Saturday, July 7, 2018

Peppadews... the best thing you aren't yet eating!

The majority of recipes I share are personally tested.  If I haven't tested it, I will clearly state that.  Here's why....  I made a chicken stew in the Instant Pot recently.  It sounded really good on paper, but it is pretty boring and more soup than stew.  Unless I can find a way to jazz it up, that recipe is gone forever!  I don't want you to waste your time and money making food you don't like.  Of course, we all have different tastes so I can't say for sure you will love every recipe I share, but I can honestly tell you I have tried it and I liked it so at least you have something to go on.  I think it's hard enough to eat clean without having a fail in the kitchen that makes you want to order pizza.

Speaking of pizza, have you tried the Thai Chicken Pizza yet?  I'm telling you, it's amazing!!  I put it on naan bread but you can use whatever crust you like as long as you pre-bake the crust.  I ran out of naan but still had chicken left so ate it over brown rice with a drizzle of the Thai sauce.

Another thing about me and this blog.. I hate when bloggers spend forever telling you about the recipe or what they did last summer so let's get right to this week's featured recipe.... (drum roll please!)...

Peppadews served with mixed olives, crostini,
and Manchego cheese
Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadews

6 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSP chopped fresh herbs (basil or thyme work great!)
2 TBSP half and half (more or less)
24 peppadew peppers*

Combine goat cheese, garlic, and herbs in a bowl.  Blend by hand until smooth and well blended.

Add half and half a little at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. You want it to be thick but something you can scoop easily, like a buttercream.

Using a small spoon or piping bag, fill the center of each peppadew with the goat cheese filling.

Serve or refrigerate in an airtight container.

If you have any goat cheese left, store in an airtight container and spread on crostini for a great bite!

These are great as tapas, for a mid-day snack, or an appetizer!  Enjoy!

What are you eating today?  Whatever it is -- Keep it Clean!

*I find fresh peppadews at the olive bar at my grocer.  I have heard you can get them in jars but I haven't found them yet.  Either way is fine, I'm sure.  Just drain off any excess liquid before stuffing them.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

6-Day Instant Pot Menu

I know I have talked a lot about the Instant Pot lately.  Pretty sure people roll their eyes when they hear me say "Well, I just used my Instant Pot and...."  Sorry about that!  But this really has been life changing for us.  We both work full time and have lots of other activities that use even more time, but it's important to us to eat healthy and well.  So this week I give you, the 6-Day Instant Pot Menu!  It is just the two of us, so the quantities are plenty.  For a larger family, you may have to double a recipe to have enough for leftovers.  But each of the main dish meal ideas is great even if there are no leftovers!

We usually have the meal one day and the leftover a couple days later.  But mix it up in a way that works for you... and Enjoy!!

Thai Chicken with rice-->Thai Chicken Pizza
The recipe as written here is to make the chicken and use it for pizza, but just stop on the ingredients list when you get to the naan bread.  Then serve it once it's done in the Instant Pot, and omit the instructions for baking in the oven.  You can serve it over rice or cauliflower rice the first time and then use what's left for pizza later in the week.
Instant Pot Southwest Chicken-->Chicken Nachos
Again, a little bit of the cart before the horse situation here… The recipe is for the nachos but you can make the recipe and serve over rice or noodles the first time, and then over tortilla chips for the repurpose!
Pot Roast-->Beef and vegetable soup
First day:  Make the roast as described at the link, then follow the directions below for a warm-you-to-the-core soup!!

Beef Vegetable Soup

Using leftover pot roast, shred or chop about 2 cups beef and throw that in the Instant Pot.  Also add any leftover onions and carrots from your roast.  If you saved the broth, use that.  If not, add about two cups of beef broth.  (You can use leftover broth and added broth.... that's what I had to do.)  Add one 26 oz. can crushed tomatoes.  Add about 1-1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables.  Pressure cook on high for 5 minutes.  Quick release pressure and serve!

What are you eating this week?  Whatever it is, Keep it Clean!!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Honey Sesame Chicken (so quick!)

It's so cold here, all I want is something warm and comforting to eat.  My Instant Pot is just the thing to get a great meal on the table in no time.  This week we made Honey Sesame Chicken.  It took no time at all, and it's fabulous!!  Check it out!  (p.s. The leftovers are the bomb!!)



2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" chunks

2 TBSP tomato paste                
2 TBSP water                            
1 TBSP molasses                      
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar      

1 TBS olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce (see NOTE)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup honey

2 TBSP cornstarch
3 TBSP cold water

sesame seeds for garnish, optional

2 cups cooked rice


In a small bowl, mix together tomato paste, 2 TBSP water, molasses, and apple cider vinegar.  Set aside.

Set Instant Pot to Saute.  When hot, add the oil, onion, garlic, and chicken to the pot.  Saute about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent.

Stir in the soy sauce, crushed pepper, and tomato paste mixture.  Lock the lid (remember to close the vent) and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.

Quick release pressure.  Carefully remove lid once the valve drops.  Add the sesame oil and honey and stir to combine.

In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and cold water.  Set the Instant Pot on Saute and pour in the cornstarch mixture.  Simmer, stirring constantly until thickened.

Serve over rice.  Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.

NOTE:  It's strongly recommended you use low sodium soy sauce since this recipe calls for so much of it.  Using regular soy sauce will result in a very salty dish.

Cooking with this gadget has really changed things up in our house.  Thinking about making supper is fun now that I know it's not going to take me all evening to put something delicious on the table.  I am the kind of person that enjoys cooking when I have the time to do it.  The Instant Pot gives me that time, since it takes so little!

I am not a paid spokesperson for Instant Pot!  I just really love tools that make our lives better... and this is one of those!

Also, if you've gotten this far... you may have noticed that I am pretty much leading with the recipe.  That's because I have come to realize that the recipe is the reason you visit this site.  And I want you to have that.  No fuss!  No muss!  So while I could tell you a cute little story about how we came to make this (not really), I would rather just skip all that and get right to it. I hope you like this new format.  As always, though, if you have a recipe you want cleaned up, please let me know.  I am always up for the challenge!

What are you eating today?  Whatever it is, Keep it Clean!!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Thai Chicken PIZZA!

Start off the new year right with a great new recipe in your new Instant Pot!  (And if you don't have one, seriously go get one right now!)  You can eat this chicken over rice or noodles, or use it to top naan bread for an amazing pizza!  Or you can do both.  Have Thai chicken one night and pizza the next!


2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 TBSP garlic, minced
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
2 TBSP soy sauce
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 TBSP olive oil
1-1/2 tsp corn starch
1 TBSP water
salt and pepper to taste (optional)
8 whole wheat naan bread
1 carrot, finally shredded
1-1/2 cups chopped peanuts, optional
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Taste of Thai Garlic Chili Pepper Sauce

Place chicken in bottom of Instant Pot.
In a separate bowl, whisk together all ingredients honey, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, onion, soy sauce, crushed red pepper, olive oil.
Pour over chicken.
Set Instant Pot to high pressure and cook for 7 minutes.
Quick release the pressure.
Remove chicken from Instant Pot and shred.  Set aside.
Turn Instant Pot to saute.  Combine the corn starch and water in a small bowl.
Pour the corn starch mixture into the Instant Pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  When the sauce thickens, add the shredded chicken back in.  Mix together thoroughly.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Set oven to 350.  Spread an equal amount of chicken on each naan bread.  Sprinkle each with carrots, peanuts, and mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and starts to brown.
Remove from oven and top with garlic chili pepper sauce.

Serve warm!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Cold Weather Favorites

You should know... I am very excited about my new toy!!!  Since I started using my Instant Pot I just can't stop!  I really am not a band-wagon-jumper-onner, but this thing is awesome!!!  (Many exclamation points required!)

This week I made my favorite tomato basil soup that I used to simmer on the stove for an hour and Cream Cheese Chicken and Black Beans.  The chicken recipe at the link is for the slow cooker and cooks about 4 hours, but I've converted it and modified it below to make a great heavy h'ors d'oeuvres in about 15 minutes of cook time!

Quick and Easy Tomato Basil Soup (Instant Pot version)

Q&E Tomato Basil Soup
5 TBSP olive oil
4 ounces carrots, peeled and chopped
4 ounces yellow onion, chopped
1 TBSP dried basil
2 26 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Select Sauté on your Instant Pot.  Add oil and heat until shimmery.
Add carrots, onions, and basil.  Sauté about 4 minutes or until onions become translucent.
Add crushed tomatoes and chicken broth.
Lock lid and close pressure valve.  Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes.  Allow full natural pressure release.
Turn Instant Pot off and then set to Sauté.  Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth.  Add cream and stir to heat through.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Instant Pot Southwestern Chicken Nachos

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can black beans (15-1/2 ounce, drained and rinsed)
1 cup frozen corn
1 jar medium or hot salsa (15 ounce)
8 ounces cream cheese
Tortilla chips

Place chicken breasts in Instant Pot.  Add black beans, corn, and salsa (in that order).  Lock lid and close pressure valve.  Cook for 15 minutes.  Allow to naturally release for 5 minutes then quick release.  Remove lid and shred chicken with two large forks.  Stir in cream cheese.  Serve over tortilla chips.

This new toy really is making my food life better.... great food really fast!  What more could you ask for?!

What are you eating this week?  Whatever it is... Keep it Clean!!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Instant Pot Beef Roast! Just do it!!!

I did it!  I totally caved to the hype and started using an Instant Pot.  It has taken me a year or more of seeing various ads and blogs about it.  I guess I was just skeptical that it would be any better than just using a slow cooker.  I use my slow cooker a lot, and I am also really good about planning meals, so I didn't really see a need for it.  Well, last night we had a need for it!  Our dinner plans were cancelled at the last minute and the only thing available to make for supper was a roast I was planning to put in the slow cooker this morning.  It would have taken about 6 hours in the slow cooker, but I knew it was going to be good!  Anyway, when the plans were cancelled, I said, "Let's put this thing to the test!"

It was really late in the day to be starting a roast, but I peeled and cut the carrots and onions, and hubby prepped the potatoes and started the cooking process.  In about 9 minutes time, we were ready to put a lid on it and let it do its thing!  It made a little noise, which made me nervous that I'd done it wrong and it was going to explode all over the kitchen.  So I went to hide downstairs!!  Fortunately the little noises are normal pressure cooker noises, and nothing exploded.  Even better, after just 80 minutes of cook time in the Instant Pot, the roast came out really tender and delicious!!  We used regular potatoes because that's what we had, but I recommend fingerlings or baby red potatoes because they hold up better with the skin on.  Regular ones are fine, they will just be slightly on the mushy side.

I will be trying a lot more recipes in the Instant Pot... so stay tuned!

Instant Pot Beef Roast

3# beef chuck roast
salt and pepper to taste
2 TBSP olive oil
2 cup beef brother
1 yellow onion, cut into big chunks
1# fingerling or baby potatoes (can sub peeled and quartered regular potatoes)
4 large carrots, cleaned and cut into chunks (can sub 1 cup baby carrots)

Salt and pepper both sides of roast and set aside.
Salt and pepper potatoes, carrots, and onions and set aside.
Add olive oil to Instant Pot and set to sauté.
When oil is hot, add beef roast and sear uncovered for about 4 minutes on each side. (I use tongs and a serving fork to turn it.)
Add beef broth.
Add potatoes, carrots, and onion to Instant Pot and distribute around the roast.
Set steam release handle to "Sealing" and put lid on Instant Pot.
Ensure pressure is set at High, and adjust time to 80 minutes.
Once done, wait about 10 minutes to allow some natural release, then turn the valve to "Venting."
Remove roast and vegetables from Instant Pot and serve.

I will repurpose the left over beef into Shepherd's Pie so I reserved the au jus for that!

A few notes about using the Instant Pot as a pressure cooker:  Please don't put your face near the valve!  When you release the steam, it comes out pretty strong and you know it's going to be H-O-T! To cook, place your Instant Pot in a location where it won't be near anything that might not like all that steam.  We have pendant lights over our kitchen island, and I just don't know how they might do with that blast of steam.  At the very least, it seems like just something else I might need to clean up, and we really don't want that!  I also keep it away from the cupboards because prolonged exposure to the moisture could be damaging.

What are you eating today?  Whatever it is, Keep it Clean!!

Disclaimer:  I was not paid by Instant Pot for this post nor did they provide me with the appliance.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Hot Diggity Dog!!

I have to admit it... sometimes I just enjoy a really good hot dog.  I wouldn't list them as clean eating, but sometimes you just have to have one!  Well, I do anyway.  I usually opt for the best ones I can get.  Around here that means Hebrew National.  They have minimal additives and fillers and everything has to be kosher.  So your all beef hot dogs will actually be all beef.

Something else about me... I hate to waste food.  Someone recently left a package of all beef (other brand) hot dogs at my house.  I really didn't want to eat them, but I just couldn't waste them.  And I won't donate to the food bank anything I won't eat... so I cooked them.  We almost always grill hot dogs when we have them because we like the extra flavor.  Let me tell you what though... no amount of grilling was going to give these the flavor I'm used to from HN!  (I am not here to shill for HN, but I have to tell you... these things were nasty.)  But again... I can't waste them!  So today I made Sloppy Dawgs just to have a way to use them up and make them palatable at the same time.  The original Sloppy Dawgs recipe is from Rachel Ray.  I made some minor subs though, to at least clean it up a little.  And you know what... it worked!  The hot dogs are now edible.  Which means they will probably be in my lunch the rest of the week -- *sigh* -- at least I have lunch planned!

Don't get me wrong... these aren't really clean eating by any sense of the term.  But it's a start in the right direction.  And sometimes that's what we need, isn't it?

Sloppy Dawgs with a Clean Eating Leaning

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound hot dogs, thinly sliced (do get the best all beef dogs you can!)
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped1 can tomato paste (6 oz)3 tablespoons coconut sugar 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce8 ounces of water

Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pot or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the hot dogs and cook until they brown, about 5 minutes. 
Add chopped peppers to the pan, and continue cooking until the peppers are tender, about 4 minutes. Add 2 TBSP of the tomato paste to the pan.  Cook and stir about 1 minute.
Add the coconut sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, the rest of the tomato paste, and the water. Stir to mix completely.  Simmer until thickened and saucy, about 5 minutes more.
Serve on hot dog or hamburger buns.  Top with condiments as desired.
This might be the semi-clean eating recipe that gets the rest of your family on board!