Under the Influence: Italy

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Dominus O. Markham and bloghealth1 and Youth and Healthy and Scot Henry who are now Following.

Italian cooks are under the influence. No, they are neither drunk nor drugged, so let’s follow a culinary trail…. Central and Southern Italian cuisine involves tomatoes — everyone knows that. And in the North, there’s cornmeal polenta. And that’s been since forever, right? Well, no. Tomatoes and corn are not native to Italy or even to Europe. Spanish colonizers brought those foods from meso-America back to Europe in the early 1500s. The Spanish were not that impressed. From there, tomatoes and corn spread to Italy, where, by the 1600s, they were embraced like long lost relatives and quickly made part of the food culture. Tomato sauces and salads and pizzas abound all over the country, and corn shows up in the iconic polenta of the North — I even ate kernels of corn on a pizza in Rome. Italy owes much of its culinary traditions to the influence of far-away Indigenous Americans. Fancy that!

Our breakfast features tomatoes as part of a famously delicious Italian sauce, while dinner involves cornmeal polenta. You too can be under the influence.

Puttenesca Bake: 127 calories 6 g fat 0.6 g fiber 7.7 g protein 10 g carbs [10 g Complex] 77.7 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPB GF  Once you have Puttenesca Sauce in the freezer, preparing this breakfast is very easy.

one 2-oz egg 1½ Tbsp Puttenesca sauce, drained of excess liquid   ½ Tbsp Parmesan, grated ¼ cup peaches, fresh or canned in light juice   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]

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!

Seafood with Polenta & Vegetables: 291 calories 8.5 g fat 3.7 g fiber 30 g protein 28 g carbs [24 g Complex] 180 mg Calcium  PB GF  Mediterranean Food, anyone? Here it is, a splendid way to eat healthily.

oops! This photo shows 3 logs of polenta when it should have only 2.

½ cup Mediterranean Vegetables without chickpeas   2 ‘logs’ of home-made polenta, from a batch with 6 ‘logs’ 4 oz fish such as cod or tilapia, raw or cooked ¾ oz mushrooms, sliced 3 Tbsp Parmesan, grated Prepare or thaw the polenta. Prepare or thaw the Mediterranean Vegetables. Stir in the mushrooms and sea food and simmer, covered, until the fish is cooked through. Place the polenta on the side of the plate and spoon the warm mixture on top. Top with the grated cheese and enjoy your taste of Italy.

Berthe Morisot

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to adrianus67 and Ketoonbay and dvepublishing and Home Fat Loss Workout who are now Following.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saint Genevieve

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Presented here is a meal for TWO people.

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

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

Sausage

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.

In English it is ‘sausage.’ In German, ‘wurst.’ In French, ‘saucisse.’ In China, xiāngcháng. The English and French words derive from the latin ‘salsicia’ meaning salted. Sausages are ground meat of any kind, combined with flavorings and stuffed into a tube formed by the intestines of animals. This is why many think that Otto von Bismarck said, “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” [but he didn’t] As cool weather arrives, around St Martin’s Day, meat animals are killed on farms all over the world: the animal has been fattened; it is more economical to kill it than to continue to feed it; the weather is cool enough to provide natural refrigeration for the meat. Farm wives are brilliant at getting the most out of any food resource, so they take the little scraps of meat that cling to the bone and make sausage in a wide range of varieties.

Our menus today feature sausage for breakfast, paired with apple in a winning combination. The dinner is the central-European classic, sausage with sauerkraut, another marriage made in heaven.

Sausage-Apple ScrOmelette: 152 calories 10 g fat 0.5 g fiber 13 g protein 3.5 g carbs 43 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF   A hearty breakfast to start your day right.

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.  1 link chicken breakfast sausage = 35 calories per sausage ¾ oz apple sage, fresh or dried   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]

Dice the sausage and apple. Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Add the sausage/apple and stir to warm them and cook them a bit. Whisk the eggs with the sage, salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the sausage/apple in the pan. Scramble to your favorite degree of doneness. Partake of your beverages of choice.

Sauerkraut and Sausage: 255 calories 5.7 g fat 12.6 g fiber 21 g protein 33.5 g carbs 196.4 mg Calcium  GF PB  Does this meal make you picture over-weight Teutons? Brunhilde, anyone? Now check the calories and change your mind. Sauerkraut is a great choice for dieting. 

1½ cups sauerkraut, canned or bagged or fresh 2 tsp caraway seed 2 oz applesauce, unsweetened ½ cup onions, chopped coarsely 1 cob-smoked chicken sausage with apple [OR any other sausage with 110 calories] left whole or sliced into ½” chunks 1½ cups raw collard greens OR kale OR chard, chopped or sliced cross-wise in ¼” strips [chiffonade]  salt + garlic powder + pepper to taste.

Thaw the sausage, if it is frozen. Cook it partly, if it is raw. Combine the sauerkraut, caraway seed, applesauce, and onions in a saucepan large enough to hold the sausage [if leaving whole]. Cook slowly, uncovered until half of the liquid is gone. Add the sausage, cover, and continue to cook until everything is hot. Meanwhile, put the collards into ½ cup water with seasonings, and cook covered until the greens are tender, about 10 minutes.

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

cantaloup melon1.5 two-oz eggs 
prosciutto + balsamic vinegarAzores cheese or Gouda
red onion picklepimenta da Queijo
mint or basil + Parmesan cheesekiwi fruit
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Halibutlima beans + green [snap] beans
side saladcorn kernels + corned beef
Rhubarb agrodolce or tomato salsacanned white beans
[tomato, green pepper, onion, jalapeño, garlic, cider vinegar]polenta
Sparkling waterSparkling water

St Clement

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to apetitegirlsguideto2964 who is now Following.

” “Oranges and lemons,’ say the bells of St. Clements” according to the nursery rhyme. There is dispute as to whether that was St Clement Danes or St Clement Eastcheap, but that doesn’t matter since the poem is more about word play than churches. First printed in 1744, the poem could be discussing various trades working in London at the time. The real Saint Clement was the 2nd or 3rd pope in Rome, Italy. In the 1st century, his Christian faith drew the ire of the Romans and he was arrested. Exiled to a forced labor camp [in modern-day Ukraine], he ministered to and converted his fellow prisoners. For that, he was drowned in the Black Sea, tied to an anchor. In Rome, is the Church of San Clemente. To visit it is to take a trip through time. The church has been excavated to reveal 3 sub-levels: a 2nd-century Roman house; a 3rd-century temple of the Cult of Mithras; a 4th-century church dedicated to St Clement. And on the street level, the current basilica, finished in 1108 in fine Romanesque style. When in Rome, it is worth a visit.

November 23 is the Feast of Saint Clement. Legend has it that the fruit called ‘clementines’ are named for a Moroccan orphanage. Not true, but we will enjoy clementines in our breakfast. Since St Clement was sent ‘to swim with the fishes,’ our dinner will be a seafood take on an Italian classic.

Mango-Citrus Parfait: 284 calories 7 g fat 2.6 g fiber 24.5 g protein 29 g carbs [21 g Complex] 336 mg Calcium  PB GF Fast Food Restaurants decided years ago to offer ‘healthy options’ in the form of yogurt parfaits. Full-fat yogurt, fruit, and lots of high-fat granola. Poor choice. Here is a more acceptable breakfast option, full of protein yet low in fat and enough calories to keep you going for hours.  NB: This could be a healthy Slow Day lunch option.

½ cup reduced-fat cottage cheese ½ cup plain fat-free yogurt 1 oz mango, diced ½ clementine [skin it and use half the segments] 2 Tbsp granola  Optional: coffee with ¼ c skimmed milk and ½ tsp sugar [30 calories] or blackish tea  NO SMOOTHIE

Stir the cottage cheese and yogurt to combine thoroughly. Divide the fruit into two portions. Spoon half of the dairy mixture into a wide-mouthed wine glass and top with half the fruit. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp of granola. Repeat with the remaining ingredients in the same order, topping with granola. Prepare the coffee and enjoy that dairy-fruit goodness.

Fish Parmesan:  238 calories 2.6 g fat 4.7 g fiber 31 g protein 11 g carbs 242.5 mg Calcium   PG GF – if using GF breadcrumbs  A new version of the restaurant classic, made suitable for Fasters. And it is delicious. 

4 oz fish, firm-fleshed variety — tilapia works nicely 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated 1 tsp dried oregano + 1/2 tsp thyme ¼ oz whole-grain breadcrumbs, fresh not dried 1 Tbsp milk ¼ cup marinara sauce, homemade or jarred ¾ oz mozzerella, grated 2 Tbsp low-fat cottage cheese 2 oz green beans

Heat the toaster oven to 350F. 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, herbs, and bread crumbs with salt and pepper. Cream the other two cheeses together until well-combined. Dip the fish in the milk on both sides. Dredge the fish in the crumb/cheese mixture to coat it completely. Place on the oven-proof pan and spray with olive oil. Bake the fish about 10 minutes, until golden. Top the fish 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 green beans and plate with the fish. Light the candle stuck in the wine bottle for atmosphere.

oranges and lemons, say the bells of st Clemens: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Clement%27s,_Eastcheap#%22Oranges_and_Lemons%22

Soup Time!

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, 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.

Soup is the dieter’s friend. Around the world, when people want to eat something nourishing and filling, soup is the answer. Isn’t that what we want on a Fast Day — to be filled up with delicious food that still stays within the bounds of propriety? It is getting chilly here in the Northern Hemisphere, time to stock the freezer with home-made soups. Here are three favorites, from France, Thailand, and China. More, please.

Cabbage-Sausage Soup: 264 calories 11 g fat 5 g fiber 14 g protein 25.5 g carbs [22 g Complex] 66 mg Calcium  PB GF Since this is Jacques Pepin’s recipe, I’ll let him say it:  “When the weather gets cooler in the fall, I make soup. I generally cook up a big batch and freeze some for whenever I need it. This one, with sausage, potatoes, and cabbage, is hearty and good for cold weather. HINT: Makes 6 one-cup servings.

8 ounces mild Italian sausage meat 1½ cups onions, sliced 6 scallions, cut into ½-inch pieces (1¼ cups) 6 cups water 1 cup chickpeas 16 oz potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks 8 ounces savoy cabbage, chopped/sliced 1¼ teaspoons salt

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

Thai shrimp and Noodle Soup:  272 calories 2 g fat 4 g fiber 26 g protein 37.6 g carbs 82.4 mg Calcium  PB  This soup is superb, whether on a hot summer night or in the winter. HINT: serves 2. Invite a guest or save for a lunch later in the week. This is warm and wonderful and spicy and filling.

6 oz raw shrimp, shelled, tails removedThaw the shrimp in a bowl, then strain the liquid in the bowl into a 1-cup measuring cup. Add water to bring volume to 1 cup.  Put the shrimp in the liquid, and simmer until shrimp is opaque. Remove shrimp and go to next step:
46 gm rice vermicelli noodles [one small ‘bundle’ of noodles]Bring shrimp-water to boil, add vermicelli, cover and take off heat. After 4 minutes, drain, reserving the cooking water. Rinse and reserve the noodles.
2 pinches crushed red pepper 1 Tbsp Thai fish sauce 2 Tbsp lime juice 2 tsp sugar 1 Tbsp Thai green curry paste Put the shrimp-water, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and curry paste in a pan together. Warm while whisking to combine.
3 oz carrots, grated  1 c. spinach leaves, loosely packed, then coarsely chopped Add the carrots, saving some for a crunchy garnish. Add the spinach. Simmer the liquids until carrots and spinach are tender.
2 scallions, thinly sliced 1 oz grated carrotCut the shrimp in half cross-wise and add to soup. Serve soup with chopped scallion and grated carrot garnish.

Wonton Soup: 257 calories 34 g fat 1 g fiber 23.7 g protein 29 g carbs 25 mg Calcium  PB Cantonese wonton soup can be your’s, easily and without the extra salt or MSG. I prepared the entire batch of filling, then stuffed and poached all 26 wontons. Frozen, they will be the ‘instant’ source of future meals or an addition to a Dim Sum assortment.

Filling: 4 oz ground pork 4 oz chicken meat ½ tsp cornstarch ¾ tsp sugar 1 tsp sesame oil ¼ tsp white pepper ¾ tsp salt 1 Tbsp water 1 Tbsp sherry 4 oz shrimp, chopped to the size of green peas Combine all ingredients except the shrimp in the bowl of a food processor and mince to a paste. Stir in the shrimp. Refrigerate until ready to fill the wontons. TIP: Can be made the day before.

Filling the Wontons: Wonton skins are small squares of egg-roll wrappers, 5 wonton skins per bowl of soup 26 skins for the entire batch. Put 4-6 wonton skins on a cutting board. Moisten two edges of one of the squares. Place 1 Tbsp of filling on the square, fold over to make a triangle, and pinch the sides together. Set aside until ready to poach them.

Poaching filled wontons: Bring a pan of water to boil. Depending on the diameter of the pan, add wontons 4-5 at a time. They will sink to the bottom of the pan. When they float to the surface [in 4-5 minutes], fish them out and put on a tea towel to drain.

