Friday, June 28, 2024

Quinoa Zucchini Chili in a Pressure Cooker

This vibrant vegan quinoa and zucchini chili, crafted in an Instant Pot, captures the essence of summer. Sautéed onions, celery, garlic, and diced tomatoes simmer under pressure with quinoa, beans, zucchini, and roasted chiles in a blend of chili spices, creating a versatile nutritious gluten free dish perfect for summer or all year long.

a blue bowl of quinoa zucchini chili surrounded by tortilla chips

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I found this recipe in the most excellent cookbook The Instant Pot Bible by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough. It's different than meat-based chilis--this is a thicker chili that could even be used to top chili dogs or inside a wrap. While I prefer to cook this chili in the pressure cooker, you can cook this chili on the stovetop or in a slow cooker as well--I've included instructions in the recipe below.

Wait, you can use a pressure cooker in the summertime?

Yes, I am a person who uses her pressure cooker year round. You'll find me drinking my DIY Iced Chai even in a blizzard, and I reuse the teabags and make more tea by cooking them under pressure, but I'm also using the Instant Pot to cook beans and grains for summer bowls or salads like my Greek Wild Rice Salad. Using a pressure cooker not only ensures each ingredient melds perfectly but also reduces cooking time significantly, keeping unnecessary heat out of your kitchen. It's the same way using my air fryer to roast everything from broccoli to potatoes to tofu keeps my kitchen cooler than using the oven (and keeps me cooler than using the grill (which still gets used on Fridays for pizza, never fear).

What size zucchini should I use for this recipe?

Use those medium sized zucchinis in this recipe. Since you're going to chop them before cooking under pressure, they become very tender and 'melt' into the chili in the Instant Pot. Save the small zucchini for sauteing or grill (here's my recipe for an easy Grilled Zucchini with Feta side dish). If you end up with those giant "home defense" size zucchini bats, shred them up (peel first if necessary) and use in savory recipes like my Easy Cheesy Vegetable Enchiladas or in sweet baked goods like my Zucchini Lime Cupcakes.

What else can I do with this recipe?

In addition to serving this chili up in a bowl, topped with chili accoutrements like fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice, maybe some sour cream and shredded cheese (plant-based if you prefer), try this scooped up with tortilla chips or air fryer nachos, on top of a hot dog (again, plant-based if you like), or wrapped up in a tortilla. This chili freezes well to make a planned over. I love meals that are 'cook once eat twice'. Make sure to put a note on your monthly meal plan to remind you!

Perfect for enjoying with friends, this chili celebrates seasonal ingredients and mindful eating in every spoonful. It's time to dive into this chili, a testament to both smart cooking and savoring the flavors of summer.


This recipe is part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

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Monday, April 29, 2024

Kimchi Reuben Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Thanks to the efficient embrace of the air fryer, this Kimchi Reuben Grilled Cheese is a fusion bite that tantalizes the taste buds.

image of a sliced Kimchi Reuben sandwich with marble rye bread on a Polish pottery plate

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There are three reasons why I'm sharing this recipe. First, it's unbelievably tasty . . . one of those "why didn't I think of this combination before?" moments. Second, it's easy to whip up when you're hungry and feel like eating more than you feel like cooking. Third, the ingredients live in your fridge (cheese, kimchi, lunchmeat, mayo) or freezer (bread or lunchmeat) for long periods. In my house they are staples.

 Why use an air fryer to make a grilled cheese?

Clearly you're going to have to wash something when cooking a grilled cheese sandwich, no? Compared to using a skillet on the stove, an air fryer makes the fillings hot and gooey without overcooking the bread. Sure, you can always lower the heat under a skillet to reduce the chance of charring your sandwich, but that takes longer and a grilled cheese sandwich is supposed to be a quick meal.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Mediterranean Millet Salad

Tender millet and chopped fresh & preserved vegetables tossed with a lemony herb vinaigrette, this gluten free whole grain salad is satisfyingly flexible.

Mediterranean Millet Salad

Are you a millet eater? Millet curious? I developed this recipe because I was the latter, and now I am the former. After reviewing the Whole Grains Council's website with my healthy eating coach, she challenged me to pick a new-to-me grain and try it.
I picked millet, and here we are.

Throughout the winter I've made this salad with a rotating cast of leftover cooked vegetables, fresh vegetables, preserved vegetables, and herbs. My method pretty much goes like this--step 1, put millet and water in the Instant Pot and, step 2, while the Pot is coming up to pressure open the crisper and figure out what's going to be in the salad that day.
It’s hearty enough to keep me satisfied for a while, and I can load it up with plenty of fresh veggies to make it feel like Spring has truly sprung even though the muddy garden doesn’t quite agree. 
Because I've made this so often I've got some tips & tricks for you.