L.o.t.R.

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 uptightprettygirl who is now Following.

The book series that I have re-read most is The Lord of The Rings by JRR Tolkien.  He creates memorable characters; a unique and believable world; complex languages for different groups of people; and a satisfying story which makes you want to visit it again. A Quest, a Coming-of-Age plot, Star-Crossed Lovers, Overcoming Evil — these books have it all.   March 25 is the day the One Ring was destroyed: the end of evil times and the start of an era when goodness reigned.  In our house, we celebrate LotR day with special foods.  Oddly, although the principal characters are food-loving Hobbits and feasting Dwarves, the author seldom names the foods that are eaten.  Out of the 5 or so instances that ingredients are mentioned, I have crafted two meals. One is eaten at the home of the magical Tom Bombadil and his marvelous wife Goldberry.  The other is based on Hobbits’ enjoyment of mushrooms and rabbit.  We can eat with the Hobbits but not like the Hobbits — they gain weight as adults and being tubby is a bit of a plot-line. We don’t have to be plump, chubby, or stout.  We can Fast.

Bombadil’s Breakfast:   146 calories  5 g fat   2.5 g fiber  10.5 g protein  15.3 g carbs [8.3 g Complex]   312 mg Calcium  NB: the food values given are for the plated items only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF V When Tom Bombadil served his guests breakfast, it consisted of plants, fruit and dairy of his own collection or production. The plants should be watercress [since his wife Goldberry was the River-Man’s daughter] and the fruit shall be Golden Berries [aka Peruvian Ground Cherries], again in a nod to his wife.Bombadil Breakfast

½ oz Camembert cheese                                                                                                                ½ cup watercress leaves or microgreens                                                                                                    ½ cup plain yogurt                                                                                                                         ½ tsp honey                                                                                                                                                      1 oz Golden Berries  [aka: Peruvian Ground Cherries]  OR blueberries                                                              edible flowers [violets, chives, nastursium, or others]                                                                     Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                       Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Warm the honey and stir it into the yogurt. Plate the items to your taste and enjoy a magical breakfast in The Old Forest. Wear a blue jacket and yellow hat.

Rabbit Pie: 275 calories   6.6 g fat   4.6 g fiber   25.6 g protein   27.5 g carbs [15 g Complex] 77 mg Calcium  PB  Rabbit is a common meat in recipes the world over. It is high in protein and low in fat. And yes, it does taste like chicken. You could substitute.

Rabbit Pie, baked
Here is the Rabbit Pie for 2 people as it came out of the oven, with the bread on top.
Rabbit Pie, plated
Here is one serving of the Rabbit Pie plated with the bread underneath to catch the juices.

 

 

 

 

                                                             

         

 

 

 

2 oz mushrooms                                                                                                                               4 oz chicken stock                                                                                                                             2 tsp potato starch                                                                                                                         0.55 oz [1 slice] ham from the deli                                                                                                    3 oz rabbit meat                                                                                                                                     ¼ cup onions, chopped                                                                                                                   big pinch dried thyme + big pinch savory + salt + pepper                                                                    ½ Arnold Multi-Grain Sandwich Thin OR a 4” circle cut from whole-grain bread                                     1.5 oz carrots                                                                                                                                               If the rabbit is uncooked: Cut it into bite-sized pieces and quickly cook in a saute pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Remove the meat. Chop and cook the mushrooms in non-stick spray, but do not evaporate all of the liquid they give off. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Add the onions and the stock to the pan along with the mushroom juices and ¼ cup water. Simmer to cook the onions. Whisk in the potato starch and the seasonings. Continue to whisk over heat until the potato starch is dissolved. Cook at a simmer until the liquid measures ¼ cup and is thickened. Add the rabbit meat, ham, and the mushrooms. Simmer for a few minutes and taste for seasonings. Pour and scrape into an oven-proof dish. Top with the Sandwich Thin. Bake at 350° F for15 minutes. Cook the carrots. Plate the meal by first putting the Sandwich Thin on the plate, then covering it with the rabbit-mushroom mixture. Pour any extra liquid so that it is soaked up by the bread. Plate the carrots to complete the meal.

Second Fiddles

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.

What does it mean ‘to play or to be a second fiddle‘?  It means to be the assistant to the leader or boss, which is a good role but it means that you may not get your full share of the glory or fame from what is accomplished. Originally, it referred to seating in an orchestra: the head honcho is the Conductor, of course.  The next most important person is the First Violin [the one who plays the ‘1st Fiddle’], and below that is the Second Violin.  That’s the 2nd Fiddle: close to the fame with important work to do, but often over-looked. Tomorrow will be the birthday of an over-looked man: Roy Disney.  He was co-founder and partner in the Disney organization, playing second fiddle to his younger brother, Walt the cartoonist and media visionary. Despite the fact that Roy was a financial wizard  who brought Disney World into fulfillment and put Orlando, Florida on the map, the only human who comes to mind when you say “Disney’ is Walt.                                                                                                  Side dishes play second fiddle to the main meal. That’s too bad as they can tend to be an after-thought: boil up some peas for something green on the plate. Let’s up our game and serve some side dishes that really add some zest to the meal.

CORN-TOMATO SALSA          makes 1.5 cups 87 calories per 3/4 cup serving Lamb Kabobs w: corn relish                                                   1 cup corn kernels                                                                                                                                                       1 cup diced tomato                                                                                                                                                  2 Tbsp minced red bell pepper                                                                                                                           2 Tbsp diced red onion                                                                                                                                         2 Tbsp cider vinegar                                                                                                                                                1/4 tsp dry mustard                                                                                                                                                 1/8 tsp tumeric                                                                                                                                                          ¼ tsp sugar                                                                                                                                                                    2 dashes ground cumin

CUCUMBER RAITA               use as a side dish or in wrapsFelafel w: Cuke Raita                                                                                             1 cup non-fat yogurt                                                                                                                                                 1 Tbsp lime juice                                                                                                                                                      1 clove garlic, pressed                                                                                                                                              1 cup cucumber, seeded and diced                                                                                                                   ½ tsp ground cumin                                                      ¼ tsp salt                                                                          ¼ tsp ground pepper                                                                                       1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped                                Combine all ingredients and use immediately or chill up to 30 minutes.

FRESH POLENTA          1 serving = 1/3 cup = 80 calories     Fish Kabobs w: fresh Polenta                                                                                                      1.25 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen                                                                                                                      1 tsp unsalted butter                                                                                                                                         freshly-ground pepper + salt                                                                                                                                      Puree the corn in a blender until smoother in texture [it won’t be like whipped cream, but you shouldn’t see whole kernels]. Put butter in a warm pan, then add the corn, pepper and salt. Cook about 30 seconds or until it becomes thicker. From Jacques Pepin, this is excellent served with a simply prepared fish.

SIDE SALAD        Serves 1 = 36 calories, easily doubles or triples                                                                                           Haggis Spring Rolls1 cup lettuce, slice into <1/2” strips if leaves are large                                                                                 ½ oz grated carrots                                                                                                                                                   1 oz tomato                                                                                                                                                               ½ tsp olive oil, plain or flavor-infused [ex: lime]                                                                                            ½ tsp flavorful vinegar                                                   salt and pepper to taste                                                                                                                                 optional: 1/2 oz boiled, cubed beets [adds 6 calories]  

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs
1 felafel patty [Stocking Up 4-I-2018] salami, thinly-sliced
tomato puree or crushed tomatoes pear
blueberries
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

Dinner, single portion:

6 felafel patties pork tenderloin + honey  + garlic
lettuce  + tomatoes fresh green beans  + red bell pepper
carrot  +  beets  +  feta cheese fresh ginger  + soy sauce + canola oil
white wine vinegar + flavored olive oil crushed red pepper +   scallion
Sparkling water Sparkling water

                                                                                                                                        

Johannes Kepler

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.

Although there is a space telescope named after him, most people would be hard pressed to recognize the name of Johannes Kepler.  Yet he revolutionized how we view the solar system and brought us out of the Middle Ages of astronomy once and for all.  He was the assistant to the famous Tycho Brahe [cf 13 December 2017] in Bohemia and inherited the detailed written observations of his mentor.  By applying his superior mathematical skills, Kepler developed his 3 Laws of Planetary Motion. Today’s breakfast illustrates those theories.  1]  Planets move in elliptical [egg-shaped] paths around the sun. [In his time, the 1500-year old ideas of Ptolemy said that orbits were perfect circles.]   2]  When planets reach the point of their orbit where they are farthest from the sun, they travel slower, but go faster closer to the sun.  The two figs mark places where a planet would go faster or slower in its orbit.  3]   The time it takes a planet to orbit the sun [many scientists in the 1500s held that the Earth was in the center of the Solar System] is proportional to its distance from the sun. In the photo, the ‘orbital path’ of the spinach leaves would be shorter if it were closer to the egg yolk [egg yolk = sun.]                     These ideas were huge in their day and yet they made few ripples in the scientific community, with no scandal of excommunication.  The time was almost right for recognizing that the old ideas were based on opinion and that scientists could prove, by observation and calculation, that their theories were correct.                                                                                                                             Since Kepler’s side hustle was as an astrologer [the magic side of star-gazing], dinner gives a nod to the recent Winter Solstice, a time of dread and disruption in the ancient Solar Calendar.  Kepler’s birthday is tomorrow. He was a Capricorn.

Fig & Chèvre Plate:    294 calories  8.7 g fat  5.7 g fiber  17 g protein  43 g carbs [33 g Complex]   325 mg Calcium   PB GF  Simple, elegant, and much more filling than it looks.Fig + Chevre Plate, black

½ hard-boiled egg                                                                                                                                                                    1 dried fig, mass of 0.65 oz or 16 g                                                                                                                       1 oz chèvre cheese                                                                                                                                                      ¼ oz baby spinach                                                                                                                                             blackish coffee, blackish tea, or lemon in hot water                                                                                            5-6 oz fruit smoothie or green smoothie or natural apple cider

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

Winter Solstice Pizza: 281 calories   10 g fat  2.8 g fiber  16 g protein  15.6 g carbs [7.8 g Complex]  223.4 mg Calcium PB   On the solstice, we like to prepare a pizza with elements of the season past [mushrooms represent Fall] and of the season to come [cured meats stand in for Winter]. Fabulous flavors!Winter Solstice Pizza

1 whole wheat tortilla [ex: Herdez 8” Fajita-style Tortilla], must be 170 calories or less                                                                                                                         1.5 Tbsp crushed tomatoes + pinch granulated garlic                                                                                        1 oz mozzerella cheese, grated                                                                                                                                 1 oz mushrooms, chopped                                                                                                                                                         1/3 oz prosciutto                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Tbsp onion, chopped                                                                                                                                      generous sprinkling of Italian Herbs + crushed red peppers to taste                                                                                                                                     

Heat the oven to 400 F. Spread the tortilla with the crushed tomato sauce and garlic. Chop the prosciutto roughly and combine it with the mushrooms, onion, and cheese. Distribute over the pizza shell. Sprinkle with herbs, crushed red pepper, or other seasonings to taste. Bake for 5-10 minutes. Light some candles and enjoy pizza on the longest night of the year.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

Next week I will discuss options for American bacon   +  mushrooms
      New Year’s Eve entertaining Cheddar cheese   + chicken stock
choose a favorite from the Archives Yorkshire Pudding Batter [..Not by Bread…18-Feb-2018  OR Arnold Sandwich Thin [100 calories]
       for breakfast white whole wheat flour
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

Dinner, single portion:

Next week I will discuss options for cooked pheasant meat
           New Year’s Eve entertaining carrots  +  cabbage  + onion
 choose a favorite from the Archives pheasant or chicken gravy
         for dinner Arnold Sandwich Thin [100 calories]
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Adam & Eve

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 GlutLust who is now Following.

Tomorrow will be the Feast Day of St Adam and St Eve. Bet you didn’t know they were saints, did you? Me neither.  Medieval and Renaissance artists loved to depict the once- happy pair — after all, they were naked!! So we see them being created in sculpture by Lorenzo Maitani; succumbing to temptation in painting by Lucas Cranach  and in engraving by Albrecht Dürer; and being expelled from Eden in fresco by Masaccio;  One of my favorites*  is from bronze doors of Bishop Bernwald in Hildesheim, Germany begun in 1015. It shows God pointing accusingly to Adam, who fairly writhes in embarrassment over his nakedness. Adam points to Eve to blame her for their mistake. And Eve points to the Devil [a small dragon at her feet] to blame him, as if to say ‘the dog did it’!  A wonderful examination of human nature.      *[thanks, Pflug]                                                                                                  Going from the sublime to the ridiculous: in old diner parlance, if the waitress yelled at the cook, “Adam and Eve on a Raft” it meant an order of poached eggs on toast.  We will extend the ‘raft’ simile a bit to include the toast that is served under any food. At breakfast, the toast will hold the trendy avocado as well as the Adam/Eve egg, while at dinner it will be bread with Vietnamese toppings.

Avocado Toast:  273 calories  10.4 g fat  5 g fiber  14.4 g protein  32.5 g carbs   210 mg Calcium PB  GF – if using GF bread  Avocado Toast has been all the rage in celebrity diets, so we decided to try it. Very nice with the egg on top and a hearty whole-grain bread underneath.Avocado Toast

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                  o.8 oz avocado                                                                                                                                                                 1 slice 70-calorie whole-grain bread                                                                                                     blackish coffee or tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                                 ¼ cup unpasturized apple cider or 3 oz fruit smothie or green smoothie

Lightly toast the bread while you fry or poach the egg. Spread the avocado over the bread and top with the egg. Pour the beverages and you are all set for a healthy day.

Banh Mi: 300 calories   7 g fat   4.8 g fiber  20 g protein  36.7 g carbs   47 mg Calcium  PB   The recipe for this popular Thai/Viet street sandwich came in the mail from Eating Well’s Shape magazine. Just a few tweeks and it worked splendidly for a Fast Day. Dear Husband is fan.Bahn Mi

3 oz pork tenderloin, previously cooked or raw                                                                                                     1 tsp Asian sweet chili sauce + ½ tsp soy sauce                                                                                            1.5 oz cucumber, cut in 2-3” strips                                                                                                                     1.5 oz red sweet pepper, cut in 2-3” strips                                                                                                         2 oz carrot, shredded                                                                                                                                              2 Tbsp pickle brine [juice from a jar of pickles] + ½ tsp sesame oil + ¼ tsp ground ginger + ¼ tsp ground garlic + pinch sesame seeds                                                                                                         1-1/2 oz baguette slices, cut 1/4” thick

Slice the pork thinly and brush with Asian chili + soy sauce mixture. If meat is uncooked, briefly sauté until just pink. Combine the pickle brine with the sesame-ginger -garlic-sesame to make a dressing, and set aside in a small bowl. Slice and grate the vegetables and toss in the sesame-ginger dressing. Slice the bread and arrange it on the serving plate. Top with pork, then with vegetables. Serve remaining vegetables on the side. Done!  We ate everything with our fingers.

Posh

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.                                                                                                          Welcome to Jovanna M who is now Following.

“Posh.” Does that make you think of a Spice Girl? or the rich and famous? or taking a boat to India?  My mother told me that the origin of the word was attributed to the best class of staterooms on passenger liners that sailed from England to India and back. To have your cabin in the shade, thus being cooler, for the whole trip, you wanted to be on the Port side going out and on the Starboard side coming back. A pretty story, but alas, untrue. The term has less to do with E.M. Forester and more to do with Conan Doyle. Remember the Persian slipper where Holmes kept his tobacco on the mantle? That type of slipper was possibly called a “papoosh” and it was considered to be ‘posh’ in Persia.

In honor of my mother’s spurious story, we will imagine that we are sailing to India for the first time.  We depart favoring sturdy English meals, like ham and mushrooms for breakfast.  But on the way home, the trunks are full of Indian silks and pajamas [!] and we are trying to figure out how to teach Cook to use curry and ketchup and other delicious condiments of India, as in our dinner of curried vegetables and turkey.

Ham & Mushroom Bake:  277 calories  7.2 g fat   5.9 g fiber   15.7 g protein  38 g carbs  221 mg Calcium   PB  GF  A hearty, flavor-packed breakfast begins with ham and mushrooms. Though these are flavors of autumn, they can be enjoyed any time, especially on a Fast Day.       Ham &amp; Mushroom ScrOmelette w: plum                                                                                                                                                          One 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                                              1/3 oz mushrooms, chopped                                                                                                                                 ½ oz roast ham or 3% fat deli ham, chopped                                                                                                        1 Tbsp Gruyere cheese, grated                                                                                                                                                 ½ tsp ground sage                                                                                                                                                  ¼ tsp savory                                                                                                                                                             ½ cup raspberries                                                                                                                                                    5-6 oz fruit smoothie or natural apple cider                                                                                              blackish coffee or tea or lemon in hot water

Set toaster oven at 350° F. Spritz some cooking spray into a ramekin. Grate the cheese. Chop the ham and mushrooms, and put them into the ramekin. Whisk together the cheese, egg, and seasonings, and pour that in too. Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on how well set you like your eggs. It will puff up and start to brown a bit. Heat your beverage, shake the smoothie, and portion the fruit. Off to a good start.

Indian Vegetables with Naan: 299 calories   13 g fat   6.3 g fiber   17.6 g protein  31 g carbs [28 g Complex] 78 mg Calcium PB   This delicious meal needs 2 things in advance: Rogan Josh Sauce and Naan breads. Dear Husband loved it.Indian Vegetables w: Naan

1 naan flatbread, 106 or fewer calories/piece: purchased or home-made                                                                                                     3 Tbsp Rogan Josh Sauce: purchased or home-made   

                                                                                                                                     ½ cup zucchini, in 1/2” dice                                                                                                                                  ½ cup cauliflower, in 1/2” pieces                                                                                                                         ½ cup tomato, in 1/2” dice                                                                                                                                        2 oz ground turkey [I had 15% fat but would have prefered less]                                                                    ¼ tsp Indian curry powder

Cook the vegetables and turkey in a little water until softened and turkey is fully cooked. Drain, saving the cooking water for baking or soup stock. Add the sauce to the vegetables and meat and heat gently. Warm the naan in the oven or on a hot, dry skillet. Plate to suit your preference. W.o.w.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs
Camembert cheese eggplant   + onion
nutmeg   + Dijon mustard tomato sauce   +  herbes de Province
apples or strawberries pear
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

Dinner, single portion:

salad greens   + clementine watercress  +   canola oil
asparagus  +  shrimp  +  mango chicken stock  + onion  + celery
hardboiled egg  + mayonnaise garlic + potato  +  sweet potato
Srircha   + granulated garlic  + lemon juice chèvre   optional: mozzarella + tomato
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Morning to Night: avocado

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 Nolwazi.Divine who is now Following.

Do you ever find an ingredient that is SO versatile that you could eat it morning, noon, and night? Avocado is one of those.  I never ate them as a child, and my husband as a younger man thought they tasted like green soap.  But we have evolved and found that there is more to the fruit than guacamole. The origin of avocados is Southern Mexico, around 9,000 years ago.  It was a popular food in Central and South America for the Aztecs and Mayan people and today most of the world’s avocados are grown in Mexico.  Until 1915, this giant berry was called the Alligator Pear, due to its shape, but that shape has also lead to some confusion with the the words for testicle and lawyer in several   languages. They are popular today due to their creamy taste and healthy benefits. Go ahead, eat some avocados.

Avocado Toast:   273 calories   10.4 g fat   5 g fiber  14.4 g protein   32.5 g carbs   210 mg Calcium PG GF if using GF bread   Avacodo Toast has been all the rage in celebrity diets, so we decided to try it. Very nice with the egg on top and a hearty whole-grain bread underneath.Avocado Toast

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                                 o.8 oz avocado                                                                                                                                                                   1 slice 70-calorie high-nutrition whole-grain bread                                                                             blackish coffee or tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                                             ¼ cup unpasturized apple cider  -OR-   3 oz fruit smothie or green smoothie

Lightly toast the bread while you fry or poach the egg. Spread the avocado over the bread and top with the egg. Pour the beverages and you are all set for a healthy day.

Mixed Sushi: 275 calories   11.6 g fat   4.9 g fiber   16 g protein  28 g carbs  39 mg Calcium  PB GF  Our younger son introduced us to this recipe. Imagine: ‘Sushi’ without raw fish or seaweed. Good use for leftover beef and avocado. HINT: This serves 2 [two]. Invite a friend or save for lunch or dinner another day. Made to be served at room temp.Mixed Sushi

1 cup brown rice, cooked and cooled HINT: Make the day before and refrigerate or use leftovers from a previous meal                                                                                                                            1 tsp rice wine vinegar                                                                                                                                              1 egg                                                                                                                                                                               1 tsp soy sauce                                                                                                                                                                 3 oz avocado, in long slices                                                                                                                                        1 oz grilled beef, in long strips OR substitute grilled chicken                                                                       2 oz smoked salmon, in long slices                                                                                                                      2 oz cucumber OR zucchini in long slices

Combine the rice with the vinegar and let sit. Whisk the soy sauce with the egg and cook the egg as a flat omelette in a lightly-spritzed non-stick pan. Remove from the pan and cut into long strips. Slice the avocado, beef, salmon, and cucumber in long strips, but not longer than the diameter of the bowl in which you will serve it. Put the rice into two bowls with a wide diameter. Distribute the rice evenly over the bowl. Lay the other ingredients on top of the rice in what ever arrangement pleases you. Serve with extra soy sauce and enjoy a quick meal.

Brahms

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.                                                                                               Welcome to Daimary John who is now Following.

Tomorrow will be the birthday of Johannes Brahms.  My mother used to sing his Wiegenlied to help us get to sleep.  This is what I remember of her lyrics:

Lullaby and goodnight, /  With roses bedight,
With lilies o’er spread  /  Is baby’s wee bed.
Lay thee down now and rest, / May thy slumber be blessed.

Lullaby and goodnight, / Thy mother’s delight,
Bright angels around / My darling will stand.
Lay thee down now and rest, / May thy slumber be blessed.

Sweet as the song may be, I always misunderstood it: I thought that with all those heavenly beings around, I was supposed to stand up, out of respect. And I was so-o-o tired that I resented those angels who were going to visit!  But back to Brahms. Born in 1833, he grew up in a musical family.  Like his father before him, the young musician did musical odd jobs — playing in taverns and brothels.  He composed at an early age and conducted an orchestra when he was 11!  Brahms’ friendship with Robert Schumann really helped his career take off, as Schumann wrote an article praising the “New Path” that Brahms’ music was taking.  Brahms went on to compose, conduct, and perform numerous works for choir, violin, orchestra, and piano which place him among the “Three Bs” of Romantic Music. Are your ready to take a ‘new path’? One that will lead you to better health?  Try these menus: the breakfast is an homage to 10-year-old Johannes playing piano in the brothels of Hamburg.  The dinner is inspired by Brahms’ love of Italy, where he used to take long walks for inspiration.

Puttenesca Bake:  265 calories  6 g fat  2.5 g fiber  13 g protein  39 g carbs [34 g Complex]  231 mg Calcium  PB GF  Once you have Puttenesca Sauce in the freezer, preparing this breakfast is very easy. And the canned peaches are simple, too.Puttenesca Bake

one 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                   1.5 Tbsp Puttenesca sauce [see SAUCY Dec 6, 2017 for recipe]                                                                              1/2 Tbsp Parmesan, grated                                                                                                                                      ¼ cup peaches canned in juice                                                                                                                           5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or unpasturized apple cider                                  blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water

Set the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. Spritz an oven-proof ramekin or small casserole [if serving 2 or more] with non-stick spray. Whisk the eggs with the sauce and cheese. Pour into the baking dish and heat for 12-15 minutes. Portion the peaches and prepare the beverages. Que bella!

Fish Parmigiana:   279 calories     8.2 g fat    4.8 g fiber   31.5 g protein    17.4 g carbs   337 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF flour Crunchy and flavorful: a real treat from the Canadian Cheese Board. Doubles or triples easily.Chicken Parmesan w: salad

2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour                                                                                                                         1 egg white + a little water                                                                                                                                     3 Tbsp fresh bread crumbs                                                                                                                                       1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated                                                                                                                         3 oz firm white fish filets, such as tilapia                                                                                                       1/4 cup crushed tomatoes                                                                                                                                         1 tsp capers                                                                                                                                                           lemon zest + basil leaves                                                                                                                                            1 oz mozzerella cheese, grated or sliced thinly                                                                                                  3 oz green beans

Set the oven at 400 F. Combine flour, salt, and pepper on a plate. Whisk egg white with a little water in a soup plate. Mix bread crumbs and Parmesan on a plate. Roll the fish in the flour, then roll it in the egg white, the roll it in the crumbs/cheese. Lay the fish on a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover your baking dish. Spray the fish with non-sick spray and bake 5-7 minutes. Turn the fish over and bake 5-7 minutes. Combine tomatoes, capers, zest, and basil. Spoon on top of the fish, then top with mozzerella. If you have any remaining crumbs/Parmesan, sprinkle that on the mozzerella. Return the fish to the oven and bake about 5 minutes until the cheeses is bubbly and golden.

Saint George

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 Lick My Spatula who is now Following.

Saint George and the Dragon — now there’s an iconic image: The noble knight rescues the fair princess by killing the dragon.  Sigh. So romantic.  The real Saint George was born to Greek parents who were Christians in the 3rd century AD.  He joined the army and soon attained high rank and favor with the emperor. This did not do any good when Emperor Diocletian decided that all Christians had to be purged from the army.  George voluntarily declared that he was a Christian and maintained his faith despite the emperor’s efforts to bribe him to change his mind. His example is considered heroic since a horrible death was his fate. Where does the dragon come in???  Some say the dragon represents an evil local king, subdued by George and his soldiers.  Some say the dragon was an actual crocodile to which the locals were going to offer a princess [after daily sheep were not enough].  Some say the dragon represents internal struggles of faith and ethics.  What is your dragon? Do you want to lose weight but fear you won’t succeed?  The Fast Diet is here for you.  Today’s breakfast has the Greek component of St George’s life: the classic flavors of moussaka.  The dinner represents England, a country which has embraced the legend of St George as part of its national mythology. What is more English than Steak & Mushroom Pie?

Moussaka Bake:  277 calories   8.6 g fat   2.8 g fiber   15 g protein   35 g carbs   216 mg Calcium PB GF      The lamb, the eggplant, the feta – what’s not to like about this delicious Greek combination?Moussaka Bake w: melon

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                 1 Tbsp moussaka sauce**    HINT: Prepare days before and refrigerate.                                                       1/8 oz feta cheese, diced or crumbled                                                                                                               2 tsp parsley, chopped                                                                                                                                              2 oz melon                                                                                                                                                         nearly black coffee or tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                          6 oz green or fruit smoothie or natural apple cider                                              

 **Moussaka Sauce     [makes 3 cups]                                                                                                                                              1 pound eggplant, skinned and cubed               1 pound ground lamb                                                                                            1/4 cup chopped onions        1/2 tsp cinnamon                                                                                                   1 cup Marinara Sauce [see Saucy Dec. 6, 2018 for recipe]                                                                     Cook the lamb  in a little water, it will give off its own fat.                                                                  Drain the fat from the lamb and run the meat under hot water to remove more.                        Cook eggplant and onions until onions are translucent.                                                                       Add marinara sauce and cinnamon and cook until eggplant is soft.                                                Run through a food processor, then add the meat.                                                                                       Use to prepare a Moussaka Casserole or put on pasta.

Spritz a ramekin [for 2 people, my husband prefers to use a 4×6” oval casserole] with oil or non-stick spray and set the toaster oven at 350 degrees. Stir the cheese, parsley, and sauce together then whisk in the egg. Pour into prepared baking dishes and bake for 12-15 minutes. Prepare the hot beverage and the smoothie. Plate the bake with the melon and savor the moment.

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.Steak &amp; Mushroom Pie

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.

Cajun

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.  There is no magic way to lose weight: http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/sc-weight-loss-tips-health-0503-20170502-story.html but Fasting along with some other life changes will work.

A ‘Cajun‘ is someone from Louisianna who is descended from the ‘Acadiens‘ of Canada who were deported by the English in the 1700s.  At the end of the so-called French and Indian War, victorious England claimed Canada as its own.  The Maritime areas had been settled by the French since the 1600s, but in 1763, it was decided to round them up and wipe them off the Canadian landscape. [ethnic cleansing] As told in Longfellow‘s romantic poem Evangeline, they were sent by river and by sea to Old France and to New France [Louisiana] where they took root in the bayous of the Gulf coast.  Their culture is rich with food, music, and tradition. The local patois is based on Acadian French, just as the word ‘cajun’ is:  in the same way ‘Indian’ became ‘Injun’, ‘Acadian’ became ‘Cajun.’  The cajuns may have to move again, as their coastal islands become drowned by the waters of the Gulf.   But in the meantime, ‘Laissez les bons temps rouler!’ [Let the good times roll!]

Cajun Bake:  269 calories  5.5 g fat  4.4 g fiber  14 g protein  42 g carbs [37 g Complex] 239 mg Calcium  PB GF   Green peppers, onions, and celery are three key ingredients in Cajun cooking, so naturally they find their way into this breakfast. Cajun Bake w: pear

1 tw0-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                2 Tbsp green pepper [3/4 oz], chopped                                                                                                            2 Tbsp celery, chopped                                                                                                                                         2 Tbsp onion, chopped                                                                                                                                                  2 pinches Cajun Seasoning                                                                                                                              dash of Tabasco sauce                                                                                                                                             1 Tbsp reduced-fat cottage cheese, drained                                                                                                    2 oz pear blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon juice & hot water                                                                5-6 oz fruit smoothie or natural apple cider

Drain the cottage cheese overnight to remove excess liquid. Chop the pepper, celery, and onion and cook them in a little water until they are softened. This can be done in the microwave or on the cooktop. The celery will still be less tender than the other vegetables, but I liked the texture it gives.  Drain the vegetables and put them in an oven-proof dish that has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Whisk the egg with the cottage cheese and Cajun Seasoning, and pour into the ramekin. Bake at 350 ° F. 12-15 minutes. Prepare beverages of your choice and plate the melon. Pass the Tabasco if you like extra heat.

Jambalaya:   275 calories  5 g fat  4 g fiber   14.8 g protein  39 g carbs  81 mg Calcium  PB GF What else would you eat for Mardi Gras? Or any other time you want delicious Cajun comfort food: jambalaya, of course. HINT: This recipe makes enough for 4 servings.Jambalaya w: broc

2/3 cup onion, chopped                                                                                                                                                     2 cloves garlic, chopped                                                                                                                                                                            2 tsp cajun seasoning                                                                                                                                            ½ cup green pepper, chopped                                                                                                                          1/3 cup celery, chopped                                                                                                                                                 2 oz andouille sausage [or sweet Italian], sliced                                                                                             3 oz chicken breast, cubed                                                                                                                                     2 oz [½ cup] ham, cubed                                                                                                                                        12 oz crushed tomatoes                                                                                                                                       1/3 tsp crushed red pepper   +  1/3 tsp black pepper  +   2/3 tsp salt    + ¾ tsp file powder                                                             ½ tsp Tabasco sauce   +  1.5 tsp Worcestershire sauce                                                                                      ¾ cup brown rice                                                                                                                                                 1.5 cups chicken broth                                                                                                                                     per serving: 2 oz broccoli

Cook the onion in a little water and a dash of olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and cajun seasoning and cook until fragrant. Stir in the green pepper and celery and then add the meats. Pour in the tomatoes, seasonings and sauces, the rice, and broth. Cover and simmer for 25-40 minutes, stirring every once in a while to prevent sticking. The mixture will not be soupy, as the rice will have absorbed the liquids. Cook uncovered if too much liquid remains. Divide the jambalaya into 4 portions. TIP: Freeze what you don’t use today.  Serve 1/4 of the mixture per person along with the broccoli.

Fete de l’Escalade

  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 Minoo, who is now Following.
In 1602, the Duke of Savoie decided that Geneva, Switzerland should be part of his domaine.  So under cover of darkness, his men put ladders against the encircling walls and began to climb to gain entrance to the city.  Unfortunately for them, an elderly woman named Mère Catherine Royaume, was awake in the night. Hearing odd noises, she looked out her window [which happened to be in the wall itself] and saw the invaders stealthily climbing. Reaching for the closest ‘weapon’ possible, she poured hot vegetable soup onto the attacking soldiers, hit them with the pot, and yelled to raise the alarm.  Her neighbors rallied to the defense of the city and repulsed the attack.  Since then, December 11 is celebrated in Geneva as la Fête de L’Escalade [Feast of Scaling Walls], with mock battles and the eating of candy vegetables as well as much more healthy vegetable soup.                                                                                                                                        We will celebrate by eating eggs flavored with raclette cheese [very popular in Alpine cuisine] and vegetable soup in honor of the doughty old lady who was having trouble sleeping that night.

 

Raclette Bake:  287 calories  8.4 oz fat   3.3 g fiber  15.6 g protein  38 g carbs   295 mg Calcium PB   Raclette is a cheese from the Swiss/French Alps which is melted to make the eponymous dish of the region. Here it is used to give a wonderful flavor to baked eggs. Wow.Raclette Bake w: blueberries

one 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                   ¼ slice 70-calorie whole-grain bread                                                                                                                     1/3 oz raclette cheese, grated                                                                                                                               5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or unpasturized apple cider                                           blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water

Set the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. Toast the bread and cut into cubes. Put the bread in a lightly-spritzed ramekin. Whisk the egg with the cheese, salt, and pepper and pour into the ramekin. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Pour the beverages, portion the berries, and think about the Alps.

Soup Royaume:   152 calories   0.3 g fat   6.3 g fiber   12.6 g protein  24.6 g carbs    84 mg Calcium   PB GF     A fine meal for winter, made hearty with autumn vegetables and lentils, it is named after the old lady who saved Geneva from invasion by the Savoyards. Add as much seasoning as you wish. Any soup can be improved by preparing it ahead and letting it sit for 8-24 hours. HINT: Makes enough for 4 servings.Soupe Royaume

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

Put the pork, onions, and lentils in a heavy saucepan and cook until onions are browned. Add the rutabega/turnip, carrot, parsnip, cabbage and seasonings. Cover with water, using more if needed. Cover and cook for about 1 hour or until vegetables are cooked. Taste for seasonings, add the frozen spinach, and heat through. Divide into 4 equal servings and freeze 3 of them. Roughly chop the fresh spinach and put it on top of the soup when serving.