Soup & Salad Challenge: Week 5

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We are coming to the end of the soup portion of the Soup & Salad Challenge right on time (at least for New Englanders). The temperature has spiked to nearly 90 degrees this week. Hello, early Summer! We’re ending on a high note: Nourishing Foundations’ recipe for Caribbean Chili. The sweet potato in this recipe gives it a surprisingly sweet note, especially when corn is also used. If, however, you are following the Whole 30 diet, you will want to make a few adaptations to this recipe: replace beans with extra sweet potato & omit the corn. Still totally delish! Enjoy!

Nourishing Foundations' Caribbean Chili

This hearty meal has a little bit of spice as well as a sweet touch. It’s a filling, tasty dish and makes an excellent meal for company!

  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil or Avocado Oil
  • 1 lb Ground Beef (chicken, turkey or buffalo Unless you prefer the vegetarian version, in which case, omit!)
  • 3 TBSP Esther's Caribbean Chili (or Chili Powder of choice)
  • 1 tsp. Esther's Red Hot Pepper (or hot pepper of choice)
  • 2 tsp Esther's West Indian Pepper (or pepper of choice)
  • 1 TBSP Esther's G.O.G.
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 14 oz Mirepoix (or 2 stalks celery, 2 carrots)
  • 1 TBSP Chicken or Vegetable base (Rapunzel works well)
  • 1/4 cups Water or chicken broth
  • 1.5 cups Chopped Sweet Potato
  • 3-4 cups Beans of Choice (Cooked; Replace with sweet potato if following Paleo/Whole 30 diet)
  • 24 oz Tomato Sauce or Crushed Tomatoes High quality (no sugar added, whole ingredients (we recommend (Victoria's or Rao's))
  • 28 oz Diced tomatoes (Organic is best!)
  • 12-16 oz Frozen sweet corn (Omit if following Paleo/Whole 30 diet)
  1. To Make on Stovetop:

    Heat oil in frying pan. Cook mirepoix for 2-3 minutes, add meat, then spices.

    Cook completely. (~5 min)

    Add 1/4 cup water & allow to simmer

    In large pot, combine this mixture with ~4 cups beans or sweet potatoes, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Allow to simmer, stirring frequently, for approx. 10 min.

    Add frozen corn.

    Serve with cheese, avocado, sour cream etc.

To Cook in Instant Pot:

Using the sauté function on your Instant Pot, heat oil, then cook mirepoix for 2-3 minutes.

Add meat, then spices. Cook completely. (~5 min)

Add all other ingredients EXCEPT for corn.

Secure lid and set Instant Pot to 40 minutes on manual.

Allow for natural pressure release

Add corn at end.

Since I only made one meal this week, I had a little bit of extra time to mess around with a good and good-for-you dessert. This Avocado Chocolate Mousse by Food52 is UHmazing. I love it! Definitely worth a try.

Hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I did this week!

Best Ever Instant Pot Stir Fry

At long last, I think I have figured out how to make a delicious stir fry in the Instant Pot! What follows is one of the recipes that will be featured in my 5 Star Freezer Meals ebook, Instant Pot style. I love this recipe because it is incredibly versatile and tasty just about any way you slice it. In other words, you can’t really mess this one up.

I’ve been doing a Whole 30 this month and just last night I decided to experiment with taking the honey out to see how it would taste. I also managed to lose the top to my bottle of coconut aminos and didn’t want to put a cap-less bottle in the refrigerator,  so I decided to throw the remainder (about half a cup – more than I realized!) in the sauce. Even with all those changes, it still came out lip smacking good! (At least my husband thought so…)

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! I’d also love to hear of any adaptations you made that turned out well. Thanks!

Best Ever Instant Pot Stir Fry

This delicious, wholesome and easy stir fry can be made in the Instant Pot in a snap!

  • 1 TBSP Sesame seed oil
  • 1 TBSP Nut Butter of choice
  • 2 tsp ginger freshly grated (Dorot frozen cubes or ginger powder)
  • 4 tsp minced garlic or 1 cube Dorot frozen garlic
  • 2 TBSP honey Omit if following Whole 30
  • 2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Aminos
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 1 tsp Esther's Gourmet salt or sea salt
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 ⁄2 onion chopped
  • 1 lb Protein of Choice (chicken, beef, Tofu, Tempeh Cut into bite sized chunks)
  • 2-4 cups frozen veggies of choice Use frozen stir fry veggies or mix/match whatever you have on hand
  • 1 ⁄4 cup water
  • 16 oz Rice of choice (white (brown rice or riced cauliflower)
  1. Combine Sesame seed oil, nut butter, ginger, garlic, honey, apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos, Chinese 5 Spice and salt in blender (or blend by hand).

    Using the sauté function of your Instant Pot, heat oil (we suggest sesame seed oil, if you have it) and sauté onion for ~3 minutes.

    Add protein of choice and sauté for another 2 minutes.

    Pour stir fry sauce over protein/onions.

    Use the “Manual” button to cook on “high pressure” for 15 minutes.

    When finished, de-pressure and add frozen vegetables of choice.

    Once again, use sauté button to cook all ingredients together, stirring enough that vegetables are thoroughly heated.

    Once vegetable/meat mixture is thoroughly heated (take care not to overcook the vegetables), serve over rice of choice (white, brown or riced cauliflower). Increase the amount of rice used to stretch this dish!

So, you’re thinking of getting an Instant Pot?

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Lately I’ve been getting more and more questions about my Instant Pot, which is similar to this one, though mine only has 7 functions. I’ve had it for just over a year now, which is a good amount of time to accurately assess whether or not something is worth the hype. This is one of the four kitchen appliances I own and allow to take up residence on my counter top. The others are a Vitamix, an electric kettle, and with the arrival of kid #2 I just broke down and bought a programmable coffee maker (up until this point I’ve been a hard core AeroPress user.)
Egg beaters? Sold them on Amazon.
Cuisinart? Cool, but no thanks.
Crockpot? Donated it when I bought my Instant Pot.
Kitchen Aid? Meh. Well, actually, if I had more disposable income I might break down and get one of these. ​

Why do I share this? Simply to suggest that there are a LOT of unnecessary kitchen appliances out there. For me, the aforementioned 4 cover all my bases. The Instant Pot has proved itself to be well worth my counter space and the money I spent on it. Among other things, here are the reasons why:

1. Convenience (quick and easy) – Unlike a Crock Pot/Slow Cooker, the Instant Pot cooks food rather quickly. It also can cook meat from a frozen state, which is great for all those nights I don’t have my act together and forget to defrost meat for our meal.

2.  The ability to set it and forget it – Need I say more? Busy moms, what could be better? I’m all about keeping it simple.

3. It’s multi-faceted – a Pressure Cooker, Slow cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Yogurt Maker & Warmer with a Saute function all in one. Wow!


4. Tender meat – Ok. So the amazing, delicious and tender meat we started enjoying after purchasing the IP could also be because around the same time we began using Butcher Box meat for many of our meals and it’s no secret that I think Butcher Box is kind of amazing. How can meal quality go anywhere but up when you have such thoughtfully sourced meat delivered directly to your door? But I digress… I do ​ think cooking in the IP has a lot to do with the tender quality of the meat we have been enjoying over the past year.

All this to say, if you don’t already have an Instant Pot. you should definitely get one. And if you DO have an instant pot, check out my tried and true Instant Pot recipes and techniques for nutritious and delicious meals!