Gascony

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 Clary Rouge who is now Following.

Gascony” is one of the regions of old France, often called by other names, and now broken up into several small departments. It is bounded on the West by the Atlantic Ocean and on the South by the Pyrenees Mountains. To the North, it is bordered by the Garonne River and on the East by the region of Languedoc. The Romans called it Aquatania, after the native tribe. The locals at the Eastern end called it Occitain, which is based on the ancient local word for ‘Yes’ which was ‘Oc’ instead of the current ‘Oui.’ The Duchy of Aquaitaine passed into English control in 1152 when Eleanor of Aquitaine married the English King Henry II — a simple act that set the stage for the Hundred Years War. Gascony is known for three famous ‘products’: its iconic and delicious food; the fictional/actual Musketeer d’Artagnan; and French King Henri IV.

If the world were a healthier place right now, Dear Husband and I would be in Gascony. It is our idea of a vacation spot: bucolic, ‘undiscovered’, full of good food, and planted in vineyards. We have never been there, but maybe next year…. In the meantime, we will prepare Gascon foods at home.

Garbure Bake: 134 calories 6.3 g fat 1.7 g fiber 9.5 g protein 7.7 g carbs [7.5 g Complex] 53 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  ‘Garbure’ is a favorite casserole of Southwestern France. Now you can enjoy its flavors at breakfast.

1 two-ounce egg ½ oz cabbage, thinly-sliced ½ oz leeks, thinly-sliced ¼ oz small white beans [All I had were garbanzoes, so I sliced them in half] 1/3 oz pork, shredded or thinly-sliced ½ tsp duck fat or bacon fat 1-3/4 oz strawberries/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]

Prepare the cabbage and leek, and put in one bowl. In another, put the beans and pork. Heat a saute pan and add the fat with a few Tablespoons of water. Saute the cabbage/leek until they are limp, adding more water if needed. Then stir in the pork and beans and cook until warm.Season with salt and pepper. Put the cooked mixture into a baking dish which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Whisk the egg with salt and pepper to taste and pour into the dish. Bake at 350 F for 15+ minutes. Portion the fruit and plate the bake. Welcome to a taste of Gascony.

Chickpea Ragout with fish:  ragout = 121 calories  2.8 g fat 5.3 g fiber 5.8 g protein 20 g carbs 26 mg Calcium  PLUS calories from the fish you choose GF PB  Prepare the simple ragout, add the fish of your choice.  This is from Jacques Pepin’s Fast Food My Way. Although he doesn’t mean our kind of ‘Fast Food,’ Pepin has long been a proponent of healthy cooking. He presents this as a side dish, but for our purposes it is best prepared as a main course with seafood for more protein.

½ cup Chickpea Ragout [see Saucy, Dec 6, 2018] 1 oz fresh spinach leaves your choice of fish:   4 oz swordfish  139 calories   4 oz cod  92 calories   4 oz salmon  160 calories   4 oz halibut  124 calories   4 oz smelts 110 calories 2 oz shad  140 calories

Put the Chickpea Ragout in a small pan with a few tablespoons of water. Place the fish on top. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until fish is cooked. At the last minute, add some fresh spinach leaves and continue to cook until they wilt. All done. All delicious.

Slow Days: Lobster Rolls

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 you 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.

If times were normal, we might be at our vacation cottage right about now. Not to stay for a long time, but to see the place in late Spring, before the tourists descend. We used to go there during my school’s April Break: to open the cottage, move up some furniture, visit with local friends, and see what the Winter storms did to the beach. If we stayed into early May, then the ocean would be dotted with colorful buoys and small fishing boats — in other words: Lobster Season. Prince Edward Island has two very limited seasons, one for each of two different parts of the island. In full Summer, when we usually arrive, lobsters are still available. When Summer guests arrive at out cottage, we treat them to a lobster feast. Afterward, the cephalo-thoraces [the middle part that everyone throws away] are picked clean of the meat located in the ‘shoulder joints’: enough to make lobster rolls!! [Four thoraces produce enough meat for this meal]

1-1/2 cups of lobster meat, chopped celery and red onion, chiffonade of lettuce or spinach, mayonnaise, and celery seed make the filling. The rolls are ‘New England’ style hot-dog buns. That means they are sliced across the top, not along the side. Being New Englanders, we prefer those.

