Getting my parents Christmas gifts is impossible. They really don’t want more stuff and if I give them cash, they give it back. ❤
This year, since I was traveling home last week, I decided the best thing I could do was cook for them. So that’s what I did. I made twelve meals for two.
Spinach Tomato Soup (recipe here)
Spinach Lasagna (recipe here)
Chicken Tortilla Soup (recipe here)
Shredded Chicken – I shredded two pounds of chicken that I cooked with garlic, sage, rosemary and basil in the Multi-Pot/Instant Pot. They can then use it for chicken salad or BBQ chicken.
Chicken Noodle Soup
- 1 lb chicken, diced
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
- 32 ounces of veggie broth ( I use my vitamix to blend carrots, celery, garlic, onion to make a quick, nutritious vegetable broth)
- 12-ounce sliced carrots (I use frozen)
- 12-ounce green beans (I use frozen)
- 3 stalks of celery, diced
- 1/2 onion diced (optional, my parents love onions)
- 10 oz of small bowtie pasta or egg noodles.
In the instant pot, add oil and use the saute feature to quickly brown the chicken until it’s golden. Add remaining ingredients and pressurize for 15 minutes.
Minestrone (with tiny meatballs)
- Tiny meatball recipe is here and make bite-sized balls – I halved the recipe, using 1 lb beef.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 10 oz sliced carrots (I use frozen)
- 2 medium ribs celery, chopped
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables (potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, butternut
- squash, green beans or peas all work) Again, using frozen is easy
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, with their liquid
- 32 ounces vegetable broth (see instructions above)
- 3 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 bay leaves
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 10 oz orecchiette, elbow or small shell pasta
- 15 ounce-can Great Northern beans or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups baby spinach, chopped kale or chopped collard greens
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Garnish: Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
On the sauté setting on the Instant Pot, heat oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened and the onions are turning translucent – about 7 to 10 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients (except parmesan), cover and using the soup setting, cook for 15 minutes. Let depressurize and then for added flavor, using the sauté setting, cook an additional 5 minutes with lid removed. Add more water if needed.
NOTES: All of these recipes make enough for four people (generously), so it’s easy to divide and freeze half for a later date, to pull out for a quick dinner. I froze everything in easy to store 32 oz containers and I made the lasanga into two 8×8 pans and froze.
Slow-cooker or stovetop – let simmer for 4-8 hours in the slowcooker or 30-40 minutes on the stovetop.
Looking for a Christmas gift? How about a full-menu cookbook?