Instant Pot Meal Prep

My Instant Pot has quickly became one of my most revered kitchen tools the last two years. Cooking flavorful food fast is never wrong in my book. Rice cooker? Done. Steamer? Done. Hard boiled eggs that perfectly peel? Double done.

Any pressure cooker can seem intimidating at first, but once you take it for a spin a couple times you’ll be an old pro.

If you don’t have an Instant Pot and you don’t love cooking, you’re cheating yourself.

Below you will find 3 weeknight dinners that are STUPID easy to pull together, their macros, and even ways you can repurpose said meals so you don’t feel like you’re eating the same thing over and over.

Deal?
Deal.

Carnitas

Serves 6
Macros: 44g protein, 2g carbs, 26g fat

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut down into palm sized portions
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 white onion, quartered
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed with a knife
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. oil of you choice

Instructions:

  1. Heat the  oil on the saute setting on your Instant Pot.
  2. Season the pork liberally with salt. 
  3. When the oil starts to pop, put a couple pieces of the pork down (they should all be sitting on the bottom. Don’t overcrowd the pan) and sear on each side for approximately 3 minutes or until it doesn't stick to the bottom and has some good color on it. Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate until you've seared each piece on both sides.
  4. Once all the pork is seared on both sides put all of the spices, bay leaves, onion, garlic, and the juice from each citrus back into the IP. 
  5. Season with more salt and black pepper.
  6. Give everything a good stir, close the lid, set for 35 minutes on high pressure and let the pressure come down on it's own once its done (should take 20-30 minutes) 
  7. Shred with two forks, toss the bay leaves out (I like to leave my onion and garlic but whatever floats your boat)
  8. Serve with the juices, fresh cilantro and lime wedges.

*Think tacos or burrito bowls.

**Repurpose for breakfast with roasted potatoes, wilted spinach, green bell peppers, onions and an over-easy egg or two!

 

Chana (chickpea) Masala

Serves 4
Macros: 20g protein, 44g carbs, 15g fat

Ingredients:

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (canned)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can low sodium crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups packed fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Juice of 2 lemons

Instructions:

  1. Heat coconut oil in Instant Pot set to the sauté setting. Add onions and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion becomes translucent, about 8 minutes. Add all of the spices until they become fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes, broth, garlic and drained chickpeas with a bit of salt. Fasten the lid, set for 8 minutes on high pressure and quick-release once it’s done.
  3. Switch to the sauté setting, add the coconut cream and spinach and stir occasionally until the spinach is wilted and the sauce thickens.
  4. Stir in cilantro, lemon juice and adjust salt as necessary. 

*Serve with rice, cauliflower rice or eat it on its own.

**Repurpose for breakfast the next day by adding an over-easy egg, eating it cold on a slice of toast or as is.

 

Shrimp Scampi

Serves 4
Macros: 16g protein, 1g carbs, 6g fat

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Small handful fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Set Instant Pot to sauté mode, add butter until melted. Add garlic and stir constantly (do not let it burn or turn brown or you will have to start over).
  2. Add the wine and cook for 5 minutes or until the alcohol cooks out (the smell will disappear)
  3. Add the shrimp and broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Fasten the lid to seal and set to high pressure for 1 minute. *You can use frozen! Set IP for 3 minutes for frozen shrimp.
  5. Once it’s done, quick release the pressure and let sit for 2 minutes.
  6. Add lemon juice and parsley. Taste for additional salt or pepper.

*Serve with pasta, rice or cauliflower rice and your favorite vegetable

**Repurpose by putting an egg on it!

KIDDING. Repurpose for lunch by making Greek salads! Serve shrimp on greens with diced cucumber, tomatoes, red onions, kalamata olives, feta (if you swing the dairy way) red wine vinegar and olive oil.

 

Pro Tips:

Toss a dish towel over the steam valve when you’re doing a quick release. At the very least, move it away from cupboards so you’re not steaming your wood.

When you’re opening the lid, open away from you, positioning it as though it’s a shield. The liquid and steam inside a pressure cooker is HOT and nothing to mess with.

If you’re doing fattier cuts of meat like chicken thighs, brisket or pork butt and it won’t shred, it (most likely) needs to cook longer. Set it for another 5 minutes at a time, quick releasing the pressure each time in order to check the status.

Bust that baddie out and get your practice on before stew and roast season is among us!

 

Author: Ava Truckey, BIN Coach, AvaTruckey.com