St Clement

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 apetitegirlsguideto2964 who is now Following.

” “Oranges and lemons,’ say the bells of St. Clements” according to the nursery rhyme. There is dispute as to whether that was St Clement Danes or St Clement Eastcheap, but that doesn’t matter since the poem is more about word play than churches. First printed in 1744, the poem could be discussing various trades working in London at the time. The real Saint Clement was the 2nd or 3rd pope in Rome, Italy. In the 1st century, his Christian faith drew the ire of the Romans and he was arrested. Exiled to a forced labor camp [in modern-day Ukraine], he ministered to and converted his fellow prisoners. For that, he was drowned in the Black Sea, tied to an anchor. In Rome, is the Church of San Clemente. To visit it is to take a trip through time. The church has been excavated to reveal 3 sub-levels: a 2nd-century Roman house; a 3rd-century temple of the Cult of Mithras; a 4th-century church dedicated to St Clement. And on the street level, the current basilica, finished in 1108 in fine Romanesque style. When in Rome, it is worth a visit.

November 23 is the Feast of Saint Clement. Legend has it that the fruit called ‘clementines’ are named for a Moroccan orphanage. Not true, but we will enjoy clementines in our breakfast. Since St Clement was sent ‘to swim with the fishes,’ our dinner will be a seafood take on an Italian classic.

Mango-Citrus Parfait: 284 calories 7 g fat 2.6 g fiber 24.5 g protein 29 g carbs [21 g Complex] 336 mg Calcium  PB GF Fast Food Restaurants decided years ago to offer ‘healthy options’ in the form of yogurt parfaits. Full-fat yogurt, fruit, and lots of high-fat granola. Poor choice. Here is a more acceptable breakfast option, full of protein yet low in fat and enough calories to keep you going for hours.  NB: This could be a healthy Slow Day lunch option.

½ cup reduced-fat cottage cheese ½ cup plain fat-free yogurt 1 oz mango, diced ½ clementine [skin it and use half the segments] 2 Tbsp granola  Optional: coffee with ¼ c skimmed milk and ½ tsp sugar [30 calories] or blackish tea  NO SMOOTHIE

Stir the cottage cheese and yogurt to combine thoroughly. Divide the fruit into two portions. Spoon half of the dairy mixture into a wide-mouthed wine glass and top with half the fruit. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp of granola. Repeat with the remaining ingredients in the same order, topping with granola. Prepare the coffee and enjoy that dairy-fruit goodness.

Fish Parmesan:  238 calories 2.6 g fat 4.7 g fiber 31 g protein 11 g carbs 242.5 mg Calcium   PG GF – if using GF breadcrumbs  A new version of the restaurant classic, made suitable for Fasters. And it is delicious. 

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

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

oranges and lemons, say the bells of st Clemens: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Clement%27s,_Eastcheap#%22Oranges_and_Lemons%22

Soup Time!

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.

Soup is the dieter’s friend. Around the world, when people want to eat something nourishing and filling, soup is the answer. Isn’t that what we want on a Fast Day — to be filled up with delicious food that still stays within the bounds of propriety? It is getting chilly here in the Northern Hemisphere, time to stock the freezer with home-made soups. Here are three favorites, from France, Thailand, and China. More, please.

Cabbage-Sausage Soup: 264 calories 11 g fat 5 g fiber 14 g protein 25.5 g carbs [22 g Complex] 66 mg Calcium  PB GF Since this is Jacques Pepin’s recipe, I’ll let him say it:  “When the weather gets cooler in the fall, I make soup. I generally cook up a big batch and freeze some for whenever I need it. This one, with sausage, potatoes, and cabbage, is hearty and good for cold weather. HINT: Makes 6 one-cup servings.

8 ounces mild Italian sausage meat 1½ cups onions, sliced 6 scallions, cut into ½-inch pieces (1¼ cups) 6 cups water 1 cup chickpeas 16 oz potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks 8 ounces savoy cabbage, chopped/sliced 1¼ teaspoons salt

“Break the sausage meat into 1-inch pieces and place it in a saucepan over high heat. Sauté, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon [to keep the meat from sticking], for 10 minutes, or until the sausage is well browned. Add the onions and scallions and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the water, chickpeas, potatoes, cabbage, and salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 45 minutes.” Portion for storage or serving. One portion = 1 cup.

