Smallpox

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 Jeyran Main who is now Following.

Smallpox raged across the globe for millennia — mummies from the time of the Pharaohs show pock marks on their skin. Around the world it went, killing, blinding, and scarring people, seemingly incurable. In 1670, in the harem at Istanbul, wives and consorts were being successfully inoculated with live smallpox virus placed in a small cut to the skin. Lady Mary Montague, wife of the British ambassador to Constantinople [as the English called it], was thrilled to hear of the Turkish method — she had survived a disfiguring bout of smallpox but her brother died. Lady Mary insisted that her children be inoculated, and she took the surgeon and the method back to England. By 1722, people were being vaccinated in England and New England. Edward Jenner of England is the one who did the most to promote vaccination. He trained with a country doctor and knew that milkmaids, who often caught cowpox from cows, never caught smallpox. Using the cowpox virus, Jenner did scientific studies about the effectiveness of vaccination [he coined the word, based on the latin word for cow, ‘vaca‘] and promoted the idea widely. Although his 1797 article was rejected and detractors said that the vaccine would turn one into a cow, by 1802, his work was recognized by the British government and President Thomas Jefferson of the US was recommending it, too. At last, on October 26, 1977, the UN declared that smallpox was finally eradicated in the world. The scourge was ended, which shows the benefits of a good, scientifically valid vaccine. When I was a child, everyone was vaccinated against smallpox at age 3. I remember it well, although I never developed the characteristic scar.

Since the Jenner vaccination came from milkmaids with cow-pox, we will start our day with two cheeses in our baked eggs. Small Pox traveled along trade routes to many countries. It probably reached Europe via India [funny: no one called it the India-Pox…]. A wonderful India-inspired meal that emerged in England is Kedgeree, which will be our dinner.

Cheesy-Bake: 144 calories 8 g fat 1 g fiber 12 g protein 7 g carbs [5.7 g Complex] 183 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  This is the baked version of a cheese omelette that thinks that it is a cheese souffle! Delicious.

One 2-oz egg ½ oz cheddar cheese, grated 1 Tbsp reduced fat ricotta cheese 1 oz grapes Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Spritz a ramekin with olive oil or non-stick spray. Set the toaster oven at 350 F. Stir the two cheeses together with a fork until blended and whisk with the egg. Without waiting, pour into the ramekin and bake for 12-15 minutes, until puffed and beginning to brown. Prepare the fruit and your beverages of choice, and enjoy a cheesey start to your day.

Kedgeree:  250 calories 6 g fat 2 g fiber 22 g protein 25.7 g carbs [5.7 g Complex] 101 mg Calcium  PB GF  This Anglo-Indian fusion dish is flavorful and quickly prepared.  HINT: The recipe serves two [2] people.

Here is a serving for one person.
3 oz smoked haddock [aka: finnen haddie]  ½ cup milk 
1 bay leaf  ¼ cup chopped onion 
Put these ingredients in a small pan with a lid. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the milk and save it. Remove the fish, skin it, and pull apart into large shreds.
2/3 cup cooked rice [White rice is OK but brown rice has more nutrition] 
1/5 tsp curry powder 
½ tsp turmeric
Add the cooked rice and spices along with the shredded fish to the milk and put on low heat, covered, until everything is warm.
5 oz asparagus cut into 1½” piecesCook separately until just tender. Add to the rice/fish.
2 hard-boiled eggsPeel + cut each into 8 pieces. Strew atop the plated meal. Add salt.

Buffon

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.

September 7 is the birthdate of one of my favorite scientists: George-Louis Leclerc, the Conte de Buffon. He was born into a family of civil servants in Montbard, Burgundy, France. His wealthy godfather endowed him richly, with baby George’s mother as trustee. Although his father wanted him to study law, George-Louis was drawn to math and science. He left law school to pursue his interest and to travel [and get away from home until the acrimony died down?]. During his absence, his beloved mother died. Returning home, he sued his father [useful, those law classes!] to regain his inheritance; bought land [including the town of Buffon]; and went to Paris to make his mark. Marriage, fatherhood, the death of his dear wife — personal milestones. Probability theory, scientific studies, royal patronage — professional milestones. Eventually, he was raised to nobility, named the Conte [Count] de Buffon. He was an excellent writer [“The Style is the man himself”] which helped popularize his wide-ranging ideas. After experiments with various metals, Buffon concluded that the earth was 75,000 years old and was not formed 6000 years prior in the course of seven days, as was the current thinking. “Why should we hold God to man’s calendar?” he asked, proposing that a day to God could be 10,000 years to Man. Buffon believed that all races of people were the same [good for him!] but that they look differently because of climate and poor diet [that part was sketchy]. Buffon also thought that climate change affected the development of life forms. His writing was censured by the Church, but his research went on. Buffon’s ideas informed the work of future scientists such as Cuvier, Lyell, and Darwin. Buffon died in 1789, which is a good thing, as he would surely have been guillotined during the French Revolution, as was his son.

As a lover of the terroir of his region, Buffon would have delighted in the earthy taste of cepes/ceps, so this breakfast would have pleased him. The dinner is a classic of Burgundian cuisine, especially because it showcases the local ham.

Cepe Bake: 139 calories 6.7 g fat 1.3 g fiber 10 g protein 6 g carbs 61 mg Calcium   PB GF Am I bragging when I say that Bolete mushrooms [aka porcini] come up wild in our front yard? Sort of… but it is the truth – thanks to a stand of oaks which partner with the mushrooms. After researching which flavors go best with Cepes, here is an amazing breakfast.

1 egg 1 oz cepes/porcini [fresh or dried and rehydrated in hot water] 1-½ tsp Parmesan cheese 1 oz tomatoes 0.13 oz proscuitto 1-½ oz peach   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Slice the mushrooms into small pieces [your call]. Dice the tomatoes. Coarsley chop the proscuitto. Spray a non-stick or small cast-iron pan with non-stick spray and cook the three above items until they are softened and have lost their liquid. Put the cooked ingredients into a lightly-oiled oven-safe dish and distribute over the bottom. Whisk the eggs with the cheese, and pour into the prepared dish. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes or until set. Plate with the peaches for a real mid-Summer delight.

Burgundian Ham Flan: 291 calories 12 g fat 3 g fiber 27 g protein 25 g carbs 131.5 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF flour  In Burgundy, this is called “Rigodon.” Whatever language you speak, you will call it delicious. The recipe comes from Anne Willan’s French Regional CookingHINT: This recipe serves two [2] but go ahead and make the whole thing – it will be great for lunch later in the week. Dear Husband says: Make this again soon!

2 ½ oz ham, 3% fat ½ oz proscuitto ham 1 cup skimmed milk 4 eggs [8 oz] 2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour 2 pinches ground allspice 1 tsp fresh thyme salt & pepper fresh parsley leaves per serving: 1 cup lettuce + ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp vinegar

Cut hams in small dice. Spray an 8” diameter baking dish with non-stick spray. Distribute the ham over the bottom of the dish. Add the allspice to the milk, and bring it slowly to a boil. Whisk the eggs with the flour until it is smooth. Take the milk off the heat. While you whisk, add the egg/flour to the milk, then stir in the thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour over the ham in the baking dish and place some parsley leaves on the surface of the eggs. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes, until the eggs are set and golden brown. Serve cool or at room temperature along with the salad.

You OK?

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 strawberryred who is now Following.

OK” [also spelled “Okay”] is a true Americanism which has spread around the world. There are several explanations of how the term came to be. Mostly, it boils down to meaning ‘all right’ or ‘all correct’ which was either intentionally or unintentionally misspelled as ‘orl kerrect.’ When Martin Van Buren ran for as second term as president in 1840, people called him ‘Old Kinderhook,‘ after the town in New York where he was born. “OK” became part of his campaign sloganing. On March 23, 1839, it appeared in print for the first time, in the Boston Morning Post. The term was introduced to the world during World War I, as American doughboys took the saying to Europe. Then it ‘went viral’.

But back to the title of this message — are YOU OK? My little part of the world has very few cases of the COVID-19 — so far. Our governor has declared a state of emergency. Our local school district is closed, as are the churches and libraries. Dear Husband and I are staying close to home and probably you are too. This is a good chance to practice your home cooking, since you won’t be frequenting restaurants. I am not being flippant. Cooking at home is one of the best ways to get some control over what and how much you eat, and thus control your weight. You might even find out that you enjoy it! Here are two of our favorite easy-to-prepare meals. Best wishes for your health.

Avocado-Lobster Bake: 145 calories 7 g fat 2.2 g fiber 11 g protein 10.3 g carbs [9.4 g Complex] 64 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beveragesPB GF  When I thought that avocado and ricotta would make a nice bake, Dear Husband had one suggestion: add lobster! Well why not?

1 two-oz egg ¼ oz avocado ¾ Tbsp ricotta 3/4 oz lobster meat OR crab 2 oz pear Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Set the toaster oven to 350 F. Spritz a ramekin or other oven-proof dish with cooking spray and put the lobster meat on the bottom. Mash the avocado with the ricotta, then whisk in the egg. Pour over the lobster, season as you wish. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Slice the fruit and prepare the optional beverages. Sumptuous.

Smorrebrot with Salmon:  257 calories 8 g fat 3.1 g fiber 14 g protein 28.6 g carbs [~15 g Complex] 48 mg Calcium   PB  A classic summer sandwich from Sweden: a delicious meal without heating the kitchen.

1 slice [1.5 oz] sourdough rye bread @ 110 calories [the bread should be dense, not fluffy] 1 Tbsp whipped cream cheese 2-4 large leaves of fresh spinach 1.5 oz thinly-sliced tomato, slice and salt about 30 minutes earlier 1 or 1.5 oz smoked salmon [you have some calorie wiggle-room] ½ hard-boiled egg, sliced 1-2 oz strawberry

Spread the bread with the cream cheese and lay the spinach leaves on top. Place the tomato slices atop that. For the next layer, put down the salmon, topped by the egg slices. Plate with the berries and enjoy a wonderful meal, whether or not it is a hot Summer night.

Saint Scholastica

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 Skinny Spatula who is now Following.

Scholastica was a member of one of those families in the early Christian church when everybody joined the church and became saints. You’ve got Walburga, her father, and her 2 brothers; Nonna, her husband, and her three children; Basil and his 10 saintly relatives; and then there is Scholastica. I often try to imagine a family of saints sitting down to dinner at Thanksgiving….how would that conversation go? But with today’s saint, we know what she and her brother Benedict talked about: prayer, religious life, and the life here-after. They were twins and each was the head of a religious house in Italy. Once a year, they left their cloisters to meet together for a day of conversation, right up until a few days before the death of Scholastica. Unfortunately, Scholastica is better known for a deadly event which began on her feast day, February 10, 1354 [or ’35] in Oxford, England. The students had a day off and went drinking. In one tavern, a student berated the publican for serving lousy wine and threw it on him. Relations between Town and Gown being poor at best, a brawl ensued. The next day, more fighting broke out. After three days and 62 deaths, the Saint Scholastica’s Day Riot was to go down in history as a horrible event.

We will begin our recognition of Scholastica with a breakfast of Italian ingredients and end it with food that those English rioters might have recognized.

Asparagus-Proscuitto Bake: 124 calories 5.9 g fat 2 g fiber 8.3 g protein 9.7 g carbs [9.2 g Complex] 53.5 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beverages.  PB GF This is such a great flavor combination as an appetizer, that it must be wonderful with eggs. Yum!

1 two-oz egg 2 Tbsp [1/3 oz] thinly sliced, cooked asparagus ½ Tbsp [1/8 oz] proscuitto, thinly sliced or diced 1.5 tsp Parmesan cheese, grated 1 oz pear   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Spritz a ramekin with cooking spray and put the sliced asparagus and proscuitto into it. Set the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. Whisk together the cheese and egg, and pour into the ramekin. Add salt and pepper to taste, bearing in mind that the meat is salty. Bake 12-15 minutes. Slice the pear, prepare the optional beverages of choice. Nice way to start the day.

Steak & Mushroom Pie: 277 calories 4.8 g fat 6.9 g fiber 27 g protein 25.6 g carbs 34 mg Calcium Two very compatible flavors together again, topped [not encased] in puff pastry. Similar to a meal enjoyed at The Sign of the Angel in Lacock, Wiltshire, England. A real treat. HINT: recipe serves 2 [TWO], photo shows one serving.

4 oz grilled sirloin steak [leftover from a previous meal?] 1.5 cups mushrooms 1 Tbsp red wine ¼ cup creamed onions ½ tsp thyme + salt & pepper to taste 1/6 sheet puff pastry [Pepperidge Farm, frozen sheets are easy to find and use] per person: 1/3 cup peas

Thaw the frozen puff pastry for 40 minutes on the counter. Rewrap and return one sheet to freezer. Remove one of the sheets, unroll it carefully, and cut the sheet into 6 squares. [TIP: stack the remaining 5 pieces with waxed paper or cling wrap between the layers. Pop into a zipper bag and freeze for later use.] Cut the steak into 1/2”-1” cubes. Combine the meat with the mushrooms, wine, onions, seasonings in an oven-proof dish just large enough to hold the meat mixture yet large enough to be topped with the puff pastry. Heat the meat mixture until it is warm. Lay the puff pastry on top, decoratively slitting the crust. Bake at 400 F. about 15 minutes, until the crust is well-browned. Cook the peas and imagine that you are in an English country restaurant.

Cross-Cultural

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.

Food can either unite people [look how popular salsa and guacamole are!] or divide them [milk in tea or not? add it at first or secondarily?] There is no denying that foods from one culture can creep into another culture’s favorites and be embraced as ‘home cooking.’ That’s my idea of ‘cross-cultural food.’ Today we will look at some foods from diverse locations that could be at home anywhere.

The breakfast is based on a recipe from Romania which I saw on a French cooking show. The dinner frittata is that Spanish staple of Italian origin which has been embraced by eaters in America and everywhere.

Banana-Papanas:   241 calories 8 g fat 0.5 g fiber 20 g protein 25.5 g carbs [5 g Complex] 161 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the main meal only, and do not include the optional beveragePB  This recipe for Romanian papanas was shown on the French morning TV program Telematin and it looked so easy and unusual that I had to try them….then I added bananas for a play on words and a hint of the tropics.  HINT: The recipe makes enough for two [2] portions, so if only one person is being served today, cook only half of the batter and refrigerate the remainder to prepare later in the week. NB: the cooked papanas do not work as left-overs.

4 Tbsp [63 g] part-skim ricotta [Sargento brand] 4 Tbsp [63 g] reduced-fat cottage cheese 1 egg, separated 30 g [3.5 Tbsp] flour NB: TRY ALMOND MEAL OR TAPIOCA FLOUR FOR GF ½ tsp sugar 3/4 oz banana, sliced 1 tsp molasses + 1 tsp water NO smoothie today  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water

Separate the egg white from the yolk. Combine the yolk, cheeses, flour,and sugar in a bowl. Whip the egg white until stiff. Stir 1/3 of the egg white into the cheese mixture to lighten it, mixing until blended. Gently fold the remaining egg into the cheese mixture. Heat a non-stick pan and spray with non-stick spray. Using a scoop or a spoon [I made 4 using a 3 Tbsp scoop and then 4 using a 1.5 Tbsp scoop], place the batter into the pan in two batches. Cook until browned on one side and loose enough that they will slide if you shake the pan. Carefully flip to the other side. Remove to a plate. Slice the bananas thinly and strew on the papanas. Add the molasses to 1 tsp hot water and stir to combine. Pour the molasses over the bananas. As you sip your coffee, savor the tastes of the Caribbean, via Romania….

Swiss Chard Frittataif serving 4, per portion: 221 calories 14 g fat 0.6 g fiber 15.2 g protein 2.7 g carbs 170.5 mg Calcium  PB GF Susan Loomis is the source of this recipe, which also can be a wonderful breakfast, using 3 eggs to serve two.  HINT: Serves 4 as a main course. Could serve 6-8 as a hearty appetizer.

6 oz swiss chard or fresh spinach ½ tsp olive oil 18 oz eggs [9 two-oz eggs in their shells] 6 pinches granulated garlic + 6 pinches salt + 3 pinches paprika 6 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 

Dress the chard by holding the leaf flat on the counter and pulling off the stem. Chop the leaves. Put olive oil in an oven-proof pan that can also be used on the stove-top. Cook the chopped leaves in the oil until the leaves are limp, adding water as necessary to prevent sticking. Be sure to cook off the water/liquid in the pan. Combine the eggs, cheese and seasonings and pour over the chard in the pan. Cook over medium heat until the bottom is well set [5 minutes?]. Put under the broiler until the top is cooked. Serve from the pan or slide the frittata out onto a serving plate.

I. F.

I.F. could describe the “Laconic answer”. [Back Story: The Greek city-state of Laconia, famous for the citizens’ terseness of speech, was besieged by an invading army. Their general sent a message: “If we take your city, we will kill every man, woman, and child. You had better surrender now.” Answered the head man of the city: “IF.” Laconia was not defeated.] Or, in this modern era, it could stand for “Intermittent Fasting.” What is that, you ask…. There are several ways to answer that.

Over-all, intermittent fasting is a way to become more healthy by losing weight and giving your body time to restore itself in a sort of resting phase that occurs during a time of limited calorie intake. Version 1: You abstain from all eating, but are free to consume all the water you want, for two to four days each and every month. Sometimes an electrolyte liquid is consumed during the fast. Version 2: You abstain from all eating, but are free to consume all the water you want for one full day — from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep again. This is done once or twice within a week. Version 3: You do all of your eating within an 8-hour window — say, 8 am to 4 pm. Before and after than, you may consume only water. Version 4: Every other day, you consume a limited number of calories — from 500 to 1000 — while on the alternate days you eat as you please. Also called “Alternative Day Fasting.”

Version 5: Two days each week, you consume 500-600 calories, eating as you please [but wisely] on the other days. Also called “5:2 Diet,” as developed by Dr. Michael Mosley. This is the eating plan that Dear Husband and I have followed for 6+ years.

Whichever method you choose, the goal is to train yourself to eat more moderately. If you never learn that, you will go off the diet and your weight will zoom up again. What’s the point of that?? People who do not get a handle on their over-eating are doomed to diet-and-gain over and over again. We view our eating plan as a Lifestyle, something that fits into the way we live and that we are happy to continue every week for the rest of our lives. Following are some of the meals we eat on a Fast Day.

B-T-O Bake: 127 calories 6 g fat 1.2 g fiber 9.3 g protein 8.6 g carbs [7.5 g Complex] 66 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beverages.  PB GF  This bake has flavor and to spare. Delicious way to use left-over broccoli.

1 two-oz egg 1 Tbsp low-fat cottage cheese 1 oz diced tomato, drained ¾ tsp Parmesan cheese ½ oz cooked broccoli 1 Kalamata olive 1 plum OR 4 cherries OR 4 oz strawberries Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Set the toaster oven at 350 F. Dice the broccoli and the olive. Stir the cheeses together. Spritz an oven-safe container with non-stick spray. Whisk the egg, then whisk in the cheeses. Distribute the tomato, olive, and broccoli over the bottom of the baking dish. Whisk the eggs once more and pour into the baking dish. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Portion the fruit and prepare the beverages of your choice. Now that’s a breakfast!

