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.