A Fresh Start

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

This blog is about Fasting, aka: 5:2 Diet; IF.  “I’m not giving up eating!” you sneer. “Fasting is for ascetics who don’t enjoy life.”  If you really think that, then I want you to understand that this Lifestyle does involve eating [some really good food] and that there are many benefits beyond weight loss.  While on this Lifestyle [WOL], my husband and I have enjoyed lots of delicious food while losing a combined total of 50 pounds.  This Lifestyle is sustainable: you can do it week after week, year after year and not feel deprived.                                                                                                                                         What do you eat on the Slow [non-Fast] Days? What you want — WITHIN REASON.  Pigging out is not approved, but we go to restaurants and eat all sorts of foods. The key is learning the number of calories that you can ingest [TDEE] to get to the weight you want to achieve. This diet is not about counting calories, but you need to get a realistic sense of how much you are eating daily.  Weight loss comes with less food taken in over time and a resulting decrease in appetite.

WHY FAST?                                                                                                                                             “We all know how you are supposed to lose weight: eat low-fat foods, exercise more… and never, ever skip meals. This has been standard dietary advice for decades and though it may work for some people, levels of obesity continue to soar. So is there an alternative? We think there is. Intermittent fasting. Based on the work of leading scientists from around the world, this is an exciting new alternative to standard dieting.

“Intermittent Fasting does not mean stopping eating entirely. It means reducing the amount you eat, but only for quite short periods of time.

“In The Fast Diet book I outline my experiences of trying different forms of intermittent fasting, before settling on what I called a 5:2 regime. With 5:2 intermittent fasting you eat normally five days a week and diet two days a week, cutting your calorie intake for those two days to a ¼ of their normal level. This means that on, say, a Monday and a Thursday you will eat 500 calories if you are a woman, 600 if you are a man.

“If you stick to this plan then you should lose around 1lb (0.46kg) a week if you are a woman, slightly more for a man. Success also depends on not over-eating on your normal days.

“You should not only lose weight but also enjoy a wide range of health benefits. Studies of intermittent fasting show that not only do people see improvements in blood pressure and their cholesterol levels, but also in their insulin sensitivity.

“As one of the medical experts I interviewed put it: ‘There is nothing else you can do to your body that is as powerful as fasting.’

“Welcome to The Fast Diet and to the community on this site. We will keep you up to date with the latest in this exciting new field. You can read how others are managing this way of life and pick up lots of helpful tips. We hope it works for you.”                                              — Michael Mosley, originator of the Fast Diet

This blog is about recipes to eat on Fast Days.  Some of them appear in our regular diet on Slow Days because they are so yummy. Throughout 2018, I will be posting recipes which I hope will make following the Fasting Lifestyle as easy as A-B-C. There will also be tips for how to stock your freezer and your pantry to make it convenient to prepare the healthy, home-made food that we eat every week.

If you want to improve your health and lose weight, I recommend that you follow the Fasting Lifestyle. The New Year is a time for a fresh start.  Try Fasting.

Country Tastes

Many a diner and small restaurant has lured customers with promises of ‘country cooking.’  Many cookbooks have been written about the way people cook in the countryside of France, England, Germany…..you get the point.  For my taste, give me good tasting food made from fresh country products.  And we can enjoy it on a Fast Day, too.  Clean your plate.   Read more about why we should do intermittent fasting in this article:  http://news.yahoo.com/does-intermittent-fasting-benefits-science-suggests-yes-173453757.html

Sweet Potato Black Bean Hash: 284 calories   5.6 g fat     7.6 g fiber      43.3 g carbs     278.3 mg Calcium      PB GF     Long-time friend and fellow bell ringer Jane Winslow inspired this recipe. She’s right: it is very good.Sweet Potato:Black Bean Bake

½ c. diced sweet potatoes [You could substitute ½ cup of diced winter squash, which lowers the calories, protein, and carbs]                                                                                              2 Tbsp yellow onion, diced                                                                                                                                ¼ red pepper, sliced                                                                                                                                              salt & pepper + ¾ tsp paprika + ¼ tsp cumin                                                                                                ½ cup spinach roughly chopped                                                                                                                         3 oz black beans = ½ c.                                                                                                                                           one 2-oz egg blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                   NB: no smoothie today

Spritz olive oil in a small cast iron pan on medium heat. Add sweet potatoes, onion, red pepper, seasonings, and a little water. Cook on medium-low for 10 minutes, occasionally stirring. Add spinach and 2 more Tbsp water, and cook for an additional five minutes. Lastly, add the black beans and stir until all ingredients are well-blended. HINT: prep this far the night before. Heat before topping with a poached or fried egg.

