Tag Archives: Delicious

Instant Pot Thoughts

Flowers_April 2017

I thought I’d continue my Instant Pot or Instapot thoughts.  So far I’m finding that the instapot is not:

  1. Going to help me lose weight…I feel people start cooking healthier foods with the Instapot (?)…I will say Indian cuisine calls for coconut milk etc etc and though delicious it IS high in fat.
  2. Going to save time.  Most of the recipes say “25 minutes” but fail to account for things like a) I don’t chop like a chef, b) we have three children and two dogs, c) I forgot where the garam masala is and d) the instapot takes time to pressurize and depressurize…so I plan on an hour for each meal.

What the Instapot does allow for:

  1. Hands off while cooking amazingness.  I can be present while someone needs a book read, a diaper change, a face washed, a crayon wall drawing rescued…etc.
  2. Cooking frozen meats to cooked deliciousness without having to thaw the meat out
  3. Cooking two meals on a Sunday in a reasonable amount of time so that I can heat up Monday’s dinner but then cook Tuesday’s dinner the day prior.
Coke with low sugar maybe no calories
The Instapot is not the Coke 0 of cooking.  High fat is still high fat…

I thought I’d share some of my favorite recipes:

Butter Chicken (It’s not spicy … just delicious)

Chicken Korma

Pork Carnitas

 

Then add that into my other “in a pinch” recipes:

So Life Happens

Only If You Have Time

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Insta…Yes!

Ok fine, George was at work for 24 hours and I will admit I was going to have Kraft Mac-n-Cheese for dinner with frozen veggies of Sweetpea’s choice.  This was after one of those stereotypical evenings that are supposed to break you down.  I dumped Elle’s milk for the next day on the counter, dropped two eggs out of the fridge (I wasn’t even using eggs…how did that even happen?)…and now Elle’s screaming (shrieking?) for more food was starting to really get to me.   So it was crisis mode.  I needed meat now.   Just because I have an instapot pressure cooker does not mean that I have seventeen hours to chop, grind, prep for the perfect dinner.  I need dinner NOW!!!!!!

zoey_wanting-to-be-part-of-it-all_santa_tms_dec-2016
Someone is DETERMINED

Chicken NOW by me

Two large chicken breasts

1/2 – 3/4 cup barbecue sauce (you can make your own if you’d like!)

20 oz can of chopped pineapples with juice (do fresh if you can…I couldn’t today!)

  1. Place chicken in the pot
  2. Pour in BBQ sauce
  3. Dump pineapples, pineapple juice in and stir
  4. Press the poultry function (it will say 15 minutes but it takes another 15 minutes to pressurize up…so it’s not completely instant but while it was cooking bananas, rice, green beans were eaten)
  5. De-pressurize naturally or vent (be careful!)…I vented
  6. Check internal temp of the chicken (yup I threw in frozen chicken this time and it was perfect temperature wise)
  7. If you have a minute more, you can make a sauce out of the pineapple/BBQ sauce mixture that cooked under pressure.
    1. Either use the Instapot saute function(with the lid off) or place about 1 cup of the liquid in a stovetop pot.  Separately, stir 1-2 Tablespoons of cornstarch in a small cup with another 1/4 cup of the liquid to dissolve the cornstarch. Pour the cornstarch mixture in with the 1 cup you put in the pot (or left in the Instapot) and stir on medium heat.  Cook until you have the right consistency.  (Add more cornstarch if you want a thicker sauce or add more liquid to thin it).  These days I have been serving dinner with rice and veggies as well.

Oh and yes Elle inhaled it.

Paleo Spaghetti (PINTEREST FAIL)

When you get home with basil, tempeh, spaghetti squash and realize the basil was supposed to be spinach…you know you’re probably going to have an interesting dinner.  It just so happened that in my failure to READ the recipe…I made the dish slightly amazing if I might say. I just tried to burn it first.

This is what I was hoping to make:

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/italian-style-spaghetti-squash-tempeh
http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/italian-style-spaghetti-squash-tempeh

This is what it ended up like….

Pinterest Fail...But It was DELICIOUS (I promise!)
Pinterest Fail…But It was DELICIOUS (I promise!)

I didn’t have Mirin (so I used honey) and I didn’t have tamari (so I used soy sauce).  I forgot the garlic but I had basil!

// Italian-Style Spaghetti Squash with Tempeh | Whole Foods Market

// // // // // // // // //

  • 12 ounces tempeh, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped nope
  • 1 (2.5-pound) spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 (25-ounce) jar pasta sauce
  • 2 cups small broccoli florets (1 bag of frozen broccoli cooked)
  • 1 cup packed baby spinach a handful of fresh basil

Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a medium bowl, gently toss together tempeh, tamari soy sauce, mirin honey and garlic; set aside to let marinate for 30 minutes.

As I let the spaghetti squash cook, I put the tempeh in this container and turned it every so often for 30 minutes
As I let the spaghetti squash cook, I put the tempeh in this container and turned it every so often for 30 minutes

Meanwhile, arrange squash halves, cut sides down (I would do that if I had a larger baking dish), in a large baking dish. Pour 1/2 cup water into dish and bake until just tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven, turn over squash and set aside to let cool slightly.

I don't recommend living life with 3 pots.  Go go moving!
I don’t recommend living life with 3 pots. Go go moving!

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Drain tempeh, then add it to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes; transfer to a plate and keep warm.

Don't burn it! ... I was close
Don’t burn it! … I was close

Meanwhile, heat pasta sauce in a medium pot over medium heat until hot throughout then add broccoli and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach and remove pot from the heat.

Using a fork, scrape strands of spaghetti squash onto a serving platter. Spoon hot pasta sauce and broccoli over squash, top with tempeh and serve.

It was DELICIOUS!  Thanks Whole Foods.  I think the basil did add a lot of flavor.  I would make it with basil and forgo the spinach.

Only If You Have Time

On one of those amazing weekdays where I got home early, I decided to make “Swiss Enchiladas.” The actual recipe is extremely simple and had I thawed the meat entirely the night prior, or not dumped the entire half gallon of milk on the floor (my fault…not Sweetpea’s…thankfully I had over ordered milk this last round)…etc etc…it might have taken maybe an hour to make. For me this past time…it was more like 2 hours (2.5 hrs?). That being said I definitely did not take a picture :).

Just a picture of Sweetpea helping!  I'm a huge fan of getting her involved!
Just a picture of Sweetpea helping! I’m a huge fan of getting her involved!

This one is one of my go to recipes. If you like a little kick to it use Rotel, if you don’t want a peppery kick don’t add green chili’s and use plain old chopped tomatoes. When I make it ‘more bland’ I add in pepper to the milk mixture. Anyway, I really like this one.

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/swiss-enchiladas

1 1/2 cups chopped onion (I don’t always include this one)
2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast (about 2 breasts)
2 garlic cloves, minced (I don’t always include this one either)
2 (4.5-ounce) cans diced green chilies, undrained (I use one can with one can of Rotel)
1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese, divided (I cheat and use pre sliced swiss and just cut up strips)

With my modifications it boils down to:
0. Preheat the oven to 350
1. Chop up chicken and cook until done
2. Add in 1 4.5 oz can of green chilies and 1 14.5 oz can of original Rotel (cook for about 7 minutes)
3. Put in separate bowl
4. Pour 2 c milk in a pan with 2 T of flour (mix the flour with about 1/4 c of this milk so it’s not clumpy). Cook together until it thickens (about 5 minutes).
5. Arrange in your chicken mixture in the burritos in 9×9 glass pan or 9×13 pan (I add in cheese to each enchilada).
6. Pour milk mixture over everything and put four slices of swiss cheese on top
7. Cook for 25 minutes at 350’F

Pumpkin Pancakes and Chicken Carnitas

While I was making pumpkin pancakes this morning (BECAUSE IT’S AUTUMN!!!!!), I thought I’d throw together a slow cooker recipe.

They were delicious...
They were delicious…

Yes, I love cooking with my daughter. She and I threw (literally) together our pumpkin pancakes this morning. I love that she wants to “help”. Anytime I’m in the kitchen, she’s asking to “heeaaallllllllllllpppp?” I love learning play!! I try to say yes! Get right in and up here. Cleaning up can easily happen and I can always make the recipe again if it all ends on the floor. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pumpkin-Pancakes/ (I did add about an extra 1/2-3/4 c milk to thin them down…as George said…not a fan of pancake bricks…I’ll take the pancake version).

Anyhow, while the pancakes were cooking (on very very low) we put together the spices and juices in the slow cooker while we defrosted the chicken in the microwave (on the defrost function). 8 minutes later I put the chicken in the slow cooker and turned it on for 6.5 hours.

Helping!
Helping!

Recipe compliments of Closet Cooking: http://www.closetcooking.com/2014/04/slow-cooker-chicken-carnitas-tacos.html

1 1/2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
4 t prechopped garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder I used cayenne (I’m apparently out of chili powder)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

The recipe went on to say broil it and crisp it up but if you don’t have time…don’t!

Frittata: Who Knew (IT WAS SO EASY!)

My latest find has been: grab and go breakfasts. When I read the Food Network’s article on “Fun & Fast Frittata Combos” I thought I’d give it a shot. A frittata, I found, boils down to: veggie, protein, cheese, egg. Pretty much in that order.

The Food Network: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/potato-and-zucchini-frittata-recipe.html
The Food Network: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/potato-and-zucchini-frittata-recipe.html

Since I can’t find the specific recipe online, this is what I did:
0. Prep eggs. Stir 8 eggs in a bowl with about 1/3 c milk. Set aside.
1. Choose a veggie (I chose a bag of spinach…the ENTIRE thing). Saute in oven friendly pot (I used our cast iron pot). Set aside in a bowl.
2. Cook protein. (I chose mild Italian sausage). Cook until done. Turn off the heat.
3. Evenly distribute protein and veggie in pot. Add cheese (I chose Feta).
4. Pour eggs over protein, veggie and cheese.
5. Cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes (or until the eggs are partially set…essentially so that only the top 1/4″ of the egg mixture is the only thing moving when you gently move the pot)
– During this time, turn on your broiler to high.
6. Broil for 5″ from heat for 2-3 minutes or until browned and almost set.

I made this for George when I went on work travel. He had breakfast for the week!

Other combinations:
1. Feta, green onions, asparagus
2. 3 plum tomatoes (seeded and sliced thinly), 1/2 c fresh basil, 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese
3. Kale, 4 oz turkey italian sausage, 1/2 c chopped red pepper, 1 ounce feta cheese
4. Spinach, 2 cloves minced garlic, cooked bacon (or proscuitto) 1/4 c carmelized onions, 1 T chives, 2 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese