Instant Pot Pot Roast

This one was a big time winner! But then, every recipe I’ve found on Damn Delicious is a winner.

It tasted like it’d been cooking all day, but it only took about an hour total.  It was PHENOMENAL. I will make this all the time, seriously. It turns a weekend meal that takes a long time and makes it a weeknight meal.

The meat was tender and fell apart. The veggies were the perfect texture, and the gravy that it makes was spot on.

https://damndelicious.net/2018/04/12/instant-pot-pot-roast/

I made a few changes:

  • I used brisket because we had one in the freezer that needed to be used
  • I was not able to add wine to mine because I accidentally bought a cork bottle instead of screw too and I misplaced my wine opener. I used extra beef stock.
  • I added a ton of thyme and no rosemary because I didn’t have any
  • I only set my IP for 40 minutes based on other things I read about cooking brisket in the IP. If I had used the chuck roast, I would have done what the recipe says.
  • I didn’t shred it. I just cut it up as usual. It sort of falls apart itself anyway.

No Kitchen Dinner: Rotisserie Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Grocery stores have such great options for when you can’t cook! This one almost made me feel like I wasn’t drowning in clutter around my house and things were back to normal.

Chicken: Grocery story rotisserie chickens are my jam, whether I have a kitchen or not. They are so insanely versatile, I buy them all the time. My favorite is when Pavilions has their $5 Friday specials, otherwise, the ones at Costco are my go-to because they are much bigger than the other ones. 

Sweet Potatoes: Trader Joe’s to the rescue again! Seriously, if you don’t have a TJs near you, you should move to where there is one and live happily ever after. I found these in the frozen section. They are little gems of mashed sweet potatoes that you cook in the microwave. You just take out however many discs you need (12 discs is 2 servings) and heat ‘em up for a few minutes.  I then add a little ghee and a touch of maple syrup. Perfection. I’ll buy these to keep on hand anyway!

Brussels Sprouts: I’ve been using my Instant Pot a lot as a substitute for my skillet, which has been met with mixed reviews. The saute function on the IP isn’t really meant for long-term cooking; more so for browning or thickening up a sauce at the end. I’ve made it work, but it isn’t ideal because you can’t control the heat. I made my usual brussels sprouts by sauteing bacon in a little bit of olive oil and adding chopped leeks and a little minced garlic. Add the brussels sprouts and cook until softened and browned to your liking.

Sweet Potato Potato Salad  

I always like finding ways to incorporate healthier choices into my cooking, especially for holidays and special occasions. This potato salad is perfect to bring to summer BBQs and a few simple swaps helped increase the nutrition a little bit.

4 medium sweet potatoes

5 slices (6oz) bacon, chopped

1 cup thawed peas

2 green onions, chopped

2-4 tablespoons honey mustard

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon greek yogurt

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper

Peel and dice the sweet potatoes and then boil them in salted water until they are fork tender. It doesn’t matter what size you dice them, just make them even.

In a skillet, cook the bacon until crispy.

In a small bowl, mix together the honey mustard, cider vinegar, honey, greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper. I actually just did this right in the measuring cup.

In a large bowl, add your cooked sweet potatoes, crispy bacon, thawed peas, and chopped green onions. Season with salt and pepper and pour as much dressing over the top as you’d prefer.  I used all of it. Taste to see if you need to add anything.

Let it cool in the fridge for a couple hours and taste it again. The longer this sits, the better the flavors are.

Shepherd’s Pie Stuffed Baked Potato

We love shepherd’s pie in my house, so I wanted to find a way to shake it up a little bit.  This was just the answer and it was so easy since I didn’t have to make mashed potatoes to go on top!

The filling recipe is a slight variation on my other shepherd’s pie recipe that I use with turkey. I think I like it with ground beef better, but both are delicious.

Serves 4

4 russet potatoes

1 pound ground beef

Olive oil

½ onion, diced

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup peas

1 cup carrots, diced small

¼ cup worchestershire sauce

1 cup beef broth

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Grated cheddar cheese (optional)

Poke a few holes in each potato after you wash the outside. In a 425 degree oven, bake the potatoes for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until done all the way through. My potatoes were really big, so it took a long time. If yours are smaller, it may not take as long. Just keep your eye on them.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, Add the carrots in a little olive oil until they begin to soften. Add the onion, garlic, and ground beef and cook until the carrots are soft and the beef is browned and cooked through. Add the peas just before the end of cooking so they can thaw (if frozen) and warm through.  Sprinkle with the cornstarch and add the worchestershire sauce and the beef broth and bring to a boil, stirring consistently to mix in the cornstarch and form the gravy.

When the potatoes are ready, cut them open slightly and fluff up the inside.  Top with the shepherd’s pie mixture and a sprinkle of cheese.

Serve and enjoy!

Cajun-style Shrimp, Sausage, and Potatoes

I am often day dreaming about recipes. I know, it may seem weird, but I truly do think of a couple ingredients and just imagine what I can do with them. I start out pretty general and then play around with ingredients in my head until I think I may be on to something. It doesn’t always work out, but often it does and when that happens, I am quite pleased with myself.

This dish came out of a craving I was having for shrimp. Who doesn’t like shrimp, right? I also LOVE Louisiana-style cuisine. Unfortunately, it isn’t usally the healthiest, so I either avoid it, just give in and go for gold, or, like in this case, rely on simple seasoning to give a healthy dish some Cajun flair.

This meal came together in a flash and the hubby went back for seconds. That makes it a total winner in my book.  The potato/sausage mixture makes a lot, so you can have leftovers, which are super delish the next day with sunny-side up egg on top.

You can adjust the seasonings based on your preference/tolerance for spice.

Cajun-style Shrimp, Sausage, and Potatoes

 

Olive oil

½ yellow onion, diced

4-5 mini sweet peppers, diced (mix of red, yellow, and orange). You can also just use 1 red bell pepper, diced.

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, diced

1 pound smoked turkey sausage (i.e. Hilshire Farms)

Cajun seasoning (I used Tony Chachere brand)

Shrimp, factor in about 5 medium-sized shrimp per person

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add about a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Saute the sausage until it starts to brown. Remove from the skillet. Add a little more olive oil if you need it and saute the onions, peppers, and potatoes until the potatoes are almost softened. Add the garlic at this point so you don’t burn it. Add the sausage back in and sprinkle some Cajun seasoning. However much you want. Let this cook until the sausage and potatoes are browned and cooked through.

Meanwhile, in a separate skillet over medium heat, add a little more olive oil. Sprinkle more seasoning on some peeled and deveined shrimp and cook until done, just a few minutes on each side is usually all you need.  I cook the shrimp separately because you will have leftovers of the potatoes and the shrimp doesn’t reheat well. You can always make more shrimp if you want later.

Once it’s all done, just serve up the potato/sausage mixture and top with about 5 shrimp per person.

Autumn Steak Salad

I know salads for dinner are usually thought of as a summer thing. They are light and refreshing and rarely involve turning on an oven in the heat of the summer.
 

Fall foods are usually considered more hearty and comforting. However, there is nobody saying that you can’t enjoy a good salad in the Fall and still feel warm and full. I was looking for something that would check off all the boxes: healthy, salad, filling, hearty, full of Fall goodness, so I came up with this beauty of a dish. My husband loved it. I loved it. It definitely hit the spot.

I’ve put approximate amounts in the list below. That’s one of the things that’s so great about a salad: you have so much free reign to make it how you like. Don’t want steak? Use chicken. Or no meat at all. Change the apple, add more cranberries.

You do you, boo.

Autumn Steak Salad

1 bag mixed greens (or lettuce/greens of your choice)

1 sweet potato, cubed

Olive oil

Ground cinnamon

1 apple, diced (I used a Fuji)

½ cup dried cranberries (or more if you’d like)

½ cup chopped walnuts (or more if you’d like)

Goat cheese, crumbled

Steak cut of your choice (I used a 15oz rib eye I found at Trader Joe’s)

Maple Dijon Apple vinaigrette

Salt and pepper

Fresh sage, about 1 tablespoon, minced

Place your cubed sweet potato on a baking sheet and coat with some olive oil, salt, and cinnamon, just a sprinkle or so will be fine. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.

While the potatoes are roasting, season your steak with salt and pepper. Cook in a skillet over medium heat (I used my cast iron) until cooked to your preferred doneness. Remove and let set for about 5-10 minutes. Slice thinly.

Mix together the vinaigrette by combining equal parts olive oil and apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, and ½ tablespoon of maple syrup and whisk together.

Assemble the salad: In a big bowl, add the greens, apple, cranberries, walnuts, sage, goat cheese, cooled sweet potatoes, and steak slices. Drizzle with dressing and toss to combine.

Sweet Potato Noodles with Sage Brown Butter and Walnuts 

Anyone else feel like this year has just gotten off to a running start? I feel like there was a bit of a rush with the holidays, then a little slow-down and now it’s off to the races again! I’m doing what I can to stay ahead of things, but every so often, I require myself to sit down and make a list prioritizing my tasks.

Unfortunately, blogging is never number one on the list. As much as I’d like it to be, it’s just not possible. I end up taking lots of pictures of my food and the process and then write up the posts later. I guess that’s better than not doing it all, right? Then I end up with a small stockpile of blog posts and I feel like I’m ahead of the game for a bit. I guess this is a good plan after all.

I also keep up regularly with Instagram, so you can visit me over there and see all the yummy stuff I’ve got going on.

Anyway, back to the food!

The other night I wanted to do a meatless Monday meal. I had some nice sized sweet potatoes on hand and had recently picked up some fresh sage (love this stuff!). I thought it would be perfect for noodles so I got out my spiralizer and got to work.

This meal came together very quickly and it was delicious! You could even serve it in smaller amounts as a side dish. I was going for a “Meatless Monday” but I’ll bet it would be fantastic with some crisped up pancetta added too.

These measurements made enough for two as a main course with a little leftover. 

Sweet Potato Noodles with Sage Brown Butter Sauce and Walnuts

1 large sweet potato 

Olive oil

Pinch of salt

1 stick unsalted butter

3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped

Handful of walnuts

Peel the sweet potato and make your noodles with a spiralizer (swoodles). If you don’t have one, go on Amazon and get one. They are inexpensive and such fun! While you wait for it to be delivered, you can use a vegetable peeler to make your noodles.

In a skillet with a little olive oil (about a tablespoon), add your swoodles and season with a bit of salt. Cook over medium heat until soft, stirring often.

Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, add your butter over medium-high heat and let it melt. Cook until it starts to brown. This will happen fast so don’t walk away. Add your sage and let it cook for about a minute. Pour the sauce over the noodles and add your walnuts. I used some lightly sweetened walnuts I had from Trader Joe’s but you can use plain or raw or roasted. Whatever you like. I liked using the candied walnuts because it added just another balance of flavor. The butter takes on a nutty taste and the sage is nice and earthy. The sweetness from the nuts and potato just round it all out. Theoretically you can leave the walnuts out, but I wouldn’t recommend it. For a meatless meal, they add some protein and the crunch gives the dish some texture.

 

This was a big hit. My 3 year old kept taking bites off my plate and my kids are super picky eaters! There’s actually some leftovers in the fridge that I’m thinking about right now….