Archive for the ‘Make Ahead Meals’ Category

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (meal prep)

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from MomAdvice.com

 

Did you know that you can make enough shredded chicken for a week of recipes with your pressure cooker? This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken recipe can be meal prepped for your week or frozen for future meals. Don’t miss this post filled with ideas for ways to put pressure cooked chicken to work in your kitchen!

I hope you all are as in love with your Instant Pot as much as me. Our pressure cooker continues to be my favorite gadget and I’m excited to share more family recipes with you.

Today I wanted to show you how to meal prep shredded chicken in your Instant Pot.

This technique is super simple and straightforward.

In your pressure cooker, you will add one cup of chicken stock to the bottom of your pressure cooker. Add your chicken breasts and season well with salt and pepper.

Cook your chicken on High Pressure for 10 minutes (for small chicken breasts) or 12 minutes (for large chicken breasts).

These chicken breasts, for example, required fifteen minutes to fully cook.

Allow your pressure to release naturally (instead of quick releasing the valve). A good amount of time is ten minutes!

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from MomAdvice.com

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from MomAdvice.com

Once the chicken is cooked, you can shred it with two forks. If you are feeling fancy, break out your hand mixer to make quick work of this task.

Reserve half the liquid in the pot for storage and to reduce the chances of your chicken drying out.

I looked up some frequently asked questions, on pressure cooked chicken, and thought I would share more about my technique here.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from MomAdvice.com

Do I need to add more chicken broth (or stock) if I decide to cook more than four chicken breasts?

If I’m meal prepping for my family, I always double our recipes. I have doubled this successfully by doubling the chicken stock and keeping everything else, like cooking time, the same. It will take a bit longer to come to pressure, but the duration you set will remain the same.

Can I use this pressure cooker shredded chicken technique with frozen chicken breasts?

Cooking frozen chicken in the Instant Pot can be a real budget-saver and help you avoid ordering takeout.

Once again, cooking time on frozen chicken varies, based on the size of the breast. If the chicken breasts are small, 12 minutes of high pressure works great. Average size chicken breasts will take about 14 minutes. Large pieces are best at 16 minutes.

Can I Use this Shredded Chicken Recipe for Chicken Thighs Instead of Chicken Breasts?

Personally, I prefer thigh meat over chicken breasts because they don’t easily dry out and get overcooked.

I’ve had great success with cooking chicken thighs for 15 minutes on high pressure.

I love to toss my thigh meat with salsa and a little chicken broth for taco night or burrito bowls.

My Shredded Chicken Didn’t Fully Cook, Can I Restart My Instant Pot?

Do you find that your dishes seem inconsistent with cooking times? I discovered a really important solution…getting a new Instant Pot seal. If the seal is stretched out, it will take much longer to come to pressure.

For chicken to be fully cooked, you want to make sure it has come to 165 degrees. Since the size of the breasts is so different, it is hard to always nail the length of time.

If you find that your chicken is not fully cooked, simply cook it for 2 more minutes of High Pressure.

Since the liquid is already hot, it won’t take that long to come to pressure again.

What Other Seasoning Can I Use on My Shredded Chicken?

I try to really map out what I’m making with it before deciding on seasoning. This basic idea of just salt & pepper is always appealing to me though because it can be used in any recipe.

Free Spice Label Printables

That said, you can always make your own flavor combo! This Mrs. Dash seasoning, for example, is a family favorite. I also love to season my chicken with oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, or dried rosemary.

Feeling inspired to get your pantry organized? Here are some free printable pantry labels to get you started.

I Don’t Have a Pressure Cooker. How Do I Make This Shredded Chicken In My Slow Cooker Instead?

For many years, I just did the shredded chicken in my slow cooker. You will follow the exact same recipe, but you will cook the chicken in your slow cooker for six hours instead.

I hate dry chicken though so I usually do the six hours of cooking time with frozen breasts instead.

I find today’s slow cookers are so much faster than they used to be.

For me, six hours is as long as I’m willing to let my chicken cook in one of those.

If you are on the hunt for a new slow cooker, I can’t recommend this model enough. I use it weekly and love that I can brown our meat before slow cooking it.

Are There Any Other Ways to Prepare Chicken For My Week?

I can’t recommend this roasted chicken technique enough.

In fact, I got stopped three times at a family cookout to ask how I prepared my meat.

It is perfectly seasoned, tastes like it has been grilled, and is perfectly tender.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Meal Prep From MomAdvice.com

What Recipes Can I Make With Shredded Chicken?

Shredded chicken can be stuffed into wraps with spinach, tomatoes, and ranch.

Shredded chicken can be tossed with salsa, and reserved liquid, to make chicken tacos.

Shredded chicken can be added to a delicious frittata, like this one.

Shredded chicken can be made into chicken salad. I love to skip the mayo and toss it with pesto and a little creamy Greek Yogurt.

Shredded chicken makes the perfect pizza topper with a pesto base, spinach, and tomatoes.

Shredded chicken is a great addition to any salad (here is one of my faves!).

Shredded chicken can be tossed with barbecue sauce and stuffed in sweet potatoes or in buns.

Shredded chicken can be added to soup or chili.

Shredded chicken be made into delicious enchiladas (this is our family’s favorite recipe).

Shredded chicken is great in homemade lo mein, fried rice, or stir fry.

You get the idea.

There is SO much you can do with this. Just think of how you can use shredded chicken in your favorite casseroles, pasta dishes, or rice bowls.

What if I Can’t Eat All This Shredded Chicken?

One of the best things about having this prepared is that you can freeze it. Freeze your pressure cooked chicken in freezer bags, with a little of the reserved broth. Make sure to take out as much air as possible and label. This should keep for 3-6 months in your freezer.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (meal prep)

 

Yield: 4-6 servings

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (meal prep)

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (meal prep)

Did you know that you can make enough shredded chicken for a week of recipes with your pressure cooker? This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken recipe can be meal prepped for your week or frozen for future meals. Don’t miss this post filled with ideas for ways to put pressure cooked chicken to work in your kitchen!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup chicken broth or stock
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Pour one cup of chicken broth or stock in the bottom of your Instant Pot.
  2. Add fresh chicken breasts to Instant Pot, seasoned with salt and pepper.
  3. Put the lid on your Instant Pot and cook your chicken on High Pressure for 10 minutes (for small chicken breasts) or 12 minutes (for large chicken breasts).  
  4. Once the Instant Pot beeps, make sure your instant pot turns off (and doesn't start the, "keep warm," setting. Allow it to naturally release for ten minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken from the pressure cooker and shred with two forks or a hand mixer.
  6. Add half the liquid from the pot to your shredded chicken and toss to make sure it is fully incorporated.
  7. Use the chicken right away for your recipes (see post for fun ways to put this to work in your kitchen) or freeze for 3-6 months in an airtight freezer bag with a little additional liquid.Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from MomAdvice.com

Notes

Doubling the chicken? I have doubled this successfully by doubling the chicken stock and keeping everything else, like cooking time, the same. It will take a bit longer to come to pressure, but the duration you set will remain the same. 

