Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween Edamame, Turnip, Parsnip, Carrot, and Kale Soup, Pumpkin Bread, and Quinoa

I wanted to put something easy together for dinner before going out trick or treating with my daughter. She expressed interest in soup, so that's what we had. I simply put into my Instant Pot all the ingredients and cooked for 12 minutes.

I don't have details of quantities, since I did this quickly, but I used:

  • Turnip root, cubed
  • Parsnip, sliced
  • Carrot, sliced
  • Onion, in small half moons
  • Kale, roughly hand torn into 1/2" or so squares
  • Miso
  • About 5 or 6 cups of water
  • Edamame, shelled and frozen
  • Peas, frozen
I cooked all of these ingredients except the frozen ones; I added the frozen ones after the 12m cook time, and covered the pot again to allow the peas and edamame to cook in the existing heat.

I also served some pumpkin bread toast topped with tomato and olive, and simple, plain quinoa. Everybody loved the soup!

This was the first time, other than with dhals or split peas, that I've made a soup in the Instant Pot, as far as I can remember. I was wondering if I should use a simple 3m or so cook time, but decided that all of the water may make a difference (I think the "Soup" button starts off with a 30m cook time), so went with 12m. I think it was a good choice; the tastes were nicely mixed together. I'll bet soups would be even more flavorful with the slow cooking function of the Instant Pot or just cooked for longer, perhaps 15-18 minutes. I'll have to try more soups in the Instant Pot!

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Pressure Cooked Tofu and Vegetables with Bhutanese Red Rice (No Added Fat)

My wife and daughter went to a friend's house tonight, so I cooked dinner for myself. I made pressure cooked (just 3 minutes in my Instant Pot) tofu and vegetables (mainly asparagus, but also spinach, garlic, baby broccoli, and onion), along with Bhutanese Red rice (1 part rice to 1 1/2 parts water - though I go with close to 2 parts).

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pumpkin Stew Atop Pumpkin Bread (No Added Fat)

Last weekend, we attended a fun vegan potluck dinner. My wife picked up a big pumpkin from the local farmers' market. I had hoped that she would have brought a small one so that I could have put it straight into the pressure cooker and cooked intact for 8 minutes, as my friend Lani Muelrath describes. I had to cut the pumpkin into maybe eight chunks; it was more than done in 7 minutes.

That day, I made a tasty stew that I should replicate at home. I used the following ingredients, cooking the pumpkin for 7m in the high pressure steam mode of my Instant Pot, then peeling and chopping the squash and mixing the rest of the ingredients in:
  • Pumpkin
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Ginger
  • Rapunzel brand bouillon cube (yeast extract, palm oil, rice flour, carrot, onion, celery, parsley, turmeric, mace)
  • Ground cumin
  • Turmeric
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Black salt (kala namak)
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Ceylon cinnamon
  • Tarragon
  • Water
It was quite good (I also added hot sauce at the table)! The pumpkin was soft, which was fine, but I went with a minute less cook time today.
Yesterday, I found an interesting seasonal pumpkin bread. I thought that I'd make a simplified version of the stew and serve it atop a slice of toasted pumpkin bread. Here is what I did:

  • Half of a medium pumpkin cut into large chunks (so they can fit into the pressure cooker; it should end up, after being cut up, to be about 6 cups of pumpkin)
  • 8 ounce package of seitan strips
  • 2 cups onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 1 cup corn (I used frozen grilled corn)
  • Spices to taste (my suggested starting point is in parentheses): salt (1/4 t), ground cumin seed (1/8 to 1/4 t), cinnamon (just a pinch), tarragon (1/8 t), and garlic powder (1/2 t)
  • Salsa; I used a pumpkin salsa
  • Toast
  1. I put the pumpkin pieces atop a steamer basket and water in the Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked on high pressure for 6 minutes. The basket is just a metal mesh that keeps the food from touching the bottom of the pot, allowing for quicker and higher temperatures without burning food.
  2. I waited a few minutes then slowly let out remaining pressure.
  3. I waited a few more minutes till I could handle the pumpkin and remove the skin, as well as chop the pumpkin into approximately 3/4" cubes.
  4. I mixed in the remaining ingredients, except the salsa and toast, and served, topped with a dollop of salsa and on the toast.


Dinner was good! Some of the pumpkin was just barely cooked (but it wasn't a problem) and the rest was perhaps a little softer than I'd prefer.

Ideas for the future

If I could be more uniform with pumpkin sections, I might be able to get away with a 5-minute cook time. It was a nice idea to serve atop bread, and could be fun again, but I prefer this and many other kinds of stew with rice.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Giant Peruvian Lima Beans with Kale, Spiced Madagascar Pink Rice

Last week while my wife was away, I made a Giant Peruvian Lima Bean dish that was quite good. I made something quite similar today, as well as a spicy Madagascar Pink rice (it had turmeric and other Indian spices); as I had hoped and expected, my wife also loved this dish. Giant Peruvian Lima Beans are so creamy, tasty, and easy to make, just by soaking overnight and then cooking in a pressure cooker for 28m (or maybe even a bit less time).

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pizza and Sweet Potato for kiddo and me

My wife will be back later tonight, but just for kiddo and me, I thought I'd make pizza. I love Vicola brand frozen cornmeal deep dish pizza crust; I sauteed with no oil some onion, garlic, bell pepper, and Field Roast brand smoked apple sage vegan sausage, mixed in a bowl with marinara sauce, artichoke and olive (plus some Daiya vegan cheese on half for my daughter), and cooked on a preheated (425°F oven) pizza stone for 9 minutes.

I also made sweet potatoes by elevating from the bottom of the Instant Pot in a steamer insert, and cooked on the steam function (it heats faster and hotter - so the food shouldn't touch the pot) for 15m. Salad completed the meal.

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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Giant Peruvian Lima Beans with Baby Kale, Lemon Rosemary Bread with Guacamole, Corn off the Cob (No Added Fat)

My wife left this afternoon on a business trip so I'm making dinner just for my daughter and myself. We love Giant Peruvian lima beans and I thought I'd make a simple dish with beans and a few vegetables. I hadn't soaked the beans, so soaked in ample boiling water about a cup of the beans for maybe 45m. I rinsed them (again), then put fresh water to just cover the beans and cooked for 30m in my Instant Pot pressure cooker. (I should have included a vegan bouillon cube, but forgot.)

While the beans were cooking, we had a ripe avocado and we all love guacamole. I made guacamole with the avocado, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, garlic, onion, and rosemary needles, and let it sit, covered, in the refrigerator. We purchased some tasty lemon rosemary bread at Weaver Street Market today, and I was going to serve lightly warmed bread with the guacamole.

I also prepared a roasted red bell pepper. I put it on the range's flame till it was charred throughout, then put it in a brown paper bag, rolled up the bag, and let it sit for 10m or so. I then put it under cold running water, gently rubbing the charred skin off. I chopped the pepper, discarding the seeds and inner membranes, into 1/2" squares. I also prepared about 1/4 cup of onion as 1/4" cubes.

When the beans were done and a few minutes passed, I gently opened the Instant Pot and mixed in a bouillon cube, plus the bell pepper and onion, as well as a little salt and maybe 1/4 t lemon juice. I mixed in about 1/2 cup compressed baby kale, and served, along with the guacamole on bread, and some corn off the cob.

My daughter and I both loved the meal! This is a good way to prepare these tasty beans, and they were nicely cooked without having been soaked. I'll bet I could get away with a 28m cook time, but 30m is fine.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Mushroom and Split Pea Stew with Madagascar Pink Rice (No Added Fat)

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Seitan with Kale and Pumpkin Salsa (waterless), served with Cauliflower Short-Grained Brown Rice (No Added Fat)

We don't often eat short-grained brown rice, but recently had it several times and enjoyed it. I thought I'd cook some short-grained brown rice with cauliflower; the long cook time for rice would soften and somewhat homogenize the cauliflower, I figured. Short-grained brown rice cooks in a 1 : 2 ratio of rice to water over 50m stovetop, but in a pressure cooker it cooks in a 1 : 1.25 ratio for only 22-28 minutes. I thought I'd try about 23m.

I had some Frontera brand chipotle pumpkin salsa (with a modest fat content of half a gram per 2 T) and thought I'd make a waterless seitan and greens dish. This is what I did:

  • 1 cup short-grained brown rice
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup cauliflower chopped to 1/2" cubes
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/4 t salt
  • Medium shallot cut into 1/4" thick half moons (about a half cup)
  • 8 ounces seitan (I bought strips but if chunks, first slice into approximately 3/8" x 1 1/2" slices)
  • 1 compressed cup kale leaves (not stems), roughly hand cut into approximately 1/2" squares
  • 6T (3/8 of a cup) salsa
  1. I put the rice, water, cauliflower, bouillon cube, and salt in the Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 23m.
  2. In the meantime, I put in my small Saladmaster stock pot, in this order, the shallot, seitan, and kale.
  3. I covered the pot and cooked on medium heat for a few minutes until the vapor release began to jiggle, then I reduced the heat to low and cooked for 20m or so.
  4. I let the pressure cooker cool a bit for a few minutes, then slowly let the pressure out.
  5. I turned the heat to the pot off and removed the lid; I served my daughter then added the salsa to my wife and my portions (I call this dish no added fat as each serving just had 3/4 g of fat from this particular salsa), and served.
  6. I fluffed up the rice dish and served, along with tomato and hemp seeds.


Dinner was good! It's nice that rice can be made so quickly in the pressure cooker. The rice was done but I wonder if it would have been a little softer if it had more water. The combination of the rice and cauliflower was quite good - the cauliflower was soft and creamy. The seitan was predictably good and the nuance of pumpkin was welcome.

Ideas for the future

I should try the short-grained rice again in the pressure cooker. Perhaps adding not just a little more water but also a little more time may be helpful - perhaps 1 1/2 parts water per part rice, cooked for 25m?

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Friday, October 09, 2015

Split Pea Stew, Seeded Ciabatta with Sauce (No Added Fat)

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Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Mushroom Mixed Vegetables (No Added Fat)

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Monday, October 05, 2015

Bean Stew, Jade Pearl Rice (No Added Fat)

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Friday, October 02, 2015

20151002 Pressure Cooked Tofu w Vegetables, Bagel w Hummus, Mashed Potatoes - for me alone (2309)

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