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

Fiesa!

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 hereketoketo who is now Following.

In the plaza of the campus of University of New Mexico is a sculpture garden. The principal work, named “Fiesta Jarabe,” is by Luis Jimenez. Curiously, the work is labeled twice as “Fiesa Jarabe.” This caused much discussion and debate on campus — what did he mean? When asked, the artist shrugged and said, “I forgot to put in the ‘t’.” It is a vibrant work which has stirred controversy ever since 1996 when it was installed: to aggressive, too macho, too sensual, skin-tones too dark. The artist planned it that way. Jimenez’ work celebrates the life of every-day Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in his colors and themes. Sadly, in 2006, he was killed when part of a massive work fell on him in his studio.

The Day of the Dead is one of the biggest holidays in Mexico and it happens November 1st and 2nd. We will celebrate by eating tostadas. “Tostada” refers to both the ingredients [must include something fried, usually the tortilla at the base] and the finished meal itself. At breakfast, the tortilla is ‘fried’ in a dry pan. At dinner, purchased tostadas [fried tortillas] make for a splendid simple supper.

Tostada : 165 calories 6.7 g fat 2 g fiber 9.6 g protein 15 g carbs [14 g Complex] 72 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  GF PB  Use some chili non carne to give this simple breakfast rich flavor. It will keep you going for hours.

one 6” corn tortilla [when you shop, be sure to get tortillas, which have 65 calories each — not wraps] one 2-oz egg 2 Tbsp chili non carne 1 Tbsp Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese, grated   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]

Heat the toaster oven to 350F. Put the chili in a custard cup and put it into the oven to heat. Warm a dry cast iron skillet over med-high heat. Warm the tortilla in the pan on both sides until it is warm and pliable and starting to brown. Remove the tortilla and keep warm in a dish towel. Spritz the skillet with non-stick spray and fry the egg until it is done as you like it. Remove the egg. Spread the chili on the tortilla and return the tortilla to the skillet. Put the egg on the chili and sprinkle with the cheese. Put the pan into the hot oven until the cheese melts. Coffee with cocoa powder completes the Mexican theme. A meal to wake up your mouth.

Tostada for Dinner: 253 calories 13 g fat 5.6 g fiber 10 g protein 25 g carbs 119 mg Calcium  PB GF  Purchased tostada shells were the inspiration for this quick and easy meal. We will definitely enjoy this again!

1 tostada shell [fried corn tortilla @ 85 calories each]** La Real brand 1/3 cup chili non carne  1½ Tbsp Guacamole* ½ oz Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, grated ½ cup Mexican Vegetable Pickles 

Warm the chili and grate the cheese. Plate the tostada and spread it with the guacamole. Spoon the chili on top and spread that to the edges. Sprinkle with the cheese and plate with the pickled vegetables. Ready in minutes, with minimal fuss.

*GUACAMOLE: makes 1 cup 1 Tbsp =17 calories   PB GF   From Rick Bayless, so you know it is authentic. 1 jalapeno pepper 1 cup diced tomatoes 1½ avocados 1/3 cup minced onion ¼ c chopped cilantro leaves salt + lime juice + crushed red pepper to taste

Place the jalepeno in a hot cast iron pan without any fat or oil and cook it on all sides until it blisters and turns black in places. Remove, cool, and cut off the stem end. Slice in half and remove the white ribs inside, along with most of the seeds. Chop the pepper roughly and put into a food processor with the tomatoes. Scoop the pulp out of the avocados and put it in the processor along with the remaining ingredients. Combine until just a little chunky. Taste for seasonings. Freezes nicely.

**NB: if you can’t get tostada shells in your local market, here’s how you can make them from corn tortillas: https://www.thespruceeats.com/baked-crisp-tostada-shells-479060

LHC

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.

The Large Hadron Collider is an enormous machine. It lurks 300 feet underground in a ring of tunnel. The tunnel channels charged particles [protons, which are classified as Hadrons] around and around the ring in opposite directions, eventually to slam the protons into each other inside the LHC. There they splinter into even tinier particles [quarks, gluons] which are detected by the various layers of the machine. On September 10, 2008, the LHC went on-line, a very exciting day for our family. Our Elder Son worked for three years at CERN, the research center that designed and built the LHC, in partnership with universities and science facilities around the world. He was a graduate student in physics and he was building and testing the Muon Filters before they were installed in the End Cap of the collider. Dear Husband and I were thrilled beyond measure to visit him there and to be taken on a tour of the work site. And I have the T-shirt to prove it.

