Saint Agnes

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.

Agnes was a child who, after being murdered in a Roman persecution, became a saint. Her innocence attracted a cult of followers and her feast day, January 21, has been celebrated since the 4th century. One aspect of her veneration involves young women traditionally following a ritual of fasting on January 20 in the hopes of dreaming of their future husband.  John Keats incorporated this in his Romantic poem The Eve of St Agnes. It tells the tale of star-crossed lovers, Madeline and Porphyro.  She fasts and falls asleep.  Porphyro sneaks into the castle and gains admittance to her chamber with the help of Angela, the old Nurse [further shades of Romeo and Juliet]. While Madeline sleeps, her would-be lover sets a fantastic feast of expensive delicacies in her room.  She wakes, sees the object of her dreams [the guy not the goodies], and they escape to his castle to get married.  All rather racy for a poem related to 13-year-old Agnes. The name ‘Agnes’ is Greek, meaning ‘chaste’ but it is similar to the latin word for ‘lamb.’  Therefore the innocence of Agnes and of little lambs is forever linked.                                                                   In honor of Agnes, we will enjoy a breakfast based on Porphyro’s fantastic feast and a dinner of lamb stew.  Also, we are Fasting — not because we want to see visions of a ‘dream-boat’ but because we want to be healthy.

Porphyro’s Picnic:   252 calories  5.7 g fat   6 g fiber   6.5 g protein   53 g carbs [43 g Complex] 128 mg Calcium   PB GF V  This is based on the foods described by Keats in his romantic poem  The Eve of St Agnes.  The meal is rather sweet despite its low calorie count – perhaps it needs some other taste to cut it. A cup of black coffee? Full of fiber, this meal is sure to kick-start your tally of fruits/vegetables for the day.porphyro's picnic

2 Tbsp low-fat French Vanilla yogurt + 2 Tbsp almond meal                                                                      2 oz apple, diced                                                                                                                                                         2 oz melon, cubed ¼ cup pitted plums [I used canned plums in light syrup, drained and rinsed], use fresh if in season                                                                                                                              2 tsp cider syrup [or use 2 tsp syrup from the plums] + ¼ tsp ground cinnamon                            ¼ oz Medjool date, cut in 4 pieces.  [in the photo you see more dates, but there should be fewer]                                                                                                                                                                                     NO smoothie                                                                                                                                                    black coffee or black tea or lemon in hot water

Stir the yogurt and almond meal together and spoon onto the center of the plate. Chop the apple, cube the melon, and arrange them around the almond cream, along with the plums. Place the pieces of date at random. Combine the cider syrup with the cinnamon and drizzle it over the apple and melon. All set to eat and you still have 48 calories left over. Not responsible for what happens if you eat this by moonlight on January 20.

Lamb Stew with Glazed Vegetables:  317 calories**    8 g fat**   5.8 g fiber   24 g protein  31 g carbs    62 mg Calcium  GFif using GF flour   The recipe is from Salute to Healthy Cooking, so you know it is good. We have enjoyed this often. If you double the recipe, then you’ll have some to freeze for another meal. Yes, the calorie count is a bit high, but it is worth it. NB: One serving = ¾ cupLambstew

½ pound lamb shoulder, boneless and cut in cubes                                                                                    ½ cup onions, chopped                                                                                                                                         ¾ tsp white whole wheat flour OR GF flour                                                                                                  1 oz dry red wine                                                                                                                                                    ½ Tbsp tomato paste                                                                                                                                                  1 tsp thyme + 1 bay leaf                                                                                                                                               ¾ cup carrots, cut in 2” batons                                                                                                                         ½ cup cubed potatoes                                                                                                                                            6 pearl onions                                                                                                                                                                  1 cup [5 oz] turnips, cut in 2” batons                                                                                                                        ½ tsp sugar** 1 tsp butter**                                                                                                                                 cold water                                                                                                                                                           optional:  1/4 cup green peas, cooked and added after plating

Sear the cubed lamb on all sides [about 3 minutes] in a heavy pan which has been sprayed with non-stick spray or oil. Cook the meat in batches so the pan doesn’t cool down. Remove the cooked meat to a Dutch oven and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the onions in the same cooking pan and sauté them with enough water to make them sizzle. When the onions are transparent, add the wine to deglaze the pan, stirring the brown bits up from the bottom. Heat the oven to 350 F. Sprinkle with the flour and stir to mix. Add to the Dutch oven. Pour in enough cold water to go to the top of the lamb but not cover it. Stir in the thyme and bay leaf. Heat to a simmer on top of the stove on medium heat. Then cover and put the casserole in the oven. Bake 1 hour, checking once in a while to adjust the temperature to make sure the stew is not boiling. After 1 hour, add the carrots, put the cover back on and bake for 15 minutes. Add the potatoes, put the cover back on and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. While the potatoes are baking, put the pearl onions and turnips in a small non-stick pan with the sugar and butter** and enough water to rise half-way up the onions. Simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered and shaking the pan ocaisionaly. Add salt and pepper. Reserve, off the heat until the lamb is cooked. Plate the stew with the vegetables, adding the optional peas if you wish.  [add ___ calories and ___ g fiber]

** If you were to cook the onions and turnips without the butter and sugar, you would reduce the calories to 297 and the fat to 6.3 g.

Morning to Night: Felafel

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 Trinity L. who is now Following.

Felafel is a ubiquitous street food in the Eastern Mediterranean and it should be healthy. But too often it is deep-fried, adding needless calories and fat. On a Fast Day good felafel can take you from morning to night with some delicious and satisfying meals. The origin of felafel goes back to the lands now called Palestine and Israel, but once called Sameria, Judea, Idumaea.  Let’s not get bogged down on who invented it — let’s celebrate how good it is and how easy it is to eat in a variety of forms. Felafel in eggs and a felafel-topped salad are fine forms of feasting. I’ll give you the basic recipe, then you can decide how to use it.

Felafel:       1 batch = 648 cal 25.4 g fat 21 g fiber 32.5 g protein 72 g carbs 214 mg Calcium  each patty= 30 cal 1.2 g fat 0.8 g fiber 1.6 g protein 4 g carbs 8.5 mg Calcium    GF PB  V  From the good old Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen, these are easy to prepare and set you up for several servings of future meals.                                                                                                                                  2 cups canned chick peas     [I like Goya brand  TIP:  if you use dried chickpeas, you will get a grainer product. Factor in the time to reconstitute and cook them]                                                            1.5 cloves garlic, crushed [add as much as you enjoy!]                                                                                 ¼ cup celery, minced                                                                                                                                           ¼ c. scallions, sliced                                                                                                                                                    1 raw egg                                                                                                                                                                                            1.5 tsp tahini                                                                                                                                                                 ½ t. cumin    +   ½ t. tumeric   +   ¼ t. cayenne  + ¼ t. black pepper     +  1.5 t. salt                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Combine everything in food processor until ingredients form a uniform paste. Scoop into a bowl and chill 1 hour. Form into balls on a silicone mat or parchment paper on a cookie sheet. I used a 1  Tbsp scoop and then flattened the patties slightly. TIP: You don’t have to bake them now. You could freeze the patties on a cookie sheet, then put them frozen into bags to cook later.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. The patties should be heated through and have an outside ‘crust’ which is firm to the touch. In most recipes, you will cook them further. At this point you want them to be firm enough to store well. There will be about 25 of them. Use now or cool and freeze for later use.

Felafel Bake:  271 calories   6.6 g fat   3.1 g fiber   15.2 g protein  40 g carbs   198 mg Calcium   PB GF   Here we use 1 of the felafel patties which we prepared and froze earlier. Great time-saver! Amazing in eggs!Felafel Bake w: blueberries

1 two-oz egg one felafel patty, thawed [see Stocking Up I-4-’18]                                                                            1 Tbsp tomato puree or crushed tomatoes                                                                                                            ¼ c blueberries                                                                                                                                                                     blackish coffee, blackish tea, or lemon in hot water                                                                                   5-6 oz smoothie or natural apple cider

Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and set the toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the felafel and the tomato until well blended. Whisk the egg into the felafel and turn into the ramekin. Bake about 15 minutes while you portion the berries and prepare the beverages. What a simple, delicious breakfast.

Felafel with Mixed Salad: 295 calories   13.6 g fat   7.3 g fiber   15.5 g protein  29 g carbs [28 Complex]   174 mg Calcium   PB   GF   V    What a healthy plate of food! When you have felafel in the freezer, a quick meal like this is almost instant. If you prep the vegetables in advance, this would be a good ‘make-ahead’ meal for the end of a busy day.felafel w: mixed salad

6 felafel patties                                                                                                                                                           2 cups lettuce, I like to slice large leaves cross-wise into 1/2” strips                                                         2 oz tomatoes, cherry tomatoes or cut in 1/2” cubes                                                                                      1 oz carrots, grated                                                                                                                                                       1 oz beets cut in large dice [canned beets would be a real plus]                                                                1 oz Feta cheese in large crumbles                                                                                                                    ¾ tsp flavored olive oil   +  ¾ tsp white wine vinegar                                                                                    salt + pepper to taste

Thaw the felafel patties. If unbaked, heat in a 400° F. oven for 10-15 minutes. Prepare the vegetables for the salad. Whisk the vinegar and oil, then toss the salad vegetables in the dressing. Top with the felafel and feta crumbles.

Tolkien

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

J.R.R. Tolkien did not set out to be a world-famous fantasy writer. Born in South Africa on January 2, 1892, he became a professor of linguistics at Oxford. There he dabbled in writing with a group called The Inklings. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis traded ideas and critiqued each other’s work. [This is why both their fantasy series feature talking trees, elves, and Christian allegory.] At heart, Tolkien was a lover of the linguistic roots of modern English and of old myths.  He wanted to create an English mythology and produced The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Silmarillion, and many songs, poems, and short stories. Tolkien’s work is beloved the world over for the universal human insights set in a fantasy landscape.  The Quest and Coming of Age themes are compelling and the characters are memorable. The works may not be the history of England and its language, but they are worth reading at any age.                                                                                                                          Since Tolkien was such a devoted chronologist of all things English, today’s meals would please him as well as making sure that no Hobbits become fatter.  The mushroom breakfast is based on the casserole given to Frodo by Farmer Maggot’s wife. And the dinner is a classic meal from the 1700s.

FarmWife Mushroom Pudding:  300 calories   6 g fat   3.1 g fiber  14.5 g protein  34 g carbs [20.8 g Complex]  345 mg Calcium  PB  Having heard this described in books, I searched and searched until I found this recipe in Theodora FitzGibbon’s A Taste of England.

