Meal prep can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Instant Pot to the rescue!
I’ve been experimenting with cooking spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot. It is admittedly a bit of a different texture than when baked in the oven as it is cooked with moisture in the Instant Pot rather than dry heat. But, it gets done SO much faster and I like that. I love how spaghetti squash is so porous and takes on flavors so easily. I recently had a meal from my favorite meal service, Paleo Works, that combined spaghetti squash, chicken and tomato bruschetta. I decided to try to do a quick copycat recipe using my Instant Pot. While mine is admittedly a hack in comparison to that chef’s creation, I think I threw together a tasty meal. You can certainly make your own homemade bruschetta, but I use a jarred grocery store kind in this recipe in order to save time.
I also have been exploring warm potato salads. Have you ever had a Hot German Potato Salad where the potatoes are slightly over cooked and starting to fall apart? The potatoes begin to fall apart as you stir in the dressing and it creates a thick sauce. It is so good! It occurred to me that I could create an Italian version of Hot Potato Salad using jarred basil pesto and red potatoes. I also threw in some green beans for a veggie kick, and chicken for added protein. Best of all, I could cook it all in the Instant Pot at once!
I made four of each of these meals for a total of EIGHT meals all at the same time in roughly 45 minutes. While the squash was cooking, I prepped the chicken, green beans, and potatoes. When the squash finished, I removed it and washed my pot. I then added the chicken, potatoes and green beans to the pot to cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. I scraped out the spaghetti squash and mixed in some tomato bruschetta. I portioned it out in four containers. When the pot timer went off, I released the steam and removed half of the chicken and evenly distributed over each of the servings of squash. I added a heaping spoonful of bruschetta on top of the chicken, and BAM! Four meals were done. Next I scooped out the potato mixture and put it in a bowl. I thinned out some jarred basil pesto with olive oil and then gently tossed the potato mixture with the pesto until it was coated evenly. I divided it into four servings, and BAM! Four more meals done!
A couple notes: I tried the hot potato salad using frozen chicken. I cooked it for 13 minutes. It was good, but the potatoes were extremely soft. I think if you are using frozen chicken, then you should cook the potatoes and green beans separately for 8 minutes. Cook the frozen chicken for 13 minutes. Then, combine. Also, if you don’t like basil pesto, just use melted butter instead. I also made this with cilantro pesto and it was delicious!
This prep is easy, quick, AND healthy. Get yourself an Instant Pot and give it a try!
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