Prairie Views

~ Dreamy abstraction in Four Square House on the Pairie

Month: March 2012

Spring 2012

The garden here is really blooming and starting to grow. I just got some cabbage in the garden from the cold-house. I cut the potatoes today and will begin planning them tomorrow. I have also started redoing the landscape in the backyard. When we had a new well put in they really left a mess with a ditch since the ground was not leveled. I am re-sloping so the water will drain from the house to the rain garden again.The backyard will be designed with a Craftsman 1920 style garden. It will have easy to maintain plants with low water requirement and seasonally beauty. Some of the plants will be old favorite heirloom types to go with the period with some newer additions. The center of the yard will have a small lawn.

Mushrooms on old stump
Front Yard
Yellow flame tulips
Pink tulips
 I like the yellow center of this tulip.
Rain Garden and vegetable garden in the back

Why have Windbreaks

It was a busy tree planting day today. The cedars and Rocky Mountain Junipers and a few black Walnuts were planted for windbreaks. You might wonder why I would want to plant so many trees. The cedars and Junipers are all about conservation. Windbreaks provide protection for the home,  animals and wildlife. Research has indicated that heat energy savings of up to 40 percent are possible with windbreaks.  The savings are the result  from reduced wind velocity. In this area of Kansas you have the winter wind and then the summer wind.  

You garden can also benefit from having a wind break. Windbreaks can bring and wilting of crops due to desiccation from the strong winds, high temperatures and lack of moisture. It will also help protect you greenhouses and wind tunnels from damaging wind.

Windbreaks can also provide protection to orchards from the strong summer winds. Windbreaks can also offer frost protection if they are taller than the orchard trees. This year I started a windbreak around my orchard to protect the fruit trees from the strong dry winds. The trees should eventually get tall enough to provide some shade to provide the peach trees I will eventually plant  from blooming too soon. One of the the major problems here is that we get spring like weather for a few of days in February or March. The trees will start blooming and then the weather will quickly back to snow. This will freeze all the flowers and you will not get fruit that season. The Armistice Day freeze in November 1940 killed  many trees and many did not recover.

Spring Flowers, March 2012

The garden is starting to bloom. Today I went out to take some pictures of the latest blooms.
Griegii Tulips
 Single Early Tulips
Flowering Quince 

Pears and Nectarine blooms

Shrimp Mediterranean Salad, low salt, low calorie

Shrimp used to be on the forbidden list because it has a high cholesterol content. Shrimp, however, can be a great lean source of protein when eaten in moderation. It you have the frozen precooked shrimp it can be used to make a salad very quickly. This salad could be used as a meal for 4 or you could use smaller portions to be part of a meal. I really think the flavors will be even better if you let the shrimp marinated for a few hours or overnight before putting on the lettuce. Other additional ingredients such as tomatoes and cucumbers would work with this dish. I would skip using  olives which are used in most Mediterranean dishes because they would put you over the salt limit allowed on the DASH diet. If you wanted to skip the mayonnaise then plain yogurt would make a great substitution.

Dash Diet

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Shrimp Salad


2 cups salad shrimp, defrosted
2 tablespoon mayonnaise, low fat/ low salt
1 teaspoon lemon and pepper, Mrs. DASH
1 clove garlic; diced
1/2 cup lemon juice
6 cups lettuce; torn
1 cup avocado; cut into slices
4 tablespoon feta cheese; crumbled

Mix the shrimp, mayonnaise and Mrs. DASH. Place on top of 1 1/2 cups
lettuce. Add avocado slices on top and sprinkle with feta cheese.

For this recipe use one avocado cut into slices.

NYC Nutrition Analysis (per serving or yield unit):
water=181.5 g; calories=249.8; protein=27.67 g; total fat=12.12 g;
saturated fat=3.64 g; monounsaturated fat=4.98 g; polyunsaturated fat=2.35
g; cholesterol=194.5 mg; carbohydrate=7.75 g; dietary fiber=3.23 g; total
sugars=1.57 g; ash=3.25 g; calcium=159.7 mg; phosphorus=328.5 mg; iron=3.63
mg; sodium=365.6 mg; potassium=518.2 mg; magnesium=64.64 mg; zinc=2.09 mg;
copper=0.41 mg; manganese=0.26 mg; vitamin A=4329 IU; vitamin E=2.71 mg
AT; thiamin=0.12 mg; riboflavin=0.26 mg; niacin=4.02 mg; pantothenic
acid=1.07 mg; vitamin B6=0.34 mg; folate=59.2 ug DFE; vitamin B12=1.63 ug;
vitamin C=16.07 mg; selenium=47.84 ug; vitamin K=103.6 ug; refuse=12.61%;
blocks carb:prot:fat=0.5 : 4.0 : 4.0; ECC=4.5; %cal as
carb:prot:fat=12:44:43; DietPoints=5.6
(incomplete analysis)

Yield: 4 servings

NYC Nutrilink: N4474^15149,N7460^43355,N0^00000,N2973^11215
NYC Nutrilink: N2201^09152,N3008^11253,N2213^09037,N20^01019

** Exported from Now You’re Cooking! v5.88 **

Marinated Orange Pork Chops- DASH Diet

   Marinated Orange Pork Chops


Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes    
                                    Carrot Raisin Salad with Walnuts                                     

This is another DASH diet meal plan for 2,000 [1,600] (1,200) claories using the (DASH DIET Action Plan as a Guide).

* Recipe at the bottom


  Oatmeal, banana, toast milk, Grapefruit, fruit spread or preserves

1/2 cup instant oatmeal with 1 medium banana [(1/2)]
1 slice whole wheat toast (0) with 2 teaspoons preserves (0)
6 oz. grapefruit [(4 oz.)]
8 fl. oz. skim nonfat milk


  Soup, Cheese, Crackers, Salad, Yogurt, Apple

1 cup low sodium vegetable beef soup (3/4 cup)
1 oz. low sodium, low fat Swiss cheese [( 1/2 oz).]
6 low-salt whole wheat crackers (4)
Salad: 1 cup of leaf lettuce and vegetables mixed with a low fat and salt dressing
6 oz. nonfat, sugar free yogurt
1 medium apple [(small])


  *Marinated Orange Pork Chops, *Scalloped Potatoes, Green Beans, *Carrot
  Raisin  Salad, Walnuts, Milk

4 oz. pork chop [(3 oz.)]
1/2 cup scalloped potatoes
Green Beans
Carrot Raisin Salad (1/4 cup), topped with 1/4 cup walnuts [ (1 T.)]
8 fl. oz. nonfat skim milk

Marinated Orange Pork Chops

1/4 cup Orange Juice
1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning Blend or any mixture you enjoy
4 Garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
4 pork chops (about 5 oz. each)

Mix the orange juice, seasoning blend, garlic and rosemary together. Place the chops in a glass pan and pour the mixture over. Let stand for at least 10 minutes but 1 hour is better. Turn the chops over at least once. Coat a grill or pan with a nonstick spray. Cook at medium heat for 5 minutes on each side or until thermometer inserted reaches 145 degrees.

Carrot Raisin Salad

2 cups shredded carrots (about 4)
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons low fat mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
Orange juice or lemon juice as needed.

Mix the carrots and raisins in a bowl. Mix the mayonnaise or salad dressing with yogurt. Add orange juice or lemon juice to thin out as needed. You can  use just  orange juice instead of yogurt. Refrigerate leftovers.

Low -Fat Scalloped Potatoes

3 medium potatoes
1 1/2 cups nonfat skim milk
2 tablespoons flour
14/ teaspoon garlic salt (can use powder to reduce salt more)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup shredded low fat, low salt cheddar cheese

Peel and slice the potatoes thin. Mix the milk, flour, garlic power and pepper and cook over medium heat until the sauce is thickens. Place 1/2 the potatoes on a dish and spoon over 1/2 of the sauce. Add the remaining potatoes and pour the remaining sauce over. Cover and bake in a oven set to 350 F for 50 minutes to an hour. You can test the to make sure the potatoes are done by sticking a fork into the potatoes. If done the fork will go in easily.

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