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April 2018

Our Favorite Instant Pot Recipes

Between running my full-time business, holding leadership roles in several organizations, and training jujitsu 3-4 days a week, it’s an understatement to say that there isn’t much room for cooking. Last year, I made two decisions that have freed up a lot of mental white space around meal planning and eating healthy:

  1. I started using Prep Dish service that provides me with a grocery list and meal plan every week for Paleo dinners.
  2. I purchased an Instant Pot.

Purchasing an Instant Pot last summer during Amazon Prime day was probably one of the wisest decisions I could have made for our cooking lifestyle. My slow cooker was great, but it required more planning and time in the morning than I had to give. If I forgot to get that crockpot going, then dinner that evening wasn’t going to happen.

With my Instant Pot, I have more wiggle room. I can still use my slow cooker recipes, but I love the pressure cooker option. I can set my meal up in the morning, but if I forget or something comes up, I can get things going before I leave for martial arts class. And there’s no way we would have survived our January Whole30 without the assist from my Instant Pot

I have the 8-Quart Instant Pot Duo80, and I now find that I’m using my Instant Pot so often that I’m seriously considering purchasing a 3-quart or 6-quart model as well. This would allow me to prepare a side dish in my smaller pot while cooking the main dish in my larger pot.

If you’re getting started using your Instant Pot or just looking for new recipes to try, here are some favorite Instant Pot recipes at our house:

Instant Pot Whole Rotisserie Chicken

When I’m in my meal-planning groove, I roast a chicken every Sunday afternoon. We have a nice family meal, and then use the leftovers for lunches the rest of the week.

This Instant Pot whole “rotisserie” chicken was the first thing I cooked in my Instant Pot. The bird was so tender that it was falling off the bone. The kitchen wasn’t blazing hot, and I didn’t have stay in the house all afternoon because the over was on. In my book, that’s a win.

Instant Pot Kalua Pig

We live in the South, and pulled pork barbeque is basically a food group, but I would never make it because of time commitment. My mother-in-law would cook hers in the crockpot overnight, then “pull” it, add liquid and cook it for 3-4 more hours. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

With this Instant Pot kalua pig recipe, the Mister and I have a complete meal in just a few hours. We make this meal at least every other week. I’ve even converted my mother-in-law to this recipe after giving her an Instant Pot for her birthday.

Instant Pot Mashed Rosemary Sweet Potatoes

Gone are the days of me babysitting a boiling pot of water to make mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes. One cup of water and seven minutes under pressure, and my sweet potatoes were “boiled;” then I followed this recipe for mashed rosemary sweet potatoes as usual.

This side dish was the easiest piece of Thanksgiving last year, and everyone raved about how tasty these potatoes were.

Instant Pot Chicken Taco

We were introduced to this recipe recently at a Tables of Grace church dinner; basically, our church has a rotating dinner club to allow members of the congregation to get to know each other better. Our hostess also follows a Paleo diet, and she had set out a fabulous taco bar spread.

Her upgrade to the recipe was adding a package of frozen chopped peppers to the recipe instead of the jar of salsa, which was a great way to increase the veggies. What I know is that these Instant Pot Pot chicken tacos were delicious, fast and easy — perfect for a busy weeknight.

Instant Pot “Garbage” Soup

Okay, I admit that I’m a Nom Nom Paleo fangirl. My favorite thing about her garbage soup is that I can basically make it every week to use up extra veggies in the fridge before so they don’t wind up in the compost bin and whatever leftover protein (usually Kalua Pig) that we have on hand. Same recipe every week, lots of variety so the soup doesn’t get boring.

To make the soup in the Instant Pot, I simply use the saute function to start and then cook the soup under pressure for five minutes. [Tip: I prefer the instructions in the Nom Nom Paleo Ready or Not Cookbook over the online recipe; the book approaches the soup from more of a building block style, which makes it easier to customize.]

Do you love your Instant Pot as much as I do? Drop me a comment or send me a quick email to share your favorite Instant Pot recipes. Let me know if you try any of these; I want to know how you like them.

My Top Piece of Advice

Yesterday in jujitsu, a new younger student asked me a question in regard to training: What would be your top piece of advice?

First, I inwardly marveled at the fact that any of the students look to me for that type of leadership. Can you tell that I’m still adjusting to being a sensei in our dojo? Who am I that she’s seeking out my advice?

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But why not? I’ve worked hard to earn my title, and though I still have a lot to learn on the blue mat, I have enough experience in the dojo to have an answer.

My Top Piece of Advice

“Keep showing up for class. Just don’t quit training. There’s going to be a period in the near future when things are going to suck for a while. You’re about to learn the rest of the throwing list, and you haven’t had time to master your fall. It’s going to be uncomfortable and physically hard while you teach your body how to do things that most people are too scared to try.

You will be frustrated. You’ll feel like you don’t even walk correctly. If you’re anything like I was, there will be evenings when you’ll go home in tears.

These are the times when you won’t want to show up for class. This is when you’ll have to show up anyway and push through the hard stuff. The technique will come with time, but you have to keep training through the challenges to get there.”

Tenacity For the Win

I started training jujitsu almost seven years ago. When I started getting ready for my black belt exam in 2015, more than one of the other instructors told me that they would not have predicted that I would have stayed with the training, based on how frustrated and defensive I was about critique in the beginning.

My Top Piece of Advice

I’m super proud of passing my black belt exam, but the truth is, those instructors just didn’t know me that well. One of my core values is tenacity.

Tenacity – a mindset of persistence and fierce determination toward a goal in spite of pushback or challenges.

Every accomplishment that I’m truly proud of in life involved deciding that something was too important to quit:

  • I found myself on my own just before my junior of high school; I still graduated in the top five percent of my high school class.
  • I put myself through college on a full scholarship and worked two jobs the last two years because I was supporting myself completely. And I graduated on time.
  • My husband and I couldn’t have been more different when we started dating. Our eighth wedding anniversary is next week, and next month, our relationship surpasses 13 years in being together.
  • I started working at my company as the office admin at age 25. The year I turned 30, I purchased it from the owner. Next year, it will be completely paid off.

Keep Showing Up

I believe that we really can accomplish the things we want in life, but we have to decide that what we’re working on is JUST TOO IMPORTANT to quit.

Keep showing up. Keep working. Keep pushing toward your dreams.

Even when it’s hard, even when it hurts, even when there are tears of frustration.

Just don’t quit.

Why Setting Quarterly Goals in Important

I’m so excited that we’re starting not just a new month but a new quarter. One of the biggest changes that I’ve made in my business and life since I started working with my business coach last year is setting quarterly goals in addition to annual and monthly goals.

I love having some really big annual goals to work toward, but setting those alone can be a little overwhelming. Setting quarterly goals has been a key component in success for me. They help me break a big goal into a more manageable chunk.

[Related reading: Check out my big goals for 2018]

A quarter a long enough period of time that I can really pick up some momentum but no so long that I get burnt out or distracted.

Setting quarterly goals helps me not lose sight of the finish line at the beginning of a marathon.

Quarter 2 Goals

  • Keystone: Pay our personal loan to a $0 balance
    Generate $4500 in life/long-term care/disability income
    Hire part-time admin assistant
    Update photography and SEO on all Etsy shop listings
    Go on a weekend trip for the Mister’s birthday
    Complete 12 massage treatments outside of class

Once I’ve broken down my annual goals into quarterly-sized chunks, I can break those down into more bite-sized monthly goals, which helps me clarify what activities and habits will move me toward achieving my goals.

April goals

  • Complete Yoga with Adriene’s April calendar
  • Generate $1500 in life/long-term care/disability income
  • Generate $400 in side-hustle income
  • List 2 new products in Etsy shop
  • Cook special occasion dinner for our anniversary
  • Publish a minimum of one blog post per week
  • Send a minimum of two newsletters to my mailing list

Want to learn more about setting goals that will move you toward success?

Come join my private Facebook community – Aubrey E. Shaw Good Vibes Only – I’ll be sharing a video later this week about how to set goals that will fire you up.