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Instant Pot Beef with Garlic Sauce and Vegetables

If you’re looking for a quick garlic beef recipe, here is one you will love. Made in the Instant Pot, this beef with garlic sauce and vegetables is delicious and heathy!

Instant Pot Beef with Garlic Sauce and Vegetables

This quick beef recipe tastes better than Chinese take-out, and doesn’t really take all that much longer to make if you do some prep work ahead of time. Head to the grocery story to get the ingredients, or if you garden, get on out there! 

Serve this beef with garlic sauce over leftover rice, cauliflower rice if you need a keto friendly recipe, or just eat it as is. Keep this garlic beef recipe handy! It’s sure to be a favorite.

instant pot garlic beef

Do I have to make it in an Instant Pot?

Absolutely not! You’re actually not bringing anything to pressure in this recipe, so the Instant Pot isn’t necessary. It’s handy because you can make everything right in one pot without having to dirty your stove, but you can make this on the stove top too. 

To make it on the stovetop, I recommend using a cast iron skillet. First you’ll cook the beef over high heat in avocado oil , and then cook the vegetables right in the same pan. Stir to combine and serve over rice of your choice.

beef with garlic sauce

Tips for making this beef with garlic sauce even quicker

You can cut down on prep time by doing a few things:

  1. If you have leftover rice, this is a great recipe to use it on! I often make extra rice for planned leftovers. It’s easy to reheat the rice in the microwave or stove-top, you will just want to add a bit of water to steam it warm.
  2. If you don’t want to chop the vegetables, most grocery stores sell pre-sliced vegetables. Just give the vegetables a good rinse in a colander, and dry them on towels before cooking. 
  3. Another way to cut down on prep time is to ask the meat department to slice the steak for you when you buy it! You can also buy pre-sliced steak as well. 

instant pot garlic beef

Yield: 6 servings

Instant Pot Beef with Garlic Sauce and Vegetables

Instant Pot Beef with Garlic Sauce and Vegetables

A quick and healthy recipe for a popular take-out meal. You will love this flavorful dish that's ready in about 30 minutes.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground garlic salt with parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 can baby corns - 12 to 15 ounces
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup sliced bok-choy
  • 1 cup snow peas, or sugar snap peas
  • 3 green onions - chopped for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups cooked rice

Garlic Sauce

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup tamari sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon stevia
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Instructions

    Press the Saute button on your Instant Pot, and add the avocado oil, and add the steak, and stir to coat steak in oil. Sprinkle steak with garlic salt and seasoned pepper, and continue to stir until steak is brown, and no longer pink, about 10 - 15 minutes. 

    When steak is cooked, remove from Instant Pot to a plate and cover to keep warm.

    While the steak is cooking, cook rice, if desired, according to package instructions. Also, make the sauce. In a bowl, mix the sauce; water, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and garlic, and stir to blend.

    Leave the Saute setting on, and add the sesame oil. Then add the onion, red pepper, green pepper, broccoli, mushrooms, and bok-choy, and stir well to coat in oil. Saute until vegetables are tender. (about 5 or 6 minutes).

    Add the baby corns, snow peas, and garlic, and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. 

    Add the steak back into the Instant Pot, and stir to blend. Cook for 1 minute, and turn off Instant Pot. Turn off Instant Pot, and plate rice with steak and vegetables, and top with chopped green onion. Enjoy

Notes

Omit rice or serve with cauliflower rice if looking for a low-carb option.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

2 cups

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 492 Total Fat: 21g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 104mg Sodium: 1612mg Carbohydrates: 36g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 5g Protein: 39g
Nutritional data is not always accurate.

If you liked this Garlic Beef recipe, you’ll like these recipes too

Beef and Broccoli

Pork Eggroll in a Bowl

KETO Smothered Instant Pot Pork Chops

Instant Pot Easy Taco Dip with Beans & Meat

 

Why We Love Raising Turkeys on the Homestead

If you’re curious about raising turkeys on the homestead, here’s what we’ve learned over the last few years of having free-range heritage turkeys. Turkeys are curious, fun, and very inquisitive, and we can’t imagine not having them!

bronze turkeys outside

Raising Turkeys on the Homestead 

I heard horror stories about raising turkeys from my dad and father-in-law, so when I came home one day and found a turkey on our homestead, I was a little skeptical. 

They have not so fond memories of turkeys on their farms when they were growing up, claiming they were attacked by turkeys and recounting horror stories of having to search for turkey eggs. This has not been our experience, but we are raising them primarily for amusement. People also raise turkeys for eggs, meat, or to breed and sell.

why we love raising turkeys

Raising Turkeys – How are they different from chickens?

This is our first year raising turkey poults, but we have had an adult free range turkey, Tarzan, on our homestead for several years. We enjoy keeping a mixed flock of birds and are excited to share what we’ve learned so far about turkeys versus chickens. If you’re already familiar with raising chickens, turkeys are similar, but there are a few differences you will want to be aware of.

Tarzan came to us after his original owner was busted by his city for having backyard birds in an area where they are not allowed. He needed to re-home his birds and brought them all to us. Originally, he thought he would pick the turkey up around Thanksgiving and eat him, but that did not come to pass. 

Instead, this turkey started roosting in the trees, my kids named him Tarzan, and he became a permanent fixture. We only had the one turkey and he hung out with our chickens until the next year when a similar situation happened and we ended up with a peacock named James. 

peacock and turkey on a roost

Tarzan and James became fast bird friends, following each other all over the place and playing games like ring-around-the-rosy and catch. Since adding the turkey poults this spring, Tarzan has become even funnier, thought his relationship with James has suffered. He struts all the time for the little turkeys and is very regal and majestic looking.  

