So on this past week's meal plan I decided that I wanted to be venturous and try out not one new recipe but three. Part of the challenge that I set for myself was to pull them all from my favorite Insta Pot recipe book, that one of my darling sisters gave us for our wedding shower with the beloved Insta Pot, which by the way, when I remember to use it, is a game changer for me right now with a baby and all of the other kids and their actives.
I guess I should mention, if you are new around here, which most people are since I barely ever blog...lol... I am a mom to 5 living children. Our eldest is no long with us (I've told this story on periscope and some on Instagram here and here.) With the youngest just turning one, to say I have time to actually cook would be laughable. The problem lies in the fact that the rest of them still need to eat and according to them eat all the time (why can't I keep snacks in this house, seriously, you would think I was feeding an army)
I rely heavily on my meal planning formula and the master meals that I have built up over the years. You can grab the collaborative Master Meals printable that has meal suggestions from many of the members of our Meal Planning Group for free.
However, this week, thinking it wasn't going to be as hectic as the past few weeks, I thought I would be venturous and try a few new recipes that sounded pretty good but also matched the meat I already had in the freezer. This was a two part plan. By doing this I was able to allocate the funds I would of spent on meat on the ever needed supply of snacks...again back to feeding an army referred to above and I would try new Insta Pot meals that maybe I could add on to the list with.
This week's menu:
- Spaghetti Squash Bake, drop biscuits and salad
- Cheesburger macaroni **(IP) with salad
- Creamy Basil Tomato Soup (IP) with Garlic Grilled Cheese bread
- Layered Enchilada Casserole**(IP) and avocado salad
- Chicken Tortilla Soup **(IP), homemade chips and guacamole
Spaghetti Squash Bake
Pre-heat oven to 350
With scrapped out squash in a bowl mix in the sauce of your choice (canned, fresh, jared...anything) If using your own homemade sauce it is better to use a thicker consistency sauce than a juicy one. Squash already has a lot of water in it that will bake out.
If you like meat in your sauce, brown your choice of meat, drained and add to bowl
Mix all together
Transfer sauced up squash to a lightly greased casserole dish.
Top with your choice of toppings. Mushrooms, pepperoni, more browned meat, or leave bare
Cover entire surface with your choice of shredded cheese (we use an Italian blend)
Bake in oven for about 15-20 min. Just enough to heat entire dish and melt cheese
Serve with your favorite rolls, salad or other side dish
This recipe can be found in (so-far) my favorite insta pot recipe book, Great Food Fast by Bob Warden. On page 51, you will find simple and very fast instructions.
MY CURRENT LOVE
Right now this is my go-to insta pot recipe book and I am trying to cook my way through it.
To save you from what I experienced, a little bit of tricks...
Brown your meat in a separate pan on the stove either ahead of time, like days, or before you are ready to prep your dinner.
Since we were doubling the recipe I increased the seasoning so that it wouldn't be lost in the amount of pasta that was added.
Overall, as a family, we enjoyed the recipe. It was not a repeat every week type of recipe but I would put it on a menu plan again. So based on this review I would not add this recipe to my personal Master Meals list.
Creamy Basil Tomato Soup (IP) with Garlic Grilled Cheese bread
Page 30 of this beloved recipe book. You can see my review here in our Meal Planning Facebook Group. Several of the group members have tried this exact recipe and love it as well.
Layered Enchilada Casserole**(IP) and avocado salad
Page 47 of above referenced book
This is such a versatile recipe, with many ways you could change it up and have a lot of flavor fun. Since this was the first time trying it, I decided to stick to the recipe. Let me tell you, it was pretty good and filling. When I say filling I'm not talking about just feeling full....I'm talking can't move for an hour after eating full. Definitely worth a try. The next time I make this I will increase the seasoning quite a bit. That would be really my only complaint is that it was a tad blah for my preference.
Chicken Tortilla Soup **(IP), homemade chips and guacamole
Page 31, Great Food Fast by Bob Warden
The chicken tortilla soup from the insta pot recipe book is two thumbs down. I'm keeping the old on the stove standby recipe that I have been cooking from for years. We weren't to keen on the thicker consistency caused by the flouring of the chicken and the way they did the corn tortillas. Our preference is definitely more of a clearer broth. This was almost like a mexican flavored chicken and dumplings. Also it might have been better using the breast they suggested rather than the thighs I used. I usually use thighs for my soup since they are so inexpensive. So maybe it was the chef and not the recipe. However, bottom line is, it is not making it over to the Master Meals list for the insta pot.
I hope this post can be of help to you and your meal planning. Feel free to join the conversation over on Facebook where an entire community shares in recipes, meal planning, tips and tricks.
Remember in all that we do, let's strive for planning for better, not perfect!