image courtesy Pomepian Olive Oil
I gave away my slow cooker, my pressure cooker and a couple of old sauté pans. I’ve replaced them all with an electric pressure cooker that can do it all.
Mine is by Black + Decker (but there are a few others that make this like the InstantPot) and I’m obsessed. Last night I wanted steamed artichokes, in 20 minutes I had tender leaves that were perfectly cooked. There’s a setting a foolproof way to cook nearly everything, from brown or white rice (15 minutes!!) legumes (soft chickpeas from dried to cooked in 30 minutes!!) And soups from scratch in minutes. What makes it special is that it can sear and saute (think browning meat) and steam all in one pot. Unlike the crock pot, where you have to sear in a pan, then transfer to the slow cooker and cook for 6-8 or even 10 hours, you can do everything in one pot. It cuts down the cook time tremendously, and because it’s electric you don’t have to worry about leaving the house with the stove on like a traditional pressure cooker (it also automatically switches to ‘keep warm’ after cooking, so no worries on food safety!). Here are some simple recipes to get you started.
Lightened Up Turkey Bolognese with Butternut Squash Noodles
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 lb. ground turkey (this is the brands I really like)
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 28-ounce jar marinara sauce
1 medium butternut squash, spiralized
1/2 cup shaved parmesan
salt and pepper
In the InstantPot or other electric pressure cooker, saute the butternut squash noodles in two tablespoons of the olive for 5-8 minutes or until tender. Remove and place on a platter. Add the other two tablespoons of olive oil and brown the turkey (use the sear or brown function of the InstantPot). Add the oregano and salt and pepper, and crumble the meat into tiny pieces. Add the marinara and close and secure the top. Cook on the steam setting for 20 minutes. Ladle the bolognese over the butternut squash and add grated parmesan (can sprinkle fresh chopped parsley or basil as well).
2 cups dried chickpeas
1/2 cup toasted tahini (sesame paste)
juice from 1-2 lemons
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1tsp baking soda
salt to taste
Soak the chickpeas overnight in plenty of water to cover
Drain the water and add the chickpeas to the InstantPot. Fill the pot with 5 cups of water, baking soda and garlic (do not add salt!). Secure the top and steam for 30 minutes. Allow the steam release valve to open. Drain the chickpeas, reserving a cup of the cooking liquid, add to a blender, along with tahini, one cup of the cooking liquid and juice from 1 lemon. Puree until very smooth. Add salt and taste, add lemon juice if you need more acid. Garnish with a sprinkling of paprika and toasted pine nuts.