Today is the first day of spring break. Since we are not in a rush to head off to school, I had a bit more time to work on a cooking technique that I recently heard about. It is called the "pot-in-pot" method and it is used for cooking grains in the Instant Pot® pressure cooker. Instead of placing the grain (oats, rice, quinoa, etc.) directly in water in the Instant Pot®, you mix the grains with water in a bowl, place the bowl on a trivet, and then cook them that way. Most often this method is used to cook a grain WHILE you cook something else below it in the pressure cooker. I love this method, because it makes cleanup a breeze. If you like steel cut oats, give this method a try.
Today is such a gorgeous fall day. The sky is bright blue and the leaves are beginning to peak. I decided to take my 2 year old on a walk to the park. We played for awhile and then continued walking away from home, because it was absolutely gorgeous and I love to be outside. After awhile, I realized we were about 40 minutes from home and both my daughter and I were suddenly STARVING. I did not have any snacks, so I decided to distract her with fallen leaves and neighborhood Halloween decorations. Meanwhile, I fantasized about any number of things I could make for lunch. Since I was so hungry, I knew I could be tempted by some bad choices, so I needed something healthy and substantial to combat the junk food cravings. A goddess bowl (or glory bowl, or Buddha bowl) sounded perfect. Quinoa, assorted veggies, dressing and toppings would be just the thing. All I needed was to make some quinoa and preferably in my Instant Pot®.
I have been in denial about the change in seasons (as I always am), but as I take my morning walk, I have noticed the beautiful trees are changing to vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges. Fall is officially here. The days are getting shorter, the weather is cooler, and despite being sad that summer is over, I am in the mood for cozy sweaters, boots, and Fall foods. This week, I picked up a butternut squash at the market, but I did not have a plan in mind. My favorite way to prepare squash is to roast it in the oven, however, steamed squash in the Instant Pot® is great for mashing and using in soup. I have plans to use this in a risotto that I will hopefully share with you soon.
Food Waste in America is a huge problem. When so many people in our country (and world) go hungry, this makes me feel sad and incredibly guilty. Even though I try very hard not to waste food, it still happens. Despite my best efforts, produce still gets lost and forgotten in the bottom of the bin. I try to do things like save scraps in the freezer for soup stock, buy only the produce I think I will use, and roast a tray of vegetables to use up ones that are a bit past their prime. Sometimes, this isn't enough. Today I went into my fridge and found slimy cilantro, squishy zucchini, and onions that were sprouting greens. There was nothing I could do for the cilantro and zucchini, but the onions were salvageable and salvageable in the best way possible - CARAMELIZED ONIONS!
Sweet Potatoes are one of the foods that I always have on hand. I used to roast them in the oven once a week. Now I throw a bunch in the Instant Pot® and have them ready to go for a dinner side dish, an add-in to a breakfast hash, or as one of the main ingredients in my favorite Sweet Potato and Black Bean Lasagna. Instant Pot® Sweet Potatoes are tender, creamy, and an easy way to make sure you have nutritious foods available.
Despite feeling like mid-March most days here in the Midwest, summer is about a month away. What does that mean? Corn on the Cob! My absolute favorite way to make it, is to grill it in the husk. My absolute second favorite way to make it, is to steam it in the Instant Pot®. Nothing could be more simple and I loved not having to fuss with boiling corn on the stove, because sometimes I don't pay attention and it overcooks. Nobody likes that.
There are many recipes for quinoa prepared in an Instant Pot® pressure cooker. After much experimentation, I am going to share what works best for me. First, let me tell you a bit more about this little powerhouse seed. Everything I know about quinoa, I learned from my friend Kim of Welcoming Kitchen. She wrote a cookbook called Super Seeds which contains a wealth of information and recipes for quinoa and four other seeds. Quinoa is rich in protein, fiber, and omega 3s to name a few. I love using it as the base of my lunch bowls. It is wonderful in soups and since it is gluten-free and is a nice substitute for pasta (quinoa mac and cheese is delicious).
I am going to be sharing a recipe for a delicious hummus, but the recipe calls for prepared chickpeas. While it is certainly easy and acceptable to use canned chickpeas or garbanzo beans for making hummus (I do), it is also very easy and convenient to make chickpeas in a pressure cooker. There are two schools of thought on making beans in the pressure cooker. One is to soak your beans for at least 6 hours, as you would if you were making them on the stove. Typically, this is the method I use. Other folks just break all the rules and cook dry beans in the Instant Pot®.
It is almost Easter, and for us that means making lots of hard boiled eggs to dye. Nobody except for me enjoys eating them (and when I say I enjoy, I mean that very loosely). Because of that, I typically take little care when boiling eggs for dyeing. They are overcooked, have that nasty green ring and many end up cracked. Since the will be spending the night at room temperature in my living room, they go straight in the trash. However, I hear that some folks let their children dye eggs just for fun and then the big bunny hides plastic eggs instead. If this is what happens in your house, perhaps a dyed pressure cooker hard boiled egg is something you would enjoy eating.
UPDATED: After some reader feedback and more recipe testing, I reduced the amount of water in this recipe from 2 cups to 1 cup. You can simmer the sauce further to thicken to your taste. So many of our dinners start with a good tomato sauce. Sometimes (a lot of the time), I open a jar. I am busy and like lots of families, I need to get dinner on the table quickly. Nothing compares to the ease of jarred sauce, but this homemade pasta sauce recipe is pretty darn close and tastes WAY better. The Instant Pot® does a great job of giving it that long-simmered flavor in a fraction of the time.
Hi, I am Julie and welcome to Instantly Delicious. I am so glad you are here to share in my adventures with using an Instant Pot ® to make easy, nutritious, and Instantly Delicious food.
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