You have a slow cooker; do you really need an Instant Pot? The answer is…maybe. Depending on how you plan to use it, and for what. We are Instant Pot newbies, but have already had great success with a few dishes.
What Instant Pots do REALLY well:
- Make legumes: They are magic at cooking beans of all kinds, no pre-soaking necessary.
- Saute: Unlike a slow cooker, you can saute in the Instant Pot. This is ideal when you want to brown meat or caramelize veggies before cooking the rest of your dish.
- Make broths, soups and stews: Use the saute function to get some real flavor going on your meat or veggies before adding your liquid. You can adapt most every soup or stew recipe for the Instant Pot.
- Hard boiled eggs: Finally you can make them perfect—and a cinch to peel—every time.
You can also use your Instant Pot to make beautiful rice and other grains, desserts, and even yogurt.
Before you run out and purchase one, It’s important to note that the Instant Pot is NOT for everything. While it makes magic of some meats, and is sublime for soups and stews (and risotto, etc.), it does not, as this NY Times article notes, do crispy or crunchy very well. It’s not all that Instant either; it takes a full 20 minutes to heat up and then release steam. Make sure to build that into your cooking plans.
For everything you ever wanted to know about your Instant Pot (but were afraid to ask!), Melissa Clark of the NY Times has got you covered with this in-depth Instant Pot cooking guide.
**SPECIAL INSTANT POT EVENT**
Join Chefs Christine Sanchez and Maggie Odell for an evening of Instant Pot magic at the Glenwood Life Center on Tuesday, March 20. These creative chef/moms will school you in the art of the Instant Pot, taking all the mystery out of pressure cooking. Learn 4-5 recipes including a dessert.
RECIPES: Fire Up Your Instant Pot
Here are some Instant Pot recipes we’ve experimented with already (can you say Boef Bourguignon in 90 minutes?!) and some we are dying to try:
Garlicky Beans with Broccoli Rabe
Coconut Curry Chicken
Classic Boef Bourguignon*
Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Meatballs
Instant Pot Bone Broth*
Indian Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Onions (Chana Masala)
Melissa Clark, Dinner in An Instant
Yields: 6 servings
1 lb dried chickpeas
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 onions: halved, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
3 TBS grapeseed, safflower or peanut oil
4 garlic cloves, grated on a Micriplane or minced
1 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 jalapeño or other green chile, seeded if desired, minced, plus more for serving
1 TBS tomato paste
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 tsp garam masala
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
This very classic Indian dish features soft chickpeas simmered in a spicy tomato gravy. Here, the dish is made entirely in the pressure cooker, beginning with the dried chickpeas and ending with the bubbling sauce. However, if it’s more convenient, you can just cook the chickpeas in the pressure cooker, preparing the sauce and finishing the dish in a skillet. That will leave your pressure cooker free for rice which is just perfect to serve underneath a pile of these fragrant, ruddy chickpeas.
1. In the pressure cooker, combine the chickpeas, 7 cups of water, 2 tsps of the salt, the onion halves, and the bay leaf. Cover and cook on high pressure for 40 mins. Allow the pressure to release naturally. if the chickpeas aren’t done, cook at high pressure for another 5 minutes, then manually release the pressure. Drain the chickpeas, reserving the broth, and return the empty pot to the pressure cooker.
2. Using the sauce function (or do this in a skillet over heat), heat the oil in the pressure cooker. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring frequently until golden brown, 10-15 minutes.
3. Stir in the garlic, ginger, jalapeño and tomato paste, and cook until fragrant, another minute. Then stir in the tomatoes, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, and cook until the sauce has thickened, 1-3 minutes.
4. Stir in the garam masala, cumin, chili powder, turmeric, and remaining 1/2 tsp salt, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute; then stir in the chickpeas. If the mixture looks too thick, add a few tsps of the reserved chickpea cooking broth. Simmer for another 5 mins to let the flavors meld. Then taste, adjust the seasonings if necessary, and serve with more jalapeño on top if you like. Extra reserved chickpea broth can be frozen for up to 3 months and is an excellent substitute for chicken stock.
*For the Beef Bourguignon and the Bone Broth, pre-order the beef/bones from Rising Tide Market; ask for Ashley.
January is National Soup Month!
When it’s cold outside, we tend to gravitate toward warm, comforting foods like pasta, stews, and the star of the show this month: soup! Low-calorie, high-fiber soups—especially those packed with vegetables and/or beans—are super healthy, super satisfying, and can be a great tool for shedding unwanted pounds.
Following are 4 tips for making soup your best weight-loss friend this winter:
1. Homemade soups are by far the healthiest choice. The canned varieties are usually packed with sodium (can you say water retention?!) and other undesirables.
2. Broth-based soups are the way to go. Steer clear of all the cheesy and cream-based soups (bisques, chowders, etc.)…delicious but loaded with extra calories.
3. When making your own soup, don’t be afraid to load it up with veggies and lean, high-quality protein. Soup is really hard to screw up. Add lots of what you like and you can’t go wrong.
4. Start your meal with a vegetable soup. Research shows eating a low-calorie veggie soup prior to your entree can result in you consuming 20 percent fewer calories over the course of the meal. In other words, you’ll feel a little full right out of the gate, leaving less room for the foods you want to eat in moderation.
5. Use a bowl of warm, comforting soup to thwart other cravings. Choose a broth-based bean soup instead of a dense bowl of chili, or sip some bone broth instead of a sugar-filled coffee drink. You’ll scratch the same itch, with a fraction of the calories.
Bone Broth…Like a Super Soup!
You might have heard of the many health benefits of Bone broth, including reduction of inflammation and joint pain, increased bone strength, and healing leaky gut and other digestive issues, just to name a few. What you may not know is that, thanks to a healthy dose of gelatin in each serving, bone broth is REALLY filling. Sip it in the morning instead of coffee, or as an afternoon pick-me-up. And use it as the base for your favorite soups and stews. Trust us…it will keep you from craving empty-calorie snacks.
You can make your own bone broth at home; it’s really pretty easy. Or…both antibiotic- and hormone-free chicken bone broth and grass-fed beef bone broth are available every day at the Rising Tide Market Broth Bar. Lastly, EPIC Bone Broth is on sale at Rising Tide all month long: $4.79/each (reg. $6.99).
Now…Make One of Rising Tide’s Most Popular Soups at Home
Turkey Lasagna Soup
Recipe by Chef John Hill
Yield: 4 quarts
5 lbs Roma tomatoes
2 large Spanish onions
10 cloves garlic
1 bunch basil ·(fresh)
2 TBS oregano (dry)
2 lbs turkey meat
4 oz safflower oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper
6 oz parmesan cheese
4 TBS sea salt
8 oz pasta (we use Rombi pasta)
Salt & pepper to taste
1. Bring a large pot with 4 quarts and 4 tablespoons of sea salt to a boil.
2. Prepare the tomatoes by putting an “X” in the bottom with a knife and trimming the stem end.
3. Plunge the tomatoes into the boiling water for approximately 1 minute until the skin peels away easily. Shock in an ice water bath.
4. Once cool, peel tomatoes, skin them, and squeeze out the seeds. Rough chop tomatoes.
5. Save tomato blanching water and cook pasta until al dente. Cool.
6. Rough chop onion and garlic.
7. Add tomatoes, garlic, onion and safflower oil to a large pot. Season with salt and pepper, crushed red pepper and oregano. Cook for about 30 minutes until tomatoes break down.
8. In a separate pot, cook turkey meat, and drain excess liquid. Set aside.
9. Add tomatoes to a blender or use a stick blender. Puree until smooth, then add basil and parmesan cheese.
10. Fold in turkey meat and pasta to serve.
Vegans often get the short end of the Thanksgiving stick. Their hosts may forget that chicken stock and eggs aren’t vegan, and they’re almost always left without dessert, save some fruit.
This year, if we have our say, no vegan will be left behind! Follow a few simple swaps to create an amazing Thanksgiving that will please every one of your guests, no matter their eating style.
By the way…don’t feel like you need to make the entire menu vegan for a single guest. Most vegans will be happy to have a few options. For guests with dietary restrictions, it’s nice to make sure they have at least one salad and two side dish options. And if you’re still confused about serving a vegan at your thanksgiving, just ask. Most will be happy to answer any questions, and even point you in the right direction with recipes.
For more on hosting a vegan Thanksgiving, including easy vegan swaps for basic ingredients, check out our new Celebrate the Season Thanksgiving Brochure, available in the store.
Vegan Thanksgiving Ideas
Kick the festivities off right with a few options for your vegan friends. It doesn’t have to be fancy, or in the case of an easy-to-assemble vegan cheese plate…it can be!
* Vegan cheese plate: Bring together some Miyoko’s Creamery or Treeline tree nut cheeses, crackers from Simple Mills, a nice fig jam, a few grapes, and mixed organic nuts from our bulk department for a beautiful cheese plate. This is all about the presentation…look here for inspiration.
* Dips: We’ve got a whole selection of vegan spreads and dips: Ithaca Hummus, Bitchin’ Sauces, Hope Hummus, or any of the fresh dips from our Deli case. Or try this vegan spinach & kale dip, a gorgeous, green, cheesy, melty dip that’s a real crowd pleaser.
