Insta Pot Mini Easy Chicken and Rice

IMG_4561Last month my apartment was torn up for repairs and painting.  For the most part this wasn’t a big deal, I just lived around the mess.  Then the repairmen  got to my tiny kitchen and pulled out all my appliances to the middle of the kitchen, leaving me a tiny path from the door to the counter.  I couldn’t get in the kitchen to cook and it almost killed me.  I know it sounds weird but my kitchen is my happy place and the actual act of cooking relaxes me.  So not being able to get to my kitchen to cook was tough on me mentally as well as on my wallet.

After three days of eating every meal out, I knew I needed to find away to cook something.   Thank goodness, for my Insta Pot Mini.  I took it out into the living room and put it on the entertainment center.  I prepped all my veggies and meat on a cutting board set on a folding chair and did dishes in the sink in the bathroom.   Fortunately, you can do everything  in one pot with the Insta Pot.  I made every meal for the next 5 days in the Insta Pot in my living room.

To find recipes for this grand cooking adventure, I went through my blog and big, binder of recipes for one or two and picked some of my favorite recipes to adapt for the Insta Pot Mini.   The first one I tried was my favorite quick and easy Chicken and Rice.  I love this recipe when I am too tired or don’t have much time to cook.

Just a warning, this recipe comes out of the pan or the Insta Pot very beige.  It doesn’t bug me when I am cooking for myself but it looked awful in the first group of pictures I took so I stuck it under the broiler for a few minutes.  If beige food bothers you, just pre heat the broiler before you start throwing things in the pot.  When it is done pressure releasing, take the chicken out and broil it for 5 minutes or so.

Insta Pot Mini Easy Chicken and Rice

Adapted From How To Cook Everything

2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 tsp olive oil

1/2 cup uncooked short grained white rice

1 1/2 tsp seasoning blend of your choice

1 cup chicken broth or water

1 cup onion, chopped

Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken thighs. Preheat the instant pot on the saute setting. When it is hot add the oil and onion.  Saute the onion until soft, 3-4 minutes.  Cancel the saute setting and add the rice, seasonings, chicken and water or broth.  Lock the lid.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes then quick release the remaining pressure. 

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Italian Sausage Seasoning Blend (Whole 30)

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Ever since I was a little girl, the library has been my favorite place to hang out.  My favorite place in the library is in the rows and rows of cookbooks.   I love to pick out a random cookbook, take it home, get in the kitchen and cook from it.

I know a lot of people today, only hit the internet for their recipes.  I spend a lot of time there too.  The internet as we know it has only been around for about 30 years.  I took a class in 1990 to learn how to use it to its best advantage.  There are 1000’s of recipes out there that can only be found in cookbooks and I love to find them.

By going to the library, I can try out a cook book and see if I would cook from it before I go buy a copy.  I have found many of my favorite cookbooks this way.  I would never have looked at cook books like Mollie Katzen’s vegetarian The Enchanted Broccoli Forest or Mark Bittman’s  brilliant how to, How To Cook Everything.  Now Mollie Katzen and Mark Bittman’s cookbooks have an honored place in my own cookbook library.

I would have never bought a copy of Diane Sanfilippo’s, 21 Day Sugar Detox cookbook, if I hadn’t taken it out of the library to try.  I am just not interested in doing a sugar detox of any kind.  It would have been sad if I missed this cookbook though.  Most of the  recipes in it are really good and fit into a Whole 30 style of eating very easily.

I tried this Italian sausage seasoning blend so I could try  her Pizza Fritatta recipe (adaption coming soon) but I will keep using it because it makes awesome sausage patties and loose meat sausage.   I see sausage omelets in my next Whole 30.  This recipe makes enough for several batches of sausage.  Keep the leftovers in easy reach because you are going to want to use them often.

