Instant Pot Copy Cat General Tso’s Chicken

We have been Social Distancing for the last 2 weeks. Although I know that restaurants are still open for pick-up and delivery we have been trying our hardest to avoid going out to lessen our own exposure since we all have loved ones that are in high risk groups for COVID-19.

This does mean that when a craving hits, we are at the mercy of our own recipe book to satisfy that craving. I woke up last week with a tiny thought of Chinese food in my brain and that thought kept getting bigger and bigger until I was begging Dave to dig through his long list of recipes to find something delicious.

We got the recipe up on YouTube, but since we both know that a blog can be easier to follow, we are going to start putting up both!

Check out the YouTube Video below, and keep scrolling for the full recipe on the blog.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE SAUCE:
    • 4 Cloves Garlic (diced)
    • 4TBS Brown Sugar
    • 4TBS Honey
    • 4TBS Hoisin Sauce
    • 2TBS Rice Wine Vinegar
    • 2TBS Sriracha
    • 1TBS Sesame Oil
    • 1TBS Dried Ginger Powder (or fresh minced)
  • ALL OTHER INGREDIENTS:
    • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast (cut into bite sized chunks)
    • 1 Cup Water
    • 1 Yellow Onion (chopped)
    • 1 Red Bell Pepper (chopped)
    • 1 Small Head Broccoli (cut into bite sized pieces)
    • 2TBS Olive Oil
    • 3TBS Corn Starch
    • 3TBS Cold Water

Instructions

  1. Mix all the sauce ingredients and set aside
  2. Set Instant Pot to saute
  3. Add 2TBS of olive oil to instant pot until hot
  4. Add chopped chicken and stir every 2 minutes for 6 minutes
  5. Turn saute off add the pre-mixed sauce (above) and 1 cup of water – mix everything together in the instant pot
  6. Put the lid onto the Instant Pot and set to 5 minutes
  7. Once done, quick release the pressure
  8. Mix all cooked ingredients (scrapping the bottom for any stuck pieces)
  9. Stir in the onions, peppers, and broccoli
  10. Put the lid back onto the Instant Pot and set to 0 minutes
  11. While cooking, mix 3TBS corn starch and 3TBS cold water together
  12. Once done, quick release again and turn off the Instant Pot
  13. add in the corn starch and cold water (mix well and allow the sauce to thicken)

This recipe is perfect over rice, noodles, or (our personal favorite) Air Fried Asian Garlic Cauliflower.

We hope you enjoyed this one as much as we did! Make sure to follow the blog, or TheWildWaynes on YouTube for more. ❤

Air Fried Asian Garlic Cauliflower

I didn’t start out as one of “those” families that eats cauliflower for every meal instead of rice and noodles, but here we are. I’m not sorry, it’s amazingly delicious if done right!

We love this recipe as a side, a stand alone snack, or a base for some of our favorite Asian meals. It’s quick and easy (my two favorite words for any and all recipes that I make), and both of my kids scarf it down.

INGREDIANTS

  • 1 Head of Cauliflower
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
    • 1TBS Granulated Garlic
    • 1TBS Rice Wine Vinegar
    • 1TBS Soy Sauce
    • 1TBS Sriracha
    • 1TBS Sesame Oil
    • 1TBS Olive Oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cut up the cauliflower into bite sized chunks, It really is your preference, we’ve done all sorts of sizes, and they all turn out amazing.
  2. Mix sauce ingredients
  3. Preheat Air Fryer to 400 degrees for 5 minutes
  4. Dump cut up cauliflower into the sauce and blend well by hand (this is recommended so you can get the sauce into all of the hidden spots)
  5. Spray oil the basket and dump cauliflower in
  6. Air fry at 400 degrees for 15 minutes **IMPORTANT** shake WELL every 5 minutes (or your cauliflower will burn!)

That’s it! Easy right? Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Have Fun While Social Distancing!

This post is NOT well thought out, it’s probably not even that well organized. I have been seeing so many amazing resources shared on Facebook and Instagram… but when I got back to find them, they are buried under memes and work from home posts. 🙂

I scrolled and scrolled and scrolled (so you don’t have too!) and this is a list that I compiled of all of the FREE resources and links that have been shared over the last week.

Have another one to add? CLICK HERE (it’s a google form, and I will be notified and will add it to the list within 24 hours!). Please ensure it’s a free resource. A lot of people are home without income let’s not add to that burden.

Currently, I have the following sections of links:

  • MUSEUMS/OPERA/MUSICALS
  • LIBRARIES/READING
  • THE OUTDOORS (while indoors)
  • KIDDOS RESOURCES (learning, etc)
  • JUST FOR FUN

Also, a friend of mine started her own YouTube. We love Miss Melody, she’s been a friend of mine for 25+ years, and one of the most amazing teachers I’ve ever know. Her YouTube is new, but I am going to share it first. ❤ Also, Charlotte’s Web is a favorite book of mine and both kids have loved watching Miss Melody read it.

MUSEUMS/OPERA/MUSICALS

LIBRARIES/READING

THE OUTDOORS (while indoors)

KIDDOS RESOURCES (learning, etc)

JUST FOR FUN

Enjoy everyone, and please please please send me more links if you find them.

Oh, and keep on social distancing and washing your hands. Those who are at risk with COVID-19 thank you. ❤

Instant Pot Hawaiian Kalua Chicken

I love recipes with 10 ingredients or less! Even better when I only have to dirty 1-2 dishes. I am a firm believer in “less work, more eat”.

A quick note on this recipe – it was originally designed for pork. That didn’t stop me from replacing pork with chicken. If you are inclined to use pork, do so, just make sure to check out Instant Pot cook times online for pork. They are longer than chicken, and I’d hate for you to get an undercooked dinner.

PS – I’m sure it will be equally good. I just haven’t tried it yet.

Instant Pot Hawaiian Kalua Chicken
Pin now, enjoy later! ❤

Instant Pot Hawaiian Kalua Chicken Ingredients

  • 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp oil (we used Avocado Oil)
  • 2 lbs Chicken
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Liquid Smoke (Hickory)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar

Instant Pot Hawaiian Kalua Chicken Instructions

  1. Salt chicken on both sides.
  2. Set Instant Pot to sauté & add oil.
  3. When hot, add chicken and cook until brown on both sides.
  4. Turn off the Instant Pot, remove the chicken and set aside.
  5. Add water, soy sauce, Liquid Smoke, and brown sugar & mix together (scrape any browned bits off of the bottom of the pan).
  6. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and set to High Pressure for 10 minutes.
  7. When finished cooking, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release for 10 minutes.
  8. After the 10 minutes, quick release the remaining pressure.
  9. Shred chicken and enjoy with your sides of choice!
    (we had with rice and broccoli)

I sure hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! If you’ve made it or adapted it, let me know in the comments below. I love to hear how these recipes evolve.

Child Enjoying Instant Pot Hawaiian Kalua Chicken

The Wild Waynes // 2019 Week 33

We are almost to Week 35, and this post has been sitting in “draft mode” just waiting for me to finish it.

So, here is goes!

Some really awesome things are happening with Harrison. First, he is starting to really obsess (in a good way!) about cooking. The second we pull the Instant Pot, pan, ingredients, etc, out and onto the counter he is running into the kitchen going “I do it! I cook! I get my stool!”

It’s so much fun to see him grow in passions. Both Dave and I have a huge love of cooking, so I hope that we pass that along to both our kids.

Harrison’s first attempt at Hard Boiled Eggs. He even helped me cut them. 😉

I personally applied to be a pin rep for MerPinz (I’ll create a blog post on all my pins shortly. I am a tiny bit obsessed). Sarah Lou shared my picture on her Instagram feed and I felt like a celebrity! 🙂

https://www.etsy.com/shop/MerPinz

Harrison wound up with a weird allergic reaction 3 days in a row! Thankfully some eyedrops and meds fixed him right up. We haven’t had an issue with it again… but on top of his need for an inhaler whenever he gets sick – as well as sometimes when he is not sick – I think we are going to talk to our Pediatrician about getting him allergy tested. I know Harrison will absolutely hate it, but I think it’ll be good as we navigate the school age years that are creeping up on us fast.

I also finished my first crochet project in about 15 years. Harrison loves the little guy (named him Big Dude) and now takes him everywhere. I did a pretty bad job sewing the appendages on, because flash forward a week and I’m already needed to take Big Dude to emergency surgery and sew everything on a LOT tighter and more secure.

Lastly my sweet (and destructive!) Hailey. Her amazing accomplishments this week are pulling herself up and purposefully saying “Dada” when Dave walks by. It’s such a treat to be able to watch all of her little milestones. Sometimes they happen so quickly I miss getting them in her baby book. Thank goodness for cell phones because often I find myself on the weekends using images and video to recall events as I try to keep both of their baby books alive.

“Big Dude”
That “Welcome Sign” is now in a closet to prevent anymore damage.
Ugh, isn’t it terrible looking! I know it was itchy too, because he was rubbing his eye the entire car ride. Poor guy!
When you catch your older kid drawing on your younger kid.
This is his “Owl”, and I love it!

Instant Pot Sweet Sesame Chicken

I love have a large arsenal of Asian Instant Pot recipes at my disposal. Many of the recipes use the same ingredients (or most of the same ingredients) which allows me to save time and money!

Some really nice things about this recipe are: 1. kids love it 2. it’s easy 3. you can double up the recipe if needed for leftovers (or bigger families!) 4.pretty much anything can be added as a side.

Instant Pot Sweet Sesame Chicken
MOAR CHICKEN!

See, I told you it was kid approved – haha.

The only downside to this recipe is it does call for several of the ingredients to be mixed in different bowls prior to being added to the Instant Pot. So be prepared for a few more dishes than normal. I mean, it’s 1 or 2, but I’m all about less chores, so I figured I should give you a heads up.

Instant Pot Sweet Sesame Chicken Ingredients

  • 1 Pound Chicken (cut into bite size pieces)
  • 2 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 Cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 Cup ketchup
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (Optional – we like some heat!)
  • 1/4 Cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • Sesame seeds (Also Optional, but it kinda makes the dish, haha)

Instant Pot Sweet Sesame Chicken Instructions

  1. Add 1 Tbsn of cornstarch and salt to a medium bowl
  2. Add chicken and coat evenly on all pieces (feel free to add a little more cornstarch and salt here if needed!)
  3. Set Instant Pot to sauté & add 1 Tbsp of oil.
  4. When ready, add chicken. Cook until chicken is golden brown. Roughly 3-4 minutes.
  5. While the chicken is cooking, mix the soy sauce, ketchup, and (optional) red pepper flakes in a small bowl.
  6. Pour the above mix into the instant pot once the chicken is browned. Mix to cover all pieces of chicken evenly.
  7. Turn off sauté, add lid, and set instant pot to pressure cook for 3 minutes (make sure to move the valve to “sealing”).
  8. Mix 1 Tbsp of cornstarch and 2 Tbsp of water in a bowl
  9. When the Instant Pot beeps that it is done, manually release the pressure.
  10. Remove the lid and add the honey and 1 Tbsp of sesame oil. Mix throughly.
  11. Press sauté on the Instant Pot and when the sauce starts to bubble add the cornstarch and water.
  12. Let sauce thicken to your preferred consistency.
  13. After serving, don’t forget to sprinkle with sesame seeds (add to you liking!)
  14. Enjoy! ❤

As you can see from our picture, we made a fried rice to go along with our chicken, but the possibilities are endless. I mean, if you are my kids, you’ll just eat the chicken and leave no leftovers. 😉

The Wild Waynes // 2019 Week 32

I’ve decided to start making a little weekly update on our lives. I would love a place that my kids can look back and read all the fun (and boring) things that we have done.

A few of you might remember about a year ago I decided I wanted to do “project life”. I never got that up and going as an actual “scrapbook”. I do use the Project Life application that I absolutely love, but we will see if I actually get everything printed. (I will get it printed, I know I will, but the kids might be on their way to college).

Instagram gets a lot of our updates (shameless plug for you to follow us www.instagram.com/thewildwaynes); but there is rarely any commentary from me.

So, welcome to TWW 2019 Week 32.

The most important thing that happened this week was Dave’s students graduated. Not only from school, but from their XRay Tech program. These are the first group of students that Dave had from start to finish (the full two years) so they will always hold a special piece of his heart. Graduation also allowed us to get a picture of all 4 of us together – a rare gem.

Something I’ve been aware of is there are TONS of pictures of the kids and Dave, but few of me and them. I am the family photographer, which causes me to be behind that camera more than in front of it.

As I become more and more self aware in this… I feel that it’s really important for me to keep up on this weekly blog. I might not be in all the pictures, but I WILL be in the memories through words. And, you know what? I’m okay with that. ❤

Instant Pot Italian Wedding Soup

Confession. I love soup. Even when it’s 90 degrees outside.

The Instant Pot is the PERFFFFECT way to cook a hot meal without heating up the entire house. It’s been super hot this week so I couldn’t resist pulling out Instant Pot to cook up dinner.

A few notes: don’t be afraid to use regular sausage if you are not a fan of spicy soups. It’s just as good. Also, a little more or a little less pasta will not “make or break” this recipe, add pasta to YOUR preference. Lastly, add more veggies if you want! I’ve done this recipe with celery and peppers – it was delicious.

Instant Pot Italian Wedding Soup
Pin now, enjoy later! ❤

Instant Pot Italian Wedding Soup Ingredients

  • 1 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage
  • 3 Carrots (chopped)
  • 1 Onion (chopped)
  • 2 Cups of Spinach (chopped)
  • 40 oz of Chicken Broth
  • 1.5 Cups of Ditalini Pasta
    (Acini di Pepe is classic for this soup, but it tends to be more expensive so I don’t ever use it)
  • Dried Basil (optional / use to taste. I tend to use about 1/2 – 1 tsp)

Instant Pot Italian Wedding Soup Instructions

  1. Set Instant Pot to saute & add oil.
  2. Once hot, add Italian sausage and cook until brown & drain.
  3. Add carrots, onion, pasta, and chicken broth & stir until mixed.
  4. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and set to high pressure for 4 minutes.
  5. Once done, hit the quick release.
  6. When the release is finished, open the lid and stir in the spinach and (optional) dried basil.
  7. Set the Instant Pot back to saute and allow the soup to start to boil.
  8. Turn off the Instant Pot and serve!
Instant Pot Italian Wedding Soup
Instant Pot Italian Wedding Soup
Instant Pot Italian Wedding Soup
Kid Approved! 🙂
Instant Pot Italian Wedding Soup

Instant Pot Asian Chicken Soup (“Ramen”)

This soup is pretty close to Ramen. Buuuuut I hesitate to post it online as Ramen because I didn’t use ramen noodles, and I’ve never made actual ramen (or anything resembling ramen outside of this recipe).

I always get a craving for this soup, and totally fail to have any sort of noodles on hand and I’m not paying $8.00 for ramen noodles at our local store… so rice noodles it is. Forever and ever on repeat. So, please do hesitate to use Ramen noodles! I’m sure it’d be just as delicious.

Just a quick note here, you can use ANY chicken you have, it doesn’t have to be chicken thighs. I do tend to find thighs on sale but I know that might not be the case for everyone. Dave also prefers this recipe with dark meat, so it is a win-win for everyone.

