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.

Food can either unite people [look how popular salsa and guacamole are!] or divide them [milk in tea or not? add it at first or secondarily?] There is no denying that foods from one culture can creep into another culture’s favorites and be embraced as ‘home cooking.’ That’s my idea of ‘cross-cultural food.’ Today we will look at some foods from diverse locations that could be at home anywhere.

The breakfast is based on a recipe from Romania which I saw on a French cooking show. The dinner frittata is that Spanish staple of Italian origin which has been embraced by eaters in America and everywhere.

Banana-Papanas:   241 calories 8 g fat 0.5 g fiber 20 g protein 25.5 g carbs [5 g Complex] 161 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the main meal only, and do not include the optional beveragePB  This recipe for Romanian papanas was shown on the French morning TV program Telematin and it looked so easy and unusual that I had to try them….then I added bananas for a play on words and a hint of the tropics.  HINT: The recipe makes enough for two [2] portions, so if only one person is being served today, cook only half of the batter and refrigerate the remainder to prepare later in the week. NB: the cooked papanas do not work as left-overs.

4 Tbsp [63 g] part-skim ricotta [Sargento brand] 4 Tbsp [63 g] reduced-fat cottage cheese 1 egg, separated 30 g [3.5 Tbsp] flour NB: TRY ALMOND MEAL OR TAPIOCA FLOUR FOR GF ½ tsp sugar 3/4 oz banana, sliced 1 tsp molasses + 1 tsp water NO smoothie today  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water

Separate the egg white from the yolk. Combine the yolk, cheeses, flour,and sugar in a bowl. Whip the egg white until stiff. Stir 1/3 of the egg white into the cheese mixture to lighten it, mixing until blended. Gently fold the remaining egg into the cheese mixture. Heat a non-stick pan and spray with non-stick spray. Using a scoop or a spoon [I made 4 using a 3 Tbsp scoop and then 4 using a 1.5 Tbsp scoop], place the batter into the pan in two batches. Cook until browned on one side and loose enough that they will slide if you shake the pan. Carefully flip to the other side. Remove to a plate. Slice the bananas thinly and strew on the papanas. Add the molasses to 1 tsp hot water and stir to combine. Pour the molasses over the bananas. As you sip your coffee, savor the tastes of the Caribbean, via Romania….

Swiss Chard Frittataif serving 4, per portion: 221 calories 14 g fat 0.6 g fiber 15.2 g protein 2.7 g carbs 170.5 mg Calcium  PB GF Susan Loomis is the source of this recipe, which also can be a wonderful breakfast, using 3 eggs to serve two.  HINT: Serves 4 as a main course. Could serve 6-8 as a hearty appetizer.

6 oz swiss chard or fresh spinach ½ tsp olive oil 18 oz eggs [9 two-oz eggs in their shells] 6 pinches granulated garlic + 6 pinches salt + 3 pinches paprika 6 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 

Dress the chard by holding the leaf flat on the counter and pulling off the stem. Chop the leaves. Put olive oil in an oven-proof pan that can also be used on the stove-top. Cook the chopped leaves in the oil until the leaves are limp, adding water as necessary to prevent sticking. Be sure to cook off the water/liquid in the pan. Combine the eggs, cheese and seasonings and pour over the chard in the pan. Cook over medium heat until the bottom is well set [5 minutes?]. Put under the broiler until the top is cooked. Serve from the pan or slide the frittata out onto a serving plate.


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.

Tomorrow will be my birthday, and this blog is all about ME. I know a woman who describes people who are vain or show-offy as ‘Opera Singers’ – – all ‘me-me-me’. So this will be my opera singer day as I talk about some of my food favorites. There are people who say, “I couldn’t diet because I love food too much. You who diet obviously don’t like food.” What I don’t like is eating when I’m not hungry. What’s the point? No food tastes as delicious as when you are hungry! I like foods that are savory; and foods that are sweet; and foods that are easy to prepare; and foods that take some finagling. One of the reasons that Dear Husband and I look forward to Fast Days is that the food will be varied and delicious. [Yes, I’m bragging again.]

Fasting works. It is a break from high-on-the-hog eating and a chance to re-set the bathroom scale to a more reasonable number. What foods would I choose if my natal day fell on a Fast Day? A strawberry-filled crepe at breakfast seems so elegant, yet is simple to pull off. The fish and vegetables for dinner is a meal SOOOO easy and yet really delicious. Through Fasting, I have maintained my average weight at my Target for over 4 years. If you can say the same, good for you! If you are not where you want your weight to be, try Fasting.

Strawberry Crepe: 193 calories 7.5 g fat 1.9 g fiber 9.5 g protein 23 g carbs [8 g Complex] 211 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB  Isn’t it a treat to enjoy ‘Strawberries & Cream’ once in a while? If you haven’t made the crepes already, this is a good reason to try them. Mine were ready in the freezer.

1 sweet crepe*** 2 Tbsp ricotta cheese 3 Tbsp vanilla low-fat yogurt 3 oz strawberries, sliced and put in a sieve over a bowl, especially if frozen 1 slice uncured bacon or 1 slice ‘Canadian’ bacon   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]  NO SMOOTHIE 

Stir the ricotta and yogurt together. Add most of the berries, saving some for garnish. If there is a lot of juice, cook it down slowly to make a little syrup. Cook the bacon. Place the crepe on the plate and spoon the cream filling onto it. Fold over the crepe and top with the extra berries and syrup. Plate with the bacon and prepare your hot beverage of choice.

***CREPES, SWEETmakes 16 eight-inch crepes  each = 55 calories 0.7 g fat 0.2 g fiber 2.7 g protein 9 g carbs [0 g Complex] 39 mg Calcium 154 g all-purpose flour 14 fl oz milk [416 g] 2 tsp vanilla sugar 2 two-oz eggs

Whisk the flour and sugar together. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Add the eggs one at a time. Whisk vigorously until the batter runs off the whisk in ropes. The batter can rest for up to an hour. Heat a small cast-iron pan or ceramic saute pan.  Lightly spritz with oil, then wipe out the pan. Dip a ¼ cup measure into the batter and let the extra drain off. Grasp the handle of the cook pan with one hand as you slowly pour the batter into the center of the pan. Tilt the pan in a swirling pattern to let the batter form a circle roughly 6” in diameter. Don’t get hung up on perfectly round or perfectly flat. Watch the crepe cook and look to see when the edges start to dry and curl a bit. Using a heat-resistant but non-scratching tool [I use my fingers], lift the crepe and turn it over. Cook the other side until done. Time will vary, depending on the heat of your pan. Lift out the cooked crepe, put it aside, and cook the next one. HINT: if storing them for later today or tomorrow, let them cool on a tea towel, then stack and freeze in a plastic bag. 

Arctic Char with Peas, 3 ways: Arctic Char is a member of the Salmon Family which can be both sustainably fished in the wild and farm-raised. It is delicious, too. There are three presentations given: two are ridiculously easy, the other slightly more complex. All are great.

Version I: 263 calories 8 g fat 3 g fiber 28 g protein 10 g carbs [10 g Complex] 25 mg Calcium  PB GF   4 oz arctic char fillets ½ cup green ‘English’ peas, fresh or frozen Salt and pepper the fish and bake at 400 F. for 10 minutes/inch of thickness or grill for 4 minutes/side. Cook the peas and serve over/around the fish.

Version II: 247 calories 8.7 g fat 2 g fiber 26.7 g protein 7.3 g carbs [5.5 g Complex] 74.7 mg Calcium   PB GF   4 oz arctic char fillets ¼ cup watercress sauce [see SIDEKICKS II oct 4, 2017 ] 1 cup snow peas, stems and strings removed Salt and pepper the fish. Bake at 400 F. for 10 minutes/ inch of thickness or grill for 4 minutes/side. Warm the watercress sauce and serve over the fish. Cook the peas and plate. 

Version III: 274 calories 7.4 g fat 8 g fiber 25 g protein 16.4 g carbs [16.4 g Complex] 54.5 mg Calcium  PB GF  3 oz arctic char ¼ cup edamame [soy beans] ¼ cup ‘English’ peas ½ cup snow peas

Remove the stems and strings from the snow peas. Bake the fish at 400 F. for 10 minutes/ inch of thickness or grill for 4 minutes/side. Meanwhile, cook the peas and edamame according to package directions. Plate the fish and surround it with beautiful green peas.

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

1.5 two-oz eggTWO BREAKFAST MENUS:
anchovies3%-fat ham + sourdough rye bread 
tomatoHermelin or Camembert cheese
melon or mangoyellow plums
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

chicken meat + stock + stock cubes [bouillion cubes]THIS IS A BREAKFAST MENU
canned creamed corn + scallions1 two-oz egg + chèvre cheese
sesame oil + corn starch + gingerspinach, frozen or pre-cooked
egg white + 1 oz ham slicelemon-dill seasoning + apple/pear
Sparkling wateroptional beverages

Relief of Leiden

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.

Your name is Cornelis Joppenszoon and you are starving. Not the usual hunger of a young teenage boy – you and your family are literally starving. The year is 1574, and you have lived in Leiden, Holland all your life, under the rule of the hated Spaniards. For the past year, your city has been beseiged by the Spanish army under the cruel Duke of Alva/Alba in an effort to break the Dutch Resistance efforts. Thousands of your fellow-townspeople have died and many begged the mayor to yield. He offered to cut off his right arm to provide food for the people instead! But help is on the way: the dikes were breached to flood the polders around the city and brave William the Silent is on his way with a fleet of rebel soldiers. When they arrive, they hand out white bread and herring to the people. What a relief to have something to eat again! That evening, when part of the city wall collapses, you sneak out to scout around. The Spaniards had left in a hurry: their camps intact and the fires still burning. In a pot over a fire, you find a sort of stew made of vegetables. Hooray! You take it back home and that night your family and friends eat ‘hutspot’ for the first time. The seige is lifted, Spain is in retreat, and Holland might regain her freedom. Now to find more food…. 

Today’s meals reflect the food events of the Relief of Leiden, celebrated every October 3: herring for breakfast and hutspot for dinner. Young Cornelis would be satisfied.

Herring Plate: 195 calories 8 g fat 4.4 g fiber 8 g protein 13.7 g carbs [11.7 g Complex] 33 mg Calcium  PB If you like herring, this is the breakfast for you. It makes a nice change from morning eggs and it is prepared in no-time-flat. NB: Do NOT eat herring if you are taking MOAI antidepressent medicine, as herring is high in tyramine.

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

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

Hutspot with Dutch Meatballs: 243 calories 8 g fat 4 g fiber 16.8 g protein 31 g carbs [21 g Complex] 82 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF rye bread This recipe from Holland was a hit at our house. The sweet carrots really add something to the potatoes. 

Hutspot: makes 1 cup 2 oz potato, peeled 2 oz carrots, peeled 2 oz onion, sliced salt and pepper to taste Cube the potatoes and put into a sauce pan with water half-way up. Cut the carrots in coins and put on top of potatoes. Slice the onions and put them on top of the carrots. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until all vegetables are soft. Drain, reserving the liquid. Mash the vegetables, adding reserved liquid if needed. Season to taste.

Dutch Meatballs: makes 6 you will need 2 per person ½ pound ground turkey, 3% fat 1 oz rye bread, crust removed if very hard ¼ cup skim milk 1 shallot [1 Tbsp chopped] 1 egg white ¼ tsp nutmeg + ¼ tsp salt + ¼ tsp black pepper Chop or tear the bread into 1/2” pieces. Put in a small dish and pour in enough milk to wet the bread – you will have some left over. You could cook the meat and shallot or leave them raw [which is what I did] Add the seasonings and egg white. Squeeze the extra milk out of the bread and add it to the meat/seasonings. Heat a non-stick pan and spray with non-stick spray. Measure the meat mixture into ¼ cup portions and gently form into balls. Place in hot pan and cook until brown on one side. Turn and cook further. Turn onto another side and cook until done.

Plating: Plate two meatballs per person, along with the hutspot vegetables and a bit of grainy mustard, if you like.

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

1 two-oz eggno breakfast, but two dinners
1.5 hardboiled eggs
smoked salmon
canned tomatoes
garbanzo beans
Optional smoothieSwiss or Gruyere cheese
optional hot beverageonion + garlic

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

corned beef
purchased Asian meat dumplings
bok choi
swiss cheese
hoisin sauce
Bechamel sauce
black vinegar + soy sauce
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Hot Enough?

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.

I don’t know what the Winter in the Southern Hemisphere has been like this year, but we in the Northern Hemisphere have been baking! Records for ‘hottest this‘ and ‘hotter that‘ have been set and then broken again. Sometimes people don’t want to eat in hot weather, which can be good for weight loss. But sometimes they drink sugary cold drinks or beer or wine coolers all the while thinking [wrongly] this is the best way to beat the heat. Hydration is good, but real food in moderation is good too. How about eating less by enjoying Fasting meals on three or four days a week in hot weather? There are plenty of no-cook salads in the Archives. Let the Summer inclination not to eat much work to your advantage.

Today’s meals involve no stoves and no ovens. They are easy to prepare and very easy to eat. The breakfast can come cold out of the refrigerator if you prep it the night before. And the dinner is tailor made for a hot night.

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.

4 oz canteloupe 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.

Smorrebrod w/ Turkey: 243 calories 8 g fat 3 g fiber 10 g protein 29 g carbs [11.5 g Complex] 18.5 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF rye bread From Oslo/Copenhagen/Stockholm comes the best of Summer sandwiches: smorrebrod [smeared bread]. Light and flavorful from summer vegetables, this meal is filling and simple to prepare without heating the kitchen.

1 slice [1.5 oz] sourdough rye bread @ 110 calories [the bread should be dense, not fluffy] 1-2 Tbsp whipped cream cheese 4 large leaves of fresh spinach 1.5 oz thinly-sliced tomato: slice and salt about 30 mins earlier for best taste 1 oz cooked turkey breast or tenderloin ½ hard-boiled egg, sliced ½ cup Swedish Cucumber Salad*

Spread the bread with the cream cheese and lay the spinach leaves on top. Place the tomato slices atop that. For the next layer, put down the turkey, topped by the egg slices. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain the Cucumber Salad and plate. Excellent!

*SWEDISH CUCUMBER SALAD: makes 1 cup = 2 servings each serving = 23 calories 0.1 g fat 0.3 g fiber 0.4 g protein 5.2 g carbs [4 g Complex] 14 mg Calcium

1 cups sliced cucumber 1.5 tsp sugar 1 oz white wine vinegar 1/2 tsp cold water salt and freshly ground pepper ½ tsp dill

Combine the sugar, vinegar, water, salt, and pepper in a 3-cup container. Slice the cucumbers, spread them out on towels and pat dry. Stir the cukes into the liquid, wetting all the slices. Chill for at least one hour. Drain, and serve with a sprinkling of dill.

Ingredients for next week: 

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

1 two-oz eggnext week I will discuss Breakfast Beverages 
slice 70-calorie whole grain bread
choose a favorite breakfast from
apple or melon

Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

1/4 pound sea scallops
next week I will discuss Breakfast Beverages
Indian curry powder
choose a favorite dinner from Archives

butter + white wine [splash]

Sparkling waterSparkling water


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 uptightprettygirl who is now Following.

The book series that I have re-read most is The Lord of The Rings by JRR Tolkien.  He creates memorable characters; a unique and believable world; complex languages for different groups of people; and a satisfying story which makes you want to visit it again. A Quest, a Coming-of-Age plot, Star-Crossed Lovers, Overcoming Evil — these books have it all.   March 25 is the day the One Ring was destroyed: the end of evil times and the start of an era when goodness reigned.  In our house, we celebrate LotR day with special foods.  Oddly, although the principal characters are food-loving Hobbits and feasting Dwarves, the author seldom names the foods that are eaten.  Out of the 5 or so instances that ingredients are mentioned, I have crafted two meals. One is eaten at the home of the magical Tom Bombadil and his marvelous wife Goldberry.  The other is based on Hobbits’ enjoyment of mushrooms and rabbit.  We can eat with the Hobbits but not like the Hobbits — they gain weight as adults and being tubby is a bit of a plot-line. We don’t have to be plump, chubby, or stout.  We can Fast.

Bombadil’s Breakfast:   146 calories  5 g fat   2.5 g fiber  10.5 g protein  15.3 g carbs [8.3 g Complex]   312 mg Calcium  NB: the food values given are for the plated items only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF V When Tom Bombadil served his guests breakfast, it consisted of plants, fruit and dairy of his own collection or production. The plants should be watercress [since his wife Goldberry was the River-Man’s daughter] and the fruit shall be Golden Berries [aka Peruvian Ground Cherries], again in a nod to his wife.Bombadil Breakfast

½ oz Camembert cheese                                                                                                                ½ cup watercress leaves or microgreens                                                                                                    ½ cup plain yogurt                                                                                                                         ½ tsp honey                                                                                                                                                      1 oz Golden Berries  [aka: Peruvian Ground Cherries]  OR blueberries                                                              edible flowers [violets, chives, nastursium, or others]                                                                     Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                       Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Warm the honey and stir it into the yogurt. Plate the items to your taste and enjoy a magical breakfast in The Old Forest. Wear a blue jacket and yellow hat.

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.

Rabbit Pie, baked
Here is the Rabbit Pie for 2 people as it came out of the oven, with the bread on top.

Rabbit Pie, plated
Here is one serving of the Rabbit Pie plated with the bread underneath to catch the juices.










2 oz mushrooms                                                                                                                               4 oz chicken stock                                                                                                                             2 tsp potato starch                                                                                                                         0.55 oz [1 slice] ham from the deli                                                                                                    3 oz rabbit meat                                                                                                                                     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. Remove the meat. Chop and cook the mushrooms 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. 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 for15 minutes. Cook the carrots. 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.

Saint Agnes

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Agnes was a child who, after being murdered in a Roman persecution, became a saint. Her innocence attracted a cult of followers and her feast day, January 21, has been celebrated since the 4th century. One aspect of her veneration involves young women traditionally following a ritual of fasting on January 20 in the hopes of dreaming of their future husband.  John Keats incorporated this in his Romantic poem The Eve of St Agnes. It tells the tale of star-crossed lovers, Madeline and Porphyro.  She fasts and falls asleep.  Porphyro sneaks into the castle and gains admittance to her chamber with the help of Angela, the old Nurse [further shades of Romeo and Juliet]. While Madeline sleeps, her would-be lover sets a fantastic feast of expensive delicacies in her room.  She wakes, sees the object of her dreams [the guy not the goodies], and they escape to his castle to get married.  All rather racy for a poem related to 13-year-old Agnes. The name ‘Agnes’ is Greek, meaning ‘chaste’ but it is similar to the latin word for ‘lamb.’  Therefore the innocence of Agnes and of little lambs is forever linked.                                                                   In honor of Agnes, we will enjoy a breakfast based on Porphyro’s fantastic feast and a dinner of lamb stew.  Also, we are Fasting — not because we want to see visions of a ‘dream-boat’ but because we want to be healthy.

Porphyro’s Picnic:   252 calories  5.7 g fat   6 g fiber   6.5 g protein   53 g carbs [43 g Complex] 128 mg Calcium   PB GF V  This is based on the foods described by Keats in his romantic poem  The Eve of St Agnes.  The meal is rather sweet despite its low calorie count – perhaps it needs some other taste to cut it. A cup of black coffee? Full of fiber, this meal is sure to kick-start your tally of fruits/vegetables for the day.porphyro's picnic

2 Tbsp low-fat French Vanilla yogurt + 2 Tbsp almond meal                                                                      2 oz apple, diced                                                                                                                                                         2 oz melon, cubed ¼ cup pitted plums [I used canned plums in light syrup, drained and rinsed], use fresh if in season                                                                                                                              2 tsp cider syrup [or use 2 tsp syrup from the plums] + ¼ tsp ground cinnamon                            ¼ oz Medjool date, cut in 4 pieces.  [in the photo you see more dates, but there should be fewer]                                                                                                                                                                                     NO smoothie                                                                                                                                                    black coffee or black tea or lemon in hot water

Stir the yogurt and almond meal together and spoon onto the center of the plate. Chop the apple, cube the melon, and arrange them around the almond cream, along with the plums. Place the pieces of date at random. Combine the cider syrup with the cinnamon and drizzle it over the apple and melon. All set to eat and you still have 48 calories left over. Not responsible for what happens if you eat this by moonlight on January 20.

Lamb Stew with Glazed Vegetables:  317 calories**    8 g fat**   5.8 g fiber   24 g protein  31 g carbs    62 mg Calcium  GFif using GF flour   The recipe is from Salute to Healthy Cooking, so you know it is good. We have enjoyed this often. If you double the recipe, then you’ll have some to freeze for another meal. Yes, the calorie count is a bit high, but it is worth it. NB: One serving = ¾ cupLambstew

½ pound lamb shoulder, boneless and cut in cubes                                                                                    ½ cup onions, chopped                                                                                                                                         ¾ tsp white whole wheat flour OR GF flour                                                                                                  1 oz dry red wine                                                                                                                                                    ½ Tbsp tomato paste                                                                                                                                                  1 tsp thyme + 1 bay leaf                                                                                                                                               ¾ cup carrots, cut in 2” batons                                                                                                                         ½ cup cubed potatoes                                                                                                                                            6 pearl onions                                                                                                                                                                  1 cup [5 oz] turnips, cut in 2” batons                                                                                                                        ½ tsp sugar** 1 tsp butter**                                                                                                                                 cold water                                                                                                                                                           optional:  1/4 cup green peas, cooked and added after plating

Sear the cubed lamb on all sides [about 3 minutes] in a heavy pan which has been sprayed with non-stick spray or oil. Cook the meat in batches so the pan doesn’t cool down. Remove the cooked meat to a Dutch oven and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the onions in the same cooking pan and sauté them with enough water to make them sizzle. When the onions are transparent, add the wine to deglaze the pan, stirring the brown bits up from the bottom. Heat the oven to 350 F. Sprinkle with the flour and stir to mix. Add to the Dutch oven. Pour in enough cold water to go to the top of the lamb but not cover it. Stir in the thyme and bay leaf. Heat to a simmer on top of the stove on medium heat. Then cover and put the casserole in the oven. Bake 1 hour, checking once in a while to adjust the temperature to make sure the stew is not boiling. After 1 hour, add the carrots, put the cover back on and bake for 15 minutes. Add the potatoes, put the cover back on and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. While the potatoes are baking, put the pearl onions and turnips in a small non-stick pan with the sugar and butter** and enough water to rise half-way up the onions. Simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered and shaking the pan ocaisionaly. Add salt and pepper. Reserve, off the heat until the lamb is cooked. Plate the stew with the vegetables, adding the optional peas if you wish.  [add ___ calories and ___ g fiber]

** If you were to cook the onions and turnips without the butter and sugar, you would reduce the calories to 297 and the fat to 6.3 g.


How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.                                                                   Welcome to 2020 Cooking Adventures who are now Following.

Some people just don’t like eggs — don’t want to see them, don’t want to taste them. Not for breakfast, not for dinner.  So while we are delighted to eat eggs for breakfast on both Fast Days, that idea is repugnant to others.  If you are one, I have some breakfast ideas for you.

Bannock & Bacon: 284 calories   3.8 g fat   Bannock & Applesauce                                                                                             3.2 g fiber  18.7 g protein   43.6 g carbs [33 g Complex Carbs]   176.5 mg Calcium PB     For years we have enjoyed this on Slow Days, only to find that it fits for Fasting, too.  See 15 April 2018 for recipe.




Citrus BreakfastCitrus Breakfast:  290 calories   1.6 g fat   3.6 g fiber  21 g protein  48 g carbs [38 g Complex] 289 mg Calcium]  PB GF  Is this the breakfast you imagine when you think ‘go on a diet’? Does it look like starvation rations? Banish those thoughts! Delicious, nutritious, and filling, this is a great breakfast for anyone, anyday. And it has tons of Vitamins C and A and D.  See 28 March 2018 for recipe.


Herring Plate: 292 calories 8.4 g fat 4.9 g fiberherring Plate w: cherries                                                                                    12.6 g protein 32.8 g carbs 199 mg Calcium                                                                                         PB  If you like herring, this is the breakfast for you. It makes a nice change from morning eggs and this is prepared in no-time-flat.  See 30 July 2017 for recipe




Oatmeal Pudding:   301 calories  3 g fat   3 g fiber   15 g protein  16.3 g carb   198.6 mg Calcium GF PB   A riff on a recipe found in Marion Cunningham’s Breakfast Book,  this can easily be prepared the night before. NB: THIS MAKES ENOUGH FOR TWO [2] SERVINGS. Make them both, as two are as easy as one, and freeze the other.  See 15 Nov 2017 for recipe.

10-Grain Pumpkin Pudding:  277 calories Pumpkin Pudding                                                                                        7.6 g fat  6.8 g fiber  12.8 g protein                                                                                                               41 g carbs 249.4 mg Calcium PB                                                                                                              The delicious, nutty grains in the cereal                                                                                              seemed to call out for pumpkin and spices, and here’s the result. This recipe is easily prepared the night before and refrigerated for a quick and delicious breakfast. See 21 March 2018 for recipe.


How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Monday, eat the meals that will be posted on Sunday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

On March 29, 1912, English explorer Robert Falcon Scott wrote in his diary, “The end is near.”  He and his men were camped on Antarctica after a failed attempt to be the first to reach the South Pole. Discouraged after being beaten to the Pole by rival Roald Amundsen, the British Antarctic Expedition members were exhausted after dragging their equipment for 1000s of miles on scant rations. A blizzard trapped the three remaining team members in their tent only 11 miles from a food cache. Although they died of hypothermia, frostbite, and malnutrition, a major contributor to their deaths was scurvy. It was known since the 1700s that citrus fruits cured and prevented scurvy.  British sailors were given juice from fresh lemons and then limes [British sailors were known as ‘limeys’] which removed the scourge of scurvy by adding Vitamin C to their diet. Had Scott’s men had access to Vitamin C [onions, cabbage] and fresh meat [as Amundsen’s crew did]; had the weather not been dreadful; had their fuel tins not leaked, they might have survived.  Today, we will eat citrus fruit and ponder the sad deaths of members of the Antarctic Expedition.

Citrus Breakfast:  290 calories  1.6 g fat  3.6 g fiber   21 g protein   48 g carbs [38 g Complex] 289 mg Calcium   PB GF  Is this the breakfast you imagine when you think ‘go on a diet’? Does it look like starvation rations? Banish those thoughts! Delicious, nutritious, and filling, this is a great breakfast for anyone, anyday. And it has tons of Vitamin C and A and D, from the food as well as from the fruit smoothie and the milk in the coffee.Citrus Breakfast

½ cup reduced-fat cottage cheese                                                                                                                       2 Tbsp fat-free French Vanilla yogurt    [our favorite is Stonyfield brand]                                                      1 clementine, peeled and sectioned                                                                                                                    2 Tbsp black currants                                                                                                                                                5-6 oz fruit smoothie or green smoothie                                                                                                   blackish coffee, blackish tea, or lemon in hot water

Combine all the dairy and fruit [or combine the dairy and garnish with fruit after plating]. HINT: Knowing that I would have a busy morning, I did this the night before and refrigerated it. Great for a grab-and-go meal. With the hot beverage and smoothie, it is a vitamin-blast.

Chicken with Limes: 283 calories  7.2 g fat  3.3 g fiber   23 g protein  35 g carbs [29.5 g Complex]  61 mg Calcium   GF  Limes, chicken, and pineapple were added to the ecosystem of Tahiti by various visitors, and were promptly incorporated into the cuisine. We served this at a dinner party and no one would guess that it was a Fasting meal. Here is the one-serving method for Poulet avec Limettes.poulet avec Limettes

3 oz chicken breast, boneless, skinless, and cut in 2 pieces across the width                                                             1 lime: ½ of it zested and juiced; ½ of it sliced                                                                                                  ¼ cup chicken stock                                                                                                                                                       ½ tsp sugar                                                                                                                                                                        1 tsp cornstarch [cornflour]                                                                                                                                    ½ oz heavy cream                                                                                                                                                        3 oz slice of pineapple, fresh or canned                                                                                                 thyme, salt, pepper                                                                                                                                                ¼ cup brown rice, cooked

Marinate the chicken in the lime juice, zest, salt, pepper, and thyme in the ‘fridge for at least 2 hours. Remove the chicken from the marinade, and put 1/3 of the liquid into one small container and the remainder into a sauce pan. We grilled the chicken briefly and then removed it to a plate while the pineapple grilled. If you are not grilling today, put the pineapple under the broiler until hot all the way through. Meanwhile, add the stock and chicken to the pan with the marinade and heat it until the chicken is mostly cooked. Remove the chicken and keep warm. Bring the liquids to a boil and reduce by 1/3 of the volume. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and remaining marinade. Reduce the heat and heat until thickened. [this happens rather quickly] Return the chicken to the pan, add the cream, and stir to combine and to coat the chicken with the sauce. Plate with the rice and pineapple and lime slices for a taste of Tahiti.

Ingredients for next week: breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs
 kiwi fruit  prepared horseradish
 ricotta cheese  beets, cooked fresh or pickled
 fresh chives  parsley
 Parmesan cheese  applesauce with cinnamon
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your hot beverage
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your smoothie

Dinner, single portion:

 ham from a roast  salad greens   +  parsley
 asparagus  celery   +   walnut halves
 Béchamel sauce with cheese: see Sidekicks I, Sept 17, 2017  apple
Yorkshire Pudding batter [ Not by Bread.. Feb-7-2018]   hard-boiled egg
 fresh pineapple  cooked roast lamb
 Swiss cheese  horseradish dressing: for recipe, see SAUCY Dec 6, ’17
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Still Fasting During Lent

How this Fasting Diet works: Eat these meals, and only these meals, tomorrow.  Read the blog on Sunday to see what we’ll eat on Monday.  The rest of the week, eat what you like, but sensibly. If you are like me, you will see results.

Lent is almost over,  are you still Fasting?  Do remember, it isn’t just about low calories [aka ‘calorie restriction’], it means low fat, low carbs, and high protein. Here are some meals that fill the bill.

Gravlax & Grannies:   267 calories   3.9 g fat     2.4 g fiber     15.6 g protein    43 g carbs    199 mg Calcium   PB GF    At the Inn at Saint Peters, we enjoyed their Smoked Trout with Apples. 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 the lighter hue of the trout is more attractive.  NB: the high carb count for this meal is due to the fruit, so these are high quality, complex carbs.gravlax-apples

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                                                                                                blackish coffee, blackish tea, or lemon in hot water                                                                                   5-6 oz smoothie or natural apple cider

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.

Mediterranean Vegetables w/grains & cheese:    281 calories       7.1 g fat     10.4 g fiber   16.4 g protein   40 g carbs      332 mg Calcium PB GF – if using GF couscous or brown rice  This is how to use some of the same vegetable mixture which we prepared for breakfast on Monday.  HINT: If you have these delicious veggies in the freezer, then you are ahead of the game. Mediterranian Meal

2 cups eggplant, peeled & cubed OR 1 and 1/2 cup bell peppers, cubed                                              2 cups tomato, cubed                                                                                                                                            2 cups zucchini, cubed                                                                                                                                          2 cloves garlic                                                                                                                                                         1.5 tsp oregano                                                                                                                                                        ½ cup chickpeas, rised and drained                                                                                                             per serving: 1 oz mozzerella, shredded     +        1/4 cup brown rice or couscous, cooked

Prepare all the veg., and put them in a saucepan. Simmer, covered, until cooked through. If watery, remove lid and continue to simmer. Add oregano, salt and pepper to taste, and the chickpeas, and keep warm. Prepare the brown rice or couscous and place it on one side of the plate. Spoon 2 cups of the vegetables next to the couscous. Top with cheese and tuck into it!    [After cooling, freeze the remaining vegetables in serving sizes.]

Ingredients for next week:                                                                                                                 breakfast– portions for one

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs
Cooked turkey breast leek
¼ slice Whole-grain 70-cal bread Smoked salmon
Sage, rosemary, thyme Dill
Celery onion 1 oz Granny Smith apple or apple sauce
1 oz pear Light sour cream OPTIONAL
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your hot beverage
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your smoothie

dinner– portions for one

3/4 c cabbage                  3/4 c  broccoli Pieces of roast lamb
1/4 pound potato             milk Apple Walnut halves celery
1/4 pound cauliflower lemon juice Mayonnaise horseradish buttermilk
 leek                  butter 2 cups lettuce
2 egg whites Hard-boiled egg
cheddar cheese                  ground mace parsley
 Sparkling water Sparkling water


Lenten Fasting

Fasting is a tradition for the Lenten Season.  It shows a willingness to forgo some of life’s pleasures to atone for sins.  Fast Days used to be a staple in the old days:  the king or the Church would declare a day of fasting to drive away an invading army or to halt the spread of plague.  History does not say how well that worked, but I can tell you that if you stick to 2 Fast Days each week [and eat reasonably the other days], this diet will work for you.  Today at the start of Lent, meals which feature neither eggs nor meat.                   Are you up for a challenge?  If you haven’t yet begun a full 5:2 Fasting Lifestyle [dabbled around the edges but not ready to commit], try it for the next 6 weeks. You will find that by the end, it will be almost second nature.  Go ahead! Do it.

Red White and Blue  295 calories   1.4 g fat  3.8 g fiber     20 g protein   45 g carbs    504 mg Calcium   PB   GFif using GF bread    Ricotta is higher in protein and Calcium than cottage cheese, but you could substitute that if you wish.Red White & blue

½ cup fat-free ricotta                                                                                                                                                                 ¼ cup blueberries, fresh or frozen [if frozen, keep frozen until ready to use]                                              ½ cup sliced strawberries, fresh or frozen [after slicing, put in a strainer to drain the juices]                                                                                                                                                                            1 slice of 70-calorie multi-grain bread [Nature’s Own] cut into a star with the largest cookie cutter that will fit the bread                                                                                                                                            2 large pinches of cinnamon sugar                                                                                                       blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                 5-6 oz fruit smoothie, green smoothie or natural apple cider

Cut your slice of bread with a large star cookie cutter, freezing the scraps for use in Crab Cakes or Stuffed Clams or Crab-Stuffed Flounder. Sprinkle the bread with a small pinch of cinnamon sugar and toast it. Measure the ricotta onto your plate. Put the fruit on top. [I do not recommend stirring the fruit into the cheese, since it will ‘stain’ the cheese.] Top with a small pinch of cinnamon sugar and plate with the toast. Pour the hot beverage and the smoothie.

Felafel with Cucumber Raita:   276 calories   10.2 g fat   16 g protein   33.5 g carbs PB GF    The felafel is from the Eastern Mediterranean, while the raita is from India.  A happy blend of flavors and cultures.                           NO PHOTO                                                                                                                                                        5 felafel patties [see Because It’s June! June 1, 2016]                                                                                                    1 cup raw spinach                                                                                                                                                   1/2 tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                                       large pinch ground nutmeg                                                                                                                                          4 oz plain, non-fat yogurt                                                                                                                                         1 scant cup cucumbers, cubed                                                                                                                               1 tsp white wine vinegar                                                                                                                                         1 ½ tsp fresh mint, chopped or dried dill weed

Thaw out 5 of those felafel patties what we prepared last June 1. Heat them in the toaster oven or in a non-stick pan on the stove. Do not cook them in oil. Cut the spinach into a chiffonade [make a pile of leaves and cut thinly across their width]and put into a bowl. Cube the cucumbers. Stir together the yogurt, vinegar, and dill or mint. Add the cucumber cubes and stir gently to combine. Toss the spinach with the olive oil and nutmeg. Plate it and love it.



1 two-oz egg
¼ oz ham
Ricotta cheese, low-fat [or cottage cheese]
Parmesan cheese
sage, salt, pepper, rosemary, crushed red pepper
Applesauce [unsweetened], 2 oz [or pear]
Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage


¾ cup lobster meat
Cream or ½ & ½
Bechamel sauce, 2 Tbsp
Dijon mustard
Green beans, fresh or frozen
Raspberries, 1 oz
Peaches, 2 oz