Clean Monday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Creole Carnival!

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

If people on the Gulf Coast of the USA says, “I’m Creole,” they could be telling you that they are native born or they are saying they are of mixed stock.  In the 1600s, when French and Spanish Colonizers moved to the area, everyone except for the Native Americans was ‘from away.’  After a generation or two, there were people who were native-born of European stock.  The snobs would distinguish them from true Europeans, by designating the born-on-American-soil people as “Creole.”  Later, those bloodlines included Native American and African lineages.  So Creoles became ingredients in the mixture called the American melting pot. So it is with creole food.  This cuisine evolved in New Orleans: a subtile, sophisticated use of local ingredients put together with flavors influenced by France and Arab Africa.  [NB: Creole does not equal Cajun.  Two different people, with two different stories.]                                                                                                                             It is Carnival time in New Orleans: a time to party with the tourists.  Technically, the word ‘carnival’ means “farewell to meat,” as one was supposed to use up all the meat, fats, and eggs in the house so that one wouldn’t eat them during Lent. “Mardi Gras” or Fat Tuesday was the last day to get those foods off the menu.  So tomorrow it will be eggs for breakfast, seasoned with lots of spices and the creole signature of green pepper-onion-tomato.  Those same flavors appear in dinner’s Jambalaya, along with several meats.

Creole Bake: 137 calories  6.5 g fat  2.1 g fiber  8.4 g protein  11.6 g carbs [10 g Complex] 67.3 mg Calcium    NB: The food values given above are for the main dish only, not the optional beverages.    PB  GF   Creole flavors add zip to the morning eggs.Creole Bake w: apples

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                       1.5 Tbsp tomato dice or puree                                                                                                           1 Tbsp onion, minced                                                                                                                        1 Tbsp bell pepper, minced                                                                                                               1/2 Tbsp bacon [1/8 oz], chopped and measured raw                                                                                    1.5 tsp Cheddar cheese                                                                                                           Pinch file powder + 1.5 tsp creole seasoning                                                                                              2 oz pear or apple                                                                                                                             5-6 oz fruit smoothie [79 calories] or green smoothie or natural apple cider                      blackish coffee [53 calories], blackish tea, or lemon in hot water

Put the tomato, onion, bell pepper, and bacon in a small pan with a little water and cook until the bacon is mostly cooked. 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.

Jambalaya:  275 calories   5 g fat   4 g fiber 14.8 g protein  39 g carbs   81 mg Calcium    PB GF      What else would you eat for Mardi Gras? Or any other time you want delicious Creole  comfort food: jambalaya, of course.   HINT: This recipe makes enough to serve 4 [four]. Invite friends.

Jambalaya w: broc

2/3 cup onion, chopped                                                                                                                   2 cloves garlic, chopped                                                                                                                    2 tsp creole seasoning                                                                                                                         ½ cup green pepper, chopped                                                                                                              1/3 cup celery, chopped                                                                                                                      2 oz andouille  sausage [or sweet Italian], sliced                                                                            3 oz chicken breast, cubed                                                                                                                                2 oz [½ cup] ham, cubed                                                                                                                 12 oz crushed tomatoes                                                                                                                 1/3 tsp crushed red pepper +  1/3 tsp black pepper +  2/3 tsp salt  +   ¾ tsp file powder                                                     ½ tsp Tabasco sauce +  1.5 tsp Worcestershire sauce                                                                              ¾ cup brown rice                                                                                                                                   1.5 cups chicken broth                                                                                                                      2 oz broccoli

Cook the onion in a little water and a dash of olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and cajun seasoning and cook until fragrant. Stir in the green pepper and celery and then add the meats. Pour in the tomatoes, seasonings and sauces, the rice, and broth. Cover and simmer for 25-40 minutes, stirring every once in a while to prevent sticking. The mixture will not be soupy, as the rice will have absorbed the liquids. Cook uncovered if too much liquid remains. Portion the jambalaya and freeze what you don’t use today.  Prepare the broccoli and plate.

Savory

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

“Savory” is the name for two different herbs: Summer Savory [Satureja hortensis] and Winter Savory [Satureja montana]. “Savory” connotes a rich blend of pleasing flavors. Today, we mean the latter.  Here are three savory, succulent fillings, which are versatile enough to use for breakfasts, to flavor baked eggs or an omelette; or at dinner, when they are so easy to fold into crêpes.

