As part of my Instant Pot challenge, I have been cooking for my family of five using only my pressure cooker. Why you might ask? Well, mainly out of necessity and desire to continue to feed my family well, whilst we refurbish our kitchen.
The easier option of course would be to buy microwave meals, but I really enjoy real food! I also know that within days, I would be feeling down and drained of energy eating frozen meals.
As part of this journey, I am aiming to develop a number of “base meals” that create easy to adapt meals to reduce mealtime stress. This base ground beef recipe will probably start to reappear in other meals, which if you are a busy Mum like me, is great. The less work the better.
I keep my base recipe reasonably simple to satisfy young kids, however, if you know your family likes it hot, feel free to spice it up! Or do like me, and add fresh chili as a side.
I like to set up taco nights as a self-serve experience. Think taco-tapas! The kids love it and everyone gets to have what they enjoy most. Feel free to pick and choose your favourite toppings, and experiment with my recipes.
My beef recipe suffices for two full meals for five, there will be lots of meat leftover to use in another meal or freeze for your next taco evening.
GROUND BEEF INGREDIENTS
- 2 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil, for frying
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1kg organic ground beef
- 1-2 Tbsp taco seasoning (no added sugar)
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
TAPA STYLE TACO TOPPINGS
- 70g mixed leaves
- 100g cherry tomatoes
- 100g sliced cucumbers
- 200g grated cheese
- 1 fresh chili, finely sliced (for those who like it hot)
- 150g corn
- Taco chips
GROUND BEEF INSTRUCTIONS (INSTANT POT)
- Select Saute on the Instant Pot and allow it to warm up.
- Add olive oil and red onion into the inner pot, allow to saute for 2-3 minutes then add the ground beef and taco seasoning. Using a wooden spoon, brown the meat. End saute.
- Add beef broth and tomato paste to the pot. Close the lid and turn the valve to seal.
- Select Pressure Cook for 15 minutes. Once finished, carefully force release.
- Finally, select saute for a further 10 minutes to allow the meat to reduce.
- Serve with the tapa toppings and allow every to create their own salad.
Have you ever had to live without a kitchen? What was your plan of attack? For the coming weeks, we are undertaking a full kitchen refurbishment and our entire kitchen has been taken away with the exception of our fridge and freezer.
If I wanted to make life simple, I could go buy five microwave meals or order take out every night. However, I love real food too much, and like to know my children are getting as much nourishment as possible when eating at home. My solution is my Instant Pot!
If you haven’t yet encountered an Instant Pot, let me introduce you! An Instant Pot is a multi-function cooker that allows for “hands-free” cooking. Multi-cookers provide versatile cooking methods including pressure cooking, slow cooking, and sautéing, all in the one appliance.
For the coming weeks, I will cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner, only using my multi-cooker… so what this space, and let’s see what I come up with!
These lovelies are packed full of goodness: almonds, chia seeds, raw cacao, raw sprouted protein powder, sesame seeds, coconut oil and more… Chia seeds are one of the richest plant-based sources of essential fats; a high quality protein food and loaded with antioxidants; chia seeds are one of my favourite seeds.
Thinking ahead as the Swedish weather will soon start to darken, this is a great pick me up snack that will get you through the afternoon and a healthier alternative to those packaged snacks most of us having lurking around the office!
- 1 cup organic almond flour
- 1 scoop raw protein powder of your choice (I like Amazing Meal but you can use any)
- 1/4 cup organic sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup organic chia seeds
- 1/4 cup organic raw cacao powder
- 1/2 cup organic nut butter
- 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil (melted)
- 2 tablespoons organic maple syrup
- Combine all ingredients into a food processor and process until well combined and in a crumbly, paste-type consistency.
- Scoop small spoonfuls and squeeze tightly in the palm of your hands then roll between the palms of your hands into a small ball shape.
- Serve plain, or roll in sesame seeds, cacao nibs, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds or chia seeds.
- Refrigerate and they will become firmer. Eat straight from fridge to maintain shape.
It’s our Saturday morning tradition, Banana Pancakes, and the twins just can’t get enough of them. I love that this is a sure-fire way to get them full of protein (as the main ingredient in these is eggs) and ready for a full day of running amok. This is the perfect recipe for the family; it quick and oh so simple to make.
- 3 eggs
- 2 medium ripe bananas
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon or mixed spice
- 1 tablespoon of potato flour or buckwheat flour(optional)
- Coconut oil for cooking
- Add all the ingredients into a blender (or hand mix it in a bowl if you prefer) and blend well.
- Heat a pan or skillet to a medium-high temperature and add a teaspoon of coconut oil.
- Spoon in approximately 2 tablespoons of mixture for each pancake and gently cook both side.
- Serve as are or add your favourite toppings.
I’d like to add any leftover pancakes make fantastic snacks refrigerated and served rolled up with a nut butter inside later in the day (unfortunately there are never leftovers in my house, even when I make a double batch!).
I don’t know about you, but at least in my household with twin toddlers and trying to get out the door each morning, breakfast needs to be relatively quick and easy. This recipe is superb if you need an on the go breakfast or mid-morning snack that will keep you going through the day.
• ½ cup of rolled oats
• 3 Tbsp chia seeds
• 1 Tbsp desiccated coconut
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 2 tsp maple syrup or honey (optional)
• 1 ½ cups of milk of your choice (I like to use either oat milk or coconut cream mixed with water)
• Toppings – fresh or frozen berries, chopped nuts, seeds, cacao nibs
1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a glass bowl.
2. Add the wet ingredients and mix well, ensuring that no chia seeds are left sticking to the sides of the bowl.
3. Revisit a couple of times to mix again (after 5 and 10 minutes) then leave in the refrigerator overnight to thicken or move into smaller breakfast/snack portioned jars.
4. If portioned, add the berries and nuts on top for an instantly accessible snack or breakfast.
I love fennel when it’s in season and lucky for me, the season lasts reasonably long (from about April to December, but peaking in mid-late summer). Fennel juice is also great to give you a little immune-boost.
- 1/2 a large bulb of fennel
- 1 cucumber
- 2-3 sticks of celery
- 1 red apple (I like Royal Gala apples but any will do)
- Wash all the ingredients
- Chop the vegetables down to size to fit your juicer
- Add all the ingredients into your juicer
- Drink and enjoy
These lovely guilt-free muffins are a great way to use up all that leftover pulp after juicing. Try it with different pulps but as you can imagine, apple, carrot and ginger pulp works great. There is no added refined sugar in these, so if you feel you need a little more sweetness, try adding coconut sugar.
- 2 1/2 cups gluten free flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 egg (for vegan, swap out the egg for 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds)
- 2 cups of left over juice pulp
- 1 medium mashed banana
- 1/2 cup oat milk (or other milk of choice)
- 1/2 cup oat yoghurt (or other yoghurt of choice)
- 1/2 cup apple puree
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (for greasing the muffin tin)
- Preheat the oven to 180c and grease muffin tin with coconut oil
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowel
- In a second large bowl, mix all the wet ingredients
- Combine the the wet and dry ingredients and using an electric beater, combine well
- Scoop mixture into greased muffin tin tray or cases
- Bake at 180c for 30-35 minutes
- Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before placing the muffins on a wire rack to finish cooling
- Once cool, keep in a airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days