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I love architecture and design. Entertaining, flowers and travel are a passion.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Early Summer Dinner

Ready for a early summer dinner with friends.  The Hydrangeas are in full bloom, food prepared, and now waiting for friends to arrive.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Lean and Green - Baked Margherita Spaghetti Squash

Baked Margherita Spaghetti Squash

1 large spaghetti squash
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large Roma tomato, finely chopped
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. each salt & pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Using a large knife or a cleaver, slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise down the middle. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and center strings.
Drizzle the two halves with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Place the squash, open side down on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, check to see if the squash is soft and easily comes up with a fork into a spaghetti like texture. If it's too hard to remove, cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, scrape and fluff the stringy squash with a fork. Leave the squash in the skin.
Turn the oven up to broil. Add the tomatoes and fresh basil into the squash, stir and top with the mozzarella cheese. Place in the broiler for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving the squash.
Chicken with Mushroom Cream Sauce
Slightly adapted from The South Beach Diet Super Quick Cookbook by Arthur Agatston, MD
For the Meat
18 oz Raw Chicken Breasts - should yield 12 oz cooked (2 Lean)
1/4 tsp Salt (1 Condiment)
1/8 tsp Pepper (1/4 Condiment)
1 tsp olive oil (1 Healthy Fat)
For the Sauce
1 tsp olive oil (1 Healthy Fat)
1 Cup Mushrooms (2 Greens)
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup lower-sodium chicken broth (1/2 Condiment)
2 tbsp reduced fat cream cheese (2 Condiments)
1/4 tsp dried rosemary (1/4 Condiment)
Dash of Salt (optional)
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tsp olive oil
over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per
side. Transfer to plate and keep warm.
Add the mushrooms, scallions and 1 tsp olive oil to the skillet. Cook over medium heat,
tossing frequently, until the mushrooms have wilted, about 3 minutes.
Add the broth, cream cheese, rosemary and salt (original recipe calls for 1/8 tsp but I
didn't add it). Stir until the cream cheese melts, about 1 minute.
Return the chicken to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the chicken is
cooked through and still juicy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Divide the chicken and sauce evenly among two plates.
2 Servings with 1 Lean, 1 Green (You still need to add 2 servings of greens per
serving), 2 Condiments and 1 Healthy Fat per serving

Lean and Green - Taco Bake

Taco Bake
Slightly adapted from Rosalu from the Medifast Forums
8 tbsp or 1/2 cup reduced fat cream cheese, softened (8 Condiments)
1/4 cup egg beaters (0.125 Lean)
5 tbsp Fat free half and half (5 Condiments)
1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning (.25 Condiment)
8 ounces low fat Mexican cheese blend, shredded (2 Lean)
24.37 ounces 93% fat free Jennie-O ground turkey, cooked (4.875 Lean)
4 teaspoons taco seasoning (2 Condiments)
1 cup tomato puree - tomatoes chopped then pureed to equal 1 cup (4 Greens)
4 ounces chopped green chilies (8 Condiments)
4 ounces Mexican cheese blend, shredded (1 Lean)
For the crust, beat the cream cheese and eggs until smooth. Add the cream and seasoning. Grease a 9"x13" baking dish; spread the cheese over the bottom. Pour in the egg mixture as evenly as possible. Bake at 375ºF, 25-30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before adding the topping.
For the topping, brown the hamburger; drain fat. Stir in the seasoning, tomato sauce and chilies. Spread over the crust. Top with cheese. Reduce oven to 350ºF and bake another 20 minutes or so until hot and bubbly.
Serve with your favorite veggies!
8 servings with 1 Lean, 3 Condiments, and 1/2 Green per serving (You will need 2 1/2 more greens per serving)

Lean and Green - Chicken and Asparagus Salad

Chicken and Asparagus Salad
1 lb raw, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½” slices (should yield two 6-oz cooked servings)
4 cups field or Italian salad greens
½ cup (6 medium or 12 small/thin 5-¼” to 7” spears) asparagus
½ cup (4 medium) cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbsp Ken’s® Red Wine Vinegar & Olive Oil
4 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp Mrs. Dash® Original Garlic & Herb Seasoning Blend
In a small bowl, whisk together salad dressing, lemon juice, Mrs. Dash®, salt, and black pepper. Trim asparagus ends, but leave the rest whole. Bring pot of water to boil; add asparagus and cook 7-10 minutes or until al dente (tender-crisp). Slice chicken and chop tomatoes; set aside until asparagus is cooked. Drain asparagus, then add, chicken, tomatoes, asparagus, and dressing mixture to pot and cook over medium heat until mixture is warmed through and chicken is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. To serve, line plates with 2 cups salad greens; add chicken and asparagus mixture over greens.


**For a correct "lean and green" meal, this recipe will work, just make sure to measure out your portions correctly. You will need a smaller oz chicken breast to make up for the cheese**
4 chicken breast
8 Tbsp Sun Dried Tomato Dressing - Divided (Kens has a really good Fat Free one that tastes great with this recipe and there are some Lite ones that are good also)
1 cup finely chopped tomato
1 cup mozarella cheese
Fresh basil chopped or 1 tsp dried
Marinate Chicken Breasts in 4TBSP dressing. I put mine in a bag in the morning and marinated all day. The recipe says for 20 minutes.
Combine 4TBSP dressing, tomatoes, cheese and basil in a seperate bowl. Set aside.
Place large sheet of aluminum foil on half of grill. Grill one side of chicken on un-foiled grill for approx 6 minutes. Then flip over onto foil and evenly divide tomato mixture onto each of the 4 chicken breasts. Close the lid of the BBQ and cook for approx 8 minutes or until chicken is done.

Lean and Green - Shirataki Noodle Bake

Shirataki Noodle Bake
Serves 1 - from Escape from Obesity blog
1 8 oz bag of Shirataki Noodles (I use the spaghetti ones for this)
1/4 cup diced canned tomatoes
1/3 cup jar pizza sauce (I use Walmart Great Value brand)
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup turkey sausage crumbles
1/2 cup low fat mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Heat Oven to 350
2. Empty the noodles in a fine colander or strainer, rinse under warm water for 3 minutes until "fishy" odor is gone.
3. Dump noodles into a pot of boiling water for 3 minutes, drain and rinse for another 3 minutes.
4. Brown the sausage crumbles in a skillet
5. In a saucepan, heat the tomatoes, sauce, garlic, onion and mushrooms on medium
6. Add sausage crumbles and simmer for 5 minutes
7. Add in the noodles and continue to simmer until sauce thickens
8. Transfer to an oven safe dish and top with cheese, salt and pepper
9. Bake for 12 minutes or until cheese is melted

Lean and Green Recipe Grilled Asparagus/Mozzarella Salad

Grilled Asparagus/Mozzarella Salad
4 oz Cheese, mozzarella, reduced fat
3/4 cup Raw Tomatoes, Grape
3/4 cup Cooked Asparagus, frozen
2 tbsp Basil
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Vinegar, balsamic
10 sprays Non-stick Cooking Spray
1. Cut asparagus spears into thirds. Place asparagus pieces in a lightly greased grill pan and cook until tender. Remove and set aside.
2. Cut 4 oz of part-skim mozzarella cheese into cubes and place in a medium bowl.
3. Chop or slice the basil leaves. Add the basil along with the grape tomatoes and cooled asparagus pieces to the mozzarella.
4. Combine the pepper and garlic powder with the mozzarella mixture and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
Per serving provides ~ 1 Lean, 3 Green, and 3 Condiments.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Sunflowers are beautiful on a table.

Love this idea for a gate into your garden.  The chandelier is a touch of elegance that you don't expect.
Hummingbirds everywhere!
All the sunflowers you can pick. 


Saturday, May 17, 2014

In Barcelona Boqueria Market in Spain the colors, smells and taste were wonderful.