Mackerel stuffed with Leeks:   285 calories   15.7 g fat        1.6 g fiber     22 g protein  9.3 g carbs 46.5 mg Calcium   PB GF   This is from one of Joanne Harris’ lovely cookbooks. If you are lucky enough to get fresh mackerel, this one’s for you.Mackeral stuffed w: leeks

Two 2-oz mackeral fillets to total 4 oz per serving                                                                                       salt & pepper                                                                                                                                                             2 tsp grainy mustard, like ‘country Dijon’                                                                                            oregano                                                                                                                                                                     ¾ of an ounce of sliced leeks                                                                                                                            ground coriander                                                                                                                                                                                            3 oz tomatoes, sliced OR sliced cucumbers and cherry tomatoes

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slash the skin of the fish and season the skin-side with salt and pepper. Turn the fillets over and spread each one with mustard, then sprinkle with oregano. Put one fillet skin-side down on the baking pan and pile the leeks on top of it. Sprinkle with a little coriander and more pepper, if you like. Put the other fillet on top of the leeks, with the skin-side up. Press down a little on the fish to compact it a bit. Roast for about 12 minutes, until the fish is opaque. Meanwhile, slice the vegetables.

The Hounds of Spring

“When the hounds of spring are on winter’s traces…” wrote Swiburne and around mid-March my mother in Pennsylvania would quote it as spring began to make itself known. But here in New Hampshire, the winter often bites back at those pursuing hounds and reasserts itself. No matter what weather you are having, we will soldier on with our healthy eating:  the hounds of health are on bad-habit’s traces.

Foo Yung ScrOmelette: 283 calories 8 g fat 2.5 g fiber 18 g protein 38 g carbs 241.4 mg Calcium PB GF Here we take the Cantonese classic and prepare it for breakfast. Filling and nutritious.Fu Yung ScrOmelette

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.                                                                               2 Tbsp crab meat, canned or frozen or fresh                                                                                               3/4 tsp soy sauce                                                                                                                                                    ¼ c mung bean sprouts                                                                                                                                           ¼ oz mushrooms                                                                                                                                                            green parts of one scallion, sliced                                                                                                                     ¼ tsp ground ginger  +  splash of hot sauce                                                                                                          1 oz  applesauce or pear                                                                                                                             blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                               5-6 oz fruit smoothie or green smoothie

The night before, combine the crab, soy, sprouts, mushrooms, ginger and hot sauce in a small bowl. Next morning, spritz a non-stick saute pan with oil or non-stick spray and briefly cook the crab mixture to heat it thoroughly. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and pour into the pan, scrambling to incorporate the crab mixture. Cook to your favorite degree of doneness. [Alternately, cook like pancakes:  put half of the egg in the pan, then distribute half of the crab mixture on top.  When done on the bottom, turn to cook the top.  Repeat with other half of ingredents.]   Dish up the fruit, brew your hot beverage, and prep the smoothie. And your fortune cookie says: “You will lose weight.”

Burger Bun Dinner: 280 calories This makes it possible to have a hamburger in a bun and still be Fasting! Think Summer!                              SORRY, NO PHOTO

one 4-oz bison burger                                                                                                                                           ½ oz mushrooms                                                                                                                                                     1 tsp curried catsup one Martin’s whole wheat slider bun [90 calories]                                            side veg to equal 50 calories: 2 oz boiled or baked beets = 24 calories                                                        2 oz carrots = 23 calories                                                                                                                                             1/8 cup pickled beets = 19 calories                                                                                                                       2 oz broccoli =20 calories                                                                                                                                           2 oz green beans = 18 calories                                                                                                                              1 oz peas = 22 calories

In a cast iron or other heavy, non-stick skillet, put a healthy sprinkle of Kosher salt. Heat the pan over medium-low burner and add the bison burger. Cook 3-5 mins on one side, then the other. Slow cooking is the key to tenderness. When red juices no longer come out, it is done. Remove burger from pan and add the mushrooms to cook briefly.  Center the burger on the slider bun, top with mushrooms and catsup. Plate with sides.