Using frozen chicken breasts? Cooking time on frozen chicken varies, based on the size of the breast. If the chicken breasts are small, 12 minutes of high pressure works great. Average size chicken breasts will take about 14 minutes. Large pieces are best at 16 minutes. Still follow the steps above for natural releasing the pressure. 

This post contains affiliate links


Love this recipe? Here are three other great pressure cooker recipes to check out!

3 Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs from MomAdvice.com 3 ingredient instant pot ribs

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Pulled Pork from MomAdvice.com 3-ingredient instant pot pulled pork

Best Instant Pot Wings Recipe from MomAdvice.com 3 ingredient instant pot wings

Let us know what you think about today’s recipe in the comments below!

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

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Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

 

Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com These freezer-friendly sandwiches are the perfect item to keep on hand for busy mornings. Although this recipe contains bacon, this can easily be omitted for a vegetarian freezer dish too. If you ask me, you just can’t go wrong with eggs and cheese on a toasted english muffin. Follow this easy tutorial for a healthy breakfast that is ready in minutes!

I’ll be honest, freezer cooking has saved our family tons of money over the years. The freezer breakfast sandwiches I am sharing today are my new secret weapon for busy mornings (or evenings) at our house.

I started to really become a fan of freezer recipes for breakfast when I put together my favorite make-ahead breakfast burrito recipe. These were filled with scrambled eggs, cheese, and bell pepper and are a cinch to whip up.

I loved them so much, in fact, that I hosted a sleepover buffet for my daughter with a make-your-own breakfast breakfast burrito bar.

In case you were wondering, it was a total hit!

Today’s breakfast sandwich preparation is a little different than the way we prepared our breakfast burritos. Instead of scrambling our eggs, we will be baking a sheet pan of our egg mixture and cutting them into circles for our breakfast sandwiches. With the addition of bacon (totally optional!!) and a slice of cheese you have the PERFECT frugal ingredients for a breakfast that your whole family will love.

How to Make Breakfast Sandwiches

The eggs are scrambled together with milk, salt, and peper and are poured into a prepared pan (sprayed with cooking spray) for baking.

Please don’t think you have to stop at just eggs though. This is a great recipe to add in other ingredients, like spinach or cooked veggies that you might want to put to work.

A good way to think about it is, if you would add it to a frittata, it is probably a delicious addition to these sandwiches.

Whatever combo you pick, just remember that salt and pepper are key to great flavor.

Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com

As you can see with my first pan, the darker nonstick yielded a browner crust on the bottom.

If you have a dark nonstick pan too, keep an eye on it. I also adjusted the cooking time and length on my second batch so I could make sure I nailed the right length of time. 

Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com

As these eggs are baking, it is time to prepare your bacon for baking.

Have you baked bacon before? Personally, I think it is the only way to go because it cuts down a lot on the mess and cleanup that can be required with stove top preparation.

For this recipe, all you will need to do is to line a cookie sheet with tin foil. On top of your tin foil, you will place your cooling rack. A cooling rack really helps the bacon gets crispy on all sides. 

As you know, crispy bacon is just what we are looking for, amiright?

Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com

Once the eggs are done cooking, remove them to cool while you slide in your bacon. Once cool enough to handle, cut them into circles for your muffins.

I didn’t have a biscuit cutter, but you don’t need one for this recipe. I found a cup that cut these perfectly for our sandwiches.

Don’t worry, the cup isn’t dusty (well….it *could* be) and is just filled with a little steam from our warm eggs.

Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com

Do you have a lot of egg scraps from your sandwiches? The frugal chef in me encourages you to find a way to repurpose those. For our family, I just plan to mix them into our shrimp fried rice and save a tiny bit of effort on the scrambling.

Once your eggs are cut, split your english muffins for toasting. Toasting insures that they don’t get soggy rolls, especially since we plan to reheat these for another day.

Are you gluten-free? They do make gluten-free English muffins that are available in the freezer section of many stores.

Udi’s and Glutino, for example, are two well-known brands that offer this as an option.

As with all things gluten-free though, these can be quite a bit more expensive.

With that in mind, if you really want to keep this recipe frugal, this gluten-free english muffin recipe looks like it is a winner!

Meal Prep Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com Meal Prep Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com Meal Prep Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com

How Do I Store My Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches?

Wrap each breakfast sandwich in a square of tin foil and then place these inside a freezer bag. I don’t add a layer of plastic wrap because they seem to hold up well with just the foil and freezer bag combination.
Now that you have your sandwiches, here are some tips for preparing them.

Meal Prep Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com

Bake and Eat Your Breakfast Sandwiches Right Away or Save Them For Up to 5 Days in the Refrigerator

By the way, don’t you think these would make a great breakfast for tailgating?

If you are making and preparing them for a crowd, wrap them in tin foil and cook them at 425 for 8-10 minutes.

I think they are awfully delicious topped with a little pesto or siracha to brighten up those flavors. These can be refrigerated overnight for the morning or even kept in your fridge for up to 5 days.

As fast as these went at my house, I’m not sure freezing them ended up even being worth it! 

Meal Prep Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com

How to Reheat Your Breakfast Sandwiches In the Microwave Right From the Freezer

If you are planning to reheat right from the freezer, remove the tin foil and microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. I do like to flip these halfway through and find that they benefit from being wrapped in a paper towel to help the muffin keep its consistency and absorb the moisture.

How to Reheat Your Breakfast Sandwiches in the Toaster Oven Right From the Freezer

Do you have a toaster oven? This is a wonderful avenue for reheating your sandwiches. Keep your sandwich in the tin foil and toast for 10-15 minutes or until the filling is warm and the cheese is melted.

Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches Step-By-Step Picture Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

 


 
Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe
 
Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe Recipe Type : Breakfast Author: MomAdvice.com Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 40 mins Total time: 55 mins Serves: 6 breakfast sandwiches These freezer-friendly sandwiches are the perfect item to keep on hand for busy mornings. Although this recipe contains bacon, this can easily be omitted for a vegetarian freezer dish too. If you ask me, you just can't go wrong with eggs and cheese on a toasted english muffin (regular or gluten-free). Follow this easy tutorial for a healthy breakfast that is ready in minutes!
Ingredients
  • 10 large eggs
  • 1 cup skim or low-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 slices of bacon (optional)
  • 6 slices of cheese
  • 6 english muffins
  • sriracha or pesto for topping (optional)
  • cooking spray
  • biscuit cutter, glass, or mason jar lid for cutting the egg rounds
  • 9x13 pan
  • 2 cookie sheets
  • metal cooling rack
  • mixing bowl & whisk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare your 9x13 with some cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook for approximately 15 minutes. Be sure to keep your eye on it to make sure the bottom does not get dark.
  3. While the eggs cook, prepare your bacon and english muffins. Split your muffins and place them on a cookie sheet (see picture above). Set aside. Cover the bottom of another cookie sheet with tin foil. Place metal cooling rack on top and spread the bacon, making sure there is space around each piece so the bacon is properly crisp.
  4. Once the eggs are done, remove and set aside to cool. Raise the temperature on the oven to 400 degrees and slide your tray of bacon in. Cook the bacon for 15 minutes. Set aside.
  5. Using a biscuit cutter (or glass), cut out circles of egg. Set aside scraps for another recipe.
  6. Next, slide in your sliced english muffins for toasting for 8-10 minutes.
  7. Make an assembly line and assemble the sandwiches: muffin, egg, bacon, and cheese. Wrap in tin foil and and then store the sandwiches in a freezer bag.
  8. Follow instructions for warming, in the notes section of this recipe card
Notes
Bake and Eat Your Breakfast Sandwiches Right Away or Save Them For Up to 5 Days in the Refrigerator
If you are making and preparing them for a crowd, wrap them in tin foil and cook them at 425 for 8-10 minutes. These can be refrigerated overnight for the morning or even kept in your fridge for up to 5 days.
How to Reheat Your Breakfast Sandwiches In the Microwave Right From the Freezer
If you are planning to reheat right from the freezer, remove the tin foil and microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. I do like to flip these halfway through and find that they benefit from being wrapped in a paper towel to help the muffin keep its consistency and absorb the moisture.