Instant Pot Asian Chicken Soup Ramen
Pin now, enjoy later! ❤

Instant Pot Asian Chicken Soup

  • 1 Onion (sliced or diced)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 TBSP grated ginger root, grated
  • 1 LB boneless/skinless chicken thighs
    (our preference for taste, but any chicken will work!)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (low sodium is our preference)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (low sodium is our preference)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 TBSP oyster sauce
  • 1 TBSP fish sauce
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
  • 1 TBSP chili garlic sauce
  • 1 LB chopped baby bok choy
    (we have used regular bok choy and it was just as good!)
  • 1-2 packages rice noodles

Instructions

  1. Add off of the ingredients EXCEPT for the bok choy and noodles into your instant pot & close the lid.
  2. Cook at high pressure for 8 minutes.
  3. When done cooking, manually release the pressure.
  4. As the Instant Pot is releasing, start a pot of water to boil and cook noodles. (Note: this can be done while doing the steps below as well, or you can always make this the last step if thats easier to keep everything streamlined)
  5. When the instant pot is fully depressurized, open the lid and add remove the chicken.
  6. Add the book choy into the pot & stir it in fully (allowing it to cook)
  7. Chop or shred the chicken and add it back into the pot (give everything a good stir)
  8. When the noodles are done cooking, put a nice heaping pile of them in a bowl and pour soup over them.
  9. Enjoy 🙂

Don’t be afraid to add MORE or LESS noodles, and don’t be afraid to squeeze in some Sriracha – I love my soup HOT!

I added a hard boiled some as eggs as well, but this is a personal choice and up to you if you want to add another step of having to hard boil eggs on top of everything else.

Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo

It is summer time, and the temperature outside is proving that. I love saving money, so the least amount of time that the Air Conditioning needs to be on the better in my opinion.

So, when the summer temperatures hit, the trusty Instant Pot is my “go to” for all dinnertime cooking. Also, the best part about using the Instant Pot to cook is you only have one pan to clean. The Instant Pot. 😉

Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo

Not the healthiest recipe, but it sure is good! It’s also a favorite of Harrison’s. Well, as long as he didn’t ask for (and get) 400 peanut butter sandwiches while I was trying to make this.

Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo Recipe
Don’t forget to pin! ❤

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion (chopped)
  • 4 Cloves Garlic Diced (or Minced)
  • 1/2 tsp Granulated Garlic
  • 1 1/2 lb Chicken Breast (Salt and Peppered on both sides)
  • 4-6 Strips of Bacon (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 16oz Penne Pasta
  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 1/2 Cups Whole Milk
    Note: (for a creamier sauce use 1 cup heavy cream & 1/2 Cup Whole Milk)
  • 1/2 tbs Salt
  • 1/2 tbs Pepper
  • 5oz Parmesan Cheese (shredded)

INSTRUCTIONS

Total Time: 30-40 mins | Serves: 4 | Kid Friendly

  1. Turn the Instant Pot to sauté.
  2. Brown bacon until desired crispiness; remove from Instant Pot and set aside.
  3. Drain bacon grease.
  4. Keeping Instant Pot on sauté, add salt & peppered chicken and cook for 3 minutes on each side.
  5. Remove Chicken and set aside.
  6. Add onions and cook for about 2 minutes stirring frequently (they should be soft).
  7. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, still stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  8. Add chicken broth and granulated garlic.
  9. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any bits of bacon remaining.
  10. Add pasta while continuing to stir.
  11. Add chicken breasts on top of pasta.
  12. Put on the Instant Pot lid & lock.
  13. Move to pressure setting and set for 3 minutes.
  14. When complete, allow to naturally release for 5 minutes then finish with a quick release.
  15. One depressurized, remove chicken and set aside.
  16. Move Instant Pot back to sauté and add bacon, milk (or milk/cream mix), salt and pepper, and parmesan cheese.
  17. Allow the mixture to sauté on low while chopping the chicken into bite sized chunks.
  18. Add the chicken back into the Instant Pot and stir.
  19. Serve and Enjoy! 🙂
Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo Cook Chicken
Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo Bacon and Chicken
Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo Cook Chicken
Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo Cut Chicken
Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo
Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo
Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo