• Curry Lentil Soup – Instant Pot

    Recipe adapted from Eating Instantly.

    Chāmpa Ingredients:

    • 1 TBSP coconut oil or olive oil
    • 2 yellow onions, diced
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 TBSP minced fresh ginger
    • 4 stalks celery, diced
    • 2 carrots, diced
    • 1 TBSP curry powder
    • 1 TBSP turmeric
    • 1 tsp. cumin
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. pepper
    • 1 c. red lentils
    • 1 c. green lentils
    • 1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
    • 1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
    • 4 c. vegetable broth
    • 4 c. (6 oz. bag) spinach, chopped
    • 1 lime, juiced

    Directions:

    1. Add oil through broth to Instant Pot in order that they are listed. Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal.
    2. Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 8 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook the 8 minutes.
    3. Do a quick release of the pressure on the Instant Pot by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon. Open the lid when pressure gauge has dropped and the lid opens easily.
    4. Remove 1 cup of the soup and blend in a blender once cooled, then add back to pot of soup (this is an optional step that makes the dish more creamy and delicious). Stir in spinach and lime juice, and mix until spinach is wilted. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

    Curry Lentil Soup – Instant Pot:

  • Chocolate Peppermint Pie

    Recipe adapted from Recipe Critic.

    Ingredients:

    Oreo Crust

    • 2 c. Oreo cookie crumbs de-frosted cookies
    • 6 TBSP salted butter softened
    • 2 TBSP brown sugar
    • Alternatively but a premade Oreo crust

    Filling

    • 1 package plain gelatin
    • 1/4 c. cold water
    • 2 tsp. peppermint extract
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 2 c. heavy whipping cream divided
    • 1 ½ c. crushed soft peppermint candy divided, plus some for garnish

    Topping

    • 1 c. heavy whipping cream
    • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    • Crushed peppermint

    Directions:

    Oreo Crust

    1. In a food processor fitted with the blade, pulse de-frosted Oreos until completely crumbled.
    2. Add in butter and brown sugar, pulse until everything is well mixed.
    3. Pour mixture into a 9” pie pan and press firmly around the bottom and sides until the mixture is well packed evenly around the pan.
    4. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
    5. Let cool completely before filling. You can chill it in the fridge to speed up the process.

    Filling

    1. Soften the gelatin by pouring it in a bowl with the cold water, let sit.
    2. In a small saucepan, heat ½ c. of heavy whipping cream and 1 c. of crushed peppermint candy on medium low heat until the candy dissolves, stirring every few minutes. Remove from heat and then add the gelatin water, vanilla, and peppermint extract to the hot mixture and whisk to combine, set aside at room temperature to cool, but do not allow it to cool and set completely yet.
    3. Whip the remaining 1 ½ c. of heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form and then gently fold the peppermint mixture, and remaining ½ c. crushed peppermint candy into the whipped cream.
    4. Pour filling into the Oreo crust and spread evenly.
    5. Allow to set completely before garnishing and serving. About 2 hours in the fridge.

    Topping

    1. Beat the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla together until stiff peaks form.
    2. Garnish the top with the whipped cream and sprinkled crushed candy.

    Chocolate Peppermint Pie:

  • Red Beans and Rice – Instant Pot

    Copycat for Popeye’s red beans and rice.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 TBSP bacon grease or olive oil 
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 16 oz. dried red beans
    • 1/2 TBSP liquid smoke
    • 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
    • 1 tsp. chili powder
    • 6 c. chicken broth
    • 2 c. cooked rice

    Directions:

    1. Place Instant Pot on saute. Once Instant Pot reaches “HOT”, add olive oil, garlic, and onions, and saute for a few minutes.
    2. Then add the dry beans (no need to presoak), broth, liquid smoke, and seasonings and stir everything.
    3. Place on manual High Pressure for 90 Minutes.
    4. Do a natural release for 20 minutes.
    5. If you want creamier beans either smash some beans with the back of a large spoon, use an immersion blender, or remove some of the beans and liquid and and place in a blender or food processer and pulse until desired consistency and then add back to the Instant Pot and mix to combine.
    6. Serve over rice.

    Red Beans and Rice – Instant Pot:

  • Chicken and Mushroom Orzo

    Recipe from Damn Delicious.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 2 TBSP unsalted butter
    • 8 oz. (or more to taste) brown mushrooms (mini portabellas, cremini), halved
    • 2 large shallots, diced
    • 3 garlic cloves , minced
    • 4 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
    • 2 TBSP flour
    • 3 c. chicken stock
    • 1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
    • 1 c. orzo pasta
    • 3-4 c. (or more to taste) baby spinach
    • 1/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan
    • 1/4 c. heavy cream
    • 2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley leaves

    Directions:

    1. Season chicken with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
    2. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Working in batches, add chicken to the skillet in a single layer and cook until golden brown and cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 4-5 minutes per side; set aside.
    3. Add mushrooms and shallot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute.
    4. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
    5. Stir in chicken stock and Dijon, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Stir in orzo; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
    6. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pasta is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in spinach, Parmesan and heavy cream until the spinach has wilted, about 3 minutes. Return chicken to the skillet.
    7. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley.

    Chicken and Mushroom Orzo:

  • Samosa Pot Pie

    Ingredients:

    • Instant mashed potatoes for 8
    • 2 tsp. mustard seeds
    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 1 zucchini, diced
    • 1 TBSP ginger paste
    • 1 12 oz. bag frozen cauliflower
    • 1 12 oz. bag frozen green beans
    • 1 12 oz. bag frozen peas and carrots
    • 1 14 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
    • 2 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. turmeric
    • 3 tsp. chili powder
    • 2 tsp. garam masala
    • 3 tsp. cumin
    • 3 tsp. ground coriander
    • 1 pie dough, store-bought or homemade

    Raita: In a bowl, mix 5 oz. plain Greek yogurt with 1 small hot house cucumber (1/2 shredded and the other half small diced), mint, juice from 1/2 lime, salt to taste, and sugar to taste.

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven 400F.
    2. Prepare the raita and place in the fridge until ready to eat.
    3. Prepare instant mashed potatoes according to direction on the box.  Set aside.
    4. Cook the cauliflower, green beans, and peas and carrots in the microwave, slightly undercooking them.  When cooked, add them to a bowl and then add the garbanzo beans and set aside.
    5. In a small bowl, add the salt through coriander and set aside.
    6. In an oven safe skillet, heat the oil; then add the mustard seeds and fry for 10 seconds until they start to pop; then add the onions, zucchini, and ginger and stir-fry for a few minutes.
    7. Add the bowl of cooked veggies and 1/2 of the spices.  Mix to combine.
    8. Add the remaining spice mixture to the prepared mashed potatoes and mix to combine.
    9. Add 1/2 of the seasoned mashed potatoes to 1/2 of the skillet. 
    10. Remove the remaining 1/2 of the veggie mixture from the skillet and add to the mashed potatoes, and mix to combine.  Once 1/2 of the veggies are removed from the skillet, mix the mashed potatoes with the veggies in the skillet. (If your skillet is big enough to mix everything, you don’t need to take any veggies out of the skillet to mix with the mashed potatoes)
    11. Add the mashed potato veggie mix back to the skillet.
    12. Add 1 pie dough on top of the skillet, and add 2-3 vents.  Place in the 400F oven and bake for 20—25 minutes, or until browned and heated through.

    Samosa Pot Pie:

  • Honey Mustard Pecan Crusted Salmon

    Perfect entertaining dinner. Serve with mashed potatoes and roasted green beans.

    Recipe from Jen Hatmaker’s Feed These People.

    Ingredients:

    Salmon:

    • 2 lb. salmon fillet
    • Salt and pepper, to taste

    Honey Mustard:

    • 2 TBSP honey Dijon mustard
    • 2 TBSP honey
    • 2 TBSP butter, melted
    • Pinch of salt

    Pecan Topping:

    • 1/4 c. panko bread crumbs
    • 1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
    • 1/2 c. pecans, chopped

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400F and line baking sheet with foil.
    2. In a small bowl, mix the honey mustard ingredients until smooth. Stick in fridge for 10 minutes or so to slightly firm up.
    3. In another bowl, mix together the pecan topping ingredients.
    4. Place salmon on the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper; then brush the honey mustard pretty thick; then coat with pecan mixture and pat that down.
    5. Bake for around 20 minutes, or until flaky and opaque in the the thickest part.

    Honey Mustard Pecan Crusted Salmon:

  • Sesame Apricot Tofu

    This is a unique crispy tofu preparation. The shape of the tofu was reminiscent of chicken pieces.

    Recipe from Pinch of Yum.

    Ingredients:

    Crispy Tofu:

    • 1 block of extra firm tofu (high protein tofu works really well in this recipe, if you can find it!)
    • 2 TBSP cornstarch
    • 1 TBSP soy sauce
    • 2 TBSP olive oil

    Apricot Sauce:

    • 1/3 c. apricot preserves
    • 1 TBSP soy sauce
    • 1–2 TBSP rice vinegar
    • 1/2 tsp. cumin
    • 1 tsp. paprika
    • 1 tsp. onion powder
    • 1–2 cloves garlic, grated 
    • 1/4 tsp. salt + more to taste

    Extras for Serving:

    • Toasted sesame oil to taste (I like about 1-2 TBSP)
    • Steamed green beans
    • Green onions, chopped
    • Cooked rice

    Directions:

    1. Cut the tofu block in half horizontally (like a hamburger). If using extra firm high protein tofu, it helps to cut it in half again horizontally. Press the water out of the tofu by wrapping it in paper towels and setting a few heavy books on top of it. Let it stay like that for a few minutes while you prep the sauce.
    2. In a bowl, whisk the sauce ingredients together. 
    3. In an other bowl, take each piece of tofu and gently pull it into small chunks with your hands (this just gives the tofu pieces a unique shape and texture that holds onto the sauce really well). Toss with soy sauce and a teaspoon or two of olive oil; then sprinkle with cornstarch and give it a few gentle tosses to coat.
    4. In a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, heat the olive oil and then add the cornstarched tofu. Leave it undisturbed for a few minutes on each side, letting it get really nice and brown and crispy – this can take 10-15 minutes. Flip and repeat until the whole batch is browned and crispy.
    5. While it’s browning, you can start up your rice and/or sides! 
    6. Finally, add the sauce to the tofu and remove from heat – the pan will still be hot, so it’ll be sizzly and smell really good from the garlic. The sauce will coat the tofu right away.
    7. Top with the sesame oil and green onions. Serve with rice and green beans, and finish with more salt and lots of black pepper to taste. The tender crunch of the beans with the steamy rice and sticky tofu! SO good.

    Sesame Apricot Tofu:

  • Chicken Lettuce Wraps

    So quick and easy. Absolutely delicious!

    Recipe from Damn Delicious.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 lb. ground chicken
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 1/4 c. hoisin sauce
    • 2 TBSP soy sauce
    • 1 TBSP  rice wine vinegar
    • 1 TBSP  freshly grated ginger
    • 1 TBSP Sriracha, optional
    • 1 8-oz. can water chestnuts, drained and diced
    • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
    • Kosher salt black pepper, to taste
    • 1 head butter lettuce or iceberg lettuce

    Directions:

    1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add ground chicken and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the chicken as it cooks; drain excess fat.
    2. Stir in garlic, onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger and Sriracha until onions have become translucent, about 1-2 minutes.
    3. Stir in chestnuts and green onions until tender, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
    4. To serve, spoon several tablespoons of the chicken mixture into the center of a lettuce leaf, taco-style.

    Chicken Lettuce Wraps:

  • Green Chile Egg Casserole

    Can easily half this recipe and bake in a 8 x 8 pan.

    Ingredients:

    • 1/4 c. butter, melted
    • 1 16 oz. container small curd cottage cheese
    • 2 c. Monterey pepper jack cheese, shredded
    • 1/4 c. flour
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 7 oz. can diced green chiles
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 10 eggs, lightly beaten

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.
    2. In a bowl, stir together butter through salt; then whisk in eggs until combined (will be lumpy).
    3. Pour mixture into greased pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until browned and set in the middle. Cool 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

    Green Chile Egg Casserole: