Marie de Medici

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 Health + Nutrition and Benyapoesy who are now following.

When Marie di Medici was born on April 26, 1575, she was destined for greatness. Her childhood saw the deaths of her mother, two siblings, and her father. She waited to marry, holding out for the best possible match — but who was defining ‘best’? She was betrothed at last to Henri, King of France, the 4th of that name. They were married in 1600, in Florence, her hometown, with an elaborate reception that was missing only one thing: the Groom. As monarch, he was not expected to go to Italy for less than a State Visit, and besides, this was his 2nd marriage. The couple finally met when a few days after Marie disembarked at Marseille, on her way to Paris. The King said she had a graceful way of walking, but what was really attractive was her wealth — she was the sole heir to the de Medici fortune. Marie had always enjoyed power and prestige, but what worked for her in Tuscany was not successful in France. She never learned to speak much French, her friends and advisors were all Italian. She was rather annoyed that the King had several mistresses [one of whom called Marie ‘the fat banker’] and very annoyed that she was named ‘consort’ rather than ‘queen.’ Somehow, the couple managed to produce several children. At last, in 1610, she was named Queen. The very next day, King Henri IV was stabbed to death by an assassin. Hmmmm…. Since their son and heir, Louis, was a child, Marie was named the Regent. She liked that — spending money, waging wars, honoring her favorites, and cultivating a young priest named Richelieu. She was so imperious that her 15-year-old son had had enough and took the throne as Louis XIII, ending her regency in 1617. But Marie was not through and continued to run the country. Louis had her removed to the countryside. In 1619 and 1620, she tried to stage a rebellion, but Richelieu sided with the king and Marie was exiled. She traipsed from capital to capital around Europe, visiting her children and plotting her return. But she died in Cologne [now in Germany] in 1642.

Marie liked to eat. Plump when she arrived in France, her girth increased throughout her life. You know the term ‘Rubenesque‘ to describe a very plump, curvy woman? Peter-Paul Rubens painted 24 scenes from the life of Marie di Medici, reveling in her plumpness. Under her influence, Italian foods were introduced into French Cuisine, along with cloth napkins, table cloths, and flower arrangements on the table. Our meals are classic tastes of Italian and French ingredients.

Ratatouille-Egg Galette: 151 calories 5.5 g fat 2 g fiber 9 g protein 14 g carbs 53 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF – if using GF crepes  Here the eggplants of Italy marry with the galettes of France. A perfect blend of cuisines.

1 crepe or galette one 2-oz egg ¼ cup Mediterranean Vegetables   ½ oz fresh mushrooms  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]

Drain the vegetables of excess liquids, saving the liquids to cook the mushrooms. Combine the vegetables and mushrooms and heat them. Warm the crepe/galette and plate it. Poach or fry the egg. Spoon the vegetables over the crepe/galette and top it all with the egg. Pick it up with your hands or eat with a fork.

Mollusk Gratin: 283 calories 14.6 g fat 2 g fiber 31.6 g protein 17.5 g carbs 216 mg Calcium  PB GF -if using GF flour  When we steam mussels for a feast, there are often some left over. Removed from their shells, the meat can easily be frozen in the cooled cooking broth. A wonderful item for a quick future meal.

3 oz cooked mussels, removed from shells + 2 shucked oysters 4 Tbsp mussel broth [from cooking the mussels] 2 tsp flour [I use King Arthur white whole wheat] ½ oz Gruyere cheese, grated ½ tsp curry powder 3 oz green beans

Warm the mussel broth and whisk in the flour. Heat over low until thickened. Add curry powder and cheese. Whisk until cheese is melted and sauce is well combined. Add the mussels + oysters. Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and scrape the mussels and sauce into the ramekin. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 10 minutes while you cook the beans.

La Vie Boheme

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 Cardio Health Guy and martiphypro and thecraftylife1984 and Proleefiq who are now Following.

It was a book, a play, an opera, and a Broadway play. What was? you ask…. “Scenes from the Bohemian Life,” that’s what. In 1846, Henri Murger began publishing a series of character sketches based on his life as a youthful writer. He and his friends had lived the life of the now stereotypical starving-artist-in-a-garret-in-Paris. He defined ‘Bohemians‘ as young people who live in poverty, both to flaunt society and for the adventure of it, while they pursue their art. In fact, the writer Rodolphe/Rodolfo/Roger is based on Murger. Living the Bohemian life was viewed as a phase to go through before settling down to the stable life of the bourgeoisie. Murger then joined forces with a playwright to produce a script for the stage. “La Vie de Boheme” turned out to be wildly successful enabling Murger to leave the Bohemian life to marry and settle down. He continued to write about his past life until his death in 1861, publishing “Scenes de la Vie de Jeunesse.” On February 1, 1896, Giacomo Puccini’s opera “La Boheme” premiered in Turin, conducted by Arturo Toscanini. The opera was very well received. Such an opera! The four Bohemians go from the low of no food and no firewood, to the high of a boisterous meal at a restaurant, to the low of the death of the beloved Mimi. [if that scene doesn’t make you cry, you have a heart of stone] The opera is my favorite of all time and it was a huge pleasure to have worked as a grip on a performance by the Metropolitan Studio Company. In fact, “La Boheme” is one of the most popular operas in the world. In 1996, the musical “Rent” debuted on Broadway. “Rent” parallels the plot of “La Boheme“, but is set in New York City during the AIDS epidemic. This is a story that has real legs. That’s why it is a classic.

Eggs and cheese are popular, inexpensive foods and they go into our simple breakfast. Students and artists on Paris’ Left Bank have always made a feast of the street food sandwich Croque Monsieur, which I remember fondly from my days in Paris. For a little extra money, it would turn into a Croque Madame which is our dinner.

Camembert Bake: 146 calories 10 g fat 0.6 g fiber 9 g protein 6 g carbs [5 g Complex] 90 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  The best-known cheese of Normandy stars in this egg dish. Easy to prepare and so delicious. I hope you will try it.

One 2-oz egg ½ oz Camembert 1 tsp Dijon mustard a few grating of nutmeg 1.5 oz apple sauce, unsweetened OR 2 oz strawberries OR 1.5 oz apple slices   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]

Cut the cheese [rind and all] into small chunks and leave to soften at room temperature. Stir in the mustard and nutmeg. Whisk the egg, then stir in the cheese mixture. Pour into an oven-proof dish that has been spritzed with non-stick spray and bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes. When the beverages are ready, plate with the fruit.

Croque Madame:  286 calories 16.7 g fat 4.4 g fiber 17.5 g protein 23 g carbs 324 mg Calcium From Paris comes the ‘wife’ of one of France’s great sandwiches. The Croque Monsieur has been a mainstay of hungry college students on the Left Bank for generations. Add an egg and it becomes the more feminine [for some reason] and more filling “Madame.” Our version is open-faced.

1 slice whole-grain bread ½ oz sliced turkey or ham [3% fat] from the deli ½ oz Gruyere cheese, grated 2 Tbsp Bechamel sauce, no cheese  one 2-oz egg side salad

Spread 1 Tbsp of the sauce on the bread. Lay the ham/turkey on next and spread with béchamel. Top with the cheese. Fry the egg until it is just set. Take the egg from the pan and transfer to the top of the sandwich. Place the sandwich in the pan and cover with a lid. Cook the sandwich on medium to low heat as the cheese melts, the bread toasts, and the egg continues to cook. Prepare the side salad and plate it. Remove the sandwich from the pan and serve with the salad. Hum “Musetta’s Waltz” while you dine.

Berthe Morisot

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 adrianus67 and Ketoonbay and dvepublishing and Home Fat Loss Workout who are now Following.

