The Van Gogh Affair

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 adom1479 who is now Following.

On 27 July, 1890, Vincent van Gogh turned up at the inn where he stayed with a gun shot wound in his torso. Two days later, he died. Right away, even before a cursory investigation by the police in Auvers-sur-Oise, everyone proclaimed it to be a suicide. After all, the Dutch-born painter had seen a life-time of disappointments that sent him into deep bouts of depression… Like the time he threw his heart and soul into being an evangelical preacher to the poor in a Belgian mining town, only to be dismissed by the bishop for having given all his money to the poor and no longer looking distinguished enough to be a pastor. Or the time it took him two years to get over a broken heart. Wasn’t he more than a little crazy? Hadn’t he attacked his friend Gauguin with a knife and then cut off his own ear? Case closed on the death of an odd-ball artist who liked to paint things that were yellow. OR NOT! In 2014, a journalistic investigation sure made it look as if van Gogh’s death was not suicide, but either a prank gone wrong, if not murder. Does a man at the height of his artistic powers, who has placed an order for paints and canvasses kill himself? Does a right-handed man shoot himself in his left side? Read about it and draw your own conclusion. At any rate, 130 years ago a revolutionary artist died too soon. Poor Vincent, “This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you,” wrote Don McLean.

In honor of the scenes of van Gogh’s life, we will enjoy a breakfast made with galettes/crepes from Brittany and ratatouille from sunny Provence, both places where he painted. For dinner, a soup that features potatoes and sauerkraut — foods that would have been familiar to the Belgian family depicted in The Potato Eaters, the first van Gogh work I knew as a child.

Ratatouille-Egg Galette: 151 calories 5.5 g fat 2 g fiber 9 g protein 14 g carbs 53 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF – if using GF crepes  A perfect blend of the cuisines of Northern and Southern France.

1 crepe/galette   one 2-oz egg ¼ cup Mediterranean Vegetables, drain and reserve excess liquids ½ oz fresh mushrooms  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]

Drain the vegetables of excess liquids. Use the liquids to cook the mushrooms. Combine the vegetables and mushrooms and heat them. Warm the crepe and plate it. Poach or fry the egg. Spoon the vegetables over the crepe and top it all with the egg. Eat with your hands or use a fork.

Jota: 169 calories  4.5 g fat 7.4 g fiber 11.5 g protein 25.7 g carbs [all Complex] 83.5 mg Calcium  PB GF  The flavors of Africa and and the mediterranean meet in this bean stew. Very satisfying. HINT: This recipe is enough for 4 [four] 1-cup servings.

Here, the Jota is served with spinach leaves.

1-½ cups sauerkraut, drained 1-½ cups canned red beans, drained and rinsed bay leaf 4 oz red potatoes, cooked and diced 1 clove garlic, crushed 2 oz smoked ham hock, cubed ½ cup or more vegetable broth or water   Optional*: 1 clove garlic, crushed + 1 tsp flour + 1 tsp oil Optional**: raw leaves of baby spinach

Spray a heavy sauce pan with non-stick spray and cook the garlic until golden brown. Add the sauerkraut to the pan with the broth, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes. In another pan, heat the beans with the bay leaf until warm. Remove half of the beans and put them in a food processor with the cooked garlic and half of the potatoes. Puree, adding water/broth to adjust the liquids. Add the puree, uncrushed beans, potatoes, and meat to the pan with the sauerkraut. Taste for seasonings. Add some water/broth to bring the volume to 4 cups. *Optional: Simmer a garlic clove in 1 tsp oil until brown. Remove garlic and whisk in 1 tsp flour, then add some stock to make a roux. Stir into the stew as a thickener. **Optional: When the soup is in the bowl, tear the spinach leaves into bits and poke them into the hot liquid to add some extra color, texture, vitamins.

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.

Telling the Bees

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.

