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My Challenged Stomach

22 Sep

I can not do dairy. Well… I can, but I pay the price. My tummy DOES NOT appreciate it. Sometimes I can tolerate a very small amount, but usually it’s a no-go.

This is somewhat devastating.

I am a big fan of cheese, ice cream, cheese, YOGURT, Greek yogurt, cheese. I have been trying some substitutes. It’s not winning me over, to be honest. Especially in coffee. Nothing beats a cup of joe and a little bit of cream!

I’m starting to get a little creative though. Enter: nutritional yeast. This has helped a lot. The cheesy taste it gives off has been wonderful in dishes that I normally would love a good sprinkle of cheese on top.

This got me thinking of a dish that my mom used to make. It was a cheesy (I think she used Velveeta), rice, chicken and broccoli dish. This dish would give me a heart attack if I tried eating it today. But it was sounding so delicious!

So I thought that maybe I could fudge it… and make it healthier!

‘Cheesy’ Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Skillet

1.5 cooked chicken breasts, chopped into 1/2″ squares

2 c broccoli florets

1 c veggie or chicken broth, or water

1 c dry brown rice, cooked

1/2 c hummus

zest and juice of one large lemon

3 T nutritional yeast

3 green onions, chopped

1/4 sliced almonds

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Method:

Cook rice according to package directions.

Meanwhile, place chicken, broccoli and broth in a deep skillet. Cover and steam until broccoli is just tender. You can cook it longer if you like your broccoli mushier.

In a separate bowl, combine hummus, lemon zest and juice and yeast. Whisk it up until smooth.

Add hot rice and hummus mixture to the skillet with the broccoli. Mix to combine. Add green onions, almonds and season with salt and pepper to taste.

This was almost exactly like the cheesy dish my momma used to make. I really enjoyed it and so did Kyle! It’s also makes really great leftovers.

A fun thing I did yesterday was make kale chips!

I’ve tried this once before and it was a total fail! I burnt them like crazy!

But this time… SUCCESS!!

Especially delicious with Sriracha and/or ketchup on top!

I also tried the Teeccino in the Frech Press.

I enjoyed it A LOT more. The flavor was a lot deeper and the texture was a bit thicker, too.

muuuch better 🙂

A pretty decent substitute, but I am going to be perfectly honest, I had some coffee today. I don’t think that I can ever stop!! It will just be a special treat.

I want to add a picture of my oatmeal, too. Just cause I thought it was super pretty!

Good news: I had a job interview today. It seemed to have gone well. If it’s where I’m meant to be, then it will work out. If not… we’ll keep on keepin’ on. Hope your hump day is treatin’ you allll-right!

Kaleigh


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A Weekend of Healing- Sunday

20 Sep

As Kyle mentioned, we did not do much of anything on Sunday. And it was great! Well, Kyle had to work a few hours in the morning, so he did something, but after that, we just hung around the house.

I slept in and then woke up and made an ultimate comfort food… chocolate chip pancakes!!

Topped with walnuts, butter, maple syrup and banana slices!

Accompanied by Teeccino. Kyle made some before he left for work and he went with the Caffe Organic variety.

Molly believes this is meant for her. Dream on pup!

It is earthy and good, just not blowing my mind yet.

I know Kyle used less water, but the taste still seemed weak to me. I think I will try it in the french press tomorrow and see what that gives us.

After doing some cleaning Kyle got home. We hung around all day, watching football, reading, laughing at the dogs, ENJOYING each other’s company (due to conflicting work schedules, this has been a rare occurrence). We snacked on more candy corn and cookies. I had a bagel! I haven’t had one in so long. I also had leftovers from Saturday night. Stuffed peppers. I kind of went off of Julie’s recipe. I didn’t have several things she used and I also added some things.

Easy Stuffed Peppers

2 medium peppers (I had one HUGE one and one small)

2 eggs

2 tomatoes, pureed

1/2 small can sliced black olives

1 small onion, finely chopped

about 1 T of seasoning from Lipton Pasta Sides Alfredo, or onion powder

5 oz can tuna, water drained

4 mushrooms, diced

Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with foil. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Slice peppers in half and rip out the top with all the seeds attached. Lay the peppers on the foil, cut side facing up. Distribute filling evenly among the pepper halves. Bake for 25 minutes or until filling is warm.

These were really easy and awesome. Kyle thought they needed more spice (=heat), so you may want to add some hot sauce to the filling before scooping it into the peppers.

After lunch was a nap, more hanging around and church. It was amazing because the message and music at church was exactly what I needed to hear. It’s so strange but so comforting that this happens more often than not.

Afterwards, we were treated to some Baskin Robbins. Cookie dough is just too good. Thanks Papa and Mama B!! So kind of you to take us out.