Italian Sausage Seasoning Blend

From the 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook

1 tsp kosher salt

1 TBS ground fennel seed

1  TBS  ground sage

1 TBS granulated garlic

1 TBS onion powder

1 tsp ground black pepper

2 tsp dried parsley, optional

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.  Store in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place.

To use:  Add 2 tablespoons to 1 pound of ground meat.  Mix well.


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How To Keep Your Avocados From Turning Brown

Avocados become your best friend when you do your Whole 30.  Avocados are the best way to get your plated fat at every meal.  The only problem is avocados get brown so fact.  Once they turn brown, I just can’t choke them down.  I know oxidation isn’t harmful.  It just really grosses me out.  I end up wasting a lot of avocado so I don’t use them very often.

I know there are a lot of different ways to keep your avocado from oxidizing but they work in a very limited way or not at all.  So when one more way to prevent your avocado turned up, I was skeptical.  The difference between those methods and this one is this method works.

Zenbelly's Never Brown Avocado Secret

Adapted From Zenbelly.com

1/2 cup kosher salt

2 cups water

3 avocados, halved, pitted and peeled

In a medium bowl, add the water and salt.  Stir to dissolve the salt.  Soak the avocados in the water for 15 minutes or so.  When the avocados are finished soaking, drain, rinse and drain, very well, again.  Use your favorite guacamole recipe and chow. 

 

Shortbread

WIN_20160229_140753 (2)Hey guys,  did you miss me?  I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything in over two weeks.  I didn’t plan it but you know, sometimes life happens.   My kitchen was tore up for over a week while my land lord made repairs.  The only thing that saved me was being able to put my Instant Pot mini in the living room and trying things there.  Unfortunately,  my Instant Pot mini recipes aren’t quite ready to go so you are going to have to make these short bread cookies instead.

Basic Shortbread

Adapted From Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
6 TBS brown sugar
4 tsp lightly beaten egg yolk
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 – 1/4 tsp salt
In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on low for about 30 seconds. Keep the mixer on low speed, beat in the egg yolk, then the flour, cornstarch and salt, until the mixture barely holds together. Lay a piece of waxed paper on the counter, place the dough onto it and shape it like a log. Wrap the log tightly in the waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

Navajo Tortillas

IMG_1240 (2)This recipe was one of the most difficult recipes I have ever adapted.  I got the original idea from a lady I worked with but she couldn’t really give me a recipe.  She made these with her grandma who taught her by the handful of this, a pinch of that method. I found exactly one recipe for Navajo tortillas on-line and it was missing the directions.  I went back to my co worker and asked a bunch of questions and went home and made several batches over the course of a couple of weeks then I just stopped.  The recipe slowly faded into the bottom of my draft pile. Which is kind of sad.  Navajo tortillas are a nice way to have a fresh bread at a meal.  If you put the dough together before you prep your meal it can be ready to bake when your dinner is in the oven or Instant Pot.

One quick note, don’t try to roll this dough out with a rolling-pin.  Pick it up in your hands and gently stretch it out as you rotate it in a circle, pressing the dough from the center out to the edges.

Navajo Tortillas


Ingredients
2 1/2 cups flour
1 TBS baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup water
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir well. Add the water to the flour mixture 1/4 cup at a time. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to incorporate the water into the flour. When the water/flour mixture becomes too thick to stir with a spatula, not all the flour will be incorporated at this point, turn the dough and remaining flour onto a cutting board and begin to knead the dough. Keep kneading until all the flour is incorporated into the dough. Avoid adding any flour or water to the dough. It should be a soft, not sticky, dough when you are done kneading. Place dough back in the mixing bowl and cover with a clean dish towel and let sit for at least 10 minutes. When ready, heat a 8 inch pan over medium heat.  While pan is heating, divide the dough into 4 pieces.  Using your hands gently pat the dough into a round. Working the dough from the middle stretch the dough into an 6-8 inch circle. Place in the ungreased pan and cook for 2-4 minutes per side.  Flip when you see dark brown spots on the dough.  Repeat with remaining dough.