Bulgar Wheat Stir Fry

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So with this new Freestyle program I think I’ll be using a lot more bulgar wheat.  In my post  A Love Letter to Bulgar Wheat I wax poetic about how much I love the stuff.

And I mean I seriously love it.

For those of you Instant Pot “Potheads” out there I have found what I consider to be the perfect way to cook it.

So 1 cup of bulgar is going to give you 4 cups cooked.  You double your water.

So if you are doing 1 cup dry then use 2 cups of water/broth.

My perfect all purpose Bulgar recipe in the Instant Pot is:

1 Cup Bulgar Wheat
2 Cups water prepared with Better than Bullion Chicken
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoon Wildtree California Garlic and Pepper Blend  (sub 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper)

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Instant Pot Chicken Pot Pie Soup

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Sometimes you just need some comfort, and this big bowl of deliciousness comes in at 9 Smartpoints.

I couldn’t eat dinner after I ate it, I was still incredibly full, so it is 9 Smartpoints well spent.  It is easy to modify if you’d like it to be less.  I begrudgingly counted the points for the mixed veggies, and if you subbed just beans and carots it would take 1 smartpoint off a bowl.

You could also leave out the potatoes, but who does that? Also I added the “dumplings” (one per serving) and those are 3 Smartpoints.  I honestly don’t think it needs them, and probably won’t add them again.

Wait what?

Yep, you heard that right I don’t think it needs the bread product, but if you are big on that sort of thing it is easily added.

I’m in maintenance so I get more points than most, so what I’m saying is you can make this your own!

I was inspired by this recipe to use cauliflower as the base.

Let me tell you I was probably more skeptical than you are right now, but it was GOOD.

My usual chicken pot pie takes hours and hours to make but I wanted to do this simple.  You could probably modify this for the stove top too, but you’ll have to babysit and it’ll take a lot longer.

A serving is one “dumpling” + 1 1/2 Cups of soup.  You’ll get about 6 and a half servings with this recipe.

Ingredients:

2 Pounds Chicken Breasts, cut into strips
3 Cups Chicken Stock, divided
9 Ounces Potatoes, chopped into 1/2″ Cubes
1 Bag Mixed Vegetables (16 ounces)
1 head of Cauliflower, cut into 4 pieces
3 Garlic cloves, diced
1 Cup yellow onion
2 Teaspoons Grapeseed Oil (or your favorite high smoke point oil)
1 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper (freshly ground if you can)
1 Teaspoon Thyme
1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt

6 servings Pillsbury Reduced Fat Crescents (8 come in a can and I did them all, there was room)

Method of Preparation:

Turn your Instant Pot to Saute mode and add oil.  Once it reads hot add your onions, cooking for about 2 minutes while stirring frequently.  Add garlic and cook 2 more minutes. stirring as you go to make sure nothing sticks.

Turn your Instant Pot off and add 2 Cups of Chicken Stock and mix well, getting anything that might be stuck on the bottom incorporated with the liquid.  Layer your chicken strips in the liquid, and season with Thyme,and Pepper.  Add the potatoes on top, and add the salt.

Using a steamer basket place your cauliflower on top.  Secure the lid and set to manual for 9 minutes.  Once done do a natural release for 10 minutes, and then let the pressure out.

Remove your steamer basket with the cauliflower and set to the side.  Using a slotted spoon remove the chicken and potatoes.  Check several chicken strips to be sure they have reached a safe temperature.

Return cauliflower to the pot and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.  You can also do this with a food processor.

Turn pot back to saute mode, and adjust the heat to the low setting.  Add frozen mixed vegetables and stir well and last cup of chicken stock.  Add the potatoes back to the pot and shred your chicken.

Give it a taste and add more salt and pepper depending on your personal preference.

Take your crescent rolls and roll each individual piece into a ball. Add back to pot once it is back to a boil.  Use a heat proof lid or set your Instant Pot lid back on, venting slightly.

Cook for 25 minutes. or until rolls are cooked through.

