Saturday, November 16, 2013

Chicken Veggie Lasagne

I love a creamy veggie lasagna but cringe when I see how unhealthy most in the freezer section are!  Veggies are supposed to be healthy, right!?!  Here is an easy recipe for you that is chock FULL of veggies and lean protein! Plus, it won't make you feel like you ate a ton of bricks afterward!  

1/2 Onion (chopped)
2 stalks celery (chopped)
1/4 cup green pepper (chopped)
1/4 cup red pepper (chopped)
1 can sliced mushrooms
 2-3 cups chopped veggies (I used zucchini, squash, frozen carrot disks, broccoli and spinach)
1 tsp minced garlic
8 oz of chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
can of cream of chicken soup
can of cream of mushroom soup
1 tbsp. plain non-fat greek yogurt
3-4 cooked, chopped chicken breasts
8 oz light Cottage Cheese
1 cup light Shredded Mozzarella
1 egg
1 tsp Italian seasoning (optional)
Lasagne Noodles cooked (al dente) and drained
Grated Parmesean

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Lightly spray a 9x9 baking dish
Sautee all veggies until tender in a pan using nonstick spray (I also add it a bit of chicken broth if it gets dry)
Remove pan from heat and stir in minced garlic, salt, pepper, both cans of soup, greek yogurt and chicken; stir until completely combined (you can add in some broth here as well if your sauce is too thick....its your preference but keep it a sauce and not a soup consistency)
In a small bowl, mix cottage cheese, mozzarella, egg and (optional) Italian seasoning. (We are not big "cheese" lovers so I go light on the cheese on all the recipes I make)

Now you are ready to assemble your lasagna!.... 
Layer 1:
1/3 of sauce mixture
 layer of noodles
1/2 of cottage cheese mixture
Layer 2:
1/3 of sauce
layer of noodles
1/2 cottage cheese mixture
Layer 3:
final 1/3 sauce mixture
finish with grated Parmesan

Bake at 350 for approximately 40 minutes or until top is golden and sides are hot and bubbly!  
Dinner Devotional:
Ephesians 4:1-3; 29-32
"Getting Along without getting your way"
Getting along with people is not always easy.  And yes, some people are harder to get along with than others.  Sometimes it's the very people who are living under our same roof that can be hardest to get along with.  When you want Taco Bell for dinner; it never fails, all your siblings pick McDonald's.  You want to watch your favorite TV show....but cartoons are the only thing that's "appropriate" for your little sister.  And don't EVEN get me started on who has been eating all the gooey, crunchy marshmallow surprise cereal that NO ONE wanted but YOU when your mom went to the store!!!  And Mom and Dad, don't think you're getting off the hook either!  We all know there are times when the dirty laundry left on the floor seems to go from annoying to unbearable and times when a family member seems to narrate even the most mundane details, talking circles about nothing until FINALLY reaching the point of the story!  Yes, we all have our patience tested from time to time.  But, being in a family means learning to work together.  Being a family is getting along....without getting your way.
   Choosing to get along is just that, a choice.  It's not being kind when we feel like it, it's being kind because Jesus has called us to it.  Let's look at what the bible says about the importance of getting along and how we are to treat each other.  
    In Ephesians 4:1-3, Paul writes to his brothers and sisters in Christ saying, "I, therefore a prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the Lord of peace." 
   Do you think Paul needed to write this because it was easy for the people in that time to get along?  NO!  This proves that even for believers in Christ, we all need to work at it.  Now let's look at how Paul finishes his letter to the Ephesians about unity. 
   Ephesians 4:29-32 states, "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such that is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."
1.)  What does it mean to "walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we are called?"
Answer - to act and live with a greater purpose showing MORE kindness than the average individual.
2.)  What does it mean to be "eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the Lord of peace?"
Answer - to always be striving for and working towards unity and peace.
3.)  Why is "corrupting talk" so hurtful?
Answer - Our words matter!!! Letting your tongue fly for a moment may feel good at the time but will bring pain to someone that could last a day, week or even more!
4.)  How can encouraging talk help our family?
Answer - Encouraging words bring joy and happiness to a loved one which creates a happier environment for all!
5.)  Who does it ultimately hurt when we don't choose to get along?
Answer - The Holy Spirit, God
6.) Now, each of you ask yourselves, "are my words encouraging and building others around me up.... or tearing them down?"
   Talking about the importance of getting along is nothing new; and according to Paul, it's been an issue for well over  thousands of years!  We all know we need to treat each other with love and kindness, but when we stop and remember it's God we're hurting when we hurt each other, it makes it easier to choose to show patience, kindness and forgiveness to one another  And after all, since God has already forgiven us for the many things we do that hurt him, how can we not do the same for others?
Discuss as a family how you can show love and kindness when you don't feel like it and memorize the following memory verse.
*Memory Verse*
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." - Ephesians 4 :32

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