Instant Pot

Black Bean, Corn Topped Sweet Potatoes

This meatless, veggie meal is nutrient dense, protein and fiber rich!!!  It's one of my new favorites!   I doubled the recipe so I had leftovers for a fabulous lunch twice this week! :)

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:

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  • 4 small sweet potatoes or yams, baked ( I steamed mine in my Instant Pot -- came out perfect!) 
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained (Better yet, soak dry beans over night and either slow cook or pressure cook)
  • 1 cup corn
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced (I used sweet onions -- I like onions, so any onion is good with me! :) -- except onion breathe! ;0)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (or 1 drop of cilantro essential oil)***

 

For the Vinaigrette:

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  • 2 limes, zested and juiced (or 3 Tbs lemon juice and 2 drops of lime essential oil)***
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, add the black beans, corn, onions, and cilantro.  
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. In a smaller bowl, mix together the lime zest and juice, oil, honey, adobo*, salt and pepper.
  4. Pour over the black bean mixture and toss to combine.
  5. Slice open the baked sweet potatoes (I cubed my potato for easier eating) and stuff potatoes with the black bean and corn mixture. 
  6. Serve and enjoy! 
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*** Because I didn't plan ahead very well, I had no fresh cilantro or limes.    BUT I do have both Cilantro & Lime Essential Oils!!  :-).     So, I substituted with one drop of each oil.  It was fantastic!

**I cooked both the beans and sweet potatoes in my 2 Instant Pots (see below).    This way I didn't have to heat up the kitchen using the oven (and the microwave is bad news!  I try to avoid it!!).   I also failed to soak the beans overnight, so I soaked them all day and then pressure cooked them in the early evening.  

*In place of adobo sauce, I used smoked paprika to get a little of that smokey flavor.  Mmmmm!

 

 

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This recipe is adapted from [Karista’s Kitchen|http://karistaskitchen.com/2013/01/11/roasted-sweet-potato-and-black-bean-salad/]

Homemade Yogurt

Homemade yogurt is low in sugar and high in probiotics!  Live yogurt cultures/probiotics are fantastic for gut health!   And good gut health is essential to overall health!

Ingredients:

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  • 4 cups of milk
  • 3-4 Tbsp of yogurt from previous batch, store bought, plain, high quality yogurt or, if it's your first batch, use a starter culture (see below) and follow directions for activation
  • Raw honey or agave to taste

Optional:  

  • 3-4 Tbsps powdered goat's milk (or cow's milk) -- this makes the yogurt a bit thicker like Greek yogurt without the need to strain it.
  • a sprinkling of vanilla bean powder -- I order mine from Mt Rose Herbs; see link below
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Directions if using Instant Pot:

  1. Pour milk into Instant Pot and secure lid
  2. Press "yogurt" and then "adjust" so that the display says "boil."  When Instant Pot beeps, turn off and
  3. Let cool to 110 degrees or to the touch -- taking it out of the Instant Pot casing helps it to cool faster.  
  4. When cool, add reserved yogurt from previous batch
  5. Add powdered goat milk, if using, and gently mix well
  6. Secure lid and press "yogurt"
  7. Let it do it's thing for 5-8 hours, the longer it sits, the thicker and more tart it will become
  8. Reserve a cup for your next batch
  9. Using an immersion blender (see below), add vanilla beans and honey or agave to taste and blend until smooth
  10. Pour yogurt into several small jars for individual servings or into one larger container
  11. Put in the fridge for several hours to set

Will keep, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

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Serve:  Plain, topped with granola, trail mix, fruit, jam,... OR make this into frozen yogurt (watch for next week's post :0)

Order items here:

Or Order Powdered milk here:  Vita Cost

Order Vanilla Bean Powder here:

Mountain Rose Herbs

Directions if not using Instant Pot:

    Attach a candy thermometer to a large pot and add milk.

    Place the pot over medium heat and heat 'til it reaches at least 180°F or boils.   

    Remove the milk from the heat and allow to cool to 110°F or to the touch.  

    When cool, add reserved or store bought yogurt or starter culture and powdered milk, if using.   

    Place in a covered glass dish or stainless steel pot and put in the oven with the light on and door closed for at least 5 hours or overnight.   

    Continue with step 8 above

    ENJOY!!! :0)

Fajita Chicken Dinner

This meal practically cooks itself!  I went to the beach for the day with a dear friend, for her birthday and came home to this dinner!! 

All it took, on my part, was a little fore thought and some morning prep work (and, ideally, one thing the night before;-))

In the warm weather, I hate to heat up my kitchen by using the oven and stove, so this meal is up there on my list!!

Fajita Chicken Meal

Beans

  • Soak black beans (or your favorite beans) overnight in the crock pot
  • Drain beans, then refill pot to just an inch above beans
  • Slow cook beans on low all-day, until tender
  • Add Celtic sea salt when done

***If you didn't plan this the night before and forgot to soak the beans, you can soak them in the morning and, in the evening, cook the beans, quickly, in a pressure cooker  -- my absolute favorite, the Instant Pot!!

 

Brown Rice

Pour water and rice into the pot of Instant Pot or rice cooker and set delay timer for the rice to be ready at the time you want dinner to be served.  

 

Fajita Chicken

In a Slow Cooker, place:

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• 3-4 Chicken breasts or 5-6 thighs (I use a little of both :))

Add: 

• 1 cup of salsa  

• 2-3 teaspoons each of: onion powder, garlic powder, cumin powder, salt, pepper, chili powder.

Cook:

  • On low for 7-8 hours (check after 5 hours, as temperature varies from pot to pot), until tender. Shred before serving. ***Note:   Slow cooking in the Instant Pot is actually pretty fast, 2-4 hours in mine -- So I set the Delay Timer to start slow cooking around 1 or 2 pm.  
  • When done, let cool slightly and serve over bed or lettuce as a salad, as tacos or over rice and beans.    
  • Serve with:  shredded cheese, onions, avocado, salsa, lettuce,...

Enjoy!!   Let me know how it goes! :0)

 

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Mediterranean Veggie Rice Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked brown rice (I like short grain brown rice for this recipe)

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1 cup chopped sweet bell peppers (red, orange, yellow) 

1 cup chopped cucumbers

1/4-1/2 cup chopped onions (I like sweet onions)

1 avocado, cubed

Feta cheese 

Olives (optional) 

Tomatoes, chopped OR cherry or Juliette tomatoes (optional)

Sweet balsamic vinegar and/or Italian or Greek dressing

 

Directions: 

I cook my brown rice in my Instant Pot (see right)-- it's quick, requires no monitoring, makes very little mess and makes perfect rice every time! 

Toss veggies and rice together in a large bowl OR serve "salad bar style" 

Top with avocado, feta cheese and balsamic or dressing of your choice.   

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Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

I've never been a super fan of hard boiled eggs.  I love egg salad, but those stinking eggs are SO hard to peel!   

Sometimes the peel just slides off, and I feel victorious!  Other times, most of the time, I must admit, the shell peels off in bits and pieces and I'm missing chunks of the white (my favorite part!!) 

But, hooray!   I found a new way to "hard boil" eggs!!   It's not, technically, hard "boiling" because I'm actually steaming the eggs.  

You'll need: 

  • - a large pot
  • - a steamer basket  
  • - a dozen eggs (or however many you choose;)) 

Directions:  

  1. Place steamer basket in pot and fill pot with water just to level with the bottom of the steamer basket
  2. Place eggs in steamer basket
  3. Cover and steam for 20-22 minutes 

Note:  as my sons will attest to, I'm not very good about remembering stuff on the stove!   I know this is horrible and could be dangerous (if I were left at home alone! Hahaha 😜)-- I walk away and get involved in something else and forget there's something on the stove! 

SO,...I found the best solution!  The Instant Pot!!  It is my favorite appliance!  I like it so much that I now have two of them!   It steams, slow cooks (kinda fast slow cooking), pressure cooks, sautes, makes yogurt (I haven't tried this yet) and is a fantastic rice cooker!

I use this to steam my eggs (my favorite appliance!!):