On November 6, I decided that enough was enough! Had I had enough of mourning over a bad breakup? Nope! I finally decided that I was tired of neglecting the importance of TRULY taking care of myself. From the inside out. Tired of NOT nurturing the temple that God loaned me while I spend time on this earth. I no longer felt like MIA! Vibrant, young, energetic, resilient, brilliant, and limitless. Instead, I felt sluggish, unhealthy, and frankly, I didn’t like how my clothes were starting to fit (Vain? Maybe. True? Absolutely!).
Today’s post is a little special. It’s the first of many features I will do of various ‘self-proclaimed chefs that I come in contact with and have the pleasure of knowing! As with the culture of my blog, there will be some sort of spiritual connection or nugget of encouragement in there somewhere. 😊 I really hope you enjoy this aspect, while I cook up a new project in the mean time 😊 You will still receive original posts from me, but I’ll be alternating between the two.
Before we get started, I attend a monthly Bible study/brunch/lunch with other young adult Christian women in the Houston area. Today’s feature, Courtney Oles happens to be one of the lovely hosts. Last month, she mentioned her desire to go the healthier route, while still packing on the flavor for her guests! And boy did she accomplish this. Never in my life did I think zucchini could be made to taste soooooo DELICIOUS!! Listen…I don’t want to give too much information away too soon, but it was definitely a crowd pleaser. So out of the box and left everyone wanting more! Okay, enough of my long-winded intro 😊…allow me to introduce to you, fellow foodie, Christian woman, goal setter, steward, and dream catcher….Courtney Oles!! Enjoy!! 😊
Hola amigos, Como estas? Mi nombre es, Courtney. Okay so I don’t speak Spanish but I have recently gone a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and all of sudden believe I am fluent in Spanish. I am a Houston native, born and raised. I attended Stephen F. Austin State University, (Axe’m Jacks) where I obtained my Bachelors of Science degree in psychology and minored in communication studies. I am currently working as a service coordinator/early intervention specialist for ECI, (Early Childhood Intervention) at Bay Area Rehabilitation Center. There’s nothing more rewarding than being able to help families with children who have developmental delays and disabilities, reach their age-expected development, by providing the necessary therapies and resources needed to be successful.
One unique fact about me is that I am walking quote book! Haha, sounds crazy right? But if you were to ask any of my closest friends they would tell that I literally have quotes for anything. I’m a quote person, if there’s ever a moment or opportunity to encourage someone, I offer a quote for whatever situation that they may dealing with. I find that reciting short quotes can help us mentally place ourselves in a positive environment no matter where we are at any given moment. Anywhoo, a few weeks ago a group of my sisters in Christ and I got together for our monthly ladies’ fellowship. My good friend Ashley and I had a vision to create a space for like-minded Christian women who are seeking to grow in their walk with Christ to come together for encouragement, bible studies, prayers, laughs and uplifting conversations. Oh wait, did I mention to enjoy good food too?! Yes, my sisters and I love to eat, so we make sure we have good food present! Now don’t get it twisted, I am no chef by any means. I am always nervous when it comes time for the ladies to eat, I always secretly pray, “Lord please let this food be satisfying, if not help me to brace myself for the rejection.” Haha true story, your girl nearly breaks out into a sweat!
For our last fellowship, I wanted to create a dish that was tasty yet on the healthier side. I haven’t committed to being vegan, but I am slowly trying to pull myself away from bread or just heavy carbs in general. You know the saying, “bread makes you spread.” I love Mexican food so I am always down to whip up some enchiladas. However, I wanted to try something different. I looked up different ways you could possibly eat enchiladas without the tortilla. I found a recipe on Pinterest, where someone used Zucchini’s instead of tortillas. I sent the recipe to my friend Ashley to get her opinion and she was down with trying it out. So, I said cool let’s do this! While I was thankful for the idea that Pinterest provided, you know I had to add Coco’s flavor to it. With that being said, allow me to walk you through the process of creating Zucchini Enchiladas.
