Tomatoes

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

80,000 years ago, there was a wild plant in Ecuador, Solanum pimpinellifolium, which produced red fruits the size of a cherry. Seeds spread by animals/people traveled south and north, to Peru and Mesoamerica. By 7,000 years BP [Before Present as geologists say], there was a larger tomato being cultivated in Mexico, where they entered the local cuisine. Post Conquest, the Spanish took tomatoes and other local food plants back to Spain. Not so fast! European botanists recognized them to be members of the Nightshade Family, which they equated with poison. Not only were people leery of tomatoes, there was even the legend that tomatoes were the ‘Forbidden Fruit’ of the Garden of Eden, and you sure don’t want to eat that! By the mid 1500s, tomatoes were being grown as a curiosity in Italy and in 1694, the tomato had arrived as a recipe in a cookbook. In September of 1820, a local promoter of good agriculture, Col. Robert Gibbon Johnson, let it be known that he would eat tomatoes, Solanum lycopersicum, from his garden in Salem County, New Jersey, USA. A throng of locals showed up to watch him sicken and keel over in agony. He didn’t die, of course, and people accepted the tomato as a new addition to their cooking. Is there a cuisine between Latitude 45N and 45S that does not use tomatoes? I think not. Although some people associate nightshades with arthritis, the tomato is GOOD for you — high in Vitamin C, Potassium, and the antioxidant lycopene. The United States is the largest producer of tomatoes in the world and ‘Better Boy’ is one of the most popular in home gardens, while other gardeners opt for heirloom varieties.

It was not difficult to choose today’s meals. These tomato dishes are so good to eat that I do hope you will try them. Whenever tomatoes are ripe in your area, eat some fresh.

Tomato-Curry ScrOmelette: 148 calories 8 g fat 3 g fiber 11 g protein 9.5 g carbs [8 g Complex] 78 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF  This delicious recipe was loosely inspired by Fifty Breakfasts, a book by Col. A. R. Kenney-Herbert, detailing “dishes men like” and containing many flavors redolent of his years serving the Queen in India.

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 Tbsp curry powder 2 oz fresh tomatoes, diced and drained 1½ oz strawberries dollop of plain, fat-free yogurt  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Drain the tomatoes so that they are not too juicy. Combine with the curry powder and whisk with the eggs. Spritz a fry pan with olive oil or non-stick spray and pour in the egg mixture. Cook to your liking. Top with a dollop of yogurt for the full effect. Prepare the beverages and plate the fruit. A rousing good start to your day.

Tomato Soup w/ Sandwich 289 calories 5 g fat 5.6 g fiber 16 g protein 30 g carbs 210 mg Calcium  PB GF  Comfort food can also be low in calories. The soup recipe is from Fresh Ways with Soups and Stews, published by Time-Life Books. HINT: the soup is enough for 3 servings, so it is worth the time to make enough to freeze for later, rather than making a single serving.

Cook Soup: 1 tsp olive oil 2½ cups onions, chopped 1 cup carrot, thinly sliced 1 tsp fresh thyme or ¼ tsp dried thyme 3 cloves garlic, chopped black pepper 28-oz can whole tomatoes, coarsly chopped with juices 1¼ cup unsalted chicken or vegetable stock ¼ tsp salt

Heat the oil and 2 Tbsp water in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Cook the onion, carrot, thyme, garlic, and pepper for 7-10 minutes or until onions are translucent, adding more water if needed. Add the tomatoes their juice, stock, and salt. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. [more directions later]

Prep Sandwich: 1 slice 70-calorie bread [such as Nature’s Own] ½-oz slice Swiss cheese from the deli ½ oz ham, 97% fat free

Cut the bread in half. Cut the cheese in pieces the size of the bread halves. Construct a sandwich of bread, ham, cheese, bread. Save out one bread-sized piece of cheese. Wrap the sandwich in foil and put in the toaster oven at 350F until cheese is beginning to melt on the inside. Unwrap the sandwich and put the cheese on top. Toast the sandwich so that the top cheese becomes melted and might start to brown.

Finish Soup: 1 tsp ricotta or small-curd cottage cheese 1 tsp plain non-fat yogurt Puree the cooked soup in food processor or blender. TIP: Pour 2 cups [2/3 of the amount] into freezer containers to cool before storing. Put the remaining soup in the serving bowl. Stir the cheese and yogurt together and dollop it in the middle of the hot soup. Use the tip of a knife to pull the mixture out from the middle in several radiating arms. A few grapes add a dash of color.

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

1 two-oz egg1 two-oz egg + mushrooms 
chives + thyme
1 buckwheat galette [savory crepe]
strawberry OR apple
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

4 oz tuna steak + Moroccan spice blend2 buckwheat galettes/savory crepes
white beans, canned leeks + bacon + garlic
preserved lemon OR fresh lemonGruyere cheese + mayonnaise
peas OR broccoli OR green beanscarrot + broccoli + cauliflower OR tomatoes
Sparkling waterSparkling water

The Bench on the Back Porch

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

In South-Central Pennsylvania, where my family originated, there is a traditional piece of furniture: a bench on the back porch. The fancier front porch faced the road or street in town. It might have comfortable rocking chairs on which to sit in the evening, watching the world go by and conversing. The more simple back porch was tucked into the ell of the house, facing the garden. Furniture there was more utilitarian and in my experience it included a wooden bench about 6′ long. The bench was painted and had been built by an earlier ancestor who had perhaps built the house. I like to imagine an ancestress, perhaps my great-grandmother Annie Ely Bertholet [1850-1919] or her mother-in-law Hannah Mattis Berthelot [1818-1853], coming out of her hot, dark kitchen in Oley on a summer day, to sit on the bench, with her back to the brick or stone wall of the house. Was she taking a coffee break? No, she would be pitting cherries in July and peaches in August, peeling apples in September. She would be shelling peas or stringing beans or shucking corn in season. Working, yes, but in a pleasant location where she could feel the breeze and enjoy the hummingbirds in the Trumpet Vine. My mother inherited the bench, using it to store cushions for the terrace furniture. And now the bench is mine. It lives inside and serves as a plant stand in the Sun Room during the winter. It is in retirement after many, many decades of service on the back porch.

The summertime ingredients for today’s meals can be shucked, pitted, peeled, and cut while sitting on the Bench.

Corn Scramble: 130 calories 7.6 g fat 1 g fiber 10 g protein 6 g carbs 44 mg Calcium   PB GF  If you enjoyed corn on the cob for dinner previously, and cut off some of the kernels, then that’s what goes into the eggs. What a fine late summer meal!

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.  2 Tbsp/ ½ oz cooked corn kernels 1 Tbsp chives    1 oz peach   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Put the corn and snipped chives into a non-stick pan spritzed with cooking spray for long enough to heat them. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper then pour over the corn and scramble to your liking. Plate with the peach. If possible, enjoy your breakfast on the porch.

Minestrone Soup:  1 cup = 145.5 calories 3 g fat 5 g fiber 8 g protein 27 g carbs 86.4 mg Calcium  ½ cup = 73 calories 1.5 g fat 2.6 g fiber 4 g protein 14 g carbs 43 mg Calcium PB  GF [if you use GF pasta] This recipe can be doubled easily, and it is a fine dinner soup for a hot Summer day. Prepare it in the cool of the morning so it can be served in the evening.   

1 tsp olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
2/3 cup carrot, chopped 
½ cup celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped 
3 slices pepperoni, chopped 
Prepare these ingredients as described, and put into a sauce pan together.
Cook over medium heat until onions begin to wilt. 
½ cup sweet potato, cubed
½ cup zucchini, diced 
½ cup mushrooms, chopped
2 cups crushed tomatoes 
¾ cup small white beans, canned
lots of sage and rosemary, chopped
1 cup water 
2 cups chicken broth/stock
Prepare the vegetables as described. Drain and rinse the canned beans. Add these to the pan, along with the water and broth. Cook at a simmer for about 20 minutes



NB: low sodium broth is preferred
1 oz pasta, whole wheat is preferred to boost fiber [orzo/ dinetelli/broken spaghetti]Add the pasta and cook until it is soft, 5-6 minutes.
2 tsp Parmesan cheese, grated 
salt and pepper to taste
Add remaining seasonings and adjust to taste. TIP: Soup is always improved by letting it sit for several hours before reheating and serving hot.

HINT: One serving is one cup, but you could go to 1¼ cups each. This recipe made 4 cups for me – multiple meals from one prep!

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

1 two-oz egg + 10%-fat cream1.5 two-oz eggs 
yellow curry powder + cooked brown riceyellow curry powder
smoked haddockfresh tomatoes
asparagus + nutmegstrawberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

sole or perch fillets + scallionsolive oil + onion + garlic +canned whole tomatoes
96% fat-free ham, sliced at delicarrot + thyme + low-salt chicken/vegetable stock
70-calorie whole-grain bread1 slice 70-calorie whole-grain bread + Swiss cheese
Worcestershire sauce + carrots + beets 97% fat-free ham + ricotta + plain non-fat yogurt
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Last Gasp

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. 

It is the end of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere — the last warm breaths of the season still can be felt as the early afternoon sun shines on your back. The days are noticeably shorter, the leaves fall from the trees, and sometimes the heat comes on at night…yet the Last Rose of Summer is blooming. True, the Autumnal Equinox has passed and we are closer to November than to September. This is Summer’s Last Gasp, before the chilly, grey days ahead. As Ned Stark would say, “Winter is coming.” Before Summer ends, let’s mark the season with some foods that are appropriate.

Autumnal Equinox ScrOmelette:  147 calories 8 g fat 1.6 g fiber 10.6 g protein 12 g carbs [9 g Complex] 52 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  The mushrooms are for Autumn, the tomatoes are for Summer. This meal is for when the seasons overlap.

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, chopped 1½ oz tomatoes, cubed/diced and drained 1 Tbsp scallion, chopped 1 yellow or other small plum OR 2 oz peach OR 3 oz strawberry  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Drain the tomato cubes in a sieve, overnight if possible. Put the vegetables in an oil-sprayed non-stick pan to warm them and to cook them a bit. Whisk the eggs and pour over the vegetables in the pan. Scramble or cook as an omelette. Prepare the beverages and plate the fruit with the eggs. Savor your meal as you contemplate the change of the seasons.

Summer Vegetable Tortillas:  310 calories 9 g fat 8 g fiber 28.6 g protein 49 g carbs 210 mg Calcium  PB  Eating Well magazine is the source of these fine tortillas which are chock full of the flavors of the Summer garden.  HINT: Serves two [2]

1 cup eggplant in ½” dice 1 cup onion in ½ “ dice
½ cup corn
salt + pepper
Mix it all in a medium bowl, then put on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. (reserve the bowl) Spray the vegetables with cooking spray. Roast at 450 F for 10 minutes
1 cup zucchini in ½“ dice 1.5 cloves garlic salt + pepperCombine in the bowl. Add to the baking sheet and spray again. Roast until vegetables are soft and starting to brown, about 15 minutes.
½ c cooked chicken breast, shredded ½ c enchilada saucePut chicken and the vegetables in a saute pan. Stir in enchilada sauce and heat until warm. 
4 corn tortillas, warmed ½ c Monterey jack, shredded + chopped cilantro, lime wedgesPut ¼ of the filling on each tortilla. [save a bit for adding to eggs at breakfast] Top with cheese, serve with cilantro/lime.

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

1 two-oz egg1 two-oz egg 
ricotta cheese70-calorie whole-grain bread
Cheddar or Gruyere cheeseCanadian bacon/back bacon
raspberry or apple or grapesbanana
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

smoked haddock + onionpork tenderloin + sweet red pepper
hard-boiled eggs + bay leafAsian sweet chili sauce + cucumber
asparagus + curry powdercarrot + baguette slices + ground garlic
turmeric + cooked rice +milk pickle brine + sesame oil + ginger
Sparkling waterSparkling water

At the Diner

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

The diner is an American institution. Once upon a time, trains had ‘dining cars’ — watch old movies to see what I mean. When they were phased out, the cars themselves were taken off the tracks and sold. Some were repurposed as small restaurants; other people got the idea to build a restaurant to look like a train car — and the ‘diner’ was born. These eateries had a reputation of being places to get cheap, filling, local food, and awful coffee at any hour of the day or night. Once that reputation was established, a diner could move to become a bricks-and-mortar restaurant and still call itself a diner. “Greasy Spoon”? Maybe, but reliable and homey. So many films noir, so many cop shows had scenes in diners. Norman Rockwell and Edward Hopper, caught up in the zeitgeist, showed diners in their paintings. Very much a part of the American scene.

Today’s menus recall the diner menu: local and basic. And delicious.

Carne Bake: 138 calories 6 g fat 2 g fiber 9 g protein 6.7 g carbs [4.3 g Complex] 34 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  Carne adovado and roasted green chilis are the signature flavors of New Mexico, and they are wonderful in eggs for breakfast in every South-West diner.

1 two-oz egg 1/3 oz carne adovado ½ oz roasted green chili, canned or frozen 3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves 5 cherries    Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

If the carne or the chilis have a lot of liquid, put in a strainer and let drain overnight or for several hours. Set the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. Spritz an oven-proof ramekin/dish with olive oil or non-stick spray. Whisk the egg with the carne/chili mixture and pour into the dish. Bake for 12-15 minutes while you pour the beverages and plate the fruit.

Meatloaf: 236 calories 11 g fat 5 g fiber 23.5 g protein 13.4 g carbs [11.4 g Complex] 40 mg Calcium Here it is – meatloaf, the kind my mother used to make and you can eat it on a FAST DAY! Who would have thought!

one 3-oz slice of meatloaf** ½ cup peas 2 Tbsp beef gravy   Prepare and bake the meatloaf. Slice into 6 pieces. Plate and enjoy one serving now, with peas of course, cool, wrap and freeze the remainder for a Slow Day or another FAST Day.

**Meatloaf one 18-oz loafMakes 6 slices
½ of a whisked egg [0.9 oz] 3 Tbsp milk 1/3 cup soft bread crumbs, NOT dried 2 Tbsp minced onion ½ pound [8 oz] ground beef ¼ pound [4 oz] ground veal ¼ pound [4 oz] ground lean pork 1 tsp salt + pinch of pepperCombine the ingredients thoroughly  
Bake in a 4″x8″ pan at 350 F for 20 minutes
Pour off any fat before removing from pan.  

St Roch

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Saint Roch is considered to be one of “Les Saints Qui Guérissent” [Saints who Heal]. He was often invoked to heal Black Plague victims, since he himself was one. Or was he?? Roch was born in Montpellier [now in France] in 1295. As a young man, he sold his worldly goods, donated to the poor, and went to Italy as a pilgrim. While tending the sick in Piacenza, he fell ill and was banished from town. Roch, called Rocco in Italy, recovered, helped by a dog who brought him bread. He went back home but he was clapped into prison, accused of being a spy. [Possible family intrigue involved] He died alone, after five years in prison, unrecognized by his relatives. When being prepared for burial, Roch was identified by a birth-mark. Roch died in 1327. When shown in art, he raises his hem to reveal the tell-tale engorged lymph node called a bubo, the mark of the Black Death. But the plague did not reach Italy until 1347, 20 years after his death. The term ‘plague’ was used loosely in the 1300s: small pox, bubonic, leprosy. Roch did not have bubonic plague, but he had something. And he recovered. Good news, full of hope.

Brandade, made from salt cod, was a staple food in Europe in the 1300s, so breakfast will include that. The dinner also is made with foods common from Southern France to Italy [OK. not the quinoa]. Eat like a saint. Be healthy.

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

1 two-oz egg ½ Tbsp cottage cheese 1 Tbsp brandade [see St Bernard, posted 19 August 2018]    shake of granulated garlic 1 oz peach slices + ½ oz blueberries   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

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

Mediterranean Vegetables with Seafood: 278 calories 6 g fat 6 g fiber 28 g protein 24.8 g carbs [24 g Complex] 290 mg Calcium   PB GF  This dinner qualifies as a hurry-up meal. If you have Mediteranean Vegetables in the freezer, you can serve this in the time it takes to cook the quinoa.

1 cup Mediterranean Vegetables, without chickpeas see: Sidekicks II  3 oz seafood: shrimp, fish chunks, bivalves, whatever you have 1 oz mozzarella, shredded 1 oz mushrooms, coarsely-chopped 1/3 cup cooked quinoa 

Start cooking the quinoa. Put the frozen Med Vegetables in a sauce pan with a lid. Warm them gently until they are mostly thawed. Add the mushrooms and seafood. Continue to heat, covered, until everything is warm and cooked. Plate with the quinoa and top with cheese. 

Jane Addams

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Jane Addams lived up to the label of “New Woman” — one of the college-educated cohort of the late 1800s who saw it as their duty to roll up their sleeves and improve the life of those less fortunate. Born into the family of a small-town mill owner, she had a privileged upbringing. On a visit to London, she saw a ‘settlement house‘ in action: helping poor factory workers and immigrants get food security, better health, and education. Addams decided then and there that Chicago needed the same thing. She and like-minded women established Hull House in the industrial West Side of the city and Addams remained its director until her death in 1935. The list of services provided there is long: from cooking classes and day care to live theater produced by the immigrant communities themselves. Addams, never condescending, favored the idea of a ‘hand up’ rather than a ‘hand out’ and she would take vats of soup to the factory gates at lunch time to sell for 5 cents a bowl.

