Clean Monday

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

Clean Monday”  Does this sound like something Marie Kondo would do? She probably would. But tomorrow, the start of the 7th week before Easter [in the Greek Orthodox Church], is a very special day in Greece.  It is the beginning of Lent, a time of penance.  Clean Monday, “Kathari Deftera,” commences the night before, with people apologizing to those whom they have wronged. [Clean Conscience]  The next step involves eating fish and sea food — lots of it. [Clean Diet, free from meat]  And don’t forget Flying Kites!!  Families go to parks or the countryside to launch 100s of kites in honor of Spring. [Good Clean Fun]                                                                                                                                                    We should all have a Clean Day at some point.  Start now.  Be kind, crank up your Fasting, and let your kite transport you to a new level of optimism that THIS time, you can lose weight.

Herring Plate:  195 calories   8 g fat   4.4 g fiber   8 g protein   13.7 g carbs [11.7 g Complex]     33 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the main dish only, not the optional beverages.  PB  V  If you like herring, this is for you.  It makes a nice change from morning eggs and comes together in no-time-flat.  NB: If you are taking an MOAI anti-depressant medication, ask your physician if you can eat herring safely since it is high in tyramine.herring Plate w: cherries

3 Finn Crisp crackers                                                                                                                             1.25 oz herring marinated in wine [not sour cream]                                                                                                2 Tbsp whipped cream cheese                                                                                                                          4 Bing cherries OR ½ cup strawberries, sliced                                                                                     3 oz berry-yogurt smoothie [44 calories] or natural apple cider                                                        blackish coffee [53 calories] or tea or lemon in hot water                                                           Do I need to describe this preparation? Spread the cream cheese on the crackers and pile on the herring. Delicious and so satisfying.

Greek-style Hake:   257 calories   9 g fat   5.5 g fiber  25 g protein   25 g carbs [23 g Complex]  181 mg Calcium   PB GF   The cookbook Ikaria by Diane Kochilas is centered in on of the National Geographic study of locations world-wide where there is the greatest longevity. Thinking that nutrition has something to do with longevity is one direction that study could take you.Greek-style Hake

4 oz hake                                                                                                                                                    ½ tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                    ¼ cup onions, halved then sliced                                                                                                            ½ clove garlic, cut in half                                                                                                             pinch sugar                                                                                                                                      1 cup canned whole tomatoes                                                                                                                     1 Tbsp [½ oz] dry red wine                                                                                                                         1 Tbsp good Feta cheese, crumbled                                                                                                                one Side Salad [see Second Fiddles 9-Jan-’19]

Saute the onion slices and garlic in the ½ tsp oil, adding some water if the pan becomes too dry. Remove garlic and discard. Add tomatoes, sugar, and wine. Cook the vegetables down to reduce the liquid. Lay the fish on top of the vegetables, cover loosely, turn down the heat and cook until the fish flakes [about 10 minutes]. Meanwhile, prepare the Side Salad. Top the fish with the crumbled Feta before serving.




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 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:    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.ratatouille-egg crepe

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:   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.maltese spinach-tuna pie

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.

Our Town

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.                                                                      Greetings to the group of frequent visitors from India. I hope this blog helps your on your Fasting journey.

On February 4, 1938, Thornton Wilder‘s play Our Town debuted. This is one of my all-time favorite plays, which I directed three times in 10 years at the high school where I was Drama Coach. Wilder is said to have based the play’s characters and location, “Grovers Corners, New Hampshire,” on Peterborough, NH which he knew when he was a resident at the MacDowell Colony there.  Certainly the play has a real small-town New Hampshire feel and many mentions of local towns [Contoocook, Jaffery] and landmarks [Mount Monadnock]. Like his contemporary, the artist Norman Rockwell, Wilder was working during the turbulent and troubled Depression Era, evoking nostalgia for a simpler, more idyllic life in turn of the century America.  And people responded to those images of their remembered youth.  Despite its unusual lack of fancy sets, the play was a hit and has been popular ever since its opening which featured the author in the lead role of “Stage Manager.”  It tells a highly relatable story of young love, of death, and of life. I would tell my players that if I wasn’t crying by the 3rd act, they weren’t doing their part. Sure enough, night after night the Third Act would have me in tears. Hug those near and dear to you, and be sure to “… realize life while [you] live it…every, every minute.”                                                           In their gardens, Mrs Webb and Mrs Gibbs would surely have grown rhubarb [more efficacious than the ‘lots and lots of Comfrey’ grown to ease constipation], so we will have some of that for breakfast.  Thornton Wilder had studied French at Yale. He must have had fun writing Mrs Gibbs’ line about wanting a trip to France: she longs to “visit a country where they don’t talk English and don’t even want to!”  He spent a time in Italy after college studying archaeology, so we will dine ‘in Italy’ on Parmesan Fish.

Rhubarb Pudding:  283 calories  3.6 g fat  2.7 g fiber  17 g protein  46.7 g carbs [36 g Complex] 406 mg Calcium   PB GF – if using GF flour      Hayden Pearson has a wonderful dessert call “Blanche’s Super Rhubarb Pudding” in his iconic Country Flavor Cook Book. This is a scaled-down version that is fit for breakfast: slightly tangy, lightly sweet.  NB: This recipe makes enough for two [2].  Rhubarb Pudding

6 Tbsp cooked, mashed rhubarb                                                                                                                 1 two-oz egg + 1 egg white                                                                                                               1-1/2 Tbsp sugar                                                                                                                                             2 Tbsp flour OR 2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour                                                                            2 Tbsp milk                                                                                                                                       ½ tsp baking powder                                                                                                                          per person:1 slice Canadian Bacon [= ½ oz back bacon]                                                       blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                      5-6 oz fruit smoothie, green smoothie or natural apple cider

Cut up 1 cup rhubarb and stew it in a little water. Drain thoroughly and mash. Measure the 6 Tbsp you need and save the remainder for another use. {Add to a smoothie; serve with yogurt] Whisk the egg and white, then add all the other ingredients [but not the bacon!] Spoon into a baking dish which has been sprayed with non-stick spray. HINT: I did all this the night before. A real time-saver.Bake at 350F. Until the batter is firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. While the pudding bakes, cook the bacon and prepare the beverages. Delicious.

Parmesan Fish:  238 calories  2.6 g fat  4.7 g fiber  31 g protein  11.4 g carbs  242.5 mg Calcium   PG GF – if using GF bread    A new version of the restaurant classic, made suitable for Fasters. And it is parmesean

4 oz fish, firm-fleshed variety                                                                                                            1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated                                                                                                      1 tsp dried oregano and/or thyme                                                                                                 ¼ oz whole-grain breadcrumbs, fresh not dried                                                                                1 Tbsp milk                                                                                                                                      ¼ cup marinara sauce, homemade or jarred                                                                                 ¾ oz mozzarella, grated                                                                                                                    2 Tbsp low-fat cottage cheese                                                                                                             2 oz green beans

Heat the toaster oven to 350F. Spritz an oven-proof pan with non-stick spray or olive oil. Pour the milk onto a small plate. On another plate combine the Parmesan, herbs, and bread crumbs with salt and pepper. Cream the other two cheeses together until well-combined. Dip the fish in the milk on both sides. Dredge the fish in the crumb/cheese mixture to coat it completely. Place on the oven-proof pan and spray with olive oil. Bake the fish about 10 minutes, until golden. Top the fish with the marinara sauce, then mound the cheese over it. Broil for 5 minutes until the cheese is melty and starting to brown. Prepare the green beans and plate with the fish. For atmosphere, light the candle stuck in the wine bottle .

In Our Cups

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.

“To be in one’s cups” means to be in the act of consuming alcoholic beverages. No doubt about it: you could be mildly impaired or roaring drunk, but you are drinking. Often the term begs immunity for whatever one says or does in such a state.  Would that stand up in court?   Usually we do not recommend drinking booze on a Fast Day, due to the fact that it represents ‘empty calories.’  Spend your calories wisely on a Fast Day on food that is nutrient rich.  Save the drinks for a Slow Day  [see peterspicksblog for some good wine pairings] but don’t go over-board then either.                                                                      We can have our food “in cups” on a Fast Day, enjoying delicious meals without fear of a hangover.  Both menus today are easy to prepare, with make-ahead options.

