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

Brittany

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.

You know how I like to talk about traveling/vacationing and still following the Fasting Lifestyle? Well, I’m going to do it again. We went to Brittany, France last May: partly because it is a wonderful place to visit and partly because some of my mother’s ancestors are from there. I had visited 50 years ago [literally: in 1969] on a student tour and had wanted to return. So we did. We rented a self-catering cottage in the region whence came my ancestors and we had a wonderful time. We hiked, we bird-watched, we drove to lovely and interesting places, we purchased food in local farmer’s markets, and we visited local restaurants. We also ate galettes and crepes and washed them down with cidre, naturallement. Our cottage was in the tiny hamlet of Kergeral near the sea. It was delightful.

It is not difficult to stay on a Fast Diet while traveling. You need to be mindful and to make the right choices. Deprivation is not necessary, as you can see from sample meals below. Upon return, my weight was still below my Target. Hooray!

The last breakfast at our cottage, we had some food left over — eat it or toss it? This ‘breakfast bread pudding’ contained bread cubes, egg, cooked fish, cooked vegetables, and a topping of cheese. Delicious and under 300 calories!
We drove to Carnac to see the Standing Stones and to eat oysters. Here are the oysters, as served at Huitres de Cochennec, enjoyed at one of their outdoor tables at water’s edge. Fabulous combination of location and food consumed. Oysters are a wonderful dinner choice for the Faster.

Crecy

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 Melissa who is now Following.

While researching my mother’s French genealogy, I came across my 16th great-grandfather, Jean d’Harcourt, who died on August 26, 1346 at Crecy, France.  Curious, I discovered the facts around the deadly Battle of Crecy. [If you were a fan of the Ken Follett book series Pillars of the Earth [TV series, too], you would know about this battle.] In a dispute over land now in France but held by English Edward III, the armies of the two nations met near Crecy in Normandy. [I suggest you watch the video cited in that last sentence] The English were terribly outnumbered but they had a new weapon of mass destruction: the long bow. With its greater range and speed, the French cavalry was cut down, as were their cross-bowmen. By the end of the battle, the English had won, against all odds, and the Hundred Year’s War was well and truly begun.

“Crecy” is sometimes spelled “Cressy” and so it makes me think of watercress. August is a fine time to harvest this peppery herb, and to make a versatile sauce which goes well in eggs or as a soup or as a sauce. The Battle of Crecy was a dreadful loss of lives. Having Watercress Sauce in your freezer can be a ‘life-saver’ in the kitchen.

Watercress ScrOmelette w:peaches

Watercress ScrOmelette: 291 calories   8.2 g fat  2.5 g fiber   16 g protein  34.4 g carbs  235 mg Calcium  PB GF  Having Watercress Sauce in the freezer in handy cubes sure makes this meal a snap. And is it good!

1 ½ two-oz eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume, crack three 2-oz eggs into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.                                   ½ Tbsp Watercress Sauce [see Sidekicks II, 4 October’2017], well drained                                                  ½ Tbsp ricotta, drained HINT: I set these ingredients out to drain through a fine sieve the night before to make sure there was no extra liquid.                                                                                       1/8 tsp dry mustard                                                                                                                                               1.5 oz peach                                                                                                                                                     optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                   optional: 5-6 oz green smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie

Combine the drained watercress, drained cheese, and mustard. Whisk in with the eggs and cook in a hot saute pan spritzed with olive oil or non-stick spray. Cook the way you like them and plate with the peaches. Pour the beverages and enjoy the summer taste of watercress all year long.

Watercress Soup: 157 calories 5.4 g fat 2.9 g fiber 8.4 g protein 22 g carbs [19 g Complex] 63.5 mg Calcium  PB GF Jacques Pepin’s Good Life Cooking is the source of this recipe. The stream that flows to the beach is the source of our watercress. So low in calories, you might want to add some Finn Crisp crackers for filling fiber or the Caprese Salad for more protein. HINT: This recipe makes 5 cups of soup which serves 4-5 people.

Served with Caprese Salad

2 tsp canola oil 4 oz [weight, not volume] watercress leaves and tender stems 1 cup celery, coarsely chopped 2 cups onion, coarsely diced 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed 2-1/2 cups good stock – vegetable/chicken/beef ¾ tsp salt 10 oz [weight, not volume] potatoes, peeled, cut in 2” chunks 2 oz [weight, not volume] sweet potato, peeled and cut in chunks per serving: 1 Tbsp chevre cheese  Optional: Caprese Salad– 46 calories 2.2 g fat 0.6 g fiber 3.9 g protein 2.6 g carbs 115.6 mg Calcium PB GF ½ oz mozzerella cheese, thinly sliced + 2 oz tomato, thinly sliced and sprinkled with salt + fresh basil leaves There should be equal numbers of cheese slices as tomato. Arrange the cheese, tomato, and basil in overlapping layers on the plate.  Optional: Hard-boiled Egg 70 calories 4.8 g fat 0 g fiber 6 g protein 0.4 g carbs 28 mg Calcium PB GF Cut a hard-boiled egg lengthwise in quarters and nestle into the plated soup.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the cress, celery, onion, and garlic, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Put the stock, salt and potatoes into the pan and bring to a boil. [NB: my stock was very dark, which changed the color of the soup to a darker shade of green] Turn down the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool slightly then puree in blender/food processor or with immersion wand. If not thoroughly pureed, run through a sieve. Heat the soup before serving. In the bowl, put the chevre in the center, let it soften a bit, then swirl it into the soup. Serve the salad on the side.

Basquaise

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.

Have you ever seen the word ‘Basquaise’ on a menu? It often refers to a sauce served on chicken or fish. The word itself means ‘from the Basque country’ or ‘in the method of the Basque people.’ To the Basque people, it is ‘pipperade’ from their word ‘biperra’ for pepper. So who are the Basques and where is their country? The Basque people are unrelated, both in genetics and in language, to the surrounding people of France and Spain. Their ‘country’ spreads across the border of France and Spain at the Western end of the Pyrennes Mountains. Their culture and unique language developed in isolation over the centuries, escaping intrusion both from the Indo-Europeans [ex: Visigoths] and from the Muslims. The ancient Greeks and Romans knew of the Basques, and even they did not change the culture of the region. Their food is boldly spiced and influenced by fish from the ocean and meat from the pasturelands of the interior. Passionately independent, the Basques work to maintain their ways in a changing world. In the 1800s, economic hard times spread Basques to North America and beyond, just as their cod and whale-hunting ancestors dispersed across the seas in the past.

The ‘Sauce Basquaise’ shows up in our menu today — flavoring the eggs at breakfast in two different preparations. Other ways to use it are in the classic Poulet Basquaise or Cod Basquaise for dinner. Here’s how to make 5 cups of the sauce.

2 Tbsp olive oil Heat the oil in a large saucepan
1 cup chopped onion
3 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 saltAdd to the pan. Simmer 10 minutes more.

Basquaise Sauce ScrOmelette: 153 calories 8.4 g fat 1.5 g fiber 10 g protein 8 g carbs [7 g Complex] 50 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF Basquaise Sauce takes eggs to a new level and it is so easy to use if you already have a batch in the refrigerator or freezer.

1-1/2 two-oz eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.  2 rounded Tablespoons Basquaise Sauce ¼ cup blueberries  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Heat a non-stick saute pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper to taste and pour into the pan. As the eggs just begin to set, spread the Basquaise Sauce over half of the egg. Fold and continue cooking to your liking. Plate with the fruit and serve the beverage of your choice. Have a spicy day.

Alternatively, if you didn’t have any Basquaise Sauce at your disposal, you could use my version of Jacques Pepin’s recipe for Basquaise ScrOmelette, posted on 30 September, 2015

Ingredients for next week: 

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

1 two-oz eggProscuitto ham
ricotta cheese + mushrooms
melon + Parmesan cheese
peach + blackberryred onion pickle
Watercress Sauce
mint or basil leaves + balsamic vinegar
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

watercress + sweet potato
sourdough rye bread + egg + dill
canola oil + onion + celery
turkey breast + spinach leaves
garlic + stock + potato
whipped cream cheese + tomato
optional: mozzarella + tomato
cucumber + white wine vinegar
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Saint Brieuc

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.

