1.26.2015

Three Easy Meals For When You're Too Tired To Cook: Part 1

As promised: more documenting, and a not-so-heavy post.

I love to cook. I find it really relaxing and I feel much happier after a meal if it's come from fresh food instead of a box or a fast food place. The problem though, is that cooking can be really time consuming.

Only about once or twice during the week do I spend any real time on dinner (as in over half an hour getting things ready). Other than that I try to get food on the table within about twenty minutes. This can be difficult if you're trying to stay away from instant meals like Mac & Cheese or grilled cheese sandwiches- basically anything with dairy in it- why must cheese be so delicious? Scott and I both don't do well with dairy. I become a bloated pig for the next day and Scotty breaks out like a pubescent teen.

So here are my favourite sugar-free, dairy-free, and worry-free meals that we make.

I actually don't know the name of this dish, but my sister made it for me once and it was DELICIOUS- so let's call it peppers and chicken haha. I tried to recreate it the next day (that's how good it was) but I only used what I could remember. I have realized this dish is basically foolproof. I've thrown whatever I feel like in with it and it has always turned out great. The other great part? It requires little to no cooking-in-front-of-a-hot-stove-sweating-to-death kind of preparation and everything is fresh.

One way I cut out a lot of cooking time is I cook my chicken breasts at the beginning of the week. Then I can quickly grab one out of the fridge and put it on a frying pan for a few minutes if needs be. It saves SO much time. Also, this is a great recipe for if you're like me and you buy bell peppers constantly and then forget to use them.

Well, let's get to it!


Peppers and Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 chicken breasts cooked and sliced (Scott and I easily go through two)
  • 5-6 bell peppers sliced (We usually use 3 for just the two of us)
  • Half a red onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded
Combine those in a bowl and let them sit. I have added banana peppers instead of jalapeño and my sister adds olives instead of jalapeño. Some other time maybe I'll post on when you should use certain kinds of onions. Once you know what kind to use, it will change your meals for the better!

Sauce:
  • Quarter cup of red wine vinegar (I usually use less than this)
  • Quarter cup of olive oil (I use less oil too)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar (I double it because I have a weird addiction to balsamic vinegar)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of chili flakes
  • 2 cloves of garlic (I press mine- I love my garlic press!!)

Mix those together and pour over the the first half. Let it sit for a few minutes to soak up the juices. 

Right before serving dice up two tomatoes and mix them in. Salt and pepper to taste.

I have served it with baguettes or buns to dip in the juice and it's delicious, but if you're trying to stay away from bread it's delicious all on its own! The chicken really soaks up the flavour and the peppers are a yummy crunch. 

Enjoy!




Can we just laugh at this picture for a second? I actually made this recipe the other day, and I was so hungry I didn't think to take a picture. For some reason I feel like a recipe needs a picture... Pixlr skills to the rescue! 

1.22.2015

I Hate Finals Week

I have severe writer's block. The thing with blogs is that it's really fun to write on one, but then I remember that my words will be put out into space and I get too nervous. My resolution this year is to record, and I'm hoping to make a book for my someday family. I tried to do a scrapbook and it sucked, and then I thought I would do an Instagram book and remembered my Instagram is embarrassing.

So here I am, having no idea what to talk about. C'est la vie; it must be done. I am in a weird zone of my blog right now. Do I get down to the nitty-gritty, or do I tell you guys a bunch of non-interesting details about my life? That is the question. I think I'll start with the non-interesting details, if we're going to be straight forward here.

I am still teaching, and my classes are getting into their finals. I have decided this is the worst time of year. Yesterday in a final I saw a 16 year old boy silently start to cry as test anxiety and panic started to take over. I had a very conflicting dialogue with myself. Do I help the boy? Well, it's a final and he needs to do this on his own... But would I want someone to help me? Yes, but again, Kelsey, it is a final and this needs to assess his understanding! I started to cry. Haha, so silly. I shed a single tear for this boy. That's so embarrassing to say. In the end I got up and helped the kid. I helped him plan his essay out and gave him some ideas. I feel a little guilty, because there was some definite nudging on my part, but to see relief wash over his face when he realized he could do it was totally worth it.

I realized two things in that instance:

1. There is nothing worse than finals week.

2. I really, genuinely love the kids I teach.

Somedays I come home from work, throw my bag down and my hands up and tell Scott, "I am so done with this. I am done with those crabby, lazy, no good, rotten teenagers! Why can't they work? Why are they so mean to each other? Why can't they get off their (blank) phones?!" I usually rant for a few more minutes, declare myself done with them for eternity, and then have a three hour nap. There have been times where I have gone to bed and thought, "If I didn't show up to work, or if I never went back, would they notice? Am I accomplishing anything in the slightest with these kids?" On those nights sleep does not come easily.

But then something like that test happens, only slightly different. A kid comes and asks for help, or someone that I usually see alone in the halls feels safe in my room, or they do/say something so absurdly hilarious that I laugh harder than I probably ever have before. I realize that I have the chance to be a constant in their life. I am always there for them, sitting at my desk, probably eating some kind of stress treat to get through the day (like the Mr. Big I have in my mouth as I'm typing this), and ready to help them. All this because I love them. I don't know how or when it happens, but it does.


Well, I didn't mean for this blog to turn heavy. My next one will be very light and fluffy, I promise!






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