Instant Pot Tacos

Jump to the recipe

You may noticed I’ve been on a taco kick lately. Youngest and I enjoy our tacos. Now that I’ve figured out the yummiest taco meat, I make it at least once a week.

During my weekly meal prep, I made extra of the taco meat and froze it in my Souper cubes. Yes, I got some of them and absolutely love them. This way the taco meat is ready to go if I want to eat nachos or just don’t feel like cooking.

What do I need for the recipe?

  • ground beef – I know ground beef prices are expensive. Sometimes the family packs are cheaper. Get one of those, double or triple the recipe, and then freeze for later.
  • taco seasoning – Homemade or store bought – My favorite is from a local place.
  • onion, optional – You could also add some diced up bell peppers in the taco meat.
  • salsa or fire roasted salsa style tomatoes – I found fire roasted salsa style tomatoes at my local grocery store. They add a certain flavor to the taco meat. If your store doesn’t have that type of tomatoes substitute salsa.
  • Tortillas – Flour, corn, or hard taco shells – It doesn’t matter.
  • Your favorite toppings: Cilantro, sour cream, lettuce, shredded cabbage, black beans or re-fried beans, jalapenos, tomato, cheese

Other uses for the taco meat

  • Nachos – The meat would be delicious on nachos. Yum!
  • Taco salad – Add some French, Catalina, or ranch dressing on top. Or you could skip the dressing and use salsa instead.
  • Taco fries – Doesn’t that sound delicious? Or is it just me?
  • Walking tacos – Fritos, taco meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes.

The Recipe

As always, click on the image for a printable version of the recipe.

Taco Bake (Gluten-Free)

Jump to recipe

Youngest and I love eating tacos. This recipe is a combination of tacos and nachos in a casserole. YUM!

You can use up those crushed tortilla chips in your cupboard/pantry for this recipe.

What you need for the recipe:
  • Ground beef
  • Onion
  • Salsa
  • Taco seasoning
  • Tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheese – Mexican blend or cheddar – You can certainly shred your own.
  • Your favorite toppings: jalepenos, cheese, cilantro, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, and tomato
Variations:

Vegetarian option: Instead of ground beef, you can either use meatless ground beef crumbles or black/ pinto beans.

In step 4: You can also add cilantro lime rice or black beans as a layer.

Recipe

Click on the photo to go to a printable recipe card.

Notes:

  • You use half of the taco seasoning in the 2 steps.
  • The layers for the taco bake are ground beef mixture, cheese, and then tortilla chips. In that order
  • It says you can feed 6. Youngest and I only got 4 servings out of the meal.

Bramble Beans in the Instant Pot

Jump to the recipe
Jump to what to serve with the recipe
SIMILAR Recipes

Last week, I put bramble beans on our menu but didn’t have time to meal prep. So when it came time to cook the recipe, I had to change up how I was going to cook the meal. I decided to make it in my Instant Pot instead of the crockpot. It was easy to do.


So what do you serve with the bramble beans?

A simple side dish would be either a salad or frozen/ canned veggies warmed up.

Roasted veggies

Cornbread, biscuits, or rolls – Simple and delicious

Applesauce or baked apples


Similar Recipes

Sloppy Joes (Crockpot)

Sloppy Joes

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joe French fries

Beenie Weenies


Bramble Beans

Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 – 15 oz. cans of pork and beans
  • 1 – 15 oz. can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb. hamburger, browned
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 c. ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp. brown sugar

Steps:

  1. Turn on the Instant Pot to sauté.
  2. Place the hamburger and diced onion in the Instant Pot. Cook until the onion is transparent and the hamburger is no longer pink.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients.
  4. Manual set the Instant Pot to 15 minutes. (Make sure you have the vent is closed.)
  5. Quick release the vent once it is cooked.
  6. Enjoy!

Note: You may need to add about a quarter cup of water since you are using the Instant Pot.

Basic Granola Recipe with 5 Variations (DF,V, GF)

One breakfast/snack item you can meal prep is my fruit on the bottom yogurt cup. I love to top my yogurt cups with granola. 

You can buy granola from the store or you can make your own. When you make your own, you can control the ingredients in your granola. You can also control how much sweetener you put in your granola.

This granola is a great one because it is very versatile. I have given you 5 different flavor combinations that are all very tasty. 

