Who Dunnit? Who Ate It? Chapter III

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.

Dear Husband and I love to read ‘whodunits.’ Crime literature in English harks back to Edgar Allen Poe’s Murders on Rue Morgue in 1841. As the genre took off, a sub-genre developed: culinary crime. These books are read as much for the procedural as for the vicarious thrills of the meals that are described along the way. There are many authors who tantalize our tastebuds while they challenge our little grey cells and today, I will feature foods from two widely different sources.

Flavia de Luce is an 11-year-old English girl who’s family has many secrets. She is also an unlikely sleuth, solving many murders through 10 books by Alan Bradley. The GoodReads website describes her thusly: A “Precocious, motherless 11-year old fascinated with chemistry and death, bicycles around Bishop’s Lacey from ancient country house Buckshaw in 1950s England.” The few servants at the house have secret strengths, but the cook does not have cooking in her repetoire. All she serves for breakfast is a horrid porridge which Flavia loathes. She would like this better, I’m sure.

10-Grain Cereal: 143 calories 0.8 g fat 4.3 g fiber 8 g protein 28 g carbs [22 g Complex] NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB This is one of our favorite breakfasts – even on a Slow Day! 

3 Tbsp uncooked Bob’s 10-Grain Cereal   ¼ cup low-fat milk + 1/3 cup water  Toppings: 2 Tbsp blueberries, fresh or frozen + 2 Tbsp milk   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]

If preparing the night before: Cook the cereal with the water/milk for about 8 minutes on the stove. Pour into a microwave-safe bowl. Next morning: Heat the cereal in the microwave for about a minute, then top with berries and milk.  If preparing in the morning: Cook the cereal with the water/milk for about 8 minutes on the stove. Pour into the bowl and top with berries and milk.

Easy Rawlins is a detective created by Walter Mosley. De-mobbed after the 2nd World War, Rawlins gets into detective work without wishing to but finds that the work suits him. His life and experiences are real and sometimes his decisions are unsettling, all of which make him very human. The author decided on the character after hearing his father’s stories of his life as a veteran in segregated America. Easy Rawlins books are not known for talk about food, but I’m am captivated by this Mosley anecdote about his father: “….like the time he decided to eat at an all-white cafe in the late 1940s. Making it as far as the counter, he ordered a tuna melt. “That sandwich tasted like freedom,” he told me. But suddenly the white man sitting next to him dropped dead. “I realized right then and there that, freedom aside, no man, no matter who he is, can escape his death.” Here is a Fast Day tuna melt and I hope that everyone who eats it will feel and be free.

Tuna Melt: 309 calories 18.5 g fat 3 g fiber 33 g protein 24.6 g carbs 300 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using gf bread  This is the All-American classic sandwich, open-faced and delicious.

1 slice 70-calorie multi-grain bread [I like Dave’s Good Seed] 1 Tbsp onion, finely chopped ½ of a 5-oz can of water-pack tuna, drained 1 Tbsp celery, finely chopped 1 and ½ tsp low fat or ‘made with olive oil’ commercial mayonnaise OR BÉCHAMEL Sauce without cheese 1 slice Swiss cheese, the deli kind 1 pinch celery seed ½ cup romaine lettuce, shredded 1 oz tomato, cubed ½ tsp lemon juice ½ tsp olive oil

Combine the tuna, onion, celery, celery seed, and mayo/Bechamel as you would for tuna salad. Toast the bread. Spread the tuna mixture over the bread and top it with the cheese. Toast or broil until cheese is melting. In a wide bowl, whisk the oil and lemon juice. Toss the lettuce and tomato with the dressing and relax while you dine.

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

1 two-oz egg + tomatoNext week, I will discuss the
uncured baconrole of fiber in the diet
70-calorie whole-grain bread
large lettuce leaf + cherries
Optional smoothieFind a new favorite breakfast
optional hot beverage from the Archive.

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

eggplant + spinach leaves + pasta Next week, I will discuss
egg yolk + garlic + onion + breadthe role of fiber in the diet
Parmesan cheese + whole canned tomatoes
white whole wheat flourFind a new favorite dinner
Sparkling water from the Archive.

