I’m back at it again. Sharing another fantastic meal to make in the Instant Pot.
I LOVE MY INSTANT POT! (that’s me screaming)
Regular readers of my blog know this, because I frequently gush about this magical kitchen robot.
Ok, it’s not magical, but it makes me feel like I’m living a magical life from all the free time I have since I’m not spending it cooking all the time. (Mostly) hands-free cooking. Yes Yes Yes.
My family eats damn near ALL of our meals at home. That’s a lot of time in the kitchen … unless you have a brilliant Instant Pot. I have since talked a few people into buying Instant Pots, and they, too, don’t know how they lived without one.
Easy to use. Quick cooking. Nutritious. Easy to clean.
Get one here! (<– that’s an affiliate link in case you didn’t know so it doesn’t cost you extra to buy through it but it gives my blog a little cha-ching – thank you!)
Here’s how I make a ridiculously delicious meal in 15 minutes with my Instant Pot.
- 2 to 4 tablespoons butter (grass-fed, unsalted)
- 1 jar (25 oz or so) organic pasta sauce
- 1 to 3 pinches sea salt
- Dr. Cowan’s veggie powders, totally optional (affiliate link, same drill as above)
- 1 box noodles (I like Jovial gluten-free)*
- 1 to 2 cups filtered or spring water (or bone broth!)
- Mozzarella cheese (grass-fed, organic)
- Get out your awesome Instant Pot.
- Put the butter inside it. Add the sauce and the sea salt. Add Dr. Cowan’s veggie powders at this time if you’re using (I love these powders… see WHY here and get a coupon code for your first order.)
- Add the noodles. Add the water (the goal with the water is that you add at least a cup plus any extra needed to just about barely cover the noodles. It’s ok if they’re not submerged – I don’t submerge them all the way with a few peeking out).
- Put the lid on your trusty awesome Instant Pot. Set it to LOW pressure for 5-minutes (if your box listed cook time of 9 to 10 minutes – see note below).
- Go do something enjoyable because in about 15 minutes it’s all done (10 minutes to reach pressure, 5 minutes to cook).
- When the time is up, quick release the pressure.
- Add plenty of cubed mozzarella for kick ass flavor.
* Tip for cooking noodles in the instant pot with respect to time and temperature: cook them for HALF the time listed on the box and cook them on LOW pressure. Therefore, if my box reads 10-minutes, I’ll cook on them on LOW for 5-minutes. If my box reads 9-minutes, then I’ll round up and cook them for 5-minutes on LOW pressure.
Extra tip: Oh, sometimes I add a pound of crumbled (grass-fed!) ground beef on top of the noodles. I don’t change anything else as this is enough time for me to cook the ground beef right along with everything else. I season the beef with sea salt, too.
(I’m very excited!)
My husband, Greg, his business partner, Pam, and I are working on a new project and we’d love your support.
We’ll soon be launching a Kickstarter to publish a children’s book to empower girls for careers in STEM/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math). As the mother of a daughter, this is something that’s very important to me.
STEAMTEAM 5: THE BEGINNING
STEAMTEAM 5: The Beginning is a children’s book that tells the story of five amazing girls who use science, technology, engineering, art, and math to do amazing things. This book is the first volume of a fictional universe built around these characters, designed to grow so that they can serve as ongoing role models for young girls.
But this is much more than just a book.
It’s the beginning of a movement.
This movement is to attract girls to careers in STEM/STEAM.
To do this, we need your help!
Kickstarter campaigns are most successful when lots of people hit all at once. If you are interested in being a backer, please sign up to receive announcements so that we can build up our list and direct a ton of people on the day of the launch.
Please help us KICK ASS with Kickstarter! Sign up here.
Together, we can get more girls going into STEAM!
We are planning to move abroad (Worldschool here we come!), and even though we won’t be doing this for over a year, I’ve been diving deep into research to decide where to go.
Through my research I found a witty blogger and author, Christine Gilbert, who wrote a book called Mother Tongue which I am crazy eager to read. If the book is anything like her blog I’ll be entertained the whole way through as she tells her family’s globe-trotting tale.
LEARN TO DRAW AND KEEP A SKETCHBOOK
Have you ever sat yourself in a cafe in some unfamiliar place just to people watch? Have you been thinking about keeping a visual journal of your trips? Make this the year you take your travel sketchbook out to sketch your travels, and start by learning how to put on paper what you see in the world.
