Chicken Corn Soup Supper

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. 

Every August, small country churches in my family’s area of South-Central Pennsylvania used to put up the signs: Chicken Corn Soup Supper. Organized and run by the ladies of the church [with some help from the men-folk], these can be at once a social event, a cherished link to the agrarian culture, and a major fund-raiser. In August, the sweet corn is ripe and half of the laying flock is 2-years old which means that the stars are aligned for Chicken Corn Soup. The best broth is from older chickens [fowls], so they would be dispatched early in the morning and stewed for hours. The chickens’ meat, off the bones and shredded, would be added to the broth, along with the herbs and onions they were cooked with. Kernels from sweet corn [as opposed to the taller, coarser field corn], and chunks of potatoes would be be added. One hot August evening many years ago, Dear Husband and I attended one of these dinners at an old stone chapel near Newville, Pa. Tressle tables and benches were set up the lawn, covered with butcher paper. You squeezed in among the other diners and partook of the delights of the table: a big bowl of hot soup, dinner rolls fresh from the oven, butter, iced tea, and cake or pie for dessert. The air was conditioned by the breeze in the Black Locust trees and the entertainment was the hum of cicadas. All around, a sense of contentment as the rhythm of the seasons was observed.

Here is my attempt at the tastiest soup of August, and a breakfast that a busy farm wife could assemble in minutes, from her kitchen garden, while she stewed the fowl and let the bread rise.

Allium Bake: 136 calories 6.6 g fat 1.2 g fiber 10 g protein 9 g carbs 108 mg Calcium   PB GF  The genus Allium contains all the onions and their relatives. This bake contains three of them along with two cheeses for even more flavor and goodness.

One 2-oz egg ½ oz sliced leek, green +/or white parts ½ oz minced onion 1 Tbsp minced chives 1 Tbsp cottage cheese 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 2 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]

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/chop the leeks and onions. Spray a skillet/saute pan with non-stick spray and cook the alliums until they are limp. Put them, along with the chives and any seasonings you like, in the prepared oven-safe dish. Whisk the egg with the two cheeses and pour over the alliums. Bake for 12 minutes or until done as you like it. Plate with the peach, pour your beverage of choice, and savor a flavorful day.

Chicken Corn Soup:  159 calories 4 g fat 2 g fiber 12 g protein 20 g carbs 21.6 mg Calcium NB: the above food values do not include the optional bread   PB GF – if using GF bread or eliminating it.

1-½ cups corn cut from the cob [about 3 ears] 1-½ cups potato, cut in ½ inch cubes 3 cups rich chicken broth ½ cup water from cooking the corn and potato ½ cup raw chicken meat, cut in small pieces many sprigs thyme + 1-2 sage leaves one ½-inch slice onion salt & pepper to taste   per serving:  ½ hard-boiled egg   Optional: 1 slice [1 oz] sourdough bread [add 100 calories]

Pour the chicken broth into a sauce pan, adding the onion and thyme. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until it cooks down to 2-½ cups. Let stand off heat. Put the corn in a skillet with water half-way up the sides of the ears. Cover with a lid and steam for 5 minutes. Remove the corn and add the potato cubes to the water. Cook the potato for 10 minutes or until tender. Remove the potato from the water and save the cooking water. Chop the chicken and put it in the hot chicken stock to cook off the heat. Cut the kernals off the corn cobs and measure the volume. Remove the thyme sprigs and the onion from the stock, and chop the onion. Put the corn and potato into the stock, along with the chopped onion and any thyme leaves you can remove from the boiled sprigs. Add ½ cup of the corn/potato water to the soup. Gently heat the soup until the chicken is cooked. Taste for seasonings. One portion = 1 cup. Top each portion of soup with chopped hard-boiled egg and a bit of parsley. If you wish, serve with a slice of sourdough bread. Freeze the remainder. This is truly the taste of Summer. Cue the cicadas.

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.

“How to Succeed”

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

On October 14, 1961, the musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” had its debut. The show was a cynical look at the business world, where whom you know and naked ambition could carry you far. Some of its popular tunes included “I Believe In You” and “The Company Way“. The original role of the striving J. Pierrepont Finch was created by Robert Morse, then played in 2011 by Daniel Radcliffe. With music by Frank Loesser and a book by Abe Burrows, it was a sure-fire hit. The show was based on a satirical ‘how-to’ book written in the 1952 by Shepherd Mead who really did work his way up from the mail room to the vice-presidency of his company.

