Albrecht Durer

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 MJ who is now Following.

Albrecht Durer was one of the foremost artists of the Northern Renaissance school of art. The Germans were late to the game in terms of the Renaissance, but they gave it a spin all their own. Durer painted in great detail, using a light that seems to show everything, yet with shadows to produce contrast. Durer was an artist, not just a craftsman. He had the humanist’s idea that each person is important and that he had something to contribute. As a painter, he was sought after by kings. As a print-maker, his art was distributed to the masses. Some of his work is well-known, such as Praying Hands and the Four Horsemen, but so widely recognized that we have forgotten the artist’s name. One work of his that made an impression on me in art class was a sketch of a middle-aged female nude — probably of his wife Agnes. She struck me as plump and lumpy, and I promised myself I would never have that body, not even in middle age. This is one reason that I am a Faster. Thanks, Durer.

A frequent theme in Durer’s art was the depiction of Adam and Eve, usually with an apple. So we will enjoy apples in our egg for breakfast. One of the most charming of Durer’s works is The Young Hare. We will stretch taxonomy a little and feature rabbit for dinner.

Apple-Bacon Bake: 131 calories 6.2 g fat 1.6 g fiber 9 g protein 8 g carbs [7.3 g Complex] 72.8 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beverages.  PB GF  Apples and bacon go so well together it is a wonder they aren’t paired more often.

1 two-oz egg ¾ oz apple, peeled, cored, sliced thinly 1/8 oz bacon, diced ½ Tbsp ricotta cheese, drained if too liquid 1 tsp Parmesan cheese ¼ tsp prepared mustard sage ½ oz pear   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Spritz a ramekin with cooking spray. Set the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. In a saute pan, cook the bacon until done. Drain away the fat and blot in paper towel. In the same pan, saute the apple until softened. Put apple and bacon in the ramekin. Whisk the egg, ricotta, Parmesan, mustard, and sage together and pour into the ramekin. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Prepare the beverages and the pear. How pleasant.

Rabbit Pie: 275 calories 6.6 g fat 4.6 g fiber 25.6 g protein 27.5 g carbs [15 g Complex] 77 mg Calcium   PB  Rabbit is a common meat in recipes the world over. It is high in protein and low in fat. And yes, it does taste like chicken. You could substitute.

2 oz mushrooms, chopped 4 fluid oz chicken stock 2 tsp potato starch 0.55 oz [1 slice] ham from the deli, chopped 3 oz rabbit meat cut in bite-sized pieces ¼ cup onions, chopped big pinch dried thyme + big pinch savory + salt + pepper ½ Arnold Multi-Grain Sandwich Thin OR a 4” circle cut from whole-grain bread 1.5 oz carrots

If the rabbit is uncooked: Cut it into bite-sized pieces and quickly cook in a saute pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Add a few tablespoons of water to the pan, too. Remove the meat. Pour off and reserve any remaining cooking liquid. Chop the mushrooms and cook in non-stick spray, but do not evaporate all of the liquid they give off. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Add the onions and the stock to the pan along with the mushroom juices and ¼ cup water plus water from the rabbit. Simmer to cook the onions. Whisk in the potato starch and the seasonings. Continue to whisk over heat until the potato starch is dissolved. Cook at a simmer until the liquid measures ¼ cup and is thickened. Add the rabbit meat, ham, and the mushrooms. Simmer for a few minutes and taste for seasonings. Pour and scrape into an oven-proof dish. Top with the Sandwich Thin. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. Cook the carrots separately. Plate the meal by first putting the Sandwich Thin on the plate, then covering it with the rabbit-mushroom mixture. Pour any extra liquid so that it is soaked up by the bread. Plate the carrots to complete the meal.

