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!)
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:
Pasta with white beans is a recipe has appeared on my menu a couple times over the last few weeks. I made the Red, White and Green Pasta from The Simple Vegan Cookbook and loved it. Then, my weekly order from My Veggie Chef had a very similar dish. Both times my family really liked it, so I knew I had to create my own recipe for the Instant Pot. I think I came up with something very special with this recipe! It is low in fat, vegetarian, and delicious!
The sky is the limit on how you can improvise with this recipe. Add some chicken or sausage if you eat meat. Add some feta if you eat cheese. Add olives and pine nuts to make it even more Mediterranean. Switch out the spinach with argula or kale. You do you, and make this dish your own. I do recommend using the sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes that are soaked in oil. It gives the pasta great flavor! If you opt for ones that are not soaked, you may need tom compensate with additional spices. Remember, any change in the recipe that you make can affect the outcome. The directions are for white penne pasta. If you change the pasta, you may need to research to see how that changes cooking times.
Check out how to make this recipe here on my youtube channel:
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 love lemon. It makes me happy. It makes me think of spring in the midst of these dreary February days. It’s fresh, zesty and blends wonderfully with sweet and savory ingredients!
I also love rice. I think rice was the main staple of my diet in college. I’ve come a long since my days of Minute Rice with butter and salt at the University of Maryland College Park. Now I whip up fancy rice salads like this one which combines two of my favorite things!
This salad has no oil so it stays low-fat and is perfect served on a bed of greens. I used Jasmine Rice for the nutty flavor that it offers, but you can sub other rice types. Just remember that the Instant Pot cooking times in the recipe below are specific to Jasmine Rice. If you change it, then you need to cook the rice you choose to the proper times in the Instant Pot.
Check out a video on how to make this rice salad here and don’t forget to subscribe!
Dressing for this salad adapted from Ordinary Vegan
I’ve been on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster this weekend. My Gram is 94 years old and has been in nursing home for the last few years. She is blind and pretty much confined to her bed, only occasionally going to the cafeteria if a relative insists she does. Everyday my dad (her only child) goes to visit her and she asks why God won’t just take her home. It must be so hard on them both to have that conversation everyday.
This weekend she developed pneumonia and was taken to the hospital. They told us that the infection was in her blood and the antibiotics probably would not knock it out of her system. Since she requested no life saving measures, any other treatments would be too invasive. My dad said she appeared close to passing on and started meeting with Hospice. I prepared myself minute by minute for the “call.” I was so sad, but I knew she had been ready for so long. My brother went over for a visit after work. He said when he walked in she looked as if she could go any minute. But only 30 minutes later, she woke up and started talking. She was confused, and mad! But, to say she did a 180 is an understatement. When my dad returned, he said she was back to complaining about everything which is a good sign.
When my dad called me to tell me, I honestly didn’t know how to feel. I wanted to feel overjoyed that she turned for the better. Ultimately, I am of course so happy that I got to talk with her again. But, I also feel a lot of sadness for her. She feels so much misery with a life of just “existing.” I feel selfish wanting her to live forever, but I feel guilty as hell wishing for anything else.
Today when I spoke with her she said, “You all thought the good Lord was gonna take me home, but He fooled the hell out of you!” I cracked up. That right there is why it’s so hard to say good-bye.
So, like I said, I’ve been on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. When your emotions get the best of you, that might be a sign it’s time to make a pasta dish. And, that’s what the rest of this post is about. Here is the easiest one pot Pasta Bolognese for your Instant Pot ever. It’s perfect a busy weeknight when you forgot to plan your dinner. You can make it vegan by subbing out the ground beef with diced mushrooms. Saute them just like you would the meat, and then follow the rest of the directions.
Check out this video to see just how easy it is!
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!
I’m just over one month eating a Whole Food Plant Based diet, and I’m loving it! I have lost six lbs already and I feel great. I’ve put aside counting calories and containers, and I’m just focused on eating unprocessed whole foods. After a year and a half of primarily eating a Paleo diet, I never thought I’d be able to cut meat out of my diet. Truthfully, I’m not missing it at all! On Jan 8th, my next fitness challenge begins and I’m pumped. I took it easy with exercise while I transitioned to this way of eating in December, just mostly doing Yoga and Pilates. But now, I’m ready to hit it hard with Autumn Calabrese’s new program 80 Day Obsession. Hit me up on Facebook if you want to join me!
On of the day I’m writing this blog entry, it is New Year’s Day 2018. I attended a New Year’s Eve party last night. Instead of worrying about what I was going to eat and setting myself up for failure, I decided to whip up a delicious three bean chili in my pressure cooker. I also made a huge container of brown rice and brought whole grain tortilla chips and salsa. I was happily noshing all evening, and everyone enjoyed what I brought as well. I found most people were amazed that it was “Vegan.” Many people automatically assumed “vegan” or “whole food plant based” means tasteless, and nothing could be further from the truth.
This Instant Pot recipe is adapted from one I found on Clean Food Dirty Girl. Check out the inspiration recipe here, but be beware that the blogger uses colorful language. If that bothers you, then just quickly scroll to the bottom of her post for the recipe. I hope you enjoy my version of this meatless chili. Feel free to add your own tweaks and spice it up with cayenne pepper or hot sauce! It’s sure to please all your meat-lovin’ friends!
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My best friend, Chad, was dealt an unexpected blow this year. Out of the blue, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroendocrine Cancer and Type 2 Diabetes. To say we were shocked by this news is the understatement of the year! Chad and I have been singing partners for over 12 years, and he is like a brother to me.
Chad is handling this turn of events like a champion. It SUCKS, and there is no question about that. But, Chad has dedicated himself to trying to inspire others not to give up the fight. Touching others keeps his fight alive! As part of being a service to others, Chad asked if he could join me in some of my cooking videos to make some diabetic friendly recipes. He is hoping he can help inspire others to heal themselves with healthy eating as he does the same for himself.
Since he used to work on a Thai food truck, Chad and I decided to whip together an easy and flavorful Instant Pot Thai Soup! Check out our video here, and the recipe below!
By the way, if you are interested in helping Chad with his medical expenses, all of the proceeds of our band, The Desert Okies’ new CD go to support him. Check it out at www.desertokies.com!
This post may contain affiliate links for products I use and love. When you use these links to make purchases, you help keep Modern Day Fox alive! Thank you!
In my fitness groups, we have been talking about what a critical time of year this is to stay dedicated to our health and fitness goals. This is when most people throw in the towel and start talking about “Jan 1st” as the magical date to make big changes. I say, why not right now? Just because you make good decisions for your health during the holidays doesn’t mean that you can’t indulge a little too! How about making sure you get in that 30 minutes of exercise each day as a non-negotiable? How about making a plan of action for how you will approach holidays meal. Will you fill your dinner plate with meat and vegetables and skip the bread basket, but indulge on a piece of pecan pie? Or would you rather fill up on rich mashed potatoes and gravy and let the kids enjoy the chocolate brownies? Or, are you going to eat all the food, but make sure that you are back on track the very next day? Make a conscious decision about how you are going to approach these things, and you are bound to feel less guilt-ridden anxiety and make better decisions for yourself.
All that said, why not be the person who brings a dish to the holiday table that doesn’t use refined sugar and a 1/2 lb of butter? If you are looking for ideas, I have a great one for you! Try this super-simple Maple Spiced Sweet Potato dish that you can throw together in roughly 15 minutes in your Instant Pot! Not everything has to be baked with brown sugar and butter to taste amazing. You might be surprised to find that some real maple syrup and unrefined coconut oil adds flavor while also letting you actually taste the natural flavor of the sweet potato. Of course you can sugar up this recipe as much you would like, but this version skips the guilt while serving up all the goodness! Your body will thank you!
Here is a video showing how it’s done. Don’t forget to subscribe to my youtube channel! And, if you are interested in joining my fitness accountability group, send me an email to email@example.com!