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

Father E.

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 Sumit Jaitely who is now Following.

Tomorrow, September 2, is the birthdate of my Father-in-Law. He was a very accomplished man. Trained as a physician, he was a pioneer in the field of pediatric allergies. At the same time, he was a recognized breeder and judge of gladiolas. In his spare time, he was an accomplished cook [much to the delight of his wife!]. Dear Husband and I like to recognize the birthdays of loved ones by serving meals they like/liked. “Dad” was the one who prepared the breakfasts, and poached egg on toast was one of his favorites. Dinners were also in his repertoire, and his bay scallops were a real treat. The scallops shown here are not of his invention. Dear Husband follows in his father’s footsteps as a very fine cook [much to the delight of his wife]. Happy 111th Birthday to Father E!

Poached Egg on Toast: 156 calories 5.6 g fat 2.4 g fiber 10.5 g protein 14.6 g carbs [10 g complex] 52.6 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg, toast, and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF — if using GF bread  I never used to like poached eggs, but on a Fast Day, they taste good.

one slice of 70-calorie whole-grain bread one 2-oz egg 1 and ½ oz of apple -OR- 2 oz melon Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories] Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water If using an egg poacher, lightly spray the egg cup and heat the water to a simmer. If not using an egg poacher, poach the egg using the simmering-pot- of-water method. Toast the bread but do not butter it. Poach the egg for 3-4 minutes, according to your taste. Slide the egg onto the toast; season to taste; enjoy with your optional hot beverage, and fruit smoothie. 

Curried Scallops: 244 calories 8.4 g fat 4.9 g fiber 21.4 g protein 12 g carbs 108.7 mg Calcium  PB GF Our son used make his own Indian curry powder, which is fabulous-tasting. He has moved on to Thai curries, but we still cook with his original powder. These scallops are delicious and filling. It is Dear Husband’s recipe.

¼ pound scallops 2 Tbsp Indian curry powder ½ Tbsp butter 1 Tbsp white wine 3 oz broccoli

Trim the scallops of the white tissue which may be on the side. Slice the scallops so that each disk is half its thickness. Pat them dry with paper towels. Sprinkle a plate with the curry powder and dredge the scallops in the powder, coating on both sides. Choose a heavy saute pan which is just large enough to hold the scallops in one layer. Heat the pan over medium heat. Add the butter and spray well with non-stick spray. Place the scallops in the melted butter and cook on one side. Turn over and cook further, adding some more non-stick spray if pan seems too dry. When the scallops are done [this takes very little time], remove to your plate. Turn down heat and add the white wine to the pan to deglaze it, scraping up brown bits. Pour over scallops and plate the broccoli. A very easy and special meal.

Crecy

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 Melissa who is now Following.

While researching my mother’s French genealogy, I came across my 16th great-grandfather, Jean d’Harcourt, who died on August 26, 1346 at Crecy, France.  Curious, I discovered the facts around the deadly Battle of Crecy. [If you were a fan of the Ken Follett book series Pillars of the Earth [TV series, too], you would know about this battle.] In a dispute over land now in France but held by English Edward III, the armies of the two nations met near Crecy in Normandy. [I suggest you watch the video cited in that last sentence] The English were terribly outnumbered but they had a new weapon of mass destruction: the long bow. With its greater range and speed, the French cavalry was cut down, as were their cross-bowmen. By the end of the battle, the English had won, against all odds, and the Hundred Year’s War was well and truly begun.

“Crecy” is sometimes spelled “Cressy” and so it makes me think of watercress. August is a fine time to harvest this peppery herb, and to make a versatile sauce which goes well in eggs or as a soup or as a sauce. The Battle of Crecy was a dreadful loss of lives. Having Watercress Sauce in your freezer can be a ‘life-saver’ in the kitchen.