BACON & LEEK FILLING: makes ~1.5 cups Bacon-Leek Crepes ¼ cup = 62 calories 1.8 g fat 0.6 g fiber 1.7 g protein 6.4 g carbs 57 mg Calcium              This recipe is from Joanne Harris’s book French Market Cookbook and it is useful at breakfast as a bake or omelette filling and at dinner in crêpes.   2 oz American/streaky bacon                                                                                                                  3 cups sliced leeks                                                                                                                                1 clove garlic                                                                                                                                     ¼ cup Gruyère cheese, shredded                                                                                                                      2 tsp mayonnaise                                                                                                                          Saute the bacon in a large skillet, remove and slice. Saute leeks and garlic in the bacon fat until limp. Off heat, stir Gruyère and mayo into the mixture.

HAM FLORENTINE FILLING     makes 1.5 cups     Coming to us from Peter Christian’s     Ham Florentine CrepesRecipes, it can fill crêpes or egg dishes.       ½ cup no-cheese Béchamel Sauce  [SIDEKICKS I, 17-Sept-’17]                                                         1 cup ham in 1/4” dice                                                                                                                     1 cup [5 oz] cooked spinach, fresh or frozen                                                                                       ½ cup chopped celery                                                                                                                      ¼ cup chopped onion                                                                                                                   celery salt + dill + granulated garlic + basil                                                                                            Be sure to squeeze the spinach until most of the liquid is out of it. [save the liquid] Spritz a sauté pan with non-stick spray and add some of the spinach liquid. Cook the celery and onion until the onions are transluscent, adding more spinach liquid as needed. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on low heat until warmed through.

MOUSSAKA SAUCE          makes 3 cups;    ¼ cup = 110 calories   Moussaka Bake w: melonMixed with eggs, it is a hit at breakfast. Or, have it as dinner.                 1 pound ground lamb                                                                                                                           1 pound eggplant                                                                                                                            ¼ cup onion, chopped                                                                                                                        1 c. marinara sauce [Saucy 6-Dec-’17]                                                                                     3/4 tsp [or more] ground cinnamon                                                                                                   Cook the lamb without added fat. Pour off the fat that accumlates and put the lamb in a strainer. Run it under hot water to remove excess fat, then crumble the meat. Peel and cube the eggplant. Chop the onion. Cook the two vegetables in a pan sprayed with non-stick spray until the onion is transluscent. [Add a little water if needed.] Pour in the marinara sauce along with the cinnamon, and continue cooking slowly until the eggplant is soft. Run the sauce through the blender/food processor, then add the meat and adjust for seasonings.

Ingredients for next week:

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

1 two-oz egg  + American/streaky  bacon 1.5 two-oz eggs
tomato, fresh or puree   + Cheddar ground cumin
onion  +  sweet pepper  + filé powder paprika
creole seasoning  +  apple or pear Bing cherries or apple
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

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

andouille sausage  +  chicken  + ham cubes of leg of lamb  + zucchini
onion  + brown rice  +  celery + garlic red bell pepper  + garlic powder
sweet pepper  + crushed tomatoes  + chicken broth corn-tomato salsa [Second Fiddles Jan-9-’19]
red pepper flakes  + Tabasco + broccoli cajun seasoning + filé powder rosemary  + red onion    + optional tomato juice
Sparkling water Sparkling water

 

Fra Angelico

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.                                                                       Welcome to WJ Fulton who is now Following.

When Guido di Pietro was born in the Mugello Region of Tuscany in 1395, no one would have dreamed that this baby of small-town origin would become a major figure in the world of art. Early on, he trained as an illuminator, creating drawings for religious texts. Around 1420, he became a friar in Fiesole, Tuscany, taking the name ‘Fra [brother] Giovanni’.  His artistic work now flowed onto the walls of the monastery where it caught the eye of Cosimo di Medici, who brought the young friar to Firenze in 1439, to a wider world of trends in art. In Firenze, the Renaissance in art was beginning.  Masaccio in fresco; Donatello in sculpture; Brunelleschi in architecture were all looking at the natural world and putting more naturalism in their work. The stylized views of the Gothic school of art were being nudged aside by the art of linear perspective and realistic landscapes. Influenced by these heady ideas, Fra Giovanni’s frescos and paintings show graceful yet fully-grounded people who inhabit realistic spaces which are flooded with light. The Annunciation, c. 1440, shows this well and it is one of my favorite paintings.  His works are sweet without being cloying, emotionally evocative without being over-wrought. After his death on February 18, 1455, people began to refer to him as ‘angelic’ due to the grace of his art and his piety in life. Thus the name “Fra Angelico” was attached to him, though he was never called that while alive.                          The cooking term ‘Florentine’ often means that spinach is a key ingredient.  Fra Angelico painted in the ‘Florentine School‘ of art, which strove for naturalism [as opposed to the ‘Sienese School‘ which was more stylized.]  Today’s menus include spinach and they are delicious.  Gaze at some of Fra Angelico’s work at breakfast and dinner.  Your day will be better for it.

Spinach Frittata:   131 calories  7 g fat   1.9 g fiber  11 g protein  6.6 g carbs [5.8 g Complex] 127 mg Calcium  PB GF  Whether it is breakfast or dinner, Spinach Frittata checks off all the boxes.Spinach Frittata

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                        1/6 cup [3 Tbsp] cooked spinach, squeezed and chopped                                                              1 Tbsp cottage cheese                                                                                                                    1/8 oz [2 Tbsp] chopped scallions, white and/or green parts                                                         ¼ oz Manchego OR Cheddar cheese, grated                                                                                    dash of grated nutmeg   +  dash of granulated garlic                                                                       2 oz strawberries                                                                                                                        blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                    5-6 oz fruit smoothie [79 calories], green smoothie or natural apple cider

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.

Ham Florentine Crepes:   299 calories   11.3 g 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 the cookbook is a goldmine and it served as the source of this meal. Very easy if the crepes and Bechamel sauce are pre-made.Ham Florentine Crepes

Ham Florentine Filling:    makes 1.5 cups                                                                                              ½ cup no-cheese Béchamel Sauce [see SIDEKICKS I, 17-Sept-’17]                                                1 cup ham in 1/4” dice                                                                                                                    1 cup [5 oz] cooked spinach, fresh or frozen                                                                                        ½ cup chopped celery                                                                                                                            ¼ cup chopped onion                                                                                                                     pinches of celery salt + dill + granulated garlic + basil

Be sure to squeeze the spinach until most of the liquid is out of it. [save the liquid] Spritz a saute pan with non-stick spray and add some of the spinach liquid. Cook the celery and onion until the onions are transluscent, adding more spinach liquid as needed. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on low heat until warmed through.

For the Dinner:       2 crepes [see SIDEKICKS I, 17-Sept-’17]                                                                                               ¾ cup Ham Florentine                                                                                                                   Set the oven to 350 F. If the 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 liquid from 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.  NB: in the photo above, you see a serving of vegetables. They add 50 calories.

Love Thyself

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On your next Fast Day, eat the meals that will be posted here in 3-4 days.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Why do you diet? Because you think your body has betrayed you by gaining weight and you want to punish it?  If you are angry at yourself, you will not succeed in improving your health — physically or mentally. You must like yourself well enough to want to figure out why you over-eat and to recognize that having the right relationship with food will help you to be successful.  Eating more health-fully is the key.   If dieting is about ‘punishment,’ it won’t work.  If it is about loving yourself, then you will want to take care of your body and feed it in a way to make it healthy.  Do you think you will be hungry all the time when Fasting?  There are many moods that masquerade as hunger.  If hunger is not the problem, food is not the answer. In Fasting, you will find a better way to eat, focusing on what foods are good for you so that you can feel and look your best.  How can you “Love your neighbor as yourself” if you don’t love yourself?   Be your own best Valentine.                                                                                                                                           In honor of Valentine’s Day, breakfast looks like an indulgence but has lots of delicious nutrition.  Dinner is a meal my Dear Husband and I have often enjoyed on February 14th, and it is very nice indeed.

Fruit Hearts: 198 calories 5.6 g fat 2.7 g fiber 13 g protein 25.8 g carbs 82.6 mg Calcium NB: These values are for the Fruit Hearts alone.PB GF V  This breakfast looks as if it came from the pastry cart, but it fits within our guidelines for Fasting. If you don’t mind doing ‘fiddly food,’ treat someone you love to a special breakfast.Fruit Hearts

1 oz whole-grain bread cut using a 2+” heart-shaped cookie cutter                                                2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce                                                                                                         2 Tbsp low-fat French Vanilla yogurt                                                                                               1 Tbsp almond meal/flour                                                                                                            fresh fruit of your choosing: fresh raspberries or sliced strawberries or peach slices or blueberries  [The fruit in the center is a ‘Goldenberry’]                                                                      1.1 oz Canadian bacon/back bacon cut into hearts with the same sized cutter                              3oz fruit smoothie [34 calories] or natural apple cider                                                            blackish coffee [53 calories]or tea or lemon in hot water

First, stir the yogurt and almond flour until thoroughly combined. It will thicken slightly. Cut the bread and the Canadian Bacon into hearts.HINT: I did this the night before, storing the bread in a plastic bag overnight to prevent them from drying.Gently cook the bacon hearts so that they are warmed through yet retain their pinkness. Lightly toast the bread hearts. Spread the applesauce evenly over each heart. Pipe the yogurt/almond around the edge of each heart, then arrange the fruit in the center. Sip some low-fat cafe au lait this morning and think lovely thoughts..

Filet Mignon with Tarragon:  278 calories  14 g fat  2.3 g fiber  28.6 g protein  7.2 g carbs [6 g Complex]  49 mg Calcium  GF  We have enjoyed this sumptuous Joanne Harris recipe for years and we still turn back to her My French Kitchen to make it again. HINT: This recipe is enough for two. Worth sharing with a special friend. If serving one, prepare all of the sauce and save it to put in eggs at breakfast or to use at dinner.

2 tsp butter                                                                                                                                       1 portobello mushroom cap                                                                                                               1/4 tsp olive oil   +  1/4 tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                  ½ large shallot [1 Tbsp]                                                                                                                                             2 Tbsp white wine                                                                                                                              1 Tbsp heavy cream                                                                                                                          1 tsp grainy mustard                                                                                                                       ½ clove garlic [½ tsp minced]                                                                                                          2-3 Tbsp fresh tarragon                                                                                                                   two 4-oz filet mignon                                                                                                                           10 spears asparagus, snapped off at the bottom to remove the woody section

Cook the mushrooms on both sides in butter and a spritz of cooking spray. Keep warm off the stove. Heat the oil with a spritz of cooking spray, and cook the shallots until softened. Add the wine to the pan, then simmer for 3 minutes. Lower the heat, add the cream, mustard, garlic, and tarragon. Heat long enough to heat the sauce but do not let it boil. Cook the asparagus. In a separate heavy skillet, heat a drizzle of oil and a spritz of non-stick spray over high. Cook the meat 1-1/2 minutes/side if you like it rare or 2 minutes/side for medium. Place the cooked steak on the mushroom cap, surround it with asparagus, and top it with the sauce. This is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg   +  cooked spinach 1.5 two-oz eggs
cottage cheese   +  scallion  +  nutmeg eggplant  + garlic
Manchego cheese tomato/tomato sauce +  Onion
granulated garlic   +  strawberries pear  +  Herbes de Province
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

Dinner, single portion:

no-cheese Béchamel [Sidekicks I 17-Sep-’17]     +     spinach [5 oz]  +  ham no-cheese Béchamel [Sidekicks I 17-Sep-’17]     +  chicken breast
celery  +  onion  + celery salt sherry wine  +  carrot
garlic powder + dill + basil angel hair pasta
2 crepes [Sidekicks I 17-Sep-’17] broccoli   +   Parmesan cheese
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Citrus

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On your next Fast Day, eat the meals that will be posted 3-4 days from now.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

