Slow Days: Crab Pasta

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically.

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day?  Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum  which attest to that. Once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

We are very fond of crab meat. Not the fancy, high-priced Dungeness or Blue crab, but our New England Coast local Rock and Jonah Crabs.  This commodity appears cooked, picked-over, and packaged in fish markets and grocery stores. A half-pound package is perfect for crab cakes or Crab Pasta. Our recipe comes from the Legal Sea Foods Cookbook, based on menus from the Boston restaurant of the same name. The ingredients seem a bit extravagant, but you are serving 2 people and you don’t eat like this every day.  In our house, pasta appears on the menu once each week.   2 oz/person.Crab Pasta recipe

You will notice that the ingredient amounts for TWO PEOPLE are written in on the left.  See also that the amount of pasta allotted per person is TWO Ounces, although the recipe specifies 4 oz/person.  Note also that we described this meal as ‘Exceptional!’

Create a mise en place with your ingredients.  Follow the above instructions. Our pasta of choice for this dish is ‘gemelli.’  Prepare the salad or vegetable of your choice. Plate and enjoy.Crab Pasta, plated

Slow Days: Pissaladiere

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’   This feature will appear sporadically.

Now for the answers.  Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day?  Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight.  There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that.  Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday.  For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet.  As for how we eat, an example follows.

Pissaladière is a classic Provinçal food that looks like a pizza [hence its alias: Pizza Niçoise].  More accurately, it could be described as a flatbread topped with fish-accented caramelized onions.  Perhaps in the cafes of the Midi it has become a cliché, but it was new to us when we tried it at home. And we loved it. I used Joanne Harris’ recipe from her My French Kitchen cookbook.

The ingredients are simple: pizza dough [8″ rounds, one per person], tinned anchovies, black olives, Herbes de Province, and caramelized onions. One late summer day, I had a surfeit of onions, so I caramelized and then froze them. [NB: it takes about an hour to cook 3.5 pounds of onions to the point where they are ‘soft and slightly caramelized but not brown’ as Joanne Harris says.] Out they came for this meal, making the preparation very easy.

pissaladiere, mise  èThe pizza dough is shaped and brushed with olive oil. Distribute the onions on top then arrange the anchovies in a lattice pattern. Sprinkle with the Herbes de Province.  Garnish the pattern further by placing olives in the squares created by the anchovy lattice. pissaladiere, plated with brandol      To complete the picture, a simple salad was topped with a lattice of Parmesan curls.  Perfect served with a Bandol wine. The portion shown here is for Dear Husband.  I usually make a meal of 3 slices of pizza + side salad and a glass of wine.  Summer in southern France or Winter in New England, this is a fine meal.

Slow Days: Sister’s Pasta Sauce

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions:  “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?”   To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’   This feature will appear sporadically.                                                                                                                              Now for the answers.  Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight.  There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which show that is true.  But once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t every day.  For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet.  As for how we eat,  an example follows.

When our parents were alive and still hosting Christmas at their house, my sister would prepare her special pasta for Christmas Eve.  It is the tradition in many cultures to eat a meatless dinner on December 24, and this recipe from Bon Appétit magazine fills the bill.  It is a lot easier if you start several days before to prepare the sauce. I like to make it much earlier in December and freeze it.Sukey Pasta, mise 1

The sauce involves sautéing 1.5 cups onion and 1 clove garlic in 2 Tbsp olive oil for 5 minutes, then adding basil, red pepper flakes, and 3 cans [28-oz cans] of whole or crushed tomatoes in their juice.  Cook uncovered on low for 2 hours, then add 2 cups chicken stock. Continue to simmer for another 2 hours until the amount of sauce is reduced to 6-8 cups. The resultant rich, flavorful sauce is mostly used in the Christmas Pasta, but it will grace a more humble dish as well.

To complete the pasta dish for four people, cook 12 oz of penne pasta until it is just under-done. [NB: Ordinarily I use 2 oz pasta per serving so this should serve 6 people.  The remainders from this meal can be served as lunch.]  Gently heat 20 fl oz Sister’s Pasta Sauce, adding 1/3 cup of quartered wrinkly black olives or Kalamata olives and 2 cups grated Havarti cheese. Combine with the drained pasta and put in a lightly-oiled casserole dish.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top and bake at 350° F for 20-30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese begins to brown slightly. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve with Italian Green Beans or Green Salad and a crusty loafSister's Pasta, plated.

I’m always sure to save out enough sauce to prepare the pasta again before Easter, to give a culinary link to the two holidays.

Slow Days: Apple-Chicken Crepes

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions:  “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?”   To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’   This feature will appear sporadically.                                                                                                                              Now for the answers.  Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight.  There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which tell the tale.  But once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t every day.  For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet.  As for how we eat,  an example follows.