Berthe Morisot was a woman who followed her dream. Born into a wealthy French family in 1841, she was expected to be the decorative wife, the doting mother, and the charming society hostess. But Berthe liked painting. Her parents made it possible for her to have good instruction and when the art professor said that the child had the talent of a professional, then her course was set. She became friends with Edouard Manet and his group: Renoir, Degas, Monet. The names are famous now, but in the 1860s these nobodies wanted to paint what they saw: everyday people doing everyday things, all lit by natural light. The loose brush-strokes and spontaneous look of their work became scornfully known as a mere ‘impression’ of how things looked. Berthe was the only woman in the movement. She was accepted by the men, her work was displayed and her work was purchased. Morisot married Manet’s brother, who supported her career. Berthe was a bit shy about her work: she would hide it away when guests arrived and did not discuss her life as an artist. Her dream was to be an artist — and her luminous paintings live on to show her talent.

Berthe specialized in paintings of women and children. They look natural and happy. So our breakfast will be cheerful and laughing. The dinner is very French: a little meat and vegetables wrapped in a galette. Women and children would enjoy it.

Laughing Herb Omelette:  155 calories 7.6 g fat 1.4 g fiber 11 g protein 9 g carbs [8 g Complex] 82.4 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  I’m a big fan of Vache Qui Rit , any day of the week. But as a low-calorie ingredient, it is super!

1½ eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume, into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week  ½ section Vache Qui Rit [Laughing Cow] cheese   1½ Tbsp or more fresh herbs 2 oz applesauce or fresh apple  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Whisk the eggs and herbs together. Take the cheese from the ‘fridge [HINT: keep it cold so that it will slice better] and slice it into as many thin slices as you can. Spritz a hot non-stick or cast iron pan with cooking oil and pour in the eggs/herbs. When the bottom begins to set, lay the cheese slices over half the surface of the eggs. Cook to your degree of doneness, fold and plate. Slice apple, shake up the smoothie, pour your hot beverage and laugh along with the cow.

Beef & Asparagus Crepes:  302 calories 9 g fat 4.7 g fiber 19 g protein 31.5 g carbs 56 mg Calcium  PB  This is quick and easy – use with left-over galettes, meat, vegetables.

2 galettes    2 oz lean beef, raw or cooked 2 oz bell pepper, preferably red or orange 3 oz asparagus 2 tsp oyster sauce + 3 Tbsp chicken stock + 3 Tbsp water 2 tsp cornstarch + 3 Tbsp water

Slice the beef and pepper into thin strips. Cut the asparagus into 1” pieces. Spray a saute pan with non-stick spray and heat over medium. Add the beef and vegetables. Stir and cook for 2 minutes, adding a little water to prevent sticking. Turn down the heat. Add the oyster sauce, stock, and 3 Tbsp water. Cover the pan and cook 2 minutes more. Cook longer if vegetables are still uncooked. Stir the cornstarch into 3 Tbsp water, then stir into the pan of hot ingredients. Cook and stir until thicker. Warm the galettes and spoon the filling over them. Fold and serve.

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

1 two-oz egg1 two-oz egg 
puttanesca sauceavocado
parmesan cheese70-calorie bread
peaches in their juice
Optional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

mediterranean vegetables sirloin beef + asparagus
cod or tilapia + olive oilred bell pepper + oyster sauce
polenta + Parmesan cheesesoy sauce + chicken stock + cornstarch
mushroomsonion + garlic
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Saint Genevieve

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 mycojohnhealthblog and Intermittant Fasting Formula and Healthopolitan and Faiz who are now Following.

Saint Genevieve is the patron saint of Paris. She was born in Nanterre, France in 422, during the Roman rule. She was very religious from childhood and always said that she wanted to live a spiritual life devoted to prayer. After her parents died, she moved to Paris and became a nun. So far, this is fairly standard. But the Huns, testing the weakness of the Roman Empire, invaded in 451 and marched toward Paris. The terrified populous wanted to run into the countryside, but Genevieve told them they would be safe inside the walls if they prayed and fasted. There are paintings of Genevieve standing in front of the walls of Paris telling Attila to go away. Whether that happened or not, Paris was not attacked. Thirty years later, the Franks invaded and laid siege to the city. Famine was imminent. One night, Genevieve and 11 boatmen ran the blockade and visited the towns along the river. The next night, Genevieve returned with boatloads of bread/grain and food to tide everyone over. Childeric, the Frankish leader, was impressed by Genevieve’s bravery and at her request, freed the prisoners he had taken. For having saved Paris twice, Genevieve, protector of the city, deserves to be its Patron Saint.