This year, we started several turkeys from poults and even had an injured turkey in the house with us for a while. That experience taught us much more about raising turkeys. Here’s what we’ve learned.

Heritage Turkeys

First, a little background on our turkey flock. Our turkey flock consists primarily of the heritage Bronze turkey breed. We have five young turkeys, and the patriarch, King Tarzan. They are very beautiful breed of turkey and often raised for meat. Bronze turkeys are broad breasted turkeys and they are very large! 

We prefer heritage turkey breeds because they better foragers, better mothers, they can mate naturally so they don’t need artificial insemination, and have longer longevity compared to commercial turkeys. The broad breasted bronzes that we raise are also just plain gorgeous!

turkey poult

Other heritage turkey breeds include Bourbon Reds, Royal Palm, White Holland, Slate, Narragansett, Bourbon Red, Beltsville Small White. You can read more about the different breeds at the Livestock Conservancy website.

young turkeys in a brooder

Turkey Poults

Turkey poults are actually more fragile than chicks. They are started in a similar brooder to chicks but are very sensitive to heat and light fluctuations. The first three days are critical for turkey poults and they’ll definitely need heat lamps and a lot of supervision initially.

Baby turkeys also need more encouragement to drink water than chicks. We found that adding a few colored marbles to the waterer helped make sure the turkeys got enough to drink. They are very curious about the marbles and pecking at them helped them drink more.

bronze turkey in the winter

Turkey Housing

One big difference between turkeys and chickens is that turkeys get much bigger. That means they also need more space if you plan to keep them in a coop / run. They don’t scratch around as much as chickens and many people who keep turkeys think they keep their houses cleaner as a result.

That said, our turkeys prefer to roost outside. They like to roost high up, and as they get bigger, they may need help reaching their roost. Tarzan has roosted in trees or on high fences and he only sleeps in the coop if we lock him inside during brutally cold weather. Otherwise, he prefers a lean-to roost with wind protection during normally cold Iowa winters, or an open roost on a fence post during the summer.

Do Turkeys Lay Eggs?

Yes, they do! While chickens start laying around five months of age, turkeys are a little slower, taking from seven months up to a year to reach maturity. Chickens lay an egg almost every day, but turkeys only lay two to three eggs a week.

You can eat turkey eggs if you want – all egg types are actually edible. They are bigger than chicken eggs and are usually a creamy white color with speckles and tougher shell. Turkey eggs have a higher protein content than chicken eggs and many people who eat them think they have richer taste. Our female turkeys have not started laying, so I haven’t personally tried one yet.

What do Turkeys Eat?

Turkeys are supposed to eat a high protein food and game bird feed is the preferred turkey food. If you are raising turkeys for meat, it is important to feed them the proper protein content, but we honestly feed our turkeys the same food we feed the chickens. They are good free-rangers and foragers, and they supplement their diet naturally.

In all, we have found turkeys to be a very fun addition to our homestead. They are curious, talkative, and almost dog-like. If you’re on the fence about raising turkeys, I highly recommend giving it a try!

Did you enjoy this post on raising turkeys? Here are a few more you might like!

How to keep birds cool in the summer

How to keep birds warm in the winter

Prepare for mail order chicks

Treats your backyard flock will love

Instant Pot Quick & Easy Taco Dip with Meat & Beans 

Taco Tuesday is a staple in our house and I’m always looking for creative ways to serve up tacos. My quick and easy instant pot taco dip with meat and beans is a new family favorite recipe.

taco dip

Instant Pot Quick & Easy Taco Dip with Meat & Beans 

I used my instant pot almost daily. It’s especially great for hot summer days because it’s a way to cook without heating up the kitchen. There really are few limits for what you can make in your instant pot, and this hot taco dip recipe is no exception!

This taco dip with beans and meat is a very versatile dish. Not only does it make a great appetizer for game day, but it also makes a delicious quick summer lunch that my kids can make themselves! 

Ingredients for the hot taco dip

To make this hot dip, you need ground beef, beans, homemade taco seasoning, diced tomatoes, green chiles, taco sauce, garlic, and onions, and taco sauce. Salsa works in place of the taco sauce too, if you don’t have taco sauce on hand.

hot taco dip appetizer in blue bowl

Why I always add beans to taco meat

I love cooking with beans. It’s a frugal way to stretch ground beef and my family thinks you really can’t taste them as they take on the other flavors of the dish. 

According to Medical New Today, beans offer a lot of nutritional benefits. They’re a great source of complete protein, fiber, zinc, magnesium, and folate. Research suggests that eating beans can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease as well.

While I’ve been cooking with dried beans for a long time, I rarely use canned beans. Not only are canned beans more expensive than dried beans, but they’re usually really high in sodium as well. 

I’ve found it to be so easy to make a bulk batch of beans in my Instant Pot and then freeze them in meal sized portions. A can of beans has about 1 ¾ cups of beans so I freeze them in 3 ½ cup portions, which equals 2 cans. I almost always add at least 3 ½ cups of beans to my taco meat.

TACO dip with meat and beans instant pot recipe

Can I make this recipe if I don’t have an electric pressure cooker?

