Easy Weekly Meal Prep: Instant Pot Salsa Shredded Chicken

 
Weekly meal prep idea. Instant Pot Salsa Shredded Chicken. This recipe is so easy, quick and tastes amazing. #instantpot #instantpotshreddedchicken
 

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Confession time!! I don’t think I’ve used our oven since cooking Christmas dinner (yes, we are in April now 😜) and I’m totally ok with that!  

Weekly meal prep idea. Instant Pot Salsa Shredded Chicken. This recipe is so easy, quick and tastes amazing. #instantpot #instantpotshreddedchicken

One practice that Chris and I have done for years is weekly meal prep to stay on top of our health and fitness goals. Eating healthy + soy and dairy-free plus managing my weight is SO much easier when I have my food prepared.

For years when my schedule was super busy, I would spend a few hours 1 day a week cooking all my food at once and putting pre-portioned out meals into containers so I was prepared all week.

But now, I usually just cook large batches of protein and vegetables to keep on hand in the fridge so I can throw together a quick and delicious meal at anytime. Either meal prep option is great, you just have to find what method fits your lifestyle.

Having these prepped foods ready to go is especially helpful because I often practice carb cycling, meaning some days I eat low carb, higher protein and fat, and then other days I eat regular macros of higher carb, higher protein and lowerish fat.

BUT no matter what your eating preference is, meal prep of some sort is super beneficial because you can control what you eat and it saves you money because you aren’t eating out all of the time - bonus!!

Lately, I’ve been pretty much cooking all my protein such as chicken, pork tenderloin, and beef brisket in my 8 quart Instant Pot and all my veggies like zucchini, yellow squash, and carrots in the air fryer. Chris has even joined in on the new meal prep fun because it is so easy, delicious, and we are loving not having a ton of clean up after.

Here are 4 examples of meals I create with Instant Pot salsa shredded chicken:

The 2 meals below are examples of similar lower carb day meals I make often that are literally bursting with flavor and keep me full for several hours.

Meal 1 & 2: I add 5-6oz of salsa shredded chicken, air fried zucchini, cauliflower, and carrots, and top with walnuts, kalamata or black olives, jalapeños, and avocado occasionally sprinkled with “everything bagel” seasoning from either Trader Joe’s or Costco 🥑. I’m loving creating more flavorful meals because for a while, I was starting to get into a little food rut and no one likes eating boring bland tasting food.

 
Weekly meal prep idea. Instant Pot Salsa Shredded Chicken. This recipe is so easy, quick and tastes amazing. Here are some examples of low carb day meals I make often that are literally bursting with flavor and keep me full for several hours. I add 5-6oz of salsa shredded chicken, air fried zucchini, cauliflower, and carrots, and top with walnuts, kalamata or black olives, jalapeños, and avocado occasionally sprinkled with “everything bagel” seasoning from either Trader Joe’s or Costco.
 
 
Weekly meal prep idea. Instant Pot Salsa Shredded Chicken. This recipe is so easy, quick and tastes amazing. Here are some examples of low carb day meals I make often that are literally bursting with flavor and keep me full for several hours. I add 5-6oz of salsa shredded chicken, air fried zucchini, cauliflower, and carrots, and top with walnuts, kalamata or black olives, jalapeños, and avocado occasionally sprinkled with “everything bagel” seasoning from either Trader Joe’s or Costco.
 

The next two meals below are examples of meals I would eat on a regular macro day as they have more carbohydrates.

Meal 1: 5-6oz salsa shredded chicken, 1 cup of jasmine rice, coconut aminos (a delicious soy-free replacement for soy sauce), air fried carrots, zucchini, jalapeños, and 1/4 slice of avocado.

Meal 2: Sliced organic sourdough bread topped with mashed avocado, sliced tomatoes, salsa shredded chicken, and “everything bagel” seasoning. So freaking good!!

Weekly meal prep idea. Instant Pot Salsa Shredded Chicken. This recipe is so easy, quick and tastes amazing. 5-6oz salsa shredded chicken, 1 cup of jasmine rice, coconut aminos (a delicious soy-free replacement for soy sauce), air fried carrots, zucchini,  jalapeños, and avocado.
Weekly meal prep idea. Instant Pot Salsa Shredded Chicken. This recipe is so easy, quick and tastes amazing. Sliced organic sourdough bread topped with mashed avocado, sliced tomatoes, salsa shredded chicken, and “everything bagel” seasoning. So freaking good!!
 

Quick tips when making your salsa shredded chicken

The salsa in this recipe is very subtle so your not stuck with eating mexican style meals such as tacos all week long if you don’t want to. I’ve actually made many different flavored dishes with this chicken such as soups like ramen, added it to my cauliflower gnocchi, thrown it together with veggies, and topped my avocado toast with it.

Another variation I’ve made if I don’t have salsa on hand is using marinara sauce instead and Chris has also used BBQ sauce. I would suggest with both of those substitutions that you add more sauce when cooking and a little additional water, maybe 1/3 to 1/2 cup, so your Instant Pot doesn’t flash the burn warning at you.

Instant Pot Salsa Shredded Chicken:

This recipe is so easy! Find the full recipe at the bottom of the page below the photos!

Spray the Instant Pot lightly with avocado oil. Season both sides of your chicken breasts and add to your Instant Pot. Pour salsa over the chicken to cover most of the top of each breast. Put the lid, close the valve knob to the sealed position and cook on the pressure cook setting for 13 minutes.

 
Weekly meal prep idea. Instant Pot Salsa Shredded Chicken. This recipe is so easy, quick and tastes amazing. #instantpot #instantpotshreddedchicken
 

Once your timer goes off, let the chicken sit for about 10 minutes before turning the valve to quick release. Add chicken to a plate to shred with 2 forks or this amazing claw shredder. I will usually knock off a little bit of the salsa back into the pot before I put it on the plate to shred but it’s not necessary.

 
Weekly meal prep idea. Instant Pot Salsa Shredded Chicken. This recipe is so easy, quick and tastes amazing. #instantpot #instantpotshreddedchicken
 

Once shredded, add back into the Instant Pot, mix with juices, add additional salt and pepper if desired, then let marinate on warm setting with the lid closed for a while.

 
Weekly meal prep idea. Instant Pot Salsa Shredded Chicken. This recipe is so easy, quick and tastes amazing. #instantpot #instantpotshreddedchicken
 

When ready, eat and enjoy or add to a dish to let cool then store it in the fridge for your weekly meal prep.

 
Weekly meal prep idea. Instant Pot Salsa Shredded Chicken. This recipe is so easy, quick and tastes amazing. #instantpot #instantpotshreddedchicken
 

Depending on your salsa, there will most likely be extra liquid in the bottom of the pot. You can choose to discard this or store it with your chicken for extra flavor. Additionally, you can drain the excess liquid and add extra salsa before eating or storing if you would like even more salsa flavor. Get ready to enjoy some deliciousness!

 
Weekly meal prep idea. Instant Pot Salsa Shredded Chicken. This recipe is so easy, quick and tastes amazing. #instantpot #instantpotshreddedchicken
 

Instant Pot Salsa Shredded Chicken Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 chicken breasts

  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup salsa (enough to cover most of the top of each breast)

  • Salt and pepper

  • Taco seasoning to taste or I will use garlic, thyme, cayenne pepper, and any other seasonings that sound good

  • 2 Tbsps or 1/4 cup of water if your salsa is thick and chunky

Instructions:

  1. Spray the Instant Pot with a little avocado oil (we use a misto sprayer) to coat the bottom of the pot.

  2. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt, pepper and taco seasoning blend or any other seasonings you desire. Then add chicken breasts to your Instant Pot.

  3. Pour about 1/2 - 3/4 cup of salsa over the chicken to cover most of the top of each breast. If salsa is very chunky, add 2 Tablespoons to 1/4 cup water to your pot so you don’t set off the burn warning.

  4. Put the lid on, close the valve knob to the sealed position. Hit the Pressure Cook button and set for 13 minutes.

  5. Once the timer goes off, let the chicken sit for 10 minutes before setting valve to quick release to let the steam out.

  6. Open the lid and remove the chicken onto a plate. Shred the chicken with 2 forks or this amazing claw shredder. Once shredded, add back into the Instant Pot, mix with juices, add additional salt and pepper if desired, then let marinate on warm setting for a while until your ready to eat it or put it in a dish to store in the fridge.

    *** Depending on your salsa, there will most likely be extra liquid in the bottom of the pot. You can choose to discard this or store it with your chicken for extra flavor. Additionally, you can drain the excess liquid and add extra salsa before eating or storing if you would like even more salsa flavor.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! Let me know if you have questions in the comments and tag me on Instagram @awakenednutrition if you give it a try!! I love hearing from you!


Learn How to Stop Bloat From Happening

Want to reduce inflammation and lose fat for good? Start by downloading our free guide: 5 Easy Steps to Beating Belly Bloat!

We are Chris and Amber, a husband and wife team dedicated to helping you improve your nutritional and personal fitness habits for a better lifestyle. If you have issues with bloating, inability to lose fat, brain fog, or are in need of a proven nutrition and fitness plan to get you out of a rut, then sign up for our 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat Program today!

 
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Pumpkin Spice Latte Protein Shake Recipe (Vegan + Soy & Dairy-Free)

It's that time again - #PSL season!! Being the "basic bitch" that I am, I hold all things pumpkin spice very near and dear to my heart. That means pumpkin spice everything is happening whether you like it or not. Haters please exit the building :)  When I had my first Starbucks pumpkin spice latte YEARS ago, back when I could still tolerate milk (or at least thought I could), I took one sip and like every sane person on earth found it absolutely divine! Unfortunately the latte doesn't fit into my lifestyle not only because of the dairy, but also because a grande PSL made with 2% milk and whipped cream has 380 calories, 14g of fat, 50g of sugar and 52g of carbohydrates. I'm not saying I don't splurge on treats from time to time, because I most certainly do, but if I am consuming all of those calories, fats, sugars and carbs, I'd rather it be in food form like a cookie or a naughty banana chocolate chip pancake! Despite not having the official Starbucks PSL since the first time back in probably 2010, I still think about it to this day. During the fall, I will find any way to add pumpkin spice to my day and this pre or post-workout protein shake is no exception. This baby has it all, coffee, real pumpkin, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, vanilla and protein! What more could you want in a protein shake?

 
Pumpkin Spice Latte Protein Shake that is soy-free, dairy-free, low in sugar and high in protein! This is the perfect pre or post-workout treat! #PSL #vegan #soyfree #dairyfree #basic
 
Pumpkin Spice Latte Protein Shake that is soy-free, dairy-free, low in sugar and high in protein! This is the perfect pre or post-workout treat! #PSL #vegan #soyfree #dairyfree #basic

 Pumpkin Spice Latte Protein Shake 

Optional: Add So Delicious whipped topping or Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

**Modification: You can use cold coffee instead of instant by adding a half cup of cold coffee and reducing your almond milk to about a 1/2 cup. You will want to play around with the ratios to suit your taste buds. 

Blend together with a couple ice cubes and enjoy! 

 
Pumpkin Spice Latte Protein Shake that is soy-free, dairy-free, low in sugar and high in protein! This is the perfect pre or post-workout treat! #PSL #vegan #soyfree #dairyfree #basic
 

Learn How to Stop Bloat From Happening

Want to reduce inflammation and lose fat for good? Start by downloading our free guide: 5 Easy Steps to Beating Belly Bloat!

We are Chris and Amber, a husband and wife team dedicated to helping you improve your nutritional and personal fitness habits for a better lifestyle. If you have issues with bloating, inability to lose fat, brain fog, or are in need of a proven nutrition and fitness plan to get you out of a rut, then sign up for our 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat Program today!

Amber Hale, Health Coach
 

Disclaimer: I earn a small commission if you use some of the highlighted links to purchase products mentioned in this blog/website. I recommend only products that I would use my own home or that I would recommend to clients. 

Amazon Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Oven Roasted Cranberry Apple Brussels Sprouts

Last week, I shared my green bean, red onion and pecan side dish recipe which is one of favorite holiday dishes! Today, I want to share my oven roasted cranberry, apple, and brussel sprout side dish recipe, another favorite recipe that is sure to be a hit this holiday season! 

I'm sure you are thinking how tasty Brussel sprouts are but there is SO much more to them than taste! Brussel sprouts give your overall health a BIG boost, just one half cup serving of Brussels sprouts supplies us with 20 essential vitamins, including the powerful antioxidant vitamin C, numerous B vitamins, vitamin A, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and manganese. They also contain antioxidants such a glucosinolates and isothiocyanates which help protect you from free radicals which can cause cellular damage and disease in the body. They are also high in fiber which help to keep you full after a meal and also helps to keep your digestion moving along.

 
Oven Roasted Cranberry Apple Brussels Sprouts
 

Oven Roasted Cranberry Apple Brussels Sprouts

Oven Roasted Cranberry Apple Brussels Sprouts

Serves 2-3

  • 1 pint Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut lengthwise

  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and cut into eighths

  • ¼ cup dried cranberries

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil

  • Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, toss Brussels sprouts, cranberries, sliced apple, and 1 tbsp olive oil together.

3. Brush glass baking dish with 1 tbsp olive oil. Spread mixture evenly into dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. Roast uncovered for 30 minutes.

5. Serve hot and enjoy!

 

Learn How to Stop Bloat From Happening

Want to reduce inflammation and lose fat for good? Start by downloading our free guide: 5 Easy Steps to Beating Belly Bloat!

We are Chris and Amber, a husband and wife team dedicated to helping you improve your nutritional and personal fitness habits for a better lifestyle. If you have issues with bloating,inability to lose fat, brain fog, or are in need of a proven nutrition and fitness plan to get you out of a rut, then sign up for our 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat Program

 
Amber Hale, Health Coach
 

Disclaimer: I earn a small commission if you use some of the highlighted links to purchase products mentioned in this blog/website. I recommend only products that I would use my own home or that I would recommend to clients. 

Amazon Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Pumpkin Pie Protein Mousse Spread Recipe (Soy, Dairy & Gluten-Free)

All I've been hearing lately is talk of Fall, apple picking, changing of the leaves, hot apple cider and all things pumpkin...I am 100% A-OK with this and plan to indulge in all of the Fallyness every chance I get. Actually, Chris and I have invited his mother up for a visit this weekend so we can go apple picking for the first time! At least it's this Florida girl's first time. I seem to always miss out on apple picking season so this year I was not letting the chance slip away from me. 

So in honor of all things Fall-y I decided it's time to whip up one of my favorite easy yummy pumpkin recipes that I have been making for several years now as a topping for my rice cakes, pancakes, and a dip for apples. Each year, it seems to evolve and get better as I discover new ingredients that I love to use.

One of my favorite ingredients that I discovered at the beginning of the year is Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder.  I had never heard of it before and so I thought I'd give it a shot. I knew that there were many benefits to including pumpkin in the diet such as it being rich in vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium and manganese and other minerals including zinc, iron and copper and it is also great for removal of intestinal parasites...yucky sounding but totally necessary. It is also high in protein, it has only one ingredient - ground pumpkin seed - so I don't have to worry about any other unnecessary ingredients lurking in my protein, it's not chalky or gritty tasting, and it has almost no taste so it mixes really well in everything. Lastly, it's soy and dairy-free which are both foods that I avoid because of food allergies and intolerances. This protein is a WIN-WIN in my book and a constant kitchen staple for me.

Homemade pumpkin spice latte

The pumpkin pie protein spread over rice cakes make a great pre-workout meal as it give you the perfect amount of fuel to crush your workout which I am about to do! It's also the perfect meal to enjoy with a homemade pumpkin spice latte that I have been making with Trader Joe's delicious Pumpkin Spice Coffee, stevia, cinnamon and coconut milk creamer. It's WAY cheaper and has WAY less sugar than the PSL that is being served up at Starbucks right now. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe and all the Fall-y things as much as I do! :)

Pumpkin Pie Protein Mousse Spread Recipe
 

Pumpkin Pie Protein Mousse Spread Recipe

Mix all ingredients together and spread over rice cakes, pancakes or as a dip for apples.

Note:  If you don't need as much protein, you can make this recipe without the protein powder or cut the protein in half and use less almond milk. It tastes delicious either way!

Amber Williford, Holistic Health Coach
 

Sources:

http://www.naturalhealth365.com/natural_healing/parasites.html

 

Disclaimer: We earn a small commission if you use the highlighted links to purchase the products mentioned in this post. We recommend only products that we would use in our own home or that we would recommend for our clients. Your purchases help to support our blogging activities such as creating yummy recipes to share with you and also helps us to bring even more helpful nutrition and training information to you on a weekly basis. Thank you for your continued support and for helping us continue what we LOVE to do!

Easy Scrambled Avocado Ham Egg Cups

We are always looking for ways to make our lives easier while using the best possible ingredients to keep us healthy and stay in line with our personal health goals. One thing we do often is prepare our breakfast meals at the beginning of the week especially if we have a busy week ahead of us. An easy breakfast to make are these scrambled avocado ham egg cups. They are great when you are on the go and don’t want to sacrifice taste! Plus they take care of your protein and fat needs so all you have to do is cover your clean carbohydrate and you have a complete meal! Chris loves to make a big batch of oatmeal ahead of time for the week and I am more of a sweet potato gal so I will roast sweet potatoes in the oven. This recipe only calls for 6 eggs which will last about 3 days at 2 egg cups per serving. If you want to make egg cups for the whole week, just add 2 extra egg cups per mix or you can just double the recipe. Also, you can use different ingredients in each egg cup if you really want to have variety throughout the week! Try to use organic ingredients when you can to avoid GMO’s and harmful pesticide residue on your food. Enjoy and let us know what egg cup combinations you come up with! 

 
Easy Scrambled Avocado Ham Egg Cups
 

 

Scrambled Avocado Ham Egg Cups

2 Egg Cups Per Serving

  • 6 organic pasture-raised eggs (1 egg per muffin cup)
  • 1 medium organic plum tomato, diced
  • 1/3 avocado, chopped
  • 6-10 sliced low sodium, sliced ham (larger ham slices work best)
  • Salt and pepper to taste, cayenne pepper if you are really feeling saucy! 
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. Grab a muffin pan that holds at least 6 cups. With a paper towel, apply coconut oil to all sides of each tin cup to prevent sticking.
  3. In a bowl, scramble your egg mixture with salt, pepper and any other seasonings you'd like. Use 1 egg for each egg cup you plan to make, so if you make 12 egg cups, you need 12 eggs.
  4. Place ham into muffin cups to form a bowl. If your ham slices are smaller like mine were, then use 1 1/2 slices of ham by cutting ham slices in half and place one slice on the bottom of the cup and the other two slices around the sides to form your bowl.
  5. Place avocado slices and diced tomato into each egg cup then pour scrambled egg mixture into all of the egg cups. 
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until no longer runny. Enjoy! 

What's your favorite egg and veggie breakfast combination?

Amber Williford, Health Coach
 
 

Homemade Gluten-Free Flatbread Bun (also, nut-free!)

I have been mostly gluten-free for a few years or so now because of the nasty effects that gluten can have on ones gut and physical health and I really haven't found any gluten-free bread replacements that I can really stand behind. Mostly because of their long list of ingredients and the GF breads that I do approve of are just so darn pricey. So I have cut out all types of homemade sandwiches and wraps over the years and since they haven't been on the menu for so long I don't really miss them very often...BUT from time to time I get a hankering for one.

I've tried making some coconut flour breads in the past but they usually called for a ton of eggs because coconut four is super dense and I just can't eat eggs in large quantities without having respiratory issues. Plus I could never really get them to hold together enough to make a sandwich with. So recently during my 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat group program, myself and others shared a couple soy, dairy, gluten and egg-free tortilla and na'an recipes using different flours like quinoa, almond and tapioca flour. I tried several of my own recipe variations with other fours I had on hand but they just never came out quite right. Then I used tapioca for the first time and noticed how amazingly you could create a bread-like bun using only a few ingredients. So after several experimental recipes I have settled on a delicious gluten-free flatbread bun made of brown rice an tapioca flour.

I've enjoyed the bun with both chicken breast and a burger patty topped with tomato and avocado and the bun has stayed intact every time. Not only does it stay intact while eating the whole sandwich but it also travels well to make sandwiches at the beach or on a picnic. Best of all it tastes buttery delicious! 

I have this sandwich about one meal a day as this is by no means a low carb sandwich as it has about 43g of carbohydrates. So don't go crazy and eat three of them once you taste how yummy they are! The great thing is it's void of all the junk ingredients that most processed packaged gluten and gluten-free breads have which makes your body happier and healthier!

 
Homemade Gluten-Free Flatbread Bun (soy, dairy, gluten & nut-free)
 

Gluten-Free Flatbread Bun

  1. Pre-heat a flat pan to medium heat.
  2. In a small bowl, mix dry ingredients. Slowly stir in olive oil and then water, make sure it does not become too liquidy. If it the mix does look too runny, add less water. 
  3. Spray the pan lightly. I use a misto oil sprayer to avoid soy and chemicals. Pour liquid out into 2 round flat pancake like circles. 
  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side until the bun starts to slightly brown. Then flip and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes. Let cool and enjoy with your favorite protein and toppings. 

Tips for travel: If you don't plan to eat the sandwich right away, let the bun cool first then wrap it in a paper towel and put it in a ziplock bag. The paper towel may stick to the bun but it will remove easily.

 
Homemade Gluten-Free Flatbread Bun (soy, dairy, gluten & nut-free)
 
 
Homemade Gluten-Free Flatbread Bun (soy, dairy, gluten & nut-free)
 

Disclaimer: We earn a small commission if you use the highlighted links to purchase the products mentioned in this post. We recommend only products that we would use in our own home or that we would recommend for our clients. Your purchases help to support our blogging activities such as creating yummy recipes to share with you and also helps us to bring even more helpful nutrition and training information to you on a weekly basis. Thank you for your continued support and for helping us continue what we LOVE to do!

Guiltless Chocolate Chia Pudding

Do you ever have those days when all you want is a delicious chocolate treat but you are agonizing over it because you are trying to lose a couple pounds? Well agonize no more because I am going to share a guiltless Chocolate Chia Pudding recipe from our 10-Day Spring Detox to bust those cravings! You will actually want to gobble this treat up because it is loaded with rich nutrients and antioxidants! Chia seeds contain healthy fats like Omega-3's, protein and fiber to help keep you full and keep things moving smoothly, and antioxidants which protect your body from free radicals. Raw Cocao also contains antioxidants and has more than 300 phytochemicals, including vitamins, minerals, and nutrients such as: fat, carbohydrates, fiber, iron, zinc, copper, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur.

Chia chia
Chia chia

Chocolate Chia Pudding - Serves 3-4

1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond or coconut milk 1/4 cup chia seeds 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder 1 tsp cinnamon to taste 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/2 tablespoon raw honey or a few drops of stevia

1. Combine all ingredients well with a whisk and pour into a glass jar with lid. Shake it up and mix further if there are still clumps in the bottom.

2. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, stirring once an hour to keep from clumping

3. Serve topped with dried fruit, sunflower seeds, cacao nibs, or unsweetened shredded coconut.

What's your favorite guiltless dessert?