Instant Pot Adobe Chicken

by Susan on October 18, 2017

Instant Pot chicken adobo

I have found a lot of great Instant Pot recipes on various blogs and websites, but only recently have I noticed the “wonder pot” being covered in mainstream media. I adapted this dinner from Food Network, tweaking it to make it gluten-free and a little cleaner. While I did use chicken legs as called for in the original recipe (and as pictured), next time I would opt for boneless thighs or breasts to make it easier to eat.

The meat crisped up really nicely before the pressure cooking, and the sauce thickened up beautifully afterward. I served this with some green beans and rice and everyone gobbled it up!

Instant Pot Adobe Chicken
adapted from Food Network

2-3 lbs. of chicken (either legs or boneless thighs or breasts, cut into bite-size pieces)
salt & pepper
2 tbs. coconut oil (can use organic canola oil)
1/3 cup gluten-free soy sauce
3 tbs. palm sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
5 smashed garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tbs. gluten-free flour or arrowroot starch
1 tbs. warm water
2 minced scallions

Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Turn the Instant Pot to the high saute setting. Add the oil and once it’s shimmering, but not smoking, add half the chicken pieces and brown on both sides, about 7 minutes. Remove with tongs to a plate and brown the remaining chicken pieces. Return all the chicken to the multi-cooker and add the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, onion and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Follow the manufacturer’s guide for locking the lid and preparing to cook. Set to pressure cook, on high, for 8 minutes. After the pressure cook cycle is complete follow the manufacturer’s guide for quick release and wait until the quick release cycle is complete. Careful of any remaining steam, unlock and remove the lid and turn the Instant Pot back to the high saute setting. Meanwhile, combine flour or starch with water in a small bowl. Add mixture to instant pot and stir to combine. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened.

Remove the bay leaves.

Transfer the chicken and sauce to a serving bowl, sprinkle with scallions and serve with rice.

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Italian Spaghetti Squash Casserole

by Susan on October 16, 2017

 

Italian spaghetti squash casserole

Every time my kids and husband see a spaghetti squash on the counter, I undoubtedly receive some kind of highly unsolicited and very whiny feedback. Apparently they are not the hugest fans of the big yellow beast, and think if they keep letting my know just how they feel I’ll stop preparing it.

As if!! Their overdramatic and annoying commentary just makes me all the more determined to transform spaghetti squash into family-friendly dinners. Truth be told, I’m not a huge fan of spaghetti squash presented as a straight-up pasta sub. I don’t adore the texture, and simply pouring some sauce onto the threads doesn’t do it for me. My preferred approach is to bake it into casseroles, which are a healthy way to create comfort food without the gluten and carbs.

Last night I went with an Italian theme, and the biggest sign of my success was that we had no leftovers to have for lunch today! I will be honest that my 11-year old son still rolled his eyes and picked a little at his bowl, but I think he did so more out of stubbornness than an actual distaste for the dish. My daughter and husband, meanwhile, each had seconds.

I think the key is to layer the squash mixture with cheese, and be generous with the seasoning. Since I used a mild sausage I used a hearty shake of Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper flakes.

Italian Spaghetti Squash Casserole

1 medium spaghetti squash
olive oil
salt & pepper
1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed
1 small red onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, cored and diced
1 can (14.5-ounce) diced tomatoes with Italian spices, drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (use less if you don’t want any spice)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
chopped basil, to garnish

Preheat oven to 450. Cut spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds. Place cut side down on a baking sheet coated with tin foil. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle generously with olive oil, rubbing over entire squash.

Bake for 30-40 minutes and remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350. Allow to sit until cook enough to handle, then use a fork to pull the squash into noodle-like threads.

Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook sausage, onion and pepper, using a wooden spoon to break up the sausage. Once the meat is no longer pink, add tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens up a bit, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir cooked spaghetti squash threads into mixture. Stir in beaten egg and a generous handful of the shredded mozzarella.

Spread half of the squash and meat mixture into a greased baking dish. Top with half of the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Repeat layers.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until casserole firms up a bit. Switch oven to broil for about 2-3 minutes or until cheese starts to brown nicely on top.

Allow to sit for 5 minutes, top with basil and serve.

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