Bees, in the ancient world, achieved almost mythical status. The 7th century BC people of Rhodes had a Goddess Honeybee. The Celts thought that bees were messengers between this world and the next. Honey was a valuable commodity, so a hive of bees was prized. Seemingly without reason, bees swarm out of the hive and go away — a real calamity for a homestead. Thus, superstitions grew up around bees. One is ‘telling the bees’ about any changes in the household: births, marriages, departures, deaths. It was feared that if the bees weren’t told, they would up and leave. John Greenleaf Whittier wrote a poignant poem, Telling the Bees, about the death of a young man’s girlfriend and how the bees were being informed.

My friend Hilda B., who kept bees with her husband David, died last week. I hope he told the bees. Or if there are no more hives at their house, I hope he told the garden that he and Hilda tended so faithfully and happily together.

There is a lot of buzz about cutting down on sugar in our food. People hear that and they think, “OK, I’ll put honey in my coffee instead.” Or agave juice or cane syrup or maple syrup. They must be better — they are all natural, right? Sure those sweeteners are naturally occurring, but sweet is sweet and our bodies use all sugars the same way. ALL sugars are bad for us in excess. If you could eat the recommended amount of added sugar [6 teaspoons per day], then you can have your sugar and eat it too. One teaspoon = 4 grams of sugar. 6 teaspoons = 24 grams. Try putting 6 teaspoons of sugar in a small dish. Use some of that sugar when you sweeten your coffee/tea. If you eat one medium chocolate chip cookie, take out another teaspoon. Check the cereal box to see how many teaspoons to remove for a bowl of cereal. The sugar in fruit? Don’t worry about that since it isn’t added to the fruit. See how far into your day you get before you run out of sugar. Then think about it: how much sugar do you really need.

Here’s what Harvard School of Health says about sugar in the foods we eat: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/added-sugar-in-the-diet/ Below, find a recipe for a meal that could be for breakfast [with the coffee] or for dinner [with another felafel patty added and vegetables in lieu of fruit]. It shows how a meal can be good tasting and filling but low in added sugar.

Felafel Plate:  219 calories 5 g fat 4.8 g fiber 16.3 g protein 30 g carbs [25.7 g Complex] 165 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the main meal only, and do not include the optional beveragePB GF  A simple meal, yet full of nutrition and flavor.

4 felafel patties 4 oz canteloupe melon or pineapple 3.5 oz fat-free Greek-style yogurt ½ tsp mint leaves   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea

Warm the felafel patties or use at room temperature. Chop the mint leaves and combine with the yogurt. Prepare the beverage of choice and plate the food to please the eye.

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

1 two-oz egg + pear1.5 two-oz eggs 
green bell pepper + celery
Danish bleu cheese
onion + cajun seasoning
herring marinated in wine
cottage cheese + Tabasco sauce
apple
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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


White whole wheat flour + shrimp
Béchamel without cheese +dill
egg white + scallion + lobster
ham + spinach + celery

white fish + soy sauce
onion + celery salt + basil

rice vinegar + chives + garlic
garlic powder + 2 crepes
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Saint Ursula

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.

As a child I loved to look at a book called Famous Paintings, An Introduction to Art for Young People by Alice Elizabeth Chase. One of the paintings shown and described was “The Dream of Saint Ursula” by Vittore Carpaccio. Into the Saint’s peaceful bedroom, walks an Angel who heralds Ursula’s eventual martyrdom. But all is calm and we know that Ursula will go serenely to her violent death on October 21, in the year 383. The story of St Ursula is an odd one. She was a princess of a kingdom in Britain and she was betrothed at age 12. Ursula, buying herself time before the marriage, proposed a pilgrimage to Rome. She chose 11 gal-pals to go with her — and here the confusion begins. Poor translation from early latin texts turned “Ursula and 11 Virgins” into “Ursula and 11,000 Virgins”!! According to the legend, they all got to Rome, were blessed by the Pope, and turned around to go back home. While sailing down the Rhine [how many boats does it take to transport 11,001 or more people??], they were attacked at Cologne by Huns and all died when Ursula refused to marry their leader. When a midden of bones was discovered in Cologne in 1155, they were declared to be the remains of Ursula and her friends. [Even though some of the bones seem to belong to large dogs…] Take this tale as you will: in 1969, the Roman Catholic Church took Ursula off the list of official saints. Medieval and Renaissance artists loved to depict her, and when I arrange my slippers under the bed, as Carpaccio shows in his painting, I think of Saint Ursula.

Since Ursula went to Rome, we will enjoy a Roman Breakfast. And since she was boating down the Rhine to return home, our dinner will be served in Cucumber Boats.

Roman Breakfast: 270 calories 3.3 g fat 3.2 g fiber 9 g protein 28 g carbs [20.8 g Complex Carbs] 35 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB Though a bit unusual, this is a very good plate of breakfast food, based on ingredients available to Romans in the 1st century BCE. It is satisfying and flavorful.

1 Pan Muffin** 1 oz pear 1 oz cooked chicken, diced 1 oz radish 1 oz cucumber [optional: 1 deglet noor date = ¼ oz]   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 caloriesOptional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Dice all the fruits and vegetables. Add the chicken and a good finishing salt, and gently stir to combine. HINT: I did this the night before and refrigerated the mixture. Prepare the pan muffin or take from freezer with time to thaw/heat. In the time it takes to brew the coffee, you can plate the muffin and the fruit-veg mixture. Romans did not drink smoothies or coffee, but we will. Hope you’ll enjoy your throw-back breakfast.

**PAN MUFFIN each = 71 calories 2.5 g fat 0.8 g fiber 1.8 g protein 10.8 g carbs 8.5 mg Calcium

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain hot cereal mix   1 and 1/4 cup buttermilk [combine cereal + milk and let sit while preparing other ingredients. 1/3 cup butter 1/3 cup sugar 1 cup unbleached flour 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda

Cream the butter and sugar; mix in the egg. Add the dry ingredients and the cereal/milk mixture. Stir until just combined. Cream the butter and sugar; mix in the egg. Add the dry ingredients and the cereal/milk mixture. Stir until just combined.  Use 2 Tbsp batter for each griddlecake [and use 4 Tbsp batter in muffin tins for Slow Day breakfasts].

Cucumber Boats with Salmon: 258 calories 12.4 g fat 3.2 g fiber 20.4 g protein 19 g carbs 162 mg Calcium   PB GF  So easy for the summer or anytime.

2-¾ oz cooked salmon one 3.5 oz cucumber, of which you will use half to serve one person 1/2 Tbsp watercress sauce [see Sidekicks II, posted 4 Oct, 2017] 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1/8 oz leek ½ cup 4-bean salad [see Sidekicks I, posted 17 Sept, 2017]

Slice the leek and blanch in a little water in the microwave. In a bowl break up the salmon and combine with the watercress sauce, mustard and leek. Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out most of the seeds with a melon-baller. Mound the salmon into the cucumber boat and plate with the 4-bean salad.

S.A.D

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.

How curious that the initials of what nutritionists call the ‘Standard American Diet‘ spell the word ‘SAD.’ That diet is blamed for many of the Western World’s health woes. It makes one sad to think about it. How did this start?? In the late 1800s, there was a health-food movement that saw the invention of processed breakfast cereal. By the early 1900s, growing urban populations needed food and they couldn’t afford to have it spoil. Enter the Kraft brothers. J.L. Kraft moved from Canada to Chicago in 1904, and sold cheese door to door in a cart. He lost lots of money since the unsold cheese became either moldy and too dry to sell. In 1906, brother Charles joined the company. They started trying to make a ‘processed cheese‘ in a tin which would have a longer shelf life. In 1916, they perfected it — just in time to sell thousands of tins to the US Army during WWI. Doughboys returned with a taste for the stuff and the company took off. By 1923, company sales equalled $22 million! Five years later, they added salad dressing and ‘oleomargarine.’ This was the start of the Kraft Food Company. Now allied with the Heinz Company, they make 200 items sold world-wide.

Charles Kraft was born on October 17. We will note that anniversary while eating foods that are purchased but are low in sugar, saturated fat, simple carbs — unlike the overly-processed foods that constitute the S.A.D. Today’s menu features meals with lots of protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and flavor.

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 beverage. PB  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] 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.  

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 [Mediterranean food!] when pared with Black Kale. The recipe is from ‘thekitchn‘  NB: I used the recipe below for the kale as two servings, when paired with the pasta. But the calories are so low that you could use it as one serving alongside the pasta. 

27 g dried cheese/spinach tortellini [Barilla brand is good] 3 oz diced tomato 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese PLUS ingredients shown below for the kale.

For the Kale:

3 oz black kaleUse your hands to pull the kale leaves from their stems. Coarsely chop the leaves. Rinse them, but do not dry.
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic pinch red pepper flakes
Heat oil in large, wide, high-sided sauté pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until fragrant but not brown, about 1 minute.
¼ tsp kosher salt pinch ground pepperAdd kale, stirring as it starts to wilt. Add the salt + pepper. Cover. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until kale is just tender, .
2 tsp Lemon juice Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice, serve.

For the Meal: Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 9-11 minutes, then drain. Combine with the diced tomatoes and Parmesan. Plate the pasta surrounded by the kale.

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

one Pan Muffin1 two-oz egg  + pear
cucumber + pear
turkey breast meat, raw or cooked
cooked chicken + radish
olive oil + celery + onion
optional deglet noor date
70-calorie whole-grain bread + herbs
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverage optional hot beverage

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

cooked salmon + Dijon mustard
ground lamb
medium-sized cucumber
Gruyere cheese
4-Bean Salad + leek
brown rice
Watercress sauce
Mediterranean Vegetables
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Corn

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.

“Cornscateous” is one of the favorite weather words of the Old Farmer’s Almanac. They define it as ‘hot humid weather that is good for growing corn.’ Corn is native to the Americas and was cultivated extensively by First Nations people. Field Corn is for animal feed. Indian or Flint Corn is for grinding and for Autumn decorations. Sweet Corn, in all its variety, is for EATING! When I was a child, our family would have a ‘corn dinner’ every summer — the entire meal consisted of ears of sweet corn, all you could eat. Even the cat liked it.

Here are 4 recipes for corn: two for breakfast, two for dinner. Two made with fresh corn, two made with corn meal. Enjoy it while it is ripe.

Ham-Cup Egg with Corn: 140 calories 6.7 g fat 1.3 g fiber 10 g protein 11 g carbs [10 g Com-plex] 36.8 mg Calcium PG GF Ham and corn are such a grand combination. Easy to prepare ahead for a quick breakfast. 2-oz egg + red bell pepper + slice ham + fresh polenta + watermelon For the full recipe, see Scout + Jem

Hoe Cakes with Two Toppings 183 calories 5.6 g fat 5.4 g fiber 9.7 g protein 23 g carbs [17.4 g Complex] 44 mg Calcium PB GF This recipe harks back to Colonial Days in the Ameri-can South. Everyone from enslaved people to President George Washington ate hoe cakes. HINT: This recipe makes 6 hoecakes – enough for 2 servings. Originally this would be made with white cornmeal, but the yellow has more nutrition. NB: Hoe cakes were never ‘cooked on a hoe’ by farm workers, as some will tell you. Silly notion.

3 Tbsp yellow corn-meal [even polenta meal would do] 
2.5 Tbsp hot water 
Combine by stirring well to make a mush. Let sit for 15 minutes
1 oz egg white
¼ tsp yeast
Stir into the warm cornmeal mush and let sit for 1 – 12 hours This was 125 ml in volume
2 Tbsp cornmeal
2 Tbsp water
¼ tsp salt
Mix into the cornmeal mush. If you take some up on a fork, it will sit on top with a little batter dribbling through. If it is not like this, add more cornmeal or more water. This was ½ cup in volume.

Using 2 tbsp of batter per cake, drop onto a hot griddle sprayed with non-stick spray. This should make 6 cakes. Cook on both sides. Best if eaten while fresh.
¼ cup raspberries
1 tsp honey
one 2-oz egg
Put the fruit and honey in a small dish and microwave for 30 seconds. Fry the egg.
Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] Plate 2 of the Hoecakes with the egg and the other with the berry syrup.

FRESH POLENTA1 serving = 1/3 cup = 80 calories  fresh or frozen corn kernels + unsalted butter + freshly-ground pepper + salt From Jacques Pepin, this is excellent served with a simply prepared fish. For the complete recipe, see Second Fiddles I-9-’19

POLENTA: makes 6 slices 1 slice: 51 calories 0.2 g fat 0.6 g fiber 1.8 g protein 10 g carbs 26 mg Calcium A fine side dish for poultry or fish. Polenta corn meal + skimmed milk + Italian herbs For the full recipe, see SIDEKICKS II 4-Oct-2017

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
tuna, fresh or canned + melonapple + cinnamon
frozen spinach + anchovy
light cream
mediterranean vegetables
sugar + butter
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

halibut + spinach
pork tenderloin + broccoli
shallot + Thai red curry paste
apples + chicken stock
chicken broth + scallion
Bechamel sauce
light coconut milk + lime juice
carrot + thyme + sage
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Lascaux

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.

17,000 years ago, in the caves of South-Western France, people were painting realistic representations of animals on the walls of caves. On 12 September, 1940, four boys searching for their lost dog, were the first to see the painting since a landslide had sealed it during pre-history. Named Lascaux, the cave was opened to the public in 1948. By 1963, the cave’s visitors had introduced, unintentionally, so much CO2 and so many mold spores that the paintings were covered over and the caves were closed. For the next 20 years, a remarkable copy of the most famous parts of the original cave was created. Archaeologists, geologists, and artists worked to create an exact duplicate [right down to similar materials and ‘brush-strokes’] of the original cave. Sealed, illuminated, and with climate controlled air circulating through, Lascaux II was opened in 1983. It is fabulous. When we visited in 1999, even though I knew it was a copy, the paintings in their setting took my breath away. Visitors are admitted in small groups and the guides are amazing: Dear Husband, who does not speak French, was able to understand the narration. Which was good, since I was too much in awe to translate. Absolutely amazing art: vivid and dramatic.

Thinking of cave art makes one think of the PaleoDiet. On the surface, this popular “next best thing” seems similar to the Fast Diet: protein and vegetables and fruit. The main difference is that the Paleo menu is limited to foods available 12,000 years ago and it is heavy on red meat. The Fast Diet is not so restrictive and thus is much more flexible and sustainable. Our foods today work for either diet plan and are delicious.

Swiss Chard Fritatta: 154 calories 8.4 g fat 1.3 g fiber 12 g protein 5.7g carbs [5 g Complex] 58 mg Calcium  PB GF  Susan Herrmann Loomis is a cookbook author whom I trust, so when I saw this, I had to try it. She serves it as an appetizer or entre; but by reducing the recipe, it makes a great breakfast.

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 oz Swiss or rainbow chard, coarsely chopped or sliced; stems removed sprinkles of garlic powder 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese pinch salt + pinch paprika 2 oz strawberries  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

In a saucepan, simmer the chard in water and add some pinches of garlic powder. Cook, uncovered, about 15 minutes until the leaves are limp and the water has cooked away. [keep a good eye on it so it doesn’t stick or burn] HINT: I did this the night before. Find a small [8” diameter] heat-proof skillet which can be used both on top of the range and under the broiler. Spray it generously with non-stick spray and spread the cooked chard over the bottom. Whisk the eggs, then add the cheese, salt, and paprika. Whisk again and pour the eggs over the greens. Place on the stovetop over medium heat for 3-4 minutes while the eggs cook on the bottom but the top is still liquidy. Place under the broiler until set and slightly browned. Plate with the fruit. [Loomis wants you to invert it on the plate, but we preferred the puffy top to be on top] Delicious!!

Pork Salad: 144 calories 4 g fat 2.4 g fiber 17 g protein 7 g carbs [6.8 g Complex] 43 mg Calcium  PB GF When there is leftover meat from a roast, the easiest meal is to turn it into a salad with lots of yummy components.  NB: I sprinkled each serving with ¼ oz flax-seed corn chips [not Paleo, I know] which added 40 calories, only 2.5 g fat and 4 g carbs.

2 cups salad greens, cut as chiffonade if leaves are large 2.5-3 oz pork tenderloin, cooked, sliced 2.5-3 oz tomatoes, cut in bite-sized pieces 1 oz red bell pepper, cut in 1/2” dice 1 oz whole fresh cranberries, not dried 2 oz zucchini sticks 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar + ½ tsp olive oil + 1 tsp blue cheese herb mustard

Prepare all the vegetables as described. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a wide bowl and toss with the greens. Plate the greens and decorate the salad with the other components. That was fast!

Ingredients for next week: 

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

1 two-oz eggNext week I will offer several
meals involving Corn.
sourdough rye bread
choose a new favorite breakfast
from the Archives
3% fat ham + yellow plums

Hamelin or Camembert cheese

Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

2 pounds beef chuck/shoulder
Next week I will offer several
meals involving Corn.
sweet paprika + onion
choose a new favorite from the Archives
tomato paste + oil + green beans

beef stock [optional noodles]

Sparkling waterSparkling water

Zucchini Haze

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 slimmingteas48 who is now Following.

Its that time again: end of Summer, when the zucchinis multiply like rabbits. You take a tour of the garden after breakfast and spy six dear little squashes, making note to harvest them before dinner. But by late afternoon, they have assumed the proportions of zeppelins and are suitable only for Zucchini Bread or to leave on your neighbors’ doorsteps under cover of darkness. Happily, there are many delicious recipes for this Meso-American squash with the Italian name. [BTW, ‘zucchini’ means ‘squash’ in Italian, so don’t be redundant by calling it ‘zucchini squash.’] We are having zucchini for breakfast and zucchini for dinner. Splendid.

Zucchini Nests for Egg: 122 calories 7 g fat 1.7 g fiber 8 g protein 7.6 g carbs [7 g Complex] 50.7 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg and nest only, not the optional beverages. PB GF Found this recipe online, then I changed it to fit our calorie restriction requirements. Note: the egg used for the photo is a pullet egg, which weighs in a 1.5 oz instead of the 2 oz eggs we usually use. If you can find them, pullet eggs can be useful as they give you the egg flavor but with reduced fat and calories. Pullets, as you know, are merely young hens which lay small eggs until they grow up enough to lay larger eggs. HINT: This recipe makes enough for 2 nests which serve 2 people. Hmmm, I’m not sure how that piece of toast got into the photo, but I’d ditch it and replace it with some fresh fruit!

1 tsp olive oil ¼ cup diced onion 2 tsp fresh sage or 1 tsp dried sage, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed large pinch hot pepper flakes or 1 jalepeno, chopped 1 c. zucchini, grated on the coarser holes of the box grater 2 tsp cider vinegar 1 oz roasted red pepper parsley, chopped salt and black pepper 2 eggs [2-oz or pullet]  Optional: blackish coffee or frothy mocha cafe au lait  or blackish tea Optional: 5-6 oz berry-yogurt [88 calories] smoothie or green smoothie 

In a non-stick pan, spritz lightly with olive oil or add 1 tsp. Cook the onions until lightly browned, 4-6 minutes. Add the sage, garlic, and hot pepper and stir for 30 seconds. Add vinegar, zucchini, some black pepper, and ¾ tsp salt. Cover and cook about 6 minutes longer. Add roasted pepper and parsley. Cook 6 minutes longer ‘until zucchini is light brown.’ Mine never looked light brown, but it looked done to me! HINT: Do this part the night before to save time in the morning. 

Next morning: Divide cooked vegetables into two heaps [scant ½ cup each] in the saute pan and make an indentation in each heap to form the ‘nest’. Cover and heat for 1 minute. Uncover and break egg into each ‘nest.’ Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then cover and cook on the stove top for 4-5 minutes longer or until the eggs are cooked to your liking. Prepare your optional beverage and/or smoothie. Now that’s something different!

Zucchini, Stuffed: 300 calories 6.2 g fat 5.4 g fiber 28.8 g protein 25.3 g carbs 141.5 mg Calcium PB GF You can prepare this meal any time of year that you find zucchini at your store. Avoid the notion of using a door-stop zucchini for this recipe. HINT: this recipe makes enough for 2 [two] servings 

In this case, the pound of zucchini produced four boats for stuffing.

1 pound Zucchini, which is 2-3 slim zucchini 5 oz chicken, cooked ¼ tsp olive oil ½ cup onion, chopped 1 clove garlic ½ cup cooked brown rice 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated ½ tsp salt + ¼ tsp paprika + ½ tsp dill weed + black pepper

Hot Enough?

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 don’t know what the Winter in the Southern Hemisphere has been like this year, but we in the Northern Hemisphere have been baking! Records for ‘hottest this‘ and ‘hotter that‘ have been set and then broken again. Sometimes people don’t want to eat in hot weather, which can be good for weight loss. But sometimes they drink sugary cold drinks or beer or wine coolers all the while thinking [wrongly] this is the best way to beat the heat. Hydration is good, but real food in moderation is good too. How about eating less by enjoying Fasting meals on three or four days a week in hot weather? There are plenty of no-cook salads in the Archives. Let the Summer inclination not to eat much work to your advantage.

Today’s meals involve no stoves and no ovens. They are easy to prepare and very easy to eat. The breakfast can come cold out of the refrigerator if you prep it the night before. And the dinner is tailor made for a hot night.

Prosciutto & Melon Plate: 125 calories 7 g fat 1.2 g fiber 16.8 g protein 13.4 g carbs [13 g Complex] 135 mg Calcium  PB GF Once again the Inn at Saint Peter’s inspires a breakfast! Nothing beats the salty-sweet flavor combination of this meal. HINT: I plated everything the night before and stored the plates in zipper bags in the refrigerator.

4 oz canteloupe melon [Charentais melon would be fabulous!] 1 oz thinly-sliced prosciutto ¼ cup red onion pickle 0.1 oz shavings of Parmesan cheese fresh basil or mint leaves OR crumbled dried basil drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction, optional Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Cut the melon into bite-sized cubes [8 pieces look well on the plate]. Cut the prosciutto into 8 long strips [mine were 1”x4”]. Arrange the melon and ham in a circle on the plate with the red onion in the center. Shave off curls of Parmesan and place them on top. If using fresh herb leaves, tuck them in here and there. If using dried herbs, rub the leaves in your palms to crumble over the plate. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar if you wish. Serve with your chosen beverages. Wonderful flavors, however you combine them on your fork.

Smorrebrod w/ Turkey: 243 calories 8 g fat 3 g fiber 10 g protein 29 g carbs [11.5 g Complex] 18.5 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF rye bread From Oslo/Copenhagen/Stockholm comes the best of Summer sandwiches: smorrebrod [smeared bread]. Light and flavorful from summer vegetables, this meal is filling and simple to prepare without heating the kitchen.

1 slice [1.5 oz] sourdough rye bread @ 110 calories [the bread should be dense, not fluffy] 1-2 Tbsp whipped cream cheese 4 large leaves of fresh spinach 1.5 oz thinly-sliced tomato: slice and salt about 30 mins earlier for best taste 1 oz cooked turkey breast or tenderloin ½ hard-boiled egg, sliced ½ cup Swedish Cucumber Salad*

Spread the bread with the cream cheese and lay the spinach leaves on top. Place the tomato slices atop that. For the next layer, put down the turkey, topped by the egg slices. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain the Cucumber Salad and plate. Excellent!

*SWEDISH CUCUMBER SALAD: makes 1 cup = 2 servings each serving = 23 calories 0.1 g fat 0.3 g fiber 0.4 g protein 5.2 g carbs [4 g Complex] 14 mg Calcium

1 cups sliced cucumber 1.5 tsp sugar 1 oz white wine vinegar 1/2 tsp cold water salt and freshly ground pepper ½ tsp dill

Combine the sugar, vinegar, water, salt, and pepper in a 3-cup container. Slice the cucumbers, spread them out on towels and pat dry. Stir the cukes into the liquid, wetting all the slices. Chill for at least one hour. Drain, and serve with a sprinkling of dill.

Ingredients for next week: 

Breakfast: single portion for Monday …………….. single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz eggnext week I will discuss Breakfast Beverages 
slice 70-calorie whole grain bread
choose a favorite breakfast from
Archives
apple or melon



Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

1/4 pound sea scallops
next week I will discuss Breakfast Beverages
Indian curry powder
choose a favorite dinner from Archives
broccoli

butter + white wine [splash]

Sparkling waterSparkling water

Basquaise

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.

Have you ever seen the word ‘Basquaise’ on a menu? It often refers to a sauce served on chicken or fish. The word itself means ‘from the Basque country’ or ‘in the method of the Basque people.’ To the Basque people, it is ‘pipperade’ from their word ‘biperra’ for pepper. So who are the Basques and where is their country? The Basque people are unrelated, both in genetics and in language, to the surrounding people of France and Spain. Their ‘country’ spreads across the border of France and Spain at the Western end of the Pyrennes Mountains. Their culture and unique language developed in isolation over the centuries, escaping intrusion both from the Indo-Europeans [ex: Visigoths] and from the Muslims. The ancient Greeks and Romans knew of the Basques, and even they did not change the culture of the region. Their food is boldly spiced and influenced by fish from the ocean and meat from the pasturelands of the interior. Passionately independent, the Basques work to maintain their ways in a changing world. In the 1800s, economic hard times spread Basques to North America and beyond, just as their cod and whale-hunting ancestors dispersed across the seas in the past.

The ‘Sauce Basquaise’ shows up in our menu today — flavoring the eggs at breakfast in two different preparations. Other ways to use it are in the classic Poulet Basquaise or Cod Basquaise for dinner. Here’s how to make 5 cups of the sauce.

2 Tbsp olive oil Heat the oil in a large saucepan
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped  optional: 2 oz Bayonne/Serrano ham or pancetta, diced 
3 cups red bell pepper, diced [2 large peppers, abt 13 oz]  3 cups green bell pepper, diced [2 large peppers, abt 13 oz] 
4 cups tomatoes, seeded and diced
Add the onion, garlic, ham, peppers, and tomatoes.  Cook over medium-low heat until peppers are tender.
½ cup red wine 5 g ‘esplette’ pepper or ground cayenne pepper 2 tsp fresh thyme ½ tsp saltAdd to the pan. Simmer 10 minutes more.

Basquaise Sauce ScrOmelette: 153 calories 8.4 g fat 1.5 g fiber 10 g protein 8 g carbs [7 g Complex] 50 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF Basquaise Sauce takes eggs to a new level and it is so easy to use if you already have a batch in the refrigerator or freezer.

1-1/2 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.  2 rounded Tablespoons Basquaise Sauce ¼ cup blueberries  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Heat a non-stick saute pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper to taste and pour into the pan. As the eggs just begin to set, spread the Basquaise Sauce over half of the egg. Fold and continue cooking to your liking. Plate with the fruit and serve the beverage of your choice. Have a spicy day.

Alternatively, if you didn’t have any Basquaise Sauce at your disposal, you could use my version of Jacques Pepin’s recipe for Basquaise ScrOmelette, posted on 30 September, 2015

Ingredients for next week: 

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

1 two-oz eggProscuitto ham
ricotta cheese + mushrooms
melon + Parmesan cheese
peach + blackberryred onion pickle
Watercress Sauce
mint or basil leaves + balsamic vinegar
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

watercress + sweet potato
sourdough rye bread + egg + dill
canola oil + onion + celery
turkey breast + spinach leaves
garlic + stock + potato
whipped cream cheese + tomato
optional: mozzarella + tomato
cucumber + white wine vinegar
Sparkling waterSparkling water