Ham-Cup Eggs:   284 calories    7 g fat    2.4 g fiber    18.4 g protein      31 g carbs [15 g Complex] 319 mg Calcium   GF  Easy to prepare ahead and easy on the taste buds.ham-cup egg

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                         1 slice “Cottage Ham” [4” diameter thin slice of ham] I used North Country Smoke House brand at 21 calories/slice                                                                                                                                                                          1 Tbsp cottage cheese                                                                                                                                                         1.5 tsp Parmesan cheese, grated                                                                                                                         2 oz apple                                                                                                                                                                     5-6 oz fruit smoothie or natural apple cider                                                                                       blackish coffee or tea or lemon in hot water

Fit the ham into an oven-proof container that measures 3.25” in diameter and 1.25” deep. [I used a cleaned tuna can. It was perfect.] You will need to snip  the ham on 2 sides and overlap the meat to make it fit better into the mold. Combine the cheeses and season with herbs/salt/pepper. Whisk in the egg and pour into the ham cup. HINT: I did this the night before and put it in the ‘fridge.Turn on the toaster oven to 350 F and bake the ham cups for 20+ minutes, until the filling is puffed and set. Prepare the beverages and the apple. Use a wide knife to loosten the ham cups from the mold before plating. Some of the egg will have oozed into the mold as it baked, but that was easy to remove too. This breakfast was a real hit.

Squash-Cupped Bison Chili:   215 calories    3.5 g fat    6.8 g fiber   14.7 g protein   34 g carbs   120 mg Calcium  GF  PB — especially if using Chili Non Carne    What an easy, delicious, and satisfying meal.  HINT: One squash is enough for 2 servings. Invite a fellow-Faster for dinner.  Save the remaining chili for another meal later.squash-cupped chili

Bison Chili:    per cup – 136 calories  3.2 g fat  4.8 g fiber  13 g protein  14.5 g carbs   57 mg Calcium           4 oz ground bison                                                                                                                                                   15 oz canned tomatoes – in chunks or diced drained in a sieve [save the juice]                                      1 clove garlic, chopped                                                                                                                                                     1 cup red onion, chopped                                                                                                                                   1/2 cup green pepper, chopped                                                                                                                         3/4 cup canned red or black beans, drained and rinsed                                                                            2-4 tsp chili   +   ¾ tsp salt   +   ½ – 1 tsp ground cumin                  

Cook the venison, onion, garlic, and green pepper in some of the tomato juices until vegetables are tender. Add remaining ingredients and cook gently until the chili is hot throughout. Taste to see if it needs more seasoning. makes 4 one-cup servings

For tonight’s meal:      5 oz delicata squash, seeds removed                                                                         one cup Bison Chili or use Chili Non Carne[Sidekicks II, posted 4-Oct-’17]                                       2 oz melon, as a garnish

Weigh the delicata squash whole and uncut to get a sense of how much will be 5 oz. You will be cutting off one end of the squash and removing the seeds. Cut a small slice off the very end, so it will stand up as a cup for the chili. Put the squash in the microwave oven and cook it until it can be easily pierced with a skewer. Assemble by standing the squash cup in the middle of the plate, then pouring the chili in and around it. Then position the melon cubes. Teriffic!

Ingredients for next week:

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

1 two-oz egg + 1 white low-fat cottage cheese
rhubarb  + sugar + milk plain fat-free yogurt
flour or white whole wheat flour mango  + clementine
baking powder  + Canadian Bacon granola
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 for Monday:                     single portion for Thursday:

fish  + Parmesan cheese + mozzarella Salad greens  + red grapefruit
1/4 cup marinara sauce [Saucy 6-Dec-’17] avocado  + 1 large egg
fresh bread crumbs chicken breast meat + white wine vinegar
cottage cheese  + green beans lime-infused oil  + ginger   + lemon salt
Sparkling water Sparkling water

St Kitts

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 Ms Teense who is now Following.

It is the middle of Winter, so let’s go on a tropical sojourn. On 28 January 1642, the island of Saint Kitts was colonized by the English.  Its name was given by Christopher Columbus who dubbed it ‘St Christopher’ which the “Kittitians” shortened to its present form. The English and French colonizers eliminated the indigenous Arawak people and replaced them with enslaved Africans to work the sugar cane fields.  Once the ‘gateway to the Caribbean,’ St Kitts and the sister island of Nevis has had their share of bloodshed and glances of fame.  It became the smallest nation to host a World Cup Cricket event and several Olympic track stars were born there.  Off shore, Alexander Hamilton was born on a boat in Charlestown [Nevis] harbor and after a harrowing storm at sea, “Amazing Grace” author John Newton had his soul-changing enlightenment on St Kitts.                                                                                                           Blessed with fertile soil and abundant seafood, the cuisine of the island has much to offer, even on a Fast Day.  Since bananas are an export item from St Kitts and molasses from sugar cane was once a huge industry there, those two items make their way into breakfast.  Then local vegetables and salt cod star at dinner.

Bananas-Papanas:   294 calories   8.3 g fat  0.5 g fiber  23 g protein   34 g carbs [23 g Complex]  309 mg Calcium   PB GF– if using GF flour This recipe for Romanian papanas was prepared on the French TV show Télématin, and it looked so easy and unusual that I had to try them…. Then I added the bananas as a play on words.  HINT: The recipe makes enough for two [2] portions, so save half the batter for a few days from now.  NB: The cooked papayas do not do well as left-overs.banana papanas

1 egg, separated                                                                                                                              4 Tbsp [63 g] part-skim ricotta   [Sargento brand]                                                                                                  4 Tbsp [63 g] reduced-fat cottage cheese                                                                                         29 g  [3 Tbsp] flour                                                                                                                               ½ tsp sugar                                                                                                                                          3/4 oz banana, sliced                                                                                                                           1 tsp molasses + 1 tsp water                                                                                                              NO smoothie today                                                                                                                                        blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water

Separate the egg white from the yolk. Combine the yolk, cheeses, flour, and sugar in a bowl. Whip the egg white until they are stiff. Stir 1/3 of the egg white into the cheese mixture, mixing until blended. Gently fold the remaining egg into the cheese mixture. Heat a non-stick pan and spray with non-stick spray. Using a scoop or a spoon [I made 4 using a 3 Tbsp scoop and then 4 using a 1.5 Tbsp scoop], place the batter into the pan in two batches. Cook until browned on one side and loose enough that they will slide if you shake the pan. Carefully flip to the other side. Remove to a plate and thinly slice the bananas on top. Pour the molasses into 1 tsp hot water and stir to combine. Pour the molasses over the bananas.  As you sip your coffee, savor the tastes of the Caribbean.

Saint Kitts Fish Stew:  307 calories  2.5 g fat  4.4 g fiber  42 g protein   31 g carbs  279 mg Calcium   PB  This typical Caribbean recipe is made with salted fish. Plan ahead to leave time for soaking the fish overnight.St Kitts Fish Stew

2 oz yellow bell pepper, cut as 1/2”x2” pieces                                                                                                      1 oz scallion [about 5], sliced in 1/2” pieces                                                                                                                                                               1 clove garlic                                                                                                                                                                     ¼ cup onion, coarsly chopped                                                                                                                              2 oz salt cod                                                                                                                                                                       3 oz fresh tomatoes, cut in chunks                                                                                                                        1/3 cup fish stock +/or water                                                                                                                                        1 dumpling [see not by Bread, II-7-’18]

Soak fish ovenight in water. Next day, drain and cut into pieces 1”x2”.  Prepare the batter for the dumpling.  Put the broth/water, bell pepper, scalion, garlic, and onion in a saute pan and bring to a simmer. Place the dumpling on the vegetables so that it is not sitting in the broth. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Then put the fish around the dumpling and top with the tomatoes. Cover the pan and keep at a simmer for 10 minutes. The dumpling should be firm to the touch when it is fully cooked. Check to see if it is done. Taste the dish to see if it needs salt [!!]. Different, delicious, and very pretty.

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.


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