Johannes Kepler

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

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

Since Kepler’s side hustle was as an astrologer [the magic side of star-gazing], dinner gives a nod to the recent Winter Solstice, a time of dread and disruption in the ancient Solar Calendar.  Kepler’s birthday is tomorrow. He was a Capricorn.

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

Fig + Chevre Plate, black

½ hard-boiled egg                  1 dried fig, mass = 0.65 oz or 16 g         1 oz chèvre cheese        ¼ oz baby spinach   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]                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

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

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

Winter Solstice Pizza

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

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

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion

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

Dinner, single portion:

Next week I will discuss options for cooked pheasant meat
           New Year’s Eve entertainingcarrots  +  cabbage  + onion
 choose a favorite from the Archivespheasant or chicken gravy
         for dinnerArnold Sandwich Thin [100 calories]
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Adam & Eve

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Very Grimm

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.

Children’s and Household Tales were first published on December 20, 1812.  Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm did not intend their work as happy bed-time stories for children. Their intent was to collect German folktales before they disappeared in an increasingly industrial society. The stories were to re-educate the German public about their cultural past and to earn money for their impoverished brothers and sister. [Food or a lack thereof is a constant theme in their stories.]  The book was a best-seller, partly due to the fact that it fit well with the Romanticism of the era: stories set in the wild forest; tales that harked back to a simpler if not a kinder time. Popular in our own time, ‘fairy tales’ show us the darker sides of human nature, but in the end things usually work out. That’s reassuring.

In the theme of Grimm’s tales, we will eat porridge for breakfast — but not cook it to excess as in the story Sweet Porridge.  We will know when to stop. Many of the stories take a truly gruesome turn as in The Juniper Tree [a film Disney will never make!], so we will have organ meats in the form of haggis spring rolls for dinner. Re-read some of the works of the Brothers Grimm today.

10-Grain Porridge:   300 calories  1.5 g fat   5.1 g fiber  16 g protein   50 g carbs [39 g Complex]   215 mg Calcium   PB   Delicious hot cereal for any day of the week.10-Grain Porridge

1/4 cup uncooked Bob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Cereal                                                                                                                                                        2 Tbsp cottage cheese                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 tsp maple syrup                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               1.5 Tbsp applesauce, unsweetened                                                                                                                                                                                                                        pinch of nutmeg + pinch of cinnamon                                                                                                                                                                                 blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                             3 oz fruit smoothie, green smoothie or natural apple cider

Put the cereal in 3/4 of a cup of boiling water, turn down to a simmer and cook, covered, for 8 minutes. HINT: Do this the night before. Cool the cereal, then mix in the cottage cheese, maple syrup, applesauce, and spices until well-combined.  Put into a microwave-save bowl and cook in the microwave for 45 to 60 seconds [if cold from last night] OR for 30 seconds until hot through. Pour the beverages and you will have a warm, filling start to your day.

Haggis Spring Rolls:  262 calories  12.8 g fat  2.8 g fiber  23 g protein  26 g carbs  41 mg Calcium The first time I enjoyed these was at the Whiski Rooms in Edinburgh, along with a wee dram of single malt. Today, the whisky is in the dipping sauce to complete the fusion of Asian-Scottish flavors. This meal has my husband’s approval.Haggis Spring Rolls

4 six-inch rice spring roll wrappers/skins                                                                                                                                                                          8 Tbsp haggis filling see Spicy  12-September-2018                                                                                          1 cup lettuce leaves sliced into <1/2” strips +  1/2 oz carrot, grated  + cherry tomatoes                                                                                     1 tsp flavored olive oil +  1 tsp red wine vinegar finishing salt                                                                                                             1.5 tsp Thai hot chili sauce + ½ tsp single malt Scotch whisky                                                              

