Bunsen Burner

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 mrinspire and Diets & Weight Loss Plans who are now Following.

The Bunsen burner is the work-horse of the laboratory. Except for a beaker or flask, no piece of equipment is as universally recognized. It was invented in 1855 by the German Chemist Robert Wilhelm Bunsen. He had been investigating the fact that different elements [Copper, Strontium, Potassium] gave off distinctive colors [blue-green, hot pink, lilac] when heated, known now as the Flame Test. To pursue this study, he needed a reliable source of flame that would burn with no color of its own. With the assistance of the mechanic Peter Desaga, he developed the method for delivering a controllable, compact, safe jet of flame. Perhaps his quest for a safe lab flame grew from an early science experiment that exploded, blinding him in one eye. Bunsen went on from there to analyze sunlight, drawing the accurate conclusion that the sun was made of Hydrogen and Helium gasses. With Gustav Robert Kirchhoff, Professor Bunsen invented the spectroscope. They were co-discoverers of the elements Cesium [Cs] and Rubidium [Rb].

Our German Breakfast might have been familiar to the professors and mechanics at the University of Heidelberg. When I was a young teacher, I often would rush to work in the morning with a raw egg in my pocket. During the class prior to lunch, I would boil it in a beaker of water over the Bunsen Burner on the lab bench. However you cook your eggs, you will need one for our dinner.

German Breakfast: 136 calories 3 g fat 4.4 g fiber 9 g protein 15 g carbs [3.5 g Complex] 104.4 mg Calcium Sturdy whole-grain bread, some curd cheese with chives and a slice of ham or turkey will get you going in the morning, just as it does for the Germans.

1 slice whole-grain bread [we like Dave’s ‘Good Seed‘] 2 Tbsp small-curd cottage cheese, reduced fat [similar to ‘quark cheese’ in Germany] 1-2 Tbsp chopped chives ½ oz slice of 3%-fat ham** from the deli, thinly-sliced 1 oz pear   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [85 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories] **you could substitute 1 oz turkey breast from the deli, thinly sliced

Toast the bread lightly or not. Spread with the cheese and sprinkle with chives. Top the cheese with the ham and plate with the pear. So nice. This would be a fine lunch for a Slow Day.

Herring Salad:  278 calories 6 g fat 7 g fiber 16 g protein 24 g carbs 103 mg Calcium   PB GF  Luchöw’s Restaurant in New York will live in memory as long as a certain generation yet breathes. And there was a lot to remember about it: the decor, the old-world service, the menu. Not a hokey tourist trap – it was the genuine German article. This is one of their fine Old World recipes. NB: if you take a MOIA anti-depressent, be aware that herring has high amounts of tyramine. 

1½ oz herring marinated in wine, drained ¼ cup beets, cooked, cooled and diced 1½ oz apple, peeled and diced ¼ cup white beans, drained and rinsed ½ hard-boiled egg, sliced 2 Tbsp onion, minced 1/2 oz dill pickle, chopped pinch sugar 2 tsp vinegar, or more 1 cup lettuce, shredded

Put the vinegar and sugar in a bowl and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Add remaining ingredients and toss gently until everything is well-incorporated. Taste to see if it needs more sugar or more vinegar. A herring-lover’s delight.

Rhubarb Festival!

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

The Pandemic of 2020 meant that a lot of events were cancelled, including our town’s annual Rhubarb Festival on the first Saturday in June. We all stayed home last year and most of us got through it safely. This year the Festival is on! Musical groups, rhubarb pie contests, rhubarb flower arrangements, bake sale, farm animal petting zoo, food vendors, craft vendors, a ‘hollering contest,’ rhubarb wine and beer to sample — it is lots of fun for our tiny town of <1500 residents. Rhubarb is the ‘first fruit of the season,’ giving us good things to eat before the strawberries ever think of ripening. The plant, not a fruit but a vegetable, is native to central Asia and the roots were considered to be valuable for medicinal use 5000 years ago. It first arrived in North America when Benjamin Franklin sent a box of roots, for medicine, to his friend John Bartram. Finally, in the 1800s, people in the US got around to eating the stalks. Pie and jam are the first things that comes to mind, but for Slow Days, I make muffins and coffee-cakes from rhubarb as well. From May to September, fresh rhubarb is on the menu in our house. If you can grow it, you should.

Because rhubarb is so low in calories, it can be an ingredient on a Fast Day, as long as there isn’t too much sugar with it. Here it appears in a splendid breakfast and in a relish which is served on fish, chicken, or meat. Very delicious. NB: If you are new to rhubarb, eat only the stalks. The leaves should never be eaten as they contain oxalic acid/oxalate.

Yogurt Creme Brulee: 208 caloreis 2 g fat 2.5 g fiber 19 g protein 28 g carbs 115.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB GF Let’s have dessert for breakfast! A Bobby Flay dessert was the inspiration for this breakfast recipe.  This is delicious! HINT: This makes enough for 2 [two] servings.

You will need a small blowtorch to caramelize the sugar. If you use the broiler, you will melt the yogurt.
8 oz plain Greek** yogurt, fat-free -OR- ‘yogurt cheese’ [see below]
½ tsp vanilla
Stir yogurt and vanilla together in a medium bowl until combined. Cover and refrigerate 30+ mins to allow the flavors to meld.
1 cup chopped rhubarb
2 Tbsp water + 1 tsp sugar
Put fruit in a small saucepan and add water. Simmer until just softened, ~5 mins. Add sugar and stir. Let cool slightly.
two 8-oz ramekins
¼ c rolled oats, toasted
Divide fruit between ramekins. Toast oats in a dry skillet and sprinkle on the fruit. Fill the ramekins with yogurt. Cover and freeze 5 mins.
2 tsp turbinado sugar per ramekinSprinkle sugar over each ramekin. Caramelize by slowly sweeping the blowtorch flame back and forth. Let sugar harden, ~2 mins.
**Or put 2 cups plain, fat-free yogurt in a sieve lined with paper toweling. Let sit for 30 minutes as the whey drips out. The concentrated yogurt is call ‘yogurt cheese’ and is the same as ‘Greek Yogurt.’

In addition: 1 oz 3%-fat ham slice   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories

While the ramekins are in the freezer, cut the ham slice into ribbons and quickly cook in a dry skillet. Plate the ramekin with a wreath of ham around it. A fine mix of opposite flavors, temperatures, and textures.

Halibut with Fruit Relish: 182 calories 5.5 g fat 1.5 g fiber 25 g protein 6.4 g carbs 82 mg Calcium  PB GF Whether you bake or broil or grill the fish, a fruit relish makes for a splendid topping.

4 oz halibut filet 5 oz asparagus -OR- side salad   2 Tbsp rhubarb-onion relish**

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

1/3 cup chopped rhubarb
1/3 cup chopped onions
2 ¾ Tbsp vinegar
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup light brown sugar, not packed
pinch each of ground cloves, allspice, cinnamon
Mix everything together in a heavy pot and bring to a boil.
Simmer 45 minutes until quite thick.
You could make a bigger batch and preserve by canning in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

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

1 two-oz egg + blueberries1 two-oz egg 
kale + cayenne + sage70-calorie whole grain bread
quinoa + garlic powder + turmericParmesan cheese
reduced-fat cottage cheeseblueberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

4 oz wild-caught Pacific salmonpork tenderloin + apples
4 oz broccolichicken stock + broccoli
bechamel sauce
carrot + thyme + sage
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Mary Goes Over The Mountain. Again

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 Health Resolved who is now Following.

The Pennsylvania Dutch or Plain People have many ways of predicting the weather, which they have made into oft-repeated maxims. One of the best known is that “If Mary goes over the mountain dry, she’ll come home wet.” This refers to the Biblical story of the young Virgin Mary, newly pregnant by Divine intervention, going to visit her cousin Elizabeth who is about to give birth. The date given for the visit is May 31, when Mary goes over, to August 18 when she returned to her family in Nazareth. According to the weather lore, if the weather is dry at the end of May, one can expect rain in mid- August. Since there was no National Weather Service until 100 years ago, farmers were always looking for ways to make long-range forecasts. Frequently patterns would be observed: “A green Christmas means a brown July.” Wishing to have some control over the weather doesn’t make it so. The weather will do what it wants. Make your own observations and see if you can detect any patterns as our climate changes.

The Plain People brought a rich culture of foods to the New World. Today’s breakfast is made with the famous scrapple of South-Eastern Pennsylvania, and the dinner is a popular meal from the same region. Both are delicious. Mark your calendar with the weather on May 31, then note the atmospheric conditions on August 18 to see if the maxim is valid.

Scrapple Bake: 290 calories 7.4 g fat 6 g fiber 14 g protein 39 g carbs 220 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  GF  Scrapple is one of the specialty foods of the “Pennsylvania Dutch” people of South-Eastern Pennyslvania. Excellent for breakfast, served as a side dish like sausage or combined with eggs in this bake.

1 two-oz eggs ½ oz scrapple, sliced and baked until cooked ½ oz scallion, chopped ½ cup raspberries + 1 Tbsp fat-free vanilla yogurt  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]

The night before, bake the scrapple in the oven until firm. Dice it and combine with the scallion.  In the morning, set the toaster oven at 350 F. Spritz a ramekin with oil or non-stick spray. Scatter the scrapple and scallion in the ramekin. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and pour over the scrapple. Bake 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, portion the berries and dollop the yogurt on top. Brew the hot beverage and pour the smoothie. A fine, homey breakfast.

Chicken & Dumplings: 293 calories 7 g fat 4.6 g fiber 38 g protein 30 g carbs 67 mg Calcium  PB This was a real hit in my parents’ Central Pennsylvania home and it is still a favorite with us. Be aware that it is best made over 2 days, but it basically cooks by itself with a few busy bouts by you. Worth the time and effort. AND this recipe serves 4 [four] people, so have a party serving this great make-ahead meal. If you serve one or two, make the whole thing anyhow, then package and freeze the remainder.

3 pound whole chicken, preferably a fowl although you will get more meat from a fryer ½ cup onion, chopped 1/3 cup carrots cut as coins ½ cup celery, chopped bay leaf 3 peppercorns 1.5 tsp Worcestershire sauce 2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour 4 dumplings   per person:  ¼ cup green peas 

Cut up a 3 pound chicken into leg quarters, breast quarters, back, wings. In a large pcast iron pan or Dutch oven, brown the chicken in a little oil on all sides. Add the vegetables, bay leaf, pepper, and water to cover. Simmer on the cooktop for 45 minutes. Add 2 tsp salt, cover, and simmer for another 45 minutes. Strain off the stock and let the fat rise to the surface to cool. Discard the fat. Reserve the vegetables. Cool the chicken and remove the skin. Pull off the meat in chunks: you will use 17 oz meat by volume. You could stop here.

Measure ¼ cup of stock and whisk in the 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour to form a paste. Measure 1.5 cups stock and pour into a stovetop-safe serving dish along with the Worcestershire sauce. HINT: save any remaining stock and chicken for excellent soup. You could stop here. Add the flour water paste and stir to incorporate. Put the vegetables and chicken meat into the dish and adjust seasonings to taste.  You could stop here. When ready to serve, prepare the dough for the dumplings. Heat the chicken mixture and place 4 dollops of dumpling dough on the chicken and vegetables but not so that it is in liquid only. Let it all bubble gently for 15-20 minutes, then cover the dish and continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes. Steam the peas and pour over the top of the dish before bringing to the table. Serve this simple classic proudly.

Industrial Revolution

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.

These days, when people discuss climate change or atmospheric pollution, the Industrial Revolution is often mentioned. Before that time, factories were a cottage industry. Literally. A woman might make hats or butter to sell from home. A man might be a weaver, right in the front room of his cottage. In the 1760s, textile making was speeded up by the invention of spinning and weaving machines in Northern England. Larger manufacturing spaces were built and people were lured from subsistence farming by higher wages. Once, machines were powered by water; now steam engines, perfected by James Watt of Scotland, powered factories by burning coal. Some people decried smoke-stacks belching black coal smoke into the once-pristine country air, but locals said, “It smelled like money.” Now instead of being made one-by-one, items were mass-produced. Improvements in steel-making lead to railroads and their speeding trains. Factories became larger as manufacturing became mechanized. Cities grew in population as the countryside emptied. Fortunes were made, and work life ran by the clock instead of the sun. Modern life as we know it began with the Industrial Revolution, and our use of fossil fuels has grown over the years because of it. Early on, the new factories were seen as a blessing to areas with marginal farmland. Young men and women could work for a few years in a factory, then return to the farm with modest wealth. Were there benefits from mechanization? Yes. Did it create problems that are still with us? Decidedly. Now we must deal with the unintended consequences of industrial expansion and the use of fossil fuels. We must balance production of goods with quality of life for humans and other life on our planet. We can do it.

Our meals go back to pre-Industrial days, when most people lived on and from the land, even if they lived in a small town. Oatmeal and shepherd’s pie would have been very familiar foods to an agricultural family in Northern England.

Oatmeal Pudding:  258 calories 4 g fat 5 g fiber 14 g protein 36 g carb [34 g Complex] 55.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the pudding only, and do not include the optional beverage.  GF PB  A riff on a recipe found in Marion Cunningham’s Breakfast Book, this can easily be prepared the night before. HINT: MAKES ENOUGH FOR TWO [2] SERVINGS.  Make them both, since two are as easy as one, and freeze the other.

½ cup rolled oats, cooked in 1 cup water 2 tsp maple syrup ½ cup fat-free cottage cheese pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon 4 Tbsp. blueberries [fresh or frozen]   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea  

Cook the oatmeal in the water. Take off the heat, stir in the maple syrup and nutmeg. While it is still a little warm, stir in the cottage cheese. Let sit to cool.  HINT: I did this part the night before while cleaning up after dinner.  If cooking for one, pour half of the pudding into a freezer container and top with 2 Tbsp blueberries. Freeze it. HINT: make the entire batch, eat half of it today and freeze the rest for a really simple-to-prepare breakfast for another day. With the remainder, stir in 2 Tbsp blueberries and pour the pudding into a ramekin. Nuke it for a minute to heat through – longer than that and it will bubble over. Serve with the hot beverage of your choice for a hearty, healthy meal.

