Slow Days: Florentine Sandwich

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.

Our FirstBorn and his wife love to travel.  On a trip to Firenze, Italy, in addition to the art and history, they discovered a panini shop and this sandwich.  They prepared it for us when we visited them and gifted us with the ingredients at Christmas.  How splendid to have generous, creative offspring!  The bread is a ‘no knead’ Focaccia, recipe perfected by FirstBorn, which is really easy to bake — although it needs an 8-12 hour rising time, which takes some planning ahead.  Surely you could buy some bread locally.  My batch produced 4 round loaves, 8″ in diameter, each weighing 6-7 oz.

The ingredients to serving two are simple: 1 loaf focaccia bread, 2 Tbsp creamy white cheese [Stracchino or crème fraiche or whipped cream cheese or Philadelphia brand 1/3 fat Cream Cheese [‘Neufchatel’], 2 Tbsp truffle cream [combination of mushrooms, oil, truffles], 1 oz uncured capicola ham, and 1.5 cups arugula or ‘spring mix’ greens. Florentine Sandwiches, mise                                       To assemble, cut the loaf around the equator into two equal rounds.  Spread the soft cheese on the bottom round, then spread on the truffle cream.  Arrange the ham evenly on top, then heap on the greens.  Sprinkle with a good finishing salt and top with the other piece of the loaf.Florentine Sandwiches, plated   This serves two very nicely, or three if you had more sides than the cherry tomatoes.

 

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.

Ramadan is the Muslim religion’s holiest month. As the ninth month of the lunar calendar, it moves around from year to year [this is because a lunar calendar month of 28 days is shorter than the average Gregorian Calendar month of 30-31 days]. This year, Ramadan began on 5-6 May and will end on 4 June with the Festival of Id al-Fitr.  1.8 Billion Muslims are obliged to Fast during Ramadan in honor of the revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet Mohammed.  [The Prophet was an early proponent of Fasting.] What does this Fasting entail? No food or drink during daylight hours.  [This is what some people today would call ‘intermittent fasting’ or ‘time restricted fasting’ — in other words, eating during a limited number of hours of the day.]  The fasting of Ramadan is not done to lose weight, but rather to show devotion to one’s religious beliefs.  Often what people save on food, they donate to charity. Is all food forbidden? Yes, but only during daylight hours.  Breakfast is permitted [before sunrise] and dinner is permitted [after sunset].  Can one observe a 5:2 diet during Ramadan?  Of course.  These meals are based on the cuisine of Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam. From the Hawayij spice, to the coffee [native to Saudi Arabia], to the dates [you are supposed to eat 7 of them each day], to the chicken [Saudis eat more chicken per capita than any other nation], to the watermelon [cultivated in Egypt 1000s of years ago and welcome in the Saudi desert]:  these flavors will put you in touch with the food traditions of the holy month.  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 at work. We should all aim to break down barriers and work at understanding.

Arabian Eggs:  153 calories  7.4 g fat  2 g fiber  10 g protein  12.5 g carbs [11 g Complex] 58 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the eggs and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  Hawayij spice is widely-used in the cuisine of Saudi Arabia. And it clearly shows trade links to countries further East. Coffee [Coffea arabica  is a native plant] and dates round out the flavors of the country. The sweet dates are a wonderful counter-point to the spicy eggs.Arabian Omelette

1-1/2 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 to store in the ‘fridge for next week.                                       1 to 1.5 tsp Hawayij spice                                                                                                              2 deglet noor dates                                                                                                              Optional: blackish Arabian coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water    Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Whisk the eggs with the spice mixture and pour into a heated skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Turn down the heat. Leave the eggs undisturbed until puffy and the top is set. Remove from skillet, and serve folded or flat. Pour the beverages and enjoy the fruit/spice combination.