Put water into a wide, shallow dish such as a pie plate. Lay a tea towel on the counter. Place onespring roll wrapper in the water. Initially, the wrapper will look like a piece of thin, stiff, whitish plastic. Soon it will become more transparent, colorless, and pliable. Remove it from the water while still a little stiff [do NOT let it become limp] and lay it on the tea towel. Place 2 Tbsp haggis filling on the lower 1/3 of the wrapper, arranged as a little log. Roll it up, folding the sides in after the 1stturn. Move finished roll to the side as you repeat the steps. Heat a 10” cast-iron skillet over medium flame and spray with non-stick spray. Place the spring rolls in the pan with room between them. Cook slowly on one side, then roll onto another side. Continue until all the rolls are browned on each side. Prepare the salad and plate it. Combine the chili sauce and the whisky in a dipping cup. Plate the haggis, and try not to read Grimm’s Fairy Tales while you dine.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg 1 two-oz egg, hard-boiled
avocado baby spinach
whole-grain bread chèvre cheese [goat cheese]
fig, dried or fresh
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:

pork tenderloin, roasted or raw + sesame oil + pickle juice whole-wheat tortillas, 170 calories each
ground ginger + soy sauce + ground garlic crushed tomatoes   + onion
cucumber + carrot + red bell pepper mozzarella cheese
baguette + Asian sweet chili sauce mushrooms  +  prosciutto
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Emily Dickinson

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 FoodStories who is now Following.

If you were to list New England poets, Emily Dickinson would be right up there. And yet, no one heard of her work until after she was dead.  The Belle of Amherst Massachusetts was born on 10 December, 1830, smack-dab in the middle of a cultural revolution. In religion there was the Second Great Awakening. In politics, there was the growing abolitionist movement. In literature, there was Emily Dickinson penning poems in obscurity as she baked [one poem written on a chocolate wrapper] or cleaned [one poem written on the label for silver polish]. She kept house for her lawyer father and brothers and, according to legend, hardly ever went further afield than the garden of the family home. Her correspondence took her far away as she wrote to distant friends. After her death, her sister had her poems published, leaving readers bemused and/or excited by her verse.  In 1955, her collected works and her letters were printed and Emily Dickinson were rediscovered by an enthusiastic audience.  The poem that haunts me the most is The Bustle in a House, one of her most approachable poems about death. Dickinson wrote that she thought in a ‘New-England-y’ way. So true.                                                                                                                        Emily Dickinson did the cooking in the household, and I approve of good food made from scratch.  When she wrote to her ‘mentor’ H.W. Higginson describing her cooking for the household, she said, “People must have puddings.” In that spirit, breakfast is based on a French pudding, the flameuse which Emily would have liked.  And dinner is an old New England favorite.

Cherry Flamusse:   291 calories     5.3 g fat    2.2 g fiber   15.4 g protein   46.7 g carbs [34 g Complex]  316 mg Calcium   GF – if using GF flour   This breakfast custard is borrowed from the dessert section of the cookbook, and it works very well either way! It is similar to a clafouti, but simpler. Served with cherries or any fresh fruit, it is sure to be a hit. HINT:This makes enough for 2 [two] servings: share with a a friend or save the rest for a future breakfast or dessert. [Without the morning beverages, the dessert has 177 calories.]Cherry Flamusse

2 two-oz eggs                                                                                                                                                                     6 oz milk                                                                                                                                                                   4 tsp flour OR tapioca flour                                                                                                                                    1.5 Tbsp sugar                                                                                                                                                         10 sweet cherries, pitted                                                                                                                                      ½ clementine                                                                                                                                                                                                              blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                  3 oz  green smoothie or fruit smoothie

Spritz 2 ramekins [or an oven-proof dish with 1.5 cup capacity] with non-stick spray. Cut the cherries in half and arrange on the bottom of the dish. Whisk eggs until foamy, then add flour and sugar, whisking until there are no lumps. Stir in the milk and pour the batter over the cherries. Bake at 375 F. for 20 minutes. Turn the flamusse out of the dish so that the cherries are on top. Plate with the clementine sections, serve with the beverages. You won’t believe this is a ‘diet.’

Red Flannel Hash:  249 calories   9.2 g fat   1.9 g fiber  12.6 g protein  17.8 g carbs [16 g Complex]  43 mg Calcium  PB GF   This is a venerable New England farm meal, with the recipe coming from Hayden Pearson’s Country Flavors Cookbook.Red Flannel Hash

1 cup cooked diced beets (1/3” dice)                                                                                                                 1/3 cup diced potatoes (1/3” dice)                                                                                                                        ¼ cup diced onions                                                                                                                                                      2 slices Canadian Bacon/back bacon, diced                                                                                                                                                                                              one 2-oz egg lots of salt and pepper to taste

Cook, peel, and dice the beets and set aside to cool. [HINT: do this the day before]  Peel and dice the potatoes. Put potatoes into a pan of tap water and put the pan on the burner. Turn on the heat and let the pan sit, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the water starts to boil around the edges. Take off the heat and leave potatoes to cool in the water. Then drain and set aside. Dice the onions and bacon. Spray a saute pan with non-stick spray and add the Canadian bacon. Cook it as crisp as you wish, or not so crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside. Add the onions with 2-3 Tbsp water, and cook until the onions are transluscent and the water is mostly gone. Now put the potatoes in the pan with the onions, add salt and pepper to taste. Stir until the potatoes are cooked. Add the beets and bacon to the pan and continue to cook until heated through. Meanwhile, fry the egg: sunnyside-up or over easy as you prefer. Plate the hash and top with the egg. Country dining.

St Nick

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.

In art, Jolly Old Saint Nicholas has evolved physically over the many years since he was born in the 3rd century in what was then Greece but is now Turkey.  As early as the 4th century, he was shown as a normally-sized, generic bishop.  And it was the same in the 1600s in England, where celebrating Christmas was frowned upon. When we get to the 1800s the Good Saint, as depicted by Thomas Nast in 1881, looks like a man who should try the Fast Diet.  So does the Coke-swilling Santa of the ads beginning in the 1930s. “Miracle on 34th Street” in 1947 had him slimmer.  Have you seen the ‘picture’ of Saint Nicholas, as determined by a forensic pathologist? He looks a little healthier. Santa today is still depicted as chubby, if not fat.  If you don’t want to look like the ‘Nast Santa’ or the ‘Coca-Cola Santa’, with all the health problems that come with that physique, then it might be time to start Fasting.  Just saying…                                                                                                                                              Our breakfast reflects the Asia Minor origins of the real Nicholas.  And for dinner we have the classic beef stew of Hungary where the saint distributes gifts to children on December 6. In our household, we enjoy the gulyàs every Saint Nicholas Day.

Mediterranean Bake:  288 calories  8 g fat  2.4 g fiber   14.6 g protein   38.5 g carbs   234 mg Calcium  PB GF           Oh! Those sunny flavors!Mediterranean Bake

one 2-oz egg                              3 Tbsp Mediterranean Vegetables                               1 Tbsp chèvre cheese                                                                                                                                                         salt + pepper + large pinch of Herbes de Province                                                 2 oz applesauce or melon                                                                                                                                   6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or unpasteurized apple cider                                                                               blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water

Set the toaster oven at at 350° F. Spritz a ramekin with oil or non-stick spray and spoon in the Med. Veg. Pop the ramekin in the warming toaster oven for 30 seconds to warm the vegetables. Whisk the egg with the cheese and seasonings. Pour in the egg mixture over the vegetables and bake in the toaster oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs. Brew your warm beverage; shake and pour the smoothie; plate the fruit. A fine way to anticipate the joys of Summer.

Gulyàs:  283 calories   9.5 g fat   2.9 g fiber   40.4 g protein   8 g carbs [7.6 g Complex]   42.6 mg Calcium   GF  This version of the famous Hungarian stew is from Craig Claiborne’s International CookbookHINT: The recipe makes 8 servings, so make it once and freeze in serving sizes.Gulyas w: green beans

2 pounds beef chuck [shoulder], cut in 1” cubes                                                                                                    1 Tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika                                                                                                                              1 tsp salt + 1 tsp pepper                                                                                                                                                   1 tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                                               2 onions, chopped                                                                                                                                                   2 Tbsp tomato paste                                                                                                                                             1.5 cups beef stock                                                                                                                                                    per serving: 1 oz green beans                                                                                                                    optional per serving: ¼ oz egg noodles which add 27 calories 1 g fiber 2 g carbs [simple]

