Flowering Moon

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 First Nations People of North America had names for all of the full moons. Beautiful, descriptive names. The Ojibwe tribe called the moon in May the “Flowering Moon.” The ancient Romans had a goddess of flowers named Flora. Her festival was in late April/early May. In the early USA, putting baskets of flowers on neighbors’ front doors was a custom on the first of May. In Japan, the famous Hanami [admiring blossoms] Festival is spread out from March to April, depending on blooming times. In Northern Japan, they are admiring cherry blossoms as late as May 1. How wonderful that such disparate cultures and locations in the same hemisphere all shared an appreciation of Springtime and its flowers! You can celebrate the early days of May by spending time in your garden or nearest public park. Enjoy the fresh air and the growing plants. Renew yourself outside, then renew your determination to change yourself inside by eating a healthier diet.

Our meals, this early May, will highlight one of the flowers that we commonly eat — asparagus! And it comes up in the Spring. Full of flavor, fiber, and nutrition, asparagus is a great addition to the Faster’s diet.

Asparagus Roll-ups:  107 calories 7 g fat 1.2 g fiber 8 g protein 2.6 g carbs [2.7 g Complex] 51.5 mg Calcium PB GF Pretty on the plate and a delight to eat.

1 two-oz egg 2 oz asparagus spears, tough lower stalks snapped off 1 Tbsp whipped cream cheese 1-2 tsp tarragon, chopped A few fresh berries: golden berries, blueberries, raspberries  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [87 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Break the tough lower part of the asparagus stalks, wash, and steam or cook in minimal water until tender. Drain, salt lightly, and set aside. HINT: You could do this the night before. Whisk the egg with the cream cheese and tarragon, along with a pinch of sea salt. Heat an 8”-9” skillet and spritz it with non-stick spray. Pour in the egg and tilt the pan so that the egg forms a thin, even layer over the bottom of the pan. Without stirring or moving the egg, cook until the egg is set and as your like them – this will not take long. Remove the egg to your plate, like a big pancake. Put the cooked asparagus in the pan and shake it a bit over heat to re-warm. Lay the spears on the eggs so that the blossom ends hang over the edge. Roll the egg so that the asparagus is inside and plate attractively. With your optional beverages, you are set for a Spring-time breakfast treat.

Beef & Asparagus Stir-fry:  289 calories 8.4 g fat 5.2 g fiber 20.7 g protein 35.7 g carbs [12.6 g Complex] 69 mg Calcium  PB GF— if omitting the noodles   The flavors of beef, asparagus, and oyster sauce are a real WOW.

2 oz sirloin, raw, sliced thinly across grain 2 tsp oyster sauce 2 tsp soy sauce 2-3 tsp cornstarch ¼ c chicken stock 2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated or minced 1 clove garlic, sliced hot pepper flakes to taste 5 oz asparagus, roll-cut in 2” pieces 3 oz red pepper, sliced into strips 1 oz onion, sliced   Optional: ½ oz Japanese buckwheat noodles, broken into 2” pieces

Prepare the meat as described. Combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, stock, and cornstarch. Add the sliced meat and set aside. Boil the noodles for four minutes, drain [saving the cooking water], rinse, and put aside. Cut the vegetables as described and put in a bowl. In another dish, put the garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes [those are the ‘aromatics’]. Heat a wok or cast iron skillet until it is hot. Spray with oil or non-stick spray. Add the vegetables and stir-fry for 3 minutes [if needed, add some noodle water to keep it cooking. Push the vegetables aside and add the aromatics. Count to 30. Add the beef with marinade. Stir-fry for 1 minute more or until the beef is mostly cooked and the sauce begins to thicken. If the sauce gets too thick, add some of the noodle water. then add the cooked noodles. Stir to combine and warm, then plate. 

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

1 two-oz egg + Cheddar cheeseoatmeal 
chili non carne strawberries
canned green chilis [Hatch brand]blueberries
melon
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

chicken breast + bell peppers smoked salmon + cucumber
canned green chilis + red onion + garlictomato + red onion + romaine lettuce
canned white beans + scallionsourdough rye + olive oil + honey
cumin + chili powder + oregano + salsa verdehard-boiled egg + lemon juice + dill
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Gascony

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

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

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

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

1 two-ounce egg ½ oz cabbage, thinly-sliced ½ oz leeks, thinly-sliced ¼ oz small white beans [All I had were garbanzoes, so I sliced them in half] 1/3 oz pork, shredded or thinly-sliced ½ tsp duck fat or bacon fat 1-3/4 oz strawberries/blueberries   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

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

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

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

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

Ramadan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fasting for Lent

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

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

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

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

1 oz mackerel gravlax OR 1 oz smoked trout [DuckTrap brand is very good] 2 oz Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced; each slice cut into 1/2-moons ¼ c blueberries + 2 raspberries for color   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mehmet II

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sun-Centered

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Saumya P. who is now Following.

Nicholas Copernicus is one of my favorite scientists. He was adopted as an orphan by his uncle, the Bishop of Varmia. Due to him, Nicholas received an excellent pan-European education, attending most of the universities of the continent and earning degrees in mathematics, medicine, and law. He returned to Poland to be his uncle’s administrative assistant. Evenings found young Nicholas on the ramparts of the cathedral close, studying the motion of the stars and planets as he had been taught as part of his training in mathematics. His notes from early March of 1497 gave him pause. Established scientists and church leaders all agreed that the sun orbited the Earth. Ptolemy said so and the Bible implied it. But Copernicus’ data clearly showed that the Earth was just another planet and that they all circled the sun — the sun was in the ‘center of the universe,’ not Earth. He was reluctant to publish this theological bombshell, but did so at long last in 1543, under the cautious title De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium [Concerning the Orbits of Heavenly Bodies]. It was a best seller. Printed on the new Gutenberg press, it went into two printings, flooding Europe with Copernicus’ new ideas. My students used to ask if he got in trouble* for his radicalism. But no, Copernicus died soon after the work was published and his ideas lived on to influence future scientists such as Tycho, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton. [*His book was banned by the Church in 1616]

For breakfast, an astronomy lesson: the egg yolk represents the sun with the figs and cheese crumbles circling around it like planets. For dinner, a meal inspired by Polish favorites: sausage, sauerkraut, pickled beets. Copernicus would have been proud to eat these.

Fig & Chevre Plate:  153 calories 8.4 g fat 2.2 g fiber 7.8 g protein 13.4 g carbs [12 g Complex] 163 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the cheese, egg, fig, and spinach, not for the optional beverages. PB GF Simple, elegant, and more filling than it looks.

½ hard-boiled egg 1 dried fig, 0.65 oz = 16 g 1 oz chevre cheese ¼ oz baby spinach 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]

Rehydrate the dried fig by covering with water and microwaving or heating for 1 minute. Let the fig sit in the water for another few minutes, then cut in half. Arrange the spinach leaves in an oval. Dab the leaves with crumbles of the goat cheese. Plate the egg half and the fig halves.  HINT: I composed the plate the night before, covered it with a plastic bag, and kept it cool until breakfast.  Instant breakfast!

Baltic Bake:  293 calories 5.5 g fat 7 g fiber 6.6 g fiber 12.8 g protein 33 g carbs 86.4 mg Calcium  PB  GF  Believe it or not, this diet dinner is adapted from the book Two Fat Ladies Obsessions. The meal has wonderful Eastern European flavors and is so simple to prepare that once I assembled it in 16 minutes!! 

1.5 low-fat hot dogs [I like Hebrew National reduced-fat] ½ cup canned or fresh sauerkraut ¼ c pickled beets, drained ¼ c sliced onions ½ tsp horseradish 2 Tbsp canned white beans, drained and rinsed

Put the hot dogs [frozen or thawed] and onions in a saucepan with a little water or some juice from the sauerkraut. Heat until the dogs are cooked and most of the liquid is evaporated. Remove the dogs and add remaining ingredients to the pan to heat. Cut the hot dogs into 5-6 pieces and put them back in the pan until all ingredients are heated through.

T. Geisel

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.

If the name ‘Geisel’ doesn’t ring a bell, then you probably know him better by his nom de plume, ‘Dr. Seuss.’ Ted Geisel attended Dartmouth College as an undergrad and did cartoons for the school paper. Banned from the paper [for drinking on campus], he invented a new name for himself to continue cartooning — he called himself Dr Seuss, using his mother’s Swiss maiden name. [BTW: in German, ‘seuss’ rhymes with ‘choice.’] After failing to earn a doctorate in English Literature, he drew cartoons for an advertising agency. On a cruise to Europe, the sound of the ship’s engines caused him to say “and to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street,” which became the title of his first children’s book in 1936. Not a big seller. In 1940, he wrote Horton Hatches the Egg, which did very well. Then his publisher sent him a list of words ‘that children could read’ with the idea of using them in a book. Geisel wrote a book with 220 of those words: The Cat in the Hat, published in 1957. [As a child, I couldn’t stand the book: a ‘home invasion’ did not seem funny to me. My favorite is Bartholomew and the Oobleck from 1949.] Despite the fame it brought him, he considered children’s books as ‘literary slumming.’ But he knew how to get children laughing and reading and he did so in 44 books over many decades. Geisel once said, “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.” Enjoy some nonsense today.