Yes, of course! All you really have to worry about is cooking the beef and that’s so simple! To make it on the stove top, just brown the beef completely in a large skillet, add the onions and garlic and cook for 10 minutes or until the onions begin to caramelize. Then add remaining ingredients and cook until warm. Remove the dip to a large bowl, and serve with tortilla chips. 

What should I serve with this delicious taco dip?

I recommend serving extra shredded cheese, sour cream, olives, fresh cilantro, diced fresh tomatoes, and of course, tortilla chips with this beef taco bean dip. To be perfectly honest, my kids also like to put the dip in a tortilla and turn it into a burrito!

Are you ready to make this Instant Pot Taco Dip?

steps to making the instant pot taco dip

Yield: 12 appetizer servings

Instant Pot Quick & Easy Taco Dip with Meat & Beans 

Instant Pot Quick & Easy Taco Dip with Meat & Beans 
This taco dip in the Instant Pot is crazy good!  It's super easy to make, is done really fast, and ready to serve in no time.  You will love this when you're in a hurry for something healthy and delicious, and it's also great for an appetizer if you're having guests, or for game day.  This one is sure to become a favorite.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 ½ cups cooked pinto beans or 2 cans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with diced green chiles
  • 1/2 cup taco sauce (I have also used salsa in place of the taco sauce)
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup of sliced black olives - for garnish

Instructions

  1. Press the Saute button on the Instant Pot and saute the ground beef until it is mostly browned, about 5 minutes.  
  2. Toward the end of the beef cooking time, add the onion, crushed garlic, and taco seasoning, and continue cooking until onion starts to caramelize, about 6-8 more minutes. 
  3. Add the rinsed and drained pinto beans, tomatoes, green chiles,  water, and taco sauce to the beef mixture and stir well.  
  4. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, and make sure the pressure valve is set to  SEALING, and press the MANUAL button, and set the time for 2 minutes.  
  5. When the Instant Pot is done, beeps and goes to OFF, do a quick release, by turning the pressure valve from Sealing to VENTING. 
  6. After all pressure has been released, and the float valve has dropped down, remove the lid and stir the taco dip.  
  7. Serve immediately, topped with cheese and black olives.  Enjoy!

Notes

You can use other beans instead of pinto beans if you prefer. We also like this dip made with black beans instead.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 274 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 52mg Sodium: 459mg Carbohydrates: 18g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 2g Protein: 20g
Nutritional data is not always correct.
If you liked this quick instant pot recipe, you might like these too:

Homemade Taco Seasoning

How to Cook Beans in the Instant Pot

Homemade Ranch Dressing

Our favorite taco meat – freezer friendly recipe

No Mayo Cole Slaw

If you’re wondering how to make coleslaw without mayo, it’s your lucky day. I’ve been making this quick and easy coleslaw recipe – no mayo – for years. It’s my go-to slaw recipe and I know you will love it too.

coleslaw without mayo

Delicious No Mayo Coleslaw Recipe for Your Next BBQ

My trusty Better Homes and Gardens: New Cook Book includes a recipe for a Vinaigrette Coleslaw which I love. It’s super easy, delicious, and much healthier than mayo laden coleslaw. I love coleslaw, but I’m not that crazy about mayonnaise – especially when we’re outdoors and it’s not being refrigerated. Call me crazy, I’m just a little worried about spoiled mayonnaise.

I adapted that recipe by making a few changes that I think makes it taste better. Instead of the sugar in the original recipe, I changed it to honey. I also upped the salt and think the addition of sesame seeds is a nice improvement.

coleslaw no mayo

Coleslaw without Mayo

I grow a lot of cabbage and carrots in my garden this No-Mayo coleslaw, and I’m always looking for creative ways to use them both. This vinegar based coleslaw is perfect on pulled pork, pulled chicken, and makes a great hot-day side dish.

Here’s how to make this coleslaw recipe – no mayo!

What I love most about this recipe is that it is so quick, especially if you have a food processor.

Using that handy-dandy kitchen appliance, you can easily shred the cabbage and carrots in minutes. If you don’t have a food processor, you can always buy pre-shredded slaw mix and make it that way too.

The dressing comes together super quickly too. I just measure out the vinegar first, then the oil, and finally the honey, right in the same angled liquid measuring cup. Measuring the honey after the oil helps it come out of the measuring dish easier that it would if you measured in a different order because the oil coats the measuring cup and makes the honey slide right out.


Putting all dressing ingredients in a screw-top jar makes combining the dressing so easy. Just shake for about 30 seconds and you’re good to go!

coleslaw recipe no mayo

A note about the cabbage and carrots

This recipe calls for green cabbage, but you can use red cabbage too. I grow both in my garden and use whichever I happen to have on hand.

Did you know that carrots come in all colors? They are so fun. You can use traditional orange carrots, but if you see purple or yellow carrots at the farmer’s market, don’t be afraid to use them either! They taste delicious and I guarantee your kids will be fascinated by them!

Mayo Free Cole-Slaw

Yield: 5 cups

No Mayo Cole Slaw

No Mayo Cole Slaw
Prep Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. To make the vinaigrette dressing, combine vinegar, sugar, oil, and spices in a screw-top jar. Cover and shake well.
  2. In a large bowl combine the shredded veggies. Pour the vinaigrette over the cabbage mixture. Toss to coat.
  3. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours. This is an important step - it softens the cabbage and makes it taste better.
  4. Enjoy!

Notes

While you don't have to chill this recipe for two hours prior to serving, it will taste a lot better if you give the flavors time to meld! This is a great recipe to make ahead, up to 24 hours before!

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1/2 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 60 Total Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 78mg Carbohydrates: 9g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 6g Protein: 1g
Nutritional data is not always correct.
coleslaw without mayo recipe

Here are a few more recipes you might like:

Homemade Ranch Dressing from Scratch

Pulled Chicken in the Slow Cooker

Perfect Greek Chicken Marinade

Delicious New Orleans Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe

Do you like coleslaw? Mayo or no mayo? What’s your preference?

How to Keep Chickens Cool During Summer without Electricity

With temperatures in the 90s and heat warnings well over 100 degrees out here in Eastern Iowa, it looks like hot summer days are finally upon us. If you have backyard chickens, it’s important to know how to keep them cool during summer. Here are a few ways to make sure that your chickens stay cool in the blazing summer heat. 

keep chickens cool in summer

How to Keep Chickens Cool During Summer without Electricity

Someone turned up the heat and it’s finally hot! Did you know that summer heat is harder on chickens than winter cold? You definitely need to know how to keep chickens cool during summer to keep them healthy. 

Recognize signs of heat stress or heat stroke in chickens

Because chickens don’t have sweat glands, they can’t sweat so it’s important to recognize signs of heat stress. You may notice your chickens spreading out their wings and panting when it’s hot. Panting in chickens is similar to a dog panting. It’s how both types of animals cool off.

This is perfectly normal behavior during hot weather, but if they become lifeless, lethargic, or their combs start to discolor, you will want to cool them off as soon as you can.  Cool them off by putting them in cool water, but don’t submerge their heads. Then, keep them in a cooler spot until they are completely recovered and running around as normal. Read more about hot weather management for poultry here.

During extremely hot weather, many chickens cut back on laying eggs. So keeping them as cool as possible may help with egg laying as well.

Make sure your chickens have lots of water

Fresh, cold water during hot weather is so important not only for chickens, but for all of your animals. A well hydrated bird is much more able to regulate its body temperature than a bird that’s thirsty, so make sure to check water often and keep it cool and fresh.

It’s a good idea to add ice cubes to the water if you can. Double check water throughout the day as chickens drink a lot more during hot weather. You might also want to provide electrolytes to help them cope better.

Give your chickens lots of shade during hot weather

Make sure your chickens have access to shade. I check on my chickens more often during hot weather and move food and water as necessary to keep it in the shade. If you don’t have shade of tall grass or around trees, making temporary shade with tarps is also an idea.

Change your feeding schedule

During hot weather, you may want to change when you feed your chickens. Feeding them in the morning or evening when it’s cooler will be better for them than feeding them during the hotter afternoons. Your chickens will also appreciate cool treats like watermelon or frozen treats like fruit and veggies when it’s really hot out.

Use misters or wet the ground

Using misters is a great way to keep your chickens cool during summer. If you don’t have misters, you can wet the ground with a hose to give your chickens a place to wet their feet. Burying a frozen bottle partway in the ground to give them a spot to rub on is another good idea.

backyard flock in a kiddie pool

Give chickens swimming opportunities 

Okay, you got me. Unlike ducks and geese, chickens can’t really swim well. They don’t have waterproof feathers or webbed feet, and they’re not able to right themselves in the water. But, they do like to splash around in shallow water containers,  and they can swim short distances when they must.

We have little pools of water out in the summer. Primarily the ducks and geese swim in them, but the chickens do drink water from the pools and if they are shallow enough, they will walk around in them too.

Make sure the chicken coop has adequate ventilation

Make sure the windows are open in the chicken coop. If you have fans, you’ll probably want to run them during very hot weather. Air flow in the chicken coop is always important, but it’s even more important on hot days. Here’s a solar powered fan that costs under $25 on amazon.


Dust baths help keep chickens cool during summer

Dust baths are very good for chickens for a lot of reasons, but they are especially important during hot weather. Not only do dust baths help chickens rid themselves of parasites and bugs of all sorts, but bathing in the cool dirt is another great way to help them cool off. Dust or sand from dust bathing absorbs oils and moisture from the chicken’s skin.

While there are lots of ways to keep chickens cooler without electricity, if you do have electricity to your coop, you may want to run an electric coop fan. Fans can help with flies and gnats in the coop and also help air flow and keeping the coop cool. 

If you liked this tip on how to keep chickens cool during summer, you might like these posts too:

Keeping chickens warm in winter without electricity

Beginner’s guide to raising baby chicks

Treats your chickens will love

How to Choose the Perfect Chicken Breeds for Your Homestead

 

Quick & Easy Homemade Ranch Dressing Makes Life Taste Better

A great salad dressing recipe will take your kitchen to the next level and this healthy ranch dressing made with Greek yogurt is just you need! It’s true that this Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing makes everything taste better.

chopped salad

This post is sponsored by Kalona SuperNatural Organics. All opinions are mine.

 Healthy Ranch Salad Dressing Makes Life Taste Better

I often hear from people who want to start cooking from scratch or eat organic without breaking the bank. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and not know where to start. Today, I’m excited to share this fabulous dressing from scratch to show you how easy it is to start from-scratch cooking and also share our money saving tips for eating organic without going broke.

