Slow Days: Chicken Chasseur

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

We enjoy eating the chickens that we raised ourselves — it is good to know that we have them in the freezer. Besides that, chicken is good for you: recommended in the Mediterranean Diet and the MIND Diet. When we schedule chicken for two Sundays each month, the cook must have many, varied ways to prepare it. Roast Chicken is wonderful, producing meals and soup stock. And then there is Chicken Chasseur. The name ‘chasseur’ refers to hunters, as does its Italian equivalent ‘cacciatore.’ This marks it as a meal of Autumn, when the hunting parties would be in the woods finding game AND wild mushrooms. Mushrooms are the hallmark of any proper chasseur recipe. We seek wild mushrooms all year ’round, but this meal is specifically for cool weather.

mise en place for Chicken Chasseur Recipe is from Salute to Healthy Cooking by the French Culinary Institute.

To serve two, I’m using two leg-thigh pieces which have been browned in a little oil. Even though the meat will be braised/stewed, it is a good idea to brown it first since that enhances the flavor. Here is the full recipe:

24 oz bone-in chicken parts
salt & pepper
1 tsp oil
Season chicken and sear, skin-side down, for 3 mins in a Dutch oven or heavy cast-iron pan with a lid. Bake 20 mins @ 350F. Remove chicken from the pan, then skin and bone it.
½ cup sliced onion
1 carrot, chopped
2 c. brown stock or Veal stock
Put the veggies in the pan you used to roast the chicken. Cook 3 mins until caramelized. Add stock and simmer until reduced to 1 cup. Strain through a sieve and skim fat.
1 tsp oil
2 c. [5 oz] sliced mixed mushrooms
2 shallots, minced
Good mushrooms can be found in most supermarkets if you are not able to hunt for them. Saute shallots with mushrooms 5 mins or until mushrooms are golden. Add a sprinkle of salt and remove from heat.
2 Tbsp cognacAdd cognac to hot mushrooms and flame the mixture.
1/3 cup dry white wineAdd to pan and return to heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10 mins. Add sieved, defatted stock and simmer 5 mins, until sauce coats the back of a spoon.
Fresh tarragon leaves
boned chicken meat
Add to sauce and warm while the noodles and carrots [see below] are cooking.
3 oz broad egg noodles
¾ cup carrot coins
½ tsp sugar
Cook noodles as the package describes. Cook the carrots in as little water as possible, along with the sugar. You want the water to boil away at the point when the carrots cook, which leaves them with a slight sugary glaze.

This is really quite easy to prepare and worth all the little steps. It makes a fine meal for Autumn into Winter.

For the perfect wine to pair with it, go to https://wordpress.com/post/peterspicksblog.com/7063

Les Bourgeois de Calais

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 tips4diet2020 and easyeverydayketo and angelketo and BHS and emraldlifestyle who are now Following.

The story of the Burghers of Calais is a dramatic one and never was it told so touchingly or with so much feeling as in the full-life bronze installation by Auguste Rodin. During the 100-Years War, the English warred all over the French country-side, trying to take land or win back lands that had once been theirs, whether by marriage or acquisition. In 1347, the English King Edward III, following his success at Crecy, laid siege to Calais. After nine months, the town fathers signaled that they would yield. As told by the French chronicolers Le Bel and Froissart, that wasn’t enough for the King: the town had to send out 6 citizens to be sacrificed for the rest of the townspeople. The ruling council, ‘Les Bourgeois’ [or Burghers], volunteered to go. Out they walked, barefooted and dressed in sack-cloth with nooses around their necks, ready for the hangman. They carried the keys to the city to hand over before they died. On January 28, 1885, the City of Calais engaged Auguste Rodin to create a monument to the bravery of the Burghers. They wanted a single triumphal statue to put on a pedestal. Rodin envisioned six life-sized figures at ground level, so the viewer could ‘be there’ with the councilmen and feel their emotions. Such emotions! The youngest one looks back, to see his family one more time. The leader grimly stands in the center, resignation etched in his face. The others step forward with mixed emotions and anguished gestures. Calais didn’t like it, but it has become one of the best-loved of all of Rodin’s works. It was a thrill to see it in the garden of the Rodin Museum at the Hotel Biron, Paris. It can also be experienced in 12 cities around the world.. PS: Edward’s wife, Queen Phillipa, lobbied for the Burghers to be spared, and they were. Perhaps she also influenced how the story was told.

Calais is in Northern France, on the English Channel. Being cooled by the ocean water, plants in the Chenopodiaceae Family grow well there, and enter the cuisine. Swiss Chard is one such plant, which stars in the breakfast. And for dinner, how can I resist the play on words? Burgers, of course!

Swiss Chard Fritatta: 154 calories 8.4 g fat 1 g fiber 12 g protein 5.7 g carbs [5 g Complex] 58 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the Fritatta and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF Susan Herrmann Loomis is a cookbook author whom I trust, so when I saw this, I had to try it. She serves it as an appetizer or main-meal, but by reducing the recipe, it makes a great breakfast.

1 ½ two-oz eggs  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.  1 oz Swiss or rainbow chard, coarsely chopped or sliced; stems removed  several sprinkles of garlic powder 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese pinch salt + pinch paprika 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 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

In a saucepan, simmer the chard in water and add some pinches of garlic powder. Cook, uncovered, about 15 minutes until the leaves are limp and the water has cooked away. [keep a good eye on it so it doesn’t stick or burn]  HINT: I did this the night before. Find a small [8” diameter] heat-proof skillet which can be used both on top of the range and under the broiler. Spray it generously with non-stick spray and spread the cooked chard over the bottom. Whisk the eggs, then add the cheese, salt, and paprika. Whisk again and pour the eggs over the greens. Place on the stovetop over medium heat for 3-4 minutes while the eggs cook on the bottom but the top is still liquidy. Place under the broiler until set and slightly browned. Plate with the fruit. [Loomis wants you to invert it on the plate, but we preferred the puffy top to be on top] Delicious!!

Blue-Burger: 290 calories 6.7 g fat  5 g fiber 27.5 g protein 27 g carbs [10 g Complex] 100 mg Calcium The winter 2004 issue of Eating Well  magazine was the inspiration for this recipe. But this version suits our Fasting needs a little better. It is yummy.

This time, the coleslaw is made with red cabbage.

3-oz ground bison meat 4 Tbsp blueberries, fresh or frozen 1 Tbsp egg white ¾ tsp Dijon mustard + ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce pinch garlic powder + large pinch black pepper 1 Martin’s potato slider bun    ½ cup coleslaw  

Thaw the meat and break it up in a bowl. Add the blueberries and all the flavorings. Gently combine ingredients with your fingers, without squishing the berries. Shape in a patty using a 4” muffin-cutter as a mold. Try not to pack the burger too much, but it does need to hold its shape. Broil or grill 4-5 minutes per side. Serve on a toasted potato bun. And don’t forget the coleslaw.

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

1 two-oz egg1.2 two-oz eggs 
Camembert cheeseJarlsberg cheese
nutmeg + Dijon mustard3%-fat deli ham
strawberries or applesapplesauce
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

70-calorie whole grain breadraw chicken breast + chicken stock
3% fat ham from deli + Gruyere cheesethyme + fresh pineapple
side salad + 2-oz egglime + brown rice
Bechamel sauceheavy cream + cornstarch for thickening
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Henri Matisse

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 Your 2.0 Life, gerald kasanda, supersizegenius, and drjura who are now Following.

Henri Matisse was supposed to be a lawyer. After training and receiving certification, he began to dabble in painting while recovering from appendicitis. It was a revelation. Since then, Matisse’s art has been a revelation to many people. Matisse had a unique color sense and a new way of presenting what we see every day. He would apply flat, unmodulated, unshaded colors on a flat canvas and voila! — depth and form would emerge, tricking the eye into seeing 3-dimensionally. How was he categorized as an artist? At first, he was influenced by Edouard Manet, an early Impressionist. Then he fell in with Picasso, who developed into a Cubist. Through that interaction, Matisse’s work with color marked him as a Fauvist. But Matisse is all of them and none of them. His work is unique. None more so than the Chapel of the Rosary in Vence, France — now called the ‘Matisse Chapel.’ There light and color and artless line drawings combine into a chapel of light, charm, and emotion: a culmination of a life’s exploration of art.

Matisse was born in Northern France on December 31, 1869. His northern origins are reflected in our breakfast. The dinner of vegetables and rice, typical of Southern France where Matisse settled, would be perfect for the period of time when he was unrecognized and impecunious.