If you were to list 5 citrus fruits, would you name pineapple? cranberry? kiwi? I might have since I thought of ‘citrus’ as a tart fruit with a good ‘pucker.’  But I was wrong! Citrus fruits are indeed pucker-y, but they are a genus of plants which are in the same family as the garden herb Rue [the Herb o’ Grace]. All citrus fruits are similar in that they have segments inside a thick, leathery skin. They have a long history, going back to their origins in Asia, just south of the Eastern end of the Himalayan Mountains 8 million years ago.  This is the time of year in the Northern Hemisphere when citrus fruits ripen and are widely available. Sought out for their tangy flavor, they are an important source of dietary Vitamin C in the middle of our winter.  Some people go overboard, causing the makers of anti-cholesterol drugs to print disclaimers about not eating grapefruit while on the medicine.  I asked the drug company rep and was told that the warning only applies to those who eat in excess of 6 grapefruits daily.  There used to be a ‘Grapefruit Diet‘ but that is now on the trash-heap of failed experiments.                           For our foray into citrus-inspired meals, we’ll enjoy clementines in a healthy yogurt parfait for breakfast and a salad with grapefruits for dinner.

Mango-Citrus Parfait:   288 calories  5 g fat   2.2 g fiber   26 g protein   36.7 g carbs [24 g Complex] 413 mg Calcium  PB GF  Fast Food Restaurants decided years ago to offer ‘healthy options’ in the form of yogurt parfaits. Yogurt with lots of sugar, fruit, and lots of high-fat, sugar-rich granola. Poor choice. Here is a more acceptable breakfast option, full of protein yet low in fat and calories.  NB: This could be a Slow Day lunch option, since without my coffee, it comes in at 229 calories.citrusparfait

½ cup reduced-fat cottage cheese                                                                                                   ½ cup plain yogurt                                                                                                                           1.5 oz mango cubes                                                                                                                           ½ clementine [skin it and use half the segments]                                                                            2 Tbsp granola                                                                                                                            nearly black coffee or tea or lemon in hot water         NO Smoothie today.

Stir the cottage cheese and yogurt to combine thoroughly. Divide the fruit into two portions. Spoon half of the dairy mixture into a wide-mouthed wine glass and top with half the fruit. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp of granola. Repeat with the remaining ingredients in the same order, topping with granola. Or just put all the granola on top. Prepare the coffee and enjoy that dairy-fruit goodness. The mango and clementine really perk up the creamy dairy flavors. Good choice for healthy eating.

Grapefruit-Avocado Salad:   289 calories  20 g fat [half of that is plant fat]  6.4 g fiber  18 g protein   15.3 g carbs [14.5 g Complex]   75.5 mg Calcium   PB GF  This is delicious, attractive, nutritious, and satisfying. Real food. Good food.grapefruit-avocado salad

1 two-oz egg, hard-boiled                                                                                                               2.5 oz avocado [this was half an avocado], sliced in 4 pieces                                                        3.3 oz pink grapfruit sections [you need 4 sections]                                                                     1.75 cups lettuce, sliced/shredded                                                                                                    1 oz cooked chicken breast [you could substitute 4 shrimp for a vegetarian meal]                             ½ tsp white wine vinegar + ½ tsp lime-infused olive oil + ¼ tsp ground ginger                            pinch of lemon finishing salt

Whisk the oil, vinegar, and ginger in a meduim-sized bowl. Add the lettuce and toss to coat with the dressing. Remove the lettuce to a serving plate, letting some of the dressing drip back into the bowl. Spread the lettuce evenly over the plate and sprinkle with the finishing salt. Starting at the center with the egg, arrange the grapefruit and avocado around the plate. Place the chicken as you wish. Brush the remaining dressing on the grapefruit and avocado.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

1 two-oz egg 70-calorie whole grain bread
mushrooms applesauce  + Canadian bacon
1 crepe [Sidekicks I 17-Sept-2017] almond meal  + fresh fruit
Mediterranean Vegetables  [4-Oct-2017] fat-free French Vanilla yogurt
Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

Dinner, single portion:

Frozen spinach   + tuna 4-oz filet mignon  + fresh tarragon
peas  + garlic  + onion butter + oil  + portobello mushrooms
olive oil  +  anchovy  + puff pastry shallot + garlic + white wine + asparagus
Mediterranean Vegetables  [4-Oct-2017] grainy mustard + heavy cream
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Our Town

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.                                                                      Greetings to the group of frequent visitors from India. I hope this blog helps your on your Fasting journey.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Foods in Wrappers, One

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

I am fascinated by similarities among diverse cuisines from around the world. In geology, a layer of sedimentary rock can stretch for hundreds of miles. The source material was the same, but as it was deposited small variations creep in so that in some cases the further you follow that stratum, the more it looks like a completely different rock. Around the world there are meals made of food in wrappers.  All with different fillings, all with different seasonings, all with different wrappings: yet all those ancient cooks had a similar inspiration: let’s take this and wrap it in an edible envelope! Today, we will look at four of these, involving corn tortillas, buckwheat crêpes, dumplings, and egg roll wrappers.

Enchiladas Suizas:   293 calories  10 g fat   11.2 g fiber   31.6 g protein  43.4 g carbs  261.7 mg Enchiladas w: winter medleyCalcium PB GF  Rick Bayless relates this recipe in his book Mexico One Plate At A Time. Delicious and easy to prepare. Avoid assembling too far in advance, lest it turn to mush                                          2 six-inch corn tortillas [50 calories each]                   2 0z [½ cup] shredded cooked chicken breast                 ½ cup enchilada sauce: see SPICY II 12 Sept 2018              ¼ cup grated Cheddar or Monterey jack                     1 oz broccoli florets                                                               1 oz cauliflower florets                                                     ½ oz carrot                                                                                  The full recipe was posted on 31-oct-2018

Crêpes w/ Ham & Cheese, Street Version:  272 calories  9 g fat  2.4 g fiber  21 g protein  25 g Ham & Cheese Crepescarbs   212 mg Calcium NB: The photo shows a meal for 2 [TWO]. Or dinner today, lunch tomorrow. This is the familiar street-vendor lunch in Paris, except that the food values will not break the bank on a Fast Day. Very quick and easy to prepare if you had made the crêpe batter before and have it thawed out. HINT: can be prepared in advance and rewarmed later. Good for traveling or planning ahead.                                2 crêpes [see Sidekicks I, 17 Sep-2017]                           2 oz sliced deli ham                                                           1/2 oz deli sliced Swiss cheese                                           1 wedge “Laughing Cow” [Vache Qui Rit] cheese at room temperature                                                     2 oz tomatoes                                                                                                                                                          See full recipe posted on 21-May-2017

Beef Egg Rolls:  per roll — 111 calories  1.7 g fat   1.2 g fiber   7.8 g protein   14.4 g carb   23 mgBeef Egg Rolls Calcium   PB   Lower in calories than carry-out and easier than you think to prepare.            2 oz lean beef steak, cut in strips                                                        1 Tbsp soy sauce   + 1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce                                                                                                             1 tsp. cornstarch                                                               1 clove garlic + 1 tsp ginger root                                                                                                                                         1 cup cabbage, chopped                                                       1/2 cup carrot, sliced in  1/4” thick rounds                                                                 1 scallion     +   1/2 cup sliced onion                                                                                                                               5 egg roll wrappers      + 1 tsp oil                                                  3/4 cup broccoli                                                                                                                                                                               dipping sauce:  Sriracha sauce  +   soy sauce     see full recipe posted on  17-May-2017                                       

Pork Dumplings Steamed with Bok Choy:   215 calories   8.5 g fat   2.3 g fiber   12.5 g protein 28 g carbs   190 mg Calcium   PB   Our older son suggested this ‘starter recipe’ to encourage us to prepare Asian meals. NB: the dumplings were purchased at an Asian market and were very low in calories.  You will need to have or to improvise a steamer to cook this.  NB: This recipe serves two. I ate 2 dumplings, Dear Husband ate 3.pork dumplings w: bok choy

5 pork dumplings  [84 calories each]  see above note for serving sizes                                                                                                                                                3-4 oz bok choy                                                                                                                                                            1 Tbsp hoisin sauce, thinned to drizzling consistency with water                                                          dipping sauce: 2 oz black vinegar** + 2 oz soy sauce                                                                                    ** in lieu of black vinegar, combine equal amounts of soy sauce, rice vinegar, and water.

Set up the steamer [mine is a bamboo version which is used with a wok]. Trim the bok choy to remove the largest parts of the center vein, and arrange the leaves on the platforms of the steamer. Put the frozen dumplings on the leaves. Close up the steamer and position it in a dry wok. Add water to the wok so that it rises over the bottom edge of the steamer but not so much that the water level comes up to the bottom tray of the steamer. Bring the water to a simmer. Let it cook for 10 minutes. Mix the hoisin sauce with some water to thin it. Combine the ingredients for the dipping sauce. Remove the bok choy to the plate and drizzle the hoisin sauce over it. Place the dumplings on the plate and serve with the dipping sauce. Despite the low calorie count, this meal is very satisfying. Other vegetables could be added, as long as their steaming time is the same as the other ingredients.                