Fasting for Lent

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

We are now five weeks into Lent, the Christian church’s period of fasting and reflection. Why is it called ‘lent’? The word is from Old English ‘lencten’ which references the season of Spring. Why is one to fast during Lent? The 40 days are a remembrance of Jesus’ 40-day sojourn in the desert before he began his ministry. During that time he fasted and pondered his life ahead. What should that Lenten fasting entail? After the Council of Nicea in 325 CE, fasting was a serious thing: one meal per day, in the evening, with no meat, fish, eggs, or butter on the table. Today there are still those who do not eat eggs or meat during Lent, especially on Friday. Members of Protestant sects ‘give up’ favorite foods [chocolate; liquor] during Lent or forgo behaviors that they wish to change [smoking; over-eating]. As with any change in behavior, when the trial period is over, does one resume the behavior? 5:2 Fasting should become a lifestyle, not just something to do for a little while and then stop. Lent should make us think about permanent changes. This is a good time to start a Fasting Lifestyle.

The menus for tomorrow feature seafood, not meat. There are no eggs and no dairy. But that doesn’t stop them from being delicious.

Gravlax & Grannies:  126 calories 3.6 g fat 2.3 g fiber 11 g protein 13 g carbs [13 g Complex] 25.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB GF  At the Inn at Saint Peters we enjoyed their Smoked Trout with Apples appetizer. It occurred to me that this could be a fine breakfast for those who enjoy a savory/seafood taste in the a.m. I substituted mackerel gravlax for the smoked trout, just because that was on hand, but it was a grey-brown instead of the lighter hue of the trout or the pink of a salmon. Suit yourself.

1 oz mackerel gravlax OR 1 oz smoked trout [DuckTrap brand is very good] 2 oz Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced; each slice cut into 1/2-moons ¼ c blueberries + 2 raspberries for color   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]

Slice the fish with the grain to create thin slices. Arrange the fish and apples in overlapping slices around the plate. HINT: I did this the night before, covered it with clingwrap and put it in the ‘fridge. So quick the next morning!! Brew your hot beverage, blend or shake your smoothie, dish out those healthy blueberries, and breakfast elegantly.

Shrimp with Lime + Cilantro 228 calories 4.7 g fat 1.3 g fiber 30 g protein 15 g carbs [7 g Complex] 90 mg Calcium   PB GF  These are such a popular combination of flavors that there are many recipes on line. This one is from Skinnytaste.com, cut down to a single-serving size and with a few additions.

5 oz raw shrimp, cleaned and halved if large. [I used tiny cold-water shrimp] ¼ tsp ground cumin 1 oz brown rice Maifun noodles 1/3 tsp olive oil + water 2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed ½ of one lime 2 Tbsp or more chopped cilantro/coriander leaves 1 large [½ oz] lettuce leaf

Prepare your mise en place.  Put the shrimp in a bowl. If they thawed in the bowl, pour off the liquid and reserve it. Toss the shrimp with the cumin plus salt and pepper. Cook the noodles in 3 cups boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain, rinse, and reserve. Crush the garlic. Cut the lime in half and chop the cilantro/coriander leaves. Heat a non-stick saute or cast-iron pan. Add the oil and the drained shrimp. Let cook for 2 minutes, then turn over to the other side. Add some of the reserved water if needed to avoid sticking. Put the garlic and noodles in the pan and cook for one minute. Squeeze the juice from the lime over the pan, add the cilantro and stir well. Take off heat. Center the lettuce leaf on the plate and spoon the shrimp on top. Wonderful flavors!

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs
apple + mustardhorseradish
bacon + sage + pearfresh parsley + beets
Ricotta + Parmesan cheesesapple sauce + cinnamon
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

rabbit meat + portobello mushroom salad greens + fresh parsley
ham + onion + chicken stockcelery + apple + walnuts
herb savory + carrot + thymehard-boiled egg + cooked lamb
Arnold-brand sandwich thinhorseradish dressing
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Mehmet II

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 ParisVitamin who is now Following.