In honor of Dr Seuss’ birthday on March 2, we will of course eat Green Eggs and Ham at breakfast. It was one of our sons’ favorite books [written on a bet that he couldn’t write a book using only 50 words] and it makes for a fine meal. For dinner, an opportunity to channel your inner child: turn French Codfish Brandade into as silly and fanciful a creation as your imagination allows. Then eat and enjoy it.

Green Eggs & Ham: 144 calories 8.8 g fat 1.1 g fiber 12.8 g pro 8.6 g carb [7.5 g Complex] 55.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  GF These are a treat anytime there is still ham from a roast and the chives are fresh in the garden. This dish is named, of course, for the delightful book Green Eggs and Ham which the narrator insists that he will not eat — not in a box, nor on a train, nor under any circumstances.

Three 2-oz eggs of which you will use 1 ½ eggs per person  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. ground or chopped ham 3 Tbsp fresh chives 2 oz pear Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Whisk the eggs with salt & pepper to taste. Put the white part of the onion into a hot pan sprayed with cooking oil. Stir around for a few seconds. Add the eggs. When bottom of eggs begin to set, sprinkle the ham & green scallions over the eggs, scramble to taste, and plate. Pour the beverages of your choice, prep the fruit, and “Eat them! Eat them, here they are!”

Brandade a la Seuss: 250 calories 6 g fat 5.5 g fiber 77 g protein 22.5 g carbs 270 mg Calcium  PB GF  Since salt cod is so popular all over southern France, it follows that Brandade is also a favorite. The garlic, olive oil, and fennel mark this version as Provincal. [HINT: This batch serves 4. Either invite friends or use what you need and freeze the remainder.] The recipe is from Jacques Pepin.

8 oz salt cod ¼ cup potatoes in 1/2” cubes 1 cup cauliflower puree ½ cup milk 4 cloves garlic 1 tsp olive oil ¼ tsp fennel seed + ¼ tsp pepper, more to taste per serving: tomatoes + celery + carrot + broccoli + green pepper

Soak the cod in water for 8 hours. Drain and put in a sauce pan covered with cold water. Bring to a boil, turn heat to low and cook gently for 5 minutes. Drain. Pick over the fish and break it into 1” pieces, removing bones, skin. Put fish in a pan with potatoes, cauliflower, garlic, fennel, and milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and gently simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes until vegetables are tender. Pour it all into a food processor and process it for about 10 seconds. Add the pepper and add the oil with the machine running. Mixture should be smooth and thick. Adjust seasonings. Divide the brandade into 4 portions of 1/2-cup each. HINT: Freeze the portions you are not serving today. To serve today, be whimsical and “Seussical.” Position the brandade in the center of a plate. Use the vegetables to create a strange creature with the brandade as the body. Spiders? hedgehogs? insects? Let your inner child off its leash and have fun. Very traditional flavor in an unusual presentation for Dr Seuss.

H. W. Longfellow

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.

Between the dark and the daylight, When the night is beginning to lower, Comes a pause in the day’s occupation, Which is known as the Children’s Hour. The Children’s Hour, 1859

So wrote a contented Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, describing the joys of being the father of a growing family. He was happy, at last, following the death of his first wife after she miscarried; and his efforts to establish himself as a working poet following not-so-fulfilling years as a college professor. Success came with his poems written in the Romantic Style: Evangeline and Song of Hiawatha, which eulogize the American landscape and people. The mid-1800s were fertile ground for Longfellow’s poems, stories, and essays. But sadness called again, when his wife died of burns from a horrible household accident. Longfellow, in his grief, traveled West of Boston to Sudbury, Massachusetts to escape familiar scenes and people. There he formed the idea for his next famous collection, Tales of the Wayside Inn — a frame-story set in a country tavern where travelers swap yarns. Although widely-read and memorized 150 years ago, only a few of his poems are recognized today: Paul Revere’s Ride and the Wreck of the Hesperus are best-known. I still love his lyrical way with words, which can be stirring and comforting at the same time.