The colors represent various sub-atomic particles leaving a proton collision.

Though an excellent cook, Elder Son nonetheless opted for convenience on workdays: he would prepare a smoothie for breakfast before he caught the bus for work. In that spirit, here is a morning shake to start your day. The dinner involves Swiss Chard, a nod to the fact that CERN is located just outside of Geneva, Switzerland.

Strawberry-Banana-Tofu Smoothie: 199 calories 3.4 g fat 3.7 g fiber 14 g protein 26 g carbs 360 mg Calcium  PB GF This is a dandy ‘shake’ for breakfast or lunch.

2 oz banana ½ c plain, fat free yogurt ½ cup sliced strawberries 2 Tbsp sugar 2.8 oz soft or firm tofu, which is 1/5 of a package 

Put everything in the blender and wizz it on “Low” until it is all chopped up. Then run it at a higher speed until it is smooth. HINT: If you want to, add another ½ cup of yogurt, or skimmed milk which will add more volume and bring the calorie count to 259.

Swiss Chard Fritatta:  284 calories 12.5 g fat 4 g fiber 18.7 g protein 24 g carbs [23 g Complex] 166 mg Calcium  PB GF — if using GF bread or omitting it  Susan Loomis is the source of this recipe, which also can be a wonderful breakfast, scaled down to serve two. HINT: Serves 2 as a main course. Could serve 4-6 as an appetizer.

3 oz swiss chard or fresh spinach 1/3 tsp olive oil 8 oz eggs = 4 two-oz eggs in their shells 3 pinches granulated garlic + 3 pinches salt + large pinch paprika 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 1 oz 7-grain sour-dough bread, or something similarly hearty ¼ cup pickled beets 

Clean the chard by holding the leaf and pulling off the stem. Chop the leaves. Put olive oil in an oven-proof pan that can also be used on the stove-top. Turn on the broiler and move the upper rack to the top. Cook the chopped leaves in the oil until the leaves are limp, adding water as necessary to prevent sticking. Be sure to cook off the water/liquid in the pan. Combine the eggs, cheese and seasonings. Whisk well and pour over the chard in the pan. Cook over medium heat until the bottom is well set [4-5 minutes]. Put under the broiler until the top is cooked. Serve from the pan or slide the fritatta out onto a serving plate.

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

1 two-oz egg + 2 cucumbers1.5 eggs
mint + piment d’empletteParmesan cheese
whole milk + Parmesanapplesauce
Fromage blanc + cantalouphaggis
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

cod cheeks + olive oilSalmon + leek + peas
heavy cream + garlicclam juice/fish stock + cayenne
Dijon mustard + asparagusgarlic + milk + cornstarch
white wine + chivesgreen beans + nutmeg + dill
Sparkling waterSparkling water

St. Lawrence

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 marthabernie who is now Following.

You might ask yourself: Is she going to talk about the Canadian river or about the saint? Both, actually. The Saint was a deacon in the early church in Rome, who was martyred on August 10, 258 CE. Knowing that a crack-down was coming, he is said to have given the church’s wealth to the poor. As a Roman Citizen, he was beheaded, but legend says that he died horribly by fire, cheeky and cheerful to the end. The St. Lawrence River, named after the saint of course, drains the Great Lakes into the Atlantic Ocean, pouring into the wide Gulf of Saint Lawrence. It carries 25% of the world’s fresh water to the sea. The Great Lakes were carved by the action of the glaciers of the Last Glacial Maximum and the river flows along a fault system which accounts for its straight path. The Maritime Provinces of Canada border the Gulf of St Lawrence. Jacques Cartier, arriving in the Gulf on August 10, gave it the name.

From the Maritime Provinces, a fitting breakfast of local flavors. Saints often become ‘patrons’ of certain activities for really twisted reasons. Due to the legend of his death, Lawrence is the patron of grill cooks. Dinner will be grilled.

Maritime Bake:  155 calories 6.5 g fat 1.2 g fiber 16.6 g protein 6 g carbs [5.5 g complex] 84 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPB GF  To us, the Maritimes of Canada are all about seafood, potatoes, local cheese, and lots of the herb Savory, winter or summer. Then there are the strawberries: June/July in Nova Scotia; July in PEI; August in Newfoundland. Good people, good food.