On March 30, 1432, Mehmet, the second of that name, was born in Edirne, Turkey. His father was the Sultan Murad II, and Mehmet received an excellent education: literature, architecture, fine arts, military science, languages [7 of them!], philosophy, and science. At this time in Western Europe, culture was just emerging into the Renaissance. Mehmet went on to found the Ottoman Empire, conquering first Constantinople [now Istanbul] in 1453, which ended the Byzantine Empire. He next conquered the Greek city states, then the Anatolian peninsula, and the Balkan states. He ruled for 30 years and was known for his erudition and for religious tolerance. Mehmet was painted by the Italian Bellini, wearing a distinctive headdress [‘mücevveze”, a tall cylindrical headgear], which became popular with future Ottoman leaders. And, oddly enough, he is my ancestor! How is that possible for someone with French/English/German antecedents? Ah, that is a tale for a future blog about Mehmet’s Son.

In recognition of his Eastern Mediterranean origins, a plate of felafel seems appropriate for breakfast. And the dinner of stuffed cabbage is caught up in the story of a Swedish King captured by the Ottomans.

Felafel Plate:  219 calories 5 g fat 4.8 g fiber 16.3 g protein 30 g carbs [25.7 g Complex] 165 mg Calcium   NB: Food values given are for the main meal only, and do not include the optional beveragePB GF  A simple meal, yet full of nutrition and flavor.

4 felafel patties 4 oz canteloupe melon or pineapple, cubed in bite-sized pieces 3.5 oz fat-free Greek-style yogurt ½ tsp mint leaves  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water NO smoothie today

Warm the felafel patties or use at room temperature. Chop the mint leaves and combine with the yogurt. Prepare the beverage of choice and plate the food to please the eye.

Danish Stuffed Cabbage:  282 calories 5.7 g fat 5.7 g fiber 35 g protein 25 g carbs 125 mg Calcium   PB GF — if using GF bread   Craig Claiborne’s International Cookbook provided this recipe. Its history involves a Swedish king and the Ottoman Empire. Very royal origin for a common meal found everywhere cabbages are grown.

4 oz turkey meat, raw 2 oz pork meat, raw 2.5 oz veal, raw ½ cup fresh bread crumbs [from whole-grain 70-calorie bread] 2 oz milk 1 oz egg white sage + salt + pepper 4 whole cabbage leaves from a whole head 1/3 c pickled beets dab of mustard

Put the meats, sage, salt, and pepper in the food processor and mince. Spritz a saute pan with non-stick spray and cook the meat until it doesn’t look raw. Cool meat. Combine the bread and milk, stir, let sit until soggy. Add the egg white and meats and stir to combine well. Set aside. Put a head of cabbage in a pot with enough water to cover and bring to a simmer. When the outer layer begins to cook, remove the outer leaf. Return the cabbage to the pan of simmering water. Continue to remove the outer leaves as they cook, until you have 4. Return them to the poaching water and cook until very limp. [Put the rest of the cabbage away for something else.] Cut a ‘V’ at the base of each leaf to remove the thickest part of the leaf’s rib. Orient the leaf so the ‘V’ is away from you. Put ¼ cup filling on the leaf. Fold the near side over the filling, tuck in the sides, and continue to roll. Place seam-side down in an oven-proof dish large enough to hold all four rolls. Pour some of the water in which you poached the cabbage into the dish until it comes 1/2-way up the rolls. Put on a lid or foil and bake at 350 F. for 20 minutes or until heated. Plate with the pickled beets and a dab of mustard. Fit for an Ottoman Emperor.

Fables

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.

Fables and myths are tales that can’t be true. From deadly women with snakes for hair to foxes talking to crows — these are great stories and fun to hear. Some people think that Fasting is a ‘fabulous’ idea. [There I am employing the original meaning of the word ‘fabulous’, meaning not to be believed: the stuff of fables]. On March 26, 1484, William Caxton, an English printer who had a Gutenberg press, produced his version of Aesop’s Fables. Today, I will share with you three [in fables lots of things come in threes] good articles about Fasting and the myths that prevent some people from trying it.

Three Common Fasting Myths Debunked is a good place to start.

The 7 Absurd Myths About Fasting makes for interesting reading.

11 Myths About Fasting covers it all: from skipping breakfast to starving.

As a bonus, an easy dinner recipe from the ‘Orient’ [Java, actually] which is the setting for many fables.

Chicken Satay:  262 calories 9 g fat 3 g fiber 24 g protein 17 g carbs 23 mg Calcium  PB GF  It looks so elegant in the restaurant, yet it is easy to prepare at home. Feel free to vary the vegetables if you wish.

3 oz chicken breast 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp satay sauce [Taste of Thai or Thai Kitchen] 1-½ tsp peanut butter pinch granulated garlic + Sriracha to taste 2 cherry tomatoes + 2 slices of cucumber 2-3 oz cauliflower, sliced across the entire head 

Cut the chicken into 1” pieces. Put in a bowl and mix well with 1 Tbsp of satay sauce. Let sit for 4-12 hours in the refrigerator. In a small bowl, combine 2 tsp of satay sauce with the peanut butter, garlic powder, and Sriracha. Slice the cauliflower into a ‘steak’ [across the head] that weighs 2-3 oz and brush it with the peanut sauce. Skewer the marinated meat on wooden or metal picks. Broil or grill both the meat and cauliflower until done. Plate with the tomatoes and any remaining sauce.

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

felafel pattiessmoked trout or mackerel gravlax
melon or pineappleGranny Smith apple
Greek yogurt, plainblueberries
mint leavesraspberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

ground veal + ground porkshrimp + cumin + olive oil
ground turkey + sageMaifun brown rice noodles
cabbage + 70-calorie bread garlic + lime juice + lettuce
pickled beets + mustard + egg whitecoriander leaves [cilantro]
Sparkling water Sparkling water

You OK?

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 strawberryred who is now Following.

OK” [also spelled “Okay”] is a true Americanism which has spread around the world. There are several explanations of how the term came to be. Mostly, it boils down to meaning ‘all right’ or ‘all correct’ which was either intentionally or unintentionally misspelled as ‘orl kerrect.’ When Martin Van Buren ran for as second term as president in 1840, people called him ‘Old Kinderhook,‘ after the town in New York where he was born. “OK” became part of his campaign sloganing. On March 23, 1839, it appeared in print for the first time, in the Boston Morning Post. The term was introduced to the world during World War I, as American doughboys took the saying to Europe. Then it ‘went viral’.

But back to the title of this message — are YOU OK? My little part of the world has very few cases of the COVID-19 — so far. Our governor has declared a state of emergency. Our local school district is closed, as are the churches and libraries. Dear Husband and I are staying close to home and probably you are too. This is a good chance to practice your home cooking, since you won’t be frequenting restaurants. I am not being flippant. Cooking at home is one of the best ways to get some control over what and how much you eat, and thus control your weight. You might even find out that you enjoy it! Here are two of our favorite easy-to-prepare meals. Best wishes for your health.

Avocado-Lobster Bake: 145 calories 7 g fat 2.2 g fiber 11 g protein 10.3 g carbs [9.4 g Complex] 64 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beveragesPB GF  When I thought that avocado and ricotta would make a nice bake, Dear Husband had one suggestion: add lobster! Well why not?

1 two-oz egg ¼ oz avocado ¾ Tbsp ricotta 3/4 oz lobster meat OR crab 2 oz pear Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Set the toaster oven to 350 F. Spritz a ramekin or other oven-proof dish with cooking spray and put the lobster meat on the bottom. Mash the avocado with the ricotta, then whisk in the egg. Pour over the lobster, season as you wish. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Slice the fruit and prepare the optional beverages. Sumptuous.

Smorrebrot with Salmon:  257 calories 8 g fat 3.1 g fiber 14 g protein 28.6 g carbs [~15 g Complex] 48 mg Calcium   PB  A classic summer sandwich from Sweden: a delicious meal without heating the kitchen.

1 slice [1.5 oz] sourdough rye bread @ 110 calories [the bread should be dense, not fluffy] 1 Tbsp whipped cream cheese 2-4 large leaves of fresh spinach 1.5 oz thinly-sliced tomato, slice and salt about 30 minutes earlier 1 or 1.5 oz smoked salmon [you have some calorie wiggle-room] ½ hard-boiled egg, sliced 1-2 oz strawberry

Spread the bread with the cream cheese and lay the spinach leaves on top. Place the tomato slices atop that. For the next layer, put down the salmon, topped by the egg slices. Plate with the berries and enjoy a wonderful meal, whether or not it is a hot Summer night.

De la Tour

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.

Georges de la Tour was an artist of the Baroque period. In that school of art, there was drama! there was emotion! there was an intriguing play of light and dark. But de la Tour put his own stamp on art which is unmistakable. Born on March 19, 1593, he was the son of respected bakers in the Dutchy of Lorraine. After working in the studios of local artists, Georges set out on his own. That he married a member of the minor nobility speaks to his rise in status. It is not known how he came to know of the work of the Italian painter Carivaggio, but the connection is very clear. Unlike the influential Carivaggio and sculptors like Bernini, de la Tour traded the action and in your face emotion for a stillness and a deep meditative mood. He loved the contrast of deep shadows and light — most of his paintings are illuminated by a single candle. How masterfully he shows just as much as he needs to in that small amount of light! How much symbolism he conveys with that light as well. Take a look at Joseph the Carpenter to see what I mean, especially how the flame lights up the child Jesus. A true work of art!

Our breakfast is the eponymous food of de La Tour’s home region, but not as a quiche. The dinner shows a harmony of flavors, tinted in the dark tones which the artist favored.

Bake Lorraine: 180 calories 11 g fat 1.2 g fiber 12.7 g protein 7.6 g carbs [4.4 g Complex] 193 mg Calcium   NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beverages.  GF  You’ve heard of Quiche Lorraine? Well, here it is, as a crustless bake, with all the flavor intact. Very do-able for breakfast. Make sure your next meal has lots of fiber, as this meal has next to none.

1 two-oz egg ½ slice uncured bacon 3 Tbsp whole milk ½ oz Swiss cheese [Emmenthaler, Gruyere] pinch cayenne pepper + pinch nutmeg 2 oz strawberries   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Dice the bacon and cook it until crispy. Drain and blot. Grate or finely chop the cheese. Spray an oven-proof dish with non-stick spray and put the cheese on the bottom. Whisk together the egg, milk, and seasonings. Pour over the cheese, then sprinkle the bacon on top.  HINT: I did all this the night before. Bake in a 350F oven for 17 minutes. Plate with the fruit. A creamy, delicious treat!

Beef & Beet Salad: 243 calories 8.5 g fat 3.2 g fiber 24 g protein 17 g carbs [10 g Complex] 24 mg Calcium  PB GF  This unusual salad was found in James Peterson’s Glorious French Food. Should you have left-over roast beef, this is the dish to try. It is crazy easy. Easy, too, to serve to a group.

2.75 oz thinly-sliced roasted beef 3.5 oz pickled beets, as thinly-sliced rounds a few spinach leaves, cut as chiffonade dill pickle spear 1.5 tsp dressing*** 

***Dressing [makes 6 Teaspoons] 2-1/4 tsp Dijon mustard 1 Tbsp chopped shallot 1-1/2 tsp red wine vinegar 4-1/2 tsp olive oil

Slice the beef and the beets as matchsticks about 2-3” long. Put beef, beets, and spinach in the serving bowl/plate and drizzle the dressing over the top. Gently toss to coat the salad with the dressing. Plate it. Wonderfully simple, yet complex in taste.

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

1 two-oz eggNext time I will discuss fables
lobster meat about fasting.
avocado + ricottaFind a new favorite breakfast
pear in the Archives.
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverage optional hot beverage

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

110-cal sourdough rye breadchicken breast
smoked salmon + spinachsatay sauce + peanut butter
whipped cream cheesecauliflower
tomato + hard-boiled eggcherry tomatoes
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Caroline Herschel

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 fenderf who is now Following.

You may have heard of Caroline Herschel’s famous brother, William who discovered the Planet Uranus. Or his famous son, John. Caroline was another story. Born on March 16, 1750, in Germany, she learned music along with her older brothers. But two diseases in her childhood ended her education, stunted her growth [she never topped 4’3″], and left her partially blind. Her mother was horrified to have a ‘cripple’ for a child and told her she was worse than worthless. The girl became more of a servant than a daughter. Small wonder that, after William was offered a post as composer/choir master at Octagon Chapel in Bath, England, he called for Caroline to be his housekeeper [I think to ‘rescue’ her] and she gladly accepted. William became interested in astronomy and the faithful Caroline, a self-described “well-trained puppy dog,” was his assistant. Soon, she knew as much about astronomy and telescopes as her brother. In 1782, she began recording her own notes about the sky and the following year she discovered two new nebulae. In 1786, Caroline began to discover comets, not as William’s assistant, but in her own right. Eventually, she wrote a new star catalogue, discovered 8 comets, 14 nebulae, and 2 star clusters. Not bad for a woman almost blind in one eye! Thus she made a name for herself in a man’s world: she was awarded a medal and a salary by George III of England, and a gold medal by the King of Prussia. And to think you never had heard of her.

Our meals today, like Caroline, begin in Germany and end in England. Both are delicious. [The meals, not the countries]

German Breakfast:  136 calories 2.8 g fat 4.4 g fiber 9 g protein 15 g carbs [5 g Complex] 104.4 mg Calcium Sturdy whole-grain bread, some curd cheese with chives and a slice of ham will get you going in the morning, just as it does for the inventive Germans.

1 slice 70-calorie whole-grain bread [we like Dave’s ‘Good Seed’] 2 Tbsp small-curd cottage cheese, reduced fat 1-2 Tbsp chopped chives [cheese + chives is similar to ‘quark‘ in Germany] 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 [75 calories] or lemon in hot water Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

The night before: chop the chives/scallion and mash into the cottage cheese to make the curd cheese more creamy. The next morning: toast the bread lightly and spread with the ‘quark-like’ cheese-chive mixture. Place the ham slice on top of the cheese and plate with the pear. Serve with hot beverages of your choice and have a “guten Morgen.”

Pheasant Casserole: 250 calories 9.5 g fat 5.4 g fiber 22.5 g protein 21.6 g carbs [19 Complex] 86 mg Calcium PB This recipe is based on one from English Provincial Cooking by Elisabeth Ayrton and it dates back to the 18th century. Whole partridges were stewed with onion, carrot, and cabbage for 2.5 hours and served on thick slices of bread. Well, this is a modified version and it is delicious. This uses left over cooked pheasant meat and works well.

2-1/2 oz cabbage, sliced 1-1.5” thick 1.5 oz baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise ¼ oz onion rings [which I forgot to put on the top] 2 Tbsp chicken or pheasant gravy 2 oz pheasant [or chicken] meat, cooked and taken off the bone ½ Arnold Multi-Grain Sandwich Thin

Prepare the carrots, cabbage, and onion and steam them for 25 minutes until the carrots are tender. If the cabbage is not yet done, leave it in the steamer with the lid on but off the heat until needed. Warm the pheasant in the gravy + 2 tsp of the water from the steaming liquid. Warm the Arnold Thin in the toaster oven. Plate the bread. Spoon a tablespoon of gravy on top. Place the meat atop the bread. Stir the warm vegetables into the warm gravy and plate them. Put the onion rings on top and pour any remaining gravy over the meat.

Gutenberg

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.

March 12, 1455 saw a momentous event in the history of communications. The Gutenberg Bible was printed. What was so special about that? asks the modern youngster who has moved beyond the printed word to read in e-texts. The big deal was that the book was printed using metal type — each letter cast separately — and those letters could be quickly re-arranged to spell many words. Prior to then, entire words were carved from wood to use in printing: cumbersome, slow, and expensive. Who was the brain behind this? We all refer to him as ‘Gutenberg’ but that was not his family name. His real name was Johannes Gensfleish. Since he was born and lived in the Gutenberg house in Mainz, Germany, the words ‘zum Gutenberg’ were tacked on to his name. His parents were minor aristocracy and their son was educated in languages, but also took up the practical skills of goldsmithing and clothing retail. Johannes had the idea for the press [based on wine presses he had seen], but lacked the funds to develop it. He borrowed the money and then went into partnership with the lender. After printing a few of the famous Bibles, the partner called in the debt. Johannes had to give up his press and his interest in the printing business. His ex-partner went on to print and sell the books. The Gutenberg press was not the first iteration of printing with movable type — the Chinese developed movable type made of clay in 1041. But Johannes Gensfleish’s press was a revelation in Europe and within years they were operating in most countries. Ideas in the form of books, broadsides, and newspapers flowed to the people. The information age had begun.

Our breakfast honors Johannes’ ‘baby’ by featuring a meal that is variously called German and Dutch. His press became multi-national too. The dinner is a classic of the Germanic repertoire.

German Pancake or Dutch Baby: 165 calories 8 g fat 4 g fiber 8 g protein 17 g carbs [7 g Complex] 95 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB  On Sundays, we sometimes have these as a special breakfast treat. The recipe is found in the Breakfast Book  by Marion Cunningham and it is delicious. I was determined to make these fruit-covered popovers work for a Fast Day. Here it is: still delicious, but I would save it for a day with a LOW carb/high protein dinner. HINT: This recipe makes 2 [two] of the Dutch Babies. Either invite a friend for breakfast or freeze half of the batter for another time.

3 oz of egg [one 2-oz egg + one white] ¼ cup milk ¼ cup white whole wheat flour 2 tsp melted butter ¼ cup raspberries sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar 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]

If starting the night before: combine the egg, milk, and flour in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate. The next morning, beat in the melted butter with a mixer.

If starting in the morning: combine the egg, milk, flour and beat in the melted butter with a rotaty mixer. Set the toaster oven at 450 F. Spritz a custard cup [I used a 3.5” cup but next time I’ll use the 4” cup] with non-stick spray and pour the batter into the cup. Bake for 15 minutes, until the baby is puffed and golden brown and baked on the bottom. Remove from the cup to a plate, top with berries and a sprinkle of 10X sugar. Celebrate something special while you enjoy your optional beverage.

Pork Schnitzel:  233 calories 10 g fat 3 g fiber 14 g protein 23 g carbs [10 g Complex] 31 mg Calcium   PB  If you find breaded pork loin cutlets at the butcher shop, snap them up for this easy, yet low calorie meal. Have the butcher verify that the cutlet + breading is indeed 3 oz in mass.

one 3-oz breaded pork loin cutlet [each ounce= 1 oz = 62 calories  3 fat g  0.3 g fiber  4 g protein  4.4 g carbs  6.2 mg Calcium]  2 oz beets 1 oz small red potatoes ½ oz mushrooms

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

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

1 slice 70-calorie whole-grain bread1 two-oz egg
cottage cheese, small-curdslice bacon + strawberries
chives/scallion10%-fat cream + nutmeg
3%-fat ham, thinly slicedSwiss Cheese + cayenne
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

cooked pheasant meatcooked roast beef + shallot
carrots + cabbage + onionpickled beet slices
pheasant or chicken gravyDijon mustard + shallot
Arnold Sandwich Thin [100 calories]red wine vinegar + olive oil
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Study in Scarlett

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

T. Geisel

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.

If the name ‘Geisel’ doesn’t ring a bell, then you probably know him better by his nom de plume, ‘Dr. Seuss.’ Ted Geisel attended Dartmouth College as an undergrad and did cartoons for the school paper. Banned from the paper [for drinking on campus], he invented a new name for himself to continue cartooning — he called himself Dr Seuss, using his mother’s Swiss maiden name. [BTW: in German, ‘seuss’ rhymes with ‘choice.’] After failing to earn a doctorate in English Literature, he drew cartoons for an advertising agency. On a cruise to Europe, the sound of the ship’s engines caused him to say “and to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street,” which became the title of his first children’s book in 1936. Not a big seller. In 1940, he wrote Horton Hatches the Egg, which did very well. Then his publisher sent him a list of words ‘that children could read’ with the idea of using them in a book. Geisel wrote a book with 220 of those words: The Cat in the Hat, published in 1957. [As a child, I couldn’t stand the book: a ‘home invasion’ did not seem funny to me. My favorite is Bartholomew and the Oobleck from 1949.] Despite the fame it brought him, he considered children’s books as ‘literary slumming.’ But he knew how to get children laughing and reading and he did so in 44 books over many decades. Geisel once said, “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.” Enjoy some nonsense today.

In honor of Dr Seuss’ birthday on March 2, we will of course eat Green Eggs and Ham at breakfast. It was one of our sons’ favorite books [written on a bet that he couldn’t write a book using only 50 words] and it makes for a fine meal. For dinner, an opportunity to channel your inner child: turn French Codfish Brandade into as silly and fanciful a creation as your imagination allows. Then eat and enjoy it.

Green Eggs & Ham: 144 calories 8.8 g fat 1.1 g fiber 12.8 g pro 8.6 g carb [7.5 g Complex] 55.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  GF These are a treat anytime there is still ham from a roast and the chives are fresh in the garden. This dish is named, of course, for the delightful book Green Eggs and Ham which the narrator insists that he will not eat — not in a box, nor on a train, nor under any circumstances.

Three 2-oz eggs of which you will use 1 ½ eggs per person  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week. 1 oz. ground or chopped ham 3 Tbsp fresh chives 2 oz pear Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Whisk the eggs with salt & pepper to taste. Put the white part of the onion into a hot pan sprayed with cooking oil. Stir around for a few seconds. Add the eggs. When bottom of eggs begin to set, sprinkle the ham & green scallions over the eggs, scramble to taste, and plate. Pour the beverages of your choice, prep the fruit, and “Eat them! Eat them, here they are!”

Brandade a la Seuss: 250 calories 5.8 g fat 5.7 g fiber 77 g protein 22.3 g carbs 270 mg Calcium  PB GF  Since salt cod is so popular all over southern France, it follows that Brandade is also a favorite. The garlic, olive oil, and fennel mark this version as Provincal. [HINT: This batch serves 4. Either invite friends or use what you need and freeze the remainder.] The recipe is from Jacques Pepin.

8 oz salt cod ¼ cup potatoes in 1/2” cubes 1 cup cauliflower puree ½ cup milk 4 cloves garlic 1 tsp olive oil ¼ tsp fennel seed + ¼ tsp pepper, more to taste per serving: tomatoes + celery + carrot + broccoli + green pepper

Soak the cod in water for 8 hours. Drain and put in a sauce pan covered with cold water. Bring to a boil, turn heat to low and cook gently for 5 minutes. Drain. Pick over the fish and break it into 1” pieces, removing bones, skin. Put fish in a pan with potatoes, cauliflower, garlic, fennel, and milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and gently simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes until vegetables are tender. Pour it all into a food processor and process it for about 10 seconds. Add the pepper and add the oil with the machine running. Mixture should be smooth and thick. Adjust seasonings. Divide the brandade into 4 portions of 1/2-cup each. HINT: Freeze the portions you are not serving today. To serve today, be whimsical and “Seussical.” Position the brandade in the center of a plate. Use the vegetables to create a strange creature with the brandade as the body. Spiders? hedgehogs? insects? Let your inner child off its leash and have fun. Very traditional flavor in an unusual presentation for Dr Seuss.