Tortellini w/ Black Kale:  209 calories 9 g fat 3.5 g fiber 10 g protein 24 g carbs [7.4 g Complex] 231 mg Calcium PB Packaged, dried tortellini is a handy item to have in the pantry. It makes for a fine Tuscan meal when pared with Black Kale. The recipe is from ‘thekitchn‘  NB: I used the recipe below for the kale as two servings, when paired with the pasta. But the calories are so low that you could use it as one serving. 

27 g dried cheese/spinach tortellini [Barilla brand is good] 3 oz diced tomato 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese PLUS ingredients shown below for the kale.

For the Kale:

3 oz black kaleUse your hands to pull the kale leaves from their stems. Coarsely chop the leaves. Rinse them, but do not dry.
1 tsp olive oil 2 cloves garlic pinch red pepper flakesHeat the oil in large, wide, high-sided sauté pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute (do not let the garlic brown).
¼ tsp kosher salt pinch ground pepperAdd the kale, stirring as it starts to wilt. Stir in the salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is just tender, about 5 minutes.
2 tsp Lemon juiceRemove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and serve.

For the meal: Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 9-11 minutes, then drain. Combine with the diced tomatoes and Parmesan. Plate the pasta surrounded by the kale.

Tropic of Capricorn

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 Earth tilts as it spins on its axis. Currently [and this is subject to change], the tilt is 23 degrees, 27 minutes from vertical. As the Earth orbits the sun, the tilt causes the sun to shine more directly on some places and less directly on others. This is the cause of our seasons. On a map of the world, you will see the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere. It is at 23 degrees South of the Equator. That is the point over which the sun shines most directly during the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. The same day marks the Winter Solstice for those in the Northern Hemisphere, which has winter due to the lack of direct sunlight. This line gets it name from the fact that the Sun was moving through the constellation of Capricorn on the December solstice day when the line was first named around 2000 years ago. The line marks the southern limit of the warm areas called ‘the tropics’ aka: the Torrid Zone. Now you know.

Today’s meals were chosen because they are eaten in countries through which the Tropic of Capricorn passes. As I write this, they are having Summer. Breakfast is my adaptation of food from Chile and dinner is a well-liked soup from Australia.

Pumpkin Sopaipilla Breakfast:  202 calories 4.2 g fat 2.7 g fiber 7.5 g protein 73.8 g carbs [11.9 g Complex] 45 mg Calcium  PB  This breakfast is based on Chile’s favorite snack, a deep-fried street-food concoction. Our’s are the same recipe, but lower in calorie, served for breakfast with some yummy sides. The recipe comes from hispanickitchen.com.

3 pumpkin sopaipillas+++ 1 Tbsp jelly sauce** 1 clementine + 1 Tbsp fat-free vanilla yogurt 1 or 2 slice Canadian Bacon [back bacon, 20 calories/slice] Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]

Prepare the sopaipillas, which I did the night before so that I could bake them in the morning. Prepare the jelly sauce. Peel and section the clementine and stir in the yogurt. When ready to serve, heat the sopaipillas at 350 F for 5 minutes, Heat the jelly sauce for about 15 seconds in the microwave. Cook the Canadian bacon. Plate the bacon, fruit, and sopaipillas. Sprinkle the latter with confectioners sugar and spoon the syrup over them. Putting cocoa in the coffee gives you another taste of the Americas, the source of both squashes and cocoa.

+++Pumpkin Sopaipillas yields 10-11 two-inch rounds ½ cup flour 1 tsp baking powder ¼ tsp salt ½ cup pumpkin puree, canned 1 Tbsp melted butter Combine into a smooth dough. Let sit 20 minutes, then roll out on a floured surface. Cut into 2″ rounds with a cookie cutter or the top of a glass.

**Jelly Sauce  yields 2 Tbsp 2 Tbsp water 1 tsp fruit jelly [grape, raspberry, strawberry] Stir together in a custard cup and heat in the microwave until the jelly dissolves.

Australian Chicken-Corn Soup: 198 calories 2.8 g fat 1.2 g fiber 12 g protein 20 g carbs [6.5 g Complex] 9 mg Calcium   PB GF  This remarkable version of a Chinese soup is found in the “Australian Women’s Weekly’s” Chinese Cooking Class book. From such an easy preparation comes a wonderful, complex flavor.  HINT: this recipe makes four cups of soup. One serving = one cup.

1 liter water
1 pound raw chick – meat and bones
1.25 cm piece [small knob] ginger
½ onion, peeled and quartered
2 peppercorns
2 sprigs parsley
½ tsp salt



OR-3.5 cups whchick stock
ginger knob
salt + pepper
Put chicken or chicken pieces into saucepan and add water, peppercorns, peeled and sliced ginger, onion, parsley and salt. Bring to boil over medium heat and skim well to remove any scum; reduce heat and simmer gently, covered, for one and a half hours. Remove any scum from top of stock. Strain and reserve three and a half cups of the stock.
-OR- Simmer premade stock, ginger knob, salt and pepper covered for 30 mins. Strain.
3.5 cups stock
240 g creamed corn, canned 1 stock cube= 1 tsp dry bouillon grains ¼ tsp dry ginger powder 2.5 chopped fresh scallions ground pepper ½ tsp sesame oil
Combine in a large saucepan the reserved chicken stock, creamed corn, crumbled stock cubes, ginger, scallions, pepper and sesame oil. Bring to boil. Take off heat and taste for salt.

2 Tbsp cornstarch/cornflour 2 Tbsp waterMix cornflour to smooth paste with water; add to soup while stirring. Put back on heat and stir until soup boils and thickens. Reduce heat, simmer for 1 min.
1 egg white 1 Tbsp water 2 tsp soy sauceBeat egg white and water lightly and add to soup in a thin stream, stirring well. Add soy sauce. Taste for seasoning.
1 slice ham =1 oz, thinly sliced ½ cup chicken, shredded chopped scallion/chives/
spinach leaves
Remove meat from bones, shred finely. Add meats to soup, heat gently. Top with extra chopped scallions or chives or baby spinach leaves.

me-me-me-me

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.

Tomorrow will be my birthday, and this blog is all about ME. I know a woman who describes people who are vain or show-offy as ‘Opera Singers’ – – all ‘me-me-me’. So this will be my opera singer day as I talk about some of my food favorites. There are people who say, “I couldn’t diet because I love food too much. You who diet obviously don’t like food.” What I don’t like is eating when I’m not hungry. What’s the point? No food tastes as delicious as when you are hungry! I like foods that are savory; and foods that are sweet; and foods that are easy to prepare; and foods that take some finagling. One of the reasons that Dear Husband and I look forward to Fast Days is that the food will be varied and delicious. [Yes, I’m bragging again.]

Fasting works. It is a break from high-on-the-hog eating and a chance to re-set the bathroom scale to a more reasonable number. What foods would I choose if my natal day fell on a Fast Day? A strawberry-filled crepe at breakfast seems so elegant, yet is simple to pull off. The fish and vegetables for dinner is a meal SOOOO easy and yet really delicious. Through Fasting, I have maintained my average weight at my Target for over 4 years. If you can say the same, good for you! If you are not where you want your weight to be, try Fasting.

Strawberry Crepe: 193 calories 7.5 g fat 1.9 g fiber 9.5 g protein 23 g carbs [8 g Complex] 211 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB  Isn’t it a treat to enjoy ‘Strawberries & Cream’ once in a while? If you haven’t made the crepes already, this is a good reason to try them. Mine were ready in the freezer.

1 sweet crepe*** 2 Tbsp ricotta cheese 3 Tbsp vanilla low-fat yogurt 3 oz strawberries, sliced and put in a sieve over a bowl, especially if frozen 1 slice uncured bacon or 1 slice ‘Canadian’ bacon   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]  NO SMOOTHIE 

Stir the ricotta and yogurt together. Add most of the berries, saving some for garnish. If there is a lot of juice, cook it down slowly to make a little syrup. Cook the bacon. Place the crepe on the plate and spoon the cream filling onto it. Fold over the crepe and top with the extra berries and syrup. Plate with the bacon and prepare your hot beverage of choice.

***CREPES, SWEETmakes 16 eight-inch crepes  each = 55 calories 0.7 g fat 0.2 g fiber 2.7 g protein 9 g carbs [0 g Complex] 39 mg Calcium 154 g all-purpose flour 14 fl oz milk [416 g] 2 tsp vanilla sugar 2 two-oz eggs

Whisk the flour and sugar together. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Add the eggs one at a time. Whisk vigorously until the batter runs off the whisk in ropes. The batter can rest for up to an hour. Heat a small cast-iron pan or ceramic saute pan.  Lightly spritz with oil, then wipe out the pan. Dip a ¼ cup measure into the batter and let the extra drain off. Grasp the handle of the cook pan with one hand as you slowly pour the batter into the center of the pan. Tilt the pan in a swirling pattern to let the batter form a circle roughly 6” in diameter. Don’t get hung up on perfectly round or perfectly flat. Watch the crepe cook and look to see when the edges start to dry and curl a bit. Using a heat-resistant but non-scratching tool [I use my fingers], lift the crepe and turn it over. Cook the other side until done. Time will vary, depending on the heat of your pan. Lift out the cooked crepe, put it aside, and cook the next one. HINT: if storing them for later today or tomorrow, let them cool on a tea towel, then stack and freeze in a plastic bag. 

Arctic Char with Peas, 3 ways: Arctic Char is a member of the Salmon Family which can be both sustainably fished in the wild and farm-raised. It is delicious, too. There are three presentations given: two are ridiculously easy, the other slightly more complex. All are great.

Version I: 263 calories 8 g fat 3 g fiber 28 g protein 10 g carbs [10 g Complex] 25 mg Calcium  PB GF   4 oz arctic char fillets ½ cup green ‘English’ peas, fresh or frozen Salt and pepper the fish and bake at 400 F. for 10 minutes/inch of thickness or grill for 4 minutes/side. Cook the peas and serve over/around the fish.

Version II: 247 calories 8.7 g fat 2 g fiber 26.7 g protein 7.3 g carbs [5.5 g Complex] 74.7 mg Calcium   PB GF   4 oz arctic char fillets ¼ cup watercress sauce [see SIDEKICKS II oct 4, 2017 ] 1 cup snow peas, stems and strings removed Salt and pepper the fish. Bake at 400 F. for 10 minutes/ inch of thickness or grill for 4 minutes/side. Warm the watercress sauce and serve over the fish. Cook the peas and plate. 

Version III: 274 calories 7.4 g fat 8 g fiber 25 g protein 16.4 g carbs [16.4 g Complex] 54.5 mg Calcium  PB GF  3 oz arctic char ¼ cup edamame [soy beans] ¼ cup ‘English’ peas ½ cup snow peas

Remove the stems and strings from the snow peas. Bake the fish at 400 F. for 10 minutes/ inch of thickness or grill for 4 minutes/side. Meanwhile, cook the peas and edamame according to package directions. Plate the fish and surround it with beautiful green peas.

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

1.5 two-oz eggTWO BREAKFAST MENUS:
anchovies3%-fat ham + sourdough rye bread 
tomatoHermelin or Camembert cheese
melon or mangoyellow plums
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

chicken meat + stock + stock cubes [bouillion cubes]THIS IS A BREAKFAST MENU
canned creamed corn + scallions1 two-oz egg + chèvre cheese
sesame oil + corn starch + gingerspinach, frozen or pre-cooked
egg white + 1 oz ham slicelemon-dill seasoning + apple/pear
Sparkling wateroptional beverages

Little Christmas Eve

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

A book we read when our sons were little was all about how Christmas is celebrated around the world — countries and their customs. One that we really liked was “Little Christmas Eve” from Norway. According to the book, that day was given over to final preparations, from baking to wrapping gifts, so that the tree could be decorated that evening. The date for this was December 23, the eve of Christmas Eve. The idea of getting everything taken care of before December 24 sounded like a good idea to this busy mother. To this day, I do get all the baking done before then, as well as my shopping and wrapping. Rushing in all directions and staying up late on Christmas Eve never appealed to me. [Pre-planning helps a lot.] What do you think? These days, we enjoy spending the 24th relaxing with our family and enjoying being together.

Breakfast features salmon, a fish that thrives in the cold waters of Scandinavia. The dinner is soup. Our book described a pot of soup being on the stove all day — if you were hungry, you could help yourself. What a fine idea for a busy day!

Leek & Salmon Bake: 129 calories 6.7 g fat 1 g fiber 9.8 g protein 7 g carbs [7 g Complex] 64.5 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  Simply delicious. 

One 2-oz egg ½ oz salmon [could be leftover from a previous meal] 1/3 oz leek, sliced thinly 1 tsp low-fat sour cream OR plain Greek Yogurt dill weed to taste dash lemon juice ¼ cup blueberries or 1 plum Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Spritz an oven-proof ramekin [for 2 people, Dear Husband likes to use a 6×4” oval casserole] with non-stick spray and set the oven for 350 degrees F. Slice the leek and put in a microwave-safe dish. [NB: if the fish is raw, cut it into small pieces and put it in the dish, too] Cook in microwave for 30 minutes at high heat to soften the leek. Add to the ramekin. Whisk the egg with the sour cream, dill, lemon juice, and salt/pepper to taste. [NB: some people find dill to be a very strong flavor] Pour over the salmon/leek mixture and bake for 12-15 minutes. Prepare your beverages and dish the berries. Have a wonderful breakfast and a wonderful day.

‘Therapeutic’ Chicken Soup:  278 calories 3.4 g fat 5 g fiber 18.5 g protein 36 g carbs [26 g Complex Carbs] 78 mg Calcium  PB  The recipe is from It’s All American Food  by David Rosengarten. Simple, filling, and Granma says it is good for you.  NB: One serving = 2 cups of soup! The recipe easily doubles or triples.

1-1/2 cups excellent chicken broth, homemade or purchased 2 oz [½ cup] parsnips, diced 1 oz [¼ cup] carrots, in coins ¼ cup celery, sliced 2 oz cooked chicken breast, cut in 1/2” cubes 1/2 oz Pennsylvania Dutch noodles  3 Tbsp parsley

Prepare the vegetables. Cook the noodles in water until just underdone. Heat the stock to a simmer and add 3-4 Tbsp water, which will boil away as you cook. I added the parsnips first and cooked for about 5 minutes, then added the carrots. After another 5 minutes, I put the celery in the soup. Cook until all the vegetables are tender, then adjust the seasoning of the broth. Add the pasta and chicken. It will need extra flavor now since the pasta will have used it up, so add salt and pepper to taste. Add the parsley and cook about 5 minutes longer.

Crossroads: Europe

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

Many peoples have crossed Europe — North to South, East to West. Despite the idea that ‘all roads lead to Rome,” the cultural melting pot of Europe has got to be Trier. When I was growing up, I never heard of it. [blush] But it kept being mentioned in many areas of my research, leading me to find out more.

Located on the Mosel river where it joins two other rivers, the city is on several intersecting travel routes. During the Iron Age, the Celtic Treveri tribe lived there, eventually giving their name to the town, which is called ‘Treves’ in French. The Romans arrived in 16 BCE and founded a major city which was the capital of their Northern European empire. In 459, the Franks took over, eventually becoming a major center during the rule of Charlemagne. As Christianity grew, Trier became a religious hub. Saints Helen and Ambrose both visited, though not at the same time. Eventually the city belonged to the French, then the Germans. Wars brought new people, new languages, new foods to this crossroad of Europe and made it what it is today. Karl Marx was born there, Saint Mathew is buried there — how much more diverse does it get?

Because the Vikings [aka ‘Danes’] sacked Trier in 882, our breakfast will contain Danish/Northern elements. Our dinner evokes Italy, whence came the Romans. Look up Trier on a map and plan to visit the UNESCO World Heritage city some day.

Danish ScrOmelette: 140 calories 10.4 g fat 0.5 g fiber 12 g protein 5.6 g carbs [3 g Complex] 242 mg Calcium   PB GF  This breakfast is in honor of Northern Europe. The taste of the sea, the Danish cheese, the apple: all are flavors of the region.

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 1/2 oz Danish bleu cheese ½ oz herring marinated in wine 1 oz apple, sliced so you can see the star inside Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water    Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Mince the herring. Crumble the bleu cheese and whisk with the eggs. Hold the apple on its side and slice it so that the star of seeds and core in the middle is revealed. Cut a slice parallel to your cut to end up with a slice that weighs 1 oz. Spray a frying pan with non-stick spray and put the minced herring in the pan. Quickly pour the egg-cheese mixture in the pan. As the egg begins to set around the edges, lift the egg with a fork or spatula and tip the pan so that uncooked egg flows underneath. Continue like that until the bottom is fully cooked and the top is set. [Flip the omelette if you dare, or put it under the broiler if you like your eggs well cooked.] Slide the eggs on to the plate next to the apple, pour the beverages, and meditate on the wonders of ancient trade routes across continents.

Ham Florentine Crepes: 299 calories 11.3 g fat 5.6 g fiber 15.6 g protein 33 g carbs 307 mg Calcium PB Peter Christian’s Tavern was a very popular New Hampshire restaurant and their cookbook was a local best seller. The restaurant has closed but the cookbook is a goldmine and it served as the source of this meal. Very easy if the crepes and Bechamel sauce are pre-made.

Ham Florentine Fillingmakes 1.5 cups ½ cup no-cheese Bechamel Sauce [see SIDEKICKS I, 17-Sept-’17 ] 1 cup ham in 1/4” dice 1 cup [5 oz] cooked spinach, fresh or frozen ½ cup chopped celery ¼ cup chopped onion celery salt + dill + granulated garlic + basil

Be sure to squeeze the spinach until most of the liquid is out of it. [save the liquid] Spritz a saute pan with non-stick spray and add some of the spinach liquid. Cook the celery and onion until the onions are transluscent, adding more spinach liquid as needed. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on low heat until warmed through. 

For the Dinner: 2 crepes [see  SIDEKICKS I, 17-Sept-’17] ¾ cup Ham Florentine

Set the oven to 350 F. If the crepes are frozen, thaw and wrap in a tea towel. Put them in the oven as it warms. When the crepes are soft and pliable, lay them on a baking sheet, covered with the tea towel. Warm the Ham Florentine filling and spoon over half of each crepe. [I saved out a bit of liquid from the filling.] Fold the crepes over the filling and pat in place. Put the crepes in the oven until warmed through. Top with reserved filling before serving.

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

1 two-oz egg 
leek + dill weed
Choose a new favorite from Archives
lemon juice + salmon

dab of plain Greek yogurt/sour cream

Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

chicken breast meat
a stone + herbs + meaty bones
carrots + celery
carrot + parsley + spinach/kale
parsnip + parsley
cabbage + green beans
egg noodles + rich chicken broth
red potato + canned white beans
Sparkling waterSparkling water