Ingredients for next week’s menus:  for single portion servings                                       breakfast:

1 two-oz egg 1 two-oz egg
sweet potato or winter squash I ham patty [see recipe from “Pork & Poultry” Jan 18, 2017] ham, Egg white, low-calorie whole-grain bread, cottage cheese
red bell pepper            spinach NB: if you made the ham patties in January, you are in luck
black beans, canned
salt, pepper, paprika,  cumin 2 oz sliced apple
onion
no smoothie today Whatever you need for your hot beverage
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your smoothie

dinner:

Two 2-oz mackerel fillets 4-oz lamb patty
tomatoes 1 cup sliced cucumbers
leeks White wine vinegar
Dijon or other grainy mustard Dill, fresh or dried
Ground coriander + dried oregano  1.5 tsp sugar
Sparkling water
Sparkling water

 

 

Fasting While Feasting

Lent is one of the times of the Christian calendar when people think about fasting: reduced calories, meatless meals, more fish, no eggs.  Now at the Lenten season, it is not too late to begin Fasting: either for religious reasons or health reasons.  Just like dieting, if you stray, you can always get back onto the path.  Here are some suggestions for meals that will meet the requirements any day you choose.  Welcome to MLE who is now following. [Thanks, Peg.]           Check out the bottom of the page for next week’s shopping list and a recipe for some fabulous Mexican Pickled Vegetables.

Moroccan Tuna posted under ‘Western Med’ February 5, 2017

Tuna-Bean-Garlic Patties posted under ‘Rich Flavors’ February 28, 2016Tuna:bean:garlic patties

Spinach/Fish Timbals posted under ‘Keep the Faith’ February 7, 2016Spinach-Fish Timbales w: gr beans

Chili non Carne posted under ‘Go Wild’ March 2, 2016

Minestrone Soup posted under ‘Mmmmmm….’ February 3, 2016

Mediterranean Vegetables with Couscous posted under ‘…Summer…’ February 3, 2016Mediterranian Meal

Salmon Roasted with Tomatoes posted under ‘What do we do now?’ January 3, 2016Roasted slamon w: tom + sug-snap peas

Red Beans and Rice posted under ‘Some of That’ October 7, 2015

INGREDIENTS LIST FOR NEXT WEEK’S MEALS: one portion servings                               breakfast:

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs
¼ oz bleu cheese 3 Tbsp Mexican Pickled Vegetables
cottage cheese cheese, low-fat [or ricotta] 1/3 oz Cheddar cheese
Parmesan cheese pear or apple
salt, pepper
Applesauce [unsweetened], 2 oz [or pear]
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your hot beverage
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your smoothie

dinner:

2.5 cups baby salad greens 1 oz thinly sliced corned beef
2.5 oz beets 1/3 cup Bechamel sauce, plain
1.25 oz bleu cheese 1/4 oz Swiss cheese, from deli
1.5 oz tomatoes, fresh 1.5 cups cabbage
1 oz white beans, canned
Olive oil + balsamic vinegar

Mexican Pickled Vegetables: This Yucatan treat comes to us via It’s All American Food by David Rosengarten. Quantities given to make one quart. Easily doubled.                       NB: Will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.                                                                       NB: The longer it sits, the spicier it gets. Super as a side dish; a nibble; an ingredient.

