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...
Healthy Nachos

Healthy Nachos

Yes. I realize these healthy nachos are missing a fundamental ingredient… cheese. However, just because your eyes are missing it doesn’t mean your mouth will.  The juicy chicken, soft avocado, cherry tomatoes, and black beans combined with crunchy tortilla chips will make you wonder why we even add cheese to begin with! Do you remember me sharing my sad, sad story about getting migraines from dairy in my 3 ingredient ice cream post?  Well, there’s nothing that makes you take a good look at life like ripping away one of your favorite food groups.  However, let’s be honest.  Us Americans eat WAY too much dairy.  We throw butter, cheese, and milk in everything.  It’s the American way.  Let me grab your hand and walk you in a healthier direction… like straight towards these cheese-less healthy nachos. Come on.  I know you want to ask.  What’s my source of calcium if I don’t eat dairy?  I’m pretty sure my mother has lost sleep over this very question. Since I’m the one cookin’, my family is mostly dairy-free now. My husband cannot abandon his lifelong relationship with cheese though.  It’s just too painful to say good-bye.  Since I love my family and their bones, I have found several ways to make sure we have plenty of calcium. First, I’m the daily vitamin tyrant.  You know the crazy wife in pajamas running down the street with no shoes or makeup on?  It was probably me running after my husband trying to catch him before he left without his vitamin.  If somehow I forget, my 3 year is on it.  She asks for her vitamin at...
Mango Chicken Tacos

Mango Chicken Tacos

If you need a guaranteed recipe that will be loved by all, Mango Chicken Tacos are THE only way to go (well, my Baked Burritos are similar and pretty awesome too).  They are quick, healthy, SUPER tasty, and foolproof.  People rave about this recipe each time and make me feel like a celebrity chef!  I really should feel guilty about all the praise since the hardest part is putting the lid on the slow cooker.  BUT who am I to correct someone when the juicy mango chicken DOES taste like I’ve slaved away for hours in the kitchen?  #lovemyslowcooker  Last weekend, My husband and I went shopping with our kids.  The Nike Outlet had a 30% off your total purchase coupon that could NOT be passed up.  Anyway, we spent too much time oohing and aahing over sale prices and needed to grab something to eat quick since bedtime was rapidly approaching. We quickly scanned the restaurant options and chose a random Mexican place.  When I say it was the worst Mexican we’ve ever eaten, I seriously mean Taco Bell is gourmet compared to this place.  From rubber tortillas, shredded chicken from a can, and mystery guacamole, it was disgusting! When we left, I almost felt it my civic duty to camp outside and warn fellow innocent families of the horrifying food that waited them inside.  Well, I had to make these mango chicken tacos within a couple days to remind us how great Mexican can taste. Come close.  I’m going to share my secret on how to make each healthy recipe a yummy success.  Ready?  Purchase quality ingredients!  When you have quality ingredients, the flavors automatically make everything taste exceptional.  Quality...
Chicken Fiesta Soup

Chicken Fiesta Soup

I try not to play favorites.  I really do.  BUT it’s hard not to favor the spicy tender chicken with zucchini, summer squash, and sweet corn.  No matter if I crank up the heat by adding 2 jalapenos or tone it down by omitting that awesome little green pepper, it’s a fav! When I think of slow cooker, I usually think ‘I need to get that baby prepared and cookin’ first thing in the morning or it won’t be done by dinnertime.’  Right?  That’s the benefit and disadvantage of slow cookers. Well, good news to my fellow dinner-making procrastinators!  You only need this to cook 2 to 3 hours on HIGH or 3 to 4 hours on LOW.  Any longer and your zucchini will go from crispy-tender to yucky-mush. Remember how we said au revoir to miserable, overcooked asparagus?  Let’s give our zucchini the same fighting chance!  Yes… I know how ridiculous I am. Whenever my large family (I’m the youngest of 7) gets together, they can’t resist teasing me.  Usually it has to do with healthy eating.  My brother will sympathetically put a hand on my husband’s shoulder and ask if he needs a pizza.  They chuckle as my ‘deprived’ 3 year old daughter spits out Root Beer because she doesn’t like the ‘sparkley’ drink.  Oh, they like to mock.  BUT guess who they want bringing the main dish when it’s potluck time?  This girl! This Chicken Fiesta Soup or my Classic Spaghetti or my Baked Burritos are among the most requested.  AND they’re health punked each and every time. To be fair, my sisters and sister-in-laws are pretty healthy eaters and big fans of my recipes.  And when I say big...
Baked Burritos

Baked Burritos

If you’re looking for a new staple dinner recipe, look no further.  These baked chicken burritos are quick, easy, and have been devoured by people of all ages.  They are my go-to recipe for busy nights and also when I have guests over for dinner.       I’ve played around with 3 different options resulting in chicken perfectly tender and juicy.  Depending on how far ahead you planned dinner, throw the chicken in a slow cooker, the oven, or a skillet (instructions in recipe).  My personal favorite is the slow cooker.  If you don’t own a slow cooker, I strongly suggest having at least one (I own two different sizes).  Get a 6-quart slow cooker so you can use it for small and larger recipes.  For these baked burritos, simply place the chicken breasts, salsa, onion, cumin, oregano, and jalapeno in the slow-cooker.  Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours and viola!  The chicken shreds incredibly easy and then you just stir in the black beans and corn until heated through.         Raw tortillas.  They will change your life!  Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but you’ll never return to regular tortillas again.  TortillaLand has become my favorite brand.  They use basic ingredients and don’t use lard like some tortillas.  Their flour tortillas are perfect for these baked chicken burritos.  Their corn tortillas also really compliment my Shrimp Tacos.  You can purchase them at Costco, Kroger, Smiths, Walmart, or Amazon.   Print Baked Burritos Ingredients4 medium-sized chicken breasts (see instructions on options for preparing chicken) 2 cups salsa 1 small red or sweet onion, finely chopped 2...
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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