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!

Find the recipe 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

Thursday, February 16, 2017

MealPlanFamily - Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken

General Tso's Chicken is Rob's favorite chinese take out dish which was my inspiration to try and find a good one that we could make at home. Bonus points because it's in the slow cooker! I would say it tastes fairly close to the real thing! This isn't just a dump in the slow cooker and start it dish though. You have to cut up the chicken, dredge it in cornstarch and give it a little pan fry to give it that "deep fried" texture that general tso's chicken has. The sauce is sticky and sweet and the kids gobbled it up. After helping me make the sauce Hannah exclaimed, "I LOVE hoison sauce!"  If you feel like making some takeout at home...definitely give this a try.

Find the recipe here

I served it over white rice which I made using my instant pot (which is also a rice cooker!) using  this recipe.


Friday, January 27, 2017

MealPlanFamily - Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice

The quest to continue to experiment with my Instant Pot continues!
This isn't the most beautiful dish to photograph but it was delicious and really easy....the kids each had seconds, which doesn't always happen. It was basically a one pot meal (with the exception of the homemade cream of chicken soup that I made for could use canned....but why would you want to??) Next time I will stir in a bag of frozen peas when it's done to add a little texture and color to the final dish. But yeah, a one pot meal meaning I basically dumped in the ingredients including the raw brown rice and chicken into the instant pot, set it and played with my kids until it was ready to eat. When you stirred it at the end the chicken basically just shredded itself with the wooden spoon. The texture of the brown rice was spot on. This is definitely a make again meal.

Check out the recipe from Super Healthy Kids Here and be sure to make your own cream of chicken (or cream of mushroom) soup using her recipe here


Thursday, January 26, 2017

MealPlanFamily - Crockpot Chicken Taco Chili

This is one of my favorite crockpot recipes. It is delicious and also just one of those recipes that just involves opening cans and dumping things in. My tip for this one is if you're going to make one, make two. Throw one in the crockpot and the other in a gallon ziplock bag to freeze for another week. Two week from now you will totally thank you when you don't feel like cooking!

Find the recipe here ( I always use chicken thighs instead of breasts in this)
Serve with sour cream, cheese and tortilla chips!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

MealPlanFamily - Zoodles and Meat Sauce

Feels silly to post a recipe for this one since there isn't much of a recipe.
I made some zucchini noodles with my spiralizer and whipped up this basic meat sauce.
You can saute the zoodles for a few minutes in a skillet if you want or have them raw (my preference)
Graham LOVES raw zucchini noodles. He can hear that spiralizer spinning from a mile away and comes in wanting some. Healthy, easy and tasty!

MealPlanFamily - Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs

I'm really trying to use my Instant Pot more in 2017. I'm a major texture person and I don't always love the soft and shredded meat that often comes out of the crock pot or pressure cooker. I usually cook baby back ribs low and slow for hours in the oven...but decided to try to do a mix of the pressure cooker to cook the ribs until they were tender and then throw them in the oven to caramelize the sauce onto them. So easy and so delicious. I paired it with some roasted potatoes and roasted carrots. This is  definitely a make again.

Here is what you need:
Baby Back Ribs
Salt and Pepper
BBQ Sauce (I used Montgomery Inn)


  • Remove the membrane from the ribs
  • Season the ribs with salt and pepper
  • Add 1 cup of water and a trivet to the instant pot (I used a steamer basket) and place the ribs on top of the steamer basket. Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. Let the steam release naturally.
  • Put the ribs on a baking sheet with your bbq sauce of choice and cook at 450 for about 10 minutes.

MealPlanFamily - Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my favorite things....make it once and eat it for days! It's one of the few leftovers I can actually eat for multiple meals a day and not get sick of it. Everyone has a certain way to make it...I like to make mine with cottage cheese vs. ricotta because I love the way it just spills all over the plate......eating it with garlic bread is a must. Below is the recipe I've been using for simple yet so perfect.

My Lasagne Recipe:

1 package lasagna noodles

1 lb ground beef
8 oz can tomato sauce
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 cup diced onion
1.5 tsp dried basil

Cheese Mixture:
1lb small curd cottage cheese
3 eggs
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
black pepper
1 lb mozzarella cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and set aside.
  2. Place onions and garlic in a large, deep skillet and cook until soft. Add ground beef and Cock over medium high heat until evenly brown. Stir in tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil and salt. Simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cottage cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.
  4. In a 9x13 inch baking dish, place 2 layers of noodles on the bottom of dish; layer 1/2 of the cheese mixture, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese and 1/2 of the sauce; repeat layers.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes; let stand for 10 minutes before cutting; serve.
  6. ENJOY! :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

MealPlanFamily - Chicken Zoodle Lo Mein

Last night we made Lo Mein using Zucchini noodles instead of regular noodles. An issue I sometimes have with vegetable noodles (zucchini noodles especially) is that they put off so much water when you cook them that they make the sauce all watery. This recipe deliberately has the sauce recipe be super tight and thick so that the water from the zucchini purposely waters down the sauce. So smart. So delicious.

We loved this meal. Hannah loved helping make (and eat) the zoodles and and everyone loved the final dish. Hannah especially loves when we eat anything with chopsticks :) Rob and I added a little srirach in our bowls at the end for a little heat.

As I've mentioned before, we have the kitchenaid spiralizer which is awesome. I have friends who have and love this less expensive one and it has great reviews on Amazon.
You can watch a video of ours in action here.

Click here to get the recipe for Chicken Zoodle Lo Mein which definitely gets our family's approval!