The buns are lightly toasted with butter on a griddle and served with fresh tomatoes or a light salad. If you want to know about the wine — we always serve ‘The Hermit Crab’ or a Viognier with lobster rolls — go to Dear Husband’s blog peterspicksblog.com.

Ramadan

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

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

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

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

1 ½ eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume, into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.  1 Tbsp mediterranian vegetables, chopped [see Sidekicks II, 4-Oct-’17] 1.5 tsp hummus 1 black olive, minced 1 oz strawberries    Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep Calm and Curry On

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 PickCategory who is now Following.

What is ‘curry’? There is a plant called ‘curry’ [Helichrysum italicum]. But if you want to prepare a curry dish, you would not use that. There is curry seasoning powder: red, yellow, or green. There is ‘wet curry’ seasoning: red, yellow, or green. Then there are meals called curry: made for vegans; for vegetarians; for lamb lovers; for seafood eaters; for poultry eaters; for fans of beef. There are people preparing ‘authentic’ curry in India, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, England and everywhere else. Is your head spinning yet? Curry is a heady flavor, all right. So what is it? Curry originally meant a meal of meat in a flavored sauce — any meat, any sauce. As Indian cuisine interacted with various cultures, it impacted the tastes of those peoples and spread around the globe. Whether your taste goes to tikka masala; garam masala; rogan josh; or Thai curry, a curry by any other name is still a really good seasoning.

I trust you did not think that I was making light of the current world emergency with my title today. Being healthy is important and part of that is eating well. Good food, simply prepared, in sensible portions, wonderfully seasoned — that is a recipe for the path to wellness. Did you know that eating curry can actually be good for your health? Its true!

Indian Curry Powder:  This Indian curry came to us from our son. Add to eggs or use to flavor seafood/meat/rice — this is my go-to curry powder. 2-1/2 Tbsp coriander seed 2 tsp garlic powder 1 Tbsp cumin seed 2 tsp turmeric powder 1 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp green chili powder ½ tsp ground allspice 1 tsp salt 1-1/2 tsp dry mustard Grind everything together in a mortar and pestle or electric spice grinder.

Goan Cafreal Masala:  Add to chicken or tofu or pork. To prepare this “wet curry” from Goa [via Xantilicious], grind together: ½ Tbsp coriander seed 1 tsp cumin seed ½ tsp cloves 1” cinnamon stick 1 tsp peppercorns Now add the ground spices to a food processor along with: 1 cup packed cilantro leaves 3 green chilis – Thai or serrano 1 Tbsp sugar ½ tsp turmeric powder 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and sliced 8 cloves garlic Run everything together in a food processor until it forms a puree. This makes 7 Tablespoons of curry paste.

Cafreal Masala Chicken:  298 calories 8.6 g fat 2.5 g fiber 22 g protein 31 g carbs 40 mg Calcium  PB GF Indo-Portuguese fusion. HINT: serves 2

6 oz raw chicken meat, cut in large chunks ½ tsp salt 1 Tbsp lime juicePut the chicken in a serving dish that can be heated over the cook-top. Toss with the salt and juice. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Half of a batch Cafreal MasalaStir in the masala and let it sit 20-30 minutes
1 Tbsp oil Add oil to the pan and cook slowly, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Continue cooking with the lid off until chicken is brown.
½ cup onions cut in thin rings cooking sprayIn a separate pan, saute the onions in cooking spray until they are soft.
Black pepper per serving: ½ cup cooked brown riceScoop the onions over the chicken, add black pepper and serve with rice.

Whodunit? Who Ate It? Chapter 2

Dear Husband and I love to read ‘whodunits.’ Crime literature in English harks back to Edgar Allen Poe’s Murders on Rue Morgue in 1841. As the genre took off, a sub-genre developed: culinary crime. These books are read as much for the procedural as for the vicarious thrills of the meals that are described along the way. There are many authors who tantalize our tastebuds while they challenge our little grey cells and today, I will feature foods from two favorites.

MISS JANE MARPLE, the elderly amateur sleuth, was the creation of Agatha Christie. Throughout 19 books, she solved murders in her town of St Mary Mead [and other locales] using her intuition and her knowledge of human nature, all the while knitting up a storm and convincing others that she is a frail, harmless old lady. In the novel At Bertram’s Hotel, Jane Marple was delighted to have been served perfectly poached eggs on toast. She preferred them to be poached in boiling water rather than cooked in little cups.

Poached Egg on Toast:  156 calories 5.6 g fat 2.4 g fiber 10.5 g protein 14.6 g carbs [10 g Complex] 52.6 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF — if using GF bread  I never used to like poached eggs, but on a Fast Day, they taste good. Miss Marple would not be pleased with these.

one slice of 70-cal bread one 2-oz egg 1 oz of apple or 1.5 oz melon 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]

If using an egg poacher, lightly spray the egg cup and heat the water to a simmer. Toast the bread. Poach the egg for 3-4 minutes, according to your taste. Slide the egg onto the toast; season to taste; enjoy with your hot beverage, and the fruit smoothie. 

JULES MAIGRET, a police detective in Paris, was the creation of Georges Simenon. Maigret and his wife Louise loved good food, whether at home or at restaurants. In the 1952 Maigret’s Revolver, the detective is dining at the grill of London’s Savoy Hotel and he orders Lobster a l’Americaine. Note the spelling: it is a topic of debate among those who study recipes. See alternative below.

Lobster a l’Armoricaine: 282 calories 3 g fat 2.5 g fiber 21.5 g protein 12.2 g carbs 142 mg Calcium  PB GF No, it isn’t a typo. This lobster dish is from the Armor coast of Brittany, therefore: Armoricain, “from the Armor.” The recipe is from Brittany Gastronomique by Kate Whiteman. Elegant yet simple.

3 oz lobster, cooked or uncooked 2 Tbsp shallot, minced + ½ clove garlic 1 oz cognac or other brandy 2 oz dry white wine [not cooking wine] ½ cup tomato, diced + 1 tsp tomato puree [not paste] 1 Tbsp half & half [10% milk fat, called ‘blend cream’ in Canada] 1 Tbsp Gruyere cheese, grated 1 oz broccoli florets + 1 oz carrots, in coins or batons

Remove lobster meat from shell and cut into 1” pieces. Put the shallot and garlic in a pan spritzed with oil. Saute over low heat until soft. Add the lobster meat, and cognac. Tip the pan to distribute the brandy, then flame the contents off the heat until the flames die. Put into a heat-proof dish and keep barely warm. Add the wine, tomatoes, and puree to the pan and cook until syrupy. Add the cream and heat slowly to reduce in volume a bit. Do not let if boil lest the sauce separate. Meanwhile, cook the vegetables. Pour the sauce over the lobster and top with grated cheese. Heat under the broiler or in an oven until bubbly. Plate with the vegetables.

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

Next week, I will discuss ‘curry’1.5 two-oz eggs 
hummus
Choose a new favorite fromstrawberries
the Archives Mediterranean Vegetables
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Next week, I will discuss ‘curry’olive oil + onion + garlic + celery
bell pepper + spinach + egg
Find a new favoriteeggplant + tomato + cumin
in the Archivepaprika + oregano + feta cheese
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Fast Day, New Hampshire

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

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

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

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

1 Applegate sausage [or other chicken sausage at 33 calories] 1 two-oz egg ¼ oz mushrooms 3/4 tsp Parmesan cheese, grated 1/4 tsp dry mustard 1 oz unsweetened applesauce + 3-4 raspberries Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

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

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

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

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

Seder

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.

Seder, meaning ‘order’ due to the prescribed ritual, is the name of the meal served to family members on the first and/or second night of the eight-day Passover festival. A Seder Dinner recalls, in readings and in food, the story of the escape of the Israelites from enslavement in Egypt. With divine intervention, their leader Moses lead them to freedom. There are six food elements that tell the story: 1] bitter herbs, such as horseradish, to remember the pain of bondage; 2] a boiled egg to represent Spring [or mourning]; 3] apples/nuts/raisins/spices as the mortar that the slaves made to build Egyptian monuments; 4] green vegetables, typical of Springtime lettuce/celery/parsley] 5] meat bone, often lamb, sacrificed by the Israelites. Some vegetarians substitute beet root. 6] matzah, the unleavened bread of a hasty departure.

Our breakfast and dinner take the food elements of the Seder and use them for meals fit for Fasting. If you wish to, enjoy a full Seder with all the fixings on the first or second night, then use these meals for a Fast Day later.

Passover ScrOmelette: 143 calories 7.5 g fat 1.2 g fiber 10 g protein 8.4 g carbs [7.8 g Complex] 56 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF  The flavor combinations of Passover are too good not to enjoy at breakfast.

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 Tbsp diced beets [I used pickled beets] 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped 1 tsp horseradish 1.5 oz applesauce, sprinkled with 1/2 tsp cinnamon Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Whisk the horseradish and salt/pepper to taste with the eggs. Pour into a pan which has been sprayed briefly with cooking spray. When the bottom of the eggs have just set, add the beets and parsley. Scramble to your heart’s content or fold like an omelette. Prepare the optional coffee/and smoothie. The applesauce with cinnamon will be delicious with the sweet beets and tangy horseradish.

Lamb Salad:  261 calories 14.8 g fat 2.8 g fiber 20.8 g protein 26 g carbs 85 mg Calcium  GF  If a previous dinner should involve a leg of lamb, save a few slices to make this salad. This meal is great for sharing with a guest: doubles well.

1 cup chopped romaine lettuce 1 Tbsp fresh parsley 3 Tbsp celery, diced 1.5 oz apple, cubed 2 oz cooked lamb, from the leg or other lean cut 4 walnut halves 1 hardboiled egg 1.5 tsp horseradish dressing, see  SAUCY, Dec 6, ’17

Chop the walnut into large pieces and toast in a dry skillet until fragrant. Cut egg into wedges; slice the lamb and celery; cube the apples. Toss the greens, celery, apples, and parsley with the dressing and arrange other ingredients to suit the eye.

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

1 two-oz egg1 two-oz eggs 
mushrooms70-calorie whole-grain bread
chicken/turkey breakfast sausageapple
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

mussels + broccolilobster meat + Gruyere cheese
bechamel sauceshallot + garlic + broccoli
Cheddar cheese + scallioncarrot + tomatoes + tomato puree
Triscuit crackerscognac + dry white wine + 10% cream
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Albrecht Durer

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 MJ who is now Following.

Albrecht Durer was one of the foremost artists of the Northern Renaissance school of art. The Germans were late to the game in terms of the Renaissance, but they gave it a spin all their own. Durer painted in great detail, using a light that seems to show everything, yet with shadows to produce contrast. Durer was an artist, not just a craftsman. He had the humanist’s idea that each person is important and that he had something to contribute. As a painter, he was sought after by kings. As a print-maker, his art was distributed to the masses. Some of his work is well-known, such as Praying Hands and the Four Horsemen, but so widely recognized that we have forgotten the artist’s name. One work of his that made an impression on me in art class was a sketch of a middle-aged female nude — probably of his wife Agnes. She struck me as plump and lumpy, and I promised myself I would never have that body, not even in middle age. This is one reason that I am a Faster. Thanks, Durer.

A frequent theme in Durer’s art was the depiction of Adam and Eve, usually with an apple. So we will enjoy apples in our egg for breakfast. One of the most charming of Durer’s works is The Young Hare. We will stretch taxonomy a little and feature rabbit for dinner.

Apple-Bacon Bake: 131 calories 6.2 g fat 1.6 g fiber 9 g protein 8 g carbs [7.3 g Complex] 72.8 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beverages.  PB GF  Apples and bacon go so well together it is a wonder they aren’t paired more often.

1 two-oz egg ¾ oz apple, peeled, cored, sliced thinly 1/8 oz bacon, diced ½ Tbsp ricotta cheese, drained if too liquid 1 tsp Parmesan cheese ¼ tsp prepared mustard sage ½ oz pear   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]

Spritz a ramekin with cooking spray. Set the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. In a saute pan, cook the bacon until done. Drain away the fat and blot in paper towel. In the same pan, saute the apple until softened. Put apple and bacon in the ramekin. Whisk the egg, ricotta, Parmesan, mustard, and sage together and pour into the ramekin. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Prepare the beverages and the pear. How pleasant.

Rabbit Pie: 275 calories 6.6 g fat 4.6 g fiber 25.6 g protein 27.5 g carbs [15 g Complex] 77 mg Calcium   PB  Rabbit is a common meat in recipes the world over. It is high in protein and low in fat. And yes, it does taste like chicken. You could substitute.

2 oz mushrooms, chopped 4 fluid oz chicken stock 2 tsp potato starch 0.55 oz [1 slice] ham from the deli, chopped 3 oz rabbit meat cut in bite-sized pieces ¼ cup onions, chopped big pinch dried thyme + big pinch savory + salt + pepper ½ Arnold Multi-Grain Sandwich Thin OR a 4” circle cut from whole-grain bread 1.5 oz carrots

If the rabbit is uncooked: Cut it into bite-sized pieces and quickly cook in a saute pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Add a few tablespoons of water to the pan, too. Remove the meat. Pour off and reserve any remaining cooking liquid. Chop the mushrooms and cook in non-stick spray, but do not evaporate all of the liquid they give off. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Add the onions and the stock to the pan along with the mushroom juices and ¼ cup water plus water from the rabbit. Simmer to cook the onions. Whisk in the potato starch and the seasonings. Continue to whisk over heat until the potato starch is dissolved. Cook at a simmer until the liquid measures ¼ cup and is thickened. Add the rabbit meat, ham, and the mushrooms. Simmer for a few minutes and taste for seasonings. Pour and scrape into an oven-proof dish. Top with the Sandwich Thin. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. Cook the carrots separately. Plate the meal by first putting the Sandwich Thin on the plate, then covering it with the rabbit-mushroom mixture. Pour any extra liquid so that it is soaked up by the bread. Plate the carrots to complete the meal.

Fasting for Lent

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.

We are now five weeks into Lent, the Christian church’s period of fasting and reflection. Why is it called ‘lent’? The word is from Old English ‘lencten’ which references the season of Spring. Why is one to fast during Lent? The 40 days are a remembrance of Jesus’ 40-day sojourn in the desert before he began his ministry. During that time he fasted and pondered his life ahead. What should that Lenten fasting entail? After the Council of Nicea in 325 CE, fasting was a serious thing: one meal per day, in the evening, with no meat, fish, eggs, or butter on the table. Today there are still those who do not eat eggs or meat during Lent, especially on Friday. Members of Protestant sects ‘give up’ favorite foods [chocolate; liquor] during Lent or forgo behaviors that they wish to change [smoking; over-eating]. As with any change in behavior, when the trial period is over, does one resume the behavior? 5:2 Fasting should become a lifestyle, not just something to do for a little while and then stop. Lent should make us think about permanent changes. This is a good time to start a Fasting Lifestyle.

The menus for tomorrow feature seafood, not meat. There are no eggs and no dairy. But that doesn’t stop them from being delicious.

Gravlax & Grannies:  126 calories 3.6 g fat 2.3 g fiber 11 g protein 13 g carbs [13 g Complex] 25.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB GF  At the Inn at Saint Peters we enjoyed their Smoked Trout with Apples appetizer. It occurred to me that this could be a fine breakfast for those who enjoy a savory/seafood taste in the a.m. I substituted mackerel gravlax for the smoked trout, just because that was on hand, but it was a grey-brown instead of the lighter hue of the trout or the pink of a salmon. Suit yourself.

1 oz mackerel gravlax OR 1 oz smoked trout [DuckTrap brand is very good] 2 oz Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced; each slice cut into 1/2-moons ¼ c blueberries + 2 raspberries for color   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]

Slice the fish with the grain to create thin slices. Arrange the fish and apples in overlapping slices around the plate. HINT: I did this the night before, covered it with clingwrap and put it in the ‘fridge. So quick the next morning!! Brew your hot beverage, blend or shake your smoothie, dish out those healthy blueberries, and breakfast elegantly.

Shrimp with Lime + Cilantro 228 calories 4.7 g fat 1.3 g fiber 30 g protein 15 g carbs [7 g Complex] 90 mg Calcium   PB GF  These are such a popular combination of flavors that there are many recipes on line. This one is from Skinnytaste.com, cut down to a single-serving size and with a few additions.

5 oz raw shrimp, cleaned and halved if large. [I used tiny cold-water shrimp] ¼ tsp ground cumin 1 oz brown rice Maifun noodles 1/3 tsp olive oil + water 2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed ½ of one lime 2 Tbsp or more chopped cilantro/coriander leaves 1 large [½ oz] lettuce leaf

Prepare your mise en place.  Put the shrimp in a bowl. If they thawed in the bowl, pour off the liquid and reserve it. Toss the shrimp with the cumin plus salt and pepper. Cook the noodles in 3 cups boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain, rinse, and reserve. Crush the garlic. Cut the lime in half and chop the cilantro/coriander leaves. Heat a non-stick saute or cast-iron pan. Add the oil and the drained shrimp. Let cook for 2 minutes, then turn over to the other side. Add some of the reserved water if needed to avoid sticking. Put the garlic and noodles in the pan and cook for one minute. Squeeze the juice from the lime over the pan, add the cilantro and stir well. Take off heat. Center the lettuce leaf on the plate and spoon the shrimp on top. Wonderful flavors!

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs
apple + mustardhorseradish
bacon + sage + pearfresh parsley + beets
Ricotta + Parmesan cheesesapple sauce + cinnamon
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

rabbit meat + portobello mushroom salad greens + fresh parsley
ham + onion + chicken stockcelery + apple + walnuts
herb savory + carrot + thymehard-boiled egg + cooked lamb
Arnold-brand sandwich thinhorseradish dressing
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Mehmet II

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 ParisVitamin who is now Following.

On March 30, 1432, Mehmet, the second of that name, was born in Edirne, Turkey. His father was the Sultan Murad II, and Mehmet received an excellent education: literature, architecture, fine arts, military science, languages [7 of them!], philosophy, and science. At this time in Western Europe, culture was just emerging into the Renaissance. Mehmet went on to found the Ottoman Empire, conquering first Constantinople [now Istanbul] in 1453, which ended the Byzantine Empire. He next conquered the Greek city states, then the Anatolian peninsula, and the Balkan states. He ruled for 30 years and was known for his erudition and for religious tolerance. Mehmet was painted by the Italian Bellini, wearing a distinctive headdress [‘mücevveze”, a tall cylindrical headgear], which became popular with future Ottoman leaders. And, oddly enough, he is my ancestor! How is that possible for someone with French/English/German antecedents? Ah, that is a tale for a future blog about Mehmet’s Son.

In recognition of his Eastern Mediterranean origins, a plate of felafel seems appropriate for breakfast. And the dinner of stuffed cabbage is caught up in the story of a Swedish King captured by the Ottomans.

Felafel Plate:  219 calories 5 g fat 4.8 g fiber 16.3 g protein 30 g carbs [25.7 g Complex] 165 mg Calcium   NB: Food values given are for the main meal only, and do not include the optional beveragePB GF  A simple meal, yet full of nutrition and flavor.

4 felafel patties 4 oz canteloupe melon or pineapple, cubed in bite-sized pieces 3.5 oz fat-free Greek-style yogurt ½ tsp mint leaves  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water NO smoothie today

Warm the felafel patties or use at room temperature. Chop the mint leaves and combine with the yogurt. Prepare the beverage of choice and plate the food to please the eye.

Danish Stuffed Cabbage:  282 calories 5.7 g fat 5.7 g fiber 35 g protein 25 g carbs 125 mg Calcium   PB GF — if using GF bread   Craig Claiborne’s International Cookbook provided this recipe. Its history involves a Swedish king and the Ottoman Empire. Very royal origin for a common meal found everywhere cabbages are grown.

4 oz turkey meat, raw 2 oz pork meat, raw 2.5 oz veal, raw ½ cup fresh bread crumbs [from whole-grain 70-calorie bread] 2 oz milk 1 oz egg white sage + salt + pepper 4 whole cabbage leaves from a whole head 1/3 c pickled beets dab of mustard

Put the meats, sage, salt, and pepper in the food processor and mince. Spritz a saute pan with non-stick spray and cook the meat until it doesn’t look raw. Cool meat. Combine the bread and milk, stir, let sit until soggy. Add the egg white and meats and stir to combine well. Set aside. Put a head of cabbage in a pot with enough water to cover and bring to a simmer. When the outer layer begins to cook, remove the outer leaf. Return the cabbage to the pan of simmering water. Continue to remove the outer leaves as they cook, until you have 4. Return them to the poaching water and cook until very limp. [Put the rest of the cabbage away for something else.] Cut a ‘V’ at the base of each leaf to remove the thickest part of the leaf’s rib. Orient the leaf so the ‘V’ is away from you. Put ¼ cup filling on the leaf. Fold the near side over the filling, tuck in the sides, and continue to roll. Place seam-side down in an oven-proof dish large enough to hold all four rolls. Pour some of the water in which you poached the cabbage into the dish until it comes 1/2-way up the rolls. Put on a lid or foil and bake at 350 F. for 20 minutes or until heated. Plate with the pickled beets and a dab of mustard. Fit for an Ottoman Emperor.