The name Genevieve is not heard much these days in English-speaking countries. In later centuries, it turned to Guinevier and to Jennifer. Our friends’ daughter-in-law Jenny has died. She was an intelligent, charming, beautiful young woman; a loving mother and wife. I hope St Genevieve has given Jenny a warm welcome.

Bread is always part of the story of St Genevieve. Breakfast features bread, mixed with other good things. Genevieve was a serious faster: she supposedly ate only on Sundays and Thursdays, and only on beans and barley bread. At age 50, she was persuaded to add some fish to her diet. The dinner made with salt cod would have been acceptable to her.

Breton/Norman Bread Pudding: 204 calories 8 g fat 1.5 g fiber 11.6 g protein 14 g carbs [6 g Complex] 124 mg Calcium This dish was invented to clear out the fridge when leaving a rental cottage in Brittany. We repeated it when departing Normandy. It works well anywhere, even at home.

¾ fluid oz milk ½ slice whole-grain bread 1 egg 1 oz cooked fish OR ¾ oz cooked chicken 1 oz tomato ¼ oz cheese 2 oz strawberries   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Cube or dice the bread and tomato. Flake the fish and grate the cheese. Stir together everything, except the strawberries. The mixture should be moist throughout, but not soupy. Heat a saute pan and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Turn the bread pudding into the pan. Pat and nudge it into a large, flat patty. Cook until brown on one side, then turn it over. [Alternatively, bake it in an oven-proof dish for 18 minutes.] When done, it should be set and cooked all the way through and browned on both sides. Plate with the berries.

Brandade Plate:  266 calories 3 g fat 5.8 g fiber 39 g protein 21 g carbs [12 g Complex] 139 mg Calcium PB GF — if using GF crackers We find this meal to be very easy to plate, very easy on the eye, and very filling. HINT: Having the Brandade made ahead of time and in the refrigerator makes life so easy.

Presented here is a meal for TWO people.

½ cup codfish brandade 4 oz fresh tomatoes [no larger than 2” in diameter, but not ‘cherry or grape’ tomatoes] 2 Finn Crisp sourdough rye thins ½ oz baby spinach leaves, cut as chiffonade

Slice the tomatoes so you can get as many slices as you can. Arrange them on a plate. Using a scoop or spoon, place equal amounts of the brandade on each tomato slice. Sprinkle the chiffonade spinach over and around. Place the crackers alongside.

Westminster Abbey

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 7008jakepert and rowenareview, MariahBlog, and Vegan Diet who are now Following.

In 960, a tiny group of Benedictine monks founded a small abbey upriver from London. A century later, King Edward the Confessor, wishing to have a major religious center near his new castle, enlarged the church. It was consecrated on December 28, 1065, and referred to as “Westminster” to distinguish it from St Paul’s church, East of it in central London. King Edward died soon thereafter. Within a year, England had been invaded, had been taken over, and saw its new king William the Conquerer crowned at the new church. Since then, every monarch of the United Kingdom has been crowned at Westminster Abbey and most are buried there. The original abbey and Edward’s church were built in the Romanesque style of that time. But the new abbey is Gothic: pointed arches and vaulted ceilings. It was commissioned by King Henry III in 1220 and dedicated in 1269. For years the church was uncompleted, since the king died 3 years after the dedication. [Do you see a pattern there?] Eventually, Westminster Abbey in all its glory was finished in 1517. If you have never visited it, you surely have seen it on TV during royal weddings and state funerals.

The Basilica of Saint Denis in France was the first to be built in the Gothic Style. Our breakfast has the same saint’s name, so we will start there. The splendid fish timbal might have graced the abbott’s table at either of the consecrations of Westminster.

Saint Denis Bake: 111 calories 3 g fat 1.5 g fiber 10 g protein 7 g carbs 46 mg Calcium NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF James Beard provided the recipe, the famous church north of Paris provided the name. Sumptious.

1 two-oz egg 1 Tbsp scallion or leek, chopped ¼ oz mushroom, chopped ½ clove garlic, chopped ¼ oz 3% fat ham, chopped ¼ oz chicken liver pate 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped 2 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]

Put the chopped vegetables and ham into a non-stick pan which has been sprayed with cooking spray or oil. Stir-fry over medium heat until the scallion and garlic are limp and the mushroom liquid has evaporated. Cool a bit, then stir in the liver pate and the parsley. Whisk the egg with the cooked mixture, add salt and pepper, and scrape into an oven-safe dish or ramekin which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes. Plate with the berries and have a royal breakfast.

Spinach-Fish Timbale:  264 calories 7.4 g fat 6.6 g fiber 38 g protein 19 g carbs 342 mg Calcium  PB [GF if you use GF bread]  Seen in cookbooks, this recipe lends itself well to our uses. Easy to prepare ahead of time for guests.

Heat the toaster oven to 400 degrees.
½ cup blanched spinach Rinse but do not dry the spinach. Put into a wide pan over medium heat with a lid. Check frequently and remove from heat when the leaves are wilted. There might be some liquid still in the pan.
nutmeg
salt
1 wedge Laughing Cow cheese 
When leaves are just cool enough to handle, remove by the hand-full and squeeze the liquid out, saving it in the pan. Coarsley chop the leaves and put into a bowl with seasonings. Add cheese and stir as the cheese melts into the spinach.
1 Tbsp onion/shallot, minced 
½ slice 70-calorie bread, ground to crumbs HINT: use fresh bread crumbs since dried crumbs have more calories + carbs
In the pan of spinach water, cook the onion/shallot until the water is gone. Combine the onion, bread crumbs, and spinach-cheese.
5 oz sole or ocean perch fillets, skinned [this is 2 small fillets]Lay the fish fillets out so that they make one long line, over-lapping by about an inch. Spoon the spinach stuffing on the fish to cover it. 
Spray the inside of a 1-cup ramekin or custard cup with oil or non-stick spray. Roll up the fish as compactly as you can and put it into the ramekin. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
3 oz green beansCook the beans. When the fish is baked, hold the ramekin in one oven-gloved hand while you invert a plate over the ramekin. Flip it all over so that now the ramekin is upside down. Lift off the ramekin. Plate the beans.

Henri IV

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.

Henry of Navarre. Le Bon Henri. What ever you call him, Henry IV was the best king France ever had. He was born in Pau, in the Bearn region of far southern France. He was the King of Navarre and a Protestant. This latter fact made it impossible for him to be King of France. But by lineage, he was the heir to the throne. Eventually, he decided, “Paris vaut une messe,” [Paris makes it worth going to Mass] and he accepted the kingship in exchange for becoming a nominal Catholic. As King, he signed the Edict of Nantes which made the Protestant religion legal in France, ending, for the time being, the Wars of Religion. He provided street lights in Paris. He built the ‘Pont Neuf‘ [‘New Bridge’] in Paris in 1604, which is still standing. He insisted on stone buildings in cities to prevent fires. He promoted prosperity while minimizing social disparity, seeking a goal of ‘a chicken in every pot.’ [Yes, that is the origin of the political pledge.] Sadly, King Henri was assassinated on a street of Paris in 1610.

Hailing from Gascony, Henri would appreciate today’s menu choices. The breakfast highlights the fruits of the fertile South-West. The dinner is a nod to the Basque people of Aquitaine and their love of peppers.

Fruit Souffle Omelette:  128 calories 5 g fat 2.2 g fiber 8.7 g protein 9 g carbs [6.5 g Complex] 34 mg Calcium   PB GF  From the fruited hills and valleys of Gascony comes this dessert which, with a few tweeks, goes to the breakfast table.  HINT: This serves two. The recipe is difficult to cut to serve one, so enjoy it with a friend or save for dessert tomorrow.

