Instant Pot Chicken, Shrimp, and Andouille Gumbo

Let me start off by saying if you are still following me – thanks!  Over the last couple of years I went back to school for a degree in Early Childhood Education.  I graduated in the spring and began teaching third grade this past fall.  It has been a whirlwind!  I often find myself trying to figure out where I found recipes that I tried and liked – and I haven’t been blogging so they weren’t here!  The travesty!  Therefore, my new years resolution is to return to blogging recipes I try.

If you have a connection to the internet, then you know about the gadget that is sweeping the nation – the Instant Pot.  I’d been hearing about these for the last year or so but just got one for myself during the holidays (I got the CrockPot brand and I love it!).  I’ve only made a few things in it, but last night’s recipe was the one that I wanted to use as my return to you guys.  We had our second snow day in a little over a month, and when we have cold weather I feel like I have three options:  soup, chili, or gumbo.

This recipe for Instant Pot gumbo sounded pretty tasty so I gave it a try.  It was delicious!  I did find it to be a bit salty so my modified recipe will reflect changes for that.  I was not sure if it was because I used andouille sausage from a meat market (it looked very seasoned) or that it just called for too much Creole seasoning.  I’m going to cut the amount of Creole seasoning in half – you can always add more but cannot take it out once it’s done!  This recipe cooked very quickly and was delicious!

Chicken, Shrimp, and Andouille Gumbo

Instant Pot Chicken, Shrimp, and Andouille Gumbo
Modified from Stay Snatched

6 oz. chicken breasts (I used half of a deboned, shredded rotisserie chicken from Sam’s)
1 lb. medium to large raw shrimp, peeled
1 link andouille sausage, cut into bite size rounds
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 pkg. frozen chopped okra, thawed
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp Better Than Bouillon chicken base
1 can chicken broth
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cups water
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
a few drops of Liquid Smoke
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 – 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
1.5 tsp Tony’s Creole Seasoning
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and Pepper, to taste

White Rice for serving


With the Instant Pot on the Saute’ setting, brown the andouille sausage for two to three minutes, until browning.  Remove and set aside.  Add the butter and 1 tbsp olive oil.  Once the butter has melted, slowly stir in the 4 tbsp of flour.  Stir constantly, being sure to get the corners of the pot.  This is your roux and it should be around the color of a brown paper bag.

Once browned, switch to the Keep Warm setting and add your onions, bell peppers, and celery.  Stir well, cooking until the vegetables are tender.  Next, add all of the seasonings (not the liquid smoke), the minced garlic, and the Worcestershire sauce.  Stir well to incorporate. Add the chicken broth, okra, Better Than Bouillon, and 1 cup of water, stir well.  Return the sausage and the shredded chicken (or raw chicken breasts) to the pot and top with the diced tomatoes.  DO NOT STIR.  The tomatoes should always be at the top.

Close the pot and seal, cook on the Soup setting at High Pressure for 15 minutes.  Allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes before releasing the pressure and carefully opening.  If your chicken was raw, shred it.  Otherwise stir well and add the shrimp.  Set the pot setting back to Saute’ and cook for a few minutes until shrimp are pink.  Put a few drops of liquid smoke and add remaining two cups of water to thin it out some, if desired.  Switch back over to Keep Warm.  Taste for seasonings and serve hot over rice.



Crawfish Etouffee’

If you grew up in southern Louisiana as I did, crawfish etouffee is a traditional dish that is prepared fairly often – especially during crawfish season (which generally runs from January through May or June).  Any Cajun cookbook you come across will have some version of the recipe and I’m sure people would love to debate what makes a true etouffee.

I spotted this recipe on Facebook a while back and have made it several times.  I have to say, it’s my favorite etouffee recipe I’ve come across.  It is creamy and the flavors are just on point.  It uses some unusual ingredients but it comes together to create pure magic.  In the recipe I will post, I’ve scaled back on some of the seasonings because we generally use crawfish leftover from a boil, which are already pretty well seasoned.  My husband made this once using those crawfish and the full seasonings and whew!  I was “glistening” while eating it!  So just give it a taste test and if you feel like it needs more seasoning, just add a little more of the steak seasoning or some cayenne powder (which it calls for but I leave out).

