William of Ockham

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. 

Have you heard of ‘Occam’s Razor‘? It is often referenced in movies — the idea that the most simple answer is probably correct. William was born c.1287 in Occam/Ockham, Surrey, England. Some time before age 13, he was schooled at a Franciscan monastery in London. At age 23, he studied theology, either in London or at Oxford, but he did not complete the program. He returned to London where he began to write about theology and philosophy. His views were not well-received. First, he was called to explain his ideas to the Franciscans’ regional meeting, then he was accused of heresy and journeyed to Avignon, France to face Pope John XXII. [Remember that at this time the Papal Court was not in Rome, the Papacy having been hijacked by the French king in 1309.] Also at Avignon was the head of the Franciscans, Michael of Cesna. As a follower of Saint Francis, Michael believed that religious men and women should live lives of poverty. This put him at odds with the Pope who lived lavishly. [The famous vineyards of Chateauneuf du Pape were owned by the French popes.] Michael asked William to review the scriptures and the writings of John XXII to see who had the correct idea. William declared that not only was Michael backed up by the Bible, but that the pope was a heretic. You can imagine how that went over. On May 26, 1328, William, Michael, and some companions sneaked out of the papal compound and fled to the protection of Louis of Bavaria who was at odds with the pope. William continued to write. He was never convicted of heresy, but the church never forgave him for criticizing the pope. Most of that is forgotten, but William’s way of ‘cutting away’ competing ideas has had a long life.

For the rich life in the Papal Court at Avignon, eggs served with truffle cream. For Occam’s stay in Bavaria, pork for dinner.

Truffled Omelette: 146 calories 9.4 g fat 1 g fiber 9.5 g protein 6 g carbs 43.5 mg Calcium  PB GF  Truffle cream adds amazing flavor to food and just a little gives a big kick. This is a simple meal with a complex taste.

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.   1 Tbsp truffle cream  1¼ 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]

Whisk the eggs and pour into an oil-spritzed saute pan. Cook, undisturbed, until the eggs begin to set. Spread the truffle cream over half of the egg, fold the omelette, and cook further to your liking. Plate with the apple.  TIP: there will be lots of truffle cream left in the jar. Portion it into smaller containers, label and freeze.

Pork Schnitzel:  233 calories 10 g fat 3 g fiber 14.4 g protein 23 g carbs [10 g Complex] 31 mg Calcium  PB  If you find breaded pork loin cutlets at the butcher shop, snap them up for this easy, yet low calorie meal. Have the butcher verify that the cutlet is indeed 3-3.5 oz in mass. [Each ounce = 62 calories 3 g Fat  0.3 g fiber 4 g Protein  4.4 g carbs  6 mg Calcium]

3-3.5 oz breaded pork loin cutlets 2 oz beets 1 oz roasted red potatoes ½ oz mushrooms

Set the oven for 425F. Slice the red potatoes in half and place in an oven-proof pan. Spray liberally with non-stick spray, sprinkle on sakt and pepper, and place in the oven. Set timer for 15 minutes. [Check the potatoes for done-ness at 15 minutes. They may need another few minutes – your call.] While the potatoes cook and the beets warm up in a pan, spray a heavy non-stick skillet with non-stick spray. When it is hot, begin to cook the pork schnitzel. Cook for 2-3 minutes on one side, then flip it over and put the mushrooms in the pan as well. Cook both for another 3 minutes. Plate the pork and vegetables. Pour the mushrooms on top of the schnitzel along with any pan juices. Very simple and satisfying.

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

1 two-oz egg + strawberries next week, I will present ways to prepare rhubarb
uncured American baconin beverages and in breakfast dishes.
whole milk + Swiss cheeseFind a new breakfast favorite in the Archive.
cayenne pepper + nutmeg
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Ahi tuna + Laughing Cow CheeseFind a new favorite dinner in the Archive.
Bechamel without cheese  + fish stock 
buckwheat galettes
Cauliflower + carrot + zucchini
Sparkling waterSparkling water

C.W. Post

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to DiEdwards who is now Following.

You have heard of the Post Cereal brand, right? Now you will hear about the eponymous Mr. Post. He was born in Springfield, Illinois in 1854, and grew up there. After a couple of years at the Industrial University, C.W. went off to run a store in Kansas. Back in Springfield, he sold farm implements and invented a few, too. It was all too much for him and he had a mental break at age 31. Depression followed and another breakdown, which took Post to Battle Creek, Michigan to the sanitarium of Dr. Kellogg. Kellogg thought that better nutrition would cure anything and to that end he developed grain-based vegan foods. C.W. agreed and, believing himself cured, he developed some new foods for breakfast: Postum, a coffee substitute; Grape-Nuts cereal, with neither grapes nor nuts; and Post Toasties, a corn flake originally called Elijah’s Manna — a name that was banned in the UK. The Kellogg organization always said that Post stole their recipes, but Post’s Postum Company revolutionized breakfast in America. Post spent his new wealth on real estate, buying huge tracts of land in Texas to establish a model town of ranchers and farmers. At the same time, his marriage was going down hill as was his health. His depression was ongoing, not helped by chronic stomach pains. Great wealth and remarriage did not improve his condition and he shot himself in 1914. His daughter, Marjory Merriweather Post, gave her estate to Long Island University, which they turned into C.W. Post College.

While being treated at the Kellogg Sanitarium, Post was fed a vegetarian diet. Our breakfast fits into that category. The dinner is pescatarian, heavy on the veggies. Both are good and good for you.

Banana Tofu Smoothie: 182 calories 2 g fat 1.5 g fiber 9 g protein 32 g carbs 250 mg Calcium  PB GF  A smoothie for breakfast? Sure thing. This is what I always took for lunch when I was teaching. HINT: This serves two. 

1¼ cups fat-free milk ½ cup firm tofu 6” banana   2 Tbsp sugar  4 ice cubes grated nutmeg Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Put everything in the blender and wizz it on “Low” until it is all chopped up. Then run it at a higher speed until it is smooth. Top with grated nutmeg.

Tuna-Bean-Garlic Patties: 270 cal 6 g fat 7 g fiber 31.6 g protein 23 g carb [22.4 g Complex] 110 mg Calcium PB GF The recipe is from the Fast Diet book, where it appears as a salad. This is my warm weather version, since the patties are served warm.  HINT: recipe serves 2 [two], each serving = two patties

1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed one 5-oz can light tuna in water, drained and flaked 4 oz tomato: 2 oz cubed, 2 oz left whole if bite-sized or sliced 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated salt + pepper + thyme + parsley 3½ oz spinach or mixed greens 1 tsp lemon juice + 1 tsp white wine vinegar + 1 tsp olive oil

Set oven at 350 F. Combine beans, tuna, cubed tomato, garlic, and Parmesan cheese in a food processor. Process until smooth/not chunky. Add salt, pepper, and herbs to taste. Shape the mixture into 4 patties, using a 1/3-cup measure as a mold. Turn out onto a lightly-spritzed baking sheet or silicon baking mat. Bake at 375 F until heated through. Meanwhile, whisk the lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil in a wide, shallow bowl. Add the greens and the remaining tomato. Toss lightly. Plate the salad decoratively with the tuna-bean patties.

Paul Revere

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to unclearer who is now Following.

Apollos Rivoire was born in south-western France in 1702. His family were Huguenots, followers of the reformer Calvin, and Huguenots were not welcome in Roman Catholic France. Life became so difficult that the family left for the British Isle of Guernsey. In 1712, Apollos arrived in Boston, Massachusetts where there was a Huguenot population. He apprenticed as a goldsmith at age 18 and when his master died two years later, Apollos changed his name to Paul [1] Revere, bought out his contract, and set up shop on his own. He married and together he and his wife produced eight children, the 3rd of whom was named Paul [2] Revere [b. 1734/5]. Paul the son learned the gold-smithing trade from his father, inheriting the business when his father died. Paul [2] was drafted into the Massachusetts Colony militia for a stint in up-state New York to fight the French, then returned to Boston to establish his own name in his trade. In addition to making gold and silver pieces, Revere was a copper-plate engraver and had a side hustle as a dentist. [He did not make George Washington’s false teeth.] He became involved in local political groups as an intelligence gatherer and a courier. And so we get to the famous Midnight Ride. The Boston patriots [not the American football team] learned that the British were going to land troops in Boston, then march all night to Lexington to capture rebel leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock. Both Revere and William Dawes set out, but Revere made it to Lexington first. Neither man warned Concord, that was done by Samuel Prescott. Henry Longfellow’s poem makes it sound as if the whole thing was Revere’s idea and that he alone rode “to spread the alarm to every Middlesex village and farm.” More likely, it is difficult to find words to rhyme with ‘dawes.’ After service in the Revolutionary War, Paul Revere expanded his metals business: a hardware store in addition to the gold smithery; casting church bells [New England is peppered with them]; running America’s first mill for rolling copper [Old Ironsides and the Massachusetts State House are clad in his copper]. “Revere Ware,” a brand of copper-bottomed cook pans, was originated by him. After the War, Revere wrote an account of his ride on April 18, 1775, which held him in memory until Longfellow hit it out of the park with his poem in 1860, immortalizing Paul Revere for the ages. Ever since 1894, Massachusetts has celebrated Patriot’s Day on the day following Paul Revere and William Dawes’ ride. Before that, it was an official state Fasting Day.

We will observe National Poetry Month by providing a meal from one poem protagonist, Porphyro from Eve of Saint Agnes, to salute the protagonist of Paul Revere’s Ride by Longfellow. And as a nod to the American hero’s French ancestors, a French-inspired dinner.

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

2 Tbsp low-fat French Vanilla yogurt + 2 Tbsp almond meal 2 oz apple, diced 2 oz melon, cubed ¼ cup pitted plums [I used canned plums in light syrup, drained and rinsed], use fresh if in season 2 tsp cider syrup [or use 2 tsp syrup from the plums] + ¼ tsp ground cinnamon ¼ oz Deglet Noor date, cut in 4 pieces. NO smoothie coffee or tea ONLY if it is black/blackish or lemon in hot water

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

Mini-Quiche Dinner: 241 calories 11 g fat 3 g fiber 17 g protein 11 g carbs 315 mg Calcium  PG FG   A light, delicious, and nutritious dinner. If the the quiches were prepared previously, this is quick as a flash to prepare.

oops! Forgot to plate the asparagus!

3 slices of tomato, each 1 oz 5 oz asparagus spears or 1 cup cut asparagus 3 mini-quiches, just baked or re-warmed

Plate the tomato slices and salt them with a flavorful finishing salt. Cook the asparagus and plate it around the tomato slices Place the warmed quiches on top of the tomato slices. Isn’t that a treat for the eye? Now taste it!

Winslow Homer

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.

Who was the pre-eminent painter of seascapes in the 1800s? Winslow Homer, of course. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts on February 24, 1836. His mother taught him the basics of watercolors, considered in those days to be an art for mere hobbyists. Apprenticed as a teenager to a lithographer, Homer learned the print-makers’ skills: drawing and color use. During the American Civil War, he was sent to the front lines to produce sketches that Harper’s Weekly would turn into illustrations for its news stories. His scenes of camp life were interesting to the folks at home, but the engraving of The Sharpshooter brought the fighting into peoples’ living rooms. That’s how it was done before Matthew Brady began to photograph the war. Several of the sketches were later turned into oil paintings, a medium which he had just learned. After the War, Homer devoted himself to painting scenes of peace and innocence. Pictures of children: Snap the Whip and Breezing Up and of country life: The Dinner Horn and The Blue Boat, gave way to depictions of people who are affected by the ocean, whether sailors [Eight Bells], fishermen [Fog Warning], their families [Dad’s Coming!] or victims of a cruel sea [The Gulf Stream]. One summer, Homer picked up his watercolors again, launching a new phase to his career which brought him a steady income. He became more drawn to small coastal communities, filled with working men and women instead of frivolous, richer city people. Even on a trip to Europe, he went to the seaside villages to sketch the common people. Back in the USA, he moved to his family’s Maine property, setting up his studio right on the shore. There he painted his brooding seascapes and settled into a prosperous living. He died at his studio in 1910, leaving 147 paintings as his legacy.

Since Homer painted seascapes, our breakfast is typical of coastal residents near his Prout’s Neck studio. For dinner, another meal of the common people of the coastal Atlantic.

Fish Cake Breakfast: 145 calories 2.5 g fat 2 g fiber 9.5 g protein 18.5 g carbs 42 mg Calcium PB GF Fish cakes have been a filling meal in North-Eastern North America centuries. In her 1832 cookbook, Lydia Maria Child promoted them for breakfast food. Great idea!  HINT: Prepare the fish-potato mixture the night before. This breakfast deserves a revival.

1 slice uncured American streaky bacon 6 Tbsp/rounded 1/3 cup Fish Cake mixture** 2 oz tomato slices ¼ oz fresh spinach 1 oz sliced strawberries or 2 Tbsp blueberries  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories] Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]

Slice the tomato and sprinkle with salt. Plate spinach leaves and top with tomatoes and fruit. Cook the bacon and plate it. Pour most of the bacon fat from the pan and return the pan to a low heat. Using either a 1 Tbsp or 2 Tbsp measure, scoop out some of the fish cake mixture and put it in the pan. Flatten it slightly to form a disk and cook until browned and crisp on one side. Cook until crisp on the other side and plate.

** Fish Cake Mixture  makes 2 cups 1/3 cup green or white onion, chopped 1-2/3 cup mashed potatoes [no milk, no butter] ¼ tsp dry mustard lots of salt + pepper 1 two-oz egg 2 Tbsp milk 6 oz cooked fish [cod, haddock, salt cod, salmon or a mixture], flaked into small pieces Combine the onion, potatoes, egg, seasonings, and milk, stirring well. Stir in the fish, gently but thoroughly. Portion the mixture and cook in a sauce pan with some bacon grease.

Seafood Chowder:  275 calories 11 g fat 1 g fiber 15 g protein 16 g carb 117 mg Calcium GF Dear Husband found the recipe in Yankee magazine. He prepares this every year and we think it is wonderful. It freezes nicely and easily serves a group. The directions look long and involved but the results are worth it.

Makes 10 one-cup servings
4 strips thick-cut American streaky baconDice bacon. In a medium skillet cook it until crisp and brown. Remove bacon and put into a big bowl. 
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced ~1 cupPour off all but 1 Tbsp fat and add onions. Cook slowly over low heat, stirring, until translucent – 10 mins?. Set aside with bacon in the bowl.
1 pound baking potatoes, peeled + cut in ½” cubesIn another saucepan, cover potatoes with salted water and boil until almost tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and add potatoes to the bacon/onions. [Save water for baking]
2 pounds steamer clams in their shells 1 Qt waterPut clams in a large pot with water. Heat to boiling, cover, and cook until clams open, about 3 minutes. Take out clams leaving liquid in the pot. Strain liquid through a sieve lined with toweling to remove debris. Take clams from shells and cut into smaller pieces if necessary. Add to potatoes, onion, and bacon.
one 1½ pound lobsterPut strained broth back into empty pot and bring to a boil. Put lobster head-first into boiling broth. Cover and cook 20 minutes. Remove lobster and let cool. Crack shell, remove the meat. Cut into ½” chunks and add to potatoes.
1 pound scallops, trimmed 1 pound shrimp, peeled Heat broth until boiling. Add scallops, shrimp. Reduce heat to low. Simmer about 3 minutes, until scallops + shrimp are just cooked through.
1 quart whole milk 4 Tbsp butter 2 sprigs parsley
¼ tsp paprika salt + pepper to taste
Finely chop the parsley. Add all the previously cooked ingredients, along with the milk, butter, parsley and seasonings. Heat until steaming but not boiling. Take off heat.
Cover and cool. Let soup sit in the ‘fridge or on a cool back porch for 12-24 hoursThis really enhances the flavors.
When ready to serve, heat to steaming hot but do not boil.
Freeze what is left over in serving-size containers.

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

whipped cream cheese1.5 two-oz eggs 
Finn Crisp crackerscrabmeat
herring marinated in white wineleek + sugar
cherries or strawberriessoy sauce + strawberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

salami + white beans + red wine vinegarchicken breast + flour + olive oil
chicken breast + rosemary + sagechicken stock + garlic + anchovy fillet
mozzarella + radish + celerykalamata black olives + white wine
garlic + lettuce or wild greensfresh tomatoes + broccoli florets
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Who dunit? Who ate it? Chapter VII

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 Lisa who is now Following.

Dear Husband and I love to read ‘whodunits.’ Crime literature in English harks back to Edgar Allen Poe’s Murders on Rue Morgue in 1841. As the genre took off, a sub-genre developed: culinary crime. These books are read as much for the procedural as for the vicarious thrills of the meals that are described along the way. There are many authors who tantalize our tastebuds while they challenge our little grey cells and today, I will feature foods from two widely different sources.

Two authors from the British Isles and their detectives are featured today. Breakfast is based on a very unhealthy snack food, often craved by Frank Phillips, a homicide detective in Northumbria. I took some liberties and made it a bit healthier. Dinner is a very healthy meal prepared by Enzo Macleod, a forensics specialist in Haute-Garonne. I took some liberties and used Camargue rice, from southern France, to add some complex carbs.

Frank Phillips, the older, plumper, rumpled, rougher side-kick of the young, slim, polished, elegant, handsome DCI Ryan loves to stop at the Pie Van to fuel up on Bacon Butties. Frank is a ‘Geordie‘ through and through, and not the sort of person to go on a diet. Despite his love of Butties, his devotion to his younger wife and their adopted daughter has him minding his heath. If he had this version throughout the series by L.J. Ross, Phillips might not have had to diet in middle-age.

Bacon Butty: 193 calories 4 g fat 6 g fiber 5 g protein 30 g carbs 62.4 mg Calcium This is such a widely popular sandwich in England and the Republic of Ireland that there are some 700 varieties. Some call it a ‘sarnie.’ If you add an egg, it becomes a ‘breggy.’ It seems to have originated in Ireland.

1 Arnold multi-grain Sandwich Thin, top and bottom 2 slices uncured American bacon, cut in half 2 oz applesauce 1 packet ketchup, for fast-food authenticity   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Lightly toast the bun while the bacon cooks until crispy. Portion the applesauce, construct the sandwich, and serve with ketchup. ‘Fast Food’ for a Fast Day.

Enzo Macleod is a Scottish-Italian forensic expert transplanted to the University of Toulouse where he teaches. His private life is complicated, but on the job he is straightforward. On a dare, he determines to solve seven famous cold cases. Ordinarily he does his eating out of our sight, but in the final book of The Enzo Files, The Night Gate, by Peter May, we find Enzo preparing a simple dish of roasted fish for his [3rd] wife and his son.

Enzo’s Broiled Fish w/ Grapes: For a side dish, Enzo serves boiled potatoes, but you could substitute Camargue red rice.  with potatoes: 216 calories 1 g fat 2 g fiber 23.5 g protein 32 g carbs 53 mg Calcium –-OR- with Camargue rice: 279 calories 2 g fat 2.5 g fiber 24 g protein 45.4 g carbs 53 mg Calcium   PB GF   Enzo MacLeod, Peter May’s Scottish-expat forensic expert who lives in France, prepared this meal for a family dinner at home.

4 oz thin filets of white fish 2 Tbsp lime juice 2 tsp fresh ginger root, minced 4 oz white/green grapes 2 oz potatoes, either small ‘new’ potatoes OR cubed red potato OR 1 oz/2 Tbsp uncooked Camargue rice

Stir together the juice and ginger and pour into a shallow dish such as a glass pie plate. Lay the fish in the marinade and let sit 30-60 minutes, turning the fish half-way through. Start cooking the rice, if using. Put the rice in a cook-pan with three times its volume in boiling water. Simmer for 35 minutes, until water is absorbed. OR Boil the potatoes until tender, drain. Season them and keep warm. Put the grapes around the sides of the fish in the baking dish. Broil 5-6 minutes, until the fish is cooked and grapes start to blacken. Plate with the starch of your choice and consume with pleasure.

Zane Grey

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 hamzeh5479 who is now Following.

Pearl is not usually a name for a male child, but that is what Josephine Alice Zane Grey named her son. It is said that she liked the ‘pearl grey’ color of Queen Victoria’s wedding gown. Small wonder that the boy preferred his middle name, Zane. The Zane family had been ‘pioneers’ in the American West in the 1800s — that’s when the ‘West’ meant the Ohio Territory. Young Pearl loved tales of his ancestors’ exploits in founding Zanesville, Ohio. The boy was supposed to become a dentist like his father and was sent to the University of Pennsylvania on a baseball scholarship. Reluctantly, Grey became a dentist. Part time, he became a semi-pro baseball player. Full time, he yearned to be a printed author. His father tried to bully him into abandoning writing, but Grey persevered. He moved to New York to set up a dental practice and to have access to publishers. His wife, Dolly Roth, supported him — using her inheritance to pay the bills and editing his work. A few hunting trips to Arizona gave Grey an enduring love of the Western landscape, people, and culture. Despite many publishers’ rejections, he penned The Heritage of the Desert in 1910, and it was a hit. Riders of the Purple Sage followed in 1912, and his career was launched. Of the 89 books he published, 56 were about the Old West. With wealth assured, Grey could pursue his other passion: fishing. [OK, his third passion was for women, which his wife tolerated.] He fished all around the world, fresh water and salt water. Being out in nature helped him to deal with his bouts of depression, he said. Five film versions were made of Riders of the Purple Sage and his work inspired the television series called Zane Grey Theater. Thanks to Pearl Zane Gray the entire literary and cinematic genre of ‘Westerns’ captured the public imagination — then and still today.

Of course there must be some sort of ‘western’ food for Zane Grey’s birthday on January 31, so we will have eggs inspired by a ‘Western Sandwich.’ For dinner, a meal that the author would have relished: pan-fried trout.

Western Bake: 270 calories 5.4 g fat 4 g fiber 12.4 g protein 45 g carbs [43.7 g Complex Carbs] 199 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  My father taught me to love a good Western Sandwich. Thus it seemed natural to incorporate that flavor combination in a breakfast. And its a winner.

1 two-oz egg 1 oz green pepper 2 tsp ketchup 1 oz onions 2 oz pear  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]

Chop the pepper and onions and cook: either in the microwave or by poaching in water. Drain and combine with the ketchup. Whisk with the eggs, salt and pepper to taste. Spritz an oven-proof ramekin or other dish with non-stick spray. Pour in the egg mixture and bake at 350 F. for 12-15 minutes. Plate the fruit and pour the beverages. Yee-haaw, that’s a breakfast!

Trout with Hazelnuts: 267 calories 18 g fat 3 g fiber 21 g protein 6 g carbs 75 mg Calcium  PB GF From Savoie, France comes this recipe, via Anne Willem’s French Regional Cooking  Hannibal is supposed to have dined on local trout as he crossed the Alps with his elephants. Very easy to prepare [the trout, not the elephants] and absolutely delicious. 

3 oz trout 1 tsp butter ½ oz hazelnuts 2 oz French green beans [haricots]

Bone the fish and trim off the fins. Cut the fish in half to create two fillets. TIP: if serving one person, wrap one of the fillets in cling film, put it in a plastic bag and freeze it for another day. Chop the nuts so that there are some halves and the rest are in large pieces. Start cooking the beans. Heat a heavy saute pan and spray with non-stick spray. Put in the trout and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slowly cook the trout on one side for about 3 minutes. Turn the fish over. Add the butter to the pan along with the nuts. Continue cooking everything slowly until the fish is done, roughly another 3 minutes. Drain and season the beans, plate them with the trout, and top the fish with the nuts in butter. Enjoy your culinary visit to the French Alps.

Edith Jones Wharton, writer

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 Blunt Pathways who is now Following.

Edith Newbold Jones was born on January 24, 1862, with not just ‘a silver spoon in her mouth‘ but an entire set of spoons. You know the expression ‘keeping up with the Joneses’? Some say that Edith’s family literally were the Joneses that everyone wanted to emulate. Or not. Wealth permitted little Edith to travel often to Europe with her governess, soaking up languages while soaking in the milieu. Young Edith loved best to read and to write, two traits that were incompatible with society’s ideas of making a ‘suitable marriage.’ Finally, at age 23, she married Teddy Wharton, so wealthy that he never had to work or apply himself to much of anything. Including his marriage. Okay, neither of them was working hard at the relationship. Married for 28 years, the couple grew farther and farther apart, while Edith developed many [psychosomatic?] ailments and Teddy became increasingly mentally unstable [for real]. Edith began to write and to be published: poetry first, then short stories, then her breakthrough novel House of Mirth in 1905. Many novels followed, all treating the same themes: dysfunctional marriages; young women in high society trying to get married; high society and the nouveau-riche who tried to enter it; Americans traveling in Europe. Throughout, Wharton had a keen eye for the foibles of her class, which made her suspect. Eventually, she moved permanently to France. Her work with refugee children during World War I earned her accolades from the French government. Her novels earned her a Pulitzer Prize and a life-time income. She is one of my all-time favorite authors.

For Edith Wharton’s love of all things Italian, a frittata for breakfast. For her novel Summer, written in 1917, a meal with ‘summer’ in the name and in the ingredients. Curl up with a good book by Edith Jones Wharton today and transport yourself to the Guilded Age.

Spinach Frittata: 131 calories 7 g fat 2 g fiber 11 g protein 6.6 g carbs [5 g Complex] 127 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  Whether it is breakfast or dinner, Spinach Fritatta checks off all the boxes.

1 two-oz egg 1 Tbsp cottage cheese 3 Tbsp spinach, cooked, squeezed and chopped 1/8 oz/ 2 Tbsp chopped scallions, white or green parts ¼ oz Manchego OR Cheddar cheese, grated dash of grated nutmeg dash of granulated garlic 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]

Cook the spinach, drain it, and squeeze it in your hands to remove excess water.  [TIP: save the drained water for cooking vegetables or pasta] Chop the spinach and mix with scallions, both cheeses, nutmeg, and garlic. Lightly spray a baking dish with oil or non-stick spray. Pour the vegetable-cheese mixture into the dish and arrange so it is evenly distributed. Whisk the egg and pour over the mixture. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Plate with the berries and pour the beverages.

Summertime Pasta: 234 calories 10.6 g fat 6 g fiber 9 g protein 27.5 g carbs 126 mg Calcium  PB  This excellent recipe is from Fast Food My Way  by Jacques Pepin. It is indeed fast to prepare, and after a few alterations, it is fit for a Fast Day too. Excellent as it is, but if you want to add more protein, put in ¼ cup of shredded cooked chicken breast.  HINT: The recipe as written serves two [2] persons.

Sv 2 
3 oz diced tomatoes
¾ c diced zucchini
1 oz snow peas or sugar snaps
1 oz diced mushrooms ½ tsp salt & black pepper
3 Tbsp EVOO
Mix everything in a microwavable glass bowl.
2 oz whole wheat pasta shells
1 qt water & salt
20 minutes before serving, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the pasta and cook about 7 minutes until al dente. Drain.
Microwave vegetables 2 mins or longer until they are lukewarm.
¼ c ParmesanCombine drained pasta with warm vegetables, then stir in the cheese.
Fresh basil + edible flowersPlate and top with basil and edible flowers if you have them.

Marlene Dietrich

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.

Marlene Dietrich was born as Maria Magdelena Dietrich on 27 December, 1901. Her father died when she was 10, her step-father died in WWI. Initially, she trained as a musician, mastering violin and piano, but then she turned to the cabaret scene of Germany in the 1920s — think ‘Sally Bowles’ of Cabaret. She sang and danced, to the disapproval of her family, prompting her to change her name to Marlene — a mash-up of her first and middle names. A few minor film roles followed, with her big break in Der Blaue Engle in 1930, playing a cabaret singer [watch the trailer!]. Hollywood called, and although she was successful and famous, she was always cast as a sultry prostitute. Her persona was that of a femme fatale, often dressed in men’s clothing, and she was considered the sexiest woman of the 1930s. To break from her stereotypical casting, she showed her comedic chops in Destry Rides Again, 1939. During the 2nd World War, Dietrich was active for the Allied war effort, entertaining troupes [playing the musical saw] and volunteering at the Hollywood USO. She was decorated by both the US and France for her work. After the war, she turned to a singing career and performed at clubs worldwide. Breaking one of her famous legs caused her to be bed-bound in her Paris apartment for the last 13 years of her life. From there, she chatted with world leaders by phone, lobbying for her favorite causes. She was a woman of many parts.

Our meals are typically German. They are different from the norm and that catches your senses in an intriguing way — rather like Marlene Dietrich as an actress. Dietrich enjoyed house-wifely tasks and one might imagine that she cooked these meals.

Fruited Toast with Sausage:  225 calories 11.5 g fat 2.5 g 10.4 g protein 20 g carbs 39 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF bread  Another fine Frühstück [breakfast] from Germany. Delicious.

1 slice 70-calorie whole-grain bread [we like Dave’s ‘Good Seed‘ ] 1½ oz Bockwurst 2 Tbsp small-curd cottage cheese, reduced fat ¼ c mixed berries or sliced strawberries    Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [85 calories]   or lemon in hot water

If fruit is frozen, thaw in a sieve overnight. Slice sausage and braise or bake to cook thoroughly. Toast bread lightly and spread with cheese. Pile the fruit on the bread and plate with the hot sausage.

Senfeier (Eggs in Mustard Sauce): 323 calories 15.5 g fat 2 g fat 17 g protein 12 g carbs 158 mg Calcium   PB GF – if using GF flour in the sauce + GF bread or omitting   This recipe represents ‘comfort food’ in Germany: simply, homey, the sort of meal your Grossmutti would serve you for lunch or supper.  TIP: prepare the bechamel before-hand [handy to have in freezer] and boil the eggs the day before. Very easy to prepare, this is a meal for a busy day.  HINT: This recipe serves two [2] people. 

4 hard-boiled eggs ½ c Bechamel sauce, no cheese  1 Tbsp grainy mustard 2 fl oz/¼ c white wine ¾ c frozen, chopped spinach nutmeg 1 oz sour-dough rye bread [optional: omit to lose 35 calories]

Combine the bechamel, mustard and wine in a saute pan and warm them gently, stirring to combine. In a separate covered pan, warm the spinach with a little water and many pinches of nutmeg. Peel and halve the eggs and put them in the sauce, cut-side up. Cover and keep over low until eggs and sauce are warm. Warm the optional bread. Either plate the spinach along side of the eggs, or under the eggs, or combine the spinach with the sauce. Delicious any way you plate it, with or without the bread.

Juan Diego

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.

Cuauhtlatoatzin or Talking Eagle, was born in 1474 in what is now Mexico City, Mexico. By the time he was 47 years old, the Spanish had conquered the Aztec Empire. The Spanish saw this as their ‘right’ because someone had to ‘punish’ the Aztecs for their heathen way of religion. [Besides, they wanted the Aztec gold.] Cuauhtlatoatzin was baptized, taking the name Juan Diego. [Some references say he was of high native status, others say he was of very low caste.] On December 9, 1531, while on his way to Mass, Juan Diego saw a vision on Tepeyac Hill, formerly a veneration site for the Aztec goddess Tonantzin: a pregnant indigenous woman, attended by an angel, spoke to him in his own dialect instructing him to tell the bishop to build a shrine on the site. Juan Diego went back and forth between the Lady and the bishop three times over three days before he was believed. To prove to the bishop that he was telling the truth, the Lady told Juan Diego to cut roses blooming on the hill-top to show the bishop. Those and an imprint of the Lady on Juan Diego’s cloak, a garment called a ’tilma,’ were enough to convince the doubting cleric. A shrine was built [rebuilt in 1660 and c. 1975] and Juan Diego retired to be its hermit/caretaker. The story of Juan Diego was written down 100 years later, casting modern doubt as to its veracity. The Spanish Church seized on the idea of an apparition to the natives, reinforcing their goal of converting them. The Lady in question is now called The Virgin of Guadalupe, and she is on the US Christmas Stamp for 2021.

Juan Diego was the first indigenous saint from Mexico, canonized in 1990. We honor him on his feast day with flavors associated with his native land. He might never have eaten salsa, but it is the most recognizable food in Mexican cuisine. Caesar Salad is also from Mexico, Tijuana to be exact, though I’d bet that most people don’t know that.

Salsa-Chicken ScrOmelette: 150 calories 8 g fat 1 g fiber 17 g protein 6 g carbs [5 g Complex] 62 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  The lively taste of salsa adds some lift to these scrambled eggs while the chicken and cheese add protein.

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.  1 Tbsp low-fat cottage cheese, drained if very liquid 1.5 Tbsp tomato salsa, drained if very liquid ½ oz chicken, cooked and diced 1 oz mango cubes OR 2 oz strawberries  dash of cumin and/or pinch of crushed red pepper   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 caloriesOptional: 3 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [44 calories]

Stir the cheese, salsa, chicken, and seasonings together. Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Whisk the eggs and pour into the pan. For a ‘filled omelette,’ cook the eggs flat in the pan, no scrambling, with the lid on. Meanwhile, heat the filling in a microwave for 1 minute, then stir, then heat further until warm. Spoon over half the eggs, then fold the eggs over the filling. Put the lid back on and let it all warm over low heat. –OR– Dollop eggs with filling and scramble the eggs to mix everything together. Cook to your liking. Prepare optional beverages. Plate the eggs along with the fruit and tuck in to a jolly meal.

Cesar Salad: 240 calories 9 g fat 4 g fiber 33 g protein 5.4 g carbs  106 mg Calcium  PB  GF Straight out of the Fast Diet book, with quantities changed a teensy bit. Large portion, good flavor.

2.5 slices Canadian bacon 3 oz chicken breast, left over from a roast 2.5 c chopped romaine or 2.5 c. mesclun 1 T grated Parmesan 3 oz tomatoes salad dressing: 1 tsp olive oil + 1 tsp lemon juice + Mexican oregano [Cesar Salad is of Mexican origin, not from Roman rulers]

Heat the bacon on a hot, ungreased griddle until it begins to brown. Remove and slice into strips. Cut chicken meat into strips or chunks, as you wish. Roughly chop or tear the romaine, if using. Whisk the oil and lemon juice in a salad bowl. Add the lettuce and toss to coat with the dressing. Plate the greens and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and oregano.  Arrange the meat on top of the greens. Isn’t that a beautiful plate of food!

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

1.5 two-oz eggsdried fig, 16 g or 0.65 oz  
smoked salmon hard-boiled egg
scallionbaby spinach
melon or strawberries chèvre cheese, the creamy type
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

whole wheat ziti or penne pastaham, 3%-fat + side salad
Parmesan cheese5 cups whole-grain bread cubes + butter
Puttanesca saucefour 2-oz eggs + brown sugar
green beans 20-oz can crushed pineapple
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Saint Nicholas

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 nicolaspamer who are now Following.

When children ask “How can Santa visit all the children in the world on December 24 to deliver presents?” the simple answer is that he doesn’t — many children receive their presents on December 6, the Feast of Saint Nicholas. In the Netherlands, Germany, Russia, Hungary, Aruba, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Curaçao, northern and eastern France, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia, Ukraine, Saint Nicholas visits towns, cities, schools, and houses on or before December 5th. Nicholas is dressed in the robes of a bishop and is often accompanied by some sort of imp [Pieter, the Krampus, Pere Fouettard] who threatens children if they have been naughty. The saint interviews children to see if they are minding their parents and doing their lessons. Gifts are discovered the next morning. Why does Nicholas bring gifts? He is the patron saint of children because his legend describes how he resurrected three murdered boys and made it possible for three teenage girls to marry when he tossed sacks of money down their chimney. Greece and Russia have Nicholas as their Patron Saint and churches around the world are named after him. When our sons were young, all of us would leave one of our boots on the lower end of the stairway to see what the Good Saint would leave in them. New hats and mittens for the coming winter were always appropriate, along with some chocolates. Dear Husband and I still leave out our boots, eager to see what Nicholas will bring us. Hope springs eternal.

Our meals for Saint Nicholas Day are from two countries that really make time for the saint: the Netherlands for breakfast, and Hungary for dinner. If December 6 is a Fast Day, you could postpone the Fast until the next day or eat these meals and still maintain the weight loss. Save the chocolates for a Slow Day.

Dutch Breakfast:  154 calories 7.4 g fat 2 g fiber 12 g protein 11 g carbs [8 g Complex] 106 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the plated foods only, not the optional beverages.  GF – if using GF bread  This meal is inspired by a breakfast I enjoyed in Amsterdam in 1969. It was memorable because it is so good. Dear Husband’s opinion? “This is one of my favorite Fast breakfasts.”

one 2-oz egg, hard-boiled or coddled  HINT: the hardboiled egg can be made days before  one “Holland Rusk”  [30 cal] OR ½ an Arnold Multi-grain Sandwich Thin [50 cal] OR ½ slice 70-cal multi-grain bread [35 cal] ¼ oz Jarlsberg cheese ½ oz ham, 3% fat from the deli 2 oz melon or apple or pear OR a mixed fruit cup   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]   Optional: 3 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [44 calories]

Warm the ham in a skillet, toast the bread, brew your beverage, slice the fruit, cube the cheese. Prepare optional beverages. Are you ready to savor?

Gulyas:  283 calories 9.5 g fat 3 g fiber 40 g protein 8 g carbs [7.6 g Complex] 42.6 mg Calcium  GF  This version of the Hungarian stew is from Craig Claiborne’s NYT International Cookbook HINT: The recipe makes 8 one-cup servings, so make it once and freeze in serving sizes.

2 pounds beef chuck [shoulder], cut in 1” cubes 1 Tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika 1 tsp olive oil 2 onions, chopped 2 Tbsp tomato paste 1 tsp salt + 1 tsp pepper 1.5 cups beef stock  per serving: 1 oz green beans   optional: ¼ oz egg noodles which add 27 calories 1 g fiber 2 g simple carbs

Heat the oven to 300 F. Toss the beef chunks with the paprika, salt, and pepper. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven [large, heavy, covered pot] and brown the beef in batches. Move the beef around in the pan to prevent it from sticking. Add non-stick spray or a little water if necessary. Remove the beef to a plate. Add some water to the pan and saute the onions until they are transluscent. Return the beef to the pan and pour in 1.5 cups beef stock. Stir thoroughly, scraping brown bits off the bottom. Cover the pot and cook in the oven for 2-3 hours. Every hour, check the pot and stir, adding more water as needed. Taste for salt at the end. Divide into 8 portions, reserving the remainder for future meals. TIP: Freezes very well. Plate with the green beans and optional noodles. A real Winter treat.