2 egg yolks 3 egg whites ¼ c blueberries ¼ c raspberries ¼ cup goldenberries [feel free to substitute strawberries or cherries] 2 tsp [5 ml] Armagnac, the brandy of SW France 1 tsp sugar

If the fruit is frozen, put it in a sieve while it thaws to catch extra juices. Heat the fruit and sugar in a small saute pan. Add the Armagnac and flame it, gently swirling the pan to be sure all the alcohol is burned off. Remove from heat. Warm the oven to 375F. Find a saute pan that can be used on the cook-top and in the oven as well. Whisk the yolks with a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt. Using a rotary or electric beater, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Whisk a bit of the whites into the yolks to lighten them, then fold the whites and eggs together. Pour into that saute pan which has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Cook on the cook-top until the bottom sets and starts to brown. Pour the fruit on top and put in the upper third of the oven. Cook until the eggs are set and puffed. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. A fine treat.

Chicken Basquaise: 263 calories 4 g fat 4.7 g fiber 31 g protein 21 g carbs [15 g Complex] 87 mg Calcium PB GF Here is another meal inspired by airplane [Air France] food. Once you have prepared the Sauce Basquaise, you can enjoy it as often as you like since the recipe makes lots. 

4 oz chicken breast ¼ c Sauce Basquaise++ 1 slice polenta  2 oz green beans OR 1.5 oz snow peas 1 tsp Dijon mustard

++SAUCE BASQUAISE:  makes 5 cups  1/2 cup = 89 calories 5 g fat 3 g fiber 2 g protein 8 g carbs [7.7 g Complex] 21.4 mg Calcium 

2 Tbsp olive oilHeat the oil in a large sauce pan
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped 
optional: 2 oz Bayonne/Serrano ham or pancetta, diced  3 cups red bell pepper, diced [2 large peppers, abt 13 oz]  3 cups green bell pepper, diced [2 large peppers, abt 13 oz]  4 cups tomatoes, seeded and diced
Add the onion, garlic, ham, peppers, and tomatoes. 
Cook over medium-low heat until peppers are tender.
½ cup red wine
5 g ‘esplette’ pepper or ground cayenne pepper
2 tsp fresh thyme
½ tsp salt
Add these to the pan and simmer 10 minutes more
Easy to prepare. Freezes well, but taste for seasoning after thawing.

Choose a saute pan with a lid. Add 3 Tbsp water, Sauce Basquaise, and the chicken. Cover and braise the chicken over low until it is almost cooked. Remove the lid to see if the sauce has cooked down to a thick consistancy. Continue to cook, without lid, if necessary. Cook the green beans separately. In a small fry-pan, cook the polenta slice on both sides using non-stick cooking spray to prevent sticking. Plate with the sauce on top of the chicken and the dab of mustard on the side. A first-class meal.

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

1 two-oz egg  + tomato1.5 two-oz eggs  
feta cheese + Kalamata olivetomatoes
lamb meat + spinachapples + scallions
oregano + peach/nectarinemushrooms
optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

beef + carrot + cabbageeggplant + onion + garlic
parsnip + green beanscorn kernels + zucchini
red potato + spinach + herbscooked chicken + Monterey Jack
white beans + stones [optional]corn tortillas + enchilada sauce
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Buffon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

De la Tour

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.

Georges de la Tour was an artist of the Baroque period. In that school of art, there was drama! there was emotion! there was an intriguing play of light and dark. But de la Tour put his own stamp on art which is unmistakable. Born on March 19, 1593, he was the son of respected bakers in the Dutchy of Lorraine. After working in the studios of local artists, Georges set out on his own. That he married a member of the minor nobility speaks to his rise in status. It is not known how he came to know of the work of the Italian painter Carivaggio, but the connection is very clear. Unlike the influential Carivaggio and sculptors like Bernini, de la Tour traded the action and in your face emotion for a stillness and a deep meditative mood. He loved the contrast of deep shadows and light — most of his paintings are illuminated by a single candle. How masterfully he shows just as much as he needs to in that small amount of light! How much symbolism he conveys with that light as well. Take a look at Joseph the Carpenter to see what I mean, especially how the flame lights up the child Jesus. A true work of art!

Our breakfast is the eponymous food of de La Tour’s home region, but not as a quiche. The dinner shows a harmony of flavors, tinted in the dark tones which the artist favored.

Bake Lorraine: 180 calories 11 g fat 1.2 g fiber 12.7 g protein 7.6 g carbs [4.4 g Complex] 193 mg Calcium   NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beverages.  GF  You’ve heard of Quiche Lorraine? Well, here it is, as a crustless bake, with all the flavor intact. Very do-able for breakfast. Make sure your next meal has lots of fiber, as this meal has next to none.

1 two-oz egg ½ slice uncured bacon 3 Tbsp whole milk ½ oz Swiss cheese [Emmenthaler, Gruyere] pinch cayenne pepper + pinch nutmeg 2 oz strawberries   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Dice the bacon and cook it until crispy. Drain and blot. Grate or finely chop the cheese. Spray an oven-proof dish with non-stick spray and put the cheese on the bottom. Whisk together the egg, milk, and seasonings. Pour over the cheese, then sprinkle the bacon on top.  HINT: I did all this the night before. Bake in a 350F oven for 17 minutes. Plate with the fruit. A creamy, delicious treat!

Beef & Beet Salad: 243 calories 8.5 g fat 3.2 g fiber 24 g protein 17 g carbs [10 g Complex] 24 mg Calcium  PB GF  This unusual salad was found in James Peterson’s Glorious French Food. Should you have left-over roast beef, this is the dish to try. It is crazy easy. Easy, too, to serve to a group.

2.75 oz thinly-sliced roasted beef 3.5 oz pickled beets, as thinly-sliced rounds a few spinach leaves, cut as chiffonade dill pickle spear 1.5 tsp dressing*** 

***Dressing [makes 6 Teaspoons] 2-1/4 tsp Dijon mustard 1 Tbsp chopped shallot 1-1/2 tsp red wine vinegar 4-1/2 tsp olive oil

Slice the beef and the beets as matchsticks about 2-3” long. Put beef, beets, and spinach in the serving bowl/plate and drizzle the dressing over the top. Gently toss to coat the salad with the dressing. Plate it. Wonderfully simple, yet complex in taste.

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

1 two-oz eggNext time I will discuss fables
lobster meat about fasting.
avocado + ricottaFind a new favorite breakfast
pear in the Archives.
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverage optional hot beverage

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

110-cal sourdough rye breadchicken breast
smoked salmon + spinachsatay sauce + peanut butter
whipped cream cheesecauliflower
tomato + hard-boiled eggcherry tomatoes
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Hilaritas

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.

Do you like to laugh? Think about it: how often do you laugh out loud? Laughing is good for you, you know. The name Hilary, whether for a man or a woman, is based on the name of a Roman goddess “Hilaritas,” meaning ‘cheerfulness’. [Bet you can see where the word “hilarious” came from.] Tomorrow is the feast of St. Hilary of Poitiers, France, and it seems to me that it should be a good day for finding reasons to laugh. Look up a good joke on the internet and share it with friends, family, colleagues. Be open to finding the humor in a situation. Wear clothes that make you smile. Be with people who make you glad. Have fun.

Foods for St Hilary will have as an ingredient the cheese called “Vache Qui Rit” [the Laughing Cow]: in the eggs at breakfast and in a sauce at dinner. Even the picture of the cow logo should coax a smile.

Laughing Herb Bake:  129 calories 6.5 g fat 0.9 g fiber 8.8 g protein 6.2 g carbs [5 g Complex] 94 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPB GF  So rich! So creamy! So low in calories!

One 2-oz egg ½ wedge Laughing Cow low-fat cheese 2 Tbsp fresh herbs OR 1 Tbsp dried ½ Tbsp low-fat ricotta cheese 3 oz melon Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray. Set the toaster oven at 350 F. Cream the cheeses together with the herbs. Whisk in the egg and salt/pepper to taste. Pour into the ramekin and bake at 350 F. 12-15 minutes. Plate the fruit, prepare the beverages, and find something that makes you laugh.

Seafood Galettes:  269 calories  7.3 g fat 2.8 g fiber  18 g protein 19 g carbs [9.8 g Complex]  142 mg Calcium   PB This is very easy to prepare [IF you have prepared the galettes in advance. I had previously prepared the Bechamel as well.] and very easy to eat. Advance preparation is a key ingredient.  HINT: This recipe makes enough to serve 2 [two] people. 

7 oz Ahi tuna fillet OR mixed seafood, cooked and cut in 1/2” bits 1 wedge Laughing Cow [Vache Qui Rit] cheese 2 galettes 6 Tbsp Bechamel sauce without cheese 2-3 Tbsp fish stock 1.5 oz cauliflower florets 1 oz carrot ‘coins’ 2 oz zucchini slices

If your tuna isn’t cooked, poach it gently in fish stock – enough to come half-way up the fillet. Reserve the stock as you will use some of it later. Cut the fish into small chunks. Gently heat and whisk the bechamel with 2 Tbsp fish stock and the cheese until the cheese melts. Add the fish/seafood to the sauce, adding more stock if you wish. Prepare the vegetables and begin to cook them. Warm the galettes, wrapped in a tea towel, in the microwave. When the fish and sauce are warm and the vegetables are cooked, plate the vegetables and place the galette on the plate too. Divide the fish and sauce between the two galettes and serve. Delicious!

St Clair

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 a recent trip to Normandy, France, we stayed in a cottage in the village of Banneville-sur-Ajon. One of the local sights of which we were told was the chapel of Saint Clair. Naturally I thought this was Saint Clare, the friend of Francis of Assisi. Nope. This is Saint Clair of Epte, France. He was originally from England — Manchester, perhaps — and he lived in the 800s. The man was devout and wanted to be a religious hermit. But he was pursued by a wealthy woman who wanted him for her husband. To avoid her sexual harassment, Clair fled to France. Landing at the Seine estuary, he worked his way up the Epte River, leaving a string of miracles in his wake. [This was not a great way to hide from anybody, much less a vengeful woman.] Clair made a solitary life for himself near a spring and lived there happily until the arrival of henchmen from the spurned Englishwoman. Since they couldn’t convince Clair to go back and marry her, they cut off his head. Clair’s body picked it up and walked to the spring to wash it off. Ever after that, the spring had miraculous healing powers. The admirers of Clair declared him a saint and built chapels to him in Normandy, always near a water source. In Banneville, the Ajon River flows prettily through a precipitous valley near-by. Perhaps because of [or in spite of??] Clare’s unhappiness in love, local engaged couples leave offerings of eggs at the chapel prior to their weddings to gain Saint Clare’s blessing on their life together. We were charmed to see a generous basket left at the chapel door by a betrothed pair. I hope they will be a happy married couple.

Breakfast involves eggs, of course, with some salmon from a prior dinner. Dinner features fish, since good St Clare is associated with water. These are examples of how we can continue the Fasting Lifestyle even on vacation.

A simple omelette with salmon folded into in makes a great travel breakfast, served with locally purchased fruit.
Sole fillets from the Farmers’ Market stuffed with a bread/herb/egg mixture. Served with roasted haricot beans, this meal was easily prepared in the kitchen of our cottage. The food shown served two of us.

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

1.5 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
haggis [Spicy 18-Sept-2018
smoked chicken sausage
applesauce
oregano + parsley
Parmesan cheese
applesauce
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Martin’s whole wheat potato sliders
or 100 calorie slider rolls
Herring marinated in wine
+ lettuce
3.5 oz beef BBQ in sauce
<60 calories/oz
onion + apple + vinegar + dill pickle
cherry tomatoes
beets, canned or cooked fresh
carrots
white beans + hard-boiled egg
Sparkling waterSparkling water