Watercress ScrOmelette w:peaches

Watercress ScrOmelette: 291 calories   8.2 g fat  2.5 g fiber   16 g protein  34.4 g carbs  235 mg Calcium  PB GF  Having Watercress Sauce in the freezer in handy cubes sure makes this meal a snap. And is it good!

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, crack three 2-oz eggs into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.                                   ½ Tbsp Watercress Sauce [see Sidekicks II, 4 October’2017], well drained                                                  ½ Tbsp ricotta, drained HINT: I set these ingredients out to drain through a fine sieve the night before to make sure there was no extra liquid.                                                                                       1/8 tsp dry mustard                                                                                                                                               1.5 oz peach                                                                                                                                                     optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                   optional: 5-6 oz green smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie

Combine the drained watercress, drained cheese, and mustard. Whisk in with the eggs and cook in a hot saute pan spritzed with olive oil or non-stick spray. Cook the way you like them and plate with the peaches. Pour the beverages and enjoy the summer taste of watercress all year long.

Watercress Soup: 157 calories 5.4 g fat 2.9 g fiber 8.4 g protein 22 g carbs [19 g Complex] 63.5 mg Calcium  PB GF Jacques Pepin’s Good Life Cooking is the source of this recipe. The stream that flows to the beach is the source of our watercress. So low in calories, you might want to add some Finn Crisp crackers for filling fiber or the Caprese Salad for more protein. HINT: This recipe makes 5 cups of soup which serves 4-5 people.

Served with Caprese Salad

2 tsp canola oil 4 oz [weight, not volume] watercress leaves and tender stems 1 cup celery, coarsely chopped 2 cups onion, coarsely diced 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed 2-1/2 cups good stock – vegetable/chicken/beef ¾ tsp salt 10 oz [weight, not volume] potatoes, peeled, cut in 2” chunks 2 oz [weight, not volume] sweet potato, peeled and cut in chunks per serving: 1 Tbsp chevre cheese  Optional: Caprese Salad– 46 calories 2.2 g fat 0.6 g fiber 3.9 g protein 2.6 g carbs 115.6 mg Calcium PB GF ½ oz mozzerella cheese, thinly sliced + 2 oz tomato, thinly sliced and sprinkled with salt + fresh basil leaves There should be equal numbers of cheese slices as tomato. Arrange the cheese, tomato, and basil in overlapping layers on the plate.  Optional: Hard-boiled Egg 70 calories 4.8 g fat 0 g fiber 6 g protein 0.4 g carbs 28 mg Calcium PB GF Cut a hard-boiled egg lengthwise in quarters and nestle into the plated soup.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the cress, celery, onion, and garlic, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Put the stock, salt and potatoes into the pan and bring to a boil. [NB: my stock was very dark, which changed the color of the soup to a darker shade of green] Turn down the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool slightly then puree in blender/food processor or with immersion wand. If not thoroughly pureed, run through a sieve. Heat the soup before serving. In the bowl, put the chevre in the center, let it soften a bit, then swirl it into the soup. Serve the salad on the side.

Basquaise

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.

Have you ever seen the word ‘Basquaise’ on a menu? It often refers to a sauce served on chicken or fish. The word itself means ‘from the Basque country’ or ‘in the method of the Basque people.’ To the Basque people, it is ‘pipperade’ from their word ‘biperra’ for pepper. So who are the Basques and where is their country? The Basque people are unrelated, both in genetics and in language, to the surrounding people of France and Spain. Their ‘country’ spreads across the border of France and Spain at the Western end of the Pyrennes Mountains. Their culture and unique language developed in isolation over the centuries, escaping intrusion both from the Indo-Europeans [ex: Visigoths] and from the Muslims. The ancient Greeks and Romans knew of the Basques, and even they did not change the culture of the region. Their food is boldly spiced and influenced by fish from the ocean and meat from the pasturelands of the interior. Passionately independent, the Basques work to maintain their ways in a changing world. In the 1800s, economic hard times spread Basques to North America and beyond, just as their cod and whale-hunting ancestors dispersed across the seas in the past.

The ‘Sauce Basquaise’ shows up in our menu today — flavoring the eggs at breakfast in two different preparations. Other ways to use it are in the classic Poulet Basquaise or Cod Basquaise for dinner. Here’s how to make 5 cups of the sauce.

2 Tbsp olive oil Heat the oil in a large saucepan
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped  optional: 2 oz Bayonne/Serrano ham or pancetta, diced 
3 cups red bell pepper, diced [2 large peppers, abt 13 oz]  3 cups green bell pepper, diced [2 large peppers, abt 13 oz] 
4 cups tomatoes, seeded and diced
Add the onion, garlic, ham, peppers, and tomatoes.  Cook over medium-low heat until peppers are tender.
½ cup red wine 5 g ‘esplette’ pepper or ground cayenne pepper 2 tsp fresh thyme ½ tsp saltAdd to the pan. Simmer 10 minutes more.

Basquaise Sauce ScrOmelette: 153 calories 8.4 g fat 1.5 g fiber 10 g protein 8 g carbs [7 g Complex] 50 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF Basquaise Sauce takes eggs to a new level and it is so easy to use if you already have a batch in the refrigerator or freezer.

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 and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.  2 rounded Tablespoons Basquaise Sauce ¼ cup blueberries  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]

Heat a non-stick saute pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper to taste and pour into the pan. As the eggs just begin to set, spread the Basquaise Sauce over half of the egg. Fold and continue cooking to your liking. Plate with the fruit and serve the beverage of your choice. Have a spicy day.

Alternatively, if you didn’t have any Basquaise Sauce at your disposal, you could use my version of Jacques Pepin’s recipe for Basquaise ScrOmelette, posted on 30 September, 2015

Ingredients for next week: 

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

1 two-oz eggProscuitto ham
ricotta cheese + mushrooms
melon + Parmesan cheese
peach + blackberryred onion pickle
Watercress Sauce
mint or basil leaves + balsamic vinegar
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

watercress + sweet potato
sourdough rye bread + egg + dill
canola oil + onion + celery
turkey breast + spinach leaves
garlic + stock + potato
whipped cream cheese + tomato
optional: mozzarella + tomato
cucumber + white wine vinegar
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Gold!!!

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 b. lunsford who is now Following.

John Sutter left Switzerland and settled in Northern California along the banks of a watercourse he named the American River. He recognized that this would be a good place to build a water-powered lumber mill for his newly-created settlement of New Helvetica. James Marshall was taken on as a partner and he began to build the mill. A mill of that type needs a trough called a tail race to take the water away from the mill. Clearing the race of pebbles washed in by the fast-flowing water was a daily task. In January, 1848, Marshall found gold nuggets in the tail race. He and Sutter decided to keep it a secret since they knew that others would want to get some gold too — fairly or illegally. In August of ’48, The New York Herald published the news and the Rush was on. Sutter eventually left the mill unfinished and his tannery failed — all his workmen quit to go prospecting for gold! Sutter washed his hands of the whole gold business and quietly went broke.

Our meals today include the famous breakfast from ‘Hangtown’ [aka: Placerville, California] which was concocted from the most expensive ingredients that a restaurant could find to suit a miner’s whim. The dinner is the meal that every miner aspired to: lobster thermadore, as served in a fancy restaurant.

Hangtown Bake: 135 calories 7 g fat 1.2 g fiber 8.2 g protein 5.4 g carbs [5 g Complex] 46.3 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF  According to legend, this meal, full of then very expensive items, is what a gold miner ordered after he struck it rich in Old California.

1 two-oz egg 2 oysters, raw and out of the shell ½ oz bacon, un-cured is preferable 1 Tbsp scallion leaves, chopped 2 oz strawberries  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories] or natural apple cider Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or tea or lemon in hot water

Set the oven at 350 F. Cook the bacon until it is a little underdone, then chop it up. Chop the scallion and oysters and stir in a little bacon fat, along with the bacon. Whisk the egg, then add the other ingredients and whisk again. Pour into a baking dish lightly-spritzed with non-stick spray and bake for 12-15 minutes. Prepare the beverages and plate the baked egg along with the fruit.

