The Man Who Invented Robots

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.

The word ‘robot’ was invented in 1920, by Karel Capek. He wrote a dystopian science fiction play called R.U.R. which stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”. The play imagines the industrialist Rossum, who invents humanoid automatons, dubbed ‘robots‘, which can replace humans in any occupation. One would think this is to eliminate boring, mind-killing work — but really it was to make money. Of course, humans use the robots to wage wars and eventually the robots rebel, wiping out all but one human: a technician who can help them to create more robots.

Karel Capek was born in what is now the Czech Republic on January 9 in 1890. A sickly child, he turned to literature as an adult in the form of journalism and play-writing. His work ran him afoul of the Gestapo, since Capek was an ardent anti-Fascist and anti-Communist. Others praised his work and he was nominated several times for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Capek died of influenza/pneumonia in 1938.

For Capek’s birthday, we start with a meal so simple that even a human can prepare it. “Rosey” the Jetson’s robot housekeeper can take the morning off. The dinner is a soup that the author might well have eaten, especially since garlic is supposed to fight colds.

Parmesan-Chive Scramble:  159 calories 9.7 g fat 1 g fiber 12.7 g protein 5.2 g carbs [4.3 g Complex] 139 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the Scramble and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  This is the Scramble version of my Dear Husband’s ‘Bake’ of the same ingredients. Still wonderful! 

1 ½ two-oz eggs  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week   1.5 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 1.5 Tbsp minced fresh chives 1 oz kiwi fruit   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Whisk together the chives, cheese, and eggs. Turn into a hot pan spritzed with oil or non-stick spray. Scramble to perfection and plate with the fruit. Pour your choice of beverages and dig into a bright breakfast, even on a grey day.

Czech Garlic Soup: 194 calories 4.7 g fat 4.3 g fiber 9 g protein 27 g carbs [18.4 g Complex] 84 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF rye bread What could be better on a cold winter’s night than a cozy bowl of soup? This is a classic, but feel free to make it your own. The calorie count is so low that you could add other vegetables or some low-fat meat. Flavor!!!

1 Tbsp unsalted butter OR bacon fat  
7 cloves garlic
Chop garlic and saute in butter/fat in a stock pot.
7 cups water OR   Chicken Broth OR Beef Broth
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 cups cubed potatoes  
3 cups cubed parsnips
Peel potatoes and parsnips and cut in cubes. Add to broth and salt in a large pot. Simmer for 20 minutes, until vegetables are just under-done. Remove ½ cup soup stock and cool.
1 egg
1 tsp marjoram
Whisk the egg, then whisk in the reserved ½ cup of soup stock. Return to the stockpot, stirring, and add marjoram. Taste for seasoning. Let sit 8-24 hours.
per serving: 1/2 oz sourdough rye bread, cubed
1/4 oz Swiss cheese, grated
Toast the cubes of bread. Grate the cheese over them while hot. Use to garnish the reheated soup.

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

1 two-oz eggsweet crepe + uncured bacon
Vache Qui Rit [Laughing Cow] cheeselow-fat ricotta cheese
lots of herbs + ricotta cheeselow-fat yogurt
melonstrawberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

galette + fish stock
Arctic char, 4 oz
3.5 oz tuna/mixed seafood +
cauliflower + zucchini
green peas, edamame, snow peas–
one type or a combination
bechamel sauce + carrot
optional: watercress sauce
Laughing Cow cheese

Sparkling waterSparkling water

Literary Reference

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.

A literary reference is when an author has a situation/event/character in one book which is recognizable as something in another book by a different author. I love to see those: it is as if the author is winking and nodding at me, saying “I know you’ll get that”. Some people debate whether one can have a ‘literary’ reference to a movie or TV show, but hey — a screen play is literature, too. Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones Diary makes recurring reference to Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice. Anyone who asserts that he/she is “Shocked. Shocked!” is referring to the screenplay of Casablanca. The list goes on and on! Shakespear, Homer, all authors are grist for the literary reference mill. What fun.

Today’s meals are a culinary form of literary reference. The Keats poem The Eve of St Agnes describes in length the meal set by the love-struck swain Porphyro for his beloved. Read The Arabian Nights by Richard Francis Burton and you will want a meal flavored with ‘the spices of the East’.

