Instant Pot Tacos

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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.

Shelf-Stable Lunch Ideas

I’ve been going to a dietician for the past 6 months because I was having health issues. Even though my weight is stable, I’m losing fat percentage which is good. Yeah for progress!

When I met with her yesterday, she asked me what I needed help with and I told her shelf-stable lunch ideas so that I can keep those in my classroom. My life changed once again where I’m leaving for work 15 minutes earlier than normal. On days I’m running behind, I won’t have to worry about packing a lunch because I know I’ll have something already at work.

Here’s the formula for lunch:

Protein/ Healthy Fat + Carb/ Fruit + Veggies

Protein Sources:

  • Beef / Turkey Meat Sticks (EPIC, chomps, Thrive Market has a good turkey one.)
  • Peanut butter / Nut butter – Get squeezy packets if you don’t a whole entire jar in your workspace.
  • Trail Mix – Make your own, so you don’t have chocolate or other sweets in your mix.
  • Tuna / Salmon packets
  • Almonds
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Jerky
  • Protein bars
  • Pumpkin Seeds

Healthy Fats

  • Peanut butter / Nut butter – Get squeezy packets if you don’t a whole entire jar in your workspace.
  • Trail Mix – Make your own, so you don’t have chocolate or other sweets in your mix.
  • Almonds or other nuts

Carbs

  • That’s It Bars – I tried the apple/cherry one yesterday. It’s not bad.
  • Fruit leather
  • Larabars
  • Kind bars
  • Squeezy applesauce / unsweetened applesauce cups – Keep a container of cinnamon in your workspace.
  • Crackers
  • Popcorn – I love the Safe & Fair chocolate drizzled kettle corn.
  • Rice rollers
  • Rice cakes
  • Fruit cups (juice – not heavy syrup)
  • Granola – Be careful that it’s not full of sugary goodness. Make your own.
  • Freeze dried fruit
  • 90 second rice packets

She also suggested I keep shelf-stable fruit and veggies in my classroom. Ideas are apples, oranges, mini peppers, and carrots.

If I have the basics in my room, I can just grab supplemental items in the morning. It makes it easier for me to get going in the morning.

Here are some of the basics I can grab in the morning.

  • Pb3 packets
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Hummus
  • Cheese Sticks
  • Yogurt

Here is a previous post about lunch ideas.

Happy eating,
Traci

Chicken Wings in the Air Fryer (GF, DF, W30)

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I love chicken wings. If you were to ask me what my comfort food is currently, I would tell you chicken wings without a doubt. Getting them at a restaurant is often expensive, so it’s more economical to make them at home coated with your favorite seasoning and covered with your favorite barbecue sauce.

My favorite seasoning is from a local shop. Rosebuds is located at the 2nd Street Market, a local farmer’s market/ artisan shop. My seasoning is the Campfire Rub which reminds me of cooking over an actual campfire. Yum!

I just get a bottle of honey barbecue sauce from Aldi. Youngest and I just like a basic barbecue sauce. I also like a Carolina type of barbecue sauce.

I’m not good at explaining how to cut up the chicken wings. I know I’m not the best at it. So I did what I do best, I googled how to cut up the chicken wings properly. Click here for the directions and then return to my blog for the recipe.


What to Serve with the chicken wings

Salad (greens, veggie or fruit, topping) with a dressing

Cooked frozen or canned veggies

Chips, French fries, or Tater Tots – Our favorite is the seasoned Tater Tots from Alexa foods.

Celery or carrots with ranch or bleu cheese – Classic choice

Applesauce

Macaroni and cheese


Similiar Recipes

BBQ ribs

Apricot BBQ wings

Ranch chicken legs


Chicken Wings

Stars of the recipe

  • 1 – 1 lb. chicken wings split
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. your favorite spice

Directions

  1. Preheat your Air Fryer to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine the split chicken wings, olive oil, and spices. In a sealed container or gallon sized bag.
  3. Shake to distribute the spices and olive oil onto the chicken wings.
  4. Put into the Air Fryer in a single layer.
  5. Cook for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
  6. Enjoy with your favorite barbecue sauce.

Notes:

Here is the link to how to split your chicken wings.

BBQ Tofu – A Vegetarian Memorial Day Recipe (GF, V, DF)

As we are getting ready for Memorial Day, it is tough being a vegetarian when the holiday focuses on eating grilled meat. Or is it really that tough?

Today I’m bringing you a quick and easy recipe for Barbecue Tofu. You can enjoy the tastes of barbecue while staying plant based. Win-Win.

Here is what you need:
  • Pressed, firm tofu – Since I’m new to cooking tofu, here is the method of how to press tofu.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Avocado Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garlic Salt or Powder, Trader Joe’s Seasoning Salt, or Penzey’s Galena Street Rub
  • Your Favorite BBQ sauce

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BBQ Tofu

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • Pressed, firm tofu
  • 1 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Garlic Salt or Powder, Trader Joe’s Seasoning Salt, or Penzey’s Galena Street Rub, to taste
  • ¼ c. bbq sauce


Directions

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. In the meantime, cut the tofu into 32 rectangles.
  3. Gently add the tofu to the skillet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and other spice blend.
  4. Allow the tofu to cook for 5 minutes. Flip.
  5. Sprinkle the other side with the spices. Cook for additional 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from the skillet. Place in a bowl. Pour the bbq sauce over the tofu. Stir until all the tofu is covered with sauce.
  7. Enjoy!



My favorite BBQ sauce is Carolina Gold. Yum!

Have a bemagical day,
Traci

Roasted Veggie Meal Prep with Tahini Dressing

 

If I don’t prep my lunches, then I don’t eat well.  My body is not nourished because I’m not eating anything that is good for me.

Continue reading “Roasted Veggie Meal Prep with Tahini Dressing”

Pesto Italian Grilled Cheese (GF, V)

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Pesto Italian Grilled Cheese

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. softened butter
  • 2 slices bread (You can use gluten free bread if you like.)
  • 2 Tbsp. prepared pesto
  • 2 slices provolone or mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. Heat a skillet with oil over medium heat.
  2. Spread butter on one side of one a slice of bread and pesto on the other side of bread.
  3. Place in the skillet butter side down.
  4. Top with 2 slices of cheese.
  5. Spread butter on one side of the other slice of bread and pesto on the other side.  Place pesto side down on the cheeses.
  6. Allow to brown on one side.  (5 minutes or so)
  7. Flip.  Allow to brown on the other side.  (3 minutes or so)
  8. Remove from skillet to a plate.
  9. Enjoy with a salad or tomato soup.

Happy eating,
Traci

 

Pickled Red Onions (GF, V, DF, W30)

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Pickled Red Onions

Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/2 c. thinly sliced red onion
  • 3 Tbsp. white sugar (omit if Whole30)
  • 1 & 1/2 Tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. peppercorns
  • 1 c. white vinegar

Directions

  1. Thinly slice the red onion. Place in glass mixing bowl.
  2. Combine the sugar, salt, peppercorns in a small sauce pot.
  3. Add the vinegar and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
  4. Put the a lid on the pot. Bring the vinegar mixture to boil over high heat.
  5. Once the mixture has boiled, pour the vinegar over the onion. Make sure the onion is submerged.
  6. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
  7. Place in a mason jar and then store in the fridge for 3 to 4 weeks.

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I enjoyed it on egg salad.

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After adding the boiling mixture

Happy eating,
Traci

Egg Salad (GF, V, DF, W30)

Egg Salad

Egg Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 8 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced into small pieces (pressure cooker, oven)
  • 2 Tbsp. mustard
  • 1/4 c. mayo
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 c. chopped sweet pickles plus 1 Tbsp. pickle juice, optional

Directions

  1. Combine the eggs, mustard, mayo, paprika, and pickles, if using the pickles.
  2. Allow flavors to marinade for about 1/2 hour.
  3. Enjoy with crackers, on bread, or on a lettuce leaf.
  4. Use within 3 to 5 days.

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Happy eating,
Traci

Sloppy Joes (Day 6)

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Welcome to Day 6 of the 31 Days of Slow Cooking.  Today I’m featuring sloppy Joes.

The Imaginative One is a Boy Scout.  For the past year, he’s tried to get all of the requirements done so that he can move up to first class.  On Tuesday night, he met up with an Eagle Scout who helps with the troop to assure he has all the requirements done.  Then once he got home from the meeting, he called the advisor who holds the Board of Review so that he could set up an appointment.  Next Tuesday, he’s going to meet with the advisors so that they could determine if he’s ready to move up to first class.  I’m so proud of him.

We also had his parent teacher conference.  One thing about the Imaginative One is that he is a big reader.  When he crossed over to Boy Scouts in February of 2015, he would read during the majority of the meetings instead of paying attention.  As time passed, he has become more and more social.  Anywho, Hubby was told that the teacher didn’t know if the Imaginative One was paying attention in class because he will socialize at times.  It turns out the class is the English Language Arts class.  One of his Boy Scouts buddies is in that class.  I never thought I would hear that about the Imaginative One.

This is an easy recipe to put together in the slow cooker.  Sloppy Joes are great for lunch or even dinner.

Once you make up a batch, freeze smaller portions so you can have sloppy Joes whenever you don’t feel like cooking.  I did this before the Fourth of July. Then I ended up getting sick on the Fourth.  Luckily I had the sloppy Joes in the freezer so the family still had a delicious meal on the Fourth of July.

Sloppy Joes

Stars of the Recipe:

  • 1 & ½ lbs. Ground beef, browned and drained
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix or ¼ c. homemade onion soup mix
  • 1 c. ketchup
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • Hamburger buns

Steps:

  1. Combine all ingredients except for buns in the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or 2 to 3 on high.
  3. Serve on buns.
  4. Enjoy!
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Coca Cola Barbecue Ranch Wraps (Day 5)

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Welcome to Day 5 of 31 Days of Slow Cooking!

Yesterday I was talking another co-worker about my first year of teaching.  Somehow one of the other special education teachers got permission for the students on my caseload to go on their swimming field trips and community field trips.  That’s never happened since that first year.

One of my favorite of the field trips was the one where we went swimming, Cub Foods, McDonald’s, and then to see Emperor’s New Groove.  I don’t know how we got by with that kind of field trip.  We certainly could not do that now.

When we were at Cub Foods, we were suppose to be given a tour of the grocery store.  That didn’t happen so we divided the students into groups and walked them around ourselves.  I was not familiar with the layout of the store and ended up taking my group of students down the alcohol aisle.  To be honest it was drinks with a small section of alcohol in the middle of the aisle.  One of the students piped up “My dad drinks that stuff.”  At that point I walked even quicker down the aisle.

On that day I was mortified but now I can laugh about it 16 years later.


The coca cola barbecue ranch chicken wraps would make a good lunch or a quick supper on those busy school nights.

To shred the chicken, put in a mixing bowl.  Either use your stand mixer if you have one or a hand held mixer for a quick and easy way to shred the chicken.  If you don’t have either of those two, use two forks to shred the chicken.

Coca Cola Barbecue Ranch Chicken Wraps

Stars of the Recipe:

  • 1 lb. chicken breasts
  • 1 (18 oz.) bottle of barbecue sauce
  • 1 c. (8 oz.) of Coke or Cola
  • Ranch dressing for serving
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese for serving
  • Tortillas for serving

Steps:

  1. Cook the chicken breasts in the slow cooker for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
  2. Mix together the barbecue sauce and Coke.
  3. Drain the chicken juices from the slow cooker.
  4. Add the barbecue sauce and Coke mixture to the slow cooker.
  5. Cook on low for 30 minutes.
  6. Shred the chicken.  Stir to make sure the chicken is coated with the barbecue mixture.
  7. When serving:  Top the tortilla with chicken, ranch, and cheddar cheese.
  8. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

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