Friday, June 23, 2017

Instant Pot: Summer Beet Salad

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One of my favorite things to enjoy during these last days of summer is a colorful salad. I haven't used beets very often and when I saw some on sale at the store, I picked up a few just to force myself into using them. I knew when made into a salad it would be something light, flavorful and colorful! This Summer Beet Salad is exactly that... roasted beets pair beautifully with colorful tomatoes, a bed of baby arugula and a perfect amount of creamy Cambazola cheese...

How easily do I forget my love of beets. Growing up I was not a fan... because the only beets I had came out of a can. After realizing how much better fresh beets are when roasted, I have a new love for them. If you can get a hold of different varieties of beets, such as golden ones, try using it in this recipe! They are so colorful and have a nice flavor making it a good salad when combined with tomatoes.



Summer Beet Salad
recipe adapted from Cooking Light

  • medium-sized red beets 
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved [I used yellow cherry tomatoes]
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • 1-2 ounces Cambazola, gorgonzola, or blue cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.


Set trivet into IP.

Add the water and place beets onto trivet in the IP.

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 24 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 24 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.


When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 24 minutes, turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen). The IP will automatically default to the WARM mode.


Transfer beets onto a cutting board and allow to cool slightly. Using a paper towel, rub the skins off the beets. 

Cut the beets into bite sized pieces.

Combine the olive oil, mustard and balsamic vinegar in a bowl with a whisk. 

Add beets and tomatoes to the dressing and toss to coat.

On a serving platter, place the arugula in the center as a heaping mound. 

Transfer beet and tomato mixture over the bed of arugula.

Crumble cheese over salad.

Drizzle with more dressing if desired and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Instant Pot: Korean Bulgogi Beef

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Asian cuisine will always be comfort food to me. It doesn't matter if it's Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese or even Korean food. I like to get a dose of any of these cuisines at least once a week. One of my favorite Asian cuisines is Korean for its combination of sweet with spicy flavors, various textures and all the delicious banchan (side dishes) Korean cuisine is known for. A dish my husband and I are especially fond of is Korean Bulgogi Beef. The secret to this dish is all in the marinade....

Korean Bulgogi is a dish of thinly sliced sirloin beef that's marinated overnight. Once marinated, it's grilled or cooked in a hot skillet with julienned carrots, green onions and white onions. But the key part of this dish is the marinade. It's a soy sauce based marinade with sesame oil for flavor and aroma, garlic, sugar, seasonings (garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper) and pear nectar. It may seem odd to have a fruit nectar included but it adds a nice bit of sweetness and is said to help tenderize the beef as it marinates.

* You can find pear nectar in the juice aisle and/or in the Hispanic/Latin food aisle, oddly enough. Look for the Kern's, Goya or Jumex brand that's sold in 12 oz cans.

Korean Bulgogi Beef
recipe adapted from AllRecipes

Marinade
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds + more for garnish
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pear nectar
1 pound beef sirloin, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup beef broth
1 carrot, julienned
1 green onion, chopped into 1-2 inch lengths
1/2 yellow onion, sliced


In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.


In a large resealable plastic bag, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, garlic, sugar, salt, black pepper and pear nectar and add the beef. Seal the bag and distribute the marinade throughout the beef. Allow the beef to marinate for at least 3 hours, however overnight is best.

Press MANUAL on the IP and add oil. When shimmering, add the beef and discard the marinade. Cook until slightly browned, 2-3 minutes.

Add the broth to the IP

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 5 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 5 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.


When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 5 minutes, turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen). The IP will automatically default to the WARM mode.

Press SAUTE and add the carrots, green onions and sliced white onions. Cook until the vegetables start to become tender but still maintains a slight crunch. Serve over steamed rice garnished with more sesame seeds or in large lettuce leaves, rolled up and eaten like a burrito.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Instant Pot: Asian Sesame Noodle Salad with Peanuts

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Summer has me thinking of salads we can enjoy and I recently made this Asian Sesame Noodle Salad with peanuts. You could make this with other types of pasta - cavatappi, gemelli, penne, or whatever you have on hand. I had thin spaghetti which I used and it turned out great! 


Asian Sesame Noodle Salad with Peanuts
recipe adapted from Recipezaar

3/4 lb linguine (or use vermicelli or thin spaghetti)
4 cups water

Peanut Dressing:
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup tamari (or use soy sauce)
1/3 cup warm water
2 tablespoons peeled fresh ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (or use red wine vinegar)
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon crushed chili pepper flakes (or to taste)

Noodle Salad:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup sliced red pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 cup toasted peanuts, chopped
1 lime, quartered for garnish



In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

Press MANUAL on the IP.

Add the pasta and water into the IP.

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 4 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 4 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.


When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 4 minutes, turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen). The IP will automatically default to the WARM mode.


