Pressure Cooker Chicken and Veggies

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Would you believe me if I told you that I cooked dinner in 3.5 minutes tonight?  Guys, it’s true!!!  I recently bought a stovetop pressure cooker, and tonight was my first experience at giving it a try.  I’m not going to lie…it was a bit terrifying, and once I put it on the heat to create the pressure, I may have went and hid behind a living room chair in fear that the pot would somehow explode, but we made it through injury-free, and the result was a delicious and QUICK dinner! I think that this is the start of a lifelong friendship between me and my pressure cooker!

Pressure cooking can be a bit intimidating at first, but once you do it once, you’ll see that it’s actually quite easy!  I found the following pin on Pinterest that links to a site that has a very thorough list of cooking times for various types of food.

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Before I got started, I had so many questions…can I cook the meat and veggies together?  Do I have to do one type of food, then clean the cooker and do another type of food?  Is the noise of the steam releasing going to hurt my ears? Will the food taste good?  Will all the water evaporate and the pot explode? Is Harvard going to call me offering me an honorary PhD when I figure out how to use this thing? Are people all over the world going to want to be me?…you know, normal questions that people have about pressure cookers before they’ve used them. 😉

Anyway, the answers are yes, no, no, YES, no, doubtful, and definitely no…in that order.

I started with something basic – chicken and veggies, and wow you guys – this chicken came out so tender and juicy, and the veggies were cooked to perfection! I just used brussels sprouts, carrots, and onion.  Again, the cooking time was only 3.5 minutes, and I probably would have done better with just 2.5 – 3 minutes because my veggies and chicken were chopped, but I was scared that the chicken wouldn’t be cooked through if I went with the recommended time.

Okay, enough touting the pressure cooker – let’s get to the recipe and instructions.  I should quickly mention that my pressure cooker is a stovetop model, not an electric model, so keep that in mind while going over the recipe!

PRESSURE COOKER CHICKEN AND VEGGIES

Ingredients: 2 servings

  • 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 3/4 lb. brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 20 baby carrots, sliced in halves
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup water
  • sea salt, for seasoning

Directions:

1.) Heat the olive oil in the bed of the pressure cooker over medium heat.  Add the onion, and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except the sea salt.

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2.) Place the pressure cooker lid on the pressure cooker and lock into place.  Increase the stove heat to high.  Allow the pressure regulator to begin to gently rock back and forth/rattle.  When it begins to do this, set the timer for 3 minutes, and let the food cook for these 3 minutes. At the end of the 3 minutes, carefully place the pressure cooker under running cold water until the pressure indicator drops and there is no pressure left in the cooker.

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3.) Once you are sure there is no pressure left in the cooker, carefully remove the pressure cooker top, and observe the miracle of your food being cooked in a flash! Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken and veggies to a bowl or plate. Season with sea salt, and serve.

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You can discard the leftover liquid, but even better, save it and use it as a soup broth, or even just drink it at another time – lots of good minerals in that water! I’m going to use mine in a soup I am making tomorrow night.

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Seriously can’t believe how easy this was!  So delicious!  Enjoy! 🙂

 

Healthy Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup

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Broccoli cheese soup always reminds me of when I was a kid!  My mom makes the best broccoli and cheese soup.  I was craving it the other day, so I went onto Pinterest, and I found the following recipe for it.

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This looked so good, so I decided to make some adjustments and turn this into a nice healthy recipe for broccoli cheese soup.  I’m so glad I did, because the result was amazing, and eating it is like eating comfort food!

CREAMY BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1-16oz. package of frozen broccoli, rinsed
  • 1.5 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 3 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3 cups shredded cheese of your choice (I used medium cheddar)
  • 2 tsp. arrowroot powder

Directions

1.) Heat the olive oil in a large pot.  Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes.

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2.) Add the broccoli, garlic powder, thyme, sea salt, and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, and boil for 10-15 minutes.

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3.) While the broccoli is boiling, shred your cheese and sprinkle it with the arrowroot powder.  Mix to coat the cheese.  Set aside.

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4.) Reduce heat to medium (a low simmer), and use a potato masher to mash the broccoli to your liking.  I left some pieces in tact, but mashed up most of it.

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5.) Add the almond milk and the cheese.  Cook for 12 minutes, stirring frequently.

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6.) Transfer to a bowl and season with sea salt to taste.  Top with some shredded cheese if desired.

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So creamy and yummy!  Enjoy! 🙂

Cauliflower Rice Broccoli and Chicken Casserole

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So, I was looking around Pinterest to find a good dinner recipe, and I came across the following pin for a chicken, broccoli, and rice casserole.

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Man, this looks good!  However, it’s got ingredients that I don’t eat, so I gave it a major overhaul, to make it gluten free and super good for you!  I didn’t stop there!  I could have simply replaced the rice with brown rice, but I took it a step further and replaced the rice with cauliflower rice, making this casserole veggie-full and grain-free.  Ya know what?  It turned out great!  This dish will definitely be making future appearances on our dinner table!  Let’s get to the recipe!

CAULIFLOWER RICE BROCCOLI AND CHICKEN CASSEROLE

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs of boneless and skinless chicken breast
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil, divided
  • 1 large cauliflower head
  • 2 large heads of broccoli
  • 2 tsp. sea salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3 cups shredded goats milk mozzarella cheese, divided

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a 9 x 13 baking dish, cut the chicken breast in half, horizontally, coat with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and season with 1/2 tsp. of sea salt (and pepper, if desired – I’m not a fan of pepper, but it would probably lend itself well to this dish).  Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, then take out to cool for 10 minutes.

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2. While the chicken is cooking and cooling, wash the cauliflower and cut into florets.  Add the florets to a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower has a rice like consistency.  Place the cauliflower rice in a large mixing bowl.

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3. Wash the broccoli and chop into very small florets.  Add the florets to the mixing bowl, stir to combine.  Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and 2 cups of shredded cheese to the bowl.  Stir to combine.

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4. Once the chicken has cooled a bit, leave it in the 9 x 13 casserole dish, and cut into bite size pieces.  Add the mixture in the mixing bowl to the casserole dish and stir to combine.

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5. Top with the remaining cup of cheese.  Bake in the oven for 50 minutes at 400 degrees.

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6. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Use a spatula to transfer servings to a plate.

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BOOM!  So yummy and so good for you!  You’ve got to give this stuff a try!  Enjoy! 🙂

Sweet Potato, Broccoli, and Chicken Bake

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Ready for a super duper healthy dinner that tastes amazing and is REALLY filling?  Yeah, I thought so!  This easy-to-make dinner is good in so many ways.  For starters, it’s delicious, and let’s face it, that’s the most important thing!  Secondly, the nutrition – oh my gosh, this stuff is good for you!  The two veggies in this dish provide all of the following health benefits shown in these pins.

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All those benefits and all that nutrition, and that’s only from two of the ingredients in this thing!  The chicken provides a great punch of protein, and every other ingredient in this dish is super good for you as well!

If you’re not sold already, then let me give you one more reason to try this stuff – it’s SO easy to make!  Just a little bit of chopping and then waiting while the oven does all the work and you’re good to go!  Let’s get to it!

SWEET POTATO, BROCCOLI, AND CHICKEN BAKE

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic granules
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  •  Soft crumbled goat cheese for topping (optional)

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 390 degrees.

2.) Add the broccoli florets, sweet potato, onion, raisins, walnuts, olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic granules, salt and pepper to a large bowl.  Toss to coat.

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3.) Drizzle the bottom of a large casserole dish with olive oil.  Place the chicken in the bottom of the dish and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.  Top with the vegetable mixture.

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4.) Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven at 390 degrees for 35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and take off the foil.

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5.) Place back in the oven, uncovered, for 15-20 more minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sweet potatoes are soft.

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6.) Transfer to a plate to serve.  If desired, top with crumbled soft goat cheese.

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SO yummy, healthy, filling, and easy!  This may be the perfect dinner!  Enjoy! 🙂

Spaghetti Squash and Chicken Dinner

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This dinner is incredibly simple, but it is SO yummy and filling, and it makes for a perfect fall meal!  I’m pretty sure I could eat this everyday with how delicious it is!  Spaghetti squash is so fun to work with, and it it so tasty!  Of course, the best part is that it is really good for you!  The following pin lists some of its health benefits!

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The spaghetti squash along with the other healthy ingredients in this dish make for a wonderful dinner!  Without further ado, let’s get to the recipe!

SPAGHETTI SQUASH AND CHICKEN DINNER

Ingredients

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1.25 lbs. chicken breast
  • 4-5 cups baby spinach
  • 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2-1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1-2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 2-3 oz. goat cheese

Directions

1.) Start by baking your chicken: Drizzle a baking dish with olive oil.  Add the chicken breasts, sprinkle with garlic powder and sea salt.  Flip the chicken breast over and sprinkle the other side with garlic powder and sea salt.  Place in the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes until cooked through.

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2.) Prepare your spaghetti squash: Chop the ends off of the squash, then cut into rings about 1 inch thick.  Run a knife in a circle around the center of each ring to remove the seeds and pulp.

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3.) Bake your spaghetti squash: Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Drizzle the parchment paper with olive oil.  Place the squash rings on the prepared baking sheet, and sprinkle with garlic powder and sea salt.  Flip the squash rings over and sprinkle the other side with garlic powder and sea salt.  Place in the oven and bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Take out, set aside, and let cool for about 10 minutes.

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4.) When the chicken is done, cut into small bite size pieces.  Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add the chicken pieces, vinegar, and honey.  Stir to coat.  Add the spinach, and cook until wilted.  Turn the heat off, but leave the pan on the burner.

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5.) Take your squash rings, and peel off the skin, then use a fork to scrape the squash rings into spaghetti.  Add the spaghetti squash to the pan, and stir to mix.

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6.) Add the goat cheese and season with sea salt.  Transfer to a plate or bowl and serve.

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Delicious!  Enjoy! 🙂

Super Healthy Spaghetti and Meatballs

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Healthy spaghetti and meatballs???  Yup!  I am so excited about this recipe!  It tastes amazing, and I don’t know how I could fit anymore vegetables in it!  This makes for a perfectly filling dinner, and you can feel so good about eating it!  I was perusing Pinterest, and I kept coming across recipes for spaghetti and meatballs, but they were all made with ingredients that were less than desirable, so I decided to come up with something myself.  This dish has tons of vegetables – seriously!  It has green peppers, tomato, onion, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, and kale!  Wow!  Needless to say, this stuff is REALLY good for you!

I used gluten free buckwheat noodles, but you can use any noodle of your choice.  You could even make zucchini noodles if you wanted.  Regardless of the noodles you use, you will LOVE how this stuff tastes – delicious!

HEALTHY SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS

Ingredients:

  • Noodles of your choice (I used gluten free buckwheat noodles for mine)
  • Optional: Cheese of your choice for topping (I used Goat’s milk cheddar)

For the Sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow squash, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 zucchini, chopped into small pieces
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 6-8 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • pinch of stevia
  • Sea Salt, to taste

For the Meatballs:

  • 1.5 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped into very small pieces
  • 2 cups of Kale, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • sea salt

Directions:

1.) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Brush olive oil over the baking sheet.  Prepare your meatballs by adding all the ingredients for the meatballs to a bowl and mixing well.  Form into balls and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes till the meatballs are cooked through.  Set aside.

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2.) Chop all your vegetables for the sauce.

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3.) In a large sauce pan, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat.  Add your onions, green peppers, carrots, zucchini, and yellow squash.  Cook for 5 minutes.

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4.) Add your tomatoes, vinegar, stevia, sea salt, garlic, oregano, and basil.  Increase the heat and bring to a boil.  Let cook for 20-30 minutes until the tomatoes have cooked down.

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5.) Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a food processor.  Process on high until desired consistency is obtained.

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6.) Prepare your noodles as directed on the package.  In a saucepan, add the noodles, sauce, and meatballs.  Heat to desired temperature, stirring often.

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7.) Transfer to a plate and top with cheese if desired.  Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.

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YES!  Healthy spaghetti and meatballs – you’ve gotta try this stuff!  Enjoy! 🙂

CAULIFLOWER STEAKS AND THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF CAULIFLOWER

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With the end of the semester being right around the corner, my schedule is jam packed with exams and cramming for finals, so tonight, I wanted something that was healthy and easy that didn’t take a lot of effort on my part to make.    I decided on making some of my cauliflower steaks with some lentils on the side.  YUM!  SO SO healthy, but delicious and satisfying.

I love cauliflower!  There are so many different things you can do with it – cauliflower rice, cauliflower crust pizza, mashed cauliflower, baked cauliflower, steamed cauliflower, or just eat it raw with some tasty dip!  There’s so many different ways to enjoy this delicious cruciferous vegetable, which is great news since it is SO good for you!  The following pin lists some of the health benefits of cauliflower:

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  • Aids in weight loss
  • Aids in digestion
  • Aids in detoxification
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Beneficial to the cardiovascular system
  • Reverses blood vessel damage
  • Increases blood flow
  • Reduces the risk of stroke
  • Provides Omega-3s
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Increases energy levels
  • Improves cell growth and replication
  • Fights cancer

Need I say more?  Cauliflower is an excellent vegetable to regularly include in your diet for all of the above reasons!

So, tonight, I decided to keep it simple and make some cauliflower steaks and pair it with some lentils.  The recipe is easy, and the presentation looks great!

CAULIFLOWER STEAKS WITH LENTILS ON THE SIDE

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • lemon juice
  • parsley (chopped)
  • lentils

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Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Rinse your lentils, then prepare according to package instructions.

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2.) While your lentils are cooking, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Take your head of cauliflower and place it stem down on a cutting board.  Cut two 1-inch steaks from the center of the cauliflower (cut from the top down to the bottom where the stem is).  Chop the rest of the cauliflower into florets and either bake with the steaks or put them in a container and refrigerate them for another time.  Rub olive oil on both sides of each steak, place the steaks on the lined baking sheet and sprinkle with garlic powder and sea salt.

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3.) Place the cauliflower steaks in the oven for 15 minutes.  Take out and flip the steaks over and sprinkle with a bit more garlic powder and sea salt.  Then place back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.

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4.) Take the cauliflower steaks out of the oven and sprinkle with a small amount of lemon juice.  Serve with the lentils on the side, and garnish with some chopped parsley.

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Simple, healthy, delicious!  Enjoy! 🙂