Fool Me Once…

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. 

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” This 360-year-old saying is about being fooled or tricked in a business transaction, rather than a harmless prank. One who tries to cheat another for money deserves shame indeed. But if the one who is tricked does not learn to be more wary from the encounter, then shame on him/her/they for being such a fool. There’s a lot of that going around these days: telemarketers on the phone, products offered on late-night television, pop-up ads on the internet, misinformation abounds and people get duped. Check your facts, people! Tomorrow will be April Fool’s Day, when the emphasis is on fooling people, but in a kindly, jesting way.

I’m not fooling you to say that the breakfast recipe is unusual in flavor and pretty to behold. I had fun creating it and indeed fooled Dear Husband. To prepare breakfast, he took the filled ramekins out of the ‘fridge and popped them in the oven, thinking they were both eggs to be baked. Ha! Because tomorrow is Maundy Thursday, the dinner takes on a more somber note: a meatless, hearty ‘peasant’ soup [that’s not a slam of ‘peasants’ since their food is often flavorful and healthy].

Trompe l’Oeil: 135 calories 6 g fat 2 g fiber 10.5 g protein 9.6 g carbs 128 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF   Here is a meal to fool the eye and tickle the palate with its combination of the cold soup and the hot egg. The soup, which is good as a lunch in larger portions, comes from cuisine actuelle.fr

½ cup Cucumber Soup*** + 0.9 oz ball of cantaloup melon one 2-oz egg + 1 tsp grated Parmesan + 1 Tbsp whole milk

Spritz an oven-safe ramekin with non-stick spray and break the egg into it. Sprinkle the Parmesan around the yolk. Spoon the milk around the yolk. Add salt and pepper. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, scrape the soup into a similar ramekin. Nestle the melon ball in the soup. Plate them side by side and smile.

***Cucumber Soup  makes 3 cups, easy to cut in half

two 8” cucumbers [total mass = 21 oz Slice off both tips of the cucumber and remove half of the green peel. Cut in half and scoop out the seeds. Dice the cucumber.
A bunch of mintRemove leaves from stems and chop the leaves coarsely.
Piment d’esplette [or paprika or Aleppo pepper] to taste
salt & pepper to taste
Put the cucumber, mint, and seasonings in a food processor. Run the machine until the cucumber is very finely chopped.
200 grams/ 7 oz Fromage Blanc or plain Greek yogurtAdd cheese/yogurt and run the processor long enough to combine. Adjust seasonings.
1 Tbsp-sized cantaloup balls Place in a ramekin, garnished with one melon ball per serving

Czech Garlic Soup Česneková polévka: 194 calories 5 g fat 4 g fiber 9 g protein 27 g carbs [18 g Complex] 84 mg Calcium PB GF – if using GF rye bread What could be better on a chilly night than a cozy bowl of soup? This is a classic from czechcookbook, but feel free to make it your own. The calorie count is so low that you could add other vegetables or low-fat meat.  HINT: This recipe makes 8 cups of soup. One serving = 1 cup

1 Tbsp unsalted butter OR bacon fat    
7 cloves garlic
Chop garlic and saute in butter/fat in a stock pot.
7 cups water OR Chicken OR Beef Broth
1½ tsp salt
3 cups cubed potatoes 
3 cups cubed parsnips
Peel potatoes and parsnips and cut in cubes. Add to broth and salt in the stock pot. Simmer for 20 minutes, until vegetables are just under-done. Remove ½ cup soup stock and cool.
1 egg
1 tsp marjoram
Whisk the egg, then whisk it into the reserved ½ cup of soup stock. Return to the stockpot, stirring, and add marjoram. Taste for seasoning. Let sit 8-24 hours.
Per person: ¼ oz rye/whole wheat bread, cubed
Per person: ¼ oz Swiss cheese
Per person: side salad
Portion the soup for dinner and freeze the rest. Toast the cubes of bread. Grate the cheese over them while hot. Use to garnish the reheated soup at serving time.

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

1 two-oz hard-boiled egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
ricotta cheese + Sirachacooked chicken meat
70-calorie whole-grain breadRogan Josh sauce
tomato + strawberriesstrawberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

onion + fresh ginger + parsley + turmericpork tenderloin + fresh ginger + garlic
Indian curry powder + garam masala + plum tomatoesred+ green bell peppers + carrot
mushrooms + plain yogurt + lemon juicepeanut butter + dark soy sauce
2-4 hard-boiled eggs + brown rice Sriracha + crushed red pepper + honey
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Blizzard of ’88

