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 ½ cup tomato-onion marinara++  1 oz pasta– If you use a whole grain or high fiber pasta, so much the better

**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.

Slow Days: Lammas Bread

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.

One of the most popular topics on which I have blogged is that of Lammas. Maybe it is a love of all things Celtic. Maybe it is a yearning for simpler times. Maybe it is a renewal of interest in growing and producing one’s own food. The festival was called Lughnasagh in Ireland; Lunastain, in Scotland; and became Lammas [Loaf Mass] after the missionaries Christianized it. As a harvest festival, it was observed on the mid-Summer cross-quarter day around August 2 — usually August 1, 2,3. At that time the cereal crops* [wheat, rye, barley, oats] were being harvested. Flour was quickly ground from the grain, baked into loaves to be savored by the entire farm family while giving thanks for a successful harvest and offering prayers for future crops. Bread, therefore, is the recipe of the day. *Note: in the UK, cereal crops are all called ‘corn.’ This is confusing to Americans, to whom ‘corn’ is Zea mays for eating on the cob or for popping. When you follow the links, keep that in mind.

Here is a non-yeasted recipe, making something like a biscuit. This is probably the “real” bread for Lammas, since it is prepared quickly. Buttermilk Bread Charm for Lammas

3 mugs strong white flour 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp bicarbonate of sodaPlace the flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Sieve in the blended salt and soda
500 ml of Buttermilk Pour in the buttermilk. Mix well with a wooden spoon or your hand until the dough feels springy.
Sprouted seeds – these represent regenerationMix in the sprouted seeds. If it feels too sloppy, just add a little more flour.
Turn it onto a board and cover with a fine dusting of flour. Pat it with your hands until you have a round shape. Take a sharp knife and score lightly into eight sections, one for each festival. Take time to focus on the bread you have created. Turn the loaf three times saying “From the fields and through the stones, into fire, Lammas Bread, as the Wheel turns may all be fed. Goddess Bless.”
Place on a greased baking tray and pop it into a moderate oven for 20-25 minutes. Keep an eye on it. When the bread is ready, it will change colour and will sound hollow when you tap the bottom.
Cool completely on a wire rack. When it is cool, tie it with Lammas ribbon in your choice of colour – gold, orange, yellow

Sour Dough Fruited Summer Bread: The one I’ll make this year is based on a sourdough, in keeping with all of those who are attempting that during the current lock-down. This bread is easy to make. [Original recipe from Paul Hollywood] With the addition of Summer fruits and whole wheat, it seems fit for a festival.

All the ingredients, ready to mix.
64 g bread flour 64 g white whole wheat flour 125 g active sourdough starter 3.8 g salt 65-88 ml H20 + 2 tsp honeyCombine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the honey to the water. Pour it in a little bit at a time and mix with your hands to make a soft dough. You may not need all the water. If you have extra water, add it to the next step.
½ cup chopped dried apricots ½ cup dried cherriesPut the fruits in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 15 minutes, then drain, reserving the water. Add to the dough.
Coat work surface w/ olive oil + knead the fruit into the dough on the oiled surface for 10-15 mins or until the dough is smooth + elastic and the fruit is well-incorporated.
Put in lightly-oiled bowl + cover w/ film. Rise in warm place 5 hr or overnight in a cool place
Knead dough until smooth, knocking the air out. Shape into an oval. Let rise on a well-floured towel [a couche], up-side down, in a loaf pan for 4-8 hrs or overnight in a cool place.
Bread is rising on a floured towel in a small loaf pan to help it to keep its shape.
Reserved soaking water 2 tsp honeyPut in a small pan and simmer while adding the honey. Cook down until it is syrup-y, not runny.
Put a tray of water on the bottom of the oven. Preheat to 425F Gently tip the risen dough onto parchment paper on a baking tray. With a lame or sharp knife, score the top of the bread: down the center, then 3 on each side at an angle – sort of like a fern or the veins on a leaf. When you open the oven, add more water to the tray at the bottom of the oven to produce steam. Bake 30 mins at 425. Brush loaf with fruit syrup, then reduce oven to 400 F and bake 15 mins more.
The very dark syrup made the crust a rich mahogany color. Serve with comb honey.


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

According to the ancient calendar of northern European “pagan” culture, we are now 5/8 through the solar year. Those worthy sun observers noticed 4 major astronomical events: 2 solstices and 2 equinoxes. Those were ‘Quarter Days’ and deserving of a festival. Split those in two, and you have the 4 Cross-Quarter Day.  There were calendars in most of the pre-Christian cultures, based on the sun and/or moon, marked often by the location of the sun over standing-stones. The parts of the year therefore have different names in different cultures: Thorri, Goa, Einmanudur, Harpa, in Iceland.  Imbolc,  Beltain,  Luignasa, and Samhain to the Irish Celts. Candlemas, May Day, Lammas, and Martinmas to the Christian peoples of England. Lammas is the harvest festival, marking the gathering-in of wheat or other cereal crops. Despite its Christian associations, it is steeped in pagan traditions: baking special breads, crafting corn dollies, feasting and dancing.

Baking bread with sprouted grain is part of a Lammas festival, so we will have sprouts in our eggs at breakfast.  The yield of the field will be evident in the dinner, made with fresh vegetables, wrapped in a grain-based crêpe.

Sprouted Bake: 270 calories  5.6 g fat  3.7 g fiber  13.8 g protein  36.6 g carbs  226 mg Calcium PB GF Time to get the sprouts out of the sandwiches and into the breakfast.Sprouted Bake w: B-berries

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                                              ¼ c radish sprouts                                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 oz avocado                                                                                                                                                             1 Tbsp low-fat cottage cheese                                                                                                                                 ¼ cup blueberries                                                                                                                                                               blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                  5-6 oz fruit smoothie, green smoothie or natural apple cider

Mash the avocado and mix with the cottage cheese. Heat the toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Spritz an oven-proof dish with cooking oil or spray and put the sprouts in it. Whisk the egg with the avocado mixture and pour over the sprouts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Portion the fruit and pour the beverages.

Crêpes with Chicken Ratatouille: 249 calories  5.2 g fat  6.2 g fiber  27.6 g protein  32 g carbs 190 mg Calcium  PB   Crêpes are wonderful to have on hand for use with a variety of fillings. If you had the crêpes and the filling previously-made, then the meal goes together in no time.Chicken Ratatouille Crepes

2 buckwheat crêpes [see Sidekicks I, Sept 17, 2017]                                                                                    1.5 oz chicken breast                                                                                                                                                         ½ cup Mediterranean Vegetables [see SIDEKICKS II Oct 4, 2017]                                                                                                                        1/2 Tbsp goat cheese                                                                                                                                                         1 Tbsp low-fat cottage cheese                                                                                                                      herbes de Province OR tarragon                                                                                                                                      3/4 oz carrots

If making crêpes from scratch now: prepare the batter and let stand 30+ minutes.                                      If using frozen crêpes, put them in a plastic bag on the counter and let them thaw.                                 Turn on the oven to 250 degrees. Cut the chicken into <1/2” pieces. Put into pan with the Med.Veg. and heat enough to warm the veg, reduce the liquids, and cook the chicken. Take off heat. Prepare the crêpes: either cook them now from batter or finish the thawing process by putting them in a warm oven. Add cheeses to mixture in the pan, and stir to combine. Toss in lots of herbes de Province or fresh herbs to taste. Arrange the crêpes on a cookie sheet and divide the filling among them. Fold over, pressing down gently. Heat in the warm oven and serve with the happy crunchy carrots.

Ingredients for next week: breakfast, single portion

On Monday, I will discuss Fasting while fresh, tart apple, such as Granny Smith
traveling if you eat at restaurants only. smoked trout
Whatever you need for your hot beverage
Whatever you need for your smoothie

Dinner, single portion:

On Monday, I will discuss Fasting while trout fillet
traveling if you eat at restaurants only. butter
hazelnuts [filberts]
haricots or green beans
Sparkling water Sparkling water