breakfast

Microwave Eggs

Did you know you can cook eggs in the microwave? Yep, a total game changer! My mom made them like this when I was a kid. It’s such a simple idea- all you need is a microwave safe mug or cup, and eggs. I taught my kids how to make them and it’s such a huge help on busy school mornings! If they don’t have time to eat before we leave the house, they can just take the mug in the car with them and eat on the way to school! I’m lucky enough to have a kitchen at my office, so sometimes I’ll take a carton of eggs to work with me and keep them in the fridge. Then I just use a disposable coffee cup and whip them up anytime I want!

Microwave eggs

How to:

Crack an egg or two into a microwave safe mug. Give the eggs a quick scramble with a fork (make sure you puncture the yolk, or it might explode 😬). Cook in the microwave for about approximately 30 seconds per egg. All microwaves seem to cook a little different, so the first time you try this, you might start out with less time, then add a few seconds at  a time until the eggs are how you like them (and then remember how long it took for next time!). In my microwave, 30 seconds for 1 egg, or 60 seconds for 2 eggs is just perfect! After the eggs are cooked, season with salt & pepper if you want. My kids like to add a sprinkle of shredded cheese and salsa. You could add anything you want…some leftover ham, bacon (yeah, you’re right, I’m pretty sure there’s no such thing as leftover bacon 😆), or some cooked veggies would be great!

Instant Pot

Beefy Whole Wheat Rotini (Instant Pot)

This is one of the first things I experimented with when I got my Instant Pot a few years ago. Once I got it figured out, it quickly became a go-to on busy nights! I had been making this same thing on the stove for years, so why did I feel the need to perfect it in the Instant Pot? Because even though it takes about 40 minutes from start to finish, all I have to do is brown the meat, dump everything else in, and set the timer! There’s no waiting for a pot of water to boil. No standing by the stove babysitting the pasta. No draining the pasta. And only one pot to wash instead of the two I usually use when making it on the stove.

Beefy Rotini (Instant Pot)

Beefy Whole Wheat Rotini

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 3 Cups water
  • 13.25 oz whole wheat rotini
  • 25 oz jar pasta sauce

Directions:

Using the saute function on the Instant Pot, brown the ground beef and drain grease if necessary. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Without stirring, add the water, then the rotini, then pour the pasta sauce over the top (make sure to cover all the pasta!). Do NOT stir!

Secure the lid and set to pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. After it’s done cooking, quick release pressure (this is very important! If you don’t release pressure right away, it will turn to mush…ask me how I know 🙄).

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Instant Pot

Steel Cut Oats (Instant Pot)

My kids are oatmeal fanatics! They’ll eat if for breakfast, packed up in a thermos for lunch, and occasionally even for dinner! We prefer the texture of steel cut oats over regular oats, but cooking them on the stove can be tedious…bring the water to a boil, add the oats, return to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. With the Instant Pot  you can just dump everything in , set the timer, and go do something more productive with your time! We like our oats with a sprinkle of  cinnamon & chia seeds, a splash of milk, and a drizzle of pure maple syrup, and served with fresh fruit, or frozen berries. Or my favorite is with sliced bananas and a spoonful of natural peanut butter 😋.

This recipe can easily be doubled, or even tripled in the 5 qt Instant Pot- keep the cooking time the same (if you triple it, be extra careful when releasing pressure, because it may spatter a bit!)! Make a big batch and keep it in the fridge to have on hand through out the week!

Oatmeal in the Instant Pot

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Cup Steel Cut Oats
  • 3.5 Cups water

Directions:

Melt the butter in the Instant Pot insert, using the saute button. Add the oats and stir for 3 minutes. Add the water. Secure the lid and set to pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. After it’s done cooking, let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure.  Lit sit for 5 to 10 more minutes to thicken.

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Instant Pot

Chicken Taco Bowls (Instant Pot)

Ok, let me start off by saying that this makes a TON of food! I’m not even kidding- my Instant Pot has never been so full in its life! So if you’re one of those people that doesn’t like leftovers, I think you could half the recipe just fine. Me on the other hand, I LOVE leftovers! We eat this for dinner just in bowls the first night, then in burritos the next night. The rest gets packed up for lunches, or goes into the freezer for another time. Cook once- eat for days! This would be great to take to a pot luck, or if you’re feeding a crowd!

It seriously could not be easier- you basically dump everything in the pot and set the timer!

*Update* I’ve heard back from several readers that they did cut the recipe in half and it worked great! Just halve all the ingredients, but keep the cooking time the same!

Chicken Taco Bowls

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 16 oz salsa
  • 3 cups uncooked long grain white rice
  • 3 cups water or chicken broth
  • 1 (12 oz) bag frozen corn

Directions:

  1. Place the chicken in the Instant Pot Insert. Sprinkle with the chili powder, cumin, salt, paprika, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano. Add the beans. Pour salsa over everything. Add the rice, and then cover with the water or chicken broth.
  2. Secure the lid and set to cook on manual high pressure for 12 minutes, then quick release pressure.
  3. Remove the chicken, and shred. Add the corn to the pot and stir (the heat from the rice will warm the corn up). Return the shredded chicken to the pot.
  4.  Serve with your favorite taco fixings: shredded cheese, cilantro, sour cream, salsa, jalapenos, avocado.

Recipe adapted from Wondermom Wannabe

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slow cooker

Chicken Curry (Slow Cooker)

I have a love/hate relationship with my slow cooker.  I love the idea of having dinner waiting for me when I get home, but I’m the worst at actually getting the slow cooker going in the morning before I leave for work. This Chicken Curry is so easy and requires minimal prep. To make it even easier, I like to go ahead and put everything, minus the chicken, in the slow cooker insert the night before, then stick it in the fridge. The next morning, all I have to do is take the insert out of the fridge and add the frozen chicken. We like to eat it with naan, rice, quinoa, or roasted cauliflower.

  Chicken Curry (Slow Cooker)

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, frozen
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 medium red potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can tomatoes- stewed (or diced work fine too!)
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

Directions:

Place all of the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-9 hours. Shred the chicken before serving.

 

Recipe slightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Main Dish

Chicken Ranch Wraps

Grab a rotisserie chicken while you’re at the grocery store, or use some leftover cooked chicken, and you can have these Chicken Ranch Wraps ready in no time! I’ve even used turkey from the deli counter! These are great for hot summer nights, when you don’t want to be heating up the kitchen…or when you’re just plain tired and don’t feel like cooking.

This is more of a method that an actual recipe- change it up and make it your own! If you don’t like tomatoes, leave them off! Love bacon? That would be a fantastic addition!

Chicken Ranch Wraps

Ingredients:

  • Tortillas
  • Rotiserrie Chicken, leftover cooked chicken, or deli turkey/chicken
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Ranch (store bought, or homemade)
  • Avocado sliced

Directions:

Wrap everything up in a tortilla and devour!

Sides

Roasted Vegetables

“Mom, can I have more broccoli, please?” Hearing that never gets old! If you haven’t tried roasting vegetables yet, you don’t know what you’re missing! Something magical happens when they’re in the oven. My kids eat them like candy- right off the pan! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed we eat some form of roasted veggies at least 2 or 3 times a week! They’re so quick and easy, and they’re the perfect side-dish to just about any meal!

Once you get the method down, you’ll be a veggie roasting machine! A few of our favorites are broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus. The directions are the same for each, but the cooking times vary. I keep a note on my fridge with the oven temperature and cooking times for each veggie so I don’t have to look it up each time!

Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable of your choice
    • for broccoli or cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
    • for asparagus, break off the tough ends
  • Oil (Olive or Avocado)
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the vegetables on the sheet and drizzle with oil. Don’t drown them in oil- you just want enough to lightly coat them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the veggies around (I use my hands) and then spread out into one layer. Bake as directed below, stirring once during cooking. Keep an eye on them towards the end of cooking time. We love them when they start to look a little burnt!

  • Broccoli- 15-20 minutes
  • Cauliflower- 18-20 minutes
  • Asparagus- 10 minutes

Roasted Broccoli

Roasted Cauliflower