Meal Prepping With My Instant Pot

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With school about to start, I am back to meal-prepping for the week.  I recently used my Instant Pot to do so and got 2-4 lunches and 2-4 dinners out of one whole chicken.

If you do not have an Instant Pot or do have one and have yet to take it out of the box, I am here to tell you that it is a one-pot wonder!  You do everything…saute, slow cook, pressure cook, bake… and much more in just one pot!  So, not only does it keep your kitchen cool in the summer, but you only have one pot to wash!!!

I started with a whole chicken.IMG_9117I patted it dry with paper towels.IMG_9121I made a rub of salt, pepper and garlic powder.IMG_9118IMG_9120I rubbed it all over the entire chicken even inside the chicken.IMG_9123I placed the metal tray down inside the Instant Pot’s inner pot. IMG_9125And, I poured in 1 cup of chicken broth.IMG_9126IMG_9127I placed the chicken on top of the metal tray.IMG_9128I put the lid on and turned in until it played a little song.IMG_9133I then turned the “penguin knob” on the lid to “seal.” You might feel like you haven’t turned it but you did.IMG_9136I then pressed the “Pressure Cook” button and the “keep warm” button on.IMG_9137I pushed the “plus sign” button until the screen read “30” like above.  This means it will cook for 30 minutes. And, in 30 minutes, you will have a fully cooked whole chicken.IMG_9142If you are not home when the bird finishes, it’s okay, because you have the “keep warm” button on.

***Very Important:  You must turn the “penguin button” to “steam” to release all of the steam.  USE AN OVEN MITT AND KEEP YOUR FACE AWAY.

At this point, I took the bird out and let it cool a bit.  I took the grate out and made a gravy with the drippings at the bottom of the pot using the “Saute” button.  (For crispier skin, you could put it under your broiler for a bit).  I like to cook with the skin on for flavor but then take it off for health reasons.

I served Rourke and I this for dinner with some sides.  I then picked all of the meat off and made two more recipes.IMG_9174The first one I made was this hearty, yet healthy, chicken chili.  I love how versatile this is.  You can switch out your greens, beans and starch for your favorites.IMG_9150Here I am using jade pearl rice and navy beans.IMG_9154Along with baby kale.IMG_9143I first chopped 1 red onion and 1 clove of garlic.  IMG_9144I poured 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the inner pot of the Instant Pot.IMG_9148I pushed the “Saute” button and sautéed the onions until translucent.  I added the garlic and cooked 1 minute more.IMG_9152Next I added 1 carton of chicken bone broth, 1/2 cup of jade pearl rice, 1/2 cup of navy beans (that had been drained and rinsed), 1 cup of kale and 1 cup of the cooked chicken.IMG_9158IMG_9157IMG_9159IMG_9160For seasoning, 1 added 1 teaspoon of cumin and 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning.  IMG_9161I pushed the “Soup/Broth” button and the “Keep Warm” button.  fullsizeoutput_3084I put the top on and turned the “penguin button” to seal.  I pushed the “plus sign” button until it read 10 minutes.

In 10 minutes, you have a delicious, hearty soup.  Remember to release the steam before opening the pot.fullsizeoutput_30a5You can serve your soup with grated cheese, sour cream, yogurt, avocado, cilantro, jalapeño slices, sliced radishes, and green onions.

I usually serve tortilla chips along side to either put in the soup or dip some out.

We ate this for dinner 2 nights and froze the rest for a cold, fall evening.

The last dish I made was a healthy chicken salad that I could take for lunch a couple of days.IMG_9180.JPGIn a bowl, I added 1 cup of the cooked chicken, 1/2 cup of finely-chopped celery, 1/4 cup of finely-chopped purple onion, 1 minced, fresh jalapeño, 1/2 avocado, 1/8 cup of mayo, 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt, 1/2 tsp. of salt, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, and 2 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro.

I mixed well and had lunch for several days.

I actually had even more chicken left.  Some options for using the remaining chicken, are chicken pasta, chicken nachos, chicken enchiladas, and chicken tacos.

I also had plenty of beans and kale left over.  I made kale chips and hummus with those for snacks!

I hope this helped you if you are busy and need some meal-prep ideas.  (If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can definitely do this in your slow cooker and cook it for 4-6 hours instead.)

Bon appetit!

Toodle-oo,

Melanie

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