At the same time that Jane Addams was working in Chicago, hungry workers were eating an early version of ‘Chicago Hot Dogs’ for lunch. Today’s breakfast uses the ‘drag it through the garden’ vegetable sides to flavor the eggs. The soup for dinner features canned tomato sauce to remind us that Hull House taught the skill of home canning to make meals more nutritious.

‘Chicago’ ScrOmelette: 135 calories 7.3 g fat 1.8 g fiber 10 g protein 7.3 g carbs 53.4 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF  One of my methods for creating a new breakfast is to take flavor elements from a favorite dinner and then put them in eggs. Here, we have a ‘Chicago Hot Dog’ without the sausage and without the bun. Dear Husband deemed it ‘very good!’

1 ½ two-oz eggs  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.   1 oz tomato, diced 1 Tbsp chopped onion healthy squirt of yellow mustard 1 ‘sport pepper’ or 1 pepperoncini, chopped pinch of poppy seed + pinch celery seed 1 oz apple 

Cook the onion and mustard in a pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Add the tomato, pepper, and seeds and heat through. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Scramble or cook as an omelette. Plate with the apple for a taste sensation.

Hull House Soup: 183 calories 4 g fat 5.5 g fiber 7.5 g protein 23 g carbs 34.6 mg Calcium PB GF – if using GF pasta  An Italian woman in Chicago once served Jane Addams a meal of pasta with a simple ragu sauce, which opened her eyes to how food connected immigrants with their home country. This simple soup packs a lot of flavor.

2 cups spaghetti sauce, canned** 2 cups chicken stock 2 [1 Tbsp] cloves garlic sliced, chopped  3 oz [2/3 cup] green pepper in ½” dice  1 cup chick peas 1 cup chopped cabbage chopped fresh rosemary 2-3 pinches red pepper flakesPut in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

**I used Classico brand “Florentine Spinach and Parmesan” sauce
½ cup water 1 oz [¼ cup] short pasta like ditalini salt and pepper to tasteAdd to the soup in the pot and cook 15 minutes more, until all the vegetables are tender. Taste for seasoning and add water if too thick.

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

1 two-oz egg1 two-oz egg 
brandadewhole grain bread + tomato
cottage cheesefish or chicken meat + cheese
peach + blueberrymilk + strawberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverage optional hot beverage

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

Mediterranean Vegetablesthe topic will be foods from
a Farmers’ Market
mixed seafood Salad fixings for two portions
mushrooms + Mozzarellavinaigrette dressing
quinoaravioli, purchased
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Hometown Heroine: Vinland

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Freydís Eiríksdóttir is not a name that rolls trippingly off the tongue. Nor is she a household name. In truth, she might not have been a very nice woman at all. She was the daughter of Eric the Red, who established a colony in Iceland when he was banished from Norway for murder. She was the sister of Leif Erickson, who founded the Greenland colony when he was banished from Iceland for murder. In her own right, Freydis is said to have killed her rivals, men and women alike. But she was also very brave. Around 1000 CE, Freydis, her husband, her brother Erik, and their boat’s crew were living on the coast of Northern Newfoundland near l’Anse aux Meadows, which might be the Vinland of the old Viking sagas. [Some scholars say they came ashore to explore and/or to repair their ship. They stayed for about 18 months, then left.] Vikings though they were, they were rather afraid of the indigenous people, whom they called ‘skraelings.’ One day, a group of the local Beothuk tribe came from the trees and approached the Vikings. Fearful of the natives, they ran away. Freydis ran too but, being seven months pregnant, not as fast. She called to her kinsmen to wait up — to stand and fight — but they threw down their weapons and kept going. Freydis decided to face the fierce natives by herself. Grabbing a discarded sword, she turned to the skraelings and stood her ground. She ripped open the bodice of her gown, and thwacked her breasts with the flat of the weapon, while shouting trash talk in Norwegian. The Beothuk stopped their pursuit — this was not way for women to behave: what kind of people were these???!?! The natives retreated. The attack was over, the Vikings were safe, and it was Freydis who had saved the day.

For Freydis, a breakfast that she might have prepared, even in the New World: grains cooked with fruit. For dinner, a meal with smoked salmon, very typical of the food of the Baltic/North Sea region.

Fruited Porridge: 183 calories 1.4 g fat 8.7 g fiber 7 g protein 38 g carbs [38 g Complex] 36 mg Calcium  PB  Here is a delicious way to get a couple of superfoods in one meal. Berries and whole-grain cereal are unbeateble and easy too.

¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Cereal + ¾ cup water ¼ cup diced strawberries ¼ cup blueberries ¼ cup raspberries   Optional: a few tablespoonsful of milk   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]  or lemon in hot water

If the fruit is frozen, like mine: place in a sieve over a small bowl over night to thaw. Save the juice to add to a smoothie. Cook the cereal in the water for 8 minutes, stiring twice. Take off heat and add the fruit. Stir gently and serve with a little milk, if you wish.

Lithuanian Smoked Salmon Salad:  282 calories 11 g fat 3.3 g fiber 19 g protein 24.8 g carbs [8.5 g Complex] 30 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF bread  We loved this when we dined at Alemeda’s Mama Papa Lithuanian Restaurant  and I was determined to replicate it at home. SO unusual and yummy.  HINT: This recipe serves two [2] people.

1 cup cubed cucumbers ½ cup cubed fresh tomatoes ½ cup Romaine lettuce, cut crosswise in a fine chiffonade ¼ cup thinly-sliced red onions 1 cup shredded smoked salmon 1 two-oz egg, hard-boiled 2 Tbsp special sauce**   per person: 1 oz sourdough rye bread

**Special Sauce makes 5 Tablespoons  2 Tbsp olive oil 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar 1 Tbsp honey [If your honey is very viscous, warm it] 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill Whisk all the ingredients to blend thoroughly. Store remainder in a jar.

Prepare all the vegetables and toss to combine. Add the salmon to the bowl and pour on one tablespoon of the sauce. Toss again to coat the vegetables. If you think you need more, add it a bit at a time to get it just right. Plate the salad or serve in the bowl. Chop or slice the hard-boiled egg and strew it on top of the salad. Serve with the bread and tuck in.

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

white from 1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs  + apple
yellow corn mealonion + tomato + poppy seed
raspberriessport or pepperoncini peppers
honey + yogurtyellow mustard + celery seed
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

chicken breast meat + broccoli + lime1 quart Marinara sauce + garlic
corn tortillas + cilantro + adobostubby pasta + green pepper
Italian bell pepper + zucchinigarbanzos + parsley + cabbage
red onion + chili powder + plain yogurtSwiss chard + chicken stock
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Study in Scarlett

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Do you remember the first time you read Sherlock Holmes? I was in 8th grade and we must have been doing a survey of literature types. Enter The Speckled Band, an example of detective fiction. I was a fan from then on. In 1887, the debut Sherlock Holmes story was published. In it, the world first heard of a ‘consulting detective;’ first met Dr. Watson; first saw the use of a magnifying glass in a criminal investigation. This first foray, A Study in Scarlett, was a long book in four parts which spanned 2 continents and several decades. It also offended the Mormons. The tale was published in Beeton’s magazine and it was not a hit. But the stage was set for future stories and the world of detective fiction has never been the same. A Study in Scarlett has been a film [1933, starring Reginald Owen; 1968, starring Peter Cushing; 1983, starring Peter O’Toole] and on TV episodes [1968, Peter Cushing; and “Study in Pink,” 2010, Benedict Cumberbatch].

Our foods for tomorrow are studies in red — cherries and tomatoes. Both very good for the health, unlike the poisons and other causes of death in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books and stories. Read some Sherlock Holmes today.

Cherry Flamusse: 194 calories 5 g fat 1.3 g fiber 11 g protein 27.6 g carbs [10 g Complex] 157 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB GF – if using GF flour  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. Baked with cherries or any fresh fruit, it is sure to be a hit. HINT: This makes enough for 2 [two] servings: share with a friend or save the rest for a future breakfast or dessert. [As a dessert [without clementine or beverages], one serving has 177 calories.]

2 two-oz eggs 6 fl oz milk 4 tsp all-purpose OR tapioca flour 1.5 Tbsp sugar 10 sweet cherries, pitted ½ clementine Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]  or lemon in hot water Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

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.’

Egg-Tomato Gratin:  293 calories 10.4 g fat 5 g fiber 18 g protein 21 g carbs 226 mg Calcium  PB GF  Jacques Pepin, in his book Fast Food My Way, tells about this family recipe.  HINT: The recipe serves two. Invite a friend or save for lunch tomorrow.

3 hardboiled eggs, peeled and sliced into rounds 3 oz onions, sliced 2 tsp garlic, chopped 1 tsp dried thyme + 1 tsp salt + ½ tsp pepper 1/3 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 10 fluid oz of tomatoes, drained [save the juice] 1 oz Swiss cheese or Gruyere, grated 2 oz broccoli

Arrange the eggs on the bottom of a 3-cup baking dish. Cook the onions and garlic in some of the tomato juice, about 3 minutes. Add seasonings, tomatoes and the remaining juice. If tomatoes are in large chunks, crush with a fork and add the garbanzo beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer covered for 4 minutes. Pour over the eggs and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees F., then broil 2-3 minutes to brown the top. For a stove-top preparation: Prepare the onions, garlic, tomatoes, seasoning and garbanzos. Arrange the eggs on top, as halves or slices, and top with grated cheese. Cover and warm until cheese is melted.

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

1 two-oz egg, hardboiled3 oz egg = 1.5 eggs 
chèvre cheesebutter + milk
baby spinach greenswhite whole wheat flour
dried Turkish figraspberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

1.5 low-fat hot dogs, <110 cal each3 oz breaded pork cutlet
sauerkrautsmall red potatoes
pickled beets + onionbeets
canned white beansmushrooms
Sparkling waterSparkling water

NOW!

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

We are one day into the new year. The resolution-making game is fraught with dilemmas: which resolutions to make? what if I can’t keep them? does that mean I’m a failure? Since the new year seems to be a good time for new beginnings, people make wild pie-in-the-sky promises to themselves which are impossible to keep. Some suggestions: make the resolution concrete [I will lose 10 pounds.]; make the resolution achievable [I will clean the kitchen and do the dishes right after dinner]; make the resolution something you really want to do for you [I will take a one-hour walk once a week to savor nature by myself]. Drinking water, reading more, moving more in a day — all are good resolutions.

Now is the time to lose weight/get healthier and I am here to help you. Re-read the paragraph at the top of the page. Does that sound too simple? Brain scientists say people think that the more rules a diet has, the better it must be! Nope — those are fad diets. This one is easy and it works. How to begin? Start small — if you think you can’t possibly exist on 600 calories per day, then begin with dinner. One day this week, eat a meal of 300 calories for dinner. Then do not eat until the next day at breakfast, but you may drink as much water/ sparkling water/plain tea/herbal tea/coffee/decaf coffee as you want. You will find that the dinner was satisfying enough to carry you through ’til morning. Do that one day per week, then try two nights in a week. Weigh yourself once a week and see if there is a change for the better. Here are two suggestions for dinners under 300 calories:

Green Split Pea Soup: 262 calories 1.6 g fat 19 g fiber 20 g protein 46 g carbs [46 g Complex] 30 mg Calcium  PB GF  For years we have loved this soup from Picardy, France which comes to us via Anne Willen’s  French Regional Cooking.  The easiest recipe in the world!  HINT: Makes 6 [six] one-cup servings. What you don’t use today, freeze in serving-sized portions.

Very hearty. Very satisfying. And the recipe makes 6 servings!

16 oz bag dry green split peas [Goya is excellent] 1 quart water 2 slices bacon 2 stems of thyme salt + pepper to taste

Put the dry peas in a bowl and add water to cover them by 2”. Let them sit and soften for 1.5 hours. Drain. [TIP: you will not need the water for the soup, but use it to water the houseplants] Put the peas, bacon, thyme, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, then turn down the heat, cover, and simmer for 1.25 hours.  NB: Not all the liquid will be used upThat’s fine. Remove the bacon and the thyme stems. Using a food processor, blender, or immersion wand, puree the soup. There should be 6 cups. Soup should be loose enough to run off a spoon, but not too thin. Add water, if necessary, to adjust thickness. Taste for seasonings. Cook the bacon in a saute pan until it is crisp. Crumble it and add to the soup.

Fajitas with Chicken + Vegetables: 286 calories 5 g fat 3.9 g fiber 24 g protein 35 g carbs 183 mg calcium  PB  TIP: This recipe serves 2 [two] people. It is quick, delicious, and a good way to put vegetables into dinner.

Great for using odds and ends in the refrigerator — and it tastes great.
1 tsp oil + 3 tsp water 6 oz chicken breast 2 cups veg, including: >3 oz sweet pepper + 4 oz zucchini + >1 oz red onion + 1.25 oz broccoli 1 tsp chili powder + sprinkle AdoboCut the meat into strips. Cut the vegetables into strips or other edible sizes. Heat oil in wok, stir-fry meat, veg, and seasonings for ~ 7 minutes or until cooked and vegetables begin to brown
4 five-inch corn tortillasWrap in damp kitchen towel. Nuke 30-45 seconds. -OR- Warm on a griddle/ dry skillet until pliable and starting to brown.
¼ c plain nonfat yogurt [1 Tbsp per tortilla] Divide the meat/veg among the tortillas and top with yogurt.
1 lime + ¼ c cilantro leavesServe as garnish

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

1 two-oz egg + pear1.5 two-oz eggs 
sprouts + crab meat
fresh chives
soy sauce + ginger
Parmesan cheese
garlic powder + scallions
kiwi fruit
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Assorted Asian foods for Dim Sum — examples:7 cloves garlic + butter
beef egg roll or shrimp spring rollbeef or chicken stock
chicken momo or chicken momo fillingpotatoes + parsnips + egg + marjoram
pork wonton + broccoli + Sriracharye bread + Swiss cheese
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Maria Mitchell

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Maria [ pronounced ma-RYE-uh] Mitchell was born on Nantucket Island on August 1, 1818. By the time she died in 1889, she was famous around the world. And you are asking, “How come I don’t know who she is???” Raised in a Quaker community, she was as educated as any boy in town — if not better. She had such a grasp of mathematics and astronomy that when she was 14, whaling captains came to her for navigational advice. In 1847, using her father’s telescope, she discovered a new comet. [To this day it is called “Miss Mitchell’s Comet“.] She received international renown and a gold medal from the King of Denmark. Maria went on to be the librarian of the stately Nantucket Atheneum and was lured off the island to be one of the first professors at Vassar College. There, Maria was the beloved and innovative teacher of many future scientists

Astronomers cut their teeth on the observation of equinoxes and solstices. In honor of Miss Mitchell’s birthday, our meals revolve around those celestial events.

Vernal Equinox ScrOmelette: 156 calories 7.8 g fat 1.9 g fiber 12 g protein 10.7 g carbs [10 g Complex] 247 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF The cured meat and asparagus are emblematic of the changing seasons: the meat is for Winter and the aparagus is for Spring. Together, they are a heavenly flavor combination 

1 ½ two-oz eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid to store in the ‘fridge for next week.  1 oz cooked asparagus, chopped ¼ oz uncured capicola or proscuitto 1 clementine  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Thinly slice and coarsely chop the meat. Combine it with the chopped asparagus. Spritz a non-stick pan with non-stick spray. Put the meat-asparagus into the pan and stir until warmed. Whisk the eggs and pour into the pan. Scramble or cook as an omelette. Plate with the clementine and ponder the changing seasons as you enjoy the beverages of your choosing.

Winter Solstice Pizza: 283 calories 10 g fat 2.8 g fiber 16 g protein 16 g carbs [7.8 g Complex] 224 mg Calcium  PB On the Winter 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].

1 whole wheat tortilla [Herdez 8” Fajita-style Tortilla is what I use], must be 170 calories or less 1.5 Tbsp crushed tomatoes + pinch granulated garlic 1 oz mozzerella cheese, grated 1 oz mushrooms [2 Tbsp] 1/3 oz prosciutto 1 Tbsp onion, chopped ½ Kalamata olive, quartered

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. Dot with olive bits. Bake for 5-10 minutes. Think about how the Earth and Sun move through the heavens in their stately yearly dance.

Ingredients for next week: 

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

Bob’s 10-grain cereal1.5 two-oz eggs 
applesauce + nutmegground bison meat
cottage cheese + cinnamon
spaghetti sauce

maple syrup
scallion + melon
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

smoked haddock/finnen haddie
ground venison + chili powder
onion + potato
canned red beans + green pepper
milk + parsley + bay leaf
canned tomatoes + garlic
asparagus or peas
red onion + ground cumin + melon
Sparkling waterSparkling water