Tolkien

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.

J.R.R. Tolkien did not set out to be a world-famous fantasy writer. Born in South Africa on January 2, 1892, he became a professor of linguistics at Oxford. There he dabbled in writing with a group called The Inklings. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis traded ideas and critiqued each other’s work. [This is why both their fantasy series feature talking trees, elves, and Christian allegory.] At heart, Tolkien was a lover of the linguistic roots of modern English and of old myths.  He wanted to create an English mythology and produced The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Silmarillion, and many songs, poems, and short stories. Tolkien’s work is beloved the world over for the universal human insights set in a fantasy landscape.  The Quest and Coming of Age themes are compelling and the characters are memorable. The works may not be the history of England and its language, but they are worth reading at any age.                                                                                                                          Since Tolkien was such a devoted chronologist of all things English, today’s meals would please him as well as making sure that no Hobbits become fatter.  The mushroom breakfast is based on the casserole given to Frodo by Farmer Maggot’s wife. And the dinner is a classic meal from the 1700s.

FarmWife Mushroom Pudding:  300 calories   6 g fat   3.1 g fiber  14.5 g protein  34 g carbs [20.8 g Complex]  345 mg Calcium  PB  Having heard this described in books, I searched and searched until I found this recipe in Theodora FitzGibbon’s A Taste of England.

½ oz [around one strip] American/streaky bacon                                                                                                  ½ cup assorted mushrooms, chopped                                                                                                               3 Tbsp chicken stock                                                                                                                                               ¾ tsp white whole wheat flour                                                                                                                                                       ½ Arnold Multi-grain Sandwich Thin -OR-   1/3 cup Yorkshire Pudding batter […Not By Bread…Feb 7 ’18]                                                                                                                                                         1/2 oz pear

Cook the bacon partially, blot off the fat, and cut in strips. Pour off the bacon fat but return 1 tsp to the pan. Saute the mushrooms in the fat and remove them. Pour some of the chicken stock into the pan and sprinkle in the flour while whisking to prevent lumps as it thickens. Add the remaining stock and some pepper. Put the bacon and mushrooms into the sauce and cook over low heat. Pour into an oiled oven-proof dish and top with the Sandwich Thin or the Yorkshire Pudding batter. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes [if using Sandwich Thin] -OR- for 2o minutes [if using the Yorkshire Pudding.] NB: you can serve it out of the dish or turn it out on the plate.  Enjoy with the pear and have a hearty day.

Pheasant Casserole: 250 calories   9.5 g fat   5.4 g fiber   22.5 g protein  21.6 g carbs [19 Complex]   86 mg Calcium  PB   This recipe is based on one from English Provincial Cooking by Elisabeth Ayrton and it dates back to the 18thcentury. Whole partridges were stewed with onion, carrot, and cabbage for 2.5 hours and served on thick slices of bread. Well, this is a modified version and it is delicious. This uses left over cooked pheasant meat and works well.Pheansant Casserole

2-1/2 oz cabbage, sliced 1-1.5” thick                                                                                                                   1.5 oz baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise                                                                                                            ¼ oz onion rings [which I forgot to put on the top]                                                                                     2 Tbsp chicken or pheasant gravy                                                                                                                      2 oz pheasant meat, cooked and taken off the bone                                                                                   ½ Arnold Multi-Grain Sandwich Thin

Prepare the carrots, cabbage, and onion and steam them for 25 minutes until the carrots are tender. If the cabbage is not yet done, leave it in the steamer with the lid on but off the heat until needed. Warm the pheasant in the gravy + 2 tsp of the water from the steaming liquid. Warm the Arnold Thins in the toaster oven. Plate the bread. Spoon a tablespoon of gravy on top. Place the meat atop the bread. Stir the warm vegetables into the warm gravy and plate them. Put the onion rings on top and pour any remaining gravy over the meat.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

one 2-oz egg                                                       apple or strawberries Next week I will provide some favorite side dishes for Fast Days
whole-grain bread, 70 calories
blend cream/half&half
parmesan cheese Find a new favorite in the Archives
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:

Beef chuck steak +  green pepper
stewed tomatoes   + onion
white whole wheat flour
green beans   +  carrots Find a new favorite in the Archives
Sparkling water Sparkling water

New Year’s 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.