Heat the oven to 300 F. Toss the beef chunks with the paprika, salt, and pepper. On the cook-top, heat the oil in a Dutch oven [large, heavy, heat-proof, covered pot] and brown the beef in batches. Move the beef around in the pan to prevent it from sticking. Add non-stick spray or a little water if necessary. Remove the beef to a plate. Add some water to the pan and saute the onions until they are transluscent. Return the beef to the pan and pour in 1.5 cups beef stock. Stir thoroughly, scraping brown bits off the bottom. Cover the pot and cook in the oven for 2-3 hours. Every hour, check the pot and stir, adding more water as needed. Taste for salt at the end. Divide into 8 portions, reserving the remainder for future meals. TIP: Freezes very well. Plate with the green beans and optional noodles. A real Winter treat.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

2 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs
fat-free milk      +  10 sweet cherries salami sausage
flour mozzarella cheese
sugar   +  clementine wild greens or arugula
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:

beets Herring marinated in wine   + vinegar
potato beets, canned or fresh cooked
Canadian or back bacon Apple   + lettuce   +   onion
onion  + one 2-oz egg white beans  + hard-boiled egg + pickle
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Rick’s Cafe

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.

In the dark days of WW2, Churchill and FDR needed a place to meet. News blackouts forbade revealing the location, but one clever radio reporter began his story by saying, “I was over at Rick’s Cafe the other night…”  And everyone knew that he was in Casablanca. Such was the power of the popular movie of that name which was released November 26, 1942.  Bogie, as cynical night-club owner Rick Blaine, and Ingrid Bergman, as resistance-fighter Ilsa Lund, were the star-crossed lovers of the tale, with Dooley Wilson singing “As Time Goes By” in the background. The plot follows several memorable characters and a classic love triangle.  Who is not stirred by the scene where they sing the Marseillaise to counter the Nazis? Who is not in tears during the airport scene?

Our menu today will echo the plot of the movie.  We’ll have a breakfast right out of a Parisian charcuterie, because Rick and Ilsa fell in love there and because “We’ll always have Paris.” And since the entire movie revolves around people trying to evacuate to Lisbon, our dinner will feature Portuguese Fish & Chips in honor of Ilsa and Victor’s escape.

Charcuterie Bake:   278 calories  10 g fat  3.2 g fiber  17 g protein  37 g carbs  198 mg Calcium GF  One Sunday, we invited friends over for what we call a “French Lunch” – bread, sausage, cheese, fruit, wine, and good fellowship. My Dear Husband thought, “I know what breakfast will be.” And he was correct: left-overs reborn as breakfast.Charcuterie Bake w: pears

One 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                                            1/2 oz chorizo sausage                                                                                                                                          ½ Tbsp chèvre cheese, the creamy type                                                                                                             ¼ tsp Dijon mustard                                                                                                                                                large pinch Herbes de Province                                                                                                                         1-1/2 oz pear                                                                                                                                                       blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon juice & hot water                                                                                                       5-6 oz fruit smoothie or green smoothie or natural apple cider

Set the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. Cut the sausage into a small dice. Cream together with the goat cheese, mustard, and herbes. Spritz an oven-proof ramekin/dish with olive oil or non-stick spray. Whisk the egg with the sausage mixture and pour into the dish. Bake for 12-15 minutes while you pour the beverages and slice the pear. As simple as the meal which preceeded it.

