We finally have some sunshine here in Tennessee! Boy, is it hot but I would choose that over cold any day! Warm weather means more patio dining which I love. The other night I found myself on the patio of a cool little Nashville vegetarian restaurant called The Sunflower Cafe. I was meeting up with some new friends who also are eating a plant-based diet. I ordered this scrumptious vegan barbecue bowl that was made up of brown rice, smoky collards, and vegan seitan barbecue. It was out of this world!! I don’t know how in the world they made that barbecue taste and feel so much like pork, but they did it. Blew my mind!
I got home and immediately starting longing for a repeat of that meal. I tried making the seitan in my instant pot and although it wasn’t a disaster, it was way too chewy. I will have to keep trying on that one. The collard greens was quite a bit easier to recreate, and today I am sharing it with you! These collard greens have NO oil, NO meat, and only a few ingredients. Quick, easy and healthy!
Check out how it’s done here:
Modern Day Fox Instant Pot Easy Smoky Collard Greens (Vegan)
Easy, healthy and delicious! These smoky collards green go perfectly with barbecue or in a grain and greens bowl.
Ok, Tennessee. I’ve had about enough of your weather identity problems. Bring on spring already!! I swear my sons have had more cancelled soccer and flag football games than they’ve actually gotten to play. Bummer!
One thing that always make me happy is… ranch. Since moving to a plant-based diet, I have really missed dipping any and everything in creamy fattening Ranch dressing. Good news is I’ve perfected a plant-based version of Ranch dressing and it’s coming soon to this blog! You know who else loves Ranch? My two boys. And thanks to them, I get to share with you a delicious Ranch chicken you can easily make in your Instant Pot.
Here’s to clean plates and NO complaints!
Check out this video to see how it’s done:
A quick reminder that my monthly challenges are still happening – if you are ready to change your health and fitness for once and all, send an email to moderndayfox at gmail.com and let’s get this party started!!
Modern Day Fox Instant Pot Ranch Chicken
Make this quick and flavorful weeknight favorite which is sure to please your Ranch-lovin' kiddos!
1/2cupbrothChicken or Vegetable (water can be used as well)
Remove lid from Instant Pot and place chicken in liner pot. If you are using chicken breasts instead of thighs, make sure to slice chicken into thinner pieces so that it cooks thoroughly. Big thick chicken breasts will undercook on the inside.
Combine seasonings in a small bowl and stir until combined.
Pour evenly over chicken.
Pour 1/2 cup broth into pot.
Replace lid and turn valve to sealing.
Set pot to 10 minutes manual high pressure.
Use a quick release for the steam when the timer goes off.
Stir chicken and shred with two forks. You may also opt not to shred but the seasonings distribute better if you do.
Serve and enjoy! This dish is great over rice. You may even want to cook your rice using the ranch flavored broth!
I am so excited to be teaming up on a couple recipes with a local business owner and chef, Kristie Holdren. Kristie is the owner of My Veggie Chef, a Nashville company which delivers prepped freezer bags of whole food plant based meals locally here in Middle Tennessee and also ships to 38 states.
Since switching to a whole food plant based diet back in December, my weekly meal prep began kicking my booty. Without meat, dairy, or eggs, I basically have had to teach myself to cook all over again! I needed to press the “easy” button. Enter My Veggie Chef. Each week, Kristie releases a menu of five entree choices and allows customers to customize their orders by choosing which meals they prefer for the week. Don’t care for tempeh (like me)? No problem. Double up on the Carribean Quinoa Burgers. The meals, which feed four, are delivered to my home every Sunday and left in a complimentary freezer satchel provided by My Veggie Chef. The meals arrive in Ziploc bags with a sticker containing the cooking instructions. I put them in the freezer and set one out each day. They take roughly 20 minutes to cook each night. The best part? There are many meals that I can put directly into my Instant Pot frozen, and you know I love that! The meals are healthy and delicious, and full of plants!
This is not a sponsored post. I just love small business owners with unique ideas, especially when they support healthy lifestyles. I’m a paying customer, and plan to continue to being one!
Kristie sent me this hearty split pea soup recipe to share with all of you. Of course I converted it to the Instant Pot! Did you expect any less? As we hammer through these frigid days at the cusp of Spring, this soup is sure to warm you up and make your belly happy!
