Instant Pot Chicken and Green Vegetable Soup

It’s been so cold. This weather has had me all down in the dumps, but I am thankful for the few days of sunshine. Because it’s been so cold, I’ve been 100 percent craving soup.

My go-to is usually a combine of whatever protein and veggies I have on hand, and then I season it based on what I feel like. And when I really want a low effort soup, I always make it in the Instant Pot.

So that’s what I did last night, and this one turned out to be a favorite of mine.

So I call this Chicken and Green Vegetable Soup because it is heavy on the green vegetable side of things. I also shredded the chicken after cooking to make it extra delicious so you get a little chicken in every bite.

What you need:

  • 3 chicken breasts, thawed or frozen
  • 1 leek, rinsed and cut into half-moons
  • 2 heads of broccoli, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 bunch dino kale, inner rib removed and chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken bone broth
  • 2 cups water
  • Drizzle of avocado oil
  • Salt, pepper and a generous dose of Primal Palate’s New Bae Seasoning
  • Sour Cream, optional

Put a little avocado oil in the bottom of the pot. (I always do this when I’m putting frozen chicken in the Instant Pot so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.)

Add all your ingredients to the pot. Secure the lid. Set on Soup cooking method for 30 minutes, and make sure the release valve is closed so it will build pressure. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Once the pot reaches the optimal pressure, the timer will count down from 30 minutes, and it will beep when it is ready. Wait a couple minutes to flip the tab to release the pressure manually. I’m always too hungry to wait for it to naturally release.

Enjoy.

It’s that simple.

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Sausage and Veggie Sheet Pan Dinner

I keep a variety of things in the freezer and fridge for emergency meals. That can be when we are completely out of fresh produce or I forgot to thaw out meat, but I always have something on hand to throw together a healthy, balanced dinner when I don’t feel like cooking.

Insert sheet pan dinners.

I try to always keep some kind of sausage in the fridge. Usually, it is an apple chicken sausage I get from Walmart, but lately I’ve been getting an apple gouda sausage from Natural Grocers. Both are delicious and serve the purpose I need, which is get dinner ready quickly.

The reason I love sheet pan dinners is because you can use whatever you have in the fridge, and it always turns out delicious.

Sheet pan of roasted asparagus, delicate squash, onion and sausage fresh out of the oven

I encourage you to make one for yourself. Experiment with different veggies and spices. This one was fairly simple, but I did have one secret ingredient that I can guarantee you will make your sheet pan dinner a success.

What you need:

  • 2 sausages (your favorite brand and flavor), sliced into rounds
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1 onion, diced into large chunks
  • 1 delicata squash, seeds removed and chopped
  • A drizzle of avocado oil
  • Seasoning of choice: I used salt, pepper and garlic powder in this one
  • Secret ingredient: 6 small dollops of bacon grease scattered around the pan

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Prep the veggies and sausage, and place on a parchment lined baking dish. Drizzle with oil and seasonings. Go easy on the salt since the bacon grease will add a nice amount of saltiness.

Bake for 12 minutes and stir around. Bake for 12 more minutes.

Roasted sausage, asparagus, delicata squash and onion with kraut and Dijon mustard on a blue plate

Serve hot with a side of Bubbie’s Kraut and your favorite mustard. We used Dijon, but also like spicy brown mustard.

The beautiful thing about sheet pan dinners is the ability to use whatever you have on hand. I make these at least once a week, but it is hardly ever the same one twice. Get creative and enjoy yourself. It’s so easy and turns out perfect every time.

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

This is one Paleo dinner that doesn’t taste “granola” at all. It was so good we ate until our stomachs hurt.

The glorious part is I browned the hamburger meat several hours before I was ready to eat, and I threw all the ingredients for the sauce into the crockpot to cook for awhile so the flavors could get right. Plus, slow cooking the meat makes it extra tender.

I’ll admit it’s not the prettiest dish I’ve ever made, but it makes up for it in warm, hearty flavors. Perfect for fall.

What you need:

  • 1 spaghetti squash, cut in half
  • 1 jar of Whole30 compliant spaghetti sauce
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian Seasoning to taste

Sauté the ground beef with the onion in a hot skillet until meat is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Move to slow cooker. Add in the sauce. (I used Thrive Market’s Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce.) Add a little Italian Seasoning, and more salt and pepper if you like. I cooked ours on low for about 4 hours, but you could also make this on the stovetop.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrap out the pulp and seeds. Season the inside of the squash halves with salt, pepper and a little avocado oil. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet cut side down, and roast for 40-45 minutes. When it is done, remove from the oven, and let cool for a few minutes. Flip the halves over and scrap the squash with a fork to make “noodles.”

Put the squash noodles in a bowl. Top with the spaghetti sauce. And enjoy.

It was warm and comforting. And like I said, we ate all of it. The good thing is the “noodles” didn’t make us sick. It’s the little things in life.

What are your favorite comfort dishes that just happen to be Paleo?

Secret Ingredient Salmon Cakes

Someone I admire paid me the biggest compliment today.

On the Adventures to Wellness Facebook page, there was a lovely little comment on my Creamy Chicken and Zoodles post about finding a yummy gluten free, egg free, nut free, soy free recipe.

I love it when you guys comment and leave messages about making my recipes. So humbling.

These Salmon Cakes are extra tasty. And in keeping with the gluten free, egg free, nut free, soy free theme, I can’t wait to share it with you.

What’s the secret ingredient?

Pumpkin purée.

Pum

What you need:

  • Two cans pink salmon
  • 1/2 can organic pumpkin purée
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • Dill, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Drain the juice off the salmon, and put meat into a bowl. Flake with a fork. Stir in the pumpkin and coconut flour. Season liberally with salt, pepper, garlic powder and dill.

Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy.

It’s just that simple. The pumpkin purée acts as a binder like eggs, and it doesn’t alter the flavor of the cake. And if you have an allergy to eggs, you don’t have to worry over it with this dish.

I paired our Salmon Cakes with a combination of wilted turnip greens and Swiss chard. So tasty and full of Vitamin K.

What is one ingredient you use in everything?

Creamy Chicken and Zoodles

I’m currently playing a game with myself. A game where I stand in the kitchen and stare at the contents (or lack there of) in my fridge and try to imagine what I’ll make for dinner.

It’s basically throwing something together and hoping it tastes good. Sometimes it’s mediocre. But sometimes it turns out so good we both stand over the stove and eat directly out of the pan.

In all honesty, I have no idea what to call this. It was created purely on instinct and a hungry tummy. And the fact that I wanted it to be ready quickly.

What you need:

  • 2 zucchini, spiralized
  • 2 yellow squash, spiralized
  • 2 chicken breasts, diced
  • A couple handfuls of frozen peas
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Salt, pepper, dill and garlic powder to taste

Season the diced chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Sauté in a hot skillet. Let it get kind of brown.Add the onions and let them caramelize.

In a separate pan, cook the zoodles. Let them get a little crispy.

Add the peas and tomatoes to the chicken and onions. Let the peas heat through. Add the coconut milk. Season with a little more salt and pepper and a lot of dill.

Put the zoodles in the bottom of the bowl and top with creamy chicken mixture. Enjoy.

Don’t let the coconut milk mixture cook too long before serving. It can separate and you lose the creamy goodness.

This was so good we debated over who could drink the sauce. And it’s amazing such a dish exists because I had no idea what I was doing.