Monday Night Dinner: InstaPot Spicy Honey Chicken and Asian Roasted Carrots and Broccoli

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I’m excited by my InstaPot purchase.  It was pricey at $99 but this kitchen wonder replaced my pressure cooker, my crockpot, and my rice cooker.  All three sold on Craigslist for nearly the whole expense.  Miss Mioux bought one too and sold her rice cooker and crock pot to a coworker.  She was patient enough to wait until it went on sale for closer to $70.  I love that I can do all the prep, saute and cooking in one vessel, plus it leaves only one thing to clean.

My first test was to make brown rice.  I loved that it took half the time on the pressure setting that my rice cooker would take.  It does so much!  Miss Mioux made a killer cheesy broccoli soup once.  Maybe one day we will be brave enough to utilize the make your own yogurt settings.  For now we are taking this to the next level and cooking chicken.  I recommend getting the carrots into the oven and then starting the chicken cooking while the carrots roast.  This way the sauce for the chicken should be just about thick enough when the veggies are done roasting and everything will be hot and ready at the same time.

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ASIAN ROASTED CARROTS AND BROCCOLI

  • 3 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound broccoli, chopped
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and Sriracha.  Set aside.
  3. Place carrots in a single layer on a baking sheet (we halved ours so they would roast faster).  Drizzle with olive oil, add garlic, and toss with your hands until evenly coated.  Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until fork tender.  While the carrots are roasting, start your chicken.
  4. Stir in the broccoli and bake another 7-10 minutes.  Remove and drizzle with the soy sauce mixture, gently tossing to combine.
  5. Serve with Spicy Honey Chicken.  Garnish with sesame seeds.

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INSTAPOT SPICY HONEY CHICKEN

  • 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite sized chunks
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • sesame seeds
  1. Preheat the InstaPot using the sauté setting.  Sprinkle salt and pepper over the diced chicken and add to the InstaPot with oil, onion, and garlic.  Stir occasionally until onion starts to soften, about three minutes.
  2. Add soy sauce, ketchup, and red pepper flakes to the InstaPot and stir to combine.  Add the lid and pressure cook on high for three minutes.  The InstaPot will stay “ON” until it builds up enough pressure within, then it will count down.  When the timer beeps, turn the pressure cooker off and do a quick pressure release.
  3. Add sesame oil and honey to the pot and stir to combine.  In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in water and add to the InstaPot.  Select the sauté option and simmer until sauce thickens, stirring often.
  4. Serve with Asian Roasted Carrots and Broccoli.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions.

Get your own InstaPot on Amazon.

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CARROTS: OILED, GARLIC-ED, AND READY TO ROAST

 

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CHICKEN: ONIONED AND ON SAUTE MODE

 

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STIR TO ALLOW SAUCE TO THICKEN

 

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DRIZZLE THAT SAUCE, BABY!
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INSTAPOT AMAZING!

This Monday Night Dinner inspired by:

Damn Delicious

Pressure Cooking Today

Asian Chicken Wings

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I signed up to make chicken wings for my office Superbowl potluck.  I have never made them before.  The night before I am thinking, what did I get myself into?!  I scouted pinterest and google, looking for recipes that would be travel and sit-a-bit friendly.  I found lots of set it and forget it crockpot recipes, but to get that thin delicious skin you need to broil them before serving.  Our break room has a teeny tiny toaster oven but I am not about to step away from my desk as long as it takes to broil wings for 35 people six at a time!  I combined tips and flavor profiles from multiple sources and came up with the simple, low maintenance recipe below that garnered rave reviews from my coworkers.  I was able to save two for my honey and eat one myself before the whole batch was gone.  I recommend you set aside a few for yourself as well, these will go quick!  What’s your favorite work potluck or game day grub?

Asian Chicken Wings

  • 5-6 pounds chicken wings
  • 2.5 cups low sodium soy sauce
  • 1.5 cups coconut sugar*
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  1. Trim tips from your whole wings and separate at the joints.  This gave me about 46 pieces.
  2. Combine soy sauce, sugar, garlic and ginger in a large mixing bowl, whisking until sugar begins to dissolve some.
  3. Add wings to the marinade.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Place in the fridge overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Remove from fridge and using tongs place wings on baking trays, skin side up, in a single layer.  Pour some of the remaining marinade on top.
  6. Bake for 60 minutes.  Transfer to serving dish and dig in.  If you are taking it to the office, cover with aluminum foil, they are still delicious at room temperature.

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AsianChickenWings_done.jpg* You could substitute brown sugar for the coconut sugar.  I prefer coconut sugar because it has a lower glycemic index.

 

Cooking from the Pantry: Crustless Quiche Popovers

crustlessquichepopover_inovenI am always the first to rise in my home.  I embrace the quiet serenity as the perfect opportunity to enjoy my coffee, read, and if the mood strikes, throw together simple meal.

Crustless Quiche Popovers

  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 cups (8oz) Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups Broccoli, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. Pancake Mix
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray muffin tin lightly with cooking spray, or lightly grease and flour.
  3. Beat eggs and milk together in a large mixing bowl.  Add all other ingredients and mix well.
  4. Spoon into muffin tins, filling to just below the top.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool just enough to pick them up and eat!  Feel free to test the first one while still standing over the stove.  It is responsible quality control.

This is an easy recipe to substitute and add to based on your taste preferences and what you have on hand.  Diced ham or cooked crumbled sausage would be lovely.  Diced red bell pepper or green chilies would be delicious.  Shredded Gouda or Mozzarella would be heavenly.  Dried thyme or ground paprika would be delightful.  Follow your heart.

They are even delicious the next day, simply warm in the toaster oven or microwave.  Light and perfect.

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Snowflake Truffles

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My office is holding a holiday bake off and I am determined to enter.  Winners are announced each day and Friday will be a bake off of all daily winners.  I talked myself out of it Sunday evening.  Too tired, too late, blah blah blah.  Did I mention I am not a baker?  Monday’s winner made a Sopapilla Cheesecake and the runner up was a perfectly lovely fudge.  Tuesday will be mine with these Snowflake Truffles I found on Pinterest.
I selected this recipe based on its approachability from a staggering amount of options if you search Christmas desserts in pinterest.  I had most of the ingredients, it doesn’t actually require my oven be used, and spends most of the prep time in the fridge.  I doubled the recipe and substituted lemon extract and a vanilla bean in place of the almond extract.  All I needed to purchase was heavy cream, white chocolate, and unsalted butter.  There is a food network video I used as a guide.  I made a quick stop at the store on the way home from work and started in it to win it.
SNOWFLAKE TRUFFLES
  • 2/3 cup + 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, scrapped of seeds *save the leftover pod for this
  • 24 oz white chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded coconut flakes
  1. In a bowl, add cream, butter, extract, vanilla, and 16 oz of the white chocolate.  Heat in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each interval to avoid scorching.  Continue heating and stirring until mixture is smooth and melted.  Fold in powdered sugar and 1/2 coconut flakes.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 90 minutes to set.
  2. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.  I used two pie plates to fit in my fridge with greater ease.  Melt the remaining chocolate in the microwave.  Take out the cooled and semi-hardened truffle mixture.  I left mine in overnight.  If left in the fridge that long, let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes to soften slightly.  The mixture should be soft enough to shape in to balls and firm enough to hold it’s shape.
  3. Using a 1 tbsp cookie scoop, start forming your snowballs, this should make about 30 truffles.  Using a pastry brush, “paint” on the melted chocolate and place on the parchment paper.  Not being a baker, I do not own a pastry brush.  I used the back of a spoon and smeared.  I think it worked just fine.  Sprinkle with coconut.  Continue smearing and sprinkling until each truffle is coated.  Refrigerate for one hour.
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SMEAR AND SPRINKLE. REPEAT.

 

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LET THE VOTING BEGIN

Find the original recipe and video here.

UPDATE:   I did not win the Tuesday competition.  I did come in second.  Turns out more folks than just my mother aren’t that crazy about coconut and everyone loves a snickerdoodle, even if the coworkers wife made it for him.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE:  Intense ice storms nearly shut the office down for two days.  I did not make a second play for the championship.  Had weather not interceded, my back up recipes under consideration were:

Lump of Coal Rice Krispie Treats

“3 Sizes Too Small” Grinch Cookies

And for the grand finale bakeoff:

Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups

Maybe next year…

 

 

Cooking from the Pantry: Oatmeal Jam Bars

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Summertime with all its delicious bounty is my time to store up for winter.  There have been years I have been selective with what I preserve and there have been years in which I put whatever produce I could get my hands on into a jar to save it for later.  But what if I don’t eat it?  What I have learned over time is that I rarely eat relish, so as innovative as zucchini relish seems, I rarely crack it open.  I don’t need 12 pints.

I also rarely eat jam.  I prefer peanut butter and honey over peanut butter and jelly, always have.  But I still make lots of jam…every year.  I imagine some day I will wake early, refreshed and rejuvenated, and whip up a batch of scones or sweet biscuits to smother fresh jam on.  I dream of capturing that sweet sunshine in a jar to delight myself with on a cold winter day.  And while I have lost interest in copious amounts of relish from unconventional sources.  I still enjoy making fruit preserves.

Sowhat to do with it?  Sweets Girl likes it and eats it, but she is such a finicky thing that a half pint could last months.  I’ve yet to wake early and eagerly turn out a coffeehouse worthy pastry.  So instead I googled, “what to do with lots of jam.”  In fact, “what to do with lots of ____” is my go-to anytime when I find a deal, or realize I have overstocked on any particular item.  It’s amazing the information that others have already compiled for you.

Multiple baked goods popped up and I narrowed down to a treat that the whole family would enjoy, that also was relatively low in fats and sugars compared to a lot of recipes I perused.  I found a recipe I felt good about, meeting my criteria of accessibility, simplicity, and presumed tastiness.  I adapted it slightly to suit what was in my cupboard and snuck in a bit of added nutrition.  I didn’t have to buy a thing and it provided delicious smells for the house to wake up to.
I won’t feel guilty if Sweets Girl decides to eat multiple servings.
It should last us a couple days.
Hopefully.
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OATMEAL JAM BARS
⦁ 1 1/2 cups All Purpose white flour
⦁ 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
⦁ 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
⦁ 1/2 tsp salt
⦁ 1/2 tsp baking soda
⦁ 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
⦁ 1/4 cup honey
⦁ 1/4 cup maple syrup
⦁ 1 cup jam or preserve of choice.  I used a mix quince jam and raspberry preserves to clear out two open jars in the fridge.
⦁ 1 tbsp. chia seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 350F
2. Line a cast iron skillet with parchment paper.  If baking in an 8″ square or cake pan, skip the parchment paper and butter the sides.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, oats, flaxseed, salt, and baking soda together.
4. Add the coconut oil (having this melted will help it mix), honey and maple syrup and mix well.
5. Transfer about 2/3 of the dough mixture to the prepared skillet or baking pan. Pack the mixture down firmly.
6. In a small bowl, mix the chia seeds with your preserves.  Spread this over the dough.
7. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 mixture over the preserves.
8. Add a sprinkle of oats over any bare spots.
9. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
10. Allow to cool completely before cutting.
Bars can be kept in an airtight container for a week.  lasted three days.  Sweets Girl enjoyed them so much she took several portions to her mom’s for them to share.
The whole point of cooking from the pantry is to use what you already have.  Feel free to substitute ingredients based on what you have.  Substitute wheat or oat flour, whatever you have that will make a nice crust.  Substitute melted butter for coconut oil.  Use all maple syrup or all honey, agave would work too.  You don’t have to add the flax or chia seeds if you don’t have them already.
Follow your heart.
Use what you got.
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The original recipe can be found at My Humble Kitchen.