Sunday, August 9, 2009

Will Blog for Lunch, Dinner or Breakfast: Quickly in my Pressure Cooker

Some bloggers concoct recipes because they have a keen desire to publish and photograph them. I have a keen desire to eat -- at least 3 meals and a number of snacks a day. Since this is a blog about pressure cooking, I am not going to mention any raw food that I eat, but I do that, too.

Today, I did a take off of one of my own recipes for the pressure cooker: Green and Red Bean African Curry which is a riff on an African Curry recipe that I learned from Shuli and Ronit of Whole Spice, which is where I get the mighty delicious African curry powder.

Today the curry did not contain red beans (kidney) but did have marinated Zesty Lemon tempeh from Lightlife Foods, as well as potatoes. At the end of cooking I added some corn cut off the cob, which I cooked on the cob last night for 2 minutes in the pressure cooker.

The whole dish requires about 3 minutes at pressure. I say about because I used freshly dug potatoes and they sometimes only require a couple of minutes cooking. I do this dish in increments, using a quick release in between.

Here's what I discovered:
  1. I was hungry and I ate a lot of this for lunch.
  2. I prefer to marinate my own tempeh and do not care for the Lightlife but like the Turtle Island brand marinated tempeh better.
  3. The dish really does taste better with kidney beans but I didn't have any, and wanted a protein component.
  4. This curry, like many others, is highly adaptable and many seasonal vegetables could be added or substituted. I thought about adding summer squash or greens but that thought quickly left my head as I started cooking because I was so hungry.
  5. I still love my pressure cooker and what it does for me, and how quickly it does it. I can have a meal in almost no time -- less than 15 minutes from cutting board to mouth.

And that's why I blog -- for meals. If you want the recipe for the African curry, please leave a comment or email me

If you are interested in learning more about pressure cookers or how to use them please visit my pressure cooking website.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pressure Cooking Millet Stuffed Artichokes

Susan from Fat Free Vegan just wrote a wonderful post about Millet-Stuffed Artichokes. What Susan didn't say is that you can cook the millet in the pressure cooker in just 5 minutes at pressure. Read about cooking millet here.

Don't underestimate what your pressure cooker can do for you. It's the most amazing piece of cookware that I own, and use it almost daily. In fact, I just came back from visiting my mother and now she has a pressure cooker, thanks to her daughter (that's me). And I got to use hers. What a joy.

My sisters both have, and use, pressure cookers, too. If you want to help the people that you love eat better tasting and, possibly better-for-them, food buy them a pressure cooker and teach them how to use it. You can watch the beginning of my DVD here or watch my You Tube videos at TheVQ. I am also always happy to answer any questions that you have. You can leave comments here or email me at jill@pressurecookingonline.

Here's to a great PC experience -- artichokes and all.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pressure Cooking Steel Cut Oats

Over at Pinch My Salt people are going ga ga over steel cut oats. And they have to cook them for at least 25 minutes.

I, too, like steel cut oats and in fact Alex of the Facebook group Lorna Sass is my homegirl reviewed my DVD and saw that I have a recipe for a cooked cereal. He asked about cooking steel cut oats. And the recipe for that is the same as any chunky grain cereal.

Take 3 cups of liquid -- I like to use 2 cups water and 1 cup nondairy milk. I add a cinnamon stick or two, the oats or other grain, and a pinch of salt. I lock the lid on my pressure cooker and bring to high pressure over high heat. I set my timer for 3 minutes. When the cooker gets to high heat, turn the heat down and get your timer going.

After 3 minutes, move the pot off the hot burner and let the pressure come down naturally. Open the lid carefully, and add what you like. I like to take out the cinnamon sticks, and add ground flax, raisins, chopped up apple, toasted walnuts or sunflower seeds, and a bit of agave or maple syrup for sweetener. It's a filling meal.
Remember that whole grains (or even steel cut ones) are good for you. If you don't want to make your own and dole it out for daily dishes which is a great idea, you can go to Jamba Juice where they are now selling organic steel cut oats. Unfortunately for me, they cook them in milk but at least they have them. Read more here.

If you like this post you can sign up to get information from me monthly through my newsletter by going to my pressure cooking website.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Getting People Excited About Pressure Cooking

I am just returning from a half-day workshop that I presented to the employees of the San Diego Red Cross WIC (Women, Infant's and Children) office. There's nothing like packing one's pressure cooker in their suitcase, as I did but it worked out just fine. Cooking while on the road, without a kitchen, isn't my favorite thing to do but I can certainly handle it.

I made red and white quinoa, and along with it I made a tempeh dish with dried mushrooms, red and orange peppers, finished with pea shoot sprouts. It was mixed with Drew's shiitake ginger dressing, as a way to get around buying entire bottles of tamari and olive oil. I didn't taste it but it smelled heavenly to me.

Since today was the Great American Meat-Out, I got to showcase vegetarian foods, along with the microgreens and edible flower products from Fresh Origins. I tell you that you haven't lived until you've tried baby orchids which taste something like cucumbers. The Buzz buttons (or at least that's what I think that they were called, were quite interesting for people since they make your tongue tingle.) Tofurky donated the 5 Grain tempeh which was excellent. I don't get it at my store so I was especially happy to serve it.

The topic of my talk was Mindful Eating to Boost Your Energy and Soothe Your Soul. I think that I presented enough ways for people to become more mindful of their eating, along with ways for them to carry it out such as batch cooking, and using the freezer as your pantry. This is one of my favorite ways to make my cooking life easy.

Using the pressure cooker also makes it fast. So no need to buy frozen brown rice when you can make your own.

My biggest hope with the group was that I could help dispel the myths that pressure cookers are dangerous and can blow up, while introducing the group of almost 100 to foods that they'd never tried. I am sure that I did that. The pressure cooking went on without a hitch and my cooker is once again packed in my suitcase, awaiting its return trip to Santa Rosa. (Think 38 pound suitcase, ugh.) I still think that home-cooking is best so give it a try without taking it on the road.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Veggie Queen Cooks Under Pressure with John Ash

I am rushing off to the farmer's market to buy ingredients so that I can appear on the radio this morning. I will be demonstrating live, how to use a pressure cooker to make 2 of the recipes on my DVD Pressure Cooking: A Fresh Look, Delicious Dishes in Minutes. I will be on KSRO, 1350 am here in Sonoma County, on the Good Food Hour with John Ash and Steve Garner at 11 am PST.

I will be making Shane's Fabulous Lentil Soup and Market Fresh Breakfast Tofu, Potatoes and Vegetables. I have not yet done live radio pressure cooking but I am sure that all will go just fine. It's a beautiful day and we will be out at Bassignani's Nursery in Sebastopol on a live broadcast.

I am really excited to see what gems appear at the market this morning to go into my vegetable dish. That surely will help relieve the pressure.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Pressure Cooker Accident Implicated in Burned 14-year Old in Florida

With so much fear surrounding pressure cookers and pressure cooking, why would I be telling you about something so tragic?

The story that I read in The Miami Herald said that the girl was cooking with an adult when the accident happened. No further details except that the girl was seriously burned about the face, hands and neck. That is just awful.

My best guess is that she and the adult with her were using an old-fashioned pressure cooker. And that the pressure got too high or they weren't patient enough to wait for the pressure to come down before removing the pressure valve -- and BOOM, a horrible explosion of burning hot food spewed from the cooker.

I am no detective (possibly perhaps of the Columbo type) but I am surmising that impatience was the cause of the incident because the girl was obviously close to the cooker to get burned in that manner.

My advice -- unless you feel completely comfortable using an old-fashioned pressure cooker that you have used faithfully for years, ONLY use a modern spring-valve type cooker. I have used them successfully with my students for about 8 years at Santa Rosa Junior College and we have not had one incident of explosions or burns (the latter of which can easily happen with the 250 degree F. steam). It's not due to my luck because I have had other things happen in class which have involved paramedics and nurses, but I won't divulge here.

There are many of us online, and out in the world, who agree that tragedies like this can be prevented. We successfully use our pressure cookers almost daily (I'll speak for myself here.) The modern pressure cooker is built with safety in mind. Once you've achieved pressure you cannot open the pot and this prevents any kind of explosions and accidents. So, do yourself a favor and cook the modern pressure cooking way.

I'd love to hear your comments and questions.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fagor Duo Pressure Cooker Giveaway and The Veggie Queen Guest Blog Post

The Meal Makeover Moms are now pressure cooker converts. They are giving away a pressure cooker to one of the people who comments on their blog. Read the post by clicking here.

I hope that you win the pressure cooker. If you don't, maybe you aren't aware that I sell pressure cookers on my website, along with my pressure cooking DVD which is what I think helped "The Moms" get over their pressure cooker fear.

Pressure cooking is easy and with a new pressure cooker it's pretty foolproof. Let me know what you think by posting a comment here.

Next month I think that I might be giving away a pressure cooker set. Still thinking about it. Any thoughts? Any questions? Do I hear shrill screams? I hope not. I mean it when I say that pressure cooking can change your life.

I know that investing in a pressure cooker can seem like a big deal. I think that you can save enough to pay for it in just months. Heck, if it saves you from eating out just once a week, it would be even faster. I call it the easiest, fastest and greenest way to make the "new fast food".

Monday, January 5, 2009

Pressure Cooker Brown Rice Recipe

I don't need to write much about a recipe for pressure cooking brown rice because all it takes is rice, water and salt, and the salt is optional. So, I'll tell you a bit about using the modern pressure cooker while I am here.

1 cup brown rice, 1 1/2 cups water or stock

This kind of pressure cooker doesn't have a jiggler. It has a little button that pops up to let you know that the pot is at pressure. You can watch the button in action by clicking on the video on my website.

In my DVD Pressure Cooking: A Fresh Look, Delicious Dishes in Minutes, I cook red rice with lentils. I use a long grain red rice from Thailand which keeps turning out different with varying amounts of water and rice. So far, 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water, cooked for 9 to 10 minutes with a natural pressure release seems to work fine, most of the time.

Here's the rub with cooking grains -- how they cook depends upon that batch of grains, how old it is, how it's been stored which effects the moisture level, and other intangible factors. So, following the recipe will work most of the time. You need a jumping off point so this might help.

Another tip: when cooking more than 1 cup of rice, reduce the amount of liquid by 1/4 cup for each additional cup of grain. Here's how this translates into cooking: for the 1st cup of brown rice you use 1 1/2 cups water and for the second cup you use 1 1/4 cups water. Two cups of brown rice requires 2 3/4 cups water in the pressure cooker. This works well for stove top cooking, too.

I do this because I do not care for soggy grains. Do you?