Not Your Mama’s Lasagna

Hello my good people!!

I am here to FINALLY share with you my lasagna recipe.  Warning: This is “NOT YO MAMA’S LASAGNA.”  You have been warned. 🙂

**This is not, I repeat this is not one of the healthy recipes I like to share. This is strictly for those looking for some comfort food!! If that is you…you are in good company. 🙂

Okay, so my recipe was created literally from the dome, based on the lasagnas I have tasted in the past.  But, I felt like it needed a little “MPH” in order to make it unique.  So, the general idea is very similar to your traditional lasagna, except with my own little twist!  My family has accepted the fact that they are ‘willing’ participants in my culinary experiments.  And this one did not disappoint! The special ingredient gives it just that extra push that I believe all lasagnas need.  Its the perfect little addition to this household favorite.  I won’t hold you in suspense too much longer, I know yall are dying to try it out for yourselves!  Which, I hope you do!  Comment below letting me know how it turns out for you!

Here it is:

Not Yo Mama’s Lasagna

What you will need:

9-12 lasagna pasta pieces (do NOT boil before laying in pan)

1lb ground beef

1lb jimmy dean breakfast sausage ***my SECRET/SPECIAL ingredient! 🙂

2 jars of Classico spaghetti sauce (any flavor you like. I usually get one garlic and one red pepper)

1 6 oz can of tomato paste

6-8oz bag Mozzarella cheese

6-8 oz bag Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup Ricotta cheese

Parsley (about 5 leaves)

2 eggs

1/2 cup Onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup bell pepper, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 lasagna baking pan


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

In large pan, combine: onion, bell pepper, garlic, ground beef and sausage

Cook until almost brown


Season meat to taste (juuuust a little)

Add spaghetti sauce and tomato paste

Cover and bring to boil (keep on low-medium heat setting)

While meat and sauce are coming to a boil:

Combine egg, parsley, ricotta cheese


Once meat reaches a boil, spray large baking pan with cooking spray

Cover bottom of pan with small layer of meat sauce

Add lasagna pieces (3 to a row)

Using a spoon, add egg mixture on top of the pasta

Sprinkle generous amount of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top of this

Add meat sauce

Repeat steps until pan is full or meat sauce runs out

Top the pan off with more cheese!!!

Cover pan securely with foil. Make sure there are no open spaces!! (this is important to make sure the pasta cooks all the way through)

Bake for 40-45min depending on your oven

Set for 10min

Serve with your favorite salad and dig In!


lean · Uncategorized

Ginger Beef & Herbed Quinoa Recipe 

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:

Ginger beef:

1lb lean grass-fed beef

3 tablespoons ginger (finely chopped)

2 cloves garlic

¼ cup onion

1 teaspoon olive oil

Herbed Quinoa:

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)

3 radishes

3 strawberries


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).


ginger beef

**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,


Spiritual Journey

But what about me?

Hey everyone!

I really wanted to share this piece with you all because I, just like everyone else need some encouragement.  Its wedding season, ‘baecation’ season, and whatever else season.  If I’m allowed to be brutally honest…it gets a bit gag-worthy sometimes.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE LOVE.  And I love seeing genuine, true, pure love illustrated in front of the masses.  That is something I look forward to sharing with my huzbin some day.  But not TOday.  Some of you may be thinking…but what about ME?  When is it going to be my turn?  When will I get to share my #MCM (is that even a thing anymore?), my engagement pictures and my wedding pictures?!  I’s tired of waiting Lord!

Let me stop you there.  I GET IT!  I reaaaallly do.  I mean, God created us for companionship.  Spiritual, social, and romantic companionship.  That’s not to say that everyone will get married…because not everyone will.  But trust me when I say I understand your sentiments.  I’m single as a dollar bill myself. 🙂 May I encourage you for a few moments?  I want to share a few practical things that I do to ‘check myself’ out of idolizing relationships.  In doing so, they empower me to rededicate myself to my #1 relationship.  Which is with Christ! Now, I’m not here to tell you to “stop thinking about it” or to guilt you into believing the desires of your heart are sinful. I just simply want to suggest some things that may help change your perspective/focus from idolozing anything or anyone but our Creator.

