Yummy Crispy Kale Chips | 4 Seasoning Options

Kale Chips youmakeitsimple.com

When it comes to healthy snacks, kale chips are one of my favorites! These chips are yummy, crispy, and easy to make. I am going to show you four different seasoning options.

Why is kale so healthy?

Kale is among the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Eating more kale is a great way to dramatically increase the total nutrient content of your diet.

It’s loaded with:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Manganese
  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium

It also contains vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), iron, and phosphorus

Get the full scoop HERE.

kale chips types of kale

There are several different types of kale. The most common are Curly, Red, and Lacinato. Any of these types of kale will make great kale chips and it is just your preference as they all have different characteristics.

oven pre heat

Kale Chips Preparation

Preheat oven to 250°

cutting out spine of kale

Cut out the spine: The center spine of kale is dense and fibrous and you’ll want to cut or rip it off. I find that cutting along the spine with a knife is the quickest and most efficient.

Rip or cut the kale into uniform pieces, about 3 inches. (It will shrink significantly while baking).

Clean the kale: Place the kale in a big bowl of water. Swish around to clean it well. Drain.

Dry: The key to a crispy kale chip is to make sure it is completely dry! I like to use a “salad spinner” and then pat the kale dry with a dishcloth.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Now the kale is ready to add your choice of seasoning.

sea salt kale chips

Simple Sea Salt & Olive Oil Kale Chips

Ingredients:

  • One bunch of Kale
  • 2 tsp. Olive Oil (approximate)
  • Sea Salt

 

ranch kale chips

Ranch Seasoned Kale Chips

Ingredients:

nutritional yeast kale chips

Cheesy Kale Chips

Ingredients:

  • One bunch of Kale
  • 2 tsp. Olive Oil (approximate)
  • Approximately 2 TB Nutritional Yeast

Sesame Seeds & Olive Oil

Ingredients:

  • One bunch of Kale
  • 2 tsp. Olive Oil (approximate)
  • 1 -2 TB raw Sesame Seeds
kale chips baking

Kale Chips Baking Instructions

Place kale on a lined baking sheet so that the leaves are NOT OVERLAPPING, and then put the pans in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and flip leaves over. Put the pans back in the oven and bake another 10 minutes. (If you are using two baking sheets, rotate the one on top to the bottom).

 ***Some types of kale will cook faster than others, so it’s a good idea to just peek in and check them. You don’t want to overcook. When the kale is crisp, remove it from the oven.

storing kale chips

How to Store Kale Chips

If you’re not going to eat them straight away, store them in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid.

They will be good for up to a week, if they last that long.

There you have it, a yummy, crispy AND healthy snack. Enjoy!

Yummy Crispy Kale Chips | 4 Seasoning Options

Kale Chips youmakeitsimple.com

A yummy, crispy and healthy snack. The recipe includes four savory seasoning options. 

  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time30 min
  • Total Time40 min
  • Ready in40
  • Yield4 cups
  • Serving Size1/2 cup

Ingredients

Sea Salt Kale Chips

    • One bunch of Kale
    • 2 tsp. Olive Oil (approximate)
    • Sea Salt
     

Ranch Seasoned Kale Chips

Cheesy Kale Chips

    • One bunch of Kale
    • 2 tsp. Olive Oil (approximate)
    • Approximately 2 TB Nutritional Yeast

Sesame Seeds & Olive Oil Kale Chips

    • Sesame Seeds & Olive Oil
    • One bunch of Kale
    • 2 tsp. Olive Oil (approximate)
    • 1 -2 TB raw Sesame Seeds

INSTUCTIONS

1

Place kale on lined baking sheet so that the leaves are NOT OVERLAPPING, and then put the pans in the oven

 
2

Bake for 20 minutes.

3

Remove from the oven and flip leaves over. Put the pans back in the oven and bake another 10 minutes. (If you are using two baking sheets, rotate the one on top to the bottom).

***Some types of kale will cook faster than others, so it’s a good idea to just peek in and check them. You don’t want to overcook. 

4

When the kale is crisp, remove from the oven.

5

If you’re not going to eat them straight away, store them in a glass container with a tight fitting lid.

They will be good for up to a week, if they last that long.

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Spunky 101-Year-Old Woman Gives Advice on Living Healthy Life

June Brown

Last year I interviewed one of my friends and yoga students about her lifestyle. This spunky 101-year-old woman has been a blessing and an inspiration in my life and I can’t let her story go untold any longer. The advice she gives for living a healthy life is very simple and I hope you find it uplifting and inspiring.

In 2006 June started attending my chair yoga class at the local senior center where I volunteer. I was amazed then at her abilities and strength for an 87-year-old; however, what is crazy is that fourteen years later she hasn’t slowed down much and is still exercising daily.

June lives independently, cooks her meals, cleans her home, and does a little gardening. Her mind is sharp and she shows no sign of dementia. She carries on a conversation like someone half her age. 

The only complaint she has about her health is that her hearing is not as good as she’d like it to be. She does have arthritis and can’t crochet and knit as she would like, but she doesn’t complain. Both of her knees have been replaced and she had a hip replacement a few years back at the age of 98. AMAZING! There are not very many 98 years olds fit enough to go through a hip replacement at that age.

I asked June what medications she takes if any, and she replied saying she takes calcium and iron and a few other vitamins. I chuckled inside and got it out of her that the only pharmaceutical medication she takes is a thyroid pill, no blood pressure meds, arthritis pills, etc. AMAZING!

SHOULD LIVING TO BE A 101-YEAR-OLD BE OUR GOAL?

I must admit, I’m not sure I want to live to be 101 years old. There have been many days when I drop June off from yoga class and drive away with tears streaming down my face, tears because I am feeling that life just isn’t fair. How come this 100-year-old feels better than me?

You see, for someone a little over half her age, I do have health challenges and don’t feel so great most days despite my efforts to live a healthy lifestyle, I am still faced with the fact that yes, I do have to rely on some medications because my health is not perfect. This can be a little wearing on the soul.  

I don’t want you to think just because I’m posting about a wonderful 101-year-old, we SHOULD all strive to live this age. The point I want to make is that we should focus on the quality of our life, not how long we live. Not all of us are meant to live this long or are meant to have great health as June has been blessed with. (My amazing husband has to keep reminding me of this on those days when I am depressed and overwhelmed with my health challenges).

I am going to share with you some of June’s advice and I think its good stuff to know and apply whatever your age or health status.

If you don’t feel good or have perfect health at age 50 or 100, that doesn’t mean your defective or that something is wrong with you!

ADVICE FROM A 101-YEAR-OLD

1 -GET UP EARLY

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” – Ben Franklin

June wakes up at 6:00 a.m. every day. Not saying you have to get up that early every day, but I will admit, when I get up early I do feel much better and my day goes much smoother. Here is a good article that gives 15 benefits of waking up early.

2 –EAT WHOLE FOODS, NOT JUNK FOOD.

June prepares her meals from whole foods. She very rarely eats out and doesn’t have a lot of snacks and processed foods in her house. She makes a lot of soups and freezes the leftovers for other meals. June makes a green smoothie several times a week and juices celery several times a week. (The juicing and smoothie making is something she has learned about and incorporated just the past 3 years). I love the fact that she is willing to try new things!

3 –CONSUME THE LARGEST MEAL AT LUNCHTIME

June eats her largest meal at lunchtime. She said if she eats a big meal at night, she has acid reflux issues. My grandparents were farmers, and they ate their big meal at lunchtime as well. There are some noted benefits that you can read about HERE.

4 –LIMIT TIME IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION

June does not watch a lot of television. She gets up early to watch her favorite religious program and does watch the news here and there, but that’s about it.

5 –LIMIT CELL PHONE AND GAMING TIME

June advises on having children and adults to not spend so much time using cell phones and game devices. We all know this can be problematic, right? BALANCE IS THE KEY.

6 –GET TOGETHER WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Spending quality time with friends or loved ones is good for the soul. June gets together with her children and grandchildren for dinner every Sunday and other special events. She advises this for others and finds an important part of healthy living. There are other noted health benefits.

7 –READ GOOD BOOKS

9 –DAILY MOVEMENT

June told me one day, “If you don’t move it, you lose it”. This is so true and it is one thing that inspires me about June. She still exercises every day! Before she even gets out of bed she does several exercises and stretches right there in her bed. Some of the exercises she does are listed here in this post and video tutorial.

June does 10-15 sit-ups every morning in her bed. Yep. I think to myself if a 101-year-old can do this, so can I. (Not that I do it every day, I do it more regularly). She is truly inspiring, right? Now I know some of us young folks can’t even do one sit up. The key is to work up to it. Once you can do something, KEEP DOING IT! 

I hope to be doing some of these things as long as I live. Like doing a cartwheel, I want to be able to do a cartwheel when I’m 90.

10-HAVE A GOOD ATTITUDE

Having a good attitude is half the battle. Our thoughts are HUGE. There is a quote that I love and that I have written on my chalkboard in my kitchen.

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”. Shakespeare

June has a good attitude and complains very little when I am around her.

Play Video

So there you have it, my friends. Some things for you to ponder and hopefully implement into your daily schedule if you can. Don’t do these things so you can live to bea 101-Year-Old, but do them to improve the quality of your life starting right now!

Don’t be overwhelmed and think just because a 101-year-old can do all these things that you have to do them too. We are all different and experience different things. Listen to your body, and be good to it.

With love,

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Quinoa & Bean Salad | Lime Cilantro Dressing

Are you ready to open your mind and palate to a new brightly colored and yummy salad? This versatile and delicious quinoa & black bean salad is just the ticket. Loaded with nutrition and flavor, this salad can be eaten alone or as a side dish.

We (my husband and I) have been trying to step up our healthy eating game the past month. A more plant based way of eating is what we’re shooting for. Of course, we go through cycles. Years ago we were totally plant based eaters for almost 2 years. Slowly we started adding things back into our diet and bam, now we have to go through withdrawals again. I LOVE CHEESE!

Food is a funny thing. So many philosophies and theories out there, but what I always come back to is to and feel good about is eating whole foods. I love Michael Pollan’s way of thinking about food. He summed it up in seven words-

“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

If you want a good read about how he thinks, this is a good book.

The base of this salad is quinoa. Not familiar with quinoa? You can read more about the awesomness of this little seed here in THIS POST. As for now, I hope you’ll give it a whirl in this salad recipe. It is so easy to make, especially if you have an Instant Pot, and it is so versatile.

Let’s get back to the black bean & quinoa salad.

I will list the ingredients; however, you can add or take away whatever you please. This recipe is so easy to modify to your liking, adding different veggies, or herbs as you like. I will give you some yummy suggestions

quinoa & bean salad Ingredients (serves 4-6)

Salad

  • 1  1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • chickpeas, 1 can 
  • kidney beans (black beans are good also), 1 can 
  • 1 cucumber, quartered and chopped (peel if not organic)
  • 1-2 tomatoes, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 TB chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled (cook quinoa while chopping veggies)
  • optional additions: black olives, avocado, pumpkin seeds, green onion, chopped carrots

Dressing

  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB plum vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cooking the quinoa

Stove top method:

  • Rinse 1 cup quinoa well in a fine strainer.
  • Place 2 cups water and quinoa in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil.
  • Turn heat on low, cover and cook 15 minutes.
  • Let cool and fluff with fork.

Instant Pot Method:

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl or jar, mix olive oil, vinegar, and spices.
  2. Chop vegetables.
  3. Drain and rinse beans.
  4. In a large bowl, add beans, veggies, and quinoa.
  5. Pour dressing over the top and mix well.
  6. Chill and serve.
This makes a great lunch served with corn chips, or flat bread.
 
Enjoy!

Quinoa & Bean Salad | Lime Cilantro Dressing

Are you ready to open your mind and palate to a new brightly colored and yummy salad? This versatile and delicious quinoa & black bean salad is just the ticket. Loaded with nutrition and flavor, this salad can be eaten alone or as a side dish.

  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time12 min
  • Total Time22 min
  • Serving Size6

Ingredients

Salad

    • 1  1/2 cups cooked quinoa
    • chickpeas, 1 can 
    • kidney beans (black beans are good also), 1 can 
    • 1 cucumber, quartered and chopped (peel if not organic)
    • 1-2 tomatoes, chopped
    • juice of 1 lime
    • 3 TB chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled (cook quinoa while chopping veggies)
    • optional additions: black olives, avocado, pumpkin seeds, green onion, chopped carrots

Dressing

    • 2 TB olive oil
    • 1 TB plum vinegar or red wine vinegar
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp cumin
    • salt and pepper to taste

Stove top method

1
  • Rinse 1 cup quinoa well in a fine strainer.
2
  • Place 2 cups water and quinoa in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil.
3
  • Turn heat on low, cover and cook 15 minutes.
4
  • Let cool and fluff with fork.

Instant Pot method

6

Instructions

7
  1. In a small bowl or jar, mix olive oil, vinegar, and spices.
  2. Chop vegetables.
  3. Drain and rinse beans.
  4. In a large bowl, add beans, veggies, and quinoa.
  5. Pour dressing over the top and mix well.
  6. Chill and serve.
8
This makes a great lunch served with corn chips, or flat bread.
 
Enjoy!

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8 Warming & Healthy Instant Pot Soup Recipes

We’re still in the thick of winter and there is nothing better than a warming & healthy bowl of SOUP! Here are eight of our family’s favorite Instant Pot soup recipes.

My favorite way to make up a batch of soup is with Instant Pot. I love this appliance. (As you all know). Seriously we use this pot almost every day for something. I’ve taken most my soup recipes and converted them with Instant Pot instructions. It makes it so much easier! No babysitting while cooking. It’s just throw everything in and go do something else for 30 minutes. 

our favorite instant pot soup recipes

1-Hamburger soup

This is a simple, hearty soup my mother used to make. It’s not spicy, but naturally flavorful. Just a good meat and potato flavor that soothes the soul. I need to mention that it is so easy to make. Something you can whip up even if you don’t have a lot of time.

This is a simple, hearty soup my mother used to make. It’s not spicy, but naturally flavorful. Just a good meat and potato flavor that soothes the soul. I need to mention that it is so easy to make. Something you can whip up even if you don’t have a lot of time.

2-chicken “zoodle” soup

This is a version of “chicken noodle soup” but I’ve used spiralized zucchini instead of noodles. However, you can use real flour noodles or egg noodles if you want. This is a good basic chicken broth and veggie soup. 

That brings us to the next thing, bone broth.

3-Bone Broth

This golden liquid, known as bone broth, is not only yummy but has all these healing properties: Boosts the immune system

  • Can heal a leaky gut
  • Repair damaged joints
  • Create glowing skin
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Builds lean muscle

So why not use it in all your chicken stalk soup based recipes.

4-Creamy Wild rice & mushroom soup

Oh this soup is good! Creamy, flavorful and chuck full of goodness. This is a soup that you can either add chicken or not, and it will still taste wonderful. 

It makes a nice soup for a luncheon, served with a salad.

 

5-Three bean chili

3 bean chili - Instant pot

This chili recipe is the best I’ve ever tasted. Once again, not too spicy and just simple goodness. If you do like it spicy, like my husband, you can just add more chili powder to your bowl. This chili is good with or without meat. I usually make up two pots, one with meat and one without. 

This is a good one to freeze for later. Well, they all are!

6-Zucchini basil

Not the most visual appealing soup, but it DOES taste yummy!

A nice soup to make in the summer months when you have a lot of zucchini and basil in the garden. It’s still a good one in the winter too.

7-Olive Garden Minestrone Soup

For those of you who love the Olive Garden minestrone soup, this taste just like it. Another veggie bean soup that is wonderful and again, easy to make.

8-Kitcheree 

instant pot soup recipes

Kitcheree is a traditional Indian food made from split mung beans and basmati rice. It is indeed a wonder food! It’s easy to digest, and cleansing to the digestive system.

The combination of the rice and beans make it a complete protein, so it can be a great protein source if you are vegetarian. When prepared with all the fixings, this meal encompasses all the six tastes, which in Ayurveda is part of eating a balanced diet, as each taste feeds our body, mind, senses and spirit and satisfies each of the dietary building blocks

So there you have it, eight different Instant Pot soup recipes that you can try. 

You know what goes really well with a bowl of soup? Corn bread and biscuits go hand in hand with our soup meals and my husband is usually the one that steps in to make them. 

Here is the recipe for a good basic corn bread, and my mother-in-laws biscuits. Yummy, yum!

jan

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Muesli: A Breakfast Recipe Super Star

muesli breakfast bowl

Finding something for breakfast that is healthy, tasty and that will sustain you until lunch, can be a tricky thing. One of my breakfast’s go- to’s, and something that has it all, is MUESLI.

What is muesli?

Muesli, pronouncedMEWZ-lee” is a cold oatmeal dish based on rolled oats and ingredients like grains, nuts, seeds and fresh or dried fruits. This mix may be combined with one or more liquids like milk, almond milk, other plant milks, yogurt and left for a time to soften the oats before being consumed.

It was developed around 1900 by a Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital, where a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables was an essential part of therapy. Muesli was not originally intended as a breakfast food, but as an appetizer similar to bread and butter.

Need something substantial for breakfast?

My system does not do well with the standard breakfast of pancakes and eggs, or even most rain cereals. If I eat those kinds of foods for breakfast, I am hungry and searching for something to at 10:00 am. 

When I eat my muesli, it will be like 1:00 in the afternoon, and I’ll look at the clock and realize that, wow I should probably eat some lunch. (Now that is not typical for me). I am usually snacking and ready for my lunch by 11:00. I love this stuff.

It is very easy to make and tastes GREAT!

muesli ingredients

This is just the basic ingredients, but feel free to add or delete whatever you please. I don’t really measure things out, just throw things in. 

Muesli Ingredients:

Nut in blender muesli

In your blender or food processor, add

  • Raw, (if at all possible) Unpasteurized Almonds- 1 cup
  • A couple handfuls of Walnuts- 1 cup
  • About a 1/2 cup of Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • A few Soft Medjool dates (with the pits removed) or pre-chopped dates work too. (The soft Medjool dates make it taste almost like caramel apples) I get my dates at Costco.
muesli nut mix

Pulse until the nuts are chopped well, but not too fine.

If you blend too long, it will get soft and become nut butter.

Take the mixture out of your blender and add some of these optional ingredients.

  • Cinnamon to taste ( a couple of teaspoons)
  • Chia Seeds (which are chuck full of nutrition) check out this site for more info
  • Ground Flax Seeds are good and good for you.
  • Dried Unsweetened Coconut
  • Raw Sesame Seeds

I like to make a bunch and put it in a zip bag or container and keep it in the freezer for the rest of the family to eat during the week.

muesli blender apples

Add a Cored Apple to your blender.

Pulse until chopped well.  

muesli chopped or grated apple
muesli veggi chopper

A SIMPLE cheese grater works nicely too, or you can use this handy device that is great for chopping fruits and veggies.

muesli breakfast bowl

Add some plain YOGURT, CHOPPED STRAWBERRIES, BLUEBERRIES, CHOPPED BANANA or whatever else your heart desires. 

Top with a little grade B pure maple syrup.

(Grade B has not been stripped of the many beneficial minerals and nutrients)  I prefer the taste of it over the grade A.

LEARN HOW TO EASILY MAKE YOUR OWN GREEK YOGURT HERE.

The nut mix in itself can be a breakfast entree. Pour milk, nut milk, rice, oat milk or soy milk over the top for a non-grain cereal option.

It’s almost like dessert for breakfast. 

Muesli: A Breakfast Recipe Super Star

muesli breakfast bowl

An easy to make grain free breakfast. Yummy oats, nut mix, berries and yogurt or nut milk make a hearty meal to start your day.

  • Prep Time10 min
  • Total Time10 min
  • Serving Size4 Servings
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Ingredients

    • Raw, (if at all possible) Unpasteurized Almonds- 1 cup
    • A couple handfuls of Walnuts- 1 cup
    • About a 1/2 cup of Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
    • A few Soft Medjool dates (with the pits removed) or pre-chopped dates work too. (The soft Medjool dates make it taste almost like caramel apples) I get my dates at Costco.
[MEDIAVINE EXAMPLE AD SPACE 2]

INSTUCTIONS

1

PULSE nuts, oats, and dates UNTIL THE NUTS ARE CHOPPED WELL, BUT NOT TOO FINE. If you blend too long, it will get soft and become nut butter.

2

TAKE THE MIXTURE OUT OF YOUR BLENDER AND ADD the other ingredients.

3

Add the apple to the blender and pulse to chop. Or chop with knife, veggie cutter or grater.

4

ADD SOME PLAIN YOGURT, CHOPPED STRAWBERRIES, BLUEBERRIES, CHOPPED BANANA OR WHATEVER ELSE YOUR HEART DESIRES.

5

Add some plain YOGURT, CHOPPED STRAWBERRIES, BLUEBERRIES, CHOPPED BANANA or whatever else your heart desires. 

6

TOP WITH A LITTLE GRADE B PURE MAPLE SYRUP. (GRADE B HAS NOT BEEN STRIPPED OF THE MANY BENEFICIAL MINERALS AND NUTRIENTS) I PREFER THE TASTE OF IT OVER THE GRADE A.

7

The nut mix in itself can be a breakfast entrée. Pour milk, nut milk, rice, oat milk or soy milk over the top for a non-grain cereal option.

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Instant Pot Brussel Sprouts – Quick, Healthy and Yummy

brussel sprouts
brussel sprouts pin

If you like brussel sprouts, the Instant Pot is a quick and easy way to cook them.

If you don’t like brussel sprouts, you may want to give them a try. These little cabbage tasting gems are packed full of health benefits and CAN be quite tasty if prepared the right way. We like to steam them in the Instant Pot and then place them under the broiler for a few minutes. This gives them a little carmely, crunchy flavor. Yum, yum!

Why Brussel Sprouts are good for you

1-Helps Protect Against Cancer with Antioxidants & Phytochemicals

2-Provides Bone Building Vitamin K

3-Contains Immune Boosting Vitamin C

4-Fights Inflammation and Heart Disease

5-Good For Digestive Health

6-Protects Eyes & Skin Health

7-Contains Potassium For Proper Nerve Function

8-Improves Brain Health

9-Contains Folate Which Helps With Healthy Pregnancy

10-Helps Balance Blood Sugar and Fights Diabetes

You can get the full scoop on Dr. Axe’s website.

How to prepare brussel sprouts in the Instant Pot

brussel sprouts

Did you know brussel sprouts grow on a stem like this? I had no idea until a few years ago. My Dad grew a lot of different vegetables, but he didn’t grow these. I think they are the coolest thing ever.

Once in a while you will see them in the produce section still on the stalks, or at a farmers market. They will be a lot fresher on the stem, but are still good off the stem. Costco sells organic frozen brussel sprouts, which is ideal. No cutting and washing.

Wash and trim the sprouts

brussel sprouts

Cut off the stem ends and peel off the outer layer. This can be a little tedious, but a good opportunity to slow down and be a little mindful of the task you are doing.

The sprouts can vary in size. If the sprouts are big, say 2 inches, I like to cut them in half. 1 inch sprouts are good to just leave whole. Throw the stems and outer leaves in garbage or compost.

Place in Steam Basket

brussel sprouts

I love this steam basket. It fits great in the Instant Pot. I use it to steam all my veggies and it works well to cook hard boiled eggs in. It gets used a ton. It is a little pricey, but it is stainless steel and very durable!

Add 1 cup water to the pot.

Place the Instant Pot lid on and set timer

Instant Pot brussel sprouts

Press the “MANUAL” button and adjust time down to 3 minutes for small sprouts or ones that are cut in half and 4 minutes for whole sprouts. Flip the valve for pressure.

When the beeper sounds, flip valve to “QUICK RELEASE

Serve like this, or to crisp the edges in the broiler (optional).

brussel sprouts

to broil

Turn the oven onto “BROIL”. Place a sheet of parchment paper onto a cookie sheet. Spread the steamed sprouts onto the pan in a single layer. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and sprinkle with salt or garlic salt. Place in the oven for a few minutes until cooked to your liking.

brussel sprouts olive oil

You gotta love this! Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese (optional) and ENJOY!

You may be interested in some other INSTANT POT RECIPES.

Instant Pot Brussel Sprouts – Quick, Healthy and Yummy

brussel sprouts

How to prepare brussel sprouts in the Instant Pot

  • Prep Time5 min
  • Cook Time4 min
  • Total Time9 min
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Ingredients

    • Brussel sprouts (Washed with ends cut off and fist layer removed)
    • 1 cup water
    • Optional: Olive oil and garlic salt
[MEDIAVINE EXAMPLE AD SPACE 2]

INSTUCTIONS

1

Trim ends off washed brussel sprouts and remove first layer

2

Place in Steam Basket

3

Add 1 cup water to the pot

4

Place the Instant Pot lid on and set timer

Press the “MANUAL” button and adjust time down to 3 minutes for small sprouts or ones that are cut in half and 4 minutes for whole sprouts. Flip the valve for pressure.

When the beeper sounds, flip valve to “QUICK RELEASE

5

Serve like this, or to crisp the edges in the broiler (optional).

6

To broil

Turn the oven onto “BROIL”. Place a sheet of parchment paper onto a cookie sheet. Spread the steamed sprouts onto the pan in a single layer. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and sprinkle with salt or garlic salt. Place in the oven for a few minutes until cooked to your liking.

7

You gotta love this! Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese (optional) and ENJOY!

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Carrot Love – How To Make Carrot Hearts

My favorite holiday is just around the corner, VALENTINE’S DAY and one of my favorite colors is ORANGE. So what do you get when you put them together………..CARROT HEARTS! Making carrot hearts is really a lot easier than you think. I will show you how simple it is.

Throw these bright colored gems in:

  • salads

Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup 

  • soups
  • or just eat as snacks
  • Surprise the kids by throwing a handful of carrot hearts in their lunch box

WARNING…..This is not an activity for the little ones! (Give them a piece of pink paper and child scissors and let them make paper hearts).

In the next few posts I am going to show you some other fun ways to embellish your food with love (HEARTS).

How to make carrot hearts

You will need a few good size carrots, chopping knife, paring knife, and vegetable peeler.

It pays to use a GOOD peeler. Notice in the picture above how there is a difference in the size of the slit. The bigger the peeler slit, the deeper the gouge will be. You want the peeler to make a significant peel. If not, it takes a lot longer.

When I first started making these, I used a knife. It worked but I realized it wasn’t the safest route to take. This is a good vegetable peeler .

 

cut the end of the carrot off

Using the vegetable peeler, peel one side of the carrot off

peel the other side of the carrot off at an angle as shown above. It should form a V shape

Using the paring knife, cut a notch out at the top to form the indent of the heart

Then carefully cut a groove down the top center of carrot.

Take your time!

3-Using the paring knife, cut a notch out at the top to form the indentation of the heart

Then carefully cut a groove down the top center of the carrot.

Take your time!

Now take the peeler and soften the top and side edges to form a soft curve.

Take the chopper knife and cut into 1/4 inch pieces.

Ta dah!

Enjoy these crunchy, healthy and beautiful gems.

Stay tuned for more heart loven food ideas!

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Mock Tuna Salad – Using Soaked Raw Almonds

This raw almond mock tuna salad is a great option for a plant based meal. Make yourself a protein packed “tunaless” tasty sandwich, wrap, or snack. Eat it alone on a bed of lettuce, on top of a cracker, or on a thick slice of crispy cucumber. Any way you eat it, you won’t be disappointed. The finely chopped soaked almonds gives a nice texture, (just like a tuna salad) and are packed with nutrition.

What is the purpose of soaking almonds and seeds before eating?

In addition to changing the texture of the almonds, soaking helps make them more digestible. Softer almonds are easier to digest, which increases the amount of nutrients your body can absorb from the nut.

If you want to amp up the nutritional value of raw nuts and seeds, sprout them. Robyn Openshaw, one of my most favorite mentors on food and nutrition has a great video that explains the why and how to sprout almonds. You will LOVE her. I have been following her for many, many years.

Back to the mock tuna recipe. Once the almonds are soaked, it will only take you about 10 minutes to whip this up.

Prep Time: 15 minutes Plus 4-8 hours soak

Serves 4

Here is what you will need:

  • Food processor or high speed blender

I love my Blendtec!!!!! I use it pretty much every day, or several times a day. This link is a great option for a refurbished version, or Costco is selling them now for around $229. This is awesome, because over ten years ago, when I bought mine, I paid around $400 and it was well worth it!!!!! Could not live without it  Just in case you are thinking about getting a blender, don’t waste your money on anything else but a Blendtec or Vitamix.

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seed (optional)
  • 1-2 celery stalks – finely chopped
  • 1/2 clove garlic clove – minced (optional)
  • 1 green onion – finely chopped
  • 3-4 Tablespoons mayo of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 2-3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper (to taste)

Instructions:

1-  Soak almonds and sunflower seeds for 3 – 8 hours in water.

2- Drain and rinse

3- Place almonds in a food processor or high speed blender.

4-  Pulse until it is the consistency of flaked tuna.

5-  Place chopped almonds into a mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.

6-  Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve on crackers, cucumbers, bread, in a wrap or a bed of lettuce.

My husband put a dollop of salad on a cracker and then added a spoonful of salsa on top. It ended up being quite yummy. You’ll have to give it a whirl.

To make stuffed cucumber horderves, simply cut a cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.

Mock Tuna Salad – Using Soaked Raw Almonds

This raw almond mock tuna salad is a great option for a plant based meal. Make yourself a protein packed “tunaless” tasty sandwich, wrap, or snack.

  • Prep Time15 min
  • Total Time4 hr
  • Yield4 Servings
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Ingredients

    • 1 cup raw almonds
    • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seed (optional)
    • 1-2 celery stalks – finely chopped
    • 1/2 clove garlic clove – minced (optional)
    • 1 green onion – finely chopped
    • 3-4 Tablespoons mayo of your choice
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
    • 2-3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    • fresh ground pepper (to taste)
[MEDIAVINE EXAMPLE AD SPACE 2]

INSTUCTIONS

1

Soak almonds and sunflower seeds for 3 – 8 hours in water.

 
2

Drain and rinse

3

Place almonds in a food processor or high speed blender.

4

Pulse until it is the consistency of flaked tuna.

5

Place chopped almonds into a mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.

6

Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.

7

Serve on crackers, cucumbers, bread, in a wrap or a bed of lettuce.

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Toasted Pumpkin Seeds – A Healthy Snack

Are you looking for a healthy, nutritious snack? Shelled pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, have got you covered. These crunchy little gems are packed with nutrition and flavor!


Why are Pumpkin Seeds so healthy?

Protein: A single ¼ cup serving of pumpkin seeds provides a whopping 9 grams of protein. What a great plant based protein source!

Essential Fatty Acids: High in plant-based omega-3s (known as alpha-linolenic acid or ALA), pumpkin seeds can help lower inflammation levels and offer balance to your diet.

Dietary Fiber: Pumpkin seeds also provide three grams of soluble fiber to support a healthy digestive system. Foods that are high in fiber can help lower “LDL” bad cholesterol levels.

Minerals: Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of minerals like phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. Phosphorus is important for bone health, magnesium is involved in over 600 chemical reactions in the body and zinc supports the immune system.

Iron: A single serving of pumpkin seeds provides 15 percent of the recommended daily value for iron. This mineral is important for transporting oxygen-rich red blood cells throughout the body.

Antioxidants: Pumpkin seeds contain numerous compounds with antioxidant capabilities. One such compound, vitamin E, is available in a wide variety of forms in pumpkin seeds. Vitamin E offers significant protection against free radicals and toxins.

How do you eat them?

  • A Healthy Snack: Eat them by themselves or add them to trail mix. I like to throw a few handfuls in a little snack zip bag with a few figs for a quick on-the-go snack.
  • Sprinkle in Salads: Add a few spoonful’s to any salad. A great alternative to croutons! Love the crunch it adds to any salad.
  • Use as a Topping: Sprinkle on yogurt, fruit and oatmeal.
  • Baked Goods: Include these in muffins, granola bars, and even cookies.

Use your imagination; these crunchy seeds are good added to just about any dish. So if you want to add some nutrition to whatever you are eating, throw in some pumpkin seed goodness!

You can eat them raw, or toast them.

I love toasted and slightly seasoned pumpkin seeds. It is really quick and easy to toast them. I make up a batch with about 4 cups of seeds and store them in a glass jar. Then they are handy to grab when you need a little snack between meals or to throw a few in a salad.

to toast

  1. Add a small amount of oil to a fry pan or small sauce pan. I like to use avocado oil or coconut oil. 1 tablespoon of oil should be plenty.
  2. When the oil is hot, add seeds to pan. (I like to have two pans going at once, with about 2 cups of seeds per pan).
  3. Stir frequently.
  4. The seeds will start to pop and brown. They are complete when most of them have turned slightly brown and are toasted.
  5. Place in a bowl and add seasonings or a little salt if you desire.

Seasoning Ideas

This is a good spice blend that has onion, paprika, chili pepper, cumin, garlic, jalapeno pepper, coriander, red pepper, oregano, and lemon oil.

I like this blend!

Both of these blends do NOT have MSG, which is a big bonus.

Store in a glass container and a tight lid. These plastic lids are the best. I use them for everything.

There you have it: an easy, delicious and NUTRITIOUS snack.

Enjoy!

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds – A Healthy Snack

A basic ranch dressing that goes great with everything.

  • Prep Time5 min
  • Total Time5 min
  • Yield4 Batches
  • Meta LabelLabel Value
  • Course
    • Condiment
  • Attribute Label
    • Attibute Values

Ingredients

Dressing Mix

    • Garlic powder, 1 tsp.
    • Dried Onion Flakes, 4 tsp.
    • Dried Parsley Flakes,  4 Tablespoons ( or 2 Tablespoons fresh)
    • Black Pepper, 2 tsp.
    • Salt, 2 tsp.
    • Onion Powder, 2 tsp
    *2 Tablespoons of prepared mix equals one store bought packet.Simply add all the ingredients to a jar and shake well. Label the jar and store with rest of your spices.

Single Batch

    • Garlic powder, 1/4 tsp.
    • Dried Onion Flakes, 1 tsp.
    • Dried Parsley Flakes,  1 Tablespoons ( or 2 Tablespoons fresh)
    • Black Pepper, 1/2 tsp.
    • Salt, 1/2 tsp.
    • Onion Powder, 1/2 tsp
    Use the mix to make dips, salad dressing and other recipes that call for Ranch Dressing Mix.

Ranch Salad Dressing

    • 1 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 cup buttermilk ( if you don’t have buttermilk, no worries).  Add one tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup, and add enough milk until it measures 1 cup
    • Add dry ingredients listed above.
    • Whisk well and enjoy!
    The flavor will improve after sitting a bit.

INSTUCTIONS

1

Add all ingredients to small glass jar and shake well.

 
2

2 Tablespoons of mix equals 1 store bought packet.

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Olive Garden Salad Dressing Recipe – MSG and High Fructose Corn Syrup FREE

Olive Garden Salad dressing

If you have been to the Olive Garden restaurant then you know how yummy their Italian salad dressing is. If not, you need to try it.  The dressing is available in most stores, but have you checked out the ingredients? It’s not too bad, but if you are trying to AVOID high fructose corn syrup or MSG, and you would like it to have better quality oil, then this recipe is for you! It tastes spot on delicious without all the yucky stuff added.

Olive Garden Salad Dressing

What is so bad about High Fructose Corn Syrup anyway?

Dr. Mark Hyman stated in an article from the Huffington Post why you should NEVER consume High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).

“In America today, we are eating huge doses of sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup. It is sweeter and cheaper than regular sugar and is in every processed food and sugar-sweetened drink. Purging it from your diet is the single best thing you can do for your health!”

In this post from Dr. Axe, he gives some interesting information.

9 dangers of eating High Fructose Corn Syrup

1.     Weight gain

2.     Cancer

3.     Fatty liver & liver stress

4.     Increased cholesterol levels

5.     Diabetes

6.     High blood pressure

7.     Heart disease

8.     Leaky gut

9.     Increased mercury intake

What are your options for alternatives?

One of my favorite mentors on health and nutrition is Robyn Openshaw. I have been following her for many, many years and she hasn’t ever steered me wrong. She now has a podcast that I am going HIGHLY recommend you start following! In podcast #10 Robyn goes over the good, the bad and the ugly of sugar. Not only does she talk about how bad the stuff is for us, she gives some great ideas of what to use to sweeten our foods. Love it, and love her!

What is the deal with MSG?

MSG, monosodium glutamate is a flavor enhancer added to thousands of the foods you and your family regularly eat, especially if you are like most Americans and eat the majority of your food as processed foods or in restaurants. It is highly addictive and makes food taste better.

Most people DON’T know that MSG has been linked to brain damage, tumors, and lesions, nervous system and endocrine problems. You can see many studies (144 at last count) at pubmed.com on how rats have been injected with MSG to make them obese for studying diabetes.

Dr. Mercola in his opening statement from a post on his website said,

”A widespread and silent killer that’s worse for your health than alcohol, nicotine and many drugs is likely lurking in your kitchen cabinets right now.”

He is referring to MSG.

I don’t like to cause alarm and bring FEAR into eating, however, I do feel driven to share some of these things that I have learned with you. In our home, we have been trying to clean up our eating habits for many years. We have done it a little at a time and and most of it seems like second nature now. We read labels, we avoid high fructose corn syrup, we haven’t drank milk for over 7 years, and we avoid things with MSG like the plaque. It is a process that you go through a little at a time, once you become aware of what is good and what isn’t.

Make adjustments a little at a time

I know it may not seem like a big deal, because EVERYONE is eating this stuff. You may also be thinking that you can’t avoid it, but you CAN and you NEED to. Start reading labels and be brave enough to just put it back on the shelf if it has these substances in it. It is NOT worth it! Doesn’t it always go back to eating as many WHOLE FOODS as possible? Easier said than done, I know. Do the best you can, enjoy food, enjoy eating it.

Enough of that stuff. Let’s get back to information on how to make a yummy salad dressing that you won’t have to stress over.

This is what you need

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Italian Dressing Mix I make my own using this awesome recipe, or you can use one Italian Season packets that come in the store. However, make sure there are no nasty ingredients in there.
  • ¼ cup white distilled vinegar
  • ¾ cup olive oil, or avocado oil can be used
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ Tablespoon mayonnaise
Olive Garden Salad Dressing

This is what you do

  • Simply add all the ingredients to a glass jar and shake. I love these plastic lids. These lids come in handy for so many things. You can get them here.
Olive Garden Salad Dressing
  • The dressing will settle and separate, as no emulsifiers have been added (this is a good thing!)
  • Give it a good shake when you are ready to use it.

Olive Garden Salad Dressing Recipe – MSG and High Fructose Corn Syrup FREE

Olive Garden Salad dressing

This is a spot on Olive Garden Salad dressing without the MSG and High fructose corn syrup. 

  • Prep Time5 min
  • Total Time5 min
  • Course
    • Dressing

Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Italian Dressing Mix I make my own using this awesome recipe, or you can use one Italian Season packets that come in the store. However, make sure there are no nasty ingredients in there.
    • ¼ cup white distilled vinegar
    • ¾ cup olive oil, or avocado oil can be used
    • ¼ cup water
    • ½ teaspoon sugar (optional)
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ Tablespoon mayonnaise

INSTUCTIONS

1

Simply add all the ingredients to a glass jar and shake.

 

So there you have it! Wasn’t that simple?

See, eating healthy doesn’t have to be HARD  or complicated. I hope this gives you a resource for a yummy, healthy dressing.

Enjoy preparing, and eating a yummy salad!

Cheers!

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Cilantro: The Benefits, Uses and How To Keep It Fresh

Cilantro is a beautiful bright green leafy herb that is commonly used in guacamole, salsa, curries, noodle dishes, and chimichurri sauces. Cilantro has a very distinct citrus flavor. Either you like it or you don’t. I personally love its fresh pungent flavor. Its seeds are called coriander and are often used as a cooking spice. Not only does this flavorful, bright herb taste fabulous, it also has many health benefits and healing properties.

Here are just a few of reasons you should add it to your diet

  • It is a great source of vitamins and minerals
  • A small amount delivers the full daily value of vitamin A and K and is rich in vitamin C, potassium, and manganese.
  • Cleanses the body of toxic metals.

Cilantro supports the body’s natural detoxification processes. Compounds in the leaf bind to toxic metals and loosen them from affected tissue. This process allows metals to be released from the body naturally. If you don’t care for the taste, there are supplements that contain cilantro extract.

  • Relieves nausea
  • Prevents gas and bloating
  • Relieves indigestion and heartburn
  • Ease stomach cramps
  • Aids in efficient digestion

Cilantro produces digestive enzymes that aid in the breakdown of foods. In many cuisines, fresh cilantro accompanies hot and spicy dishes because of its cooling effects. So when you see that little sprig of cilantro on your dish, it’s not just for aesthetics! EAT IT!

  • Known to calm the nerves, and can improve sleep quality through its natural sedative effects.

How to use it?

salads, entrees, and soups

While coriander seeds can be added throughout the cooking process, fresh cilantro actually loses its strength, and health benefits when introduced to heat. It is best to add fresh chopped cilantro leaves just prior to serving in hot dishes. It can be added at any time for raw foods like salsas, guacamole, and smoothies.

 

Smoothies & Juicing

Throw a handful into your smoothies.

When I juice vegetables, I like to add a small handful of cilantro. It gives it such a fresh clean taste. However, I recommend not sending it through the juicer, it will just shred it. After you have put all the other veggies or fruits through the juicer, pour the juice into a blender and then add the cilantro. Blend until smooth. This way you will actually get some cilantro (the juice and the fiber).

Here is a recipe for a really yummy cilantro lime dressing.

How to keep cilantro FRESH?

It’s not very fun reaching in the vegetable crisper and pulling out a slimy wad of cilantro when you had counted on it for a particular recipe. I have tried several methods for keeping it fresh longer and some didn’t work so well. This particular method works like a charm. This is what you do.

1- First of all, I do recommend buying organic when you can.

2- Thoroughly wash.

 

3- Trim the bottom ends of the stems.

4- Place the cilantro in a small mason jar or glass. ( I like to use a narrow mouth jar). Fill the jar at least half way full with cool water. Just like a little bouquet of flowers, you can enjoy a beautiful bunch of green goodness right inside your refrigerator.

5- Make an HERB TENT. Take the bag from the produce department and place it over the herb. Puff it up so there is some air in it and gather the bag around the bottom and tuck it underneath the jar.

 

6- Place in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. (If you don’t eat it all sooner). Check it occasionally to make sure it still has enough water in it.

Since you have already washed it, you can now easily just clip off what you need. This works really well with parsley as well.

Enjoy a little green goodness, start eating cilantro now!

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Whole Roasted Chicken – Instant Pot

roasted chicken

Cooking a delicious, flavorful tender roasted chicken has never been easier than in the Instant Pot. Who would have thought that you could roast a chicken in a pressure cooker and have it turn out so fabulously? I didn’t until about a year ago when I found the “Jack Pot”. Pun intended! I am still loving the Instant Pot 7-in-1 pressure cooker and want to share with you yet another way to use it.

I have been cooking a whole chicken quite frequently, usually once a week. Sometimes I use the meat for soups, enchiladas, tacos, sandwiches or just eat plain with steamed vegetables and (if my husband is lucky) mashed potatoes and gravy. This recipe does leave some great drippings to make a nice gravy or a gelatin base for soups and other dishes.

What I like about roasting a chicken is that you can change it up and flavor it different ways. Sometimes I put the usual spices on it, and other times I switch it out with some other herbs and spice blends that I will include in this post.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes total

roasted chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 whole – 4 lb. organic chicken
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1½ cups Bone Broth or water can be substituted (use only 1/2 – 1 cup water if using a non-organic chicken)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • other desired seasoning and spices

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine paprika, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper
roasted chicken
  • Rub half of the seasoning mixture over outside of the bird
  • Turn on the saute setting on the Instant Pot and add the coconut oil
  • Once the oil is heated, add chicken, breast side down and cook 6-7 minutes until browned
  • Flip the chicken over so the breast is on top and apply the rest of the seasoning on the breast
  • Add broth to the side of the pan to avoid washing away the rub from the chicken
  • Lock pressure cooker lid and press the cancel button to reset for pressure cooking
Instant pot time 25 roasted chicken
  • Press “Poultry” and set for 40 minutes on high pressure.
  • Let the pressure cooker release naturally
roasted chicken
  • When pressure has released, remove the chicken from the pressure cooker and let stand covered with foil for 5 minutes before carving.
roasted chicken

Add some mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower, some steamed broccoli and you have a yummy meal.

roasted chicken

Save the drippings to put over your potatoes. I don’t even thicken it for gravy, but you can.

Spice Blends

Here are a few spice blends to try. Blend them up and store in little glass jars or labeled zip bags. These blends are a great way to add a little spice to any meat or dish.

Indian Spice Blend

  • 2 T onion powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Italian spice blend

1 tsp of each

  • oregano
  • basil
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • sage

Greek spice blend

  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 T oregano
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 2 tsp black pepper

Savory Spice Blend

  • 2 T fresh chopped rosemary leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • sprinkle of paprika to your liking
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Enjoy!

Whole Roasted Chicken – Instant Pot

roasted chicken

Cooking a delicious, flavorful tender roasted chicken has never been easier than in the Instant Pot. Who would have thought that you could roast a chicken in a pressure cooker and have it turn out so fabulously?

  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time45 min
  • Total Time55 min
[MEDIAVINE EXAMPLE AD SPACE 1]

Ingredients

    • 1 whole – 4 lb. organic chicken
    • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
    • 1½ cups Bone Broth or water can be substituted (use only 1/2 – 1 cup water if using a non-organic chicken)
    • 1 tsp. dried thyme
    • 1 tsp. paprika
    • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    • ½ tsp. sea salt
    • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
    • other desired seasoning and spices

Indian Spice Blend

    • 2 T onion powder
    • 1 tsp black pepper2 tsp garam masala
    • 2 tsp coriander
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp sea salt
    • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Italian spice blend

  • 1 tsp of each
    • oregano
    • basil
    • rosemary
    • thyme
    • sage

Greek Spice Blend

    • 2 T lemon juice
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 2 T oregano
    • 1 T garlic powder
    • 2 tsp black pepper

Savory Spice Blend

    • 2 T fresh chopped rosemary leaves
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • sprinkle of paprika to your liking
    • 1 tsp sea salt
[MEDIAVINE EXAMPLE AD SPACE 2]

INSTUCTIONS

1

In a small bowl, combine paprika, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper

 
2

Rub half of the seasoning mixture over outside of the bird

3

Turn on the sauté setting on the Instant Pot and add the coconut oil

4

Once the oil is heated, add chicken, breast side down and cook 6-7 minutes until browned

5

Flip the chicken over so the breast is on top and apply the rest of the seasoning on the breast

6

Add broth to the side of the pan to avoid washing away the rub from the chicken

7

Lock pressure cooker lid and press the cancel button to reset for pressure cooking

8

Press “Poultry” and set for 40 minutes on high pressure.

9

Let the pressure cooker release naturally

10

When pressure has released, remove the chicken from the pressure cooker and let stand covered with foil for 5 minutes before carving.

11

Enjoy!

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Yummy Gluten Free Blueberry Crisp

The other day I was going through all my magazine clippings of recipes I want to try. (Do you have a stack of recipes you keep, but never try)? Well in this stack I found A KEEPER!!!!  This Gluten-Free Blueberry Crisp is the best!

I am not even sure where I got this recipe, but I made it last night and it was amazing. It being a “gluten free” and sweetened with only pure maple syrup, I was a little skeptical. My daughter and I both said we prefer this over pie, so yummy!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30-35 minutes 

What I love about this recipe, is that it calls for all the good ingredients that I use all the time and stay stocked up on: coconut oil, almond flour, pure maple syrup and nuts.
 

Ingredients (6 servings)

  • 2 pints fresh blueberries
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg

I really like this brand of almond flour. You can find it at Costco or Amazon.

Instructions

1- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

2- In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the lemon juice.

3- Divide between six ramekin dishes

4-Leave the remaining juice in the bowl.

5-Using the same bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients until combined.

6-Crumble the mixture over the blueberries.

7-Bake for 30-35 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.

8-Let cool slightly before serving.

9-Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt, whipped cream or ice cream.

Mix this up with some homemade Greek yogurt and you have a healthy breakfast!

Enjoy!

 

jan3

Yummy Gluten Free Blueberry Crisp

blueberry crisp
This blueberry crisp recipe is a yummy gluten-free dessert made with healthy ingredients and sweetened with pure maple syrup. 
  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time30 min
  • Total Time40 min
  • Yield6 servings
  • Course
    • Dessert
[MEDIAVINE EXAMPLE AD SPACE 1]

INGREDIENTS

    • 2 pints fresh blueberries
    • Juice of one lemon
    • 1 cup almond flour
    • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
    • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • Pinch of nutmeg
     
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INSTUCTIONS

1

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

 
2

In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the lemon juice.

3

Divide between six ramekin dishes.

Leave the remaining juice in the bowl.

 

4

Using the same bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients until combined.

5

 

Crumble the mixture over the blueberries.

6

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.

7

Let cool slightly before serving.

8

Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt, whipped cream or ice cream.

  • Amount per serving
  • Calories0
  • % Daily Value*Standard DV
  • Total Fat7 g78 g8.97%
  • Saturated Fat1 g20 g5%
  • Cholesterol2 mg300 mg0.67%
  • Sodium80 mg2300 mg3.48%
  • Protein1 g50 g2%
  • Unsaturated Fat 6
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Greek Yogurt in the Instant Pot- Thick & Creamy

Instant pot Greek yogurt youmakeitsimple.com

Making yogurt used to seem real intimidating to me, until I learned how to make Greek yogurt in the Instant Pot. It is so easy and I am totally in love with this recipe!

Who would have thought you can make yogurt in a pressure cooker. This baby does it all. When I got my Instant Pot, I was able to get rid of my rice cooker, crock pot and manual pressure cooker. I just bought another Instant Pot, ha ha. It is so nice to have an extra one handy for those times when I want to steam veggies and cook a main dish at the same time. Now I have more room in my pantry and an easy way to make yogurt!

I love this thing and I am totally in LOVE with this Greek Yogurt Recipe!

This is seriously the best yogurt ever. I am not a big fan of eating plain yogurt without anything on it, but this is so yummy I even like it PLAIN. There are only TWO ingredients, THREE if you want to add a little vanilla flavoring.

Post update September 26, 2018 – I have added a few new nuggets of information about timing and straining.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 gallon of milk (I like to use organic milk. Sometimes I use whole milk and other times just 1%, both turn out creamy. I also hear goat milk works great too).
  • 2 Tablespoons starter yogurt (The “starter yogurt” is simply already made yogurt. The yogurt that you use for the starter is very important.  The first time making yogurt, purchase a high quality container of yogurt containing milk and live active cultures; nothing more).
  • 1/2 – 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

Makes approximately 5-6 cups yogurt.

RECIPE CAN BE DOUBLED WITH GOOD RESULTS!

What you will need:

I have a NEW way to strain the yogurt! The nut bag method is what I instructed previously, but it can be messy and almost requires someone else to assist in pouring the yogurt into the bag.

The new method is using a strainer and coffee filters. You can find a video tutorial here, and the blog post about it here.

NOTE: If you are processing a full gallon of milk, you will have to strain it in two batches, unless you have a big strainer.

Once you start making your own yogurt, you can save at least 2 tablespoons of your last batch to add to the new one as your “starter”.  I like to freeze some yogurt then I never have to worry about saving some. It goes fast in my house.

I use this handy BIG ice cube form. It is the perfect size for 2 tablespoons servings of yogurt. After they are frozen, I pop them out and put in a zip bag in the freezer.

Let’s get to the instructions of how to make it.

1-Pour the cold milk into a COLD Instant Pot pan

Place the lid on the pot.

 

2-Press the Yogurt button on the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker and then the “Adjust” button until the display says “boil”

When the boiling cycle is done, a beep will sound and the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker display screen will say “Yogt.”

*You can remove the lid immediately. There is no need to wait for pressure to come down. The yogurt making process does not require the machine to come up to pressure.

3- Stir the milk and using a digital thermometer, check the temperature of the milk.

You are trying to get the milks temperature up to at least 180 F°. I like to get it up to 181-185 F°. (The first time I made it, it didn’t set up real well and I am sure it was because I wasn’t patient enough to wait for it to get up to temperature). If is not 180 degrees, you will need to do another boil. It may take a few boil sessions to get it up to temperature.

(There will be hot spots so stirring prior to taking the temperature, will give a more accurate reading).

*If you can’t reach 180 F degrees after two cycles, hit Sauté and then adjust to low and whisk continuously (scraping the bottom too), until you get to 180 degrees.  (I like to get to 181-185 F° ).

It helps to give your milk a whisk halfway into the boil cycle (and again later on, if you remember).

4-Remove the cooking pot from the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker and allow the milk to cool down to 110 F°

Sit the pot on a cooling rack where air can circulate around it. If I am in a hurry, I like to fill the sink with cold water and place the pot in the sink. (Be careful not to get any water in it). Remember to always stir the milk prior to taking the temperature.

When the temperature reaches 110 degrees, you are ready to add your yogurt starter.

5-Get a little bowl and take about a cup of the milk from Instant Pot and whisk in the starter, mixing well. Pour this mixture back into the pot

If you want to add a sugar (which I never do) and/or vanilla, now is the time to do so. Stir well.

6-Place the cooking pot back into the Instant Pot.

Make sure you dry off the pot before placing it back in the Instant Pot, if you had it in the sink with water.

7- Push the Yogurt Button, the display will show 8:00

(This is 8 hours). If you prefer a tarter yogurt, adjust the time to 10:00 hours. I usually set mine at 9 or 10.


****For those of you who have digestive issues, a few of my readers have left feedback regarding how longer processing helps with the digestion of lactose.

Kristen says: You might not need the Lactaid milk–the bacteria in yogurt digest the lactose and homemade yogurt that has been fermented for hours (the longer the better for lactose issues) has little lactose left. You might need to experiment to see how long you need to ferment it for your body to tolerate it. Good luck from another lactose-intolerant person

Mandy said: Just an FYI for anyone, like myself, who has to deal with chronic digestive issues: Long fermented yogurt is particularly helpful. I cook mine for a full 24 hours. I was amused when I got my Instant Pot to find out that 24 hours is one of the default yogurt settings. When we got our two cats, the little girl kitten begged for yogurt so pitifully that I did some research. Cows milk isn’t good for kitties but guess what. Home made, long fermented yogurt is. Score!!!! She gets her tablespoon every morning without fail.


A few things to note:

  • Be mindful if you press the adjust button twice, the Instant Pot will adjust to 24:00 hours. (Perhaps that is the setting many of us should be using). Make sure you get it to the right time setting for your needs.
  • The Instant Pot may reset from the “Normal” function to the “Less” function! You don’t want to incubate on the “Less” option. Make sure it is on “Normal”.
  • After you set your time, the Instant Pot will start to count up. I like to have the incubation period happen while I sleep. So if I go to bed at 10:00, I will start my yogurt making around 8:00. That gives me time for heating and cooling. It works out wonderful.

When I wake up it is ready to strain. If you like a thinner consistency, you won’t need to strain it.

To Strain or Not to strain

Un-strained Yogurt is just regular Yogurt and strained Yogurt is called “Greek Yogurt.” YUMMY! You are going to love this stuff.

The instructions below are for using the NUT MILK BAG to strain the yogurt.

The other method of straining using a bowl strainer and coffee filters can be found here.

8- Pour the yogurt into a strainer or Nut Bag

This is the nut milk bag. Place a big bowl underneath the strainer or bag to catch the whey that will drip out.

If you use a rice milk bag, you can make a knot in the string and hang it from a cabinet knob. Let it sit and drain until you get the consistency you like. This will take a few hours. If it is not a hot day, I just leave it out on the counter. If it is hot in your kitchen, you can let it strain in the refrigerator

9- You can save the whey and use it in smoothies, salad dressings, etc for added probiotic nutrition.

Make sure you label the jar you put it in. You don’t want someone thinking this is lemonade or some other beverage. There will usually be a few quarts of whey left over.

10-Place the yogurt into single one cup jars, or other glass containers

I like using these 2 cup glass jars with plastic lids.

These jars are great to store just about anything in (dried herbs, nuts, bulk seeds, etc).

This recipe makes 4 1/2 – 5  cups of Greek yogurt.

Here are some ideas of what to put in your yogurt

Play Video

If you ever want a little sweetness, you can add a smidget of,  honey or maple syrup.

Frozen berries, nuts and flaked coconut added to the yogurt makes a yummy, healthy and nutritious breakfast.

Greek Yogurt in the Instant Pot- Thick & Creamy

Instant pot Greek yogurt youmakeitsimple.com

Making Greek yogurt in the Instant Pot is a snap. This yogurt is thick and creamy with no added preservatives or sweeteners. Totally delicious!

  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time8 min
  • Total Time18 min
  • Ready in8 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield5 cups
  • Serving Size1 cup
[MEDIAVINE EXAMPLE AD SPACE 1]

Ingredients

    • 1/2 gallon of milk (I like to use organic milk. Sometimes I use whole milk and other times just 1%, both turn out creamy. I also hear goat milk works great too).
    • 2 Tablespoons starter yogurt (The “starter yogurt” is simply already made yogurt. The yogurt that you use for the starter is very important.  The first time making yogurt, purchase a high quality container of yogurt containing milk and live active cultures; nothing more).
    • 1/2 – 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
[MEDIAVINE EXAMPLE AD SPACE 2]

Instructions

1

Pour the cold milk into a COLD Instant Pot pan

Place the lid on the pot.

2

Press the Yogurt button on the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker and then the “Adjust” button until the display says “boil”

When the boiling cycle is done, a beep will sound and the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker display screen will say “Yogt.”

*You can remove the lid immediately. There is no need to wait for pressure to come down. The yogurt making process does not require the machine to come up to pressure.

3

Stir the milk and using a digital thermometer, check the temperature of the milk.

You are trying to get the milks temperature up to at least 180 F°. I like to get it up to 181-185 F°. (The first time I made it, it didn’t set up real well and I am sure it was because I wasn’t patient enough to wait for it to get up to temperature). If is not 180 degrees, you will need to do another boil. It may take a few boil sessions to get it up to temperature.

(There will be hot spots so stirring prior to taking the temperature, will give a more accurate reading).

*If you can’t reach 180 F degrees after two cycles, hit Sauté and then adjust to low and whisk continuously (scraping the bottom too), until you get to 180 degrees.  (I like to get to 181-185 F° ).

It helps to give your milk a whisk halfway into the boil cycle (and again later on, if you remember).

4

Remove the cooking pot from the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker and allow the milk to cool down to 110 F°

Sit the pot on a cooling rack where air can circulate around it. If I am in a hurry, I like to fill the sink with cold water and place the pot in the sink. (Be careful not to get any water in it). Remember to always stir the milk prior to taking the temperature.

When the temperature reaches 110 degrees, you are ready to add your yogurt starter.

5

Get a little bowl and take about a cup of the milk from Instant Pot and whisk in the starter, mixing well. Pour this mixture back into the pot

If you want to add a sugar (which I never do) and/or vanilla, now is the time to do so. Stir well.

6

Place the cooking pot back into the Instant Pot.

Make sure you dry off the pot before placing it back in the Instant Pot, if you had it in the sink with water.

7

Push the Yogurt Button, the display will show 8:00

(This is 8 hours). If you prefer a tarter yogurt, adjust the time to a longer time. I usually set mine at 20-24 hours.

Straining Instructions

8

Pour the yogurt into a strainer or Nut Bag

This is the nut milk bag. Place a big bowl underneath the strainer or bag to catch the whey that will drip out.

9

If you use a nut milk bag, you can make a knot in the string and hang it from a cabinet knob. Let it sit and drain until you get the consistency you like. This will take a few hours. If it is not a hot day, I just leave it out on the counter. If it is hot in your kitchen, you can let it strain in the refrigerator.

10

You can save the whey and use it in smoothies, salad dressings, etc for added probiotic nutrition.

Make sure you label the jar you put it in. You don’t want someone thinking this is lemonade or some other beverage. There will usually be a few quarts of whey left over.

11

Place the yogurt into single one cup jars, or other glass containers

I like using these 2 cup glass jars with plastic lids.

These jars are great to store just about anything in (dried herbs, nuts, bulk seeds, etc).

[MEDIAVINE EXAMPLE AD SPACE 3]

Oh, this is so much more nutritious and better for you than store bought yogurt. All those added sugars and food coloring and whatever else goes into that stuff is unnecessary . You won’t ever want to buy store bought yogurt again.

We use this yogurt in place of sour cream too. It makes a great chip dip as well.

There you have it…….. a creamy, dreamy Greek yogurt!

Enjoy!

jan3

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Instant Pot – Comforting and Nourishing Kitcheree

As the cool weather approaches, I find myself gravitating and craving a warn bowl of soup. This Instant Pot kitcheree recipe is one of my new favorites; it is not only soothing and comforting, it is absolutely delicious!

Kitcheree is a traditional Indian food made from split mung beans and basmati rice. It is indeed a wonder food! It’s easy to digest, and cleansing to the digestive system.

The combination of the rice and beans make it a complete protein, so it can be a great protein source if you are vegetarian. When prepared with all the fixings, this meal encompasses all the six tastes, which in Ayurveda is part of eating a balanced diet, as each taste feeds our body, mind, senses and spirit and satisfies each of the dietary building blocks.

Kitcheree is wonderful when recuperating from an illness or physical stress. It promotes a calming effect when under emotional stress. I made a batch up for lunch yesterday, and my first spoonful my belly, my taste buds and my soul went ahhhhhhhh.

Because kitcheree is easy to digest and nourishing, it can be ground up and fed to your baby when they are getting into solids.vIt can also be eaten as a mono-diet, which means you eat the same nourishing food for all meals for several days.  This is cleansing and soothing to the digestive system.

This recipe was brought to my attention by my dear friend, Ahlea Khadro. She is an amazing woman with so much insight and love. You can learn more about her and what she does on her website.

I adapted the recipe so it can be made using the Instant Pot within an hour. Love this! You can make it without a pressure cooker as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mung beans
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 9 cups water
  • 6-7 cups assorted chopped vegetables (some ideas, carrot, broccoli, green beans, butternut squash, etc.)
  • 5-6 TBS ghee or coconut oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 TBS tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 TBS minced ginger root
  • 1 heaping tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chilies (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cardamon seeds ( these seeds add the most unique flavor, love it)
  • 1/2 TBS sea salt

Instructions:

Rinse the beans and rice and soak overnight in water.

Love this chopper! More information about it here.

Prepare vegetables by washing and chopping into chunks. (This time I added butternut squash. It was so yummy)!

If you have a garden, be sure to compost your veggie and fruit scraps.

Mince fresh ginger.

Press “saute” on the Instant Pot and add oil, onions ginger & garlic. Cook until onions are clear.

Add spices and saute for another 5 minutes.

Combine the rice and beans with the onion mix until coated with spices.

Pour in the water and add the veggies. Give it a little stir.

Place the lid on and lock in place.

Choose “soup” and adjust time down to 10 minutes

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, simply bring soup to a boil, cover, and simmer on low for about 45 minutes. Add more water if needed.

When the Instant Pot beeps, bring down the pressure using the quick release method.

Remove lid and ENJOY!

Instant Pot – Comforting and Nourishing Kitcheree

Kitcheree is a traditional Indian food made from split mung beans and basmati rice. It is indeed a wonder food!

  • Prep Time5 min
  • Total Time5 min
  • Yield4 Batches
  • Meta LabelLabel Value
[MEDIAVINE EXAMPLE AD SPACE 1]

Ingredients

    • 1 cup mung beans
    • 1 cup basmati rice
    • 9 cups water
    • 6-7 cups assorted chopped vegetables (some ideas, carrot, broccoli, green beans, butternut squash, etc.)
    • 5-6 TBS ghee or coconut oil
    • 2 onions, chopped
    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • 1 1/2 TBS tumeric
    • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1 TBS minced ginger root
    • 1 heaping tsp cumin powder
    • 1/2 tsp crushed red chilies (optional)
    • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
    • 1 tsp cardamon seeds ( these seeds add the most unique flavor, love it)
    • 1/2 TBS sea salt
[MEDIAVINE EXAMPLE AD SPACE 2]

INSTUCTIONS

1

Rinse the beans and rice and soak overnight in water.

 
2

Prepare vegetables by washing and chopping into chunks. (This time I added butternut squash. It was so yummy)!

3

Mince fresh ginger.

4

Press “saute” on the Instant Pot and add oil, onions ginger & garlic. Cook until onions are clear.

5

Add spices and saute for another 5 minutes.

6

Combine the rice and beans with the onion mix until coated with spices.

7

Pour in the water and add the veggies. Give it a little stir.

Place the lid on and lock in place.

8

Choose “soup” and adjust time down to 10 minutes

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, simply bring soup to a boil, cover, and simmer on low for about 45 minutes. Add more water if needed.

9

When the Instant Pot beeps, bring down the pressure using the quick release method.

Remove lid and ENJOY!

[MEDIAVINE EXAMPLE AD SPACE 3]

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