You'll notice no draining is necessary; the water will be absorbed by the pasta. 

Transfer pasta into a colander and rinse well under COLD water. Place in large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, transfer to a large bowl, then add in the red bell pepper and green onions.

Using a blender puree all the dressing ingredients until smooth (about 2 minutes).

Just before serving pour the dressing over the cooked pasta and veggies, then add in the toasted sesame seeds; toss well to combine.


Top with toasted peanuts and quartered lime for garnish.




Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Instant Pot: Lemon Artichoke Hummus

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When I think of Mediterranean cuisine, one of the first things that come to mind is hummus. Hummus is generally chickpeas and tahini processed together with a few seasonings and herbs. Rather than making the usual traditional version, I wanted a more refreshing flavor to add to our Mediterranean Grill Party menu. As I was searching for possible menu items, I came across this recipe for Lemon Artichoke Hummus. It's exactly what I hoped for - bright, refreshing and so easy to make!...

This recipe is wonderfully light and a perfect accompaniment to other Mediterranean inspired dishes. The bright notes of lemon shines through with lemon juice and lemon zest used while the flavor of artichoke lies in the background. Served with various vegetable crudite or pita bread, this makes for a healthy snack.

Lemon Artichoke Hummus
recipe adapted from RecipeThing

1  cup dried chickpeas
4 cups water

6 tablespoons tahini , stirred well
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup artichoke hearts, packed in water, rinsed, patted dry & chopped; divided
1-2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
pinch cayenne
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
pinch of paprika for garnish


In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

Press BEANS/CHILI on the IP.

Add the dried chickpeas and water into the IP.

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 40 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 40 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 40 minutes, allow your IP to naturally release pressure completely. While naturally releasing pressure (also known as NPR or NR), the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure).  No need to touch your IP while it naturally releases pressure. Allow time (mine took about 50 minutes) for this to complete. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen). The IP will automatically default to the WARM mode.


Remove the chickpeas from the IP and drain. Transfer chickpeas to the bowl of a food processor.


Whisk together tahini and 2 tablespoons oil in second small bowl or measuring cup.

Process pressure cooked chickpeas, 3/4 cup chopped artichokes, garlic, lemon zest, salt, cumin, cayenne, and parsley in food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula and add the lemon juice and water. Continue processing for another minute.  With machine running, add oil-tahini mixture in steady stream through feed tube; continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.

Transfer hummus to serving bowl. Sprinkle reserved artichokes and paprika over surface, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand until flavors meld, at least 30 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Instant Pot: Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

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Meatballs - who loves them?! There's something about meatballs that is comforting to me. Maybe it's because I grew up excited about 'spaghetti & meatball' night, whether it was made at home or was a special dinner out at the local Olive Garden. Regardless, I always remember enjoying pasta with meatballs. It wasn't a true pasta dish without meatballs in my book! There's so many ways to prepare them and recently, I decided to stuff them... with cheese. (Anything stuffed with cheese is delicious, by the way.)  These meatballs are tender and flavorful with a soft, creamy center of mozzarella cheese. Enjoy them as an appetizer on it's own or with your favorite pasta...

I meant to share this back on National Meatball Day (March 9th) but life's hectic schedule got the best of me. Better late than never I say! I took a sauce and meatball recipe from Cooking Light and made very little to no changes with the exception of adding fresh mozzarella into the center of each meatball. They were perfect and addictive! I'll need to double this recipe for next time and they make for a great freezer meal too...


Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs
MEATBALLS
Cooking spray
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 pounds 90% lean ground sirloin
6 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
garlic cloves, minced
eggs, lightly beaten
1 large fresh mozzarella ball (8oz), diced small

SAUCE
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 low sodium chicken or beef broth
(15-ounce) cans unsalted crushed tomatoes
(14.5-ounce) cans unsalted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.



In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl; stir until combined. Shape into meatballs (about 2 tablespoons each), tucking in a piece of mozzarella inside while ensuring it is completely enclosed. 

Press MANUAL on the IP and add 2 tablespoons oil.

In batches (depending on the size of your IP), lightly brown meatballs.

Once all meatballs have been browned, prepare the sauce.



To the IP, add chopped onion, garlic cloves, and basil; cook 4 minutes or until softened while stirring frequently. 

Add tomato paste, wine and broth.

Add tomatoes and sugar; bring to a boil. 

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 7 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 7 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 7 minutes, allow your IP to naturally release pressure for 15 minutes. While naturally releasing pressure (also known as NPR or NR), the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure).  No need to touch your IP while it naturally releases pressure. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

When the display reflects L15:00 (which is 15 minutes since the IP has beeped), turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).


Using tongs, remove the meatballs and serve with sauce.