Arabian Spiced Chicken:   297 calories  4 g fat  5.4 g fiber  24.4 g protein  46 g carbs [45 g Complex] 35 mg Calcium   PB GF   Using ingredients originally from the region, it is possible to craft a very authentic meal that could have been enjoyed by ancient Arabs. They would have eaten by grasping the stew with the flat-bread called fatir — but on a Fast Day, we will choose a fork. TIP: This recipe makes enough for 2 [two] meals.Arabian Spiced Chicken

6 oz chicken thigh meat, boneless, skinless                                                                                        1.5 tsp Hawayij spice                                                                                                                     2/3 cups water                                                                                                                                         1/3 cup dry quick-cooking barley                                                                                              1/3 cup chicken broth                                                                                                                    Per serving: 3 deglet noor dates     +     5 oz watermelon cubes

Skin and bone the chicken thigh and cut it into 1” chunks. Heat a non-stick skillet and spritz it with non-stick spray. Toss the chicken with the spice and sauté it until the meat is partly cooked. To the pan, add the water and heat it, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Stir in the dry barley. Put a lid on the pan, turn down the heat, and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Add the chicken broth and stir gently until everything is heated through. Plate with the dates and watermelon on the side. Sprinkle the stew with more Hawayij if you like. The peppery stew is fabulous with the cool, crisp melon and the sweet, musky dates. What an Arabian Delight.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion for Monday ………………… single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs + cooked spinach
carrot  + broccoli + granulated garlic grapes  + fat-free ricotta
apple sauce + curry powder mozzarella  +  garlic
curry sauce    [Sidekicks I, 17-Sept-2017] mushrooms
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

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

firm, white fish    + egg 2 buckwheat crepes + Chèvre cheese
[white whole wheat] flour + paprika chicken breast  + Mozzarella
sweet potato  +  canola oil + asparagus Mediterranean Vegetables
garlic powder  +  lime juice herbes de Province/ fresh herbs
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Annie’s Stellar System

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.

Annie Jump Cannon was a computer.  In her day, a being a ‘computer’ was an occupation, not a device on your desk.  Like the women in the movie “Hidden Figures”, Miss Cannon was hired to do mathematical calculations and measurements. For 25 cents per hour. [Equal to $7.52 today]  She worked with stars, which she had learned to love while star-gazing at her mother’s knee. She was graduated from Wellesley College in 1884, with a degree in Physics and life-long deafness [caused by scarlet fever].  Returning to the academic world 10 years later, Annie became one of “Pickering’s Women”  — computers hired by Edward Pickering to help with his development of a new classification of stars.  It was already known that each star, when analyzed with a spectroscope, had a unique ‘spectrum.’  Annie Cannon was particularly good at reading and observing spectral emissions.  There was much disagreement within the team of computers on how to classify stars. Annie solved that by proposing a compromise: the stars would be put in categories named after letters [O, B, A, F, G, K, M]. B-type stars, like ‘Sirius‘, are very hot and luminous.  Because they are ‘young’ and hot, they give off a blue color. G-type stars, like our sun, are whitish-yellow, while M-type stars, like Betelgeuse, being cooler, appear red.  The letters are arranged in order from largest/hottest/brightest to smallest/coolest/dimmest.  To remember the order, AJCannon came up with the sentence “Oh Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me.” Her system was accepted and she went on to catalogue almost 400,000 stars. On the way, she discovered 300 variable stars. Grudgingly, honors were accorded to her late in her totally stellar career. She died on April 9, 1941.                                                                                                                                   What shall we eat in honor of Annie Jump Cannon?  A breakfast of cornmeal stars and a dinner of differently-colored foods which are arranged in stripes, like stellar spectra. Of course.

Cornmeal Stars with Fruit Yogurt:  154 calories  4 g fat  4.8 g fiber  8.6 g protein  24 g carbs [17 g Complex]  71.6 mg Calcium  PB  Cornmeal and stars are SO American, that they SO perfect for Annie Jump Cannon.Cornmeal Stars with Fruit

Cornmeal Stars: 1 egg white 1 egg yolk, stirred 1 Tbsp white whole-wheat flour 3 Tbsp yellow cornmeal Whip the egg to soft peaks. Fold in the yolk, the flour, and the meal. Spray a non-stick pan with non-stick spray. Place your largest [3-4”] star-shaped cookie cutter in the center. Spoon the batter into the star, nudging it into the corners. Loosen the mold from the batter and remove it. Cook the star on one side until starting to brown, then turn carefully to cook the other side. HINT: This can be done a day or so in advance, storing the stars in a plastic bag.                                                                                                                              Per serving: 1.5 stars                                                                                                                               2 Tbsp fat-free French Vanilla yogurt                                                                                                    2 Tbsp blueberries  +  2 oz strawberries, sliced or diced [If frozen, they will need to be thawed and drained]                                                                                                                                    Plate the stars, slightly overlapping. Dollop the yogurt on top, then strew with fruit.

Mixed Sushi:  275 calories  11.6 g fat   4.9 g fiber  16 g protein  28 g carbs  39 mg Calcium PB GF   Our younger son introduced us to this recipe. Imagine: ‘Sushi’ without raw fish or seaweed. Good use for leftover beef, rice, and avocado. HINT: This serves 2 [two]. Invite a friend or save for lunch or dinner another day. Made to be served at room temp.Mixed Sushi

1 cup brown rice, cooked and cooled HINT: Make the day before and refrigerate or plan to have leftovers from a previous meal                                                                                          1 tsp rice wine vinegar                                                                                                                          1 egg    +     1 tsp soy sauce                                                                                                                                             3 oz avocado, in long slices                                                                                                               1 oz grilled beef, in long strips OR grilled chicken                                                                           2 oz smoked salmon, in long slices                                                                                                      2 oz cucumber OR zucchini in long slices

Combine the rice with the vinegar and let sit. Whisk the soy sauce with the egg and cook the egg as a flat omelette in a lightly-spritzed non-stick pan. Remove from the pan and cut into long strips. Slice the avocado, beef, salmon, and cucumber in long strips, but not longer than the diameter of the bowl in which you will serve it. Put the rice into two bowls with a wide diameter. Distribute the rice evenly over the bowl. Lay the other ingredients on top of the rice in what ever arrangement pleases you. Serve with extra soy sauce and enjoy a quick meal.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion for Monday ………………… single portion for Thursday:

Next week will feature a discussion of 1.5 two-oz eggs
foods that are stuffed in other food. Hawayij spice
deglet noor dates
choose a favorite breakfast from
the Archives Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage

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

Next week will feature a discussion of chicken thigh  +  chicken broth
foods that are stuffed in other food. Hawayij spice 
choose a favorite dinner from deglet noor dates
the Archives quick-cooking barley + watermelon
Sparkling water Sparkling water

 

Saint Brieuc

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.

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Briocus or Brieuc, as he is known in Brittany.  Coincidentally, today we are in Brittany, staying just a few miles outside of the city of St Brieuc in the Cote d’Armor region.  My ancestors were born here in the centuries prior to the 1400s, but the Good Saint was born in Ceredigion, Wales in the year 410.  Converted to Christianity and seized with missionary zeal, he left his home and family and set off across the English Channel to found a monastery.  In addition, he helped plague victims, had a power struggle with a relative, and subdued a pack of wolves with the Sign of the Cross. The monastery built a wooden church in the 6th century, then a stone version.  That structure was torn down to build a grand stone church, l’Elise de Saint Étienne, in 1220. [The site was marshy, but they built anyway.] It stands there today, despite the vicissitudes of war. In the 14the century, it was burned. Ditto in the 15th and 16th centuries. Each time it was rebuilt and the additions didn’t stop until the 1800s.  In the Cathedral of St Étienne in the city of St-Brieuc is his where some of the Good Saint’s bones lie.  Parts of St Guillaume are there, too.  How surprised Briocus would have been at his legacy!                                                                                                                                     Brittany is known for its seafood — mussels, oysters, lobster, scallops.  And also for its apples, artichokes, and onions.   The flavors of Brittany are present in the breakfast with the artichokes, spices, and apple.  Dinner features  two of Brittany’s most famous mollusks: mussels and oysters, cultivated in the bays and inlets of the north shore.

Breton Bake: 149 calories   6.5 g fat   3.4 g fiber  9.4 g protein  13.7 g carbs  103 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given are for the egg dish and the fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.   PB GF  Delicious. Filling. Different.breton-baked-egg

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                      2 Tbsp crushed tomatoes                                                                                                                                 2 Tbsp chopped artichoke hearts, fresh or canned or frozen                                                                           ½ tsp curry powder                                                                                                                           1 Tbsp fat-free ricotta                                                                                                                                 2 oz applesauce, unsweetened                                                                                                    blackish coffee [53 calories] or black tea, lemon in hot water                                                     5-6 oz  fruit or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories] or natural cider

Chop the artichoke hearts. Stir together the artichokes, tomatoes, curry, and ricotta. Whisk in the egg and pour into an oven-safe dish which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Bake at 350° F. for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, brew your hot beverage; shake that smoothie; and portion the applesauce. Enjoy your breakfast on the Cote d’Armor.