“…Then read from the treasured volume the poem of thy choice And lend to the rhyme of the poet the beauty of thy voice. And the night shall be filled with music And the cares that infest the day Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs, And as silently steal away.” The Day is Done , 1844

Although born in Portland, Maine, Longfellow is most associated with the Boston area. Thus our breakfast references local foods. The dinner is one that might indeed have been served at the Wayside Inn. Read some Longfellow today.

B-O-S-T ScrOmelette: 161 calories 7.6 g fat 1.5 g fiber 11 g protein 9 g carbs [8 g Complex] 220 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  The beans are for Boston’s nickname: beantown. The green onions are for the Green Monster at Fenway Park. The shrimp are for the strong maritime tradition of the port. The tomatoes are for New Englanders’ fervent wish to raise just a few ripe tomatoes before the end of summer.

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. 1-1/2 oz nectarine slices 1 Tbsp canned white beans, preferable small ‘navy’ beans 2 Tbsp green part of scallions, sliced 1 oz tomato, diced and drained in a sieve overnight 1/4 oz shrimp, preferably tiny Northern shrimp OR larger shrimp chopped Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait or lemon in hot water Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Put the beans, onion, shrimp, and tomato in a warm non-stick pan spritzed with non-stick spray or olive oil. Cook briefly until warmed. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and pour over the other ingredients in the pan. Scramble or cook as an omelette. Pour the beverages of your choice, plate the fruit, and plate the eggs. 

Red Flannel Hash: 249 calories 9.2 g fat 1.9 g fiber 12.6 g protein 17.8 g carbs [16 g Complex] 43 mg Calcium  PB GF  This is a venerable New England farm meal, with the recipe coming from Hayden Pearson’s  Country Flavors Cookbook .

1 cup cooked diced beets (1/3” dice), fresh or canned 1/3 cup diced potatoes (1/3” dice) ¼ cup diced onions 2 slices Canadian Bacon/back bacon, diced one 2-oz egg lots of salt and pepper to taste

Cook, peel, and dice the beets and set aside to cool. [HINT: do this the day before] Peel and dice the potatoes. Put into a pan of tap water and put the pan on the burner. Turn on the heat and let the pan sit, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the water starts to boil around the edges. Take off the heat and leave potatoes to cool in the water. Then drain and set aside. Dice the onions and bacon. Spray a saute pan with non-stick spray and add the Canadian bacon. Cook it as crisp as you wish, or not so crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside. Add the onions with 2-3 Tbsp water, and cook until the onions are transluscent and the water is mostly gone. Now put the potatoes in the pan with the onions, add salt and pepper to taste. Stir until the potatoes are cooked. Add the beets and bacon to the pan and continue to cook until heated through. Meanwhile, fry the egg: sunnyside-up or over easy as you prefer. Plate the hash and top with the egg. Ah! Country dining.

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

1 two-oz egg2 two-oz eggs 
chivesmilk + flour
ham from a roast or the delisugar + clementine
pineappl10 sweet cherries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

salt cod + garlic + fennel seedhard-boiled eggs + onion
potato + cauliflowergarbanzo beans + garlic
olive oil + milk + fennel seedtomatoes in their juice + broccoli
tomato + cucumber + carrotsSwiss or Gruyere cheese
Sparkling waterSparkling water

That Telegram

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.

In 1917, war was marching with heavy tread through Europe. In the USA, President Woodrow Wilson had problems on his southern border with Mexico. Wilson had been elected on the motto “He kept us out of war” due to his reluctance to enter into World War I. We were not at war with anyone but in 1848 the war with Mexico concluded and in 1854, the US bought land on the Mexican border to add to Arizona and New Mexico. Border relations were sometimes tense. In March of 1916, the revolutionary leader Pancho Villa lead a raid across the US border to capture weapons from an arsenal at Columbus, NM to promote his victory over a rival. Then came that telegram. It was sent from the German Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in Mexico, in code. Intercepted by British Intelligence in January, 1917, the decryption was sent to Washington in late March. There it raised hackles and alarm bells as it was splashed across front pages from coast to coast. Herr Zimmermann had instructed his representative in Mexico to encourage the government to invade the US should Wilson enter the war on the side of the Allies. The quid pro quo? If Mexico would invade the US for us, then after we win the war, Germany will give you back land that the US took from you. That did it. Sentiment across the country switched overnight from non-involvement to pro-war and on April 6, 1917, the US entered the war.

A popular Mexican food gives its flavors to breakfast, while our dinner is named for the charismatic Pancho Villa himself. Here’s hoping for good relations between Mexico and the US.

Enchilada Bake:  140 calories 6 g fat 1.7 g fiber 15.3 g protein 12.5 g carbs [11 g Complex] 75 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beverages. PB GF  Since we enjoy enchiladas for dinner, why not have the same flavors at breakfast?

1 two-oz egg 1 Tbsp crushed tomatoes, slightly drained ½ tsp cornmeal ½ oz fresh green chili peppers, minced 1 Tbsp plain, non-fat yogurt ¼ oz chicken breast, cooked and chopped 1/8 oz Monterey Jack or Cheddar ¼ tsp oregano [preferably Mexican] pinch chili roja [red pepper flakes] 2 oz apple OR applesauce Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and set the toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Put the cornmeal and minced chilis into an ungreased cast iron skillet and toast them over direct heat until cornmeal becomes darker in color and fragrent. Do not let the cornmeal burn or scorch. Remove from hot pan to a bowl. Into the ramekin, put the chicken and the cheese. Whisk together the egg, cornmeal, chilis, half of the yogurt, and seasonings, and pour over the eggs. Bake 12- 15 minutes while you portion the fruit and prepare the beverages. Top the eggs with the remaining dollop of yogurt.

Eggs Pancho Villa: 283 calories 9 g fat 6 g fiber 16 g protein 30 g carbs [29 g Complex] 157 mg Calcium  PB GF  From La Cuisine magazine comes another eggs-for-dinner meal.  TIP: doubles easily.

3/4 cup garbanzo beans, canned, drained, rinsed ¼ cup chopped onions 1 clove garlic, chopped or pressed 1/3 cup crushed tomatoes 1 two-oz egg ¼ oz Swiss cheese, grated ground cumin + chili powder to taste

Cook the onions and garlic in the tomatoes until they are soft.  [HINT: this could be done in the microwave] Add some water if the tomatoes get too thick. Stir in the beans and the spices. Turn into an oven-proof dish about 4” wide. As you can see above, this works well for a small cast iron pan. Poach the egg and put it on the beans/tomatoes. Top with grated cheese and bake at 400 degrees F. for 3 minutes.

Saint Eleuthere

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. Later 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.

In Tournai [modern-day Belgium], there lived a man named Eleuthere or Eleutherius. That name is derived from the Greek, meaning ‘free/ independent’. This was in the time after the fall of the influence of the Roman empire in Western Europe. The Christian church was spreading its influence and so were the Franks. By the time Eleuthere was made bishop of his home town, Clovis the Frankish king had dominion over much of what is now France/Belgium/Netherlands/Germany. Eleuthere was determined to convert Clovis to Christianity. With the help of Queen Clothilde, a closet Christian, and the turning of the Battle of Tolbiac [the queen told Clovis to call on Jesus if the battle went against him — it did, he did, and he won the battle], Clovis was baptized in 496. This began the link of the Church and the rulers of Europe, of which much has been written.

Be independant, a la Eleuthere, and eat some unusual foods. Mackerel may be difficult to find in your area, but try to find it for the breakfast below. There is an island in the Bahamas named Eleuthera where surely a version of our dinner selection is enjoyed.

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 . 

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 1.5 oz leeks ½ tsp Dijon mustard 1 oz strawberries Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Spritz a hot saute 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!

Lobster ‘Lambi’ & Plantains: 270 calories 8.5 g fat 3 g fiber 18 g protein 35 g carbs [34 g Complex] 51 mg Calcium  PB GF  A simple meal with flavors of the Caribbean. Easy any season of the year. Ordinarily lambi is made with the meat of the Queen Conch, but if they are unavailable, try lobster tail instead. The plantains are oven-roasted and are a fun new vegetable for us.

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 a flavorful salt. Bake at 425 F for 10 minutes, then turn the slices and bake for a further 10 minutes.  If the lobster is uncooked, 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. Place the spinach on the plate with the lobster on top of it. Then arrange the melon and plantains. Keep the other half lime for more juice-squeezing to your taste

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

1 two-oz egg + cornmeal1.5 two-oz eggs 
crushed tomatoes + applecanned white beans
chicken breast meat + green chiliscallion + shrimp
plain yogurt + Monterey jacktomato + peach/clementine
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

0ne 2-oz egg + onionbeets + one 2-oz egg
canned white beans + garlic potato
crushed tomatoes + cuminCanadian or back bacon
Swiss cheese + chili powderonion
Sparkling waterSparkling water