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.

Homemade Dehydrated Refried Beans

May seem counterintuitive to go to the trouble to go to the trouble of making refried beans only to dehydrate them, but this makes a great, shelf-stable convenience food, or is excellent lightweight, easy to carry, protein packed food for a backpacking or camping trip.

I used to buy the Santa Fe dehydrated refried beans for many years. I would use them when I needed a quick lunch. But prices went up and we couldn’t afford them any more. So, I had to figure out how to make my own.

If you’re going to make these, you might as well make a lot. You can presoak and cook the beans on the stovetop, but cooking dried beans in my Instant Pot is one of my favorite uses for that appliance.

Cooking Dried Beans in the Instant Pot:

Sort 2 pounds of dried pinto beans.

Add the beans to the IP along with 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and 8 cups of water.

Lock the lid and set the valve to the sealed position.

Set the Instant Pot for Pressure Cook, High Pressure, 48 minutes, Warm setting OFF.

Quick release the pressure and stir the beans.

Mash the beans using your potato masher until they are the desired texture.

Drying in the Dehydrator:

Spread them evenly on dehydrator trays as thin as possible, about 1/4” thick.

Dehydrate at 145 degrees for 12-24 hours until they are completely dry and will crumble to a powder.

Drying in the Oven:

Alternatively you could spread these on parchment paper and dry on cookie sheets in your oven on the lowest heat setting. Aim for no warmer than 150-170 degrees. You want them completely dry with no moisture left. They should crumble to a powder

Storage:

You can store in portion sizes appropriate to your family size in plastic zip-lock bags or in glass jars. 1 cup = about 2 servings.

To rehydrate:

To rehydrate the beans for a meal, add 1 cup of dehydrated beans to 2 cups of boiling water. Simmer about 5 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Estimate about a 1/2 cup dried beans per serving per person.

Do not use a bag or jar of beans if you open them and they have a strong musty smell. If this happens it is likely that all the moisture was not dehydrated out of them and that they have spoiled.

Instant Pot Tortilla Soup

This can be a one pot meal if you want it to be. If you’re short on time, get this beans cooking and brown the ground beef in a skillet.

Tortilla Soup

In the Instant Pot (or skillet), cook 1 lb of hamburger until browned.

To the meat add…

1 tsp salt

5 shakes of black pepper

1 tbls chili powder

1 tbls + 1 tsp granulated garlic

1 tbls cumin

1 tsp onion powder

Stir to combine the spices a little water to help them dissolve if needed.

If cooked in the IP, remove the meat and set aside.

Add 1 lb of sorter, dried pinto beans to the Instant Pot.

Cook in IP with ½ tsp salt, 10 bullion cubes, 10 cups of water, high pressure, 48 minutes. Quick release. (If you don’t have homemade bullion cubes, just use 10 cups of chicken broth, either store bought or homemade.

Add the following…

1 cup frozen corn

Chopped celery or chard stems

Chopped kale

Reserved hamburger meat

Turn Saute setting on for 10 minutes to heat the final ingredients. 

Serve with tortilla chips. Or add cut up flour tortillas with when you add the chopped and frozen vegetables. The flour tortillas balloon up almost like dumplings.

Variations:

Use pre-cooked chicken instead of the hamburger. Use black beans (cook on HP, 35 minutes, QR) instead of pinto.

Instant Pot Spaghetti

This is one of our go-to weeknight dinners. It’s a super easy, one-pot meal. Pay attention to the tips for keeping the burn setting from kicking in.

This recipe is written for an 8 quart Instant Pot. It makes enough for a dinner for a family of six with leftovers. If you have a smaller Instant Pot, or just don’t want that much food, cut the recipe in half.

Saute 2 pounds of ground beef on the Saute setting until browned.

Add 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper.

Add chopped onions and garlic if desired.

Once the beef is browned, gather 3 – 24 oz. jars of your favorite pasta sauce. Add one jar and stir to mix with the ground beef. Add the 2 remaining jars but do NOT stir.

Next add 2 pounds of spaghetti to the Instant Pot. Take the spaghetti from the box in small handfuls, breaking the pasta in half lengthwise and alternating directions as you lay them in. For example, lay one handful in one direction, and lay the next handful in the other direction so that they are crossing alternating perpendicular to each other. DO NOT STIR the spaghetti into the pasta sauce. You want the spaghetti to be on top, and the sauce on the bottom so that the pasta does not stick and activate the Burn setting.

At this point you could also add in chopped vegetables, like carrots or bell peppers, on top of the noodles if you wanted more of a Ragu sauce.

Next fill your 3 spaghetti sauce jars with water, and shake to loosen all the extra sauce on the sides, and pour the 3 jars of water over the pasta. The pasta does not have to be submerged in the liquid, but it is a good idea to try to moisten all of it as you pour the water over it. Once again DO NOT STIR.

Lock the lid on the pot, seal the valve, and set for High Pressure for 2 minutes. Quick release, and stir to mix.

Enjoy your one pot meal!

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!

Instant Pot Lo Mein

This is any easy, throw together dinner. It works best with leftover chicken or beef.

To begin, chop your veggies.

1 cup chopped onion

4-5 cloves of garlic, minced

3 carrots, peeled and julienned

2 green bell peppers, sliced

4 cups chopped kale

1 tbls grated ginger

Place all your veggies, except the kale, in the Instant Pot.

Add the following…

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

3 tbls honey

2 tbls soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos

8 cups of water and 8 homemade bullion cubes, or 8 cups of chicken or beef broth

2 lbs of spaghetti noodles

Add the noodles by breaking the pasta in half and laying it cross ways in the broth on top of the vegetables.

The pasta does not need to be completely submerged but should all be moistened. Do not stir once the pasta is added.

Lock the lid and seal the vent. Pressure cool on high for 4 minutes. Quick Release.

Stir in your kale and pre-cooked meat.

Serve and enjoy!

Instant Pot Chicken Corn Chowder

So, the kids have been tasked with making a soup for lunch each Saturday. Here is this week’s recipe.

Chicken Corn Chowder:

This meal works best with leftover, cooked chicken.

2 hours before meal time cook 1 pound of great northern beans with 1 tsp salt, 5 cups of water, 8 homemade chicken bullion cubes (5 cups of home canned, or store bought broth would work too) on High Pressure for 38 minutes. Quick release when done. Then add….

3-4 peeled, chopped carrots

3-4 ribs of celery, diced

1 cup diced onion

5 cloves of garlic, diced

1 cup frozen corn

½ cup frozen peas

1 tsp salt

4 shakes of black pepper

Dash of Cayenne pepper

Add 2-4 cups of water depending on how “soupy” you want your soup.

Cook High Pressure for 4 minutes. Quick Release.

Stir in chopped, cooked chicken and ½ cup heavy cream.

You could also add other optional vegetables like chopped kale, chard, or spinach.

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 and chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

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.

DIY Trader Joe’s Garlic Salt

We love Trader Joe’s spice grinders. We like the Lemon Pepper, Everyday Seasoning, and Garlic Salt. If you haven’t tried them, you really should.

What what do you do when you find yourself smack-dab in the middle of a pandemic, and you can’t run out and buy more? You get creative and make your own.

Garlic Salt is the seasoning I use the most. It’s basic and I find it to be the most versatile. I use it on the kids chicken strips that they eat every day for lunch, and I REALLY like it on our sourdough crackers. If you want to try to craft your own, save an empty grinder and mix the following together.

Homemade Garlic Salt:

3 tsp parsley flakes

3 tsp dried minced garlic

2 tsp onion flakes

2 tsp salt

Chocolate Raspberry Breakfast Quinoa – Make Ahead Instant Pot Meal

img_9968

 

I’ve been making good use of quinoa for breakfast in the Instant Pot lately. This is the latest and the easiest so far.

It is true that “necessity is the mother of invention.” The only reason that I came up with this recipe is because I was going to make the Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Quinoa, but I was out of pumpkin so I had to come up with another flavor.

This ended up being ridiculously simple.

Chocolate Raspberry Breakfast Quinoa: 

2 cups quinoa, rinsed
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbls butter (or coconut oil if you can use that)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raspberry jam (or really any favorite jam flavor)
3 1/2 cups water

Cook in the Instant Pot on high pressure for 1 minute with natural pressure release. You can also use the Delay Start feature and set this up the night before to come on and be warm and ready when you wake up in the morning.

Serve warm sprinkled with sliced almonds, chocolate chunks and a dash of cream.

Mexican Brown Rice and Lentils

img_9966So, we got home from a trip over New Year’s and I had 30 minutes to come up with something for dinner based on what was in the pantry and freezer. I quickly consulted my new cookbooks to see if I could get any ideas. I had just gotten the Instant Pot Bible before Christmas when I got my new Instant Pot. And over the holidays I found One Pot Wonders on clearance while browsing at Barnes & Noble. (Note: These are non-affiliate links by the way.)

After flipping through both these books, I found one recipe in each that I had about half of the ingredients for. So, I combined the two, threw it all in the Instant Pot and everyone loved it! I wasn’t sure how the lentils were going to go over as we don’t eat them very often, and you know how kids can be when they are presented with a food that they don’t recognize. But, no one even noticed. The only complaint I got was that the 3-year old didn’t want to eat the corn. But, she never eats that anyway. So, it was a bit hit. Everyone asked for seconds, and thanks to my 8-quart Instant Pot we had enough leftover for the next night (which I re-warmed in the IP as well for 2 hours on the normal slow cook setting).

If you want to give it a go, grab that bag of brown rice and lentils. It’s really an easy recipe.

Mexican Brown Rice & Lentils: 

(Note: I used my 8-quart Instant Pot for this recipe. It made enough to feed eight, or 4-6  with a modest amount of leftovers.)

3 cups brown rice
1 cup lentils
3/4 cup yellow onion, diced
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp season salt (I like Tony’s)
dash of Cayenne pepper
1 tbls cumin
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup salsa
6 cups water/vegetable broth (I used half water, half broth)
1 lb. cooked chicken (I used chicken that I had in the freezer, but you could use frozen uncooked chicken strips as well.)
2 tbls light olive oil (or other mild tasting oil)
1 can whole kernel corn, or 1 cup frozen corn
lime juice (optional)
cilantro (optional)

Saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil in the Instant Pot. Add the salt, pepper and spices. Cook the onions and garlic until they are aromatic, but be careful not to let them burn. That Saute setting can get hot. Then add the lentils and rice to Instant Pot stirring to coat all the grains with the oil and seasonings. Add the diced tomatoes and water/broth. Set the chicken in the center of the grains. Close the lid and set to sealing position. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes with natural pressure release. Total cook time to come to pressure, cook and release naturally was just a little over one hour.

When the food has cooked, remove the lid and add the corn and squeeze a little lime juice in and stir. Serve sprinkled with fresh or dried cilantro and chopped red onions. Enjoy!

 

img_9964