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Grain Free Herb Butter Biscuit :: 5 Minute Blender Prep!

January 12, 2017

Soft and buttery biscuits to go with everything from soup to a plate of breakfast eggs!

Grain Free Herb Butter Biscuit :: 5 Minute Blender Prep!

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

So I’m thinking we could all use a little biscuit love to get us through mid January?!

We eat a lot of bone broth based soups all year round, but in the winter we have it daily here in our frozen tundra we call home! Somehow we make it outdoors every day despite the snows and wind chills least momma, ahem, I mean the kids go completely stir crazy. That means warming soups are on the menu most days of the week to take off the chill.

Grain Free Herb Butter Biscuit :: 5 Minute Blender Prep!And every bowl of soup deserves a piece of bread to go with it!

Even better, every bowl of soup deserves a butter biscuit to go along with it. These savory butter biscuits are the perfect match for a warm bowl of soup packed with so much buttery flavor. The kids will be all over these, and I’m willing to bet even the most skeptical gluten lover will too!

Grain Free Herb Butter Biscuit :: 5 Minute Blender Prep!Lighting fast, 5 minute blender dough is my answer to a busy day!

I have been using my Instant Pot weekly to make one huge pot of veggie soup for the whole family to eat from throughout the week – what good is a super fast prep soup if the biscuits are going to take forever to make?

I can get these biscuits onto the tray faster than it takes my oven to preheat! I’ve been testing these out for the last month with my weekly pot of soup. Once I get my soup in the pot and pressure cooking, I can have the biscuits done by the time the soup is done!

Grain Free Herb Butter Biscuit :: 5 Minute Blender Prep!The perfect weekend project, and some freezer pro tips!

Weekends are perfect for making a huge pot of soup for the family. You can double or triple up some biscuits into the freezer to save for your busiest weeknight. My biggest suggestion if you plan to freeze them is to wrap them up individually as soon as they cool off and get them right into the freezer. This locks in the moisture that can sometimes end up ruining gluten and grain free baked goods after they have been baked.

On your busiest weeknight, all you have to do is pull the biscuits from the freezer, pop them on a tray and into your oven to thaw and warm through. With my oven, all I have to do is set the tray in and preheat to 350. I turn it off from there and they are perfectly thawed and warmed through. Every oven runs differently so play around with yours. You can have the perfect, hot out of the oven bread to go with dinner every time!

Grain Free Herb Butter Biscuit :: 5 Minute Blender Prep!Don’t forget about breakfast!

These are my go-to right out of the freezer for fast morning momma fuel with a cup of leftover soup and some fried eggs. So fast! The kids will love a side of cheesy scrambled eggs and some fruit with their biscuit and you can feel good about starting their day off with stable blood sugars.

Grain Free Herb Butter Biscuit :: 5 Minute Blender Prep!Flour swapping answers!

I chose coconut flour for these biscuits for a few different reasons. First, I already have a staple biscuit in our house with some grain. I am not against grain in the least for those who can digest it! (By the way the squash drop biscuits I’m speaking of freeze just as great as these to keep on hand!) We handle gluten free grains in our house just fine, and I think they definitely have a time and a place. I don’t, however think, at least in my family, that we need to have grains at every single meal. It is nice to have a grain free biscuit option if we have already had enough grain for the day.

I also love using coconut flour because it is a great source of fiber, protein, and fat. It really makes every bite count for those little guys with little stomachs, and it makes a really great start to the day instead of shooting blood sugars up only to crash an hour later.

Grain Free Herb Butter Biscuit :: 5 Minute Blender Prep!Nourishing soup recipes to enjoy with your biscuits

All of these soups pack well and freeze well! Use your school thermos for the kids and a travel crockpot for yourself if you are away from home during the day! You can have a warm meal on the go!

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Put everything except the egg into your food processor, and pulse/blend until the butter is smaller than pea sized pieces. Add the egg and blend until the dough forms a ball. Pinch off your biscuits, gently roll them, and flatten a bit onto a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking tray. I always make 5 biscuits with this recipe. Bake at 375 degrees for 14 minutes. Let the biscuits cool a good 5-10 minutes before handling so they can set up.

Grain Free Herb Butter Biscuit :: 5 Minute Blender Prep!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup cold butter, cubed
  • ⅓ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup grassfed cold soluble collagen
  • 1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • ½ tsp dried thyme (dried rosemary, oregano, or and basil work too depending on what you are serving the biscuits with!)
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 eggs (if you are egg free I do think 2 flax eggs would work here - they might not puff up as much but it would still work - perhaps add a bit of baking powder for the rise? Let us know in the comments if you try something!)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put everything except the egg into your food processor, and pulse/blend until the butter is smaller than pea sized pieces.
  3. Add the eggs and blend until the dough is combined well.
  4. Scoop some of the dough with a spoon, gently roll them, and flatten a bit onto a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking tray. I make 5-6 biscuits with this recipe.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 14 minutes. Let the biscuits cool a good 5-10 minutes before handling so they can set up.

 

 

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Instant Pot Winter Vegetable Soup {With Stovetop Instructions Too!}

January 12, 2017

Nourish yourself with the best of the winter produce in a fraction of the time with your Instant Pot!

Instant Pot Winter Vegetable Soup {With Stovetop Instructions Too!}Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

I really should have known better…

Last year when I started playing around with my Instant Pot a bit more, I fell in love with making some of my staple soup recipes in much quicker time. It meant that I could have veggie soups on the table most days of the week – and for this busy work at home mom with 3 kids under 7 years old, that meant…a lot!

We were blown away at how fast I could make a huge pot of soup, but something was missing…

Instant Pot Winter Vegetable Soup {With Stovetop Instructions Too!}Butter and time….

I had gotten into the habit of just tossing everything in and hitting go, foregoing that precious little “Saute” button that our Instant Pots come with. A 5-10 minute butter sauté with some key veggies (namely the aromatics like onion, carrots, celery, etc), takes a pot of soup from good to amazing.

As those aromatics cook with a little butter and sea salt their flavor changes and brings a sweetness and depth of flavor to the soup that will hook in just about any hesitant soup eater.

Instant Pot Winter Vegetable Soup {With Stovetop Instructions Too!}Back to the basics…with a little modern convenience thrown in!

So when it comes to my Instant Pot I’ve gone back to my traditional cooking roots to get that flavor, and am still enjoying the convenience of a quicker cook time than the stovetop would yield. Whether you are a novice cook, or a seasoned foodie I think we would all agree that an extra 5 or 10 minutes to get amazing flavor is worth it – especially when it will be devoured as quickly as this pot of soup did!

Instant Pot Winter Vegetable Soup {With Stovetop Instructions Too!}The best of winter!

So some of us don’t think of very many veggies being in season in the winter (at least those of us with snow piled knee high!). While there certainly isn’t the abundance that late August brings, you really can find some great seasonal vegetables to use.

Sometimes our grocer is hit or miss on a few of these items, but I would say that the vast majority of us have access to most of this list to at least pair a couple items together with staple onion, carrot, celery aromatics and make a really great soup! Just be sure you include at least one “sweet/creamy” starchy veg such as one of the squashes, sweet potatoes, or potatoes to balance out the sometimes bitterness that dark winter greens can have.

  • Leeks and/or onions
  • Parsnips and/or carrots
  • Celeriac and/or celery
  • Fennel
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet potato
  • Winter squash (buttercup, butternut, acorn – whatever you can find!)
  • Winter greens (kale, chard, spinach)
  • Potato
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli

Instant Pot Winter Vegetable Soup {With Stovetop Instructions Too!}At home comfort in a pack-able meal!

This entire pot of soup didn’t even last a week in my house! Between lunch that day, packing some up for my husband’s Travel Crockpot for work lunch, my breakfasts, school lunch thermoses, and my toddler’s tea cups, it was G.O.N.E.!

If you have never used a Travel Crockpot before, and you work away from home, boy are you about to be mind blown! We actually have 2 of these so that my husband can bring multiple meals to work. He keeps a warming base at work and we have 2 of the liners that he brings home to wash and re-fill. Oftentimes he likes to bring soaked oatmeal for breakfast in one liner, and soup/dinner leftovers in the other. It is really great for those who are gone from home most of the day. If you want to read more about how to “temper” a school lunch thermos for the kids so their soup is nice and warm at lunch, this article explains that better!

Instant Pot Winter Vegetable Soup {With Stovetop Instructions Too!}

Instant Pot Winter Vegetable Soup {With Stovetop Instructions Too!}
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped (or 2 large leeks, rinsed of sand, tops discarded, and roughly chopped)
  • 2 medium/large parsnips or carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped (If you don't have access to this winter root, 2 celery stalks roughly chopped works fine! Celeriac has a mild celery taste and is so great in soup but even I can't find it at our store sometimes!)
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 10 large brussel sprouts, ends cut and discarded (you can use more if your sprouts are small)
  • ½ medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 1 small sweet potato, roughly chopped
  • 1 handful kale, roughly chopped
  • 2 quarts bone broth (You can use Instant Pot Broth, or here is my slow cooker method)
  • ¼-1/2 tsp chipotle pepper or cayenne (optional if you don't like the heat - we love it and it really brings it to another flavor level! Not to mention the warming heat is great in the cold winter here!)
  • Sea salt/pepper to taste
  • Parsley to garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Set the Instant Pot to "Saute," melt the butter in the bottom of the pot, and then add in the onion, carrot, and celeriac with a big pinch of sea salt. Saute the veggies for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally while you chop up the rest of the veggies.
  2. Turn off the Saute feature and toss in the rest of the veggies and the bone broth.
  3. Put the lid on, close the valve, and press "Soup". Bring the time down to 20 minutes, and it will turn on automatically. Once the pot comes to pressure, the 20 minutes will count down.
  4. After the 20 minutes of pressure cooking is done, turn the pot off, and open the valve to let the pressure out. Puree the soup with a handheld blender or in batches in a regular blender. After the soup is pureed you can sea salt and pepper to your taste. Garnish each bowl with parsley if you wish.

Stovetop soup instructions

The best part about this section is that it really isn’t much different than using the Instant Pot!

You can still save a bunch of time by just coarsely chopping your veggies – no need to be a perfect dice when it is all going to get pureed anyway! Simply saute the aromatics in butter like the first step. Then add in everything else, bring the whole pot to a simmer, cooking until the veggies are tender. Simmer it at the back of your stovetop so that you can tend to babies, clean up the kitchen, or fold laundry while it simmers away. I did this for literally years dear mommas…I have only had an Instant Pot for a year and a half! Fancy tools are so great, but you really only need a good soup pot if we are being honest!

Instant Pot Winter Vegetable Soup {With Stovetop Instructions Too!}

Biscuit and cracker ideas to go with your soup!

Instant Pot Winter Vegetable Soup {With Stovetop Instructions Too!}

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Fermented Carrots {that kids will actually eat!} & The Benefits of Fermented Vegetables

January 6, 2017

You are 2 household ingredients away from a jar of fermented carrots teeming with gut nourishing probiotics, enzymes, and B vitamins!

Fermented Carrots {that kids will actually eat!} & The Benefits of Fermented VegetablesProduct links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Simplicity.

Last week I asked my Instagram and Facebook audiences what they wanted to see more of in the next year and what I heard loud and clear was that many of you wanted to see more of the simple, nourishing staples from our home, and the “why” behind them.

Easy to fix, easy to find ingredients, and food that normal, everyday people have time to make.

I couldn’t be more overjoyed at your request to add more traditional, real food staples to my writing!

Because truthfully, while fancy brunches and fun treats are great, nourishing everyday meals, nutrient dense breakfasts, and staples like these fermented carrots are really where it’s at! This is where we get down to the nitty gritty, nutrient packed foods that are going to make a real difference in your family’s health.

Fermented Carrots {that kids will actually eat!} & The Benefits of Fermented VegetablesThe status of your gut determines just about everything…

At this point most people know that just about everything in the body relies on the status of your gut health. And that the status of your gut health is tied to the type of flora (bacteria) dominating the territory.

If the good bacteria reigns “king,” digestion is sound, the immune system works more effectively, and the brain is clear.

When the bad bacteria is more prevalent, digestion is disrupted in a myriad of different ways (YES we should be pooping daily – if you are not you are constipated. NO your poop shouldn’t be runny, it shouldn’t hurt to poop, and indigestion, heartburn, and tummy aches are not normal!), the immune system is completely off (ie getting sick often, autoimmune disease, cancer, etc), and the brain is a foggy mess (the gut-brain connection is tied to many brain/neurological disorders from depression and Alzheimer’s to ADHD, autism, and everything in between.)

Infiltrate and populate!

Traditionally fermented foods provide easy to absorb probiotics to our guts to use for battle every day. Whether you are generally healthy or have a few health issues, fermented vegetables such as these fermented carrots can populate your gut with the bacteria it needs to sustain a robust immune system, healthy digestive system, and sound mind.

Fermented Carrots {that kids will actually eat!} & The Benefits of Fermented VegetablesProbiotic powerhouse without the fuss!

I know, I know…first it’s bone broth, now it’s “get the ferments in!” You’re thinking you are going to be in the kitchen all day! Not in the least! I, for one, don’t have the time to be in the kitchen all day.

A little salt water, a jar, and some chopped carrots is all you need to get your ferment going, and it truly is one of the least hands on activities going on in my kitchen. The process of the natural bacteria feeding on the sugar and starches in the carrots not only creates a variety of strains of beneficial flora for the gut, it also produces beneficial digestive enzymes and B vitamins. It is truly amazing!

That sounds great, but how in the world am I supposed to get my kids to eat this?!

If you have super little kids – as in ages 6 months to 2 years old, this is where it’s at! Get those palates used to ferments and soured foods as soon as you can! I was always so surprised at how easily my babies took to sour plain yogurt, sauerkraut, and shredded fermented carrots. You can even give the little ones a half teaspoon or so of the fermenting liquid from the jar which is loaded with probiotic goodness!

If you have older kids, I have a couple suggestions. First, don’t make a big deal out of it. Don’t tell them “I’m not sure that you are going to like this but let’s try it”. If they already eat carrot sticks and dip, serve it to them with homemade Ranch – it is delicious! Any age above 2 or 3 years old is also a great time to explain the “why” behind healthy food. Tell those toddlers and younger school aged kids that fermented carrots puts the “good guys” into their tummy to fight off the bad guys! Pull out an anatomy book for those older school aged kids and teens and show them the why. Give them examples of what goes on if the good bacteria isn’t winning the battle.

(I also would recommend halving or leaving out the garlic if you think that might deter the kids. My kids looove garlic and I think the garlic gives an even sweeter flavor to the finished product but you can leave it out and they are a yummy salty/sweet carrot stick to dip in Ranch!)