Portuguese Fish & Chips:  260 calories  6.3 g fat  4.7 g fiber  24 g protein  28 g carbs [27 g Complex]  60 mg Calcium   PB GF – if using GF flour  From our favorite dinner place in Souris, PEI, 21 Breakwater comes this house specialty from the chef’s native cuisine. The batter is so light that it lets the lime-infused fish shine through. The recipe takes little time to accomplish. I have described it in detail so you can be successful.Portugese Fish &amp; Chips

3 oz tilapia or hake                                                                                                                                                    1 fl. oz lime juice or lemon juice                                                                                                                               1 egg white + 1 egg yolk                                                                                                                                                    2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour                                                                                                                        3 oz sweet potato, peeled                                                                                                                                                      ½ tsp canola oil                                                                                                                                                                                  ½ tsp granulated garlic                                                                                                                                           ¼ tsp paprika black pepper                                                                                                                                  2 oz asparagus

Marinate the fish in the lime juice with a pinch of salt and pepper for up to 30 minutes. Set the oven to 425 F. Peel the sweet potato and cut lengthwise into 1/4” slices. Cut each slice into 1/4” sticks. Put the oil in the non-stick pan that you will use to cook the fish. Add the potato sticks to the pan and toss about to coat with oil. Combine the granulated garlic, paprika, and pepper, and sprinkle on the potato sticks. Toss to distribute the seasonings. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil with the dull side up. Spray liberally with non-stick spray. HINT: You could do this 1-2 hours in advance.Distribute the potatoes on the pan so they do not touch. Put in oven for 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, put the asparagus on to cook. Take the fish from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Dredge lightly with flour. Whip the egg white into soft peaks. Fold in the egg yolk and remaining flour from dredging the fish. Heat the non-stick pan and spray with non-stick spray. Remove the fries from the oven and turn them over. Return to oven for 10 minutes more. Dip the fish in the egg batter so that it is coated on all sides. Cook the fish on one side over medium heat for 6 minutes, then on the other side for 6 minutes or until fork tender. When fries are done, turn off oven, open the door, and leave the fries in there for up to 5 more minutes. Plate all that good food and live it up.

St Cecilia

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.

There are many famous saints, and Cecilia is one of them. Why? According to the Golden Legend, she was a patrican Roman who was determined to remain chaste as a commitment to Christianity. On the night of her parent-induced wedding, she told her groom, Valerian, that if he touched her he would be killed by her guardian angel. So he converted to Christianity and they lived as brother and sister. She died a martyr, as did Valerian. But the story has holes. Cecilia or Cecily lived in the 1st century or the 2nd century; in Rome or in Sicily. She is not mentioned in the early lists of martyrs and does not come on the radar until the late 5th century when Pope Gelasius wrote her name into his Book of Sacraments. In 1599, her body was found in the catacombs [no inscriptions or other identification], and as proof of her saintliness, it was not decayed. Did Cecilia exist? Probably not, according to Franciscanmedia. Even Catholic Online suggest that her Romeo and Juliet story of Platonic Love was written to counter then-popular sensual love stories writtten in Greek. At any rate, Cecilia was associated with music and inspired a flowering of tunes written specifically for church services. Cecilia is remembered more today for the music festivals and works of art she inspired, rather than for her faith.  She has been depicted in music by Handel, in art by Raphael, in poetry by Dryden, and in a choral piece with words by W.H. Auden with music by Benjamin Britten.                                                                                                            

Because both ‘sweet cecily‘ and ‘valerian‘ are the names of herbs, our meals today will feature chives, thyme, oregano, and rosemary in a symphony of flavors.

Parmesan-Chive Scramble w: kiwi

Chive-Parmesan Scramble:    300 calories  10 g fat   2 g fiber   19.5 g protein  27.6 g carbs [10 g Complex]  390 mg Calcium   PB GF   This is the Scramble version of my Dear Husband’s ‘Bake’ of the same ingredients. Still wonderful!

1 ½ two-oz eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week                                                                                                                                                   3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese                                                                                                                        3 Tbsp minced fresh chives                                                                                                                                   1 oz kiwi fruit                                                                                                                                                              5-6 oz fruit smoothie, green smoothie, or natural apple cider                                                          blackish coffee or tea or lemon in hot water

Whisk together the chives, cheese, and eggs. Turn into a hot pan spritzed with oil or non-stick spray. Scramble to perfection and plate with the fruit. Pour your choice of beverages and dig into a bright breakfast, even on a grey day.

