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

Mary’s Return

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.

On May 31, Mary ‘went over the mountain‘ to the town of Ein Kerem to assist at her cousin Elizabeth’s lying-in. Seven weeks after her cousin Elizabeth had safely delivered her son John, Mary decided to go back home to her family. This was going to be difficult for two reasons: it was a 135 km trip by foot and Mary was 5 months pregnant. That last one presented another problem: Mary was unwed. When she returned to her hometown of Nazareth, her pregnancy would become obvious to the neighbors and her fiancé. There would be talk. There would be disgrace — people would tell Joseph that he should call off the wedding. But Joseph would stand by her and Mary would endure the side-eye looks because both of them had been told by angels that this was all part of a Bigger Plan. The weather this year on May 31 was sunny and mild. That means it should rain tomorrow.

Today’s breakfast contains the flavors and ingredients of the area referred to as ‘the Levant,’ as in the Eastern Mediterranean ‘where the sun rises.’ A meal like this would sustain you on your way. Upon her return, Mary’s overjoyed mother, Anna, might have welcomed her back with a special feast of lamb, seasoned with typical spices.

photo courtesy of World Tree Photography: Fine Art Travel Prints

Levantine ScrOmelette: 142 calories 8 g fat 1 g fiber 10 g protein 5 g carbs [4.6 g Complex] 50.5 mg Calcium NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF These fine ingredients yield a flavorful result. The sun rising in the East will smile on you.

1 ½ 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 Tbsp mediterranian vegetables, chopped [see Sidekicks II, 4-Oct-’17] 1.5 tsp hummus, homemade or purchased 1 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]

Whisk the eggs, then stir in the hummus and vegetables. Pour into a saute pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray and scramble to your taste or prepare as an omelette. Pour the optional beverages and plate with the berries.

Moroccan Lamb:  284 calories 6.3 g fat 8 g fiber 28 g protein 28.6 g carbs [28 g Complex] 81 mg Calcium PB GF  Mint, cumin, and coriander will make your meal taste like a trip to spice souk [see above photo taken by my son].

3 oz roast lamb + Moroccan seasoning ½ cup peas + pinch of mint or cilantro 1/3 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed 2 pinches of Moroccan seasoning or ground cumin mint tea

Dust the sliced lamb with Moroccan seasoning. Gently warm the meat by steaming or heating in a microwave. Cook the peas, drain and stir in a pinch of dried mint or dried cilantro. Heat the beans with the seasoning or cumin to taste. Best served with mint tea.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
2 oysters
Green + Red bell peppers
scallion = green onion
tomatoes + garlic + cayenne/chili powder
strawberries
onion + white wine
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

lobster meat + green beans
chicken breast meat
heavy cream + Béchamel sauce
green + red bell peppers + garlic
Dijon mustard + parsley
tomatoes + onion
Raspberries + peaches for dessert
white wine + cayenne/chili powder

Sparkling waterSparkling water

Hometown Heroine: Nice

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 thewackyspoon who is now Following.

Catherine Ségurane was a washerwoman in Nice. Nice was not part of France in the 1500s, it belonged to the Duke of Savoie who had a long-standing disagreement with Francois I, the King of France. Mostly, this was of no consequence to Catherine. But Francois made a pact with the Ottoman Empire, an odd thing for a Christian sovereign to do. If the Ottomans would attack his enemies, Francois would arrange a lucrative trade deal. Done. The original target was the Papal army in Italy, but that would be a bit audacious. So the Ottoman fleet was sent down the coast to besiege Nice. When they scaled the walls of the unprotected city, they were met by ordinary citizens carrying whatever ‘weapons’ they had handy. Our girl Catherine was ready with her clothes-beating stick and she hit the standard-bearer of the attacking Turks, knocking him down and taking his flag. According to the story, she then hiked up her skirts and mooned the invaders. As good Muslims, they were so shocked by a woman with crude behavior that they retreated to their ships and Nice was saved. Sometimes average people rise to the occasion and perform great acts.

If a humble laundry-lady can defeat an army, then couldn’t you overcome your urge to over-eat for a day and eat only 600 calories? Of course you could. Today’s menu showcases the flavors of Nice and shows how delicious a ‘Mediterranean Diet’ can be.

Mediterranean Bake: 138 calories 2 g fat 1.4 g fiber 10.4 g protein 8.4 g carbs [7.5 g Complex] 55 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF  Oh! Those sunny flavors!

one 2-oz egg 3 Tbsp Mediterranean Vegetables , see Sidekicks II, 4-Oct-’19 for recipe 1 Tbsp chevre cheese salt + pepper + large pinch of herbes de Province 2 oz melon  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]

Set the toaster oven at at 350 degrees F. Spritz a ramekin with oil or non-stick spray and spoon in the Med. Veg. Pop the ramekin in the warming toaster oven for 30 seconds to warm the vegetables. Whisk the egg with the cheese and seasonings. Pour in the egg mixture over the vegetables and bake in the toaster oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs. Brew your optional warm beverage; shake and pour the optional smoothie; plate the melon. A fine way to enjoy a breakfast.

