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instant pot recipes

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Prep Day Instant Pot Shredded BBQ Chicken

July 5, 2022

Save money using a whole chicken on your prep day for shredded BBQ chicken to use for salads, sandwiches, and baked potato toppers!

Prep Day Shredded BBQ Chicken

Summer vibes

All the sun, all the sand! Our barefoot days spent on the shore of Lake Michigan in the summer is what gets us through the snowy winters here, and this summer is no different! The weather has been incredible…which also means I don’t want to be inside cooking meals all day!

Prep Day Shredded BBQ Chicken

Growing tweens and teens nutritional needs

If you have been around here as long as this blog has been around, you have truly watched my girls grow up. I started this blog when my third born was just a baby, and you’ve gotten to witness so many seasons of their growth. In the last few years, I’ve slowly started a bit of a larger gear shift as my oldest went through her tween years, and then turned 13 this spring. Now, with my second born right smack dab in her tween-hood, I feel like I’m seeing a pattern in nutritional needs of these rapidly growing, hormone-shifting years. Protein. And a lot of it. Sure, this age needs some really good, healthy fats for their ever-changing hormones and growth spurts – in fact it is vital. Hormones *need* fats to work. But I am also seeing even more importantly that their growth spurts and rapid metabolisms need protein, or they will eat you out of house and home!

Prep Day Shredded BBQ Chicken

Keeping the tweens from being starving!

I remember the moment I decided I had to change *something.* My oldest was a tween, and I literally couldn’t keep satisfied – she was always hungry! She was growing out of shoes left and right, and within one school year grew at least 5 inches. I was feeding her the same sort of meals as I always had, with larger portions, and making sure there was healthy fat at each meal. What I noticed was that on days that we had more protein on the plate, she was happier and more satiated. I started working on getting more meat into specifically our lunch meals, and it really helped during those growth spurting tween years. (Side note! YES pastured eggs are a great source of protein as well, and we use them for my younger two – but my oldest cannot have them other than in baked goods so that source is out for her!)

Prep Day Shredded BBQ Chicken

Saving your budget with a whole chicken

With an increased need for quality protein in my growing kiddo’s diet, I changed a few things around, and started focusing on using whole chickens for meal preps. We already had our half grassfed cow in the freezer at around $4 per pound (an absolute budget lifesaver!), but I didn’t want to be blowing my budget in cuts of chicken day in and day out. I needed something to pull for meat every day without cooking every day too! The budget savings in using a whole chicken at $4 per pound or less, versus cuts of chicken at over $6 per pound – well that is a no brainer.

Prep Day Shredded BBQ Chicken

More than just the meat!

Of course the tender, juicy chicken meat off the bone is by far superior to cuts of chicken, but you also get to use the leftover chicken juices (called meat stock), as well as the bones to make bone broth – practically free broth to use for weekly soups, stews, gravies, and cooking veggies or rice in! When your whole chicken is done cooking – whether that be in a slow cooker, oven, or Instant Pot, just strain the juices off and you’ve got yourself a nutrient packed stock for cooking with – without having to buy it at the store!

Prep Day Shredded BBQ Chicken

Let’s talk BBQ Sauce before we get to the chicken!

For this post, and for most of the summer, I like to use my super quick 5-minute BBQ Sauce. It stirs up in a jar in literally minutes, and it tastes so good! If you prefer a more fruit sweetened sauce, try my date sweetened BBQ Sauce here – it blends up in a blender in just minutes without cooking too! Or, if you have a store bought version that doesn’t have a bunch of junk ingredients, that works too! There are plenty of brands out there now that have made BBQ sauce from the store healthier without using high fructose corn syrup, dyes, and preservatives. Since we are talking a bit about budget saving in this post, I’ll recommend trying to make your own, and saving the money!

5 Minute BBQ Sauce

The Method :: Cooking the Whole Chicken

My goal in this meal prep recipe is to make the prep part as simple as possible, so that you will want to do this regularly, instead of just one time! Since the purpose of this whole chicken is to be shredded up with BBQ anyway, I don’t even spend time fussing with seasoning the chicken. We are essentially boiling/poaching the chicken plain. That way, the meat stock leftover in the pot is a perfectly beautiful, unseasoned but flavorful blank slate that you can use for anything you want. To get started, fill your Instant Pot liner with a couple cups of water and fill with carrots, onion, and celery – this veggie mix along with the chicken will flavor the stock beautifully. Add the chicken to the water and veggies, and pressure cook on the poultry setting for 28 minutes. After the chicken pressure cooks, let the pressure release naturally for about 15 minutes before opening the lid and getting the chicken out. Be sure to strain off the liquid (meat stock) to use for soup or cooking veggies/rice in this week!

Prep Day Shredded BBQ Chicken

The Method :: Shredding the Whole Chicken

Once the whole chicken has been cooked, you can pull the meat off the bones as soon as it is cooled off enough to handle. Sometimes I don’t have the time to wait, and I’ll use some tongs or put some rubber gloves on to get it done! Put all of the meat from the chicken into a large bowl and shred with 2 forks. You could blend with a hand mixer if you want too – it really does work!

Prep Day Shredded BBQ Chicken

The Method :: How to Turn the Shredded Chicken Into BBQ Shredded Chicken!

The only thing left to do is stir in the BBQ sauce at this point! Use as little, or as much as you want! For this 5 pound chicken, I did use an entire pint of my 5-Minute BBQ Sauce. You may also need to salt and pepper your chicken to your taste since we did not season the whole chicken, and chicken tends to be bland without. It is truly a blank slate – make it taste how your family likes it!

Prep Day Shredded BBQ Chicken

How to serve your shredded BBQ chicken!

For this post, I’ve shown you how to use the BBQ chicken for sandwiches, but there are a couple other ways I like to serve it too! One of the girls’ favorite ways is over baked sweet potatoes. It changes up the starch from bread, and adds a veggie in there too! My kids will eat the chicken cold in a lettuce wrap as well. Another option is mixed into a salad, or you can go with the classic bun (we like the GF buns from Trader Joes’), pita (we like the GF pitas at Costco from BFree), or wraps!

Prep Day Shredded BBQ Chicken

Prep Day Instant Pot Shredded BBQ Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery coarsely chopped
  • 1 Whole chicken between 4-6 pounds, rinsed
  • 1-2 cups BBQ sauce of choice I like to use a pint of my 5-minute BBQ Sauce
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Put 2-3 cups of water into your Instant Pot liner, along with the veggies, and then the whole chicken on top.
  • Close the IP lid, seal the valve, and press "Poultry." Bring the time up to 28 minutes. The IP will start on its own, taking about 5-10 minutes to come to pressure before counting down the 28 minutes of pressure cooking time.
  • Once the chicken is done pressure cooking, let the IP sit for 15 minutes to naturally release some of the pressure. After waiting 15 minutes, release the rest of the pressure from the valve, and transfer the whole chicken to a large dish or plate to de-bone. Strain the juices (called meat stock) and use those for any soups, stews, stir fry, or cooking veggies/rice in another time!
  • De-bone the whole chicken, and then shred the meat in a large bowl using 2 forks. Once the chicken is shredded, stir in the BBQ sauce, and then season with salt and pepper to your taste.
Prep Day Shredded BBQ Chicken

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Simple Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

March 28, 2022

This simple, no fuss, fool-proof Instant Pot hard boiled egg method is sure to become a part of your weekly prep day to set you up for easy grab and go meal add-in’s!

Simple Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

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.

Prep day staples to make meals run smoother

Just about every time I post one of our breakfast bar mornings to my Instagram, I’ll get a private message or 2, and some comments asking how I do the hard boiled eggs in the Instant Pot. I never really gave thought to posting this, since it seems so simple, but truly, these are the kitchen tasks that make the meal plans we do during the week flow so much faster – in other words…this is how we do real food for real life families!

Simple Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

So let’s talk about what a Prep Day is in my house

For me, Prep Day is hardly a “day,” so let’s just get that out there! I know there are people that truly spend an entire day prepping food for the week or month, and I think that is great. Do what works for you. For me, I’ll pick a 2 hour spurt during the week (typically on Sunday’s, but this changes depending on the time of the year). During that 2 hour spurt of the week there are a few tasks that I *always* do (like these hard boiled eggs), and a task or 2 that will be specific just to that week, or maybe dedicated to replenishing a monthly pantry item like granola bars.

Simple Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs
Simple Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

What in the world do you do with a dozen hard boiled eggs in 5 days?!

In my family of 5, this dozen eggs sometimes doesn’t even make it to the 3rd day, but let me give you some ideas! If you have a bigger family, by all means batch this up more!

  • Easy breakfast addition or breakfast bar item to go with muffins or breakfast cookies
  • Quick lunchbox add-in to go with everything from a soup or salad to leftover pancakes from the weekend to make a “breakfast for lunch” lunchbox
  • Fast morning or afternoon snacks
  • Egg salad for lunch or dinner
  • Crumbled onto a salad at dinner for extra protein for growing kids
  • Deviled eggs for a fun and easy addition to a charcuterie board lunch or dinner
Simple Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs
Simple Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs
Simple Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

So now that you know how to use them, let’s talk about what kind of eggs to use!

I’ll keep this as short as I can, because truthfully, I want you to use whatever are the best eggs that you can afford. However, I was reminded this week that some people may not understand the difference between cage free, free range, pastured, organic, etc when it comes to eggs, and I want to be sure you know! Because when you know better, you can do better, right? No beating yourself up – just work on fitting into your budget what you can. Obviously the best bet is going to be a local, pastured egg from chickens on pasture around where you live. Whether that be a friend down the street or a local farmer, these eggs will be the best nutrition for your family. Eggs with bright orange yolks are indicative of nutrients in the grasses and bugs that the chickens were eating. You’ll notice that conventional store bought eggs have a pale yellow yolk, and those eggs just don’t have the levels of nutrients that a pastured egg does. Unfortunately many may be tricked by the verbiage “cage free” because it sounds like the chickens are treated pretty great as they are not in a “cage.” Tricky, tricky wording because technically cage free chickens still can be kept inside with a certain about of space per chicken, and may not even get to feed on grasses or bugs at all. Chickens were meant to be on grass eating from the ground, giving their eggs the most optimal levels of nutrients. My recommendation would be to look for at the very least “free range,” and at the very best “pastured.” If you have further questions on this, please as in the comments, and I’ll do my best to answer! I would also encourage you to visit your local farmer’s market to ask your local chicken farmers questions about how their chickens live and about their eggs – 9 times out of 10, farmers just love to talk about their chickens – especially if they are raising them right!

Simple Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

How to make Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

***First, you’ll fill your Instant Pot with a cup of water and place a steamer basket or the trivet your IP came with into the bottom of the pot. I love the steamer basket because at the end, I just pull the whole basket of eggs out and dunk them into the water

Simple Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

***Second, you’ll put the IP lid on and close the valve. Press “Manual” on the IP and bring the time down to 5 minutes. The Instant Pot will beep, and then take a few minutes to come to pressure before counting down the 5 minutes.

Simple Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

***Next, after the Instant Pot pressure cooks the eggs, you’ll release the valve right away, and pull the steamer basket out of the IP to dunk into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. If you are using the trivet, you’ll have to use a tongs to individually take the eggs out, which is totally fine. I just use a large mixing bowl in the sink to fill with cold water.

Simple Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

***Finally, after the eggs cool off for a few minutes, you can crack and peel them. I have left the eggs in the cold water up to an hour and that is fine too, although I have found they peel the best right away. Peel your eggs and store them in an airtight container in the fridge.

Simple Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

Get the kids involved in prep day!

Making the weekly hard boiled eggs is actually a fantastic way to get the kids in the kitchen. If you have little ones, have them help you peel the eggs – they will love this task! If you have older children, put this kitchen task on their plate entirely from start to finish. It is great life skills for when they are older, and they will feel proud contributing to the family. I’d even let them make some deviled eggs to get fancy if they love those!

Simple Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

Tips for introducing eating hard boiled eggs to little ones

Hard boiled eggs were one of my girls’ favorite finger foods as toddlers. They were an easy, compact protein for on the go little people, and I have a few ideas to make the introduction even more fun! Little kids *love* to be in charge. It all starts with letting them help you make the eggs, and for little ones this will mean gently placing the eggs in the IP, and maybe even helping you press a button or 2. Little ones also love peeling eggs – let them help you! Get a little egg cutter to make the prep a little safer (the egg cutter pictured below is one that I have had over a decade and I couldn’t find it, but there are so many in the stores, and if you like the Prime stuff, here are some to choose from there!), and let them cut the egg how they like – their choice. Let them sprinkle a little sea salt on the egg too!

Simple Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 12 uncooked eggs

Instructions

  • Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of your Instant Pot stainless steel pot, and place a steamer basket, or the trivet in the bottom of the pot.
  • Put up to 12 eggs into the steamer basket or on the trivet, close the lid of the IP, and seal the valve so it is closed.
  • Turn the IP on, press "Manual," and bring the time down to 5 minutes. The IP will beep, and then take a few minutes to come to pressure before counting down the 5 minutes.
  • Once the 5 minutes of pressure cooking is done, open the valve so the pressure releases, open the lid of the IP, take the steamer basket out, and place the steamer basket with the eggs into large bowl of cold water. I just fill a large mixing bowl with cold water in my sink. If you are using the trivet, you'll have to use tongs to pull out each egg and drop them into the bowl of cold water.
  • Let the eggs sit in the cold water at least a few minutes, though sometimes I forget about them for up to an hour. The eggs will peel the best after just a few minutes, but it still works if you have left them longer.
  • Once the eggs have cooled in the cold water for a few minutes, you can peel them. Store your hard boiled eggs in an air tight container up to 5 days in the fridge.
Simple Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

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Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff :: Veggie Loaded, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, & Nut Free!

November 10, 2021

Use your Instant Pot or slow cooker to get the most tender and flavorful beef stroganoff! This one is veggie loaded for added nutrients and you’ll never know those extra veggies are there!

Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff :: Veggie Loaded, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, & Nut 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.

SOLD!

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve had the chance to write for you, and it’s for good reason! In a whirlwind month, our house was up for sale, sold, and we moved into a temporary rental – whew! We’ll be in our permanent new place by late January (hopefully!), and we are excitedly anticipating that! For now, we are settling into our temporary space, and I wanted to show you how I’ve been cooking during this really busy season, utilizing my Instant Pot!

Kid Friendly Veggie Loaded Beef Stroganoff :: Gluten Free & Dairy Free!

A sea of boxes…

We’ve been living amongst boxes for the last month, while packing up our home for the last 11 years, as well as while settling into this new space, and for a while there, I really did rely on my Instant Pot for a lot! My goal was to keep things simple, but nourishing as our bodies processed all the new changes, both exciting and sad. Moving really is really a very bittersweet season of life! Simple, one pot and one skillet meals like chili, skillet stuffed peppers, and one pan chicken & pasta have been my saving grace during this time. I found a bag of frozen stew meat while I was moving our deep freezer to our temporary home, and decided that beef stroganoff was due on the menu!

Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff :: Veggie Loaded, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, & Nut Free!

To Instant Pot or not to Instant Pot…

I have had really good luck with stew meat in the Instant Pot. Similar to how a long, Dutch oven braise, or all day slow cooker method of cooking stew, pressure cooking stew meat makes this typically tough cut of meat, very, very tender. And truthfully, as much as I adore slow, oven cooking all day, during seasons like moving your family to a new space, a faster, Instant Pot pressure cook is really the ticket to a quicker, more convenient, but still delicious meal outcome. But have no fear! If you are not a part of the Instant Pot crew just yet, I have left slow cooker instructions in the “Notes” section of this post, just for you!

Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff :: Veggie Loaded, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, & Nut Free!

Beef Stroganoff…veggie loaded?!

I know, I know…definitely not what we all grew up eating, but remember the season I’m in right now? Getting literally the entire meal, including the veggies for the meal, into the same pot all at once is totally my jam right now. No extra clean up, just a little extra chopping time. You can leave the veg out and serve a side salad if you wish, but I am really willing to bet you’ll never know the veggies are there. I purposely picked veggies that get super sweet and soft with sautéing, and they really blend right into the sauce once it’s all cooked. All the benefits are there, and no change to that delicious, rich, stroganoff sauce!

Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff :: Veggie Loaded, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, & Nut Free!

The Method :: The Veggies

It’s going to feel like a lot, but all these veggies really cook, down – promise! And you’ll be left with fiber rich, mineral loaded veggies blending right into your stroganoff meal! Simply chop the veggies super small – I used a shredder for the carrots even. You could pulse in your food processor to save on time if you wish (secretly, chopping is very cathartic for me, so during this time of change and unknowns, I find therapy in it!). You’ll use the “Saute” feature on your Instant Pot to melt some coconut oil to cook in, and saute your veggies up to 10 minutes. The secret to the sweet veggie flavor, and blending the veggies into the sauce is this saute step – do not skip it!

Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff :: Veggie Loaded, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, & Nut Free!
Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff :: Veggie Loaded, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, & Nut Free!

The Method :: Pressure Cooking the Stroganoff

Once the veggies are soft, sweet, and fragrant, you’ll add the flour to coat the veg – this will help create the sauce in the end. A little goes a long way, but you can adjust the amount to your sauce thickness preferences. From there, it’s just adding in the rest of the ingredients except the pasta and yogurt, and pressure cooking away. It goes so fast, and the pressure cooking method leaves the meat so tender. You will add the pasta after the meat has pressure cooked since it does not need a lot of cook time. Just a few minutes to pressure cook the noodles in and you’re done! Stir the yogurt in (you really can leave this out if you don’t have access or can’t have it!), and season to your taste.

Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff :: Veggie Loaded, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, & Nut Free!

Allergen considerations

My biggest goal in creating this stroganoff, besides getting all the veggies in, was to make it dairy free. Traditional stroganoff finishes with sour cream, and I don’t usually have that around since we are mostly dairy free. We also have gluten free covered using gluten free pasta, and since most stroganoff uses egg noodles, I also covered egg free in using a still curly spiralized rice pasta that the kids will love! If you are grain free, Jovial has cassava flour pasta now that you can use, or you can serve the stroganoff and sauce over a baked potato.

Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff :: Veggie Loaded, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, & Nut Free!
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot Veggie Loaded Beef Stroganoff :: Gluten Free & Dairy Free!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 6-8 ounces white mushrooms sliced
  • 1 heaping cup thinly sliced cabbage about ¼ of a small head of cabbage
  • 1 heaping cup shredded carrot 1 medium carrot
  • 1 heaping cup chopped cauliflower about ¼ of a head of cauliflower
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp Namaste GF Flour Blend most GF flour blends should work here
  • ¼ cup red wine of choice
  • 1 ½ – 2 pounds grassfed stew meat
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 3 cups beef bone broth You can also make beef broth in the slow cooker. Chicken bone broth does work if that is what you have.
  • 8 ounces GF pasta I used the Jovial GF Spiral Pasta
  • ½ cup plain coconut yogurt to your preference
  • Chopped parsley to garnish

Instructions

  • Turn the Instant Pot on to “Saute” and add the coconut oil to warm. Once the Instant Pot is nice and hot, and the oil warmed, add the onion, mushrooms, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, and thyme, with a big pinch of sea salt. Saute for 7-10 minutes until fragrant and golden.
  • Add the garlic and GF flour, stir to combine and coat the veggies, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the wine, stir to combine, stir off any bits on the bottom of the pan, and cook the wine for 1-2 minutes.
  • Turn the “Saute” feature off. Season your beef stew meat with sea salt and pepper, and add to the Instant Pot. Pour in the coconut aminos and beef broth, and stir everything to combine.
  • Put the lid on the Instant Pot and seal the valve. Press “Manual” on the Instant Pot, and bring the time down to 15 minutes. The Instant Pot will take around 5 or so minutes to come to pressure before counting down the 15 minutes of pressure cooking time.
  • Once the Instant Pot has pressure cooked for the 15 minutes, release the valve right away. Open the lid, stir in the pasta, and put the lid back on. Seal the valve, press “Manual,” and bring the time down to 3 minutes. This will cook the pasta to al dente.
  • Once the 3 minutes of pressure cooking is done, release the valve right away, open the lid, and stir in the coconut yogurt, and season with salt and pepper to your taste. You can garnish with chopped parsley if you like too.

Notes

  • Slow Cooker tips! YES! You can make this in your slow cooker if you don’t have an Instant Pot! Every ingredient is the same EXCEPT you will be halving the bone broth (use 1 ½ cups) since you will need to cook your pasta separately. Saute your veggies in a skillet to give them more flavor, just like the saute in step 1 above. Put everything but the pasta and yogurt into the slow cooker, stir to combine, and cook on high low for 8-10 hours. Once the stroganoff has slow cooked for 8-10 hours, stir in the yogurt and cooked pasta, and taste for seasoning to your preference.
  • I get the So Delicious brand of plain coconut yogurt in 32 ounce tubs at our local grocer. You can also make coconut yogurt!
  • I love adding finely chopped baby spinach to the Instant Pot after the stroganoff has cooked – it will wilt into the hot stroganoff and give another layer of veggie and color!
  • I tend to pepper my stroganoff per bowl – it doesn’t taste like stroganoff to me without a good amount of pepper, but some kids might be sensitive to that. I set the pepper grinder at the table and the kids can do it to their preference.
Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff :: Veggie Loaded, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, & Nut Free!

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