Fermented Carrots {that kids will actually eat!} & The Benefits of Fermented VegetablesTips for prepping the carrots for babies, toddlers, and big kids

Cut your carrots depending on what texture the kids will like better and what you are using it for. Sticks work best for lunch packing, and shredded works well for sandwiches and salads. Shredded also works best for older babies/toddlers that can’t chew thicker cut sticks. I tend to make sticks so they are ready for lunchboxes, and then just chop them up for salads or wraps. When I had babies in the house, I always had a jar of the shredded fermented veggies on hand for them.

If the taste is overwhelming to your kids at first, try chopping them up small into a salad, sandwich, or wrap. My kids love shredded chicken wraps with fermented veggies. You can make this 5 minute mayo that has a sweeter taste and top the sandwich with sweet tomato slices or even shredded apples to sweeten the deal a little.

Dips!

Listen, so long as it’s sans the store bought junky oil dressings, I say let them dip whatever they want if it is getting it into them! My kids prefer homemade Ranch, though right now my toddler is in a raw honey kick and I’m totally cool with that. Other options might be guacamole or hummus!

Fermented Carrots {that kids will actually eat!} & The Benefits of Fermented VegetablesHow do I begin eating fermented vegetables if I have never tried them before?

Fermented vegetables are teeming with good bacteria, and, especially for those with sensitive tummies, food allergies, or digestive disorders, fermented vegetables make the entire eating process easier on the gut by acting as a digestive aide! Eating even a tablespoon or so of ferment with each meal will aide in digesting your food as well as provide stability to your immune system and brain health.

Start with 1 tablespoon or so per day to begin with to allow the friendly bacteria to make their home in your gut. Starting out with too much all at once can lead to tummy upset as the good bacteria takes over the bad. Increase to 1 tablespoon 3x per day as you feel comfortable. Once your body is used to the ferments, you can eat as much as you like and tolerate. My school aged girls eat up to 1/4 cup or more at a time.

Fermented Carrots {that kids will actually eat!} & The Benefits of Fermented VegetablesFermenting tools

While you can definitely get your ferments going today with just glass jar and a plastic lid (metal lids will corrode over time so plastic is recommended), as you get going you may want to take a look at fermenting tools that make the process even easier and stress free.

Vegetable ferments do best in an anaerobic environment (that is, “no oxygen” using an air tight seal). Plastic lids work fine, though some air does get through, and as the gasses build up in the ferment you need to “release” them by opening the lid here and there. The air that gets through also makes it easier for stray airborne microbes and molds to get in which can make the whole jar go bad.

There are a couple of sealing options you can choose from, and I really have found these to give the best fermenting results. The one that I use is the first recommendation, the Pickle Pipe.

  • The Pickle Pipe :: I am convinced a busy, “every day” mom invented this fermenting tool! Talk about zero fuss, *easy to clean,* and affordable! The Pickle Pipe creates a seal with a simple (easy to wash!) silicone disk, and the metal ring your jar comes with. The “pipe” part of the silicone disk has a special opening that only pressures open when the gasses build up in the jar and need to be released. So basically…set it and forget it! You don’t have to check for pressure everyday at all. I also am in love with their Pickle Pebbles which weight down the ferment at the top so you don’t have to worry about molding or the tips of the veggies going bad from being out of the brine. Invaluable! I have never had a ferment go bad or mold using my Pickle Pipes and Pebbles.
  • Fido Jar :: Fido jars create an incredible anaerobic sealed environment and are super easy to clean and take care of. No crazy parts to clean, and they are beautiful lined up in the kitchen to ferment! You will need to “burp” these every day or so to let the gasses out but they work very well! They are pricier than mason jars (especially if you already have a lot of mason jars at home, and can just get some Pickle Pipes to top them off), but they will last forever and, again, they are beautiful!
  • Traditional Fermentation Crock :: I have to be honest…I love these! I really do! They are on my foodie dream list and when I can afford a really beautiful new fermenting crock I really, really want one for my kitchen! They are gorgeous, easy to clean and work fantastic. They come with a weight to keep the veggies down to prevent molding and they create a perfect anaerobic environment.
  • Air-Lock Lids :: These are a really great, inexpensive option – especially if you already have a lot of mason jars at home. I think the Pickle Pipes are easier to clean and use, but if you have some of these lying around don’t let them go to waste – they work great!

Fermented Carrots {that kids will actually eat!} & The Benefits of Fermented Vegetables

5.0 from 3 reviews
Fermented Carrots {that kids will actually eat!} & The Benefits of Fermented Vegetables
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pint warm water
  • 3-4 tsp sea salt
  • 4 medium/large carrots, peeled, and sliced into sticks, or into "coins," or strips/shredded (see notes above for help choosing the size that will work best for you)
  • 1 clove of garlic, smashed (Optional. If you have other household favorite herbs go for it! Many people like to use dill for fermented carrots - I love those too. Garlic happens to be our favorite!)
Instructions
  1. Make the brine. Stir the sea salt into the warm water until it dissolves. You will need most of this brine but will have a little bit left over - you can store the remaining brine in the fridge, or use it for another batch.
  2. Put the carrots into a clean pint jar, packing them in as tight as you can, leaving about 1 inch of head-space at the top.
  3. Pour the warm salt water brine over the carrots to cover them completely. Put your fermenting weight on top of the carrots/brine if you are using one, and wipe the rim of the jar clean.
  4. Close up your jar (Put on your Pickle Pipe, or close the lid of your Fido Jar, or lid and use your Air-Lock. A simple plastic lid can work for your first time until you get the hang of things and want to invest in something to make your fermenting process easier.).
  5. Set the jar at room temperature for 1-4 days depending on the taste you are going for. The longer it sits, the more flavor will develop. You can open and taste along the way until you are satisfied. I ferment mine for about 2 days, and that is the taste my kids enjoy best. Sometimes I make a jar just for me that I let ferment up to 5 days but I enjoy that funkier sour taste! One of my older girls does now too! Keep in mind that if you live in a warmer climate, you may not need as much time to ferment. In the summer sometimes ours are done in just 24 hours.

Tips on recipe size

This recipe makes 1 pint of fermented carrots. It is a great amount to get started on. I typically double this recipe into 2 pint jars (you could double into a quart jar, but I like to use the 2 smaller jars so my kids can get it out of the fridge to help themselves). For a doubled recipe, I use 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of sea salt into a quart of warm water to make the brine to divide up into the 2 pint jars.

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How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot or Oven PLUS 2 Different Family Friendly Dinners To Use It In!

December 30, 2016

Learn how to cook spaghetti squash in your Instant Pot or oven for easy, vegetable noodles for the whole family!

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot or Oven PLUS 2 Different Family Friendly Dinners To Use It In!Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

He always picks out the biggest one!

I have to admit, I am a pretty lucky girl. My husband does the majority our grocery shopping – I make the list and he shops. It is pretty much amazing, and it is part of this teamwork thing we try to make work in our house!

It never fails though – there are certain produce items that just always come home “the biggest and the best”! I am most certain he picks through the produce stand every week looking for the biggest squash, the head of garlic with the most cloves on it, and onions as big as my head!

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot or Oven PLUS 2 Different Family Friendly Dinners To Use It In!Spaghetti squash for days….

So one particular week when he brought home a spaghetti squash the size of a medium sized pumpkin, I decided I’d create 2 meals out of it and take pictures along the way for you all! It was like having 2 full dinners for a family of 5, all in one squash! And I have to admit…my Instant Pot has made making squash on a busy school night SO much faster!

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot or Oven PLUS 2 Different Family Friendly Dinners To Use It In!The squash with a blank canvas!

Spaghetti squash is quite literally a clean slate. It doesn’t have a ton of flavor, which actually is a great thing when it comes to feeding kids! There’s no veggie flavor masking here – you can truly make it taste however you wish.

So here is a complete tutorial on how to cook your spaghetti squash, as well as 2 family friendly dinner ideas for using it up!

how-to-cook-spaghetti-squashCooking Spaghetti Squash – Instant Pot Method

So my Instant Pot has quite literally taken over how I cook spaghetti squash in the last year! It is super fast and easy – you will love it! (If you haven’t taken the Instant Pot plunge yet, have no fear! Keep scrolling for the oven methods below!)

  1. If your squash is too large to fit in the Instant Pot , cut your spaghetti squash in half horizontally (so it can sit up on it’s end). If your squash is as big as mine in the picture, you will only be able to cook half at a time – which is enough to feed my family of 5 for dinner. If you have a smaller squash, simply cut enough of one of the ends off to scoop out the seeds and put the whole thing in!
  2. Scoop out the seeds, and set the squash on the trivet. Put 1 cup of water in the bottom of the pot.
  3. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and close the valve. Press manual and bring the time down to 12 minutes. It will turn on automatically. The timer will start counting down the 12 minutes once it reaches pressure. When the 12 minutes is done, you can turn the Instant Pot off and release the pressure from the valve. Take the lid off and your squash should be done. (Please note that squashes do come in quite different sizes and cook times might need some adjusting. If it doesn’t seem cooked through, simply do another 3 to 5 minutes (I had to do that with the one pictured above by the way – it was massive!).

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot or Oven PLUS 2 Different Family Friendly Dinners To Use It In!Cooking Spaghetti Squash – Oven Method

The oven method for cooking spaghetti squash is just as convenient since there is no prepping! It takes bit longer to cook but you can always cook it up ahead of time on the weekends and keep it in the fridge for a weeknight meal if you don’t have the hour to bake it.

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place your un-cut spaghetti squash in a baking dish and bake at 425 degrees for 1 hour. If your squash is quite large, you may need an extra 15 minutes or so.
  3. Cut your spaghetti squash in half horizontally (so it can sit up on it’s end). Scoop out the seeds, and serve.
    So from here your squash “noodles” are a blank slate to color in however you wish!

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot or Oven PLUS 2 Different Family Friendly Dinners To Use It In!The possibilities are endless from here!

Spaghetti squash noodles work well bound together with eggs for morning hashbrowns, or drowning in butter and garlic with veggies as a quick lunch, or as you will see here in the next 2 recipes, as a delicious, healthy dinner meal for the whole family!

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot or Oven PLUS 2 Different Family Friendly Dinners To Use It In!A quick tip for older kids who are new to spaghetti squash

I highly suggest not making a big deal out of the meal 😉 They feel your nervousness in serving something new and feed off it! Serve and be done! Know you are a good mom, be confident in your meal, and don’t beat yourself up if they turn their noses up at first. If you wish, you could “ease” them in by mixing the spaghetti squash “noodles” with some “regular” noodles. I would also recommend doing this for kids that might need the extra carbohydrates – I do this on occasion for my littler guys that need it.

spaghetti-and-meatballs-banner

I’m all about quick and easy here. While there is definitely a time and place to make your own spaghetti sauce, most busy school nights I’m all about just “doctoring up” some good jarred spaghetti sauce. If you make or can your own go for it!

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot or Oven PLUS 2 Different Family Friendly Dinners To Use It In!You can also make the sauce a meat sauce instead of making the meatballs if you are shorter on time. The meatballs do freeze up great, so if you have some time on the weekend, you can roll up a few pounds of meatballs for the freezer making them super easy to grab for a quick school night dinner. Just freeze the meatballs on a tray and then pop the frozen meatballs into a freezer bag.

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot or Oven PLUS 2 Different Family Friendly Dinners To Use It In!Ingredients (This makes enough to serve over 1/2 large or 1 whole small spaghetti squash):

  • 1 lb grassfed ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB flour of choice (I usually use white rice flour, but tapioca flour works if you are grain free)
  • 1 TB Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2-3 TB friendly fat to cook in such as butter, coconut oil, lard, or avocado oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small green pepper, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 6-8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 jar organic spaghetti sauce

Directions:

  1. Cook your spaghetti squash according to one of the methods above while you make the meatballs and sauce.
  2. Make the meatballs while your oven pre-heats to 375 (If you are baking your squash, you can cook the meat balls at the 425 degrees along with the squash just back off the cooking time on the meatballs to 10-15 minutes.). Mix the beef, egg, flour, onion/garlic powder, sea salt/pepper in a small mixing bowl. Roll into small balls and place on a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
  3. While the meatballs are baking, you can make the sauce. Melt the friendly fat in a pot and add the veggies with a big pinch of sea salt. Cook on medium to medium heat for 10 minutes stirring occasionally until the veggies soften.
    Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
  4. Add the spaghetti sauce and simmer until the meatballs are ready to be mixed in. Sea salt and pepper your sauce to your taste.
  5. Stir the cooked meatballs into your sauce and serve over the cooked spaghetti squash noodles. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese if you wish.

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot or Oven PLUS 2 Different Family Friendly Dinners To Use It In!

veggie-spaghetti-bannerBright, fun colors and loaded with mineral rich veggies! Use whatever vegetables are in season or on hand – it doesn’t make any difference when you are drowning it all in garlic butter sauce!

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot or Oven PLUS 2 Different Family Friendly Dinners To Use It In!I didn’t leave the guys out of this recipe either – I know my husband wouldn’t be real thrilled with a veggie only dinner so there is pastured sausage in this meal (you could use grassfed beef or even cooked chicken if you wish!). If you don’t mind the all veggie meal, just leave the meat out.

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot or Oven PLUS 2 Different Family Friendly Dinners To Use It In!Ingredients (This makes enough to serve over 1/2 large or 1 whole small spaghetti squash):

  • 1/2 lb pastured ground sausage or grassfed ground beef (you could use a full pound if your crew likes things meatier)
  • 4 TB friendly fat to cook in such as butter, tallow, lard, avocado oil, or coconut oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, cubed
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 8oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 small cabbage, sliced thin
  • 5 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp chipotle powder or cayenne if you don’t like it smoky (optional but the flavorful mild heat goes really well!)
  • 1/3 cup white wine or bone broth
  • 1 heaping handful baby spinach
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook your spaghetti squash according to one of the methods above while you make the garlic buttered veggies to go on top.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add all of the veggies except the garlic and tomatoes. Put a large pinch of sea salt into the pan, stir, and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally until the veggies are soft and sweet.
  3. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the wine (or broth) and simmer about 7 minutes until the liquid absorbs a bit and the tomatoes soften and burst.
  5. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach to wilt and then sea salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve over the cooked spaghetti squash with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese if you wish.

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot or Oven PLUS 2 Different Family Friendly Dinners To Use It In!More real food recipes you might like:

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Versatile Cabbage and Beef Skillet

October 27, 2016

Budget friendly, real food for the whole family with plenty of flavor change ups, so there’s enough variety to serve it often!

Versatile Cabbage & Beef Skillet :: Budget friendly, real food for the whole family, and with plenty flavor change ups, there's plenty of variety to serve it every week!So a little real life for you…

Sometimes life gets busy and I don’t want to think about what to make for dinner…

And some weeks we are stretched super {super} thin on the budget by the time we get to pay day, so the dinner possibilities are not, in fact, endless…

Versatile Cabbage & Beef Skillet :: Budget friendly, real food for the whole family, and with plenty flavor change ups, there's plenty of variety to serve it every week!I’m pretty sure this is not just my reality…and can I tell you something? I have grown to love teaching people how to keep their kitchens real food focused while sticking to a budget.

I have to be honest in saying that I have been fighting myself to even post a recipe like this because…I know it isn’t fancy. It isn’t typical “viral” blog material. But this, dear friends, is real life – this is what we have to do day in and day out. Make real food that nourishes our family without spending all the money!

Versatile Cabbage & Beef Skillet :: Budget friendly, real food for the whole family, and with plenty flavor change ups, there's plenty of variety to serve it every week!Because, let’s face it…you can do some pretty major budget damage at health food stores!

We have so been there. It can ruin your real food eating goals in one shopping trip, and send your spouse running back to that box of Hamburger Helper in about 2 seconds flat. Don’t go broke trying to eat real food. It isn’t worth it.

Instead, get back to the basics! Simple, real food tastes amazing, makes your body feel incredible, and won’t make you go broke if you do it up right!

Versatile Cabbage & Beef Skillet :: Budget friendly, real food for the whole family, and with plenty flavor change ups, there's plenty of variety to serve it every week!Real food budgeting 101…Fall in love with cabbage my friends!

And every other mineral rich vegetable you can get your hands on. When you stretch that grassfed/pastured meat budget by filling the large majority of your plate with vegetables that taste amazing, you really can stick to a super strict budget and still eat very well.

Versatile Cabbage & Beef Skillet :: Budget friendly, real food for the whole family, and with plenty flavor change ups, there's plenty of variety to serve it every week!The secret to amazing veggie flavor is all in the method!

I know when I was just beginning to cook real food, I had zero clue how to cook vegetables. I am not a trained chef, have never taken a cooking course, and I’m from the generation that had their home ec classes taken away. But when I started figuring out the secrets to cooking vegetables in a way that used their amazing flavor potential, that was the turning point!

I truly wish I could make this just one time for all of you, my reader friends, just so you could taste it just once – because I know you would be hooked! This meal is served in our house at least once a week in some form or fashion – and there are so many ways to change it up so there’s no boredom!

Versatile Cabbage & Beef Skillet :: Budget friendly, real food for the whole family, and with plenty flavor change ups, there's plenty of variety to serve it every week!So here is the basic cabbage and beef skillet recipe – our family favorite way of making it by the way!

And at the bottom of the recipe be sure to check out the different ways you can swap things in and out to change it up!

Versatile Cabbage & Beef Skillet :: Budget friendly, real food for the whole family, and with plenty flavor change ups, there's plenty of variety to serve it every week!

Versatile Cabbage and Beef Skillet
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb grassfed ground beef
  • 3-4 TB friendly fat to cook in such as butter, tallow, avocado oil, or coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small head of cabbage (or ½ - ¾ large head), sliced into strips
  • 8 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tsp dried thyme (or other seasoning of choice)
  • ¼ pound baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked long grain white rice or cauliflower rice
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, add a tablespoon of butter to melt and then brown the ground beef. Set the cooked beef aside but leave behind any of the juices/fat. (I also like to get the rice started cooking when I get the beef going so it is ready to be added to the skillet at the end)
  2. Add the rest of your cooking fat to the skillet to melt, along with the onion, mushrooms, and cabbage with a big pinch of sea salt. Combine and cook this mixture over medium/medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or so until the cabbage, mushrooms, and onion are soft and sweet. If the veggies feel dry, you can add a splash of water or bone broth.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
  4. Add the thyme, cooked ground beef, baby spinach, and cooked rice. Combine and cook over medium heat until the spinach wilts to your liking. Sea salt and pepper the skillet to your taste.


Ways to change it up!


Egg Roll In a Bowl!

  • Swap the thyme for coconut aminos, grated ginger, and red pepper flakes (powdered ginger is fine too!).
  • Add shredded or julienne peeled carrots when you add in the spinach.
  • Serve with sliced green onion.

Curry Me!

  • Swap the thyme for your favorite red or yellow curry.
  • Add sliced, colorful bell peppers right in there with the cabbage.

Deconstructed Cabbage Roll Style!

  • Add some oregano in with the thyme.
  • Add a can of diced tomatoes in when you toss the cooked beef back into the pan with the cooked cabbage.

Italian Style!

  • Swap the thyme for Italian Seasoning
  • Add lots of sliced cherry tomatoes in when you toss the cooked beef back into the pan.
  • Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.

Taco Tuesday!

  • Swap the thyme for taco seasoning and a dash of chipotle powder. You could swap the beef or some of the beef for cooked pinto beans too!
  • Add some diced bell peppers in with the cabbage, and chunky salsa to stir in when you toss the cooked beef back into the pan.
  • Serve with a dollop of sour cream OR you could even serve it right in a sprouted corn tortilla shell!
Dinner Ideas Holiday Recipes Lunch Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips Soup

Smoky and Sweet Chicken and Pumpkin Corn Chowder

October 21, 2016

Creamy and comforting meets the savory heat of chipotle in this sweet and smoky chicken and pumpkin corn chowder!

Smoky & Sweet Chicken & Pumpkin Corn Chowder :: Creamy and comforting meets the savory heat of chipotle in this sweet and smoky chicken and pumpkin corn chowder!Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Apple picking, hayrides, fall color hikes, pumpkin carving, and costumes, oh my!

Smoky & Sweet Chicken & Pumpkin Corn Chowder :: Creamy and comforting meets the savory heat of chipotle in this sweet and smoky chicken and pumpkin corn chowder!

October has become such a busy month since having older kids in the house! I am such a summer girl, but over the last couple years, I have really grown to love all of the fun fall activities that October brings…as well as all of the warm meals that go along with it!

Smoky & Sweet Chicken & Pumpkin Corn Chowder :: Creamy and comforting meets the savory heat of chipotle in this sweet and smoky chicken and pumpkin corn chowder!Daily bone broth is one of my simple, daily goals for keeping my crew of kids healthy all season, and sometimes we need a little soup change up!

Even though I am sure this will most certainly become an adult favorite in the home, I really wanted to bring up trying this soup with the kids too. I think you will be surprised at how little ones will like the smoky flavor of chipotle. It has a milder, more flavorful heat that tastes so good. Two of my babies really took to heat as little ones and never really skipped a beat.

Smoky & Sweet Chicken & Pumpkin Corn Chowder :: Creamy and comforting meets the savory heat of chipotle in this sweet and smoky chicken and pumpkin corn chowder!So what about those littles that aren’t keen on spicy food?!

I have one of those! When she was really little I simply used less spicy heat, and then would add more heat to the plates my husband and I were eating from. It’s simple enough, and still trains the taste palate of your little one for a new meal. When it comes to something like soup or chili, I tend to season with the heat we like, and then “cool” her bowl down by stirring in sour cream or coconut milk/cream – it works SO good!

Smoky & Sweet Chicken & Pumpkin Corn Chowder :: Creamy and comforting meets the savory heat of chipotle in this sweet and smoky chicken and pumpkin corn chowder!Creamy and comforting without the dairy! But what about that corn?!

If you can’t eat corn (remember corn is a grain – so if you are grain free listen up!), I have a couple of swaps for you! I think the best swap is using either chopped or “riced” cauliflower. You can cook it right alongside the potatoes if they are chopped, and if it is “riced”, simply add it in when you put the garlic in since it doesn’t need a long cook time. I also have tried diced sweet potato and think that works well (add this right in with the potatoes).

That secret step of blending up half the soup before putting in the chicken is what gives the soup it’s creamy texture! No dairy or flour needed!

Smoky & Sweet Chicken & Pumpkin Corn Chowder :: Creamy and comforting meets the savory heat of chipotle in this sweet and smoky chicken and pumpkin corn chowder!Take advantage of those sweet little pie pumpkins over the next couple months and make that broth super creamy and sweet!

Flavorful soups are the a fun way to make nourishing bone broth a part of everyday. Mineral rich seasonal veggies not only bump up the mineral profile but can also bring amazing flavor and make a daily bowl of soup more interesting and fun!

That secret step of blending up half the soup before putting in the chicken is what gives the soup it's creamy texture! No dairy or flour needed!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Smoky and Sweet Chicken and Pumpkin Corn Chowder
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pie pumpkin
  • ¼ cup friendly fat to cook in such as butter, avocado oil, lard, or coconut oil (I happen to love this soup with a good TB of the friendly fat coming from bacon grease - it gives it a really great flavor!)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 medium/large yellow potatoes, small cube or diced (smaller is best if serving to kids but if you like bigger chunks go for it!)
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1½ quarts bone broth (if you want a much thicker broth you could use just 1 quart)
  • ½ tsp chipotle powder (this leaves a mild, kid friendly smoky heat - if you prefer it spicier (like I do!) you can add a full teaspoon or just add more to the serving in your bowl. Sour cream or coconut milk can tame the heat for little ones if you want to go that route too!)
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, cubed (use leftovers from roasting a whole chicken, doing a slow cooker whole chicken, or Instant Pottting a whole chicken!)
  • 2 cups frozen organic corn (I get mine at Costco)
  • 1-2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place your whole pumpkin in a baking dish, and roast at 425 degrees for 50 minutes. Slice the pumpkin in half to cool, scoop out the seeds, and puree in a food processor or blender. (You could skip this step entirely and use a can of pumpkin if you are stretched for time! Keep in mind canned pumpkin is typically other squash so it is darker orange in color and will just give the soup a different color - it will still be pretty and so delicious though!)
  2. While you are waiting for your pumpkin to cool, start your soup. Melt your friendly fat in a large soup pot and add the onion, potatoes, and carrot with a big pinch of sea salt and stir to combine. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 7-10 minutes until the onions are translucent and the potatoes are fork tender.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
  4. Add the broth, pumpkin puree, and chipotle powder, and stir to combine. Bring to a low simmer and then turn the heat off or down to low. Scoop out about half of the soup to a medium mixing bowl and blend with an immersion blender (or scoop the soup into a blender to blend) until smooth.
  5. Return the blended portion of the soup back to the soup pot, add the chicken and corn, and bring to a low simmer for a 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the spinach to wilt in, and then sea salt and pepper the soup to your taste.
  6. Again, for the little ones in the house, you can add sour cream or coconut milk to their bowl to tame any heat. You can also puree the soup entirely for little ones that are funny about "chunks" in their soup.

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Roasted Pumpkin and Garlic Pasta With Sage and Thyme Meatballs

October 5, 2016

Grab the wool socks and put a log on the fireplace! It’s time to cozy up to some cool weather comfort food like roasted pumpkin and garlic pasta and enjoy the season!

Roasted Pumpkin & Garlic Pasta with Sage & Thyme Meatballs ::Grab the wool socks and put a log on the fireplace! It's time to cozy up to some cool weather comfort food like roasted pumpkin and garlic pasta and enjoy the season! Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Autumn has really allowed us to ease into cooler weather this year with unseasonably warm temperatures (for Michigan!), and I think I am ready for a little fall!

I won’t spend a much time taunting you with explaining much about this drool worthy dinner, but I did want to give you a few swaps and examples for how to use the roasted garlic pumpkin cream sauce, as well as some swaps for the pasta if you are a home that can’t do that! I want everyone to be able to enjoy this dish!

Roasted Pumpkin & Garlic Pasta with Sage & Thyme Meatballs ::Grab the wool socks and put a log on the fireplace! It's time to cozy up to some cool weather comfort food like roasted pumpkin and garlic pasta and enjoy the season! Roasted pumpkin and garlic sauce

This sauce….oh the creaminess and flavor! You can’t get the depth of roasted flavor from canned pumpkin or a powdered garlic…I promise you will be blown away if you just use the good stuff!

It will quickly become a family favorite which is why I want to offer a few swaps for those that need it! First, if you are a dairy free home, I have made this with all coconut milk and it is so amazing. I am not a huge fan of things tasting like coconut, and I think the roasted pumpkin and garlic take over the flavor of the dish very well. I also have done half coconut milk and half water and it is still really amazing.

Roasted Pumpkin & Garlic Pasta with Sage & Thyme Meatballs ::Grab the wool socks and put a log on the fireplace! It's time to cozy up to some cool weather comfort food like roasted pumpkin and garlic pasta and enjoy the season!

Pumpkin Pasta!

I use the Tinkyada brand rice noodles pretty exclusively for pasta needs in our house, but use whatever you have on hand or like to use. If you are a grain free home, or pasta isn’t in the house, this cream sauce is good on….just about everything! You can make veggie noodles with your spirilizer such as sweet potato noodles or “zoodles” with zucchini. Or you can make a big veggie stir fry and mix the meatballs in along with the cream sauce. Whatever you can swing…try it! This sauce is just decadent!

Roasted Pumpkin & Garlic Pasta with Sage & Thyme Meatballs ::Grab the wool socks and put a log on the fireplace! It's time to cozy up to some cool weather comfort food like roasted pumpkin and garlic pasta and enjoy the season! A note on the meatballs!

The egg in the meatballs is for binding, so if you are an egg free home simply use a gelatin or flax egg and you should be just fine. I think tapioca flour would be a good swap if you are grain free.

Roasted Pumpkin & Garlic Pasta with Sage & Thyme Meatballs ::Grab the wool socks and put a log on the fireplace! It's time to cozy up to some cool weather comfort food like roasted pumpkin and garlic pasta and enjoy the season! Dear friends, this is how we welcome in fall around here! Happy autumn season to you!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Roasted Pumpkin and Garlic Pasta With Sage and Thyme Meatballs
 
Ingredients
  • For The Roasted Pumpkin & Garlic Pasta ::
  • 1 pie pumpkin
  • 4 TB butter, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, leave them whole and unpeeled to roast
  • ¾ cup whole milk or coconut milk (you can adjust this depending on how thick or thin you want your sauce)
  • ¼ cup whole sour cream (or more coconut milk)
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
  • ½ - ¾ lb cooked pasta of choice (I use the Tinkyada GF rice noodles)
  • For The Sage & Thyme Meatballs ::
  • 1 lb grassfed ground beef
  • 3 TB white rice flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1-2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1-2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
Instructions
  1. Start with roasting the pumpkin and garlic. Halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Place the pumpkin halves flesh side up on a baking sheet, and spread 2 TB of butter over the flesh of the pumpkins, then sprinkle sea salt and pepper. Roast at 425 degrees for 45-50 minutes until the flesh is soft. Put the garlic cloves on the baking sheet for the last 15-20 minutes to roast as well.
  2. While the pumpkins are roasting, you can make the meatballs. Put all of the meatball ingredients in a small mixing bowl and combine. Roll the meatball mixture into small, 2 inch meatballs and place on a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. You can bake the meatballs along with the pumpkin at 425 degrees for about 15-20 minutes (I like to put them in the same time as I put the garlic in).
  3. Once the pumpkins and garlic are done roasting and cool enough to touch, scoop the flesh of the pumpkin into a food processor or blender and squeeze the roasted garlic in. Blend the pumpkin and garlic until smooth.
  4. Put the pumpkin and garlic puree into a sauce pan along with 2 TB of butter and the milk and warm to a low simmer. Whisk until smooth (you can add more liquid here if you wish for a thinner sauce). Turn off the heat and whisk in the sour cream, and then sea salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Toss the cooked pasta with the roasted pumpkin and garlic cream sauce and top with your sage & thyme meatballs. Garnish with sage and parsley.

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Fast Prep Instant Pot Vegetable Lo Mein

September 10, 2016

All of the Asian flavors you love, in less than 10 minutes of time! This healthy Asian Lo Mein is weeknight fast and nourishing at the same time!

Fast Prep Instant Pot Vegetable Lo Mein :: All of the Asian flavors you love, in less than 10 minutes of time! This healthy Asian Lo Mein is weeknight fast and nourishing at the same time!Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Our school year is off and running, and I feel like we did just that for the first week…Run!

Whew!

Fast Prep Instant Pot Vegetable Lo Mein :: All of the Asian flavors you love, in less than 10 minutes of time! This healthy Asian Lo Mein is weeknight fast and nourishing at the same time!

We are still getting our feet wet back into the groove of early mornings and school after a laid back summer break, so I have been perfecting some of my quicker weeknight meals.

While we don’t have a lot of extra-curricular activities after school yet with such little ones, I *do* have a brand new kindergartener getting used to full days of school (read – tired!), a toddler that has to get woken up on occasion from naps for school pick up (read – crabby!), and a 2nd grader that wants to get her project done *right now* (read – busy!). It just helps to have a dinner that doesn’t require a lot of hands on time.

Fast Prep Instant Pot Vegetable Lo Mein :: All of the Asian flavors you love, in less than 10 minutes of time! This healthy Asian Lo Mein is weeknight fast and nourishing at the same time!

I am coming up on my 1 year anniversary of having my Instant Pot and I feel like this summer we really got to know each other!

I had been using it mainly to make whole chickens and bone broth up until this summer, and boy I am really loving figuring out how to use it for more than just that. As much as I love cooking, there really are more days in the week that I need fast meals than ones that I don’t. If there is room on the birthday or Christmas list this year, an Instant Pot is definitely one I would try to fit in!

Fast Prep Instant Pot Vegetable Lo Mein :: All of the Asian flavors you love, in less than 10 minutes of time! This healthy Asian Lo Mein is weeknight fast and nourishing at the same time!

This quick Lo Mein has every flavor burst you love about Asian food in a “dump it all in” style of cooking!

I have even done the 5 minutes of veggie chopping the night before and set it in the fridge until dinner the next day so it literally can just be a “dump it all in” meal! Salty, sweet, and savory all in one bite, the kids will not only be in love with *all* the noodles, but it just plain tastes amazing! And you can feel good about getting the veggies in!

Fast Prep Instant Pot Vegetable Lo Mein :: All of the Asian flavors you love, in less than 10 minutes of time! This healthy Asian Lo Mein is weeknight fast and nourishing at the same time!

A quick note on how you can change it up and add variety!

While this is definitely a filling meal for how my family eats as it is, you can certainly add some chopped beef, chicken, or fish. I usually have leftovers topped with a fried egg the next morning and it is pretty much amazing (scrambling an egg into it would work fine too)! The veggies are pretty interchangeable as well – use whatever you have on hand. I have swapped the spinach for chopped kale if that is what I have, or used fresh broccoli instead of peas.

You can also add more bone broth and make it more of a Lo Mein soup. I have found a rich beef broth tastes so good! Also, don’t forget to pack the leftovers up in the school lunch thermos! Just add a splash of water or broth to warm it up in the morning and put it in a thermos to go! There are more details on how to temper your thermos and keep food warm for school in this post.

Fast Prep Instant Pot Vegetable Lo Mein :: All of the Asian flavors you love, in less than 10 minutes of time! This healthy Asian Lo Mein is weeknight fast and nourishing at the same time!

4.3 from 3 reviews
Fast Prep Instant Pot Vegetable Lo Mein
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups bone broth (a rich beef broth works best. You can do bone broth in the Instant Pot too !)
  • ¼ cup Coconut Aminos
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 inch knob ginger, peeled and grated (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (this leaves a kid friendly, mild heat - if you like more kick add more!)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced on a bias
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ½ lb gluten free pasta of choice (I used the Tinkyada brand of rice noodles that our local grocer carries)
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped finely
Instructions
  1. Everything *except the spinach* into the Instant Pot, stir to combine, and seal the lid. Be sure the valve is closed.
  2. Turn your IP on, press manual, and then use the (+/-) button to press the time down to 2 minutes. The Instant Pot will turn "ON" and come to pressure before it counts down the 2 minutes.
  3. When the 2 minutes is done, turn the Instant Pot "OFF", and set a timer for 4 minutes to let the pot naturally release some of the pressure and finish cooking the noodles through.
  4. After the 4 minutes, release the rest of the pressure, take the lid off, and stir in the fresh spinach to combine. There will be a little bit of liquid in the bottom that will continue to soak up into the noodles and the starch from the noodles will make it "saucy". Serve topped with sliced green onion or chopped nuts.

A note on Instant Pot cook times

This recipe gives the noodle a good, “al dente” texture in cook time for me. Not too mushy and not hard! It is just perfect! I have, however, found that sometimes when I have tried other people’s Instant Pot recipes that cook times for noodles, rice, even hard boiled eggs can vary. For instance the “6-6-6” method for hard boiled eggs leaves my eggs really overdone – I have to cook at 5 minutes on low pressure!  I’m actually not sure why this is (please chime in if you know!), but keep that in mind. If you open the lid and your noodles need a bit more cook time, simply turn the saute button on and let them cook a little longer. I will try to answer your IP questions as best as I can, but please remember I am fairly new to using it myself – thank you for understanding!

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5 Minute Mexican Chicken Salad

August 25, 2016

Mexican chicken salad is abundant with bright, bold flavor, and just 5 minutes of prep time!

Pinterest

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Sometimes it is simplicity that everyone craves.

A few weeks ago I casually posted a “last minute” dinner I made to my Instagram and Facebook page. It was a simple Mexican chicken salad with some crackers and guacamole. It was a super hot, muggy day, and I had zero cooking desire.

5 Minute Mexican Chicken Salad :: Mexican chicken salad is abundant with bright, bold flavor, and just 5 minutes of prep time!

I posted the picture, and I remember being surprised at how much reaction this simple dinner received.

Because honestly and truly, we all crave simplicity I think. I had never thought to post a recipe like this chicken salad that I make so often because it is embarrassingly simple in ingredients! What I learned that day is that you all are just like me. You made me feel human! We all have days we just. can’t. do. one. more. thing.

5 Minute Mexican Chicken Salad :: Mexican chicken salad is abundant with bright, bold flavor, and just 5 minutes of prep time!

We all have days where we need a simple, easy prep dinner that tastes amazing.

Is that so much to ask?! It really isn’t! I think you will really enjoy putting this Mexican chicken salad into your meal rotation for lunch or dinner!

5 Minute Mexican Chicken Salad :: Mexican chicken salad is abundant with bright, bold flavor, and just 5 minutes of prep time!

Here are some ideas for how you can serve your Mexican chicken salad!

  • Scooped into avocado halves (our favorite!)
  • Rolled up into a wrap or a lettuce leaf wrap
  • Scooped into bell pepper halves
  • Used as a dip for veggie sticks or crackers
  • On a sandwich with lots of veggies
  • Mixed into a green salad
  • Toddlers can eat it right off the spoon – and little ones love to dip! Try some crackers or veggie sticks!

5 Minute Mexican Chicken Salad :: Mexican chicken salad is abundant with bright, bold flavor, and just 5 minutes of prep time!

5.0 from 1 reviews
5 Minute Mexican Chicken Salad
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 cup chopped green onion (Red or Spanish onions work well too)
  • ½ small/medium tomato, coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ - ½ cup mayonnaise (I like to use my 5 minute, egg free mayonnaise , but an egg based homemade mayo works well too, or a quality store avocado or olive oil based mayo would be fine!)
  • 2-4 tsp taco seasoning (I use my quick, DIY taco seasoning- if using store bought just watch those ingredients for hidden MSG or other preservatives/starches. Start out with the 2 tsp especially if little kids will be eating it - you can always add more if you need but you can't take it away! My DIY spice blend is on the mild side since I have little kids in the house. My husband likes to add some cayenne, chipotle, or hot sauce to his to kick it up a bit.)
Instructions
  1. Everything into your food processor and pulse to combine to a texture you like. You can puree it all the way through for those that might have texture issues with chunks or who might not like seeing "pieces" in their food.
  2. Serve Mexican chicken salad on avocado halves, bell pepper halves, as a dip for veggie sticks or crackers, in a wrap or as a sandwich, or mixed into a green salad! Store in the fridge up to 5 days in an airtight container.

More *quick* real food dinners you might like:

Dinner Ideas Feeding Babies Lunch Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips school lunches

Kid Friendly Veggie Spaghetti Sauce

July 22, 2016

This kid friendly veggie spaghetti sauce is loaded with brilliant color, amazing taste, and is super fun to eat piled on top of your favorite noodles or veggie noodles!

Kid Friendly Veggie Spaghetti Sauce! :: This kid friendly veggie spaghetti sauce is loaded with brilliant color, amazing taste, and is super fun to eat piled on top of your favorite noodles or veggie noodles!

“How do you get your kids to eat their veggies?”

I get that inbox question weekly, and some of my staple responses are…

Make it taste good!

Make it fun!

Make it familiar!

Kid Friendly Veggie Spaghetti Sauce! :: This kid friendly veggie spaghetti sauce is loaded with brilliant color, amazing taste, and is super fun to eat piled on top of your favorite noodles or veggie noodles!

Before I expand on those responses, let me back up a minute and talk about the babies and toddlers.

If you fall in the category of having a baby between the ages of 6 months to 2 years old let me fill you in a little secret…baby taste palates are a blank slate! You absolutely can train those young palates to enjoy vegetables of every kind by introducing them before they hit those “NO” and testing 3 and 4 year old ages.

Make it fun and relaxed. Let them take bites off your plate. Don’t force it and keep it positive even if they don’t accept it right away. First foods is one of my very favorite things – enjoy introducing those fun veggies! (For more in depth first foods and feeding babies discussion, keep your eyes peeled this fall for my new book publishing titled Nourished Beginnings!)

Kid Friendly Veggie Spaghetti Sauce! :: This kid friendly veggie spaghetti sauce is loaded with brilliant color, amazing taste, and is super fun to eat piled on top of your favorite noodles or veggie noodles!

Ok, so let’s talk about making vegetables enjoyable for big kids that are maybe newer to real food.

Taking an old staple that most kids love and enjoy like spaghetti and giving it a veggie make-over will be less intimidating then tossing a plate of new foreign vegetables in front of them. Keep it fun and tasting amazing. This veggie spaghetti sauce is rich, and sweet, and tomato-y just like kids like it. Kids also love noodles! Anything with noodles! And I say if it gets them eating a pile of mineral rich, power packed vegetables, a scoop of noodles it is then.

If you have a little one that is funny about texture or seeing “pieces” in their food, simply puree the sauce through and it will feel a lot like jarred spaghetti sauce – you can add a splash of bone broth or water and just blend it up. Sometimes all you need to do to mold a more adventurous eater in those big kids is give their bodies some time to adjust off the junk food. Their cravings will change, and their body will function better if you can just do what you gotta do to get their fuel more nourishing.

Kid Friendly Veggie Spaghetti Sauce! :: This kid friendly veggie spaghetti sauce is loaded with brilliant color, amazing taste, and is super fun to eat piled on top of your favorite noodles or veggie noodles!

Serving options

We love using gluten free rice noodles in our house. Using spaghetti squash or veggie “noodles” such as zucchini or sweet potato noodles works so well too if you can’t tolerate grains, or if you have a baby in the house that can’t have grains yet. Our spirilizer for making veggie noodles was such a great investment for our kitchen.

We like to add grassfed beef or meatballs to our spaghetti too. Use your favorite meatball recipe – one of my favorites are these kale stuffed meatballs. Our staple spaghetti meatballs will be published in my Nourished Beginnings book publishing this fall!

Kid Friendly Veggie Spaghetti Sauce! :: This kid friendly veggie spaghetti sauce is loaded with brilliant color, amazing taste, and is super fun to eat piled on top of your favorite noodles or veggie noodles!

Oh! And don’t forget the leftovers!

My kids LOVE spaghetti for lunch, and this packs up so well in a thermos for school. I like to add a splash of water while warming it up when using leftover noodles just to soften everything up. There are more instructions on how to keep food warm in thermoses for school in this post in the thermos section.

Kid Friendly Veggie Spaghetti Sauce! :: This kid friendly veggie spaghetti sauce is loaded with brilliant color, amazing taste, and is super fun to eat piled on top of your favorite noodles or veggie noodles!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Kid Friendly Veggie Spaghetti Sauce
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB butter
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, large dice
  • 1 yellow pepper, large dice
  • 1 medium eggplant, large dice (sliced mushrooms work here if eggplant isn't in season/available)
  • 1 medium zucchini, large dice
  • 1 medium summer squash, large dice
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2-3 cups chopped baby spinach (baby kale works too)
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4 TB organic tomato paste
  • ⅓ cup bone broth (or water)
  • ⅓ cup white wine (or more bone broth or water)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil to garnish the top, sliced in a chiffonade (roll the leaves up and slice thin)
Instructions
  1. Warm a large skillet to medium heat and melt the butter and olive oil.
  2. Add the onion, red and yellow peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and summer squash with a large pinch of sea salt, combine, and cook over medium/medium high heat stirring occasionally for about 7-10 minutes until the veggies soften and sweeten.
  3. Add the garlic, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, and tomato paste, stir to combine, and cook over medium/medium high heat about 5 minutes until the tomatoes soften and wilt and the spinach wilts.
  4. Pour in the bone broth and wine, and bring to a simmer about 5 minutes over medium heat until the liquid reduces a bit and everything softens.
  5. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to your taste and serve over noodles of choice, or serve over veggie noodles like spaghetti squash, zoodles, or sweet potato noodles. Garnish with fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese if you wish.

Here are some more kid friendly vegetable ideas to try!

Batch Up Meals Dinner Ideas Feeding Babies Lunch Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips school lunches Soup

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Soup

July 16, 2016

Summer’s prettiest heirloom tomatoes and deep purple eggplants roasted and turned sweet and creamy soup!

Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Soup :: Summer's prettiest heirloom tomatoes and deep purple eggplants roasted and turned sweet and creamy soup!

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Summer is the perfect time of year to enjoy fresh picked and abundant tomatoes in a new way!

Last weekend I was enticed by some brightly colored heirloom tomatoes I just knew I had to have! My girls and I could eat them sliced plain for days, but I just couldn’t help turning that beautiful color into some soup that I could store away for a cool day this fall.

Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Soup :: Summer's prettiest heirloom tomatoes and deep purple eggplants roasted and turned sweet and creamy soup!

Simple soup purees are great way to get nourishing, mineral rich bone broth in the kids multiple times per week.

They pack up so easy in school lunch thermoses! Not only are soup purees great for giving the school aged kids a veggie boost, my babies and toddlers always had an affinity toward these easy to eat, mildly sweet to the palate veggie soup purees. Pour some in a small tea cup and watch them slurp it down. You can use straws for the toddlers to keep the mess down – and they think that is pretty fun too!

Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Soup :: Summer's prettiest heirloom tomatoes and deep purple eggplants roasted and turned sweet and creamy soup!

There are so many summer vegetable combos that make delicious, kid friendly soups.

For this soup recipe, I dressed up our favorite fresh tomato soup by roasting some colorful heirloom tomatoes with creamy eggplant which grows abundantly this time of year. Roasting gives the veggies a sweet depth of flavor that makes the soup taste really good. Of course a handful of garlic and an onion always help that out too!

Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Soup :: Summer's prettiest heirloom tomatoes and deep purple eggplants roasted and turned sweet and creamy soup!

Take a family trip to the farmer’s market this week!

You can have the kids search out their favorite color tomatoes and a beautiful deep purple eggplant to make their soup with. It is a fun afternoon project that the kids will eagerly eat with a grilled cheese sandwich and look forward to having packed in their school lunches this fall!

Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Soup :: Summer's prettiest heirloom tomatoes and deep purple eggplants roasted and turned sweet and creamy soup!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Soup
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 medium eggplant, coarsely cubed
  • 4 large tomatoes and/or heirloom tomatoes of any color, seeded and sliced coarsely
  • 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, smashed to remove the peel (no need to chop)
  • 4 TB friendly fat to cook in such as olive oil, melted butter, coconut oil, or avocado oil
  • 4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 quart bone broth
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • Optional raw milk, sour cream, or coconut cream to stir in each bowl.
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Divide the eggplant, tomatoes, onion, and garlic between 2 Silpat lined or parchment paper lined baking sheets. Toss the veggies with the olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Roast the veggies at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.
  3. When the veggies are done roasting, bring 1 quart of bone broth with the oregano and basil to a simmer. Add the roasted veggies and puree the soup until smooth. Taste for sea salt and pepper to your liking.
  4. You can garnish with a dollop of sour cream, or stir in some raw milk or coconut cream if you wish. It is just as creamy and delicious without if you can't have dairy or don't have access to coconut milk. I love the richness the raw milk or sour cream gives - I have also found that a drizzle of olive oil gives that same rich, buttery feel.

For more nourishing meals you can follow my Nourishing Staples board on Pinterest!

More real food recipes you might like:
Instant Pot Summer Veggie Soup

Instant Pot Summer Vegetable Soup :: Vibrant color and full of fresh, in season summer flavor in just 10 minutes for an Instant Pot kid friendly summer soup!
Fresh Tomato Soup

Fresh Tomato Soup :: Preserve and enjoy summer's freshest tomatoes with nourishing fresh tomato soup!
How to Make Bone Broth

Instant Pot Bone Broth :: Learn how to use *any* bones to make fast, nourishing bone broth with your Instant Pot!
Cream of Zucchini Soup

Cream of Zucchini Soup

Batch Up Meals Dinner Ideas Feeding Babies Instant Pot Lunch Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips school lunches Soup

Instant Pot Summer Vegetable Soup

July 15, 2016

Vibrant color and full of fresh, in season summer flavor in just 10 minutes for an Instant Pot kid friendly summer soup!

Instant Pot Summer Vegetable Soup :: Vibrant color and full of fresh, in season summer flavor in just 10 minutes for an Instant Pot kid friendly summer soup!

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Some say summer isn’t really soup season and I totally beg to differ!

I make the same if not more soup in the summer because, oh! The variety of veggies available! I live in the equivalent of a frozen tundra during the winter months, and while our local grocer has a variety of veggies from around the country, I can’t always afford the out of season pricing.

Instant Pot Summer Vegetable Soup :: Vibrant color and full of fresh, in season summer flavor in just 10 minutes for an Instant Pot kid friendly summer soup!

But summer! Oh how I love our farmer’s markets and grocers in the summer!

Instant Pot Summer Vegetable Soup :: Vibrant color and full of fresh, in season summer flavor in just 10 minutes for an Instant Pot kid friendly summer soup!

Pennies on the dollar you can create the most amazing flavor profiles on super nourishing soups for the whole family.

This is the time of year not only to train your little one’s taste palates to seasonal produce, it is also the time of year to take advantage of seasonal pricing and stock up your freezer. Come January it is so nice to pull out a jar of summer vegetable soup to warm up to.

Instant Pot Summer Vegetable Soup :: Vibrant color and full of fresh, in season summer flavor in just 10 minutes for an Instant Pot kid friendly summer soup!

This summer I have been playing around with my Instant Pot for our summer soups, and let me tell you – this has been such a game changer for me.

Not only does it save me heating up the house with a pot of soup, it also saves me time. Contrary to what most may think of me, I don’t, in fact, love being around my kitchen all day. Especially when it comes summer. I have to soak in all that precious daylight and warmth that I can before our snow season comes back!

Instant Pot Summer Vegetable Soup :: Vibrant color and full of fresh, in season summer flavor in just 10 minutes for an Instant Pot kid friendly summer soup!

Super rough chop and blend it all down is the name of my game for these seasonal veggie soup.

Not only is this method very time saving, it makes for a delicious, sweet blended flavor as well as making it very kid friendly to serve. Pour a little in a small tea cup with a small straw and serve it to those first foods babies and toddlers – they will slurp up every last drop! Pack it up in the school lunch thermoses to give those growing kids a yummy mineral boost to finish off their school afternoon.

Instant Pot Summer Vegetable Soup :: Vibrant color and full of fresh, in season summer flavor in just 10 minutes for an Instant Pot kid friendly summer soup!

This recipe is super forgiving – I haven’t made it the same way twice because there are so many great summer veggies to try!

Instant Pot Summer Vegetable Soup :: Vibrant color and full of fresh, in season summer flavor in just 10 minutes for an Instant Pot kid friendly summer soup!

Here is a list of great in season summer veggies to use in your summer veggie soup!

  • Zucchini
  • Summer Squash
  • Green Beans
  • Eggplant
  • Bell peppers of all colors
  • Hot peppers (you can scoop the ribs/seeds out to eliminate the heat – jalapenos are actually nice and sweet!)
  • Carrots
  • Chard
  • Tomatoes & Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Tomatillos
  • Shelling peas/beans
  • New potatoes
  • Summer herbs such as basil, dill, and parsley
  • Corn (this is a grain, so if you are grain free just leave this out!)

Instant Pot Summer Vegetable Soup :: Vibrant color and full of fresh, in season summer flavor in just 10 minutes for an Instant Pot kid friendly summer soup!

Instant Pot Summer Vegetable Soup
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 quarts bone broth
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 small/medium eggplant, coarsely sliced into rounds
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and coarsely sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, coarsely sliced into rounds (green beans work well here too)
  • 1 medium summer squash, coarsely sliced into rounds
  • 1 cup corn (We have a non-GMO organic farmer we buy from or use Costco's organic frozen corn. If you cannot have corn or grain, you can swap this for a couple of sweet carrots or potatoes!)
  • ½-1 cup green beans (I just grabbed a quick handful from the garden - no chopping just threw them in!)
  • 1 small orange bell pepper, seeded and coarsely sliced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely sliced
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped, or 2-3 tsp dried basil
  • Sea salt/pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Everything into the Instant Pot, put the lid on, and close the valve.
  2. Push the "Soup" setting and bring the time down manually to 10 minutes. It will turn on automatically and take about 15 minutes to come to pressure before the 10 minutes counts down.
  3. When the soup Instant Pot is done cooking, release the valve to let the pressure out, remove the lid, and use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Add sea salt and pepper to your taste.

For more Instant Pot recipes, you can follow my Instant Pot board on Pinterest!

More real food recipes you might like:
Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup

Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup :: No chopping prep! Everything into the pot and set for 10 minutes! Enjoy those seasonal spring veggies in a delicious fresh soup perfect for lunch or sipping on in a mug on a cool spring morning!
How To Make Instant Pot Bone Broth

Instant Pot Bone Broth :: Learn how to use *any* bones to make fast, nourishing bone broth with your Instant Pot!
Crispy Plantain Crackers

Crispy Plantain Crackers :: Great for toddlers, kids, and adults! Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dairy Free!

Fresh Summer Tomato Soup

Fresh Tomato Soup :: Preserve and enjoy summer's freshest tomatoes with nourishing fresh tomato soup!

Batch Up Meals Dinner Ideas Feeding Babies Instant Pot Lunch Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips school lunches Soup

Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup

June 3, 2016

No chopping prep! Everything into the pot and set for 10 minutes! Enjoy those seasonal spring veggies in a delicious fresh soup perfect for lunch or sipping on in a mug on a cool spring morning!

Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup :: No chopping prep! Everything into the pot and set for 10 minutes! Enjoy those seasonal spring veggies in a delicious fresh soup perfect for lunch or sipping on in a mug on a cool spring morning!

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Confession…

Other than bone broth and an occasional whole chicken on a busy week, my Instant Pot has gathered some dust over the winter…

Cooking is a relaxing, stress reliever of mine. So cooking stovetop is a labor of love to me, and I really don’t mind it!

But as our schedules started getting more packed this spring, and the weather begged us to be outside more and more, my focus turned to figuring out this convenient Instant Pot cooking so we could still eat nourishing meals without so much kitchen time.

Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup :: No chopping prep! Everything into the pot and set for 10 minutes! Enjoy those seasonal spring veggies in a delicious fresh soup perfect for lunch or sipping on in a mug on a cool spring morning!

My toddler especially has become fond of my Instant Pot veggie soups. She has been teething 2 year molars this spring and raw veggies are tough to get her to enjoy. It is pretty typical at this age (from my experience at least), so I don’t sweat it, and get the veggies down in more cooked form until my toddlers can manage chewing raw veg better.

Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup :: No chopping prep! Everything into the pot and set for 10 minutes! Enjoy those seasonal spring veggies in a delicious fresh soup perfect for lunch or sipping on in a mug on a cool spring morning!

It makes for a great way to getting nourishing bone broth in (which, by the way, you can make quick in the Instant Pot too!)

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Spring is a time for fresh, detoxing greens and mineral rich roots. Our spring tends to linger around where I live so gathering fresh local spring veggies is pretty easy even into June. It is nice to use the entire vegetable – including the green tops that so often people toss away!

Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup :: No chopping prep! Everything into the pot and set for 10 minutes! Enjoy those seasonal spring veggies in a delicious fresh soup perfect for lunch or sipping on in a mug on a cool spring morning!

The veggies I used in the recipe here only scratch the surface of the possibilities! Change things up as much as you want. I always try to be sure to have some “sweeter” veggies such as carrots, golden beets, peas, potatoes, and even radishes (they are spicy when raw but when they are cooked they are soft and sweet like a potato) to offset any bitter greens.

Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup :: No chopping prep! Everything into the pot and set for 10 minutes! Enjoy those seasonal spring veggies in a delicious fresh soup perfect for lunch or sipping on in a mug on a cool spring morning!

The best part just might be how “one pot” this whole soup is. Toss all the veggies in and after it pressure cooks, just puree right in the Instant Pot with an immersion blender!

Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup :: No chopping prep! Everything into the pot and set for 10 minutes! Enjoy those seasonal spring veggies in a delicious fresh soup perfect for lunch or sipping on in a mug on a cool spring morning!

This recipe is super forgiving – I haven’t made it the same way twice because there are so many great spring veggies to try! Here is a list of great in season spring veggies to use in your spring soup!

  • Beets or golden beets (I have used golden beets and the color is beautiful!)
  • Spring greens such as nettles, baby spinach, chard, and green tops from radishes and/or beets
  • Peas
  • Leeks
  • Cabbage
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Green Onions
  • Celeriac
  • Carrots
  • New potatoes

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Don’t forget this soup is great for all ages!

Soup purees are a great way to introduce veggies to babies ready for solids. Just serve on a spoon, in a mug with a small straw, or let them drink it right out of an open cup! And since this soup freezes so great, it makes the perfect pull out thermos soup for school lunches!

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 quarts bone broth
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 head of garlic (peel the cloves but you can leave them whole!)
  • ½ lb spring greens such as nettles, baby spinach, radish greens, beet greens (about 5ish cups)
  • 5-6 small/medium carrots, tops removed
  • 1 bunch radishes (about 10 or so radishes. If your radishes are small you can use more. You can leave the tops right on!)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends discarded
  • 1 medium leek (Discard the green top and slice length-wise to wash out the sand from the insides - no need to chop further!)
  • Sea salt/pepper to taste
  • Optional raw cream or whole sour cream, and fresh chopped chives to garnish
Instructions
  1. Everything but the salt, pepper, and garnishes into the Instant Pot, put the lid on, and close the valve.
  2. Push the "Soup" setting and bring the time down manually to 10 minutes. It will turn on automatically and take about 15 minutes to come to pressure before the 10 minutes counts down.
  3. When the Instant Pot is done cooking the soup, release the valve to let the pressure out, remove the lid, and use an immersion blender (or pour the cooked soup into a regular blender) to puree the soup until smooth. Add sea salt and pepper to your taste.
  4. Garnish each bowl with raw cream or sour cream, and freshly chopped chives.

For more Instant Pot recipes, you can follow my Instant Pot board on Pinterest!

More real food recipes you might like:

20 Minute Spring Stir Fry with Garlic Butter Sauce

20 Minute Spring Stir Fry with Garlic Butter Sauce :: Weeknight dinner friendly, this 20 minute spring stir fry with a garlic butter sauce will satisfy on the busiest of spring evenings!
Spring Roasted Asparagus and Garlic Stinging Nettles Soup

Roasted Asparagus & Garlic Stinging Nettle Soup :: Enjoy the freshest tastes of spring with roasted garlic and asparagus soup filled with nourishing, mineral rich stinging nettles!
How To Make Instant Pot Bone Broth

Instant Pot Bone Broth :: Learn how to use *any* bones to make fast, nourishing bone broth with your Instant Pot!
Crispy Plantain Crackers

Crispy Plantain Crackers :: Great for toddlers, kids, and adults! Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dairy Free!

Batch Up Meals Dinner Ideas Lunch Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips school lunches

Quick & Easy Gluten Free Fish Sticks with Kid Friendly French Dipping Sauce

May 29, 2016

The ultimate kid friendly fish prep! Crispy, flavorful and gluten free!

Quick & Easy Gluten Free Fish Sticks with Kid Friendly French Dipping Sauce :: The ultimate kid friendly fish prep! Crispy, flavorful, and gluten free!

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Puddles and fish sticks.

No seriously. My kids are drawn to both like moths to a flame. It never fails – the instant it rains my bigger girls are at the window waiting for their favorite puddle spots to fill up! And while I love my sunshine time, my garden could use the extra water, and I know that those puddles make for happy, occupied, and engaged kiddos once they fill up!

Quick & Easy Gluten Free Fish Sticks with Kid Friendly French Dipping Sauce :: The ultimate kid friendly fish prep! Crispy, flavorful, and gluten free!

Just like my girls are glued to the window waiting for their puddles to fill up, they have this sense for fish stick action in the kitchen! Fish stick night is always easy prep and makes for an easy but nourishing dinner for a busy weeknight.

Quick & Easy Gluten Free Fish Sticks with Kid Friendly French Dipping Sauce :: The ultimate kid friendly fish prep! Crispy, flavorful, and gluten free!

I like to set up a quick batter station so the dredging and breading is quick and easy. My 7 year old can do this herself now which is really nice. You can also bread the strips of fish and freeze them on the tray, then pop them into a freezer bag for an even faster dinner in the future too.

Quick & Easy Gluten Free Fish Sticks with Kid Friendly French Dipping Sauce :: The ultimate kid friendly fish prep! Crispy, flavorful, and gluten free!

The simple French dipping sauce is so fun too. Mildly sweet and kid friendly in taste, it makes for a nice change up to tarter sauce if you like to make fish often and want something different. (I like to make tarter sauce as well and my recipe will be published in my new book coming out this fall!)

Quick & Easy Gluten Free Fish Sticks with Kid Friendly French Dipping Sauce :: The ultimate kid friendly fish prep! Crispy, flavorful, and gluten free!

There are rarely leftovers around these days when I make these, but sometimes I’ll double batch so I can pack them up in the lunchboxes the next day – the dip packs up into a condiment container, and my girls love the fish sticks just as good cold as they do out of the oven.

Quick & Easy Gluten Free Fish Sticks with Kid Friendly French Dipping Sauce :: The ultimate kid friendly fish prep! Crispy, flavorful, and gluten free!

Don’t forget that you can dredge and bread the fish and then freeze them flat on the trays for later use. I pop them off the trays into a freezer bag once they freeze and it makes for a nice, quick dinner on a busy night

5.0 from 1 reviews
Quick & Easy Gluten Free Fish Sticks with Kid Friendly French Dipping Sauce
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • FISH STICKS:
  • 3 wild caught cod fillets, sliced into strips (I use Costco's wild caught cod)
  • ¼ cup potato starch and ¼ cup white rice flour (coconut flour if you are grain free) whisked in a small bowl for the dredge
  • 1 egg whisked in a small bowl for the egg wash
  • ¼ cup potato starch, ¼ cup white rice flour (coconut flour if you are grain free), and ¼ cup blanched almond flour whisked in a bowl for the breading
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • CREAMY FRENCH DIPPING SAUCE:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 TB white wine vinegar
  • 3 TB organic ketchup
  • 2 TB whole sour cream or yogurt (if you are dairy free just leave this out and it is still really good! Coconut yogurt would work too)
  • 1 TB raw honey
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place the bowls to prep the fish sticks in a row. Put the dredge first, then the egg wash, and then the breading bowl. Add the seasonings to the breading bowl and whisk in.
  3. Dip a fish strip in the dredge, coating it on all sides with the flour, then into the egg wash, and then into the breading mixture. Place the fish strip on a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Do this with all of the fish strips.
  4. Bake the coated fish sticks in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes. Then take them out, flip them over, and bake another 12 minutes until they are golden and the fish is cooked/flaky on the inside.
  5. While the fish is baking, you can make the dipping sauce. Simply put all the ingredients for the sauce in a pint jar and use an immersion blender to emulsify the oil into the dip - it will get nice and creamy. If you don't have an immersion blender you can whisk the oil in to emulsify, or use the drip spout on your food processor to slowly add the oil in.

For more real food dinner ideas, you can follow my Dinner Ideas Board on Pinterest!

More real food recipes you might like:
15 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup with Kid Friendly Guacamole

15 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup PLUS! How To Make Chips Out Of Any Tortilla & A Kid Friendly {Mild} Guacamole!
Real Food Sloppy Joes

15628011423_fa5c538e92_z
DIY Taco Seasoning

Sweet & Sour Sauce for Chinese Night!

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Dinner Ideas Herbal Recipes Lunch Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips school lunches Soup

Roasted Asparagus and Garlic Stinging Nettle Soup

May 21, 2016

Enjoy the freshest tastes of spring with roasted garlic and asparagus soup filled with nourishing, mineral rich stinging nettles!

Roasted Asparagus & Garlic Stinging Nettle Soup :: Enjoy the freshest tastes of spring with roasted garlic and asparagus soup filled with nourishing, mineral rich stinging nettles!

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

This spring seems to be flying by and we are enjoying all of the activities that it brings!

My spring weekend goals always included meals that are simply as hands free as possible. After months in the cold weather, we just want to be outside.

Last weekend was on the chilly side, though we still had some yard and garden work to finish up, and I noticed my stinging nettles were ready to harvest. Those fresh spring rains we had the weekend before really kicked their growing into gear and the tender, young greens at the tops of those plants are perfect for a spring soup on a chilly day.

Roasted Asparagus & Garlic Stinging Nettle Soup :: Enjoy the freshest tastes of spring with roasted garlic and asparagus soup filled with nourishing, mineral rich stinging nettles!

Stinging nettles are a vitamin and mineral rich powerhouse that can add into just about any recipe so long as the “sting” is cooked out of them. Give them a quick steam and add them to a green smoothie, wilt them into your favorite stew or stir fry, or blend them up with a fresh green soup like this roasted garlic and asparagus soup, and you can add an abundance of nutrients to your bowl.

Roasted Asparagus & Garlic Stinging Nettle Soup :: Enjoy the freshest tastes of spring with roasted garlic and asparagus soup filled with nourishing, mineral rich stinging nettles!

Many people have stinging nettles growing in their backyard and, as long as you haven’t sprayed chemicals or fertilizers, those stinging nettles are free backyard greens to use in your meal planning – and boy do they grow and multiply! I like to harvest the tender young leaves from the top and they will just keep re-growing throughout the season. Be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands from the sting – one nice thing about this soup is that since the soup is pureed, I just pick the leaves with my gloves on, give them a good wash and dump them right into the soup pot without touching them! No chopping needed! (This is a great post about the “how-to” for stinging nettle harvesting if you have never done it before. I also like this post about how to harvest and cook with stinging nettles.)

But wait! If you don’t have access to fresh stinging nettles, you can buy dried nettles and use that!

Of course this time of year is just brimming with asparagus as well and together with drool worthy roasted garlic this green soup is not only loaded with nutrients, it also tastes amazing!

Roasted Asparagus & Garlic Stinging Nettle Soup :: Enjoy the freshest tastes of spring with roasted garlic and asparagus soup filled with nourishing, mineral rich stinging nettles!

It made a great, quick weekend lunch and the leftovers packed up in the school thermos for an easy to pack school lunch.

Roasted Asparagus & Garlic Stinging Nettle Soup :: Enjoy the freshest tastes of spring with roasted garlic and asparagus soup filled with nourishing, mineral rich stinging nettles!

Roasted Asparagus and Garlic Stinging Nettle Soup
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 5 TB butter, divided
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, tough ends discarded
  • 9-10 cloves of garlic (about 1 head of garlic)
  • ½ large onion, sliced
  • 2 cups fresh stinging nettles (Be sure to use gloves while handling so you don't get stung. If you don't have access to fresh nettles, you can use about ¾-1 cup of dried nettles.)
  • 1½ quarts bone broth
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional whole yogurt or sour cream to top each bowl of soup, fresh raw cream or coconut milk to stir in
  • Optional freshly chopped chives to garnish
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Toss the asparagus and garlic cloves with 2 TB of butter and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Roast in at 425 degree oven for 25 minutes.
  3. While the veggies are roasting, melt 3 TB of butter in a soup pot and add the onions with a big pinch of sea salt. Cook over medium heat for about 7 minutes to soften and sweeten the onion.
  4. Add the fresh stinging nettles to the pot, stir and cook for a couple minutes to wilt.
  5. Add the bone broth and roasted asparagus and garlic, and bring to a simmer for a few minutes.
  6. Use an immersion blender or regular blender to puree the soup. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Garnish your bowl of soup with a dollop of whole yogurt or sour cream, or stir in some fresh raw cream or coconut milk. Fresh chopped chives are great too!

For more nourishing food ideas, you can follow my Nourishing Staples board on Pinterest!

More real food ideas you might like:
Spring Coleslaw

Spring Inspired Coleslaw
Dandelion Spring Salad with simple Garlic Oil Dressing

Dandelion Spring Salad With Simple Garlic Oil Dressing
20 Minute Spring Stir Fry with Garlic Butter Sauce

20 Minute Spring Stir Fry with Garlic Butter Sauce :: Weeknight dinner friendly, this 20 minute spring stir fry with a garlic butter sauce will satisfy on the busiest of spring evenings!

Condiments Dinner Ideas Lunch Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips school lunches

Paleo Avocado & Bacon Salad Dressing

May 7, 2016

Nourishing friendly fats, a big amazing flavor, and prepped in just 5 minutes! Your lunchtime salad has never been faster, healthier, or tastier!

Paleo Avocado & Bacon Salad Dressing :: Nourishing friendly fats, a big amazing flavor, and prepped in just 5 minutes! Your lunchtime salad has never been faster, healthier, or tastier!

Links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product or service I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Ohhh man are we getting the end of the school year jitters over here!

Spring is in full swing with absolutely gorgeous weather, and it takes all we can not to stop at a park or the beach on the way home from school. And, after 6 months of cold, I have been doing just that! I can tell the girls are just itching to climb, slide, swing, and get their feet in the beach sand!

Paleo Avocado & Bacon Salad Dressing :: Nourishing friendly fats, a big amazing flavor, and prepped in just 5 minutes! Your lunchtime salad has never been faster, healthier, or tastier!

Spending a little more time outdoors means I have been pulling out a lot more of my quicker prep summer time dinner meals.

We make “BLT” salads about once a week or so during the warm summer months, and they are definitely a family favorite.

Paleo Avocado & Bacon Salad Dressing :: Nourishing friendly fats, a big amazing flavor, and prepped in just 5 minutes! Your lunchtime salad has never been faster, healthier, or tastier!
We had a surplus of ripe avocados one time, and since there was some fresh bacon grease sitting in the pan from making bacon for our BLT salads, I decided to combine them for the base of a dressing, and boy was it a hit!
Paleo Avocado & Bacon Salad Dressing :: Nourishing friendly fats, a big amazing flavor, and prepped in just 5 minutes! Your lunchtime salad has never been faster, healthier, or tastier!
Avocado and bacon dressing has become our staple dressing for our BLT salads now because I almost always have the ingredients on hand, and it goes with it so well.

Paleo Avocado & Bacon Salad Dressing :: Nourishing friendly fats, a big amazing flavor, and prepped in just 5 minutes! Your lunchtime salad has never been faster, healthier, or tastier!
The dressing is creamy and feels rich because of the hint of bacon flavor, but it is super fresh and light. It makes a great veggie dip for the school lunchboxes the next day too.

It doesn’t get any better than a 5 minute dressing prep too!

Paleo Avocado & Bacon Salad Dressing :: Nourishing friendly fats, a big amazing flavor, and prepped in just 5 minutes! Your lunchtime salad has never been faster, healthier, or tastier!

Paleo Avocado & Bacon Salad Dressing
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup avocado oil or olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 3 TB white wine vinegar
  • 2 TB bacon grease
  • 1 TB raw honey
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 small avocado or ½ large avocado, pit removed and flesh scooped out
Instructions
  1. Everything into a pint mason jar and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth and creamy. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can add everything but the oil to a food processor and turn it on. Slowly pour the oil into the drip cup on top to drizzle it in slowly so the oil emulsifies.

For more salad dressing ideas, you can try these!

5 Popular Store Bought Dressings Made Real Food Style (Ranch, Thousand Island, French, etc!)

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DIY Olive Garden Copycat

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Caesar Salad Dressing

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Asian Salad Dressing

COVER

Dinner Ideas Lunch Ideas Real Food 101 Real Food Tips

7 Minute BBQ Shredded Beef Made From Leftover Beef Roast

April 30, 2016

Turn those roast beef leftovers into delicious, juicy BBQ shredded beef sandwiches in just minutes!

7 Minute BBQ Shredded Beef Made From Leftover Beef Roast :: Turn those roast beef leftovers into delicious, juicy BBQ shredded beef sandwiches in just minutes!

We celebrated a birthday in the house this past week!

Man, I tell ya – this is the coolest age. I love and miss my babies, but THIS age…Oh! You can have a conversation with this age. You can watch their amazing interests and talents develop in this age. And sweet mommas…you can reason with this age! I am very cool with making it through the toddler and preschooler years with this one in particular 🙂

7 Minute BBQ Shredded Beef Made From Leftover Beef Roast :: Turn those roast beef leftovers into delicious, juicy BBQ shredded beef sandwiches in just minutes!

Birthday week means a little extra prep needing to happen for party time, and I love to plan quick and easy dinners during those weeks. Nourishing and nutrient dense in less time is the name of my game on party weeks!

These barbeque shredded beef sandwiches also happen to be one of my birthday girl’s favorite dinners, so it really works out well! They are kid friendly in heat – in fact they are quite mild, but you can definitely pop the heat up with extra smoky chipotle or just straight heat with cayenne if you want.

7 Minute BBQ Shredded Beef Made From Leftover Beef Roast :: Turn those roast beef leftovers into delicious, juicy BBQ shredded beef sandwiches in just minutes!

We enjoyed a delicious Sunday beef roast dinner, and I just made sure we had a good sized roast so there were some leftovers enough to make the BBQ beef. This prep goes so fast, you could almost make the BBQ shredded beef the evening you make your roast and just pack it away to warm through the next day. Just fix a salad for the side, and maybe cook up some sliced potatoes for homemade potato chips, and you have just made a 5 year old’s day with a super yummy dinner!

7 Minute BBQ Shredded Beef Made From Leftover Beef Roast :: Turn those roast beef leftovers into delicious, juicy BBQ shredded beef sandwiches in just minutes!

The serving possibilities are endless really. We love using Sami’s gluten free millet buns or these super quick gluten free pitas, but I actually end up serving them over baked potatoes quite often and it is just delicious. You can serve the BBQ beef in any wrap, bread, bun you like to use.

7 Minute BBQ Shredded Beef Made From Leftover Beef Roast :: Turn those roast beef leftovers into delicious, juicy BBQ shredded beef sandwiches in just minutes!

If you love to make your own breads here are a few I found for you to try!

Grain Free & Gluten Free Options:

Soft & Fluffy Plantain Buns (AIP/Paleo) from The Curious Coconut
Grain Free Hamburger Buns from Deliciously Organic
Grain Free Plantain Sandwich Rounds from Delicious Obsessions
Paleo Burger Buns from A Calculated Whisk
Grain Free Rolls from Against All Grain
Soft Gluten Free Hamburger Buns from Petite Allergy Treats

Einkorn/Wheat Based Breads:

Whole Grain (Einkorn Flour) Hamburger Buns from Live Simply
No Knead Einkorn Sourdough Bread from Nourished Kitchen
Light & Fluffy Einkorn Dinner Rolls from Don’t Waste The Crumbs
Sourdough Hamburger Buns from Eat Real Stay Sane
Easy Homemade Buns from We Got Real
Bread Recipes Round-Up from Common Sense Homestead

5.0 from 6 reviews
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 TB friendly fat to cook in such as butter, lard, coconut oil, etc
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups leftover grassfed beef from a roast, shredded
  • ½ cup organic ketchup
  • 1½ TB blackstrap molasses
  • 2 TB organic mustard
  • 2 tsp raw honey (pure maple syrup or sucanat would work too)
  • ¼ tsp chipotle powder (You can add more if you like more heat)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 TB of leftover roast juices, bone broth, or water
  • 1 TB apple cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. Warm a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 TB of butter, and add in the onion with a pinch of sea salt. Cook the onion over medium heat for a few minutes until it softens and sweetens.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients, combine, and cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens, approximately 5-7 minutes.
  4. Serve on buns or wraps of your choice. It is also great over white rice, or if you are grain free it is delicious over a baked potato!

For more real food dinner ideas, you can follow my Dinner Ideas board on Pinterest!

More real food ideas you might like:

20 Minute Spring Stir Fry with Garlic Butter Sauce

20 Minute Spring Stir Fry with Garlic Butter Sauce :: Weeknight dinner friendly, this 20 minute spring stir fry with a garlic butter sauce will satisfy on the busiest of spring evenings!

15 Minute Tortilla Soup with Kid Friendly Guacamole

15 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup PLUS! How To Make Chips Out Of Any Tortilla & A Kid Friendly {Mild} Guacamole!

Homemade Potato Chips

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DIY Sloppy Joes

15628011423_fa5c538e92_z

Dinner Ideas Lunch Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips

20 Minute Spring Stir Fry With Garlic Butter Sauce

April 22, 2016

Weeknight dinner friendly, this 20 minute spring stir fry with a garlic butter sauce will satisfy on the busiest of spring evenings!

20 Minute Spring Stir Fry with Garlic Butter Sauce :: Weeknight dinner friendly, this 20 minute spring stir fry with a garlic butter sauce will satisfy on the busiest of spring evenings!

Spring rolls around these parts rather slow (in my impatient opinion it does anyways!).

We have a week of snow, then a week of summer-like weather, all swapping back and forth for about 2 months. It’s all just a great big tease sometimes! But I can always count on the last week of April and into the first part of May to really feel like spring around here.

20 Minute Spring Stir Fry with Garlic Butter Sauce :: Weeknight dinner friendly, this 20 minute spring stir fry with a garlic butter sauce will satisfy on the busiest of spring evenings!

We have a gorgeous hedge of forsythia that blooms right around then, and our magnolia tree buds start to wake up. Our local farmer’s markets start opening every Saturday with fresh Michigan asparagus and other greens and roots, and our raw milk share has more milk available to offer.

20 Minute Spring Stir Fry with Garlic Butter Sauce :: Weeknight dinner friendly, this 20 minute spring stir fry with a garlic butter sauce will satisfy on the busiest of spring evenings!

We can always count on Earth Day week being a fun time at my daughter’s school. Last week they cleaned up the gardens by their playground and planted flowers.

20 Minute Spring Stir Fry with Garlic Butter Sauce :: Weeknight dinner friendly, this 20 minute spring stir fry with a garlic butter sauce will satisfy on the busiest of spring evenings!

Our evenings are filled with so much more light and warmth and outside time which can take its toll on any kitchen time for making dinner. I love taking advantage of fresh spring veggies though, so my compromise is a handful of quick, nourishing dinners packed with seasonal produce that can be made in 20 minutes or less.

20 Minute Spring Stir Fry with Garlic Butter Sauce :: Weeknight dinner friendly, this 20 minute spring stir fry with a garlic butter sauce will satisfy on the busiest of spring evenings!

This fresh stir fry has a delicious garlic butter sauce that is light enough for spring but tastes amazing rich and decadent. You really could add anything you wish for the veggies. I love to use chopped radishes as well as golden beets – use whatever you have access to. You can also swap the noodles for rice or leave the grain out all together if you can’t tolerate grain. Sweet potatoes or other root veggies would make a nice starch for my grain free friends.

20 Minute Spring Stir Fry with Garlic Butter Sauce :: Weeknight dinner friendly, this 20 minute spring stir fry with a garlic butter sauce will satisfy on the busiest of spring evenings!

5.0 from 1 reviews
20 Minute Spring Stir Fry With Garlic Butter Sauce
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 TB avocado or olive oil
  • 4 TB butter, divided
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 1 lb asparagus sliced on the bias into 1 inch/bite sized pieces
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 medium tomato, seeds and juices scooped out and diced
  • 1-2 cups cooked chicken, chopped (I use leftovers from a roasted chicken dinner or Instant Pot chicken)
  • ⅓ cup white wine (or chicken bone broth)
  • Pinch of cayenne (optional but the slight heat is so good! If you prefer more heat you can add more - I tend to keep it pretty kid friendly for the little ones in my house but add a little more to my plate)
  • 8oz pasta of choice, cooked (I use the these gluten free rice noodles. You could use rice if you wish, or if you are grain free just leave this part out or possibly add some potatoes to the veggies cooking or other root veggie for a little starch)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional freshly grated parmesan to garnish
Instructions
  1. You can start boiling your water for your noodles when you start the stir fry and they should be done around the same time.
  2. Melt 2 TB avocado oil and 2 TB butter in a large skillet and add the onion and asparagus. Put a generous pinch of sea salt over the veggies and cook over medium heat for about 7 minutes until the veggies soften and sweeten and the asparagus is bright green.
  3. Add the garlic, peas, tomatoes, chicken, and cayenne, combine, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the white wine and the other 2 TB of butter, combine and cook about 5 minutes until the liquid cooks into the veggies and reduces down and the alcohol in the wine simmers off. You can add some splashes of the starchy pasta water or bone broth if you need more liquid.
  5. Add the cooked and drained pasta to the veggies and chicken, combine, and sea salt and pepper to your taste. You can garnish each dish with freshly grated parmesan if you wish.

For more real food dinner ideas you can follow my Dinner Ideas board on Pinterest!

More real food ideas you might like:
Golden Beet Slaw

Golden beets have a slightly sweeter taste than red beets and I find that the milder earthy flavor works really good for kids. Getting those veggies into a smaller, easier to chew form (shredded or spirilized) and tossed with a super yummy dressing helps too!
15 Minute Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

15 Minute Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

15 Minute Asian Lo Mein Copycat

15 Minute Asian Noodles :: Lo Mein Copycat!

Batch Up Meals Dinner Ideas Lunch Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips Summer Picnic Series

Golden Beet Slaw

April 15, 2016

Fresh and mildly sweet golden beets tossed in a delicious creamy dressing make for a cool, crisp kid pleasing side!

Golden Beet Slaw :: Fresh and mildly sweet golden beets tossed in a delicious creamy dressing make for a cool, crisp kid pleasing side!

Links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product or service I wouldn’t use on my own family.

It was 60 glorious degrees this past week. 60!

Do you know how long it has been since I could send children outside to run energy off barefoot in the sun?! SO many months!

Golden Beet Slaw :: Fresh and mildly sweet golden beets tossed in a delicious creamy dressing make for a cool, crisp kid pleasing side!

Last weekend when I saw that the coming week was going to be our first actual warm spell of the spring, I went into summer food planning mode…which means prep a bunch of food that can be eaten throughout the week at multiple meals, giving us more time to *play* outside!

Golden Beet Slaw :: Fresh and mildly sweet golden beets tossed in a delicious creamy dressing make for a cool, crisp kid pleasing side!

My usual meal plans include veggies at every meal. In the fall and winter I tend to do a lot of roasting. It is quick, easy, and really tasty. But when the weather gets warm, I like to have veggies handy in a cooler option. I keep a variety of veggies cut up for easy grabbing to serve on a platter with 5 minute Ranch dip, and my other summer veggie secret is slaws!

Golden beets have a slightly sweeter taste than red beets and I find that the milder earthy flavor works really good for kids. Getting those veggies into a smaller, easier to chew form (shredded or spirilized) and tossed with a super yummy dressing helps too!

Fresh veggie slaws are so nice to make a big batch of and use throughout the week as a quick, cool veggie side to lunch, or a fresh, crunchy burger topper or chicken wrap addition for dinner. Since we have slaws often throughout the warmer months, it’s nice to change up the veggies for some variety.

Golden beets have a slightly sweeter taste than red beets and I find that the milder earthy flavor works really good for kids. Getting those veggies into a smaller, easier to chew form (shredded or spirilized) and tossed with a super yummy dressing helps too!

Golden beets have a slightly sweeter taste than red beets and I find that the milder earthy flavor works really good for kids. Getting those veggies into a smaller, easier to chew form (shredded or spirilized) and tossed with a super yummy dressing helps too!

Golden beets have a slightly sweeter taste than red beets and I find that the milder earthy flavor works really good for kids. Getting those veggies into a smaller, easier to chew form (shredded or spirilized) and tossed with a super yummy dressing helps too!

This golden beet slaw is actually my favorite recipe for beets. I love roasted veggies, especially beets that get super sweet, but for some reason I really enjoy beets in raw slaw form. And golden beets just like all beet varieties are a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. They are great body cleansers so they make a really great “spring clean” salad to give you a kick start this season.

Golden beets have a slightly sweeter taste than red beets and I find that the milder earthy flavor works really good for kids. Getting those veggies into a smaller, easier to chew form (shredded or spirilized) and tossed with a super yummy dressing helps too!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Golden Beet Slaw
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 small/medium golden beets, peeled and spirilized (you could use a grater to shred if you don't have a spirilizer)
  • ½ small head of cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • ½ lb (10 oz) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup avocado oil or olive oil
  • ½ cup whole sour cream, yogurt, or coconut milk yogurt (I think coconut cream would work too)
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • 1-2 TB raw honey
  • 1 TB garlic powder
  • 1 tsp mild paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like a little more heat - this leaves it pretty kid friendly mild)
Instructions
  1. Put all of the veggies in a large mixing bowl. You may want to cut the spirilized beets a little so they aren't so long - it makes them easier for kids to handle that way.
  2. Put the rest of the ingredients into a pint mason jar and use an immersion blender to make the dressing. The immersion blender emulsifies the oil so if you do not have an immersion blender, you can use a food processor and add the oil into the other ingredients slowly using the oil drip top on your food processor to emulsify. You could also use a whisk and bowl and drizzle the oil in slowly so it emulsifies. The dressing should be nice and creamy.
  3. Add the dressing to the veggies and combine. You can eat the slaw right away or store it in the fridge up to 5 days. The salt in the dressing will pull some water out of the veggies and it will get a little liquidy at the bottom - simply toss the slaw to mix it all in - it is even more delicious after marrying all those flavors over a day or 2!

 

Dinner Ideas Lunch Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips school lunches

Vegetable Beef Curry Soup

March 18, 2016

Warm and delicious curry soup the whole family will absolutely love, and weeknight friendly in prep time!

Vegetable Beef Curry Soup ::Warm and delicious curry soup the whole family will absolutely love, and weeknight friendly in prep time!

Links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product or service I wouldn’t use on my own family.

I am starting to do a little more meal planning than I used to…

It might come as a shock to most having a real food blog that I have not always been much of a meal planner, but I like to cook what sounds good to me that day! Ha!

But with 3 hungry kids plus one husband to feed, and a schedule that isn’t getting any less busy, it is helpful to have a reliable rotation of some nourishing quick prep dinners that I don’t have to put too much thought into.

Vegetable Beef Curry Soup ::Warm and delicious curry soup the whole family will absolutely love, and weeknight friendly in prep time!

Last week I was so thankful for this dinner rotation. My daughter had a day off school so we played hookie from preschool for her sister and my husband took the day off so we could take advantage of the butterfly exhibit at a local garden.

Vegetable Beef Curry Soup ::Warm and delicious curry soup the whole family will absolutely love, and weeknight friendly in prep time!

My big girls were great species spotters! I think we found all of the butterfly types in the book!

Vegetable Beef Curry Soup ::Warm and delicious curry soup the whole family will absolutely love, and weeknight friendly in prep time!
Cait wasn’t a huge fan of the butterflies fluttering by her head but she eventually came around and had a fun morning with her sisters. I think this picture captures her thoughts the best – she kept her eyes on those flying butterflies!

Vegetable Beef Curry Soup ::Warm and delicious curry soup the whole family will absolutely love, and weeknight friendly in prep time!

When we got home it also just happened to be the first real “spring” feeling day and we literally soaked it in all day outdoors. As much as I do love to cook, I love being in the sun even more and it was nice to have a simple but nourishing dinner that didn’t require a lot of prep to make that evening.

Vegetable Beef Curry Soup ::Warm and delicious curry soup the whole family will absolutely love, and weeknight friendly in prep time!

Our spring and summer won’t be getting any less busy with the beach 5 minutes down the road, splash pads to be splashed at, woods to be explored, and parks to be played at, so I’m growing to love my new dinner plan!

I hope you enjoy this nourishing dinner meal as much as we have been. Any leftovers can be packed up in the school thermoses or used at home for a quick warm up meal too!

Vegetable Beef Curry Soup ::Warm and delicious curry soup the whole family will absolutely love, and weeknight friendly in prep time!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Vegetable Beef Curry Soup
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 TB friendly fat (divided) to cook in such as butter, tallow, lard, coconut oil etc
  • 1 lb grassfed ground beef
  • 3 tsp curry powder, divided
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 2-3 oz white mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 TB tomato paste
  • 2-3 large handfuls of chopped baby kale
  • 2 quarts bone broth
  • 1 cup gluten free pasta or ½ cup white rice (Optional. If you are grain free you can add 1-2 TB of tapioca starch to your soup to thicken it up a little)
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a soup pot, and add the ground beef, 2 tsp of curry, ½ tsp sea salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Brown the beef and set it aside. Leave the juices behind in the pot to saute the veggies in.
  2. Melt another 2 TB butter to the soup pot along with the beef juices left behind, and add the onion, carrot, and mushroom along with a big pinch of sea salt and cook on medium heat for about 7 minutes to soften and sweeten the veggies.
  3. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for a minute.
  4. Add the chopped kale, bone broth, cooked beef from earlier, and the pasta and bring to a simmer until the pasta is cooked. Sea salt and pepper the soup to your taste.

For more real food dinner ideas you can follow my Dinner Ideas board on Pinterest!

More real food ideas you might like:
15 Minute Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

15 Minute Ginger Chicken Stir Fry
Kale & Herb Stuffed Meatballs

Kale & Herb Stuffed Meatballs :: Superfood packed, and full of flavor! These kale & herb stuffed meatballs is a dinner menu must have!
15 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup with Kid Friendly Guacamole

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Dinner Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips

Kale and Herb Stuffed Meatballs

March 11, 2016

Superfood packed, and full of flavor! These kale & herb stuffed meatballs are a dinner menu must have!

Kale & Herb Stuffed Meatballs :: Superfood packed, and full of flavor! These kale & herb stuffed meatballs is a dinner menu must have!

The saying goes around our house…”Put anything in a meatball and the kids will eat it!”

Kale & Herb Stuffed Meatballs :: Superfood packed, and full of flavor! These kale & herb stuffed meatballs is a dinner menu must have!

Maybe not everything, but I have found that putting dinner into meatball form somehow just makes dinner more kid friendly! Kids won’t eat liver? Grate it into a meatball mixture! Are they giving you a hard time about turmeric or ginger? Meatballs to the rescue! Kids being funny about anything “green”? Yup, stuff it in a meatball and they will pound them down by the fistful!

Kale & Herb Stuffed Meatballs :: Superfood packed, and full of flavor! These kale & herb stuffed meatballs is a dinner menu must have!

I definitely have some carnivore kiddos, and while they don’t give me a hard time about veggies, we do go through seasons of them not caring for them for sure. Vegetables aren’t the most important thing in a kids’ diet for growth (fats are!), but they sure are important piece to that puzzle for balancing minerals and keeping bowels running, creating a healthy taste palate for them. Do you know how hard it was for my husband and I to get used to having veggies at every meal?! SO hard! When you start kids out with veggies at most if not every meal of the day, they grow up into teens and adults that easily eat veggies with every meal.

Kale & Herb Stuffed Meatballs :: Superfood packed, and full of flavor! These kale & herb stuffed meatballs is a dinner menu must have!

My 2 year old right now in particular is being funny about leafy greens so chopping them finely into soups, or stuffing meatballs with them is one of my ways to keep these mineral rich veggies into her diet. They don’t need much at this age to fill their tummies, so if a couple of meatballs in her chubby little hands makes her happy, I’m going to get all I can into them!

Kale & Herb Stuffed Meatballs :: Superfood packed, and full of flavor! These kale & herb stuffed meatballs is a dinner menu must have!

I wrote in my favorite sauce/gravy to serve with these kale and herb stuffed meatballs, but you really can use whatever you want! They work great for spaghetti and meatballs, as a Asian night addition with sweet and sour sauce, or even just to serve with bone broth gravy.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Kale and Herb Stuffed Meatballs
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • KALE & HERB STUFFED MEATBALLS
  • 1 lb grassfed ground beef
  • 3-4 TB grated grassfed liver (optional if you don't have access)
  • 1¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1½ tsp onion powder
  • 1½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 heaping handful baby kale, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TB white rice flour (If grain free use tapioca flour)
  • RED WINE & MUSHROOM GRAVY
  • 2-3 TB butter
  • 4 oz white mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 cups bone broth
  • 1-2 TB white rice flour (Depending on how thick you like your gravy. If you are grain free use tapioca flour.)
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small mixing bowl combine all of the meatball ingredients using your hands. Form 2 inch meatballs, and line them up on a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake the meatballs in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes. While the meatballs are baking, you can make the gravy.
  4. Melt the butter in a skillet, and add the mushrooms. Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally until the mushrooms become fragrant and golden.
  5. Add the garlic and green onions and cook for a couple minutes.
  6. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, and then add the bone broth, sprinkle in the rice flour, and bring to a low simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to your taste and add the cooked meatballs. Serve with veggie sides.

For more real food dinner ideas you can follow my Dinner Ideas board on Pinterest!

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Dinner Ideas Lunch Ideas Real Food 101 Real Food Tips

15 Minute Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

March 5, 2016

Weeknight dinner has never been so quick! This flavor packed ginger chicken stir fry is sure to become a family favorite!

15 Minute Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

Over the last few months I’ve been Instagramming some of our family weeknight dinners just to give my followers over there a bit of real food blogger reality on how the whole meal thing gets done.

Because my friends…I am right here in the trenches with you!

I have 3 kids 6 years old and under, one in elementary, one in preschool with a completely different schedule than the elementary, and….a toddler (need I say more?!). My husband works out of town every weekday and isn’t home until after dinner, so there isn’t an extra set of hands to help at dinner time. Despite what some may think I don’t spend all day in my kitchen, and while I truly do love to cook, most weekdays I really have just 15 to 30 minutes to get supper on the table.

15 Minute Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

I’ve been asked on these quick and nourishing dinner ideas on Instagram to post some recipes, and now that our Northern daylight hours are improving I’m hoping to grab some shots of some of my favorite weeknight dinner ideas for you!

Ginger is a winter time cold and flu powerhouse with anti-inflammatory properties, and it really gives a meal an amazing flavor. While some may shy away from giving such a different flavor to little ones, I have found that introducing these flavors early to train their taste palates for different meals rewards you with big kids that will gladly ask for seconds.

15 Minute Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

My quick prep tips to keep this meal at 15 minutes!

  • Get the rice going while you start chopping for the stir fry – by the time you are done making the stir fry the rice will be finished!
  • While the chicken is crisping up, chop the cabbage, ginger, and green onions – you really can make this flow into 15 minutes when you do something while other things are cooking!
  • You can leave the carrots to peel last while the other veggies are cooking down for a few minutes – once you add those in you are about done!
  • Another quick prep trick is to do the chopping the night before – put them in a sealed container and the next day you can just dump it all in.

15 Minute Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

So 15 minutes!

You can set that baby down for 15 minutes (or pop them in the baby carrier while you cook!). The kids can read a book or get homework started for 15 minutes. Better yet…the kiddos can help. Put that 4 year old to work with a carrot peeler (mine love doing the ginger too – use a peeler or even just the edge of a spoon works to peel in those cracks and corners!). Put that 6 year old in charge of stirring the chicken. And if you have even older kids they can practically make this themselves!

Happy weeknight dinner to you!

5.0 from 1 reviews
15 Minute Ginger Chicken Stir Fry
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup (divided) friendly fat to cook in such as butter, pastured lard or tallow, avocado oil, or coconut oil
  • 2-3 cups leftover cooked chicken, cubed (use leftovers from your whole crockpotted chicken, whole roasted chicken, or whole Instant Pot chicken, !)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ head cabbage, sliced thin
  • 3-4 cups sugar peas (sliced broccoli works well too)
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2-3 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 large cloves of garlic minced
  • 3 large carrots sliced with a julienne peeler or just sliced thin
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos (this replaces soy sauce - it tastes just like it without soy! You can find it at most health food stores however I find it is cheaper through Amazon)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ⅓ cup bone broth (or water)
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
  • Extra sliced green onion and/or chopped nuts for garish if you wish
  • 3 cups cooked long grain white rice for serving
Instructions
  1. Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a large skillet and add the cubed chicken along with the sea salt and pepper. Cook the chicken over medium/high heat for a few minutes to brown and crisp up the outside and then set the chicken aside to add later.
  2. Melt another 3-4 tablespoons of butter in the skillet and add in the cabbage, sugar peas, green onions, ginger, and garlic along with a big pinch of sea salt and cook 5 minutes over medium/medium-high heat stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the cooked chicken, carrots, coconut aminos, turmeric and bone broth, stir to combine and low simmer over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Serve over white rice and garnish with green onions and chopped nuts.

For more real food dinner ideas you can follow my Dinner Ideas board on Pinterest!

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Breakfast Ideas Condiments Dinner Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips

Spanish Chorizo Season Blend

February 27, 2016

Traditionally flavored Spanish chorizo makes the perfect addition to any breakfast!

Spanish Chorizo Season Blend

Links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product or service I wouldn’t use on my own family.

The very first time I tried chorizo was sometime during my childhood – probably early elementary, and I remember really loving it.

I’m not sure if it was because I loved the flavor, or if it was because I got to watch my Grandma make it, or maybe it was because I got to sit on the porch with my Grandpa tearing bread for the migas that were served with it.

It was always a special meal shared with extended family, and when I started having my own kids I wanted to share it with them too. I remember being surprised at how much my little ones loved such a flavorful sausage, but it is truly delicious. My 2 year old eats this sausage by the fist-full!

Spanish Chorizo Season Blend

A mixture of pimenton and garlic, traditional Spanish chorizo highlights very simple ingredients with big flavor.

Over the years I have noted there is a bit of a difference in American pimenton, called paprika, and pimenton that is from Spain. Possibly how they handle the Nora peppers and how they blend it with other pimentos but I’m not sure.  You really can use whatever you have on hand, though if it becomes a family favorite I would definitely try a good imported pimenton.

Spanish Chorizo Season Blend

I would consider this mixture on the mild side as far as heat goes. I have little ones in the house and while I actually have 2 kids that really love heat, I have one that does not, so we keep the heat mild. If you love flavorful heat, I would definitely play with the ratios of the sweet pimenton to the hot. If you can find a smoky pimenton/paprika it really gives more depth of flavor and it is so good. (You can find the blends I use here.)

Spanish Chorizo Season Blend

We usually serve chorizo as a breakfast side with browned potato hash cooked in pastured lard and a fried egg. You have never tasted anything like a bite of chorizo and hash dipped in a yolky egg! Pure bliss! If you have some sourdough around the house, you can make migas which is served with chorizo a lot. Just toast cubed bread in a pan with pastured lard or butter and garlic.

Spanish Chorizo Season Blend

5.0 from 3 reviews
Spanish Chorizo Season Blend
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ lb unseasoned pastured ground pork
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1½ tsp sweet pimenton (sweet paprika)
  • 1 tsp smoked pimenton (smoked paprika)
  • ½ tsp hot pimenton (hot/spicy paprika) (or ¼ tsp cayenne)
  • 1 tsp oregano
Instructions
  1. Put everything into a small mixing bowl and combine well.
  2. Cook the chorizo how you wish - either browned in skillet over medium high heat, or you can make little sausage patty rounds and brown in a skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Serve with a fried eggs and browned potato hash or migas (a traditional garlic cooked bread - sourdough is fantastic)

For more real food breakfast ideas you can follow my breakfast ideas board on Pinterest!

 

Batch Up Meals Dinner Ideas Instant Pot Lunch Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips Soup

How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals

January 30, 2016

Learn how to optimize your time and still get real food on the table using your Instant Pot to make a whole chicken in under an hour without compromising nutrition!

How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!

Routine…

These days I literally thrive off of it. My desire to keep my kitchen real food based plus a house full of little ones makes routine a necessity.

I physically don’t have the time to be in the kitchen all day. It’s that simple!

So for years my kitchen routine – specifically my chicken and bone broth routine – has been on autopilot…literally. It was something I didn’t have to think about.

How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!

I made a whole chicken or two on a Sunday and use the meat for the next few days while freezing the rest. I would dump the bones back into the oven roaster or slow cooker and let it go overnight until the next evening when I would strain it off, cool it in the fridge overnight, and then pop it into the freezer. All in all it was a 2 day process – though certainly not all hands on time. I honestly could do the routine without even thinking about it…

…and then my Instant Pot arrived.

And it sat…

…and sat.

And sat.

Until about a month after I had it {still in the box} my husband asked if I was ever going to “try that thing out” and I decided I better try. I kept reading about chickens being made in less than an hour and bone broth in hours instead of a whole day and while it intrigued me….it’s just hard to teach an old dog new tricks!

But it can be done!

Over the last few months my routine has fallen in love with my brand new kitchen buddy…my Instant Pot! I can have a week or so worth of chicken meat and the bone broth done in half a day versus 2 days…that my friends is a game changer!

I still very much love to slow roast my chickens , especially in the winter. You just can’t take the traditional foodie out of me – there is something about warming the house up in the winter with a slow roasted chicken and a pot of simmering bone broth! But I am finding that the days don’t get less busy as you step out of newborn-hood – they actually get busier! And being able to stock up on nourishing pastured chicken and bone broth so quickly is so helpful!

How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!

I decided to lay this out “tutorial style” for all those “old dogs learning new tricks” like I was….take a deep breath – this is not much different than you were doing before!

Put the veggies and garlic into the bottom of your Instant Pot bowl, pour in the water, and set the rack for the chicken on top of the veggies.

How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!
Gently lift the skin on the chicken breast and spread about a half palm-full of herbs and sea salt over the breast. This is optional but gives really good flavor to the meat. I don’t even measure – just sprinkle it into your palm and gently stuff your fist under the skin to rub the season on the meat.

How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!

Set the chicken breast down in the Instant Pot right on top of the rack, and sprinkle sea salt, pepper, and herbs if you wish to the chicken as well as to the liquid in the pot as this will give the meat stock leftover great flavor for soups or other cooking.

How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!
Turn the vent valve to closed, plug the Instant Pot in, push the “Meat” setting, and then bring the time down manually to 25 minutes. It will turn on automatically and will say “On.” while it comes to pressure for about 10 minutes.

How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!

Once the pot comes to pressue, the 25 minute clock will count down. After your chicken pressure cooks 25 minutes, turn it off and let it sit in there to naturally release about 15-20 minutes. Turning that valve right away to release the pressure will pull all the moisture out of the meat – you don’t want that! Let it sit and release naturally and then release the valve and open the top.

How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!

From there you can take your chicken out, chop it up and either freeze it for later in the week or use it right away. You can strain out the liquid in the bowl (called meat stock) to use for soups or other cooking, and then toss the rest of the chicken carcass back in to make your bone broth.

How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!

5.0 from 3 reviews
How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, coarsly chopped
  • ½ head of garlic (just smash the cloves)
  • 2-3 cups filtered water
  • 1 whole pastured chicken (around 5 lbs)
  • Thyme, oregano, sea salt, and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Put the veggies and garlic into the bottom of your Instant Pot bowl, pour in the water, and set the rack for the chicken on top of the veggies.
  2. Gently lift the skin on the chicken breast and spread about a half palm-full of herbs and sea salt over the breast. This is optional but gives really good flavor to the meat. Set the chicken breast down in the Instant Pot right on top of the rack
  3. Sprinkle sea salt, pepper, and herbs if you wish to the chicken as well as to the liquid in the pot as this will give the meat stock leftover great flavor for soups or other cooking.
  4. Turn the vent valve to closed, plug the Instant Pot in, push the "Meat" setting, and then bring the time down manually to 25 minutes. It will turn on automatically. It takes about 10 minutes for it to come to pressure and then the 25 minute clock will count down.
  5. After your chicken pressure cooks 25 minutes, turn it off and let it sit in there to naturally release about 15-20 minutes. Turning that valve right away to release the pressure will pull all the moisture out of the meat - you don't want that! Let it sit and release naturally and then release the valve and open the top.
  6. From there you can take your chicken out, chop it up and either freeze it for later in the week or use it right away. You can strain out the liquid in the bowl (called meat stock) to use for soups or other cooking, and then toss the rest of the chicken carcass back in to make your bone broth.

For more Instant Pot recipes you can follow my Instant Pot board on Pinterest!

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