Yes, the title is a bit of a misnomer. I'm writing this on Sunday night and I did all the meal prep and cooking itself on Saturday. Still, it counts - because you can do this any day of the week with the right equipment. Full disclosure: I live and die by my slow cooker and my Instant Pot. If you are a parent and you don't have an Instant Pot yet, GO GET YOU ONE. This thing changed my life. I can now cook whole chickens from frozen in less than an hour. FROM. FROZEN. Ok, forgive me, I'm geeking out over here. But I'm not exaggerating when I say it's been life-changing.
I only have one interior pot for my Instant Pot, so I had to wash it between recipe. If you'd like your process to run a little more smoothly, you can try purchasing multiple interior pots and swapping them out. To be honest, that's my dream. How many Instant Pots is too many? Probably thirty. Without further ado: Meal Plan Monday: A Whole Week Of Meals In An Afternoon!
First, I roasted a whole chicken. This is key to the success of the whole meal plan, since that chicken gets repurposed into a few different dishes. One of my favorite features of my Instant Pot is that I can saute before pressure cooking, and cooking in the same pot keeps all the flavor intact. Try this simple seasoning rub to make a "faux-tisserie" chicken. Just blend equal parts of these spices: salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, paprika, and chili powder. Dry the skin of the chicken, rub this mix all over, and saute in the Instant Pot until skin is brown and crispy. Putting chicken breast-side down, add a cup or two of stock and pressure cook. Look up times for frozen versus fresh depending on your chicken.
While that chicken is cooking, toss the following into your crockpot: one pound of skirt steak, chopped bell pepper, chopped onion, juice of three limes and one orange, three cloves of minced garlic, three tablespoons of avocado oil, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp black pepper. Cook on high three to four hours (or low for six to eight hours), and garnish with fresh cilantro.
Once the whole chicken is done, swap it out for a hearty pot of Beef Stew! In a bowl, toss stew meat (one pound) with salt, pepper, and two Tbsp of flour. Saute the stew meat until brown, then deglaze with two cups of beef broth. I personally prefer to use Better Than Bouillon because it saves so much pantry space. Next, add:
Add a bag of frozen pearl onions, eight ounces of mushrooms, one pound of carrots, and 3/4 pound of potatoes. Seal the Instant Pot and set it on High Pressure for 35 minutes. Allow the steam to naturally release when the time is done.
While these meals are cooking, toss veggies with a basic seasoning mix and roast them in the oven. I usually stick with seasonal options. After the beef stew finishes, toss some rice into your instant pot. These two side ingredients compliment the rest of your meals.
Now that the whole chicken has cooled, shred half of it. Toss it together into a chicken salad. There are only a million iterations of chicken salad, so pick your favorite! The remainder of the chicken becomes dinner for the day, with veggies on the side. Save the bones to make stock later!
When the crockpot is free again, toss in the ingredients for some Mongolian Beef. It's a pretty simple dish and it makes me feel like I'm eating takeout when I'm really eating home-cooked food!