Enjoy!

potpie2

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Tools – Instant Pot

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Losing a good amount of weight requires time, dedication, will power, and a whole lot of help.  I write a lot about different tools that have helped me on my journey to losing 60 pounds, and this one is NUMBER ONE.

I remember a scary incident when I was little with a pressure cooker.  It blew up and left beef stuck to my Grandma’s ceiling…lol  I never thought about using one before, probably because of that, and then I starting seeing those infomercials with that crazy annoying dude and I started getting curious.

So I started researching and decided to go with the Instant Pot.  It was love at first site, and after I realized how flippin’ easy it was to use I was hooked.

It is a new way of cooking, so there was a learning curve, but once you get the basics down the possibilities are endless.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind:  You might see all these “5 minute chicken!” and “10 minute Pork Roast!” things flying all over Pinterest.  I hate when bloggers do that because people get discouraged when it isn’t just 5 minutes.

Your pressure cooker has to come to pressure, which honestly can take 10 minutes sometimes.  Some recipes need to come down from pressure on their own, which can take 15 minutes.

No, this is no time traveling wonder that will always have your dinner on the table in 5 minutes, but it will make making dinner much, much easier.

And more delicious.  The flavors are infused by the cooking method making things taste better.  Also once you have your prep done you can just walk away and let it do it’s thing, like a slow cooker but your dinner will be done in a half hour instead of 4 hours.

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Chicken Lemon Rice Soup

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So who doesn’t love Chicken Lemon Rice Soup?  It’s comforting and delicious.  Most people don’t have this unless they are at a restaurant, but that would change if they realized how easy it is to make at home!

It is even easier if you have an Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker!  I use the 6 Quart Instant Pot religiously.  I seriously do not think I would have been half as successful with my weight loss without it!

This soup is so good.  I took some to work (with extra for the coming days) and after smelling it everyone in my office had ate it up.  I guess I need to get to planning more lunches for the week!

Before I go into the recipe I want to show you what type of bulgar I use:

burghul

It is important to get the larger grain Bulgar.  I’m sure it would work with the smaller kernels, but I haven’t tried it and don’t know what kind of mouth feel you will get with it.  I talk about my love affair with Bulgar here: Smart Swap – A Love Letter to Bulgar Wheat

It doesn’t matter the brand, just try and get the largest kernel you can.  You usually find this in the International Isle at your grocery store, or you can buy in bulk at Whole Foods and stores like that.

Ingredients:

1 Cup Uncooked Bulgar Wheat
6 Cups Chicken Stock (I use Wildtree Chicken Bouillon)
2 Lemons
2 Eggs

Chicken:  Marinate these ingredients in refrigerator for at least a half hour.

1 Pound Chicken (Two small breast, not one big honking one for cook time)
1 Tablespoon Wildtree California Style Garlic and Pepper Blend (Or 2 Tsp Garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon black pepper)
2 Teaspoons Wildtree Garlic Infused Grapeseed Oil (or your favorite oil)

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Low Smartpoint Chicken and Noodles

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This is one of my favorite recipes for when I need that comfort food feeling.  I’ll be the first to admit it – pasta is my downfall.  I could live on the stuff.  Take your meat, your chocolate, your sugar, hell even bread.  The one thing that I love love love to eat is pasta!

I was so excited when I found these Carba-Nada Egg Fettuccine Noodles. At 3 Smartpoints for a cup and a half you just can’t beat it.  They are freakin’ good too!  I’ll include stove top and Instant Pot directions.

This chicken and noodles recipe  comes in at 5 points for 1 1/2 cups.  Amazing!

Ingredients:

1 10 Oz Bag Carba-Nada Egg Fettuccine Noodles
1 Pound Chicken Breast
1 Cup Chopped Celery
1 Cup Carrot Sticks
1 Small White Onion, diced
4 Cups Chicken Broth
1 1/2 Tablespoon Wildtree Herbes De Provence Blend (or poultry seasoning)
2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Salt

Instant Pot Directions:

Season Chicken with Herbes De Provence blend (or your local grocery store version) and set to the side.  Put Instant Pot in Saute mode and add oil.  Add Celery, Carrots, and onions. Season with salt.  Saute for 2-3 minutes, until onions become translucent, stirring occasionally.

