Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Instant Pot lemon garlic chicken & rice - 4 WW freestyle points

This satisfying chicken and rice dish is a great weeknight meal and quickly cooks up in the 6 quart Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker.

When made with chicken breasts, it's also only 4 points on the Weight Watchers Freestyle program! The recipe makes 6 servings.

You can also substitute chicken thighs, if you don't care about the points or prefer the taste of thighs. You do not need to adjust the cooking time if you use thighs.

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 cups water
2 tsp of better than bouillon garlic base
1 1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup jasmine rice
1 Tbsp dried basil
1 lemon, juiced
salt to taste

Cut chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes. Turn Instant Pot on saute, high and add olive oil. After the pot has heated up, saute the garlic for 2-3 minutes until it's slightly brown.

Pour in the water and add the garlic base. Stir the base in until it's well combined. Add the chicken, rice, basil and the juice of one lemon to the pot. Press cancel to turn off the saute function on the pot.
All the basil was at the top!

Put the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the vent to "sealing." Set the Instant Pot to manual, high pressure for 10 minutes. At the end of the cooking cycle, quick release the pressure.

If there is any residual water in the pot at the end of the cooking cycle, turn the saute function back on and allow the water to cook off before serving. I suggest tasting it and then adding a little salt if needed.

I served it with some bell pepper strips, I was planning to make edamame as a side but I wasn't in the kitchen since my IP was doing all the work and time got away from me!

We had plenty for dinner (I had two servings...) for the two of us and also for good sized lunch portions the next day.

This blog is not affiliated with Weight Watchers in any way. Points were calculated using the official Weight Watchers recipe builder in March 2017. This post contains some affiliate links, if you make a purchase via one of these links this blog will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Instant Pot turkey chili baked potatoes - 6 smart points

This is an excellent weeknight meal that is quick and makes plenty of leftovers! It's easy, so easy in fact, that my husband started it while I was at the gym after work and he is not an Instant Pot pro (yet! he will be :)).

It's also healthy, only 6 smart points on Weight Watchers freestyle program. Now, if you aren't on the program you can also load it up with cheese and sour cream and make it decadent, don't get me wrong.

In my ideal world, I would use two instant pots to make this simultaneously but since I sadly only have one, that's not an option for me. I have included suggestions on how I would do it if I had two...some day!

There are two parts to this meal - baked potatoes and turkey chili. Most of the points, will come from your potato, so you could just eat the chili!

Part 1 - Pressure cooking potatoes

Put your trivet in the bottom of your Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. I use a 6 quart Duo IP. If you have a 3 quart, you can likely also use it for your potatoes but you will not be able to make as many potatoes at one time. If you only have one IP, like me, you will want to cook your chili on the stove but the chili requires a least a 6 quart, so you will want to use the smaller one for potatoes.

Put 6 medium baked potatoes on top of the trivet and pour in 1 cup of water. Set your instant pot to pressure cook, high and set for 10 minutes. When the cooking cycle is completed allow to naturally release for 20 minutes. While your potatoes are cooking, you will want to start your chili.

One medium potato is 5 smart points.

Part 2 - Turkey Chili

If you have a second instant pot, you can make the chili in it as well, you will need at least a 6 quart. Or you can cook the two items back to back, cleaning our your insert in between or using a second insert. Otherwise, I use my Cuisinart enameled Dutch oven.

20 oz 99% fat free ground turkey breast
2 tsp olive oil
1 package chili seasoning
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 tsp liquid smoke

Stove directions: Heat olive oil in Dutch oven on medium to high heat and sauté turkey with chili seasoning until fully cooked, about 8-10 minutes. Add beans and tomatoes to the pot with enough water to cover the contents. Allow to simmer at least 10 minutes on the stove, ideally 20 minutes.

Instant Pot directions: A 6 quart, or larger, instant pot is needed. Turn the IP on to sauté, high. Add the olive oil to the bottom of the pan and sauté turkey with chili seasoning until fully cooked, about 8-10 minutes. Add beans and tomatoes to the pot with enough water to cover the contents. Put the lid on the IP and close the vent. Change the setting on the IP to manual, high pressure and set for 10 minutes. When the cooking time is completed, you can quick release the pressure.

My preferred way to make chili is in the Instant Pot but until I get a second pot, to make this combination meal I unfortunately have to use my stove! I think the IP does give the chili a better flavor in less time.

Recipe makes 6 servings, each serving is 1 point.

I smash my baked potato up and top with a full serving of the chili, for 6 points total. You can optionally top with fat free Greek yogurt (0 points) and low fat shredded cheese (3 points for 1/4 cup).

With cheese, it's 9 points.

This blog is not affiliated with Weight Watchers in any way. This post contains some affiliate links, if you make a purchase via one of these links this blog will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Monday, February 5, 2018

How to make cauliflower rice

Making cauliflower rice is a simple but messy process. Seriously when I'm done there are flecks of cauliflower all over my kitchen counter. However, when I checked the price of pre-riced cauliflower at my store, I decided it would behoove me to batch rice some cauliflower for my freezer.

I can't believe a paltry 10oz of riced cauliflower was over $4! I can buy a whole head for $2, shred it myself and end up with a lot more than 10oz. I put it in a freezer bag and have it ready when I want it.

All you need to do this:
Cauliflower (I recommend doing at least 3 heads at a time)
Food processer with a chop blade (6 cup or larger recommended)
Freezer bags or other storage containers

First, you need to prep your cauliflower. Wash your cauliflower and remove the center stalk. You need to cut or pull your head of cauliflower into smaller pieces that will fit in your food processer chute, for mine that is about 2in by 3in maximum. Put your chopping blade on your food processor, I use the same blade that shreds cheese. Fill your chute with cauliflower. It will feed in to the processor and be chopped into small pieces.

If your cauliflower gets mushy, check the blade on your food processor. It might be designed to blend/puree.

When the bowl is full (about 2 heads for my 6 cup food processor), empty the riced cauliflower into a storage container and put it in the fridge for use in the next few days or freeze it for later use.

When you are ready to eat it, it should be cooked to give it a more rice-like texture. A lot of the grocery store packages are designed for steaming it but personally I think it has better flavor and texture if it’s sautéed.

For basic preparation, you can sauté in olive oil or butter with some salt and pepper. For Asian dishes, I like to sauté it in sesame oil.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Make the starbucks sous vide egg bites without a mold!

I kept seeing people rave about these egg bites in the Instant Pot and I wanted to try them but I was reluctant to buy a special mold to make something I had never tried before. So I set out to make them in my 7in Fat Daddio pan that I bought for PIP recipes.

Since the "bite" is more like a loaf, I had to tinker a little bit with the cooking time. My first experiment looked like this.....hardly a success!

However, after I flipped it back into the pan and cooked it the rest of the way in my oven it was also delicious. The eggs were velvety smooth.

This one looks better right? Here is how you can do it yourself. This was made in a 7in pan, if you use a different size pan it might impact your cook time a little bit.

This recipe was based off of the recipe from foodie and wine that uses the silicone molds.

5 Large Eggs
4oz of cooked crumbled bacon or I like to use pancetta because it comes already in cubes
1 ½ cups of cheese
4oz cream cheese
¼ cup heavy cream
Salt to taste*

*Note I did not use any additional salt because I was already using pancetta it's quite salty.

Directions: Cook the meat and if you are using bacon, crumble it. Put the eggs, cream cheese, shredded cheese, cream and salt into a blender and blend until fully mixed, about 45 seconds.

I use my Epica smoothie blender and it works great.

Breakfast smoothie anyone?
Put your pancetta in the bottom into a a lightly greased 7in pan and pour the blended egg mixture on top.

Cover the pan with foil. Pour one cup of water into the bottom of your Instant pot and using your trivet, lower the pan into the pot. The pan will be on top of the trivet.

Set your IP to steam for 14 minutes. Quick release the steam. You can cut slices and eat it from the pan, or you can flip it out on to a plate. It easily releases from my Fat Daddio pan. Full-sized bite!

This post contains some affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of these links this blog will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support. 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Easy Asian style peanut chicken in the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker

This recipe is quick, easy and delicious in the instant pot or other electric pressure cooker. This delicious chicken is fabulous on rice but since I'm currently doing the low carb thing, we had it on cauliflower rice. Having a sauce-covered main dish is key for me to not realize I'm eating vegetables instead of actual rice.

2 tb of toasted sesame oil (I like this one from Trader Joe's)
1 tb of chopped garlic (I use this kind but you can use fresh if preferred)
3 chicken thighs, cut into 2 inch cubes
13oz can of lite coconut milk
8oz jar of peanut sauce (I used this kind)
salt to taste
3 TB of cornstarch to thicken sauce

Turn your Instant Pot (IP) on saute, normal and let it warm up for 3-4 minutes. Add the sesame oil and the garlic. Saute the garlic for 2-3 minutes.

Pour in your coconut milk first, add the chicken and top with the peanut sauce and stir.

Turn the saute function off and turn the IP to pressure cook and set for 8 minutes. Make sure the vent is turned to "sealing." When pressure cook is completed, quick release the pressure.

The sauce will be pretty thin, if you want a thicker sauce, press cancel on the IP and change the setting to saute, high. Then spoon about a cup of sauce into a small bowl (I like to use coffee mugs) and add 3 Tb of cornstarch. Whisk it together until it's fully blended and add it back to the pot, stirring it in. Allow the sauce to simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the sauce reaches desired thickness.

Serve over rice, cauliflower rice or quinoa.

Over cauliflower rice for a lower carb option. I sauteed the cauliflower in sesame oil.
This post contains some affiliate links, if you make a purchase via the links this blog will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Low carb stuffed peppers in the Instant Pot

Stuffed peppers using black beans instead of rice is one of my go-to low carb meals. Even though a cup of cooked beans and a cup of rice both have around 45 carbs, the black beans have so much fiber they only have around 30 net carbs. The rice has almost no fiber! Plus, black beans have 3x as much protein.

Since I recently became obsessed with my instant pot electric pressure cooker and started a low carb diet at the beginning of the year, I wanted to try making them in the instant pot.

I also used ground turkey instead of beef to keep them lower calorie. Is this diet over yet? Sigh.

20 oz ground turkey (you can use beef if you want)
15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese (or cheese of your choice, something that will melt nicely), divided
4-6 bell peppers (I buy the multi-colored 3 pack of peppers)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika (you can use regular but I like Hungarian or smoked)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 ½ cups chicken broth (if using ground beef, I suggest using beef broth)
sour cream, optional garnish

Mix ground turkey with 2 cups of cheese and all spices until well combined.
Turn your instant pot on and set to sauté, normal. Place the trivet in the bottom and pour the broth in the bottom of the pot. This will allow the pot to pre-heat while you get your peppers ready and help it to come up to pressure faster. Cut the tops off and remove the seeds from the peppers. Cut a small hole in the bottom of each pepper to allow fat from the meat to drain out.
Fill the peppers with the meat mixture and place on top of the trivet. Be careful, as the sides of the pot will be hot. Top the peppers with the remaining cheese.
Press cancel on the Instant Pot to turn off the sauté function and press manual pressure high and set for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, quick release the pressure. 
Check the internal temperature to check it's at least 165 degrees (I use a digital thermometer like this one).
176 degrees, ready to go!
I cut it in half and top it with sour cream. If you like this recipe, check out my low carb stuffed pepper soup for the IP, made with quinoa!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The easiest butternut squash soup ever with the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker

Butternut squash soup is one of the things I love eating but normally I find kind of a pain to make. You have to cut up (which is hard!) and cook the squash, and them puree it. It's kind of a hassle.

However, using my instant pot electric pressure cooker to cook the squash makes the process so much easier! I can make it on a weeknight now! It's healthy, delicious and now easy.
~2lb butternut squash
3/4 cup heavy cream
32 oz low sodium chicken broth, divided
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon

6 qt instant pot electric pressure cooker
Immersion blender (I have this one) or you can use a food processor, but an immersion blender will make it easier

Cut your squash into fourths, so it will fit in your pressure cooker and cook more easily. Remove the seeds. Pour one cup of water into your pressure cooker pot and place your trivet in the bottom, place squash on top. Close top and close vent. Pressure cook on manual high for 12 minutes. When cooking time is completed quick release the pressure.
Squash ready for cooking
Remove the squash from the pot and dump out the water. Allow the squash to cool slightly, until you can handle it. Pour about half the chicken broth, the cream and all of the seasonings into the pressure cooker pot and set the cooker to the saute, less (ie the lower temp, on my IP it's called "less").
Cooked squash
Scoop the squash out of the peel and return it to the pot. Using your immersion blender, puree the squash in the pot, adding additional chicken stock until it reaches desired consistency. Depending on the exact size of your squash, you may not need the entire container. Continue blending until the soup is smooth. Makes 4-6 entree sized servings.

This post contains some affiliate links, if you make a purchase with these links this blog will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support.