Today, I want to discuss how to succeed at Fasting or ‘the Fasting Lifestyle’ as we like to think of it. Why do we Fast? There are many benefits of intermittent [not everyday] fasting: lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar, and lower weight. Furthermore, there is a reduction of HGH [human growth hormone]. This means that your body has a chance to rest and repair — rather like a good night’s sleep but more significant. The decrease of calories for many hours [600 calories in 36 hours, which includes one Fast Day + sleep hours before and after] gives the body a real break from its usual revved-up pace. Do this twice a week, because two Fasts are better than one.

How do you begin the Fasting Lifestyle? Start by choosing your days. You might do ONE day per week and see how you like it — say, Monday. Look at some of the previous posts and decide what you will eat that day. Write on the calendar that you will Fast that day and what you will eat — that makes it more of a commitment. Go shopping for the items necessary to prepare the breakfast and the dinner. If you keep it similar to what you usually eat, it might be a better transition.

Eggs scrambled with ham and served with applesauce will keep you going for hours.

Then do it. Weigh yourself before breakfast and write it down. Eat breakfast as late as you can and eat the second meal of the day about eight hours later. If you eat within an eight-hour window, you will maximize your weight loss. Weigh yourself the next morning to see how well it worked.

How do you STAY on the plan? I think that a key is to plan your meals ahead. Hide any foods that are of low nutritional value, so they won’t tempt you. Stick to eating protein-rich foods that will keep you full, such as eggs, lean meat, and fish high in Omega-3. Fill your plate with fruits and vegetables so your mind thinks you are eating a lot.

Tuna with Grilled Vegetables is a wonderful dinner.

Keep busy on Fast Days, so boredom doesn’t convince you that you are hungry. Keep your goals in mind. It is really rather easy to say ‘NO’ to empty calories on a Fast Day: one because you have your goals firmly in mind and because you could always eat it tomorrow. This is only two days a week, my Friends. You can do it. I believe in you.


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 Yummy-ciouss who is now Following.

Have you ever heard of Charles Babbage ? NO?!? The fact that you are reading this on a computer should give you a clue… On June 21, 1822, Babbage proposed his Analytical Engine, Difference Machine II which eventually lead to the development of modern computers.  The inspiration for his machine came from a weaving loom developed in France in 1804 by Joseph Marie Jacquard The loom required cards with holes punched in certain locations to “program” where the threads would cross over or under. So Babbage designed a machine with ‘punch cards‘ [those of us of a certain age will remember those with distaste].  It was not actually built until 1991.  If you watch the video about the Analytical Engine, you might see a similarity to the machine in the film The Imitation Game about WW2 code-breakers. Interesting coincidence: Babbage was also a code-breaker.

When dieting, there are several numbers that are worth computing. Using the calculations below, you can tell if your weight is in the ‘normal’ range, and how many calories to eat each non-Fasting day to achieve the weight you want to be.

Fun Fact: There are 3500 calories in one pound of fat. But I’ve read that you need to burn 7000 calories to lose one pound.  What do we need to know to do that? Read on:

BMI =  Body Mass Index, according to the NIH, is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women.  This is a rough way to calculate if you are obese, over weight, or normal weight. It works less well for people with a lot of muscle [athletes or body builders] and those with less muscle [older people with sarcopenia]. To Calculate: divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared; then multiply the result by a conversion factor of 703.                                                 The formula is: BMI = weight in pounds / [height in inches x height in inches] x 703.

BMR = Basal Metabolic Rate which says how many calories your body uses up by simply existing.  When you sleep or sit down to read, you are still burning calories, and that is what this measures.                                                                                                                                To calculate it for males: BMR = (height in centimeters x 6.25) + (weight in kilograms x 9.99) minus (age x 4.92) + 5.                                                                                                                    For females: BMR = (height in centimeters x 6.25) + (weight in kilograms x 9.99) – (age x 4.92) minus 161.                                                                                                                                        Do the calculation twice: once using the WEIGHT YOU ARE and once using the WEIGHT YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE.

TDEE = Total Daily Energy Expenditure  This looks at how much energy your body uses [BMR] and your physical activity level [PAL] to calculate how many calories per day you could eat in order to lose weight. It is better to be conservative in your activity level.  For weight loss, use the BMR number based on the WEIGHT YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE.

My TDEE = 1450 calories for Slow Days [our droll little name for Non-Fast Days]                     Do I ever exceed that? Sure I do! Holidays, birthdays, other celebrations. But then there will be a Fast Day to correct for it.  Do I obsessively count calories every day? No. By now I pretty much know what and how to eat to stay on track: wholesome, home-made, locally-sourced, real food in sensible portions.

Little or no Exercise/ desk job
TDEE = 1.2 x BMR
Lightly active
Light exercise/ sports 1 – 3 days/ week
TDEE = 1.375 x BMR
Moderately active
Moderate Exercise, sports 3 – 5 days/ week
TDEE = 1.55 x BMR
Very active
Heavy Exercise/ sports 6 – 7 days/ week
TDEE = 1.725 x BMR
Extremely active
Very heavy exercise/ physical job/ training 2 x/ day
TDEE = 1.9 x BMR

Ingredients for next week: breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg 1 two-oz egg + 1 egg white
  1 oz scrapple rhubarb
 scallion  flour +  sugar
 fat-free vanilla yogurt  milk  +  baking powder
 raspberries  Canadian Bacon [back bacon]
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your hot beverage
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your smoothie

Dinner, single portion:

 shaved rare roast beef  beets
 provolone cheese  potatoes
 onions  egg
 potato bread  Canadian bacon/back bacon
 broccoli  onion
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Groundhog Day

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.

Ground Hog Day is a ‘cross-quarter day’ which falls equidistant between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox.  In pre-Christian times [and even beyond] it was the occasion for minor celebrations.  Our myth of the groundhog being a weather prognosticator goes back to old Germany.  Then there is the Bill Murray and Andie McDowell film, in which the anti-hero is doomed to relive the same day over and over until he gets it right.  In that vein, I will repeat myself and give you 12 tips for getting on and staying with the Fast Diet.

1. Watch the video of Dr Mosley’s program  Eat-Fast-Live which we saw originally on PBS.     This is what inspired us to start this Lifestyle and it might help you too.

2. Plan ahead. We write on the calendar what Fast meals we want to eat in a week. Nothing ruins a diet like coming home and having no idea what to eat for dinner. That’s when the default foods come out [carry-out or pizza]. You can avoid that by planning.

3. Prep ahead. You see in many recipe the HINTS about preparing food ahead. This is a real time-saver in the morning. Want your spouse to help you to stay on the diet when you get home late? Write out the recipe, leave it on the counter, include info about where to find ingredients, and maybe the meal will be in progress when you come through the door.

4. Shop ahead. Now that you know what you want to eat, have the ingredients on hand. When Fast Day comes, you want to be ready.

5. Portion as you shop.  A recipe calls for 4 oz chicken breast: so when you get home, cut the chicken into the correct size. Wrap and label the part you need, save the trimmings for another use such as Chicken Curry or Chicken Noodle Soup. The same goes for vegetables: slice and chop those 2 oz of bell pepper that you will need.  It takes moments to do this as you unload the groceries, so do it to save time later.

6. Listen to Diane Rehm interview Dr. Mosley. /2013-03-13/dr-michael-mosley-fast-diet  Diane asks the tough questions and ends the conversation by saying that everyone on her staff can’t wait to try the diet!

7. Make the meal setting special. Instead of eating on the run or while standing over the sink, make a Fast meal an occasion. Use the good plates and flatware. Put the sparkling water in a nice glass with a twist of lemon. See the demitasse cup in the photo?Entire Breakfast It is the only one I have and it makes the breakfast table so pretty that it is saved for Fast days only.

8. Slo-o-o-ow down the meal. The other reason for the little cup at breakfast? By putting the coffee in a pitcher, I frequently have to stop to refill the cup. This bit of fussiness slows down the process. When you put food in your mouth, put down the fork. You don’t have to chew 30 times, but don’t simply cram the food in your mouth — savor it, taste it, and make it last.

9. Set goals by the clock.  After breakfast, vow not to put any calories in your mouth until noon. Then at noon, tell yourself that you can hold out for another 2 hours. Maybe setting a timer will help you: while the timer is ticking, don’t eat. This does not mean that you will eat when the timer rings! No. Set a new goal.

10. Distract yourself. After breakfast, I pour a large [1.5 cups] glass of water which I sip on until 2 pm. Then I have earned a hot cup of tea — something bold-tasting or soothing as mood dictates. A touch of honey in the drink provides a real lift. Mid- to late afternoon is difficult for me. Go for a walk [not to the kitchen or break-room!] or get involved in a long project to take your mind off eating.

11. Hide the temptation.  I stash the bowl of pistachios in the cupboard on Fast Days. Yes, I still know they are there, but out of sight, is out of mind.

12. Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow. This has a double meaning. 1] If you yearn for something on a Fast Day, tell yourself that you can have it tomorrow. It is not a promise that you have to keep. Tomorrow it might not be calling to you.  2] Tomorrow is the day that you will weigh less. Tomorrow is also weeks from now when you will be slimmer and thinking about new clothes. Tomorrow will come.

Ingredients for next week: breakfast, single portion

Mediterranean Vegetables [See SIDEKICKS II posted on Oct 4, 2017] next week you will see recipes for bread-stuffs suitable for a Fast meal
1.5  two-oz eggs
tuna  Browse the archives for a breakfast menu
frozen spinach
Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage

Dinner, single portion:

 3 oz cooked or raw fish, two varieties
 shallot  +   Spinach  leaves, fresh  Browse the archives for a dinner menu
 Swiss chard leaves
 egg    +  cream
 canned white beans
 granulated garlic   +  nutmeg
Sparkling water Sparkling water

A Fresh Start

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feeling Bleu?

Around the month of March, people get tired of winter. Imagine that!? Cabin Fever sets in and they get grumpy. And then they eat.  What could be a better antidote than some fine meals featuring Bleu Cheese? When following the Fasting Lifestyle, food should lift our spirits and make us happy. Cue Pharrell Williams music.    For National Nutrition Month, read this:

Bleu Cheese Bake:   292 calories   7.3 g fat   2.3 g fiber      14.3 g protein   37 g carbs    250.7 mg Calcium  PB GF    You’ll go ga-ga over these flavors!bleu-cheese-bake-w-r-b-applesauceyog

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                                              ¼ oz bleu cheese, crumbly rather than creamy                                                                                           1 Tbsp fatfree cottage cheese, drained                                                                                                              2 oz applesauce, unsweetened, with 2-3 raspberries mixed into it                                                          5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or natural apple cider                                                      black-ish coffee, black-ish tea, or lemon in hot water

Mash the cheeses together with a fork and whisk in the egg. Bake in a lightly-spritzed ramekin at 350 degrees until cooked through, about 12-15 minutes. Dish up the applesauce, pour the smoothie, pour your beverage.

Beet & Bleu Cheese Salad: 288 calories   11 g fat   5.3 g fiber     13.7 g. protein   19.5 g carb    212 mg Calcium  PB GF    This recipe takes me back to a delightful restaurant 2 blocks north of Notre Dame in Paris. You will enjoy the earthy flavors and beauty of this salad.Beet & Bleu Cheese Salad

2.5 oz beets, cooked, skinned, sliced or cubed, cooled                                                                               1 and 1/4 oz bleu cheese, cubed or crumbled                                                                                                1.5 oz tomato, sliced or cubed                                                                                                                                      3 walnut halves [or use slivered almonds if you don’t eat walnuts]                                                           1 oz white beans, rinsed and drained if using canned                                                                                            2.5 c. salad greens                                                                                                                                                   3/4 tsp olive oil    +    3/4 tsp balsamic vinegar                                                                                        garnishes: pansy, chive, or nastursum flowers;  scallions

Assemble and prep all vegetable ingredients. Whisk oil and vinegar in a wide bowl. Put greens in the bowl and toss. Place in serving bowl and arrange the other ingredients on top. Add a few garnishes. Voila! A beautiful meal.

Fasting While Feasting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Marching Along

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

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

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

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

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

¾ cup lobster, cooked and cut into chunks                                                                                                       1 Tbsp heavy cream                                                                                                                                                   2 Tbsp Béchamel sauce [see: 1789, posted on July 13, 2016.] HINT: I always keep Béchamel sauce frozen in small amounts.                                                                                                                         ½ tsp Dijon mustard                                                                                                                                                     flat-leaved parsley, chopped, for garnish                                                                                                         3 oz green beans                                                                                                                                                 dessert: 1 oz raspberries [fresh or frozen] +  2 oz peaches, cut into cubes [fresh or frozen]

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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