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Brunch/ Meals/ RECIPES

Easy Egg Spinach and Avocado Breakfast

Egg and spinach topped with avocado slices

The Beauty of Egg, Avocado, and Spinach

I posted the above Egg, Avocado and Spinach breakfast photo on Instagram, and it got lots of attention!

Maybe it is all of the beautiful colors in this ‘easy-but-looks-fancy’ dish. They really are quite beautiful; the dark green of the wilted spinach against the shiny cooked egg white and sunny yellow of the egg.

A sprinkling of seeds in all the neutral colors doesn’t hurt, either. Such a pretty dish! All those colors represent different textures, which make this dish very satisfying!

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Meals/ RECIPES/ Roundups

16 Staple Go-To Dinner Recipes You Will Make Over and Over Again

korean noodles and peas with sesame seeds

There are recipes that become staples in every family. The ones you go to over and over again and really don’t have to think much about.

You make them so often they become woven into the fabric of your family memories and will be the recipes your kids will take with them when they leave the nest.

They will make them automatically for their families because it is what they know and “how Mom always did it.”

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Pressure Cooker/ RECIPES/ Roundups

7 Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Staple Recipes

jar or blueberry on the bottom yogort

I’ve been thinking about what I consider staple recipes when it comes to the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.


Because my cute daughter Teagan just bought her foodie boyfriend one. He is a college boy and moving out on his own in 2 days, so the gift is timely.

I’ve been thinking about the go-to foods that I make regularly in my Instant Pot so I can share them with him.

The 7 recipes below are my most used , staple recipes and the ones I would pass on to anyone who is new to pressure cooking or even not-so-new!




Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Hard Boiled Eggs

 Hard Boiled Eggs are by far my favorite thing to make in the pressure cooker. It may not be much faster than making them on the stove, but the hands-off approach is what makes me so happy.

It is so nice to push a button and walk away. The consistency on the cook of the eggs is also a huge plus.

Another amazing thing about hard-boiled eggs in the pressure cooker is that the steam creates a bit of space between the egg and membrane, which makes the eggs so easy to peel!

Try doing it with one hand…I bet you will succeed!


Instant Pot Shredded Mexican Chicken

Shredded Mexican Chicken is a GREAT recipe. You can throw chicken breasts in the pressure cooker add a jar of salsa and have delicious, seasoned and shredded chicken in less than 30 minutes.

Perfect for chicken tacos, burritos, chicken nachos, and Mexican chicken taco salad! A great recipe to have on hand for those evenings you are just starting dinner at 5:00.

If you are a college student, to fill up for late night study sessions and to share with roommates!


Instant Pot Jasmine or Basmati Brown Rice

Jasmine or Basmati Brown Rice is another example of a food that gets consistent results in a pressure cooker and allows one to push a button and walk away.

I love how the Instant Pot pressure cooker is also a rice maker (and a slow cooker, and yogurt maker, and a saute’ pan, and a…) it really does make a great gift (especially for college students) because it is so many things in one!

Combine the rice with shredded chicken and enjoy a Mexican Chicken Bowl! Add black beans (also made in the instant pot, of course!) and who needs to spend money at Chipotle?!?


Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Black Beans

Instant Pot Black Beans could not be easier. Simply start by sorting the dried beans, which just means getting rid of any misshapen beans or stones.

Then rinse then throw sorted beans and ingredients in the pressure cooker and in a few minutes you will have perfectly cooked and seasoned black beans.

Pile in a bowl– rice, beans, salsa & cheese. Top with shredded lettuce. Mmmmm.

Or use them in my Super Simple Black Bean Soup recipe in place of canned beans.

Make a bunch and freeze them! So convenient.


jar of yogurt with blueberries on the bottom made in the instant pot


Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Yogurt

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Yogurt is SO EASY to make, but it does take a quick learning curve the first time you make it.

I walk you through the process step-by-step here and include the video that I used to make it the first time. I love storing it in individual jars with Blueberry Compote in the bottom.

It is cost effective and so good for the gut health.


pan of blueberries


Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Quinoa

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Quinoa is my personal favorite staple. It just is so GOOD for you and will fill the belly full of amazing plant protein and nutrients.

I eat it cold like cereal for breakfast, topped with a drizzle of maple syrup, a sprinkle of cinnamon and some berries. Mmm good and amazingly filling.

I wrote a post all about it called Quinoa for Breakfast 3 Ways.

You can use cooked quinoa instead of rice for any dinners that use rice as a base. You can use those black beans and make this Easy Quinoa Salad, or just top your lettuce salad with quinoa to make it more filling.

My new favorite with quinoa? Make a fruit salad using any fruit (strawberries, mango, and blueberries work well!) squeeze a lime over the top, drizzle with some pure maple syrup and mix in some cooked quinoa.

If you want to get fancy with the above quinoa fruit salad, add some chopped fresh mint. Plant protein + fruit = super high nutrient side dish!


steel cut oats

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Steel Cut Oats

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Steel Cut Oats makes it easy to find time for breakfast. Make a big pot, store in individual mason jars, and it can even be taken on the go!

Don’t forget to top with your favorite toppings.


jars of oatmeal toppings

Steel cut oats usually take forever on the stove. I find them much easier to make in the instant pot, again because of constant good, reliable results.

I love knowing breakfast is cooking while I get ready, but I don’t have to stand at the stove and stir or keep an eye on it!

I also love that the Instant Pot keeps the oats warm once they are done cooking.

You can set up the oats, water, and salt overnight and program the pot to start cooking at whatever time is best for you.

The soaking of the oats is said to make them much more digestible for those who might need that.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Steel Cut Oats
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
24 mins
Total Time
29 mins

The easiest way to make steel cut oats! Hit the button & walk away, or better yet, program the cooker the night before for the perfect automatic morning start time, and receive the benefits of easy to digest soaked oats.

Recipe Type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
  • 2 cups steel cut oats certified gluten-free, if necessary
  • 4 to 5 cups water
  1. Combine the steel cut oats and water in the bowl of your Instant Pot and give them a stir. Use 4 cups of water for thicker oats, or 5 cups of water for more of a porridge-like texture. Cover with the lid and make sure you turn the vent at the top to "sealing."

  2. Press the manual button and then lower the time to 4 minutes on high pressure. The cooker will automatically start.

  3. After the Instant Pot beeps, allow the pressure to naturally release for 20 minutes. (The timer on the Instant Pot will remain on after the cooking cycle to let you know how long it's been kept warm, unless you press the off button. I like to keep it on for the timer function.)

  4. Once the 20 minutes have passed, turn the vent to the "venting" position to release any remaining pressure. Carefully remove the lid and stir the oats to incorporate any water that has risen to the top. They should be nice and thick, with a porridge-like texture.

  5. Serve warm with maple syrup, cinnamon, and a splash of non-dairy milk, if desired. Leftover oats can be stored in individual containers in the fridge for up to a week, for a fast breakfast on the go. 


Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Cheesecake

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Cheesecake is not a staple and I have never made it myself, but so many rave about making cheesecake in an Instant Pot, so I added it as a bonus recipe.

Everyone needs a bit of sweet dessert every once in a while, right?

I include it because it is something I always tell any newbie to the Instant Pot about….”Did you know you can EVEN make cheesecake in the Instant Pot?!”…

I must try it!


I hope this post was helpful for anyone who is just starting out with an electric pressure cooker like the Instant Pot.

I really cannot get over how this machine has changed the way I make certain foods. I just love it!


How about you? Do you own an electric pressure cooker?

What is your favorite thing to make in it?







Healthy Eating/ How-Tos/ RECIPES/ Sides

How to Make Perfectly Sweet Caramelized Onions

caramelized onions on a white platter

I am smitten with caramelized onions, and this is coming from a girl who despises raw onion.

One of my earliest childhood memories is requesting that my raw onions would be scraped from my fast-food burger. I would watch my Dad sacrifice a perfectly good french fry and use it as a scraper to get those raw onions off!

Caramelized onions are a whole different food from raw onion. They are soft and oh so sweet!

They add amazing flavor to many dishes and are great for topping sandwiches, burgers, and salads.

They are so popular in our home that they rarely get past the skillet without fingers in them…my Teagan has been known to make a whole pan disappear.


Why You Need Sweet Caramelized Onions

I am not only smitten because of how delicious caramelized onions are but also because they are one of the most healthful foods you can eat!

Research has shown that people with the highest consumption of onions (and other alliums) have a lower risk of several types of cancer, as onions contain several anti-cancer compounds. {referrence}

Quercetin is one of these compounds which has been found to decrease cancer tumor formation and inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Onions are antibacterial, antifungal, contain antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties–so don’t be anti-onion–at least until you try them caramelized.

They help maintain gastrointestinal health by creating and sustaining beneficial bacteria.

They reduce symptoms associated with diabetes, improve the absorption of minerals (like calcium and my favorite calming mineral – magnesium) due to the fructans they contain.

With my cancer history and my Todd using a healthy diet to keep blood sugar levels down, getting onions in on a daily basis is a priority to both of us.

I use chopped onions as a foundation of just about every recipe I make, and also am just as happy making them caramelized as a yummy vegetable side to any dish.


skillet of caramelized onions

What I Do To Make My Onions Perfectly Sweet

The key to making caramelized onions perfectly sweet is patience and a wide, flat-bottomed high sided heavy pan. A well-seasoned cast iron pan is my favorite pan to use.

The caramelization process takes a little patience, and as you will see in the video I share below, they soften and sweeten in stages.

For caramelization, it can take 15-20 minutes of cooking time.

This usually is not a big deal for me, as I just get them going at the beginning of my meal-making, and they cook away and are done by the time the rest of the meal our meal is cooked, and only need a little attention with just a bit of stirring.

There are several different ways to make caramelized onions, and many cooks will just use oil, salt and pepper.

Some swear by adding a bit of sugar at the end to help speed up the process, but I believe we get quite enough sugar in the typical American diet and don’t need to be adding it to our healthy onions!

I let the onions sweeten themselves, and sometimes add a splash or two of balsamic vinegar at the end for even more darkened sweetness. Delish!


dish of caramelized onions

Perfectly Sweet Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins

There is nothing like a perfectly sweet caramelized onion! Even if you are not an onion lover, you may just become one after trying them cooked in this way. 

Recipe Type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: onions
Servings: 4 people
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 tbsp oil or butter (avocado oil, coconut oil or grass-fed butter)
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • water (or chicken broth)
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
Prep onions & pan
  1. Peel and halve onions through root end and slice into 1/4" - 1/8" thick slices, using the onions natural grain to make strips for you.

  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. butter or oil in a large flat-bottomed heavy pan on medium heat. 

    Note: The video in the post shows a saucepan, but a larger, heavy pan is much preferred. Using a wide base gives water room to evaporate, allowing onions to caramelize rather than steam.

Cook onions
  1. Add onions to the pan and stir. Then season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Let the onions begin to soften and turn translucent.

Reduce heat, stir & add liquid if necessary
  1. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook onions, stirring often to prevent them from getting too much color in one place or sticking.

     If onions stick or get too brown in one place, reduce heat.

Add cooking liquid if necessary
  1. If you see bare, browned spots in the pan, add a bit of cooking liquid and stir. The liquid will help scrape the cooked-on bits and will season the onions. 

Keep and eye and keep stirring
  1. Once the onions began to take on a caramel color, keep a close eye on them. For extra-dark onions, this is when you add balsamic. 

  2. This is the point when your onions need constant attention. Keep stirring until they are the desired color. I like mine a caramel color with a few dark edges.

Let cool & store
  1. Let onions cool, then transfer to an airtight container OR you can do what I do and eat them right from the pan! 

  2. Chill any leftover onions. They will keep up to one week and can be eaten warmed or chilled right from the refrigerator. They also freeze well!


Have you over caramelized onions? Do you have your own tried and true method?

If you have not, and even if you are not a big onion fan, making them this way may just change your mind.


Watch this video on The Scene.

{the video uses a saucepan, but I prefer a wide, heavy-bottomed cast iron skillet!}


Grab a bag of onions next time you are at the grocery store and get those health-filled onions into you and your loved ones!

Make sure to comment below and let me know if you do, and what your favorite process toward caramelization is.

4th of July/ Holidays/Parties/ RECIPES

8 Crowd-Pleasing and Easy 4th of July Potluck Recipes

bowl of fruit salad for 4th of July potluck

I love a good potluck, and the 4th of July is a great time to make one happen!

Listed below are some of our family’s favorite potluck recipes, my go-to recipes to share with a crowd. They are easy-to-make, aesthetically pleasing and appealing to all ages!


8 Crowd-Pleasing and Easy 4th of July Potluck Recipes

bowl of pasta salad with broccoli, carrots and tomoates



This  Only Pasta Salad You Really Need  is a great potluck crowd-pleaser, can be made ahead of time, and tastes even better after sitting a day. Makes a LOT and is easy to double for even larger crowds. Red wine vinegar is the secret ingredient that makes this salad taste super special!


cupcakes with strawberries and blueberries



Blueberries, strawberries, and chocolate are 3 must-haves in our family for the 4th of July weekend, and these Chocolate Berry 4th Of July Cupcakes have all 3! Cupcakes are always a great thing to make to share with a crowd or display on a table at a potluck.


bowl of ice cream with chocolate fudge sauce



This 5 Minute Chocolate Sauce Heaven is family recipe that we have been making for years. It is so much better than that stuff in the brown squeeze bottle!

It uses ingredients we usually have on hand and is a breeze to make. I am planning on bringing this and some fresh strawberries to top my Mother-in-Law’s homemade ice cream to our family 4th of July party.

I bought her an ice cream maker for Christmas, and we are all enjoying having her use that gift!


kale salad with dried cranberries and coconut bacon



This Kale & Lentil Salad with Cranberries & Coconut Bacon is really delicious & reminds me of something you could order at an upscale vegetarian restaurant. This kale salad is full of beautiful.

It has gorgeous color from the cranberries & the kale itself. The texture is great with curly kale, chewy dried cranberries & crunchy coconut bacon. The cranberries are a nice sweet touch while the coconut bacon adds amazing smokey & salty flavor. It is a crowd pleaser for sure, vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike!


Loaf of bread with lemon and raspberries



This Raspberry Lemon Loaf is made super moist and tasty with the addition of lemon yogurt. Lemon and raspberry are so fresh tasting and the perfect summer combination. Double the recipe for a large group, or to keep one for yourself to freeze.


strawberries stuffed with cheesecake filling



Do you know what July and February have in common? The 4th of July & Valentines day both give us an excuse to eat lots and lots of  STRAWBERRIES! Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries are a super great way to celebrate a holiday.  They are special, beautiful, and a nice change from chocolate-covered strawberries.  Can’t give your Chocolate Covered Strawberries up? Then mix the 2 on a beautiful platter and get ready for the oooo’s & ahhhh’s!


fruit salad with honey lime glaze



This Honey Lime Glaze is the perfect go-to recipe to make your fruit shine–literally!  I love taking a fresh fruit salad to a potluck, and this glaze keeps it just sweet enough and moistened.  It allows the fruit to show off its beautiful texture, color and flavor.


chocolate no bake balls



These Chocolate Mudballs just hit the spot!  They are great when you are wanting a bit of a chocolate treat, but use ingredients like wheat germ and oats to make them a treat that has some health benefits! You can whip them up in minutes, and they will please palates young and old.

What are YOUR plans for the 4th of July?

Do you attend a potluck style party?

What is your favorite dish to bring to a potluck?

How-Tos/ Nutrition/ RECIPES

How To Eat More Seeds Every Day [+ A Super Seed No Recipe Recipe]

bowl of oats topped with super seeds

Last week I wrote ‘5 Reasons to Eat SuperSeeds Every Day’, and today I am going to share some ideas on HOW to eat more seeds every day.

When it comes to getting into the rhythm of doing something every day, it helps to make it as accessible as possible and as easy as possible.


tablespoon and seeds in a jar

My superseed no recipe recipe below is the best way I have found to make everyday seed-eating most accessible and efficient. I eat them almost mindlessly and rarely skip a day.

The glass jar I keep them in is always front and center in my refrigerator. By making a mix, you avoid having to grab different individual bags of seeds each day, but still get all the amazing benefits of eating multiple types of seeds each day.

Let’s face it, those bags can get lost in the pantry and sit lonely and unused, and an empty jar waiting to be refilled can solve that problem.

A glass jar is key. You can see what is in it, and it is easy to grab and use while making breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack.

I use a mason jar, and have been eyeing this glass jar clip and spoon that fits around the lip of a wide mouth mason jar would be perfect for scooping seeds efficiently. It’s only $3.99!

It would eliminate that one more step of searching for a spoon, and it is cute to boot. I also keep my ground coffee in mason jars, so I may have to buy 2! I just put it on my Amazon Wish List. 


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5 Reasons To Eat Seeds Every Day + Super Seed Mix in a Jar Recipe

Jar of layered seeds

5 Reasons To Eat Seeds Every Day



Eat super seeds every day! They are a high nutrient food and they are packed with healthy goodness. Seeds contain all the starting materials needed to grow into a complex plant, and because of this, they are a very alive, nutritious food.

Keeping a jar of super seed mix in the refrigerator is an easy way to have these little superfoods on hand at all times.



Many seeds (like pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds) are a complete protein source! Seeds have more protein and minerals than nuts and less saturated fat.



Seeds are rich in ALA Omega 3 fats which feed the brain and plays a key role in metabolism and energy production.

Having a good fat in your diet is important for the absorption of nutrients, including anti-cancer phytochemicals.



Lignans are antioxidants that may help support the immune system and can help balance hormone levels in the body.

They also have anti-estrogenic effects and can prevent naturally occurring hormones from binding to estrogen receptors and exerting their negative effects.

I am especially interested in the lignans in seeds as I am a survivor of hormone-sensitive breast cancer.



Again, as a breast cancer survivor, I am very interested in all of the health benefits of seeds.

My husband has been pre-diabetic in the past, so he also makes sure to get his seeds in every day, too!

Plant foods, in general, can be very disease protective, and so eat your seeds!

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