Bok Choy w/Cashews

What you need:

  • 1 bunch of bok choy, sliced into bite sized pieces
  • t TBSP sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 TBSP soy sauce
  • handful of cashews, chopped

What to do:

In large pan, heat the oil add in the garlic and ginger for a minute. Add the bok choy and saute for about 5 minutes until the bok choy is tender. Add everything else and heat through/toss well.

Warm Napa Cabbage Salad

This side goes great with almost any dish and it’s pretty simple to make or customize to your liking, it just takes a bit of time so I usually make it while we grill steaks or something like that. This is definitely not something my kids will eat (due to it having flavor), but that’s ok because that leaves more for me.

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup of honey dijon dressing + 3 TBSP water, mixed well
  • 6-8 cups of finely shredded napa cabbage – so, like half of a large head or a whole small one
  • 6 slices of bacon, chopped in to small pieces
  • 8 ounces sliced white mushrooms

What to do:

In a large, deep pot saute the bacon for  about 5 minutes and then add in the mushrooms. When the bacon and mushrooms are cooked, (do NOT drain out any bacon grease) add the dressing to the pan and mix it all together heating thoroughly. Start adding the cabbage and mixing well. You want to do this quickly enough to warm the cabbage, but not fully cook/soften it. Remove from heat, season with some pepper if you like and serve right away.

Beef Short Ribs (instant pot)

My sister sent me this recipe and it is really amazing. The meat is perfectly seasoned and fork tender.

What you need:

  • 3-4 lbs beef short ribs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Olive oil for browning
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2/3 cup ketchup (Heinz, preferably)
  • 3 TBSP soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh Thyme

What to do:

Sprinkle the ribs with salt and pepper, then brown in olive oil in the instant pot – I have to do this in two batches. Remove meat to plate and saute the onions until soft. Add the garlic in the last minute or two. While that’s cooking, whisk together the red wine, ketchup, soy, Worcestershire and brown sugar. Add the meat back to the instant pot, pour the mixture over, toss in the thyme and set cook at high pressure for 35 minutes, with 10 minute NPR.

Italian Pot Roast

I love pot roast and could eat my Red Wine Pot Roast every day, but the family sometimes likes variety so this is a bit different, but still very easy.

What you need:

  • 1 3-4 lb pot roast
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup beef broth or water
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes, fresh is better but canned is fine too

What to do :

Preheat oven to 350. In large dutch oven, heat the olive oil and brown the roast on both sides for a few minutes. Add everything else and cook in the oven for an hour. Remove, flip and cook uncovered for a half hour, then cover for the last 30-45 minutes (longer for a larger roast). I serve this with a side of spaghetti, Caesar salad and steamed broccoli.

Stegt Flæsk

Ken brought this one back from one of his trips to Denmark. It’s traditionally served with a parsley sauce, which he sometimes makes. But I like just the pork belly itself. Make a huge batch and eat it cold out of the fridge for days. So good.

What you need:

  • Pork Belly (half a pack from Costco)
  • salt & pepper

What to do:

Cut the long strips on half and arrange on a baking sheet so you fill the sheet as much as possible. Liberally salt and conservatively pepper everything. Cook in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes. Flip, put back in the oven, increase the oven temp to 400 and cook for 20 minutes.  Then flip every 10-15 minutes until nice and crispy. Remove and cool on a rack.

Garlic Pork (instant pot)

The instant pot version of Garlic Pulled Pork – probably not quite as good as making it in the oven, but it’s a lot quicker and still really tasty. You do have to play around with the amount of garlic in this one to get it to your liking…this version is pretty mild and great for eating as a stand alone serving of shredded pork. If putting in tacos, bump up the garlic a bit.

What you need:

  • 3.5 lbs pork shoulder cut into large chunks
  • 1 TBS garlic powder
  • 3 cloves of whole garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • juice of an orange, lime or lemon + enough water to get 1/2 cup liquid
  • 1 onion sliced

What to do:

Mix the spices together and set aside. Add the pork to the instant pot and pour the juice/water over it. Sprinkle seasonings and mix so meat is coated. Add the bay leave, garlic cloves and onion to the IP…seal that baby up and cook it on high pressure for 50 minutes, 10 min QR. Shred and enjoy. Since the IP seals in pretty much all the moisture, this will render out a lot of liquid…which is really tasty! Use it as “jus”over the pork or just drain it off if you prefer. The pork will be yummy either way. I always freeze leftovers with a good bit of the cooking liquid.

This is also great crisped up in a pan as leftovers.

Chicken Soft Tacos (instant pot)

What you need:

  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 1 cup salsa (Organic Jack’s from Costco)

Add the chicken and salsa to the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes (15 if frozen) 10 minute NPR. Remove chicken from IP and shred with forks. Serve with soft taco shells and whatever taco fixin’s you like. Scale this up to 2 lb chicken/2 cups salsa and freeze the leftovers.

Mushroom Pork Chops (instant pot)

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.


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.