Add Chicken Broth, stirring to get any stuck bits from the bottom.  Gently place chicken on top of the liquid, close the lid, and set for 10 minutes Manual.

When finished do a quick release and remove chicken.  Shred with two forks.  Empty your noodles into the liquid, then place chicken on top.  Set for 1 minute manual.

Quick release, stir, and you are done!  You may want to add a bit more salt once it’s finished.  I have been weaning myself off using so much so I don’t use a lot in my cooking anymore!

Stove Top Directions:

Follow Instant Pot directions except boil on stove.  When you go to poach your chicken, be sure liquid is boiling.  Bring down to a simmer, cover, and check the temp of chicken after 15 minutes.  It should reach a safe temperature between 15-20 minutes.

Once chicken has reached temp, remove and shred.  Add noodles to your broth and veggies, and cook 3 minutes, stirring often.  Re-add chicken when finished and you are good to go!

I use Wildtree in my recipes but always try to give an alternative.  If you are interested in Wildtree products you can find them here.

Edited to add:  Amazon has Instant Pots on sale for $99 today (5/9/17) so if you were thinking of buying one now is the time!

Staple Meal – Stuffed Pepper Soup

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So would you believe me if I told you this Stuffed Pepper Soup is 2 Smartpoints for a cup?  I didn’t believe it and put the ingredients in the recipe builder over and over and over again until I had to accept it.

I can’t tell you how many times this recipe has saved my Weight Watcher life!  With the fiber from the Bulgar and the protein from the meat it is very, very satisfying!  I’m including directions for both the Instant Pot and the stove top, but if you have a pressure cooker it is so much more flavorful made that way!

Makes 13 1 Cup servings

Ingredients:

1 lb 93% Ground Beef
28 ounce can diced tomatoes (use petite if you like smaller chunks)
1 small onion, chopped
3 Green Peppers
1 Red Pepper
4 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup Bulgar Wheat
1 tablespoon Wildtree Ranchers Steak Rub (Montreal Steak Seasoning is a good sub)
Salt and Pepper to taste (I use Wildtree’s California Garlic and Pepper blend to cut down on the sodium)

Method of Preparation:

Instant Pot:
Turn pressure cooker on saute mode, and once it reaches “HOT” status add your ground beef and onions.  Season with steak seasoning. Saute until beef is cooked through.  Remove from Instant Pot and add olive oil.  Put in your peppers, season to taste with salt and pepper or your choice of seasoning, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Put everything back in the pool.  Add broth, tomatoes, and Bulgar and give it a good stir.

Lock on lid and cook on manual high pressure for 7 minutes.  Let naturally release for 10, then release the rest of the steam.

On the Stove Top:

In a large skillet heat until hot and add your ground beef and onions.  Season with steak seasoning. Saute until beef is cooked through.  Remove from skillet and add olive oil.  Heat oil and put in your peppers, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper or your choice of seasoning.  Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a stock pot add all ingredient together, giving it a good stir. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to a simmer.  Cook for at least 40 minutes to up to an hour, stirring occasionally.

Enjoy!

I use Wildtree products in a lot of my recipes, but I always try to give a substitute.  If you’d like to check out Wildtree, you can visit my site HERE.

 

Fettuccine with Meatballs and Red Sauce

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So I found this new food find, which I posted about here.  Carba-Nada Fettuccine Noodles just may be my Weight Watchers saving grace.

I love pasta.  LOVE IT.  A cup of pasta is 6 Smartpoints, which who eats just a cup of pasta, and more than that takes up way to much of my 30 Smartpoints.  Yeah, I have my extras, but those are for things like popcorn at the movies and let’s be honest here, alcohol.

When I first got them I tried a simple cheese sauce with these 3 points for a cup and a half wonders, and it was fab.  I wanted to try something different with it when I had more time, and I made this dish that had my stomach full of comfort food goodness with less Smartpoints that just what regular pasta would have been….Plain!

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