Requiring little prep, this Instant Pot Black Bean Soup is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner.  It’s quite filling on its own and makes a great meatless meal.  Don’t have an Instant Pot?  No worries, I included instructions for cooking in the slow cooker as well.instant pot black bean soup

I’m back with yet another soup recipe.  Yep, another one.  I’m sorry, I just can’t get enough.  I’ve made this recipe several times and decided it was time to share it on the blog.  I realize this is not the most appetizing picture but it really is delicious.  If you like refried black beans you’ll enjoy this soup, I promise!

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Follow this simple method for making delicious buttery brown rice in the Instant Pot.

How to make brown rice in the instant pot

I absolutely adore brown rice but it can be tricky to make, often turning out too dry or with excess liquid in the pot.  So I recently decided it was time to figure out the best method for making it in the Instant Pot.  I’ve made it several different ways and finally settled on this method as my favorite.  It makes the perfect buttery rice that’s ready to eat straight from the pot.  No need to add salt or butter because it’s already in the mix.

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Just two simple ingredients come together to make this flavorful and easy Crockpot Italian Chicken recipe.

two ingredient crockpot italian chicken

This Italian chicken is so simple and easy; I hardly feel like I can call it a “recipe”.  It’s made with just two ingredients and it literally takes about 3 minutes to throw together.  I found this Italian dressing on sale at Sprouts the other day and knew I wanted to make something super simple with it.

To make this recipe you’ll place 3-4 chicken breasts in a crockpot and pour a bottle of Italian dressing over the chicken.  Cook on low until the chicken is cooked through and it’s ready to serve.  Doesn’t get any easier than that!

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Triscuit Mini Pizza

Today I have a super easy “recipe” that’s perfect for lunch or a busy weeknight.  I love Triscuit crackers because they only have three simple ingredients: whole wheat flour, oil, and salt.  As an added bonus, Triscuit now makes an organic version with organic whole wheat, organic sunflower oil, and sea salt.  (I found them at Costco.)  Obviously, I wouldn’t call them a health food but as far as convenience foods go, these aren’t too bad!  If you serve these little pizzas with some fresh fruit and veggies you have a simple and easy meal that both kids and adults will love.  As an added bonus these can be customized so that everyone has the toppings they like.  Get the kids involved and let them make their own little pizzas.

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InstantPot Taco Chili

School is back in session and you may be in need of some easy weeknight meals.  I’ve got one to please the whole family.  This recipe is similar to the popular “taco soup” recipe that we’ve all made.  But instead of a ranch and taco seasoning packet, we’ll just add in a few spices to give it some chili flavor.  Keeping it simple here, folks.  Just sauté a few veggies, along with some meat, and then add in the spices, several cans of beans, tomatoes, and broth and you are good to go!

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I try to cook healthy homemade meals most days of the week, but the truth is I just can’t do it all.  Like everyone else, I use some convenience (processed) foods on a regular basis.  These are things that decrease stress and are useful when life just gets too busy.  I’d rather use some of these at home than eat out multiple meals a week.  It’s cheaper and healthier to consume most of your meals at home, where you know what’s going into them.

When it comes to processed foods I do try to pick the best choice that my budget allows.  I try to choose cereals without excessive amounts of sugar and artificial colors/ingredients, whole wheat pasta over refined pasta, crackers and breads with at least some whole grains, etc.  With that said, here are five of my favorite convenience foods that I buy on a regular basis:

Crackers

crackers

I always keep a box or two of crackers in my pantry.  My kids like these Back to Nature crackers.  I prefer the Crunchmaster multi-grain crackers that I wrote about here.  I use crackers for peanut butter/almond butter cracker sandwiches in the boys’ lunches.  I also use them to make homemade lunchables.  I pack a little nitrate free ham or turkey, cheese, and crackers and the kids can build their own “lunchable”.  I try to stock up on both types of crackers when they go on sale because they can be expensive otherwise.

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easy and healthy dinners

Let’s face it, not everyone likes to cook or has the time to make elaborate home cooked meals each night.  Healthy dinners don’t have to be overly complicated.  I’d say about half of our dinners are super fresh, healthy, use-a-recipe type of meals.  But the rest of them are simple, easy, and use what I happen to have on hand.  I make it a point to keep my fridge, freezer, and pantry stocked with plenty of convenient and healthy options so we don’t have to run through a fast food joint or go out to eat on a regular basis.  Today I’m sharing some of our favorite quick, easy, and healthy meals for those nights I don’t want to cook.

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Lightened Up Tuna Salad

I love a good tuna salad.  Unfortunately most store bought tubs and restaurant dishes are full of fat, high in calories, and made with some unnecessary ingredients and/or preservatives.  In addition, most recipes include eggs and relish, both of which I don’t really like in my tuna salad.  So I set out to make my own recipe that still has all my favorites but it’s not nearly as high in calories and fat as many recipes out there.  I’ll be honest, I’ve tried to make tuna salads without mayo and it’s not even like eating tuna salad to me.  So I do use a little mayo to get the creaminess but not nearly as much as many recipes call for.  Fresh dill is the ingredient that makes this tuna salad so good though.  I just can’t get enough of it.

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