Ingredients for next week:

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

1 two-oz egg  +  flour   +  sugar 1 two-oz egg
ricotta cheese, reduced fat Parmesan cheese
cottage cheese, low-fat 4″ diameter very thin ham slice
banana  +  molasses cottage cheese   + apple
no smoothie Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

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

salt cod   +  fish stock delicata squash
yellow bell pepper  + onion 1 cup Chili Non Carne [4-Oct-2017]
tomato  + scallions  + garlic melon
dumpling [7-Feb-2017]
Sparkling water Sparkling water

                                         

                                

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fannie Farmer

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

On the shelf in the kitchen is a cookbook that used to have a gold-colored cover. The book’s binding is reinforced with packing tape and the pages are stained with the splatters of cooking. This is the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, 11th edition published in 1965.  On January 6, 1896, the first edition was issued under the title The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook.  Miss Fannie Merritt Farmer, a woman with a disability who did not attend cooking school until the age of 30, had written a book which explained the chemistry of cooking and which established uniform measurement of ingredients that everyone could use. She became a media mogul and culinary icon, the Julia Child or Martha Stewart of her day. The book was an instant success and became the classic of  the American kitchen.  My mother used it faithfully [I have her copy] and gave me my own when I became engaged. So many good recipes! My adaptations of several of them have already appeared in this blog, some recipes used as-is.                                                                                                               The breakfast for this anniversary is an old favorite of our’s, Shirred Egg [p 103 in my copy] and for dinner the thrifty housewife’s go-to: Swiss Steak [p 163]

Shirred Egg:   271 calories  8.5 g fat  3.3 g fiber   15.8 g protein  38.8 g. carb  275 mg Calcium  PB GF– if using GF bread       I learned to prepare this dish when working on my Girl Scout ‘Cooking’ badge. We still eat it because it tastes so good. Easy to serve to guests, too.Shirred Egg

One 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                                                  1 Tbsp half&half   [Blend Cream, 10% milk fat]                                                                                         salt & pepper to taste                                                                                                                                             1/2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese                                                                                                                                    half a slice of 70-calorie bread, toasted                                                                                                            2 oz apple slices or 2 oz strawberries                                                                                                      blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                               5-6 oz fruit smoothie, green smoothie or natural apple cider

Heat the toaster oven to 325° F. Spritz a 1-cup ramekin with cooking oil or spray. Break the egg into the cup, and pour the half&half on top. Sprinkle with cheese, add salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 12-15 minutes, then let sit 2-3 mins while you toast the bread. Plate with the toast and fruit. Serve with your choice of beverages.

Swiss Steak:  267 calories  6.3 g fat  6.5 g fiber   28 g protein  27.5 g carbs   104.8 mg Calcium This is a recipe from Fannie Farmer’s cookbook which I fondly remember from my childhood. HINT: This recipe makes enough for two [2], so save half of it for a future lunch or dinner.

½ pound chuck steak, cut 1 to 1.5” thick                                                                                                          1.5 Tbsp white whole wheat flour + salt + pepper                                                                                         8 oz stewed tomatoes                                                                                                                                            ¼ cup minced green bell peppers                                                                                                                    ¼ cup minced onion                                                                                                                                             herbs to taste, such as rosemary or parsley                                                                                               per serving: ½ cup cut green beans + ½ cup carrots sliced as coins

Leave the meat in one piece or cut into two parts. Combine the flour, salt, and pepper and dredge the meat in it. If you wish, pound the meat with a tenderizing tool or the edge of a sturdy plate. Combine the tomatoes with the vegetables and herbs. Heat a heavy skillet with a lid and spray it well with oil or cooking spray. Brown the meat on both sides and pour the tomatoes over it. Cover and cook very slowly for 2 hours until the meat is very tender, adding water if the tomatoes are in danger of sticking. This can be cooked on the cooktop at low or in the oven at 325 F. Steam or boil the beans and carrots to serve along-side the beef with its sauce.

