Saturday, July 15, 2017

Instant Pot Beginner Recipes

Hi Friends-
As promised to those of you who I convinced to get an Instant Pot on Prime are some beginner recipes that I consider tried and true (and super easy).

First to answer the questions I get most often...

How is it different than a slow cooker?
This is an electric pressure cooker. It can do almost anything a slow cooker can do (and even has a slow cooker setting) but it can also do it pressurized in about 1/10 of the time. It can also make rice and yogurt and you can saute things right in it so you are actually making "one pot" meals rather than needing to brown or sear meat or vegetables in a separate pan.

That being said, I won't get rid of my slow cooker because I still use that too! Mine specifically is a different shape which is sometimes helpful and there are certain things that I choose to make in that instead of my Instant Pot. I will say that the more I experiment with and become comfortable with my Instant Pot, the more I reach for that instead of the slow cooker.

What do you use it for?
One of my favorite things about it is for the days that I realized I didn't take any meat out to thaw for dinner until around 3pm. It does such a great job even with frozen food. One of the recipes I will share below was literally frozen pork chops with applesauce dumped in it and my family went crazy for it. Sometimes when I have a pretty bare fridge I just like to google random ingredients I have to see if I can find any ideas of recipes I can fiddle with to make...those usually turn out to be some of our favorite meals :) It can also make totally dried beans (without soaking) in less than an that is impressive. I'm just going to share a few recipes I've used and if you are an IP user and have some favorite please share them too!

One thing takes a while for the pressure cooker to get up to if a recipe calls for 25 minutes on high won't have dinner on the table in 25 can take up to 10-15 minutes for the pot to build up the amount of pressure it needs to start the countdown (depending on how much liquid, etc) just add that to your plan!

All in One Pot Chicken & Brown Rice
I love this recipe so much because it's literally all in one pot and all done at the same time. I can turn it on....take my kids on a walk, come back and the entire meal is totally done. Make sure you try her homemade cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup to go in it. Easy and so delicious.

I used to cook ribs for hours and hours in the oven...but now they spend about 25 minutes in the instant pot and another 10-15 in the oven (to bake on the sauce) and they are fall off the bone delicious every single time! Recipe here

Pork Chops & Applesauce
I WANTED to make this recipe where you make pork chops and a delicious homemade gala apple cinnamon applesauce with whole apples right in the pot.

But alas we had no fresh apples in the house but we did have a half empty container of applesauce so we ended up making this...not nearly as pretty...but delicious!

This Spanish brown rice is a must have for taco night or to make ridiculously flavorful taco bowls with. Also, if you are not in the mood for Spanish rice...this is a perfect recipe for plain brown rice, just don't add the flavorings...

Pot Roast
The pressure cooker really shines on any kind of tough/cheap cut of meat that you want to make delicious. I love this pot roast recipe that suggests that you cook the vegetables first and then add them back in at the end so they don't get totally disintegrated.

Beef Stroganoff
Speaking of turning tough cuts of meat into pure deliciousness...this is a family favorite too. Like any good German Family we love us some stroganoff. You will never have meat as tender and delicious as when made in your pressure cooker! Recipe here

Indian Food
Indian food is sooooo good in the pressure cooker. Basically you get the idea of slow all day cooked stews in minutes. This Instant Pot Butter Chicken was a big hit with our family.

Chicken Broth
We used to make our chicken broth in the slow cooker overnight. Basically whenever I made a roast chicken I would put the bones in the slow cooker with some onion, carrots, celery and herbs, fill it up with cold water to the top and let it cook all night in the slow cooker. While it works out perfectly fine, it fills the house with very powerful smells all night which wasn't my favorite thing when I was trying to sleep. Making it in the instant pot yields the same results in less than an hour. A good recipe is here

My daughter eats yogurt every morning for breakfast so I'm embarrassed to say we haven't tried yogurt making yet....but this is the recipe I have bookmarked for when I finally decide to take the plunge!

Alright, well I hope I gave all of you IP virgins at least some first dishes to try! Once you start experimenting and playing with it...I'm confident you will love it too!

Happy Instant Pot'ing!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Prime Day Instant Pot!

So you still don't have an instant pot??
Today is the day my friends! The deal isn't as insane as it was last year....but it's still a pretty darn good deal. We use ours at least 1-2x a either a pressure cooker or a rice cooker...and it comes especially in handy for those days when you realize at like 3pm that all your meat is frozen or all your beans are dried...

Get the 8 Quart on sale for $90!

Happy Instant Potting!!!

Monday, July 10, 2017

MealPlanFamily - Chicken Broccoli Fettuccini Alfredo

The other day Costco had some fettucine on a ridiculous clearance (something like 97 cents for 3 boxes) so obviously I had to buy a few of them.....and then the idea of alfredo was officially stuck in my head. This is maybe not the most authentic alfredo (it's an Olive Garden copycat), but it was fast, easy and my husband who claims to "not like white sauce" ate two bowls of give it a try!

I used this recipe for the sauce and then grilled up some chicken and threw the broccoli in the last few minutes with the pasta to keep it super easy.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

MealPlanFamily - Instant Pot Pot Roast

People always ask me to share my favorite Instant Pot Meals, especially the kid friendly ones. Last week while wondering the aisles of Kroger I saw some meat on sale that I bought and figured I would figure out what to do with it later and now I'm kicking myself for not buying a couple of them!

There are a ton of Instant Pot pot roast recipes out there, but this one grabbed my attention because the vegetables are sauteed separately and then added back in for a few minutes at the end so they don't get totally disintegrated. I added mushrooms because, well mushrooms...and served it with mashed potatoes on the side. After the pot roast was done, I took out the meat and vegetables and then made a slurry with a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch and some of the hot broth, then added it back and put the IP on saute to thicken up the sauce to use as a gravy for the potatoes and meat. Let's just say this meal was a big hit with the whole family. Graham (17 months) was literally double fisting the food into his mouth. This is a definite make again meal. If you are new to the Instant Pot this would be a great first dish!


Check out more Meal Plan Family Recipes Here
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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

MealPlanFamily - Quinoa Huevos Rancheros Bowls

This week for a little meatless monday treat we decided to try some Huevos Rancheros Bowls. Mexican is such a good choice for meatless many different textures and flavors. These were seriously delicious. Quinoa, black beans (dressed up from out of a can), avocado and a drippy egg....with all of your favorite toppings....cilantro, salsa verde, sour cream, hot sauce and queso fresco. These bowls are also packed with protein, healthy fats and flavor. I did a more "decontructed" version for the kids and they gobbled everything up. The baby especially loved the black beans.
Try these asap!

Find the recipe here

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Meal Plan Family- Chicken Quesadillas

On days when I have no idea what to make for dinner...this is always a sure fire way to get a delicious dinner on the table...even if when you think about your lack of prepping for dinner the meat you want to use is still frozen. Today around 2 I put half frozen chicken thighs, a can of black beans and some taco seasoning in my mini crockpot on dinner time I stirred it up and had a topping for rice or a filling for tacos...or in our case a filling for quesadillas...

Sauteed in an oiled skillet between two tortillas with a little cheese and boom you got yourself a little fiesta! it with hot sauce, avocado, sour cream, salsa...basically whatever you got.
Make a double batch and have the leftovers in a different way the next night!

Happy eating!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

MealPlanFamily - Instant Pot Beef Strogonaff

I was trying to get ideas of different foods to cook in my Instant Pot, so I asked my grandma what she used to cook in her old school pressure cooker when she used to cook all the time. She told me "beef stroganoff"... "ok cool what else?", I asked her. She looked at me like I was nuts. Apparently it was more of a beef stroganoff machine for her, haha. So beef stroganoff it is! (If you type stroganoff enough times you really start to doubt if you are spelling it right!)

Anyway, I tried this recipe last night to rave reviews from the family. I added two containers of baby portobello mushrooms because that's kind of our favorite part. It was delicious and enough for (at least) two nights of dinners.


The Hungry Housewife: Pressure Cooker Beef Strogonaff