowned on July 6, #1 in 1189, and #3 in 1483. Richard I was hardly ever in England during his 10 year reign. Mostly he was off crusading or planning for it. While in-country, he wasn’t worth Robin Hood’s support [although he was better than his brother King John]. Richard was so far removed from his people that he never learned to speak English and he spent most of his time in Aquitaine, France. Richard III had scoliosis, hence his purported hunched back. He was a York and, like the rest of his family and their rival Lancasters [prototype for House Lannister], schemed for power and control of the throne. Yet some say he was a pretty good ruler. His reign and his death ended the War of the Roses, ushering in the Tudor Dynasty. Shakespeare, writing propaganda for the Tudors, painted him in the most unflattering light. Neither of these kings is who we thought he was.

In recognition of Richard II’s French heritage, we’ll have a breakfast which includes a fine French cheese. The dinner is from Yorkshire, like Richard III, and indeed he might have eaten it.

Raclette Bake:  287 calories 8.4 oz fat 3.3 g fiber 15.6 g protein 38 g carbs 295 mg Calcium NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF Raclette is a cheese from the Swiss/French Alps which is melted to make the eponymous dish of the region, presented with bread or potatoes. Here it is used to give a wonderful flavor to baked eggs. Wow.

one 2-oz egg ¼ slice 70-calorie whole-grain bread 1/3 oz raclette cheese, grated  2 Tablespoons blueberries Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Set the toaster oven at 350 F. Toast the bread and cut into cubes. Put the bread in a lightly-spritzed ramekin. Whisk the egg with the cheese, salt, and pepper and pour into the ramekin. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Pour the beverages, portion the berries, and think about the Alps.

Whitby Fish Pie: 294 calories 15.4 g fat 1.7g fiber 17.5 g protein 15 g carbs [1.7 g Complex] 139 mg Calcium This fabulous recipe is from Paul Hollywood, of British Baking Show fame. It is simple and delicious. Dear Husband loved it. HINT: This recipe is enough for two [2] people.

233 ml [1 cup] skimmed milk ½ bay leaf ½ small onion 2 whole cloves [the spice] Put the milk in a pan with the bay leaf and onion studded with cloves. Bring slowly to the boil, turn off the heat and let infuse for at least 30 minutes. Strain the milk into a liquid measuring cup.
20 g butter 20 g = 2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour 40 g spinach, fresh or frozen 1 Tbsp chopped parsley salt & pepperMelt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook gently for a few minutes, then gradually stir in the infused milk. Increase the heat a little, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Add the spinach, parsley and some salt and pepper.
133g/3.5 oz fresh haddock 133g/3 oz finnen haddie [smoked] 58 g/1.5 oz shrimp, cleaned salt & pepperSkin the fish and remove any pin bones. Cut into bite-sized pieces and put into a 4”x 6” dish with the shrimp/prawns. Pour on enough sauce to cover, gently mix with the fish and check the seasoning. 
Purchased puff pastry, 1/6 sheet ~47 g

Heat the oven to 200°C/400F/Gas 6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to form a 4×6” rectangle. Cut into 6 strips and use to form a lattice atop the pie.  Bake for 20-25 mins until pastry is golden brown.

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

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

Science

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 jimmdetoxman who is now Following.

The word “science” is from the latin word “scientia,” meaning “knowledge.” It is called that because it is based on facts which can be tested and verified. This sets it apart from opinion, which is not necessarily based on fact. Ex: It is a fact that Earth has a moon, but there are many opinions as to how that moon formed. Galileo [1564-1642] was a real scientist. He collected data to test his opinions until he knew which were facts and which were not. Ever since he improved on existing telescopes, he had been collecting information about the motion of the planets in our part of space. In his time, it was popularly believed that the sun and all the planets orbited around the Earth, since that had been the idea of Aristotle and Ptolemy. This view was first challenged by Copernicus and then more mathematically by Kepler. [In between was Tycho, who tried to strike a middle ground with a hybrid theory.] Kepler’s work was scorned as fake-news by the Church and popular culture. The idea that Earth, God’s best creation, was only one of a multitude of planets orbiting the little sun seemed to diminish humans’ importance. Furthermore, to challenge the Church’s view was to challenge the Church’s authority and beliefs. In 1616, Galileo had been warned by the Church not to talk or write anymore about the sun-centered ideas which his telescope confirmed. Many Church leaders, including the pope who was a personal friend, had gone to ‘telescope parties’ at Galileo’s house to see how the planets moved. But the Church would not be moved. Galileo published one more book and was put on trial. After years of waffling, he was at last forced to renounce his scientific work and he recanted his ideas on June 22, 1633. A bad day for science, a good day for people who think science should be bent to fit their political agenda.

Our breakfast involves flavors of Florence, Italy, Galileo’s beloved home town. The dinner is from China. Why? you ask. In the early 1600s, Jesuit missionaries had gone to the Chinese court, seeking to preach Christianity and to demonstrate [superior] European culture. One of the technologies that they proudly displayed, between 1626 and 1634, was a Galilean telescope.

Ham Florentine Bake: 133 calories 6.5 g fat 1 g fiber 8 g protein 6 g carbs 61.5 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF This bake is so flavorful that you will not notice the tiny calorie count. Same ‘ham Florentine’ used to fill crepes for dinner. Same kind of deliciousness.

1 two-oz egg 2 Tbsp ham Florentine mixture** 2 oz applesauce Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 caloriesOptional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Set the toaster oven at 350 F. Spritz an oven-proof dish with non-stick spray. Whisk the egg and stir in the ham Florentine mixture. Pour into prepared dish and bake for 12-15 minutes. Portion the applesauce and pour your choice of beverages. This is a breakfast to prepare often.

**Ham Florentine Fillingmakes 1.5 cups  Freeze the remainder to fill crepes or in small quantities for eggs. ½ cup no-cheese Bechamel Sauce [see SIDEKICKS I, 17-Sept-’17 ] 1 cup ham in ¼ ” dice 1 cup [5 oz] cooked spinach, fresh or frozen ½ cup chopped celery ¼ cup chopped onion pinch of each: celery salt + dill + granulated garlic + basil Be sure to squeeze the spinach until most of the liquid is out of it. [save the liquid] Spritz a saute pan with non-stick spray and add some of the spinach liquid. Cook the celery and onion until the onions are transluscent, adding more spinach liquid as needed. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on low heat until warmed through.

Shrimp Fu Yung:  239 calories 14 g fat 2 g fiber 23.4 g protein 9 g carbs 132 mg Calcium  PB GF  Here is the Cantonese classic, as delicious as ever. Americans seem to think it should have brown chicken gravy on top – not very authentic. I have recreated the look using a very savory sauce.

1-¼ oz shrimp, cooked or raw ¼ stalk celery [substitute: leaf rib of Swiss Chard] 2 Tbsp chopped mushroom ¼ cup mung bean sprouts [substitute: chopped cabbage] 1-½ scallions [spring onions] ¼ tsp ginger powder 2 two-oz eggs 1 oz spinach leaves + garlic powder + ¼ tsp sesame seed ½ tsp sesame oil   Sauce: 1 tsp hoisin sauce + 1 tsp soy sauce + 1 tsp oyster sauce

Cut the shrimp into small slices and put in a bowl with the mushrooms. Slice the celery ¼” thick and put into another bowl. Slice the scallions and add to the same bowl, along with the sprouts. Combine the sauce ingredients and set aside. Whisk the eggs with the ginger. In a non-stick pan sprayed with non-stick spray and a tablespoon of water, cook the spinach, stirring, until it is just limp. Remove from heat, stir with a sprinkle of garlic powder. Plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Return the pan to the stove over high heat. Spray again and add the sesame oil. Put the vegetables into the pan and stir for 60 seconds. Add the shrimp/mushrooms and cook, stirring, for another 30 seconds. Pour the eggs in a circular motion into the pan, trying not to disturb the other items. Tilt the pan as you lift the edge of the eggs to let the uncooked egg down to the pan. After a few minutes, flip the egg disk to the other side to cook. [I put a plate over the pan and inverted it, then slid the egg disk back into the pan.] Soon the bottom will be cooked. Slide the eggs onto a cutting board and slice into quarters. Arrange them on the plate next to the spinach. Drizzle the sauce on top and enjoy every bite.

Slow Days: Sourdough Pancakes

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

It is almost a joke now that during the Pandemic Lock-Down, people vowed that they would use the time to perfect the art of baking: specifically sourdough bread. It seemed to be the culinary equivalent of reading War and Peace — something to get around to when you had time. Early on, bread flour and yeast were GONE from supermarket shelves. New England’s flour-of-choice, King Arthur brand from Vermont, was not even available on-line. For those who have sourdough starter [don’t be a wimp — start your own starter!], be aware that there are many things to do with it, besides making bread. Recently, we made Sourdough Pancakes [click link for recipe] for Sunday Breakfast. A real treat and easy to do.

HINT: For two people, I cut the recipe in half. The night before, I combine the flours with the sugar, oil, buttermilk [substitute = soured milk], salt, and starter. This is left on the counter overnight to ripen.

The next morning, the batter is stirred. An egg and the baking soda are added in. The mixture needs to sit a few minutes while you heat the griddle, set the table, and make the coffee. By now the batter is foaming in the bowl.

This recipe resulted in 14 pancakes: enough for today’s breakfast, another meal later, and 2 for a snack with peanut butter and jelly.

Lightly butter the griddle and use a 1/4 cup measure to pour 3-4 Tablespoons of batter on the hot surface. Continue until there is no more space on the pan. When the top of each pancake starts to develop ‘eyes’ [little holes], it is time to flip them to the other side.

Served with maple syrup [our own, I’m happy to say] and sausages — what a treat! The breakfast is completed by the berry-yogurt smoothie and mocha cafe au lait which we enjoy every morning. Great start to a great day. A lot easier than making bread.

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.

Yogurt, DIY

I was so happy to come across this recipe by Priya Krishna in the New York Times food column. In my past, making yogurt has been a chore and the results were not worth the effort and worry of watching the thermometer like a hawk and wishing I could maintain temperatures in my cooler-than-most kitchens. Usually the recipe failed. This has been foolproof and perfect every time.

The recipe’s author’s words are in quotation marks. All other directions are my paraphrasing or telling what has worked for me.

1 quart milk, 1/4 cup yogurt, the heavy pan to heat the milk, the glass jar in which the yogurt will ripen over-night, the little amount of water for the bottom of the heating pot.
4 cups milk
[Smallest burner on high = 10 mins]
“Evenly coat the bottom of a medium Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot with a thin, 1/4-inch-thick layer of water. (To prevent milk from sticking to the bottom of the pot.)” Set the pot over high heat. “Add the milk to the water in the pot, and heat until it just comes to a boil, watching closely: As soon as you start to see bubbles forming, take off heat.” 
“Let the milk cool until it reaches 130 F. degrees, about 25 mins. If you don’t have a thermometer, the milk should be warm enough that you can comfortably stick your (clean!) finger in it — it should feel hot, but not hot enough to scald (think of a Jacuzzi).” There will be a skin on the top of the milk at this point.
Here is 1 Tablespoon of yogurt in the bottom of the 1-Qt glass jar.
1 Tbsp yogurt  “Smear the bottom of a 1-quart lidded glass container with 1 Tbsp of yogurt. (A dab in the center is fine; you needn’t spread the yogurt evenly to coat the bottom.)
3 Tbsp yogurt “When the milk has cooled, add remaining yogurt to milk and whisk until the yogurt has completely dissolved into the milk.” I use a balloon whisk and stir 50 times clockwise, 50 times counter-clockwise, then 50 times clockwise. You want it thoroughly mixed.
“Pour the mixture into the prepared glass jar and loosely set the lid on top, leaving a little room for air to get out.”
9:28 PM Thursday“Place the container inside an unheated oven. Shut the oven, turn the oven light on and let sit for 4-12 hours” Note: “Depending on the temperature outside, you may want to vary the conditions a bit. In the winter, you may need to leave the oven light on the entire time it takes for the yogurt to set, as directed above; in the warmer months, you may need to shut the light off about an hour after placing the yogurt in the oven.” I like my yogurt firm, so the long ripening times is perfect.
I don’t do this step. Maybe in summer I will….Check the yogurt: When it is done, it will be set (not liquid) but still jiggle like Jell-O. If it’s not yet set, leave it in the oven for 1 hour more. Depending on the humidity and temperature outside, the setting process can take up to 5-½ hours, so don’t fret if the yogurt isn’t done the first time you check.
8:28 AM Friday“When the yogurt is done, top it with the lid to seal. Put it in the refrigerator to chill and fully set before using. The yogurt will keep, covered, for 4 to 6 weeks. (It’ll start to get pretty sour after 2 weeks, which, depending on your tastes, could be a good or bad thing.] You can also freeze a few tablespoons to start a later batch.”
Ready to go! Just right for smoothies, to eat with fruit, use as ‘crema” in fajitas and enchiladas, in coffeecakes — whatever you please.