Instant Pot Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe

So far, my carrot ginger soup recipe has become an instant family favorite. So let’s cut to the chase. Here’s the simple recipe for this amazing creation:

Ingredients:

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 bag of small carrots

1/2 cup of chopped onions

1 tsp brown sugar

1 pinch of cinammon

2 cups of unsweetened coconut milk

2 cups of low sodium chicken broth

1 stick of thyme

1 chopped garlic clove

1 chopped 1/2 Ginger clove

Recipe:

Saute coconut oil, onions, garlic, ginger

Add carrots, coconut milk, chicken broth, thyme, sugar, cinnamon

Manual high pressure 10 minutes

Natural release, 15 minutes.

Pour contents into blender and press puree.

Pour soup back into Instant Pot and keep warm.

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

Since I have been on an Instant Pot marathon, today my hubby texted me with a simple request:  I would like you to make me Split Pea soup before I come home from work tonight. Of course, feminist that I am, I should have told him to buy himself a cup of soup and call it a day, but the 1950’s Stepford Wife in me decided to head over to Balducci’s and pick up all the ingredients.

If you’re a split pea soup fan, here’s my take on the recipe – minus the ham since my husband is not a big ham fan – of course, if you like ham, throw it in and add caution to the wind:

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

1 chopped sweet onion

1 pound of split peas (or two cans of drained sweet peas)

2 large carrots or 5-6 mini carrots

Pinch of salt and pepper

1 stick of thyme or 1 bay leaf

6 cups of vegetable broth

1-2 cups of water

Directions:

Press saute button and add olive oil, onions, peas, carrots, thyme, vegetable broth and water.

Manual high pressure for 15 minutes

Natural release for an additional 15 minutes

Once you open the lid, add contents to a blender and puree

Pour contents back into the Instant Pot.

Voila!  Split pea soup.

5 Great Instant Pot Recipes for Newbies

Just got an Instant Pot?  Congrats and welcome to the cult…I mean club!  If you have no idea what to cook first, here are some super simple recipes to get you started…

1. Hard Boiled Eggs in 6 Minutes or Less

Ingredients:

6 eggs

1 cup of water

Directions:

Put the eggs on the insertable shelf that comes with your Instant Pot.

Pour in one cup of water.

Put on the cover and lock it. Make sure that air is not released.

Set manual pressure on high for 6 minutes

Voila…HARD BOILED EGGS!

2. Steel Cut Oatmeal

Ingredients:

One cup of steel cut oatmeal

2 tablespoons of butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

1 apple – chopped minus the skin

1/2 cup of blueberries

2 1/2 cups of water

Directions:

Saute the butter

Add 1 cup of steel cut oats and stir in butter

Add water, apple, blueberries, cinnamon and vanilla

Close the lid

Cook on high pressure, 11 minutes.

After it’s finished cooking, release the air and serve

3. Spaghetti Squash and turkey bolognese sauce

Ingredients:

1 Spaghetti Squash

2 cups of water

Ground turkey

1 can of chopped tomatoes

1 jar of pasta sauce

1 clove of garlic

Parmesan Cheese

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Basil

Directions:

Place the spaghetti squash on the tray inside the pot.

Add 2 cups of water

Cook for 15 minutes on high pressure

Once it’s done, remove the skin, scoop out the seeds and use a fork to turn it into spaghetti squash strands.

Turkey Bolognese

Wash out the pot

Saute olive oil and garlic

Add ground turkey

Add spices (basil and parmesan cheese)

Add chopped tomatoes

Add tomato sauce

Cook on low pressure, 5 minutes

Open the lid, add the spaghetti squash

Mix together on warm

Makes 4 servings

4. Meatballs & Whole Grain Linguine

Ingredients:

1 package of chopped meat

1 egg

1 cup of Italian breadcrumbs

Parmesan Cheese

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Basil

2 Garlic cloves

1 cup of beef broth

1 package of whole grain linguini

1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce

Directions:

Mix ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and garlic cloves

Saute olive oil and garlic in Instant Pot

Roll meatballs and place in Instant Pot

Add beef broth

Close lid and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.

You can cook the linguini and pasta sauce on your stove top while you are making the meatballs. However, you should know that it’s just as easy to cook pasta in the Instant Pot as well(10 minutes on high pressure with water). I’ll have more recipes for pasta soon but just want you to know it’s easy to do that too.

Once the meatballs have finished cooking, you can add them to your tomato sauce that’s cooking on the stove.

Once the linguine is done, dinner is served!

The Weight Loss Chronicles: Why You Need to Weigh Yourself Every Day

I have been avoiding my scale like the plague the last few months. Even though I’ve been exercising about five times a week, I decided that I didn’t have to hop on the scale and get depressed. I would know whether I was putting on weight if my jeans were tight rather than staring at a number that put me in a foul mood.

Well, I hate to admit it, but I was dead wrong. It seems like every year I decide to do some wacky diet where I lose some weight and then inevitably fall off the wagon, gain it back and then add a few more pounds to make things that much more painful. Add in the fact that I’m approaching menopause and you’ve got a weight tsunami on your hands.

This week, I knew I was going to have to hop on a scale because I had an annual exam scheduled at my OB/GYN’s office so I decided to rip the Band Aid off and weigh myself at home. I’m so sad to admit this, but I am heavier than I have ever been in my life. I won’t count the day they weighed me when I was in labor with my son because that number is seared in my brain but I think I will lock myself in my walk in closet and never come out if I hit that weight again. The fact is, while I’m not at the highest number I have ever weighed, I don’t have an eight pound newborn growing inside of me along with a few gallons of amniotic fluid so I guess I have no excuses whatsoever about how I got here.

While I can always blame the entire year on the presidential election, at this point, that’s the same excuse as blaming it on trying to lose the baby weight. After a certain point, the only person you have to blame is yourself.

I CONFESS!

I am guilty of eating bread from the bread basket at restaurants.

I am guilty of drinking 2-3 glasses of wine every weekend.

I am guilty of grabbing a few post Halloween treats from my pantry (mini Snickers and Twizzlers to be exact).

I am guilty of inhaling a KIND bar on my evening commute.

I am guilty of eating a much larger portion size at dinner.

I am guilty of eating way too much pasta.

I am guilty of eating french fries and sweet potato fries.

I am guilty of eating potato chips.

I am guilty of eating Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream.

I could probably go on for days with all my food confessions but I don’t have time for that anymore. Instead, I have decided to cook myself thin and I’m taking my husband with me.

After reading about a woman who lost over 100 pounds by cooking food in her Instant Pot, I have become a woman on a mission. This past week, I have cooked four meals in a row in my electric pressure cooker and I’m even going to whip something up tonight — Friday night — before my husband and I go out to a movie and sneak in some low calorie popcorn. So far, my hubby has lost 4.5 pounds on our Instant Pot plan. I’m down a pound so if I keep this going for 52 weeks, I could be down at least 50 pounds by then. Okay – I don’t have that much to lose but I definitely want to drop at least 25 for now and then we’ll see where it goes after I hit my first goal.

I know that on Role Mommy I make a lot of promises and share a lot of my hopes and dreams with you. I’ve also shared a ton of my weight loss struggles. You’ve seen me lose and gain over the last decade a lot and this time around, I’m tired of the shakes, the bars, the plan, the Keto, the Whole 30, the prepared meals, even Weight Watchers. I’m all in on the cook myself thin with my Instant Pot plan and will keep you posted on how I do. I don’t really want to post a before pic just yet since I’m letting that horrifying number on the scale still sink in but I promise to share an after every time I drop 10 pounds.

For now, my OB/GYN told me to download an app called Fat Secret (in the app store it’s called Calorie Counter by Fat Secret). In a nutshell, it’s a food diary where you record everything you eat in one day.  Once you share how much weight you’d like to lose, it calculates how many calories, macros and nutrients you should have in one day. You can even eat out and select options from the app, they offer recipes and you can even take a snapshot of your food and it will record it into the system.

So there you have it. No more gimmicks. No more get thin quick schemes. No more paying people to weigh me. I’m losing weight on my own terms and this time, I really mean it. I’ll check in next week and let you know how I’m doing.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

 

 

 

Take Back the Kitchen: Chicken Sausage with Stewed Tomatos

IMG_0036.JPGWe are deep into tomato season and I am looking for ways to use up my tomatoes other than raw tomato salads. Using flavorful chicken sausages is a great way to add flavor and texture to your tomatoes. Enjoy!
Chicken Sausage with Stewed Tomatoes
2 Chicken Sausages, chopped (I like Aidell’s brand)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 very large tomato, chopped and seeded
3 large cloves garlic, minced or through a press
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
pinch salt
Steps:
In a medium sized frying pan over a low flame, heat up the oil.
Add in chopped sausage and saute until browned. Remove from pan and place on a plate nearby.
Add in the prepared garlic o the pan and saute a few minutes, cautious not to let get too brown.
Add in the chopped tomato and saute a few minutes.
Add the sausage back in and stir so all the ingredients are combined.
Add in the smoked , paprika and salt and stir.
Serve hot with rice.
Serves 2
For more great recipes by Alma Schneider, visit her at Take Back the Kitchen.

Take Back the Kitchen: Red Quinoa Salad with Corn & Vidalia Onions

IMG_0192.JPGIn the summer, I love making use of fresh, local corn but I have recently become obsessed with using corn nuts in all my dishes for an extra crunch. As always, I have added in seeds and dried fruit for extra flavor. Make a big batch and enjoy for a few meals!
Red Quinoa Salad with Corn and Vidalia Onions
2 1/2-3 cups cooked red quinoa (or regular quinoa but the red is so pretty!)
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup dried currants
1/4 cup finely chopped Vidalia onions or any other onions you have around that are preferably mild
1 tsp smoked salt or Kosher salt
1 cup fresh or frozen, defrosted corn
1/2 cup crunchy corn nuts
Dressing
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon, squeezed
ground black pepper to taste
Steps:
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir to combine.
Whisk dressing until combined and pour on to salad. Stir until all of the quinoa and add-ins are coated.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Serves 4-6 as a side dish
For more great recipes from Alma Schneider, visit her at Take Back the Kitchen.

Take Back the Kitchen: Spinach with Chick Peas

I just spent a week in Seville, Spain and spent a good deal of that week at my friend Antonio’s bar. He made the best Spinach with Chick Peas or Espinacas con Garbanzos. Although I have eaten this dish every time I have visited Seville, I never thought to make it. Until now. It doesn’t compare to Antonio’s but it is still pretty darn delicious. I combined a bunch of recipes I found online and ended up with this tasty version. Enjoy!
unnamed.jpg
Espinacas con Garbanzos
1 lb frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
2 15 oz cans chick peas, rinsed and drained
8 oz tomato sauce (I just pureed diced tomatoes)
1 small onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 3/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt, more to taste
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp blanched almonds, preferably Marcona almonds
Steps:
In a medium sized frying pan, heat up two tbsp olive oil.
When hot and starting to smoke, add in the spinach and stir until fully coated with the oil.
Remove the spinach from the pan.
In the same pan wiped out with a paper towel, add in 1 tbsp of the olive oil and let it heat up again.
Add in the minced garlic and onions and saute for a few minutes until wilted.
Remove the garlic and onions and puree in a food processor with the almonds, vinegar and the tomato sauce.
\When it is pureed, add it to the pan again with the cooked spinach and mix until all the ingredients are combined.
Add in the cumin, paprika and salt and stir.
Add in the chick peas and stir gently so all the ingredients are combined.
Stir in the remaining olive oil.
Adjust seasonings to your liking and serve hot.
For more of Alma Schneider’s amazing recipes, visit www.TakeBacktheKitchen.net.

Take Back the Kitchen with Alma Schneider: Healthy Raw Cocoa Balls

IMG_1385.JPGWant a healthy treat that is also a crafty project for you and your kids? I made these yesterday when I was starving but wanted to remain healthy. They only took about 5 minutes to make. Try freezing them as well!
1/2 cup raw oats
1 1/2 tsp chia seeds (optional but adds a nice crunch)
1 tbsp raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 ripe banana
2/3 cup cashew butter (or almond butter or peanut butter)
Pinch kosher salt
Steps:
Mush all the ingredients together and roll into balls with 1 tsp of batter for each ball.
If the balls are too runny, add a bit more of the oats.
Makes 12-15 balls
For more great recipes, visit Alma at Take Back the Kitchen

Take Back the Kitchen with Alma Schneider: Green Pea Guacamole

IMG_0236.JPGSummer is coming which means dips galore at BBQs! This is a recipe for a simple and healthy green pea guacamole that a friend gave me years ago. I just rediscovered it and thought I would share with all of you. Enjoy!
Green Pea Guacamole:
1 handful of fresh mint leaves, washed and dried
Juice from 2 limes
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup frozen and then defrosted peas
1 garlic clove
1/2 t curry powder
1/2 t cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Steps:
Just put it all into the food processor and blend until smooth.
For more great recipes please visit: takebackthekitchen.com

Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Easy Green Bean Coconut Curry

soup.JPG We are in the throes of a frigid winter and what is more comforting than a nice steamy, bowl of soup? Better yet, a nice steamy bowl of Thai curry soup? Here’s a simple recipe to use up your already cooked butternut squash. Freeze the leftovers for a nice treat later this winter as well. Enjoy!
Easy Green Bean Coconut Curry:
1 15 oz. can coconut milk
1/2 can water (about 8 oz.)
2 cups green beans, cut into 1 ” pieces
2 cups cooked butternut squash, cubed
2 tbsp honey
1/2 -1 tbsp red curry paste (can get at most supermarkets and any Asian supermarket)
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (can get at most supermarkets and any Asian supermarket)
1 cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed
Steps:
In a soup pot, add the coconut milk, the water and the curry paste, starting with only 1/2 tbsp (you can add more if you want it spicier later).
Stir until all ingredients are well combined and boil until the sauce reduces a bit and is thickened to your liking, about 15 minutes.
Add in the fish sauce, the honey and stir.
Add in the green beans and cook until tender, about 10 more minutes.
Add in the squash so it is heated through, about 5 minutes but not much more so that it doesn’t become too mushy.
Remove from heat, adjust sweetness and spiciness and serve over rice, quinoa or by itself.
Top with the chopped cilantro.
For more great recipes please visit: takebackthekitchen.com