Monday’s Menu: Chicken Taco Bowls

I am super excited for tonight’s edition of Monday’s Menu! It has been a while since I’ve shared anything with you all! And because of the social distancing lockdown, it doesn’t even matter that I’m calling this post Monday’s Menu on a Wednesday! Did you even know it was Wednesday? Be honest!

If like me you are missing all of your usual food haunts, dinners with friends and family, and just overall OVER IT with the kitchen, I’ve got a sure fire way to please *most* of your family in one easy meal that can provide leftovers so NO ONE can come back to Mama to ask “what’s for lunch?” My favorite thing about this meal is that it is what I call a pantry ready meal. All of these ingredients can be collected and stored in the pantry and freezer and pulled out just when you are about to lose your mind. Let’s get down to business!

Chicken Taco Bowls 


  • 2+ pounds of precious, rare, hard to find chicken breasts
  • Salsa of your choice
  • Mexican / Spanish Rice – whatever you like! (tonight were just using brown rice!)
  • The fixins’
  •    – Diced jalapeños
  •    – Corn
  •    – Black beans
  •    – Queso
  • Optional: tortillas or tortilla chips


Depending on the type of rice you choose, that may be the item that takes the most time. Read the box/bag instructions and get that going before anything else. Afterward, toss your frozen chicken breasts into the Instant Pot with at least 1 cup of salsa. This method works best when the breasts aren’t frozen together. Set IP on manual for ten minutes and then let it naturally release for 5 minutes before doing a quick release. (If you still have your sanity and mange to pre-plan meals, the slower cooker is also an option. I like low and slow for 6-8 hours for chicken). Once the chicken is cooked, use your hand mixer to shred the chicken right in the IP or crockpot. (Kitchen Aid stand mixers are also brilliant at shredding chicken!)

While the rice and chicken is going you can gather your other canned ingredients. It doesn’t matter that I prep the beans and corn before the main items are ready because I will be honest, I always microwave my bowl about 35/40 seconds so my queso gets hot and melty.

Once the rice and chicken are ready, you can load up your bowls or tortillas (I actually like to put crunched up tortilla chips in my bowl!). The bowl will pile up quickly if you have more than a few ingredients so make sure your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach! The order I usually follow is rice, chicken, beans, corn, queso, and finally I top with jalapeños. The best part is that this meal is just as yummy the next day (or two!).

This meal has been a go-to of comfort the last few months and I hope it helps you break out of whatever kitchen funk you might be in due to being stuck at home 24/7. Please let me know if you try it or add it to your rotation!

Be safe and be well!





A White {Chocolate} Christmas

Merry Christmas, everybody! Or are you like me, still rushing around with so much to do in the final hours that you aren’t feeling so merry? While I knocked out the decorating tasks rather early, I’m always a last minute kinda girl for the cooking and shopping. I’ll be hosting a Christmas cookie exchange party this week with friends but with all that entails, I don’t actually have time for a whole lot of baking. (read: I never leave myself enough time.) That’s exactly why I am so excited to share this super easy Christmas candy recipe with my fellow kindred spirits.

As you may have figured out by now, I am a huge fan of anything that has to do with the crock pot or Instant Pot. This candy recipe combines my love of sweet and salty with that obsession. Let’s get down to business.

– 2 lbs white chocolate / vanilla candy coating
– 1 six ounce white chocolate baking bar
– 12 ounces white chocolate chips
– 3 cups dry roasted peanuts
– 2.5 cups pretzels, broken into small pieces
– sprinkles (This is optional, but don’t be a scrooge.)

Place all chocolate ingredients into crock pot that has been set on low. Leave to melt for one hour before checking.(Time to wrap those presents!) Once melted, stir in peanuts and pretzel pieces until completely coated in chocolate. Use cookie scoop/melon baller to spoon mixture on to parchment paper. Add festive sprinkles to mounds of candy. Leave to cool for at least one hour. Enjoy!

This recipe could easily be done with milk chocolate if you’re so inclined like my husband (but his waist line will thank me for this version.) Also, my more careless style with the cookie scoop produced 60 servings, but those were very generous. A more steady hand could produce 90 or so smaller candies. Do with that knowledge what you will.

Another helpful tip for this busy holiday season? Check your local Aldi for amazing deals on holiday treats, baking supplies, and even items for cheese plates and other holiday hosting supplies. I was able to grab my peanuts, pretzels, and white chocolate chips for this recipe in Aldi for cheaper than my other go-to grocery store. (They also had plenty of milk chocolate baking supplies available.) Just my two cents for helping the merry stretch a little bit further.

Is this white chocolate Christmas candy going to be added to your never ending to do list? Let me know in the comments if you’re a fan!

Merry Everything!
– Jill

Monday’s Menu: My New Obsession

My newest tool to nutritious, delicious home-cooked meals.

Guys! I just had to take a moment and introduce you to my newest obsession. I’ve told you before that cooking isn’t generally something I am a fan of, but since it comes with the territory of housewife and mom life, I am trying to do better for my little family. Recently the hours of my life that I waste on Instagram brought me across something, rather someone, amazing. Enter Brittany Williams (@InstantLoss).

Brittany shares daily with her nearly 70k Instagram followers about how she overcame bad childhood habits, loss, and a family crisis to lose over 100 pounds in a year. Through this process she developed delicious, nutritious recipes that rolled out earlier this fall in the form of an easy to use cookbook called, Instant Loss. The best part I haven’t mentioned yet? Nearly all of the 125 recipes are designed for the Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker). How could I not fall in love?

The moment my book arrived I leafed through adding tabs to any and all of the recipes I thought our family should try. There are so many fun twists on already popular food items – but the ingredients are whole foods: often organic, gluten and dairy free. Now before your brain shuts down with the mention of such hot topic buzzwords like “organic” just know you can make the recipes to suit your style. Did we buy the gluten free breadcrumbs for the meatloaf? Yes. Did we HAVE to? Absolutely not.

So far on this journey we have made the following: egg roll bowl, better than takeout orange chicken chili, 5-minute poblano chicken chili, and spicy stuffed peppers. This week we are also tackling the skinny enchiladas and classic meatloaf (which my friends have raved about!). Speaking of friends, I was so excited about this new inspiration I immediately started telling a few of my friends. Two were crazy enough to listen to me and ordered the cookbook right away. They are BEYOND happy with the results they’re experiencing both physically and mentally as they cook these new healthy meals for their families. (I’m so happy for you Katie and Morgan!)

I actually finally convinced another friend to invest in an Instant Pot and her Instant Loss cookbook should be arriving today. While her final verdict on the contraption is still out, I highly encourage anyone that is on the fence about joining the IP community to take the plunge and buy one. It has dramatically improved how I feel about cooking, the easy at which it gets done, and even the clean up! If you have any other great IP cookbooks to recommend or favorite recipes to share with us, I’d love to hear all about them in the comments!

– Jill

Monday’s Menu: Mexican Spaghetti Squash

Pack in the veggies with this delicious Mexican Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Happy Monday! I can say that honestly because my son and I drove down to the beach this morning to meet up with friends. It’s been a great day in the sand and surf and now we’re having some downtime before dinner. There is no place in the world I love more than the beach (except maybe my own house because I’m weirdly becoming more of a homebody.).

If I were home I’d probably be whipping up another batch of delicious Mexican Spaghetti Squash Casserole for the week. I made it for our family on Friday night and just had to share it with you because it’s nutritious and reheats like a dream making meal prepping super easy. If you’re like me and always looking for ways to squeeze more veggies in your diet than this is it!

I originally found this recipe on Nesting With Grace’s blog and fell in love. I’ve tweaked it a little (ie: I add cheese to everything) but hop over there because she has TONS of inspiration for home decor and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Let’s talk tools for a moment. An Instant Pot makes this meal a breeze. I can’t rave enough about this! If you haven’t already, get out of the dark ages and buy one: it’s life changing!

If you have an Instant Pot then you will cut your spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds and strings, place it with one cup of water inside the pot on the metal trivet, and set the manual pressure to 12 minutes on high. Once it’s finished you can quick release the steam and let it cool down a bit before shredding the squash with a fork. This method is far and beyond easier than roasting in the oven!

While the squash is cooking in your IP, you can get busy dicing your veggies. On Friday night I used carrots, onions, and an orange sweet pepper but any ol’ pepper will do. Red would’ve been a nice color contrast from the carrots. Eat the rainbow, right? Once they’re diced you’ll toss them in a pan to cook until soft.

I usually use the same pan my veggies were cooked in to do my meat. Now, you’ve got options for this part! We’ve been using ground chicken because it was on sale, but ground turkey or chicken sausages would be great, too. Whatever you pick, brown your meat and place in mixing bowl with the softened veggies.

While that’s all cooking down, can you just take a moment to talk about this spice drawer? Laying our spices out where we could see them all has made for a much happier kitchen! I’ve been thrilled to see that some other friends are trying it out since I shared about it on my Instagram post. I always love seeing how other families stay organized.

By now your spaghetti squash should be finished and easy to shred. Add it to the bowl with your other veggies and choice of meat. Now it’s time to mix in your seasonings and salsa. Mix well and place everything into a baking pan. Whisk 3 eggs and add to the dish before placing it all in the oven. You’ll bake the dish at 350* for one hour. I always pull it out with two minutes to go, top with cheese, and set my oven to broil. Now your family will have a delectable and nutritious meal for days to come. I love leftovers and meal prepping!

Do you think you’ll add this to your rotation?

Mexican Spaghetti Squash Casserole


• 1 Medium Spaghetti Squash

• 1 16 0z Jar of Salsa

• 1 Red Pepper

• 1 Onion

• 1 Cup Diced Carrots

• 1 Cup Cooked Chicken Sausage or Cooked Ground Turkey/Chicken

• 2 tablespoons cumin

• 1 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1 teaspoon chili powder

• 1 teaspoon paprika

• 3 Eggs

• shredded cheese


Preheat oven to 350*

Use Instant Pot to cook spaghetti squash by cutting it in half, removing seeds, placing it inside pot on metal trivet with one cup of water. Run on high manual for 12 minutes. Quick release when finished.

Dice carrots, onion, and sweet pepper and cook until soft. Cook ground turkey/chicken or chicken sausage and add to bowl with soften veggies. Add shredded spaghetti squash, salsa, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika and mix well. Place in greased 9×12 baking dish and pour in 3 whisked eggs.

Cook dish for one hour. If adding cheese, remove and shredded cheese, placing it back in on broil for two minutes.

Eat and enjoy!

Monday’s Menu: Egg Salad

Ah, Monday. I’ve often argued that Tuesday was the worst day of the week (can you name anything good about a Tuesday?) but Monday definitely carries the bad rap. As a SAHM Monday is definitely a little different. Sure, I value our time together as a family of 3, but there is something so refreshing about going back into a routine.

Years ago, when I was still working, we started making special meals on Monday nights as something to look forward to. Having a plan in place kept us from reaching for whatever was fast and convenient and allowed us the chance to start the week off strong.

These special meals don’t have to be involved. Who wants to spend a lot of time in the kitchen after a rough day at work? Take tonight’s easy meal for example…

Healthy Egg Salad

Did you know it was super easy to make traditional egg salad with Greek yogurt? You can substitute the Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise in any of your favorite recipes. Hard for you or your family to deal with change? Go half and half. Anything to move in a healthy direction is a good step! I also use Greek yogurt in my tuna salad, chicken salad, healthy smoothies, and morning oatmeal.

For this recipe I used:
– 12 hard boiled eggs
– Greek yogurt
– salt & pepper
– dill

Chop your hard boiled eggs, blend in Greek yogurt/mayo to a creamy texture, add dill, salt, and pepper to taste, then chill. It’s that simple.

I’m down to eat my egg salad on its own, but it also makes an awesome sandwich on Dave’s Killer Bread.

To make your nights flow even better, I suggest using your Instant Pot to hard boil your eggs! I’ve never had eggs peel better than when using this method:

Using the metal trivet inside your Instant Pot, add one dozen eggs (or more!). Pour in one cup of water. Set your manual timer to five minutes on high pressure. Release for five minutes. Remove from Instant Pot and place in ice bath for five minutes. 5/5/5! You can thank me later!

Do you enjoy healthy substitutions? I’d love to other ways you step up your nutrition game!