Stir-fry with any vegetables

A surprisingly delicious simple stir-fry with rice.

When you’re going out to an evening meeting and want to eat something when you come home, do what I did and eat contentedly.
Before leaving, put up some brown rice in the rice cooker. I like medium grain. 2/3 dry with 2-1/2 x water and some salt is a good amount for two servings.

Ingredients:
Red onion, large dice, 1/2
Brussels sprouts, cut in half, rinsed and sliced
mushrooms, 4, cut into large slices and cut in half
Leftover chicken

Directions:
Sauté onion for 5 minutes in olive oil. Add in Brussels sprouts, and turn and cook a minute or so. Add good splash of water, cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Uncover and let steam and water escape. Add mushrooms, cook a couple minutes, then add chicken in pieces to warm through.

Very delicious served with fresh rice. A dabble of olive oil on top is nice. Or nutritional yeast if it’s around.

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Coconut rice w/ marinated boneless chicken breasts

Craving something tangy and tantalizing, I started with putting up a pot of coconut rice in my rice cooker. Easy: 1 c brown jasmine rice, rinsed and salt added to pot. Pour 1 can of coconut milk into 2 c measuring cup, add water to bring to 2-1/4 c, and cook in the regular way.

I used the cream on top of the can, and next time I think it would be better to spoon that off and perhaps save for sautéing, rather than use for the rice.

Make a marinade for chicken breasts:

1 c coconut milk — heat to simmer in small pot. Add:

1 hot pepper, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Ginger, grated, ~ 1 T or less (Will need same amount later for cooking chicken)
2/3 T fish sauce
1 T soy sauce
Star anise or smallish piece of cinnamon stick
Brown sugar, 1 T
1 T chili garlic sauce

Stir together, transfer to flat bottom bowl, and then let sit together and then cool to room temp.
Cut chicken into strips, and then large bite-size pieces.
Add to marinade. Refrigerate if going to be more than one hour until cooked. Can sit marinade 2-4 hours.

Heat sauté pan over medium high heat and add 1 T canola or coconut oil. Scoop chicken out of marinade and add to pan. Sauté for about 4 mins, turning. Right before removing, add reserved minced garlic, toss a bit for one minute, and then remove onto plate or atop rice on plate.

Nice served with plain steamed fresh local broccoli.
Otherwise add peas to rice, perhaps.
Or roast a sweet potato, in wedges. Or carrots, roasted or boiled/stove-top braised.

Red curry cauliflower soup

Ingredients:

Cauliflower, 1/2 head, cut into large florets and rinsed
onion, 1 diced
Garlic, 2 cloves, minced
Lemongrass, chopped very fine (optional)
Red curry paste, scant 2 T
Ginger, minced or grated
potato, cut into large chunks
Vegetable stock

Directions:

Heat instant pot on sauté function. Add 2 T olive oil and cook cauliflower on high heat for 5 mins until charred, turning occasionally. Remove from heat.

Cool pot a bit, add more oil and sauté onion for 4 mins. Add in lemongrass, curry paste and ginger and cook for a couple minutes more. Add garlic and stir. Add in potato and cauliflower. Add vegetable stock and water to cover plus.
Cook at soup setting for 15 minutes.

Inspiration:

Red curry vegetable noodle soup, Melissa Clark, Dinner in an Instant, p 123, and
Food 52 Cauliflower soup

More on beans – Garbanzo in Instant Pot

Exploring the delicious world of home-cooked beans, I moved on to garbanzo, one of my faves, and one I had the most difficulty with cooking stovetop.

here’s my success story:

1# beans, picked over and rinsed

Water to 1/2 way mark on Instant Pot, to which you add 1 T salt and perhaps one garlic clove, peeled. (Why not?!)

Cook for 42 minutes under pressure. Let release naturally for 10-15 minutes (as with all beans, I just read), then release pressure. Test for doneness, and cook longer if needed. (I initially cooked for 35 minutes and then returned to pressure for 8 minutes.)

Curried coconut milk vegetables & tofu

For winter, when fresh green produce is not on the scene, but you’re craving some veggies.

Put up pot of brown basmati rice (22 mins timed in instant pot)

Ingredients:
onion, 1 large, diced
cauliflower, scant 1/2 head, separated into large florets, rinsed
potatoes, 2, cut into very small dice
Carrots, 4+, peeled and cut
Tofu, 1 block, pressed to drain, cut into cubes (add at end)
Garlic, 2 cloves, minced
Ginger, peeled and grated
Red curry paste, about 2/3 can
Coconut milk, 1 can
Vegetable stock, 1 pint, approx
Fish sauce
Salt

optional: scallions, cilantro, etc to top when served

Directions:
In large dutch oven, sauté onion in peanut/olive oil mixture for 5+ minutes until softened. Add ginger, then curry paste, stir and add garlic. Then add vegetables:
Cauliflower
Carrots
Potato

Stir and cover with coconut milk and vegetable stock. Cook 20-30 minutes until vegetables are softened. Add salt.
Five or more minutes before done, stir in tofu to heat up.

Marcella’s Potatoes and Onions in Instant Pot

This is one of my favorite winter dishes to bring to a pot luck: Marcella’s baked potatoes and tomatoes with onions, olive oil, oregano and pecorino. It bakes in the oven for an hour, during which you have to stir several times. And it all sticks to the pan, especially I think the cheese. Why not try the pressure cooker? Indeed I did just that yesterday as an experiment and it turned out well. Sliced potatoes cook in the pressure cooker in 8 minutes. But remember: Eight minutes is not eight minutes! First the machine has to come to pressure, which took nine minutes, then it cooks for the 8 minutes, and then the pressure has to subside, which takes 10-15 minutes. That’s 32 minutes for 8 minutes. So: not a whole lot quicker, but easier I reckon. And it has the benefit that after it cooks, it switches to “keep warm” cycle. So one could put up to cook, leave the house for an hour or more, and return to cooked yummy potatoes that one could wrap into scrambled eggs like a sloppy Italian-esque Spanish potato omelet. But hey! It’s your kitchen so who is to criticize when it is delicious?!

Here’s what I did:

Cut an onion in half, peeled and sliced very thin. Heat Instant Pot on sauté function, add olive oil, and sauté onion for 5+ minutes until transparent.

Meanwhile: Scrub potatoes, and slice thinly, less than 1/4″. Open a can of tomatoes, such as diced, low salt. Chop up some fresh oregano and grate cheese.

When onion is semi-cooked, dump in potatoes, S&P, tomatoes, oregano, olive oil and cheese. Stir and set on pressure for 8 minutes with keep warm function on. Do as you like and come back later to soft but intact potato slices, etc. Delicious! Especially with good olive oil.

Adventures in cooking beans in Instant Pot

Factors that have led me to cook beans recently:
1. I purchased an Instant Pot.
2. Instant Pot led me to purchase dried beans at my food coop.
3. Frugality. Reading about it; not actually practicing yet! But it led me to a stockpile of dried beans.

Two successes of late:
Cranberry aka Borlotti beans are the bomb.
Oh the gigante were creamy, smooth, delicious.
Today’s black beans were off the charts. I thought I liked canned black beans well enough, but MAN, these are scrumptious! Delicious, not just as a mix-in for the greater sum.

Note it takes longer than cooking time — It takes 9-14 mins to come to pressure, then there’s the cooking time PLUS to release pressure, either by itself, for 10-15 minutes, or by human power, turning the steam release valve.

Here’s how I prepared today’s rice and beans with black beans:

Prepare brown rice in rice cooker. Medium grain is nice. 1 c rice, rinsed well to 2 1/2 c water, and salt.

Rinse 1 # beans. Measure out 5 c water.

Ingredients:
onion, 1 large, diced
Garlic, 3 cloves, minced
cumin, 1 t
salt, 1 T

Directions:
Rinse beans
Cut up onion. Heat up Instant Pot on sauté function, add 2 T olive oil, and then onions. Sauté for 20 minutes until golden, stirring occasionally.
Mix in garlic and cumin. Stir and cook for less than one minute until fragrant.
Add: beans, salt, water, and stir.
Pressure cook for 45-50 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then release manually. If beans are not cooked through, cook for another 5 minutes, and then manually release pressure.

Serve:
Steamed spinach, sprinkled with za’atar
Rice
Beans
Hot sauce
Dab of sour cream
Pepitas

Other ways to do it: skip za’atar; add 1 t chili powder to beans with cumin; top with cilantro and scallions and Monterey Jack cheese.)
Another option: Purée 1 tomato, cilantro, scallion whites and 1 garlic clove with 3 T olive oil and salt. Mix tomato mixture into beans when cooked and let sit for 5 minutes.

Inspiration: Melissa Clark, Dinner in an Instant, Black Beans, p. 109

Bean cooking times and proportions:

Gigante
1 # beans to 7 c water with aromatics, 32 minutes +

Black turtle beans
1 # beans to 5 c water, with sautéed onion, then 3 garlic cloves, minced and 1 t cumin, 50 mins. (or less)

Cranberry beans
1 # beans to 7 c water, with 3+ garlic cloves, smashed, 4 T olive oil, pinch of red pepper flakes, and some fresh sage leaves if ya got ’em, 24 – 27(?) minutes. (14 mins to come to pressure.)

Garbanzo
1 #, covered with water to halfway mark. Add 1+ T salt

Cook for 42 minutes. Let pressure release naturally (for all beans) for 10-15 minutes, then release pressure manually

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Here are some guidelines

And more on timing beans in Instant Pot

And here is a collection of Instant Pot cooking info: