Monday, December 11, 2017

Instant Pot Black Beans - no pre-soaking

Black beans with no pre soaking in just 45 minutes cooking in the Instant Pot!
To say I am loving my Instant Pot is an understatement! I just made a delicious black bean recipe that came out super creamy and delicious.  We ate it over white rice which I also made in my Instant Pot.

No Soaking of Beans Necessary

The part I really loved was that I didn't have think about soaking the beans the night before ( nope- didn't soak the beans)- I just made them on the spur of the moment. I know it is hard to believe but your really don't need to soak the beans!

Two reasons I love making beans in the Instant Pot

  1. For convenience,  I frequently resorted to using canned beans- (which I know can contain toxins in the lining like BPA and other lesser known toxins and the metal from the can which leaks into the beans)  NO MORE!!Making the beans in the Instant Pot is fast, easy , and a last minute thought!
  2.  Cooking dried beans always took so long and didn't always taste creamy enough- my beans came out tasty and perfect in the Instant Pot,

How I made this simple recipe

I used the saute function on the Instant Pot to saute onion, yellow pepper, and garlic for about 5 minutes.

I  added washed black beans and low salt vegetable broth to the saute mixture, closed and locked the top and hit then hit the cancel button. I then pushed the pressure cook or manual setting

I then set the time on the Instant pot for 45 minutes !

 I then did something else while my Instant Pot cooked. I allowed the Instant Pot to cool down naturally as opposed to releasing the steam.

It was so easy and there was no mess, one pot, no splatter- and the stainless steel insert pan was easy to remove very easy to clean. 

When the beans were done, it didn't even look like I had cooked in the kitchen. 

In addition if I was having company, it freed up my stove and didn't heat up the kitchen!


1/2 yellow onion diced large
4 pieces of garlic, diced large
1/2 large yellow or green pepper , diced large
1 16 ounce bag ( or box) of dry organic black beans, washed  (Black Beans, Organic - Dry - 1 lb)
4 cups of low salt vegetable broth
1/2 cup of water
olive oil spray
optional: 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh cilantro per serving added when serving


Spray the Instant Pot pan with olive oil spray.  Add the garlic, onion, and yellow or green pepper. Turn on the saute button and saute for about 3-5 minutes until soft. Turn off the saute button and add the dry beans  ( wash and drain them) , the vegetable broth and water. Close the pot, select manual or pressure cook ( depends on your model)  and set for 45 minutes. 
Make sure you pressure button is sealed. I allowed the steam to release naturally , but if you are in a hurry you could release your steam according to your Instant Pot instructions. When all steam has escaped, remove the lid. 

My husband likes his black beans with white rice

I ate my beans with some sliced avocado

The instant pot comes in different sizes-
I like the 6 quart size ( I have a 6 and 8 qt)
It is a perfect holiday gift to buy for yourself or a relative or friend! 

It is really easy to use and you can find tons of  wonderful easy recipes on the Pinterest, blogs, and the Internet

What else do I make? Soup, beans, vegetables, rice, quinoa, - my friends make chicken, meat, eggs, etc. 

Did you know it also can be used as a slow cooker? 
So you would have both in one pot. It comes with a little cookbook to get you started.
                      You can check it out on Amazon 

Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer

I am an affiliate for Amazon and if you click on a link on my site and make a purchase, I will receive a small compensation at no cost to you. This helps me defray the cost of publishing a blog and I thank you for any support . Also, please use your Instant Pot according to your manufacturers instructions.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Star

My Wordless Wednesday Selection

Opposite Rockefeller Center in NYC is a Swarovski display with the information about the huge  Swarovksi crystal star the tops the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree each year

Quite interesting and spectacular

Swarovski Crystal Star for Rockefeller Center Tree

My mother was originally from Brooklyn and she worked in the city. Even though we moved to New Jersey, we visited the city for shopping, shows, and visiting relatives several times a year. At Christmas we always went to Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall. 

Christmas bulbs in full bloom at a nearby hotel- Lotte Palace across from St. Patrick's Cathedaral 

Above the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center NYC

Will be shared on shared on Beth Fish Reads Wordless Wednesday  
Wordless Wed on Tuesdays wordless on tuesday, 
image in ing, 
ClaireJustine linky 
West Metro Mommy  

Friday, December 1, 2017

Gluten Free Rugelach

tray of gluten free regalach

Have you heard of rugelach? 
They are a traditional Eastern European pastry with a Yiddish name that means little twists or rolled things. Traditionally they are made with butter, sour cream or cream cheese, flour and sugar.
This is a gluten free ( and vegan) version of the real thing that is quite tasty.

I very seldom post dessert recipes on my blog.
I have to be honest, I'm not much of a baker. I leave the gluten free baking to the experts!

But this gluten free/grain free recipe is so easy even I can make it. It tastes amazing and is made with healthy ingredients that are good for you. 

I participated in an organic, gluten free, vegan pot luck. One of the hosts made this dessert. Everyone who attended the event loved it.  I asked for the recipe, and today I'm sharing it with you.

This pastry has a rich creamy cocoa filling with just the right amount of cinnamon and a soft tender dough that is made in the food processor in one minute! The recipe is not baked rather it is chilled in the refrigerator.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: none
Chill time: 4 hours or more

Ingredients for the dough:  
1 cup of dates, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes, drained and pits removed ( or use pitted)
1 cup of raw pecans
Cinnamon for dusting

Ingredients for chocolate filling :
4 Tablespoons of cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons raw honey ( or agave nectar for vegans)
1 teaspoon of coconut oil

Put soaked and drained pitted dates and pecans in the food processor. Process until a ball of dough forms. ( do not over process)  Remove from processor and set aside in the refrigerator. 

Make the chocolate filling by mixing the cocoa powder, sweetener,  and coconut oil together and set aside.  

Cut a large square of Syran wrap and place it on your work surface. Sprinkle the Sryan wrap with cinnamon and flatten the dough ball on the Syran wrap and press the dough or roll the dough into a large square ( not too thin as you will need to roll it up).

 Spread chocolate sauce on top of the flattened dough and then grab the Sryran wrap at one end and start rolling it up with the dough to make a log.. Wrap the Syran wrap around the dough completely and refrigerate for at least 4 or more hours. Remove from refrigerator when ready to serve and slice the log into individual portions.

**I found a video with a different recipe but the exact same process- the video is about 10 minutes but worth watching because although it is easy, the process is difficult to explain if you haven't seen it demonstrated. Again, I think the Youtube video below will be very helpful and worth the watch if you want to make these delicious rugelach!

My Notes:
1. Since they are raw, they may be a little sticky
2. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve
3. The dough is so delicious - just dates and pecans
4.The filling is simple- cocoa , raw honey, and coconut oil
5. I forgot to take a photo of the finished sliced cookie ( we gobbled it up so fast) I used a different photo for the finished product but it gives you an idea of what it should look like.

Youtube Video_ How to work with this kind of raw dough to make these rugelach

This recipe will be shared on Beth Fish Reads- Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post ( appears on Saturday)  and my daily lists of blog carnivals