2 cups cauliflower florets                                                                                                                                             1 and ¼ cup carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4” thick on the diagonal                                                        ½ cup zucchini, sliced into 1/3” rounds                                                                                                            2-3 jalapeno peppers, sliced thinly                                                                                                                 ½ cup white vinegar                                                                                                                                             1 cup cider vinegar                                                                                                                                                 1 cup water                                                                                                                                                                3 Tbsp sugar [do not use sugar substitute when pickling]                                                                          1 Tbsp kosher salt                                                                                                                                                  1.5 tsp dried oregano, Mexican if you can get it                                                                                                                   ¾ tsp peppercorns                                                                                                                                                 ½ tsp coriander seeds                                                                                                                                           ½ tsp dried thyme                                                                                                                                                   1.5 bay leaves, crumbled                                                                                                                                       ½ large onion, thinly sliced                                                                                                                                 3 cloves garlic, halved

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the cauliflower and carrot. When the water returns to a boil, boil the vegetables for 2 minutes. Drain the vegetables and refresh under cold water. Put the cooked vegetables in a large bowl with the zucchini and jalapenos and stir to combine. Put into a heat-proof one quart glass jar [ex: a Mason jar], and set aside on a cutting board.                                                                                                                                                          In a sauce pan, combine the vinegars, water, and all remaining seasonings. Bring to a boil, then simmer 5 minutes to blend flavors. Take off the heat and immediately pour over the vegetables in the jar. [I had a little left over, which I saved to pour in later] Let cool to room temperature, then put a lid on it and refrigerate until cold. Very pretty. Very yummy.

Marching Along

It is now March.  If you have been diligent about Fasting, then you are marching along toward your goal of a new-looking you. A long journey begins with a single step, and a quest to control your eating begins with a single meal. You have your ‘marching orders.’ For other menu suggestions, read https://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/fast-diet-recipes-low-calorie-meals-120306312–abc-news-lifestyle.html which is based on Dr. Mosley’s original appearance on Good Morning America in 2013.

Ham Bake: 286 calories   7.2 g fat   1.9 g fiber   15.5 g protein   35 g carbs   282 mg Calcium GFham-souffle

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                  ¼ oz 3 % fat ham from the deli, minced                                                                                                           1 Tbsp reduced fat ricotta                                                                                                                                       1 tsp Parmesan cheese, grated                                                                                                                        large pinch of crumbled sage + salt & pepper to taste                                                                                      ¼ cup blueberries or 2 oz unsweetened applesauce                                                                                     blackish coffee, blackish tea, or lemon in hot water                                                                                   5-6 oz smoothie or natural apple cider

Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and set the toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Vigorously whisk the egg, ham, cheeses, and seasonings and pour into ramekin. Bake 15-17 minutes until puffed, not until golden. Portion the fruit, pour the beverages and this will surely be a good day.

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 pre-cooked or raw. The damage comes when it is slathered in butter. I think that butter masks the clean, pure 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.lobster-thermador

¾ cup lobster, cooked and cut into chunks                                                                                                       1 Tbsp heavy cream                                                                                                                                                   2 Tbsp Béchamel sauce [see: 1789, posted on July 13, 2016.] HINT: I always keep Béchamel 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, Béchamel, 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 in a lovely bowl for dessert.

Lenten Fasting

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

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

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

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS FOR NEXT WEEK’S MEALS: one serving size

Breakfasts

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

Dinners

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

Flavor-Full

You should know by now that here we like food that packs a punch of flavor.  Not because of lots of salt or MSG or some fake additive, but because the food is made with good ingredients that taste great.  Eating food that is full of flavor can make the Fast Day meals something to look forward to.  I think that you will find that today’s menus leave nothing to be desired in the full-of-flavor category. Go on: enjoy your food!     And then read this article from England for some more encouragement: https://www.yahoo.com/style/we-tried-the-52-fasting-diet-and-the-results-were-surprising-085517013.html

Chicken Provinçal Bake:  280 calories    5.4 g fat   3 g fiber   15 g protein   39 g carbs    220.7 mg Calcium  PB GF   What wonderful flavors! Based on the dinner of the same name. chicken-provincal-bake

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                  2 Tbsp crushed tomatoes, slightly drained                                                                                                  ½ anchovy, [use canned fillets, rinsed and chopped]                                                                                         1 Tbsp low-fat cottage cheese                                                                                                                                      ¼ oz cooked chicken breast, minced                                                                                                      thyme  +   rosemary  +  pinch red pepper flakes                                                                                            1 oz strawberries                                                                                                                                                      5-6 oz fruit smoothie or natural apple cider                                                                                        blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water

Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and set the toaster oven for 350 degrees F.   Whisk together the first 6 ingredients [not the berries!] and pour into the ramekin. Bake for about 15 minutes while you portion the berries and prepare your beverages. Great way to start the day.

Shrimp Egg Rolls:   238 calories     3.5 g fat       2.5 g fiber      15.6 g protein      28.8 g carbs   45.8 mg Calcium  PB   I learned to make egg rolls when I worked for Jerry Willis. These have always been a favorite. But they are NOT deep-fat fried, which keeps their calories and fat down to permissable levels. HINT: This recipe makes 4 rolls and one serving = 2 rolls. Put 2 in the freezer for another day or eat for lunch later in the weekshrimp-egg-rolls-w-tomato.3 oz shrimp, fresh or frozen, shells removed                                                                                              1 Tbsp oyster sauce                                                                                                                                              1 Tbsp soy sauce                                                                                                                                                      one slice of ginger, minced                                                                                                                                ½ garlic, sliced                                                                                                                                                         2 oz carrot, sliced                                                                                                                                                     1 oz onion, sliced                                                                                                                                                     3 oz cabbage, sliced                                                                                                                                                4-5 six-inch egg roll wrappers                                                                                                                                1 tsp canola oil                                                                                                                                                           3 oz tomato slices                                                                                                                                       dipping sauce:  1 Tbsp plum sauce + 1 Tbsp hot sauce [wasabi or Sriracha]

If shrimp are frozen, thaw them in advance. Then slice in half across the body and mix with the oyster and soy sauces, the garlic and onion. Prepare the vegetables and put them all into a hot wok or wide saute pan with ¼ cup water and a squirt of Sriracha. [If the pan gets too dry, a a bit of the marinade combined with a few spoonsful of water.] Stir-fry the ingredients for 4 minutes or until the vegetables are just a little shy of done. Add the shrimp and marinade and stirfry about one minute longer – shrimp should be thoroughly cooked. Put everything from the wok into the food processor and run until coarsely chopped. [If a lot of liquid remains, cook it down some more until it is thick and add back to the ingredients.]                                                                                                            Lay one of the wrappers on a flat surface and moisten the edge farthest from you with water. Measure out 1/3 cup of the filling and roll up the wrapper. There are usually diagrams on the back of the package to show you how. [NB: If you end up with extra filling, either roll another roll or put it aside to mix with eggs for a breakfast.]  Put the oil in a clean, flat-bottomed pan and heat it. Put the egg rolls in the pan and roll them around to coat with the oil on all surfaces. Heat until the rolls are beginning to get brown and blister-y on one side, then turn to cook on the other side. HINT: Take the rolls you are not eating tonight and cool them.  Then freeze for another meal later. Don’t try to freeze them without the cooking-in-oil step.  You could continue cooking in this way or you could put the pan in a 375 degree oven until they are crispy. Plate with the tomato slices and the dipping sauce.

Hemispherical

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

A sphere, as we all know, is a 3-dimensional, round shape.  Some people might describe their body shape as spherical.   In geometry, a hemisphere is half of a sphere.  In geography, a hemisphere means dividing the globe into two parts: either northern vs southern hemisphere; or ‘eastern’ vs ‘western’ hemisphere. [I put those in quotes since they are a matter of perspective — where does East begin???]  We have been enjoying foods from several hemispheres while enjoying the fact that the body has become less spherical. Have you seen results, too?  Today’s foods celebrate hemispheres in their shape.  What shape would you like to be?

Spinach Fritatta:   267 calories   9.4 g fat    1.5 g fiber   17.2 g protein    24 g carbs    311.5 mg Calcium     PB   GF    Long an item in food magazine brunch articles, it was time to take it to the Fasting table. Worth the wait: delicious and filling.spinach-fritatta-w-grapes

1 and ½ two-oz eggs                                                                                                                                             1.5 Tbsp fat-free ricotta                                                                                                                                          1/3 oz mozzerella, grated                                                                                                                                         ½ oz mushrooms, chopped                                                                                                                                ½ clove garlic, minced                                                                                                                                          ½ cup cooked spinach, pressed and drained                                                                                             salt to taste + nutmeg                                                                                                                                           ½ oz grapes                                                                                                                                                      blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                             3 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or unpasturized apple cider

Combine the cheeses, mushrooms, garlic, spinach, and flavorings. Spritz a 4” custard cup with non-stick spray and spread the cheese mixture evenly in the bottom. [I was cooking for 2 and used an oval 5×7” baking dish] HINT: do this the night before and leave on the counter. Set the oven for 375 degrees F. Beat the eggs until broken up and frothy. Pour over the spinach/cheese mixture and bake for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the beverages and plate the grapes. Breakfast is great.

Crêpes w/ Chicken & Broccoli     295 calories     8.8 g fat    3.4 g fiber     21.6 g protein    36.6 g carbs     190.3 mg Calcium    While not entirely GF, the crêpes are low in gluten since the buckwheat is gluten free.      This utilizes the crêpe batter which we made using the recipe from Sidekicks II [October 4, 2018] and froze for later.  SO easy when you have prepared ahead of time. If the Béchamel Sauce was also in the freezer, so much the easier.Chciken& Broc Crepes

1.5 oz broccoli, cooked                                                                                                                                                       1.75 oz chicken breast, cooked                                                                                                                                     3 crêpes prepared, or 3/4 cup crêpe batter                                                                                                     2.5 Tbsp Béchamel sauce, with cheese**                                                                                                                                        1/2 oz cherry tomatoes                                                                                                                                     Cook 3 crêpes and lay flat on a baking sheet. Warm the oven to 320 degrees. Chop the broccoli and dice the chicken. Stir together with the Béchamel sauce and measure out 2.5 Tbsp. HINT: freeze the remainder in 1/2 cup portions for future recipes.  Add salt/pepper/herbs to taste. Divide the mixture among the crêpes. Fold the crêpes over and press gently. Heat filled crêpes until warmed through, about 15 minutes, covered with foil so they don’t dry out. Plate with the tomatoes. Voila!

**Béchamel Sauce with cheese: makes 1.75 cups. Freezes well.                                                                                       1.5 cups chicken stock                slice of carrot                      slice of onion                                                                            3 Tbsp butter       3 Tbsp white whole wheat flour                                                                                      ½ cup skimmed milk                            ½ cup half&half                                                                                1 wedge Laughing Cow cheese

Cook the stock, carrot and onion for about 15 minutes until the liquid measures 1 cup.               In another saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour.                                                          Slowly add the stock and whisk at a gently bubble until thickened.                                                Add the half&half and the cheese. Continue to whisk until thickened.                                       Freeze what you don’t use today in small portions for later.

Shopping list for next week’s Fasting:     [portions for one person]                                    Breakfasts

1 two-oz egg ½ cup low-fat ricotta
1 Tbsp crushed tomatoes Blueberries, ¼ cup
½ anchovy fillet, canned or jarred
¼ oz cooked chicken breast 2 Large pinches cinnamon sugar
thyme, salt, pepper, rosemary, crushed red pepper 1 slice whole-grain bread, 70-calories/ slice
Strawberries, 2 oz Strawberries ¼ cup
 1 Tbsp low-fat cottage cheese
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your smoothie

Dinners:

3 oz shrimp, fresh or frozen olive oil
4-5 six” egg roll wrappers white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic          slice fresh ginger Fresh mint or dried dill
carrot        onion 1 cup  baby spinach
3 oz green cabbage 1.5 tsp Parmesan cheese, grated
oyster sauce, 1 Tbsp         1 Tbsp soy sauce Cucumber: cubed, 1 cup
canola oil  4 oz plain yogurt
3 oz tomatoes

dipping sauces:  Chinese mustard and/or 1 Tbsp wasabi or Sriracha  + 1 Tbsp plum sauce   [depending on your tolerance  for spicy-hot sauce

5 falafel patties – make ahead using recipe from March 20, 2016 or take from freezer pre-made     [1 can chick peas    tumeric                      1.2 cloves garlic     celery      scallions      egg tahini      cumin   cayenne   pepper     salt]

Anything is Possible

I used to love to teach my students about Clyde Tombaugh. He was a Kansas farm boy with a high school education who wanted to be an astronomer. By pluck and luck, he ended up working for the Lowell Observatory and discovered the ‘planet’ Pluto. [Feb 18 is the anniversary of that]  His story shows that anything is possible if you work hard. So it is with losing weight and learning to eat a healthier diet. There is no magic fix: you have to work at it. But the result is worth it. You too can achieve your goals.  Think you won’t make it to dinner without breaking your Fast? Read this: http://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/curb-your-appetite-5-ways-to-stop-feeling-hungry-so-often.html/?a=viewall                Welcome to Splendidfitness who is now following.

Breakfast Quiche:      304 calories       0.9 g fat      9 g fiber      14 g protein      37 g carbs 362.4 mg Calcium     GF PB     Since the late 1960s, quiche has been the staple of the brunch table. Updated for our use as Fasters, it packs a lot of Calcium as well as tasting very good. NOTE: this makes enough for 2 meals. Invite a guest or triple the recipe and have a party.  quiche w: melon-Bbs

For 4 [four] muffin-sized quiches – two for breakfast, two for lunch tomorrow.                            1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                                               1 Tbsp + 1 tsp nonfat ricotta or cottage cheese, both drained                                                                         2/3 oz mozzerella cheese, grated                                                                                                                        2/3 oz Jarlsberg cheese, grated                                                                                                                              1 oz broccoli florets, steamed, chopped HINT: do this the night before or use leftovers from a dinner                                                                                                                                                           1/3 oz onion, chopped                                                                                                                                marjoram, salt, pepper                                                                                                                                               2 0z melon + 2 Tbsp blueberries

Steam the onion and chopped broccoli until cooked. Distribute among 4 prepared muffin tins. [I used silicone muffin pans. You could use cupcake papers as well. Both choices avoid added fat and calories.] Add the grated cheeses. Mash any lumps in the cottage cheese/ricotta and whisk in the egg. Spoon over vegetables in muffin cup, putting an equal amount in each. Sprinkle with salt and marjoram. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, until quiche filling is set. Prepare the fruit, the hot beverage, and the smoothie. 

Antipasto with Tuna: 252 calories   10.6 g fat   4.3 g fiber  20.6 g protein   23.7 g carbs  250.7 mg Calcium      PB   GF    This one is a keeper. Simple, off the shelf, pretty on the plate, good to eat. The photo shows enough for 2 people. Invite a guest who is Fasting, too.  The recipe is for ONE PERSON.amtipasto-w-herbs

1 oz roasted red pepper, without oil [I roast my own, slice and freeze them]                                          1 oz mozzerella, cut into ‘sticks’ [I buy blocks of mozzerells for slicing]                                             1/2 of a 5-0z can tuna, packed in water, drained and broken into large chunks                                       2.5 oz tomato slices                                                                                                                                                                    1.5 oz whole green beans, steamed, drained                                                                                                   3/4 oz marinated mushrooms                                                                                                                            3 Tbsp. garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained if canned                                                                                   2 black olives, pitted and sliced                                                                                                                              1.5 slices pepperoni, chopped                                                                                                                                  1/2 tsp flavored oil  +  salt  +  chopped fresh herbs: basil, chives, oregano

Prepare the ingredients and keep separate. Now combine the red peppers and olives.  Stir the pepperoni in with the garbanzos. On a platter, arrange the ingredients in rows as shown in the photo. Suit your own artistic nature as to what goes where. Be liberal with the fresh herbs.

Happy Birthday #2

Tomorrow will be my husband’s birthday.  If ever there were a poster child for the Fasting Lifestyle, he’s it.  When nay-sayers look at diets, they say that fasting is probably unsustainable; that no-one would want to stay on that diet for very long.  We are almost to 4 years on the diet, and still follow it.  Even when I’m not home, my husband sticks to the diet.  Because he enjoys the food and he realizes the benefits of the plan.  I’m glad he’s on board, because I love him and want him to be healthy for years to come.  P, YTQ.

