BreakfastGluten-FreeRecipesSaladsSides

Four-Ingredient Raspberry Fluff

heartysmarty

While visiting my parents in Northern Wyoming, we harvested raspberries galore from their garden, so I started finding creative ways to serve them. You know that means we had a TON of berries, because usually we pop them all in our mouths before they have a chance to go in any recipe.

I have been craving a dish called “Raspberry Fluff” for a while. It often contains whipped cream, marshmallows, dry Jell-O mix…maybe some pudding… with a few strawberries in it. I used to love the stuff as a kid! Since I don’t usually have marshmallows, Jell-O and pudding mixes on hand in my cupboards, I improvised and what came of it turned out to be a delicious hit for the whole family. Here it is:

Four-Ingredient Raspberry Fluff

Flavor of Raspberry Fluff salad without the packaged mixes

Course Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword healthy, Raspberry Fluff Salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author heartysmarty

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. Raspberry Yogurt Chobani
  • 1 Cup Cottage Cheese 4% Milkfat
  • 2 Cups Fresh Raspberries rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz Canned Mandarin Oranges drained

Instructions

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, use a wooden spoon to mix together cottage cheese and yogurt until it is well blended.

  2. Gently fold the raspberries and oranges into the mixture, careful not to mash them.

  3. Serve immediately or chill for an hour before serving.

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Gluten-FreeRecipesSidesSmoothies

Fresh and Fruity Green Smoothie

heartysmarty

Green smoothies have been my go-to side dish in the crazy busy days of Summer. Not only are they a fast and easy way to round out a meal, but they are so refreshing on a hot Summer day. While cycling through New York City’s Central Park with my husband last month, I was totally parched and needed more than a sip of water to quench my thirst. We found a street vendor making smoothies and this one blew my mind! It was perfect! Here’s my best attempt at recreating that delicious smoothie. Enjoy!

Fresh and Fruity Green Smoothie

Fresh fruit and vegetables blended into a smooth and creamy beverage

Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Drinks, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Keyword green smoothie
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author heartysmarty

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Spinach fresh
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1 medium banana ripe
  • 1 Cup Fresh Pineapple or canned
  • 1 large kiwi peeled and cored
  • 1 Cup Cucumber peeled in stripes
  • 2 Cups Ice

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients in the order listed above. Blend until smooth.

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Ninja Smart Screen Blender

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Gluten-FreeRecipesSides

Mexican Cooked Corn

heartysmarty

Just spicing up a basic warm vegetable to make it fit into our Tuesday Mexican Night meal plans. Enjoy!

Mexican Cooked Corn

Cooked frozen corn with a Mexican flare

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword mexican corn
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 people

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Frozen Corn
  • 1 Cup Red Bell Pepper chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Butter
  • 3/4 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Cilantro chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, bring 6 cups water to boil. Add frozen corn and cook until mixture begins to boil again. Drain water and return corn to pan.

  2. Add bell pepper, butter, and garlic salt and simmer for 5 minutes. Top with cilantro.

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Gluten-FreeRecipesSlow Cooker and Instant PotVeggie-Lover Dinners

Instant Pot Ground Beef Tacos

heartysmarty

In my freezer, I have several pounds of frozen ground beef that needs to be used up soon. As is quite typical for me, I have been forgetting to thaw it until about an hour before dinner. Never fear–the Instant Pot is here! And it saves the day every single time. Here’s a recipe for cooking Ground Beef Tacos from frozen bricks to ready-to-eat in just 40 minutes in the pressure cooker. The kids love these and I love how easy they are to make. Enjoy!

Instant Pot Ground Beef Tacos (from frozen)

Beef tacos from frozen meat

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword frozen ground beef, Indian Navajo Tacos, Instant Pot
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author heartysmarty

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Frozen Ground Beef
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 tbsp dehydrated onions
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper

Toppings

  • 15 oz Refried Beans Fat Free
  • 1 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded
  • 2 Cups Romaine Lettuce chopped
  • 1 Cup Mild Pace Picante Salsa
  • 1 Cup Guacamole
  • 1 Cup Greek Yogurt
  • 16 small Corn Tortillas

Instructions

  1. Pour water on the bottom of your Instant Pot, followed by a trivet or steam basket. It doesn't have to be the one that came with your machine. It just has to fit.

  2. Place frozen ground beef brick on top of the trivet and sprinkle dehydrated onions on top.

  3. Lock the lid, close the sealing valve and select HIGH PRESSURE for 25 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes for it to gain pressure before cooking process begins

  4. Once finished, manually release the pressure and open the lid. This will take 5 to 10 minutes. Pull the trivet out of the pot with the meat. Depending on how much liquid and grease is in the bottom of the pot, pour it into a heat-resistant container to cool before disposing. Reserve atleast 3 tablespoons of liquid to help enhance the flavor.

  5. Return the beef to the pot and cut it in half with a wooden spoon or spatula. Most likely, it will still be a bit pink inside. Press CANCEL on your Instant Pot and change the setting to SAUTE. Add remaining spices and cook for about 5 additional minutes, breaking up the meat into crumbled pieces as it continues cooking.

  6. Serve in warm tortillas or crispy shells with refried beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, salsa, guacamole and Greek Yogurt.

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Appetizers/ DipsGluten-FreeRecipesSauces and DressingsSides

Cut Vegetables with Semi-Homemade Ranch Dressing

heartysmarty

“How do you get your kids to eat so many vegetables?” I get asked this question a lot. First of all, my kids don’t eat an inordinate amount of vegetables. A couple of my kids are fairly “picky” and don’t eat every vegetable I serve them. With that being said, the best way to get my kids to eat fresh vegetables is to serve dip with them. It’s not earth-shattering–I know. But this totally works. My kids will sit down to a platter of cut vegetables and devour the whole thing if there’s a good dip to go with it. I used to just use bottled Ranch dressing, but when I watched my friend whip up this batch of dressing from scratch and tasted the difference, we haven’t ever returned to the bottled kind. Yet again, making it from scratch wins out every time. Here’s the recipe:

Cut Vegetables with Semi-Homemade Ranch Dressing

Healthier Ranch dressing or dip made from the dry packet

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cafe rio tomatillo ranch dressing, cut vegetables
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 people
Author heartysmarty

Ingredients

Cut Vegetables

  • 1 large Jicama peeled and sliced
  • 1 large Cucumber peeled and sliced
  • 1 large Red Bell Pepper Sliced
  • 8 oz Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 Cups Sugar Snap Peas
  • 3 medium Carrots Peeled and Julienne Cut
  • 2 stalks Celery Cut

Semi-Homemade Ranch Dressing

  • 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt or Plain Milk Kefir
  • 1 Cup Real Mayonnaise Original
  • 1 packet Dry Hidden Valley Ranch Mix 3 Tablespoons

Instructions

  1. Chop all vegetables and arrange on a serving platter.

  2. In a Mason jar with a tight fitting lid, pour yogurt or kefir followed by the dry Ranch dressing and mayonnaise. Secure the lid and shake until well-mixed. Make sure you add the ingredients in this order, or the dressing will stick to the bottom of the jar or the bottom of the lid when you shake it.

  3. Chill dressing or serve immediately. Dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Featured Products

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Hidden Valley Ranch Homestyle Seasoning and Salad Dressing Mix

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Meal Plans

This Week’s Family Meal Plan

heartysmarty

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

CLICK HERE to download the FREE Prepear App and get the shopping list for this week’s meal plan!

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RecipesSaladsSlow Cooker and Instant PotVeggie-Lover Dinners

Cafe Rio Shredded Chicken Taco Salads (for a crowd)

heartysmarty

Chicken Taco Salads (or Cafe Rio Salads as we like to call them) is a meal I have been making for over 8 years. I used to spend hours and hours preparing each dish–slow-cooking the meat, boiling beans on the stove top, and chopping fresh salsa by hand.

This is my go-to meal when cooking for a crowd, so I had to plan a day or two in advance in order to get everything hot and ready at the same time. Since I have been using an Instant Pot, it is possible to have this 8-part meal completely ready for 20 people in just 2 hours time. That’s pretty amazing. So, if you are in a bind and need to throw an impromptu meal together for a lot of people, this one is for you! It’s fresh and delicious and easy to stretch out with rice and beans. Enjoy!

Cafe Rio Shredded Chicken Taco Salads

Cafe Rio Copy Cat sweet portk salad (made with chicken) to feed 25 hungry people

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 25 people
Author heartysmarty

Ingredients

Sweet Salsa Chicken

  • 4 lbs Frozen Chicken Breasts about 6 large chicken breasts
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 4 Cups Mild Pace Picante Salsa

Seasoned Black Beans

  • 32 oz Dry Black Beans rinsed and sorted
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 3 Tablespoons Better than Bouillon Chicken Soup Base
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Pepper

Lime Rice

  • 3 tablespoon Butter
  • 6 cups White Rice
  • 12 cups Chicken Broth
  • 3 Limes zested and juiced
  • 1 Tablespoon Dehydrated Onions
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Tomatillo Dressing (mild)