½ oz [around one strip] American/streaky bacon                                                                                                  ½ cup assorted mushrooms, chopped                                                                                                               3 Tbsp chicken stock                                                                                                                                               ¾ tsp white whole wheat flour                                                                                                                                                       ½ Arnold Multi-grain Sandwich Thin -OR-   1/3 cup Yorkshire Pudding batter […Not By Bread…Feb 7 ’18]                                                                                                                                                         1/2 oz pear

Cook the bacon partially, blot off the fat, and cut in strips. Pour off the bacon fat but return 1 tsp to the pan. Saute the mushrooms in the fat and remove them. Pour some of the chicken stock into the pan and sprinkle in the flour while whisking to prevent lumps as it thickens. Add the remaining stock and some pepper. Put the bacon and mushrooms into the sauce and cook over low heat. Pour into an oiled oven-proof dish and top with the Sandwich Thin or the Yorkshire Pudding batter. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes [if using Sandwich Thin] -OR- for 2o minutes [if using the Yorkshire Pudding.] NB: you can serve it out of the dish or turn it out on the plate.  Enjoy with the pear and have a hearty day.

Pheasant Casserole: 250 calories   9.5 g fat   5.4 g fiber   22.5 g protein  21.6 g carbs [19 Complex]   86 mg Calcium  PB   This recipe is based on one from English Provincial Cooking by Elisabeth Ayrton and it dates back to the 18thcentury. Whole partridges were stewed with onion, carrot, and cabbage for 2.5 hours and served on thick slices of bread. Well, this is a modified version and it is delicious. This uses left over cooked pheasant meat and works well.Pheansant Casserole

2-1/2 oz cabbage, sliced 1-1.5” thick                                                                                                                   1.5 oz baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise                                                                                                            ¼ oz onion rings [which I forgot to put on the top]                                                                                     2 Tbsp chicken or pheasant gravy                                                                                                                      2 oz pheasant meat, cooked and taken off the bone                                                                                   ½ Arnold Multi-Grain Sandwich Thin

Prepare the carrots, cabbage, and onion and steam them for 25 minutes until the carrots are tender. If the cabbage is not yet done, leave it in the steamer with the lid on but off the heat until needed. Warm the pheasant in the gravy + 2 tsp of the water from the steaming liquid. Warm the Arnold Thins in the toaster oven. Plate the bread. Spoon a tablespoon of gravy on top. Place the meat atop the bread. Stir the warm vegetables into the warm gravy and plate them. Put the onion rings on top and pour any remaining gravy over the meat.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

one 2-oz egg                                                       apple or strawberries Next week I will provide some favorite side dishes for Fast Days
whole-grain bread, 70 calories
blend cream/half&half
parmesan cheese Find a new favorite in the Archives
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

Dinner, single portion:

Beef chuck steak +  green pepper
stewed tomatoes   + onion
white whole wheat flour
green beans   +  carrots Find a new favorite in the Archives
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Johannes Kepler

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

Although there is a space telescope named after him, most people would be hard pressed to recognize the name of Johannes Kepler.  Yet he revolutionized how we view the solar system and brought us out of the Middle Ages of astronomy once and for all.  He was the assistant to the famous Tycho Brahe [cf 13 December 2017] in Bohemia and inherited the detailed written observations of his mentor.  By applying his superior mathematical skills, Kepler developed his 3 Laws of Planetary Motion. Today’s breakfast illustrates those theories.  1]  Planets move in elliptical [egg-shaped] paths around the sun. [In his time, the 1500-year old ideas of Ptolemy said that orbits were perfect circles.]   2]  When planets reach the point of their orbit where they are farthest from the sun, they travel slower, but go faster closer to the sun.  The two figs mark places where a planet would go faster or slower in its orbit.  3]   The time it takes a planet to orbit the sun [many scientists in the 1500s held that the Earth was in the center of the Solar System] is proportional to its distance from the sun. In the photo, the ‘orbital path’ of the spinach leaves would be shorter if it were closer to the egg yolk [egg yolk = sun.]                     These ideas were huge in their day and yet they made few ripples in the scientific community, with no scandal of excommunication.  The time was almost right for recognizing that the old ideas were based on opinion and that scientists could prove, by observation and calculation, that their theories were correct.                                                                                                                             Since Kepler’s side hustle was as an astrologer [the magic side of star-gazing], dinner gives a nod to the recent Winter Solstice, a time of dread and disruption in the ancient Solar Calendar.  Kepler’s birthday is tomorrow. He was a Capricorn.

Fig & Chèvre Plate:    294 calories  8.7 g fat  5.7 g fiber  17 g protein  43 g carbs [33 g Complex]   325 mg Calcium   PB GF  Simple, elegant, and much more filling than it looks.Fig + Chevre Plate, black

½ hard-boiled egg                                                                                                                                                                    1 dried fig, mass of 0.65 oz or 16 g                                                                                                                       1 oz chèvre cheese                                                                                                                                                      ¼ oz baby spinach                                                                                                                                             blackish coffee, blackish tea, or lemon in hot water                                                                                            5-6 oz fruit smoothie or green smoothie or natural apple cider

Rehydrate the dried fig by covering with water and microwaving or heating for 1 minute. Let the fig sit in the water for another few minutes, then cut in half. Arrange the spinach leaves in an oval. Dab the leaves with crumbles of the goat cheese. Plate the egg half and the fig halves. HINT: I composed the plate the night before, covered it with a plastic bag, and kept it cool until breakfast. Instant breakfast!