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 USA has had some wild weather in the past year, including a snow storm in the state of Texas. People thought that was pretty horrible [and it was, especially as the people and infrastructure were unused to cold], but what would they have done in New York in the White Hurricane of 1888? The storm was preceded by warmth and rain — and then the temperature dropped. Snow began on March 11, continued all night and into the next day and the next. The wind howled, piling the snow impossibly high [52 feet/16 meters in Brooklyn]. Such snow! Forty inches [100 cm] in New York City, coming down impossibly fast and wind-blown. When it was all over, 200 people had died in the city alone, 100 more died at sea, and 100 others in the countryside. In the city, office and store workers had set out to work in the morning and never made it home. Since the trains and trolleys were stopped, those workers had to walk home in the evening — often trying to go 20 blocks in freezing temperatures, wearing inadequate clothing. A shop girl, in thin leather boots and layers of cotton petticoats, had a daunting task plowing through the snowy sidewalks. Many poor souls, men and women, were so exhausted that they sat down on door steps to rest, died of hypothermia where they sat , and weren’t discovered until the snow melted. The storm moved off to the North-East, blanketing New England and the Canadian Maritimes. Nowadays, all it takes is 4 inches of snow to paralyze a major city, but the subways still run underground and the communication wires are safe underground, too. Lives lost. Lessons learned.

Let us peer into the life of a shop girl or factory worker in New York City in 1888. Breakfast and dinner in a cold-water flat with no electricity meant foods that could be stored briefly or bought at a food stall. Thus breakfast might be bread and hard-boiled egg with leftover meat from dinner and the evening meal of soup from a vendor on the way home from work.

Shop Girl’s Breakfast:  231 calories 9 g fat 4.6 g fiber 14.5 g protein 27.5 g carbs 7 mg Calcium  PB The Industrial Revolution brought young women by the thousands from the farm to the city, to work in the factories and as shop girls. Breakfast would have been served cold, made from dinner leftovers and other foods that required little preparation or refrigeration.

1 slice whole-grain bread [no white bread on her budget] 1 two-oz hard boiled egg 1 oz of chicken dinner sausage 1 oz onion, sliced 2 prunes — aka: dried plums [0.6 oz]   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea

Slice the sausage and the onion. Place in a small pan with some water and a spritz of non-stick spray. Cook until the water has evaporated, sausages have browned a bit, and the onions are limp. TIP: This could be done the night before. And, unlike our Shop Girl, you can reheat the sausage-onion in the morning. Toast the bread lightly and top with the sausage-onion mixture. Plate with the egg and the prunes. Only blackish coffee or tea for our shop girl – no stop at Starbucks on the way to work for a fancy brew.

Soup Royaume: 152 calories 0.3 g fat 6 g fiber 12.6 g protein 24.6 g carbs 84 mg Calcium  PB GF A fine meal for winter, made hearty with autumn vegetables and lentils, it is named after the old lady who saved Geneva from invasion by the Savoyards. Add as much seasoning as you wish. Any soup can be improved by preparing it ahead and letting it sit for 8-24 hours. HINT: This recipe makes 6 [six] servings of 1 cup each.

2½ oz pork loin, raw or cooked, diced
½ cup onion, chopped
3½ oz [½ c]dry lentils**
Put pork, onions, and lentils in a heavy saucepan and cook until browned.
**small green lentils from France, if possible
3 oz rutabega/turnip, cubed
2 oz carrot, diced
3 oz parsnip, diced
3 cups chopped cabbage
½ tsp mace + ½ tsp dry mustard 
1 Tbsp caraway seed + salt & pepper
3 cups water
Add the rutabega/turnip, carrot, parsnip, cabbage and seasonings to the saucepan. Pour in water to cover the vegetables. Cover the pan and simmer for about 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Taste for seasonings.
½ cup frozen spinach, choppedAdd the frozen spinach, and heat through.
Divide in 6 equal servings.  Freeze what you don’t need today.
per serving: several leaves of fresh spinachRoughly chop the leaves and poke into the hot soup when serving. 

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

1 two-oz egg1 slice Canadian or back bacon 
4″ diameter thin slice hampan muffin [make ahead]
Parmesan cheese + appleapple or apple sauce
cottage
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

naan bread @ 106 caloriesfrozen spinach + tuna + peas
ground turkey + zucchinigarlic + onion + olive oil
Rogan Josh Sauce + tomatoanchovy + puff pastry
cauliflower + Indian curry powdermediterranean vegetables
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Boticelli

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to freeketodiet and fraidycatfinance and morningfatmelter14 who are now Following.

Sandro Boticelli [born March 1, 1445 as Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi, but called ‘boticelli’ or ‘little barrel’] was yet another of the great artists of Florence, under the patronage of the Medici Family. He painted in the Renaissance style from 1470 to 1500. True to his time, he depicted religious themes, figures from Greek mythology, and society people in the style of Classical figures. His paintings are full of light and motion and beautiful people. He had many patrons and his skills were in great demand, but Sandro fell under the spell of the ascetic clergyman Savonorola, and he began to consider his mythological scenes to be irreverent. Some say he burned them, some say he refused to take new commissions. For whatever reason, Sandro’s style changed; he was not hired so often, and he was eclipsed by his contemporaries until his death in 1510. His posthumous legacy was obscured as well, until the late 1800s when there was a resurgence of interest in Florentine Renaissance art, permitting Boticelli again to take his place among the greats.

