Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Brussels Sprouts with Black-Eyed Peas, Carrot, and Baby Golden Beet, served with Brown Rice Noodles and a Salad of Heirloom Tomato atop Baby Arugula, garnished with Cilantro Flowers (No Added Fat)

We are lucky to have a new organic vegan restaurant (all raw) opening just a few miles from our house, Cafe Love. There was a pre-opening dinner that we went to this past Friday, where they served chips and salsa, watermelon gazpacho, fennel and orange salad, portabello enchiladas, and dulce de leche torte with strawberries. The enchiladas were probably the best gourmet raw food dish that I ever had! They were served with cashew cheese, arugula flowers, an excellent mole sauce, and cashew sour cream. Yesterday, we went to their grand opening and came home with dinner, plus some cilantro flowers.

Today, I had a meeting but hated to miss cooking again. I decided to try the timer function of my Instant Pot, and set it up with a time delay so that I could serve dinner soon after returning home! Here is what I did, keeping in mind that Brussels sprouts take only 3-4 minutes to cook under high pressure - and that's uncut sprouts!

  • About a dozen and a half Brussels sprouts, cut into halves
  • One carrot cut into 1/2" slices
  • Baby beets cut into 3/4" cubes. I only had two small baby beets but would recommend using four medium sized ones. I have a preference for the golden beets, but either could be used.
  • Three scallions cut into 1/2" lengths
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • (Optional) 1t (or to taste) jalapeno pepper, cut into 1/4" cubes. I omitted this so that my daughter would eat the dish, but a bit of heat would, I think, enhance the dish.
  • 1 cup of water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Small whole beets normally take 11-13 minutes to cook under high pressure, but by cutting the beet to 3/4" cubes, I thought that I would more or less match the 4 minutes that I planned to have for cooking under high pressure. I put the steamer insert into the Instant Pot and put all the ingredients except for the Brussels sprouts, salt, and pepper into the pot, letting the ingredients mostly fall through the steamer.
  2. Because the Brussels sprouts were larger and recommended to cook on top of the steamer basket and not directly on the hot pot surface, I could now add them and they stayed off the bottom of the pot.
  3. I programmed the pot to cook under high pressure for 4 minutes.
  4. When it was done, I waited about 10 minutes till the pressure had slowly reduced and took the top of the pan off, then added the salt and pepper, stirred, and served.
I served the vegetables with brown rice noodles topped with black sesame seeds (good calcium source) and a little coconut aminos (soy sauce would also work). A salad of baby arugula and heirloom tomato garnished with cilantro flowers from Cafe Love completed the plate.


As usual, the Instant Pot really did a great job on the vegetables. Though they could have used a bit more spice, the main course was great, and dinner was enjoyed by all.

Ideas for the future

I would probably add a bit of hot pepper were I not cooking for a young child. The vegetables could have been a little more crisp; I might cook a similar dish again in 3 1/2 minutes. An optional sauce would be fun to try. Miso could be a base or, for an interesting sweet-savory combination, perhaps a raspberry or other fruit could be incorporated. But dinner was quite good with no changes required!


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