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

Toussaint’s Rebellion

Lobster ‘Lambi’ & Plantains:  270 calories   8.3 g fat   2.8 g fiber  17.8 g protein   35 g carbs [34 g Complex]   51 mg Calcium  PB GF  A simple meal from Haïti. Easy any season of the year, as long as plantains are in the market. Ordinarily lambi is made with the meat of the Queen Conch, but if that is unavailable, try lobster tail instead. The plantains are delicious oven-roasted. Try them! Lobster Lambi w: plantains

3 oz lobster meat such as tail                                                                                                                                          3 oz plantain slices, from a ripe [yellow skin with some black spots] not green plantain                 ½ – 1 tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                  3 oz cantaloup melon                                                                                                                         1 lime, cut in half along the equator                                                                                               a few fresh spinach leaves

Peel the plantains and carefully slice them so they don’t get squished. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed with non-stick spray. Brush with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 425° F for 10 minutes, then turn the slices and bake for a further 10 minutes. If the lobster is uncooked, stick a skewer into the lobster tail lengthwise and grill it indoors or outdoors while you squeeze juice from half the lime on it. Cut it into bite-sized pieces. If the lobster meat is cooked already, cut it into bite-sized pieces and squeeze lime juice on it. Plate the lobster on top of the spinach, then arrange the melon and plantains. Keep the other half lime for more juice-squeezing to your taste.

 

 

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

Soup Time

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 for 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.

Winter + Soup — was there ever a more perfect pairing? Here in Northern New England, we do winter.  Robert Frost [Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening] winters.  John Greenleaf Whittier [Snowbound, A Winter Idyl] winters. And in our household, we enjoy the season.  If you don’t like winter, move to a different latitude instead of griping about it.  Winters are dangerous but they are often beautiful and they are good for our local environment. Plus, Spring and Summer are even more enjoyable after a hard winter. The calendar might say that Spring is on the way, but we know better.  Live in the moment and appreciate the weather where you are. During Winter, eat soup.                                                                                                          Today’s meals include a Japanese breakfast soup with a ‘Hot Spring Egg’ and a French dinner soup.  Each will warm your innards.

Japanese Onion Soup with Onsen Tamago Egg:  195 calories  5 g fat  1.6 g fiber  15.6 g protein  24 g carbs [9 g Complex]  43 mg Calcium   PB GF  Our Younger Son prepared this for us one morning after a day of heavy eating and it was a revelation: light yet hearty and so delicious. “Onsen Tamago” means ‘hot spring’ and it is a very different [to me] way to cook a soft egg. HINT: This recipe is enough for 2 servings. Easy to save for another breakfast or lunch one or two days from now.Onsen Tamago Soup

2 two-oz eggs                                                                                                                                  ½ cup sweet onions                                                                                                                         2 cups chicken or beef broth                                                                                                                      3 Tbsp soy sauce                                                                                                                                2 Tbsp mirin                                                                                                                                      1 oz dry  Japanese noodles, such as soba @ 95 calories/ounce                                                  Sriracha, to taste                                                                                                                                garnish: scallions, chopped                                                                                                                 2 oz melon                                                                                                                                  blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon juice & hot water                                   NO SMOOTHIE

Onsen Tomago Egg:    HINT: The eggs can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. 2 whole eggs in shells                                                                                                                           1 liter water   +    1 cup cold tap water                                                                                         Bring 1 liter of water to a boil. Once it boils, remove it from the heat, and add 1 cup of cold water. Using a slotted spoon, place eggs into the hot water and cover. Let sit for 17 minutes, then remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Serve hot or refrigerate for up to 2 days. NB: You can cook up to 4 eggs with this same volume of water.

Onion Soup:  Cook noodles according to package, shock in cold water and put in serving bowls. Place sliced onions and stock into pan and bring to boil. When stock comes to boil, reduce heat to a strong simmer and cover. Cook until onions are soft (they should not be rigid when you pick them up with chopsticks). When onions are almost finished, add soy sauce, mirin, and sriracha and stir. If the liquid has reduced noticibly, add water. When the onions are finished, pour the onion and broth over noodles. Carefully crack onsen tamago egg into broth. Garnish with green onion and serve the melon on the side. Eat with chopsticks and a Japanese spoon.

Cabbage-Sausage Soup: 264 calories  11 g fat  5 g fiber  14 g protein  25.5 g carbs [22 g Complex]  66 mg Calcium   PB GF   Since this is Jacques Pepin’s recipe, I’ll let him say it: “When the weather gets cooler in the fall, I make soup. I generally cook up a big batch and freeze some for whenever I need it. This one, with sausage, potatoes, and cabbage, is hearty and good for cold weather.”Cabbage Soup

8 ounces mild Italian sausage meat                                                                                               1 ½ cups onions, sliced                                                                                                                             6 scallions, cut into ½-inch pieces (1¼ cups)                                                                                6 cups water                                                                                                                                 1 cup chickpeas                                                                                                                           16 oz potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks                                                                       8 ounces savoy cabbage, chopped/sliced                                                                                   1¼ teaspoons salt

Chef Pepin continues, “Break the sausage meat into 1-inch pieces and place it in a saucepan over high heat. Sauté, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to keep the meat from sticking, for 10 minutes, or until the sausage is well browned. Add the onions and scallions and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the water, chickpeas, potatoes, cabbage, and salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 45 minutes.” Portion for storage or serving. One serving = 1 cup.

Ingredients for next week:

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

watercress or microgreens   10-Grain Cereal, Bob’s Red Mill
plain yogurt, low-fat + honey applesauce  + maple syrup
Golden Berries or Blue Berries reduced fat cottage cheese
Camembert cheese nutmeg  + cinnamon
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:

rabbit meat   +  onions + herb savory salt cod   + garlic cloves
3% fat ham  +  chicken broth + thyme olive oil + boiling potato  + cauliflower
portobello mushrooms + potato starch milk  + carrots  +  black pepper
Arnold Sandwich Thin or whole-grain bread  +  carrots fennel seed  + tomato slices
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Stolen

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.

Isabella Stewart was an excellently-educated young New Yorker of a good family when she married Jack Gardner of Boston. Their honeymoon on the Continent and a subsequent trip for her health lead to Mrs Gardner’s love of the art and architecture of the Italian Renaissance.  Eccentric, larger than life, and rich as Croesus, Isabella was a great collector of art. She and her husband planned to build a museum for their collection and after his death, Mrs Gardner completed their ambition in 1903 — The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the Fens, in a park designed by Fredrick Olmstead. It is a fabulous place and houses an eclectic array of art.   On March 18, 1990, the museum was robbed.  Five million dollars of art vanished, taken by men dressed as police in a well-orchestrated heist. [The event is always referred to as a ‘heist.’]   To this day, the whereabouts of the art is unknown and the $10,000,000 reward is unclaimed. The tale of the theft is as remarkable and unusual as Mrs Gardner herself.

In recognition of the infamous heist, today’s meals were ‘borrowed’ from other places.  However I always give credit where credit is due and acknowledge my sources: The cookbook from the 1990s version of Peter Christian’s Tavern [New London, NH] and French Regional Cooking by Anne Willan. [‘Mrs Jack’ would have liked the Florentine connection.]  I’m not stealing from anyone, but if you eat like me you might lose a lot.

Ham Florentine Bake: 133 calories  6.5 g fat  1 g fiber  8 g protein  6 g carbs   61.5 mg Calcium   PB GF  This bake is so flavorful that you will not notice the tiny calorie count. Same ‘ham Florentine’ used to fill crêpes for dinner. Same kind of delicious. The ham Florentine is from Shirley Edes’ Peter Christian’s Recipes.Ham Florentine Bake

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                       2 Tbsp ham Florentine mixture – see Savory 27 Jan, 2019 [I had put some in the freezer]                                                                                                      2 oz applesauce                                                                                                                                     5-6 oz fruit smoothie [79 calories] or natural apple cider                                                    blackish coffee [53 calories] or tea or lemon in hot water

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

Trout with Hazelnuts: 267 calories  18 g fat  3.3 g fiber   21 g protein   6.3 g carbs  75 mg Calcium   PB GF   From Savoie, France comes this recipe, via Anne Willen’s French Regional Cooking. Hannibal is supposed to have dined on local trout as he crossed the Alps with his elephants. Very easy to prepare [the trout, not the elephants] and absolutely delicious. Trout w: hazelnuts + haricots

3 oz trout, boned and trimmed                                                                                                                             1 tsp butter                                                                                                                                                           ½ oz hazelnuts, coarsly chopped 2 oz French green beans [haricots]

Start cooking the beans. Heat a heavy saute pan and spray with non-stick spray. Put in the trout and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slowly cook the trout on one side for about 3 minutes. Turn the trout to the other side.  Add the butter to the pan along with the nuts. Continue cooking everything slowly until the fish is done, roughly another 3 minutes. Drain and season the beans, plate them with the trout, and top the fish with the nuts in butter. Enjoy your culinary visit to the French Alps.

Ups & Downs

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.

One feature of the book Bridget Jones’ Diary was her frequent recording of her weight — up and down it would go, much to her dismay.  Of course we readers knew it would do that, since Bridget was an ‘emotional eater‘ and often drank too much.  But those fluctuations were very relatable to dieters, even Fasters.  We want to think that once we get to our Target Weight [and there is no magic to that — it is the weight you want to be], we will magically remain there, day after day.  Having Fasted for many years, I can tell you that weight can rise by as much a 2 pounds [0.9 kg or 0.14 stone] from one day to the next. And then a Fast Day or two sets things to right again. Or weight could drop by a pound — inexplicably!  Do not be discouraged if your weight fluctuates. It happens and life goes on.  It is what you do with the information that matters — does it make you stop the Fasting Lifestyle or does it make you double down and do better? Your choice.    On March 15, 1892, the modern escalator was patented, designed to take people up and down stairs without effort.  Did you think that maintaining your weight and avoiding its ups and downs would be without effort?  Fasting is the closest thing to that I know.

Mackerel-Leek ScrOmelette:   157 calories   9.5 g fat   1.1 g fiber  12.6 g protein  5.8 g carbs [6.2 g Complex]  61 mg Calcium NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  If you can’t find fresh mackerel, substitute another high-Omega-3 fish like salmon or arctic char.Mackerel ScrOmelette

1 ½ eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume, into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week                                                    1 oz cooked mackerel   [I clean and cook mine as soon as I get it home, then freeze it.]                                                                                                                        1.5 oz leeks                                                                                                                                                     ½ tsp Dijon mustard                                                                                                                        1 oz strawberries                                                                                                                       Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                     Optional: 3 oz green or berry-yogurt smoothie [38 calories]or unpasteurized apple cider

Spritz a hot sauté pan with non-stick spray and stir in the leeks and mackerel, to soften the leeks and warm the fish. Whisk the eggs with the seasonings and mustard. Pour into the pan and scramble to your taste or prepare as an omelette. Pour the beverages and plate the berries. Oh my!

Beef & Beet Salad:   248 calories  8.5 g fat  3.4 g fiber   24 g protein  17 g carbs [10 g Complex]  24 mg Calcium   PB GF   This unusual salad was found in James Peterson’s Glorious French Food. Should you have left-over roast beef, this is the dish to try.Beet & Beef Salad

2.75 oz thinly-sliced roasted beef                                                                                                 3.5 oz pickled beets, as thinly-sliced rounds                                                                              1/4-1/2 cup shredded lettuce                                                                                                            dill pickle spear                                                                                                                                1.5 tsp dressing***

Dressing   [makes 6 teaspoons — save the remainder]                                                                                                      2.25 tsp Dijon mustard                             1 Tbsp chopped shallot                                                 1.5 tsp wine vinegar                                     4.5 tsp olive oil

Slice the beef and the beets as matchsticks about 2-3” long. Put in the serving bowl/plate and drizzle the dressing over the top. Gently toss to coat the salad with the dressing. Plate it. Wonderfully simple.

Ingredients for next week:

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

1 two-oz egg 1 two-oz egg   + beef or chicken broth
Ham Florentine [see Savory 27-Feb-’19] soy sauce  +  mirin
applesauce scallion + sweet onion
dry Japanese Soba Noodles [190 cal/ 2 oz]
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:

Trout filet Bulk pork sausage meat
butter chickpeas  + potato
hazelnuts onions  +  scallion
haricots or green beans Savoy cabbage
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Saint Perpetua

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

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, and tomorrow is the Feast of Saint Perpetua.  In Carthage  at the close of the 2nd Century, there once lived a young Roman matron who was happy to admit to being a Christian. Her mother, several friends, and her enslaved servant Felicity were also converts.  Faced with the usual choice, Perpetua chose prison and death. Felicity, after a pep-talk to reinforce her beliefs, went along. In prison, Perpetua kept a diary.  Up until the day Perpetua and Felicity were taken out to be beheaded, she wrote about her faith.  So it is that instead of being a saint ‘who’s origins are vague’ [as many hagiographies tend to say], we know exactly who she was and when and why and from her own hand. Her infant child and her diary were handed over to friends on the outside, and her fame spread. The story of Perpetua, most fittingly, has been ‘lasting’ [the translation of her name from latin] and to some who do penance during Lent, that season can seem to “go on in perpetuity.”                                                                  Since Perpetua and her Companions lived and died in northern Africa, we will enjoy a breakfast that was born in Morocco, and a dinner featuring lamb and fresh vegetables which surely Perpetua’s wealthy family might well have eaten too.  Whether you are Fasting for Lent or Fasting for improved health, think about Perpetua and the lengths she went to in following what she knew to be the right thing to do.

Moroccan Omelette:   135 calories  8 g fat  1.4 g fiber  10 g protein  7.7 g carbs  49 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the main dish and fruit only, not the optional beverages.    PB GF    Suggested by our First-born, this is the easiest omelette in the world to prepare. For the compete flavor profile, serve with mint tea.Moroccan Omelette W: Apples

1 ½ eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume, into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.                                                 1 tsp or more ground cumin                                                                                                             ½ tsp paprika                                                                                                                                     salt + pepper                                                                                                                                         1.5 oz apple + 2 Golden Berries  OR  5 Bing cherries                                                                       MINT TEA, blackish coffee [53 calories]or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                       5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories] or unpasteurized apple cider

Combine the cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper in a small dish. Whisk just the 1.5 eggs vigorously. Pour into a heated skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Turn down the heat.  Sprinkle the eggs with the seasonings and leave undisturbed until puffy and the top is set. Remove from skillet, and serve folded or flat. Pour the beverages and enjoy the fruit as a counter-point to the spices.

Lamb Kabobs: 227 calories  6.2 g fat  5 g fiber  22 g protein  31.4 g Complex Carbs   41 mg Calcium   PB GF  This is so easy and so perfect for indoor grilling.Lamb Kabobs w: corn relish

3 oz lamb leg in cubes                                                                                                                             1 Tbsp tomato juice OR water + granulated garlic + crumbled rosemary                                                  1.5 oz red bell pepper, in 1-1/2” chunks                                                                                                1.5 oz zucchini, sliced 3/4” thick, then cut in quarters                                                                     1 oz red onion, cut in chunks                                                                                                             ¾ cup Corn-Tomato Salsa [see Second Fiddles  9-Jan-’19]

Salt the tomatoes and put into a sieve over a bowl to catch the juice.  Combine the tomato juice, garlic, and rosemary with the lamb. Stir to coat and set aside to marinate for 30-60 minutes. Prepare the vegetables and Corn Salsa while the meat sits. Impale the vegetables and lamb chunks on skewers, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a grill pan [indoors] or an outdoor grill and cook the kabobs on all sides. The meat will brown and the vegetables will begin to char a bit. Plate with the salsa for a very colorful meal.

Ingredients for next week:

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

whipped cream cheese 1.5 two-oz eggs
Herring marinated in wine cooked mackerel
Finn Crisp crackers leek  +  Dijon mustard
cherries or strawberries strawberries
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:

hake  + onions +  Feta cheese cooked roast beef slices  +  pickled beets
garlic  + pinch sugar Dijon mustard  + shallot
whole tomatoes, canned red wine vinegar
dry red wine olive oil
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Citrus

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On your next Fast Day, eat the meals that will be posted 3-4 days from now.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

If you were to list 5 citrus fruits, would you name pineapple? cranberry? kiwi? I might have since I thought of ‘citrus’ as a tart fruit with a good ‘pucker.’  But I was wrong! Citrus fruits are indeed pucker-y, but they are a genus of plants which are in the same family as the garden herb Rue [the Herb o’ Grace]. All citrus fruits are similar in that they have segments inside a thick, leathery skin. They have a long history, going back to their origins in Asia, just south of the Eastern end of the Himalayan Mountains 8 million years ago.  This is the time of year in the Northern Hemisphere when citrus fruits ripen and are widely available. Sought out for their tangy flavor, they are an important source of dietary Vitamin C in the middle of our winter.  Some people go overboard, causing the makers of anti-cholesterol drugs to print disclaimers about not eating grapefruit while on the medicine.  I asked the drug company rep and was told that the warning only applies to those who eat in excess of 6 grapefruits daily.  There used to be a ‘Grapefruit Diet‘ but that is now on the trash-heap of failed experiments.                           For our foray into citrus-inspired meals, we’ll enjoy clementines in a healthy yogurt parfait for breakfast and a salad with grapefruits for dinner.

Mango-Citrus Parfait:   288 calories  5 g fat   2.2 g fiber   26 g protein   36.7 g carbs [24 g Complex] 413 mg Calcium  PB GF  Fast Food Restaurants decided years ago to offer ‘healthy options’ in the form of yogurt parfaits. Yogurt with lots of sugar, fruit, and lots of high-fat, sugar-rich granola. Poor choice. Here is a more acceptable breakfast option, full of protein yet low in fat and calories.  NB: This could be a Slow Day lunch option, since without my coffee, it comes in at 229 calories.citrusparfait

½ cup reduced-fat cottage cheese                                                                                                   ½ cup plain yogurt                                                                                                                           1.5 oz mango cubes                                                                                                                           ½ clementine [skin it and use half the segments]                                                                            2 Tbsp granola                                                                                                                            nearly black coffee or tea or lemon in hot water         NO Smoothie today.

Stir the cottage cheese and yogurt to combine thoroughly. Divide the fruit into two portions. Spoon half of the dairy mixture into a wide-mouthed wine glass and top with half the fruit. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp of granola. Repeat with the remaining ingredients in the same order, topping with granola. Or just put all the granola on top. Prepare the coffee and enjoy that dairy-fruit goodness. The mango and clementine really perk up the creamy dairy flavors. Good choice for healthy eating.

Grapefruit-Avocado Salad:   289 calories  20 g fat [half of that is plant fat]  6.4 g fiber  18 g protein   15.3 g carbs [14.5 g Complex]   75.5 mg Calcium   PB GF  This is delicious, attractive, nutritious, and satisfying. Real food. Good food.grapefruit-avocado salad

1 two-oz egg, hard-boiled                                                                                                               2.5 oz avocado [this was half an avocado], sliced in 4 pieces                                                        3.3 oz pink grapfruit sections [you need 4 sections]                                                                     1.75 cups lettuce, sliced/shredded                                                                                                    1 oz cooked chicken breast [you could substitute 4 shrimp for a vegetarian meal]                             ½ tsp white wine vinegar + ½ tsp lime-infused olive oil + ¼ tsp ground ginger                            pinch of lemon finishing salt

Whisk the oil, vinegar, and ginger in a meduim-sized bowl. Add the lettuce and toss to coat with the dressing. Remove the lettuce to a serving plate, letting some of the dressing drip back into the bowl. Spread the lettuce evenly over the plate and sprinkle with the finishing salt. Starting at the center with the egg, arrange the grapefruit and avocado around the plate. Place the chicken as you wish. Brush the remaining dressing on the grapefruit and avocado.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg 70-calorie whole grain bread
mushrooms applesauce  + Canadian bacon
1 crepe [Sidekicks I 17-Sept-2017] almond meal  + fresh fruit
Mediterranean Vegetables  [4-Oct-2017] fat-free French Vanilla yogurt
Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

Dinner, single portion:

Frozen spinach   + tuna 4-oz filet mignon  + fresh tarragon
peas  + garlic  + onion butter + oil  + portobello mushrooms
olive oil  +  anchovy  + puff pastry shallot + garlic + white wine + asparagus
Mediterranean Vegetables  [4-Oct-2017] grainy mustard + heavy cream
Sparkling water Sparkling water

St Anthony

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.

If you say the name ‘Anthony’ to anyone from New England, it will generate thoughts of an old TV ad for a brand of pasta which showed Anthony’s mother calling him home to dinner. Or you may have heard of a St Anthony who’ll help you find lost objects.  In fact, there are 23 Saints named ‘Anthony’ in the ‘Saints & Angels‘ list on line. Tomorrow will be the feast day of the original Anthony, a hermit who lived in the 5th century in Egypt. He is best known for his severe fasting [eating only every 3 days] and sleeplessness in an effort to quell his inner demons. One of the most repeated themes in art is The Temptation of Saint Anthony.  Gustave Flaubert spent his life in the off and on writing of a novel by the same name.  Saint Anthony’s attributes [the things a saint is holding when depicted in art] are a pig [representing domestic animals of whom he is the patron saint] and a staff in the shape of a Tau cross [known as St Anthony’s cross].                                     In addition to farm animals, Anthony is the patron saint of salami-makers.  Going with that theme, breakfast is a scramble containing salami and dinner is a stir-fry of pork, for St Anthony’s Pig.

Salami Scramble:  299 calories  9.8 g fat   2.3 g fiber   18 g protein   30 g carbs   297 mg Calcium   GF   From the deli department to the breakfast table, salami makes for an easy breakfast.salami scramble

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.                                                                             ¼ oz thinly-sliced salami                                                                                                                               pinch of Moroccan spice  +  salt                                                                                                                         1.5 oz pear or apple slices                                                                                                                             blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                 5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or unpasteurized apple cider

Slice the salami slices crosswise, then into squares. Whisk the eggs with the seasonings, then pour into a hot sauté pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray.  Sprinkle with the salami before the eggs set.  Flip the eggs over to cook to your preference.  Slice the fruit, pour the beverages. Easy, yummy, satisfying.

Pork & Pepper Stir-fry:  211 calories   6.3 g fat   5.8 g fiber   24.3 g protein   16 g carbs [10 g Complex]  37.6 mg Calcium   PB GF  This stir-fry has a lot of preparation but the result is rich in the wonderful flavors of East Asia. The recipe does not include rice, but if you read on you will see totals with rice. HINT: This recipe makes enough to serve 2 [two] people. Food values above are for ONE serving.pork & peppers w: rice garnish

6 oz pork tenderloin, sliced as matchsticks                                                                                                  1.5 tsp dark soy sauce + 4 tsp dark soy sauce                                                                                                       ½ tsp honey + ½ tsp honey                                                                                                                                 ½ tsp minced garlic + another ½ tsp minced garlic  = one clove of garlic                                            1/8 tsp crushed red pepper                                                                                                                               1 tsp peanut butter                                                                                                                                                  ½ c carrots, cut as matchsticks                                                                                                                               1 tsp canola oil                                                                                                                                                                     5.5 oz green bell pepper matchsticks                                                                                                                  ½ lg red bell pepper matchsticks                                                                                                                      ½ tsp garlic    +     1.5 tsp minced fresh ginger                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               garnish:   2 sliced scallions                         Sriracha

First prepare a mise en place. Seriously — do it. Combine the pork, 1.5 tsp dark soy sauce, ½ tsp honey, ½ tsp minced garlic, and the red pepper flakes in a bowl and stir to combine. In a microwave-safe custard cup combine 4 tsp dark soy sauce, ½ tsp honey, and 1 tsp peanut butter. Microwave it briefly and stir to combine. Put the carrots in a small pan of boiling water and cook for one minute. Drain the carrots and save the water. Heat a wok or cast iron skillet over high heat and add the canola oil. Add the pork mixture and stir-fry for one minute. Remove the cooked pork to a clean bowl and stir in the soy-honey-peanut mixture. Put the carrot-cooking water in the dish that had the soy-honey-peanut mixture and swirl it around to get those flavors in the water. Pour the flavored water into the wok and add the red and green peppers. Stir-fry for one minute, adding more water to keep it sizzling. Add the carrots, ginger, and garlic to the wok and stirfry with the peppers for one minute more. Return the pork to the wok and stir-fry until heated, about 1 more minute. Plate with optional rice [if using – see below], top with sliced scallion and some Sriracha, if you wish.

If using ¼ cup medium-grain white rice as a garnish, then add these food values:                         50 calories   0 g fat   0.3 g fiber   1.0 g protein   11 g carbs [simple]   0 mg Calcium                             If serving with ½ cup medium-grain rice, then add these food values:                                            100 calories   0 g fat   0.6 g fiber   2 g protein   22 g carbs [simple]   0 mg Calcium

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion Monday:                     Breakfast, single portion Thursday:

apple  +  melon Next week there will be an exploration of
plum  + date  + almond meal ‘foods in wrappers’
cider syrup  +  cinnamon
French-vanilla yogurt, low fat Choose a favorite from the Archives
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 Monday:                           Dinner, single portion Thursday:

lamb shoulder  + onion Several options will be offered or
dry red wine + tomato paste choose a favorite from the Archives
turnip  + carrot + potato
pearl onions + thyme + bay leaf
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Morning to Night: Felafel

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 Trinity L. who is now Following.

Felafel is a ubiquitous street food in the Eastern Mediterranean and it should be healthy. But too often it is deep-fried, adding needless calories and fat. On a Fast Day good felafel can take you from morning to night with some delicious and satisfying meals. The origin of felafel goes back to the lands now called Palestine and Israel, but once called Sameria, Judea, Idumaea.  Let’s not get bogged down on who invented it — let’s celebrate how good it is and how easy it is to eat in a variety of forms. Felafel in eggs and a felafel-topped salad are fine forms of feasting. I’ll give you the basic recipe, then you can decide how to use it.

Felafel:       1 batch = 648 cal 25.4 g fat 21 g fiber 32.5 g protein 72 g carbs 214 mg Calcium  each patty= 30 cal 1.2 g fat 0.8 g fiber 1.6 g protein 4 g carbs 8.5 mg Calcium    GF PB  V  From the good old Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen, these are easy to prepare and set you up for several servings of future meals.                                                                                                                                  2 cups canned chick peas     [I like Goya brand  TIP:  if you use dried chickpeas, you will get a grainer product. Factor in the time to reconstitute and cook them]                                                            1.5 cloves garlic, crushed [add as much as you enjoy!]                                                                                 ¼ cup celery, minced                                                                                                                                           ¼ c. scallions, sliced                                                                                                                                                    1 raw egg                                                                                                                                                                                            1.5 tsp tahini                                                                                                                                                                 ½ t. cumin    +   ½ t. tumeric   +   ¼ t. cayenne  + ¼ t. black pepper     +  1.5 t. salt                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Combine everything in food processor until ingredients form a uniform paste. Scoop into a bowl and chill 1 hour. Form into balls on a silicone mat or parchment paper on a cookie sheet. I used a 1  Tbsp scoop and then flattened the patties slightly. TIP: You don’t have to bake them now. You could freeze the patties on a cookie sheet, then put them frozen into bags to cook later.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. The patties should be heated through and have an outside ‘crust’ which is firm to the touch. In most recipes, you will cook them further. At this point you want them to be firm enough to store well. There will be about 25 of them. Use now or cool and freeze for later use.

Felafel Bake:  271 calories   6.6 g fat   3.1 g fiber   15.2 g protein  40 g carbs   198 mg Calcium   PB GF   Here we use 1 of the felafel patties which we prepared and froze earlier. Great time-saver! Amazing in eggs!Felafel Bake w: blueberries

1 two-oz egg one felafel patty, thawed [see Stocking Up I-4-’18]                                                                            1 Tbsp tomato puree or crushed tomatoes                                                                                                            ¼ c blueberries                                                                                                                                                                     blackish coffee, blackish tea, or lemon in hot water                                                                                   5-6 oz smoothie or natural apple cider

Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and set the toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the felafel and the tomato until well blended. Whisk the egg into the felafel and turn into the ramekin. Bake about 15 minutes while you portion the berries and prepare the beverages. What a simple, delicious breakfast.

Felafel with Mixed Salad: 295 calories   13.6 g fat   7.3 g fiber   15.5 g protein  29 g carbs [28 Complex]   174 mg Calcium   PB   GF   V    What a healthy plate of food! When you have felafel in the freezer, a quick meal like this is almost instant. If you prep the vegetables in advance, this would be a good ‘make-ahead’ meal for the end of a busy day.felafel w: mixed salad

6 felafel patties                                                                                                                                                           2 cups lettuce, I like to slice large leaves cross-wise into 1/2” strips                                                         2 oz tomatoes, cherry tomatoes or cut in 1/2” cubes                                                                                      1 oz carrots, grated                                                                                                                                                       1 oz beets cut in large dice [canned beets would be a real plus]                                                                1 oz Feta cheese in large crumbles                                                                                                                    ¾ tsp flavored olive oil   +  ¾ tsp white wine vinegar                                                                                    salt + pepper to taste

Thaw the felafel patties. If unbaked, heat in a 400° F. oven for 10-15 minutes. Prepare the vegetables for the salad. Whisk the vinegar and oil, then toss the salad vegetables in the dressing. Top with the felafel and feta crumbles.