I know I’m not the only one who felt like this past week was 14 years long.
Hal was navigating his new campus and writing a paper for the first time in 9 years. I was digging in to the first full week back to work after the holidays and the influx of folks at the yoga studio. The dogs – well one of them to be exact – struggled with the gross weather and limited playtime outside.
I’ve never related to you working moms more than Friday morning when I helped Hal with homework while getting ready and dropped Remus off at daycare before walking into the office. Y’all are seriously amazing!
I’d be lying if I said we didn’t fall off the bandwagon one night and order Domino’s, but overall we did well this week with healthy eating. True to my word I’m over here meal prepping for the coming seven days (spoiler alert: one recipe is amazing) and sharing what we made this past week along with some modifications, tips and tricks. We typically do one big batch of something for lunches and then dinners that last at least a couple nights.
Hope you find this helpful as you plan your own meals or work on mastering the Instant Pot. Let me know what you think!
Lunches: Instant Pot Rice and Beans
The recipe: We started by using this recipe, which works as a great base but not as a finished recipe. At the very least, you’re going to want to add in some salt, pepper and garlic. We went a little further and threw in the following:
- Salt mix: we keep Costco-size Montreal seasoning on hand and use it for most things
- Tomato paste: approximately 1/3-1/2 can or to taste
- Dynamite seasoning: pictured below. I went a little overboard, so just be sensible if you’re throwing around ghost chili pepper and cayenne
- Corn: 1 can or whatever you’ve got in the freezer
- Pickled Jalapenos: as many as you like
The verdict: Hal was a huge fan of this recipe, and I thought it was pretty good. We’ll keep it on that rotation for sure.
Other notes: I actually doubled the recipe since we’d be eating it all week and was a little worried I’d overfilled the Instant Pot, but I didn’t. Yay for not burning the house down! (The notes above are for a regular recipe not doubled.) Also good to note that if you don’t double the recipe, you’ll have about half a bag of kidney beans left over for future recipes.
Dinner 1: Veggie bowls and “fried” rice
The recipe: One of my favorite quick, healthy meals is a stir-fry veggie bowl. I modified this recipe by omitting the Oyster sauce and not including eggs. Then we topped the rice with some stir-fry veggies from Costco cooked in the wok with sesame oil and a little homemade teriyaki sauce.
The verdict: The instant pot fried rice was the star of this meal. Our bowls were admittedly a little bland, because I used all the soy sauce making the teriyaki sauce, so there wasn’t any left for the veggies. Easy to fix next time. These bowls aren’t anything fancy, but they’re a great staple and a minimal-effort way to eat healthy on busy weeknights.
Other notes: Great tip from Budget Bytes on keeping your ginger in the freezer so it lasts longer and is easier to grate.
We tried a couple of soup recipes this week too, one from The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for your Instant Pot and the other from Thug Kitchen 101. They were both great paired with some Daiya shreds “cheese toast.” I’m not going to share those recipes here, because I’m pretty sure that is a copyright violation and intellectual property laws are important. I will say that if you’re eating plant based, interested in getting more veggies in your diet or just love good food then you NEED the Thug Kitchen cookbooks in your life. We’ve made a ton of TK recipes from the three books we have, and none of them have been bad. I love their helpful tips, especially in 101, about what freezes well, easy substitutions and cooking fundamentals. It’s such a good book that TWO different people got it for me for Christmas. The shtick with these books is that the authors cuss a lot – hence the “thug” in Thug Kitchen. If the bad words are a deal breaker, I hate it for you. You’re missing out.