Lobster Thermador: 269 calories 13.4 g fat 5.5 g fiber 29 g protein 18.4 g carbs 130.5 mg Calcium  PB GF  Lobster is wonderful for the Fasting Lifestyle, whether you get it baked or boiled. The damage comes when it is slathered in butter. I think that butter masks the clean, subtle taste of the lobster, so I haven’t dunked my lovely crustacean in it for years. This recipe is so elegant yet lacks calories to such an extent that I have added a very French dessert course: fresh peaches and raspberries.

¾ cup lobster, cooked and cut into chunks 1 Tbsp heavy cream 2 Tbsp Bechamel sauce I always keep Bechamel sauce frozen in small amounts.] ½ tsp Dijon mustard flat-leaved parsley, chopped, for garnish 3 oz green beans  Dessert: 1 oz raspberries [fresh or frozen] + 2 oz peaches, cut into cubes [fresh or frozen]

Stir together the cream, Bechamel, and mustard. Lightly fold in the lobster. Heap into a ramekin, sprinkle on the parsley, and heat at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cook the beans and put the fruits together in a lovely bowl for dessert.

Mary’s Return

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.

On May 31, Mary ‘went over the mountain‘ to the town of Ein Kerem to assist at her cousin Elizabeth’s lying-in. Seven weeks after her cousin Elizabeth had safely delivered her son John, Mary decided to go back home to her family. This was going to be difficult for two reasons: it was a 135 km trip by foot and Mary was 5 months pregnant. That last one presented another problem: Mary was unwed. When she returned to her hometown of Nazareth, her pregnancy would become obvious to the neighbors and her fiancé. There would be talk. There would be disgrace — people would tell Joseph that he should call off the wedding. But Joseph would stand by her and Mary would endure the side-eye looks because both of them had been told by angels that this was all part of a Bigger Plan. The weather this year on May 31 was sunny and mild. That means it should rain tomorrow.

Today’s breakfast contains the flavors and ingredients of the area referred to as ‘the Levant,’ as in the Eastern Mediterranean ‘where the sun rises.’ A meal like this would sustain you on your way. Upon her return, Mary’s overjoyed mother, Anna, might have welcomed her back with a special feast of lamb, seasoned with typical spices.

photo courtesy of World Tree Photography: Fine Art Travel Prints

Levantine ScrOmelette: 142 calories 8 g fat 1 g fiber 10 g protein 5 g carbs [4.6 g Complex] 50.5 mg Calcium NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF 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, homemade or purchased 1 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]

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.

Moroccan Lamb:  284 calories 6.3 g fat 8 g fiber 28 g protein 28.6 g carbs [28 g Complex] 81 mg Calcium PB GF  Mint, cumin, and coriander will make your meal taste like a trip to spice souk [see above photo taken by my son].

3 oz roast lamb + Moroccan seasoning ½ cup peas + pinch of mint or cilantro 1/3 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed 2 pinches of Moroccan seasoning or ground cumin mint tea

Dust the sliced lamb with Moroccan seasoning. Gently warm the meat by steaming or heating in a microwave. Cook the peas, drain and stir in a pinch of dried mint or dried cilantro. Heat the beans with the seasoning or cumin to taste. Best served with mint tea.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
2 oysters
Green + Red bell peppers
scallion = green onion
tomatoes + garlic + cayenne/chili powder
strawberries
onion + white wine
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

lobster meat + green beans
chicken breast meat
heavy cream + Béchamel sauce
green + red bell peppers + garlic
Dijon mustard + parsley
tomatoes + onion
Raspberries + peaches for dessert
white wine + cayenne/chili powder

Sparkling waterSparkling water