Breton Breakfast: 195 calories 14 g fat 6 g fiber 10.5 g. protein 25 g carbs [17 g Complex] 104 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the galette/crepe, egg filling, and the fruit, not for the optional beverages.  PB  Here is one way to use the galette/crepe batter which you saw in SLOW DAYS: Crepes and you stored in the freezer. You need one galette per serving. Make some extras for a lunch or dinner later this week. Put some cooked galettes in a zipper bag in the freezer for another time.

1 galette  1 two-oz egg 1 oz [3 Tbsp] diced tomatoes 1 Tbsp [1 oz] diced artichoke, canned or frozen 1/4-1/3 tsp curry powder [seafarers brought a lot of spices to Brittany’s ports] 1½ oz apple   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Put the vegetables and curry in a small sauce pan with any juice still in the tomatoes and cook uncovered until the veg are soft and the liquid has almost evaporated. HINT: do this the night before to save time at breakfast. If your crepe was cooked previously, warm it a little to take off the chill. Cook the egg by frying it in a lightly-oiled non-stick pan. Spoon the vegetables on the crepe, put the egg on top. Hold briefly, if needed, in a warm oven while you pour the smoothie and warm beverage, and while you slice the fruit.

Mediterranean Vegetables with Brown Rice:  281 calories 7 g fat 10.4 g fiber 16.4 g protein 40 g carbs 332 mg Calcium  PB GF  Here are those wonderful mediterranean vegetables again, served with brown rice for more fiber amd complex carbs.

2 cups eggplant, peeled & cubed OR 1½ cup bell peppers, cubed 2 cups tomato, cubed 2 cups zucchini, cubed 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1½ tsp oregano ½ cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained   per serving: 1 oz mozzerella, shredded + ¼ cup brown rice or whole-grain couscous, cooked 

Prepare all the veg, and put them in a saucepan. Simmer, covered, until cooked through. If watery, remove lid and continue to simmer. Add oregano, salt and pepper to taste, and the chickpeas, and keep warm. Prepare the brown rice or couscous and place it on one side of the plate. Spoon 2 cups of the vegetables next to the couscous. Top with cheese and tuck into it!

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

1 two-oz egg +milk1.5 two-oz eggs 
whole-grain bread + tomatosalt cod + Cheddar cheese
cooked chicken or fishmashed potato or instant potato flakes
cheese + strawberriesstrawberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

codfish brandade4 oz ground lamb patty. 90% lean
2-inch diameter tomatoessugar + white wine vinegar
Finn-Crisp crackerscucumbers
fresh spinachdill weed
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Slow Days: “French Lunch”

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

This is one of my favorite meals. Restaurants will call it a bread & cheese board or a charcuterie platter and we call it a ‘French Lunch.’ I don’t care what you call it — it is easy to prepare and it is good to eat. “Charcuterie” is the French word for the meats you don’t get from a butcher [boucher] — such as pates and sausages. Cheeses come from a ‘fromagier’ or sometimes from a ‘charcuterier.’ Then there is good bread — very important! We add fresh fruit, chutney, and/or mustard to the board. Pair that with a nice wine, settle down, and enjoy a very nice repast without having to cook/prepare anything.

Here we have two artisanal breads, some salad, a variety of cheeses, two jars of chutney, and four spreads: chorizo paste, chicken liver pate, salmon pate, and mushroom pate. [The pates store very well in the freezer if you don’t eat them all now.]
Here’s another version of the idea, with three cheeses, olives, a duck liver mousse, a country pate, and an artichoke spread — all served with a salad and lovely bread. Washed down with cidre from apples.

Slow Days: French Herb Roast Chicken

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically.

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day?  Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

Chicken for dinner every Sunday is the American Standard. The politician’s promise of a “Chicken in every pot!” goes back to King Henri IV of France.  He was from the Gascony region and he understood that the peasantry often lacked food. In 1598, he stated his wish that in his realm no working man would be so poor that he couldn’t have a chicken in the pot every Sunday.  Today’s meal is roasted instead of being stewed, and it is called French Herb Roast Chicken. We eat this about once a month. Lots of meat left over to use for Fast meals!

French Roast Chicken, mise

The chicken cavity is sprinkled with dried tarragon, then stuffed with carrot, celery, and onion.  The skin of the bird is showered with more tarragon and paprika.  Set the oven at 425°F.  Before roasting, the bird is draped with 4 half-slices of bacon. Roast the bird for 30 minutes, then baste with beef stock.  Return to oven at 350°F, basting occasionally for another 30 minutes or until the bird is done.  Boil and mash some potatoes and cook the vegetable of your choice.French Roast Chicken, platedGravy is made from the pan drippings with some mushrooms added for even more flavor.  I always get the wings!  The wine is a Pinot Noir.  The meal was delicious.

 

Slow Days: Pissaladiere

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’   This feature will appear sporadically.

Now for the answers.  Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day?  Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight.  There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that.  Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday.  For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet.  As for how we eat, an example follows.

Pissaladière is a classic Provinçal food that looks like a pizza [hence its alias: Pizza Niçoise].  More accurately, it could be described as a flatbread topped with fish-accented caramelized onions.  Perhaps in the cafes of the Midi it has become a cliché, but it was new to us when we tried it at home. And we loved it. I used Joanne Harris’ recipe from her My French Kitchen cookbook.

The ingredients are simple: pizza dough [8″ rounds, one per person], tinned anchovies, black olives, Herbes de Province, and caramelized onions. One late summer day, I had a surfeit of onions, so I caramelized and then froze them. [NB: it takes about an hour to cook 3.5 pounds of onions to the point where they are ‘soft and slightly caramelized but not brown’ as Joanne Harris says.] Out they came for this meal, making the preparation very easy.

pissaladiere, mise

The pizza dough is shaped and brushed with olive oil. Distribute the onions on top then arrange the anchovies in a lattice pattern. Sprinkle with the Herbes de Province.  Garnish the pattern further by placing olives in the squares created by the anchovy lattice. pissaladiere, plated with brandol      To complete the picture, a simple salad was topped with a lattice of Parmesan curls.  Perfect served with a Bandol wine. The portion shown here is for Dear Husband.  I usually make a meal of 3 slices of pizza + side salad and a glass of wine.  Summer in southern France or Winter in New England, this is a fine meal.

Feeling Bleu?

Around the month of March, people get tired of winter. Imagine that!? Cabin Fever sets in and they get grumpy. And then they eat.  What could be a better antidote than some fine meals featuring Bleu Cheese? When following the Fasting Lifestyle, food should lift our spirits and make us happy. Cue Pharrell Williams music.    For National Nutrition Month, read this: https://www.yahoo.com/news/30-simple-health-tips-try-day-march-155925900.html

Bleu Cheese Bake:   292 calories   7.3 g fat   2.3 g fiber      14.3 g protein   37 g carbs    250.7 mg Calcium  PB GF    You’ll go ga-ga over these flavors!bleu-cheese-bake-w-r-b-applesauceyog

1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                                              ¼ oz bleu cheese, crumbly rather than creamy                                                                                           1 Tbsp fatfree cottage cheese, drained                                                                                                              2 oz applesauce, unsweetened, with 2-3 raspberries mixed into it                                                          5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or natural apple cider                                                      black-ish coffee, black-ish tea, or lemon in hot water

Mash the cheeses together with a fork and whisk in the egg. Bake in a lightly-spritzed ramekin at 350 degrees until cooked through, about 12-15 minutes. Dish up the applesauce, pour the smoothie, pour your beverage.

Beet & Bleu Cheese Salad: 288 calories   11 g fat   5.3 g fiber     13.7 g. protein   19.5 g carb    212 mg Calcium  PB GF    This recipe takes me back to a delightful restaurant 2 blocks north of Notre Dame in Paris. You will enjoy the earthy flavors and beauty of this salad.Beet & Bleu Cheese Salad

2.5 oz beets, cooked, skinned, sliced or cubed, cooled                                                                               1 and 1/4 oz bleu cheese, cubed or crumbled                                                                                                1.5 oz tomato, sliced or cubed                                                                                                                                      3 walnut halves [or use slivered almonds if you don’t eat walnuts]                                                           1 oz white beans, rinsed and drained if using canned                                                                                            2.5 c. salad greens                                                                                                                                                   3/4 tsp olive oil    +    3/4 tsp balsamic vinegar                                                                                        garnishes: pansy, chive, or nastursum flowers;  scallions

Assemble and prep all vegetable ingredients. Whisk oil and vinegar in a wide bowl. Put greens in the bowl and toss. Place in serving bowl and arrange the other ingredients on top. Add a few garnishes. Voila! A beautiful meal.