I portion out the granola for the week. If you get the 4 ounce Mason jars and fill it up to the lip, that is the perfect amount of granola.

What you need for this recipe:

  • Oats
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Your favorite nuts or seeds (pumpkin or sunflower)
  • Dried or freeze-dried fruit
  • Spices
  • Salt
  • Butter, coconut oil, canola oil, extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil
  • Honey or maple syrup
  • Vanilla or almond extract

Basic Loose Granola Recipe 

Stars of the recipe:

Dry Ingredients: 

  • 4 c. old fashioned oats 
  • 1 c. unsweetened coconut flakes or additional nuts 
  • 1 c. nuts or seeds 
  • 1 c. dried or freeze-dried fruit – add after baking 
  • 2 tsp. spices – cinnamon, pumpkin spice, gingerbread spice 
  • 1 tsp. salt 

Wet Ingredients: 

  • 1/3 c. melted butter, melted coconut oil, canola oil, extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil 
  • 1/3 c. honey or maple syrup 
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla or almond extract 

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 
  2. Combine all of the dry ingredients except for the fruit in a large bowl. Stir 
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Stir. 
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients. Stir until all of the ingredients are coated. 
  5. Spread onto a cookie sheet that has either been sprayed down with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. 
  6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. 
  7. Take out of the oven. Allow cooling time before adding the fruit. 
  8. Enjoy with your favorite dairy or nondairy milk or yogurt. 
  9. Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks. 

Ideas for granola: 

Nuts and seeds: 

  • Cashews 
  • Pecans  
  • Walnuts 
  • Macadamia Nuts 
  • Almonds – Slivers or slices 
  • Pistachios 
  • Pumpkin Seeds 
  • Sunflower Seeds 

Dried Fruit or Freeze-Dried Fruit: 

  • Apples 
  • Blueberries 
  • Cranberries 
  • Cherries – usually more expensive 
  • Raspberries 
  • Freeze-dried honey crisp apples from Trader Joe’s 
  • Freeze-dried grapes from Trader Joe’s 
  • Apricots 
  • Raisins 

Combinations for granola: 

Apple crisp 

Nuts – Walnuts and pumpkin seeds 

Fruit – Used dried apples – I like dried apples in my apple crisp granola. 

Spice – Apple pie spice which is 3 Tbsp. ground cinnamon, 2 tsp. nutmeg, 1 tsp. cardamom, 1 tsp. allspice combined in a small Mason jar. Use 1 to 2 Tbsp. of the apple pie spice blend.  


Cranberry pecan 

Nuts – Pecans and pumpkin seeds – Don’t use coconut flakes. 

Fruit – Dried cranberries. 

Spice – Cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. 


Almond Joy  

Nuts – Slivered or sliced almonds 

Fruit – Don’t use any. 

Spice – Cinnamon 

Extract – Almond 


Apricot almond 

Nuts – Slivered or sliced almonds 

Fruit – Diced dried apricots 

Spice – Cinnamon 


Pumpkin spice 

Nuts – Walnuts and pumpkin seeds 

Fruit – dried cranberries or raisins 

Spice – pumpkin spice 

Extra – Add ¼ c. of pumpkin puree to the wet ingredients. 

Printable Recipe

Stay kind!

Have a magical day,
Traci

Johnny Marzetti – Updated

One of my mom’s favorite meals was Johnny Marzetti. When I was Googling the history of the name of Johnny Marzetti, I noticed a lot of the recipes bake it. The difference with my recipe is that I don’t. My recipe is more of an American goulash.

It was named after a restaurant in Columbus that shut down in 1972 when the owner died.

When I made it this week, I modernized or added some depth to the spaghetti sauce that I used in the dish. I added a splash of dry red wine while the sauce was simmering. So delicious!

It’s a simple pantry item dish. Here’s what you need to make the dish.

  1. ground beef – I know the price for ground beef has increased. I get the frozen ground beef at this current time because it is cheaper.
  2. spaghetti sauce – I used a simple spaghetti sauce from Aldi. Less than a dollar for the jar.
  3. dry red wine – Doesn’t need to be expensive. Or use beef broth for a deeper flavor.
  4. onions
  5. elbow macaroni – Aldi has 3 pound boxes for less than $1.50
  6. shredded cheddar cheese
  7. Spices: Dried oregano and Italian seasoning – Salt and pepper to taste
  8. optional: mushrooms and green peppers

Johnny Marzetti

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped or 1/2 of a medium or large onion, chopped
  • 1 (24 to 26 oz) jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. dry red wine or beef broth
  • 1 lb or 2 c. dry elbow macaroni
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional: 1/4 c. white or Bella mushroom, chopped
  • Optional: 1/2 green pepper chopped

Steps:

  1. Cook the elbow macaroni according to directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Brown the ground beef in a medium sized pot on medium heat. Drain and remove from pan. Set aside.
  3. Add the onions, mushroom (if using), and green pepper (if using) to the pan. Add some oil to the pan if needed. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add the cooked ground beef, spaghetti sauce, and red wine to the onions. Simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Add the pasta and shredded cheddar cheese to the pot. Stir to combine.
  6. Enjoy with garlic bread and a salad.

You can leave the wine out if don’t want to use wine. I just used it to add some depth to the dish.

Printable Recipe

Stay kind!

Have a magical day,
Traci

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti (DF)

Jump ahead to the recipe

The boys do not like when Hubby makes pasta dishes because he doesn’t always drain the pasta. He’ll rather use a slotted spoon to get out the pasta. Needless to say, it becomes very mushy.

So whenever we do have any pasta dishes, I’m the only one who cooks or if he cooks the pasta, he needs to be reminded to drain the pasta. I know us bugging him drives him crazy.

Making the spaghetti in the pressure cooker eliminates the need to drain the pasta because all of it is made in one pot.


Youngest is not always the best eater. He doesn’t always eat a lot of food at meals. When he ate 2 servings of the spaghetti, I knew this recipe was a keeper.

Hubby doesn’t always want to eat leftovers even though I plan for them during the week. He actually volunteered to eat the leftovers the next day. This also told me that this recipe was a keeper.

What you need for the recipe
  1. spaghetti noodles
  2. ground beef
  3. jar of spaghetti sauce
  4. water
  5. Italian seasoning
  6. optional: diced onions

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: extremely easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 0.5 pound of spaghetti noodles
  • 0.5 pound of ground beef
  • 1 (26 oz.) jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 1 (26 oz.) jar full of water plus about 2 to 3 Tbsp. more of water
  • 1 small or 1/2 large onion, diced – optional
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil – optional

Directions

  1. Set your electric pressure cooker to saute.
  2. If you are going to add onions to your spaghetti, add the oil and then the onions. Cook the onions for 4 to 5 minutes or until translucent. Remove from the pot.
  3. Add the ground beef to the pot. Cook until no longer pink. Make sure you break up the ground beef so the pieces are equal pieces. (About 5 minutes) Drain the fat from the ground beef.
  4. Add the spaghetti sauce, water, Italian seasoning, and onions, if using them. Stir.
  5. Add the spaghetti noddles. (Break them in half.) Make sure the noodles are covered with sauce and water. Add a little more water, if needed.
  6. Set the pressure cooker to manual 8 minutes. Put the lid on the pressure cooker making sure the valve is set to seal.
  7. When it’s done cooking, quick release the valve.
  8. Stir the spaghetti.
  9. Enjoy with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Notes:

  1. You can use ground turkey instead of ground beef.
  2. If you want to make it vegetarian, you can use the beefless beef from Trader Joe’s. Just start with step 4 unless you are adding the onions.

Stay kind!

Have a magical day,
Traci

Sundried Tomato Garlic Noodles – A pantry meal (Vegetarian)

My aunt came into town and helped me rearrange my pantry. Once I knew what was in my pantry, it was easy to decide what to make for dinner.

I had some Pasta Roni’s Butter and Garlic noodles, sundried tomatoes, black olives, chickpeas, and canned chicken in the pantry. What could I make for dinner?

I cooked up one box of the butter and garlic noodles and added the drained chicken to the noodles.

Once I cooked up the other box of the noodles, I placed half of it in the other bowl. With the other half, I added sundried tomatoes, black olives, and drained chickpeas. YUM! It sort of reminded me of my favorite dish at Piada.

20180529_173649_HDR

Sundried Tomato Garlic Noodles

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: very easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 box of Pasta Roni, Butter and Garlic
  • ¼ c. sundried tomatoes
  • ¼ c. black olives or Kalamata olives
  • ¼ c. drained and rinsed chickpeas
  • 1 to 2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese, optional


Directions

  1. Make the Pasta Roni according to the directions on the box.
  2. Once the Pasta Roni is cooked, add the sundried tomatoes, olives, and chickpeas.
  3. Sprinkle Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Enjoy!



Happy eating,
Traci

Mom, What’s For Dinner? – January 8, 2018 & Pressure Cooker Steel Oats

Last week was crazy.  I only worked twice during the week.  We had below freezing temps.  Extremely below freezing temps.  The wind chill on a couple of the days registered -20 or so below.

Continue reading “Mom, What’s For Dinner? – January 8, 2018 & Pressure Cooker Steel Oats”

Soft Gluten Free Bread – Blog Post #27

Last week, I mentioned that I have xanthan gum in my gluten free pantry.  I use the xanthan gum to make this bread.

It is soft and delicious.

 

Soft Gluten Free Breads

Soft Gluten Free Bread

  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

 

Ingredients

– 1 & ½ c. water or milk

– 3 to 4 Tbsp. honey or sugar (I use honey.)

– 2 ½ tsp. Dry active yeast

 

– 3 c. gluten free flour mix

– 1 & ½ tsp. Xanthan gum

– 4 tsp. Baking powder

– 1 tsp. Salt

– optional:  Mix in your desired sweet or savory flavors (cinnamon or garlic powder)

 

– 2 tsp. Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

– ¼ c. olive oil

– 2 lrg eggs

 

Directions

  1. In a measuring cup, measure milk.  Place milk in microwave.  Warm on ½ power for 1 to 2 minutes or until warm to touch.  Stir in the honey.  Then sprinkle on yeast.  Set aside to allow to proof for 10 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the gluten free flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and the sweet or savory flavors.  (Dry ingredients)
  3. Combine the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and eggs in a stand mixer bowl.  Using the paddle attachment, mix of a minute.
  4. Add the proofed yeast mix to the ingredients in the stand mixer bowl.  Mix for a minute.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and beat on medium-high for 3 minutes.  Dough will be wet, sticky, and thick.
  6. Oil and flour a 9 by 5 loaf pan.
  7. Using a spatula sprayed with cooking spray, scrape the bread mixture in the loaf pan.  Smooth out the loaf with the spatula.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Place the bread mixture on top of the oven.  Do NOT over proof your bread.  Let it rise for about 20 – 30 minutes.  Don’t allow it to rise above your loaf pan.  Otherwise it will either flow over the pan or collapse.
  10. Bake for about 35 to 45 minutes.  
  11. Once you pull the bread out of the oven, do NOT leave the loaf to sit in the pan to rest.  Within one or two minutes, gently turn it out onto its side onto your cooling rack.
  12. Allow it to cool completely before cutting into slices.  Use a serrated bread knife.
  13. Enjoy with your favorite toppings!

 

Source

Happy eating,
Traci

Taco Rice (GF, DF) and Homemade Burrito Bowls – Blog Post #18

My mom an I enjoy going to a place called Hot Head Burritos.  We usually  get a lil bowl with either brown or white rice, pinto or black beans, and our choice of meat and toppings.

You can use this recipe to be the base of your own burrito bowl.  It would be delicious with taco meat or chicken ranch taco meat.  You can use either black or pinto beans.  It’s up to you to decide what type of toppings are on your burrito bowl.

Some topping ideas are:  lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, pico, sour cream, corn, and guacamole.  Yum!

As you can see being gluten free does not have to be boring.

IMG_0690

Taco Rice

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

– 2 Tbsp. oil

– 1 onion

– 1 garlic clove, minced

– 2 c. white rice

– 2 Tbsp. homemade taco seasoning

– 2 c. water

– salt to taste

 

Directions

  1. Set an electric pressure cooker to saute’.
  2. Add the oil, onions, and garlic.  Cook until onions are translucent.
  3. Add the rice and taco seasoning.  Stir.  Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add water and salt.  Stir.  Manually set the pressure cooker to 8 minutes on high.  (Put the lid on the pressure cooker.)
  5. After the rice has finished cooking, do a quick release.
  6. Fluff the rice.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: