Instant Pots Equal Fast, Easy, Delicious and Healthy!
Bob’s mom couldn’t make a meal, he says, without her pressure cooker. So we also had one early on in our marriage … but that, as you know from last week, is over 35 years ago! Who knows what happened to it, but now there’s something even better! The microwave seemed like a modern day miracle, and this, in many ways, is too.
TRUTH: I’ve ignored them, even as they’ve become more popular and several of our friends and sisters rave about their value. But last month at our Vegetarian Club dinner, a visiting professional health pro and very accomplished chef endorsed the Instant Pots in a HUGE way for quickly cooking healthy meals. So we went and got one at Costco The price range was $80-$90. Not free, but we were ready.
TRUTH: It’s a little intimidating at first! I left it in the box for 2 weeks. Finally I got brave and with a little YOUTUBE university and one frantic call to my sister, I was on my way and cooked my first pot of black beans successfully. In 30 minutes! You can save a lot of money and control the sodium by cooking your own beans. You can use immediately, or freeze for later.
Next I made the Farmers Market Rustic Vegetable Soup listed below. This is an old favorite recipe of ours. It was delicious, more so than when we cook it on the stove. And we thought it would be great to add some barley.
So for the leftovers the next night, I cooked the barley in the instant pot (15 minutes vs. 45 on the stove — and you can leave it as it’ll turn itself off!) It was so delicious that we each had a bowl of just the barley!
Gotta say, I didn’t have a CLUE about all the things an instant pot can do. Now that I have one and am learning about it, I understand the chatter! In fact, as I was doing my photography for the photo above, the wonderful college student who works f or us popped in and said that his mom LOVES hers. She feeds a family of 10 children and uses it constantly, he said!
What is an Instant Pot?
The small kitchen appliance is a versatile multi-cooker that can do the job of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and more. It also saves you counter space and money. If you’re only just now hearing about the Instant Pot, you may be a little skeptical. How can one appliance be a rice cooker and cake maker at the same time, you ask? That’s the magic of the appliance, which comes with preset programs that are specifically designed to cook your food to perfection, whether it be a cake, a stew, or porridge.
If this programmable countertop multi-cooker earns a spot in your kitchen, you’ll probably start relying on it more than any other cooking appliance. The specific functions of your Instant Pot will vary based on which model you purchase, but these are the basic programs that will be present in most models:
- Slow Cooker
- Pressure Cooker (you can cook on high or low pressure, or choose specific pressure setting like poultry or meat/stew)
- Rice Cooker
- Yogurt Maker
It’s easy to google for more information and recipes. But here’s a cool link I found with recipes that sound divine …. and the recipe we made this week, to which we added the barley!
CLICK HERE for More Instant Pot Vegetarian Recipes
Farmer’s Market Rustic Vegetable Soup
We’ve been making this soup for YEARS, and love it with cabbage, onions, carrots, and red-skinned potatoes. You can also add zuchini, okra, parsnips, turnips or rutabaga!
VERY IMPORTANT: Don’t forget that whenever you make soup (or even cooked veggies) you can always add the dried up leaves from your tea. Those little bags are still loaded with beneficial stuff!
2 tsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
6 medium red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1/2 head cabbage chopped
2 32 oz. boxes chicken broth (or veggie broth)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. thyme
2 tsp. Italian seasoning or parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar, optional.
1. Hit the saute button and cook onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft. (This is where I got confused — I didn’t realize you leave the lid OFF and saute it like it’s an open pan, or electric skilet. My sister rescued me!)
2. Add remaining ingredients except cider vinegar to the pot and set cook time for 15 minutes.
3. Let it do it’s magic!
We love cider vinegar on this, but usually put it on the table to let everyone serve their own.
Well, I’ll keep you posted on how my skills with this nifty appliance improve. I intend to get VERY GOOD at it! So many excited people can’t be wrong! Youtube is also loaded with videos and recipes!