I do not have all of the answers.  Heck, I don’t even claim or pretend to have A LOT of the answers.  I am just blessed to have a village that sees fit to pour into my spirit which allows me to grow as a woman.

Below are just a few things that are working for me, that I hope and pray will lift your spirit and help you as well!

*Motive check*

What is driving your desire for companionship, courtship, and marriage?  Is it because ‘everyone else is doing it?’  Is it because you are feeling the pressures of the ‘late-twenties-early thirties blues?’  Is it because your parents love saying, “I sure want some grandbabies” while giving you the grin and side-eye? (I love you mama…I know you mean well! Lol).  If any of the above are reasons for your burning desire or envious nature, cut it.  Embrace and rest in this thought: “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” Psalm 37:4 New King James Version.  This is a reminder to enjoy and appreciate the time that we are able to spend with God while we can.  Talking with Him, studying His word, and applying His word.  Growing closer to Him daily.  Being a light to the world around us.  We should take pleasure in His word and His promises.  While you’re at it, remind yourself of this passage as well: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” Romans 8: 28 NKJV.  Things will work out for you.  Perfectly.  According to the will of God.  And He will exceed your expectations.

*Readiness/Purpose check*

Ask yourself: “Am I truly ready for what it is that I am praying and asking for?”  “Would I date, court, and marry me?”  For a long time, I didn’t really know what that looked like.  Today, I continuously evaluate myself and compare where I am to where I was 3 months ago.  6 months ago.  And so on.  Am I stagnant?  Am I growing?  Am I growing spiritually?  As a woman, daughter, sister, Christian, friend, etc?  If not…I am nowhere near ready to become someone’s lifelong companion.  Someone’s wife.

Am I at least actively evolving towards whole womanhood?  For me, this includes several things. It includes viewing myself as a woman through the eyes of God, NOT the world. And being made whole in that truth. It also includes actively seeking and pursuing my God-ordained purpose.  This includes pursuing my post-graduate degree in social work and relaunching Own Your Peach.  It even includes strengthening my relationship with those around me, my loved ones. Think about what this looks like for you.  Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 reminds us that there is a time, place, and a season for everything.  This includes the season of singleness you are currently in.  No matter what season we are in, we must take full advantage of using it to its full potential to please God.

*Realize and embrace the beauty of the NOW*

Instead of dwelling on what I do not have or what I want in the future, I am learning to live by this principle: I will continue seeking and walking in my purpose.  My husband will find me along the way.  I believe the same is true for you as well, friend.  Mainly because God already has a plan for our lives.  Through faith and obedience, things will manifest themselves in His perfect timing.  This applies to every aspect of our lives.  Not just romance.  Jeremiah 29: 11 teaches us that God wants only what is best for us: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” NKJV.  Knowing this truth, we can rest in and fully embrace the now, because God has already worked it out!

I hope and pray that these little truths encourage you on your journey, as we journey together!

Farkarwa ❤


Spiritual Journey

Girls with Pearls; Guys with Ties


Last weekend, I had the HONOR of conducting part of a workshop titled: “Girls with Pearls’ Guys with Ties.”  This workshop was geared toward young girls and young men ages 8-17.  The pearl reference is to show the girls the correlation between the priceless, incomparable value of pearls, and the value of themselves.  The title of our segment was “Remaining Pure in an Impure World,” where we presented Own Your Peach.  It had been quite some time since I allowed God to use me in this way, so I was somewhat nervous.  However, that was eliminated the moment we arrived!!

For the elementary school age girls, we had the girls create self-portraits.  The point of this was to get them to see how they view themselves, and why.  It was also to remind them of the importance to see themselves the way God sees them, beautiful inside and out.  The early adolescent period is crucial for a girl’s emotional and psychological development.  We must dig deep and consistently reinforce positive, healthy self-concepts.  They need to be reminded of their worth and value, especially because images they see in the media fails to do this.  The third point of this exercise was to show them that how we view ourselves, whether good or bad, impacts our lives at school, with family, friends, etc.  At the end of the activity, we had the girls present their self-portrait in front of the rest of the group.  This was great to see because initially, the girls were apprehensive about speaking in front of the large group.  But it was amazing to see the encouragement that they showed one another throughout this unfamiliar process.