Remember those crêpes we made last month?  [November 10, 2018]  Here’s a delicious way to use some of them. The recipe is from Brittany Gastronomique by Kate Whiteman.Apple-Chicken Crepe recipe

Having had on hand some chicken meat, some apples, and some crêpes — we couldn’t resist having a go at this recipe.  It was our 2nd time of cooking it.Apple-Chicken Crepes, miseAs you can see, the chicken was already cooked, so this was extra easy to prepare.  The chicken/apple/cream/honey/cidre were combined as per the recipe.  The crêpes, previously prepared and thawed, were gently heated before using.  Fill the crêpes and serve!Apple-Chicken Crepes, platedêServed with a simple salad, the meal is excellent.  Add a honeyed cidre called Chouchenn from the Iles de la Madelaine and it is ambrosial.

Slow Days: Turkey Roulade

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions:  “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?”   To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’   This feature will appear sporadically.                                                                                                                              Now for the answers.  Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight.  There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which tell that tale.  But once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t every day.  For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet.  As for how we eat, an example follows.

American Thanksgiving is coming up so of course we will eat turkey.  But an entire turkey is too much for two people with smaller appetites, so we have a work-around.  We order a 15-pound turkey from our butcher at Roy’s Market and have it cut in two pieces lengthwise. The two halves are then brined.  One half goes in the freezer for later while the remaining breast [skin still intact] and thigh are boned [skin to stock pot].Turkey Roulade, meat

The leg is put into the stock pot along with the bones, the wing tip, and the giblets. [The resulting stock of course forms the basis of gravy and turkey soup]. The breast is butterflied.Turkey Roulade, butterflied

Stuffing is prepared according to my mother’s recipe. Some is baked in a small dish and 2-3 cups are saved out for the turkey.  Arrange the dark meat overlapping on the white meat so it forms a fairly uniform rectangle. Strew with salt. Distribute the stuffing over the meat, keeping it 1-2″ from the long edges. Turkey Roulade, ready to roll Roll up the meat with the stuffing inside and place the wing [For wing lovers like me!] across one end. [weight = 4.5 pounds]  Tie ‘like a Genoa sail,’ says my Dear Husband.  Extra hands may be needed for this. This is done the evening before Thanksgiving and refrigerated.  The next day, the roulade is baked at 425° F for 30 minutes, then at 325° for up to 45 minutes.Turkey Roulade, roastedSlice 1″ thick and serve with all your favorite sides. So easy to serve. The perfect way to feed two people [three if a son comes home] for one feast, and 2 meals of left-overs.Turkey Roulade, slicedTurkey Rouldad, plated

Happy Thanksgiving!  We have much for which to be thankful.  We need to remember that every day and help those around us who are less fortunate.

Slow Days: Crepes

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’   This feature will appear sporadically.

Now for the answers.  Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight.  There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forumwhich tell that tale.  Once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday.  For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet.  As for how we eat, an example follows.

Crêpes are one of the most versatile foods: for breakfast, dinner, or dessert there is an infinite variety of ways to fill, top, and eat them.  Slow Days or Fast Days, crêpes are easy to prepare and easy to eat.  I hope this photo essay will inspire you.

The ingredients are straightforward.  The more difficult item would be buckwheat flour, but you might be able to find Bob’s Red Mill brand.  Here are the ingredients:Crepes, mise

[The liquid in the Pyrex cup is 1.75 cups of ‘water’, but I use water drained from cooking vegetables and/or potatoes for more nutrients. That’s why it looks as it does.]                       Next you combine the flours and slowly whisk in the water.Crepes, step one

Then whisk in the eggs, followed by the salt.Crepes, step 2

Now whisk it as if you meant it for a few minutes, until the batter runs off the whisk ‘in ropes.’Crepes, step 3

Cover lightly and let the batter sit on the counter for 30 minutes to 2 hours. It could sit in the refrigerator over night, if you wanted to use it the next morning.Crepes, step 4

Whisk again before using.  Next, I heat two 8″ cast iron pans.  They are well seasoned and that is important.  Put a little butter in each pan, then use a paper towel to wipe the butter over the inside of the pan. Save the paper towel for later.Crepes, sep 5

Now you’ll need a pot holder and a 1/4 cup measure.  Hold the skillet handle in one hand and use the 1/4 cup measure as a dipper to scoop up some batter.  Pour most of the batter in the pan while you tilt and tip the pan in such a way that the batter spreads over the bottom. This might take some practice, but you do not have to get them thin or perfectly round.  Cook each crêpe until the edges dry and lift from the bottom.  You may notice little bubbles or holes on the crêpe. These 3 things tell you it is time to turn them.Crepes, step 6

Did you notice that the crepe is not perfectly formed? It is rustic!  Take each crêpe from the pan and lay them on a tea towel to cool. Every 3 crepes, wipe the paper towel with the butter on the bottom of the skillet.  Keep going until you have used all the batter or freeze what is remaining to cook and use later. HINT: I usually cook more crepes than I’ll need for a recipe, then freeze them in a zipper bag.

