Today we’re out of milk. The skim milk is gone, the unsweetened almond milk is gone, the evaporated milk is gone … we’ve even used the shelf-stable cartons of milk we typically stock for hurricane preparedness. No cold cereal todayfor breakfast.
Oatmeal to the rescue! Grocery stores frequently have oatmeal on sale as a BOGO (buy-one-get-one free), so we had two boxes of Quaker Old Fashion Oatmeal in the pantry. With a pressure cooker, perfect oatmeal is easy. Here’s how I cook it.
Oatmeal for two
Ingredients: 2/3 cups oats, 2 cups water, 1/4 tsp. Salt (or to taste), 1 1/2 tsp butter, and 1 cup water for the pressure cooker.
Directions: Pour 1 cup water into the pressure cooker pot. Add trivet. In a separate bowl or pot (any vessel that fits inside the cooker for pot-in-pot cooking), combine all other ingredients. Seal pressure cooker, set for 10 minutes, cook, and allow pressure to drop on its own. Do not vent manually. Carefully open the pressure cooker, remove the inner pot or bowl using potholders or mittens, and stir oatmeal vigorously. Serve immediately.
My husband eats his oatmeal with a Tablespoon of honey stirred in. I like to add cinnamon and stevia. There are endless possibilities to flavor oatmeal.
If you want larger servings (Ours are approximately 100 calories per serving , not including toppings), simply increase the amounts of oatmeal and water while maintaining the 1/3 cup oats/1 cup liquid ratio.
We will enjoy oatmeal again soon. It’s a hearty and satisfying breakfast.
I craved Asian cuisine today, so I made Kung Pao Chicken and brown rice in the Instant Pot. I didn’t have hot peppers, hoisin sauce, or chili purée. Without the typical red chili peppers, my dish was milder than take-out. As for the condiments, I found recipes online and made my own.
We were pleased with the results. I focused on ingredients I had (fresh ginger root and fresh cilantro) and followed a Betty Crocker (Cookbook) recipe for low fat Kung Pao Chicken. I used frozen chicken thighs and modified it for the Instant Pot or any brand multi cooker.
RECIPE—Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken for Two
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp cold water
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
1 tsp sesame oil
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. Grated ginger root
1/2 cup chicken broth (from cooking the chicken)
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp Chile purée
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
Pressure cook chicken thighs in 1/2 cup water ten minutes. Allow pressure to drop on its own.
Mix a slurry of all other ingredients except broth, onions, celery, and peanuts. Set aside.
Remove chicken from pot and cut into 1” cubes. Reserve broth.
Usingsauté mode, sauté onions, peanuts, and celery in 1/2 cup of reserved broth for five minutes.
Add chicken and stir.
Add the slurry and turn off Instant Pot. Stir until sauce thickens.
We have thirty more days ahead of operation #StayHome to stop the spread of Coronavirus. So for the month of April, I’ve challenged myself to creating as many meals as I can from my freezer and pantry, without a visit to the supermarket.
It’s particularly challenging because I prefer fresh foods over canned or frozen. I haven’t a garden, thanks to the deer who thought we planted vegetables just for them. But we fall into the vulnerable demographic and I’m determined to make this work.
I won’t post every meal, but asoften as possible I will share the interesting (?) menus and dishes I develop. So who’s with me? It’ll be fun.
We love all meat yet try to limit our consumption of red meats. So I developed a recipe for beef stew that uses only half a pound of meat. By adding a pound of mushrooms, I boost theumami taste. I sneak in more vegetables, too.
This is a pressure cooker recipe that’s easily adapted to slow cooking. By using the pressure cooker, we get that cooked all day flavor in about half an hour.
Beef and Mushroom Stew
Makes 4 one-cup servings
1/2 pound beef (chuck or round works) cut into 1” chunks
1 pound mushrooms, sliced and cleaned
1 cup broth + 1 Tbsp (reserved for slurry)
2 tsp. Oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 small red or gold potatoes, sliced or cubed
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or sliced
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp cornstarch
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat cooker pot.
Generously salt and pepper the beef.
Brown the beefon all sides, then remove from pot and set aside.
Sautéonions, garlic, and mushrooms 1 minute.
Add cup of broth, deglaze bottom of pot, and return the beef to the cooker.
Seal and cook under high pressure for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare slurry by combining Worcestershire sauce, reserved broth, and cornstarch.
Remove pot from heat (or hit Cancel if using electric) and allow pressure to drop on its own.
Carefully open pot and add potatoes and carrots. Reseal.
Bring to pressure and cook 1 minute under pressure.
Remove from heat, allow pressure to drop 5 minutes on its own, then release remaining pressure.
Carefully open the cooker and checkvegetables for doneness.
Stir slurry again right before adding it to the pot. Return to heat (or use sautémode on electric models) just until sauce thickens.
Remove from heat immediately and check for seasonings. Add salt and pepper if needed and serve.
Adding fresh chopped parsleybefore serving adds flavor. Unfortunately, I was out of parsley when I cooked this stew today. Next time …