Friday, April 21, 2017

Refried Beans in the Instant Pot



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I've been having so much fun learning how to use my new kitchen gadget, the Instant Pot. This thing can do it all! Beans and roasts come out perfectly tender. Vegetables, rice, stews and soups are done just right. It has made my life so much easier in the kitchen. I honestly can't say enough good things about the Instant Pot. Now if you're nervous to use a pressure cooker, don't be! I was so nervous my face would be blown off (yes totally irrational fear 😜), but it honestly couldn't be more easy to use. Just read the manual and you will be all set!


One of my favorite things to make in the Instant Pot is beans. Once the pot comes up to the correct pressure, you can go from dried to cook beans in just 25 minutes. It used to take hours to achieve the same results, but not anymore. My family loves beans, so this has been such a time saver for me.

If I'm being honest, beans are not my favorite. Not even in my top 50 foods, but my family loves them and they are cheap, cheap, cheap. I'm always looking for new and flavorful ways to prepare beans so that I can enjoy the meal with my family. Enter my refried beans.

These refried beans are a far, far cry from your store bought variety. The canned beans, although very convenient, just lack a lot of flavor in my opinion. This recipe makes wonderfully flavorful beans that can be mixed into any Mexican dish, or eaten alone. My family loves to make a meal out of them alongside Brown Spanish Rice, lettuce and salsa.



Printable Recipe
Flavorful Refried Beans (THM: E, gluten-free, dairy-free, low-fat)

  • 4 c. cooked pinto beans (if you are using canned beans, be sure to drain them, reserving the liquid and then rinse them well)
  • 1 1/2 T. olive oil
  • (1) small yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 t. paprika
  • 1/2 t. chili powder
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 2 t. salt (if you are using canned beans, reduce the salt to 1 t.)
  • 2 1/2 t. cumin
  • a pinch or two of red pepper flakes ***Omit if you do not like spicy food***
  • bean broth (the reserved cooking liquid)
  1. ***If you are using canned beans, or cooking your beans another way, skip steps 1-5*** Pour your pinto beans into a colander. Take a quick look and ensure that there are no small stones or clumps of dirt in them. Rinse, drain and put into an empty Instant Pot.
  2.  Fill the Instant Pot with water 2 inches above the beans.
  3. Put the lid on and turn it until it's locked and ensure the pressure release valve is pushed to the back. (Refer to the manual if you're not sure what I'm talking about)
  4. Push the Bean/Chili button. 25 minutes should show up on the display face of the Instant Pot. Just let the pot start on its own. It will take a few minutes for the pot to reach the correct pressure, and once it is the correct pressure, the time will start.
  5. Once the beans are done cooking let the pressure release on its own. When it has completely depressurized, the metal pin next to the pressure release valve will be up. You can take the lid off at this time. 
  6. Place your colander over a bowl that is deep enough to catch all the liquid from the beans. Pour the beans into the colander and let them sit for about 5 minutes. Reserve the liquid.
  7. Put the metal insert of the Instant Pot back inside of the machine (or you could use a pot on the stove) and add the olive oil.
  8. Push the Saute button on the Instant Pot, or use medium heat on a stove top, and add the onion. Stir for 6-7 minutes, or until translucent, and then add the garlic. Stir for 1 more minute.
  9. Add 4 cups of beans, all of the spices and 1 cup of the reserved bean broth. Mash with a potato masher to your desired consistency. Continue to add bean broth if the beans are getting too dry.
  10. Cook for 8-10 minutes, taste and add more salt if needed. 
  11. Serve in 1/2 cup portions inside of a tortilla shell or along side of some rice and lettuce to make a full meal.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Meal Plan Monday: 4/17-4/23/17



***This post contains affiliate links. You are in no way obligated to purchase anything. If you do so I receive a small commission, which does not affect your purchase price in any way. By purchasing through my affiliate links, it helps to cover the costs of operating my site. Thank you for your consideration and support! 


Wondering how or why to meal plan? Read this first. Wondering what all the letters (S, E, FP) mean after each meal? Check this out. I've also added page numbers if the recipe comes from the Trim Healthy Mama book. If you're still in search of even more meals or drinks take a look at my top 30 "E" mealsmy top 30 "S" meals20 Meatless THM Meals25 Bean Recipes30 Side Dishes38 THM Salads and Dressings35 THM BBQ ideasTHM Slow Cooker Recipesmy 20 favorite THM soupsmy 20 favorite shakessmoothies and cold drinks and my 30 THM snack ideasAlso, be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest so you never miss a meal plan, tip or recipe.

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***My meal plans are always FREE and available to print at anytime. All breakfasts, lunches and snacks are portioned for one unless otherwise noted. All dinners are portioned for 6.***

Printable Meal Plan
Printable Shopping List

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Monday:
B - Peanut Butter Milkshake (S)
L - Loaded Fotato Soup and side salad with drizzle of EVOO and red wine vinegar with water to drink (S) pg. 117 in the THM Cookbook
S - Cottage Berry Whip with water to drink (FP) ***I always double this and freeze it so I have snack for another day as well.
D - Copycat Olive Garden Minestrone Soup  with Cider Pop to drink (E) ***Reduce oil to 1 T. and omit pasta, or use Dreamfield's pasta

Tuesday:
B - (2) eggs scrambled with green peppers and onions and cooked in coconut oil with hot peppermint tea to drink (S)
L - leftover Olive Garden Minestrone Soup with water to drink (E)
S - leftover Cottage Berry Whip with water to drink (FP)
D - Taco Salad - seasoned ground beef with lettuce, cheese, sour cream and salsa with Cider Pop to drink (S)

Wednesday:
B - Thin Mint Shake (S) 
L - Waldorf Cottage Cheese Salad (E) pg. 190 in the THM Cookbook
S - Hard-boiled egg with celery, some grape tomatoes and cucumber slices with Cider Pop to drink (S)
D - Marinated Steakroasted asparagus, broccoli with a pat of butter and water to drink (S)

Thursday:
B - (2) eggs scrambled with green peppers and onions and cooked in coconut oil with Cinnamon Spice tea to drink (S)
L - Just Like Campbell's Tomato Soup with side veggie salad drizzled with EVOO and red wine vinegar with water to drink (S) pg. 112 in the THM Cookbook 
S - (2) Light Rye Wasa Crackers topped with (2) slices of lean deli turkey and mustard with Cider Pop to drink (FP)
D - Zesty Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Casserole with water to drink (E)

Friday:
B - Berry Lemon Shake (FP)
L - Big salad topped with strawberries, almonds and Tangy and Sweet Vinaigrette with Cider Pop to drink (S)
S - 0% Plain Greek Yogurt, sweetened to taste and mixed with a diced apple and cinnamon with water to drink (E)
D - Pizza Casserole with fresh veggies with a Black Cherry Zevia to drink (S) pg. 327 in the old THM book

Saturday:
B - Crustless Quiche with fresh strawberries on the side with water to drink (S) ***This will feed my whole family
L - Big salad topped with strawberries, almonds and Tangy and Sweet Vinaigrette with Cider Pop to drink (S)
S - 1/2 c. 2% cottage cheese with fresh veggies with water to drink (FP)
D - We are going to a cookout and I'm bringing Mediterranean Pasta Salad (S)

Sunday:
B - 0% Plain Greek Yogurt sweetened to taste and mixed with 2 T. peanut butter with water to drink (S)
L - Grilled hamburger with fresh veggies and Crunchy and Tangy Bacon Coleslaw with water to drink (S) ***This will feed my whole family
S - (2) Wasa Light Rye Crackers topped with wedge of Light Laughing Cow Cheese with Cider Pop (FP)
D - Hearty Two Bean and Lentil Chili with water to drink (E) 

Have a great week!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Chicken Recipe Roundup




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Chicken is such a versatile protein. There are about a bazillion and one recipes for chicken all over the Internet and cookbooks, however, if you're like me, you end up eating it the same five ways over and over and over again. Lame!

I purchase my boneless skinless chicken breasts in bulk from Zaycon Fresh. The 40 lb. bulk order lasts my family about 3-4 months. I love buying chicken this way, but admittedly I haven't done a lot in the way of experimenting with new recipes. One of my goals for 2017 is to branch out and try some new recipes on my family. If you're interested in seeing how I package and store 40 lbs. of chicken breasts, here's a vlog you can check out.

Thanks to some of my blogging friends, I've compiled a list of 60+ chicken recipes to help broaden my family's horizons. I know many of you struggle as well with coming up with new ways to eat chicken, so hopefully this list is a help for all us. 😁 All recipes in this roundup are compliant with the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating. They are broken down by fuel types, so it should make it easier to find they type of meal you're looking for.


E Meals (low-fat):


S Meals (low-carb):



FP Meals (low-fat and low-carb):