What to do with those lovely rounds of goodness?

Chicken Ratatouille Crepes
Chicken-Ratatouille Crepes for dinner…
Mushroom-Egg Crepe
Mushroom-Egg Crepes for breakfast…
Ham & Cheese Crepes
Ham & Cheese Crepes for lunch

 

 

 

 

Slow Days: Pork Schnitzel

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions:  “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?”   To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’   This feature will appear sporadically.                                                                                                                              Now for the answers.  Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight.  There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which tell that tale.  Once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t every day.  For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet.  As for how we eat, an example follows.

KJL, a local butcher shop offers breaded pork schnitzel, and who can resist?  If this treat is not deep fat fried, it can be very healthy, as well as quick to prepare. “Schnitzel” is not a recipe as in ‘Wiener Schnitzel‘ or ‘Jaeger Schnitzel,’ but rather refers to a thin cut of meat, whether veal or pork, made thinner by pounding.Pork Schnitzel, mise

From the freezer, I took some watercress sauce with cream [top] and some apples sautéed  in butter and sugar [bottom]. The sugar was a good flavor foil to the tartness of the watercress.  Fresh mushrooms [center] were added to those to make a sauce.

The schnitzels weighed 5.25 oz each, so I cut them in half after sautéing in some butter and cooking spray. I ate 1/2 of one, while Dear Husband ate two halves. [The other half went for lunch another day.]  Fresh beets and roasted little potatoes rounded out the meal. Delicious and so simple.Pork Schnitzel, plated

Slow Days: Pizza with Leek & Bleu Cheese

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions:  “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?”   To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’   This feature will appear sporadically.                                                                                                                              Now for the answers.  Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight.  There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which tell that tale.  But once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t every day.  For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet.  As for how we eat,  an example follows.

When the boys were young, I’d make home-made, personal-sized [8″ diameter] pizzas and we’d all watch Star Trek, The Next Generation every Saturday.  Memories are made that way.  The boys are dispersed to their own homes [one of them still makes pizza], and we continue to eat pizza, every Saturday. This one is based on a recipe from Fore Street, a favorite restaurant in Portland, Maine. Forestreet Pizza recipe

I make my own pizza shells from scratch. Sometimes I use the recipe from Gourmet magazine, which makes 2. Often I use the Neapolitan recipe from Peter Reinhart‘s American Pie, which makes six balls of dough, 5-6 oz each. I freeze balls of dough to use next week. NB: ordinarily I sauté the mushrooms and leeks before I put them on the pizza.  For some reason I didn’t do that this time.  It was crunchier as a result. Next time, I’ll sauté them.Feor Street Pizza, miseFore Street Pizza, plated

I usually eat 3 pieces of pizza, while Dear Husband eats all of his. This was enjoyed with a Dutcher Crossing red wine and a good friend as a guest.

Slow Day: Lime-marinated Chicken

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions:  “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?”   To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’   This feature will appear sporadically.                                                                                                                              Now for the answers.  Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight.  There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which tell the tale.  But once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t every day.  For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet.  As for how we eat,  an example follows.

Lime-marinated chicken came to us from our younger son and his friend Angela, both of whom are very handy in the kitchen. Lime marinade for chicken:pork    The marinade is simplicity itself, but the meat must sit in it for 4+ hours  — so plan ahead.  What seems to be a puny amount of marinade grows into a lot more as time goes on.  Use it for basting.  The chicken can be grilled or baked. note: I skinned half of the chicken to account for varying tastes.  Fine either way.Lime-marinated chicken, mise

Served with sliced tomatoes and potato salad, this is one of those prefect Summer meals.

Lime Marinated Chicken, plated

PS: We always use this for chicken, but our son says it is fabulous with pork, too.

Slow Days: pan bagne

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions:  “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?”   To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’   This feature will appear sporadically.                                                                                                                              Now for the answers.  Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight.  There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which tell the tale.  But once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t every day.  For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet.  As for how we eat,  an example follows.

Pan Bagne means ‘bathed bread.‘  It is a layered sandwich which is ‘bathed’ in an olive oil dressing. Pan Bagne recipe    We like it for 2 reasons: a] it is delicious;  b] it should be made a day or two ahead of when you need it.  Easy to prepare, once you have assembled the ingredients, Pan Bagne makes a delightful meal for summer entertaining or for a picnic. Pan Bagna, mise    We especially like it as end-of-the-road food: for when we have traveled long hours to our vacation cottage.  After unpacking, the Pan Bagne is brought out [after 2 days of cooling], sliced, and served with a chilled drink and a sigh of relief. Here it is offered up with A Rossignol Estate Saint Jean White.Pan Bagne, plated