Will you be entertaining for New Year’s Eve? Or will you be the guest at someone else’s party? Will you be over-indulging on December 31?  Or are you wondering how to celebrate 2019 without spoiling your progress as a Faster?   Lots of questions — here is some help with the answers.                                                                                                                                                     1] If it is your party, make sure that all the foods you serve are healthy.  That way you can have a serving and not feel guilty. How about a big pot of Red Beans and Rice [posted November 6, 2016] or

Jambalaya: 275 calories  5 g fat  4 g fiber  14.8 g protein  39 g carbs  81 mg Calcium  PB GF  What else would you eat for New Year’s? Or any other time you want delicious Cajun comfort food: jambalaya, of course. For a party, triple or quadruple the recipe. Just make sure that you limit yourself to one serving = one cup.

Jambalaya w: broc

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

Cook the onion in a little water and a dash of olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and cajun seasoning and cook until fragrant. Stir in the green pepper and celery and then add the meats. Pour in the tomatoes, seasonings and sauces, the rice, and broth. Cover and simmer for 25-40 minutes, stirring every once in a while to prevent sticking. The mixture will not be soupy, as the rice will have absorbed the liquids. Cook uncovered if too much liquid remains. Prepare the broccoli and plate.

Each of the above-mentioned meals are less than 300 calories/serving.                                                          2] Alcohol has lots of calories, but some are lower than others. Go to the party with a small bottle of sparkling wine, such as Spanish Cava or Italian Prosecco, and a large bottle of sparkling water.  Start off with a glass of the water, then a glass of the wine.  Then some more water. Finish the last bit of wine at midnight, then drink some more water. You will feel much better the next morning and you will avoid dehydration. Also the water will help to fill you up.                                                                                                                       3] Put off having breakfast as long as you can and then eat a meal high in protein but low in carbs, like eggs.                                                                                                                                     4] If you are not hosting, find something on the buffet that is low in calories, carbs, and fat.  Shrimp would be a great choice, as are fruit and raw vegetables.  Fill up on them and there won’t be room for lousier options.                                                                                               5] Make some sensible resolutions for 2019.  Not “I wanna lose weight” because that is too general.  Not “I wanna loose 50 pounds by February” because that is too unrealistic.  Try: “I will eat 600-800 calories of high-quality food on two days each week for 2 months.”  This goal is specific and achievable.  It limits you to 2 months and then you can see if you want to continue. No pressure. You could do that.                                                     Happy New Year.

Ramadan

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.

Fasting is done for health reasons, to lose weight, and more traditionally for religious reasons.  Fasting shows one’s dedication to the religion by doing something that seems so impossible: giving up food.  The season of Ramadan is occurring now from May 15 to June 14, during the 9th month of the Muslim calendar.  Since the calendar is based on the moon, the celebration of Ramadan happens 11 days earlier every year.  Ramadan observes the period of time during which the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammed. People read the Holy Book, attend prayers, enjoy time with their families, and engage in charities.   During the celebration, adults do not eat or drink from sunrise to sundown. Two meals are enjoyed daily, before sunrise and after dark. The purpose of the fast is to focus the mind and gain control over the body.  Many practitioners say that the benefits of fasting last longer than the month itself.  Although the Islamic world stretches all around the globe, our menu is taken from northern Africa.  Eggs are a popular protein source during Ramadan, while lamb and vegetables could typically be part of a proper dinner.