Garnish with fresh basil before serving if desired.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Instant Pot: {GF} Salted Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake

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Valentine's day is around the corner and this time of year, I'm all about getting in a whole lot of chocolate desserts. This year is no exception and I opted to make a gluten free dessert full of chocolate. This Gluten Free Salted Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake will win over the heart of any chocoholic for Valentine's Day...

Gluten free desserts are now easier to come across at the grocery store and are even easier to make at home by substituting gluten laden ingredients with gluten free versions! Using GF chocolate cookie wafers, I processed them into crumbs and use that as my base for the cheesecake crust. And taking inspiration from Cooking Light, I made a chocolate cheesecake which I swirled a salted caramel sauce into and also served with more salted caramel sauce as a finishing touch.  


{GF}Salted Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake
recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Equipment:
IP trivet
6" springform pan (or 7" springform pan)
silicone lid, paper towel, and/or piece of foil

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1 1/4 cup regular or GF chocolate cookie crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperatue
2 tablespoons salted caramel plus more for garnish

In your Instant Pot:
Add 1 cup water.

Place trivet into the IP with a foil sling on each trivet handle. This allows for easily lifting the cheesecake from the IP when finished cooking.

In a medium bowl, combine cookie crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Transfer crust mixture into the bottom of the springform pan, Press crumbs on the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.

In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese and condensed milk thoroughly. Add each egg one at a time, mixing for only a few seconds in between each addition. Stir in 2 tablespoons salted caramel.

Transfer cheesecake mixture to the prepared springform pan, filling up to almost the top, leaving about 1/2 inch from the top of the pan - you most likely will have some leftover batter.

Carefully place cheesecake onto the trivet set inside the IP.

Cover the cheesecake with a silicone lid or with a piece of paper towel and a piece of foil. These will prevent water from getting on top of the cheesecake. If some water does get on top, no worries as it will not negatively affect the end result.

Check that it is plugged in, secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to sealing.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 35 minutes on HIGH pressure if using a 6" springform pan, or 37 minutes on HIGH pressure if using a 7" springform pan.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 35 or 37 (the number of minutes you initially set ) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 35 or 37 minutes (depending on the size of your springform pan), allow your IP to naturally release pressure for 15 minutes if using a 6" springform pan or 17 minutes if using a 7" springform pan.While naturally releasing pressure, the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure).  No need to touch your IP for this and allow for several minutes to do so. When the display reflects 15 or 17 minutes since the IP has beeped, turn the setting on top of your IP to venting. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release pressure. I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP and carefully remove the trivet with cheesecake using the foil sling. Set on the counter to rest. Do not remove cheesecake from springform pan. The cheesecake should be slightly loose and jiggle in the middle.

Remove the cheesecake from the IP.

Allow the cheesecake to cool at room temperature for 1 hour while still in springform pan and then transfer cheesecake covered in foil, into the fridge to chill overnight. As the cheesecake cools, it will naturally pull from the sides of the springform pan, making it easy to remove just before serving.

To serve, slice and garnish with salted caramel before serving.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Instant Pot: Sweet Corn Spoonbread

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Side dishes are things I sometimes struggle with. I tend to focus on the main entree and then build around that. But recently, I've been doing the opposite by gathering side dishes that group well together and deciding on a main dish to complete the meal. One side dish that caught my eye was this Sweet Corn Spoonbread. It's light like a cake yet dense enough to be scooped when served. If you've ever heard of Chi-Chi's Mexican restaurant, this reminds me of the sweet corn cake they served as a side to your meal - only better. Sweet corn is mixed throughout a sweetened cornmeal batter and gently baked to perfection...

This is a great side dish that has a bit of both sweet and savory. I especially like the texture where it's not too dense and not too loose. The spoonbread can easily be adapted to something more savory and include additional add ins such as black beans, crumbled bacon, scallions, diced bell peppers, or even jalapenos. Whatever you decide, it's worth trying out and makes for a nice side dish to a Southwestern, Tex-Mex or Mexican inspired meal.

Sweet Corn Spoonbread
recipe adapted from AllRecipes

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 8.5oz can creamed corn
1 1/2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

In your Instant Pot:


Plug in the IP with insert set in place.


Place trivet in IP with 1 cup of water.


In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until it is creamy. Add the flour and creamed corn and beat until well mixed. Stir in the thawed corn.

In a separate bowl, mix cornmeal, sugar, cream, salt, and baking powder. Add to corn mixture and stir to combine. 

Pour batter into an ungreased 6 inch round baking pan. Smooth batter and cover with aluminum foil.

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 15 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 15 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 15 minutes, allow your IP to naturally release pressure for completely. While naturally releasing pressure (also known as NPR or NR), the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure).  No need to touch your IP while it naturally releases pressure. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Use an ice cream scoop for easy removal from pot.



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