Taco Zucchini Boats

Nothing beats a leftovers that isn’t really leftovers – meaning, you use all the vegetables scraps you have leftover from the week and make a meal out of it.  I hate letting food go to waste, so when I have random vegetables in the fridge that are about to go bad I always make zucchini boats, stuffed peppers or some sort of stir fry with them.  This week, I ran out of tomato sauce to make my typical Italian zucchini boats so decided to change it up a bit and make it “taco themed”.  

I hope you all enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

2 medium zucchinis (cut in half lengthwise)

1/2 cup pico de gallo (or salsa)

1 lb lean ground chicken

1 package of taco seasoning (or homemade taco seasoning recipe here)

1/2 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese

1/4 cup chopped onion or cilantro, for topping

1/4  cup green pepper

1/4  cup red pepper

1 lime

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Using a small spoon or melon baller (or spoon), hollow out the center of the zucchini halves (I make little “chip” like bites for our 2 year old.
  2. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces (can set aside 3/4 of a cup to add to the taco filling if you want)
  3. Brown chicken in a large skillet, breaking up while it cooks. When no longer pink add the spices and mix well.
  4. Add the onion, bell peppers, and reserved zucchini.  Stir and cover, simmer on low for about 5 minutes
  5. Using a spoon, fill the hollowed zucchini boats dividing the taco meat equally, about 1/3 cup in each, pressing firmly.
  6. Top each with 2 tablespoon of shredded cheese.
  7. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through.
  8. Top with cilantro and serve with salsa or pico on the side.

Enjoy!

Style JAMs

I have been asked a few times why I started my blog.

After having Anna, I left my job as a Full-time Social Worker to be a stay at home mom.  The first year of being a mom to sweet Anna I was extremely busy with learning the ropes, exclusively pumping, catching up on some much needed sleep when I could and spending time with my family and friends when I had the time. 

After Anna turned one, and my breastfeeding journey (and pumping 12 times a day) ended, I had some more time on my hands and decided I wanted to start on a new journey, the journey of blogging.  Jay, my husband and Anna, my daughter are the reason I started Style JAMs – so I could have an outlet to share some of my favorite things with others.  I love fashion, home decor, cooking, traveling and spending time with my loved ones, which are just a few of the things you see throughout my blog.

Another question I frequently get asked is where I came up with the name “Style JAMS”

Jay & Anna are also the motivation behind the name Style JAMs – Jay, Anna, Michelle = JAM.  I have always been obsessed with “JAM” because it is my dad’s initials (total daddy’s girl)!  It wasn’t till after we had Anna that I realized the “JAM” continued on with our names, and it kind of stuck!

I would love to do a Q & A blog post – so if you have any other questions please feel free to email me at stylejamsblog@gmail.com and I will read through them all and write a fun “get to know me” blog post!

Have a great day, friends!

Say yes to salad!

Whenever I was asked to make a side dish for family events I was always asked to bring a salad. Well, as a teenager/young adult salads to me consisted of romaine lettuce topped with cheese and croutons.  Not the most appetizing dish to bring as your side dish.

After getting asked 10 plus times to make a salad for different events, I went on the hunt to find the perfect salad.  After a few failed, soggy salads I think finally found a delicious winner!

My husband and I eat this salad as a side dish and have also added meat toppings (like bacon or chicken) to bulk it up a bit and have ate it as our main dish.

 

Ingredients:

Baby Spring Mix

Red onion (diced)

Grape tomatoes (diced)

Cucumbers (diced)

Feta cheese or Blue Cheese (grated)

Candied pecans (diced – I buy mine pre-made from the grocery store – homemade recipe here)

Dressing Options: 

Vinaigrette (my husband and I prefer vinaigrettes)

Homemade citrus vinaigrette dressing option HERE

Ranch (my dad and a few family members prefer Ranch)

Optional Toppings:

Crumbled bacon  

Grilled chicken

Enjoy!!

Anna turns 2

August 14th 2015 we welcomed our sweet daughter Anna into the world. I am going to sound like every parent and say that I can’t belive it’s been 2 years already and I am happy to say that we’ve been completely blessed with one of the most beautiful, happy, fun and loving children I’ve ever met. But of course I would say that, I am here “mama”.

Truthfully, I’m just grateful to be fortunate enough to experience parenthood. It enriched m soul in a way that is indescribable.

In a way, we both grew together over the past 2 years. Anna learned many things, and I learned many things. In many ways, Anna taught me more than I taught her.

And here you are, two years old – happy, sweet yet sassy, independent yet cuddly, strong-willed yet easy-going little girl.

Thank you sweet girl for the lessons, the laughter and changing me forever – you’re everything and then some!

Happy 2nd birthday sweetheart!

My Mariachi Band

I once heard the quote “you can buy children anything in the world, but nothing will compare to the memories you make with them” – this has become my parenting mantra.  Parenting is hard, like really hard, at times we do the best we can with just trying to raise happy & confident children.  There are days we feel like we have it all figured out and we are on top of our “parenting game” and other days we may feel like we fall short and can’t do anything right.  I am here to tell you, you’re doing a wonderful job, keep up the great (hard) work and give your kiddo(s) an extra hug and kiss today!  The statement is true, “the nights are long but the years are short” – Gretchen Rubin.

This winter we were able to take a vacation to Florida and Mexico with our little toddler, Anna.  Now I use the word “vacation” loosely because anyone who has traveled with a busy toddler (or any child for that matter) knows it can be hard work filled with unexpected twists and turns.  Day 1 in Flordia Anna had a delayed allergic reaction to some medication she was on the week before, which resulted in an ER trip (all ended up good and she was 100% fine the following day, just another example on how things don’t always go as planned.)  We pushed through all the  “difficult” situations  and decided to accept the good with the bad and truly embrace both vacations.  All I really wanted out of these vacations was  family time, cuddles, endless laughter and unforgettable memories made with my two favorite people on the planet, and that is exactly what I got.

The first time Anna hit the beach and took off like the free soul she is,  I thought to myself,  “wow, we are living in the wrong place – this girl is a natural beach babe, we must move out of the cold Midwest immediately!” But all wishful thinking & joking aside, she rocked the beach like she owned it!  The smile she had on her face the entire time she was at the beach made everything worthwhile!  These memories will last us a lifetime.  It’s the same happiness she shows at the local park, grocery store or even in our front yard.  Children have it all figured out and are present with whatever they are doing – it is definitely something we as adults can learn from.   And always remember, you are doing an AMAZING job parenting your children!  Keep up the GREAT work.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures of our two winter vacations.  Enjoy!

Michelle