Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Instant Pot Mushroom Soup in 8 minutes



Asian soup


I love mushroom soup, but I prefer mine broth-like and not creamy. This wonderful Asian style recipe can be cooked in 8 minutes in the Instant Pot and will not disappoint. (Of course experienced Instant Pot users know that it requires a little time to heat up and release steam as well as cook).
If you don't have an Instant Pot it can cook on the stove top covered for about an hour.

instant pot
You can make this soup on the stove top too- It will just take longer than an Instant Pot -

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

It is the perfect light comfort soup and is full of healthy good for you ingredients. Use it as a starter for a meal or add some cooked rice noodles or brown rice to make it a little more filling.



Our local farmer's market has had a nice variety of mushrooms this week. I bought a pint of shitake and a few large really firm white mushrooms. For the remainder of the soup, I used the vegetables I had in the kitchen .

chopped soup vegetables
I used purple cabbage only because it is what I had- green cabbage would work great!


Mushrooms are good for you- they are low in calories, high in fiber, and provide Vitamin D and many other valualbe nutrients. 

Naturally gluten free and vegan, this soup is a good choice for company or for any night of the week. Actually, I sometimes eat it for breakfast which is a custom in many Asian countries.

Asian mushroom soup
I used red cabbage so there is a reddish color; you could use green cabbage

Are you familiar with Ponzu sauce? It is a light citrus flavored Japanese sauce which is like a soy sauce. The one I get is gluten free and vegan. Wanajshan Ponzu Citrus Soy Sauce-



Ingredients: 

1 Tablespoon of olive oil or(1/2 cup of vegetable broth to sautee)
1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced thinly in half moons
4 cloves of fresh garlic, diced or 2 frozen cubes
6 shitake mushrooms, de -stemmed and then cleaned with a damp cloth and then sliced
2 very large or 4 medium firm white mushrooms, cleaned with a damp cloth and then sliced
2 cups of chopped red or green cabbage
2 medium carrots cleaned and sliced
1 cup of chopped celery
1 cup of chopped parsley
2 sprigs of fresh sage
small handful of fresh thyme
1/2 ( of your )  finger sized of fresh ginger , cleaned, peeled and chopped ( see below how to peel fresh ginger the easiest way) 
4 cups of good tasting vegetable broth
6 cups of water
freshly ground black pepper 
Add a drop or two of ponzu sauce to taste and a tiny drop of toasted sesame oil to each bowl before serving- or season the soup -this is part of the recipe not an optional

Directions: 
Add oil or vegetable broth to the instant pot and turn on sautee function. Sautee garlic, onions, and mushrooms in the Instant Pot with the lid off for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Switch to cook mode, cover and seal pot- and set for 8 minutes. When done, allow pressure to self release for at least 5-10 minutes and then release pressure according to your Instant Pot's directions.

Why You Should Invest in an Instant Pot?
If you are still wondering whether or not to invest in an Instant Pot I understand. I really didn't want another appliance to sit on my counter that I might never use. I can share that it is the appliance I now use the most. I LOVE MY INSTANT POT!! Everything seems to taste great made in the Instant Pot and the ease of one pot ( the insert comes out for quick easy cleaning) and the fast and easy cooking times makes my life easier.  I often think of the Disneyland Carousel of Progress that was originally at the New York Worlds Fair in the 1960's - I think they should add a new frame with the mother and father using the Instant Pot for progress!!

The Instant Pot comes in different sizes- 
I use the 6 qt size and it seems to be perfect!



It comes with a small recipe book but I also find wonderful easy recipes on the Pinterest, blogs, and the Internet

What else do I make? Soup, beans, lentils, vegetables, rice, quinoa, -pasta, casseroles - 
It also can be used as a slow cooker and it even comes in a 3 qt. size-  





 Quick Tip to Peel Fresh Ginger Easily                      

Just take the back of a spoon and lightly scrape the ginger.. The skin will come off easily and the ginger will ready to use. Once peeled , it grates easily for any recipe.

Tip; Freeze Leftover Ginger: 
If you don't use all of your ginger right away, place the peeled leftover ginger in a ziplock baggie and freeze it. It will stay fresh for about 6 weeks (or more)  and will be available for your next recipe. Also, frozen ginger is easier to cut and grate.




Wanajshan Ponzu Citrus Soy Sauce

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Broccoli Parmesan- one skillet dish


broccoli and Parmesan cheese in a skillet

One skillet broccoli parmesan is one of those recipes that follow the rule that necessity is the mother of invention. 

I went out with my family one night to a local Italian restaurant. Although they had gluten free pizza and gluten free pasta on the menu, I just didn't want to eat a high carbohydrate meal. Being a vegetarian, there was little else I could eat. I asked the chef if he could make me a dish with broccoli, marinara sauce, and cheese. He did and it was delicious!



Eat it as the main course or a side
I liked it so much, I decided to replicate it for myself at home. I simply used one skillet and some basic ingredients. I wasn't that hungry so I ate my broccoli Parmesan as my meal; my husband ate it as a side with a grilled cheese sandwich ( gluten free bread).

broccoli and tomato sautee
I started out with  a sautee of fresh broccoli, garlic, and some chopped tomatoes- added marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese ( vegans- omit cheese or add nutritional yeast)


It is a simple recipe but very tasty- a recipe that the entire family will enjoy and a great way to get family members to eat their broccoli! 

broccoli parmesan

Ingredients

1 head of broccoli cut into flowerettes
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tomato chopped
1/4 cup of vegetable broth
2 cups of marinara sauce ( gluten free) 
1 cup of parmesan cheese
olive oil spray
optional: I cut some fresh basil and fresh cilantro from the garden and added in the last minute of cooking to allow it to just wilt- you could also add some pine nuts

Directions
Spray a 12 inch skillet with olive oil spray . Add garlic and broccoli and sautee for about 2 minutes then add tomatoes for another 2 minutes. Add vegetable broth and marinara sauce and allow to cook down on med-high until the liquid begins to cook off. Add Parmesan cheese and cover for about 2 minutes to finish cooking. While still in skillet, top with fresh chopped basil and allow to wilt.  Serve plain or over rice or quinoa.

My Notes: 
1. For a more substantial dish , serve it over rice, quinoa , or pasta
2. Vegans- leave off the cheese and its still delicious or substitute nutritional yeast for the cheese!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oatmeal



Looking for a healthy breakfast ? 
Overnight oatmeal can be highly nutritious, absolutely delicious and extremely convenient, and it doesn't even need to be cooked. You eat the oatmeal cold and creamy right out of the refrigerator- a plus during the summer when the weather is so hot!

Convenience and taste are not the only reasons overnight oatmeal is so popular.

Oats are healthy and may provide many desired health benefits: 

1. They may help lower cholesterol
2. They are high in antioxidants
3. They are high in fiber
4. They may help stabilize blood sugar
5. Assist with blood pressure
6. They contain a good amount of vitamins and minerals

Doctors often recommend including oatmeal as part of a healthy diet.

You can turn ordinary oatmeal into a power bowl by choosing add ins that boost the nutritional benefits.




Choose seeds of your choice



For example try hemp seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, blueberries, kiwi,  black strap molasses, honey, almond milk, dates, fruit, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric,  etc. Just about anything you like can be added to your overnight oatmeal. 




I once heard someone say you can choose health or choose convenience.
With overnight oatmeal bowls , you can have both!

It couldn't be simpler. Just put some oats into a bowl or wide mouth jar, add almond milk, fruit, raisins, nuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, add some mashed banana or chopped dates and soak overnight. In the morning you will have the best surprise.



One of the things I hate about cooking oatmeal is having to wash the sticky pan. With overnight oats, you get all the taste and all the nourishment without the mess.



So if you have been wanting to add oatmeal to your diet , but hate to cook it- this may work for you!
It's easy and you can make it so many ways. In the past I've made Overnight Apple Pie Oatmeal and blackberry refrigerator oatmeal.

If you are gluten free, it is imperative that you buy gluten free certified oats. Read this article:
Are oats gluten free?

Recipe for Peanut butter banana overnight oatmeal

Ingredients: 
1/2 cup of gluten free oats ( I get mine at Trader Joe's)
1/2 mashed ripe banana
1 Tablespoon peanut butter or peanut butter powder
3/4  cup of almond milk, coconut milk, or Ripple ( derived from peas and high in protein and a little creamier than almond milk )
1/2 tsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp hemp seeds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Optional: If you are not vegan add 1/4 cup of Greek Yogurt- or if vegan try coconut yogurt

Directions: 
Place the oats in a small cereal bowl or small wide mouth Mason Jar. Mix in mashed banana, peanut butter, nut milk, chia seeds, hemp seeds, cinnamon- refrigerate overnight. Enjoy in the morning.

My Notes: 

Be careful when purchasing gluten free oats-

***Shirley of Gluten Free Easily left this important comment regarding gluten free oats: ***
"Beautiful recipe! Actually it is imperative that those who eat gluten free for medical reasons eat certified gluten-free purity protocol oats. "Certified gluten free" does not necessarily equal purity protocol oats and accurate testing of gluten in oats is extremely challenging. There are many that have gotten glutened by "certified gluten-free oats." They must be certified gluten-free purity protocol oats. There are not that many oat providers that fit this criteria. Gluten-Free Watchdog has a listing here: http://bit.ly/ppoats




1. I like to add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and a shake of black pepper to my overnight oats for the added health benefits and although it changes the color, it doesn't change the taste much.



2. Why black pepper? As high as turmeric is in antioxidants that do wonders for the body, turmeric is actually very low in bioavailability ( the amount a nutrient can be absorbed by the body) black pepper can help increase the bioavailability of turmeric by 2000 percent- so it is always advisable to add some black pepper when eating turmeric.









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