So things that came out of this weekend:

  1. Clearly God feels I need  a break. A time to sit back and do things I’ve really been wanting to do. Time to dream. Time to get to be with Kyle and have a lot more fun with him. Time to have fun with the dogs. I even made a list of things I’d like to do with all my “free time”. I’m a big list person.
  2. This is a time to discover something else. Something new.  It may not be the ideal job right now, but a job is a job.  Which leads me to my next point…
  3. Don’t take anything for granted. I’m reminded of this yet again. You think you know what the plan is, but it’s not. Things are always changing. Don’t take your job, your life, your friends or family or anything else for granted because before you know it, it’s gone. Without any warning. And there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.
  4. This kind of is the same thing as point #3, but appreciate the little things. It’s hard when your tired and you’ve been running around like crazy because… well life is crazy, but don’t forget to pay attention to little things that warm your heart. Like a faint glow behind the mountains at 8:30 pm, getting to laize about with some one you care for, the sweet look that your puppy gives you as you scratch their belly, giving your significant other a heartfelt, but simple compliment, the way sunshine trickles on your skin and can give you goosebumps. I’m drawing from these little things to really give great joy to my days.
  5. Don’t stop dreaming. Even though you think you are where you should be, it doesn’t mean you can’t keep on dreaming up other amazing things you can do with your time here on this earth. Have confidence that YOU are capable of wonderful things. What happened in the past does not define the rest of your life and the future leaves open so many possibilities of things that can be accomplished to help others.
  6. I knew this very well before, but I just want to throw it out there that I have an amazing husband. He is strong, positive, loving and caring. He is my rock. He gives me hope and makes me shoot for the stars. He rocks my world.
  7. I have a lot of room for growth, but I’ve come a long way. All I can do is trust and pray.
  8. Readers, you are likely to benefit from our situation as we are going to have to start getting very savvy with ways to save money. I plan to develop new recipes and find more ways to save money (cause it’s going to get tight here real soon). I’ll will pass on all our low-cost recipes and money saving tips to you!

This weekend was wonderful. Just what my heart, mind, body and soul needed. I hope yours was just as fulfilling.

Love,

Kaleigh

A Weekend of Healing- Saturday

18 Sep

It is so strange how God works in our lives. You go through your days thinking that everything is going great, you are where you need to be, you are doing what you are meant to do (well at least for a while). And then BAM! Your whole world changes. Without any real warning. And all you can think is…”Now what?”

You try to be positive in bad circumstances. You want to be. But its so hard. It’s so hard to see what these circumstances mean. What do I do now? What is the plan for ME?

Friday was a really tough day for the 2 people.

Comfort foods and relaxing immediately ensued. Things such as pizza, Amy’s macaroni and cheese, pbfingers flourless peanut butter cookies and CANDY CORN! We definitely did not hold back.

Pure sugar, but it isn't fall without them!

This weekend is meant for healing. Meant for relaxing. Reflecting. Praying. Trusting.

A LOT of trusting. Trusting that the plan for us is good. Trusting that things are going to be ok. Trusting that something so great is going to come out of this.

This morning I woke up to this.

Very fitting for the mood. A dreary and cool (but welcomed) beginging to the day. This absolutely meant warm oatmeal and “coffee”.  On a side note, since I have been on my detox, I haven’t had caffeine in about a month and a half. I tried it a few days ago, and it didn’t go well. Heartburn. So I ordered this…

It’s called Teeccino. We got a 12 pack sampler so we can try a bunch of different flavors! It is herbal tea  that is supposed to taste very similar coffee. It has no caffeine in it, but has natural energy boosters. I am hoping that I am going to like  it because I don’t think my tummy can handle the acidity of coffee very well :(. This is very depressing because I LOVE coffee!

We decided to try the Hazelnut variety this morning.

Brews just like coffee.

It was good. Not amazing. The flavor was not very strong so I think the next batch we try, we’ll use less water. No heartburn though!

My oatmeal on the other hand WAS AMAZING! The best I’ve had in a looong time! It was like I was eating banana bread batter! It was oats, with banana, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves, walnuts, brown sugar and cut up gala apples.

After watching a little football, we decided to walk over to the small dairy farm that is right behind our apartment complex. They were putting on a fall festival! Perfect day for it!

piggies!

Complete with camel rides and llamas!

Here’s what I was hoping with all my heart that we would find here!!!

It's hard to tell but this guy was huge! Bigger than a toilet bowl! (I couldn't think of anything better)

PUMPKINS!!!!

Here’s what we came home with! I am so excited! I have been longing for home roasted pumpkin for about a month now! It’s definitely the secret to making deep flavored and delicious pumpkin bread!

First pumpkin of the season!!

Beautiful!

Kyle had to work this afternoon and evening, so I watched some more football, took a nap, went for an hour long work out and made some stuffed peppers for dinner. And had another cookie. Day one has been nice. Heart warming, soul soothing and laid back. I am grateful for this day. I hope tomorrow will be just as wonderful.