Thai shrimp and Noodle Soup:  272 calories 2 g fat 4 g fiber 26 g protein 37.6 g carbs 82.4 mg Calcium  PB  This soup is superb, whether on a hot summer night or in the winter. HINT: serves 2. Invite a guest or save for a lunch later in the week. This is warm and wonderful and spicy and filling.

6 oz raw shrimp, shelled, tails removedThaw the shrimp in a bowl, then strain the liquid in the bowl into a 1-cup measuring cup. Add water to bring volume to 1 cup.  Put the shrimp in the liquid, and simmer until shrimp is opaque. Remove shrimp and go to next step:
46 gm rice vermicelli noodles [one small ‘bundle’ of noodles]Bring shrimp-water to boil, add vermicelli, cover and take off heat. After 4 minutes, drain, reserving the cooking water. Rinse and reserve the noodles.
2 pinches crushed red pepper 1 Tbsp Thai fish sauce 2 Tbsp lime juice 2 tsp sugar 1 Tbsp Thai green curry paste Put the shrimp-water, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and curry paste in a pan together. Warm while whisking to combine.
3 oz carrots, grated  1 c. spinach leaves, loosely packed, then coarsely chopped Add the carrots, saving some for a crunchy garnish. Add the spinach. Simmer the liquids until carrots and spinach are tender.
2 scallions, thinly sliced 1 oz grated carrotCut the shrimp in half cross-wise and add to soup. Serve soup with chopped scallion and grated carrot garnish.

Wonton Soup: 257 calories 34 g fat 1 g fiber 23.7 g protein 29 g carbs 25 mg Calcium  PB Cantonese wonton soup can be your’s, easily and without the extra salt or MSG. I prepared the entire batch of filling, then stuffed and poached all 26 wontons. Frozen, they will be the ‘instant’ source of future meals or an addition to a Dim Sum assortment.

Filling: 4 oz ground pork 4 oz chicken meat ½ tsp cornstarch ¾ tsp sugar 1 tsp sesame oil ¼ tsp white pepper ¾ tsp salt 1 Tbsp water 1 Tbsp sherry 4 oz shrimp, chopped to the size of green peas Combine all ingredients except the shrimp in the bowl of a food processor and mince to a paste. Stir in the shrimp. Refrigerate until ready to fill the wontons. TIP: Can be made the day before.

Filling the Wontons: Wonton skins are small squares of egg-roll wrappers, 5 wonton skins per bowl of soup 26 skins for the entire batch. Put 4-6 wonton skins on a cutting board. Moisten two edges of one of the squares. Place 1 Tbsp of filling on the square, fold over to make a triangle, and pinch the sides together. Set aside until ready to poach them.

Poaching filled wontons: Bring a pan of water to boil. Depending on the diameter of the pan, add wontons 4-5 at a time. They will sink to the bottom of the pan. When they float to the surface [in 4-5 minutes], fish them out and put on a tea towel to drain.

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

low-fat cottage cheese 1.5 two-oz eggs
plain fat-free yogurt37-calorie chicken breakfast sausage
mangoapple + sage
clementineparsley + oregano
granolaoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

firm-fleshed white fishsauerkraut + caraway seed
marinara sauce + green beanscollard greens or similar
Parmesan cheese + mozzarellaapplesauce + garlic powder
fresh bread for crumbs110-calorie sausage + onion
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Santa Fe Trail

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 meelissaat who is now Following.

The Santa Fe Trail is the stuff of legends. First Nations people traded goods between current Mexico and the American upper mid-West centuries ago. In the early days of the American Republic, there was a strong desire to find a route from the East to the supposed riches of Mexico. The route was traveled for the first time in 1821, by William Becknell and four companions who arrived at Santa Fe on November 16. Running from Santa Fe, Mexico to Independence, Missouri, the trail became a major trade link between the Mexican North and the central USA. Fortunes were made, as people at one end were eager to buy what people at the other end wanted to sell. By 1848, Santa Fe found itself to be part of the United States, following the Mexican-American War. By 1880, the railroad pushed so far west that the trail was obsolete and much of the American West was changed forever.

Our menus today feature the flavors of the American South-West — Mexican food and bison — what could be more appropriate for the Santa Fe Trail?

Enchilada Bake:  140 calories 6 g fat 1.7 g fiber 15 g protein 12.5 g carbs [11 g Complex] 75 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beverages.  PB GF  Since we enjoy enchiladas for dinner, why not have the same flavors at breakfast?

1 two-oz egg 1 Tbsp crushed tomatoes, slightly drained ½ oz green chili pepper, minced 1 Tbsp plain, non-fat yogurt ¼ oz chicken breast, cooked and chopped 1/8 oz Monterey Jack or Cheddar ½ tsp cornmeal ¼ tsp oregano [Mexican, if you can find it] pinch chili roja [red pepper flakes]  2 oz apple OR 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]

Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and set the toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Put the cornmeal and minced chilis into an ungreased cast iron skillet and toast it over direct heat until cornmeal becomes darker in color and fragrant. Do not let it burn or scorch. Remove from hot pan to a bowl. Into the ramekin, put the chicken and the cheese. HINT: you can do this the night before. Whisk together the egg, cornmeal, chilis, half of the yogurt, and seasonings, and pour into the ramekin. Bake 12- 15 minutes while you portion the fruit and prepare the beverages. Top the eggs with the remaining dollop of yogurt.

Bison Chiliper cup – 136 calories 3 g fat 4.8 g fiber 13 g protein 14.5 g carbs 57 mg Calcium  PB GF  This chili is based on my mother’s recipe. Using bison meat gives good flavor to this classic. HINT: makes 4 [four] one-cup servings

4 oz ground bison 15 oz canned diced tomatoes – drained in a sieve [save the juice] 1 clove garlic, chopped 1 cup red onion, chopped ½ cup green pepper, chopped ¾ cup canned red or black beans, drained and rinsed 2-4 tsp chili powder + ¾ tsp salt + ½ to 1 tsp ground cumin 2 oz melon [adds 20 calories]

Cook the venison, onion, garlic, and green pepper in some of the tomato juices until vegetables are tender. Add remaining ingredients and cook gently until the chili is hot throughout. Taste to see if it needs more seasoning. 

Slow Days: Pasta DIY

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.

The dough has been mixed

Once a week, we have a meal involving pasta. And, yes, for those of you in the US who are from New England, the day we eat pasta is Wednesday. Many years ago, we bought a pasta machine. We were quite self-sufficient in those days, so making our own noodles seemed just right. It was fun, but then I returned to work and the machine sat in the drawer. Nowadays, it is back to DIY, and with lots of our own eggs, fresh pasta is on the menu again. There are two basic recipes: all-purpose flour + eggs OR semolina flour with water. I decided to combine them: 1 cup semolina flour, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 two-ounce egg [US Large], and some water. These are combined in a food processor or by hand, adding enough water to make a rough ball of slightly moist dough, like Sugar Cookie Dough.

Kneading and rolling it out is the job of the pasta machine. First the dough goes through the rollers at “1,” which is the widest setting. It is folded in half, and rolled again. Every time the dough goes through, it holds together better and becomes smoother. Then you gradually set the rollers at higher and higher numbers: 1 to 2, 2 to 3. Each time, the dough becomes thinner, longer, and more supple. Cut the dough in pieces cross-wise so that it is easier to handle. Eventually you reach the setting 6. You could stop there or make it really thin at 7. 6 is good for noodles, 7 is better for filled pasta such as ravioli or tortellini.

Now it is time to cut the dough into noodles. You could do it by hand, or by machine. Our machine has two choices: thin like spaghetti, or wider like fettuccini. Working with the smaller dough rectangles, one passes the dough through the cutters. Catch it coming out the other side and hang it up to dry. You can use it fresh, and it is delicious. Cook only 1-2 minutes and bear in mind that 2 oz dry pasta [one serving], is the equivalent of 5 oz fresh pasta. While the water is boiling and the sauce is heating, the pasta is drying slightly, which makes it easier to handle. What I don’t use for today’s meal is dried thoroughly and stored, air-tight, for use another time.

Would I make pasta every week? No, but it is great for special meals. Does pasta make a meal ‘Mediterranean’? Not automatically. How healthy a pasta dish is depends on what is on top of the pasta. Is Pasta a no-no for Fast Day meals? Yes and no. Chicken Tetrazzini, Tortellini with Black Kale, these are some of the Fast meals I’ve posted using pasta as an ingredient. Just remember that a ‘serving’ of dried pasta, of any shape, is 2 ounces. On a Slow Day, knock that down to 1-1 1/2 ounces and you can hedge your bet.

Rodin

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. 

When Dear Husband went to Paris for the first time, one stop he just had to make was the Rodin Museum. The Thinker. The Kiss. The Burghers of Calais. What feeling those statues evoke — it bowls you over! Auguste Rodin was born on November 12, 1840. His struggles at school made him turn increasingly to sketching — undiagnosed with myopia and he could see his sketches, but not the black-board. At age 13 he took art lessons and eventually became skilled as a ‘decorative artist.’ But making ‘pretty’ things was not his goal. He wanted to show emotion and realism. Twice Rodin entered ‘Man with a Broken Nose‘ in the Paris Salon. It was rejected — twice. At last his work, The Vanquished [aka: The Age of Bronze], won him the acclaim that began his career. Although famous, he was never rich. His studio was in an abandoned mansion which he and other artists took over as squatters. He lived there with his life-long partner Rose Beuret. Upon his death, he left his works to the French Nation with three conditions: that they make his studio into a museum; that the work of his muse/student/lover Camille Claudel be displayed; and that a fund be set up to help young artists financially.

Rodin, as a creator of art, was always working and re-working his ideas. In clay, in plaster, in metal, he would make small models of a larger plan until he got it right. Instead of a full-sized quiche, we’ll enjoy mini-quiches tomorrow, served with slices of the mini-pear, Forelle. As an impoverished artist, a nourishing stew of chickpeas would have been a real hit with him and Rose. And Camille.

Mini-Quiche Breakfast: 144 calories 7.4 g fat 1.4 g fiber 9.6 g protein 9 g carbs 189 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF A delightful way to breakfast. So simple, too.

3 mini-quiches 1 1/2 oz pear   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  

To Make 4 mini-quiches: 1 two-oz egg herbs + salt + pepper 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp ricotta 0.6 oz mozzarella 2/3 Jarlsberg 1 oz broccoli 1/3 oz onion Spritz 4 of the holes of a muffin pan with non-stick spray. Whisk the eggs with the ricotta, herbs, salt, and pepper. Grate the hard cheeses and mix them gently but thoroughly in a bowl. Steam the broccoli and onion, then chop and stir together to combine. Divide the vegetables among 4 muffin holes. ~ 1 Tbsp/hole Then portion the hard cheeses on top of the vegetables. Pour the egg mixture over the cheeses, then stir each quiche with a wooden skewer or chopstick. Bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes – take out of the oven when they are puffed and golden. Let cool briefly before removing from muffin tin. 

Prepare the mini-quiches. While they are baking [or coming to room temperature if baked previously], cube the melon and mix with the blueberries in a pretty dish. Plate with the quiches and pour the beverage of choice. There’s a nice start to your day!

Chickpea Ragout with Meat: nb: entire batch has 484 calories, so divide into portions. The portion size you choose would be dictated by the type and quantity of meat. GF PB divided in 2:  242 calories 5 g fat 10 g fiber 11.7 g protein 40 g carbs 51 mg Calcium divided in 4:  121 calories 3 g fat 5 g fiber 6 g protein 20 g carbs 26 mg Calcium

This is from Jacques Pepin’s Fast Food My Way. Although he doesn’t mean my kind of ‘Fast Food,’ Pepin has long been a proponent of healthy cooking. He presents this as a side dish, but for our purposes it is excellent prepared as a main course with seafood or or meat for more protein. Here, you have three meat options from which to choose.

½ tsp olive oil ½ cup diced onions ½ cup scallions, chopped 1 Tbsp garlic, chopped 2 cups diced tomatoes, fresh or canned and drained 1½ cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed if canned ½ cup chicken stock ½ tsp salt + ½ tsp pepper

Heat the oil in a saute pan. Add the onion, scallion and garlic. Stir briefly over the heat then add the tomatoes, chickpeas, salt, and pepper. Cook over low heat until liquids are mostly evaporated. If using now, separate out your portion and keep warm. Cool the remaining ragout and freeze it in serving portions.

3 oz chicken breast: if cooked, mix in with the ragout to warm the meat. if meat is raw, add to the pan along with the tomatoes and chickpeas 3 oz pork tenderloin: if cooked, mix in with the ragout to warm the meat if meat is raw, add to the pan along with the tomatoes and chickpeas 2 oz lean beefnot ground beef: if cooked, mix in with the ragout to warm the meat. If meat is raw, add to pan along with the tomatoes and chickpeas

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

1 two-oz egg + apple/applesauceNext week, I will
crushed tomatoes + chicken breastdiscuss soups.
plain yogurt + green chili pepperChoose a new favorite
Monterey Jack + cornmealbreakfast from Archives
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

ground bison + red onionChoose a new dinner
diced tomatoes + garlic favorite from the
green sweet pepper + ground cuminArchives
canned red beans + chili powder
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Blacked Out

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 Stacy H. who is now Following.

On November 8, 1965, there was a massive power outage in seven states of the North Eastern USA. It began during rush hour, which lead to further complications: 800,000 people in New York City stuck in subway cars; no streetlights or traffic signals; no elevators to move office workers from their skyscraper aeries. Power was off for up to 13 hours in some places. People feared that sabotage or maybe espionage was responsible, but the fault lay in a power relay on the Canadian side [sorry, Canada] of Niagara Falls that over-loaded, which caused a power surge, which overloaded circuits all the way down to New York. New Yorkers seem to have taken it in stride: they shared flashlights, helped neighbors, directed traffic, and came out on the streets for camaraderie. Few incidents of burglary or looting. Mostly, people remembered seeing the stars for the first time — which left them both fearful and awe-struck. I sure hope we can all come together in these difficult times, just as people did 55 years ago. We can show our better natures in a crisis.

Our meals today feature a classic breakfast from Manhattan, NYC, and a meal that could easily be put together if the power went out, leaving one at the mercy of whatever is in the ‘fridge.

Horseradish-Cheesy Bake: 143 calories 7.5 g fat 1 g fiber 8.7 g protein 7 g carbs 78.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the Bake and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  David Rosengarten’s unusual cookbook It’s All American Food takes the reader on a tour of American ethnic and regional foods, and tells you how to make those treats in your own kitchen. This recipe is from the Manhattan restaurant Barney Greengrass, where they are renowned for their breakfasts.

One 2-oz egg ½ Tbsp crushed tomato 1 Tbsp cheddar/horseradish spread*** 1 Tbsp chives, minced 2 oz apricots   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]

***Cheddar-Horseradish Spread 2 Tbsp WisPride Cheddar spread OR Kraft Old English Cheddar spread  4 [or more] tsp prepared horseradish [the kind in a jar] Cream together thoroughly. Save the rest for another day or another use.

Set the toaster oven at at 350 degrees F. Spritz a ramekin with oil or non-stick spray. Vigorously whisk the egg, cheeses, and chives until well combined and pour into the ramekin. Put in the oven [it doesn’t need to be hot yet] and bake 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, brew your beverage of choice and prep the apricots. This will kick-start your day.

Cold Beef Plate:  292 calories 3.7 g fat 5 g fiber 28 g protein 33 g carbs 17.6 mg Calcium Here’s a simple, no-fuss meal. Use either meat from a roast or from the deli. Rather French, with the cornichons and Dijon mustard. Perfect during a power outage or at the end of a busy day.

3 oz cold, sliced beef roast — left-overs or slices from the deli ½ cup [about 3 oz] pickled beets 1 oz small pickles — cornichons preferred, but baby dill pickles will do 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 oz sourdough rye bread

Plate to your own aesthetic taste. But do plate it – avoid the temptation to stand in front of the open ‘fridge and just graze. Do it up right and sit down to enjoy it.

Foods in Wrappers, III

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.

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

Egg-Mushroom Galette/Crepe:  153 calories  6 g fat 2 g fiber 9 g protein 16.8 g carbs [11.3 g Complex] 39 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg crepe and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPB This is yummy. The eggs are creamy, the mushrooms are earthy, and the crepe is nutty. See “Jean Baptiste” for recipe details.

Momos with Chicken: 222 calories 1.5 g fat 2 g fiber 15.4 g protein 30 g carbs [6.5 g Complex Carbs] 58 mg Calcium  PB  Steamed momos are one of the most popular street foods of Northern India, due to the influence of neighboring Nepal and the fact that they are delicious. Try them and you will agree. Looks long and complex, but it is do-able. See “Deli & Delhi” for preparation details.

Quesadillas : 295 cal 9 g fat 2.7 g fiber 19 g protein 31.4 g carb 211.5 mg Calcium  GF These are great. We return to this recipe often for a quick, enjoyable meal. And you can prepare and cook them ahead! Wrap in foil, and reheat them later. Thanks to Suzy M. for that tip. See For Gunn & Grommet for recipe details.

Tortellini with Black Kale:  209 calories 9 g fat 3.5 g fiber 10 g protein 24 g carbs [7.4 g Complex] 231 mg Calcium  PB  Packaged, dried tortellini is a handy item to have in the pantry. It makes for a fine Tuscan meal when pared with Black Kale. ‘Black Kale’ is also called ‘Dinosaur Kale’ or ‘Tuscan Kale.’ The recipe is from ‘thekitchn.’  Another very simple meal with a lot of appeal. An ounce of bread could be added while keeping the calories in line. See S.A.D. for recipe details.

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

1 two-oz egg + apricot1 two-oz eggs  + blueberries
prepared horseradishricotta cheese + onion
romano cheese + chivesmozzarella cheese
WisPride or Kraft Olde English CheddarJarlsberg cheese + herbs
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

left over roast or boiled beefbeef or pork or chicken meat
mustard + cornicionechickpea ragout
beets, fresh or pickled
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Slow Days: Election Cake

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.

At last it is Presidential Election Day in the United States of America. Or, should I say, the last day to vote in this unusual election season. It used to be that all votes were cast during one day, all around the nation. One day for voting. The counting took longer, depending on how difficult the roads were between a given town and the state capital. That was back in the dirt-roads-and-horseback days. Nowadays, vote counts are sent to state capitals by phone. But Election Day has never been the end of the story — the votes must be ‘certified’ in each state, which can take days if there is a recount. Then it is up to the Electoral College to vote, with their selection of the winner on December 14. That’s a long time from today!

Let’s have some cake today — one with a long history and a tradition of being a ‘good keeper’: Election Cake. In Colonial Days and the early days of the Republic, popular cakes were made with dried fruits. If the fruit or the cake was suffused in ‘strong spirits,’ it would keep for a long time, meaning less baking for the housewife. In Connecticut, there was the tradition of a cake for Election Day. It could be baked days in advance, then put in the picnic basket for the day-long trip to the village center to be served there at lunch. My mother said that the alcohol in the cake was because sale of booze was banned on Election Day. Maybe not, but getting voters drunk was an early form of voter coercion, hence the ban on alcohol sales. Last March, I baked 2 loaves of this cake, using sourdough [since we all have plenty of that these days, right?]. We ate some on New Hampshire’s Primary Day and the other loaf went to the freezer. We had some in September for state primary voting and the remainder this morning, just to remind ourselves that it was Election Day. We voted Absentee and turned in our ballots to the Town Clerk weeks ago. Kudos to Deb and John and the election team in Bennington.

