IP Mushroom Pork Chops

What you need:

  • 4 thick cut pork chops (about 3/4 inch)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 3-4 TBSP unsalted butter

What to do:

Salt and pepper the pork chops. Feel free to turn your Instant Pot to Sautee and brown the chops a little in some olive oil – I never do and it still turns out great, but if you have the extra time it doesn’t hurt. Add the mushroom soup and water to the instant pot and stir well. Add the pork chops and mushrooms. Close it up and set it to high pressure for 8 minutes,  10 minute NPR. Remove the pork chops and set aside. Add the butter to the pot and whisk, making sure you whisk in the yummy browned bits on the bottom. Top the pork chops with the mushroom gravy and serve.


Egg Roll In a Bowl

For my low-carb lunches, nothing beats egg roll in a bowl or “crack slaw” as some people call it. There are a million variations of this on the internet, this is my version cobbled together from reading lots of different recipes. Easy, fast and impossible to mess up.

What you need:

  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey or chicken
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 TBSP ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 12-16 oz bag of cole slaw mix
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)

What to do:

Heat sesame oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the meat and cook 5 minutes until browned. While that’s cooking,  measure out the ginger, salt, pepper, vinegar and soy sauce in a small dish. Add the garlic to the meat and saute another minute or two. Add the seasoning mix, the cole slaw and cook a few minutes until the cabbage is tender/wilted. Add in the green onion and cook a minute just to soften (or you can just add it once it’s in the bowl if you like it crunchier). That’s it! Stir well and scoop into bowl, top with sesame seeds if you like.

Yummy Chicken

I didn’t name it, my kids did! They love this recipe.

What you need:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TBSP  soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP  Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp herbs de provence
  • 1 TBSP dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5-2 lbs chicken breasts or chicken tender strips

What to do:

Mix the marinade, add the chicken and let sit for 4-24 hours – the longer the better! Cook over medium heat in a pan (preferably a grill pan if you have one), grill or however you like to cook your chicken. I’ll also cook this in the instant pot –  pour everything into the pot and set to high pressure for 5 minutes, 10 min QR. You don’t get the carmelization like you would on the stove, but my kids actually prefer it this way (because they’re anti-flavor) and I prefer it because I don’t have to wipe the stove and backsplash down after dinner, so win-win as far as I’m concerned. <3 my IP!  We like to make chicken lettuce wraps with this – chop the chicken, put it in a romaine lettuce leaf and top with some roasted chopped (or whole) peanuts. Really good!! But you don’t have to do anything fancy, it’s just as good served on a plate with a side of veggies.

Oven Roasted Okra

This Southern girl loves any kind of okra. This is a quick and easy preparation that goes well with the yogurt spiced chicken thighs.

What you need

  • 1lb whole okra
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil

What to do:

Preheat oven to 425. Wash and dry okra. Trim both ends, arrange on baking sheet and drizzle with about a TBSP of olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt and less generously with the pepper. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, taking them out half way to toss them around a bit.

Coconut Curry Roast

This is a little more involved than my typical recipe and requires about 20 minutes of prep time, but totally worth it. Don’t let the spices scare you off, this is a deliciously tender roast with a slightly sweet, velvety sauce. If you’re tired of plain-old pot roast, this is a great change.

What you need:

  • Fat of choice, preferably coconut oil
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1 lb baby carrots
  • 2  cloves of garlic
  • 1 TBSP minced fresh or jarred ginger
  • salt and pepper (to season the roast), about 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper
  • 3 lb chuck roast
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp or 1 tsp red pepper flake – more if you like it spicy, less if you don’t!
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 14oz can of coconut milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cardamom pods (lightly smash)
  • 2 bay leaves

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 325 while you prep all your ingredients – chop the onion, salt and pepper the roast on both sides, get out all other ingredients. Prep the spices by measuring them out into a small bowl so you can add them all at once when the time comes:  coriander, cumin, red pepper, turmeric, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and cardamom pods.

In a large dutch oven add a couple TBSP of coconut oil and add the onions and carrots (leave the baby carrots whole or they will cook to mush). Cook until the onions are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger for the last minute or so because you don’t want them to burn. Remove it all to a bowl. Add a bit more coconut oil and brown the roast for about 5 minutes a side and then remove to a plate. Add the beef broth and scrape up all the bits of goodness from the bottom of the pot. Add the spices, coconut milk and bring to boil. Add roast and onions/carrots back in, cover and pop in oven or 2 1/2-3 hrs until the roast is tender. This is great served with some basmati rice, roasted/mashed potatoes or just a salad on the side if you’re doing the lower carb thing.

Note: this one doesn’t freeze or serve very well as a left over because the sauce tends to separate. The flavor is still amazing, the sauce just doesn’t look as good the second time around as it does when you first make it.

Pumpkin Chili

I know what your thinking and I thought this sounded pretty gross too, but give this one a chance. The pumpkin just adds a nice rich texture to the chili, but no pumpkin flavor. Plus its really easy to make. Despite the long ingredient list, most of these things are typical pantry items.


2 lbs ground beef
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, diced
1 can plain canned pumpkin (not the stuff already spiced for pie)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 7oz can roasted green chilies, diced (optional)
1 cup chicken or beef broth
2 TBSP chili powder
2 TBSP cumin
1 TBSP paprika
2 tsp salt
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)

Brown the onion and ground beef. Add everything else. Bring to boil and then simmer for at least 30 minutes or however long you’d like.

Easiest Beef Stew Ever

This will never be confused for gourmet, but it was pretty darn good and great for a week-night dinner.

What you need:

  • 2-3 lb chuck roast (the more marbling the better)
  • can of cream of mushroom soup
  • can of french onion soup
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • baby carrots (or if you aren’t lazy you can peel and cut regular carrots)
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • small red potatoes, halved

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350. Put the chuck roast in an oven safe pot with a lid, add in both cans of soup. Cover and put in oven for an hour. After an hour, remove lid and chuck in the carrots, potatoes and celery. Recover and cook for another hour. Remove from oven, take the roast out and cut it into chunks. Add the meat back into the pot and stir. Serve as is or over rice.

Roasted Cauliflower

What you need:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, broken up into florets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

What to do:

Preaheat oven to 400. Toss florets with olive oil and spice. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, tossing half way through the baking time.

Chili Verde

My hubby says this is good enough to serve to Texans…I guess that means it’s close to the “real deal.” Definitely more labor intensive than what I usually cook, but it’s worth it. And it makes enough for two dinners so there’s that plus. This is an Everyday Paleo recipe…the original version is available on her site!

What you need:

  • 3 lb pork shoulder roast cut into 2 inch cubes – I like bigger cubes because if you cut them too small, they fall apart to easily this simmers.
  • 2 lbs tomatillos
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil (or your fat of  choice)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 2 TBSP lime juice (or the juice from a lime if you have a fresh one)
  • 1 jalapeno (leave out if your kids don’t like heat)
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (not regular paprika, the smoked kind)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

What to do:

Heat coconut oil in large dutch oven or soup pot and brown the pork in batches. I always hate this step, but suck it up and do it. Remove the pork to a large bowl.

After you  brown the pork (and it’s in a bowl resting), add the onion to the pan and cook until soft. Sometimes I add a smidge of the chicken stock to help start deglazing the pan. When the onions are almost done, add in the garlic for the last 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat down and add the cumin, paprika and black pepper and stir well…this will get a little pasty, that’s what you want. Add the chicken broth and deglaze the pan well. Then add in the pork, plus any drippings that accumulated in the bowl. Bring to boil and turn down to simmer.

While the meat simmers, peel and wash the tomatillos. Dry them well and char them in a large skillet over medium heat (cast iron is perfect for this if you have one). Alternatively, you can put them on a large baking sheet and char them under your oven broiler, just be sure you turn them often to char them all over. This is the labor intensive part b/c you do need to babysit them. If I plan to char them on the stove, I actually do this before I start browning the pork.

Place the charred tomatillos, jalapeno, cilantro (the entire bunch, stems & leaves) and lime juice in a food process.  Blend until smooth. Add to the simmering pork and continue to simmer uncovered for 2-3 hours until the pork is tender.

Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

I don’t usually like chocolate cake, but this is chocolate cake with a twist…a delicious twist.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 Dutch cocoa
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

What to do:

Heat oven to 375. Grease & flour 13x9x2 cake pan

In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

In large saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, water and cocoa – stirring constantly until well blended and remove from heat. To chocolate mixture, add the flour mixture, eggs, buttermilk & vanilla and beat at medium speed with a  hand mixer until smooth (about 2 minutes)

Pour batter into cake pan and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes (yes, preheat to 375 and then turn it down to 350 when you put the cake in).

When the cake comes out, I use a flat spatula to *gently* push the puffed up part of the cake down so it’s relatively flat. Allow the cake to cool COMPLETELY before you pour the frosting on top.


  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (16 oz box)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 TBSP cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 TBSP half and half (or cream)
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)

In a large saucepan, melt butter, milk & cocoa. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar & vanilla. Pour over cooled cake and top with chopped pecans.