Shepherd’s Pie:  276 calories 12 g fat 2 g fiber 21.6 g protein 21.6 g carbs 53 mg Calcium  PB GF  The addition of mashed cauliflower is a great trick to lessen the carb count of mashed potatoes. Some people like to top this pie with mashed cauliflower only, but I enjoy the combo for a more authentic taste.  HINT: serves 2. Freeze leftovers for another dinner or invite a guest.

1 cup roast lamb, ground or minced 1 two-oz egg, separated ½ cup mashed potatoes ½ cup mashed cauliflower ½ cup lamb gravy, as fat free as you can make it 1 cup lettuce ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp lemon juice OR cider vinegar 1 oz tomatoes

Add the egg yolk and gravy to the roast lamb, along with salt and pepper to taste. Whip the eggwhite until stiff and fold into the mashed vegetables with salt and pepper to taste. Put the lamb mixture into an oil-spritzed oven-proof dish [2-3 cup capacity] and spread it out evenly. Smooth the mashed vegetables on top and ruffle it with a fork or spoon. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes or until the top begins to brown a bit and the inside is hot. Whisk the oil and lemon juice in a wide bowl, add the lettuce and tomatoes, and toss gently.

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

1 two-oz egg1 cup plain fat-free Greek-style yogurt 
scrapple + scallionrolled oats + vanilla extract
raspberriesrhubarb + turbinado sugar
fat-free French-vanilla yogurtslice of 3%-fat ham
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

3# chicken + onion + celery4 oz halibut per person + side salad
carrot + Worcestershire saucerhubarb + onion
white whole wheat flour + peascider vinegar + brown sugar
dumplingsground cloves + allspice + cinnamon
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Peasants

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.

OLD JOKE: The agitated servant, singed and battered, runs pell-mell into the presence of the Lord of the Manor. “Sire,” he pants, “the peasants are revolting!” His master, looking bored and missing his meaning, lifts a perfumed handkerchief to his nose and sighs, “Of course they are.” People [read: the privileged classes] have been making disparaging comments about the ‘lower classes’ for so many centuries that we have a mental picture: loutish, stupid, unwashed. But what is a peasant, really? The word is from the latin, meaning ‘from a canton,’ thus: someone from the provinces far from the sophistication of the city. Called ‘serfs’ in Russia and medieval Europe; ‘contadino’ in Italy; ‘paysan’ in France; ‘subsistence farmers’ in the US, they have gotten a bad rap. Until the rise of Big Agra, peasants grew all the food that fed the world — in many places, they still do. Their lives were difficult but sometimes their close-to-the-land lifestyle had appeal: Marie Antoinette would retire to her ‘petit hameau’ on the grounds of Versaille to live a simpler life. Breugal painted peasants at work and play while the Limbourg Brothers often showed the turn of the seasons via the work of peasants.

The adage “Eat breakfast like a king and dine like a peasant” is often given as a formula for a healthy diet. This implies eating fewer calories at night. In addition, ‘peasant’ foods were home-grown and/or foraged, low in animal protein, unprocessed and unadulterated. And in small portions. To eat like a peasant also means eating at a lower trophic level. Our breakfast of fruit and grains and our dinner of grains and beans fit the requirements of wholesome, inexpensive, simple food.

Fruited Porridge:  183 calories 1.4 g fat 9 g fiber 7 g protein 38 g carbs [38 g Complex] 36 mg Calcium  PB Here is a delicious way to get your superfoods in one meal. Berries and whole-grain cereal are unbeateble together and easy to prepare as well.

¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Cereal ¾ cup water ¼ cup diced strawberries ¼ cup blueberries ¼ cup raspberries   Optional: a few tablespoonsful of milk   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [85 calories]  or lemon in hot water

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

Red Beans & Rice:  295 calories 1 g fat 13 g protein 57.5 g carb   PB GF  This is the old classic recipe for the ‘perfect protein’. Once we were afraid that we wouldn’t like it, since it sounds bland, but we do like it. Yeah, you’re right, the carbs are way out of control, but these complex carbs are really good for you. HINT: This is enough for 4 servings! Either have a gathering or cut the recipe or freeze for later.

1¾ cups brown rice, cooked ½ cup celery, chopped ½ cup sweet yellow or other color pepper, diced 1 cup onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced ¾ cup crushed tomato oregano + black pepper 1¾ cups red beans, drained and rinsed ½ cup green beans or peas

Cook the rice. Saute the celery, pepper, and onions for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 5 minutes more. Add the tomato sauce and seasonings. Stir in the red beans and heat through. When the rice is done, add 1 and 3/4 cups to the mixture.  HINT: if there is extra rice, it freezes well. Serve with the cooked green vegetable. 

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

1 two-oz egg + soy sauce1.5 two-oz eggs 
ginger + bean sproutsapple or unsweetened applesauce
crab meat + scallionscooked spinach
garlic powder +pear chèvre
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

4-oz bison burger + mushroomstilapia fish + sweet potato
curried catsupegg + white whole wheat flour
choices from a variety of vegetablescanola oil + garlic powder
asparagus + paprika + lime juice
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Flora, Goddess of Flowers

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 Health Specialist who is now Following.

The Romans were pantheistic. There was a diety for everything in the natural world and the political, since deceased emperors were made into gods. One of my favorites is Flora, the goddess of flowers and flowering plants. She was originally a goddess of the Sabine People, who introduced her to Roman culture. In the Greek legend, the nymph Chloris attracted the love of Zehpyrus, the Springtime wind. He married her and granted her dominion over all blooming things: plants, nubile teenagers, and pregnant women. In 238 BCE, a festival called Floralia was instituted in her honor. Today, towns and cities throughout southern France there are floral festivals in early May and it is traditional to give a nosegay of Lily of the Valley/Muguet du Bois to someone to express your love or wish good luck. I like the idea of celebrating the blooms of Spring, so early in May I honor Flora with food and flowers.

The famous Roman Cato the Elder, 234–149 BC, in his agriculture book tried to promote traditional practices of farming and eating. He describes the tradition of baking Libum to leave in the household shrine to the gods. It is made with honey, which Flora is said to have given to the world. There’s our breakfast. Dinner is a modern salad with all sorts of Springtime ingredients: eggs, asparagus, young greens, and flowers. Food for the gods.

Cato’s Breakfast:  235 calories 4 g fat 2 g fiber 13 g protein 47 g carbs 89 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB  Cato, the Roman orator and senator, included Libum in his book de Agricultura. The other elements of the meal were popular foods in ancient Rome.

225 g/1 cup light ricotta cheese
113 g/1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 oz = ½ egg
2 Tbsp honey
Combine these ingredients to a Play-Doh consistency.
0.2 oz pine nuts, about 45 pinonsForm dough into 11 balls, each made with 2 Tbsp dough [33-g]. Top each ball with 4-5 pine nuts.
11 bay leaves TIP: you can do all this the night before and bake in the morning.Lightly spritz a baking pan with non-stick spray and lay the bay leaves on it. Place one dough ball on each leaf.
Warm honeyBake at 350 F for 20 minutes. While still warm, brush with honey.

2 Libum [33-grams of dough each] 2 oz pear 1 deglet noor date 1 oz chicken breast meat  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  

Bake the Libum and plate with the other ingredients. Although Cato probably would have served wine with breakfast, that would not be a good option.

Springtime Shrimp Salad: 192 calories 7 g fat 3.6 g fiber 17 g protein 17 g carbs 114 mg Calcium   PB GF  In Spring, the clementines are decreasing in the markets and the asparagus is increasing. A salad with shrimp is delightfully delicious.

2 cups mesclun OR baby greens 2.5 oz small shrimp 8-9 sections clementine 1¾ oz asparagus edible flowers for garnish ¾ oz mango ½ hard-boiled egg 2 tsp Spicy Aioli Dressing 

Prepare all the ingredients, cutting or cooking as necessary. Combine the Dressing and measure 2 tsp into a large bowl. Toss the salad greens with the dressing and a pinch of salt. Turn onto the serving plate and arrange the other ingredients atop the greens. Enjoy the colors and flavors of Spring.

The real “OK Boomer”

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.

At noon on April 22, 1889, the Oklahoma Land Rush began with the firing of a gun. That was the signal for the thousands of people — on horse-back, in wagons, whole families, or single people — to charge across the prairie in what is now Oklahoma to find a plot of land and claim it. The land was part of the enormous Louisianna Purchase of 1803, but had remained “undeveloped” and was considered “unassigned” and “unpopulated.” [No one asked the Plains Indians about that. Neighboring lands were already the home of Indigenous Peoples who had been deported there from Eastern States]. Ever since the end of the Civil War in 1864, people had clambered to be able to settle the Oklahoma land. Their noisy lobbying earned them the name ‘boomers.’ The Unassigned Lands had been divided into 160 acre parcels. Towns and rail lines had been sited and partially developed. The people who did that work, who were already inside the territory, along with cheaters who sneaked in early, were called ‘sooners.’ When the signal went off, the 50,000 people who had waited on the Kansas border streamed in. Among them were 23 young women from Illinois, mentioned in the article above. By the end of the day, 11,000 homesteads had been claimed. Towns sprang up overnight, since some boomers wanted house lots and shop locations. Land Rush or Land Grab? African-Americans were put at the back of the line for the Rush. Law suits went on for years as sooners were sued and removed from their property. In August of 2020, the US Supreme Court settled a suit that determined where the “Indians” had jurisdiction in certain locations, an outshoot of the Oklahoma Land Rush. The nickname of Oklahoma is The Sooner State — no longer a slur, the word now embodies the spirit of the state. The abbreviation is ‘OK’ and the state was settled by boomers, so I guess they all were OK Boomers, weren’t they?  

A breakfast of sausage and eggs might have been just the thing to eat on that exciting day, so we will enjoy it too. I’m sure that none of the participants of the land rush would ever have imagined that someday there would be great modern cities on the prairie — cities famous for bar-be-que! But that’s how it is, and dinner focuses on that flavor in an up-dated meal.

Sausage Bake: 302 calories 10 g fat 1.4 g fiber 21.5 g protein 27 g carbs 289 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPB GF Quick and yummy, can’t beat that.

1 two-oz egg 2 cooked chicken breakfast sausage @ 33 calories/link [I used Applegate sausages] 1 Tbsp cottage cheese + pinch marjoram + salt + pepper 1 oz unsweetened applesauce  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]

With the back of a spoon, mash the cottage cheese through a sieve to break up the lumps and make it smooth. Whisk the cheese with the egg and seasonings. Spritz a ramekin with oil or non-stick spray. Dice the sausage and put it into the ramekin. Pour the egg mixture on top and bake in the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. for 12-15 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs. Brew your optional beverage, shake and pour the optional smoothie, dish that lovely applesauce. Nice start to your day.

Chicken BBQ Sliders: 281 calories 4 g fat 5 g fiber 27 g protein 35 g carbs [25 g Complex] 166 mg Calcium Such a simple meal to prepare. Such a fun meal to eat.  HINT: This recipe makes 2 [two] servings. Invite a friend or save the rest for lunch another day.

3 whole wheat slider buns @ 90 calories each [we prefer Martin’s brand 5 oz cooked chicken breast, sliced and shredded  2 Tbsp Corky’s BBQ Sauce  per serving: 1/2 cup coleslaw OR 2 oz cherry tomatoes + ¾ oz carrot sticks

Warm the chicken and the sauce together over low heat. Open the slider buns and toast them lightly on an ungreased heavy skillet. Spoon the filling into the slider buns and cut each one in half. One serving = 3 halves. Plate with the vegetables for an absurdly easy dinner.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
mushroomsgizzard from chicken or turkey
galette/crepegarlic + sage
Mediterranean Vegetablesunsweetened applesauce
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

mussels, removed from shellscanola oil + watercress + celery
mussel broth + 2 oystersonion + garlic + good stock
Gruyere cheesepotato + sweet potato
curry powder + flour + green beanschèvre cheese optional: mozzarella + tomato
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Leonardo, artist

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. 

Leonardo da Vinci was a polymath of the first order. He had enough endeavors for many people — too many to squeeze into one lifetime. First and foremost, he was a visual artist. Leonardo was born on April 15 1452, and at age 14, he was an apprentice in the studio of Andrea del Verrocchio, the premier place to train in 15th century Florence. In that time, there were three painting media available to an artist: oil on wood or canvas; tempera, an egg-based paint, on wood; or fresco, when water-based colors are painted onto wet plaster. As a painter, Leonardo was always experimenting: his restless intellect wanted to leap to his next project or new innovation. Many of his oil paintings, including the Mona Lisa, were never finished since he went on to a new assignment in mid-stream. He tried out new artistic techniques, perfecting the sfumato where shadow and light have no sharp borders, but rather the vague transition seen in a cloud of smoke. Leonardo seems to have preferred oil paint. When commissioned to paint frescos, such as the Last Supper in Milan, he decided to apply oil paint to the plaster instead of the water colors. The oil paint did not want to stick to the wall and it began to flake off within a few months. One of the great, well-known masterpieces of the world was a technical failure. Restored many times, we can never fully appreciate what it really looked like. The most famous work of all is La Gioconda, aka: the Mona Lisa. It is famous for its technique and for that ‘Smile.’ Much ink has been spilt trying to describe the smile and why she wears it. It is worth noting that she is not the only subject with that look — I think it should be called the “da Vinci Smile.” Look for it in paintings of John the Baptist, Leda, and the Virgin and Child with Saint Anne. Of course, Dan Brown had to create a thriller involving da Vinci’s work, especially the Virgin of the Rocks , the Last Supper, and the drawing of the Vitruvian Man. If all he did was to paint and draw, Da Vinci would be justly famous. But he was so much more.

After training in Florence, Leonardo worked for many years in Milan, then in Rome, and finally in France. For Leonardo’s life in Rome, our breakfast takes its flavors from the well-known puttanesca sauce. The dinner is perfectly French, in recognition of the fact that Da Vinci was working for the French king when he died.

Puttanesca ScrOmelette: 146 calories 8 g fat 1 g fiber 10 g protein 7.5 g carbs 52 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF “Puttanesca” might not actually mean ‘street-walker’… Leonardo didn’t have much time for them, but he might have met these flavors while he worked in Rome. This breakfast is based on the flavors of the iconic Roman pasta dish. When you make a dinner with that sauce, save some out to season these breakfast eggs.

1½ two-ounce 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   1.5 Tbsp puttanesca sauce + ½ clementine OR 1 oz blueberries  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 sauce into the eggs and scramble or cook as an omelette. Enjoy with the hot beverage, smoothie, and blueberries.

Mackerel with Gooseberry Glaze:  276 calories 16 g fat 1 g fat 22 g protein 7 g carbs 27 mg Calcium  PB GF  This popular dish from Normandy usually features fresh gooseberries. Here in the USA, those are less common so we make a glaze of gooseberry jelly. The zucchini picks up the color of green gooseberries.

3 oz mackerel, frozen or fresh fillets + 2 tsp gooseberry jelly or jam + 4 oz zucchini ribbons

Thaw the fish if frozen. Heat the oven to 350 F. Put fish on a baking tray and brush with melted jelly on both sides. Using a potato peeler, carve long, thin slices from the length of the zucchini until you have 3 oz. Toss the ribbons with salt and pepper. Place the ribbons on the baking tray in a heap [if they are in a thin layer, they will over-cook]. Bake for the tray with the fish and zucchini for 5 minutes. Rearrange the zucchini so that the bottom layer is now on top. Bake 5 minutes more, or until the fish is cooked. Plate the fish with the zucchini ribbons. Sheet-pan dinners are so trendy now.

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

1.5 two-oz eggs + canned white beans1.5 two-oz eggs 
green onions2 chicken breakfast sausages @ 33 calories each
shrimp + tomatoapplesauce, unsweetened + marjoram
nectarine or peach cottage cheese, reduced fat
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

crab meat + scallion + Dijon mustardMartin’s whole wheat potato slider rolls or similar
egg white + whole-grain fresh bread crumbschicken breast slices
4 flounder or sole filets + butter + shallotsCorky’s BBQ Sauce
white wine + side salad or green beanscarrot sticks + cherry tomatoes
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Grab Bag

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

A ‘grab bag’ is a sack that contains small items of unknown identity. As a prize, one is offered the chance to reach in the bag and grab any one of the items. Teachers might do this to provide a reward for a classroom competition. Parents might offer a grab bag at a child’s birthday party. At any rate, you reach in and never know what you might get. Today’s menus are sort of a grab bag — two random recipes that haven’t been posted for a few years. AND they are winners — a real prize! Usually, the recipes have something in common, something that unites them. These are both from Asia, but the other link is that they are good to eat. Who needs more than that?

Kashmiri ScrOmelette: 157 calories 8.5 g fat 1 g fiber 14.5 g protein 5 g carbs [3.5 g Complex] 58 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  The sauce ‘Rogan Josh’ was available in jars on the supermarket shelf, so I incorporated it into these very tasty eggs.

1 ½ eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume, into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.  1/3 oz cooked chicken, diced 1 Tbsp [15 ml] Rogan Josh sauce [Taste of India brand] 1 oz strawberries  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 together the eggs, sauce and chicken. Pour into a hot non-stick or well-seasoned saute pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray or oil. Scramble or cook as an omelette. Plate with the berries, pour the optional beverages, and set your aspirations for the day as high as the Himalayas.

Pork & Green Bean Stirfry: 176 calories 3 g fat 5.4 g fiber 20.5 g protein 18 g carbs [10 g Complex] 63 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given do not include the optional serving of rice**  PB GF  This stirfry has a lot of prep work, but the result is rich in the wonderful flavors of East Asia. The recipe does not include rice, but if you read on, you’ll see amounts of rice to serve. HINT: This recipe makes enough to serve 2 [two] people. Food values above are for ONE serving.

First, make a mise en place .  Seriously — do it.
5 oz pork tenderloin
1½ tsp dark soy sauce 
½ tsp honey 
½ tsp minced garlic
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
Slice pork into matchstick pieces. Place in a bowl with these ingredients and stir to combine.
4 tsp dark soy sauce  
½ tsp honey
1 tsp peanut butter.
Combine in a micro-wave-safe cup and briefly warm in micro-wave to soften the honey and peanut butter.
6 oz green beans, cut in 1.5” pieces
½ c matchstick carrots
Put beans in a small pan of boiling, salted water and cook 3 minutes. Add the carrots and cook 1 minute. Drain, saving water and vegetables.
1 tsp canola oil  Heat a wok or cast iron skillet over high, then add oil. Add pork mixture and stir-fry 1 minute.
Remove cooked pork to a clean bowl and stir in the soy-honey-peanut mix. 
2 Tbsp bean-carrot water
2 oz red bell pepper, cut in strips
more bean-carrot water, as needed
Put carrot-cooking water in the dish that had the soy-honey-peanut mixture. Swirl around to get those flavors into the water. Pour flavored water into the wok and add the bell peppers. Stir-fry 1 minute – add more water to keep it sizzling. 
½ tsp garlic 
1.5 tsp minced fresh ginger
Add beans, carrots, ginger, + garlic to peppers in the wok and stir-fry 1 minute.
Return pork to the wok and stir-fry until heated, ~1 minute
sliced scallion 
Sriracha
optional rice**
Plate with optional rice, and top with scallion and extra Sriracha