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

low-fat cottage cheese 1.5 two-oz eggs
plain fat-free yogurt37-calorie chicken breakfast sausage
mangoapple + sage
clementineparsley + oregano
granolaoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

firm-fleshed white fishsauerkraut + caraway seed
marinara sauce + green beanscollard greens or similar
Parmesan cheese + mozzarellaapplesauce + garlic powder
fresh bread for crumbs110-calorie sausage + onion
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Santa Fe Trail

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

The Santa Fe Trail is the stuff of legends. First Nations people traded goods between current Mexico and the American upper mid-West centuries ago. In the early days of the American Republic, there was a strong desire to find a route from the East to the supposed riches of Mexico. The route was traveled for the first time in 1821, by William Becknell and four companions who arrived at Santa Fe on November 16. Running from Santa Fe, Mexico to Independence, Missouri, the trail became a major trade link between the Mexican North and the central USA. Fortunes were made, as people at one end were eager to buy what people at the other end wanted to sell. By 1848, Santa Fe found itself to be part of the United States, following the Mexican-American War. By 1880, the railroad pushed so far west that the trail was obsolete and much of the American West was changed forever.

Our menus today feature the flavors of the American South-West — Mexican food and bison — what could be more appropriate for the Santa Fe Trail?

Enchilada Bake:  140 calories 6 g fat 1.7 g fiber 15 g protein 12.5 g carbs [11 g Complex] 75 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beverages.  PB GF  Since we enjoy enchiladas for dinner, why not have the same flavors at breakfast?

1 two-oz egg 1 Tbsp crushed tomatoes, slightly drained ½ oz green chili pepper, minced 1 Tbsp plain, non-fat yogurt ¼ oz chicken breast, cooked and chopped 1/8 oz Monterey Jack or Cheddar ½ tsp cornmeal ¼ tsp oregano [Mexican, if you can find it] pinch chili roja [red pepper flakes]  2 oz apple OR applesauce  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and set the toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Put the cornmeal and minced chilis into an ungreased cast iron skillet and toast it over direct heat until cornmeal becomes darker in color and fragrant. Do not let it burn or scorch. Remove from hot pan to a bowl. Into the ramekin, put the chicken and the cheese. HINT: you can do this the night before. Whisk together the egg, cornmeal, chilis, half of the yogurt, and seasonings, and pour into the ramekin. Bake 12- 15 minutes while you portion the fruit and prepare the beverages. Top the eggs with the remaining dollop of yogurt.

Bison Chiliper cup – 136 calories 3 g fat 4.8 g fiber 13 g protein 14.5 g carbs 57 mg Calcium  PB GF  This chili is based on my mother’s recipe. Using bison meat gives good flavor to this classic. HINT: makes 4 [four] one-cup servings

4 oz ground bison 15 oz canned diced tomatoes – drained in a sieve [save the juice] 1 clove garlic, chopped 1 cup red onion, chopped ½ cup green pepper, chopped ¾ cup canned red or black beans, drained and rinsed 2-4 tsp chili powder + ¾ tsp salt + ½ to 1 tsp ground cumin 2 oz melon [adds 20 calories]

Cook the venison, onion, garlic, and green pepper in some of the tomato juices until vegetables are tender. Add remaining ingredients and cook gently until the chili is hot throughout. Taste to see if it needs more seasoning. 

Rodin

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. 

When Dear Husband went to Paris for the first time, one stop he just had to make was the Rodin Museum. The Thinker. The Kiss. The Burghers of Calais. What feeling those statues evoke — it bowls you over! Auguste Rodin was born on November 12, 1840. His struggles at school made him turn increasingly to sketching — undiagnosed with myopia and he could see his sketches, but not the black-board. At age 13 he took art lessons and eventually became skilled as a ‘decorative artist.’ But making ‘pretty’ things was not his goal. He wanted to show emotion and realism. Twice Rodin entered ‘Man with a Broken Nose‘ in the Paris Salon. It was rejected — twice. At last his work, The Vanquished [aka: The Age of Bronze], won him the acclaim that began his career. Although famous, he was never rich. His studio was in an abandoned mansion which he and other artists took over as squatters. He lived there with his life-long partner Rose Beuret. Upon his death, he left his works to the French Nation with three conditions: that they make his studio into a museum; that the work of his muse/student/lover Camille Claudel be displayed; and that a fund be set up to help young artists financially.

Rodin, as a creator of art, was always working and re-working his ideas. In clay, in plaster, in metal, he would make small models of a larger plan until he got it right. Instead of a full-sized quiche, we’ll enjoy mini-quiches tomorrow, served with slices of the mini-pear, Forelle. As an impoverished artist, a nourishing stew of chickpeas would have been a real hit with him and Rose. And Camille.

Mini-Quiche Breakfast: 144 calories 7.4 g fat 1.4 g fiber 9.6 g protein 9 g carbs 189 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF A delightful way to breakfast. So simple, too.

3 mini-quiches 1 1/2 oz pear   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  

To Make 4 mini-quiches: 1 two-oz egg herbs + salt + pepper 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp ricotta 0.6 oz mozzarella 2/3 Jarlsberg 1 oz broccoli 1/3 oz onion Spritz 4 of the holes of a muffin pan with non-stick spray. Whisk the eggs with the ricotta, herbs, salt, and pepper. Grate the hard cheeses and mix them gently but thoroughly in a bowl. Steam the broccoli and onion, then chop and stir together to combine. Divide the vegetables among 4 muffin holes. ~ 1 Tbsp/hole Then portion the hard cheeses on top of the vegetables. Pour the egg mixture over the cheeses, then stir each quiche with a wooden skewer or chopstick. Bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes – take out of the oven when they are puffed and golden. Let cool briefly before removing from muffin tin. 

Prepare the mini-quiches. While they are baking [or coming to room temperature if baked previously], cube the melon and mix with the blueberries in a pretty dish. Plate with the quiches and pour the beverage of choice. There’s a nice start to your day!

Chickpea Ragout with Meat: nb: entire batch has 484 calories, so divide into portions. The portion size you choose would be dictated by the type and quantity of meat. GF PB divided in 2:  242 calories 5 g fat 10 g fiber 11.7 g protein 40 g carbs 51 mg Calcium divided in 4:  121 calories 3 g fat 5 g fiber 6 g protein 20 g carbs 26 mg Calcium

This is from Jacques Pepin’s Fast Food My Way. Although he doesn’t mean my kind of ‘Fast Food,’ Pepin has long been a proponent of healthy cooking. He presents this as a side dish, but for our purposes it is excellent prepared as a main course with seafood or or meat for more protein. Here, you have three meat options from which to choose.

½ tsp olive oil ½ cup diced onions ½ cup scallions, chopped 1 Tbsp garlic, chopped 2 cups diced tomatoes, fresh or canned and drained 1½ cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed if canned ½ cup chicken stock ½ tsp salt + ½ tsp pepper

Heat the oil in a saute pan. Add the onion, scallion and garlic. Stir briefly over the heat then add the tomatoes, chickpeas, salt, and pepper. Cook over low heat until liquids are mostly evaporated. If using now, separate out your portion and keep warm. Cool the remaining ragout and freeze it in serving portions.

3 oz chicken breast: if cooked, mix in with the ragout to warm the meat. if meat is raw, add to the pan along with the tomatoes and chickpeas 3 oz pork tenderloin: if cooked, mix in with the ragout to warm the meat if meat is raw, add to the pan along with the tomatoes and chickpeas 2 oz lean beefnot ground beef: if cooked, mix in with the ragout to warm the meat. If meat is raw, add to pan along with the tomatoes and chickpeas

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

1 two-oz egg + apple/applesauceNext week, I will
crushed tomatoes + chicken breastdiscuss soups.
plain yogurt + green chili pepperChoose a new favorite
Monterey Jack + cornmealbreakfast from Archives
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

ground bison + red onionChoose a new dinner
diced tomatoes + garlic favorite from the
green sweet pepper + ground cuminArchives
canned red beans + chili powder
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Blacked Out

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

On November 8, 1965, there was a massive power outage in seven states of the North Eastern USA. It began during rush hour, which lead to further complications: 800,000 people in New York City stuck in subway cars; no streetlights or traffic signals; no elevators to move office workers from their skyscraper aeries. Power was off for up to 13 hours in some places. People feared that sabotage or maybe espionage was responsible, but the fault lay in a power relay on the Canadian side [sorry, Canada] of Niagara Falls that over-loaded, which caused a power surge, which overloaded circuits all the way down to New York. New Yorkers seem to have taken it in stride: they shared flashlights, helped neighbors, directed traffic, and came out on the streets for camaraderie. Few incidents of burglary or looting. Mostly, people remembered seeing the stars for the first time — which left them both fearful and awe-struck. I sure hope we can all come together in these difficult times, just as people did 55 years ago. We can show our better natures in a crisis.

Our meals today feature a classic breakfast from Manhattan, NYC, and a meal that could easily be put together if the power went out, leaving one at the mercy of whatever is in the ‘fridge.