How to Reheat Your Breakfast Sandwiches in the Toaster Oven Right From the Freezer
Do you have a toaster oven? This is a wonderful avenue for reheating your sandwiches. Keep your sandwich in the tin foil and toast for 10-15 minutes or until the filling is warm and the cheese is melted.

Love this breakfast recipe? Here are a few other breakfast dishe we love at our house!

Slow Cooked Honeycrisp Apple Oatmeal from MomAdvice.com

slow cooked honeycrisp apple oatmeal

Easy Sausage & Vegetable Frittata from MomAdvice.com easy sausage and vegetable frittata (dairy free/gluten free)

Make-Ahead Smoothie Packs for Your Freezer from MomAdvice.com

make ahead smoothie packets for your freezer

this post contains affiliate links

 

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast

No need to break out your slow cooker for a great chuck roast. This Instant Pot recipe is ready in a fraction of the time, compared to a slow cooker roast. Dressed with a simple marinara sauce, this shredded beef recipe is perfect to serve over pasta or to stuff in a sub bun for an italian beef sandwich. Let me show you how with this pressure cooker recipe.

I am back again with another family meal idea that you can create in your pressure cooker.

Those of you that have my book may recognize this easy recipe that I had originally made for my crock pot. This pot roast recipe was formerly known as my, “Pot Roast Italiano,” and I thought it would be a fun one to adapt for the pressure cooker.

The exciting news is that this recipe DOES NOT DISAPPOINT AT ALL. I have a feeling that this might be in your regular recipe rotation.

If you haven’t used the sauté function on your pressure cooker, you are going to love the ability to brown your meats before you pressure cook them.
Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com

A three pound chuck roast can be difficult to flip so feel free to cut your roast in half, like I have demonstrated in the photo.

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com

After mixing these seasonings, you can spoon them on and press them into both sides of your roast, while you wait for your Instant Pot to warm up.

Not sure when it is warm? Your Instant Pot will say HOT when it is ready to go and also will sound a little beep so you can get your meat started.

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com

 

Add olive oil to the bottom of the pan and then brown the roast beef on both sides, approximately 2-3 minutes each.

Once you have this done, pull the beef out of the Instant Pot and cancel the sauté function.

Using a whisk, whisk in your tomatoes, tomato sauce, red wine vinegar, and salt. Don’t put in the tomato paste- we aren’t ready for that thickener just yet.

Be sure to use the whisk to lift up an of those delicious brown bits, that may have been left behind by your roast, and any of those italian seasonings that may be resting on the bottom.

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com

Set your Instant Pot to high pressure and program it for 80 minutes cooking time. I usually just press the meat button on the IP since I have that set to MORE on the settings. 

Once it is done, try to give it some time to come to a natural release (maybe ten minutes or so), but if you are in a rush a quick release won’t hurt it either.

If you are unclear about the difference between the natural release pressure and the quick release pressure, be sure to check out my post with a diagram that explains this more fully.

After releasing the lid, remove the meat from the pressure cooker and shred the meat. Thanks to the effectiveness of the Instant Pot, this should be an absolute breeze.

Your final step, to complete the accompanying sauce, is to whisk in a can of tomato paste. Be sure to give your sauce a taste and sprinkle in additional salt, onion powder, or garlic powder (as needed).

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com

This meat can be placed into a sub roll with a layer of sauce and melted provolone cheese. If you are wanting a more formal meal, this pairs perfectly with mashed potatoes or spooned over a big pile of pasta and sprinkled with a healthy grate of parmesan cheese.

Unlike the traditional shredded beef recipe with pepperoncini peppers and beef broth, this recipe is always a bit of a surprise to our guests with the uniqueness of the sauce and the delicious Italian flavors.

I can’t wait to hear what you think of this recipe and look forward to sharing even more pressure cooker recipes with you this month.

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast Recipe

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
No need to break out your slow cooker for a great chuck roast. This Instant Pot recipe is ready in a fraction of the time, compared to a slow cooker roast. Dressed with a simple marinara sauce, this shredded beef recipe is perfect to serve over pasta or to stuff in a sub bun for an italian beef sandwich. Let me show you how with this pressure cooker recipe.
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds beef chuck roast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes (with their juice)
  • 1 can tomato sauce – 16 oz
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated Cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cut your beef chuck roast into two or three pieces so that it can fit and be flipped in your pressure cooker.
  2. Turn on your pressure cooker and set it to the sauté function on HIGH.
  3. On a piece of wax paper, take a paper towel and dry out the meat on both sides so that you can get a nice sear on your roast.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and basil.
  5. Sprinkle the seasoning on both sides of your roast and push the seasoning in with your hands to make sure that it sticks well.
  6. Add your olive oil to the hot pan and then sear the roast on both sides for two to three minutes, until your roast has developed a nice crust. Be sure to do this in batches so you get a nice sear on your roast. Set your roast aside.
  7. Turn off the Instant Pot and then add your diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, red wine vinegar, and more salt & pepper. Whisk this in and use your whisk to loosen any of the browned bits on the bottom into your sauce. Give it a taste and make sure you have the right amount of seasoning.
  8. Lock your lid and set it to HIGH pressure for 80 minutes (you can also use your Meat setting if you just want to press a button).
  9. Once it is done, allow it to come to Natural Release Pressure (or if you are in a hurry, you can just do a Quick Release- it won't hurt it!)
  10. Transfer your meat to a cutting board to shred.
  11. Meanwhile, whisk tomato paste into your gravy and check your seasonings one more time.
  12. Spoon a bit of the sauce on your roast and mix it well.
  13. Serve the additional sauce in a bowl or gravy boat. Serve the roast with mashed potatoes, pasta, or rice. Leftovers can be packaged and used later in Italian beef sandwiches, toasted with sauce and provolone.

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com

This post contains affiliate links.

Love this recipe? Here are a few more meal ideas for your Instant Pot!

Best Instant Pot Wings Recipe from MomAdvice.com

best instant pot wings

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Pulled Pork from MomAdvice.com 3-ingredient pulled pork recipe

3-ingredient instant pot ribs 3-ingredient instant pot ribs (the most popular and viral recipe on the blog)

 

 

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com

Let us know what you think about today’s recipe in the comments below! 

