Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

Meet My New Best Friend: Instant Pot Smart

My new BFF in the kitchen - Instant Pot Smart. Book sold separately.

My new BFF in the kitchen – Instant Pot Smart. Book sold separately.

I’m a lazy busy mom, and this is my secret weapon.

The Instant Pot Smart

Back story: I have had an electric pressure cooker for years but I didn’t make much with it. That is until earlier this year I pulled it out when I learned that a pressure cooker is the easiest way to make hard-boiled “cooked” (or soft-boiled “cooked”) eggs. The shell peels away effortlessly 95% of the time. But… pulling out a pressure cooker just for eggs, I just don’t do it often.


The Instant Pot came on my radar. This Instant Pot is a kitchen robot, basically, that has multiple functions including the main one as being a pressure cooker, using a stainless steel insert.

A multi functional kitchen appliance? Huh. I’m intrigued.

I started to look into it.

I learned the Instant Pot people had a new model that was dubbed “smart” because it connects via blue tooth. This means that I can write (and share) my own scripts (i.e., programmed recipes). Why is this cool?

Well, with this AWESOME function…

I put my food in and basically push a button (via the app – I use an iPhone these days) and it starts right up. The brilliance of this is that I don’t have to memorize the different times I use to cook different foods.

For example:

  • I like my broccoli to be under LOW pressure for only one minute.
  • Carrots… HIGH pressure for three minutes.
  • Those pesky-to-cook beets? I cook them under HIGH for 25 minutes.
  • Hard-cooked eggs for me cook HIGH pressure for five minutes, while soft-cooked they cook LOW for three minutes.
  • My rice cooks perfectly (brown rice 15 minutes, other rice varieties can be other times)

I can’t remember all of that, and I don’t want to pull a book out each time. Wth the Instant Pot SMART, I create the scripts and they’re programmed. Then, I just push a button.

Oh, and cooking spaghetti squash in 7 minutes under pressure? Um, yeah, awesome.

Effortless hard/soft cooked eggs with Instant Pot Smart.

Effortless hard-ish-cooked eggs with Instant Pot Smart.

Mega easy dinner anyone? Instant Pot Smart.

Mega easy dinner anyone? Instant Pot Smart.


I could go on and on and on and on about how much I’m loving my Instant Pot Smart. It has multiple functions and perfectly cooks rice, veggies, and whole chickens with ease and in a fraction of time.

This Instant Pot SMART makes yogurt(!) and is also a slow cooker (for the slow cooker they recommend the optional / additional glass lid). I’ve heard of some people using it for a sous vide too because it can hold a set temperature that you designate.

So many options with just one appliance.

It’s so amazing, I feel like Elaine from Seinfeld when she pushes people… GET OUT!

I sure wish I knew about this before I bought all of my slow cookers and my sous vide and my other pressure cooker. (By the way, even though I love that this is a slow cooker, who wants to slow cook when you can cook so much faster with a pressure cooker?)

Seriously… move over slow cooker, it’s time for something faster.

Hello, Instant Pot Smart. Can we hug?

Hello, Instant Pot Smart. Can we hug?

I figured there must be a catch, right? Where’s the yang that goes with the yin (that is everywhere in life)? Surely there’s something wrong with it – like maybe the nutrition isn’t as good or it’s hard to use? Something?

Well, I just can’t find anything wrong with it. In fact, I read that cooking under pressure is healthier. The quickness with which it cooks (and the process) keeps more nutrients available.

This Instant Pot Smart appliance has changed my life and I’ve only had it less than a month.

I leave it on my counter and use it daily, sometimes two or three times a day. I love how perfectly everything gets cooked and it’s mostly hands off, which means I have more time to do other things I love such as read.

My latest read. Gotta be prepared. #Parenthood

My latest read. Gotta be prepared. #Parenthood

Before buying an Instant Pot Smart, I’d over or undercook rice. Too many times to count. I’d ruin hard-boiled eggs. Too many times. I’d turn my broccoli to army-green mush more often than not.

Not anymore. YAY!

I love my INSTANT POT SMART so much that I just HAD TO TELL EVERYONE! (those links are affiliate, by the way, but I only rave and get cray cray over products that I use and love. And, if you should choose to buy it via my link then that’s awesome! As you might’ve noticed I haven’t been blogging as much. You could say I’m in the “space between stories” in my life right now. But with this friggin’ awesome Instant Pot, I had to get on my horn and write about it.)

