Category: Nature and Life

Pork Zuppa

another great one from Diabetic Weekly
  • Makes: 6 servings
  • Serving Size: 1 1/3cups
  • Carb Grams Per Serving: 19


  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 12 ounces tiny red new potatoes, each cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 12 – ounce can fat-free evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups chopped fresh kale
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)


  1. In a large skillet cook pork, onion, and garlic over medium heat until meat is browned and onion is tender; drain off fat. Return meat mixture to skillet; add oregano, salt, and crushed red pepper. Cook for 1 minute more. Transfer to a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Add broth and potatoes.
  2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 4 hours. If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. In a small bowl combine evaporated milk and cornstarch until smooth; stir into cooker. Stir in kale. Cover and cook for 30 to 60 minutes more or until bubbly around edge of cooker. If desired, sprinkle with additional crushed red pepper.


  • For Easy Cleanup: Line your slow cooker with a disposable slow cooker liner. Add ingredients as directed in recipe. Once your dish is finished cooking, spoon the food out of your slow cooker and simply dispose of the liner. Do not lift or transport the disposable liner with food inside.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

Servings Per Recipe: 6
PER SERVING: 303 cal., 12 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 53 mg chol., 542 mg sodium, 19 g carb. (2 g fiber, 4 g sugars), 20 g pro.

Diabetic Exchanges

Vegetables (d.e): 1; Medium-Fat Meat (d.e): 2; Fat (d.e): 1; Starch (d.e): 1

From Diabetic Weekly, done in slow cooker….love it


  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely chopped (2/3 cup)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup uncooked basmati rice
  • 1 cup unsweetened light coconut milk
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)


  1. In a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker place celery, carrots, apple, onion, and garlic. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder, the ginger, coriander, cumin, cardamom, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Pour broth and the water over all in cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4 hours.
  3. In a resealable plastic bag place chicken, flour, and 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder; seal bag and shake to coat chicken with the flour mixture. Chill in refrigerator until needed.
  4. In a large skillet brown coated chicken in hot oil over medium heat, stirring often. Add three to four ladles of the cooking liquid from the slow cooker to the skillet; stir until thickened and gravylike, scraping bottom of skillet to incorporate flour and spices. Stir chicken mixture and rice into the slow cooker. Cover and cook 1 hour more on low-heat setting. Stir in coconut milk before serving. If desired, sprinkle with crushed red pepper.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

Servings Per Recipe: 8
PER SERVING: 166 cal., 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 21 mg chol., 473 mg sodium, 20 g carb. (2 g fiber, 5 g sugars), 13 g pro.

Diabetic Exchanges

Vegetables (d.e): 1; Starch (d.e): 1; Lean Meat (d.e): 1.5


This herb is known for producing gorgeous flowers, but it is not used enough to appreciate the flavor that is similar to that of a cucumber. Borage is best used in salads and soups for a fresh and vibrant flavor.

Also known as the starflower contains high amounts of omega 6 fatty acids which are known to promote healthy joints and skin as well as a boost to the immune system. Borage can also be used as a diuretic to help remove unwanted water and toxins from the body.


Not every bug is bad for your garden.

What do you do when you see bugs in your garden? If you are like many of us, your first thought is “Oh, no! How do I get rid of them?”

Before you reach for the insecticide, however, you need to know that many insects are helpful to our plants. In fact, they help keep the “bad bugs” – those that do devour your plants – at bay. Here is a list of the top “good bugs” and how you can attract them to your garden.


Pale green or light brown in color and lacey, as their name suggests, adult lacewings feed on aphids, small caterpillars, mealybugs, mites scales and whiteflies.

If you would like to gain the beneficial effects of these voracious bad bug eaters, plant angelica, coreopsis, cosmos and sweet alyssum in your garden.


There are hundreds of dragonfly species, and they vary in size and color. You can identify them by their long, narrow bodies, their four transparent wings and their large compound eyes. Adult dragonflies gobble up mosquitoes, aphids and other pests. They consume 10 to 15 percent of their own weight each day.

Want to attract more dragonflies to your garden? They love ponds, marshy areas and wetlands.


Many people just think of the familiar red spotted variety, but there are more than 400 species of ladybugs in North America. Most adult ladybugs and their larvae feed on aphids, scale and other soft-bodied insects.

Scented geraniums and angelica might attract them to your garden.

Ground beetle

These nocturnal beetles hide during the day under rocks and logs and then feed on snails, slugs, cutworms, cabbage maggots and other garden pests by night. It is estimated that just one ground beetle larva can eat 50 caterpillars.

You can attract ground beetles by adding perennial ground covers, logs and stones to your landscape design.

Aphid midge

Got a problem with aphids? Aphid midge larvae will devour more than 60 species of aphids after paralyzing them with their poisonous saliva. Yuk!

Plants with pollen will attract aphid midges.

Spined Soldier Bug

This “good bug” looks similar to a pesky stink bug except for its distinctive pointed shoulders. In gruesome fashion, spined soldier bugs kill their victims by harpooning them, injecting them with a paralyzing substance and then sucking out their bodily fluids. They devour grubs, gypsy moth caterpillars, webworms, armyworms and the larvae of beetles such as the Colorado potato beetle and the Mexican bean beetle.

These bugs like to shelter in perennial beds.

Tachinid Fly

They look very much like common houseflies, but these “good bugs” feed on garden pests such as armyworms, cutworms, tent caterpillars, gypsy moths, cabbage loopers, sawflies, Japanese beetles, sowbugs and squash bugs.

To attract tachinid flies, plant dill, sweet clover, parsley and other herbs in your garden.

Hover fly (sometimes called syrphid flies or flower flies)

Adult hover flies look like tiny bees or wasps with striped abdomens. Their larvae, which are gray-green and have pointed heads, feed on aphids in tight spaces and in early spring when other beneficial insects aren’t active yet.

Flower flies help pollinate strawberries and raspberries, and research is revealing that they contribute to the pollination of some vegetables and fruit trees.

Fragrant herbs such as oregano, sweet alyssum, buckwheat, garlic chives and bachelor buttons attract hover flies to your garden.


All spiders consume insects and are very important in garden pest control. Some pests will abandon an area completely once spiders show their presence. Most of the spiders found in gardens are harmless to you and have no interest in invading your home.

Spiders especially like caterpillars, plant bugs, cucumber beetles, grasshoppers, scarabs, thrips and flies. Yes, spiders will also eat other “good bugs,” but the good they do in eating pesky bugs outweighs this problem.

You can make your garden hospitable to spiders with perennial plantings and straw mulches.


Much has been written lately about our dwindling wild honeybee population — and for good reason. Honeybees are important pollinators of many plants that are essential to our food supply.

Adult honeybees have fuzzy gold-and-black striped bodies with transparent wings. They are about 2/3 inch in length and often carry balls of yellow pollen on the backs of their legs.

To encourage the presence of wild honeybees in your garden, grow flowering plants. They especially are attracted to:

  • alyssum
  • anise hyssop
  • butterfly weed
  • aster
  • coneflower
  • geranium
  • bee balm
  • poppies
  • black-eyed Susan
  • clover
Tricia Drevets

About Tricia Drevets

Tricia is a contributing writer. She enjoys gardening and doing all sorts of backyard projects with her family in beautiful Southern Oregon. She is a freelance writer and editor for a variety of print and online publications as well as a community college instructor.

More articles by Tricia Drevets

Zucchini Pie
Photo by Christopher Baker
Hands-On Time 15 minutes
Total Time 80 minute
3 cups grated zucchini
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup grated provolone cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, reserving 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan.
  2. Spoon the zucchini mixture into a 10-inch round glass pie plate or metal pie pan that has been coated with vegetable cooking spray.
  3. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with the reserved Parmesan. Cool 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

Nutritional Information

  • Per Serving
  • Calories 289
  • Calcium 255 mg
  • Carbohydrate 20 g
  • Cholesterol 122 mg
  • Fat 18 g
  • Fiber 1 g
  • Iron 2 mg
  • Protein 12 mg
  • Sat Fat 6 g
  • Sodium 723 mg
Spicy Eggplant With Cauliflower and Basil
Photo by Ann Sratton
Total Time 30 minutes
Serves 4


1 1/2 cups basmati rice
kosher salt
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste (such as Thai Kitchen)
3 small or baby eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut lengthwise into wedges
1/2 head cauliflower (about 1 pound), broken into florets
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups bean sprouts
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn if large


  1. Heat oven to 450º F.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the rice, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 2 ¼ cups water and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover and simmer on low until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the garlic, ginger, oil, curry paste, 1 ¼ teaspoons salt, and ½ cup water. Toss with the eggplants and cauliflower.
  5. Transfer to a roasting pan in a single layer. Roast until tender, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding the chickpeas during the last 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the vegetables from oven and toss with the bean sprouts and basil. Place 1 cup of rice on each of 4 plates and top with some of the vegetable

Nutritional Information

Per Serving

  • Calories 537
  • Calcium 89 mg
  • Carbohydrate 79 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Fat 20 g
  • Fiber 12 g
  • Iron 5 mg
  • Protein 13 mg
  • Sat Fat 3 g
  • Sodium 1140 mg

Copyright © 2012

Dorothy McDermott

All Rights Reserved.

Circles of Gresilda

Gresilda enjoying her flowers and pictures of the harvest from the vegetable garden..Mother Nature gives us so much


Rainy Monday

Soft rains pelting against the window, dark clouds overhead which brings peace and calming pattern of sounds.  Weather has different perspectives depending on your location and severity.   Those in the flood and heavy wind areas I am sure do not feel feel the same calm.  

My moment in time is a peaceful one.  I know that no matter what occurs in this world, no matter how high tech we as humans think we are, there is no doubt that Mother Nature is stronger then all the powers and cannot be controlled by any one person, government or power.  We are at the mercy of our great creator.

The springs and all bodies of water in our immediate area are in appreciation of the waters from this rain.  Many wells and waterways are in great deficit from several years of drought.  

When the sun shines once more it arms will draw up the seeds and roots bringing forth new life, new foods, new havens for all creatures of nature.

How blessed we are at this location today.

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