Old El Paso Red Enchilada Sauce 10oz Can (I use hot flavor)
4 large zucchinis, halved lengthwise
1lb Ground turkey
2tsp. ground cumin
2tsp. Chili powder
1 cup of Monterey jack cheese
1 cup of Colby jack cheese
Sour cream for drizzling
Chives for garnishing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grab a large skillet, medium heat, oil the skillet with olive oil and add chopped onion.
Once onion is sautéed, add ground turkey. Cook until there is no pink in the meat.
Add cumin, chili powder, add 1 cup of enchilada sauce, 1 cup of Colby jack cheese and stir thoroughly. (feel free to add any other spices you may like)
Grab cutting board, y-shaped peeler, and knife. Rinse the zucchinis, slice the zucchini in halves lengthwise, and grab the y-peeler. You are going to grab the y-peeler and slide it down on the inside of the zucchini.
Once you’ve cut the thin slices of zucchini lay them flat on a paper towel to dry.
Lay out three slices of zucchini, slightly overlapping each other and apply a spoonful amount of the mixture of ground turkey on it and roll it up gently.
Repeat this for the remaining zucchini until all of the ground turkey mixture is gone.
Transfer all of the zucchini enchiladas over to a oven safe pan. Drizzle 1/3 cup of remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle ½ of both cheeses over the enchiladas.
Bake for 20min.
Remove from oven, garnish with fresh chives, sour cream and ENJOY!
Enjoy all the flavors of enchiladas without the carbs.
**Feel free to add any sides of your choice, I personally love black beans and Spanish rice.**
**Everyone was so ready to eat, I FORGOT to get a picture of it! Just know…it’s AMAZING!
P.S. This is me in Mexico! Lol
Ginger Beef & Herbed Quinoa Recipe
Sistas, how y’all feel? Fellas, y’all alright?
I know it’s been a while. The last few weeks have been suuuuper crazy! I really appreciate those of you who have taken the time out to read and follow so far! I am currently working on revamping my blog (I know it’s still pretty new but I wanted to add a few things to make it even more special. Lord willing, you will see what I mean in another week or so).
Anywhoo, I was actually going to hold off on posting until then, but I’ve been asked several times about what I have been cooking lately…and I HAD to share with everyone!! Plus, I attended a women’s Bible study today that talked about being INTENTIONAL. Holding off on posting because of some updates goes completely against that.
Well, I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did! If/when you try it, contact me and let me know if you like it as much as I do.
As with many of my recipes, this takes approximately 30min to prepare! The reason I try to do this is because I want to create dishes that are healthy, flavorful, and do not always require a lot of time in the kitchen. (not all of my recipes are healthy or quick…it’s just what best fits my life for the most part for now). Being in grad school, I don’t get to spend as much time cooking as I would like…but a girl’s gotta eat! So, I come up with these dishes that match my lifestyle, without compromising flavor (which is important to many of us). Ginger has become one of my FAVORITE things to cook with. It has sooo much flavor and spice. I just love it.
Let’s get to it!
What you will need to enjoy this dish:
1lb lean grass-fed beef
3 tablespoons ginger (finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup onion
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water OR vegetable broth
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 ½ tablespoon oregano
1 1/2 tablespoon parsley
1 pinch paprika
Mia’s ‘Go-To’ Salad:
2 large carrots (sliced)
1 cup spinach
1 cup kale
Juice from ½ lemon (optional)
For 1 cup of quinoa, you will want to add 2 cups of water or vegetable broth. Add butter, garlic powder, oregano, parsley, and paprika, and stir well. Cover and cook for 10min.
While quinoa is cooking, on medium-high heat, sauté onion for about 3min. Add beef and cook all the way through. When beef is half-way done, add ginger. Drain excess fat. Set aside. (The great part about using lean beef is that there’s less fat and more meat to enjoy!)
For the salad, add all ingredients to a large bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice (optional).
**For the salad…I should let you know…I LOVE experimenting with different textures and flavors in my salad. Hence the radish and strawberries…in the same bowl. 😊 Not everyone ‘gets’ the whole strawberries in a salad thing…but I promise, if you give it a try, it adds a unique, DELICIOUS flavor to it.
Until next time,