Emily Dickinson

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.                                                                                      Welcome to FoodStories who is now Following.

If you were to list New England poets, Emily Dickinson would be right up there. And yet, no one heard of her work until after she was dead.  The Belle of Amherst Massachusetts was born on 10 December, 1830, smack-dab in the middle of a cultural revolution. In religion there was the Second Great Awakening. In politics, there was the growing abolitionist movement. In literature, there was Emily Dickinson penning poems in obscurity as she baked [one poem written on a chocolate wrapper] or cleaned [one poem written on the label for silver polish]. She kept house for her lawyer father and brothers and, according to legend, hardly ever went further afield than the garden of the family home. Her correspondence took her far away as she wrote to distant friends. After her death, her sister had her poems published, leaving readers bemused and/or excited by her verse.  In 1955, her collected works and her letters were printed and Emily Dickinson were rediscovered by an enthusiastic audience.  The poem that haunts me the most is The Bustle in a House, one of her most approachable poems about death. Dickinson wrote that she thought in a ‘New-England-y’ way. So true.                                                                                                                        Emily Dickinson did the cooking in the household, and I approve of good food made from scratch.  When she wrote to her ‘mentor’ H.W. Higginson describing her cooking for the household, she said, “People must have puddings.” In that spirit, breakfast is based on a French pudding, the flameuse which Emily would have liked.  And dinner is an old New England favorite.

Cherry Flamusse:   291 calories     5.3 g fat    2.2 g fiber   15.4 g protein   46.7 g carbs [34 g Complex]  316 mg Calcium   GF – if using GF flour   This breakfast custard is borrowed from the dessert section of the cookbook, and it works very well either way! It is similar to a clafouti, but simpler. Served with cherries or any fresh fruit, it is sure to be a hit. HINT:This makes enough for 2 [two] servings: share with a a friend or save the rest for a future breakfast or dessert. [Without the morning beverages, the dessert has 177 calories.]Cherry Flamusse

2 two-oz eggs                                                                                                                                                                     6 oz milk                                                                                                                                                                   4 tsp flour OR tapioca flour                                                                                                                                    1.5 Tbsp sugar                                                                                                                                                         10 sweet cherries, pitted                                                                                                                                      ½ clementine                                                                                                                                                                                                              blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                  3 oz  green smoothie or fruit smoothie

Spritz 2 ramekins [or an oven-proof dish with 1.5 cup capacity] with non-stick spray. Cut the cherries in half and arrange on the bottom of the dish. Whisk eggs until foamy, then add flour and sugar, whisking until there are no lumps. Stir in the milk and pour the batter over the cherries. Bake at 375 F. for 20 minutes. Turn the flamusse out of the dish so that the cherries are on top. Plate with the clementine sections, serve with the beverages. You won’t believe this is a ‘diet.’

Red Flannel Hash:  249 calories   9.2 g fat   1.9 g fiber  12.6 g protein  17.8 g carbs [16 g Complex]  43 mg Calcium  PB GF   This is a venerable New England farm meal, with the recipe coming from Hayden Pearson’s Country Flavors Cookbook.Red Flannel Hash

1 cup cooked diced beets (1/3” dice)                                                                                                                 1/3 cup diced potatoes (1/3” dice)                                                                                                                        ¼ cup diced onions                                                                                                                                                      2 slices Canadian Bacon/back bacon, diced                                                                                                                                                                                              one 2-oz egg lots of salt and pepper to taste

Cook, peel, and dice the beets and set aside to cool. [HINT: do this the day before]  Peel and dice the potatoes. Put potatoes into a pan of tap water and put the pan on the burner. Turn on the heat and let the pan sit, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the water starts to boil around the edges. Take off the heat and leave potatoes to cool in the water. Then drain and set aside. Dice the onions and bacon. Spray a saute pan with non-stick spray and add the Canadian bacon. Cook it as crisp as you wish, or not so crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside. Add the onions with 2-3 Tbsp water, and cook until the onions are transluscent and the water is mostly gone. Now put the potatoes in the pan with the onions, add salt and pepper to taste. Stir until the potatoes are cooked. Add the beets and bacon to the pan and continue to cook until heated through. Meanwhile, fry the egg: sunnyside-up or over easy as you prefer. Plate the hash and top with the egg. Country dining.