1 two-oz egg ½ oz salt cod [cover with water and soak 30 minutes] 1/8 oz Cheddar OR ADL brand “Old/Fort”, grated 1 tsp dried savory ½ Tbsp dry potato flakes + 1 Tbsp water pepper to taste 2 oz strawberries   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional:  5-6 oz berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

The night before: 1] stir the potato flakes and water together in a small bowl and let sit to moisten. 2] cover the salt cod with water and soak 30 minutes. Drain and flake into small pieces.  Next morning: Spritz a ramekin with cooking spray. Set the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. Combine the potato, cod, and savory and put into the ramekin. Whisk the egg and pour over the cod. Top with grated cheese and bake 12-15 minutes. Prepare your beverages as you like them and plate the berries.

Blue-Burger: 294 calories 6.5 g fat  4.9 g fiber 31 g protein 27 g carbs [10.3 g Complex] 62 mg Calcium The winter 2004 issue of Eating Well  magazine was the inspiration for this recipe. But this version suits our Fasting needs a little better. It is yummy.

3-oz ground bison meat 4 Tbsp blueberries, fresh or frozen 1 Tbsp egg white ¾ tsp Dijon mustard + ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce pinch garlic powder + large pinch black pepper 1 Martin’s potato slider bun cherry tomatoes, grilled     ½ cup coleslaw made with red cabbage instead of green  

Thaw the meat and break it up in a bowl. Add the blueberries and all the flavorings. Gently combine ingredients with your fingers, without squishing the berries. Shape in a patty using a 4” muffin-cutter as a mold. Try not to pack the burger too much, but it does need to hold its shape. Broil or grill 4-5 minutes per side. Serve on a toasted potato bun. Grilled cherry tomatoes are nice as a topper. And don’t forget the coleslaw.

Lammas Oncemore

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 inthecaldron13 who is now Following.

We’ve come another quarter turn in the old Celtic calendar, from Beltane [in May] to Lammas, the Harvest Festival. It runs for several days, as did all good ancient fests, in the first few days of what the Romans called August [after Caesar Augustus]. The Christians co-opted the old celebrations, turning the original Luignasa into Lammas — a corruption of the words ‘Loaf Mass.’ [Though possibly ‘Lady’s Mass’ since the Assumption of Mary is on the 15th.] Thus the harvest festival, marked by making breads from the new grain, became a church service for blessing loaves of bread [probably from the new grain] at a service dedicated to Our Lady. Thus the Grain Mother, embodied in the corn dollies made from the last grain harvested, became the Virgin Mary and the bread became the eucharist.

We’ll bake a Lammas Bread for breakfast on a Slow Day. For our Fast Day, we will celebrate with foods of Summer: BLTs and vegetables at their peak. For a touch of cereal grains, whole-grain bread at breakfast and whole-wheat pasta at dinner. Take some long stalks of grass and learn how to make a corn dolly.

Breakfast BLT:  191 calories 8.6 g fat 4 g fiber 10 g protein 18 g carbs 54 mg Calcium  NB: The food values are for the meal and fruit only and do not include the optional coffee.  PB GF – if using GF bread   A Summer evening favorite is the inspiration for this filling breakfast.

By wrapping the lettuce leaf around one side, you provide a handy place to hold the sandwich while you bite into it.

1 slice whole-grain bread [such as Dave’s Killer Bread] one 2-oz egg 1 strip uncured bacon [the streaky American type @ 30 calories/slice] 0.75 oz tomato, sliced 1 large leaf of lettuce 3 cherries   NB: with the high calorie count, be mindful of the beverages you add to the meal. Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]

Eggplant Patties w/ Onion Marinara: 273 calories 4 g fat 8.3 g fiber 46 g carbs [20 g Complex] 43 mg Calcium   PB GF – if using GF bread/flour/pasta Marcella Hazen, in her Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, gives the recipe for the patties and a sauce in which to serve them. I added the pasta to the meal. Even Dear Husband, who is aubergine-averse, enjoyed these.

A serving should be 4 patties, but only 3 seem to have gotten into this photo…

4 eggplant patties**, portioned with a 1-½ Tbsp scoop 1 oz pasta– If you use a whole grain or high fiber pasta, so much the better ½ cup tomato-onion marinara++ 

**Eggplant Pattiesmakes 7 when using a 1-½ Tbsp scoop = 32 calories each   9 oz eggplant with skin still on 2 Tbsp bread crumbs 1 Tbsp spinach, cut as a chiffonade 1 tsp minced garlic 1 egg yolk 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan 1 Tbsp white whole wheat flour Roast the eggplant at 400F until soft, around 15 minutes. Peel it and cut in rough cubes. Place in a collander over a bowl and let it drain, pressing down lightly. Put in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir with a fork until well-combined. Heat a skillet and spray with non-stick spray. Using a 1-1/2 Tbsp scoop, place the eggplant mixture into the hot pan, flattening it a bit. Cook on each side until starting to brown.

++ Tomato-Onion Marinara makes 1.5 cups  1.5 cups onion, thinly sliced 1.5 cups canned whole tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. Spray a saute pan with non-stick cooking oil and heat it. Add the onions and cook at medium-low until the onions begin to turn golden. Add the tomatoes, chopping them into smaller pieces with a plastic or wooden utensil. Cook until the tomatoes have thickened a bit. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Boil the pasta while the patties are cooking. Heat the marinara, then add the cooked pasta. Put some of the sauce in the center of your plate and position the patties on top. Arrange the pasta and sauce around the center, as pleases your eye.

Who Dunnit? Who Ate It? Chapter III

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

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

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

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

3 Tbsp uncooked Bob’s 10-Grain Cereal   ¼ cup low-fat milk + 1/3 cup water  Toppings: 2 Tbsp blueberries, fresh or frozen + 2 Tbsp milk   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

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

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

Tuna Melt: 309 calories 18.5 g fat 2.9 g fiber 33.1 g protein 24.6 g carbs 300.5 mg Calcium PB GF – if using gf bread  This is the All-American classic sandwich, open-faced and delicious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saint Wilgefort

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 Athletic & Fit who is now Following.

Did you ever hear of Saint Wilgefort? Perhaps by her nickname: Saint Uncumber? No? Well, don’t feel bad, because this saint never existed. She was the creation of active minds seeking the answer to a question and she is the result of an hilarious mix-up of cultures. The Christian Church of the West shows Christ on the cross mostly unclothed, to reveal the gruesome details of his death. The Eastern Church prefers to depict the crucified Christ fully clothed, in the garb of a church leader [as seen in the Holy Face of Lucca]. When images of the Eastern crucifix spread into Northern Europe with missionaries, the non-Christian population, seeing the priestly robes as women’s garb, began to wonder: Why has a woman been killed like that? Why does she have a beard??? Imaginations ran rampant and a plausible explanation emerged, and here is the story: “This was the image of Saint Wilgefort [from the latin for Virgin who is Strong]. She had been the pretty, pliant daughter of a pagan family, but she secretly became a Christian. Her father told her to marry the man of his choosing, which she did not want to do. Wilgefort was going to be forced to marry, so she prayed to heaven to make her look repulsive and thus the wedding would be canceled. Behold! When she awoke on her wedding day, she had grown a full beard! Her prospective groom called off the ceremony and her father demanded an explanation. Hoping to show how strong her faith was, she told him everything. Her father, furious, said if she liked Christians so much, she could die like one and had her crucified.” This idea spread through Europe, popular with young women who wanted to marry for love, and with married women who wanted to get rid of a brute of a spouse. These women wished to ‘uncumber’ themselves of their unwanted men, and now they had a patron saint for that. Believe it or not, there are statues to her in churches and her image was widely distributed in the 1400s, before her following was stamped out by authorities.

July 20 is the feast day of Saint Wilgefort. Since the name ‘Saint Uncumber’ makes me think of cucumbers, both of our meals today will feature that vegetable. You will enjoy these whether you have a beard or not.

Cucumber-Smoked Salmon Sandwich:  143 calories 3.3 g fat 3.7g fiber 10 g protein 18 g carbs 75.7 mg Calcium  NB: The food values are for the meal and fruit only and do not include the optional coffeePB GF – if using GF bread  Such a simple and delicious way to start your day!

1 slice 70-calorie whole grain bread [Dave’s Killer Bread is perfect] 1 Tbsp cottage cheese + 1-½ teaspoons chives, chopped 1 oz smoked salmon, thinly sliced ¼ cup [4 slices?] Swedish Cucumber Salad** 1 oz strawberries

Lightly toast the bread. Cream the cottage cheese and chives together with some grindings of fresh black pepper. Spread the cheese mixture on the bread. Place the salmon on top, then the cucumber slices on top of that. Serve with the sweet, fresh berries. Wonderful.

Tuna Cucumber Boat: 226 calories 9.4 g fat 5.6 g fiber 17.4 g protein 21 g carbs 69 mg Calcium  PB GF  So easy for the summer or anytime.