**A couple of notes:  It seems strange to put steak seasoning in but trust me, it makes a great flavor profile!  Also do not use a straight cast iron pot as it will discolor the crawfish.  Enameled cast iron is what I use.

crawfish etouffee

Crawfish Etouffee
Recipe adapted from Lou Wanna Parra on Facebook


2 lbs Peeled Crawfish (Do not rinse crawfish, leave fat on)
1 stick Butter
1 Onion (Minced)
1 tsp Minced Garlic
2 stalks Celery (Chopped)
1/2 Bell Pepper (Chopped) (Optional)
3/4 Capful Liquid Crab Boil (small bottle size)
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1.5 Tbsp Texjoy Steak Seasoning (this sounds strange but trust me!)
Dash of Salt, Black Pepper
1 Can (10.5 oz) Golden Mushroom Soup
1 Can (10.5 oz) Cream of Celery Soup
1 Capful of Kitchen Bouquet (small bottle size)
Parsley Flakes
1/2 to 1 Soup Can of Water


In a 5 qt. pot, place your stick of butter, then on top add the onions, garlic, celery, and bell pepper.  Top with the peeled crawfish (you’re supposed to make a pyramid but that doesn’t seem to work for me so don’t sweat it).  Add the liquid crab boil, garlic powder, TexJoy seasoning, salt and black pepper on top of the “pyramid”.  Don’t stir it yet.  Place the lid on top and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are soft.  Once they are softened, stir well, then add the mushroom soup and celery soup, plus the water.  Stir well to incorporate ingredients.  Add the Kitchen Bouquet and stir in well until evenly blended.

Cover and simmer over low heat at least ten minutes.  Serve warm over rice.

Chicken and Vegetable ‘Lo Mein’ Fake Out

Calm down, your eyes are not deceiving you.  This really is a blog post!  I know it has been a while but life has been chaotic.  But hey, you’re not here to read about what I’ve been busy with are you?  You’re here for the food!  Ahh food…I’ve been dieting so I’ve been having this love-hate relationship with food lately.  I’m genuinely trying to make healthier choices, which can be hard, but necessary.

Today’s recipe is a kind of take-out fake-out that takes the fake-out to the next level.  It’s a lo-mein stir fry recipe but instead of using noodles we are going to use shredded cabbage.  I know, it’s not quite the same thing but trust me, once you get used to these substitutions you actually start to enjoy them!  This recipe came together really quickly (cooking in the wok scares me because things cook SO quickly).  I actually used some leftover cooked chicken breasts that I just diced and didn’t cook as long as the recipe said.  It was good enough to bring me back to blogging after six months, the very night I made it.  Check it out!

Chicken Vegetable Lo Mein

Chicken and Vegetable ‘Lo Mein’
Recipe slightly adapted from:  Primal Palate

Chicken, diced into bite-sized pieces1/4 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup water chesnuts
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1 pkg shiitake mushrooms
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 cups broccoli (I used a ready to cook package and just used it all)
2 cups shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix works great – minus the dressing of course)
Sesame oil
Braggs Coconut aminos (a lower sodium natural choice instead of soy sauce – often found in the organic section or sometimes with the oriental food.  If you can’t find it then use a low-sodium soy sauce)
Toasted Sesame Seeds to top


Heat wok over high heat, add sesame oil and coat the pan.  Add the meat and cook for a few minutes, until mostly cooked (mine was already cooked so I didn’t cook as long).  Add the broccoli, water chestnuts, celery and shiitake mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes.  Next add in the almonds, cabbage, ginger, green onions and garlic, along with 4 tbsp coconut aminos.  Mix well and cook for a few minutes, until the cabbage is tender but not TOO soft.  Remove from heat and top with sesame seeds.

Corn and Shrimp Chowder

Usually when I make corn and shrimp soup, I make my grandma’s recipe.  It’s what I grew up eating and it’s comfort in a bowl.  However, while at my parents’ house recently, my dad made some corn and shrimp soup, though I found it to be more of a chowder so that’s what I’ll call it.

I’m not sure where the recipe came from, I think it might be from my parents’ friend Tracy.  Whoever created it needs a round of applause though because it is fantastic.  It comes together really easily, making it a perfect weeknight dinner on a cold rainy (or dare I say, snowy?) night.  The amount of shrimp added can be to your tastes, and your budget – though I will say the more the merrier!

Corn and Shrimp Chowder

Corn and Shrimp Chowder

Corn and Shrimp Chowder

1 stick butter
2 onions, diced
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 ribs celery, chopped
chicken broth or stock (one to two cans, depending on desired thickness)
1 can Rotel original tomatoes, drained
1 can cream-style corn2 cans whole kernel corn, drained
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 bunch of green onions, tops and bottoms, sliced separately
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 (8 oz.) block Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1-2 lbs. shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt, pepper and Tony’s Creole seasoning, to taste


In a large pot, melt the stick of butter, then saute’ the onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and green onion bottoms until soft.  Add all of the canned ingredients, cooking over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, stirring often (very important – cream style corn will stick and BURN!).  Add cream cheese and whisk until melted through, stir in the shrimp, green onion tops (reserve some for garnish) and seasonings and let cook for 10 more minutes.  Remove from heat and serve garnished with additional green onions.

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Quiche

We’ve got chickens now so we have eggs-a-plenty.  You know, you can only eat so many scrambled eggs before you’re DONE!  We had a surplus in the fridge that needed to get used up so I set out looking for a recipe that looked good, and more importantly, called for many eggs!

I found just what I was looking for in this bacon jalapeno popper quiche.  I don’t normally like quiches that do not have a crust bottom.  The texture just doesn’t make me happy.  This one called for my favorite things, I knew it couldn’t go wrong.  I made it first several months ago and we have cooked it countless times since.  It’s definitely a winner, with a nice fresh salad on the side!

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Quiche

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Quiche

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Quiche
Recipe adapted from:  Real House Moms

1 9-inch frozen pie crust (I used deep dish), defrosted
1/2 block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2 jalapenos, diced and seeded
1 jalapeno, deseeded and cut into rounds (it can be hard to scoop out the seeds while not cutting the jalapeno, but the seeds DO make it spicier so fair warning here!)4 slices cooked crispy bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup half and half
5 large eggs
1 tsp creole seasoning (Tony’s)
salt to taste
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prick the pie crust all over with a fork, then bake for 10 minutes.  Remove and lower the temperature of the oven to 350.

While the crust is hot, spread the cream cheese evenly over the bottom, then top with the diced jalapenos.  In a small pot, bring the whipping cream and half and half to a warm temperature, but do not scald.  Beat the eggs in a bowl, then whisk the hot cream into the eggs.  Add the bacon, creole seasoning and salt, then pour into the pie crust.

Bake for thirty minutes, then remove from oven and sprinkle the cheese on top, then arrange the jalapeno slices on top of the cheese.  Bake another 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and turning a golden brown.  Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Whole30/Paleo Mexican Chicken Soup

In August, hubby and I decided to start eating better.  We did the Whole30 (actually we stopped a few days short of 30 if I’m being honest, but we are still sticking with the program for the most part).  We learned a few things while we did the program, including the importance of prepping your food ahead of time, and that it can get expensive!  This soup was great because it made a TON!  We did the full recipe and ate for most of a week on it.

Don’t let the fact that it’s “diet” get you down.  Husband said that he would eat it even if he wasn’t on a diet, it was that good!  I was even a daredevil and took a trip out of state to visit friends and brought some with me since I didn’t expect them to cook Whole30 style for me.  My friend tasted the soup and she loved it too!  It’s a winner!

Mexican Chicken Soup

Mexican Chicken Soup

Mexican Chicken Soup
Recipe adapted from Framing Cali

2 whole chickens
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
2 bell peppers (I had a mix of red, green and yellow in the freezer), cut into strips
1-2 zucchini, diced
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 bunch cilantro
1 tbsp minced garlic
Avocado (for topping)
red onion (for topping)
1.5 tbsp onion Salt
1.5 tbsp garlic powder
1.5 tbsp curry powder
1.5 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1.5 tbsp dried cilantro

In a large stock pot, place your chickens (with the innards removed) and fill with water until just covered.  Add half the yellow onion, minced garlic, and a handful of fresh cilantro and boil for about 45 minutes.  Season to taste (I used salt and Cajun seasoning blend).

While that’s boiling, saute the rest of the yellow onion, bell peppers and zucchini.  Set aside.  Remove the chickens (this can be complicated!) and set aside in a large casserole to cool off a little bit.  Add the diced sweet potatoes to the broth made from the chickens cooking.  Boil until tender, about 15 minutes.

Once cool enough to touch, peel and discard the chicken skin and shred the meat into bite sized chunks.  Add the chicken, sauteed vegetables, and spices to the broth.  Simmer on low at least 20 more minutes.  Serve topped with diced avocado and red onion.

Mexican Chicken Soup

Mexican Chicken Soup


Whole30 Basil Cashew Chicken Salad

My husband and I recently started our first Whole30 diet.  I’m kind of behind in doing some posts, as today we are wrapping up day 17!  More than halfway there!  The first few days were a little rough, but we’ve adjusted pretty well.  My husband has been a rock star, he has given up tobacco as well.  We’ve had a good time experimenting with different recipes, and this is one of the first ones I made.

First I made some compliant mayonnaise (recipe to come soon!), then just started throwing things in!  So easy and so delicious!  I loosely based it on a favorite wrap of ours at Roly Poly.  This can be a eaten on a salad, using lettuce as a wrap, or just on its’ own.

Tip:  Do not add your cashews until you are ready to eat.  Otherwise, they get a little weird.

Basil Cashew Chicken Salad

Basil Cashew Chicken Salad

Whole30 Basil Cashew Chicken Salad
Source:  A Cooking With Christen original recipe

1 whole chicken, roasted, deboned, and shredded
compliant mayonnaise, to taste
2-3 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, etc.)
cashews for garnish


Mix all ingredients except for the cashews.  Taste for seasonings and refrigerate at least a few hours, or overnight for the flavors to blend together.  When ready to serve, top with cashews.

Basil Cashew Chicken Salad

Basil Cashew Chicken Salad