Month: January 2018

Instant Pot Beef Stew (Whole 30)

Instant Pot Beef Stew4After the Christmas holidays and much overindulging, I decided we needed to get back to our healthier ways. I just didn’t decide which way to go about it. Until it was December 30th, and I randomly said to my husband that I wanted to do the Whole 30 program starting in January.

Luckily for me, my husband is so supportive of my diet whims. In the years we’ve been together, I can’t even recall how many different “diets/lifestyles” we’ve been on. What a trooper! So naturally, he asked what was the diet about, and when I said bacon was involved, he agreed to do the Whole 30 with me for a month. Haha, I’m not sure if it’s because he’s trying to support me, or if it’s the bacon…. though methinks it’s the bacon. 😛

Now, I didn’t know very much about the Whole 30 program, just only that it was a 30 day “reset” eating natural, whole foods. I was surprised to learn that all grains were off limits, including rice, oats and quinoa. As an Asian where rice at the dinner table is the main staple, that is going to take some time to get used to!

Instant Pot Beef Stew1

But for my meat-loving husband, he’s quickly embraced this diet… and so for our first meat dish on the Whole 30 program, I made us this hearty Instant Pot Beef Stew, which comes together in less than 1 hour.

Tender beef, onions, potatoes and carrots rounded up in a tomato and beef broth which is just perfect for a chilly winter night. It was so good, my husband asked me to make again next week!!

Let me know if you try out this Instant Pot Beef Stew recipe in the comments below, or tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer 🙂 For other Instant Pot cooking ideas, check out my Instant Pot Beef Pho recipe which is another easy comforting recipe in under 90 minutes. Stay tuned for more Whole30 recipes coming soon. And if you’re also doing the Whole30 program, pop me a comment below and say hi!

Instant Pot Beef Stew5
Instant Pot Beef Stew (Whole 30-Approved)
Yield: 4-6 Servings

1 T olive oil (or any compliant fat of choice)
2 lbs organic stewing beef, cubed
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 T (compliant) tomato paste
3 tomatoes, diced
3 C organic beef broth
1 dried bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
4 large potatoes, cut into chunks
4 carrots, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Turn on Instant Pot. Press the SAUTE function button. Once the digital dial says “HOT,” add the olive oil, and beef. Season with salt and pepper. Saute the beef cubes until the edges are nicely browned. Then add the onions and garlic. Saute until onions and garlic become aromatic, about 4-5 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste and diced tomatoes, and cook for 30 seconds before adding the beef broth.

Add in the dried herbs and give it one last stir.

Cover with the lid and make sure the vent is set to sealing.

Press the MEAT/STEW function button and it will automatically default to 35 minutes.

Once the Instant Pot has depressurized, remove the lid and taste for seasoning. Adjust if need be.

Add in the potatoes and carrots. Give it another stir and cover with the lid once again.

Press the MANUAL function button and set it to 5 minutes at HIGH PRESSURE.

Again, once it has depressurized, remove the lid and adjust for seasoning.

Press the KEEP WARM/CANCEL function button. Unplug the Instant Pot. Ladle beef stew into bowls and serve hot.

Recipe adapted from Nom Nom Paleo.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Loaf1It’s already more than a week into 2018! Do you have any new year’s resolutions?

In the past, I’ve never really set resolutions, but this year, I’ve set some general goals for myself.

Now that I have kids, I’ve realized that I need to work at carving out time for self-care. And self-care to me means doing the things that I want to do, bringing joy to myself.  One of those things is learning to play the guitar. Before having kids, I bought an electric guitar on a whim, and taught myself to play some chords, but never focused long enough on learning it properly. Some of you may not know that I trained in classical piano for many years during my childhood, so while the guitar is a musical instrument, it’s a little different than what I learnt in piano. (more…)