Vegetarian (or not) Instant Pot Black Eyed Pea Soup

This is a hearty, savory soup good for an easy weeknight dinner.

Start by sorting 1 pound of black eyed peas. Add to the Instant Pot liner.

Chop the following and add to the IP:

4 carrots

1 cup onion

1/2 cup celery

4 cloves garlic

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Add 8 cups of water. Lock the lid on the pot, seal the pressure valve, set to high pressure, 38 minutes, warm setting off. Quick release when finished.

When finished cooking, add 4 cups chopped kale, chard, or spinach.

If you would like to add meat, add cooked chicken, sausage, Turkey.

Serve with my Sourdough Cornbread, and garnish with fresh cilantro and dehydrated Jalepenos.

Enjoy!

Vegetarian (or not) Instant Pot Ramen

Similar to my IP Lo Mein of recipe, this is a vegetarian recipe but can easily be served with leftover meat if desired.

This can also easily be a one pot meal if you sauté the veggies in the IP liner before and remove them before cooking the noodles. If you are short on time though, set the noodles to cook in the broth and sauté the veggies on the stovetop to mix in once the noodles are done.

Vegetarian Instant Pot Ramen:

If you want a one pot meal, start by sautéing the vegetables of your choice. Today I used the ones listed below. This is a great recipe to use up little bits of a variety of vegetables that need to be eaten.

1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped

1/2 cup chard or celery stems, chopped

1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped

1 cup diced mushrooms

3 cloves of garlic, diced

4 cups chopped kale or chard

Sauté veggies in the liner of the IP and remove before adding noodles. Or sauté in a separate pan on the stovetop.

After the veggies have been removed if you sautés them in the IP liner, add….

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup soy sauce or Bragg’s Aminos

8 cups of chicken or beef broth, or 8 homemade bullion cubes and 8 cups of water (the liquid should come a little less than halfway up the sides of the pot)

1 – 1 1/2 pounds thin spaghetti (I used regular spaghetti noodles the day I made this and took the pictures as I didn’t have think spaghetti on hand.)

Break the noodles in half alternating directions. The noodles don’t have to all be completely covered by the liquid but they should all be moistened. Do not stir or compress the uncooked noodles.

Lock the lid on the pot and seal the pressure valve. Cook on High Pressure, Warm setting OFF, for 3 minutes. Quick Release.

Immediately stir the noodles and add in the cooked veggies. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the past to absorb some more of the liquid.

Add meat if desired. We like to serve this with chicken strips on the side.

Iced Chai Tea

Though rare for me, I found that I wasn’t in the mood for coffee one day this week. But I wanted something cold, bold, and flavorful. This glass hit the spot.

Iced Chai:

Start with 8 ounces of cold water in a sauce pan and add…

3 tsp loos leaf black tea

1/2 cinnamon stick

1 knob or 1 tbls fresh ginger

3 cardamom pods

5 black peppercorns

2 tbls brown sugar

Simmer on high for 10 minutes. You want to the liquid to reduce slightly making a strong infusion. Let it cool completely.

Pour through a mesh or cloth strainer into your glass filling 2/3 full.

Add some cold milk or dairy substitute to fill the glass and enjoy!

Fried Rice Skillet Dinner

This meal works best with cold leftover rice. If you don’t have leftover rice make your rice a few hours in advance and let it cool to room temperature.

Leftover Fried Rice:

3 cups cooked and cooked brown or white rice

Start by chopping the following…

1 cup chopped onion

4 cloves minced garlic

4-5 peeled and chopped carrots

Heat a skillet until hot. Add 4 tbls of olive oil. Sauté the onions and carrots in the skillet until the onions are soft and the edges are beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add…

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

Stir in the cooked rice until it is incorporated and coated with the oil. Add a little more oil if needed.

Now add…

Frozen peas

Frozen corn

And any other veggies of choice such as chopped kale, mushrooms, etc. Cook until everything is incorporated and heated through.

Make a well in center and add 4 egg yolks if desired scrambling until cooked. (Optional)

Make another well in the center and add 1/4 cup honey and 3 tbls of soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos.

Stir util combined.

Add cooked meat of choice like leftover chicken or beef. This would option if you prefer to this dish to be vegetarian.

Cinnamon Spice Tooth Powder

This couldn’t be easier to mix and is a great option for people that can’t use regular toothpastes due to ingredients like vegetable glycerin which can be a problem for people with coconut allergies. Ready for the recipe? Here you go….

Cinnamon Spice Tooth Powder:

In a small jar mix the following…

2 tbls Bentonite clay

2 tbls cinnamon oowder

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp cloves

I put them all my little jar and shake, shake, shake to mix.

I have tried many versions of this recipe over the years, from powders to pastes, but this has been our go tooth powder for the last several years. As long as it is kept dry, it’s shelf life is indefinite. And I find it very effective. The Bentonite clay pulls toxins, cinnamon and clove add flavor and disinfect, and the salt adds to the disinfecting properties as well.

Apply to your toothbrush using a popsicle stick or tiny measuring spoon for best results.

Instant Pot Black-Eyed Pea Gumbo

Easy and protein packed dinner. Hearty comfort food.

Black-Eyed Pea Gumbo:

To start sort 1 lb of dried black-eyed peas.

Add the black-eyed peas to the Instant Pot along with….

1 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp pepper

10 cups of water

8 homemade chicken bullion cubes. (If you don’t have the homemade bullion cubes, add 8-10 cups of chicken broth.)

Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes.

While the peas cook chop the following…

1 cup onion

3/4 cup celery

1 cup green bell pepper

5 carrots

4-5 red chard stems (optional)

Quick release the black-eyed peas, and add in all the chopped veggies. The liquid should be at the same level as the vegetables. Add 1-2 cups more water if needed.

Cook on high pressure for 2 minutes. Quick release.

Stir in chopped chicken, or some other leftover meat. I used leftover turkey here. Or leave the meat out if you want a vegetarian meal.

Enjoy!

Homemade Granola

I haven’t made this in ages. I used to make it every week for my husband’s breakfast, but since COVID the poor man has been mostly stuck with store bought cereal. Time to make another batch.

Granola:

First mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

6 cups oats (I prefer regular, not quick-cooking) Note: If you have an oat allergy, substitute spelt flakes for the oats.
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped nuts (You can use any nut you like or have on hand. I usually use walnuts but almonds or pecans even work.)
1 tbls. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (optional)

Stir the dry ingredients until mixed well. Then mix in following.

1 cup mild- tasting oil (whatever you’ve got – coconut (melted), canola, light olive oil, etc.)
1 cup honey
2 tsp. vanilla

Stir well until all the oats are coated. Put in a baking pan with sides and bake on 350 for 20 minutes removing at the 10 minute mark to stir. When you stir be sure that you are careful to pull it away from the sides as the honey burns easily along the edges otherwise. When it has cooled off, stir in 2 cups of raisins. Makes a yummy breakfast or snack.

Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

This is NOT your canned chicken soup. I cringe when I think of the difference in taste of canned soup when compared to this hearty, soothing, comfort food. This is a recipe that falls into our regular meal rotation. It’s a must have whenever anyone is sick, and it’s easy enough, that I can ask the kids to make it if needed.

This recipe is works best if you have leftover chicken meat that is already cooked. I’m also partial to it when used with my homemade chicken bullion cubes. These bullion cubes are still one of my favorite things to make, and dissolve so well in the Instant Pot. But, fresh or canned homemade broth or in a pinch store broth works too.

This recipe is written for an 8 quart Instant Pot. For a six quart, reduce all the ingredients slightly. For example, rather than four carrots, use three, rather than three celery ribs, use two, etc, etc.

Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup:

Chop the following vegetables….

1 medium onion

3 ribs of celery

4 large carrots, peeled

4 cloves of garlic

3 medium potatoes, peeled

Turn the IP setting to Saute on the Medium setting. Add 1 tbls of oil and saute the onions, celery, and carrots for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and aromatic. Add the garlic and stir. Saute for 1 minute. Don’t let it burn. Turn off the Saute setting and add the potatoes.

Add 1 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, a dash of cayenne, and 5-6 homemade chicken bullion cubes (if using). Stir.

Next add 1 package of egg noodles. Do not stir to mix. This is important. It’s better to leave the layer of veggies on the bottom so that the noodles don’t stick and activate the Burn setting.

Now, add 10-12 cups of water (if using the homemade bullion cubes), or 10-12 cups of chicken broth. You want the level of the liquid to be just below (about 1 inch) the level of the noodles or about how to the 2/3 line. Again, don’t stir.

Lock the lid on the pot, set the valve to the Sealing position, and set the IP on High Pressure for 4 minutes. Keep Warm button should be off. Quick Release when done.

Stir in your shredded or chopped cooked chicken, serve with some biscuits or homemade sourdough bread, and dinner is done!

If you want a creamy sauce add 1/2 cup of heavy cream when you add your chicken. You can also add other vegetables at this point if you choose, chopped kale is a good choice, as is frozen green beans, corn, or peas.

Lemon Blueberry Sourdough Batter Bread

Add this to brighten your day. Tasty, chewy, and sweet, with just a bit of lemony tang.

Lemon Blueberry Batter Bread:

3 cups sourdough starter

1 tsp salt

1 cup water

1 cup honey (or 3/4 cup brown sugar)

1/3 cup oil

1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix these ingredients together. Add the following….

1 cup all purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 – 6oz container of blueberries

Zest of 1 lemon

Any whole grain flour of your choice 1/2 cup at a time until the dough is the texture of a soft cream cheese or buttercream frosting.

Pour into two greased loaf pans (or you can use liners and make muffins instead). Cover with a damp towel and let it rise until the dough reaches the top of the pan.

If you use honey, bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 to avoid them browning too quickly like the loaves below. If you use sugar, bake at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Check for doneness using a cake tester. It should come out clean, or the interior temperature should register 200 degrees on an instant read thermometer.

Slather with butter and enjoy!

Lemon Cranberry Honey

Are you ready for the easiest recipe you’ll make this week?

I’ve become addicted to this lemon cranberry honey. It’s sooooo good!

Here’s what you need:

1 package whole fresh cranberries

1/2 chopped lemon peel

Honey

Simply chop the cranberries in your food processor (or leave them whole if you want), cut up your lemon peel into little pieces or chunks, put in a jar, and cover with honey to 1” above the fruit level. That’s it!

You’ve now made fermented cranberry lemon honey. Just swirl the cranberries around 2-3 times per day or whenever you pass by the jar to keep them well coated as submerged. After a couple of days you’ll notice that the honey becomes more liquid as the fruit release their juices into it. You can begin eating it at any point, but the flavor is best after a week or more of fermentation time.

So, what’s actually happening here? The anti-microbial properties of the honey are acting as a preservative for the fruit long enough for the liquid to be released into the honey which then allows the honey to ferment. After fully fermented, which takes about 2 weeks (more like 4 weeks if you use whole cranberries) the this will last indefinitely in the fridge. If kept at room temperature it will continue to ferment and eventually turn to alcohol if left out long enough. I keep mine out on the counter, but it never lasts long enough to bother putting it in the fridge. We eat it up.

And feel free to play with flavors. I’ve also tried adding orange and cinnamon, but the lemon is my favorite.

This recipe makes a great jam substitute if you are trying to avoid sugar. I also use it in baking to make flavored biscotti or scones, or even as a flavoring or sweetener in my morning tea.

Apple Cinnamon Granola Cookies

1/3 cup mild tasting oil

1/2 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg (or 3 yolks)

3/4 tsp salt

Cream the above ingredients together.

Then add…

3/4 cup finely chopped, peeled apples

Mix apples into the oil/honey/egg mixture.

Now add…

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 cups oats (or spelt flakes)

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

Makes about 16-20 cookies.

Cool and enjoy!

Allergy Friendly Pumpkin Butter – dairy, soy, gluten, nut, and egg free!

Pumpkin Butter on homemade spelt biscuits

This is one of my go-to Fall recipes. It’s a great option for people with lots of food restrictions. And it’s delicious! Scroll down on my Allergy-Friendly page for the recipe.