Instant Pot Pork Tacos

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Ingredients:

  • 2-3 pounds of pork (HEB sells Carnitas like the ones pictured)
  • 2 small oranges, halved (or one large)
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed, finely diced
  • 1 handful of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 small-medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (not pictured here… I forgot it when I took the pic!)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cumin

First, mix seasonings in a small bowl.

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Finely chop cilantro

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Finely chop jalapeño and place on top of cilantro.

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Dice red bell pepper and place on top of jalapeño.

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Dice onion and place on top of everything.

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Mix veggies

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Pour 1/2 cup of water on the bottom to start with some liquid (you could also use chicken stock).

Place a layer of carnitas meat, sprinkle seasoning, veggies, and garlic.

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Second layer of meat, seasoning, garlic, and veggies.  Squeeze the orange and lime and place into the pot.  If you use a pork roast or something similar, you won’t be able to do layers.  Totally fine!

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Cook for 50 minutes and natural pressure release for 20-30 minutes.

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This is what it looks like cooked.

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Pull the meat out into a bowl.

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Shred the meat.

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I imagine this would work fine in a crock pot.  It would just need to cook 6-8 hours to make it to where it falls apart and is easy to shred.

We eat this on some locally made flour tortillas or corn tortillas.  We typically have Mexican brown rice and pinto beans (I’ll post this recipe soon, I promise!).

This meal costs maybe $8?  It’s a pretty inexpensive meal!

It’s one of our faves!  Enjoy!

Here are some easy-to-follow directions!

  1. Mix seasonings in a small bowl.
  2. Finely chop cilantro
  3. Finely chop jalapeño and place on top of cilantro.
  4. Dice red bell pepper and place on top of jalapeño.
  5. Dice onion and place on top of everything.
  6. Mix veggies
  7. Pour 1/2 cup of water on the bottom to start with some liquid (you could also use chicken stock).
  8. Place a layer of carnitas meat, sprinkle seasoning, veggies, and garlic.
  9. Second layer of meat, seasoning, garlic, and veggies.  Squeeze the orange and lime and place into the pot.  If you use a pork roast or something similar, you won’t be able to do layers.  Totally fine!
  10. Cook for 50 minutes and natural pressure release for 20-30 minutes.
  11. Pull the meat out into a bowl.
  12. Shred the meat.

Weekend Prep

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I woke up late today, but have been busy ever since.  I’m finally sitting down (at 2:30) to blog about all that I have been doing today.

The first thing I did when I woke up was have my coffee, plan my day, and spend time in the word.  Today was day 1 of the Ruth study on She Reads Truth.  This is an old study… one that I missed in the past.  I’m not a huge fan of the one that is happening right now, so I went backwards.  It is fantastic.

Then I made beds (well, I had the kids make their beds but I went behind them and straightened them because I’m a perfectionist).

Then I straightened up the house.  This didn’t take very long because I tend to keep it clean these days.  Plus, I have the kids clean up after themselves.  It helps that they are only home in the evenings and on the weekends.

Here’s what the house currently looks like:

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I updated my meal plan for the month.

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Then I started my meal prep.

First, I cut veggies for lunches and dinners.

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Then I made healthy snack muffins.

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I prepped lunches.

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I made dinners for the nights that I will be going to town.

Veggie and meat sauce

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Whole wheat penne

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Taco meat

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I ordered some items from Walmart.com that I will need this week.  Friday, I will only have to buy ground beef, produce, and dairy!  I will also be picking up some pizzas from Papa Murphy’s for Saturday (my parents will be here).

Next I will be folding and putting away my one load of laundry for the day.

We will end the night by playing games!

 

Weekly Meal Plan, 2 Weeks

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Robert and Ethan will be at Big Bend for 4 out of 7 days next week, so Karis, Levi, and I will be fending for ourselves.  You would think it would be easier to go to the dining hall, but it’s actually easier to stay in and eat easy foods.  So that’s what we’re doing.

Breakfasts

Lunches

  • Sandwich on homemade bread (or a pita), veggies, hummus, and fruit
  • Cottage cheese, boiled egg, veggies, hummus, and Triscuits
  • Leftovers

Snacks

  • Nuts
  • Triscuits
  • Fruit
  • Veggies
  • Crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Apple sauce
  • Homemade Greek yogurt

Dinners 

Week of January 16-22

  • Monday-Wednesday: Dining hall
  • Thursday: Breakfast- Cinnamon biscuits (treat) and scrambled eggs
  • Friday: Hot dogs
  • Saturday: Finger foods (uncured salami, boiled eggs, Gouda, veggies, and fruit)
  • Sunday: Instant pot roast, potatoes, and carrots

Week of January 23-29

  • Monday: Burrito Bowls (pinto beans, brown rice, tomato, avocado, sour cream, and cheese)
  • Tuesday: Instant pot meat loaf, mashed potatoes, and corn
  • Wednesday: Grilled pork chops, steamed broccoli, and salad
  • Thursday: Southwestern Soup (will share this recipe soon)
  • Friday-Sunday: Dining hall

Preparation

  • Bake bread
  • Cut veggies
  • Make green smoothie cakes
  • Make breakfast taco filling

Homemade Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot

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Start with homemade BBQ sauce (not pictured here is the molasses… I forgot it!).

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You’ll need 2 cups of chicken broth (this is homemade).

4lbs of pork shoulder.  This particular one is in pieces.

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Place broth and pork shoulder in instant pot.

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Spoon some of the homemade BBQ sauce on to it.

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Cook manually for 70 minutes, NPR for 15-20 minutes.

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Shred.

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Add more BBQ sauce.

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Enjoy!  I use whole wheat buns (sometimes homemade, but not this time), mayo, and pickles.  Yum!

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Homemade Pasta Sauce and Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower

A regular meal around here is homemade pasta sauce on whole wheat pasta with roasted veggies on the side.  It is really simple and cheap!  Here is how I make it!

For the pasta sauce:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder (or use minced garlic… sometimes I do this)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 box of whole wheat pasta (pictured here is penne, but I used rotini for the final picture)
  • 1 zucchini and 1 yellow squash (not pictured)
  • 2 broccoli crowns and 1 head of cauliflower (not pictured)

First, cube zucchini and squash.  Sauté in a little bit of olive oil with some salt and pepper.

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While the squash is sautéing, brown the beef.

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Drain meat, return to pan.  Dump all of the remaining ingredients into the pan.  Stir and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

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Cut broccoli and cauliflower.

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Toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, and some garlic powder.

Spread on pan and bake on 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

While this is roasting, cook your pasta.

Serve and enjoy!

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Meal Planning Sunday, January 1st! (Two Weeks)

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Breakfasts

Lunches

  • Sandwiches on sprouted bread with Hormel natural deli meat and Tillamook cheddar, veggies and hummus, fruit
  • Cottage cheese, boiled eggs, veggies and hummus, fruit, Triscuits
  • Leftovers

Dinners

Week of January 2-8

  • Monday- Chicken and Dumplings in the Instant Pot
  • Tuesday- Pulled pork using our homemade BBQ sauce (for our summer staff that will be here)
  • Wednesday- Dining hall
  • Thursday- Dining hall
  • Friday- Pizza
  • Saturday- Pasta and homemade meat sauce (recipe coming!) and steamed broccoli
  • Sunday- Creamy cauliflower and potato soup

Week of January 9-15

  • Monday- Burrito bowls (brown rice, Instant pot pinto beans, avocado, tomato, cheese, and sour cream)
  • Tuesday- Cheese enchilada stacks (corn tortillas with shredded cheese and canned enchilada sauce) and brown rice
  • Wednesday- Easy Chili and corn bread
  • Thursday- Fish tacos
  • Friday- Pork chops (grilled) and roasted veggies
  • Saturday- Hot Dogs
  • Sunday- Roast, potatoes, and carrots in the instant pot

Snacks

  • Breakfast cookies 
  • Fruit salad
  • Veggies
  • Cheese sticks
  • Homemade Greek yogurt
  • Austin cracker sandwiches (treat!)
  • Organic cheddar “frogeez”
  • Organic animal cookies

Weekly Prep

  • Bake breakfast recipes
  • Cut veggies for lunches and snacks
  • Make fruit salad for the week
  • Bag up veggies and fruit for lunches
  • Make yogurt

Our Favorite Friday Night Dinner!

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(Ignore the mess around the coffee table… cause… life.)

Finger Foods!

  • 3 carrots, cut into strips
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into strips
  • 2 broccoli crowns, cut into florets
  • Grape tomatoes
  • 2 bananas, cut
  • 2 oranges, peeled
  • 2 apples, cut
  • 1 summer sausage, sliced
  • 1/2 pound cheddar cheese, sliced or cut however you want 🙂
  • Ranch or hummus (we use both)

Put on plates in the living room.  Eat while watching Friday night movies (or playing games)!

Easy Chili

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Ingredients:

  • 2lbs ground beef (or venison!)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can pinto beans (or I often use pre-made dried pinto beans… usually about 2 cups worth)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 squirt Sriracha
  • 2 tbsp chile powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1-2 tbsp minced garlic (or you can use garlic powder)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Saute onion in olive oil until onion is translucent.
  2. Add ground beef.  Brown.
  3. Drain fat off of the meat.
  4. Add all other ingredients.
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Simmer for 30-45 minutes.

I will add instant pot directions soon!

Instant Pot Whole Chicken and Roasted Veggies

I made instant pot whole chicken for the first time so I thought I would share how I made it and share how I would do it a little differently next time.  My favorite whole chicken is roasted in the oven, but this is good when we don’t have enough time to roast it (as it takes MUCH longer to roast).

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Ingredients:

  • Cooking oil (I use coconut)
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade chicken broth (I would use 1/2 cup next time)
  • Dried rosemary
  • Dried thyme
  • Garlic powder
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Dried basil
  • Minced garlic
  • Whole chicken (mine was almost 6lbs)
  • Quartered onion (about 1/2)

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Quarter the onion and place in a small bowl.

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Place 1 tbsp minced garlic in bowl.

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Sprinkle with rosemary, thyme, basil, and coarse sea salt.  Stuff it into the chicken.

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Press “saute” and “fry” the chicken, breast on top, in about 2 tbsp oil (I just squirted it) for 5-7 minutes.

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Turn the chicken over and sprinkle with lots of coarse sea salt, rosemary, thyme, basil, and garlic powder.  Pour chicken broth into pot (like I said, I would only use about 1/2 a cup next time).

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Set the time manually.  I did it for 25 minutes, but I would do it for 35 minutes next time (I ended up having to bake it for another 10 minutes or so to bring the chicken up to temp).  Make sure that you do natural pressure release when finished (NPR).

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The chicken doesn’t look pretty, but it tastes pretty good :-).  It’s also super tender and falls right off the bone.

Before you start the chicken, get the veggies ready.

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  • 1 yellow onion, cubed
  • 2 russet potatoes, cubed
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 yellow squash, cubed
  • 1 zucchini, cubed
  • 1 bag of brussel sprouts, halved
  • 1 acorn squash, peeled and cubed

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Heat oven to 350*.

Sprinkle with olive oil, coarse sea salt, and garlic powder.

Toss.

Place on cookie sheet.

Bake for about 20 minutes before starting chicken in the instant pot.

Once they are in for 20 minutes, start the chicken on 35 manual.

Once chicken is done, broil the veggies for a few minutes to brown.

Dinner is done!

Serve with a salad!

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Super yummy and healthy dinner!

Meal Planning Sunday, December 18th

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From now on, I will share my meal plan on Sundays!  I don’t always have recipes handy (I haven’t blogged about many of them), so I will share the best I can!

Breakfasts:

Lunches:

  • Deli meat or cottage cheese, boiled egg, various veggies (cucumbers, grape tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, celery, and carrots) with hummus or ranch, various fruits (grapes, bananas, or oranges), and Triscuits.
  • Sandwiches and veggies/fruit
  • Organic Mac N Cheese (and veggies/fruit)
  • Leftovers (for the days I’m home)

Dinners:

  • Monday: Breakfast for dinner (bacon, eggs, biscuits)
  • Tuesday: Eating out in San Antonio (probably Zoe’s Mediterranean Restaurant) because I have a psychiatrist appointment at 4:00
  • Wednesday: Grilled chicken thighs (we use a seasoning from a restaurant called Perini’s Ranch Steak Rub), baked potatoes, and steamed broccoli (I steam it in the Instant Pot and use lemon pepper and sea salt)
  • Thursday: Grilled Pork Chops, roasted squash and zucchini, and salad
  • Friday: We will be traveling (picnic lunch with sandwiches, veggies and fruit, and crackers).  Lots of snacks!
  • Saturday, Sunday:  We will be out of state at my inlaws (I don’t know what we will be eating)

The next week:

Let me know if you have any questions!