Well, this escalated quickly.
My plan was to make my lunch in my instant pot on my day off, but when I made my chicken and it was so quick and easy, I figured I would put a second recipe in the instant pot with the leftover chicken while I ate my lunch.
Then, that snowballed into using 2 steaks leftover from my dinner prep, and within 1.5 hours, I had 10 single serve lunches.
The best part of prepping these grab and go lunches was the lack of dishes! I really only used a couple of cutting boards, measuring tools, and the instant pot. In between recipes, I just washed the instant pot– no piles of pots and pans, and millions of dishes. Win-Win.
To make freezer ready single servings, I have discovered these freezer “jars” from one of the makers of mason jars. While you can’t use these freezable jars for canning, they are working perfect for my lunches! I use these 16oz containers.
As for labelling, I found this handy dandy freezer tape! On my disposable freezer meal containers, I use freezer labels, but for these reusable containers, the tape is a great option. Note: masking tape will not stick once frozen. Actually NOTHING will stick except this magical tape.
For my grab and go lunches I portion ¾ cup of rice with a heaping 3/4 cup of meat/sauce. I purposely don’t freeze veggies in these and will add them when I heat them, or I will eat these with a salad.
I used three recipes for this freezer cooking adventure. I don’t consider cooking rice a recipe!
If you are replicating this, you will need to cook 3 (uncooked) cups of rice. FYI this takes SIX minutes in a pressure cooker.
As for the rest of the recipes:
Paleo Pressure Cooker Butter Chicken (Primal Desire) – This is definitely a lightened up butter chicken and not as creamy as a restaurant style, but I am sure my waistline will thank me. This recipe made 4 lunches for me because I used a slotted spoon to get almost only meat and little sauce. You would get at least double if you didn’t do this. I really just want the flavoured chicken and not the sauce. That’s just a personal preference.
Pressure Cooker Mexican Beef (NomNom Paleo)– I used beef tenderloin and OMG it pretty much melts in your mouth when you pressure cook it in this sauce. I only got 2 containers out of this because again, I discarded most of the sauce so my portions were mostly meat, and I only used 2 steaks (it’s all I had!).
Instant Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken (Once a Month Meals)– this is going into regular rotation FOR SURE. This will be made as a raw freezer pack and put into the pressure cooker FOR 15 MINUTES on a weeknight for dinner.
I think it is safe to say that the electric pressure cooker has made my meal prep adventures even quicker, and with way less mess to clean up.
The only down fall here is that I didn’t fill these to the top and so there is air trapped. These won’t keep without freezer burn for too long – but I doubt they make it more than a couple of weeks anyways. In hindsight, I should have used the excess sauce and filled them nearly to the top. Live and learn!
So, there you have it… the time I accidentally made 10 lunches in 1.5 hours.