The middle school girls had a different activity.  We played a unique game of BINGO.  Some of the BINGO pieces said things like “believes sex is a bad thing,” “believes that God loves us no matter what,” and “loves chocolate.”  The point of these BINGO pieces was to open up and encourage a conversation between the girls and their mothers about sex, abstinence, and purity.  That is one of the goals for Own Your Peach.  Not just to encourage abstinence, but to create a community that encourages open dialogue between young girls and women about the struggles they face.  This BINGO game was successful because everyone left encouraged, light-hearted, and empowered to continue the conversation.

Finally, we met with the high school girls, where the conversation got deep.  We discussed bullying, premarital sex and the emotional consequences, and the importance of positive relationships among young women.  We also dialogued about Own Your Peach’s up-and-coming website relaunch, goals and events.  We also discussed the mission of Own Your Peach which seeks to meet girls and women at whatever life stage they are in; regardless of their religious affiliation or lack thereof.  The girls also had an opportunity to share their input regarding what services and outreach programs they would benefit from through Own Your Peach.  This part of the workshop was especially powerful because myself and one of our other mentors had the opportunity to share our personal experiences coming into adult womanhood.  We always seek to empower, encourage and provide a safe, transparent, relatable space for the girls to belong and connect.

Although I always seek to be an encouragement to the girls we are privileged to meet.  However, they never cease to amaze and encourage me to continue striving to be the best version of myself.

Until next time…check out some pictures below from our successful event.  The remaining photos are posted on the Own Your Peach website.

All in all, God graced us with a successful event and we CANNOT WAIT for the official relaunch of the website!! Stay tuned. Hit follow and be the FIRST to know!

Elementary-age girls 🙂



Middle school-age ladies 🙂




We love silly pics! Some of us anyway. lol

High school ladies in deep thought…


High school ladies with one of the grandmothers/gracious event hosts


Final silly pic 🙂



Spiritual Journey

Are you a turtle?

Happy Friday!

I had something on my heart today that I wanted to share with you all.  As you know, part of this blog will share some of my spiritual journey.  And today’s post fits that description.  Let’s get to it!

So, I run a trail right outside of my neighborhood every morning.  Like clockwork.  So much that I pretty much see the same people each time.  It’s located right behind a school, so sometimes I see the children playing outside.  I often find myself reminiscing about the innocence of childhood that they still get to experience.

Well, today was no different.  I hadn’t even worked up a sweat, when I approached what I thought was a large rock from a distance.  As I got closer, I noticed it was a turtle!  Now, I’ve never been a person who is fascinated by a turtle.  However, this time was peculiar.  I felt inclined to stop and get a picture.  The turtle was minding his/her business, doing what turtles do (whatever that is)…until he/she saw me.  Not just as another part of nature.  But as a potential threat.  I witnessed the turtle with its neck extended, only to quickly stick its head back into its shell.  I immediately thought to myself, “how many times have I acted like this turtle?  How many times have I reverted back into my ‘shell/comfort zone’ because of fear, discouragement, or a perceived potential threat/disappointment?

I am not referring to the times where I practice God-given wisdom and discernment with life’s situations and people.  In fact, Psalm 119:66 reads: “Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands.”  Additionally, James 3:17 shares with us that wisdom from Heaven is “pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”

As we can see, applying knowledge that God gives us is important.  Instead, I am referring to the times where God has planted a seed in my heart, and because of my fear of the unknown…I chose not to follow-through.  Have you ever been guilty of this?  If you’re like me, where your faith has wilted at times, causing you to be like a turtle and ‘put your head back in your shell,’ may I encourage you for a moment?  Psalm 37:4 tells us that if we “take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  I believe the key part of this verse is not the Lord giving us what we want, because He can do any and everything according to His perfect will.  But the importance is in delighting in Him.  Taking pleasure in spending quality time with Him through prayer and studying His word.  Taking pleasure in knowing that He has our best interest at heart. Therefore, we have no reason to live in such fear.

After-all, the writer of Romans reminds us in Chapter 8, Verse 31: “What, then, shall we say in response to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?”  Therefore, he would never give us a reason to revert into our shell, but to stand bold and firm in His promises to love and care for us.  As He has already proven.  I mean, He does have a perfect tract-record.

Have a beautiful, faithful weekend!




#MeatlessMonday Mock *Chipotle* Burrito

‘Dooo you knowww what todayyyy is?’

No, it’s not my anniversary…it’s #MEATLESSMONDAY!

Can you feel the excitement? I hope so! Because I have a good one for you. Another simple, yummy, healthy, #Meatless idea for those of us who have had a hectic Monday and want to wind down to something light and fresh-tasting. As much as I looooove cooking (those who know me know that I do. I’m frequently bugging family and friends with pictures of my little creations), there are times where I do NOT feel like spending 45min-2hrs over a hot stove. (Yes, I can spend that much time in the kitchen. I cook with love, so I tend to get lost in it! Lol) AND it’s Summer in Texas? Aint nobody got time for that. Today anyway.

Okay, enough rambling. Let’s get to it.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. Shout-out to all the mamas! You make the world go ‘round. Life comes from you. I thank GOD for you. You are loved and appreciated. In any decent Mother’s Day fashion, there was LOTS of good eating. MY mama wanted to have lunch at a place called “This is It” which is a historical soul-food restaurant in Houston, TX. My true Houstonians know about this place and its popularity over the last 50+ years. Anywhoo, we. Ate. Good. From oxtails, pepper steak, rice and gravy, collard greens, mac and cheese, turkey legs, yams, and cornbread. We at it all. And I had my fair share. That being said…I was looking forward to going meatless today. To recover. And my body sure needed it. So, I came up with this “mock Chipotle” burrito. Similar to last week’s veggie tacos, but a little different. And it still takes less than 30min from start to finish. Hope you enjoy! I sure did 🙂

Mock “Chipotle” Burrito

What You will need to ‘Dig In’:

1 cup Jasmin rice

¼ cup quinoa

1 can black beans *I typically stick to organic canned goods (and produce as much as possible)*

1 can sweet corn, drained

2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped

2 large carrots, shredded

Pico de Gallo

2 radishes, chopped

2 organic tortillas

Parmesan cheese

Olive oil

Fresh fruit



Add rice and quinoa medium-large pot

Add 2 1/4 cups of water and cook for approximately 20min, set aside

Cook black beans and corn as instructed on can, set aside

While rice, black beans, and corn are cooking, chop remaining vegetables

Once rice and quinoa are fully cooked, in medium pan, add 1 teaspoon olive oil

Turn to medium-high heat

Coat both sides of tortilla with olive oil, allow to cook for 1min on each side

Remove from heat

Add all ingredients to tortilla based on your preference

Serve with fresh fruit




Let’s talk about…sex?

Disclaimer: This is not what you might have been thinking.  This wont contain any juicy secrets or stories.  In fact, it contains the complete opposite.  I was lead to create this post because I can’t count how many times I have been asked, “what are you waiting for?” “does talking about sex make you uncomfortable?” “are you/why are you a prude?” OR how many times I’ve been called a “goodie goodie.” *insert eye roll* OR how many times someone has simply/genuinely inquired about it.

 Never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate being a 27—going on 28-year-old virgin.  Yes, a VIRGIN!  Oh my goodness.  Did I just ‘say’ that?  I’ll allow you a few moments to gather your thoughts or ‘clutch your pearls’ as they say.

Are we good?  Good.  Let’s dig in.

Noooo I don’t run around screaming this information or forcing it onto the masses, but it is something that I am no longer uncomfortable discussing.  As a matter of fact, I invite and appreciate the conversation it elicits.  Now, had I known this would be part of God’s plan for me to reach my destination, I probably would have prepared my 10-year-old self when I naively made such a declaration to “wait to have sex until I’m married.”

Before we continue, allow me to set some ground work and provide this disclaimer: Sex is beautiful.  It was created by God.  It is not dirty or disgusting.  It is not something to be ashamed to speak about…in the proper context.  It was created to be enjoyed FREQUENTLY between husband and wife.

Now that we have that out of the way.  As a little girl, growing up in church, it was automatically a ‘thing’ that sex is intended for marriage.  Christians know this.  It was not a conversation piece.  You just didn’t question it.  My fellow church brats know this.  However, at a young age, I felt inclined to take a personal stance.  No one coached me into it.  Neither of my parents had the dreaded “talk” with me.  I felt not an ounce of pressure to conform to this ideology.  I just knew it was something I wanted to share and experience with my husband only.  At the tender age of 10, that was all it was.  The depth and breadth of it all came later.  About 13 years later to be exact.  You’ll see what I mean later in this post.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, my reasoning to ‘save myself for marriage’ extends further than biblical principles.  Although it happens to be the root of my choice, there was more to it for me because I didn’t consider it a burdensome commitment.  The word of God teaches us that we were created in the image of God: Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”  And that our bodies are a holy temple: 1 Corinthians 6:19 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  And that we should conduct and express ourselves based on these truths.

In addition to my faith, my reasons for choosing to ‘wait’ are quite complex.  Over time, I would hear stories from friends about how they had given their body to someone, who only left them heartbroken and abandoned.  Who wants to experience that?  I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy!  The way my heart and mind are setup…I knew that wasn’t an option for me.  So, that added weight to my “no!”  I understand that sex in and of itself does not lead to heartbreak.  And the lack thereof does not prevent it altogether.  However, I am only speaking for myself.  And my experience has allowed me to avoid extensive ties with men whom I would have deemed it impossible to move on from had that level of intimacy been reached.

Until recent years, my decision to remain sexless also stemmed partly from fear.  Not fear of getting in trouble with my parents or anything like that.  Not even fear of the pain experienced during my first time.  But fear of consequences I was not interested in facing.  Whether it was unplanned pregnancy, diseases, etc.  Now, some might say “those things can happen when you get married too!  Look at the divorce rate!  Look how common infidelity is!”  I get it.  I REAAALLY do.  Fortunately, I am no longer fearful of the negative consequences.  Instead, I became hopeful and optimistic of the benefits that accompany saving myself for marriage (if that is in God’s plan for my life).  I look forward to sharing this precious gift with my husband.  OFTEN.  God will be pleased!  Amen!  Aaaaand I have an opportunity to hopefully be an example to those around me.

This leads me to my final reason for such a commitment: *drumroll*…PURITY!

Purity is defined as “freedom from contamination.”

1 Timothy 4:12 advises us to be an “example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”  More so, Philippians 4:8, which also happens to be one of my favorite scriptures, tells us to purify ourselves and think on things that are pure and godly.  We purify ourselves from the inside out.  That is what I strive for.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I understand that if I seek purity…not marriage…not pleasing those around me…that everything will awaken itself at the appropriate time.

A turning point for me, was during my final semester of undergrad.  It was when I realized my true purpose about this whole ‘waiting until marriage/purity’ thing.  I realized it was soooo much bigger than lil ‘ol me.  I began to realize that GOD already had a plan for my life that would be centered on this concept.  But I have just begun to scratch the surface.  Upon realizing this, I was lead to found a nonprofit organization (Own Your Peach Inc.) with hopes to encourage other young girls and women around the world to see the benefits in this decision.  My purpose is not to ‘convince’ people one way or another.  But hopefully inspire those around me to see that there is a different option.  The one that God praises.  It is no longer so much of a ‘save yourself until marriage’ issue, but an ‘honor God and myself with my body’ commitment.  You can learn more about Own Your Peach here 

This adventure has sent me on a journey greater than my ten-year-old, innocent, angelic, pure heart bargained for.  And I wouldn’t change it for the world.  Why would I?  We’re just getting started.