Mollusk Gratin: 283 calories   14.6 g fat   2.3 g fiber    31.6 g protein    17.5 g carbs   216 mg Calcium   PB   GFif using GF flour   When we steam mussels for a feast, there are often some left over. Removed from their shells, the meat can easily be frozen in the cooled cooking broth. A wonderful item for a quick future meal. And a few shucked oysters are no trouble.Mussel Gratin w: beans

3 oz cooked mussels, removed from shells                                                                                              2 shucked oysters                                                                                                                                          4 Tbsp mussel broth [from cooking the mussels]                                                                              2 tsp flour [I use King Arthur unbleached or White Whole Wheat]                                                                                        ½ oz Gruyère cheese, grated                                                                                                              ½ tsp curry powder                                                                                                                            3 oz green beans

Warm the mussel broth and whisk in the flour. Heat over low until thickened. Add curry powder and cheese. Whisk until cheese is melted and sauce is well combined. Add the mussels and oysters. Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and scrape the mussels and sauce into the ramekin. Bake at 350° F. for 10 minutes while you cook the beans.

Ingredients for next week:

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

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs  +  blueberries
Haitian Chicken Filling [Food in Wrappers, 2  posted on 7-April-2019] white whole wheat flour
cantaloupe melon yellow cornmeal  +  strawberries
Fat-free French Vanilla yogurt
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

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

lobster tail one 2-oz egg   + avocado
fresh lime grilled beef  + smoked salmon
plantain + olive oil cucumber  + soy sauce
cantaloupe melon cooked brown rice  +  rice vinegar
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Passover

How this Fast Diet http://the fast diet.co.uk 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.

Imagine this: Your people have been living in a foreign land ever since a famine drove you from your homeland.  You are herdsmen and farmers, minding your own business and worshiping your own G-d. After many generations, the leaders of this country grow nervous about the size of your population.  They move you to the cities, make you take menial jobs, kill your sons, and restrict your movement in or out of the country.  What can you do to improve your plight? You pray to your G-d for help.  A leader arises from among you, who goes to the government and demands that you people be allowed to leave. The answer is no: you are worth more to the government as forced labor.  Plagues descend on the land, affecting millions of people, and still you cannot leave. At last a message is whispered from house to house: kill a lamb for your dinner tonight and daub its blood on the doorposts of your dwelling. Pack whatever you can carry, including food, and be ready to leave when the word comes. Do not even bake yeast bread, there isn’t time.  That night, children and livestock all over the country die mysteriously — but not in your house, for the evil passed over you. The next day, your people are allowed to leave and you march to the East, rejoicing that your G-d has set you free.  This is the story of Passover as told in Exodus Chapter I, verse 8 through Chapter 12, verse 39.                     In case you are running out of menu ideas, today’s meals are in keeping with the Kosher food traditions of Passover.  Breakfast is styled on the popular Reuben Sandwich, served on matzo, an unleavened bread.  The dinner is a simple soup made of a ‘bitter herb‘ — watercress.

Reuben Matzo Egg:  168 calories   9.8 g fat   1.3 g fiber  14 g protein  18.6 g carbs  [2.5 g Complex]  54 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverages.   PB  The flavors of a Reuben but Kosher for Passover! What’s not to love? Delicious, filling breakfast. The original recipe is from Kosher in the Kitch.Reuben Matzo Eggs

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 matzo cracker [14 g] [Streit’s brand]                                                                                                ¼ oz corned beef, sliced thinly and diced                                                                                            2 Tbsp sauerkraut [drained]                                                                                                            1.5 tsp Russian Dressing**                                                                                                      **Optional: black coffee with 1 tsp sugar [16 calories] or black tea or lemon in hot water Optional: 4 oz Kosher orange juice [56 calories]

**Russian Dressing    22 calories/1.5 tsp                                                                                                            1 tsp mayonnaise          ¼ tsp catsup              1/8 tsp hot sauce                                                    1/8 tsp Worcestershire sauce           pinch paprika 

Whisk the eggs vigorously, then stir in the corned beef and sauerkraut. Pour into a non-stick pan which was spritzed with olive oil. Scramble until done to your preference. Carefully break the matzo in two, then in half again: you will now have two quarter pieces. Spread most of the Russian Dressing on the matzo crackers, then top with the eggs. Garnish with a little corned beef, a dollop of the Dressing, and black pepper. Delish.

Watercress Soup:  157 calories   5.4 g fat   2.9 g fiber   8.4 g protein  22 g carbs  [19 g Complex]  63.5 mg Calcium  PB  GF   Jacques Pepin’s Good Life Cooking is the source of this recipe and the stream that runs onto the beach is the source of our watercress.  So low in calories, you can add an egg for more protein and a Caprese Salad on the side. HINT: This recipe makes 5 cups. Freeze the remainders.Watercress Soup

2 tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                          4 oz [by weight, not volume] watercress leaves and stemmer stems                                        1 cup celery, coarsely chopped                                                                                                            2 cups onion, coarsely chopped                                                                                                              2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed                                                                                                          2-1/2 cups very good vegetable broth [if not keeping Kosher, use chicken or beef broth]                                                                                                                                                       3/4 tsp salt                                                                                                                                             10 oz [weight not volume] potato, peeled and cut in 2″ chunks                                                  2 oz [weight not volume] sweet potato, peeled and cut in 2″ chunks                                       per serving: 1 Tbsp chèvre cheese

optional:  Caprese Salad — 46 calories  2.2 g fat  0.6 g fiber  3.9 g protein  2.6 g carbs  115.6 g Calcium  1/2 oz mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced       2 oz tomatoes, thinly sliced and sprinkled with salt    fresh basil leaves     There should be equal slices of cheese and tomato.  Arrange the cheese, tomato, and basil in over-lapping layers                                         optional: cut a hard-boiled egg length-wise into quarters and nestle them into the soup           70 calories    4.8 g fat   0 g fiber   6 g protein    0.4 g carbs   28 mg Calcium

Heat the oil in a sauce pan.  Add the cress, celery, onion, and garlic and stir-fry for two minutes.  Put in the stock, salt, and potatoes and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, cover, and simmer 30 minutes.  Cool slightly, then puree in a blender/food processor/immersion wand.  If not thoroughly pureed, run it through a sieve.  Heat the soup gently before serving.  After ladling into the bowl, put the chèvre in the center, let it soften in the heat, then swirl it into the soup with a knife. Serve with the optional additions.                                                  

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion for Monday ………………… single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz egg 1 two-oz egg    + curry powder
puttanesca sauce [Saucy, 6-Dec-’17] crushed tomatoes
Parmesan cheese reduced-fat ricotta
peaches [fresh or canned in juice] artichoke hearts + applesauce
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

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

4 oz mackerel [or salmon] fresh mussels  + 2 fresh oysters
green beans mussel broth  +  curry powder
puttanesca sauce [Saucy, 6-Dec-’17] flour   + Gruyere cheese
green beans
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Earth 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.                                                                                                                                 Welcome to toting alipis who is now Following.

Tomorrow will be Earth Day.  First observed in 1970, on April 22, its goal was to harness the energy of college students to point out the dangers that threaten the environment.  Rallies, protests, and marches were held all over the country.  Even better, people turned out to clean parks, beaches, and roadsides.  Now the movement has gone world-wide.  Clean air and clean water are vital to everything’s existence — our’s and that of every other living thing on the planet.  Small steps that individuals take build up into widespread change.  We must each be part of that change by using less water; by keeping toxic chemicals out of our air or soil; by saving energy.  Some people will do that by eating less food and eating lower in the trophic pyramid:  less meat, more plants.   Today’s Earth Day menus are low on meat and high on nutritious plants. Just what you’ll need for a day of environmental activism.

Prosciutto & Melon Plate: 125 calories  7 g fat  1.2 g fiber  16.8 g protein  13.4 g carbs [13 g Complex]  135 mg Calcium  PB GF  Once again the Inn at Saint Peter’s inspires a breakfast! Nothing beats the salty-sweet flavor combination of this meal. HINT: I plated everything the night before and stored the plates in zipper bags in the refrigerator.Prosciutto-Melon Plate

4 oz cantaloupe melon [Charentais melon would be fabulous!]                                                           1 oz thinly-sliced prosciutto                                                                                                             ¼ cup red onion pickle                                                                                                                              0.1 oz shavings of Parmesan cheese                                                                                               fresh basil or mint leaves OR crumbled dried basil                                                                    drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction, optional                                                                         Optional:  blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                         Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Cut the melon into bite-sized cubes [8 pieces look well on the plate]. Cut the prosciutto into 8 long strips [mine were 1”x4”]. Arrange the melon and ham in a circle on the plate with the red onion in the center. Shave off curls of Parmesan and place them on top. If using fresh herb leaves, tuck them in here and there. If using dried herbs, rub the leaves in your palms to crumble over the plate. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar if you wish. Serve with your chosen beverages. Wonderful flavors, however you combine them on your fork.

Feta-Tuna-Bean Salad: 306 calories  14.6 g fat  5.3 g fiber  19.3 g protein  24 g carbs [23 g Complex] 230 mg Calcium PB GF This salad has a lot going for it:  easy to prepare, made from simple and available ingredients, filling, and delicious.  Perfect for Earth Day after a day of service to the environment. Feta:tuna:bean:egg Salad

1 oz canned tuna, drained                                                                                                            1/4 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed                                                                                     1 oz feta cheese, crumbled                                                                                                                    2 oz tomatoes, cubed                                                                                                                      1.5 oz red bell pepper, cut as large dice                                                                                                   2 pitted ripe olives, sliced                                                                                                                                                         1/2  hardboiled egg, chopped                                                                                                          1-1/2 cups baby greens                                                                                                                       1 tsp olive oil + 1 tsp lemon juice + lots of herbes de Province + pinch garlic powder

Prepare the vegetables as described above. Whisk the oil, lemon juice, herbs and garlic in a 2-cup bowl. Add the greens and toss gently but thoroughly. Place the greens in the serving bowl and nestle the tuna in the center. Arrange all the other ingredients on top in a manner that pleases you.

Slow Days: Apulia Pizza

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 Forumwhich 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.

Every Saturday night, we eat pizza for dinner. These are home-made, personal-size [8″ diameter] pizzas.  The toppings can be simple or extravagant; elegantly crafted or clear-out-the-‘fridge. But on the night before Easter Sunday, somehow the idea of kicking back with a fun and fabulous pizza seems a little out of line.  Some research turned up a pizza made with a cheese from Apulia [aka Puglia]. Far from the glittering lights of the big cities and the tourist haunts, Apulia has had its share of hard times.  This pizza is austere and yet delicious.Puglia Pizza w: wine, salad

The ingredients are few: one 8″ pizza crust per person, olive oil to brush on the crust, Italian herb blend to scatter on the oil, 1/2 cup of grated scamorza [smoked mozzarella] for each pie, and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese for each pie. Here is a new twist for sharing bread and wine with loved ones or friends.  Optional: 11 halved cherry/grape tomatoes per pie.  Served with a salad and a glass of wine, it is suitable to the day.  In another context, it would make a great appetizer.

Maundy

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.

“Maundy Thursday” is the Thursday before Easter.  Are you asking yourself “What’s a ‘maundy'”??? You might not be alone. On Maundy Thursday 33 AD [which that year was the first night of Passover], Jesus sat down to a Seder with his 12 closest friends.  That ‘Last Supper‘ is what is usually celebrated on Maundy Thursday, with communion services at Christian churches reenacting the blessing and distribution of bread and wine by Jesus.  What also happened at that dinner was that Jesus washed his disciples’ feet [to demonstrate selfless service to others] and gave them a new mandate: that they love one another as He had loved them. The latin word ‘mandare’ [to command or order] became corrupted into ‘maundy,’ and here we are today.                                                                                         The foods we have for tomorrow are not what would have been eaten at the Last Supper.  Rather, they are in tune with the type of eating that is traditional during Lent: meatless.  In addition, they are simple meals — the sort that carpenters and fishermen might have eaten so many years ago. Felafel is typical of Palestine/Israel, and the soup is hearty peasant food from France.  We like to eat plainly on Maundy Thursday.

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 beverage.   PB GF V A simple meal, yet full of nutrition and flavor.Felafel Plate w: Pineapple

4 felafel patties   [from your freezer or see Stocking Up 4-Jan-’17]                                                     4 oz cantaloupe melon or pineapple                                                                                                      3.5 oz fat-free Greek-style yogurt  +  ½ tsp mint leaves                                                     Optional:  blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                         NO smoothie                                                                                                                                    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.

Green Split Pea Soup:   262 calories   1.6 g fat  19 g fiber   20 g protein   46 g carbs [46 g Complex]  30 mg Calcium   PB GF   For years we have loved this soup from Picardy, France which comes to us via Anne Willen’s French Regional Cooking. The easiest recipe in the world!Green Split Pea Soup

16 oz bag dry green split peas [Goya brand is excellent]                                                                             1 quart water                                                                                                                                     2 slices bacon                                                                                                                                                   2 stems of thyme salt + pepper to taste

Put the dry peas in a bowl and add water to cover them by 2”. Let them sit and soften for 1.5 hours. Drain. [TIP: you will not need the water for the soup, but use it to water the houseplants] Put the peas, bacon, thyme, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, then turn down the heat , cover, and simmer for 1.25 hours. NB: Not all the liquid will be used up.That’s fine. Remove the bacon and the thyme stems. Using a food processor, blender, or immersion wand, puree the soup. There should be 6 cups. Soup should be loose enough to run off a spoon, but not too thin. Add water, if necessary, to adjust thickness. Taste for seasonings. Cook the bacon in a saute pan until it is crisp. Crumble it and add to the soup. HINT: Makes 6 one-cup servings. What you don’t use today, freeze in serving-sized portions.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion for Monday ………………… single portion for Thursday:

prosciutto     + melon 1.5 two-oz eggs
red onion pickle  + balsamic vinegar sauerkraut
mint or basil leaves corned beef
Parmesan cheese Russian dressing  + Matzo crackers
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

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

tuna  +  canned white beans + tomato canola oil   +  watercress + potato
feta + red bell pepper  + garlic powder celery  + onion  + garlic  + chèvre
black olives  + baby greens  + olive oil vegetable broth  + sweet potato
lemon juice  + herbes de Province + egg optional:  mozzarella, tomato
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Colorful Veggies

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 nutrifitvitamins who is now Following.

Time was, when it was late winter, vegetables were in short supply.  Home-canned green beans were an option or vegetables that had been stored in the root cellar: cabbage, turnips, potatoes, parsnips.  Carrots if you were lucky.  While there is nothing wrong with those plant products, what do you notice about that selection? Not much color variation. Now we have many more varieties of vegetables available most of the year ’round.  [Thanks, globalization.  Caution, locavores]  And now we know that the more colorful the vegetables are, the more nutrition they provide. Today we will celebrate the orange veg; the green veg; the red veg  — all served up in a riot of flavor.

Eggs In Sweet Potato Nests: 163 calories   9.7 g fat   1.2 g fiber  10.6 g protein  9 g carbs [8 g Complex]  137.5 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg/potato mixture and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF Saw this discussed on line and decided to try it. Preparation is a little fussy but it is done the night before making for an easy morning. HINT: this recipe serves 2 [two] people, each person gets 2 nests. I’m told these refrigerate well for the next morning.Eggs in Sweet Potato Cups

½ oz [¼ cup] grated sweet potato                                                                                                                  1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                       1 Tbsp grated Cheddar cheese                                                                                                           pinch or two garlic powder                                                                                                                  1 Tbsp chopped watercress or parsley to sprinkle on top                                                                 5 cherries                                                                                                                                      Optional:  blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                       Optional:  3 oz  fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [44 calories]

Grate the sweet potato and cheese. Toss thoroughly in a bowl with the garlic. Divide among 6 cups of a muffin pan and push it around, pressing up the sides a bit. NB: I used a flexible non-stick muffin pan which worked well with no sticking. If you don’t have one, use liners or spray the muffin pans very well.  Bake the cups in a 375° F. oven for 10 minutes. Whisk the eggs with some salt and pour over the baked sweet potatoes. Sprinkle the egg with chopped watercress or parsley. HINT: I left this on a cool counter/refrigerator over night.  Bake at 350° F. for 15+ minutes or until the eggs are set.  Let them sit just a bit to firm up before using a knife to loosen the egg nests, then removing them to the plates. Add cherries and the beverages of your choice and try this new flavor combo.

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 Shakshuka. And here we have the combination: Christmas colors! It is delicious!Christmas Shakshuka

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, optional          If not using the eggplant, add more bell peppers.                                                                                                   cumin + paprika + oregano                                                                                                             1 egg                                                                                                                                                  1.5 Tbsp Feta Cheese

Use an 8″ 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 in the oven 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

Food in Wrappers, 2

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 rest of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.                                                                                                                                  Welcome to Vilma who is now Following.

Here is a continuation of our series of foods from around the world which consist of meat/vegetables wrapped in something  — sort of the early idea of a ‘wrap‘.  This worldwide culinary occurrence is seen today in meals from New Mexican burritos, Danish cabbage rolls, and Haitain pate.  How interesting it is to me that such diverse cultures should share the same idea and interpret it in such diverse ways.  Food is fascinating. Cuisine is creative. Even on a Fast Day.

Breakfast Burrito: 225 calories 12 g fat breakfast burrito3.5 g fiber 11.7 g protein  29.4 g carbs 108 mg Calcium NB: The food values shown are for the tortilla, egg filling, and the fruit, not for the optional beverages.   Inspired by breakfasts enjoyed at the Frontier Restaurant in Albuquerque, N.M., this has all the tastes of the Southwest in a filling yet low-calorie meal.                                                one 6” corn tortilla, MUST be 65 calories per tortilla                                                       one 2-oz egg                                                                     1 oz roasted green chiles, available canned    under the ‘Hatch’ brand                                                                                                                               1 Tbsp carne adovada – this is boiled pork shoulder with hot spices. Make a batch and freeze it in small amounts or see if you can find it at a Mexican market.                                                Large pinch oregano, Mexican oregano if you can find it.                                                            [Hot sauce to taste]                                                                                                                               1 tsp cheddar cheese, finely grated                                                                                                      1 oz of apple                                                                                                                                   See the full recipe posted on June 26, 2016 in Street Food

Danish Stuffed Cabbage:  282 calories  5.7 g fat  5.7 g fiber  35 g protein  25 g carbs  125 Danish Stuffed Cabbagemg Calcium  PB GF  Craig Claiborne’s NY Times International Cookbook provided this recipe. Its history involves a Swedish king and the Ottoman Empire. Very royal origin for a common meal found all over, where 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                                                                                      See the full recipe posted on 14-October-2018 in Diocletian.

Haïtian Chicken Pate Filling:   makes ~2 cup        1 Tbsp = 10 calories                                           One, as shown, wrapped in puff pastry:   64 calories  4.0 g fat  0.4 g fiber  1.2 g protein  6.4 g carbs   2.3 mg Calcium                                               1 habañero pepper                                             Haitian Chicken Pate                                                                             ¼ cup chopped onion   + 2 tsp garlic, minced                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           ½ pound ground chicken                                                                                                               ¼ cup shredded carrot                                                                                                                     2 tsp no-salt tomato paste                                                                                                                      2 tsp lime juice   + 1 tsp cider vinegar                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Tbsp chopped scallion  + 1 Tbsp chopped parsley  + 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ½ tsp pepper + ¼ tsp salt + 1/8 tsp ground clove + 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg                              Cut the pepper lengthwise and scrape the seeds out of one half. Chop both halves. Prepare a mise en place. You will be adding ingredients at rapid intervals, so do the prep now. Spritz a non-stick skillet with non-stick spray. Saute the pepper, onion, and garlic for 3 minutes until tender. Add the chicken and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Add carrot and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir constantly for one minute. Pour in the lime juice and vinegar, then stir and add the scallion and all the seasonings. Stir, take off heat, and cool. Run it all through the food processor. Use in omelettes, bakes, quiches. Wrap in wonton wrappers or roll out purchased puff pastry and cut into 20 squares. Use 1 Tbsp filling per square, seal edges and bake at 400 F for 15 minutes.  Look for it on May 5 when the foods from Haïti will be featured.