Salade Nicoise: 283 calories 16 g fat 3 g fiber 22.5 g protein 12.7 g carbs 198 mg Calcium PB GF   ‘Nicoise’ of course means ‘as they do it in Nice’ and boy-oh-boy is it ever nice. HINT: If you plan ahead a bit, this meal goes together in minutes. A few days before, eat a meal of baked or grilled salmon, served with green beans. Prepare 3 oz more salmon than you’ll need for that meal and save it for this meal. Also cook an extra bit of green beans and save them in the ‘fridge. Here’s a TIP: If you won’t need the salmon for a week or more, cooked salmon freezes well. Just leave enough time to thaw it thoroughly. 

3 leaves Romaine lettuce, sliced into 1/2″ pieces 3 oz cooked salmon 3 oz green beans, cooked and cooled 2 black olives, quartered ½ hard-boiled egg 1 radish, sliced 5 cherry tomatoes DRESSING: 1 tsp white wine vinegar + 1.5 tsp olive oil

Whisk the oil and vinegar in a wide, shallow serving bowl. Add the beans and turn them to coat with dressing. Remove to another plate. Coarsely slice the lettuce and toss with dressing. Place the salmon in the center of the salad. Surround it with the remaining ingredients. A wonderful meal in no time flat.

No Fooling!

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 claridad who is now Following.

Tomorrow will be April 1st — April Fools’ Day.  What is the origin of that expression?  Why is that day a time for playing tricks?  The most widely-held origin story relates to the switch [anytime from the 1500s to the 1900s] from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar.  There was a 14-day gap [akin to the clocks ‘springing forward’ to Daylight Savings Time] and what had been the start of the new year on March 25 was now on April 1. Confusing to anyone to be sure, but those who got it wrong were labeled ‘fools.’  In France, the butt of a prank is called a ‘poisson d’Avril’ [April fish], since the young fish are foolish enough to be caught more easily.[??]  A popular joke is to tape a picture of a fish to someone’s back.  [At least it doesn’t say ‘kick me.’]   What is your favorite prank for April 1?                                                                                                                        We will not be fooled — we will know that April 1, 2019 will be a Fast Day and we will be ready for it.  Neither will we be fooled by other diets which promise great results and can’t deliver.  Today’s menus include fish so that you can eat the Poisson d’Avril rather than being one.  Interested in the Mediterranean Diet? I’m not kidding: these meals are for you.

Brandade Bake:  145 calories  8.3 g fat  1.2 g fiber  11.2 g protein  4.3 g carbs  [2.8 g Complex] 44.8 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beverages.   PB GF  The food of Southern France, brandade is worth trying. Here it is at breakfast, all creamy and garlicy.Brandade Bake w: peach:b-b

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                               ½ Tbsp cottage cheese                                                                                                                                 1 Tbsp brandade [see St Bernard, posted 19 August 2018]                                                                shake or more of granulated garlic                                                                                                      1 oz peach slices + ½ oz 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]

Cream together the cottage cheese, brandade, and garlic. Whisk in the egg. Bake in a lightly-spritzed oven-proof dish or ramekin at 350° F. until cooked through, about 12-15 minutes. With the fruit and beverages, you have a fine start to the day.

Fish with Polenta & Zucchini Ribbons:  261 calories   5.6 g fat  3.9 g fiber   32 g protein 23 g carbs [Complex]   225 mg Calcium  PB  The polenta needs to be made ahead. Simple to prepare and delicious and filling [even though I forgot to add the cheeses!].Fish w: Polenta & Zucchini Ribbons

1 slice of polenta [that’s 1/6 of the recipe from SIDEKICKS II Oct 4, ’17]                                                  3 oz zucchini ribbons                                                                                                                                       1 oz roasted red peppers                                                                                                                   1 clove garlic                                                                                                                                     2 Tbsp crushed tomatoes                                                                                                                                      4 oz firm fish filets, skinless and boneless                                                                                       large pinch herbes de Province or thyme                                                                                            1 Tbsp Parmesan, grated                                                                                                                        ½ oz mozzerella, grated

Slice the garlic as a julienne. Using a potato peeler, make lengthwise cuts on the zucchini to produce thin ‘ribbons.’  Alternately, use a spiralizer.  Cut the slice of polenta in half so it is about 1/3” thick. Heat a heavy skillet and spray with a non-stick product. Lay the fish on the skillet and sprinkle with pepper and and salt. Cook on one side, then flip to the other. Add the polenta to the pan at this point. Cook it in the hot pan on both sides until it is warm and beginning to brown. Remove cooked fish and polenta and keep warm. Put the garlic in the pan and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the other vegetables, herbs, salt, pepper, and Parmesan. Stir to combine until everything is warm, about 45 seconds – the zucchini will be just barely cooked. Plate the fish and polenta slices, spoon the vegetables around the polenta, then sprinkle with mozzerella.

Shipwrecked!

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 laurarose who is now Following.

Tomorrow, February 10, is “San Pawl Nawfragu.” But you knew that, right?  You would have known if you were familiar with Chapters 27-28 of the Book of Acts.  There, Luke, the author of Acts, describes being transported from modern-day Crete to Rome with St Paul who was a prisoner. [Paul, in 60 CE, was accused of crimes against the state, but being a citizen of Rome, he demanded that the trial be held in Rome. Hence the sea voyage.]  The ship was in a storm off southern Italy and the crew were fearful for their lives.  Paul told them they would all live and when the ship ran aground, everyone survived. Once safely on shore,” wrote Luke, “we found out that the island was called Malta.  The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.”  The shipwreck at Valletta or possibly St Thomas Bay was the start of the conversion the Maltese to Christianity. After three months, the crew and passengers continued to Rome and to this day, the people of Malta celebrate the shipwreck and the rescue of all hands.                                                                                                         “Mediterranean Vegetables” [similar to French Ratatouille] are a popular ingredient in Maltese recipes [a recipe will call for ‘a can of Mediterranean Vegetables’], and so we use them in today’s meals.  From breakfast to dinner, we can dine like those unusually kind people of Malta. The dinner is a scaled-down version of the local favorite “Torta tal-Ispinaċi u t-Tonn taż-Żejt.”

ratatouille-egg crepe

Ratatouille-Egg Crepe:    292 calories   5.7 g fat   4 g fiber   15.5 g protein   43 g carbs [37 g Complex]   205 mg Calcium    PB  GF – if using GF flour in your crêpes     Straight out of Malta – if it weren’t for the crêpe! A perfect blend of French/Mediterranean flavors.

1 crêpe [see Sidekicks I, 17 Sept 2017]                                                                                                            one 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                                               ¼ cup Mediterranean Vegetables [Sidekicks II, 4 Oct 2017], drained of excess liquids [reserve the liquid]                                                                                                                                                   ½ oz fresh mushrooms                                                                                                                                           5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or unpasturized apple cider                                            blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water

Drain the vegetables of excess liquids. Use the liquids to cook the mushrooms. Combine the vegetables and mushrooms and heat. Warm the crêpe and plate it. Poach or fry the egg. Spoon the vegetables over the crêpe and top it all with the egg.

maltese spinach-tuna pie

Maltese Spinach-Tuna Pie:   185 calories   9.6 g fat  5.3 g fiber  19 g protein   24 g carbs [16 g Complex]   49 mg Calcium   PB   This dish is a classic in Malta and you will enjoy it at home too. Lots of ingredients, but it is really easy to prepare and remarkably tasty. NB: This recipe serves two.

1/6 sheet purchased puff pastry                                                                                                       100 g frozen spinach                                                                                                                                 1 tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                    ½ cup onion, chopped                                                                                                                           2 cloves garlic, chopped                                                                                                                     100 g tuna                                                                                                                                           100 g Mediterranean Vegetables [see Sidekicks II,  4-October -’17]                                                                                 ¼ c peas                                                                                                                                            1 Tbsp capers                                                                                                                                     2 anchovies, rinsed                                                                                                                              2 Tbsp tomato puree 

Put the puff paste sheet on the counter to warm for 30 minutes. Thaw the spinach and squeeze out the moisture. Heat the oil in a pan, then saute the onions and garlic. When they are just cooked, add everything else except the puff pastry. Stir and cook until everything is warmed through. Transfer to a lightly-oiled oven-proof dish. Cut 1/6 of the pastry sheet. Rewrap and refreeze the rest. Place the puff paste on top of the tuna/vegetable mixture. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until the puff pastry is browning and flakey.

Indian Summer

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.                                                                      Welcome to Kanhaiya L. who is now Following.

Here we are on the other side of Fall: it is darker, the color is gone from the leaves, and as Ned Stark would say, “Winter is coming.”  And yet… along comes a warm day or two to get our hopes up.  “Indian Summer,” as it is called around here, is a spell of warmer weather following the killing frost.  One can imagine the early Europeans, trying to hack an existence out of the New England landscape, going into despair as the cold weather arrived.  “This is not like England,” they’d moan. “We should have more time to get ready for winter!”  “Not to worry,” their First Nations allies [at that point in time they still had not thoroughly alienated the locals] would rejoin, “There will be more warm weather.”  And since they were correct, the Europeans dubbed it Indian Summer.  The Old Farmer’s Almanac says that it begins this year on November 12, so let’s enjoy it.                                   In honor of those warmer days, we will enjoy some foods of summer once again.  Breakfast will include melon, which is available Summer and Fall, paired deliciously with prosciutto which is the product of Autumn. For dinner, a chance to grill again by putting tuna and summer vegetables on the flames. And although we are talking about Fall in northern New England, these recipes will whisk you off to a sunny Mediterranean diet.

Prosciutto & Melon Plate:  266 calories  7.3 g fat   2.2 g fiber  23.6 g protein   36 g carbs [24 g Complex]  294 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-close bags in the refrigerator.Prosciutto-Melon Plate

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                                                                                       blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                               5-6 oz fruit smoothie, green smoothie or natural apple cider

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.

Tuna with Grilled Vegetables:  244 calories   7 g fat  3.9 g fiber  29 g protein  14.6 g carbs  [10.6 g Complex]  32.5 mg Calcium  PB GF  The recipe comes from the Fast Diet Book and it is wonderful. An exemplar of the Mediterranean Diet.tuna & grilled veg

6 oz tuna steak                                                                                                                                                          4 oz red bell peppers                                                                                                                                               5 oz zucchini  or summer squash                                                                                                                                  2 oz cherry tomatoes                                                                                                                                               1 tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                                        splash of lemon juice

Cut the peppers into long strips. Same with the zucchini. Toss all the vegetables with the olive oil. Cook the tuna and vegetables on a grill pan or grill, 3 minutes on each side. Serve with the lemon juice. Delicious and quick.

Happy Pairing: Dill + Salmon

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.                                                                     Welcome to Douglas W. who is now Following.

Some food flavors have a natural affinity for each other. Culinary articles and books have used a lot of ink on the topic. [One of our favorite tomes is What to Drink with What You Eat by Andrew Dornenburg]  In many cuisines, the favorite pairing is Dill with Salmon. Scandinavian cooks love that combination, as do the Russians. In fact, throughout the Northern latitudes where salmon live in the waters and dill grows in the gardens, there are recipes to combine the two.

Leek & Salmon Bake:  270 calories  7 g fat  2.9 g fiber  15.2 g protein  36.4 g carbs  225.6 mg Calcium PB GF Simply delicious.Leek-Salmon Bake w: plum

One 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                ½ oz salmon [could be leftover from a previous meal]                                                                                  1/3 oz leek, sliced thinly                                                                                                                                                 1 tsp low-fat sour cream OR plain Greek Yogurt                                                                                       dill weed to taste                                                                                                                                                  dash lemon juice                                                                                                                                                        1 small plum  OR  ¼ cup blueberries                                                                                                                                                    6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or unpasturized apple cider                                                      blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water

Spritz an oven-proof ramekin [for 2 people, my Husband likes to use a 6×4” oval casserole] with non-stick spray and set the oven for 350 degrees F. Slice the leek and put in a microwave-safe dish. [NB: if the fish is raw, cut it into small pieces and put it in the dish, too]Cook in microwave for 30 minutes at high heat to soften the leek. Add to the ramekin. Whisk the egg with the sour cream, dill, lemon juice, and salt/pepper to taste. [NB: some people find dill to be a very strong flavor] Pour over the salmon/leek mixture and bake for 12-15 minutes. Prepare your beverages and dish the berries. Have a wonderful breakfast and a wonderful day.

Salmon-Dill Casserole:   281 calories  10.4 g fat  5 g fiber  24.6 g protein  24 g carbs  253 mg Calcium PB GF  This is a wonderful combination.Salmon-Leek Casserole

3 oz salmon, raw                                                                                                                                                          1 cup leeks, sliced                                                                                                                                                      1 clove garlic                                                                                                                                                                 2 oz clam juice                                                                                                                                                             2 Tbsp milk                                                                                                                                                             ¼ cup peas                                                                                                                                                                                                     pinch nutmeg + pinch cayenne  +  ½ tsp dill                                                                                                     ½ tsp cornstarch                                                                                                                                                            1 oz green beans  

Cut the salmon into one-inch cubes and put in an oven-proof dish, dusting the fish with salt and pepper. Cook the leeks 5 minutes in a pan with a spritz of oil and some water. Slice the garlic and add that to the leeks for 15 seconds. Take pan off the heat and add dill, cayenne, nutmeg, peas, and  cornstarch. Pour over salmon and bake around 15 minutes until it is hot through. In the meantime, cook the green beans and drain. Scrape the hot salmon mixture into your serving bowl [I used one 7” bowl per serving], being sure to include all the sauce. Top with the cooked beans. If there is broth left in the bottom of the bowl, don’t be shy – drink it!