2 oz cooked or canned tuna one 8 oz cucumber, of which you will use half to serve one person  ¼ cup scallions  + 2 Tbsp celery, minced ¾ oz avocado  +  1-½ tsp mayonnaise     ½ cup 4-bean salad [see Sidekicks I, posted 17 Sept, 2017]  

Slice the scallion finely and put it in a medium-sized bowlBreak up the tuna and combine with the scallion.  Mash the avocado with the mayonnaise. Mince the celery. Stir them all into the tuna. Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a melon-baller. Mound the tuna mixture [heaping half-cup] into the cucumber boat and plate with the 4-bean salad.

Under the Influence: Spain

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 the year 711, the ‘Berbers’ crossed the Strait of Gibralter to invade Spain. Who were the Berbers? That was a non-specific name for the people of Northern Africa. Sometimes, they were called the Moors — like Othello. They occupied Spain until 1492, and they had a big affect on the culture and cooking of Andalusia in particular. Foods that came in with the Berbers included: saffron, rice [can you make paella without these two?!], couscous, carrots, eggplant, almonds, artichokes, apricots, coriander, grapefruit, and sugar. Hard to imagine cooking without those staple ingredients, isn’t it? Even though Isabella and Ferdinand eventually expelled the Berbers, the cuisine of Spain today owes much to having been under their influence.

Breakfast features the classic preparation of the Spanish Omelette [minus the potatoes, since they came centuries later] with many of the ingredients which arrived with the Berbers: rice, eggplant, coriander. The dinner stars the flavor of apricot, another import, and borrows from the Jewish community in old Spain, people who were tolerated by the Muslims of that time.

Berber Spanish Omelette: 194 calories 8 g fat 2.7 g fiber 12 g protein 14 g carbs 39 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the egg dish and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  The Berbers brought rice and eggplant to Spain. The omelette was invented later, but we can enjoy them together now.

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.   1/3 cup Mediterranean Vegetables with chickpeas 2.5 Tbsp cooked brown rice [save some if you cooked it for a previous meal] pinch coriander: ground dried or chopped fresh leaves 2 oz watermelon   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 non-stick pan with cooking spray. Put in the rice and cook it until it is warm. Add the vegetables and cook until warm. Whisk the eggs and pour them into the pan without disturbing the vegetables and rice, so they are evenly distributed. Cook the eggs until they are set, and cooked on one side. Turn the egg round over without breaking it and cook the other side. To serve, cut in wedges and plate with the melon.

Apricot-Glazed Lemon Chicken: 262 calories 1.8 g fat 4 g fiber 29 g protein 35 g carbs [24 g Complex] 65.5 mg Calcium  PB GF  Lightly sweet, slightly sour. This chicken is very easy to prepare and it is delicious. You will want to eat this often. The recipe comes from the Great Hadassah Wizo Cookbook, via Omgyummy.com. So you know that then I modified it….

3-4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast 1.5 tsp apricot preserves/jam ½ tsp chopped lemon zest 1 tsp fresh lemon juice 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 or 2 slices of lemon ½ cup delicata squash, cubed 3 oz sweet potatoes garlic powder + paprika + pepper + salt

Take one boneless chicken breast and place it on a cutting board. Put one hand flat on top of it and cut through the meat parallel to the cutting board. This should give you two equal pieces of breast meat, each 3-4 ounces. [Set aside the other piece of meat, unless you are serving two today.] Whisk the jam, mustard, lemon juice, and zest. If the jam is too solid, warm it gently so it will combine with the other ingredients. Spray a baking pan or pie plate with olive oil and put in the chicken. Pour the sauce over it and place the lemon slices on top. Cut the delicata squash, skin and all, and put into an oven-proof dish, such as a pie plate. Cut the sweet potato into skinny French Fries, toss them with garlic powder, paprika, and pepper, and add them to the pie plate. Spray liberally with non-stick oil or olive oil. Put the chicken and the vegetables into a 400 F oven for 10 minutes. Remove the vegetables and salt them. Return to oven, raise the temperature to 425 F and continue cooking for 10 more minutes. Happy eating awaits.

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

1 two-oz egg + pear1.5 two-oz eggs 
Tattie Scone: mashed potatosalami
white whole wheat flourmozzarella
egg white + baking powderwild greens or arugula
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

smoked haddockraw chicken breast + basil leaves
cabbage + nutmegtomato + garlic
bechamel sauce, no cheesefresh mozzarella cheese
Brie or Camembert or Goudapesto + asparagus
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Peter and Paul

Gen  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 J-O-G-E who is now Following.

Saint Peter and Saint Paul began their lives very differently and in the same region, but ended their lives similarly and in the same city [maybe]. To dissect that, we’ll start with their origins. Peter [then called Simon] was the son of a fisherman in the Galilee area of the Roman Province of Judea. Paul [then called Saul] was born a Jewish Roman citizen in Tarsus [now in Turkey]. Peter was one of the first followers of Jesus, while Paul, at first, ardently persecuted Christians. After Jesus’ death and resurrection and the conversion of Paul, they both traveled widely to promote the new religion’s beliefs. It is said that Peter went to Rome to become the bishop of the growing Christian congregation there. Paul, arrested in Israel for his faith, claimed the privilege due him as a Roman — to be put on trial in Rome. In Rome, we are told, they both were martyred for refusing to abjure their Christianity. The church of Saint John Lateran, in Rome, displays ornate reliquaries which are said to contain their heads.

In view of their Levantine origins and in honor of the Feast of Its Peter and Paul, our breakfast contains flavors which they would recognize. The dinner is one you might enjoy today, whether in Rome or in your own home.

Zucchini-Feta Fritters & Fruit:  178 calories 5.3 g fat 2.7 g fiber 8.4 g protein 31.6 g carbs 208 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB GF – if using GF flour  Savory with the feta, sweet with the melon – a flavor adventure for breakfast.

4 zucchini-feta fritters ** TIP: start them hours in advance 3 oz watermelon 2 Tbsp plain, fat-free yogurt   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Start the fritters the night before to allow the zucchini to drain thoroughly. Using 1.5 Tablespoons per fritter, place the batter on a hot griddle which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Flatten the fritters, and cook on both sides until well browned. Plate with the melon and yogurt. Serve with beverage of choice, noting their calorie count. [Refrigerate the remaining batter until you have time to cook and freeze the remainder.]

**Zucchini-Feta Fritters makes 23-24   each: 34 calories 1.3 g fat 0.3 g fiber 1.5 g protein 3 g carbs 34 mg Calcium  1-1/8 pound [18 oz] zucchini salt 1 two-oz egg 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled or diced ¼ cup fresh dill weed OR 2 Tbsp dried 2 Tbsp fresh parsley ¼ c white whole wheat flour ¼ cup self-rising flour Grate the zucchini and put it in a collander over a bowl. Sprinkle liberally with salt and use your fingers to toss the zucchini to distribute the salt throughout. Let sit several hours or overnight. Place the zucchini in a clean bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Combine well. Heat a griddle/large skillet and spray with non-stick spray.  TIP: I used a 1.5 Tbsp scoop, but a heaping tablespoon would do as well.  Make piles of the batter on the cooking surface, then flatten them outand cook until well-browned on both sides

Eggplant Parmesan: 263 calories 5.6 g fat 4.8 g fiber 19 g protein 44 g carbs [20 g Complex] 203 mg Calcium  PB GF I love eggplant parmesan but I can’t stand cooking all those slices in oil [!!] and then layering everything together. This preparation is just what I need. HINT: This recipe serves 2 [two] people. Dear Husband enjoyed this.

4 slices peeled eggplant to a total weight of 6.5 oz ¼ c part-skim ricotta cheese ½ cup reduced fat cottage cheese ½ oz egg 1-½ cup canned whole tomatoes basil + garlic powder 3 oz zucchini ribbons [use a vegetable peeler to slice lenghtwise] OR 2 oz spinach leaves 1 oz whole-grain linguine [or other of your choice]

Sprinkle the eggplant slices liberally with salt and lay them in a collander on a plate and let sit 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the ricotta and cottage cheeses with the egg. Combine the tomatoes with the basil and garlic powder. Rinse the eggplant slices and bake at 375F on an oil-sprayed pan for 15 minutes or until tender. Spray two 8” oven-safe saute pans OR one larger pan with non-stick spray. Measure ¼ c of tomato into each pan and flatten it out. Lay two slices of eggplant, slightly over-lapping, on the tomatoes in the pans. Smear 1 Tbsp of tomato on each eggplant slice. Arrange 2-3 Tbsp of ricotta/cottage cheese mixture on each slice. Put any extra tomato sauce on top and then a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400F for 15+ minutes or until eggplant is soft. Cook the pasta for 4 minutes, then take off heat. Add the zucchini to the pasta and let it sit, covered, for another 2-3 minutes. If using spinach, add it to the pasta pan with one minute to go. I like to serve it all in the skillet in which it was baked, but you can plate it to your individual wishes. Melty and tender – just the way I like it.