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Instant Pot Mexican Casserole

I’ve been promising recipe for a while but keep putting it off. Today I’m going to share my Instant Pot version of my Mexican Rice and Bean Casserole, a.k.a. Mexican Casserole. It uses dry beans so you don’t have to cook anything ahead of time.

If you’ve tried the Crock Pot version, the Stove or Oven version you know that this is really good and really easy. Some people don’t like the texture of the rice when cooked in the Crock Pot.  The Instant Pot Mexican Casserole comes out perfect every time; if you have a pressure cooker I challenge you to make this.

Instant Pot Mexican Casserole

Instant Pot Mexican Casserole


  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 1 cup uncooked dry beans
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 6 oz can of tomato paste (or 1 8 oz can tomato sauce with slightly less water)
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt (optional)


  1. Dump all of the ingredients into your pressure cooker and stir once or twice.
  2. Close the lid and cook on manual for 28 minutes.
  3. Once done, allow the pressure to come down and open carefully. If you are in a hurry you can do a quick release.


This meal can be eaten alone or served with tortillas or chips and salsa. It travels well and we often take it in our lunches.

If you are new to the Instant Pot or pressure cookers in general it’s important to know that it takes time for them to come up to pressure and time for the pressure to come down when they are finished cooking. This will take about 45 minutes to an hour even though it only “cooks” for 28 minutes.

Note: If using beans other that black beans make sure you are cooking this long enough. The rice takes 28 minutes to cook but some beans may take longer. Consult the Instant Pot cooking guides and cook it as long as necessary.

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Choose Your Own Adventure Meal Plan

When I was in elementary school in the 80s the Choose Your Own Adventure books were all the rage. If you are unfamiliar with these books I’ll explain. You would read to a certain point then it would say something like “If you want to fight the snow monster turn to page 75, if you want to disappear into the secret passage turn to page 87.”

I loved those books.

Today’s meal plan will be kind of like that. I’ll recommend a type of food and you can find your own recipe but I’ll offer some suggestions.

Plant Based Meal Plan

Choose Your Own Dinner

Veggie Pizza

Check out this Best Vegan Pizza Roundup by Meghan at Rootiful. For a quick solution try my One-Pot Pizza Pasta.

A Quinoa Recipe

Choose from Tacos, Salads, Wraps, Stir-Frys or even Breakfast!

Soup and Salad

I’ve got a great Salad Pinterest Board featuring some of my favorite bloggers. Pair one of those with one of my delicious soups.

Mexican Food

Choose one of my recipes or my Mexican Food Pinterest Board.

Kids Choice

If you have kids let them choose dinner. It may be the biggest adventure of all. If you don’t have kids enjoy a night out.

Now come back here and let me know what you choose for dinner! 

Strawberry Lemonade

I love short cuts in the kitchen. If there is an easier way of doing things I want to know.

My kids have been asking for “Lemon Juice” which is their way of asking for lemonade. We never buy the store-bought stuff. Last week a kid in our neighborhood was selling lemons door to door and I bought three; I appreciate a boy trying to earn a little cash. A lot of our neighbors have citrus trees but we don’t.

We have a Blendtec. Why not just peel the lemons and blend away? This probably wouldn’t work with an inexpensive blender Blendtec or a Vitamix you’re in business.

I’ll give a quick note, this recipe has a lot of room for variation. Start slowly adding a little at a time because lemons are different sizes, have differing amounts of juice and varying levels of tartness.

Strawberry Lemonade

Lazy Strawberry Lemonade


  • 1-3 lemons (I used one giant lemon) peeled with seeds removed
  • 1 cup of strawberries with stems/leaves removed
  • water
  • sugar or other sweetener


  1. Put lemons, strawberries, 2 cups of water and 1/4 cup of sugar in your Blendtec.
  2. Blend until everything is liquefied.
  3. Add another 2 cups or water and 1/4 cup of sugar (if desired) and blend. Repeat this step until your lemonade has the perfect sweet/sour mix.

I used 6 total cups of water and 3/4 cup of sugar for the whole pitcher. My starting lemon was the size of a grapefruit.

This is so easy I call it Lazy Strawberry Lemonade but you could leave out the strawberries and just have Lazy Lemonade.

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A little bit of Winter and Spring Meal Plan

You may be living in a cold place but this week will be in the 90s so this meal plan will straddle the seasons and have a variety  foods for warm and cold weather, hence the little bit of Winter and Spring Meal Plan. Our week seems fairly uneventful too, which is always good for cooking. I’m sure that will change but I can embrace it for now.

Winter Spring meal Plan



Winter and Spring Meal Plan

Breakfast and Lunch

I will definitely make my latest recipe, Triple Berry Porridge this week. Don’t get hung up on the name, it’s basically oatmeal, I just added a few more grains and called it porridge. It is fantastic!

Lunches will be sandwiches, baked potatoes, maybe a veggie soup and any other leftovers we end up with.

I may also make some dip to go with my veggies, I’m thinking Roasted Red Pepper Dip but I may try something else.


Lentil Tacos (here is the Instant Pot version) with Mexican Rice

Potato Kale Soup

Veggie Fried Rice but I’ll add a lot more veggie like mushrooms, more carrots, more onions, greens, peppers, etc.

Green Chili, Cilantro and Lime Soup

If I need something else it will be a Soup or a casserole.

So let’s here it! Are you still in winter or leaning into spring?

Triple Berry Porridge

I use my Instant Pot all of the time for dinner but I wanted to use it for breakfast too. I’ve been trying to work a little more variety into our diets because for the last few months we’ve been eating the same things over and over. It’s all things we like but I know eventually we will get tired of it. The last time I was a Costco I found an organic quinoa, amaranth, millet blend and I really wanted to incorporate it into our meal plan.

Triple Berry Porridge

Breakfast was the perfect option! If you don’t have the quinoa, amaranth, millet blend you could use equal amounts of any grain with a similar outcome although cooking times may be affected. All of the grains I used were gluten-free.

Triple Berry Porridge gluten-free and vegan

Triple Berry Porridge


  • 1 cup Steel Cut Oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free)
  • 1/2 cup Quinoa Amaranth Millet Blend (I used Organic Quinoa Ancient Blend)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups frozen organic berries (we buy a three berry blend at Costco)
  • Plant-milk as desired
  • Maple syrup, optional
  • Chia or hemp seeds, optional


  1. Dump the oats, quinoa blend, water and berries into the Instant Pot.
  2. Close the lid and press Manual then use the arrows to select 10 minutes.
  3. Once cooked (and it beeps) press cancel or unplug and allow the pressure to release naturally.
  4. After the natural release, carefully open the lid and give it a good stir.
  5. Add plant-milk until you porridge reaches your preferred consistency. I like it thick but my sons like it thinned.
  6. Spoon the porridge into bowls and add optional ingredients like maple syrup, seeds and more berries.

You don’t have to have an Instant Pot to make this. You can cook it in a Crock Pot in about 7-8 hours or on the stove 20 to 30 minutes. Both will require more liquid.

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