Instant Pot Lazy Ribs Dinner


Well folks, it finally happened, I’m writing again! It has been a long road these past few years but I think I am finally finding balance in my life and can now do something with all these food photos on my phone.

Let’s talk about the Instant Pot. I bought mine a few years ago before this whole craze started, used it a few times and then threw it in the basement. It seemed fussy with all the specific instructions and buttons and I revered to my regular slow cooker, even though I bought the Instant Pot because I wanted something to sauté and then slow cook in the same machine. Then in the last 6 months as many folks around me started buying their own and going on about how much they love theirs I decided my rejection might have been premature; let’s give this baby another chance.

I’m so glad I did! It really is an amazing little machine, but much like a new phone you have to spend a few minutes learning about all it’s magic little tricks. If you, like me, hate reading manuals and are new to your insta-pot, here are a few quick tips:

  1. COOK FREE- Don’t be tied to your manual or online recipes, just try things out! This isn’t like a traditional pressure cooker where if you screw up your face might get burned off, so have a little fun. Getting an idea of cooking times is nice, but then branch out and try different things.
  2. PREHEAT- Everyone is amazed when you talk about hard boiling eggs in 3 or 4 minutes or cooking chicken breast from frozen 10. But these times don’t include the approximately 10 minutes it takes to heat up before the pressure cooking can begin. If you have any prep to do, turn on the “sauté” function while you do this and this will cut down on the preheat time.
  3. SLOWCOOK DIFFERENTLY- This isn’t a slow cooker, and although it has a slow cook function it will not act the same as a traditional slow cooker. This is fine but take it into account when using it as a slow cooker. I find it does not cook as low and slow as a slow cooker, even on low, but is great if you use it like you would a regular slow cooker for 4 hour meals cooked on high.

Now, for the first of many insta-pot recipes to come. This one is super easy, don’t laugh! It was so good though and the veggies were nicely seasoned- try it, you’ll be glad you did! You could jazz things up by replacing the water with broth or beer, or using your own bbq sauce (I usually make one of sautéed onions, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, mustard powder, and brown sugar). I cook with a lot of riblets as the 10lb boxes are often on 2 for 1 at the local butcher, but regular ribs would work (I would add 2 hours of cooking time).


EASY ONE POT RIB DINNER – Instant-Pot style

6-8 riblets

2 cups of bbq sauce (I used a bottle of Diana’s rib and chicken)

1 onion, sliced into rings

1.5 cups of water

4 carrots, peeled

4 potatoes, sliced in half (peeled/unpeeled fine)

salt and pepper to taste


Add the water to the insta pot

Salt and pepper the ribs and add them and cover with about 3/4 of the bbq sauce (1.5 cups)

Lay onions on top of ribs

Cook for 3 hours on the regular slow cook temperature. You could also try just pressure cooking them for 20 minutes if you are in a hurry!

Remove ribs and put on cookie sheet – brush with rest of sauce and cook at 450 for 10-15 minutes or until crispy while you cook the veggies.

Add veggies to the liquid left in pot – turn on pressure cook (manual) for 5 minutes.




The Quickest (and bestest) Roasted Brussel Sprouts 

I don’t often make brussel sprouts as I am the only person in my house who cares for them. I bought some at market the other day with intentions of a home made kale, cabbage and brussel sprout salad but then yesterday started considering alternatives that aren’t smothered creamy poppy seed dressing. I landed on wanting to roast the lovely little things, but I also wanted to eat within 10 minutes so I adapted a quick roasting method from The Kitchn to make it even easier (and smoke free). 

The result was perfectly charred brussels within 10 minutes of turning on the oven. They are so much better than the kind that is roasted into submission for 30-45min (sometimes even an hour!) in most recipes. The result here is an inside that is tender but still has some substance, just like with roasted brussel sprouts that you usually get in a high end resturant.  

Quick Roasted Brussel Sprouts


in only 10 min!


Fresh brussel sprouts

Oil (I used 1tb of grapeseed and 1tb olive)

Salt and pepper (to taste)

Turn on broil and place cookie sheet on middle rack.

Meanwhile wash then cut the ends of the sprouts off and let the first few outer layer leaves fall away.

Cut sprouts in half, giant ones can be quartered. 

Dump on cookie sheet and toss in oil and salt and pepper, then arrange them so they are cut side down.

Cook 5 minutes or until lightly charred. 

Take cookie sheet out – if bottoms of sprouts aren’t nicely caramalized just leave them on the cookie sheet a few minutes (still out of the oven) to cook the bottoms a little more.

Serve warm or with a drizzle of balsamic or balsamic reduction. 

Cheese Chips!!!


parmesan cheese chip

Heres the trouble folks; once you start making cheese chips you will never stop. Even with the best intentions, “I’ll just eat a few and save the rest to serve with dinner tomorrow” ultimately you will eat too many and spread the addiction to others. 

Usually, we see parmesan chips, which are delicious, mind you, but they aren’t the only cheese in the ballgame when it comes to crisp, light, flavourful homemade cheese crisps. Like usual I’ve done the experimenting for you and tried chips at different temperatures made of various cheeses including parmesan, extra old cheddar, medium cheddar, handeck, asiago, and a mix. 


extra old cheddar chips before baking

My favourite are the chips made from extra old cheddar (made by my local cheese shop Jenson’s and aged 2 years I believe. And don’t worry about it being orange- like most Canadian cheese makers, they use a vegetable based natural colouring). They are more crisp than asiago whichs tend to have the tiniest bit of chew and cheaper than parmesan chips, which I like almost as much. 

*Some recipes said to use a mix of finely grated cheese and coarse and after trying both I can tell you this is horseshit and it doesn’t matter. Grate it however you want!

the winner!

The recipe is so simple I’m not sure you can call it a recipe, but here it is! I recommend serving these (or at least planning to before you scarf them all down yourself) with Roasted Tomato Soup.


roasted tomato soup with the few cheese chips not eaten before dinner!

Cheese Chips

Grated  cheese of choice *
Preheat oven to 400f

Line baking sheet with parchment and use tablespoon to make cheese mounds. Bake for 4-6 minutes or until starting to bubble – stay close and don’t overcook!

Let cool on the cookie sheet a few minutes- they will crisp up when cool. 

Store leftovers (ha!) in a glass jar with a paper towel in the fridge for up to a week. 




Flourless Banana Chocolate Mini Muffins 


mini muffin or two bite brownie ? You decide!

Just to be clear, I love flour. All forms of gluten really, but flour based things in particular. But when my daughter was born (nearly 2 years ago now I can’t believe it!) I had an “aha” moment where I realized I was entirely responsible for everything that went inside this tiny person’s body and my choices would inform her relationship with food for the rest of her life. 

Woah- that’s a lot of pressure! I started to learn more about food and consider my nutritional choices more carefully. Two years later I am sixty pounds lighter than before pregnancy and am still learning so much about food and how it works in our bodies. Although my little one is no stranger to Tim Bits and sometimes eats things with “Mc” in front of them, she also loves kale chips, spinach smoothies and as of last night, these tasty, fudgy little two bite brownie type mini muffins. 

Thanks to Emma over at Better with Cake for the original recipe which I made a few changes to. They were soooo good and everyone at work shouted “send me the recipe!” in between mouthfuls. They satisfied my craving for something fudgy last night and were even better the next day when my little one was looking for a treat. The best thing is – not one dirty bowl! They are made in the blender and come together before the oven preheats 🙂

Flourless Banana Chocolate Mini Muffins 

Makes approx 36 mini muffins (can also halve recipe) 

2 eggs

1/2 cup maple syrup

4 teaspoons of vanilla or scrapings of one vanilla bean 

2 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled sightly

2 overripe bananas

4 tablespoons cocoa power 

4 tablespoons of unsweetened nut butter (I used sunflower but peanut, almond, cashew or similar would be fine- if you are using regular sweetened peanut butter reduce the maple syrup)

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoons of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (I used epicure pumpkin pie spice)

1 teaspoon of sea salt 

4 tablespoons of mini semi sweet or dark chocolate chips

2 tablespoons of semi sweet mini chocolate chips 


– Preheat oven to 350 f and line a mini muffin tray with papers or grease.

– Place all ingredients except choc chips into your food processor or blender and process/blend until well combined. FYI – the batter will be very, very runny. Don’t worry! 

-Add your 4 tablespoons of chocolate chips and stir to combine.

– Spoon/pour batter into your prepared muffin tray (I use approx 2 teaspoons per mini muffin).

– Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on tops. 

– Bake for 10-12 mins until the tops spring back when lightly pressed and a toothpick has just a few crumbs attached when inserted into the centre.

– Allow to cool in the muffin tray slightly before transferring directly into your mouth to a wire rack to cool completely.

These are better (and less banan-y) the next day but are also good warm!