Instant pot chicken and artichoke recipe 

Wow. I just made a variation of my friend Erin’s crockpot recipe that she posted, but I did it in my Instant Pot. This dinner was so easy, very fast to prep, and only took 15 minutes on the poultry setting. It was also very light, but the flavor was delicious and very satisfying.  It’s a perfect meal for summer nights when you would rather be outside with the kids than inside cooking dinner.
Feel free to use this as a crockpot recipe like my friend Erin from http://www.erinhopkinshealthandfitness.com does. Or if you have an instant pot and want to make this meal super quick, just do it on the poultry setting for 15 minutes.
My 3.5 year old and 10 month old also enjoyed this meal. For them I served it with pasta. My husband and I enjoyed it over spinach. Either way was delicious.

Let me know what you think about this super yummy, light and healthy instant pot chicken and artichoke recipe!

Ingredients:
1.5 – 2 lb organic chicken thighs
2 cans artichoke hearts in water
3 oz sundried tomatoes
1 onion
1 lemon
Salt, pepper, dried thyme to taste

Method:
Slice the onion. Place slices in instant pot or crock pot.
Place the chicken thighs on top of the onions and season with salt, pepper and thyme to taste (or about 1/4 teaspoon of each).
Top with 2 cans of artichokes (with the liquid), the juice of one lemon, and the sundried tomatoes.
Set the instant pot to the poultry setting for 15 minutes and then do a natural release, or the crockpot high for 4 hours or low for 8-9 hours.

Thanks again to my friend Erin!!  I love getting new recipes from friends who also strive to make healthy and nutrient rich food for their family.  I appreciate it!  And anything I can make in my Instant Pot is always a HUGE plus.  I am so obsessed with that thing!

Instant pot spaghetti and meat sauce 

Like guys. My mind is blown over this instant pot. I am obsessed with it. As a working mom of 2, it is a serious game changer for dinnertime. We make spaghetti and meat sauce or baked ziti a lot in my house. It’s so delicious, quick, and I can keep it healthy and organic when I have control over the ingredients. But one downside is all the dishes. Usually I have to brown the meat in a skillet, then boil pasta in another pot, and drain it in a colander. And if I’m making ziti, I usually bake it in a Pyrex for a while too. That’s a lot of dishes to clean up. I made the most delicious ziti tonight and I only had to clean my stainless steel bowl from the instant pot. Freaking AMAZING. 

Ingredients:
1 lb ground organic turkey or beef 
1 lb organic pasta (I used penne but you could use ziti or whatever you like)
1 25 oz jar organic spaghetti sauce 
25 oz water 
Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning 

Method:
Turn the instant pot on sauté mode. Brown your beef with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. 


Once the meat is browned, add the sauce. Then fill up your sauce jar with water and pour that in. 


Then add your pasta and make sure the pasta is all under the liquid. 


Turn the instant pot off and then back on on steam and set the time for 5 minutes. 
After the time is up, do a natural release for 5 minutes and then carefully do a quick release. 

To make this into baked ziti, top each individual bowl with 3 tablespoons of ricotta and 2 tablespoons of shredded mozzarella. Mix the cheese while the pasta is hot. 

If desired, top with Parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes! 

21 Day Fix Baked Ziti 

One thing I really love about the 21 Day Fix diet is that you can be creative and eat the things you love. I grew up in an Italian family who loves to cook and eat together. Baked ziti was always a staple. I love making meals like this that allow me to stick to my plan, but also taste delicious and my family doesn’t even notice it’s my “diet food”. 

When I saw that the 21 Day Fix counted ricotta cheese a protein, I was like OMG – quick!!! Get the store immediately so I can make baked ziti!!! I do have the containers, but when I’m cooking I like to just look up the measurements and use measuring cups. 
For this recipe, tomato sauce counts as purple and I used 1 cup. Whole grain pasta counts as yellow and I used 1/2 cup. Ricotta counts as red and I used 2/3 cup. This is a bit much if you don’t really love Ricotta like I do, so feel free to back it off to 1/3 cup and only count it for 1/2 a red container. Lean ground beef counts as red and I used 2/3 cup. You could also use ground turkey, chicken, beef, bison, or venison here. And shredded mozzarella counts as blue and I used 1/4 cup. I also used all organic ingredients. All of these together is one serving and would count as 1 purple, 1 yellow, 2 red and 1 blue. 
You have the option of scooping these ingredients into individual bowls (or Tupperware containers for lunch the next day) or into a larger baking dish and diving up the portions. I like doing it both ways. 

Try this out and let me know what you think! 

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef (or other ground meat – very lean, >95%) 

Whole grain pasta – about 1/2 lb

Container of light ricotta cheese

Shredded mozzarella cheese (about a bag)

Method:

1. Brown ground beef with salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano and dried thyme. Set aside to cool off. 

2. Boil pasta according to instructions on the box. Set aside to cool. 

3. Measure your portions into a bowl or larger baking dish. If using a baking dish, duplicate the measurements by 2 or 3. If baking, mix all ingredients together and top with a little mozzarella. 


Tomato sauce – 1 cup (purple)

Whole grain pasta – 1/3 cup (yellow)

Light Ricotta cheese – 2/3 cup (red)

Lean ground beef – 2/3 cup (red)

Shredded mozzarella cheese – 1/4 cup (blue)

4. Microwave your individual bowl to desired temperature (I like 30-45 seconds).  Or if baking, bake at 375 for 20 minutes.


Let me know what you think about this 21 Day Fix friendly baked ziti. 

Fish tacos recipe 

This fish tacos recipe is a super quick and healthy meal that the whole family will enjoy. As a working mom, I am always looking for super easy and fast dinners, but I don’t want to compromise on providing nutrition like vegetables and protein. This was a delicious and light meal which felt summery and was perfect for this random 70 degree day in February!
Also, a couple notes about ingredients…. try and use organic if possible. Organic tortillas can be hard to come by. My local health food store (MOMs organic market has these – both brands I love). Sometimes you’ll have better luck looking in the frozen section. 

But you can also get them at Target!! Their simply balanced brand has organic tortillas. I highly recommend buying organic if you can especially for tortillas because so many brands are full of processed junk and preservatives. You don’t want that in your body. It’s way too hard to break down and will stick to your hips and butt – YUCK. 
Also, try to find wild caught fish too! So many farmed fish these days are fed GMO food. When I think about what I’m putting into my body and my family’s bodies, if we are eating fish I want it to be fish how they are supposed to be – from their natural habitats!
Try this easy fish tacos recipe for a super quick and healthy weeknight dinner. Let me know how you like them! 

Makes about 6 fish tacos. 

Ingredients:
Wild caught cod filets (about 1 lb) 
1/2 head of green or purple cabbage, shredded 
1 bunch cilantro (about 1/4 cup chopped)
1 lime
1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)
1 tsp honey 
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, plus more for garnish 
Organic tortillas 
Spice mixture for fish:
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper 
1/2 teaspoon chili powder 
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 

Method:
Preheat oven to 400. 
Combine all ingredients for spice mixture in a small bowl and stir. 

Coat boat sides of the fish filets with the 2 teaspoons of olive oil and the spice mixture. Bake for 15 minutes. 

While the cod is baking, put cabbage and chopped cilantro in a large bowl. 
Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tsp honey and the juice of 1/2 a lime into a small Tupperware container. Shake vigorously and then pour over the cabbage mixture. Season with salt and pepper and mix with tongs. Put the bowl in the fridge for about 10 minutes. 

Give the slaw another toss and the liquid will settle at the bottom in the refrigerator. Assemble your tacos with slaw and cod on your tortillas. Optionally you can top it with some hot sauce if you like a kick.