Versatile and Tasty: Ropa Vieja (Instant Pot & Slow Cooker Versions)

Ropa Vieja is one of my favorite items on a local Mexican restaurant menu. I almost always have it in a salad in a tortilla bowl.  So of course I had to figure out how to replicate it at home.

I have tortilla bowl molds and make them for lunch salads all the time. Although you don’t need them, use this method here.

Now to up my game with some tasty ropa vieja. Continue reading

Instapot Chicken Thighs

Instapot isn’t the name of the device but it should be! We were going to venture out for seeds from Rural King and frozen fries from Kroger. I put a can of roasted garlic mushroom soup, added a can of broth and four frozen thighs into the pot and set it for 30 minutes. We left when the pop-up vent sealed – it has hung before and we waited to be sure. Everything worked well, the thighs were cooled and boned, the gravy thickened with corn starch, potatoes cooked and mashed, and a small bag of frozen peas was zapped in the microwave.

Instant Pot: Beef and Barley Soup

 

JeffreyW makes mouths water with this photo of his Beef and Barley Soup (with bonus Foccacia recipe here)

For the stovetop version, click here.

It has been unseasonably warm here, but I still wanted soup. Checked the freezer and I had a cross-rib roast, that would do since there was not a secret stash of chuck roast tucked away. All the other ingredients were handy, so Beef and Barley soup was it.

I added a potato, diced small, just because.

Beef & Barley Vegetable Soup

  • olive oil
  • 1 lb chuck, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 14 oz of tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • 8 cups of water (or water and vegetable broth**)
  • 12 oz sliced carrots (frozen ok)
  • 12 oz green beans (frozen ok)
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp salt (more as desired)
  • 2 bay leaves (remove before serving)

large saucepan

Heat oil in the instant pot on the sauté setting. Sauté onions for 1 minute, add beef and brown on all sides, add garlic and sauté for 1 minute making sure not to burn the garlic. Add remaining ingredients.  Set the pot to Soup/Stew setting and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, until barley is tender.  Use natural release method.

Serve with biscuits or cornbread.

**For vegetable broth,  I blend the tomatoes, and an additional 6 oz of carrots, 6 oz of green beans, 2 stalks of the celery, 1 cup water into a smooth puree, to make a hearty base for the soup.  I like the hearty stock.

Yum.

It’s soup season, so here are a few more: Tomato Soup and Grilled CheeseChicken Tortilla Soup, and Minestrone with Tiny Meatballs


 

Instant Pot: Egg Cups

I can’t believe I haven’t posted this yet. I make them all the time.  You do need silicone molds, that you can also use for brownie bites, mini-muffins or mini-pancake bites, or a recipe I’ll be trying and will post, mini-cheesecakes.  The molds come with a rack to raise and lower them from the pressure cooker, which is important because they are unstable when filled.

You can mix up just about anything you like with your eggs – diced tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, shredded potato, ham, bacon…you see the list is endless. Continue reading

Instant Pot: Turkey Noodle Soup

I found a really good deal on lean ground turkey and packaged most of it up to store in the freezer. While I was there, I decided it was time to make some space, so I pulled out the turkey broth I made from Thanksgiving leftovers.

Ground turkey ✔
Turkey Broth ✔

Time for some turkey noodle soup! And it was mmmm, mmmm, good.

Turkey Noodle Soup

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 8 cups of liquid – a combination of turkey or chicken broth and water
  • 16 oz frozen vegetables – you can add a bag of mixed veggies. I used carrots and green beans
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery leaves, chopped (opt)
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 10 oz egg noodles
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 3 tsp poultry seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste (you’ll probably need 1/2 tsp of each for the ground meat and more for the soup itself)

Add salt, pepper and 1 tsp poultry seasoning to turkey and mix well. Continue reading

Sunday Pot Roast: Instant Pot and Slow-Cooker Recipes

Sunday Pot Roast In my quest to update some of my older recipes for Instant Pot style cooking, here is one of my favorites. I love being able to set this up and an hour and a half later have a perfectly cooked pot roast – tender and flavorful – along with all the sides.

Sunday Pot Roast

  • 4 lbs Pot Roast (chuck roast)
  • ¼  cup good whiskey (or red wine)
  • ¼ cup beef broth or water (more if needed)
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves (remove before serving)
  • ½ tsp salt & pepper
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 6 medium potatoes, quartered
  • 1 lb bag baby carrots

slow-cooker or Instant Pot Continue reading

Holiday Gifts: Instant Pot Dinners for Two

 

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.

This included:

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.

Continue reading

Cookbook Featured Menu: Hearty Tomato Soup And Grilled Cheese, Bonus Flax Cookies

Since we witnessed a 70-degree temperature drop here yesterday, soup had to be on the menu.  And since I have a counter full of ripe tomatoes, tomato soup sounded good.  This is not your basic canned soup and grilled cheese.  These recipes are tasty, hearty and easy to whip up.  And the flax cookies are addictive. If you’re using an Instant-Style Pot, I have instructions for that at the bottom of the soup recipe.  Continue reading