5-Ingredient Salmon Sheet Pan Meal

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

With just 5 ingredients, you have all you need to make this easy sheet pan meal. This recipe takes under 15 minutes to make and you will love these ideas for spice combos to completely change those flavors.

I am at a stage in life where I appreciate simple and straightforward food that doesn’t take a lot of time out of my day to prepare. That is why I have been relying heavily upon this 5-ingredient sheet pan salmon recipe to get us through all of these crazy nights where none of us arrive at the dinner table together.

I thought I’d give you the scoop today on my workhorse recipe that has been saving me a ridiculous amount of cash that would have been spent on takeout instead.

Salmon and asparagus go together like peas and carrots, don’t they?  I buy the whole side of salmon at our local ALDI and love the price for this fresh and not frozen fish. ALDI has partnered with Instacart (here’s ten bucks towards your order if you have never tried out this incredible invention!) and I have a note in our shopping list that instructs the shopper to buy enough salmon for a family of four.

Pictured here is what they typically bring and this is usually enough for six to seven meals, depending on our portion sizes.

For a long time I was intimidated by the idea of preparing a big giant piece of salmon like this. I would tell my scared self though that preparing this is incredibly easy. So easy, in fact, that I think even someone who has never cooked before could pull it off.

Here’s one quick tip that I would share with you about preparing fish that I didn’t realize in those beginning preparation days…

If you want your fish to have a beautiful golden exterior, you must use a paper towel and blot the fish well to remove the excess moisture.

It will make ALL the difference in the world when you broil it.

I season our fish with a simple shake of Old Bay Seasoning (you can usually find it over by the fish display at your market) and kosher salt.  The first night we eat this, we keep it with this basic set-up and it is delicious.

When I reheat the fish later in the week though, I love to use different spices in my spice cabinet (be sure to snag our FREE printable labels) to make the flavor profile different each day.

Everything Bagel mix, lemon pepper seasoning, and a Sicilian bread dipping mix are three that I rotate pretty regularly with a little squeeze of lemon.

The beauty in leaving your canvas blank is that you have the opportunity to switch things up over the course of the week.

Are you drooling too?

I love how beautifully this all broils up together.

My trick for keeping the asparagus looking great is to not broil it at the tip top of the oven rack, like you usually would. I give it one step down to allow the top of the salmon to still get that golden top, but also allowing enough space to not burn that asparagus.

This is 9 minutes in our oven.  Sometimes, with thicker cuts, I have needed 11 minutes, but I prefer to keep it closer to the 9 minute timeline to keep the fish flavorful and not dry.

How pretty is that?

I hope you can add this recipe to your arsenal and that it helps you succeed at saving money on takeout nights too.

5-Ingredient Salmon Sheet Pan Meal
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-7 servings
 
You only need 5 ingredients to make this salmon sheet pan meal in under 15 minutes. After you try this impressive dish, I bet this recipe will be in constant rotation at your house too. See the post for fun spice combination ideas you can add to your fish to change the flavor profile.
Ingredients
  • Side of Salmon
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 pound asparagus
Instructions
  1. Line your sheet pan with nonstick aluminum foil.
  2. Using a paper towel, blot up any excess moisture on your fish.
  3. Brush your salmon top with olive oil and add a generous amount of kosher salt and Old Bay Seasoning to the top.
  4. Trim the asparagus ends. Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and season with kosher salt. Arrange the asparagus around the salmon.
  5. Move your oven rack to the second row from the top. Turn your broiler on HIGH and broil the salmon and veggies for 9-11 minutes.

Want more recipes?

Scroll down for some of my favorite dinner ideas!

an easy shrimp boil dinner

roasted salmon with pistachio gremolata

CLassic Shrimp and Grits #recipe via MomAdvice.com nearly classic shrimp & grits

gluten-free pad thai with shrimp

10 minute fish tacos

gluten-free shrimp scampi

shrimp fried rice

Tried the recipe? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

This post contains affiliate links

 

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe from MomAdvice.com For this quick and easy pulled pork recipe, all you will need is 3 simple ingredients and an Instant Pot! Learn how to make this gluten-free main dish and prep it for a week of lunches for your week!

If you love your pressure cooker, raise your hand! I use my Instant Pot all of the time and have come to rely upon it for many effortless family meals. These simple pressure cooker recipes have, truly, become part of our menu plan rotation. I also began to realize that some of the older recipes (I see you, old school MomAdvice readers!!) could benefit from a pressure cooker update too.

These recipes have been quietly gathering dust at our home… that is, until now!

My 3-ingredient Instant Pot Ribs recipe have been a bit of a viral sensation on our website. It was with my rib recipe in mind that today’s pulled pork also has just a few simple ingredients.

Confession time! We love our pressure cooker so much now that we frequently bring it with us when  we go on vacation. I’ve discovered so many great recipes that everyone seems excited now when I break this gadget out. Honestly, we have saved so much money on our trips by taking this gadget along with us when we travel that no one makes fun of me anymore.

The best part, of course, is the minimal clean-up with Instant Pot cooking. I also purchased an additional plastic lid that makes food storage easy. One of the best investments we made was to purchase this awesome lid.

An extra insert is always handy too so you always have a pot to prepare in!

Less dishes AND less money spent?

Now, that’s a vacation mom’s dream!

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe from MomAdvice.com 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe from MomAdvice.com 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe from MomAdvice.com

The first time I adapted my recipe, the directions said that I only needed 45 minutes to achieve perfectly shredded pork.

Unfortunately, this short duration of cooking did not yield the fall apart meat that I was after. I tested my pulled pork recipe several times with two different cuts of pork. I have made this recipe several times and, through my trials, I now know exactly what type of pork to purchase and how long to cook it.

Here is the thing, while many recipes do suggest a shorter cooking duration, you will struggle more with shredding your meat.

Trust me, this recipe is worth the wait!

Once your pork shoulder is done, it is time to quick release your pressure cooker.

 

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe from MomAdvice.com 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe from MomAdvice.com How to Package Pulled Pork with Vegetables for Lunch

What Does Quick Release Even Mean?

Not sure what the difference is between Natural Release and Quick Release? That’s okay! This appliance definitely comes with a learning curve. 

I found this diagram that should help visually explain the big differences between these two types of venting. 

What does a recipe mean when it says that you should quick release your valve? This just means you will move the float valve to the venting position when it is done cooking. This allows all the steam to come out fast and at once. 

When the recipe calls for Natural Release though, we just allow our pot to cool a bit on its own. Typically, you wait 10 minutes so that the steam that is released will be much less. It is called Natural Release because it allows the float valve to drop naturally over time.

With today’s recipe, you won’t have to wait a minute after your bbq pulled pork is done. As soon as you hear the pressure cooker beep, you can slide your valve right on over to release the steam.

What Is the Difference Between a Pork Butt and a Pork Shoulder?

Am I the only one that wishes I was taught the difference in different cuts of meat for my recipes? One of the most confusing parts of cooking is knowing which cut of meat to select when visiting your grocery store.

Pork butt and pork shoulder are often offered as two cut options for recipes like this pulled pork. The thing I have discovered though is that they yield very different results.

Both of these cuts of meat come from the shoulder of the pig. The big difference is that the pork butt portion will be higher on the foreleg, while the shoulder is further down.

While both of these pieces of meat can benefit from similar cooking styles, they don’t end up with the same results.

The flavors were very different and reminded me of how different a chicken thigh is versus a chicken breast.

If we use a cut of chicken, as a comparison tool, I do find that the pork butt has the same consistency as the thigh meat of chicken.

It is darker in appearance, is more tender, and yields a better flavor.

Dare I use the word, MOIST?

Ugh!

Sorry, but that is the truth!

The pork shoulder, on the other hand, has a drier texture and is more difficult to shred. I find that this cut always ends up chewier than the pork butt.

Cooks Illustrated agrees with me that the pork butt is far superior when creating your pulled pork at home. The reason why the pork butt works best is because of the higher fat content in the cut of meat.

You can still use the pork shoulder as your cut of meat though. It is just important to understand that this cut won’t yield that delicious consistency you are after in your final product.

Are Pork Loin Roast and a Pork Tenderloin the Same Cut of Meat?

Once again, we find another confusing cut from the piggie. Pork Loin Roast and Pork Tenderloin are NOT the same… even though they sound the same.

Both of these cuts are leaner cuts of meat and although they sound the same, they look very different. Pork tenderloins are long and thin while the pork loin roast has a similar shape to the beef roast.

Now That I Know All About Pork Cuts, What Other Things Can I Make With Pork?

If you are adding more pork to your menu plan, I have a few reliable recipes for you. These Slow Cooker Carnitas helped us ease up on our Chipotle runs.

If you prefer a pork chop, these Caprese Chops are perfect for throwing on the grill.

Looking for a lean tenderloin recipe? I can’t recommend this Balsamic & Rosemary Pork Tenderloin Sheet Pan meal enough. It’s one of those that works really well at feeding a crowd, with minimal effort and minimal dishes.

What Other Types of Liquid Can I Use if I Don’t Have Any Root Beer?

I consider the liquid added to my pulled pork as a “clean out the fridge,” type of project. While root beer has always been my go-to liquid choice for my pulled pork, I have replaced it with any dark colored soda (like Coke or Dr. Pepper) with equally great results.

We also aren’t beer drinkers, but people have left beers at our house when we have entertained. Sometimes I use cider beer or even a dark ale as my cooking liquid. I have used beer successfully with my carnita recipe too.

Whatever liquid you choose, it is important to know that whenever you pressure cook, you want at least one cup of liquid on the bottom of your pot. This liquid prevents any scorching from happening and helps with the flavor of your dish.

Why Does This Recipe Use a Bottled Sauce?

Honestly, it takes a lot more than three ingredients if you want to make your own sauce. The additional time to mix up all those flavor components makes it a more labor intensive project. Instead of trying to make your own sauce, you will find that bottled sauce can make this dish much easier.

Do you have a favorite barbecue sauce? I’m a big fan of the Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbeque Sauce because I feel like it incorporates the brown sugar sweetness that I have come to love in a good bottled sauce.

Why would I go to the trouble of doing this when I can just buy a sauce on the grocery shelves?

As a mom, it is allll about saving time in the kitchen, amiright?

Once your pork butt is done cooking, it should only take you about 15 minutes to shred the meat for sandwiches and finish with the barbecue sauce.

For sides, fruit and veggies are the perfect accompaniment.

Are you a ranch dipper? I used these cups for our dip and just piled my veggies on top for snacking on while I worked.

I have found sweet potatoes are the perfect vehicle for pulled pork.

To prepare your sweet potatoes, begin by rinsing them off. After your potatoes are rinsed, prick them with a fork, brush them with olive oil, and roll them in kosher salt. Place your sweet potatoes on a cookie sheet that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake them for one hour at 400 degrees.

I hope you will enjoy our great recipe at your dinner table too! Who knows? Maybe you will be traveling with the pressure cooker on your lap too!

Be sure to SCROLL DOWN for loads more dinner ideas. I have you covered!! Don’t have an Instant Pot? Use this recipe for your Slow Cooker instead! 

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe from MomAdvice.com

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Pulled Pork
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Barbecue
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
For this pulled pork recipe, all you will need is 3 simple ingredients and an Instant Pot! Learn how to make this gluten-free main dish and prep it for a week of lunches for your week!
Ingredients
  • Prepared Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 (4 pound) Pork Butt (you can substitute with the Pork Shoulder, but please read why I don't recommend this)
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle root beer
  • 1 (18 ounce) bottle your favorite barbecue sauce (this is my recommendation ALWAYS)
Instructions
  1. Pour a can of root beer in the Instant Pot. Place your pork butt (or shoulder) on top of the root beer and season well with salt and pepper. If you like a little garlic flavor to your pulled pork, you can also sprinkle with garlic powder to bring that component in. This is optional though!
  2. Lock the lid and select the Meat function (this should be on HIGH pressure), and set your timer for 90 minutes.
  3. Once the timer beeps, quick release your valve and remove the pork butt from the pressure cooker.
  4. Shred the meat and drain the root beer from the pressure cooker. Stir in barbecue sauce and toss gently.
  5. Serve in buns or prepared sweet potatoes. See my full post for a meal prep day for a week of lunches.

 

Looking for more easy recipes? Check these simple weeknight meal ideas below!

Instant Pot Indian Vegetable Rice from MomAdvice.cominstant pot indian vegetable rice

pressure cooker korean street tacosinstant pot korean street tacos

3-ingredient instant pot ribs

Shrimp Fried Rice from MomAdvice.comshrimp fried rice

Balsamic Pork Loin Sheet Pan Meal from MomAdvice.combalsamic pork loin sheet pan meal

sheet pan ranch chops& veggiessheet pan ranch chops & veggies

gluten-free meatloaf recipeeasy gluten-free meatloaf recipe

sheet pan lemon paprika chicken with vegetablessheet pan lemon paprika chicken with vegetables

Baked Orange Chicken Meatballs from MomAdvice.combaked orange chicken meatballs

5-ingredient gluten-free pizza crust5-ingredient gluten-free pizza crust

slow cooker carnitasslow cooker carnitas

asian-turkey-and-green-bean-sauteasian turkey & green bean skillet dish

5-ingredient caprese pork chops5-ingredient caprese pork chops

Roast Frozen Chicken in Bulkroast chicken in bulk for your week

What is your favorite thing to create in your Instant Pot?

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though.

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Simplifying Your Holiday Gatherings

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

You will love these strategies for hosting memorable gatherings without the stress.

I’ve got everything from cooking shortcuts to decorations that transition through the seasons to your perfect playlist! 

This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own! 

Now that Halloween is behind us, it is time to start thinking about all of those upcoming holiday gatherings. Hostess duties can often feel stressful and overwhelming, don’t they? That is why I’m excited to be partnering today with Honeysuckle White to share some fresh ideas for hosting your next gathering without the stress.

I learned that if I wanted to connect with my friends and family that I often had to be the one to step up to bat and offer to host. I have discovered, over the years, that so many people feel intimidated by hosting and are often self-conscious of things like undone house projects, their limited cooking abilities, or not feeling like they have that perfectly sized space for the ideal gathering.

The thing is, our own intimidations rob us of precious moments with those we love and the people that REALLY and GENUINELY love us will always, always be thankful to you for creating space in your home and day for them.

That is, truly, why I am excited to share that Honeysuckle White recognizes how precious our time is and wanted to take out that intimidation factor by providing a brilliantly easy turkey product that will make gatherings so much easier on busy moms.

Even better?

You can order it right through Amazon.

And, ladies, I KNOW we all have Amazon ordering down pat! (*ahem*)

Say hello to the world’s easiest holiday dish, the NEWS Honeysuckle White Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast “Turketta”, inspired by the flavor profile of porchetta!

I gave ordering one of these a spin and really was surprised how well-seasoned and easy this was to execute for my Friendsgiving gathering this week.

In your package (that arrives right on your doorstep!)  you will get one of these beautiful roasts that serve approximately 4-6 people.  The packages arrive frozen and you can thaw it for an ASAP gathering or you can tuck this in the freezer for a future meal.

The bird is perfectly seasoned, boneless (no carving- woot, woot!), and requires just a simple quick sear on the bottom and baking.

This isn’t the only option you can have delivered. They also are offering Hickory Smoked Turkey Breast, a Honeysuckle White Fresh Traceable Whole Bird Turkey, & the Honest Turkey Whole Turkey.

Even better, for a limited time offer, MomAdvice readers can get 15% off using my coupon code 15MOMADVICE.

I can really get behind this company and the work they do with farmers, especially after having the opportunity to tour one of the farms.

The company is committed to raising their turkeys without growth-promoting antibiotics and no added hormones or steroids.

They also are committed to supporting independent family farmers to provide family farm-raised turkeys.

I don’t know if you know this, but my great-grandpa was a farmer and that is why that commitment and their true love for these families really warms my heart.

Now that you have the turkey covered, here are a few other ideas for a simple gathering of great friends and great food!

Send Out a Small Invite

I have done loads of large gatherings, but I find the best gatherings are often the intimate ones with just a couple of close friends so you can really catch up.

A friendsgiving need not be a large gathering and the invitation does not need to be a formal one.

Text invitations are perfectly acceptable, especially during such a busy season.

Also, allowing mamas to bring kids is a blessing to the mom (who won’t have to cook) and to you (to get to love on your friend’s beautiful kiddos especially since your kids are tweens/teens and you now have to FORCE YOUR LOVE on them).

 

Keep the Sides Simple

Roasted vegetables are an easy side that can be prepared a day in advance.

In fact, storing your carrots and potatoes in water overnight will yield a much crisper roast than if you cut them up immediately.

Toss your prepared vegetables in olive oil, kosher salt, and your favorite dried seasoning (I’m a thyme girl!) and roast them at 450 degrees for 25 minutes.

Love perfectly roasted potatoes?

Cut baby potatoes in half and put the cut side down on a cookie sheet that’s been lined with aluminum foil and is lightly greased. You will get a perfect roast every time AND they are so good that my kids call them mom’s french fries.

It goes without saying, but lining the cookie sheets with tin foil or parchment paper squares is also an excellent way to cut down on dishes!

Skip the Baking

Thankfully, there is no need to bake since we have so many delicious options for desserts that are already made and available for purchase at our local markets.

You can still make these purchased desserts feel really special though with quick homemade touches.

Spicing up your whipped cream, adding crunchy toppings, or adding details with pie cutters or an embossing rolling pin (made from refrigerated pie dough) are all fun ways to make pies feel special and more homemade.

This post offers 5 strategies for making store-bought pies feel special that I think you will find REALLY helpful for the holidays and even an idea for packaging up mini pies as a parting gift at the end of the night.

replicate my table with this easy tutorial

Think Evergreen When It Comes to Home Decorating

In the blog world, evergreen content is king. It means that we really focus on creating timeless pieces that can be shared over and over again and always feel relevant.

This is the SAME WAY we can approach our decorating. Purchase or DIY things that are neutral and can be used over and over again throughout the seasons. A bit of faux greenery, a roll of kraft paper (DO buy this– it’s such a affordable investment for decorating and gift wrapping), white plates, and loads of candles are perfect for ANY occasion.

Adding simple seasonal touches, like the small bundles of sage I gathered with cotton twine feel very Martha-y, but cost only a couple of bucks to pull off.

Stop pulling out and storing seasonal bins and buy a few items that you can use over and over and over again.

You can’t imagine the stress you will relieve yourself of!

Set the Mood

Before I go, I have one more fun fact for you…I used to be a glorified D.J. for my college’s radio station.

Music is essential to me like breathing and food.

Growing up, I played the violin, sang in the choir, did musical theater, and had parents who were crazy about music too.

I am also the one that hogs the microphone if you karaoke with me.

To me, a solid playlist for special occasions is oh-so-necessary.

Don’t have time to make one?

How about if I shared mine with you!

Also, as a thoughtful introvert, I have included three goodbye songs at the end that you can feel free to boot those up after the meal when you just need to retreat to your Snuggie and Netflix.

Hopefully they catch on..I know, “CLOSING TIME,” is a very, very subtle exit song!

I have embedded it here for you so be sure to bookmark this awesome post and give me a follow for more fabulous dinner music.

Now hurry on over to order your turkey and don’t forget to use my coupon code 15MOMADVICE to snag your 15% off!

this post contains affiliate links

This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

28 Instant Pot Soup and Stew Recipes for the Soup Season

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Is it getting cooler where you live? I have to admit, this week was a bit of a shocker to my system with the temperatures dropping so quickly in Indiana. I have been hibernating this week and implementing ALL the strategies already for the cooler months.

One of my strategies I haven’t mentioned though is a weekly pot of soup that can save me from cooking a couple of nights a week AND for keeping us warm in the evenings.

Now that soup season is in FULL SWING, I thought I would share a gathering of Instant Pot soups that are my radar for my menu plans.

If you haven’t put an Instant Pot on your list of kitchen must-haves, I bet you will after seeing how quickly and easily you can pull together a pot of soup to enjoy all week long.

Last week I shared a recipe with you, but I also shared two gadgets that I think every Instant Pot fan will love, especially for your soup seasons!

The first is this type of lid that will make it easier to serve and reheat your soups for family meals.

There is nothing more awkward than trying to open and shut the sealing lid, amiright?

The other thing I absolutely love is this gadget that allows you to store your soup right in the pot in your fridge without any messes or spills.

If you can’t wait to get your pot back for the next meal though, many people also purchase additional inserts so that they can store a soup for their week as well as continue keeping the Instant Pot dishes in their rotation.

You can bet that an additional insert is on MY Christmas list this year.

And while we are on the topic of gadgets, if you haven’t bought one of these yet, it is a workhorse in our kitchen.

I, honestly, can’t imagine making soups or sauces without it…not to mention all that frothing of milk for my lattes at home.

I promise, I only recommend what I really love and TRULY use in our kitchen.

Speaking of what I love…how about some new recipes for your menu plan?

Here are 28 Instant Pot Soup & Stew recipes that I can’t wait to make this Fall & Winter!

instant pot gluten-free broccoli & cheddar

pressure cooker italian chicken soup

instant pot potato soup

instant pot pho ga (vietnamese chicken noodle soup)

instant pot split pea soup

instant pot detox soup

instant pot moroccan spiced butternut squash soup

instant pot chicken gnocchi soup

instant pot chicken vegetable soup

instant pot chicken enchilada soup

pressure cooker red wine beef stew

instant pot vegetable soup

instant pot vegan carrot ginger soup

instant pot mushroom soup

instant pot tomato soup

instant pot cauliflower soup

instant pot classic french onion soup

instant pot thai shrimp soup

instant pot chicken & dumplings

instant pot white chicken chili

vegan potato corn chowder


instant pot chicken tortilla soup

instant pot creamy tortellini soup

instant pot sweet potato carrot coconut soup

instant pot vegetarian chili instant pot vegan udon soup

instant pot taco soup

instant pot chicken fricassee

Not enough Instant Pot recipes for you? Here are 3 of our most popular Instant Pot Recipes on the site!

3-ingredient instant pot ribs

instant pot korean street tacos

instant pot indian vegetable rice

What is your favorite soup to make in your pressure cooker?

 

this post contains affiliate links

Meal Prep Idea: Shrimp Fried Rice

Friday, August 24th, 2018

Shrimp Fried Rice from MomAdvice.com

Do you love fried rice as much as I do? Shrimp Fried Rice is a fantastically frugal dish that allows you to use up leftover odds and ends in your fridge and transforms them into incredible lunches for your busy week.

Last year was my first time making fried rice, if you can believe it. Somehow I managed to mess up this easy-to-prepare dish with a poorly scrambled egg. Instead of breaking it apart, like you would a scrambled egg, I whipped the eggs into the rice and created a carbonara fried rice. Not terrible, but not awesome either.

Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com If you haven’t made this dish before, a great way to insure that you don’t end up with the carbonara mess that I created, is to shift your veggies to the side and make space for your eggs to scramble. Once fully scrambled, then you fold them into your rice, yielding a dish that tastes a heck of a lot like one of my favorite takeout classics (minus the heavy grease).

Fried rice is known as a frugal chef’s dream recipe because you can use leftover rice and give it new life with a little sesame oil, soy sauce, veggies, and your favorite protein.  This is a great dish to clear out those odds and ends in your fridge and can even be prepared with alternative rice options, like cauliflower rice, if you are watching your carb intake.

One of my most used appliances is my inexpensive rice cooker because I don’t have to babysit my rice while it cooks. You can learn how to make great brown rice in your rice cooker in this handy tutorial.

Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com

My daughter said that she doesn’t know a kid that doesn’t love fried rice and begged for me to put this on our menu more regularly.  As we make an effort to eat less meat, this is a filling and fun way to enjoy a meat-free night at your house.

Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com shrimp-fried-rice-recipe-meal-prep (7 of 9) Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com

This dish is so perfect for meal prepping for your lunches. I filled these shallow sandwich containers with a bag of green grapes and some prepared edamame for a delicious lunch. I can’t tell you how fast these went in our house and I plan to make this more regularly, now that I have finally mastered the art of the egg scramble.

Shrimp Fried Rice
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
A frugal chef's dream dish made from leftover rice and veggies. Try this shrimp version for a meat-free night at your house!
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound medium prepared fresh shrimp
  • 2 cups veggies (I use a frozen mixture of green beans, peas, and carrots)
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Salt to taste (keep in mind the soy sauce is salty so go lightly!)
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet or wok, heat sesame and canola oil. Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes or until pink and done (careful not to overcook!!). With a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Add your choice of veggies and cook for two minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for one more minute.
  3. Scoot your veggies to one side and add your scrambled eggs to the other side (see the picture in this post for guidance). Scramble the eggs well.
  4. Finish by adding the cooked rice, soy sauce, and salt to taste. Add the shrimp and toss well.

 Looking for more meal prep ideas? Here are a couple that might also help!

Baked Orange Chicken Meatballs from MomAdvice.com baked orange chicken meatballs

Back to School Meal Prep Ideas from MomAdvice.com back to school meal prep ideas

Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com

I hope you loved today’s dish and looking forward to sharing loads more meal prep ideas with you!

This post contains affiliate links.

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Back-to-School Meal Prep Ideas

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Back to School Meal Prep Ideas from MomAdvice.com

It’s time to bring on those meal prep ideas for packing lunches for back-to-school. I’m sharing 7 tips to nail your meal prep game for your kids and YOU. I’m excited to be partnering again with the Florida Department of Citrus for the back-to-school season and showing you some fun new strategies for lunch preparation.

It seems surreal to me that we are already talking about back-to-school, but we are just one week away from sending our kids off to school again. It is with this big occasion in mind that I look forward to getting back into our healthy eating routines and finding new ways to minimize stress during our busy weeks.

One of the ways I do that is through our meal prep routines.

back-to-school lunch meal prep ideas from momadvice.com

back-to-school lunch meal prep ideas from momadvice.com

Let’s talk about 5 really great strategies for meal prepping that can help you this year.

back-to-school lunch prep ideas from momadvice.com

back-to-school lunch prep ideas from momadvice.com

 

back-to-school lunch prep ideas from momadvice.com

Find New Ways to Use Up What’s Already in Your Fridge

Meal planning can save you tons of money at the grocery store, but I have the tendency to get excited about new meals without using up what we already have in our fridge.

Make a plan, but acknowledge ways that you can use up items that may be nearing their expiration date. I love frittatas, for example, because they can be whipped up from whatever you have lurking in your crisper drawer and from your weeknight meal leftovers. Today’s frittata, for example, was made from cherry tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, and feta…all items leftover our salad nights this week. Ask your kids to help you come up with combos and give them the opportunity to brunch it up at school.

If you are looking for a great recipe, check out my Chicken Pesto Frittata or my Dairy-Free Sausage & Vegetable Frittata for two great options. Either of these can omit the meat for a fun vegetarian option too.

I paired this frittata with orange juice to round out the meal. Keep in mind that the recommended daily intake of Florida OJ is eight ounces for adults and four to six ounces for kids! The best part is that every glass of Florida Orange Juice provides the amazing 5. In fact, you have taste, vitamin C, folate, potassium and no added sugar in just one glass.

back-to-school meal prep ideas from momadvice.com

back-to-school lunch prep ideas from momadvice.com Consider the Snack Pack Trend

We caught a commercial for, “protein packs,” that you could purchase for your lunches that had meat, cheese, and nuts in them.  Even though my husband can’t cook, even he was laughing at how ridiculous it was that people couldn’t put these together themselves.

Snacks packs aren’t a new concept, but they ARE a perfect concept if you have a kid that is a snacker or if you happen to be a snacker yourself.

Utilizing toothpicks, stack a slice of lunch meat, a grape tomato, and a cube of cheese for a delicious bite that is easy enough that your kids can do it (and make their own dang lunch!)

I paired these with fresh veggies, a little ranch, and roasted salted almonds.

Want to add some fruit? Consider an apple! Using an apple slicer like this, slice the apples and then pull them back together in their original shape around the core with a rubber band.

Did you know that for additional insurance you can brush the apple with some orange juice to really help your apple retain its crisp appearance and cut down on browning? Now that’s a #lunchhack

prep peanut butter & jelly

Kids Keeping it Basic? Prep That Too!

I had one child who refused to eat anything except a good old-fashioned PB&J. I admired that she knew what she liked and that she kept it simple for her mom. That said, even those simple tasks rob us of precious time to get ready in the morning so I started meal prepping even these simple sandwiches.

If your child’s favorite is this sandwich too, simply spread peanut butter on both slices of bread to create a wall to prevent the jelly from making your bread soggy. Smear your jelly on in the center of one slice of bread and then put the two slices together. By creating an assembly line of sandwiches for your week you only dirty up the kitchen once and get back a little more time to enjoy your morning cup of coffee.

back to school meal prep ideas from momadvice.com

 

orange chicken meatballs recipe from momadvice.com

Plan Around Your Own Guilty Pleasures

Have you thought about packing yourself a lunch? I have the tendency to get out of the habit of caring for myself when the back-to-school rush happens and find myself grabbing takeout or “forgetting to eat,” when I don’t have something convenient to grab.

Jot down what your takeout weaknesses are and start searching Pinterest for some great alternatives for your meal prep day.

For me, Chinese is my weakness so these Make-Ahead Baked Orange Chicken Meatballs were just the ticket for my meal prep day. The sauce, of course, gets all of its orange goodness from a little Florida OJ!

Don’t Have Time To Make Separate Lunches? Double Up on Those Dinners!

Life gets chaotic this time of year so if you can’t devote a day to making lunches, consider doubling up on dinner ideas instead. For some great cold options, here are a few of my own recommendations!

Quinoa-Salad-In-A-Jar-7 quinoa salad in a jar with spinach & tomatoes

chicken caesar pasta salad chicken caesar pasta salad

Berry Pecan Salad

berry & candied pecan salad with a homemade raspberry vinaigrette (make with or without chicken)

Caprese Pasta Salad #recipe via MomAdvice.com caprese pasta salad

Roast Frozen Chicken in Bulk roasted chicken (perfect for salads & wraps)

Don’t forget those sides!

make-ahead hard boiled eggs make-ahead baked hard boiled eggs

Smoothie Bowl Recipe smoothie bowl recipes

roasted garlic hummus roasted garlic hummus

No-Bake Gluten-Free Granola Bars no-bake gluten-free granola bars

  trail mix energy bites trail mix energy bites

I hope that today’s ideas inspire you to try something new this year with your meal prep. Self-care is just as important so be sure to take some time out for YOU too with a few of my favorite self-care tips. Thank you to the Florida Department of Citrus for letting me share about these tips with you! Be sure to make Florida OJ a part of your daily routines to help boost your immune system during this challenging mom season.

This blog was sponsored by Florida Department of Citrus. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site!

 

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Baked Sweet Potato Fries With Lemon Meringue Dipping Sauce

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

Sweet Potato Fries With Lemon Meringue Dipping Sauce from MomAdvice.com This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

If you want to switch up your burger and fries game, today’s post is one you can’t miss, especially with a weekend of holiday grilling on the horizon.  Today I’m partnering with Honeysuckle White to share their fun new burger combos AND I have a fun baked sweet potato fries recipe with a lemon-filled dipping sauce that I know you will flip for.

Honeysuckle White Turkey Burger Flavors

Honeysuckle White is now offering two fun and flavorful new turkey burger combos that are already prepared and ready to be thrown on your grill.  Our family sampled them both and absolutely fell in love with them.

The first one is a Cranberry & Jalapeño that offers a fun combo of sweet and spicy that seem to really balance each other. They have kick to them, but a kick that was mild enough to be called a favorite by my daughter.  The white cheddar cheese sprinkled throughout add a little bit of unexpected creaminess to the patty and helps cut down on the spicy factor.

Honeysuckle White Turkey Burgers

Here is a close-up shot of all that cheese for you- YUM!

The other combo they offer are their Spinach & Kale turkey patties and these also pack another fun flavorful punch, with the greens folded right into the patty. If you struggle to get your kids to eat their veggies, this is the perfect patty for them. Pairing it with today’s sweet potato fries recipe (see below), you are sure to get a couple of servings in your child without them even noticing just how healthy they are eating.

Definitely, swing by your store and pick some of these delicious patties up for your next grilling weekend! I think they would be a fun surprise for your guests and Honeysuckle White has done all the work for you in the preparation of these delicious ingredient combos.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Lemon Meringue Sauce from MomAdvice.com baked-sweet-potato-fries-with-lemon-meringue-dipping-sauce (5 of 7)

Sweet potato fries are my absolute favorite and one of our local burger joints inspired the dipping sauce to accompany them that I decided to recreate in my kitchen. This creamy lemon dipping sauce is tart and a fun match to the sweetness of the potatoes and is one of my favorite ways to indulge in a little fry dipping.

Not a big sweet potato fan?

I think this would be just as delicious with carrots as it is with the potatoes.

To make these fries ahead, before your guests arrive, peel and cut the potatoes into matchsticks and place in a bowl. Once you have cut all your potatoes, cover them with water and store in the fridge. Placed in a water bath, these cut potatoes can be stored up to twenty-four hours in the water. 

This simple dipping sauce is made out of several pantry staples- mayo, garlic, salt, and the juice and zest from a lemon. I guarantee that this unexpected sauce will be a huge hit at your barbecue just because it is such an unexpected flavor pairing.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Lemon Meringue Sauce from MomAdvice.com

I can’t wait until our next cookout so we can share these delicious Cranberry & Jalapeño Turkey Burgers and  Spinach & Kale Turkey Burgers with our guests. With all these new flavor combos, you are sure to wow your guests this year!  Best of all? Although the flavor profile is elevated, the price is quite affordable to have a high-end burger night right in your own backyard.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries With Lemon Meringue Dipping Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
These baked sweet potato fries are served with a lemon dip that brings together the sweetness of the potato with the tartness of the lemon.
Ingredients
  • 3 large sweet potatoes cut into matchsticks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • zest from one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Peel sweet potatoes and slice into matchsticks, roughly the same size. Place in a large bowl.
  3. If storing for the next day, fill the bowl with water, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate (up to 24-hours).
  4. If preparing immediately, toss with olive oil and salt.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, on parchment paper lined cookie sheet, tossing once halfway through to crisp up both sides.
  6. While they are baking, mix together the mayo, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt.
  7. Once fries are done, garnish with parsley and serve with the lemon meringue dipping sauce.

 

Looking for more ways to enjoy turkey? Here are a few of my favorites!

Caprese Quinoa & Meatball Casserole

Asian Turkey & Green Bean Saute

Ground Turkey Gyro Burgers

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey

Instant Pot Indian Vegetable Rice (served with turkey meatloaf)

Spinach & Turkey Bacon Skillet Dish

This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own!