One of my favorite summer meals is barbecue pork ribs. They’re so good when you cook them on the grill. But when it is winter, it isn’t as likely that you’re going to get someone to stand outside and cook them on the grill. Fear not, you can make them just as deliciously in your slow cooker and even get to spend less time worrying about them, because they cook without you standing over them. Plus you only need a couple of ingredients to make this mouth-watering dinner dish.Continue reading “31 Days of Slow Cooker Meals: Barbecue Pork Ribs”
Your Instant Pot is perfect for creating tasty dinners in a quick amount of time. These Thai Chicken Thighs go well with rice and your favorite vegetables. And if you make extra or plan ahead, they are also good cold for lunch the next day. As always, you can adjust the ingredients to fit your own taste preferences. Note that if you do add in more peanut butter for the peanut sauce, you will have to also adjust the amount of liquid so that your Instant Pot can reach adequate pressure.
It takes 10 minutes to prep this meal, and 10 minutes to cook plus time to come to pressure. This recipe will feed four to six people.
Ingredients for Thai Chicken Thighs
- 2 T. sesame oil
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2/3 c. chicken broth
- ¼ c. sugar-free peanut butter
- ¼ c. gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 2 T. fresh lime juice
- 2 T. honey, preferably local
- 1½ T. Sriracha sauce
- 2 t. fresh ginger
- 1 t. garlic powder
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Fresh cilantro, chopped
- ½ c. roasted peanuts, chopped
- 3-4 green onions, cut into thin slices
How to Make Thai Chicken Thighs
- Add sesame oil to Instant Pot and set the “Sauté” setting to high. Working in batches, if necessary, brown the chicken thighs, approximately 3-4 minutes per side. Repeat this process with remaining thighs. Remove and set aside on a platter.
- Pour chicken broth into hot container and gently scrape up brown bits from bottom. Add peanut butter to the hot liquid and stir until completed melted. Add soy sauce, lime juice, honey, Sriracha sauce, ginger, and garlic powder. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine.
- Add metal rack to the Instant Pot and place the browned chicken thighs on top.
- Add lid and lock into place. Switch vent to “Sealing” position and set the “Manual” setting on high before adjusting the cook time to 10 minutes. After a brief pause, the Instant Pot will automatically start building pressure.
- When finished, do a quick release (QR) to allow the pressure to escape. Unlock and carefully remove lid when finished and transfer the chicken to a platter.
- Optional: To thicken sauce, select the “Sauté” setting and heat, stirring continually, until the excess liquid is reduced and the sauce reaches the desired consistency.
- Turn Instant Pot off and return the chicken thighs and the juices that accumulated on the platter to the sauce and turn to coat.
- Remove chicken and transfer to a serving tray. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro, chopped peanuts, and green onions, if desired. Serve immediately with extra peanut sauce and your favorite sides. Enjoy!
You don’t have to wait until it is warm outside to have mouthwatering baby back ribs for dinner. Forget the grill and bust out your Instant Pot! Make them with just the dry rub, or use your favorite BBQ sauce for added flavor. May I recommend the Dark Cherry BBQ Sauce that you can also make in the Instant Pot?
This meal is easily prepped in just 10 minutes. Cooking time is 30 minutes plus time to come to pressure. It serves four.
Baby Back Ribs Dry Rub Ingredients
- 1 t. garlic powder
- 1 t. chili powder
- 1 t. dried rosemary
- 1 t. ground cumin
- ½ t. cinnamon
- ¼ t. cayenne pepper
- ½ t. smoked paprika
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
Other Ingredients for Baby Back Ribs
- 2½ – 3 lbs. baby back ribs
- 1 c. beef stock (or water)
- Dark Cherry BBQ Sauce (or BBQ sauce of choice)
How to Make Baby Back Ribs in the Instant Pot
- Combine ingredients for the dry rub in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Carefully remove membrane from back of baby back ribs with a sharp knife, if necessary. Cut the ribs into 3 or 4 equal-sized parts and work the dry rub into each section on both sides. Set aside.
- Add beef broth or water to Instant Pot and insert the metal rack. Place the seasoned ribs on their sides on top of the insert. (Do not stack them flat on top of each other).
- Lock the Instant Pot lid into place and flip the pressure valve to “Sealing.” Set the “Manual” setting to high for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
- Once cooking time is complete, do a quick release (QR) by flipping the sealing valve to the “Venting” position. Unlock and remove the Instant Pot lid and carefully transfer ribs to prepared baking sheet. Brush ribs with a generous amount of BBQ sauce on each side.
- Pre-heat broiler to high and broil the ribs for 3-5 minutes or until nicely browned. Remove from oven and cool slightly before cutting into individual portions. Serve immediately with extra BBQ sauce for dipping.
Sure, you can buy all kinds of flavors of BBQ sauce in the stores. But there’s just something about making your own. You can easily make this dark cheery BBQ sauce right in your Instant Pot and tweak it to fit your own taste. It already has a ton of flavor in it, with the natural sweetness of the cherries and maple syrup combined with the warmth of the ginger, rosemary, and cinnamon flavors. Max out on the taste by making the sauce a couple of days ahead of time, so that the flavors have a chance to settle and really blend together for that perfect combination.
This recipe takes only about five minutes to prepare. Cooking time is 10 minutes, plus the time to come to pressure. It serves six to eight people.
Ingredients for Dark Cherry BBQ Sauce
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
- 3-4 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
- 2½ c. fresh or frozen dark cherries, pitted
- 1 10-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies, with liquid
- 3 T. apple cider vinegar
- 2 t. fresh ginger, finely minced
- 1½ t. ground cinnamon
- ½ t. smoked paprika
- 3 T. maple syrup
- 1 T. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 t. liquid smoke (optional)
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
How to Make Dark Cherry BBQ Sauce
- Add olive oil to Instant Pot and select the “Sauté” function on the high temperature setting. Add the shallot and garlic and sauté until soft and slightly golden, approximately 3-4 minutes.
- Turn off the Instant Pot and add remaining ingredients, including the liquid from the tomatoes. If you have elected to also use the liquid smoke, now’s the time to add it. Stir to combine and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Lock the lid into place. Make sure the valve is set to the “Sealing” position and set the “Manual” setting to high for 10 minutes. After a brief pause, the Instant Pot will automatically start building pressure.
- When finished cooking, do a quick release (QR) of the pressure according to the manufacturer’s suggestions before unlocking and removing the lid.
- Transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days.
Note: If you’re looking to make a thicker sauce, return it to the Instant Pot and bring it to a low boil using the “Saute” function set to high Heat, stirring frequently, until the excess liquid is reduced and the sauce reaches the desired consistency.
Try it on your favorite meat dishes. May I recommend baby back ribs that you can also make in your Instant Pot?
January is a time to start fresh. We tend to be more focused on our health and wellness and are eager to start new diet routines. Sometimes it can be hard to stick with those, but with so many delicious January Food Holidays, you can find something to tempt your palate while also sticking to those resolutions. It’s the perfect month to bust out your slow cookers, Instant Pots, juicers, and blenders that you just got for Christmas. Use this guide to help you to plan your menu at home, for creative snack ideas in the classroom, or party fun! I’ll keep adding links as I come up with them. Also be sure to check out my Pinterest boards of Recipes to Try and Montessori Food Prep Activities for even more ideas. Which ones are your favorites?
Monthly January Food Holiday Observances
January is the month that everyone decides to change their eating habits. It’s a great idea in theory, but remember it takes at least 21 days to form a new habit. One of the mistakes that most people make is trying to do a massive overhaul in one fell swoop. Start small with just one at a time and you will be more likely to make it a permanent dietary change. Luckily with so many great themes for the month, most of which are quite healthy, you should be able to find something to tempt you.
For example, it’s Fat-Free Living Month, so you can find new fat-free recipes to try. With it being Bread Machine Making Month, National Wheat Bread Month, and National Baking Month, you can find healthier ways to make your favorite baked goods. Plus anything you can make at home from scratch is usually going to be healthier for you anyway, as you know what’s really going in there and can control it.
Turn your breakfast around as you learn about new recipes for National Egg Month, National Hot Tea Month, and National Oatmeal Month. Find new lunch and dinner options with National Meat Month, National Slow Cooking Month, and National Soup Month. You can even help yourself get more regular with Prune Breakfast Month (although I can’t imagine!). And sure, let yourself indulge every once in a while with National Candy Month.
Daily January Food Holiday Observances
January 1 – National Bloody Mary Day
January 1 – National Black Eyed Pea Day
January 1 – Apple Gifting Day
January 2 – National Buffet Day
January 2 – National Cream Puff Day
January 3- Chocolate-Covered Cherry Day
January 5 – National Whipped Cream Day
January 6 – National Shortbread Day
January 6 – National Bean Day
January 7 – National Tempura Day (I love tempura! Need to make sure to go to my favorite Japanese restaurant today!)
January 8 – National English Toffee Day
January 9 – National Apricot Day
January 9 – National Cassoulet Day
January 10 – National Bittersweet Chocolate Day
January 10 – National Oysters Rockefeller Day
January 11 – National Hot Toddy Day
January 11 – National Milk Day
January 12 – National Marzipan Day
January 12 – National Curried Chicken Day
January 12 – National Glazed Doughnut Day
January 13 – National Gluten-Free Day
January 13 – National Peach Melba Day
January 14 – National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day
January 15 – National Bagel Day
January 15 – National Fresh Squeezed Juice Day
January 15 – National Strawberry Ice Cream Day
January 16 – National Fig Newton Day
January 16 – International Hot and Spicy Food Day
January 17– National Hot Buttered Rum Day
January 18 – National Gourmet Coffee Day
January 18 – Peking Duck Day
January 19 – National Popcorn Day – Try some Spicy Popcorn Recipes!
January 20 – National Buttercrunch Day
January 20 – National Cheese Lovers Day
January 20 – National Coffee Break Day (Isn’t this every day?)
January 20 – National Potluck Day
January 21 – National Granola Bar Day
January 21 – National New England Clam Chowder Day
January 22 – National Blondie Brownie Day
January 22 – National Southern Food Day
January 23 – National Pie Day
January 23 – National Rhubarb Pie Day
January 24 – National Peanut Butter Day (I am always all about peanut butter everything.)
January 24 – Lobster Thermidor Day
January 25 – National Irish Coffee Day (I fully support this day!)
January 26 – National Green Juice Day
January 26 – National Peanut Brittle Day
January 26 – National Pistachio Day
January 27 – National Chocolate Cake Day
January 28 – National Blueberry Pancake Day
January 29 – National Corn Chip Day
January 30 – National Croissant Day
January 31 – National Brandi Alexander Day
January 31 – National Hot Chocolate Day – OK, I know that there are differences between hot cocoa and hot chocolate, but most of us use the terms interchangeably. And I still consider this to count – White Peppermint Hot Cocoa. You can find more on this Valentine’s Day Hot Cocoa roundup.
Which January food holiday observances are you most looking forward to celebrating?