Winter Solstice Pizza: 281 calories   10 g fat  2.8 g fiber  16 g protein  15.6 g carbs [7.8 g Complex]  223.4 mg Calcium PB   On the solstice, we like to prepare a pizza with elements of the season past [mushrooms represent Fall] and of the season to come [cured meats stand in for Winter]. Fabulous flavors!Winter Solstice Pizza

1 whole wheat tortilla [ex: Herdez 8” Fajita-style Tortilla], must be 170 calories or less                                                                                                                         1.5 Tbsp crushed tomatoes + pinch granulated garlic                                                                                        1 oz mozzerella cheese, grated                                                                                                                                 1 oz mushrooms, chopped                                                                                                                                                         1/3 oz prosciutto                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Tbsp onion, chopped                                                                                                                                      generous sprinkling of Italian Herbs + crushed red peppers to taste                                                                                                                                     

Heat the oven to 400 F. Spread the tortilla with the crushed tomato sauce and garlic. Chop the prosciutto roughly and combine it with the mushrooms, onion, and cheese. Distribute over the pizza shell. Sprinkle with herbs, crushed red pepper, or other seasonings to taste. Bake for 5-10 minutes. Light some candles and enjoy pizza on the longest night of the year.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

Next week I will discuss options for American bacon   +  mushrooms
      New Year’s Eve entertaining Cheddar cheese   + chicken stock
choose a favorite from the Archives Yorkshire Pudding Batter [..Not by Bread…18-Feb-2018  OR Arnold Sandwich Thin [100 calories]
       for breakfast white whole wheat flour
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

Dinner, single portion:

Next week I will discuss options for cooked pheasant meat
           New Year’s Eve entertaining carrots  +  cabbage  + onion
 choose a favorite from the Archives pheasant or chicken gravy
         for dinner Arnold Sandwich Thin [100 calories]
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Very Grimm

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

Children’s and Household Tales were first published on December 20, 1812.  Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm did not intend their work as happy bed-time stories for children. Their intent was to collect German folktales before they disappeared in an increasingly industrial society. The stories were to re-educate the German public about their cultural past and to earn money for their impoverished brothers and sister. [Food or a lack thereof is a constant theme in their stories.]  The book was a best-seller, partly due to the fact that it fit well with the Romanticism of the era: stories set in the wild forest; tales that harked back to a simpler if not a kinder time. Popular in our own time, ‘fairy tales’ show us the darker sides of human nature, but in the end things usually work out. That’s reassuring.

In the theme of Grimm’s tales, we will eat porridge for breakfast — but not cook it to excess as in the story Sweet Porridge.  We will know when to stop. Many of the stories take a truly gruesome turn as in The Juniper Tree [a film Disney will never make!], so we will have organ meats in the form of haggis spring rolls for dinner. Re-read some of the works of the Brothers Grimm today.

10-Grain Porridge:   300 calories  1.5 g fat   5.1 g fiber  16 g protein   50 g carbs [39 g Complex]   215 mg Calcium   PB   Delicious hot cereal for any day of the week.10-Grain Porridge

1/4 cup uncooked Bob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Cereal                                                                                                                                                        2 Tbsp cottage cheese                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 tsp maple syrup                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               1.5 Tbsp applesauce, unsweetened                                                                                                                                                                                                                        pinch of nutmeg + pinch of cinnamon                                                                                                                                                                                 blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                             3 oz fruit smoothie, green smoothie or natural apple cider

Put the cereal in 3/4 of a cup of boiling water, turn down to a simmer and cook, covered, for 8 minutes. HINT: Do this the night before. Cool the cereal, then mix in the cottage cheese, maple syrup, applesauce, and spices until well-combined.  Put into a microwave-save bowl and cook in the microwave for 45 to 60 seconds [if cold from last night] OR for 30 seconds until hot through. Pour the beverages and you will have a warm, filling start to your day.

Haggis Spring Rolls:  262 calories  12.8 g fat  2.8 g fiber  23 g protein  26 g carbs  41 mg Calcium The first time I enjoyed these was at the Whiski Rooms in Edinburgh, along with a wee dram of single malt. Today, the whisky is in the dipping sauce to complete the fusion of Asian-Scottish flavors. This meal has my husband’s approval.Haggis Spring Rolls

4 six-inch rice spring roll wrappers/skins                                                                                                                                                                          8 Tbsp haggis filling see Spicy  12-September-2018                                                                                          1 cup lettuce leaves sliced into <1/2” strips +  1/2 oz carrot, grated  + cherry tomatoes                                                                                     1 tsp flavored olive oil +  1 tsp red wine vinegar finishing salt                                                                                                             1.5 tsp Thai hot chili sauce + ½ tsp single malt Scotch whisky                                                              

Put water into a wide, shallow dish such as a pie plate. Lay a tea towel on the counter. Place onespring roll wrapper in the water. Initially, the wrapper will look like a piece of thin, stiff, whitish plastic. Soon it will become more transparent, colorless, and pliable. Remove it from the water while still a little stiff [do NOT let it become limp] and lay it on the tea towel. Place 2 Tbsp haggis filling on the lower 1/3 of the wrapper, arranged as a little log. Roll it up, folding the sides in after the 1stturn. Move finished roll to the side as you repeat the steps. Heat a 10” cast-iron skillet over medium flame and spray with non-stick spray. Place the spring rolls in the pan with room between them. Cook slowly on one side, then roll onto another side. Continue until all the rolls are browned on each side. Prepare the salad and plate it. Combine the chili sauce and the whisky in a dipping cup. Plate the haggis, and try not to read Grimm’s Fairy Tales while you dine.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg 1 two-oz egg, hard-boiled
avocado baby spinach
whole-grain bread chèvre cheese [goat cheese]
fig, dried or fresh
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

Dinner, single portion:

pork tenderloin, roasted or raw + sesame oil + pickle juice whole-wheat tortillas, 170 calories each
ground ginger + soy sauce + ground garlic crushed tomatoes   + onion
cucumber + carrot + red bell pepper mozzarella cheese
baguette + Asian sweet chili sauce mushrooms  +  prosciutto
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Emily Dickinson

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 FoodStories who is now Following.

If you were to list New England poets, Emily Dickinson would be right up there. And yet, no one heard of her work until after she was dead.  The Belle of Amherst Massachusetts was born on 10 December, 1830, smack-dab in the middle of a cultural revolution. In religion there was the Second Great Awakening. In politics, there was the growing abolitionist movement. In literature, there was Emily Dickinson penning poems in obscurity as she baked [one poem written on a chocolate wrapper] or cleaned [one poem written on the label for silver polish]. She kept house for her lawyer father and brothers and, according to legend, hardly ever went further afield than the garden of the family home. Her correspondence took her far away as she wrote to distant friends. After her death, her sister had her poems published, leaving readers bemused and/or excited by her verse.  In 1955, her collected works and her letters were printed and Emily Dickinson were rediscovered by an enthusiastic audience.  The poem that haunts me the most is The Bustle in a House, one of her most approachable poems about death. Dickinson wrote that she thought in a ‘New-England-y’ way. So true.                                                                                                                        Emily Dickinson did the cooking in the household, and I approve of good food made from scratch.  When she wrote to her ‘mentor’ H.W. Higginson describing her cooking for the household, she said, “People must have puddings.” In that spirit, breakfast is based on a French pudding, the flameuse which Emily would have liked.  And dinner is an old New England favorite.

Cherry Flamusse:   291 calories     5.3 g fat    2.2 g fiber   15.4 g protein   46.7 g carbs [34 g Complex]  316 mg Calcium   GF – if using GF flour   This breakfast custard is borrowed from the dessert section of the cookbook, and it works very well either way! It is similar to a clafouti, but simpler. Served with cherries or any fresh fruit, it is sure to be a hit. HINT:This makes enough for 2 [two] servings: share with a a friend or save the rest for a future breakfast or dessert. [Without the morning beverages, the dessert has 177 calories.]Cherry Flamusse

2 two-oz eggs                                                                                                                                                                     6 oz milk                                                                                                                                                                   4 tsp flour OR tapioca flour                                                                                                                                    1.5 Tbsp sugar                                                                                                                                                         10 sweet cherries, pitted                                                                                                                                      ½ clementine                                                                                                                                                                                                              blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                  3 oz  green smoothie or fruit smoothie

Spritz 2 ramekins [or an oven-proof dish with 1.5 cup capacity] with non-stick spray. Cut the cherries in half and arrange on the bottom of the dish. Whisk eggs until foamy, then add flour and sugar, whisking until there are no lumps. Stir in the milk and pour the batter over the cherries. Bake at 375 F. for 20 minutes. Turn the flamusse out of the dish so that the cherries are on top. Plate with the clementine sections, serve with the beverages. You won’t believe this is a ‘diet.’

Red Flannel Hash:  249 calories   9.2 g fat   1.9 g fiber  12.6 g protein  17.8 g carbs [16 g Complex]  43 mg Calcium  PB GF   This is a venerable New England farm meal, with the recipe coming from Hayden Pearson’s Country Flavors Cookbook.Red Flannel Hash

1 cup cooked diced beets (1/3” dice)                                                                                                                 1/3 cup diced potatoes (1/3” dice)                                                                                                                        ¼ cup diced onions                                                                                                                                                      2 slices Canadian Bacon/back bacon, diced                                                                                                                                                                                              one 2-oz egg lots of salt and pepper to taste

Cook, peel, and dice the beets and set aside to cool. [HINT: do this the day before]  Peel and dice the potatoes. Put potatoes into a pan of tap water and put the pan on the burner. Turn on the heat and let the pan sit, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the water starts to boil around the edges. Take off the heat and leave potatoes to cool in the water. Then drain and set aside. Dice the onions and bacon. Spray a saute pan with non-stick spray and add the Canadian bacon. Cook it as crisp as you wish, or not so crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside. Add the onions with 2-3 Tbsp water, and cook until the onions are transluscent and the water is mostly gone. Now put the potatoes in the pan with the onions, add salt and pepper to taste. Stir until the potatoes are cooked. Add the beets and bacon to the pan and continue to cook until heated through. Meanwhile, fry the egg: sunnyside-up or over easy as you prefer. Plate the hash and top with the egg. Country dining.

Acores 2

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 Reshma B who is now Following.

We will remain on the beautiful island of Sao Miguel, Açores for another day to point out more about how we Fast whilst traveling.  We enjoy cooking and eating our own food at a self-catering accommodation [such as Pico do Refugio], but we do like to dine out too.  At any restaurant on Sao Miguel, the first thing you are offered is local cheese as a starter. The most simple version of this is “Queijo Fresco” [aka Queso Fresco or Queso Blanco or ‘farmer’s cheese’] which is always served with the hot sauce “Pimenta do Queijo.” Spicy “Choriço Paste” is also popular and available at the meat section of the supermarket. Those flavors together made for a fine dish of eggs for a Fast Day breakfast, along with the locally-grown pineapple.  Dinner at a favorite restaurant on a Slow Day would usually involve seafood, and then left-overs would make a another appearance on a Fast Day at home.  On Slow Days, we ‘went native’ and sampled local restaurants and wines and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. “And does this work?” you ask. “Can one enjoy a vacation and without a huge weight gain?” Yes. After 11 days of vacation, my weight was still at my Target Level. Travel should broaden the mind but it doesn’t have to broaden the waistline.

Azorean Queso Egg:  249 calories   10 g fat   0.8 g fiber   15.7 g protein   16.4 g carbs  [8 g Complex]  271.5 mg Calcium   PB GF  Two of the favorite flavors of the Azores combine for this egg dish, and the pineapple ices the cake.Azorean-flavor Eggs w: pineapple          1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                                              1.5 tsp Queso Fresco                                                                                                                                                 1 tsp Chorizo Paste                                                                                                                                                               2 oz pineapple                                                                                                                                                 blackish coffee or tea or lemon in hot water

Whisk the egg, cheese, and chorizo paste, then bake in an oven-proof dish or cook in a saute pan. Slice the pineapple and sip some Brazilian coffee for a delicious, low-calorie meal.

Dinner at a Restaurant: Seafood is usually a safe choice  Azores Cod w: Veg @ Restaurant                                                                                     for a low-calorie meal in a restaurant, unless it is drowned in a fatty sauce. And since  the Açores are in the middle of the Atlantic, it wasn’t hard to find top-notch seafood.  Here, at the Restaurant of the Agricultural Association, cod was grilled and served with boiled vegetables. If you skip the potatoes, you are more virtuous.  [You can see the Queijo Fresco with Pimenta in the upper right corner.]

Cod w: Veg Left-over For another meal, what could be more easy than this food a second time around?  There is an ample amount of both the fish and the vegetables to be very satisfying on a Fast Day.  We liked the food at the Agricultural Association so well that we dined there twice. Their speciality is beef and it is not for a Fast Day!                                                                                                                                                              .

 

 

Roi Soleil

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 buildingtheloveshack who is now Following.

Louis XIV, Louis the Great, The Sun King [Roi Soleil] was the longest-reigning monarch in French or European history: 72 years. How did he achieve that? By being crowned king on May 14, 1643, when he was 4 years old.  If you watch the TV series Versailles, you get the sense of a monomaniac on the throne — being hailed as supreme ruler while a toddler might do that to you! Louis was the driving force of French culture of his era, gathering artists [Le Brun], architects [Mansart], landscapers [LeNôtre], musicians [Lully], and playwrites [Molière] to his court to create works which still dazzle us today. And Louis did not simply pay them to get on with it, he collaborated, suggested, and astonished his contemporaries with his range of knowledge and skill. He was a wonderful <touche à tout> but not the best of kings. The Château de Versailles is his masterpiece of French Baroque style.  In honor of Louis, our eggs are full of rich dainties and named after the church where French kings were traditionally crowned. The dinner features oysters, which Louis loved [wagon-loads of bivalves were moved from the coast to Versailles weekly] and sparkling wine. [A purist would say that Champagne as we know it had not been developed in the time of Le Roi Soleil, but Limoux from southern France had been around since 1531.]

Saint Denis ScrOmelette:  295 calories  9 g fat   3.1 g fiber  18 g protein  35 g carbs   215.4 mg Calcium   GF   James Beard’s comprehensive volume American Cooking gives us the recipe for this breakfast. Delicious, and rich, and wonderful.  Worth getting up for.

St-Denis ScrOmelette w: cherries

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, crack three 2-oz eggs into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.                                                1 Tbsp leek or scallion, minced                                                                                                                              ½ clove garlic, minced                                                                                                                                                              ¼ oz mushrooms                                                                                                                                                                 ¼ oz ham [3% fat], minced                                                                                                                                   1 tsp chicken liver OR chicken liver pate                                                                                                  parsley for garnish                                                                                                                                                  4 Bing cherries                                                                                                                                                                          blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                          5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or unpasturized apple cider

Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Add the leek, garlic, and mushrooms and stir to cook. Whisk the eggs with the ham and pate and pour over the vegetables in the pan. Cook as thoroughly as you like. The hot beverage is brewed, the smoothie is shaken, and the fruit is plated.  Breakfast fit for a king.

Oyster Feast with Bubbly:   272 calories   10.2 g fat   1.9 g fiber   12.7 g protein   16 g carbs 83 mg Calcium   PB   Got something BIG to celebrate: how about a plate of raw and baked oysters with a salad AND a glass of bubbly? This serves TWO, since a celebration deserves company.oysters, chevre-stuffedoysters w: beet-walnut salad

 18 medium Eastern oysters, raw                                                                                                                           9 tsp chevre cheese                                                                                                                                                4 saltine crackers as medium-fine crumbs                                                                                                          3 cups lettuce                                                                                                                                                                   2 Tbsp raw herbs, [such as thyme, rosemary, chives], chopped                                                                 1 oz grated carrots                                                                                                                                               3  oz tomatoes, cherry or standard                                                                                                               1-1/2 tsp olive oil  + 1-1/2 tsp good vinegar  + pinch flavored salt                                                                            per person:  4 oz Sparkling Wine [such as Champagne]

Turn on the broiler. Shuck the oysters, discarding the upper shell, but keep the oyster in the bottom shell. Carefully put half oysters on an oven-proof pan. Sprinkle each of those oysters with a pinch of the cracker crumbs. Then put 1 tsp of the chevre on each oyster. Top with the rest of the crumbs. Slide under the broiler until the cheese begins to soften and brown just a bit. In a wide bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and herbs. Toss lettuce and carrots with the dressing, add a pinch of salt and top with tomatoes. Plate the raw and baked oysters with the salad, pour your bubbly. Salut!

For the Birds

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

John James Audubon: champion of wild birds; American defender of wildlife; founder of the Audubon Society.  Not so fast. He was a man of two worlds and of two personas. The famous bird artist was not an American by birth: he was born on the wrong side of the blanket in Haiti to a French ship owner and his housekeeper. His name at birth was ‘Jean Rabin.’  Ultimately adopted by his father and his father’s wife, Rabin’s name was changed to Jean-Jacques F. Audubon.  An education centered around art and dancing did not help when he was sent to Pennsylvania to escape Napoleonic conscription and to run the family lead mine.  [On the way to America on a false passport, he changed his name to John James.]  After marriage and the arrival of children, Audubon tried shop keeping in Kentucky and life as a miller, before working as a portrait painter and dance instructor. Earning praise for his paintings of birds, Audubon went on an extended hunting trip: he would shoot birds, wire them into lifelike poses, and paint them. Meanwhile, his wife supported the children by working as a governess. In 1836, publishers in Scotland and England agreed to publish his large-format book Birds of America, Audubon’s seminal work depicting more than 700 species. This work raised him from obscurity and secured him some financial stability.  He actually had nothing to do with the Audubon Society: that was founded by an admirer after Audubon died. One idea of Audubon’s persists in the study of birds: he developed the concept of ‘bird banding.’   Tomorrow, on Audubon’s birthday, we will eat the gizzards of birds he might have killed for breakfast [that’s <gésier> in French] and eat pheasant, a common game bird, for dinner. Bon apétit.

Gizzard ScrOmelette:  292 calories  10.7 g fat   2.4 g fiber  17.6 g protein  32 g carbs [29 g Complex]  212 mg Calcium  GF  Yes, really: gizzards. High in protein, low in fat . You could try this with the gizzard that is in the giblet package at Thanksgiving time.Gizzard ScrOmelette

Three 2-oz eggs of which you will use 1 ½ eggs per person 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.                                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 oz gizzards, cleaned and simmered in seasoned stock for 1 ½ hours [HINT: cook up a bunch of gizzards at the same time for future use]                                                                                  1 clove garlic, minced                                                                                                                                   sage + salt + pepper                                                                                                                                                       1 oz applesauce                                                                                                                                        Blackish coffee or tea or lemon with hot water                                                                                               5-6 oz fruit smoothie or natural apple cider

Spritz a non-stick pan with olive oil or non-stick spray. Slice the gizzards and cook them with the garlic and sage until warm. Whisk the eggs with salt & pepper to taste and scramble in the pan with the gizzards. Plate the applesauce and pour the beverages. Real farm food.

Pheasant Casserole:  250 calories  9.5 g fat   5.4 g fiber  22.5 g protein  21.6 g carbs [19 Complex]  86 mg Calcium   PB  This recipe is based on one from English Provincial Cooking by Elisabeth Ayrton and it dates back to the 18thcentury. Whole partridges were stewed with onion, carrot, and cabbage for 2.5 hours and served on thick slices of bread. Well, this is a modified version and it is delicious. This uses left over cooked pheasant meat and works well.Pheansant Casserole

2-1/2 oz cabbage, sliced 1-1.5” thick                                                                                                                   1.5 oz baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise                                                                                                     ¼ oz onion rings [which I forgot to put on the top in the photo]                                                                     2 Tbsp chicken or pheasant gravy                                                                                                                      2 oz pheasant meat, cooked and taken off the bone                                                                                                     ½ Arnold Multi-Grain Sandwich Thin

Prepare the carrots, cabbage, and onion and steam them for 25 minutes until the carrots are tender. If the cabbage is not yet done, leave it in the steamer with the lid on but off the heat until needed. Warm the pheasant in the gravy + 2 tsp of the water from the steaming liquid. Warm the Arnold Thins in the toaster oven. Plate the bread. Spoon a tablespoon of gravy on top. Place the meat atop the bread. Stir the warm vegetables into the warm gravy and plate them. Put the onion rings on top and pour any remaining gravy over the meat.

Ingredients for next week: breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs
 chorizo sausage  fresh herbs
 chèvre  cheese  melon or strawberries
 herbes de Province  +  Dijon mustard
 pear
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your hot beverage
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your smoothie

Dinner, single portion:

 firm-fleshed white fish  salad greens
 lime or lemon juice  clementine or tangerine sections
 flour  +  egg  hard-boiled egg  +  mango
 sweet potatoes   + canola or peanut oil  cold-water shrimp
 paprika  +  granulated garlic  asparagus
  asparagus  Srircha aioli + lemon juice
Sparkling water Sparkling water

the Rude Bridge

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

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,                                                                                       Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,                                                                                               Here once th’embattled farmers stood                                                                                                   and fired the shot heard ’round the world.

Thus Ralph Waldo Emerson’s  Concord Hymn commemorated the events of April 18-19, 1776 in Massachusetts.  The British had decided the night before to march on Lexington to seize weapons and capture Samuel Adams who was a local fire-brand. They marched all night to surprise the local militia.  But William Dawes and Paul Revere were tipped off and they were “Ready to ride and spread the alarm/ To every Middlesex village and farm.” [Paul Revere’s Ride by H. W. Longfellow]  Farmers in that area were members of the Minute Men, so called because at a minute’s notice they could grab their rifles and be ready to fight. As a result, the locals were prepared.  Forty militia had a tense standoff on the village green against 240 English in Lexington. A shot was fired [no one knows by whom], followed by volleys of bullets on both sides. Seven ‘Americans’ dead, the Redcoats then continued to Concord.  At the Old North Bridge over the Concord River, they were met by 400 enraged residents who forced the English to retreat back to Boston. Sniper fire from the Minute Men killed dozens more English and showed the potential for guerrilla warfare.  Thus began the American Revolution. Those loyal Minute Men were backed up by wives and mothers who could keep a meal handy for a man who might leave or show up at all hours.  A pot of pork and beans could turn into a hearty breakfast.  Fish cakes could be made quickly to satisfy a hungry farmer or soldier. Read some Longfellow and be ready in a minute to change your life for better.

Pork ‘n’ Beans ScrOmelette:  297 calories   8 g fat   3.1 g fiber  17.4 g protein  36 g carbs   211 mg Calcium  GF  As for the inspiration for this combination, I thought, ‘Well, why not?’ And it tastes good, too – like a meal while camping.Pork n Bean Scromlette

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, crack 3 2-oz eggs into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week                                                        1 Tbsp baked beans, straight from the can                                                                                                                                  ¼ oz pork tenderloin, raw or cooked, left-over from a previous dinner                                                                 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce                                                                                                                                   ¼ tsp HP sauce                                                                                                                                                          1.5 oz strawberries, thawed or fresh                                                                                                                 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or pure apple cider                                                                                               blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water

If the pork is raw, mince it and combine with the beans and a little water. Put in microwave for 45 seconds.                                                                                                                                                             If the pork is cooked, mince it and combine with the beans. Pour pork & beans to warm into a pan which has been sprayed briefly with cooking spray. Whisk the eggs with the two sauces and pour over the pork and beans. Scramble to taste, seasoning with salt and pepper. By now the beverage is hot, the smoothie is shaken, and the strawberries are looking wonderful. Sit, eat, enjoy your breakfast at camp.

Fish Cakes: NB: The Fish Cake recipe produces 6 cakes, each 1/3 cup in size.  Each cake = 92 calories   1.7 g fat   0.8 g fiber   8 g protein   11.8 g carbs   22 mg Calcium                                                                        NB: The Fish Cake recipe produces 8 cakes, each 1/4 cup in size.   Each cake = 69 calories   1.3 g fat 0.6 g fiber   5.3 g protein   8.8 g carbs   16 mg Calcium                                                                                                          212 calories  4.2 g fat  4.8 g fiber  9.6 g protein  34 g carbs   52 mg Calcium [food values for dinner using ONE 1/3 cup-size cake and side dishes. PB GF This recipe is from Legal Seafood Cookbook,  from the restaurant chain of the same name in Boston, Mass. Fish cakes have been popular where ever there are folk who want a little fish to go a long way.Fish Cake w: beets, salad

1/3 cup green or white onion, chopped                                                                                                                  1- 2/3 cup mashed potatoes [no milk, no butter]                                                                                         ¼ tsp dry mustard + salt + pepper                                                                                                                     1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                2 Tbsp milk                                                                                                                                                                6 oz cooked fish [cod, haddock, flounder, tilapia, perch, salt cod, salmon or a mixture], flaked into small pieces 1 tsp butter ½ cup pickled beets 1 cup baby greens or sliced lettuce leaves + ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp vinegar + salt + pepper

Combine the onion, potatoes, egg, seasonings, and milk, stirring well. Stir in the fish, gently but thoroughly. Using a 1/3 cup measure as a mold, portion the fish/potato mixture into 6 cakes. Put on a plate or cookie sheet while the pan heats up. Heat a heavy fry pan, such as cast iron, and spray with non-stick spray. Cook the fish cakes on one side, flattening them slightly with a turner. Remove from the pan and add 1 tsp of butter to the pan. Spread the butter around, return the fish cakes, and cook them on the other side until they are browned. Serve while hot. What you don’t eat today, let cool completely, then freeze with waxed or parchment paper between the cakes.

Ingredients for next week: breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg 1.5 two-oz eggs
 moussaka sauce: ground lamb, onion, Marinara Sauce [Spicy, Dec 6 ’18], eggplant  chicken or turkey gizzards
 feta cheese garlic
 applesauce
sage
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your hot beverage
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your smoothie

Dinner, single portion:

 grilled sirloin steak  pheasant meat
 mushrooms  cabbage
 red wine  carrots
 creamed onion  Arnold Multi-grain Sandwich Thin
 peas    +   thyme  onion
 puff pastry [purchased sheet]  pheasant or chicken gravy
Sparkling water Sparkling water