Category: Vegan – Instantly Delicious

Creamy Polenta with Roasted Tomatoes -

For years I was afraid of ​polenta.  ​I enjoyed it at restaurants – in all sorts of preparations.  One of my favorite experiences involved having it poured over a board and covered with a tomato jam, of sorts.  I had it with an amazing glass of Pinot Noir. So delicious.  In the last two years, I have ventured into the world of polenta.  It is incredibly easy and I can’t believe I waited so long to learn how to make it.  When I decided to make it in the Instant Pot®, I was hesitant. However, any other porridge has worked really well. It was amazing. Creamy Polenta ​in the Instant Pot® pressure cooker ​comes out perfectly every time.  Serve it with roasted tomatoes, and you have a lovely light lunch or dinner, perfect for summer.


Ratatouille. ​​Did I spell that correctly?  ​Ratatouille in an Instant Pot® ​- yes! Did you ever see the cute Disney movie by the same name?  Despite my hatred for rats (hey, big city living), I adore that movie. I could watch it again and again, and it always warms my heart.  I also adore ratatouille.  It is a really easy dish to prepare.  Savory, stewy, and the perfect side for chicken, fish, or even as a pizza or pasta topping.  It is naturally vegan and gluten-free, which makes it a great dish to have in your recipe repertoire.


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Did you know you can use your Instant Pot® to make barbecue sauce? Well, you totally can.  I used mine to make ​Honey Chipotle Barbecue Sauce​, and it was ah-maz-ing.  It is sweet and spicy and such a nice change from my favorite bottled sauce (which I use frequently, believe me).  I will be sharing another barbecue chicken Instant Pot® recipe soon that features this swell sauce, but in the meantime, make up a batch to use on chicken, fish, tri tip or anything else you would throw on the grill.


This hearty ​White Bean Soup is perfect for any season.  We had a wonderful, unseasonably warm Spring day yesterday. Today, in typical Midwestern fashion, the temperature plummeted.  I happened to have a batch of prepared beans that I made in the Instant Pot® yesterday. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them, but as soon as I took the dog out this morning, I knew I would be using them in this Tuscan-inspired “beans and greens” soup.


Long before Julie & Julia, I was a fan of Julia Child.  As a very young girl, I would watch her shows on public television with my mom.  I even called myself Julie the Child.  As a young woman, I received my very own copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Unlike Julie Powell who cooked her way through the entire book, I have only made the ​boeuf bourguignon (did I spell that right?) and mayonnaise. The boeuf bourguignon is what my Aunt Jane prepares every Christmas Eve, and it is a dish which holds a special place in my heart.  It is what inspired me to make this Mushroom and Vegetable Stew ​in the Instant Pot®. I did not even have burgundy wine, but I did have pearl onions, tons of mushrooms, and a desire to create a beef-less stew for dinner.  It had the essence of boeuf bourguignon (now I am just having fun typing it) and was perfect for a chilly night.


Do you love hummus and guacamole? ​Avocado Hummus is a beautiful marriage between the two. I pureed avocado, lime juice, and cilantro with chickpeas that I prepared in the Instant Pot® pressure cooker. It could not be simpler to whip up a batch of hummus before a party, barbecue, or just to have in the fridge for a healthy snack. I like to freeze beans that I prepare in the Instant Pot®, so I can make hummus and dips whenever I want.


Sweet Potato and Black Bean Lasagna -

So I make this enchilada-inspired dish. It is layered like a lasagna, but does not contain lasagna noodles. It has the flavors of enchiladas, but it is not rolled. I am not exactly sure what to call it, but this lazy cook loves it, because it is a cinch to put together.  I use black beans that I prepare in my Instant Pot® and freeze them in batches to use later.  I have even used the beans from my Cuban-style Black Beans and it turned out really well.

I got the idea for combining sweet potatoes and black beans from my talented vegan food blogger friend, Kim. She is the innovative creator behind Welcoming Kitchen and Windy City Cocoa. Not being a vegan myself, I had never heard of black beans and sweet potatoes going together and I was VERY skeptical.  I decided to try it after she told me she had recently made enchiladas using the two.  I love enchiladas and I had a newly vegetarian kiddo, so I decided to try it.  I used my lazy enchilada/lasagna method and invented a recipe using some of our favorite enchilada flavors. He loved it, I loved it, everybody loved it! Now I make it all the time and highly recommend this recipe for vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores alike.


Easy Lentil Soup in an Instant Pot® -

Did you know that the U.N. declared 2016 to be the International Year of Pulses? Today, I decided to make one of my favorite pulse-centered dishes in my Instant Pot®.  Lentil Soup is warm, comforting and loaded with healthy nutrients and protein. Because they are small, lentils cook more quickly than other legumes. The pressure cooker makes the soup cook even faster.  ​My vegan, gluten-free lentil soup is more like a stew, but feel free to add water to thin it down to the consistency you prefer.​


UPDATED: After some reader feedback and more recipe testing, I reduced the amount of water in this recipe from 2 cups to 1 cup. You can simmer the sauce further to thicken to your taste. So many of our dinners start with a good tomato sauce. Sometimes (a lot of the time), I open a jar. I am busy and like lots of families, I need to get dinner on the table quickly. Nothing compares to the ease of jarred sauce, but this ​homemade pasta sauce recipe ​is pretty darn close and tastes WAY better. The Instant Pot® does a great job of giving it that long-simmered flavor in a fraction of the time.


I call this THE SOUP. Vegan Black Bean Soup​ is quite possibly the easiest soup in the world to make.  Everyone loves it – especially kids.  My non-vegetarian son requests it all the time. When their friends come over to hang out, I serve it.  My son’s best friend ate three bowls the last time he came over! They go home and tell their parents how delicious the black bean soup was.  When the parents text me asking for the “recipe,” I am almost embarrassed to share, because it is so easy. However, I always do, because I feel like all parents need easy and healthy kid-approved recipes in their repertoire.