This will be a super fun way to spend time with Kamea and improve our drawing skills. Kamea is a huge fan of doing art. It’s never been my forte but that’s because I suck at it. :)
Case in point: the assignment for the first day it was to look at a picture of yourself and draw it. By the time I was done I looked like I had drawn a monkey.
That’s going to change though. I’m already seeing progress.
The assignment for the second day had amazing results because of the technique used. We drew a picture that was presented upside down. It was trippy seeing the results when I turned my sketch right-side up.
I can see it now … Greg, who is very good at drawing, alongside Kamea and me, with our sketchbooks and pencils in hand … drawing what we see as we travel the world. I’m loving this dream.
I’m starting off the year by still wearing the same clothes I wore for the past couple of days, which means I’m wearing the same clothes as last year – hehe. It’s just been one, or two, or three of those days.
All good though, because my lack of changing into clean clothes meant more time for me to plan our move abroad, in the sort-of (not sort-of) near future. So much more detail on that throughout the year as we plan our epic adventure, and OMG I’m beyond excited to Worldschool Kamea.
In other news, I am not loving my dark hair and feel the need for some highlights… And… I’m becoming a Hands Free Mama to spend more quality time with my daughter and husband.
Being a Hands Free Mama means more active listening and less thinking about snacks while people talk to me. Or, maybe that’s just plain being polite.
I stumbled upon this author’s website last week and it hit home.
I immediately started implementing the ideas.
I took my Hands Free Mama-ness seriously when I
forced shined a smile while Kamea threw those pom-things everywhere and rolled in them, scattering them even more. My old normal reaction of, “Ok ok, cute, um ok can we clean those up now?” was put on hold for a good ten minutes while I played with her. Rolling in poms.
Sadly (because I didn’t do this with her until now) yet excitedly (cuz I see how I can be in the future), Kamea had one of the best times of her life giggling into fits as we played with the poms on the floor.
We will have a lot more funny crazy moments.
Case in point.
I’ve recently dubbed my daughter and myself, The Go Girls, as we have been just getting up and going for all kinds of activities lately.
Most of you know that we homeschool though I’d kind of lump us into the unschool category, which I prefer to call FUNschool. Our lives are about learning through fun activities. And you know what? It works.
She is learning to read, spell, and write by texting on her iPod and playing Words with Friends. We read books as well but there’s no pulling teeth with all of these fun alternatives. We learn math with cooking, board games, and simply talking about numbers out loud so she can see how to manipulate them to get the answers to questions.
When we have longer car rides to activities, it’s a ripe time for conversing about everything from zombies to politics (maybe that was the same conversation).
Kamea is full of questions every single day. Being able to answer them all in the moment, or help her find the information when I don’t know the answer, is a blessing.
I want to take learning to a global level in the near future.
I was recently inspired by the book Global Student, which has my brain’s gears thinking about living abroad for extended periods of time to immerse ourselves in other cultures, learn language and show Kamea the world. (This book is not just for homeschoolers.)
From Amazon.com about the book
In 2005, Maya Frost and her husband sold everything and left their suburban American lifestyle behind in order to have an adventure abroad. The tricky part: they had to shepherd their four teenage daughters through high school and into college. This hilarious and conspiratorial how-to handbook describes the affordable, accessible, and stunningly advantageous options they stumbled upon that any American student can leverage to get an outrageously relevant global education.
Ready to ditch the drama of the traditional hypercompetitive SAT/AP/GPA path? Meet the bold American students who are catapulting into the global economy at twenty with a red-hot college diploma, sizzling 21st-century skills, a blazing sense of direction–and no debt.
• the one thing preventing your student from blasting forward
• why Advanced Placement isn’t so advanced
• why international programs fail to provide a truly global education
• the most critical time for your student to study abroad
• the best exchange program in the world ($3,000 or less per year)
• the strategic way to fast-forward through high school
• how to maximize a family sabbatical
• how to live the life of your dreams abroad–and save thousands for college
I always knew we’d travel, in some way, someday, to other parts of the world.
Upon completion of Global Student, it easily clicked as to how we would actually do it.
In 2018, we’ll sell some stuff, put the rest in storage, pack some suitcases and take off. I’m only in the very beginning of researching this but we’re considering south of France (and other parts of Europe), the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, and/or Costa Rica. Probably all of them eventually.
For now… here’s our world in Arizona. These are some things we’ve been doing to have fun and learn at the same time.
The various parks offer homeschool classes and family activities that are loaded with hands-on learning.
Kamea is feeding a sweet and hungry tortoise some prickly pear.
I’ve always thought snakes were cool and witnessing this king snake eat a dead rat was fascinating.
We also saw a rattlesnake have her lunch, too, which was epic.
We like jumping at an indoor trampoline park. Great exercise and ridiculously fun.
Kamea is enjoying a Lego Engineering class where she built a battery-operated car.
We celebrated Dia de los Muertos in Phoenix which was quite the event. Now that I’ve had a taste of this locally, I can’t wait to visit Oaxaca to witness it there someday.
I’m grateful Kamea can experience some culture like this in Arizona. She sat at a table filled with Spanish-speaking kids, learning and having fun.
We visited a pumpkin patch which was filled with activities and fun including a train ride, hay ride, games, animals, and horse rides.
Even though I’ve been in Arizona over a decade, I’m still not used to some holidays here. Seeing the cactus in the backdrop is
Kamea wanted to ride the horse so badly! When I got to the part where I could choose the non-mandatory helmet, I was struck with protecting my child’s brain in the event of a fall or saving her from potentially getting lice with this community-helmet (ewww). Obviously we went with the helmet but next time I’m bringing her own.
lazy busy mom, and this is my secret weapon.
Back story: I have had an electric pressure cooker for years but I didn’t make much with it. That is until earlier this year I pulled it out when I learned that a pressure cooker is the easiest way to make hard-boiled “cooked” (or soft-boiled “cooked”) eggs. The shell peels away effortlessly 95% of the time. But… pulling out a pressure cooker just for eggs, I just don’t do it often.
The Instant Pot came on my radar. This Instant Pot is a kitchen robot, basically, that has multiple functions including the main one as being a pressure cooker, using a stainless steel insert.
A multi functional kitchen appliance? Huh. I’m intrigued.
I started to look into it.
I learned the Instant Pot people had a new model that was dubbed “smart” because it connects via blue tooth. This means that I can write (and share) my own scripts (i.e., programmed recipes). Why is this cool?
Well, with this AWESOME function…
I put my food in and basically push a button (via the app – I use an iPhone these days) and it starts right up. The brilliance of this is that I don’t have to memorize the different times I use to cook different foods.
- I like my broccoli to be under LOW pressure for only one minute.
- Carrots… HIGH pressure for three minutes.
- Those pesky-to-cook beets? I cook them under HIGH for 25 minutes.
- Hard-cooked eggs for me cook HIGH pressure for five minutes, while soft-cooked they cook LOW for three minutes.
- My rice cooks perfectly (brown rice 15 minutes, other rice varieties can be other times)
I can’t remember all of that, and I don’t want to pull a book out each time. Wth the Instant Pot SMART, I create the scripts and they’re programmed. Then, I just push a button.
Oh, and cooking spaghetti squash in 7 minutes under pressure? Um, yeah, awesome.
I could go on and on and on and on about how much I’m loving my Instant Pot Smart. It has multiple functions and perfectly cooks rice, veggies, and whole chickens with ease and in a fraction of time.
This Instant Pot SMART makes yogurt(!) and is also a slow cooker (for the slow cooker they recommend the optional / additional glass lid). I’ve heard of some people using it for a sous vide too because it can hold a set temperature that you designate.
So many options with just one appliance.
It’s so amazing, I feel like Elaine from Seinfeld when she pushes people… GET OUT!
I sure wish I knew about this before I bought all of my slow cookers and my sous vide and my other pressure cooker. (By the way, even though I love that this is a slow cooker, who wants to slow cook when you can cook so much faster with a pressure cooker?)
Seriously… move over slow cooker, it’s time for something faster.
I figured there must be a catch, right? Where’s the yang that goes with the yin (that is everywhere in life)? Surely there’s something wrong with it – like maybe the nutrition isn’t as good or it’s hard to use? Something?
Well, I just can’t find anything wrong with it. In fact, I read that cooking under pressure is healthier. The quickness with which it cooks (and the process) keeps more nutrients available.
This Instant Pot Smart appliance has changed my life and I’ve only had it less than a month.
I leave it on my counter and use it daily, sometimes two or three times a day. I love how perfectly everything gets cooked and it’s mostly hands off, which means I have more time to do other things I love such as read.
Before buying an Instant Pot Smart, I’d over or undercook rice. Too many times to count. I’d ruin hard-boiled eggs. Too many times. I’d turn my broccoli to army-green mush more often than not.
Not anymore. YAY!
I love my INSTANT POT SMART so much that I just HAD TO TELL EVERYONE! (those links are affiliate, by the way, but I only rave and get cray cray over products that I use and love. And, if you should choose to buy it via my link then that’s awesome! As you might’ve noticed I haven’t been blogging as much. You could say I’m in the “space between stories” in my life right now. But with this friggin’ awesome Instant Pot, I had to get on my horn and write about it.)
Wait… did I tell you that you can make bone broth in like an hour???
It’s actually just a bit more than an hour. You have to add the time to get the Instant Pot to pressure. Plus add the time for it to come down in pressure – a quick release is fast though. This time-to-pressure and de-pressure vary by how cold the item is once it’s placed inside plus how much food there is in total. But it’s all hands off and that’s the important thing. And still, it’s waaaaaaay quicker than using traditional methods like the stove, sous vide, or slow cooker.
If you want to make bone broth and don’t have a pressure cooker then here’s my epic post on it.
I make the most delicious rice pudding in it. I had never made rice pudding before getting my Instant Pot Smart, but I make it regularly now. OMG so good and creamy with grass-fed whole-fat milk, unrefined sugar, pasture-raised eggs, vanilla, sea salt, cream and raisins and arborio rice. The first time I made it, Greg rolled on the floor in the fetal position because he loved it so much. I thought he was going to suck his thumb.
I make cheesecakes, too!
Yes. That’s right.
Cheesecake in a pressure cooker.
I make a lot of things in my Instant Pot Smart… most things in fact. But my favorite?
Having an Instant Pot Smart has made veggies a regular appearance, because they’re just so damn easy to make. I don’t know what it is about veggies but I can get so lazy when it comes to making them.
With my Instant Pot – Smart, I can make “baked” potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, squashes, etc in much less time. I don’t have to watch the oven and test for doneness a million times because I know that my pressure cooker will do the job.
Broccoli, cauliflower, and beets are a pleasure to make. I never thought that before. Is that just me or do others feel the same?
And. Don’t forget to drink the vegetable tea that’s left behind. It has nutrients! I use Castle Rock Spring water when cooking veggies under pressure and then I drink it when the veggies are done cooking.
I also cook gluten-free pasta in it. No more filling my stove pot with water and waiting for the boil, then stirring frequently, yada yada yada.
Nope. I just toss some sauce and noodles (plus some water or broth) into my Instant Pot and it cooks easily. If I want to get a bit fancy, I can saute some onion and garlic first, using the saute function, then add the sauce, noodles, and any extra water that’s needed. (The Instant Pot has a saute and browning feature).
There is just so much that can be made with the Instant Pot Smart and I love how I can control it from my iPhone using their app. I’ll keep you posted on the progress. Speaking of the app, I think I can share my scripts on Twitter. I’ll look into it.
As you can guess, I wholeheartedly recommend everyone bring an Instant Pot Smart into his/her kitchen. You will be so happy did.
I find there are days where it seems the only veggies getting served are at dinner.
That’s not cool.
In my attempt to get more veggies in our bellies, I have started adding them more often in breakfast meals. Today, I hit it out of the park with an easy, nutritious, one-skillet breakfast. My whole family was thrilled. I was thrilled. Everything in the world was good.
And… I decided that it’d make a super easy dinner the next time I need a nutritious meal on the table in under 15 minutes.
Recipe: Cabbage n Eggs
Yield 2 good-sized servings
- grass-fed ghee or grass-fed butter
- less than 1/4 head of green cabbage, thinly sliced and chopped
- sea salt
- 4 organic, pasture-RAISED eggs
- Optional toppings: fresh herbs, grass-fed full-fat yogurt, organic salsa
- Heat some ghee or butter in a skillet. Add the green cabbage, and season with salt. Stir it a bit while it cooks.
- Once the cabbage is cooked to your liking, crack in the eggs.
- Stir the mixture to “scramble” the eggs and let it cook until it reaches your desired doneness.
- Portion into bowls. Top with fresh herbs, yogurt, and salsa, if desired.
You could swap out the cabbage with onions, kale, shredded carrots, or Brussels sprouts. Just use whatever you have on hand.