Chicken Parmesan w: salad

Chicken Parmesan:  238 calories  2.6 g fat  4.7 g fiber  31 g protein  11.4 g carbs   242.5 mg Calcium   PG GF – if using GF bread  At last! The restaurant classic made suitable for Fasters. And it is delicious.

3-½ oz raw chicken breast meat, boneless, skinless                                                                                                 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated                                                                                                                           1 tsp dried oregano +  1 tsp dried thyme                                                                                                                                 ¼ oz whole-grain breadcrumbs, fresh not dried                                                                                           1 Tbsp milk                                                                                                                                                                  ¼ cup marinara sauce, homemade [ SAUCY, 6 December, 2017] or jarred   rosemary                                                                                                                                         ¾ oz mozzarella, grated                                                                                                                                            2 Tbsp low-fat cottage cheese                                                                                                                                   1 cup baby greens + ½ oz grated carrots ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp red wine vinegar

Heat the toaster oven to 350°F. Spritz an oven-proof pan with non-stick spray or olive oil. Pour the milk onto a small plate. On another plate combine the Parmesan and bread crumbs with salt and pepper. Cream the mozzarella and cottage cheeses together until well-combined. Dip the chicken in the milk on both sides. Dredge the chicken in the crumb/cheese/herb mixture to coat it completely. Place on the oven-proof pan and spray with olive oil. Bake the chicken about 10 minutes, until golden. Top the chicken with the marinara sauce, then mound the cheese over it. Broil for 5 minutes until the cheese is melty and starting to brown. Prepare the salad ingredients and toss with dressing. 

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs
chorizo sausagelow-fat ricotta
chèvre      +   pearherbs, dried or fresh
Dijon mustard + Herbes de Provinceapplesauce
optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion:

tilapia + white whole wheat flourfirm-fleshed fish [swordfish/tuna]
sweet potato  + canola oileggplant  +  red/yellow bell pepper
granulated garlic   + asparaguscherry tomatoes  +  salad fixings
paprika  +  lime juice + egg corn kernels  + butter
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Indian Summer

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 Kanhaiya L. who is now Following.

Here we are on the other side of Fall: it is darker, the color is gone from the leaves, and as Ned Stark would say, “Winter is coming.”  And yet… along comes a warm day or two to get our hopes up.  “Indian Summer,” as it is called around here, is a spell of warmer weather following the killing frost.  One can imagine the early Europeans, trying to hack an existence out of the New England landscape, going into despair as the cold weather arrived.  “This is not like England,” they’d moan. “We should have more time to get ready for winter!”  “Not to worry,” their First Nations allies [at that point in time they still had not thoroughly alienated the locals] would rejoin, “There will be more warm weather.”  And since they were correct, the Europeans dubbed it Indian Summer.  The Old Farmer’s Almanac says that it begins this year on November 12, so let’s enjoy it.                                   In honor of those warmer days, we will enjoy some foods of summer once again.  Breakfast will include melon, which is available Summer and Fall, paired deliciously with prosciutto which is the product of Autumn. For dinner, a chance to grill again by putting tuna and summer vegetables on the flames. And although we are talking about Fall in northern New England, these recipes will whisk you off to a sunny Mediterranean diet.

Prosciutto & Melon Plate:  266 calories  7.3 g fat   2.2 g fiber  23.6 g protein   36 g carbs [24 g Complex]  294 mg Calcium   PB GF  Once again the Inn at Saint Peter’s inspires a breakfast! Nothing beats the salty-sweet flavor combination of this meal. HINT: I plated everything the night before and stored the plates in zipper-close bags in the refrigerator.Prosciutto-Melon Plate

4 oz canteloupe melon [Charentais melon would be fabulous!]                                                              1 oz thinly-sliced prosciutto                                                                                                                                     ¼ cup red onion pickle                                                                                                                                        0.1 oz shavings of Parmesan cheese                                                                                                            fresh basil or mint leaves OR crumbled dried basil                                                                                                          drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction, optional                                                                                       blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                               5-6 oz fruit smoothie, green smoothie or natural apple cider

Cut the melon into bite-sized cubes [8 pieces look well on the plate]. Cut the prosciutto into 8 long strips [mine were 1”x4”]. Arrange the melon and ham in a circle on the plate with the red onion in the center. Shave off curls of Parmesan and place them on top. If using fresh herb leaves, tuck them in here and there. If using dried herbs, rub the leaves in your palms to crumble over the plate. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar if you wish. Serve with your chosen beverages. Wonderful flavors, however you combine them on your fork.

Tuna with Grilled Vegetables:  244 calories   7 g fat  3.9 g fiber  29 g protein  14.6 g carbs  [10.6 g Complex]  32.5 mg Calcium  PB GF  The recipe comes from the Fast Diet Book and it is wonderful. An exemplar of the Mediterranean Diet.tuna &amp; grilled veg

6 oz tuna steak                                                                                                                                                          4 oz red bell peppers                                                                                                                                               5 oz zucchini  or summer squash                                                                                                                                  2 oz cherry tomatoes                                                                                                                                               1 tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                                        splash of lemon juice

Cut the peppers into long strips. Same with the zucchini. Toss all the vegetables with the olive oil. Cook the tuna and vegetables on a grill pan or grill, 3 minutes on each side. Serve with the lemon juice. Delicious and quick.

Guy Fawkes

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 Pamela who is now Following.

Remember, remember the 5th of November,                                                                Gunpowder, treason, and plot…

 Tomorrow will be Guy Fawkes Day, a time to remember the foiled “Gunpowder Plot” of 1605.  A group of Catholic Englishmen who disliked the idea of a Protestant monarch [James I of England, James IV of Scotland who was suppressing the Catholic religion] on the throne of England, decided to blow up the King and all the members of Parliament by putting barrels of gunpowder in the basement of the building where they were all to meet. Guy Fawkes, the original ‘fall guy,’ was captured as he waited to light the fuse on November 5. Rather than meet the traitor’s death of being first hanged, then drawn, then quartered, he fell from the scaffold to his death. His co-conspirators were also caught and executed, but Guy Fawkes gets the spotlight.  Today in England, merry children construct straw effigies, strut them through their neighborhoods asking for “A penny for the Guy?” [the money collected goes to buy candy], then burn the effigies on the Day.  This gives November 5th its other name of ‘bonfire night.’  A thoroughly wholesome and Christian entertainment for the whole family! Oh boy! Let’s celebrate sectarian violence while children play at burning people alive.                                                                                       For Guy Fawkes’ childhood in York, we will enjoy a cottage breakfast of egg and whole-grain pan muffin.  For dinner, we’ll eat Soup Royaume in honor of another foiled plot.  This is the soup that an elderly Protestant woman was cooking when the ‘papists’ tried to invade Geneva in 1602, and she sounded the alarm to save the city.

Cottage Breakfast: 298 calories   7.8 g fat   3.1 g fiber   13.6 g protein   43.8 g carbs   199 mg Calcium  PB   I wanted a breakfast that evoked a cottage in the English country-side, so here it is. The pan muffins are very good.Cottage Bfast A

1 pan muffin [see …Not By Bread…posted 7-Feb-2018]                                                                                      1 oz applesauce                                                                                                                                                     one 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                       5-6 oz fruit smoothie or green smoothie or natural apple cider                                                           blackish coffee, blackish tea, or lemon in hot water

HINT: I prepared 8 pan muffins from the 10-grain mufffin batter, cooked them, and froze them. I made the remaining batter into muffins to eat on Slow Days.Take one pan muffin from the freezer the night before and let it thaw. Cook the egg to your taste and warm the pan muffin. Dish the applesauce, brew the hot beverage, pour the smoothie. What a sweet and easy meal.

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

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

Put the pork, onions, and lentils in a heavy saucepan with a little oil and cook until browned. Add the rutabaga/turnip, carrot, parsnip, cabbage and seasonings. Cover with water, using more if needed. Cover and cook for about 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Taste for seasonings, add the frozen spinach, stir well, and heat through. Divide into 4 equal servings and freeze the servings you don’t need today. Roughly chop the fresh spinach and put it on top of the soup when serving.