Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Instant Pot Rice Pudding

Rice pudding in a small white bowl

We LOVE rice pudding but hate how long it takes. I worked on this recipe for a while until it was just like Mom used to make. It's SO yummy.

Instant Pot Rice Pudding
1 1/2 cups rice (we use long grain but any kind will work)
4 1/2 cups milk
1 cups sugar (add a little more if you want it super sweet, we add up to 1/4 cup)
pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla

Put everything in the instant pot, except the vanilla. Put it on manual setting for 20 minutes. Allow it to naturally release. Stir in vanilla. Cool slightly before serving, or you can serve it cold. Mix-ins options: cinnamon, nutmeg, blueberries, cream cheese, raisins, craisins, nuts, chocolate chips, etc.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Apple Pie by Grandma Ople

She's not our grandma, but I can tell she's a baking wizard. I'm usually not a big apple pie fan, but this Allrecipes find is a total winner. I used one of those apple slicer/corer/peeler gadgets, and it made it so easy, but it also meant the apples were thinner. Take care to not let the apples get mushy during baking if you use thin apples (my adaptations are already included below).

Apple Pie by Grandma Ople

adapted from Allrecipes

1 double pie crust, homemade or store-bought
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 Tbs all purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
6-8 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced and splashed with lemon juice and optional  cinnamon (about 1/2-1 tsp)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, salt, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.

Place the bottom crust in your pan. Mix apples with the sugar and butter sauce, reserving about 1/3 cup. Fill crust with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work crust. Gently pour the remaining sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.

Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, taking care to cover the edges with foil so they don't burn. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue baking for 25-35 minutes, until apples are soft (bake 35-45 minutes if using thicker apple slices).

Monday, March 23, 2020

Cajun Chicken Pasta (Whole30)

I've made this twice in the last week- its that good.  The sauce is super spicy and perfect with the peppers, zucchini, and chicken.  I made a few changes in the recipe because of which meat I chose, but you can stick with the original if you'd like.  

Cajun Chicken Pasta

  1. 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (depending on your tolerance for spicy)
  2. 1 tsp. black pepper
  3. 1/2 tsp. salt
  4. 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  5. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  6. 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary leaves
  7. 1/8 tsp. dried oregano leaves
  8. 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you can add any meat you like here- beef, chicken, sausage, shrimp, etc.  I used Aidell's Chicken and Apple Links and it was perfection!)
  9. 1/4-1/2 cup arrowroot starch (less if you're using the chicken links)
  10. 2-4 tbsp. olive oil
  11. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  12. 1 tbsp. ghee
  13. 2 tsp. lemon
  14. 1 cup chicken broth
  15. 2-3 zucchinis, spiralized (If you have the option, spiralize the noodles on the wider setting)
  16. 1 red bell pepper, diced large (I used all of the peppers I had in the fridge, which was ALOT)
  17. 1/4 onion, sliced thinly (I diced these smaller)
  18. 1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional- I didn't use them)
  19. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  20. salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Combine all of the spices (cayenne, black pepper, salt, red pepper, thyme, rosemary and oregano) in a small bowl. Set Aside.  If you're using chicken links, skip to step 6
  2. Place a boneless, skinless chicken breast on a cutting board. Hold it flat with the palm of one hand and, with a chef's knife in the other hand, carefully slice it in half horizontally to make a thinner breast of chicken. Cut all of the chicken breasts this way.
  3. Season the chicken, to taste, on both sides with a little salt and pepper.
  4. Pour arrowroot into a bowl or plate and dredge the chicken in the arrowroot so that it is just coated on both sides. Set aside on a plate while you continue to coat all of the chicken in the arrowroot.
  5. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat in a non-stick skillet. sear the chicken until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side and, when the chicken is browned set aside on a plate. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may need to do this in two batches and you may need to add more olive oil if your skillet dries out. Your chicken does not need to be cooked through, just golden brown. It will continue to cook in the sauce in a minute.
  6. Reduce heat on the skillet to medium-low. Add the tbsp. ghee and melt.
  7. Add minced garlic to the skillet and saute for 1minute, being careful not to burn.
  8. Pour in the broth, lemon juice and the spice mixture, stir to combine. Nestle chicken cutlets (or put chicken links with 1 Tbs. arrowroot starch or corn starch for thickness) back into the sauce and reduce heat so that it is simmering. Simmer in the sauce until chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, heat a separate skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil and add the red bell pepper and onion and saute for about 4 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and continue to saute for another 4 minutes. Be sure to season with salt and pepper, to taste. Now, add in the zucchini noodles and saute until just tender, about 2 minutes, being careful not to over cook as they can get watery.
  10. Pour chicken and sauce over the noodle mixture, serve and enjoy!

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Creamy Chicken Pot Pie Soup

I had to make a few adjustments to fit this into Whole30, but man was it worth it!!  I love comfort food and this marks all of those boxes.  Everyone loved it at our house and it makes enough for a crowd.  I'm going to post recipe with my adjustments, but if you'd rather see hers in true form, just click the link below the title.

Creamy Chicken Pot Pie Soup

  • 1 tbs oil (or butter)
  • 1.5 cups diced shallots 170 g
  • 3 sprigs of thyme, leaves pulled off the stem
  • 3 cups (316 g) carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups (260 g) celery, chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbs arrowroot starch (or flour)
  • 30 g bone broth (or dry white cooking wine)
  • 2 cups fat free milk (or cashew milk for Whole30)
  • 2 cups bone broth 
  • 4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast, 650 g
  • 2 cups frozen peas (230 g) (omit for Whole30)
  • 20 oz cauliflower, steamed, then blended with a little of your broth
  • salt and pepper to taste         
  1. In a heavy bottomed pot or large, deep skillet, sauté oil (or butter), shallots and thyme for a few minutes over medium-hight heat until soft and fragrant. 
  2. Add carrots, celery, and salt and sauté for five more minutes. Then add garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Sprinkle veggies with 2 tbs arrowroot (or all purpose flour) and stir until well combined. Add the 30 g broth and let it cook for just a minute, then add milk, whisking gently until it thickens.
  4. Add broth, shredded chicken, frozen peas, and blended steamed cauliflower and combine well. Finish with some fresh cracked pepper and any additional salt to taste.
  5. At this point you can serve it as a soup alongside a biscuit or piece of crusty bread. Or you can cover with a layer of pie crust or biscuit dough and bake until the top is brown and cooked through for a more traditional pot pie. 

Mexican Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

This was another true favorite on Whole30.  The chicken had a delicious flavor, but what really sealed the deal was this avocado jalapeno sauce....amazing.  I could have put it on all of the things!  I served over diced and roasted sweet potatoes and the kids ate it rolled up in a tortilla.

Mexican Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes


  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, diced
  • olive oil, salt and pepper


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 10-oz. can tomatoes with green chiles, undrained, any variety
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning


  • 1 avocado, peeled and seeded
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Cook your sweet potatoes: Placed diced potatoes on cookie sheet tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast for 15-20 minutes on 425.
  2. Make your shredded chicken: combine chicken breasts, taco seasoning, and can of tomatoes with green chiles (undrained) in the pot of an Instant Pot. Do not add water. Secure lid and cook on Manual, high pressure for 20 minutes. Quick release pressure and remove chicken breasts from the pot. Shred with two forks then return to pot. Stir on Sauté mode a few minutes until sauce is absorbed. 
  3. Meanwhile, make your sauce: combine all avocado-jalapeño sauce ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. 
  4. Serve chicken on top of sweet potatoes and dress with sauce and guacamole.  

Coconut Lime Chicken

I've made this a couple of times now and its going to become a regular staple in our home. The flavors are awesome and its easy.  We serve it over cauliflower rice, but the kids eat it with sticky rice.  Either way, its so good and even better on day 2.

Coconut Lime Chicken


  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated on a microplane or 3 frozen Ginger Dorot cubes from Trader Joe's
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (plus more for topping)
  • 1/3 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil (or coconut oil)
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1.5 cups full fat coconut milk (I get mine at Trader Joe's in the cans)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lime slices for topping (optional)


  • Prep shallot, garlic, ginger and cilantro as noted. Juice limes and set aside.
  • Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of parchment paper and pound them down to make them even in thickness. Sprinkle each side of the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add avocado oil.
  • Once hot, add the chicken to the pan (you may have to cook the chicken in 2 batches depending on the size of your pan). Cook, without disturbing for 3-4 minutes, until a nice brown crust has formed. Flip and cook another 3-4 minutes on the other side, until the chicken is mostly cooked through.
  • Remove chicken from the skillet and set aside. Lower the heat to medium.
  • Add more oil if needed and add the garlic and shallot to the pan. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add chicken broth, coconut milk, lime juice, ginger and cilantro to the pan. Stir to mix, scraping up any browned bits remaining in the pan from when you cooked your chicken.
  • Add the chicken breasts back to the skillet with the sauce. Cover and turn heat down to low. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked.
  • Serve with vegetables, potatoes, rice or cauli rice. Spoon some sauce over everything for serving. Sprinkle with cilantro and garnish with lime slices (optional).

Keto Mashed Cauliflower

I know some of you are rolling your eyes at this blasphemy, but do not knock it until you have tried it.  Kate said she liked it better than mashed potatoes.  All I know is that there is something amazing that happens when you eat this healthy and it still tastes a lot like the real thing.  We ate it with the Air Fryer Turkey Breast for the perfect pairing.

Keto Mashed Cauliflower