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Hey Friends, it’s Coralis again!
I just finished my first year of optometry school! It has been so surreal and an amazing experience. I learned so much more than I could ever imagine. So far, I have learned skills such as determining a patient’s prescription, looking at the optic disc at the back of the eye and how to examine presbyopic patients. I’ve also learned some chair skills that I was able to do on some friends and family when I came home for breaks. It was so nice to be able to show them some of the things I had been learning at school.
Aside from all the studying and exams, I have met a lot of wonderful people and made some great memories. SCO offers a lot of these fun activities that a lot of my classmates and I can enjoy. The Omega Delta (OD) fraternity hosts parties about once a month. My favorite party that I went to was the “Jarty Party”, which was a denim day party! We can also get some free or discounted tickets to Grizzlies games, Memphis 901 soccer games, and Memphis Redbirds baseball games. I had the opportunity to go to a Grizzlies game and we beat the Utah Jazz! However, one of my favorite times was going to the annual Eyeball! Eyeball is like prom or homecoming and people from all classes come together and dress up!
Unfortunately, due to the world’s current situation with the Coronavirus, our traditional way of learning was cut short. We had transitioned to virtual learning in the middle of March and ultimately ended the semester online. Throughout the quarantine and isolation, we took 13 exams and 1 practical online; but the faculty and professors were helping us every step of the way. Even through this unprecedented and unexpected time, the SCO family was dedicated to helping us succeed and learn everything we needed to. Which goes back to my previous post about SCO being the perfect school for me!
On the other hand, I had the opportunity to go back home to Florida and spend some more time with my mom (yes, I did the treacherous 14 hour drive again, but this time by myself). I have been able to try out new recipes that I’ve always wanted to make. It was so good that I’m going to share my zucchini lasagna with you!
To make this amazing dish you will need: 4-6 zucchinis, 2 tbsp oil, 1 lb ground beef/turkey, 2-3 cloves of garlic, ¼ tsp of Italian seasoning, ½ diced onion, 1 container of ricotta cheese, 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese, 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 large egg, 1 jar of marinara sauce, and salt and pepper to taste.
Start out by preheating the oven to 375 degrees and cutting the zucchinis into thin slices lengthwise. Then, lay the slices out on paper towels and lightly salt them to remove the excess moisture. After about 15 minutes, pat them dry and remove the salt. While the zucchini slices are “sweating”, lightly sauté the garlic and onion in the oil. Then, add the ground beef/turkey, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. After the meat is cooked, drain the excess oil and add the marina sauce (save some to add to the dish later). Turn the heat down and let the meat sauce simmer for about 5-10 minutes. To make the cheese stuffing, mix the ricotta cheese, ½ cup of parmesan cheese, ½ cup of mozzarella cheese, and egg in a separate bowl. You can choose to add some Italian seasoning to the cheese mixture if you wish for a little more flavor. Next, assemble the lasagna. Start out by adding the remainder of the marina sauce to the bottom of the dish. Then, line the bottom of the pan with zucchini, leaving no gaps between the slices. Next, add a thin layer of mozzarella cheese, followed by the meat sauce, then the cheese mixture. Repeat again with the zucchini slices, mozzarella cheese, meat sauce and cheese mixture. Then, add the last layer zucchini slices, and the remainder of the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Bake the lasagna for 30 minutes uncovered then broil for 3-4 minutes to toast the top layer of cheese. Let it cool and enjoy!
All in all, the ups and downs of this past year have taught me so much and I am so grateful to be at this school. Even with this current situation going on, I am still excited to see what the next 3 years has in store for me!
I hope you enjoy the recipe and until next time,