Moroccan Omelette:   273 calories   8 g fat   2.9 g fiber   15.3 g protein  36 g carbs   208.7 mg Calcium   PB GF  Suggested by our First-born, this is the easiest breakfast in the world to prepare. For the compete flavor profile, serve with mint tea.Moroccan Omelette w: cherries

1 ½ 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.                                                                                               1 tsp or more ground cumin                                                                                                                                 5 Bing cherries                                                                                                                                                   MINT TEA, blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                       5-6 oz green or fruit smoothie or unpasturized apple cider

Whisk just the 1.5 eggs vigorously. Pour into a heated skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Turn down the heat and leave undisturbed until puffy and the top is set. Remove from skillet, season to taste with cumin, salt and pepper. Serve folded or flat. Pour the beverages and enjoy the cherries.

Lamb With Mediterranean Vegetables:   295 calories   14 g fat   9.3 g fiber   22 g protein  40.5 g carbs   205.6 mg Calcium   PB GF  Here’s a fine meal, full of complex carbohydrates and good flavor.Lamb w: Med Veg, cheese, br rice

1 oz  lamb, ground [raw]  or diced  [cooked]                                                                                                                   1 cup Mediterranean Vegetables [see Sidekicks I, 17 Sept, ’17 ]                                                                               ¼ cup cooked brown rice                                                                                                                                              ½ oz Gruyere cheese, grated

Cook the ground lamb, keeping it in biggish chunks rather than tiny flecks. Pour into a sieve to drain any fat and rinse in hot water. Season the meat well with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Heat the Mediterranean Vegetables TIP: so much easier if they were waiting for you in the freezer. Preparing food ahead is such a good idea. Mix the lamb with the vegetables. Plate the rice, then pour the Lamb/Veg on top. Serve with the grated cheese.

Ingredients for next week: breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg Next Thursday, I will post some tasty treats involving spices.
 asparagus  choose a breakfast from the archives
 cooked brown rice
 smoked haddock [finnen haddie]
 1/2 & 1/2  + curry power  + nutmeg
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:

 whole wheat slider buns [100 calories]
 barbecued beef  choose a dinner from the archives
 BBQ sauce [ <60 calories/fl oz]
 cherry tomatoes
 carrots
Sparkling water Sparkling water

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!

Brahms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Floralia v. 4.0

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.

Happy Floralia!  Since 240 BC, the Romans celebrated the Goddess Flora during the first days of May. What a charming idea: a goddess of flowers!  Floral wreaths were worn as people celebrated the return of Spring. To this day, the town of Càparra observes the festival. [Perhaps it is more for the tourists than for the goddess…]  Southern France, which the Romans called Gaul, embraced the idea wholeheartedly. In the 1400s, the Limbourg brothers depicted May as a time for courtiers to go out into the countryside to enjoy the flowers, emerging leaves, and the fresh air. Towns and cities today hold floral exhibitions and decorate with flowers to mark the occasion.  The featured breakfast includes fresh herbs with the eggs: both symbols of Spring.  Dinner is Springtime itself: with asparagus, egg, light flavors of citrus and shrimp, and a spicy dressing to hint of hot weather to come.  Wear green! Walk outside! Enjoy the May air! Be slimmer for Summer.

Herb Scrambled Eggs:    268 calories  7.6 g fat   2.5 g fiber  20 g protein  35 g carbs    208 mg Calcium  PB GF  Take a walk in the herb garden, then put the herb garden in the breakfast.Herb Scramble, no toast

3 two-oz eggs of which you will use 1 ½ eggs per person 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                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Tbsp chopped herbs: chives, rosemary, oregano, thyme, lavender                                                      salt & pepper to taste                                                                                                                                               2 oz table grapes OR 2 oz canteloupe OR 3 oz strawberries                                                                                                       blackish coffee or tea or lemon with hot water                                                                                                      5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie

Whisk the eggs with salt & pepper to taste. Pour into a hot pan sprayed with cooking oil. When bottom of eggs are set, sprinkle the herbs over the eggs, fold, and plate with fruit. Toast the bread, brew the beverage, pour the smoothie, and you are good to go.

Springtime Shrimp Salad:  192 calories   7 g fat   3.6 g fiber  17 g protein  17 g carbs   114 mg Calcium  PB GF  In Spring, the clementines are decreasing in the markets as the asparagus is increasing. A salad with shrimp is delightfully delicious.Springtime Shrimp Salad

2 cups mesclun OR baby greens                                                                                                                                2.5 oz cold-water shrimp                                                                                                                                             8-9 sections clementine                                                                                                                                        1-3/4 oz asparagus                                                                                                                                                        ¾ oz mango                                                                                                                                                               ½ hard-boiled egg                                                                                                                                                        2 tsp Spicy Aioli Dressing**

**Spicy Aioli Dressing        makes 3 Tbsp                                                                                                                                2 tsp olive oil mayonnaise                1 tsp Sriracha                                                                         pinch granulated garlic         2 tsp lemon juice                                                                             Whisk all ingredients together until smooth.

Prepare all the ingredients, cutting or cooking as necessary. Combine the Dressing and measure 2 tsp into a large bowl. Toss the salad greens with the Dressing and a pinch of salt. Turn onto the serving plate and arrange the other ingredients atop the greens. Enjoy the colors and flavors of Spring.

Ingredients for next week: breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs
 Puttanesca sauce [see SAUCY, Dec 6, ’17]  crushed tomatoes + onion + garlic
 Parmesan cheese  ricotta + mozzarella cheeses
 Italian herbs + crushed red pepper
 peaches canned in juice  melon
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:

 white fish  + flour + egg white  roast beef to make 1 cup ground
 fresh bread crumbs  potato  +  cauliflower
 Parmesan + mozzerella cheeses  one 2-oz egg
 crushed tomatoes  1/2 cup low-fat beef gravy
 basil  + capers  + lemon zest  peas OR salad with vinaigrette
green beans  tomato
Sparkling water Sparkling water

For the Birds

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.

John James Audubon: champion of wild birds; American defender of wildlife; founder of the Audubon Society.  Not so fast. He was a man of two worlds and of two personas. The famous bird artist was not an American by birth: he was born on the wrong side of the blanket in Haiti to a French ship owner and his housekeeper. His name at birth was ‘Jean Rabin.’  Ultimately adopted by his father and his father’s wife, Rabin’s name was changed to Jean-Jacques F. Audubon.  An education centered around art and dancing did not help when he was sent to Pennsylvania to escape Napoleonic conscription and to run the family lead mine.  [On the way to America on a false passport, he changed his name to John James.]  After marriage and the arrival of children, Audubon tried shop keeping in Kentucky and life as a miller, before working as a portrait painter and dance instructor. Earning praise for his paintings of birds, Audubon went on an extended hunting trip: he would shoot birds, wire them into lifelike poses, and paint them. Meanwhile, his wife supported the children by working as a governess. In 1836, publishers in Scotland and England agreed to publish his large-format book Birds of America, Audubon’s seminal work depicting more than 700 species. This work raised him from obscurity and secured him some financial stability.  He actually had nothing to do with the Audubon Society: that was founded by an admirer after Audubon died. One idea of Audubon’s persists in the study of birds: he developed the concept of ‘bird banding.’   Tomorrow, on Audubon’s birthday, we will eat the gizzards of birds he might have killed for breakfast [that’s <gésier> in French] and eat pheasant, a common game bird, for dinner. Bon apétit.

Gizzard ScrOmelette:  292 calories  10.7 g fat   2.4 g fiber  17.6 g protein  32 g carbs [29 g Complex]  212 mg Calcium  GF  Yes, really: gizzards. High in protein, low in fat . You could try this with the gizzard that is in the giblet package at Thanksgiving time.Gizzard ScrOmelette

Three 2-oz eggs of which you will use 1 ½ eggs per person 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.                                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 oz gizzards, cleaned and simmered in seasoned stock for 1 ½ hours [HINT: cook up a bunch of gizzards at the same time for future use]                                                                                  1 clove garlic, minced                                                                                                                                   sage + salt + pepper                                                                                                                                                       1 oz applesauce                                                                                                                                        Blackish coffee or tea or lemon with hot water                                                                                               5-6 oz fruit smoothie or natural apple cider

Spritz a non-stick pan with olive oil or non-stick spray. Slice the gizzards and cook them with the garlic and sage until warm. Whisk the eggs with salt & pepper to taste and scramble in the pan with the gizzards. Plate the applesauce and pour the beverages. Real farm food.

Pheasant Casserole:  250 calories  9.5 g fat   5.4 g fiber  22.5 g protein  21.6 g carbs [19 Complex]  86 mg Calcium   PB  This recipe is based on one from English Provincial Cooking by Elisabeth Ayrton and it dates back to the 18thcentury. Whole partridges were stewed with onion, carrot, and cabbage for 2.5 hours and served on thick slices of bread. Well, this is a modified version and it is delicious. This uses left over cooked pheasant meat and works well.Pheansant Casserole

2-1/2 oz cabbage, sliced 1-1.5” thick                                                                                                                   1.5 oz baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise                                                                                                     ¼ oz onion rings [which I forgot to put on the top in the photo]                                                                     2 Tbsp chicken or pheasant gravy                                                                                                                      2 oz pheasant meat, cooked and taken off the bone                                                                                                     ½ Arnold Multi-Grain Sandwich Thin

Prepare the carrots, cabbage, and onion and steam them for 25 minutes until the carrots are tender. If the cabbage is not yet done, leave it in the steamer with the lid on but off the heat until needed. Warm the pheasant in the gravy + 2 tsp of the water from the steaming liquid. Warm the Arnold Thins in the toaster oven. Plate the bread. Spoon a tablespoon of gravy on top. Place the meat atop the bread. Stir the warm vegetables into the warm gravy and plate them. Put the onion rings on top and pour any remaining gravy over the meat.

Ingredients for next week: breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs
 chorizo sausage  fresh herbs
 chèvre  cheese  melon or strawberries
 herbes de Province  +  Dijon mustard
 pear
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your hot beverage
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your smoothie

Dinner, single portion:

 firm-fleshed white fish  salad greens
 lime or lemon juice  clementine or tangerine sections
 flour  +  egg  hard-boiled egg  +  mango
 sweet potatoes   + canola or peanut oil  cold-water shrimp
 paprika  +  granulated garlic  asparagus
  asparagus  Srircha aioli + lemon juice
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Saint George

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

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

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

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

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

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

Steak & Mushroom Pie:  277 calories  4.8 g fat  6.9 g fiber  27 g protein  25.6 g carbs  34 mg Calcium    Two very compatible flavors together again, topped [not encased] in puff pastry. Similar to a meal enjoyed at The Sign of the Angel in Lacock, Wiltshire, England. A real treat. HINT: recipe serves 2 [TWO], photo shows one serving.Steak &amp; Mushroom Pie

4 oz grilled sirloin steak [leftover from a previous meal?]                                                                       1.5 cups mushrooms                                                                                                                                               1 Tbsp red wine                                                                                                                                                                                      ¼ cup creamed onions                                                                                                                                            ½ tsp thyme + salt & pepper to taste                                                                                                                 1/6 sheet puff pastry [Pepperidge Farm, frozen sheets are easy to find and use]                               per person: 1/3 cup peas

Thaw the frozen puff pastry for 40 minutes on the counter. Rewrap and return one sheet to freezer. Remove one of the sheets, unroll it carefully, and cut the sheet into 6 squares. [TIP: stack the remaining 5 pieces with waxed paper or cling wrap between the layers. Pop into a zipper bag and freeze for later use.] Cut the steak into 1/2”-1” cubes. Combine the meat with the mushrooms, wine, onions, seasonings in an oven-proof dish just large enough to hold the meat mixture yet large enough to be topped with the puff pastry. Heat the meat mixture until it is warm. Lay the puff pastry on top, decoratively slitting the crust. Bake at 400 F. about 15 minutes, until the crust is well-browned. Cook the peas and imagine that you are in an English country restaurant.

Cajun

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.  There is no magic way to lose weight: http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/sc-weight-loss-tips-health-0503-20170502-story.html but Fasting along with some other life changes will work.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Passover

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 remember the first time I was old enough to understand the story of the Ten Plagues of Egypt.  I found it to be chilling and thrilling, and was so relieved when the Red Sea parted and the Children of Israel made their escape [beloved by movie makers]. These are the events that are depicted in the Passover Seder. The foods are all chosen to represent different parts of the story, and relevant parts of the Torah are read as the meal unfolds.  Our meals today pay homage to the flavors and ingredients of Passover, each integral to the meal and telling their own tale.  The roast lamb represents the lamb’s blood painted on the door frames so that the Angel of Death would ‘pass over’ those houses. [Vegetarians use a roasted beet.] Roasted egg is in place of a sacrificial offering at the Temple. Horseradish stands in for the bitter experience of slavery in Egypt.  Apples, nuts, and cinnamon are for the mortar made by Hebrew slaves.    Parsley and romaine are also foods with a bitter taste, in remembrance of struggles.  Salt water [for dipping hard-boiled eggs and parsley] represent tears. See how many of these are incorporated in today’s menus as you remember the tale of escape and the history which followed it. May you be inscribed for Good in the Book of Life.

Passover ScrOmelette:   290 calories   7.8 g fat   3.1 g fiber   15.3 g protein  37 g carbs   217 mg Calcium PB GF The flavor combinations of Passover are too good not to enjoy at breakfast.Passover ScrOmelette

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 3 2-oz eggs into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week                                                     1 Tbsp diced beets [I used pickled beets]                                                                                                        2 Tbsp parsley, chopped                                                                                                                                              1 tsp horseradish        +  Kosher salt                                                                                                                                                          1.5 oz applesauce, sprinkled with cinnamon                                                                                                  5-6 oz fruit smoothie or pure apple cider                                                                                             blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water

Whisk the horseradish and salt/pepper to taste with the eggs. Pour into a pan which has been sprayed briefly with cooking spray. When the bottom of the eggs have just set, add the beets and parsley. Scramble to your heart’s content or fold like an omelette. When the coffee is brewed and the smoothie is smooth, the applesauce with cinnamon will be delicious with the sweet beets and tangy horseradish.

Seder Salad:  261 calories   14.8 g fat   2.8 g fiber  20.8 g protein  26 g carbs  85 mg Calcium   GF A previous dinner could involve a leg of lamb ….yummmmm. Save a few slices to make this salad. This meal is great for sharing with a guest: doubles well.Seder Salad

1 cup romaine lettuce                                                                                                                                                   1 Tbsp fresh parsley                                                                                                                                                 3 Tbsp celery, diced                                                                                                                                              1.5 oz apple, cubed                                                                                                                                                         2 oz cooked lamb, from the leg or other lean cut                                                                                          4 walnut halves                                                                                                                                                              1 hardboiled egg                                                                                                                                                   Kosher salt                                                                                                                                                                  1.5 tsp horseradish dressing — see SAUCY, Dec 6, 2017

Chop the walnut into large pieces and toast in a dry skillet until fragrant. Cut egg into wedges; slice the lamb and celery; cube the apples. Toss the greens, celery, apples, and parsley with the dressing and arrange other ingredients to suit the eye.

Ingredients for next week: breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs
 green pepper  +  celery   apple or melon
 cottage cheese  +  onion  3%-fat ham
 cajun seasoning  + Tabasco sauce herbs to taste
 melon
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:

 andouille sausage + cajun seasoning  romaine lettuce
 ham + onion + brown rice + chicken  green beans
 green pepper  +  celery  + garlic  cucumber or zucchini
 crushed tomatoes  + red pepper flakes  feta cheese   +  black olives
 Tabasco  + Worcestershire   + broccoli  olive oil
 file powder  + chicken broth  white wine vinegar
Sparkling water Sparkling water