This Homemade Salad Dressing Recipe is the Gateway to From-Scratch Cooking

If you’re overwhelmed at the thought of cooking from scratch, I recommend starting with something easy. Recipes that don’t require a lot of equipment or ingredients are easy to tackle. Admittedly, this dressing will be easier if you have a food processor, but you can make it with only a lidded jar, knife, and cutting board. 

homemade ranch dressing from scratch recipe

I also recommend starting with a recipe that you know your family will love. And who doesn’t love Ranch Dressing? Perfect for salads, dipping vegetables, wings, burgers, French Fries, and more, this flavorful dressing is a huge hit at my house.

Why Make Whole Milk Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing?

You might be wondering why I use Kalona SuperNatural Organic Whole Milk Greek Yogurt in my Ranch Dressing. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to find whole milk Greek Yogurt? Almost everything at the grocery stores around here is non-fat! Blech!

According to Mario Kratz, Ph.D., associate member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and co-author of research published in the European Journal of Nutrition,  “consumption of full-fat dairy products is pretty consistently associated with lower body weight, less weight gain over time, and a lower risk of obesity.” It fills me up more and tastes better too.

I am a big fan of Kalona SuperNatural’s organic whole milk dairy products. Not only are they made locally with milk from small Amish farmers, but they are also non-homogenized and pasteurized at a lower temperature than other dairy products. I think they are a great compromise between raw milk and ultra-pasteurized.

I prefer to use whole milk greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise and sour cream. We’re not big fans of mayonnaise and I think the yogurt is healthier. It also tastes better, so sign me up!

greek yogurt ranch dressing recipe with fresh herbs and saladStore Bought Salad Dressing

Have you ever looked at the ingredients on store bought dressing? If not, you should. A popular brand of ranch dressing contains MSG and artificial flavors, has 240 calories, 14 grams of fat, and only 1 gram of protein per serving.

To compare, my recipe contains 28 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 3 grams of protein! You guys, there are only 224 calories in the ENTIRE recipe, so EAT UP! 

Okay, I’m sold. Tell me how to make Homemade Ranch Dressing!

I promised this recipe is easy to make, and it is. If you have a food processor, start with the fresh herbs and garlic. Pulse them a few times to mince the garlic and easily chop the herbs. Then add remaining ingredients and pulse to combine.

steps of making ranch dressing

If you don’t have a food processor, that’s ok! Get out a cutting board and knife. Finely chop your fresh herbs, put all ingredients in a jar, and shake to combine. Done!

If you prefer to use dried herbs, that works too! Then you don’t need to chop anything at all and it still tastes great.

How Long Can I Store this Healthy Ranch Dressing?

Store your homemade ranch dressing in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to two weeks. It never lasts that long in my house, but it will keep for a while!  

How We Eat Organic without Breaking the Bank

My tips for eating organic without breaking the bank are pretty simple, but not without effort. I’m a firm believer that you can do it if you want! Here’s how we save money on an organic diet for my family of six.

  1. Grow a garden – it can be as complex as my 2400 sq ft garden, or as simple as a herbs in your kitchen!
  2. Reduce the amount of meat you eat. I think it’s really important to eat organic meat, but it’s so expensive. To make it more affordable, I find creative ways to stretch organic meat. Adding beans or mushrooms or lots of veggies are great ways to use less meat! I also get multiple meals out of one single chicken instead of buying much more expensive boneless chicken pieces.
  3. Obviously, cook from scratch! My husband complains that we have a lot of ingredients, but no food. Cooking from scratch is more work for me, but a win for the family.
  4. Cook in bulk, and always try to have a ready to-go meal in the freezer for busy days when you just can’t be bothered. 
  5. Keep a well stocked pantry / kitchen / freezer so you have what it takes! You can find detailed lists of what I always try to have on hand here – Time & Money Saving Kitchen Essentials.
  6. Invest in a few quality kitchen tools. It’s true that cooking is easier with the right tools. I don’t think you need every appliance under the sun, but there are 13 Time Saving Kitchen Utensils that make my kitchen time more productive. 
  7. Prioritize organic based on the Clean 15 / Dirty Dozen list. While it would be wonderful to buy only organic, that’s sometimes not possible. Instead, I make sure to buy the dirty dozen organic and don’t sweat the clean 15.
Yield: 1 cup

Quick & Easy Ranch Salad Dressing Makes Life Taste Better

Quick & Easy Ranch Salad Dressing Makes Life Taste Better

A fresh and flavorful garden-to-table salad dressing that will take your kitchen to the next level!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Kalona SuperNatural Organic Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion powder
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons Kalona SuperNatural Organic Whole Milk, or to desired consistency

Instructions

If using a food processor, pulse the fresh herbs and garlic several times until well chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to combine. A slightly mounded palmful of unchopped fresh herbs should equal about one tablespoon chopped. I eyeball it.

Add one tablespoon of milk at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. I added about 3 tablespoons for a runnier salad dressing, but would add none to turn this into a creamier dip.

Store in the fridge for up to one week.

To make without a food processor, combine everything in a jar. Mix well or shake to thoroughly combine.

Notes

Feel free to use dried spices in place of the fresh spices in this recipe, but growing your own herbs is a really easy and fun undertaking! I highly recommend growing your own.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

2 tbs

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 28 Total Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 3mg Sodium: 127mg Carbohydrates: 3g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 1g Protein: 3g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

I’d love to hear what you think of this Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing! If you liked the recipe, please share on social media and give me feedback! 

Many thanks to my sponsor, Kalona SuperNatural. Please head here to learn all about this wonderful company! How do you eat organic without breaking the bank? I’d love to hear your tips too! 

Make Your Own Waldorf Play Silks ~ A Tutorial Using Kool-Aid!

If you’re looking for reasonably priced Waldorf toys, how about making your own  DIY Waldorf Play Silks! They aren’t hard to make and your kids will love these Waldorf rainbow play silks. So get your crafty on and make your own Waldorf toys instead of buying them!

waldorf play silks hanging on the line

 Homemade Play Silks Make Beautiful & Inexpensive Waldorf Toys

If you’ve ever looking online for waldorf toys, you know that they are expensive! We love high quality toys a lot, but not the big price-tag that goes We all got together on a rainy spring day and worked together to craft the most beautiful play silks. These silks were used in my house for years and we still have some! 

chalk board silk dying instructions

How to make your Waldorf play silks

First, you will need to source silk. Our group found a killer deal for bulk silk on-line. I highly recommend that you go in with a group to keep the cost down. We got our silk from Dharma Trading Company for a reasonable price. You’ll need to 10 yards of silk per scarf so it doesn’t take that many people to end up with a bulk order.

cutting waldorf play silk

Once your silk arrives, cut to the right size. Again, you’ll need 1 yard of silk per scarf, so measure and cut the bolt into 1 yard pieces.  Please note, we did NOT hem the edges of the silk. We just cut it and kept on going. It probably goes without saying that an adult should cut the silk, but just in case, it’s probably a good idea that young children do not do this step. 🙂

Added years later: After years of use, it did not really fray much at all so I think hemming is not necessary.
 
After you cut your silk to the proper size, you’ll need to soak it in vinegar and hot water. Simply mix three cups of vinegar with a kettle full of hot water and soak for ten minutes.
 
While the silk is soaking, mix up a kool-aid dye. 
red and blue kool-aid dye

How to make the Kool-Aid Dye

  • Mix 3 packets Kool-Aid with
  • 2 cups hot water 
  • 2 cups vinegar

The color should be pretty and vibrant. Then, line up bowls of color and start soaking! You’ll want to soak the silks in the dye/vinegar mix for at least 2 minutes, but probably more like 5 minutes. You’ll want to do this on a covered table or even outside to avoid getting kool-aid dye all over the place. If your kids are little, you’ll probably want an adult to supervise.

Then, take the silks to the kitchen or bathroom, and rinse the silks in cold water. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear. It will take quite a while, but persevere.
Finally, hang them out to dry!
how to dye the silks in a rainbow

Want to make rainbow Waldorf play silks?

 We also tried our hand at making tie dye AND rainbow Waldorf  play silks! To make the rainbow, we just lined the bowls up in ROYGBP. Then we soaked only a portion of the silk at a time in the right bowl. It took a little coordinating but worked very well! order and soaked only areas of the silk to achieve the rainbow coloring. This was a bit tricky, but not too hard at all!
the rainbow Waldorf sillk
 
My little stinker wouldn’t cooperate well for the pictures, but you can see that we achieved a rainbow! After you’ve dyed your rainbow, make sure to rinse and hang per the instructions. So gorgeous! And the kids LOVE playing them…
 
Yield: One play silk

Make Your Own Waldorf Play Silks ~ A Tutorial Using Kool-Aid!

Make Your Own Waldorf Play Silks ~ A Tutorial Using Kool-Aid!

Lovely DIY Waldorf Play Silks for a fraction of the cost to buy.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes

Materials

  • 1 yard silk
  • 3 packets of kool-aid
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 2 cups hot water

Tools

  • bowls, silk, spoon, sink, line to dry

Instructions

  1. Cut silk into 10 yard pieces
  2. Mix 3 cups vinegar with hot water to cover and soak for 10 minutes.
  3. Mix kool-aid, vinegar, and water well in a large bowl.
  4. Soak silk in the kool-aid mixture for at least 2 minutes.
  5. Rinse until the water runs clear.
  6. Hang on a line to dry.
  7. Wash cold at home (alone to prevent colors from bleeding on any clothing).
  8. Line dry.
  9. Enjoy!

Want more Waldorf homeschooling inspiration? Read these posts:

Waldorf Homeschooling

How to Host a Waldorf Solstice Spiral

How to Make a Waldorf Wheat Grass Basket to Welcome Spring

If you make your own DIY Waldof Play Silks or Rainbow Waldorf Play Silks, let me know how it turns out! 

Want to learn how to dye DIY Waldorf play silks?? Follow this easy tutorial to make beautiful rainbow Waldorf play silks and save tons of money!

Pork Egg Roll in a Bowl Whole30 & Paleo Approved

We’ve been eating this super easy Pork Egg Roll in a Bowl Whole30 & Paleo Approved for a couple of years now. I love it because it comes together in under 30 minutes! Plus, even my picky kids love this bowl full of flavor!!

pork egg roll in a bowl

Pork Egg Roll in a Bowl Whole30 & Paleo Approved

This recipe is very versatile – it’s dairy free, whole30, low carb, and paleo approved for all your dietary needs! You can also easily make it vegetarian by omitting the meat.

I especially like to make this egg roll in a bowl recipe in the early summer using garden fresh veggies! Full of garlic and ginger, ground pork, green cabbage, fresh peas, bean sprouts and more, this is a-one-dish meal that my entire family loves.

egg roll in bowl ingredients

Prepping Egg Roll in a Bowl for Busy Nights

Another nice thing about this paleo whole30 approved recipe, is that it is an awesome recipe to add to your meal prep list and it makes fabulous leftovers. Prepping the veggies is the longest part of this recipe, but you can reduce the time it takes by purchasing coleslaw mix, shredded cabbage, or pre- shredded carrots.

While I don’t mind shredding the cabbage, julienning the carrots is another story. I really don’t enjoy that task all that much, so when I really don’t feel like chopping carrots, I shred them in my food processor. Easy peasy!

I don’t recommend a ton of kitchen appliances, but my food processor is one thing I really need, especially during garden season. It really helps simplify my time in the kitchen!

Paleo egg roll in a bowl is essentially a stir fry, and I made it with ground pork. You can also substitute ground beef or ground turkey. I also think finely chopped leftover chicken would probably be amazing in this recipe as well. If you want a vegetarian option, it is full of flavor, even without the meat. Simply omit.

egg roll in a bowl with garlic and ginger

Cooking tips for making this egg roll in a bowl whole30 / paleo approved

If you need a whole30 or paleo recipe, here are some options. Soy sauce is not whole30 approved or paleo, and I generally use tamari sauce instead. Some tamari sauce is whole30 and paleo approved, but you will need to be careful with this ingredient if you are on a strict diet. To make this egg roll in a bowl whole30 or paleo, you might consider using liquid aminos instead.

Liquid coconut aminos are approved and also very tasty in this dish. I also use fish oil in this recipe which is another ingredient you might want to omit or very carefully source if you’re on a strict diet. Red Boat Fish sauce is whole30 approved, but other brands are not.

Cooking with Sesame Oil

A new cooking tip I learned, is that you need to be careful when cooking with sesame oil. I love using it for stir fry, but it has a low smoke point and can turn bitter if you heat it too high. It’s most often added to enhance flavor at the end of cooking. So, wait to use the sesame oil until your dish is almost finished.

I saute the veggies in the grease from cooking pork, but if there is not enough there after removing the meat, you may need to add an additional tablespoon of oil. I recommend using avocado oil, which is has a high smoke point and a mild flavor.

pork egg roll in a bowl served over rice

Using fresh ginger and garlic

I always use fresh ginger and garlic in my Asian recipes. Ginger is super easy to store in the freezer and pull out as needed. When I need fresh ginger, I just grab it out of the freezer, use a knife to peel it, and then grate it using my trusty microplane. I’ve recommended this handy do-dad quite often and if you don’t have one yet, I highly recommend that you get one.

I also grow a ton of fresh garlic in my garden every year so almost always have it on hand. Using my trusty garlic press is very easy. The stainless version I have is a little expensive, but it is worth every penny. It’s so easy to use and clean. I don’t even have to peel the garlic before pressing it and it cleans in the dishwasher!

egg roll in a bowl with siracha sauce

Serving pork egg roll in a bowl

Top your delicious egg roll in a bowl with green onions and sesame seeds if desired. They add a lovely dimension to this recipe, so I highly recommend adding them. If you are on a strict diet, eat this with cooked cauliflower rice. But if rice is not a concern for you, serve it over hot cooked rice.

Yield: 8 servings

Pork Egg Roll in a Bowl Whole30 & Paleo Approved

Pork Egg Roll in a Bowl Whole30 & Paleo Approved

Bowl full of flavor featuring lots of garden fresh veggies and ground pork.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork. Ground beef, turkey, or chicken can also be used.
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 8 cups shredded cabbage, about one small.
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion, about 1/2 medium sized onion
  • 2 cups shredded or julienne carrots
  • 2 cups chopped sugar snap peas
  • 8 ounces bean sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup tamari sauce or liquid coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon siracha sauce, if desired
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, if desired

Instructions

  1. Fully cook ground pork and garlic in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add fresh ginger near the end of the cooking time. Then remove the pork from the skillet and set aside.
  2. Stir fry the shredded cabbage, onion, and carrots in the same skilled you cooked the pork in for several minutes until the onion is fragrant. Then add snap peas and bean sprouts.
  3. Mix together the sesame oil, tamari or coconut aminos, fish sauce, sirachi if desired, and pour over veggies when they are almost done.
  4. Add the ground pork back to the veggies and stir until combined.
  5. Serve over cooked rice or cauliflower rice and top with sliced green onion and sesame seeds if desired.

Notes

This recipe makes a lot of food! It easily serves my entire family of six with plenty of leftovers for the a couple lunchs for me.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

2 cups

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 393 Total Fat: 21g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 91mg Sodium: 1020mg Carbohydrates: 20g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 10g Protein: 31g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
If you liked this recipe, please consider sharing it on social media and giving it a rating in the recipe card! 

Did you like this paleo egg bowl in a roll recipe?Here are some more you might like:

How to make homemade egg rolls

Keto Instant Pot Smothered Pork Chops

Better than Take Out Instant Pot Beef & Broccoli

Salmon & Asparagus Sheet Pan Dinner

 

 

7 Tasty and Entertaining Food Treats for Chickens

Treats for chickens are good for a number of reasons. If you’re wondering what sort of treats your backyard flock might like, here are several ideas that they will love to eat and play with too!

treats your chickens will love

7 Tasty and Entertaining Food Treats for Chickens

Giving your chickens treat is a great way to supplement their feed, and is also a way to keep them entertained and healthy. While you can spend a lot of money on chicken treats, you certainly don’t have to. You can find many of the items on this list in your own backyard or even your trash! If you’d like to save money on chicken feed by feeding your backyard chickens weeds and food scraps you might otherwise throw away, keep reading! 

bee on dandelion

Dandelions make great treats for chickens! 

Who knew there are so many treats for chickens growing right in your yard? Chickens will eat your entire dandelion, roots, stem, flower and all. Unfortunately, you have to pick them for the chickens first. I’m a big fan of leaving dandelions alone {much to my husband’s chagrin} as they are good for bees and pretty too, I think. So if you need to make your spouse happy or need some other reason to rid your yard of dandelions – here you go. Just make sure not to spray them first.

Clover 

Clover is another great chicken treat you might have growing in your yard. Pick a big handful and give it to your chickens. They will most certainly thank you! I would love to plant my front pasture in clover and quit mowing! Then the chickens could eat to their hearts’ content!

Chickweed 

Here’s another weed your chickens will love, the aptly named chickweed. Like clover and dandelions, just pick a big bowl full and give it to your chickens! Again, make sure these weeds haven’t been sprayed if you plan to give them to your chickens.

Watermelon & Rinds are treats your chickens will adore

You will be shocked to see how your chickens eat melons. And they love them all – watermelon, cantaloupe, any type really. It’s a lot of fun to give them the melon on the rind and watch them eat so much they leave only a thin layer behind. One of our favorite things to do in the summer is give our chickens half a melon and then come back later to look at the bowl that’s left when they’re done. It’s so amazing!

treats for chickens in the chickenyard

Corn on the cob, or just the cob!

We harvest lots of corn in the late summer and always have an abundance of corn cobs leftover after freezing a bunch of corn. If you need a way to amuse yourself and your chickens, hang a corn cob on a string from a tree in your chicken yard and watch your chickens peck away. We love giving our chickens not only the occasional cob that was harvested too late, but also the cobs after we’ve stripped the corn off for freezing. They pick them clean because they really do love corn.

Sara with a chicken

Cabbage

Another fun food item you can hang for your chickens is cabbage. Not only is a hanging cabbage a great snack they will enjoy, but it’s also another fun way to keep your chickens entertained.

Mealworms –

Mealworms are a yummy snack that chickens go crazy for! You can buy them at the store (I find them to be a little pricey) or you can even raise them yourself, if you’re up for a task like that. Sounds a little gross to me, but that’s what our kids are for, right?

treats your chickens will love

If you liked this post on treats for chickens, you may like these posts too:

Beginner’s Guide to Raising Baby Chicks

How to Choose the Perfect Chicken Breed for Your Homestead

Why You Might Consider Raising Chickens for Eggs

How to Prepare for Mail Order Chicks

Even chickens love treats, so make sure to give them some! What type of treat do you enjoy giving your chickens? 

Sweet & Tangy Whole Wheat Rhubarb Scones

Whole wheat rhubarb scones are a delicious way to use up fresh rhubarb from your garden! A sweet tang makes these crunchy scones a family hit! If you’re looking for rhubarb recipes, do give this one a shot!

scone on a plate

Sweet & Tangy Whole Wheat Rhubarb Scones

Rhubarb grows all over around here and is pretty much free for the taking if you are brave enough to knock on doors and ask! Rhubarb is one of the first crops of the spring and is the earliest crop that resembles fruit. It seems like a lot of people don’t like rhubarb, but I think it’s delicious. I read with interest about Barbara Kingsolver’s experience with rhubarb as she ate only local food for a year in her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life – one of my all time favorite books.

fresh rhubarb with leaves

One of my favorite recipes to make with rhubarb are these whole wheat scones! I love a crunchy scone and the added tang from the rhubarb is such a nice complement to the sweetness of this sugar in this recipe. I try not to use much sugar in my cooking, but we love this combination, and this scone recipe is one I have made over and over again.

Notes about making these scones

As with any cooking, having the right tools is the key to success. A couple things you will need to make these scones include a stone baking sheet and a masher.

The hardest part of making these scones in incorporating the butter, I think. I have a cute little masher that I use for guacamole that I use, and I also use my fingers.

scones on baking sheet before baking

To make them extra tasty, make sure to dust with sugar before baking. It shouldn’t be a lot of sugar, but a couple tablespoons will go a long way!

The last key to success in making scones in my opinion, is to give them plenty of separation on the baking sheet. I prefer my scones to have a crunchy outside and pulling them apart from each before baking other will help them to get a nice crunch.

Yield: 8 scones

Whole Wheat Rhubarb Scones

Whole Wheat Rhubarb Scones

Crumbly delicious scone with a sugar crunch and a tangy rhubarb pop.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar {I use coarse raw sugar}
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 2 cups rhubarb, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • extra sugar for dusting

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Stir together all dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Cut in cold butter until the mix resembles peas.
  4. Add rhubarb and milk and stir gently until combined. Mixture will be dry.
  5. Turn mix out on a baking stone and form into a 9" circle. Sprinkle extra sugar over the circle, if desired. {It's really good with the extra sugar - adds a nice crunch!} Cut the circle into 8 pie shaped wedges and gently move them apart so they are not touching each other.
  6. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  7. Enjoy!

Notes

If after 23 minutes of baking time the scones are not crispy enough, bake them for a few more minutes until they look perfect! 🙂

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 306 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 32mg Sodium: 450mg Carbohydrates: 44g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 13g Protein: 6g
whole wheat scones

Looking for more rhubarb recipes? Check out these:

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Whole Wheat Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

German Pancakes

15 Different Muffins from One Base Recipe

Do you like rhubarb? What’s your favorite rhubarb recipe?