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3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Desserts & Drinks/ Instant Pot Magic/ Under 30 minutes

Salted Caramel Molten Lava Cakes- Instant Pot /Oven

Instant Pot Caramel-Lava-CakeIn my home, the ultimate indulgence is warm -gooey Salted Caramel Molten Lava Cakes. Rich dark chocolate, blended with salted caramel, topped with salted caramel ice-cream, it is a match made in dessert-heaven. It’s our go-to dessert for family game nights or any instant celebrations in the house.

Since this is a decadent dessert, I like to make individual portions using these Silicone Cupcake Liners. These liners serve three great purposes in my home: First, the silicone molds don’t get hot to the touch after baking, so handling is super easy, my kids bake with these often. Second, taking the lava cakes out of these molds is a breeze. Simply, invert them on to your serving dish, and they slip out nice and easy. Third, it does portion control for me. I take one, finish it and feel satisfied that I had a full dessert. I don’t feel like going for seconds, like I would be tempted to, if it were a cake:-)

Instant Pot Caramel-Lava-CakeI make these lava cakes in the Instant Pot DUO and they turn out really moist and delicious. But this cake can be made in the oven as well. Here’s how:

Oven Recipe: Pre-heat oven to 425°F. Follow step 1 and 2. Place the cakes on a cookie sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes, depending on how gooey you want the center to be.

Chocolate Lava Cake

 

Flavor Variation: If salted caramel is not your thing, try these Chocolate Lava Cakes. Also, instead of salted caramel, replace it with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and enjoy Peanut Butter Molten Lava Cake instead!

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3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Instant Pot Magic/ Under 30 minutes

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Chili

Instant Pot Chicken-ChiliGame day just doesn’t feel complete without a simmering pot of Chili! Try this spicy, tasty, quick ‘n’ easy, and healthier recipe for Chili. Made with ground chicken, taco seasoning and creamy pinto beans, you’ll love this protein and fiber packed warm bowl of goodness, on a cold, winter night too.

It’s a fairly easy recipe to put together in my programmable pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO. The actual cook time is about 8 minutes and including the time it takes the pot to pressurize and depressurize, this dish is ready to be served in under 30 minutes, from start to finish.

I love the traditional chili made with ground beef. That can easily be used in the same recipe and it works great. But, in an effort to make this chili a lower calorie dish, I substituted ground beef with lean ground chicken in this recipe. Honestly, I couldn’t tell the difference, except, that this one was lighter. The other two Chili recipes that are on my repeat menu are White Chicken Chili and  Black Bean Chili .

Instant Pot Chili-DogLeftovers: Whenever I make this Chili, there is always enough leftovers for dressing up some Chili Hot Dogs the next day- and that’s our bonus! I make these a lot for game-day parties too! Just heat up the chili, boil the pre-cooked franks or sausage links. Dress up the bun with ketchup, mustard and relish, top with the sausage, pour a couple of ‘generous’ spoon full of chili all over, sprinkle some chopped onion and thinly sliced cheddar cheese over that, and take a bite! Yum!!

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3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Fill-it, Shut-it, Forget-it/ Instant Pot Magic/ Low Carb/ Under 30 minutes

3-ingredient Instant Pot Salsa Chicken

3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken, pressure cooker salsa chickenIf there was ever a contest for the EASIEST INSTANT POT RECIPE EVER, this recipe would win hands down! The only prep you have to do for this is to open a packet of Taco Seasoning and a jar of your favorite Salsa. You put it together in the Instant Pot, so no mess or extra dishes to clean. You add water, layer chicken ,season it, top it with salsa and close the lid! Set an 8 minute cook time and go for a walk, paint your nails, run an errand, pick up the kids….whatever you want to do. It takes around 10 minutes for it to come to pressure, 8 minutes to cook and around 10 minutes of NPR time- so, dinner is served in under 30 minutes.

Once you open the lid after releasing the remaining pressure, you can choose to leave the chicken as-is, or, shred it for using it in a variety of dishes. This shredded chicken can be used for Tacos, Enchiladas, Quesadillas, Tortilla Soup, Pizzas, Pulled Chicken Sliders or even for Taco Salad. If you choose to have it as it is, make a side-salad with cucumbers, avocados and cherry tomatoes, dress it up with fresh lime juice, salt & pepper and dinner is done!

3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken, pressure cooker salsa chickenThis recipe comes together with just 3 ingredients- Chicken, Taco seasoning and Salsa. I like using chicken breast for this recipe, but chicken thighs work just as well. I love using Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoning Mix and Salsa Autentica for this recipe. This seasoning has a bit of a kick to it, which my family really enjoys, but you can use your favorite Taco seasoning blend for this recipe.

This is how simple it is to make it:

 

3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken, pressure cooker salsa chicken

Add water in the pot

3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken, pressure cooker salsa chicken

Add chicken , season it

3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken, pressure cooker salsa chicken

Flip it

3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken, pressure cooker salsa chicken

Season this side

3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken, pressure cooker salsa chicken

Mix salsa & seasoning

3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken, pressure cooker salsa chicken

Pour over chicken

3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken, pressure cooker salsa chicken

Set cook time!

3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken, pressure cooker salsa chicken

Done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This recipe can be made in any pressure cooker as well. You can do this on the stove-top as well. Place any heavy bottom sauce pan on medium high heat. Place everything in the pan as per instructions. Bring the salsa mix to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes or till chicken is fully cooked. Keep stirring every few minutes to prevent the salsa from scorching the pan.

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3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Condiments & Accompaniments/ Instant Pot Magic/ Under 30 minutes/ Vegetarian

Lemon Rice in Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker

Instant pot Lemon-Rice Pressure cooker Lemon Rice– fluffy grains of aromatic Basmati rice, flavored with mustard seeds and fresh lemon juice- this satisfying side is the perfect accompaniment to any protein you’re making.

Lemon rice pairs very well with Indian, middle-eastern or Greek entrees. I like to serve it with grilled chicken and vegetables, or with Lamb Chops, Salmon Tikki, Chicken Kebab etc. Pair it with a side of grilled or oven-roasted vegetables and you have a perfectly balanced meal in under 30 minutes.

Options: I like to make this recipe with long grain Basmati Rice, but this can work with Jasmine Rice as well. This recipe is traditionally made with split black gram lentils (urad), but sometimes, I skip that and add chopped cashews or almonds instead and it turns out great.

I usually make Lemon rice in my programmable pressure cooker, Instant Pot 6 Qt, but this dish can be made on the stove-top too. Here are the instructions:

Stove-Top: Rinse rice 2-3 times till the water runs clear. Drain and keep aside. Do the same with split lentils. Heat a sauce pot on medium-high heat. Wait till it’s hot, and add ghee/butter or oil. Add mustard seeds and split black gram lentils (urad). When the mustard seeds splutter, add green chilis, drained rice and spices. Add fried onions (optional). Saute for 1 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pan and cook for 10-12 minutes. Turn off the heat, open lid, fluff up the rice with a fork. Add fresh lemon juice and mix well. That’s it! Continue Reading…

3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Instant Pot Magic/ Low Carb/ Under 30 minutes/ Vegetarian

Aloo Gobi- Spiced Potato and Cauliflower – Instant Pot /Stir-Fry

Instant Pot Aloo-Gobi Pressure CookerAloo Gobi or Gobhi Aloo is a popular dry vegetarian side dish from north-Indian cuisine. Aloo gobi is made with Aloo (potatoes) and gobi (cauliflower) cooked with fresh ginger-garlic and seasoned with warm Indian spices and stir-fried.

Aloo Gobi and Bhindi (Spiced Okra stir-fry) are my kids’ favorite side dishes to have in an Indian meal. I make two versions of it. One is a light stir-fry with cumin seeds, green chilies and Indian spices, and this version, where I make a light onion-tomato gravy and cook the potatoes and cauliflower florets in it. Both versions are simple and come together in under 10 minutes.

Stove-Top recipe for a Light Stir-Fry: I take a heavy bottom stir-fry pan.

  • Heat it on medium high heat for 30 seconds. Add oil, add cumin seeds and green chilies to it. When the cumin seeds begin to splutter, add cauliflower florets and potato cubes/slices. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne. 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder and stir well. Cover the lid and cook for 4-5 minutes, or till the potatoes are cooked through.
  • Open the lid and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, till all liquid has evaporated. Garnish with cilantro!

In the recipe below, I have cooked this dish in my programmable pressure cooker, Instant Pot.  It took me sometime to figure out the right time to cook dry side dishes in it though. Due to the steam cooking style, I liked how it evenly cooked the veggies, but wasn’t a fan of the liquid I got towards the end of cooking. After a few batches of experimenting, I figured that for most vegetables 0-1 minute pressure cook/Manual was my magic number. So, depending on the size of your potatoes and cauliflower florets, you can set the time.

 

 

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3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Fill-it, Shut-it, Forget-it/ Instant Pot Magic/ Low Carb/ Under 30 minutes

Chicken Noodle Soup with Ethiopian Spices (Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker)

Instant pot Chicken Noodle Soup EthiopianWarm, delicious, healthy and comforting, that’s what I think of when I make Chicken Noodle Soup! A classic Chicken Noodle soup is made by simmering chicken and vegetables, such as carrots and celery, spices, herbs and small noodles in chicken broth. The result is a simple meal that warms up your soul!

Instant pot Chicken Noodle Soup EthiopianDuring winter-time, I make this soup a lot, almost once a week. Recently, I have been making many variations of it. I keep experiment by adding different spice blends in this soup and this time I think I hit a home run. I added the Ethiopian Spice blend called Berbere Seasoning, which is a combination of warm whole spices like cumin, cardamom, coriander, and fenugreek, garlic, cloves, turmeric, grated ginger root, black pepper, salt, paprika, cinnamon, and dried red chiles, that are toasted and ground together. This spice blend adds a distinctive tangy and mildly spicy and smoky flavor to the soup. If you don’t like spice, you can reduce the quantity of the Berbere seasoning. For an extra kick, I added a couple of tablespoons of Sriracha to it, but you can replace that with tomato paste if you want to cut down on the heat. For my family, including my kids, this spice level worked great. I make few other classic Ethiopian dishes using the Berbere Spice Blend: Misir Wot -Red Lentil Stew, and , Key Wat – Beef Stew.

To make this Chicken Noodle Soup healthier, I added whole-grain elbow macaroni to the soup. It not only increases the fiber and reduces the net carbs per serving, it also increases the protein content of the soup.

 

To make this soup vegetarian, you can skip the chicken and add some canned chickpeas, they taste awesome too!

 

I make this soup in my programmable pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO, but you can make it in any pressure cooker. Simply follow the suggested timing for cooking chicken breast or soup, and this recipe will work just fine.

Stove-Top: Making this soup on the stove-top is a breeze. Take a heavy bottom sauce pan. Heat olive oil in the pan and add crushed garlic to it. As soon as it starts sizzling, add everything else and let it come to a boil. After that, reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot and let it simmer for 10-12 minutes, or till chicken is tender enough to shred. Remove the chicken, shred it and add it back to the soup. Garnish with cilantro and you’re all done!

Pin it for later: Instant pot Chicken Noodle Soup Ethiopian
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3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Instant Pot Magic/ Low Carb/ Under 30 minutes/ Vegetarian

Green Beans and Carrots (Instant Pot or Stir-fry)

Green Beans and Carrot instant pot or stir fryCrunchy green beans and carrots sautéed with mustard seeds and coconut flakes, and seasoned with salt, coriander and cayenne. This super simple and amazingly easy vegetable side-dish is a great accompaniment to many entrée.

You can switch out the beans and carrots and make this recipe with your favorite vegetables like cauliflower, peas, zucchini, broccoli, corn…. possibilities of customization are endless. In fact, I make a very similar dish following this recipe with chopped beets- Coconut Beets. The coconut flakes are optional in this recipe, but I really enjoy the slight sweet and nutty flavor that they give in this dish.

Stove-top Stir-Fry: In this video, I have made this recipe in my programmable pressure cooker, the Instant Pot DUO. But, making this on the stove top is as easy, and takes only 10 minutes.

  • I start off by heating a heavy bottom skillet on medium heat. Add oil and when it’s hot, add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start sizzling/spluttering, add chopped beans and carrots and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Add salt and spices. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water and stir everything. Add unsweetened coconut flakes. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Open lid and saute for 2-4 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like your veggies. Garnish with Cilantro!

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3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Instant Pot Magic/ Under 30 minutes/ Vegetarian

Gluten-Free Corn & Chicken Chowder

Gluten Free Corn and Chicken Chowder- instant pot, Pressure CookerCreamy, sweet, hearty and pure deliciousness in a bowl, that’s how I would describe this dish. Whoever said Chowder was a summer-time dish, probably never sat by the fireplace on a cold winter night with a bowl of Corn & Chicken Chowder!

My family loves chowder. My kids’ and husband’s favorite is Clam Chowder, and I am a huge fan of Corn Chowder. We like to make it at home, but a healthier, lighter version, that we can all enjoy without slipping into a food coma later. My husband and I are eating a lower-carb-high-protein diet these days, so I had to revisit my recipe for Summer Corn Chowder and customize it. Plus, I’ve been wanting to make a Gluten-free version for quite sometime now. Chowder is typically thickened with a roux made with flour or some sort of starch. I wanted to skip that altogether. So, I added chicken to bump up the protein in the dish. Then, I eliminated the thickening agents, and, replaced the heavy cream with half & half.  That cut down the carbs and eliminated the gluten. So beware, this is not the super thick and ultra creamy chowder that you’re used to- this is like a ‘skinny’ version of it. For a vegetarian chowder, skip the chicken and you’re set. 

Without the flour, the real challenge was how to thicken the chowder. After a few batches, I figured two things that helped me thicken the chowder. First, I blended some corn with half & half. That not only helped in thickening the broth, it also gave a big corn flavor boost to the chowder, that you would otherwise get by using corn broth. Secondly, once it was done cooking, I used my hand blender for 5 seconds and it thickened the chowder just enough for me. In the video recipe, I skipped this step too and liked that result as well.

Gluten Free Corn and Chicken Chowder- instant pot, Pressure CookerAlternatively, you can use a tablespoon of rice flour during the saute process, or, use a corn starch slurry in the end, to thicken the chowder before serving. Making a corn-flour slurry is super easy. Simply dissolve 1 tablespoon of corn starch in 3-4 tablespoons of room temperature broth/milk/water and add it to the chowder and stir for a few seconds. It thickens the chowder almost immediately.

Many times I make a lower-calorie version of this recipe by using full-fat or even 2% fat milk instead of half & half. The result is not as thick as this one, but the taste is still amazing. So, if you’re watching your calories, that’s another alternative for you.

In this recipe, I have made the Corn & Chicken Chowder in my programmable pressure cooker, the Instant Pot DUO. Instant Pot works great for soups and stews because the process of pressure cooking helps intensify the flavors resulting in a chowder that tastes like it has been simmering low and slow for hours. It helps me get away by adding less half & half than a regular recipe.

Making chowder on the stove-top is a super simple process too. Follow all the instructions listed in the recipe, till the pressure cooking part. Then cover and simmer the chowder for 10 minutes on medium heat. Open lid, add half & half and follow the remaining instructions. That’s it!

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3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Fill-it, Shut-it, Forget-it/ Instant Pot Magic/ Under 30 minutes

Coconut Lime Chicken and Rice (Pot-in-Pot, Instant Pot)

Coconut-lime-chicken-and-rice-Instant PotChicken marinated and cooked in creamy and delicious coconut milk, lime and spices, paired with aromatic Basmati Rice cooked in Coconut milk. This One-Pot wonder was a match made under a Coconut Tree:-)

This simple recipe is so easy to prepare, yet so elegant to serve for dinner. And the flavors are just amazing.

Coconut-lime-chicken-and-rice-Instant Pot I start by scoring the chicken breast before marinating it. That helps flavor the chicken even if you skip the marination time. Just take a sharp knife and make diagonal incisions on the chicken breast as shown in this picture. I then combine the marinade ingredients and throw everything in a ziplock bag, who doesn’t like easy clean-up now! If you have time, it’s great to marinate this for 30 mins to 2 hours, if not, throw it in the pot the flavors will still be amazing. By skipping the marination, you’ll be able to have this meal ready in under 30 minutes, from start to finish too. I have made this recipe with boneless chicken thighs as well and it turns out pretty good. You don’t have to score them, just trim off the excess fat on them.

Coconut-rice- Instant PotIf you want to cook the Coconut rice using the Pot-in-Pot method in your Instant Pot, assemble them in a smaller bowl with coconut milk, water and salt and keep aside. You can cook rice separately too. Build you pot as shown in the video and you’ll have this amazing dinner ready in no time!

Coconut BeetsI like to serve this dish with a side of vegetables. You can serve it with a salad too. As for sides, you can pick any sides that you like, like green beans, carrots, or, peas and corn. I serve this meal with a side of Coconut Beets. Yup! turns out too much of coconut is a good thing for me. I simply saute the chopped beets with some coconut oil or olive oil, mustard seeds, coconut flakes, salt and some Indian spices. It takes only 4-5 minutes and they are done. Recipe for Coconut Beets coming soon.

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3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Condiments & Accompaniments/ Instant Pot Magic/ Low Carb/ Under 30 minutes/ Vegetarian

Master Curry Sauce – Punjabi Gravy

Master Curry Sauce - Punjabi GravyEvery cuisine has some basic ingredients that form the ‘foundation’ of many dishes. Punjabi Gravy is a rich, aromatic and versatile master curry sauce in north-Indian cuisine, that is the base for a variety of delicious north Indian curries.

As with most recipes in Indian cuisine, this one also starts off with fresh produce. All it is, is onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes, simmered with warm Indian spices like garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder and of course, salt, turmeric and cayenne, which is the inseparable trio in Indian cuisine!

You can make a variety of curries with this master sauce. Some popular examples are Chana Masala, Kidney Beans curry (Rajma), Paneer Mutter (Cottage cheese and peas), Everyday Chicken Curry, and believe it or not, even Butter Chicken! Wait…What? Yup! All you have to do is add chicken and heavy cream or Greek yogurt to this sauce, add a pinch sugar and cook everything till the chicken is tender. Garnish with cilantro and no one will ever know:-)

Master Curry Sauce - Punjabi GravyThis Master Curry Sauce is a great make-ahead and freeze item. I always make a big batch of this sauce, cool it, and pour it in single-use mason jars, pop it in the freezer and pull it out on crazy weeknights. I add either lentils or canned chickpeas or Paneer & Frozen peas or even boneless chicken thighs, and we have a delicious dinner ready in minutes.

Party Planning: Whenever I am hosting a dinner party with an Indian menu, I always make this sauce a few days in advance. That makes cooking time so manageable and less exhausting for me, so I can enjoy my own party too:-) Continue Reading…