Summer went by soooo quickly this year! It’s so crazy that it’s September already! I know a lot of kids are back to school already, I’m avoiding it a little bit longer over here. 😉 But, the schedules are already filling up for fall time!
Most of us are looking for help with dinner time for these back to school days.
And these are the crazy days I’m so thankful to have dinner packed away in the freezer. I mean seriously, with piano lessons and Lego class (my guy is super excited about that one), homeschooling, and chasing around our 1-year-old. Rushing us all off to Awana classes and MomStrong Bible Study… The last thing I can do is spend loads of time prepping and cooking dinner every single night!!!
So, in case dinner time is crazy for you too, I thought I’d share how we use our membership with Once A Month Meals to help!
Here’s how it we use it to Help with dinner time for back to school
I love love love using my Instant Pot with my freezer meals.. guys, you don’t even have to remember to thaw your dinner!!!!! If you use your crock pot as much as I use to, you know that it’s a super bummer when you forget to get out your meat or whatever for your crock pot to be able to cook it all day long for you…. so in comes the joy of the Instant pot! Seriously, from the freezer.. some of my meals are as quick as 20 minutes from freezer to table! I’m not even kidding! This has been a game. changer. over. here. 🙂
Set IP to saute Throw in chopped onion and mushrooms. Saute until onions are translucent and mushrooms are tender.
Meanwhile take flour, garlic powder, basil, oregano, and parsley and mix in a gallon size baggie! ( can you tell I hate dishes? but you can always do this in a shallow dish too.)
place the chicken into the baggie and gently shake until chicken is coated.
Now here is where I would like to tell you to just brown the chicken in the Instant Pot.. however when I try to do this, it never ends well.. the coating sticks to the bottom and then begins to burn... I find it's just easier to get a frying pan out and brown the chicken a couple minutes each side.
While chicken is browning on the stove you can start adding the parmesan cheese, crushed garlic, marinara sauce, chicken broth, and red wine to the IP. Mix it up and add just a pinch of pepper and salt, remember you can always add more later.
transfer the chicken to the IP and cover it with the sauce.
secure the lid and make sure the valve is set to seal. Set to manual for 11 minutes. While this comes to pressure (took about 10 minutes) and cooks, you can prepare some noodles and bread.. or whatever you want to serve with it.
When cooking is done, let it Naturally Pressure Release (NPR) for 5 - 10 minutes. Smother it in mozzarella cheese and more Parmesan before serving. Serve with Pasta and bread!
Today I am excited to share with you another family favorite recipe!
Smothered Beef Burritos now converted to the Instant Pot!
I’ve been really trying to convert some of our old crock pot recipes to be prepared in the Instant Pot. We have a lot of crock pot recipes, I use to grab my crock pot 2-3 times a week. and Now thanks to the Instant Pot I haven’t touched a crock pot in about a year and a half!
So, we have really been missing this Smothered Beef burritos recipe and I’m so excited that it is now ready in under 30 minutes instead of 4-6 hours!!!
This is one of our favorite crock pot dinners converted for the beloved Instant Pot! And I'm so excited that now this meal is ready in under 30 minutes!!!!!! If you like "wet" burritos you will love this meal!
turn your Instant Pot on to Saute and allow to heat up a minute. Add Oil and swish around, add meat. Allow the meat to brown, stirring frequently to brown all sides. Be sure to scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pot.
Add bullion and enchilada sauce, stir and secure the lid Make sure the valve is set to seal and press pressure cook Adjust time to 12 minutes. This came to pressure in under 10 minutes because the pot is already hot.
Let the meat Naturally Pressure Release for 5-10 minutes. Then release the remaining pressure manually.
Meanwhile, heat up the refried beans (using the microwave or a saucepan on the stove top.)
Place Tortillas on your plates ( I like deep dish plates for all that yummy sauce) Spoon some beans on each tortilla and a spoonful of meat roll up the tortilla.
Pour sauce over the top and sprinkle with cheese. ( If you are making this right away the cheese will melt but if not, you can stick this under the broiler for a minute or two) We love to finish this off with a dollop of sour cream and dip tortilla chips in the sauce!
We hope you enjoy this conversion of an old favorite to the amazing Instant pot. If you are new to the Instant Pot please search here on Love and Scribbles for some tips, tricks and learn why we love it so very much! 🙂
Perhaps you have heard the news and now you are asking yourself,
” Should I throw away my Instant Pot?”
Recently it became big news that some products from Instant Pot have been recalled. There has been a lot of confusion surrounding this recall and I’ve even heard of some people suggesting that everyone should throw their pot away!
Please DONT! 🙂 The recall is real, but most likely does not affect you at all. And here’s why:
Instant Pot (the company that makes the very popular pressure cookers) has quite a few different products under their brand name. The product that was recalled was NOT any of their pressure cooker models.
It was a mulit cooker called the Gem and it is only sold at walmart stores. It’s sort of like Instant pots version of a fancy crock pot, if you will. With the Gem you can do things like steam rice, roast, and slow cook but does not pressure cook! Anyways, I don’t know a lot about it… mostly because with the many pressure cooker options offered by Instant pot, I don’t see a need to have one.
But, if you happen to have the Gem Mulit cooker.. then yes it was recalled ( you still shouldn’t throw it away, you can take it back to walmart) You can see the official recall notice from consumer reports here.
Instant Pot Gem Recall Details
The recall: 104,000 Gem 65 8-in-1 Multicookers. Affected batch codes include 1728, 1730, 1731, 1734, and 1746. The batch code is printed on a silver label on the bottom of the multi-cooker.
If you own an Instant Pot pressure cooker like many of us do…. please please keep cooking!!! Of course, if you really don’t want it, you can send it to me…but there isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t use it and LOVE it!
If you are one of the many that owns a instant pot but don’t know what to do with it.. you can check out some of my posts and recipes here:
I’ve been using my Once A Month Meals membership to stock our freezer for a year now!! And still absolutely LOVE it!
This post may contain affiliate links, Shopping through my links supports my blog at no cost to you, Thanks for shopping and always know that any thoughts or reviews posted on Love and Scribbles are completely my own!
I started looking into a membership when I was new to the Instant Pot and wanted to find more ways to use it, You can read my first review here!
But, you don’t even need an Instant Pot to take advantage of the amazing resources from Once A Month Meals
Here’s a list of the cook types for the cooking day and the serving day:
Now, every month I make 20-30 dinners for our freezer. Plus, some lunches and breakfasts too!
Once A Month Meals has been adding new features, tons of new recipes, and special menus so membership just keeps getting better!
You can check out all of these amazing menu options:
I know I’ve said this before, But the resources available to you as a member with Once A Month Meals are outstanding! In fact I do not hesitate to say that I would have never attempted freezer cooking for a whole month with out them!
You get these awesome customizable Menus that have been masterly crafted to consider time, effort, cost etc. (you select how many servings each meal makes too!)
You can easily swap recipes that do not appeal to you or even just build your own menu from the many recipes listed.
You get a detailed Grocery Shopping List (we are talking down to the ounces people!!)
The Prep list takes all the guessing out of what to do with all those groceries once you are home. And then the Cooking Day Instructions give you a step by step guide to stock your freezer!
Labels are at the ready for your bags or containers before you stick them in the freezer ( these labels even have the serving day instructions right on them!)
The Thaw Sheet is so handy ( I keep mine in my household planner binder) for deciding what to pull out of the freezer each night! Only have 30 minutes to get dinner on the table?? well, then grab these Enchilada Meatballs, and have dinner from freezer to table in 20 minutes!!!
And Recipe Cards for every recipe in your menu.
Seriously, Once A Month Meals has CHANGED how I do dinner! In fact I have stopped in the middle of writing this post to plop in our dinner from the freezer and in just about 1 hours time, our dinner is almost ready and I’ll pack away this computer and we can sit down to eat… just like that!
One of my favorite oven dinners is Creamy Chicken, Rice and Broccoli.
So, I set out to convert it to the IP. The Result was an amazing dinner done under 30 minutes (and that’s with frozen chicken)
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I used my 8 qrt DUO, and started out with 1 cup of water in the bottom of the pot, and then the trivet. ( I just happen to like chicken when it isn’t sitting in the liquid, but either way works.)
This particular day I used Bone-in chicken thighs. But you can use Chicken Breast too. And if you want to save yourself a step, just buy boneless.
Then I added a second trivet on top of the chicken. and the bowl of rice. If you don’t have a second trivet you can put the bowl directly on top of the chicken.
In the bowl I put 1 cup of Uncle Ben’s brown rice. and 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth, Plus a slab of butter. Then placed the bowl on top of everything. This method is called Pot in Pot cooking ( or PIP)
Set the lid, and make sure valve is set to seal. Then select Manual (or pressure cook) button and adjust to 23 minutes.
Make sure it is on high pressure.
The Pot came up to pressure surprisingly quick. And then when the 23 minutes was done, I let it naturally pressure release (NPR) for 5-10 minutes. While I waited, I cheated a little bit and steamed my broccoli in the microwave. I could have waited and removed the chicken and rice and stuck the broccoli in the IP (If you want to do this, just select 0 minutes on the manual setting)
After releasing the remaining pressure, I set the bowl of rice aside. and took out the chicken. reserved the liquid for anything I need chicken broth for this week, and took the chicken off the bones.
I dumped in two cans of Cream of Mushroom soup and a splash of milk and dumped everything back in the pot to stir.
A sprinkle of pepper and paprika and dinner is done! (You don’t need salt if you are using the canned cream of mushroom soup)
I really love brown rice cooked like this in IP. It comes out fluffy and soft every time!
instant pot creamy chicken and rice
This is a favorite meal of ours.. normally done in the oven. But I wanted to make a quick IP version. The result was delish!!!
Once A Month Meals is having a Cyber Monday Sale on their Memberships, TODAY ONLY!!
This post contains affiliate links! Thanks for your support
Most everyone knows how much I love my Once A Month Meals membership! And how much it has changed the way I prep food for our family!
Once A Month Meals is having a sale on their memberships for Cyber Monday!!
You can get a whole year membership for 40% OFF! And guess what? Even if you have tried them before, maybe you tested it out on a one month membership… You can get a year membership at the SALE price!!!
*Making a whole year of membership only $8.33 a month!!!! (if you aren’t ready to jump in for a year.. you can still try it for on a month to month membership for $10 a month.)
You’ll have access to tons of tips and tricks for Freezer cooking. Choose from thousands of menus and recipes that can be customized to fit your family.
Select any type of prep, cooking, and serving. (our favorite are the Instant Pot meals that are ready straight from the freezer on busy nights) choose from Oven, Stove, Easy assembly, Grill, Crock pot, Instant pot.. and more. You can search for specific Dietary needs like allergen, Dairy free, Gluten free, real food, Paleo and vegetarian.
They have Recipes for Breakfast, lunch, Dinner, side dishes, snacks and Dessert! All to be prepped and frozen for when you need them!!
Did you get a new Instant Pot this week?
Or did your grocery store have a crazy deal on Chicken breast this month?? Now you have a ton and don’t know what to fix? You can select a menu to utilize that deal even more!
There are so many reasons why I love Once A Month Meals. We have been using them for about 9 months already and really enjoy the resources they provide.
If you want to read some of our reviews of Once A Month Meals here’s a couple of things to read:
When looking for a granola bar recipe I knew I needed it to be incredibly easy since I’ll have to make it often, also I needed it to be something that the boys can still grab on their own while I’m either still in bed or getting ready for the day or whatever!
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These Granola Bars can be individually wrapped and stored in the fridge.
We used peanut butter instead of almond butter, mostly because I had peanut butter. But ether works great in these.
This recipe does have honey in it. At this point, I think I’m ok with local honey for the boys, in moderation. I did add a little less than the recipe calls for, mostly because I’m trying to change the boys expectations of things being so sweet!
And for the next batch I think I’ll double the recipe and use a sheet pan instead of an 8 x 8. I don’t think the boys would mind them being thinner (the first batch came out really thick) and my oldest wished they were shaped like the store kind (more rectangular) ?
Anyways, after getting over the shape of them, the boys loved them!
I forgot to take a picture and the first batch is already gone!!!
But we just made the second batch so here’s some pics of the process!
This time we used sunflower seeds instead of almonds (because that’s what we had).
Now that they are thinner.. I did notice they crumbled pretty easily.. so I want to figure out a way to bind them a little better.. next batch! ?
Combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add more honey if needed.
Line your pan with parchment paper. You can use an 8x8 pan or a sheet tray with an edge if you want thinner ones. Another option is to just roll them in balls.
Place in freezer until solid, about an hour. Once frozen cut into bars. wrap each one with parchment paper to keep from sticking together. Store in the fridge or the freezer.
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Update: We have made these a lot! The best thing about them is you can change this recipe around in lots of ways.. just use whatever you have in the kitchen today! And as for shape, we’ve tried thicker, thinner, we even rolled them in granola balls (big hit around here) they are all great!
For more articles from our kitchen check out these recent posts: