lean · Spiritual Journey

Featured Post…Zucchini Enchiladas! (By Courtney Oles)

Heyyyy everyone!!

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!! 😊

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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.

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

 

Old El Paso Red Enchilada Sauce 10oz Can (I use hot flavor)

4 large zucchinis, halved lengthwise

1lb Ground turkey

1 onion

Salt

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

Y-shaped peeler

Directions:

 

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

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Farkarwa ❤

Taste Buds

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

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

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

Cook until almost brown

Drain

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

Whisk

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!

lasagna