Early Day 1 2 c flour  ½ cup + 2 Tbsp buttermilk  ½ cup sourdough, fed and bubbly 1-2 T water, as neededIn a large bowl combine the flour, buttermilk, and sourdough starter until you get a thick dough.  Add water if necessary. Form the dough into a round ball, place it in a bowl and allow it to rest, covered, for 8-12 hours
Evening Day 1 1 stick butter ½ cup + 2 Tbsp sugar 2 Tbsp molasses 1.5 tsp white wine OR Rum 1 Tbsp brandyIn a medium bowl, beat the butter, sugar, molasses, wine, and brandy together until well combined and fluffy.
1 egg 1.5 tsp cinnamon 1.5 tsp ground coriander ¼ tsp allspice ½ tsp ground nutmegStir in the egg and the spices.
Add the yeast dough to this mixture and beat until the mixture resembles that of a thick cake batter.
½ cup prunes, chopped ½ cup raisins/ cranberries/ cherries/ currents/ apricotsStir in dried fruit. Pour the cake into a greased “bundt pan (you could also use a springform or dutch oven)”. I used small loaf pans = two pans, 8x4x3”
Cover the pans with a clean dish cloth and allow to rise until it is almost doubled in bulk (about 1.5 -2 hours) Preheat your oven to 375F. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
This is the recipe I used, slightly adapted from the 
Nourished Kitchen.
Here is Fannie Farmer‘s recipe — lots of whiskey! In my handwriting, amounts for smaller batches.

We like to slice it and toast it lightly to serve at breakfast. A nice treat to mark the passing of the political year.

Election Cake served warm with fruit yogurt, bacon, apple cider, and frothy mocha cafe au lait: this is a breakfast to make one optimistic about an election outcome.

Fiesa!

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 hereketoketo who is now Following.

In the plaza of the campus of University of New Mexico is a sculpture garden. The principal work, named “Fiesta Jarabe,” is by Luis Jimenez. Curiously, the work is labeled twice as “Fiesa Jarabe.” This caused much discussion and debate on campus — what did he mean? When asked, the artist shrugged and said, “I forgot to put in the ‘t’.” It is a vibrant work which has stirred controversy ever since 1996 when it was installed: to aggressive, too macho, too sensual, skin-tones too dark. The artist planned it that way. Jimenez’ work celebrates the life of every-day Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in his colors and themes. Sadly, in 2006, he was killed when part of a massive work fell on him in his studio.

The Day of the Dead is one of the biggest holidays in Mexico and it happens November 1st and 2nd. We will celebrate by eating tostadas. “Tostada” refers to both the ingredients [must include something fried, usually the tortilla at the base] and the finished meal itself. At breakfast, the tortilla is ‘fried’ in a dry pan. At dinner, purchased tostadas [fried tortillas] make for a splendid simple supper.

Tostada : 165 calories 6.7 g fat 2 g fiber 9.6 g protein 15 g carbs [14 g Complex] 72 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  GF PB  Use some chili non carne to give this simple breakfast rich flavor. It will keep you going for hours.

one 6” corn tortilla [when you shop, be sure to get tortillas, which have 65 calories each — not wraps] one 2-oz egg 2 Tbsp chili non carne 1 Tbsp Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese, grated   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]

Heat the toaster oven to 350F. Put the chili in a custard cup and put it into the oven to heat. Warm a dry cast iron skillet over med-high heat. Warm the tortilla in the pan on both sides until it is warm and pliable and starting to brown. Remove the tortilla and keep warm in a dish towel. Spritz the skillet with non-stick spray and fry the egg until it is done as you like it. Remove the egg. Spread the chili on the tortilla and return the tortilla to the skillet. Put the egg on the chili and sprinkle with the cheese. Put the pan into the hot oven until the cheese melts. Coffee with cocoa powder completes the Mexican theme. A meal to wake up your mouth.

Tostada for Dinner: 253 calories 13 g fat 5.6 g fiber 10 g protein 25 g carbs 119 mg Calcium  PB GF  Purchased tostada shells were the inspiration for this quick and easy meal. We will definitely enjoy this again!

1 tostada shell [fried corn tortilla @ 85 calories each]** La Real brand 1/3 cup chili non carne  1½ Tbsp Guacamole* ½ oz Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, grated ½ cup Mexican Vegetable Pickles 

Warm the chili and grate the cheese. Plate the tostada and spread it with the guacamole. Spoon the chili on top and spread that to the edges. Sprinkle with the cheese and plate with the pickled vegetables. Ready in minutes, with minimal fuss.

*GUACAMOLE: makes 1 cup 1 Tbsp =17 calories   PB GF   From Rick Bayless, so you know it is authentic. 1 jalapeno pepper 1 cup diced tomatoes 1½ avocados 1/3 cup minced onion ¼ c chopped cilantro leaves salt + lime juice + crushed red pepper to taste

Place the jalepeno in a hot cast iron pan without any fat or oil and cook it on all sides until it blisters and turns black in places. Remove, cool, and cut off the stem end. Slice in half and remove the white ribs inside, along with most of the seeds. Chop the pepper roughly and put into a food processor with the tomatoes. Scoop the pulp out of the avocados and put it in the processor along with the remaining ingredients. Combine until just a little chunky. Taste for seasonings. Freezes nicely.

**NB: if you can’t get tostada shells in your local market, here’s how you can make them from corn tortillas: https://www.thespruceeats.com/baked-crisp-tostada-shells-479060

Jumble

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 ‘jumble’ is a confused mix of things — items that seem to be combined without plan. When one holds a ‘jumble sale,’ patrons can expect a display of miscellaneous items, previously used. [A ‘jumble sale’ in the UK, would be called a ‘rummage sale’ in the USA.] A ‘jumble’ is also a cookie. Sometimes menu planning can be a bit of a jumble: start with items that need to be used before going bad and add foods from a depleted pantry — these can lead to some interesting combinations of meals without a theme. It is good to use up left-overs and to rotate the items at the back of the cupboard. When one is staying at home more and going out [masked, of course] less for health reasons, one must use what one has, even if the planning seems to be lacking. During these seven months [!!] of ’emergency measures’, I go to the super-market only once every 3 weeks, and there is no popping out to pick up one missing ingredient. Use what you have! Stay healthy.

Heart-in-Heart: 150 calories 6 g fat 3 g fiber 9.6 g protein 17 g carbs [15 g Complex] 42 mg Calcium Egg + bacon + toast come to the table in a new guise.

1 slice whole-grain bread [Dave’s Good Seed] with a 2” heart cut out 1 slice Canadian bacon [Jones brand is good] with a 2” heart cut out 1 pullet or small egg [1.8 oz with the shell] 1 oz banana slices   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]

Spray an oven-safe pan with non-stick spray. Lightly toast the bread. Put it in the pan and position the bacon on top of it so the hearts align. Sprinkle a pinch of herbs of your choice into the hole. Break the egg into the heart-shaped hole. Strew with salt, pepper, and herbs. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes. Plate with the bananas.

Banh Mi: 300 calories 7 g fat 5 g fiber 20 g protein 36.7 g carbs 47 mg Calcium  PB  The recipe for this popular Thai/Viet street sandwich came in the mail from Eating Well’s ‘Shape’ magazine. Just a few tweeks and it works splendidly for a Fast Day. Dear Husband is a fan.

3 oz pork tenderloin, previously cooked or raw 1 tsp Asian sweet chili sauce + ½ tsp soy sauce 1½ oz cucumber, cut in 2-3” strips 1½ oz red sweet pepper, cut in 2-3” strips 1 oz carrot, shredded 1½ oz baguette slices, cut ¼” thick

Sesame-Ginger Dressing: 2 Tbsp pickle brine [from a jar of pickles] ½ tsp sesame oil + ¼ tsp ground ginger ¼ tsp ground garlic + pinch sesame seeds

Slice the pork thinly and brush with Asian chili + soy sauce mixture.  If meat is uncooked, brush with the chili/soy mixture, then briefly saute until barely pink. Prepare the sesame-ginger dressing and set aside in a small bowl. Slice and grate the vegetables and toss in the sesame-ginger dressing. Slice the bread and arrange it on the serving plate. Top with pork, then with vegetables, then the dressing. Serve remaining slaw in a small dish. Done! We ate everything with our fingers.

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

1 two-oz eggNext week I will discuss 
Monterey Jack cheesea variety of foods:
chili non carneFind a new favorite from
65-calorie corn tortillathe archives.
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

fried tortilla = tostadaNext week I will discuss 
chili non carnea variety of foods:
guacamole + Monterey JackFind a new favorite from
Mexican Vegetable Picklesthe archives.
Sparkling waterSparkling water