Horseradish-Cheesy Bake: 143 calories 7.5 g fat 1 g fiber 8.7 g protein 7 g carbs 78.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the Bake and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  David Rosengarten’s unusual cookbook It’s All American Food takes the reader on a tour of American ethnic and regional foods, and tells you how to make those treats in your own kitchen. This recipe is from the Manhattan restaurant Barney Greengrass, where they are renowned for their breakfasts.

One 2-oz egg ½ Tbsp crushed tomato 1 Tbsp cheddar/horseradish spread*** 1 Tbsp chives, minced 2 oz apricots   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]

***Cheddar-Horseradish Spread 2 Tbsp WisPride Cheddar spread OR Kraft Old English Cheddar spread  4 [or more] tsp prepared horseradish [the kind in a jar] Cream together thoroughly. Save the rest for another day or another use.

Set the toaster oven at at 350 degrees F. Spritz a ramekin with oil or non-stick spray. Vigorously whisk the egg, cheeses, and chives until well combined and pour into the ramekin. Put in the oven [it doesn’t need to be hot yet] and bake 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, brew your beverage of choice and prep the apricots. This will kick-start your day.

Cold Beef Plate:  292 calories 3.7 g fat 5 g fiber 28 g protein 33 g carbs 17.6 mg Calcium Here’s a simple, no-fuss meal. Use either meat from a roast or from the deli. Rather French, with the cornichons and Dijon mustard. Perfect during a power outage or at the end of a busy day.

3 oz cold, sliced beef roast — left-overs or slices from the deli ½ cup [about 3 oz] pickled beets 1 oz small pickles — cornichons preferred, but baby dill pickles will do 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 oz sourdough rye bread

Plate to your own aesthetic taste. But do plate it – avoid the temptation to stand in front of the open ‘fridge and just graze. Do it up right and sit down to enjoy it.

Foods in Wrappers, 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.

I am fascinated by similarities among diverse cuisines from around the world. In geology, a layer of sedimentary rock can stretch for hundreds of miles. The source material was the same, but as it was deposited, small variations creep in so that in some cases the further you follow that stratum, the more it looks like a completely different rock. Around the world there are meals made of food in wrappers. All with different fillings, all with different seasonings, all with different wrappings: yet all those creative cooks had a similar inspiration: let’s take this and wrap it in an edible envelope! Today, we will look at four far-flung examples: from France, India, Mexico, and Italy.

Egg-Mushroom Galette/Crepe:  153 calories  6 g fat 2 g fiber 9 g protein 16.8 g carbs [11.3 g Complex] 39 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg crepe and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPB This is yummy. The eggs are creamy, the mushrooms are earthy, and the crepe is nutty. See “Jean Baptiste” for recipe details.

Momos with Chicken: 222 calories 1.5 g fat 2 g fiber 15.4 g protein 30 g carbs [6.5 g Complex Carbs] 58 mg Calcium  PB  Steamed momos are one of the most popular street foods of Northern India, due to the influence of neighboring Nepal and the fact that they are delicious. Try them and you will agree. Looks long and complex, but it is do-able. See “Deli & Delhi” for preparation details.

Quesadillas : 295 cal 9 g fat 2.7 g fiber 19 g protein 31.4 g carb 211.5 mg Calcium  GF These are great. We return to this recipe often for a quick, enjoyable meal. And you can prepare and cook them ahead! Wrap in foil, and reheat them later. Thanks to Suzy M. for that tip. See For Gunn & Grommet for recipe details.

Tortellini with Black Kale:  209 calories 9 g fat 3.5 g fiber 10 g protein 24 g carbs [7.4 g Complex] 231 mg Calcium  PB  Packaged, dried tortellini is a handy item to have in the pantry. It makes for a fine Tuscan meal when pared with Black Kale. ‘Black Kale’ is also called ‘Dinosaur Kale’ or ‘Tuscan Kale.’ The recipe is from ‘thekitchn.’  Another very simple meal with a lot of appeal. An ounce of bread could be added while keeping the calories in line. See S.A.D. for recipe details.

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

1 two-oz egg + apricot1 two-oz eggs  + blueberries
prepared horseradishricotta cheese + onion
romano cheese + chivesmozzarella cheese
WisPride or Kraft Olde English CheddarJarlsberg cheese + herbs
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

left over roast or boiled beefbeef or pork or chicken meat
mustard + cornicionechickpea ragout
beets, fresh or pickled
Sparkling waterSparkling water