Tag: nutrition

The Instant Pot Diary: First go-round

Ah, the Instant Pot. I was gifted the magic kitchen appliance for Christmas, which was both exciting and terrifying all at once.

You see, I didn’t want an Instant Pot. In fact, I specifically told my mom when she asked that I did not want one. And yet, I received an Instant Pot.

Something about a pressure cooker unnerved me, but my mom thought it would simplify cooking for me. I vowed to at least give it a try, even though I was convinced I would blow up my house.

I documented the journey on Twitter just in case it really happened.

My first recipe was a simple one. I had joined the ‘Instant Pot Community’ on Facebook, which is currently sitting at more than 1 million people strong. As a note on that, there are a lot of posts that show up in your newsfeed when you’re in a group of over 1 million people. I’ve had better ideas in my lifetime.

Aside from being bombarded with recipes and questions every time I logged on to Facebook, the Instant Pot Community did tell me the best thing to start with: spaghetti and meatballs. I started with this recipe, which promised dinner in 10 minutes.

Well… sure.

Here’s the thing a lot of people don’t tell you (or at least didn’t tell me): Instant Pots have to pressurize (duh, Erin – PRESSURE COOKER) and frozen foods take longer for that process to happen. Well, I had poured an entire 1 pound bag of Hy-Vee frozen meatballs in the pot (the Italian style, to be exact), so I was waiting a long time for that sucker to pressurize.

Once it did pressurize though, the whole thing was pretty slick. It cooked for 10 minutes, I released the pressure and voila – dinner was done! The best part? It was literally one bowl to clean (aside from the dishes we used to eat), which was a major selling point to me aside from anything else.

The only thing I learned is that you have to make sure you cover all spaghetti noodles with sauce or water. I missed a few, and they turned out a little crunchy. The rest were great though, and the meatballs were perfect.

For someone who didn’t even want an Instant Pot, I’m pretty addicted at this point. It’s easy, convenient, and a little fun to use. The next night I even threw a bag of Trader Joe’s chicken fried rice in with a cup of water, threw it on the sauté function for 5 minutes, and it turned out perfect. Sold.

I’m trying meatloaf and mashed potatoes next, so thoughts and prayers. We’ll see how it goes. And I’ll make sure to recap it here, because if I don’t document it – did it even happen?

By the way, if you have any recipes I should try, let me know. You can tweet at me, email me, or leave a comment here.


P.S. Could I have taken literally any worse of a photo for the cover of this post? Probably, but this one is still… something. I was hungry, people. No time to correct the lighting or remove the spaghetti splatters.

Charge On

Life has been crazy lately. Between a half-marathon, changing jobs, traveling, co-hosting radio shows and more, it’s been busy. For that reason, this blog is far overdue but actually fitting because the last month has really given me a chance to try (and I mean really try) the product I’m about to share with you.

Let me introduce you to the Charge On protein bar. The awesome folks at Complete Nutrition had heard I was on the hunt for a good protein bar and reached out with the Charge On bar. Here’s a little more from them directly:

The Charge On™ Protein Bar is designed for people who want real nutrition from real food! This naturally sweetened healthy protein snack includes ingredients such as almond butter, coconut oil, cherries, and cashews. With 20g of protein, only 5g of sugar, and real, delicious whole food ingredients, this protein bar is stacked.

First and foremost, I’ve tried both the Dark Chocolate Cherry and the Salted Caramel Cashew and they are good. I mean it. Some protein bars are tolerable and you convince yourself that you don’t mind them (but in reality, you hate them). That’s not the Charge On bars at all. They don’t taste like protein bars, which means I’ve been using them quite a bit on the go.

Co-hosting a radio show? Charge on. Running errands over lunch? Charge on. Need a boost before a run? Charge on.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Why? Because I’m giving YOU the opportunity to win a box of the Dark Chocolate Cherry Charge On bars (8 bars, $20 value). All you have to do is head over to my Instagram, find the photo of the Charge On bars, like the photo and tag a friend. I’ll randomly draw a winner on Friday, June 9.

With that, I’m off. Charge on, y’all.



Disclosure: I received these products complimentary from Complete Nutrition for testing purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own.