Frodo’s Birthday

Well, everyone knows that September 24 is Frodo Baggins’ birthday [yes, Bilbo’s too]. Hobbits are always complaining about getting chubby, so Fasting on their birthday might not be such a bad idea.  Two things Hobbits love are mushrooms and comfort, so we will incorporate both of those in tomorrow’s menu. The mushrooms go into an omelette and the chicken noodle soup is comfort food at its best. Save the birthday cake for the next day.

Mushroom Omelette 291 calories   7.5 g. fat   10.3 g. protein   7.0 g. carb    PB   GFmushroom omelette, apples

1 ½ eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume, into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.                                                                               ½ oz mushrooms                                                                                                                                         ½ tsp grated Parmesan cheese                                                                                                                  1 ½ oz of apple [or 2.25 oz melon or 1.2 oz grapes]                                                                      blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                         5-6 oz green or fruit smoothie

Chop or slice the mushrooms and cook with a little water in a skillet. Remove and set aside. Now whisk the 1.5 eggs with seasonings to taste. Pour into a heated skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cook, tipping the pan and lifting the cooked eggs until the bottom is set but the top is still moist. Top with the mushrooms and cheese, fold and plate. Serve with fruit, plus your beverage and smoothie. You are off for a day in the Shire.

Chicken Noodle Soup   293 calories    10.1 g. fat      20 g. protein       28 g. carbsChicken Noodle Soup

3 cups chicken or turkey broth                                                                                                                     2 oz cooked chicken white meat, diced or shredded                                                                            1 oz  spaghetti or linguine, broken into 1″ pieces                                                                                             ¼ c. white beans, drained and rinsed if canned                                                                                      1.5 oz carrot, diced                                                                                                                                                1.5 oz green beans, cut into 1” pieces                                                                                                          1 0z Canadian or back bacon, slivered                                                                                       seasonings to taste: salt, pepper, dried thyme, dried sage                                                            HINT: This makes enough for two servings. Invite a friend or freeze for another easy meal.                                                                                                                                                                Per bowl: 1 tsp grated Parmesan cheese + generous sprinkling of parsley

Bring the broth to a simmer and cook the noodles until almost tender. [If you prefer your broth clear, cook the noodles separately and drain before adding to broth. If the chicken is raw, throw it in the pot to cook. Add the beans, carrot, green beans, Canadian bacon and seasonings. When heated through, ladle into bowls and top with the cheese and parsley. Yum. Yum.

Forests and Pastures

I am a fan of foraging. In the summer we pick wild mushrooms in the woods. They are frozen to eat year ’round. Of course they find their way into omelettes on Thursdays. Sicilian shepherds, I’m told, forage for wild greens to make this salad. You can forage in the garden for greens and herbs and flowers.

Mushroom Omelette     291 calories         7.5 g. fat         10.3 g. protein              7.0 g. carbs        1½ two-oz eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume  into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.                                                                    ½ oz mushrooms:                                                                                                                                         ½ tsp grated Parmesan cheese                                                                                                                    mushroom omelette, apples1.5 oz apple [or 2.25 oz melon or 1.2 oz grapes]

Chop or slice the mushrooms and saute with a little water in a skillet.  Remove and set aside. Now whisk the 1.5 eggs with seasonings to taste. Pour into a heated skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cook, tipping the pan and lifting the cooked eggs until the bottom is set but the top is still moist. Top with the mushrooms and cheese. Fold the eggs and plate. Serve with fruit, plus your beverage and fruit Smoothie. You are off to a good start.

Shepherds’ Salad      275 cal       15 g. fat        13.2 g protein         23.6 g carbs      Gluten Free  This delightful meal is from Lynne Rosetto Kaspar’s The Italian Country Table.  I have included a version of the original cooked salad dressing, but you may use a simple herbed vinaigrette made with 1 tsp oil, ¾ tsp red wine vinegar, and fresh herbsshepherd's salad.

½ oz salami                                                                                                                                                    ½ c white beans                                                                                                                                         2.5 cups [3.5 oz] lettuce                                                                                                                                 1 oz mozzerella                                                                                                                                              2″ celery, sliced thinly on the diagonal                                                                                                      1 radish, thinly sliced                                                                                                                                  2 tsp of boiled dressing

For the dressing: put 3 Tbsp olive oil, 4” rosemary, and 6 sage leaves in a pan and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add 4 smashed cloves garlic and a pinch of hot pepper flakes. Stir for a few seconds. Add ½ cup red wine vinegar and boil down the whole recipe to 1/3 cup. Strain and cool. For this dinner, you will need 2 tsp/ serving. Put the remainder in a jar and store to use anytime.

Prep your toppings: slice the salami rounds into matchsticks; shred the lettuce; cut the cheese into strips about 1/4” square; slice the radish. Measure 2 tsp dressing into a serving/salad bowl and add the lettuce. Toss to coat with the dressing. Arrange the meat, beans, cheese, and radishes in decorative groupings. Hearty and delicious, even if you didn’t have to forage for it yourself.

Flavorful Thursday

Dieting and calorie restriction do not mean subsisting on salads and bland food. These 2 recipes are full of flavor for a Winter’s day.

mushroom omelette, applesMushroom Omelette:  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. For this morning’s breakfast, chop or slice ½ oz mushrooms and saute with a little water in a skillet. Remove and set aside. Now whisk the 1.5 eggs with seasonings to taste. Pour into a heated skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cook, tipping the pan and lifting the cooked eggs until the bottom is set but the top is still moist. Top with the mushrooms and ½ tsp grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with 1.5 oz apple [or 2.25 oz melon or 1.2 oz grapes], plus your beverage and Fast Smoothie. You are off to a good start.      295 calories

Chicken Curry: Based on Craig Claiborne’s ‘Anything Curry’ from his Gourmet Diet book, this meal takes a bit of preparation. But maybe the snow has kept you inside and you have more time to cook. Start with the curry sauce: Chop 1 c. onions, 1 clove garlic, and ½ c. celery and 1 c. apple. Cook until wilted in 2 sprays of cooking oil and 2 Tbsp water. Strew 1-2 TbChicken Curry w: tomatoessp curry powder [more if you wish] and 3/4 tsp dry mustard over the vegetables and stir to combine. Add a bay leaf and 2½ c. chicken stock. Cook down until the mixture measures 2½ cups. If you are serving one person, you will use 10 fluid oz. of the sauce; double that if serving 2 people.  HINT: Freeze the remaining sauce, either in 10 oz portions or 1¼ c. portions. To continue. Steam 1 oz carrot slices and ½ c. cauliflower florets. Boil ¼ c. yellow lentils until cooked. [You will need ¼  c. cooked lentils for this dish, so use any leftover another day.] Add the cooked vegetables to the curry sauce along with 2 Tbsp green peas. Add ¾ oz cooked chicken and heat the sauce to warm all the parts. Serve with the lentils on the side and a garnish of ¼c. diced tomato or diced cucumber.       288 Calories