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Briocus or Brieuc, as he is known in Brittany.  Coincidentally, today we are in Brittany, staying just a few miles outside of the city of St Brieuc in the Cote d’Armor region.  My ancestors were born here in the centuries prior to the 1400s, but the Good Saint was born in Ceredigion, Wales in the year 410.  Converted to Christianity and seized with missionary zeal, he left his home and family and set off across the English Channel to found a monastery.  In addition, he helped plague victims, had a power struggle with a relative, and subdued a pack of wolves with the Sign of the Cross. The monastery built a wooden church in the 6th century, then a stone version.  That structure was torn down to build a grand stone church, l’Elise de Saint Étienne, in 1220. [The site was marshy, but they built anyway.] It stands there today, despite the vicissitudes of war. In the 14the century, it was burned. Ditto in the 15th and 16th centuries. Each time it was rebuilt and the additions didn’t stop until the 1800s.  In the Cathedral of St Étienne in the city of St-Brieuc is his where some of the Good Saint’s bones lie.  Parts of St Guillaume are there, too.  How surprised Briocus would have been at his legacy!                                                                                                                                     Brittany is known for its seafood — mussels, oysters, lobster, scallops.  And also for its apples, artichokes, and onions.   The flavors of Brittany are present in the breakfast with the artichokes, spices, and apple.  Dinner features  two of Brittany’s most famous mollusks: mussels and oysters, cultivated in the bays and inlets of the north shore.

Breton Bake: 149 calories   6.5 g fat   3.4 g fiber  9.4 g protein  13.7 g carbs  103 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given are for the egg dish and the fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.   PB GF  Delicious. Filling. Different.breton-baked-egg

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                      2 Tbsp crushed tomatoes                                                                                                                                 2 Tbsp chopped artichoke hearts, fresh or canned or frozen                                                                           ½ tsp curry powder                                                                                                                           1 Tbsp fat-free ricotta                                                                                                                                 2 oz applesauce, unsweetened                                                                                                    blackish coffee [53 calories] or black tea, lemon in hot water                                                     5-6 oz  fruit or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories] or natural cider

Chop the artichoke hearts. Stir together the artichokes, tomatoes, curry, and ricotta. Whisk in the egg and pour into an oven-safe dish which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Bake at 350° F. for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, brew your hot beverage; shake that smoothie; and portion the applesauce. Enjoy your breakfast on the Cote d’Armor.

Mollusk Gratin: 283 calories   14.6 g fat   2.3 g fiber    31.6 g protein    17.5 g carbs   216 mg Calcium   PB   GFif 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. And a few shucked oysters are no trouble.Mussel Gratin w: beans

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 unbleached or White Whole Wheat]                                                                                        ½ oz Gruyère 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 and oysters. Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and scrape the mussels and sauce into the ramekin. Bake at 350° F. for 10 minutes while you cook the beans.

Ingredients for next week:

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

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs  +  blueberries
Haitian Chicken Filling [Food in Wrappers, 2  posted on 7-April-2019] white whole wheat flour
cantaloupe melon yellow cornmeal  +  strawberries
Fat-free French Vanilla yogurt
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 for Monday:     …………………..single portion for Thursday:

lobster tail one 2-oz egg   + avocado
fresh lime grilled beef  + smoked salmon
plantain + olive oil cucumber  + soy sauce
cantaloupe melon cooked brown rice  +  rice vinegar
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Soup Time

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 for 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.

Winter + Soup — was there ever a more perfect pairing? Here in Northern New England, we do winter.  Robert Frost [Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening] winters.  John Greenleaf Whittier [Snowbound, A Winter Idyl] winters. And in our household, we enjoy the season.  If you don’t like winter, move to a different latitude instead of griping about it.  Winters are dangerous but they are often beautiful and they are good for our local environment. Plus, Spring and Summer are even more enjoyable after a hard winter. The calendar might say that Spring is on the way, but we know better.  Live in the moment and appreciate the weather where you are. During Winter, eat soup.                                                                                                          Today’s meals include a Japanese breakfast soup with a ‘Hot Spring Egg’ and a French dinner soup.  Each will warm your innards.

Japanese Onion Soup with Onsen Tamago Egg:  195 calories  5 g fat  1.6 g fiber  15.6 g protein  24 g carbs [9 g Complex]  43 mg Calcium   PB GF  Our Younger Son prepared this for us one morning after a day of heavy eating and it was a revelation: light yet hearty and so delicious. “Onsen Tamago” means ‘hot spring’ and it is a very different [to me] way to cook a soft egg. HINT: This recipe is enough for 2 servings. Easy to save for another breakfast or lunch one or two days from now.Onsen Tamago Soup

2 two-oz eggs                                                                                                                                  ½ cup sweet onions                                                                                                                         2 cups chicken or beef broth                                                                                                                      3 Tbsp soy sauce                                                                                                                                2 Tbsp mirin                                                                                                                                      1 oz dry  Japanese noodles, such as soba @ 95 calories/ounce                                                  Sriracha, to taste                                                                                                                                garnish: scallions, chopped                                                                                                                 2 oz melon                                                                                                                                  blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon juice & hot water                                   NO SMOOTHIE

Onsen Tomago Egg:    HINT: The eggs can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. 2 whole eggs in shells                                                                                                                           1 liter water   +    1 cup cold tap water                                                                                         Bring 1 liter of water to a boil. Once it boils, remove it from the heat, and add 1 cup of cold water. Using a slotted spoon, place eggs into the hot water and cover. Let sit for 17 minutes, then remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Serve hot or refrigerate for up to 2 days. NB: You can cook up to 4 eggs with this same volume of water.

Onion Soup:  Cook noodles according to package, shock in cold water and put in serving bowls. Place sliced onions and stock into pan and bring to boil. When stock comes to boil, reduce heat to a strong simmer and cover. Cook until onions are soft (they should not be rigid when you pick them up with chopsticks). When onions are almost finished, add soy sauce, mirin, and sriracha and stir. If the liquid has reduced noticibly, add water. When the onions are finished, pour the onion and broth over noodles. Carefully crack onsen tamago egg into broth. Garnish with green onion and serve the melon on the side. Eat with chopsticks and a Japanese spoon.

Cabbage-Sausage Soup: 264 calories  11 g fat  5 g fiber  14 g protein  25.5 g carbs [22 g Complex]  66 mg Calcium   PB GF   Since this is Jacques Pepin’s recipe, I’ll let him say it: “When the weather gets cooler in the fall, I make soup. I generally cook up a big batch and freeze some for whenever I need it. This one, with sausage, potatoes, and cabbage, is hearty and good for cold weather.”Cabbage Soup

8 ounces mild Italian sausage meat                                                                                               1 ½ cups onions, sliced                                                                                                                             6 scallions, cut into ½-inch pieces (1¼ cups)                                                                                6 cups water                                                                                                                                 1 cup chickpeas                                                                                                                           16 oz potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks                                                                       8 ounces savoy cabbage, chopped/sliced                                                                                   1¼ teaspoons salt

Chef Pepin continues, “Break the sausage meat into 1-inch pieces and place it in a saucepan over high heat. Sauté, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to keep the meat from sticking, for 10 minutes, or until the sausage is well browned. Add the onions and scallions and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the water, chickpeas, potatoes, cabbage, and salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 45 minutes.” Portion for storage or serving. One serving = 1 cup.

Ingredients for next week:

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

watercress or microgreens   10-Grain Cereal, Bob’s Red Mill
plain yogurt, low-fat + honey applesauce  + maple syrup
Golden Berries or Blue Berries reduced fat cottage cheese
Camembert cheese nutmeg  + cinnamon
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 for Monday:   …………….. single portion for Thursday:

rabbit meat   +  onions + herb savory salt cod   + garlic cloves
3% fat ham  +  chicken broth + thyme olive oil + boiling potato  + cauliflower
portobello mushrooms + potato starch milk  + carrots  +  black pepper
Arnold Sandwich Thin or whole-grain bread  +  carrots fennel seed  + tomato slices
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Izaak Walton

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.

I have laid aside business, and gone a-fishing.”  Sounds like a familiar sign tacked on the door of a poorly-run country store.  Those words were penned by Isaac Walton who was born on August 9, 1593. He was a successful London clothier who’s claim to fame was his love of fishing. He was active in his church who’s vicar, John Donne, was Walton’s fishing buddy.  In 1653, he published The Compleat Angler, in which the fictional character Piscator [Walton’s alter ego] instructs a companion about fish, fishing, and the need to preserve the environment to keep the fish healthy.  A man ahead of his time. Today the name of his book is widely known by anglers all over the world and places sacred to trout fishers are named after him.  In the USA, the Izaak Walton League brings together avid fishermen who also speak to environmental protection. May the same be said of all of us.                                                                                                                                    Today’s menus feature trout, the fish which most people associate with Walton. Smoked trout with crisp apples for breakfast and trout sautéed with nuts for dinner.  If you can catch them yourself, Izaak would be smiling. If they were caught in a pristine country stream, so much the better.

Trout with Apples:   267 calories  3.9 g fat  2.4 g fiber  15.6 g protein  43 g carbs   199 mg Calcium PB GF At the Inn at Saint Peters, we enjoyed their Smoked Trout with Apples appetizer. It occurred to me that this could be a fine breakfast for those who enjoy a savory/seafood taste in the a.m. I substituted mackerel gravlax for the smoked trout, just because that was on hand, but it was a grey-brown instead of the lighter hue of the trout or the pink of a salmon.gravlax-apples

1 oz smoked trout [DuckTrap brand is very good]  OR  1 oz mackerel gravlax                                                  2 oz Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced; each slice cut into 1/2-moons                                                      ¼ c blueberries + 2 raspberries for color                                                                                                       blackish coffee, blackish tea, or lemon in hot water                                                                                                   5-6 oz smoothie or natural apple cider

Slice the fish with the grain to create thin slices. Arrange the fish and apples in overlapping slices around the plate. HINT: I did this the night before, covered it with clingwrap and put it in the ‘fridge. So quick the next morning!! Brew your hot beverage, blend or shake your smoothie, dish out those healthy blueberries, and breakfast elegantly.

Trout with Hazelnuts:  267 calories  18 g fat  3.3 g fiber  21 g protein  6.3 g carbs  75 mg Calcium   PB GF   From Savoie, France comes this recipe, via Anne Willem’s French Regional Cooking.  Hannibal is supposed to have dined on local trout as he crossed the Alps with his elephants. Very easy to prepare [the trout, not the elephants] and absolutely delicious.Trout w: hazelnuts + haricots

3 oz trout, skinned, boned and trimmed                                                                                                                                                           1 tsp butter                                                                                                                                                                        ½ oz hazelnuts, coarsly chopped                                                                                                                               2 oz French green beans [haricots]

Start cooking the beans. Heat a heavy saute pan and spray with non-stick spray. Put in the trout and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slowly [slow cooking will keep the fish tender] cook the trout on one side for about 3-4 minutes. Add the butter to the pan along with the nuts. Continue cooking everything slowly until the fish is done, roughly another 3 minutes. Drain and season the beans, plate them with the trout, and top the fish with the nuts in butter. Enjoy your culinary visit to the French Alps.

Ingredients for next week: breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg 1two-oz egg
avocado 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
70-calorie whole-grain bread scallions
cottage cheese + Cheddar cheese
kiwi fruit + strawberry
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:

cooked and cooled brown rice Boston lettuce  + cherry tomatoes
1 two-oz egg apple  +  Medjool date
avocado  +  cucumber chick peas   +  chicken breast
grilled beef goat cheese + 1/2 hard-boiled egg
smoked salmon pine nuts  + shallot
soy sauce  +  rice vinegar cinnamon dressing [23 May, 2018]
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Calvin

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 Adrian K. who is now Following.

Jean Calvin [aka Jehan Cauvin] was born on Monday, July 9, 1509.  Little did his parents in town Noyon, Picardie know of the tremendous impact their son would have on their country’s society and religious life. Destined for the clergy, Calvin grew up in the shadow of Martin Luther’s ideas to reform the Church.  His father’s falling out with the local church elders steered young Jean to the law.  In the 1530s, Calvin grew into a new theology, a synthesis of the ideas of Luther, Zwingli, and other leaders of Protestantism. Through studies in Basel, Switzerland and Strasbourg [then in Germany] Calvin went on to organize and codify the new church.  From the Cathedral of Saint Pierre in Geneva [where you can still see ‘Calvin’s Chair’], he oversaw the training of priests, the writing of liturgy, and the spread of the Reformation through his homeland. For the next hundred years, France was torn apart by religious wars as the Protestant Huguenots fought with the Catholics to worship as they pleased.

Calvin believed in predestination, but you are not pre-ordained to be over-weight.  Enjoy eggs baked with the Camembert cheese of North-Eastern France for breakfast, as a way to begin Fasting.  And since Picardie borders the ocean, Mackerel will be our dinner and I’m sure Calvin would approve.

Camembert Bake: 287 calories  10 g fat  2.5 g fiber  14.3 g protein  35 g carbs [32 g Complex]  241 mg Calcium   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.Camambert Bake

One 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                                       ½ oz Camembert                                                                                                                                                 1 tsp Dijon mustard                                                                                                                                    grating of nutmeg                                                                                                                                               2 oz strawberries OR 1.5 oz apple slices                                                                                                 blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon juice & hot water                                                                         5-6 oz fruit smoothie or natural apple cider

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.