Wait… did I tell you that you can make bone broth in like an hour??? 

It’s actually just a bit more than an hour. You have to add the time to get the Instant Pot to pressure. Plus add the time for it to come down in pressure – a quick release is fast though. This time-to-pressure and de-pressure vary by how cold the item is once it’s placed inside plus how much food there is in total. But it’s all hands off and that’s the important thing. And still, it’s waaaaaaay quicker than using traditional methods like the stove, sous vide, or slow cooker.

If you want to make bone broth and don’t have a pressure cooker then here’s my epic post on it.

Instant Pot Chicken Bone Broth in an hour.

Instant Pot Chicken Bone Broth in an hour.


I make the most delicious rice pudding in it. I had never made rice pudding before getting my Instant Pot Smart, but I make it regularly now. OMG so good and creamy with grass-fed whole-fat milk, unrefined sugar, pasture-raised eggs, vanilla, sea salt, cream and raisins and arborio rice. The first time I made it, Greg rolled on the floor in the fetal position because he loved it so much. I thought he was going to suck his thumb.

I make cheesecakes, too!

Yes. That’s right.

Cheesecake in a pressure cooker.

Gluten-free Greek Yogurt Cheesecake

Gluten-free Greek Yogurt Cheesecake


I make a lot of things in my Instant Pot Smart… most things in fact. But my favorite? 


Having an Instant Pot Smart has made veggies a regular appearance, because they’re just so damn easy to make. I don’t know what it is about veggies but I can get so lazy when it comes to making them.

With my Instant Pot – Smart, I can make “baked” potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, squashes, etc in much less time. I don’t have to watch the oven and test for doneness a million times because I know that my pressure cooker will do the job.

Broccoli, cauliflower, and beets are a pleasure to make. I never thought that before. Is that just me or do others feel the same?

Before cooking... just throw the whole thing in there.

Before cooking… just throw in the whole thing.

After 1-min under pressure. Vibrant.

After 1-min under pressure. Vibrant.


And. Don’t forget to drink the vegetable tea that’s left behind. It has nutrients! I use Castle Rock Spring water when cooking veggies under pressure and then I drink it when the veggies are done cooking.

Broccoli "tea" - from pressure cooking.

Broccoli “tea” – from pressure cooking.


I also cook gluten-free pasta in it. No more filling my stove pot with water and waiting for the boil, then stirring frequently, yada yada yada.

Nope. I just toss some sauce and noodles (plus some water or broth) into my Instant Pot and it cooks easily. If I want to get a bit fancy, I can saute some onion and garlic first, using the saute function, then add the sauce, noodles, and any extra water that’s needed. (The Instant Pot has a saute and browning feature).

There is just so much that can be made with the Instant Pot Smart and I love how I can control it from my iPhone using their app. I’ll keep you posted on the progress. Speaking of the app, I think I can share my scripts on Twitter. I’ll look into it.

As you can guess, I wholeheartedly recommend everyone bring an Instant Pot Smart into his/her kitchen. You will be so happy did.


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Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Low-Carb Homemade Quick Meal: Cauliflower Egg Scramble

Low-Carb Cauliflower Egg Scramble

Low-Carb Cauliflower Egg Scramble

I had a head of cauliflower in the fridge begging to be eaten. I didn’t have any fish or other meat thawed, so I knew it was destined to be a vegetarian egg-meal night.

I used the following ingredients to make our meal of three servings:

  • 1 head of organic cauliflower
  • plenty of grass-fed butter
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 pasture-raised eggs
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped oregano and rosemary, combined
  • heavy dollop grass-fed whole-fat Greek yogurt
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese

I steamed my cauliflower, and then processed it in my food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, with salt and grass-fed butter to the texture of something between rice and mashed potatoes.

While the cauliflower was steaming, I started the eggs. I used a generous chunk of butter, which melted gloriously, after which I cracked in the eggs and started to scramble them slowly over medium-low heat. I added sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. I also added fresh oregano and rosemary.

When the eggs were mostly cooked, I I stirred in a big dollop of whole-fat, grass-fed Greek yogurt (<– amazing in eggs).

Then, I transferred the eggs and cauliflower to a bowl and stirred it together. Portioned it into bowls and topped it with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Done. Easy. Nutritious. Low-carb.

Scratch cooking can be this simple.

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Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

Recipe: No-Mayo Deviled Eggs.

by Kristen Suzanne in eggs, gluten free, herbs, omnivore, pastured eggs, recipe
No-Mayo Deviled Eggs. Mmm so good.

No-Mayo Deviled Eggs. Mmm so good.

I love Deviled Eggs, but they weren’t something I was making since my beloved eggs came back into my life … because, well, they’re usually made with mayonnaise.

We don’t eat mayonnaise. Why don’t we eat mayo? Because it usually has vegetable oil in it, which we don’t eat. Ever, if I can help it. (Oh, and it’s not something I want to make myself even if I do use a quality oil.)


One day I had a spoonful of Straus Whole-Fat Greek Yogurt and my life changed. It was thick, creamy, and a bit tangy. It reminded me of eating cream cheese actually and who doesn’t like cream cheese? Anyway, I knew that I had to create a Deviled Egg recipe using this fantastic Greek yogurt in place of the usual mayo.

I haven’t tried other Greek yogurts because I can’t find any that are grass-fed. We do the grass-fed thing in our house. It’s the only kind of animal products I’ll buy.

So, here’s how I make my No-Mayo Deviled Eggs that my family devours in an instant. Sadly, Deviled Eggs are a bit of a pain in the ass to make, eh? Hard boil the eggs, peel ‘em (I actually like that part if there are only about six eggs, because I get zen and mindful while doing it), take out the soft-ish-hard boiled yolks, make the filling, fill the whites. Phew.

All that just to have them devoured in the blink of an eye. Ah well… I’d say they’re worth the trouble, because seeing my family snack on something so healthy makes my heart sing.

Read More »

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Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Recipe: A Real-Food Nutritious Breakfast in Our Home: Cabbage n Eggs

Cabbage n Eggs n Black Coffee. Mmm mmm mmm.

Cabbage n Eggs n Black Coffee. Mmm mmm mmm.

I find there are days where it seems the only veggies getting served are at dinner.

That’s not cool.

In my attempt to get more veggies in our bellies, I have started adding them more often in breakfast meals. Today, I hit it out of the park with an easy, nutritious, one-skillet breakfast. My whole family was thrilled. I was thrilled. Everything in the world was good.

And… I decided that it’d make a super easy dinner the next time I need a nutritious meal on the table in under 15 minutes.

You know you want some. Trust me, it's easy n delish.

You know you want some. Trust me, it’s easy n delish.


Recipe: Cabbage n Eggs

Yield 2 good-sized servings

  • grass-fed ghee or grass-fed butter
  • less than 1/4 head of green cabbage, thinly sliced and chopped
  • sea salt
  • 4 organic, pasture-RAISED eggs
  • Optional toppings: fresh herbs, grass-fed full-fat yogurt, organic salsa
  1. Heat some ghee or butter in a skillet. Add the green cabbage, and season with salt. Stir it a bit while it cooks.
  2. Once the cabbage is cooked to your liking, crack in the eggs.
  3. Stir the mixture to “scramble” the eggs and let it cook until it reaches your desired doneness.
  4. Portion into bowls. Top with fresh herbs, yogurt, and salsa, if desired.
Kamea likes yogurt. :)

Kamea likes yogurt. :)

You could swap out the cabbage with onions, kale, shredded carrots, or Brussels sprouts. Just use whatever you have on hand.

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Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

(Recipe) XOCO Bulletproof Mocha – A Balanced Coffee Elixir

XOCO Bulletproof Mocha

XOCO Bulletproof Mocha

Some health experts talk about the importance of balancing energies in the foods and drinks we consume to receive an optimal experience – not too jittery but not falling asleep either.

Well, I’ve taken that advice and present an energy balanced mocha, Bulletproof Style (of course).

Yeah, it’s awesome.

You see, coffee (caffeine) has a stimulating energy. It could be beneficial to balance that energy by adding an herb or component that is calming, such as the medicinal mushroom reishi. For that, I jumped to Four Sigma Foods (quality) reishi in the form of their XOCO product which also has chocolate in it (they’re called chocolate shots).

Ergo, I ended up with a mocha. Cool.

In fact, those smarty-pants guys over at Four Sigma Foods even make a mushroom coffee! It’s a genius little packet of instant medicinal mushroom (lions mane + chaga or cordyceps + chaga) plus coffee – all in one. Just add water, stir and drink. (I love those – oh hey, I’ve made it Bulletproof style here.)

I’ve written about why (and how) I use Four Sigma Foods products in a detailed post here. You should read it.

I have a whole counter dedicated to my coffee and teas. (Read this post to see how my whole kitchen is organized.)

Ahhhh coffee (and tea) station.

Ahhhh coffee (and tea) station.


Recipe: XOCO Bulletproof Mocha

Blend everything until smooth and frothy. (I blend in a couple of raw, pasture-raised-happy egg yolks sometimes, too!)

Enjoy a day where you feel all zen and powerful at the same time.

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Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Scrambled Eggs On Salad. Try it. Good Food.

Salad with Scrambled Eggs on top… and Izzy Lizzy making an appearance.

Salad with Scrambled Eggs on top… and Izzy Lizzy making an appearance.

I wrote a long while ago about a salad where I made scrambled eggs and put them right on top of my salad. It’s good.

I’m doing it again today. Why? Because it’s good.

It’s kind of weird, but it works. The warm and soft eggs on top of a big salad is not only nutrient dense, but comforting. It’s not often you can claim a salad is comforting, but you can now.

Read More »

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Monday, April 27th, 2015

Kid-Friendly Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Herbs, and Banana

Eggs Herbs Banana. Who knew?!

Eggs Herbs Banana. Who knew?!

Eggs are a big part of our house. Big. Huge.

Why? Ummm… TASTE! No, that’s not all…

They offer quality nutrition for the brain and bodylecithin, saturated fat, cholesterol, retinol (the good form for vitamin A for immunity, beautiful skin, and healthy eyes), omega fatty acids, vitamin e, and more. We only buy pasturer-raised eggs, because those hens are treated well and their eggs are more nutritious.

I’m glad that Kamea is a fan of scrambled eggs – her growing body benefits. She especially loves them when I mix stuff into them like today.

Read More »

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Sunday, April 12th, 2015


Damn good chocolate gluten-free muffins.

Damn good chocolate gluten-free muffins.

Yummy gluten-free chocolate muffins and friends are two awesome things.

Over the years I’ve become friends with various women around the world via the internet. It’s a great way to find like-minded people when you struggle with finding them in your local community. Enter: The Nourished Village.

The Nourished Village was created by my sweet friend, Joanna, to bring (and support) like-minded moms together in a virtual community. It’s just lovely. It’s filled with friendly people, recipes, empowering ideas, and caring support as we mamas navigate parenthood (asking questions in the Facebook Group like… Are you getting dental X-rays on your little one? What supplements do you give your kids? What are the best foods for growing bodies? How can we mom’s deal with motherhood in style and with grace? What schools are you thinking about for your child? That’s also where I heard about this Chocolate Gluten-free Muffin recipe.)

Read More »

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Friday, March 6th, 2015

Yummy Scramble for Lunch Using Leftover Vegetables

Egg Scramble - Good Brain Food

Egg Scramble – Good Brain Food

Here’s a relatively quick lunch I threw together for Kamea.

We eat a lot of eggs (pasture-raised only) in our house, because they give us important nutrients for our brain (and body) – choline, retinol, vitamin E, vitamin D, and more. Oh yeah, they taste delicious, too. In fact, I was dreaming about scrambled eggs when I first considered leaving my vegan life behind and end that chapter of my life.

On this day, I had leftover roasted brussels sprouts (my favorite roasting method here), and decided they’d make a nice addition to an egg scramble.

Eggs are great any time of the day. Proof: I was watching Family Feud the other day and they surveyed 100 people to ask what food is good any time of the day. The answer? Eggs.

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Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

How I Eat Raw Eggs: Down The Hatch, Baby

Raw egg yolks for a primal n sexy food.

Raw egg yolks for a primal n sexy food.

When I’m wanting to feel extra cool, and dare I admit, extra sexy…. I eat raw egg yolks. I don’t know why I like it so much because it’s not for the flavor. However, if I think about it, the flavor is pretty nice.

If I think about it even more, I probably think it’s so bad-ass because it feels primal. That’s hot.

Read More »

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