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   This is based on the foods described by Keats in his romantic poem The Eve of St Agnes. The meal is rather sweet [key to a teenage girl’s heart?] despite its low calorie count – 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. HINT: The photo below shows the meal for two [2] people on one plate — true love doesn’t mind sharing.

2 Tbsp lowfat Plain OR 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. NO smoothie coffee or tea ONLY if it is black 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.

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.

6 oz chicken thigh meat, boneless, skinless 1.5 tsp Hawayij spice 2/3 cups water 1/3 cup chicken broth 1/3 cup dry quick-cooking barley   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. Sprinkle the chicken with the spice and saute it until 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 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.

Telling the Bees

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.

Bees, in the ancient world, achieved almost mythical status. The 7th century BC people of Rhodes had a Goddess Honeybee. The Celts thought that bees were messengers between this world and the next. Honey was a valuable commodity, so a hive of bees was prized. Seemingly without reason, bees swarm out of the hive and go away — a real calamity for a homestead. Thus, superstitions grew up around bees. One is ‘telling the bees’ about any changes in the household: births, marriages, departures, deaths. It was feared that if the bees weren’t told, they would up and leave. John Greenleaf Whittier wrote a poignant poem, Telling the Bees, about the death of a young man’s girlfriend and how the bees were being informed.

My friend Hilda B., who kept bees with her husband David, died last week. I hope he told the bees. Or if there are no more hives at their house, I hope he told the garden that he and Hilda tended so faithfully and happily together.

There is a lot of buzz about cutting down on sugar in our food. People hear that and they think, “OK, I’ll put honey in my coffee instead.” Or agave juice or cane syrup or maple syrup. They must be better — they are all natural, right? Sure those sweeteners are naturally occurring, but sweet is sweet and our bodies use all sugars the same way. ALL sugars are bad for us in excess. If you could eat the recommended amount of added sugar [6 teaspoons per day], then you can have your sugar and eat it too. One teaspoon = 4 grams of sugar. 6 teaspoons = 24 grams. Try putting 6 teaspoons of sugar in a small dish. Use some of that sugar when you sweeten your coffee/tea. If you eat one medium chocolate chip cookie, take out another teaspoon. Check the cereal box to see how many teaspoons to remove for a bowl of cereal. The sugar in fruit? Don’t worry about that since it isn’t added to the fruit. See how far into your day you get before you run out of sugar. Then think about it: how much sugar do you really need.

Here’s what Harvard School of Health says about sugar in the foods we eat: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/added-sugar-in-the-diet/ Below, find a recipe for a meal that could be for breakfast [with the coffee] or for dinner [with another felafel patty added and vegetables in lieu of fruit]. It shows how a meal can be good tasting and filling but low in added sugar.

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

4 felafel patties 4 oz canteloupe melon or pineapple 3.5 oz fat-free Greek-style yogurt ½ tsp mint leaves   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea

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

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

1 two-oz egg + pear1.5 two-oz eggs 
green bell pepper + celery
Danish bleu cheese
onion + cajun seasoning
herring marinated in wine
cottage cheese + Tabasco sauce
apple
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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


White whole wheat flour + shrimp
Béchamel without cheese +dill
egg white + scallion + lobster
ham + spinach + celery

white fish + soy sauce
onion + celery salt + basil

rice vinegar + chives + garlic
garlic powder + 2 crepes
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Hometown Heroine: Geneva

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.

Catherine Cheynel Royaume was no doubt an unassuming woman. She had lived with her second husband Pierre in Lyon, France until 1572. At that time, the Protestant Huguenots were being persecuted by the Catholic majority, so the Royaumes and other families left France for Geneva. Pierre found work there as an engraver of coins and because of that, they had an apartment in the city wall above the Port de la Monnaie [Coin Gate] where taxes were collected on goods brought into the city. On December 11/12, 1602, when Catherine was 62, couldn’t sleep so she went to stir the soup that was always cooking over the coals of the fire. Hearing a noise outside the window, she looked out to see soldiers of an invading army from Savoie! As they began to scale the walls to take Geneva by surprise, Madame Royaume picked up her pot of hot soup and threw the contents on the soldiers. Then she sounded the alarm and hit an invader on the head with the pot. Other residents joined the fray, throwing furniture from windows to knock soldiers off their ladders. Eventually, the Savoyard army gave up and Geneva was saved. Catherine is remembered as “Mere Royaume” and tiny chocolate soup pots filled with marzipan vegetables are consumed every year in her honor.

The Royaume family was from Lyon, France, a rich agricultural area. Our breakfast features a French recipe using ripe cherries. Our dinner is one version of the soup that Mere Royaume used to save the day.

Cherry Flamusse:  194 calories 5 g fat 1.3 g fiber 11 g protein 27.6 g carbs [10 g Complex] 157 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB GF – if using GF flour     This breakfast custard is borrowed from the dessert section of the cookbook, and it works very well either way! It is similar to a clafouti, but simpler. Served with cherries or any fresh fruit, it is sure to be a hit. HINT: This makes enough for 2 [two] servings: share with a friend or save the rest for a future breakfast or dessert. [As a dessert, one serving has 177 calories, since there would be no clementine.]

2 two-oz eggs 6 oz milk 4 tsp flour OR tapioca flour 1.5 Tbsp sugar 10 sweet cherries, pitted ½ clementine Optional:  blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Spritz 2 ramekins or an oven-proof dish [1.5 cup capacity] with non-stick spray. Cut the cherries in half and arrange on the bottom of the dish. Whisk eggs until foamy, then add flour and sugar, whisking until there are no lumps. Stir in the milk and pour the batter over the cherries. Bake at 375 F. for 20 minutes. Turn the flamusse out of the dish so that the cherries are on top. Plate with the clementine sections, serve with the beverages. You won’t believe this is a ‘diet.’

Soup Royaume: 152 calories 0.3 g fat 6.3 g fiber 12.6 g protein 24.6 g carbs 84 mg Calcium   PB GF  A fine meal for winter, made hearty with autumn vegetables and lentils. Add as much seasoning as you wish. Any soup can be improved by preparing it ahead and letting it sit for 8-24 hours. HINT: The recipe makes four [4] servings.

2.5 oz pork loin, raw or cooked ½ cup onion, chopped 3.5 oz dry lentils, small green ones from France if possible 3 oz rutabega/turnip, cubed 2 oz carrot, diced 3 oz parsnip, diced 3 cups chopped cabbage mace + dry mustard + caraway seed [optional] salt + pepper ½ cup frozen spinach, chopped 3 cups water per serving: several leaves of fresh spinach

Put the pork, onions, and lentils in a heavy saucepan and cook until browned. Add the rutabega/turnip, carrot, parsnip, cabbage and seasonings. Cover with water, using more if needed. Cover and cook for about 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Taste for seasonings, add the frozen spinach, and heat through. Divide into 4 equal servings and freeze the servings you don’t need today. Roughly chop the fresh spinach and put it on top of the soup when serving. 

Astrid Lindgren

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

When our sons were little, we read to them at bedtime and nap-time. Every children’s book was grist for our mill. At some point, we discovered The Tomten and The Fox, by Astrid Lindgren and we were all charmed by it. We read it again and again, along with The Tomten and the Christmas Tomten. Astrid Lindgren was born on November 14 in 1907 on her family’s farm in Vimmerby, Sweden. She grew up to be an author with world-wide recognition for her books, especially the best-selling Pippi Longstocking series. Astrid Lindgren was also a life-long activist for equality; for animal rights; for fair government; for fighting violence against children. She wrote: ‘A childhood without books – that would be no childhood. That would be like being shut out from the enchanted place where you can go and find the rarest kind of joy.’ Read to a child today. Give books to children for birthdays and holiday gifts. Share the joy.

The Swedes like their smoked sausage. We’ll have to substitute for their favorite ‘falukorv‘, but you’ll get the idea when you cook it with eggs at breakfast. Dinner involves, what else — herring, one of the staples of the Scandinavian diet since forever.