Rustica Scromelette:   292 calores  8.9 g fat      1.4 g fiber     16 g protein     33 g carbs       270 mg Calcium   PB GF   One of our favorite dinners for a Slow Day is Pasta Rustica. So why not enjoy those flavors at breakfast? The cheese, the herbs, and the eggs combine for a real WOW in the morning.rustica-scromelette

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 crushed tomatoes                                                                                                                                  ½ Tbsp low-fat ricotta cheese                                                                                                                          1/8 oz mozzerella, chopped                                                                                                                                1/3 oz onion, chopped                                                                                                                                                  ¼ clove garlic, minced or pressed                                                                                                                     basil + oregano + salt + hot pepper flakes HINT: I combined the tomato, cheeeses, herbs and spices the night before.                                                                                                                             1 oz melon                                                                                                                                                             blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                 5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or unpasturized apple cider

Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Add the prepared onion and garlic and stir to cook briefly . Whisk the eggs with the cheeses and seasonings and pour over the onions in the pan. Scramble to your favorite degree of doneness. Plate the fruit, prepare the beverages. You are in for a treat.

Turkey Picatta: 257 calories   5 g fat   1.3 g fiber   31 g protein   21 g carbs   28 mg Calcium GFturkey-piccata

4 oz uncooked turkey breast                                                                                                                             salt & pepper                                                                                                                                                          ½ tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                                              1 Tbsp white wine                                                                                                                                                    1/3 cup chicken stock                                                                                                                                            1.5 tsp lemon juice                                                                                                                                                         2 Tbsp shallots, minced                                                                                                                                 pinch garlic powder                                                                                                                                                         2 tsp capers                                                                                                                                                                      3 oz tomatoes, sliced                                                                                                                                            ¼ cup brown rice [saved from a previous cooking time and frozen — a great time-saver today since brown rice can take 40 minutes to cook]

Combine the wine, stock and lemon juice. Put your hand on the turkey breast and cut it parallel to your hand into 2 pieces. If needed, pound the pieces to even out the thickness. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and cook the turkey on both sides until cooked through, adding a little of the stock mixture if needed. Remove turkey to a plate and keep warm. Add the stock mixture and shallots to the pan along with the garlic powder, stirring up the brown bits on the pan. Cook down until only 3-4 tablespoons of sauce remain. Lastly add the capers. Warm the rice [if using cooked left-over rice],  slice and plate the tomatoes. Plate the rice, drizzling 1 Tbsp sauce over it. Plate the turkey, pouring the remaining sauce on it. 

INGREDIENTS FOR NEXT WEEK’S MEALS, portions for one person:                                    Breakfast: NB: breakfast on Monday makes enough for a breakfast and a lunch.                  breakfast on Thursday makes enough for a breakfast and a lunch.

3 two-oz eggs + 1 egg white 4 Tbsp + 1 tsp low-fal ricotta
1.4 oz mozzerella cheese 1 oz mushrooms
1 clove garlic 2/3 oz Jarlsberg cheese
1 cup cooked spinach Broccoli, 1 oz could use left-over
Nutmeg, salt, pepper, marjoram, chives, Onion, 1 oz
Melon, 1- 2 oz Grapes, 1 oz or substitute melon
Blueberries, 2 Tbsp
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your smoothie

Dinner:  NB: dinner on Thursday involves some preparation in advance

Roasted red pepper 1 0z Mozzerella 1 oz
3 oz canned tuna or 2 oz fresh, grilled Tomato 2.5 oz
1.5 oz whole green beans [could use leftovers] ¾ oz marinated mushrooms
Garbanzo beans 3 Tbsp Black olives, 2, oil-cured
1.2 slices peperoni Red onion 2 tsp chopped
½ tsp flavorful finishing oil Broccoli 1.5 oz
1.75 oz chicken breast meat, cooked Bechamel sauce 2.5 Tbsp from a larger batch
3 part-buckwheat crepes – make batter ahead using recipe from Holy Crepes, Oct 13, 2015    need: buckwheat flour, unbleached white flour, 2 eggs 1.5 c. chicken stock        carrot slice           onion slice     3 T butter      ½ c half & half                                 3 T white whole wheat flour                              ½ c skimmed milk                                                     1 wedge Laughing Cow cheese