Photography and Food Styling Credit: Sherry Mata
Check out a video tutorial here:
My Veggie Chef’s Split Pea Soup in the Instant Pot
Check out this easy and delicious whole food plant-based Split Pea soup, courtesy of MyVeggieChef.com!
I had a yard sale yesterday and it was interesting to say the least. I personally love yard sale shopping, but it brings out some mighty strange characters. One guy ripped into the driveway with an overflowing truck full of junk. He looked like Uncle Fester and talked in a gruff voice like he had a mouth full of marbles. He handed me a plastic cup with a Taco Bell dog on the front and asked me for black coffee. “No coffee here,” I said. Then he proceeded to tell me how pretty my smile was and he would like to take me home. I told him I come with a husband. Then he went around and made a huge pile of stuff (including a box of nursing bras) and struck a deal with me. He said he would come back with the money. He didn’t, but he left his dog cup.
Another young girl asked if she could just buy a whole tub of baby clothes for $25. I told her I wasn’t ready to sell it like that, but if she came back at two pm I might be feeling generous. She came back and by that time all the clothes were mixed up in the various tubs. I told her she could go through them and make a big pile of items she wanted. As she worked on her pile, she told her friend she didn’t want coats, anything over 12 months, and nothing stained. She made a pile and asked me how much. I said, “$20?” (There were 38 pieces of clothing.) She said, “Well, I thought I was gonna come back here and grab a tub for $25.” I said, “Well you can add more clothes if you’d like to your pile and pay $25.” She was really stuck on grabbing a tub. I asked why she would want to grab a tub of mixed up clothes when I’m letting her pick the pieces she wants. Again, I told her she could add more clothes to her pile and still pay just $20. She said, “But I only brought $11.” Um, ok. “Alright, you can have that pile you picked out for $11 then.” She said, “But I thought I’d be getting a tub full,” she said. I replied, “I’m trying to follow your logic. You wanted to grab one of these tubs ‘as is’ and pay $25, but you only brought $11. And now, I’m letting you pick the clothes you actually want instead of a tub full of junk and agreeing to accept $11, and you clearly aren’t happy. What do you want exactly?” She said, “I don’t know. I just thought you said you’d be feeling generous, so I would get a tub.” She was pretty ticked off, but she gave me the $11 and took the clothes that I let her hand pick. Her friend later came back to buy something and told me that she was upset because she felt I misled her. I am still mystified by the whole thing. I truly thought I was being generous by letting her hand pick the clothes she wanted rather than take a random tub of mixed up sizes and conditions.
Anyway, I do understand that money is hard to part with, especially when you only have a little. For that reason, I’m sharing a cheap and easy Instant Pot recipe that is tasty and versatile. You can add hot sauce, top it with chicken or smoked sausage, or roll it up in a burrito. It will makes several meals, and stretch your hard earned dollar so that you can buy more at your next yard sale.
Here is a video to see how I did it:
Modern Day Fox Instant Pot Smoky Rice and Beans
Cheap, fast and easy! This smoky dish can be paired with smoked sausage or chicken, rolled into a burrito, or eaten as it!
I know why Northerners laugh at Southerners when it comes to weather. I know because I was a Northerner for the first 22 years of my life, but I’ve been a Southerner for the last 19. I remember opening the front door when I was in high school and seeing the snow over waist high. I believe it was the Blizzard of ’93 in Maryland. We were holed up in our house for days with good reason. But now, I live in Tennessee and we too are currently holed up in our home because of less than 1.5″ of snow. My kids haven’t been to school since last Thursday. They cancelled school on Friday because it was supposed to snow. It didn’t. Today is Tuesday and we did have a good snowfall today. School is already cancelled for tomorrow. My husband has bets that it will also be closed on Thursday.
I get it. Tennessee is not equipped with enough plows and salt trucks to quickly service entire counties, especially in rural areas. Safety comes first, and I totally agree with that. It’s just the hysteria that gets me. There was no national news shown on TV this morning, just live coverage of the snowfall and slush from every corner of the state. (Wait, maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing, after all.) The bread and milk shelves were emptied last Thursday. The kids refuse to go outside and play because it’s “too cold.”
What to do? For me, I cook. And cook, and cook, and cook. I whipped together a comforting chicken vegetable soup in my Instant Pot using what I had on hand – because you know I couldn’t get to the store. Best part was that both kids really loved it, and I loved seeing them actually eat their veggies!
One little note – you can definitely use fresh chicken. If you do, put the chicken in your soup in the IP for 10 minutes and then release. Remove chicken and chop. Add back to the pot and then cook for another 5 minutes high pressure with a quick release. If your chicken is frozen, then set the IP for 15 minutes instead of 10. Chop and return to the pot for another 5 min high pressure with a quick release.
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The next few recipes I will be posting on Modern Day Fox were designed specifically for a prep that I created for a friend in need. I have been six weeks meat and dairy free, and focused on a whole food, plant based diet. I’m feeling great, but I have to admit that I miss cooking meat in my Instant Pot even more so than eating it. How crazy is that? What can I say? I just love experimenting with my IP. When my friend, Cassie, asked if I would help with some freezer meal prepping for her to use post-surgery, I jumped at the chance. Not only would this allow me to be of service to a friend, but I would also be able to whip up some fun meat-based recipes to share with you.
There are many Beef Stew recipes out there, but mine was probably most heavily influenced by this one at Budget Bytes. I prefer a specific mix of vegetables though – always gotta have potatoes, onion, carrots, and celery in my stew. I also do not love worchestershire or thyme flavors in my stew. I love to add red wine in my beef recipes as that added layer deepens the flavor. Finally, an arrowroot slurry gives it the perfect stew texture.
I hope you enjoy my version of this American classic!
Instant Pot Beef Stew
Nothing says comfort food like a warm, hearty beef stew. This dish freezes and reheats well, and the flavors are sure to please your whole crew.
Never have I cooked a lentil until this past weekend. I did it in my Instant Pot of course! In my quest to find some more plant based recipes, I was watching a bunch of videos and reading recipes about Lentil Chili. But, listen folks. I am SO sick of Mexican dishes. It seems like every whole 30 or healthy recipe is seasoned with cumin and chili powder. I need a break from that. I threw caution to the wind and just winged this recipe.
It turned out so tasty! Lentils, though – they kind of look like mush so prepare yourself. And, they overcook quickly. I saw some recipes online that had red lentils cooking for like 20 minutes! I imagine they would completely dissolve. I chose a cooking time in my Instant Pot that left them just slightly firm. Try not to forget to do the quick release as you want these to stop cooking quickly.
There are so many different ways you can eat these through the week. Eat them as a stew. Scoop them over some fresh steamed broccoli or over a baked potato for a carb-heavy meal. Put them as a side with your favorite meat. It is such a hearty dish that it will keep great through the week after you meal prep.
The big question I am anticipating:
I hate coconut. Can I sub the oil and coconut milk? Yes. Use olive oil or avocado oil instead of coconut oil. If you are subbing the canned coconut milk, use heavy cream. However, and this is important, add the heavy cream AFTER cooking is complete. Dairy products can sometimes curdle. These substitutions obviously change the overall flavor of this recipe, but it should still be tasty!
Check out a video on this prep here:
Modern Day Fox Instant Pot Red Lentil Stew
This rich, hearty stew will warm you up on a cold winter's day! There is nothing better than filling your tummy with something so healthy and delicious.
These day I’m loving nitrate-free Apple Chicken Sausage. It’s one of the meats that my husband (who has UC) can handle in small doses. I love slicing the sausage and throwing it on top of roasting vegetables. Food prep doesn’t get easier than that. When I saw the Wegman’s recipe, I knew the Apple Sausage would compliment this dish perfectly, and walnuts would take it over the top. I was right! We loved this fall-inspired dish!
Here’s a bonus tip – While you can certainly buy butternut squash that is peel and cubed already, it’s cheaper to buy a whole squash. Microwave your squash for three minutes and then it will be so much easier to cut and peel. I use a peeler and it was easy, peasy!
Roasted Butternut Squash with Spinach and Sausage
This one pan dinner was inspired by a recipe posted by Wegman's. See the link in my post. I bulked up the dish with some natural apple chicken sausage and walnuts, making it an easy fall-inspired meal!
Today is Monday. Today feels like Monday. I’m stressed already and I just woke up.
There is a bug in our house that started with a friend that was visiting who got it, and then passed on to my older son, and then last night struck my three year old. Luckily, it seems to only be a 24 hour bug, but my little guy was up half the night getting sick. There is nothing worse than seeing your child suffering.
On top of this, my dad is going in for hip replacement surgery today. I live 650 miles away from him, and it’s killing me to not be there to support him in person. He has been in a lot of pain for the last 9 months. Although he is very much looking forward to this surgery, it doesn’t stop the worry!
Today feels like a good day for some “get well soon” soup. I’m revisiting a recipe I posted several months ago because I found a different kind of pasta that my family just loved. My son loves Campbell’s Double Noodle Family Style Soup, but I do not love all the sodium and yucky stuff that is in it. I found Fideo Cut Spaghetti in the pasta aisle and I knew this would make my soup recipe a lot more like Campbell’s. Fideo is basically just short pieces of regular spaghetti. My son was convinced my soup was from his favorite can. Win!
If you are also having the Monday blues, give this soup a try and cheer up, buttercup. I’m gonna do the same!
Better Than Campbell's Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
Sauté minced garlic, diced onions, celery and carrots with heavy seasonings (I used S and P, Italian seasoning, and onion powder) in pot using olive oil.
Add two chicken breasts on top. Pour enough broth in to just cover chicken breast.
Turn Instant Pot on Manual High Pressure for 7 minutes with 3 min NPR before releasing pressure.
Remove chicken breast and place on cutting board. Shred and dice. (You can shred while the noodles are cooking!)
Turn pot to Sauté and adjust to More. Add another 32oz of broth to pot. Let it come to a boil. When it is boiling, add 6 oz Fideo Cut Spaghetti.
When noodles are al dente', turn off your pot and add chicken. Stir well.
At this point, you may want to add more seasoning to taste and additional broth or water if you like a brothier soup. I do, so I added another 32 oz of chicken stock. In total, I probably used 3 boxes of broth. (I made my own previously so I wasn't really measuring.) Enjoy!
I’m thinking about my grandmother today, and often lately. My “Gram” is 94 years old and has been in a nursing home for the last few years. I went to visit her last weekend during a quick trip to my hometown in Maryland. It’s hard to see her in there. Her eyesight is gone, and she is no longer mobile. She lived a very vibrant life in her younger years, never missing a dance at the Moose Lodge and loving to stun her friends with raunchy gag gifts. I can’t imagine life without her in it, but I know the life she has now would never be her choice. During my visit, I asked her if she thought she’d live to be 100. She emphatically said, “No!” I said, “Well, how about 95?” She said, “Yeah, I think so.” I said, “How about 96?” She said, “I hope not.” I said, “Once you hit 95, you’re officially out of gas?” She laughed and said she thought so.
I spent a lot of time at my Gram’s house growing up. There were things that she cooked that I loved, but she knew my favorite was “breakfast for dinner.” She made THE best pancakes I’ve ever had, and I’ve spent years trying to figure out how to get them to taste as good. Much of it has to do with the fact that she wasn’t afraid to cook those bad boys in hot oil. The edges were so crispy that it was almost like eating a funnel cake at the fair. I’m okay with the fact that my pancakes will never be as good. It is a memory that I will always hold dear and have no intention of replacing.
Now my own kids also love “breakfast for dinner,” along with our tradition of Pancake Sunday. Each time I make pancakes from scratch, I tweak the recipe a little more. Today I tried something new and it took my recipe to a new level. You know all that clear stuff that rises to the top of your homemade yogurt? It’s called “whey” and most people have no idea what to do with it after they strain it from their Greek Yogurt. Turns out you can trade out the liquid in your pancake recipe with whey for a healthy little kick. Not only did my pancakes turn out fluffy and tasty, I loved that I was using something that was essentially free in place of something I would otherwise have had to buy. Want not, waste not!
If you’ve found yourself pondering what to do with your leftover whey, give these pancakes a try. They aren’t as good as my Gram’s, but you’ll never know that!
Hi I'm Jaime.
Modern Day Fox is a place where we celebrate the multi-passionate people in this world who are making it happen. This is also a place for me to create content around the topics I am personally most passionate about – personal development, photography, fitness, food, image, and music. This is a space to inspire and to be inspired. It's a classroom to teach and to learn. It's a table to share and explore. Together, let's learn how to "outfox them all!"