Mackerel with Gooseberry Glaze:  276 calories   16 g fat [Omega 3 fat!]  0.9 g fat   22 g protein  7.3 g carbs   26.7 mg Calcium   PB GF  This popular dish from Normandy usually features fresh gooseberries. Here in the USA, those are less common, so we make a glaze of gooseberry jelly. The zucchini picks up the color of green gooseberries.Mackerel w: Gooseberry Glaze

3 oz mackerel, frozen cooked or fresh fillets                                                                                                    2 tsp gooseberry jelly/jam                                                                                                                                     3 oz zucchini ribbons

Heat the oven to 300 F. Put frozen or fresh fish on a baking tray and brush with melted jelly. Using a potato peeler, carve long, thin slices from the length of the zucchini until you have 3 oz. Toss the ribbons with salt and pepper. Place the ribbons on the baking tray in a heap [if they are in a thin layer, they will over-cook]. Bake for 5 minutes. Rearrange the zucchini so that the bottom layer is now on top. Bake 5 minutes more, or until the fish is thawed or cooked. Plate the fish with the zucchini ribbons for a remarkable flavor.

Roi Soleil

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 buildingtheloveshack who is now Following.

Louis XIV, Louis the Great, The Sun King [Roi Soleil] was the longest-reigning monarch in French or European history: 72 years. How did he achieve that? By being crowned king on May 14, 1643, when he was 4 years old.  If you watch the TV series Versailles, you get the sense of a monomaniac on the throne — being hailed as supreme ruler while a toddler might do that to you! Louis was the driving force of French culture of his era, gathering artists [Le Brun], architects [Mansart], landscapers [LeNôtre], musicians [Lully], and playwrites [Molière] to his court to create works which still dazzle us today. And Louis did not simply pay them to get on with it, he collaborated, suggested, and astonished his contemporaries with his range of knowledge and skill. He was a wonderful <touche à tout> but not the best of kings. The Château de Versailles is his masterpiece of French Baroque style.  In honor of Louis, our eggs are full of rich dainties and named after the church where French kings were traditionally crowned. The dinner features oysters, which Louis loved [wagon-loads of bivalves were moved from the coast to Versailles weekly] and sparkling wine. [A purist would say that Champagne as we know it had not been developed in the time of Le Roi Soleil, but Limoux from southern France had been around since 1531.]

Saint Denis ScrOmelette:  295 calories  9 g fat   3.1 g fiber  18 g protein  35 g carbs   215.4 mg Calcium   GF   James Beard’s comprehensive volume American Cooking gives us the recipe for this breakfast. Delicious, and rich, and wonderful.  Worth getting up for.

St-Denis ScrOmelette w: cherries

1 ½ two-oz eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume, crack three 2-oz eggs into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.                                                1 Tbsp leek or scallion, minced                                                                                                                              ½ clove garlic, minced                                                                                                                                                              ¼ oz mushrooms                                                                                                                                                                 ¼ oz ham [3% fat], minced                                                                                                                                   1 tsp chicken liver OR chicken liver pate                                                                                                  parsley for garnish                                                                                                                                                  4 Bing cherries                                                                                                                                                                          blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                          5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or unpasturized apple cider

Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Add the leek, garlic, and mushrooms and stir to cook. Whisk the eggs with the ham and pate and pour over the vegetables in the pan. Cook as thoroughly as you like. The hot beverage is brewed, the smoothie is shaken, and the fruit is plated.  Breakfast fit for a king.

Oyster Feast with Bubbly:   272 calories   10.2 g fat   1.9 g fiber   12.7 g protein   16 g carbs 83 mg Calcium   PB   Got something BIG to celebrate: how about a plate of raw and baked oysters with a salad AND a glass of bubbly? This serves TWO, since a celebration deserves company.oysters, chevre-stuffedoysters w: beet-walnut salad

 18 medium Eastern oysters, raw                                                                                                                           9 tsp chevre cheese                                                                                                                                                4 saltine crackers as medium-fine crumbs                                                                                                          3 cups lettuce                                                                                                                                                                   2 Tbsp raw herbs, [such as thyme, rosemary, chives], chopped                                                                 1 oz grated carrots                                                                                                                                               3  oz tomatoes, cherry or standard                                                                                                               1-1/2 tsp olive oil  + 1-1/2 tsp good vinegar  + pinch flavored salt                                                                            per person:  4 oz Sparkling Wine [such as Champagne]

Turn on the broiler. Shuck the oysters, discarding the upper shell, but keep the oyster in the bottom shell. Carefully put half oysters on an oven-proof pan. Sprinkle each of those oysters with a pinch of the cracker crumbs. Then put 1 tsp of the chevre on each oyster. Top with the rest of the crumbs. Slide under the broiler until the cheese begins to soften and brown just a bit. In a wide bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and herbs. Toss lettuce and carrots with the dressing, add a pinch of salt and top with tomatoes. Plate the raw and baked oysters with the salad, pour your bubbly. Salut!