**If using ¼ cup medium-grain white rice as a garnish, then add these food values: 50 calories 0 g fat 0.3 g fiber 1 g protein 11 g carbs [these are all simple carbs] 0 mg Calcium

**If serving with ¼ cup medium-grain brown rice, then add these food values: 54 calories 0.4 g fat 1 g fiber 1 g protein 11 g carbs [these are all Complex carbs] 5 mg Calcium

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

1.5 two-oz eggs1.5 two-oz eggs 
Hawayij spiceputtanesca sauce
deglet noor datesblueberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

ground lambmackerel filets, fresh or frozen
brown rice gooseberry jam or jelly
Gruyere cheesezucchini
Mediterranean vegetables
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Easter Eggs

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. Later 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 weightlosscal and beatmybellyfatnow who are now Following.

Easter has been associated with eggs since forever. The chick hatching from the seemingly lifeless egg is the classic simile for the resurrection at Easter. Eggs speak of Springtime and the very name ‘Easter’ comes from ‘Eostre’, a goddess of Spring to the ancient people of England. But why hard-boiled eggs, you ask. During Lent, when people refrained from eating eggs, the hens continued to lay. The solution to all those surplus eggs was to boil them — this helps them to keep longer and results in heaps of eggs by Easter. Thus the tradition of decorating eggs and giving them to friends and family. How did rabbits become the deliverers of eggs? The German tradition of the March Hare [as in “mad as a March hare” cf. Alice in Wonderland] being a fertility symbol is linked to eggs, another fertility symbol. Among the Germans, the hare brought treats to children at Easter. In the US, the hare became a tame domestic rabbit and the Easter Bunny was born. These days, an ‘Easter Egg’ is a hidden reference in a TV show or movie, put there by the director as an inside joke.

So what do you do with all those hard-boiled eggs**???? Today’s recipes show you some ways to use them for breakfast or for dinner. There are many more recipes for Fast Days that use hard-boiled eggs. Have fun hunting through the Archives for them!

**Best way to prepare ‘hard-boiled’ eggs: For easiest peeling, use eggs that are a bit old. Test eggs in a cup of water: if one end floats upward, that’s a good egg for boiling. In a pan large enough to contain your eggs in one layer, add one inch of water. Cover and bring the water to a boil. When it boils, gently place the eggs in the water and cover the pan again. Set the timer for 12 minutes, then remove the eggs to a plate to cool. Ta-da! Once in a while, one breaks. Oh, well.

Egg-Salad Toast: 167 calories 8 g fat 4.5 g fiber 12 g protein 22 g carbs 101 mg Calcium  PB  Toast ‘n’ Egg for breakfast takes a new twist. If you must grab-and-go, this is a good choice. 

1 slice whole-grain bread [70 calories, 3 g fiber] 1 hardboiled 2-oz egg yellow Siracha, ad lib + 1 Tbsp reduced-fat ricotta 1 oz sliced tomato OR halved cherry tomatoes 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]

Slice the tomato and salt it to develop flavor. Shell the egg and mash it with a fork on a plate. Squirt some Srarcha on it, add the ricotta, and continue to mash and squirt until you get the consistancy you like. Add salt and pepper and herbs to taste. Lightly toast the bread and spread with the egg salad. Top with the tomato and plate with the fruit. Wholesome and hearty.

Egg Curry: 299 calories 12.6 g fat 2 g fiber 18.4 g protein 27 g carbs 205.6 mg Calcium  PG GF  This Indian curry is delicious and so simple to prepare. Need I say more? The recipe is from Jacquline Herault’s Oriental Cooking the Fast Wok Way. HINT: This recipe serves two [2].

1 tsp oil
½ c onion, chopped [2.25 oz]
1 ½ coins of fresh ginger, minced
Heat wok over medium heat. Add oil and count to 30.Add vegetables and stir-fry 3 minutes until onions are golden. Turn heat to low.
1 Tbsp minced parsley
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry
¼ tsp garam masala
Add ingredients off heat, then simmer uncovered 2 minutes. Stir occasionally.
1½ Roma/plum tomatoes, quarteredAdd tomatoes and some water, and simmer 8 minutes.
4 fl oz / ½ c plain yogurt
1 oz weight = ¼ c mushrooms, chopped
Add, mix well, and simmer 10 minutes or less as sauce thickens.
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and slicedAdd, simmer 3 minutes
1 Tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup cooked brown rice, per person
Add and stir to combine. Plate.
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halvedNestle on top of the curry mixture.