Smoked Sausage ScrOmelette: 299 calories 10 g fat 2.7 g fiber 19 g protein 37 g carbs 206 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF Having been gifted with Dakin smoked chicken sausage, we decided to make it a breakfast. The sausage adds a nice smokey Autumnal flavor to the eggs. If substituting another sausage, choose one that has 30 calories per ounce.

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.   3/4 oz Dakin Farm cob-smoked chicken sausage, diced 1.5 tsp each oregano and parsley, chopped 2 oz apple OR apple sauce, unsweetened  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]  or lemon in hot water Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Add the prepared sausage and stir to heat . Whisk the eggs with the herbs and a grind of pepper and pour into the pan, stirring to incorporate the sausage. Cook to your favorite degree of doneness. Plate the fruit, pour your optional beverages and off you go.

Herring Salad:  278 calories 6 g fat 6.8 g fiber 16 g protein 24 g carbs 103 mg Calcium  PB GF  Eating herring goes back centuries in Scandinavia. This fine Old World recipe is from Luchow’s German Festival Cookbook. NB: if you take a MOIA anti-depressent, be aware that herring has high amounts of tyramine. 

 1- 1/2 oz herring marinated in wine, drained 1/4 cup beets, cooked, cooled and diced 1- 1/2 oz apple, peeled and diced 1/4 cup white beans, drained and rinsed 1/2 hard-boiled egg, sliced 2 Tbsp onion, minced 1/2 oz dill pickle, chopped pinch sugar 2 tsp vinegar, or more 1 cup lettuce, shredded

Put the vinegar and sugar in a bowl and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Add remaining ingredients and toss gently until everything is well-incorporated. Taste to see if it needs more sugar or more vinegar. A herring-lover’s delight.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs  + Bing Cherries
kippered herring
3% fat ham + leek or scallion
white whole wheat flour
garlic + mushrooms
milk + pear or apple
chicken liver or chicken liver pate
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

shrimp/prawns + parsley
chicken breast + marinara sauce
haddock or other white fish
optional: puff pastry
Parmesano cheese + fresh bread crumbs
smoked haddock + milk
mozzarella + cottage cheese
onion + cloves + spinach
butter + flour + bay leaf
baby greens + carrot + vinaigrette
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Night on Bald Mountain

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.

The music of Modest Mussorgsky was part of the sound-track of my childhood. On Sundays, a recording [actual vinal LP disk!!] of “Pictures at an Exhibition” always played while my sister and I set the dining room table. Then every October, the Walt Disney Show on TV would show a clip from the 1941 film Fantasia depicting “Night on Bald Mountain.” Gosh that was scary to watch!! Mussorgsky wrote his tone poem to describe in music the mid-summer celebration of witches and demons [sometimes called Walpurgis Night] but now it is more associated with Hallowe’en instead. Unfortunately, Mussorgsky did not live to see the fame of his music. It was premiered five years after his death when Rimsky-Korsakov became a champion of the Mussorgsky’s work.

Horseradish is a popular flavor in Mussorsky’s home country of Russia and that is what flavors the breakfast. The dinner has the colors of Fall and of Hallowe’en. Tomorrow, being October 31st, listen to the “Night on Bald Mountain” to enhance the mood.

Horseradish-Cheesy Bake: 143 calories 7.5 g fat 1.2 g fiber 8.7 g protein g carbs 78.6 mg Calcium   NB: Food values given are for the Bake and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.   PB GF David Rosengarten’s unusual cookbook It’s All American Food takes the reader on a tour of American ethnic and regional foods, and tells you how to make those treats in your own kitchen. This recipe is from the Manhattan restaurant Barney Greengrass, where they are known for their breakfasts.

One 2-oz egg ½ Tbsp crushed tomato 1 Tbsp cheddar/horseradish spread*** 1 Tbsp chives, minced 2 oz apricots   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

*** Cheddar/Horseradish Spread 2 Tbsp WisPride Cheddar spread OR Kraft Old English Cheddar spread  4 [or more] tsp prepared horseradish [the kind in a jar] Cream together thoroughly. Save the rest for another day or another use.