Many sides can be made vegan without missing a beat (and your guests won’t miss the eggs/dairy!). Check out our Celebrate the Seasons Brochure (available in store) for a nice selection, including a lovely green salad with apple cider vinaigrette and Chef John’s own Oven Roasted Southwestern Sweet Potatoes.
More crowd-pleasing vegan sides:
Harvest-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Mark Bittman’s Green Mashed Potatoes
Now that the side dishes are covered, let’s make sure none of your vegan friends are left out when it comes to the entree. You can opt for alternative entrees like stuffed squash, stuffed mushrooms, and vegan loaves (check out our recipe for Mediterranean Stuffed Acorn Squash in our Celebrate the Season Thanksgiving Brochure, or this Vegan Mushroom Gravy Pie). Or try to get close to the real deal with this array of festive meat alternatives (available in our freezer section) that will make every vegan feel part of the holiday. Choose from:
This is one area where you can definitely please all your guests simultaneously…no one even needs to know the care you’ve taken to make your desserts vegan. One bite of any of these treats and they will be beyond satisfied.
If you the have time/desire to bake, any of these will not let you down:
Or…if you want to grab something quick and sweet for your own or someone else’s Thanksgiving feast, we’ve got some amazing sweets:
Wishing you and all your friends and family an amazing Thanksgiving. With or without the turkey!
You pick your own, you carve it, you clean out the goo and roast the yummy seeds. But what else can your pumpkin do? Turns out pumpkin is one of the healthier things you’ll eat this fall. Packed with antioxidants, Vitamins A and C, fiber, and omega-3s, pumpkin is much more than just its gorgeous orange flesh. And what feels more like fall than eating pumpkin (or drinking it, as in the case of the pumpkin spice latte from vegan heavyweight Oh She Glows)?
Make this fall the pumpkiny-est ever with this awesome collection of recipes (note: fresh pumpkin is not required for most of these recipes. A high-quality canned pumpkin puree like the one from Farmer’s Market is more than adequate in almost every case.)
Don’t have time to whip up your own pumpkin-coctions? Rosie’s homemade Pumpkin Spice Pudding and Brian’s Pumpkin Protein Smoothie are right here at Rising Tide Market, in the grab and go case by the Deli.
BREADS & MUFFINS
Savory Pumpkin-Sage Muffins
Alton Brown’s Pumpkin Bread
Chipotle Pumpkin Veggie Burger
Pumpkin Chickpea Hot Pot
Pumpkin Spice Latte Quinoa Breakfast Casserole
Pumpkin Spice Pancakes (vegan)
Pumpkin Waffles (dairy)
Pumpkin Pie Tarts
Pumpkin Spice Latte with Salted Pumpkin Spice Syrup
Pumpkin Spice Latte Chocolate Pudding Cake
Everyone who makes lunches—for themselves or their kids—knows what a hassle it is to make meals (every day!) that are well-rounded, healthy and most elusive of all…enjoyable to eat. Try as we may, time and creativity can be hard to come by in the midst of work, carpools, homework and other obligations.
Yet…the facts are in. School lunch is not something to be overlooked or undervalued. Among the many, many studies about school lunch, a recent paper out of U.C. Berkeley demonstrated that school districts serving healthier lunches had higher test scores. A direct correlation. If these districts can improve test scores by jacking up nutrition content, imagine what you can accomplish from your kitchen at home?
It All Starts With an Idea
As with most things in life, the first step is inspiration. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has put together some great tips for cleaning up your school lunches in terms of ingredients and sustainability (zero-waste lunch, anyone?). Pinterest is a well-spring of innovative lunch items, as is this article on bento-box lunches, and this one from Bon Appetit. 100 Days of Real Food has loads of ideas for real healthy lunches, made with real clean ingredients. Peruse the articles, then come in to Rising Tide to stock up for the first few weeks of school. We’ve got a whole lot of back to school snacks and more on sale in August; you may find your child’s favorite new treat amongst them.
Not yet sold? This article from the NY Times does a great job illustrating how far a few solid, healthy school meals can go in the life of an impoverished child.
Here are a few more back-to-school recipes to get you started:
Carrot Applesauce Muffins
Creamy (Vegan) Tomato Rice Soup (Thermos lunches are the bomb! Or try our Lifefactory glass storage containers…on sale this month!)
Peanut Butter Stuffed No-Bake Cookie Bites
**Post and WIN!**
What’s YOUR favorite lunch to pack for work or school? Post it on our Instagram and you’ll WIN 2, 8oz reusable round storage containers from Preserve—perfect for all your on-the-go snacks. Just come in and show us your post…the containers are yours!