Finally seeing some sunshine here in Tennessee. Wonder how long it will last? Sunshine has got me like….mmm, I need TACOS! I whipped up some delicious 100% plant-based Mexican cauliflower tacos topped with a super easy Mexican slaw, and I’m sharing it with you today! This preps so well and keeps in the fridge for 4-5 days. Make it on a Sunday and enjoy it later in the week to make your busy week a little easier! (If you can wait that long to eat it, that is!)
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!!
This last month was hard on me. Losing my best friend, Ted, to a pulmonary embolism just four weeks ago blind sided me like no other. It’s hard to grieve when you have little people to take care of and a household to run. You wonder how the world keeps turning when something so tragic happens, but somehow it does. You want to be mad about that, but it’s actually the thing that forces you to move forward. You literally have no choice.
Here is a photo of Ted and me on one of our many trips across the world. We were in Athens, Greece:
That’s why I’ve been absent from my blog for several weeks. I hope you understand! The good news is that Ted and I mutually shared a love for cooking (and eating) and so I believe I would do a real disservice to him to give up on my recipes and videos. Ted would look at me in his overly sarcastic way and say, “Really??” if I even considered that. So, I’m back!
Today I have a 21 Day Fix and 80 Day Obsession approved Creamy Zucchini Soup that you can make in your Instant Pot with the help of your blender! I recommend doubling or even tripling this recipe if you are feeding a crew. I made this specifically for my meal prep and the serving size is only 1/2 cup which equals one green container and one blue container. This recipe makes 2 cups total so that’s four snacks for my meal prep for the week. We all know that your family will laugh at you if you give them a half cup of soup, so doubling the recipe may be best for you.
Here is a video to show you how it’s done:
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:
I feel like a lot of people psych themselves out by making food prep way too complicated. There is a saying called KISS that I love and follow: “Keep It Simple, Stupid!” Especially when you are new to meal planning, you don’t have to pretend you are a master chef and cook things that have a 100 different ingredients and take 3 hours. Choose recipes that are easy and quick, and that have enough servings to make multiple meals.
I have many people in my monthly fitness challenge group that are doing the 21 Day Fix and searching for easy ways to use their containers. I came up with this simple Instant Pot prep that makes at least four meals with chicken leftover for other meals. I suggest serving the chicken and black bean salad over two cups of chopped romaine lettuce with a 1/4 avocado. If you are using the container system, that would calculate to a red, yellow, 2 greens, and a blue container. Not only is it low fat, low calorie, and delicious, but it all comes together in roughly 15 minutes including the time your Instant Pot needs to come to pressure!
Check out this video to see the prep in action! Make sure to subscribe to my youtube channel too!
We ate dinner tonight by candle light! Thankfully for me, I zipped through dinner prep in less than 15 minutes using my Power XL Air Fryer and had everything done just as the power went out for the next 30 minutes. My kids thought it was pretty cool to have dinner in the dark. I was just thankful that my meatballs were not interrupted halfway through cooking. It would have been a real shame if those bad boys would have been ruined.
Since my husband went grain-free, I have found making meatballs without a binding ingredient such as bread crumbs or oats is pretty tricky. Too many times my meatballs ended up dissolving into mush and it was very frustrating. While surfing the web, I stumbled upon an idea for an unusual grain-free ingredient in meatballs and knew I had to give a shot. The magic ingredient? Potato chips! That’s right. Finely crushed potato chips is the perfect substitute for bread crumbs. It created a perfect texture and held the meatballs together extremely well. Now, I admit, I used Lay’s Potato Chips. Maybe not the healthiest choice. You can get organic potato chips, and I’ve seen recipes that use Sweet Potato chips or even beet chips.
The other key to making perfect meatballs is using a “meatballer!” A what?? I know, I know. I’d never heard of such a thing either, but a friend told me about hers and I had to buy one. Take a look at the one I got here. I was able to portion out my meatballs evenly because of this neat little tool.
I can already think of three questions that are going to come up, so I’ll just address them now.
#1 I don’t have an air fryer. Can I bake these? Well, hello! Of course you can. I would try baking them at 375 degrees for 20-25 min until they reach 165 internal temperature.
#2 Can I leave out the parmesan cheese? Sure! It won’t be exactly the same texture and taste, but it will still work.
#3 Can I use flavored chips? I haven’t tried this yet, but I think it would totally work. I want to try using barbecue chips and simmering them in BBQ sauce. My only thought about using flavored chips is to make sure the other seasonings will work with the flavor of your chips. The Italian season, for example, might need to be swapped for a seasoning that compliments your chips.
#4 Can I freeze these meatballs? You sure can. I have not tried cooking them from frozen in the air fryer, but I saw in some other meatball recipes that you would keep the cooking time the same as if they were fresh. Again, I haven’t tried it yet.
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