Saturday, March 10, 2012

March Dinners

To read more about this post, go here.

Our Top Dinner Ideas:
1. Chili-Rubbed Tilapia
2.Chicken Tetrazzini
3. Quick Zucchini Parmesan*
4. Chicken Tortilla Soup*
5. Spicy Chicken Tacos
6. Roasted Chicken Lasagna with Ricotta and Spinach*
7. Pork Tenderloin Southern Style
8. Honey Sauced Chicken (in crock pot)
9. Quinoa Burgers
10. -Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
11. Veggie burgers (Publix Greenwise brand)
*See recipe below

Trying these new recipes in March (and I will add them to the list if we like them!):
-Honey Lime Tilapia
-Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche with a Brown Rice Crust
-BBQ pork sandwiches
-Tuscan Vegetable Soup
-Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
-Black bean burgers (Flying Biscuit's "Love Cakes")

Quick Zucchini Parmesan (recipe from my aunt, not sure of original source)
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 medium roma tomatoes
1/4 tsp. salt
2 medium zucchini
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
cooked brown rice or whole wheat pasta

1. In a 9" skillet, heat oil, add onion and saute until golden.  Add garlic.
2. Stir in tomatoes and salt, cook 2 minutes.  Wash zucchini and tip off and discard ends.  Cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices.
3. In a small bowl, combine basil and oregano and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.  Sprinkle cheese mixture over zucchini and pat firmly onto zucchini.
4. Remove 1/2 of tomato mixture from skillet.  Arrange zucchini slices in skillet.  Spoon removed 1/2 of tomatoes over slices.
5. In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, remaining Parmesan, and mozzarella.  Sprinkle over zucchini.  Cover tightly and simmer 8-10 minutes.  Uncover and broil until cheese browns.  Serve with pasta or rice. 

Our Favorite Chicken Tortilla Soup (not sure of original source)
3 large chicken breasts
8 cups of water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
1 (16oz) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 small package frozen corn
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 medium zucchini, sliced and diced
3 yellow squash, sliced and diced
2 large carrots (or about 2 handfuls of small ones (sliced)
1 can mild rotel
3 tsp. cumin
3 tsp. garlic powder
Boil 8 cups of water and cook chicken in water for broth  Remove chicken (shred or cut into bite-sized pieces) and add bouillon cubes to broth.  Saute onion and garlic in olive oil.  Add veggies, sauteed mixture, and all other ingredients.  Boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.  (**Can also be put in crock pot and cooked on high until vegetables are soft.)

Serve with chips, cheese, avocado, and sour cream.

Roasted Chicken Lasagna with Ricotta and Spinach (my variation from a Taste of Homerecipe)
1 cup light (or fat free) ricotta cheese
1 cup low-fat (or fat free) cottage cheese
1/2 pkg. (5oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 egg
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
10 uncooked whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 small fully cooked rotisserie chicken, skinned and chopped into bite-sized pieces (about 3 1/2 cups chopped)
1 T olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 6oz. can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 small yellow squash, chopped
2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup crumbled light feta cheese
8 ozs. shredded light mozzarella cheese
2 T chopped fresh parsley

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, cottage cheese, spinach, egg, oregano, and black pepper.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare lasagna noodles according to package directions.  Drain.  Rinse with cold water and drain again.  Set aside.

Saute onion and garlic in 1 T olive oil until onion is tender.  Stir in tomato paste, water, zucchini, squash, salt, oregano, and pepper.  Simmer, covered, 30 minutes.

Spray a 9" x 13" baking pan with cooking spray.  To assemble lasagna, spoon 1 cup sauce over bottom of pan.  Arrange 3-4 lasagna noodles over sauce.  Top noodles with another cup of sauce followed by 1/3 chicken, 1/3 feta, and 1/3 mozzarella.  Arrange 3-4 more noodles over top, followed by 1 cup sauce, 1/3 chicken, all of the ricotta/spinach mixture, 1/3 feta, and 1/3 mozzarella.  If you have enough sauce left over, repeat layering with remaining noodles, sauce, chicken, feta, and mozzarella.  Sprinkle parsley over top.

Cover loosely with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for 5 more minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Celebrating our 2nd Baby's Life Through Epen

Today, March 4, 2012, was our second child's due date.

We will never have the privilege of meeting our sweet baby on this earth, but my sadness is replaced by peace and joy as I imagine him or her being in the presence of Jesus each and every day.  A part of me yearns to be right there as well, kissing those sweet cheeks as we worship our Savior.  

Thank you, Father, for creating a new life, even if it was a short life of only 10 weeks in our eyes.  We are humbled and grateful for our second child.  

As we processed our grief, we knew that we wanted to remember our little one.  We prayed this baby's life would have a lasting impact here on the earth, not just in his or her Mommy and Daddy's hearts.  With God's gentle guidance, we decided to sponsor a Compassion child.

I am honored to introduce Epen (short for Stevan), born on March 4, 2002........

Whenever I look at Epen, I see a precious child of God in need of love and basic needs, just as our child would have been.  My Hero and I are so thankful to have the opportunity to impact his life.

So, today, we are singing Happy Birthday to Epen, the little boy who holds my heart in a deep, special way.

Counting gifts...

659. Honoring the life of our second child by impacting the life of a very special boy named Epen.