Set the toaster oven at at 350 degrees F. Spritz a ramekin with oil or non-stick spray. Vigorously whisk the egg, cheeses, and chives until well combined and pour into the ramekin. Put in the oven [it doesn’t need to be hot yet] and bake 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare your optional beverages and prep the fruit. This will kick-start your day.

Tomato-Corn-Black Bean Salad:  274 calories 9 g fat 16.5 g protein 34.7 g carbs [34 g Complex] 63.4 mg Calcium  PB GF  For a real late Summer treat, you can’t beat fresh corn and tomatoes! 100Daysofrealfood  provided the recipe and then I altered it a little. HINT: This serves TWO.

1-1/2 ears of corn 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed 4 oz tomato: cherry tomatoes cut in half OR whole tomato cut in 1” dice ¼ cup red onion, diced ¼ cup basil leaves, chopped 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar salt and pepper 1 oz cooked beef, from steak or roast OR 1 oz roast pork

Blanch the corn for 1 minute in boiling water. Cool and cut the kernals off the cob and put in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the rinsed beans to the bowl. Gently mix the beans and corn with the tomatoes and onion. Slice the beef very thinly and warm it briefly if it is cold. Heat the vegetables in the microwave for 45-60 seconds to make slightly warm. In a small bowl combine the basil, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pour over the warmed vegetables and stir to combine. Plate and arrange the meat on top. As good as it is colorful.

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

Next Monday, I will discuss Fasting
while on vacation.
1.5 two-oz eggs 
Choose a breakfast from Archivessalmon

strawberries


Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Dining out on vacation
filets of sole

breadcrumbs + egg

cooked fish + herbs

cheese + green beans
Sparkling waterSparkling water

The Mill Town

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 FunnyJokesOf TheDay who is now Following.

We live in a Mill Town. Mill Towns began to spring up in New England in the early 1800s as people harnessed streams and rivers to run a variety of enterprises. Big Mill Towns often had a bad rep — dirty, crime-ridden, filled with the uneducated — not the sort of place ‘nice people’ would choose to live. Bennington, New Hampshire had many ‘mills’ in 1830: paper, knives, fabric, gun powder — all were made in the town. These mills were small affairs — no belching smokestacks, no teeming tenements for workers — housed in family homes clustered along the tumbling Contoocook River. Up until 1842, Bennington did not exist as a community. It was part of the agricultural town of Hancock and it was called ‘factory village.’ Hancock had no river downtown, and so the factories/mills were located in what became the town of Bennington. Now all the mills have closed except one: Monadnock Paper Mill which opened in 1819. Don’t picture some dreadful, noisy factory polluting the river — MPM has been aggressively promoted clean air and water in a carbon-neutral plant. This year they will celebrate their 200th anniversary of making specialty papers and the legacy of the Industrial Revolution in our little town. The Mill whistle still sounds at 7 am, noon, and 5 pm, making a comforting punctuation to the day.

The meals today reflect the town of Bennington’s factory history. One of the first mills was built by James Carken. There he made gun powder — until the mill blew up. Picturesque Powder Mill Pond had a restaurant in the 1980s/1990s that served their signature egg dish. As the mills prospered, immigrants moved to town. Italians [our oldest restaurant is Alberto’s], Greeks, Irish [the Catholic church was St Patrick’s], Swedes, and Swiss all made the town grow. Our dinner of corned beef and cabbage is a real working man’s meal.

Powder Mill Scramble: 141 calories 8.3 g fat 0.7 g fiber 11.2 g protein 6 g carb [5.6 g Complex] 49.8 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the Scramble and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF This recipe is straight out of Jerry Willis’ Powder Mill Pond Restaurant where it was a favorite. Alas, that restaurant is not more, but you can enjoy this at home.

1 ½ two-oz eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week ½ oz smoked salmon ½ oz or 2 Tbsp sliced scallion greens 2 oz melon or clementine or 2 oz sliced apple or 1-1/2 oz mango 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]

Whisk the eggs [salt and pepper may not be needed depending on the seasoning of your salmon]. Pour into a pan which has been sprayed briefly with cooking spray. Quickly, before the eggs set, add the salmon and scallions. Scramble to taste. Prepare your optional beverage. Plate with fruit of choice.

Corned Beef & Cabbage: 299 calories 22 g fat 3.8 g fiber 22.7 g protein 14.8 g carbs 220.5 mg Calcium PB GF Fannie Farmer provides the inspiration for this recipe. Add deli corned beef to creamed cabbage with cheese, and you are in the spirit of mill town America.

3 cups sliced cabbage ¼ cup plain bechamel sauce 2 oz corned beef [pre-sliced from the deli] cut into strips ½ oz deli Swiss cheese salt & pepper

Steam the cabbage for 5 minutes. Stir in the bechamel sauce, corned beef, and seasonings. Put into an oven-proof dish and lay the cheese slice on top. Bake at 350 degrees F. until the cheese melts.

John Chapman

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.

John Chapman was born on September 26, 1774, in Leominister, Massachusetts. If you are scratching your head, wondering who he is, then you might know his nickname: “Johnny Appleseed.” People my age will remember the Disney version of his story and Girl Scouts might remember singing “The Lord is good to me, and so I thank the Lord...” as a grace before meals. Why his he associated with apples? Apples are not native to the Americas [try Kazakhstan!], but early settlers brought them over and soon the East was full of them. Settlers going West into Ohio would be given 100 acres if they settled down and planted apple trees. Chapman was a saavy real estate dealer – he walked out to the frontier [yes, with a bag of seeds], bought land, and planted apple trees. When the settlers got there, he sold them the land and he moved on. The apples he planted were for making cider, not pies. They were hard and sour, more suitable for a bar-room beverage than for pie with the parson. But those apples were what people wanted and Chapman knew it. Johnny Appleseed was a real person who helped to settle the upper Mid-West, one apple tree at a time, eventually becoming ‘as American as apple pie’.

Naturally today’s menus will involve apples: in a Norman-style omelette for breakfast and with pork for dinner. John Chapman would understand and approve.

Omelette Normande: 174 calories 11 g fat 1 g fiber 10 g protein 9 g carbs [8.2 g Complex] 46 mg Calcium  PB GF Cooking in Normandy naturally involves apple and cream, even at breakfast. This is the breakfast version of a Norman dessert omelette.

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. 1-1/2 tsp heavy/whipping cream + ¼ tsp cinnamon 1-1/2 oz apple, peeled and sliced thinly ½ tsp butter + ¼ tsp sugar 1 oz peach  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] NO smoothie today

Peel and slice the apples and cook them slowly in a saute pan with the butter, sugar, 2 Tbsp water, and a healthy spray of non-stick spray. Add more water if the pan gets dry – you don’t want the apples to stick or scorch. Cook until the apples are almost soft and there is no more liquid in the pan. HINT: You can do this the night before. Whisk the eggs with the cream, cinnamon, and a little salt while the apples heat/stay warm in the saute pan. Pour in the eggs and let them cook undisturbed until done. Fold and plate with the peach or other fruit of 11 calories. Picture apple trees in bloom.

Pork with Apples: 273 calories 8.1 g fat 4 g fiber 22.7g protein 18.8 g carbs 84 mg Calcium  PB GF Long a favorite combination in lands where local meats and local fruits are blended in hearty meals. The flavor of pork with apples is a winner.

3 oz pork tenderloin, raw or cooked 2 oz round slices of apple, unpeeled + ½ oz cubed apples, unpeeled 4 oz chicken stock 4 Tbsp Bechamel sauce, no cheese [see Sidekicks I, 17 September 2017] thyme + sage + salt + pepper to taste 1 oz broccoli florets + 1 oz cauliflower florets + 1 oz carrots

Poach the apple slices in the stock until they are tender. TIP: if cooking for 2, this may require poaching in 2 batches. Remove slices and reserve. Slice the pork into rounds about 1/4” thick. If pork is raw, braise it briefly in the hot stock, and remove from stock. Put 1 Tbsp stock in the oven-proof pan in which you will cook the dinner. Combine diced apples, Bechamel, seasonings, and remaining stock in the sauce pan, stirring until apples are soft and sauce is medium-thick. Adjust seasonings. Arrange alternating slices of pork and apple in the baking pan. Nap with the sauce and bake at 350 until warmed through, about 20 minutes. Steam the vegetables and enjoy a hearty autumn meal.

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

1 two-oz eggwhipped cream cheese 
onion + sweet potato
herring marinated in white wine
white whole wheat flour/GF flour
Finn Crisp crackers
applesauce + Canadian/back bacon
cherries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

beef liver
potato + carrot
onion
onion + egg white
butter
nutmeg + rye bread + milk
green beans
3%-fat ground turkey
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Corn

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.

“Cornscateous” is one of the favorite weather words of the Old Farmer’s Almanac. They define it as ‘hot humid weather that is good for growing corn.’ Corn is native to the Americas and was cultivated extensively by First Nations people. Field Corn is for animal feed. Indian or Flint Corn is for grinding and for Autumn decorations. Sweet Corn, in all its variety, is for EATING! When I was a child, our family would have a ‘corn dinner’ every summer — the entire meal consisted of ears of sweet corn, all you could eat. Even the cat liked it.

Here are 4 recipes for corn: two for breakfast, two for dinner. Two made with fresh corn, two made with corn meal. Enjoy it while it is ripe.

Ham-Cup Egg with Corn: 140 calories 6.7 g fat 1.3 g fiber 10 g protein 11 g carbs [10 g Com-plex] 36.8 mg Calcium PG GF Ham and corn are such a grand combination. Easy to prepare ahead for a quick breakfast. 2-oz egg + red bell pepper + slice ham + fresh polenta + watermelon For the full recipe, see Scout + Jem

Hoe Cakes with Two Toppings 183 calories 5.6 g fat 5.4 g fiber 9.7 g protein 23 g carbs [17.4 g Complex] 44 mg Calcium PB GF This recipe harks back to Colonial Days in the Ameri-can South. Everyone from enslaved people to President George Washington ate hoe cakes. HINT: This recipe makes 6 hoecakes – enough for 2 servings. Originally this would be made with white cornmeal, but the yellow has more nutrition. NB: Hoe cakes were never ‘cooked on a hoe’ by farm workers, as some will tell you. Silly notion.

3 Tbsp yellow corn-meal [even polenta meal would do] 
2.5 Tbsp hot water 
Combine by stirring well to make a mush. Let sit for 15 minutes
1 oz egg white
¼ tsp yeast
Stir into the warm cornmeal mush and let sit for 1 – 12 hours This was 125 ml in volume
2 Tbsp cornmeal
2 Tbsp water
¼ tsp salt
Mix into the cornmeal mush. If you take some up on a fork, it will sit on top with a little batter dribbling through. If it is not like this, add more cornmeal or more water. This was ½ cup in volume.

Using 2 tbsp of batter per cake, drop onto a hot griddle sprayed with non-stick spray. This should make 6 cakes. Cook on both sides. Best if eaten while fresh.
¼ cup raspberries
1 tsp honey
one 2-oz egg
Put the fruit and honey in a small dish and microwave for 30 seconds. Fry the egg.
Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] Plate 2 of the Hoecakes with the egg and the other with the berry syrup.

FRESH POLENTA1 serving = 1/3 cup = 80 calories  fresh or frozen corn kernels + unsalted butter + freshly-ground pepper + salt From Jacques Pepin, this is excellent served with a simply prepared fish. For the complete recipe, see Second Fiddles I-9-’19

POLENTA: makes 6 slices 1 slice: 51 calories 0.2 g fat 0.6 g fiber 1.8 g protein 10 g carbs 26 mg Calcium A fine side dish for poultry or fish. Polenta corn meal + skimmed milk + Italian herbs For the full recipe, see SIDEKICKS II 4-Oct-2017

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
tuna, fresh or canned + melonapple + cinnamon
frozen spinach + anchovy
light cream
mediterranean vegetables
sugar + butter
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

halibut + spinach
pork tenderloin + broccoli
shallot + Thai red curry paste
apples + chicken stock
chicken broth + scallion
Bechamel sauce
light coconut milk + lime juice
carrot + thyme + sage
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Lascaux

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.

17,000 years ago, in the caves of South-Western France, people were painting realistic representations of animals on the walls of caves. On 12 September, 1940, four boys searching for their lost dog, were the first to see the painting since a landslide had sealed it during pre-history. Named Lascaux, the cave was opened to the public in 1948. By 1963, the cave’s visitors had introduced, unintentionally, so much CO2 and so many mold spores that the paintings were covered over and the caves were closed. For the next 20 years, a remarkable copy of the most famous parts of the original cave was created. Archaeologists, geologists, and artists worked to create an exact duplicate [right down to similar materials and ‘brush-strokes’] of the original cave. Sealed, illuminated, and with climate controlled air circulating through, Lascaux II was opened in 1983. It is fabulous. When we visited in 1999, even though I knew it was a copy, the paintings in their setting took my breath away. Visitors are admitted in small groups and the guides are amazing: Dear Husband, who does not speak French, was able to understand the narration. Which was good, since I was too much in awe to translate. Absolutely amazing art: vivid and dramatic.

Thinking of cave art makes one think of the PaleoDiet. On the surface, this popular “next best thing” seems similar to the Fast Diet: protein and vegetables and fruit. The main difference is that the Paleo menu is limited to foods available 12,000 years ago and it is heavy on red meat. The Fast Diet is not so restrictive and thus is much more flexible and sustainable. Our foods today work for either diet plan and are delicious.

Swiss Chard Fritatta: 154 calories 8.4 g fat 1.3 g fiber 12 g protein 5.7g carbs [5 g Complex] 58 mg Calcium  PB GF  Susan Herrmann Loomis is a cookbook author whom I trust, so when I saw this, I had to try it. She serves it as an appetizer or entre; but by reducing the recipe, it makes a great breakfast.

1 ½ two-oz eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.  1 oz Swiss or rainbow chard, coarsely chopped or sliced; stems removed sprinkles of garlic powder 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese pinch salt + pinch paprika 2 oz strawberries  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

In a saucepan, simmer the chard in water and add some pinches of garlic powder. Cook, uncovered, about 15 minutes until the leaves are limp and the water has cooked away. [keep a good eye on it so it doesn’t stick or burn] HINT: I did this the night before. Find a small [8” diameter] heat-proof skillet which can be used both on top of the range and under the broiler. Spray it generously with non-stick spray and spread the cooked chard over the bottom. Whisk the eggs, then add the cheese, salt, and paprika. Whisk again and pour the eggs over the greens. Place on the stovetop over medium heat for 3-4 minutes while the eggs cook on the bottom but the top is still liquidy. Place under the broiler until set and slightly browned. Plate with the fruit. [Loomis wants you to invert it on the plate, but we preferred the puffy top to be on top] Delicious!!

Pork Salad: 144 calories 4 g fat 2.4 g fiber 17 g protein 7 g carbs [6.8 g Complex] 43 mg Calcium  PB GF When there is leftover meat from a roast, the easiest meal is to turn it into a salad with lots of yummy components.  NB: I sprinkled each serving with ¼ oz flax-seed corn chips [not Paleo, I know] which added 40 calories, only 2.5 g fat and 4 g carbs.

2 cups salad greens, cut as chiffonade if leaves are large 2.5-3 oz pork tenderloin, cooked, sliced 2.5-3 oz tomatoes, cut in bite-sized pieces 1 oz red bell pepper, cut in 1/2” dice 1 oz whole fresh cranberries, not dried 2 oz zucchini sticks 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar + ½ tsp olive oil + 1 tsp blue cheese herb mustard

Prepare all the vegetables as described. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a wide bowl and toss with the greens. Plate the greens and decorate the salad with the other components. That was fast!

Ingredients for next week: 

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

1 two-oz eggNext week I will offer several
meals involving Corn.
sourdough rye bread
choose a new favorite breakfast
from the Archives
3% fat ham + yellow plums

Hamelin or Camembert cheese

Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

2 pounds beef chuck/shoulder
Next week I will offer several
meals involving Corn.
sweet paprika + onion
choose a new favorite from the Archives
tomato paste + oil + green beans

beef stock [optional noodles]

Sparkling waterSparkling water