Beef Stew Instant Pot

Beef Stew Instant Pot

What I present to you today is a versatile recipe that can be adjusted in so many ways. You can make it as a quick weeknight meal, when you are short on time and still want to bring something delicious and nutritious to the table. You can turn it into a romantic dinner and pair with some red wine. It can be comfort food for the family to enjoy on a Sunday lunch. No matter the type of meal you are looking for, you are sure to find in this basic stew recipe, a way to make it happen! This simple stew recipe calls for beef broth, tomato juice, garlic, sweet potatoes, carrots, beef, and spices. There are actually two ways you can make this stew in the instant pot; the easy way that’s ready in about 40 minutes, or the slightly longer (but even yummier!) version. The easy version: throw everything in the instant pot, cook for 30 minutes and then serve. That’s the quick way out. It provides your family with a great meal that wasn’t a hassle to put together. 30 minutes cooking plus 10 minutes prep time, I’d say that’s as practical as stew gets! The longer version takes a couple of backroads (but totally worth it!), and let me tell you, it will transform a simple stew into a hearty meal, layered with flavors! Here are the ways we can build those layers of flavor: -Sprinkle salt and pepper over the meat and sear in some hot olive oil over medium high heat in a frying pan until just browned. Remove the meat and...
Quinoa and Tomato Stuffed Bell Peppers

Quinoa and Tomato Stuffed Bell Peppers

Since my stuffed zucchini recipe, I intently assess every vegetable with hopes of eventually stuffing it. Veggies stuffed with other veggies smothered with cheese.  Sign me up!  Bell peppers obviously beg to be stuffed since they form a little bowl once hollowed out.  Now… let’s go stuff these bad boys with some good stuff. My husband is not exaaaaactly a quinoa enthusiast.  Shame.  However, I always get a little burst of excitement when he doesn’t like something.  It’s like an intense game of chess where I move one ingredient here and another there and before you know it… checkmate!  He’s falling in love with something he previously hated like these sneaky quinoa scrumptious stuffed peppers. Why did I use a chess analogy?  I’m seriously horrible, and he always beats me.  I’m way too competitive to admit my subpar chess abilities to him…. so let’s just keep this between you and me. For my fellow quinoa admirers, do not pass go, do not collect $200, and go directly to my balsamic quinoa salad!  Now that it’s finally warming up (I kid you not… we had a foot of snow dumped two weeks ago), you’ll want to whip up this recipe the first time you fire up the grill for the season. Okay… chess?  Monopoly?  I’m getting way off track.  Peppers, Kami.  Talk about the amazingly delicious stuffed bell peppers!   Okay, just a couple parting tips before you get to the recipe.  Depending on how large and how much you stuff your peppers, you may need to adjust the baking time.  You only need to bake long enough until the ground beef or turkey is thoroughly cooked....
Steak Stir Fry

Steak Stir Fry

I’m spoiled.  I mean COMPLETELY spoiled.  Not only have I been able to travel to several countries, but I also have lived in Hong Kong and Taiwan.  For my fellow Americans, we’re being robbed.  Robbed of true authentic Chinese food!  They have luscious fruits and vegetables that are not even found in the States! **Moment for my pity-party**  Okay, let me reel it in a little bit.  I love me some true Chinese food.  It sparks memories of an amazing, unique culture that I’ve grown to love.  That’s why lots of love went into this colorful Steak Stir Fry recipe.  As for my HHFC (Handsome Husband Food Critic), I think I caught him licking his plate when I started cleaning up after dinner. Okay, I can’t hold back my food photography inner-nerd. Tasty Food Photography… what have you done to me?!?!  Look at all the colors!  Bell pepper… red and in your face!  Broccoli… you green crunchy little devil.  Steak… oh you juicy, medium-rare steak… get in my belly!  Not only are there lots of contrasting colors, there are lots of complimenting flavors. When eating a stir fry in Taiwan, I enjoyed the textures and natural flavors of the vegetables accented by a mild sauce.  Don’t worry.  You’ll still get the saltiness you crave from soy sauce, but why insult our vibrant friends… the veggies, I’m talking about the veggies… by smothering them in a sauce that’s more like a gravy? Okay, I think it’s time.  Pull up a chair and let’s discuss rice.  Rice is NOT made equally.  It ranges from grainy to sticky.  If you’ve attempted chopsticks, you know grainy is a no-go.  Sticky.  We...
Baked Stuffed Zucchini

Baked Stuffed Zucchini

This is one of my all time favorite quick dinners.  It takes 30 minutes to prepare and these stuffed zucchini boats are juicy and packed with the perfect savory combination of flavors. Like I said, I’ve thrown this dinner together too many times to count.  Here’s a couple quick tips.  At this point, it’s become second nature to wash my vegetables prior to cooking or eating.  It sounds pretty strenuous and annoying to take time to wash every single fresh vegetable, right?  Nope.  It only takes 20 seconds and absolutely worth it to get the grime, dirt, wax, and who know what else off. Check out this post where you can visible see the difference between rinsing and washing your vegetables.  I love my Fit Vegetable Wash! So… scrub those zucchinis prior to preparing.     Once you’ve scooped out the insides, you can either discard them or throw them in a smoothie for dessert!   Sometimes I keep some leftovers of the meat mixture on purpose.  I love using it for quick burritos or scoop it on top FSTG tortilla chips.  Nom nom.  It’s super tasty.   Your family will love this one.  It passed my husband and 3 year old daughter taste test.  You’ll understand why we make this frequently on those busy days. PrintStuffed Zucchini Ingredients1 lb ground turkey/lean ground beef, browned 1 (15 oz) can organic diced tomatoes, drained 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 and 1/2 cup frozen sweet corn 1 Tbs parsley 1 Tbs basil 1 tsp salt 1 tsp black pepper 3 organic zucchini, washed and cut lengthwise and insides...
Sweet Potato Shepard’s Pie

Sweet Potato Shepard’s Pie

“Mom, what’s for dinner?  Honey, what’s for dinner?  Self, what are we going to have for dinner?!?!”  On some days, this question can feel like a 50 lbs bag of stress.  Hopefully by now, you know I get you.  Although I love cooking (mostly eating), somedays I’m too tired and just don’t want to cook.  Take a deep breath with me and get ready for this ridiculously gorgeous, this-is-2015 healthy Shepard’s Pie casserole.  Pst… you can even double the batch and freeze one to eat on another crazy, busy, hectic day.     I have a problem.  I’m seriously addicted.  I love LOVE the bright, beautiful colors and flavors of vegetables.   Especially organic vegetables.  I know, I know, I’ve mentioned it before but I can totally taste the difference.  I was instantly converted when I had a horrible, chemical aftertaste when eating a carrot one day.  I only buy organic carrots from now on.   Costco makes it pretty easy to have large bags of frozen organic vegetables on hand.  Next trip, just stock up on organic frozen peas, frozen sweet corn, and a large bag of organic carrots.  I have plenty of go-to recipes that call for these tasty veggies.  Stick with me and I promise they won’t go to waste.       Just to make it even easier for you, here are ingredients I use.  My kitchen would feel naked without my large container of spices.  They last a long time (and store great) even though I’m using them constantly.  Spices punch out the natural flavors of the vegetables.  And it’s a much healthier option than to throw...
Classic Spaghetti

Classic Spaghetti

My family is hooked on this chunky, full of flavor healthy spaghetti sauce.  Whether it’s for my small family of 3 or for large family gatherings of 40, this spaghetti sauce is loved by all and quickly devoured.  Don’t be surprised if you’re tempted to eat like a soup instead of spaghetti sauce.     Since this sauce is overloaded with lots of fresh vegetables, it’s essential to take a couple extra seconds and wash them.  No, I don’t mean rinse with water… I mean scrub those babies.  My most beloved wash is Fit: Fruit and Vegetable Wash.  Skeptical of veggie washes?  Check out this post where you can see the difference before and after washing.  You’ll never look back.         You’ll need at least a 6-quart slow cooker to comfortably fit all these delicious ingredients.  Also, I enjoy substituting pasta with spaghetti squash.  I know it sounds a little bizarre if you’ve never tried it.  However, it’s adds a pop of flavor which compliments this pasta sauce and also a healthy, gluten-free option.  You can either roast or steam the spaghetti squash in the oven.  It takes about an hour to prepare and bake and you can time it perfectly to be done with your sauce.     If you’re preparing this for smaller numbers, don’t worry about having leftovers!  It’s great for next day’s lunch or refrigerate and use for dinner next week or freeze it up to 3 months.  You’ll be grateful there are seconds.  Enjoy, my friends! PrintClassic Spaghetti Ingredients3 lbs lean ground beef or ground turkey, browned and excess liquid drained 1 large sweet onion,...

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