  • 1 Cup Plain Kefir or buttermilk
  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise original
  • 1 packet Traditional Hidden Valley Ranch Mix 3 Tablespoons
  • 4 Tomatillos washed and husks removed quartered
  • 1/2 bunch fresh Cilantro stems removed
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 Lime juiced
  • 1 small Jalapeno seeds removed

Mango Salsa

  • 4 1/2 Cups Fresh Peaches (or Mangoechopped
  • 2 Avocados chopped
  • 2 Cups Red Bell Peppers chopped fine
  • 1 Small Jalapeno chopped fine
  • 1/4 Cup Green Onions chopped fine
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro chopped fine
  • 2 Tablespoons Lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin

Toppings

  • 25 10" Flour Tortillas
  • 12 Cups Romaine Lettuce chopped (about 3 bags)
  • 8 large Vine-ripe Tomatoes chopped
  • 3 Cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded

Instructions

Chicken

  1. Lay FROZEN chicken breasts on the bottom of and 8 quart Instant Pot. (See NotePour salsa and sprinkle brown sugar over the chicken.
  2. Secure the Instant Pot lid and turn the top nozzle to the [Sealing] position. Set the [Manual] or [Pressure Cook] setting to high for 20 minutes.
  3. It will take approximately 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to gain pressure before cooking time begins. After the cooking is complete, let the chicken sit and naturally release pressure for 10 minutes before venting the remaining pressure with the top nozzle.
  4. To shred the chicken, you can remove the chicken to a cookie sheet and hack at it with a metal spatula or forks. OR, use the whisking attachments in your countertop mixer (I use the Boscand put an entire breast into the mixer. Pulse three or four times and your chicken will be evenly and perfectly shredded.
  5. This makes about 25 half-cup servings of chicken.

Black Beans

  1. Combine all ingredients in the Instant Pot and fill with water to the 1/2 line inside the pot.
  2. Lock the lid into place and set the pot to the [Bean/Chili] setting for 25 minutes. You may also use the Manual or Pressure Cook Setting for 30 minutes.
  3. Once the cooking is finished, allow the pressure to naturally release. This will take about 20 minutes.
  4. This recipe makes 8 cups of beans which is 25 third-cup servings.

Lime Rice

  1. Add the rice and butter in a large stock pot over medium high heat.
  2. Brown the rice by cooking in butter about 5 minutes. Add broth, zest, juice dehydrated onions, and salt and cover with a lid.
  3. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until water is fully absorbed, and rice can be fluffed with a fork.
  4. Makes 25 half-cup servings.

Tomatillo Dressing

  1. In the order listed above, add all ingredients to the blender.
  2. Blend on high speed about 2 minutes or until smooth. Serve immediately or chill in an airtight container. Makes 1 quart of dressing which is about 2 ½ tablespoons of dressing each for 25 people.

Mango Salsa

  1. Chop all produce and combine in a large bowl. (See notes for my chopping tips.)
  2. Mix in the juice and spices and stir to combine.
  3. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Makes 10 Cups of salsa.

Recipe Notes

Finding a two-hour chunk of time to get all this on the table can be tricky. I suggest making the beans the day before and store them in a ziplock bag in the fridge. While the Instant Pot is doing it’s thing, I make the salsa, rice, and dressing. The dressing is also a good thing to make a day ahead and store in the fridge as well.

Chicken: If you have a smaller Instant Pot, cut this recipe in half and reduce pressure cook time to 15 minutes. Plan to make two batches of chicken (or borrow a friend’s cooker). This recipe freezes and re-heats beautifully in the microwave.
Beans: If you don’t love the smell of cumin and beans inside your kitchen (because who does?) I suggest setting your Instant Pot outside while it cooks and releases pressure. Of course, if the weather is poor, you will just have to enjoy this process inside. Also, these beans freeze and reheat very well.

I’m a bit OCD, so I do the chicken, beans, rice, dressing, and salsa myself. To lighten the load, I ask family or friends to provide tortillas, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, Mexican corn, and cut up fruit to round out the meal. (And I usually ask someone else to be in charge of paper goods, because I don’t have 25 place-settings lying around in my kitchen.)

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RecipesSlow Cooker and Instant Pot

Instant Pot Sweet Salsa Shredded Chicken

heartysmarty

This Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Copycat is the main entree for my go-to meal when feeding a large crowd- Chicken Taco Salads. I use chicken instead of pork for a couple reasons–mainly because I always have frozen chicken on hand. Also, chicken is usually less expensive and contains less fat than pork. This recipe uses FROZEN chicken on the high pressure setting of my Instant Pot and it turns out incredibly tender and favorful.

I serve this with my Instant Pot Seasoned Black Beans, Cilantro Lime Rice, Tomatillo Ranch Dressing, and Mango Salsa when I’m cooking for 20 people or more. This recipe is tried-and-true and SO delicious. Enjoy!

Instant Pot Sweet Salsa Shredded Chicken

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Copycat using frozen chicken in the Instant Pot

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword cafe rio copycat, sweet salsa chicken
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 25 people
Author heartysmarty

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs Frozen Chicken Breasts (about 6 large chicken breasts)
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 4 Cups Mild Pace Picante Salsa

Instructions

  1. Lay FROZEN chicken breasts on the bottom of and 8 quart Instant Pot. (See Notes) Pour salsa and sprinkle brown sugar over the chicken.

  2. Secure the Instant Pot lid and turn the top nozzle to the [Sealing] position. Set the [Manual] or [Pressure Cook] setting to high for 20 minutes.

  3. It will take approximately 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to gain pressure before cooking time begins. After the cooking is complete, let the chicken sit and naturally release pressure for 10 minutes before venting the remaining pressure with the top nozzle.

  4. To shred the chicken, you can remove the chicken to a cookie sheet and hack at it with a metal spatula or forks. OR, use the whisking attatchments in your countertop mixer (I use the Bosch) and put an entire breast into the mixer. Pulse three or four times and your chicken will be evenly and perfectly shredded.

Recipe Notes

If you have a smaller Instant Pot, cut this recipe in half and reduce pressure cook time to 15 minutes.  Plan to make two batches of chicken (or borrow a friend’s cooker). This recipe freezes and re-heats beautifully in the microwave.

Featured Products

(Includes Affiliate Links)

Instant Pot

 

Bosch Universal Stand Mixer

 

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Meal Plans

This Week’s Family Meal Plan

heartysmarty

It’s Meal-Plan Monday and time to share what’s for dinner this week. We were away on vacation last week and I didn’t have time to compose a post telling you what our dinner plans were–sorry about that. However, since I am a Prepear Pro, I ALWAYS update my ongoing meal plan on the paid version of the app. So, it ever I don’t share here on Hearty Smarty, you can subscribe to my meal plans here. But, this week, I am a bit more on top of things, so here’s what’s cookin’ this week:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

(Blueberry Ginger Smoothie)

Sunday

CLICK HERE to download the FREE Prepear App and get the shopping list for this week’s meal plan!

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Appetizers/ DipsRecipesVeggie-Lover Dinners

Crispy Macadamia Chicken Nuggets

heartysmarty

For a tropical themed dinner, try these crispy chicken nuggets breaded in Panko, shredded coconut, and crushed macadamia nuts. They marinate over night to make them tender and flavorful on the inside. Served with my Mango Berry Salad, this meal will have you feeling like you are vacationing on a tropical island.

My 4-year-old had a good time helping me with the breading assembly, AND everyone at the table gave these nuggets two thumbs-up, so that makes this one a winner-winner-chicken-dinner! Enjoy!

Crispy Macadamia Chicken Nuggets

Crispy Macadamia and Coconut Chicken Nuggets

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Keyword macadamia coconut baked chicken nuggets
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author heartysmarty

Ingredients

Marinade

  • 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/3 Cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 clove Garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger grated
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless Chicken Breasts

Macadamia Breading

  • 1/3 Cup Macadamia Nuts
  • 1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1 1/2 Cup Coconut shredded, unsweetened
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup Flour

Instructions

Marinade

  1. With kitchen shears, cut thawed chicken breasts into nugget-size pieces and place in a 9 x 13 pan.

  2. Combine marinade ingredients into a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid, and shake well. Pour marinade over chicken pieces and cover with foil. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or over night.

Macadamia Breading

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. You will need two cookie sheet pans and three shallow bowls for the chicken nugget assembly.

  2. In the first bowl, gently whisk the eggs. In the second bowl, add the flour.

  3. In the third bowl, combine crushed macadamia nuts, Panko, and shredded coconut. To crush the nuts, you may either pulse them a few times in a food processor, or use the flat side of a knife on a cutting board.

  4. Drain and discard marinade from chicken pieces. Using a fork, dip chicken pieces into eggwash. Dust with flour and then heavily coat with macademia crumb mixture.

  5. Place assembled chicken pieces on a greased cookie sheet without letting them overlap. Bake at 400 degrees, uncovered for 10 minutes. Use a metal spatula to turn each nugget over and bake for another 8 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Recipe Notes

Serve with my Mango Berry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing to make this a complete meal. 

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