One of Boticelli’s most famous works is Primavera, an enormous painting showing the Goddess Venus with a retinue of Springtime characters. Off to the right, the cold winds of winter attempt to disrupt the revels but to no avail. This painting is on display in the Uffizi Gallery’s Boticelli Room along with The Birth of Venus, the other most-famous of Sandro’s works. It shows the nude Venus being wafted across the water on a giant scallop shell, new-born of the sea’s foam. Our breakfast is all about Spring [even though it will be a few weeks until the Equinox], and our dinner features sea scallops, of course.

Vernal Equinox Bake:  249 calories 8.4 g fat 2 g fiber 14 g protein 17 g carbs [5.5 g Complex] 212 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  For the change of seasons, a breakfast with cured meat [to represent Winter] and artichokes [to stand in for Spring]. Simple and flavorful.

1 two-oz egg 1/4 oz uncured capicola, diced 3/4 oz artichoke hearts, marinated and purchased in a jar 1 Tbsp reduced-fat cottage cheese 1/4 cup blueberries or strawberries + 2 Tbsp 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 artichokes and chop them. Spritz an oven-proof dish with non-stick spray and sprinkle the capicola and artichokes on the bottom. Whisk the egg with salt and pepper, pour it into the dish, and bake at 350F. 12-15 minutes. Combine the fruit with the yogurt in a ramekin and plate with the egg bake. Serve with optional beverages and gaze upon Primavera by Sandro Boticelli.

Scallops with Peas: 260 calories 9 g fat 5 g fiber 26 g protein 11 g carbs 153 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF flour in the Bechamel  Salty scallops and sweet green peas are a wonderful combination. Very simple to prepare. Low enough in calories to add a Side Salad if you wish.  Perch a picture of Birth of Venus on the table so you can see it as you dine.

¼ pound dry sea scallops 1½ Tbsp chives, chopped ¼ c Bechamel sauce, no cheese ½ cup frozen green ‘English’ peas 1 tsp lemon zest 1½ Tbsp Romano cheese, grated  Optional: side salad

Put the frozen peas in a bowl or cup to thaw. Pat the scallops dry and cut them in half along the equator. Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray and heat the pan over medium-high. Pan-sear the scallops, 1-2 minutes per side, adding some salt and pepper. Turn the heat to low. Add the Bechamel, zest and chives to the pan, along with a little water or white wine to increase the liquid. Add the peas and most of the grated cheese. Heat thoroughly but gently and spoon into scallop shells or ceramic baking shells. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and briefly broil or bake to melt the cheese on top. Serve with Side Salad, adding 36 calories.

Michaelangelo

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.

What was the World of Art into which Michaelangelo was born on March 6, 1475? It was the height of the Italian Renaissance of the Quattrocento. Boticelli, Fra Lippi, and Masaccio were painting in Florence which was the center of the Art World. Ghiberti and Donatello were leading influences in sculpture, and Bruneleschi had wowed the world with the building of the dome of the Florence Cathedral. All of them were fascinated with the mathematics, optics, and physics of linear perspective: Science was influencing Art with the optimism of ‘We can do anything because we know math’ attitude. 25 years later, Michaelangelo was already recognized as a genius, having created his Pieta — a masterpiece of pathos and sculptural plasticity [making marble look like soft skin or draped fabric]. Enter the Cinquecento. Now art was more interested in the human form and in showing emotion. The Dying Slave, 1513 is the perfection of those concepts. From 1500 until his death on February 18, 1564, some of the most amazing pieces of art were created: sculptures, like the statue of David; frescos, such as the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel; architecture, Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome for example. Michaelangelo influenced artists for centuries after his death, which should come as no surprise. Genius in others is inspirational — we may never reach those heights, but we learn a lot through the effort.

The meals presented today are from the geographic milieu of Michaelangelo: the Western Italian Mediterranean. Olive oil, tuna, vegetables, olives, cured meats, cheeses — the artist and his contemporaries cooked with these ingredients every meal. Michaelangelo cared little about his appearance, nor about food, but that won’t stop us from eating well.

‘Pan Bagne’ ScrOmelette: 149 calories 10 g fat 1 g fiber 11.4 g protein 6 g carbs 63 mg Calcium NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF  Pan Bagne  is a wonderful layered sandwich which we enjoy in the summer. Each of the 7 layers is a distinct yet complimentary flavor. This recipe combines several of the components, without all the oil, tuna, and bread. The result is delicious at breakfast.

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 black olive, pitted and chopped ½ Tbsp creamy chevre cheese 1 Tbsp crushed tomatoes ½ Tbsp spinach, cooked and chopped ¼ tsp dried basil 2 oz strawberries or 1 oz apple  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]

Stir and cream the olive, cheese, tomatoes, spinach, and basil until nicely blended. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper to taste. Continue whisking as you add the vegetable/cheese mixture and blend as thoroughly as possible. Scramble to taste. Brew your beverage and shake the smoothie. Slice the apple and settle in for a flavorful meal.

Ham Florentine Crepes: 299 calories 11g fat 5.6 g fiber 15.6 g protein 33 g carbs 307 mg Calcium  PB  “Peter Christian’s Tavern” was a very popular New Hampshire restaurant and their cookbook was a local best seller. The restaurant has closed but Peter Christian’s Recipes is a goldmine and it served as the source of this meal. Very easy if the crepes and Bechamel sauce are pre-made.

2 crepes/galettes ¾ cup Ham Florentine filling 2 oz carrots-broccoli-cauliflower

Set the oven to 350 F. If the galettes/crepes are frozen, thaw and wrap in a tea towel. Put them in the oven as it warms. When the crepes are soft and pliable, lay them on a baking sheet, covered with the tea towel. Warm the Ham Florentine filling and spoon over half of each crepe. [I saved out a bit of the filling.] Fold the crepes over the filling and pat in place. Put the crepes in the oven until warmed through. Top with reserved filling before serving with the Winter Vegetables.

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

1 two-oz eggtwo egg yolks  + 4 egg whites
black olivemilk + baking powder
mushrooms + Gouda cheesewhite whole wheat flour + white flour
applesaucesugar + cream of tartar + canned plums
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

canned garbanzo beans [chickpeas]broccoli/cauliflower + onion
5-0z cam tuna in water + garliccarrot + kale/chard + sesame/canola oil
tomato + thyme + parsley + vinaigretteany meat + brown rice + garlic
babygreens/spinach + Parmesan cheesepackaged Japanese curry sauce
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Soup for You

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

Winter. Soup. Cold and snow outside. Hot soup inside you. Perfect pairing. Soup as a meal is wonderful and for dieters it can be the perfect solution. One of the benefits of soup is that one batch makes enough for several meals, so future lunches and dinners are taken care of on a busy day. Here are two soups to make those of us in the Northern Hemisphere think of Summer, and which those of you in the Southern Hemisphere can prepare from fresh ingredients. The third recipe is definitely for Winter.

Chowdah:  294 calories 7 g fat 1.7 g fiber 33.6 g protein 17 g carbs 114 mg Calcium  PB GF Here in Northern New England, chowder is king. Cod or haddock is traditional but hake is more flavorful and lower in calories. HINT: This recipe makes one BIG bowl of chowdah, but if you double the recipe, you can freeze the remainder or enjoy it for lunch. If you can, make it one day and eat it the next day for richer flavor.

½ slice bacon ¼ cup onion, chopped 2 oz potatoes, ½” dice 1½ cups fish stock 4 oz cod or hake fillets, cut into 1½” pieces ¼ cup 2% milk salt + pepper + parsley + turmeric

Cook the bacon until it is almost crispy, remove from the pan, blot dry of fat, and chop coarsely. Into the fat in the pan add the onions. Cook slowly until soft and transluscent. In another pan, boil the potatoes in water until tender. Drain [save the water for baking] and salt the potatoes. Put the fish stock, cod, potatoes, and milk in the pan with the onions. Heat slowly until warm. Add the bacon, parsley, and seasonings to taste. [TIP: Best if held in the ‘fridge for 8-24 hours before you heat slowly [do NOT boil] and taste for seasonings again.]

Soupe au Pistou:  212 calories 5 g fat 5.6 g fiber 9 g protein 34 g carbs 74 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF bread and pasta  Here is the summer soup of Southern France: garden vegetables with a basil pistou to flavor it. The recipe is from Anne Willan’s Country Cooking of FranceHINT: This makes enough for 9 [nine] one-cup servings or 6 [six] 1-½ cup sv. If 1-½ cup, then 271 calories/bowl, with bread.

½ cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed 1 cup thinly-sliced leeks ½ pound [8 oz] tomatoes, ½“ dice ½ cup carrots, ½“ dice 2 cups potatoes, ½” dice 8 oz zucchini, ½“ dice ½ cup onion, diced 2/3 cup green beans, cut in 1” pieces ½ cup peas, fresh or frozen 1-¼ oz short pasta, such as orzo or ditalini ¼ cup pesto, purchased or homemade 1 slice whole-grain sourdough bread

Prepare all the vegetables. Simmer the vegetables in 1 quart of water with salt and pepper for 20 minutes. Add the peas and simmer 5 minutes more. Add the pasta and simmer 2 minutes more. Take off the heat and stir in the pesto. HINT: If possible, cool, cover, and let sit in a cool spot for 8-24 hours to deepen the flavors.  Taste for seasoning. Serve with a slice of whole grain sourdough bread. Delicious for dinner or lunch. Freeze the remainder.

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 one-cup servings. What you don’t use today, freeze in serving-sized portions.

16 oz bag dry green split peas + water to soak 1 quart water, for making the soup 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 soaking 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 1¼ hours.  NB: Not all the liquid will be used up. That’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. 

Westminster Abbey

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to 7008jakepert and rowenareview, MariahBlog, and Vegan Diet who are now Following.

In 960, a tiny group of Benedictine monks founded a small abbey upriver from London. A century later, King Edward the Confessor, wishing to have a major religious center near his new castle, enlarged the church. It was consecrated on December 28, 1065, and referred to as “Westminster” to distinguish it from St Paul’s church, East of it in central London. King Edward died soon thereafter. Within a year, England had been invaded, had been taken over, and saw its new king William the Conquerer crowned at the new church. Since then, every monarch of the United Kingdom has been crowned at Westminster Abbey and most are buried there. The original abbey and Edward’s church were built in the Romanesque style of that time. But the new abbey is Gothic: pointed arches and vaulted ceilings. It was commissioned by King Henry III in 1220 and dedicated in 1269. For years the church was uncompleted, since the king died 3 years after the dedication. [Do you see a pattern there?] Eventually, Westminster Abbey in all its glory was finished in 1517. If you have never visited it, you surely have seen it on TV during royal weddings and state funerals.

The Basilica of Saint Denis in France was the first to be built in the Gothic Style. Our breakfast has the same saint’s name, so we will start there. The splendid fish timbal might have graced the abbott’s table at either of the consecrations of Westminster.

Saint Denis Bake: 111 calories 3 g fat 1.5 g fiber 10 g protein 7 g carbs 46 mg Calcium NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF James Beard provided the recipe, the famous church north of Paris provided the name. Sumptious.

1 two-oz egg 1 Tbsp scallion or leek, chopped ¼ oz mushroom, chopped ½ clove garlic, chopped ¼ oz 3% fat ham, chopped ¼ oz chicken liver pate 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped 2 oz strawberries   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 chopped vegetables and ham into a non-stick pan which has been sprayed with cooking spray or oil. Stir-fry over medium heat until the scallion and garlic are limp and the mushroom liquid has evaporated. Cool a bit, then stir in the liver pate and the parsley. Whisk the egg with the cooked mixture, add salt and pepper, and scrape into an oven-safe dish or ramekin which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes. Plate with the berries and have a royal breakfast.

Spinach-Fish Timbale:  264 calories 7.4 g fat 6.6 g fiber 38 g protein 19 g carbs 342 mg Calcium  PB [GF if you use GF bread]  Seen in cookbooks, this recipe lends itself well to our uses. Easy to prepare ahead of time for guests.

Heat the toaster oven to 400 degrees.
½ cup blanched spinach Rinse but do not dry the spinach. Put into a wide pan over medium heat with a lid. Check frequently and remove from heat when the leaves are wilted. There might be some liquid still in the pan.
nutmeg
salt
1 wedge Laughing Cow cheese 
When leaves are just cool enough to handle, remove by the hand-full and squeeze the liquid out, saving it in the pan. Coarsley chop the leaves and put into a bowl with seasonings. Add cheese and stir as the cheese melts into the spinach.
1 Tbsp onion/shallot, minced 
½ slice 70-calorie bread, ground to crumbs HINT: use fresh bread crumbs since dried crumbs have more calories + carbs
In the pan of spinach water, cook the onion/shallot until the water is gone. Combine the onion, bread crumbs, and spinach-cheese.
5 oz sole or ocean perch fillets, skinned [this is 2 small fillets]Lay the fish fillets out so that they make one long line, over-lapping by about an inch. Spoon the spinach stuffing on the fish to cover it. 
Spray the inside of a 1-cup ramekin or custard cup with oil or non-stick spray. Roll up the fish as compactly as you can and put it into the ramekin. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
3 oz green beansCook the beans. When the fish is baked, hold the ramekin in one oven-gloved hand while you invert a plate over the ramekin. Flip it all over so that now the ramekin is upside down. Lift off the ramekin. Plate the beans.

The Nutcracker

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Ethan Cruz and amazingfindss and memo1358 who are now Following.

A special event from my childhood was when our mother took my sister and me into New York City to see the Nutcracker Ballet. My goodness! The costumes! The scene design! The music! The dancing! Truly a special day for a little girl.  Pyotr Tchaikovsky began writing the music at the suggestion of choreographer Marius Petipa who wanted a ballet based on a German folktale as reimagined by Alexandre Dumas, pere. Tchaikovsky began composing in February and previewed some of the music as The Nutcracker Suite in March. The ballet was set to debut in December of 1892, on a double bill with his opera Iolanta. Unfortunately the choreographer became ill, and his replacement was sub par. The set and costumes were rushed, and not up to snuff. The premier was panned by audience and critics. Not until it was reimagined by George Balanchine at the New York City Ballet in 1954, did the work receive wide acclaim, especially due to the dancing of Maria Tallchief. Now The Nutcracker is preformed as a cherished Christmas tradition, leaving more little girls with stars in their eyes.

Today’s menus are both from the Russian cuisine section of the NYT International Cookbook, in honor of the composer Tchaikovsky.

Mushroom Smitane Scramble: 147 calories 7.5 g fat 1.7 g fiber 11.7 g protein 9 g carbs 67.4 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF A recipe from Craig Claiborne’s NYT International Cookbook inspired this breakfast of Russian flavors. 

1½ 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 chopped scallion ½ oz mushrooms, chopped 1 Tbsp plain, fat-free yogurt big pinch paprika + big pinch marjoram 1½ oz pear

Spritz a non-stick saute pan with non-stick spray. Put the mushrooms and scallion into the pan over-medium-high heat and cook them until they begin to wilt. Whisk the eggs with the yogurt and seasonings, and pour into the pan. Scramble to your liking, plate with the pear, and pair with the beverage of choice.

Pojarski Cutlets: 246 calories 6.7 g fat 5 g fiber 45 g protein 15 g carbs 79 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF bread From an inn between Moscow and St Petersburg, comes a recipe to turn chopped meat into cutlets. Very simple to prepare. Craig Claiborne’s NYT International Cook Book.  HINT: makes 3 cutlets – one for now, two for a Slow Day.

7¾ oz ground bison meat
3¾ oz chicken breast
 ½ ounce egg [1 Tbsp]
Cut the meat roughly into 1-inch chunks. Put in a food processor with the egg and process until blended and well chopped.
Form the meat into 3 tear-drop shapes, about 1/2″ thick.
2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour ½ oz egg [1 Tbsp] + 1 Tbsp water  6 Tbsp fresh bread crumbsDust the meat with flour, then brush with the egg/water. Sprinkle with the crumbs and pat them on to make them stick. 
Non-stick spraySpray on a medium-hot non-stick pan and cook the ‘cutlets’ until browned on both sides.
5-6 oz asparagusCook and plate with the cutlets.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs  + broccoli
prosciutto + kalamata olivestomato + black olive
winter/summer savorycottage cheese + Parmesan cheese
clementinestrawberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

12 medium fresh oystersleft-over pot roast
spinach leaves + pickled beetsboiling onions + carrots
walnut piecessmall red potatoes
olive oil + balsamic vinegarbeef gravy
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Maud

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

100 years ago, if you asked who was the most famous Canadian author, the answer would have been Lucy Maud Montgomery. She was born in a little yellow [now white with green trim] house in Clifton, on the North Shore of Prince Edward Island. While she was yet a toddler, her mother died and her father sent her to be raised by her maternal grandparents in Cavendish. [There is no ‘Avonlea, PEI.’] In photos, they look about as friendly as the folks in American Gothic. Maud [“I am ‘Lucy’ for my grandmother,” she said. “I am ‘Maud’ for myself”] grew up as a very lonely child with a vivid imagination. She wrote poetry, submitting her first at the age of 13 [rejected], and then short stories, and then her break-through book: Anne of Green Gables. Of course you know that book or at least one of the many television series that interpret it. Is the book autobiographical? No, her series Emily of New Moon is more like her life. But everything was grist for Maud’s literary mill, especially her beloved Prince Edward Island which is always in her work. Even when Maud married and moved to Toronto, she wrote exclusively of PEI. How land-locked she must have felt in Ontario! And how sad her life became: one son with a mental illness; another child stillborn; her clerical husband’s distant nature and her own spiral into barbiturate addiction. But PEI shone like a lighthouse beacon: a land ’emerald, sapphire, and ruby’ when she described the colors of the landscape. The sense of home that she felt there is palpable when she wrote, “You never know what peace is until you walk along the shores…of Prince Edward Island in the summer twilight..”

In honor of Maud Montgomery’s birthday on November 30, we will have a delightful breakfast from our favorite PEI inn. And for dinner, a local delicacy from the Gulf of St Lawrence: halibut with your choice of fruit sauces. Tomato salsa is very popular in PEI.

Prosciutto & Melon Plate:  125 calories 7 g fat 1 g fiber 17 g protein 13.4 g carbs [13 g Complex] 135 mg Calcium  PB GF  Once again the Inn at Saint Peter’s inspires a breakfast! Nothing beats the salty-sweet flavor combination of this meal.  HINT: I plated everything the night before and stored the plates in zipper bags in the refrigerator.

4 oz canteloupe melon [Charentais melon would be fabulous!] 1 oz thinly-sliced prosciutto ¼ cup red onion pickle 0.1 oz shavings of Parmesan cheese fresh basil or mint leaves OR crumbled dried basil drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction, optional  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Cut the melon into bite-sized cubes [8 pieces look well on the plate]. Cut the prosciutto into 8 long strips [mine were 1”x4”]. Arrange the melon and ham in a circle on the plate with the red onion in the center. Shave off curls of Parmesan and place them on top. If using fresh herb leaves, tuck them in here and there. If using dried herbs, rub the leaves in your palms to crumble over the plate. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar if you wish. Serve with your chosen beverages. Wonderful flavors, however you combine them on your fork.

Halibut with Fruit Sauce: 182 calories 5.5 g fat 1.5 g fiber 25 g protein 6.4 g carbs 82 mg Calcium   PB GF  Whether you bake or broil or grill the fish, a fruit salsa makes for a splendid topping. Two different ones are detailed below.

Here, the halibut is topped with the Rhubarb-Onion Relish and a very plain salad.

4 oz halibut filet side salad = lettuce, carrot, tomato, beets, cucumbers, vinaigrette  fruit salsa, your choice

Tomato Salsa:  makes 3 cups 1 serving = ¼ cup  From the Ball Blue Book 15 calories 0.3 g fat 0.9 g fiber 0.9 g protein 5.8 g carbs 8 mg Calcium

2 cups chopped tomatoes  
1 cup/5.3 oz chopped green sweet peppers  
1 cup chopped onion  
½ cup jalapeno/serrano peppers, chopped  1 clove garlic, minced  1 tsp salt  ¼ c cider vinegar
Put everything in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.If storing, put salsa in canning jars with 2-part lids and process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Peach Salsa: 21 calories 0.3 g fat 1 g fiber 1 g protein 7 g carbs 9 mg Calcium To ¼ cup Tomato Salsa, add ½ oz diced peaches. Superb on fish.

Rhubarb-Onion Relish:  makes 1 cup  From Marion Cunningham  2 Tbsp [1 fluid ounce] = 26 calories 0 g fat 0.1 g fiber 0.1 g protein 1.5 g carbs 8 mg Calcium

1/3 cup chopped rhubarb
1/3 cup chopped onions
2¾ Tbsp vinegar ¼ tsp salt 1/3 cup light brown sugar, unpacked pinch each ground cloves, allspice, cinnamon
Mix everything together in a heavy pot and bring to a boil. Simmer 45 minutes until quite thick. Can be canned in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Jumble

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.

A ‘jumble’ is a confused mix of things — items that seem to be combined without plan. When one holds a ‘jumble sale,’ patrons can expect a display of miscellaneous items, previously used. [A ‘jumble sale’ in the UK, would be called a ‘rummage sale’ in the USA.] A ‘jumble’ is also a cookie. Sometimes menu planning can be a bit of a jumble: start with items that need to be used before going bad and add foods from a depleted pantry — these can lead to some interesting combinations of meals without a theme. It is good to use up left-overs and to rotate the items at the back of the cupboard. When one is staying at home more and going out [masked, of course] less for health reasons, one must use what one has, even if the planning seems to be lacking. During these seven months [!!] of ’emergency measures’, I go to the super-market only once every 3 weeks, and there is no popping out to pick up one missing ingredient. Use what you have! Stay healthy.

Heart-in-Heart: 150 calories 6 g fat 3 g fiber 9.6 g protein 17 g carbs [15 g Complex] 42 mg Calcium Egg + bacon + toast come to the table in a new guise.

1 slice whole-grain bread [Dave’s Good Seed] with a 2” heart cut out 1 slice Canadian bacon [Jones brand is good] with a 2” heart cut out 1 pullet or small egg [1.8 oz with the shell] 1 oz banana slices   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]

Spray an oven-safe pan with non-stick spray. Lightly toast the bread. Put it in the pan and position the bacon on top of it so the hearts align. Sprinkle a pinch of herbs of your choice into the hole. Break the egg into the heart-shaped hole. Strew with salt, pepper, and herbs. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes. Plate with the bananas.

Banh Mi: 300 calories 7 g fat 5 g fiber 20 g protein 36.7 g carbs 47 mg Calcium  PB  The recipe for this popular Thai/Viet street sandwich came in the mail from Eating Well’s ‘Shape’ magazine. Just a few tweeks and it works splendidly for a Fast Day. Dear Husband is a fan.

3 oz pork tenderloin, previously cooked or raw 1 tsp Asian sweet chili sauce + ½ tsp soy sauce 1½ oz cucumber, cut in 2-3” strips 1½ oz red sweet pepper, cut in 2-3” strips 1 oz carrot, shredded 1½ oz baguette slices, cut ¼” thick

Sesame-Ginger Dressing: 2 Tbsp pickle brine [from a jar of pickles] ½ tsp sesame oil + ¼ tsp ground ginger ¼ tsp ground garlic + pinch sesame seeds

Slice the pork thinly and brush with Asian chili + soy sauce mixture.  If meat is uncooked, brush with the chili/soy mixture, then briefly saute until barely pink. Prepare the sesame-ginger dressing and set aside in a small bowl. Slice and grate the vegetables and toss in the sesame-ginger dressing. Slice the bread and arrange it on the serving plate. Top with pork, then with vegetables, then the dressing. Serve remaining slaw in a small dish. Done! We ate everything with our fingers.

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

1 two-oz eggNext week I will discuss 
Monterey Jack cheesea variety of foods:
chili non carneFind a new favorite from
65-calorie corn tortillathe archives.
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

fried tortilla = tostadaNext week I will discuss 
chili non carnea variety of foods:
guacamole + Monterey JackFind a new favorite from
Mexican Vegetable Picklesthe archives.
Sparkling waterSparkling water

How To Start

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

How does one begin the Fasting Lifestyle? It isn’t difficult. You won’t have to count calories or calculate nutrients — if you use my recipes, I have done it for you. 1st: designate the day or days that you plan as Fast Days. Write it on the calendar. Have your phone or tablet remind you, just as you would any appointment. We like Monday and Thursday. 2nd: Look in this blog’s archives for breakfast menus and choose four for Mondays and four for Thursdays. Write them on the calendar. Now you know what to eat for 8 breakfasts in the month. We like a baked egg dish on Monday, and an omelette/scramble on Thursday. But there are eggless breakfasts too. 3rd: Do the same for dinners for Mondays and Thursdays, and write them on the calendar. We like seafood/meatless dinners on Monday and meals with meat on Thursday. There are vegetarian meals on this blog too. 4th: Go shopping for the ingredients, at least for the first week. While shopping, resist the temptation to put snack foods or highly processed foods into the basket — even on the Slow Days, you should cut down on those empty calories. 5th: If, like me, you are not a morning person, prep part of the breakfast the night before. If you rush home just before dinner time, choose a Fast meal that could be thawed out when you get home. Soup is often a good choice for Fasting. These behavior changes will help to prevent you from getting processed breakfasts on the run or take-out for dinner. You will save money too. 6th: Can you delay breakfast — even by an hour? Can you move up dinner/supper? If you usually breakfast at 7 am and dine at 8 pm, that’s a long stretch for a beginning Faster. See what you can do about that.

Try these meals tomorrow. They are fairly easy to prepare and they have a lot of flavor. Good flavor, good fiber, and eye appeal will help you to appreciate a meal more. Drink lots of water or tea, and get into Fasting.

Creole Bake: 137 calories 6.5 g fat 2 g fiber 8.4 g protein 11.6 g carbs [10 g Complex] 67 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPB GF  Creole flavors add zip to the morning eggs.

1 two-oz egg 1 Tbsp tomato dice or puree 1.5 tsp onion, minced 1 Tbsp bell pepper, minced 1 Tbsp bacon, chopped and measured raw 1.5 tsp Cheddar cheese, finely grated Pinch file powder 1.5 tsp creole seasoning    2 oz pear or apple   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 tomato, onion, bell pepper, and bacon in a small pan and cook until the bacon is mostly cooked. Drain the bacon fat from the vegetables. HINT: You could do this the night before. Spritz an oven-safe pan with non-stick spray and set the oven to 350 F. Whisk the egg and then stir in the cheese, vegetables, and seasonings. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 12-15 minutes. Prepare your beverages of choice and slice the fruit.

Tuna Salad Sandwich, country-style:  Per Serving: 281 calories 9 g fat 4 g fiber 20 g protein 31 g carbs 91 mg Calcium   PB GF – if using a GF bun  Mayonnaise is a problem for me – I’d rather spend my calories on something else. So I came up with a different way to moisten my tuna salad, improving the protein and Calcium along the way. Try it. HINT: These amounts make enough for three [3] sandwiches. Dinner for three or dinner + two lunches.

One 5-oz can of white tuna in water [4.5 oz drained/ 115 g/ ¾ cup] 1 hard-boiled egg 4 Tbsp 2% milk-fat cottage cheese 2 Tbsp minced celery 2 Tbsp minced onion salt and pepper 3 hot dog buns   per serving:  ¼ cup 4-bean salad + ½ ear corn on the cob

Drain the tuna and turn it into a bowl. Break up the tuna with a fork. Chop the egg and add it to the tuna along with the cottage cheese, celery, onion, salt and pepper. Stir to incorporate. Boil the corn for 8 minutes. Divide the tuna salad among the hot dog buns and plate with the vegetables.