Instant Pot Mini Cheese Burger Soup

The calendar says it’s spring but the weather hasn’t got the message yet. It snowed all day today.  Big, thick flakes that last just long enough to remind you are absolutely sick of winter.  The snow was a good excuse to make soup in my Instant Pot mini today.

Instant Pot Mini Cheese Burger Soup

Adapted From Adventures of a Nurse

1/2 lb ground beef

1/4 cup onion, diced

1/4 cup shredded carrots

1 cup cubed potatoes

1  8 oz can tomato sauce

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup milk

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup cubed american cheese

Preheat the Instant pot on the saute setting.  Once hot, add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink.  Drain the grease.  Add the ground beef, onion, carrots, potatoes and chicken broth.  Lock the lid and cook on high for 20 minutes.  Quick release the pressure.  Add the milk and cheeses and stir until the cheese is melted.  Serve with a garnish of chopped dill pickle and mustard. 

 

Advertisements

Rogan Josh Hot Plate (Whole 30)

The older I get the more I like to cook with big flavors.  I never cooked with spices like cumin and cayenne when I was younger because I just didn’t like the taste of them. Now they are in most of the recipes I cook.   I would like to contribute this culinary growth to having developed a more refined palate at 48 than I had at 30 but I don’t think that is the explanation, at least not all of it.

I have been aware for quite sometime I am slowly loosing my sense of smell. I have no idea why except that it may be genetic because my dad started loosing  his sense of smell about the same age as I did and his sense of smell was gone by the time he was my age now.  It is very scary to be loosing my sense of smell because smell is such a big part of the sense of taste.  I can’t imagine not being able to taste the food I so love to cook.  My dad,  however, says that he hasn’t lost his sense of taste along with his sense of smell.  Here is to hoping that I don’t either.

This recipe has big flavor.  Rogan Josh is traditionally made with lamb.  I made mine with ground beef in order to make mine cheaper and  ground beef is easier to find than lamb in many places  I know it looks like a lot of spices for 8 ounces of meat but it really is the amount you need.

Rogan Josh Hot Plate

adapted from the Well Fed cookbook

1 1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground cardamom, optional

1/8 ground cloves

1/2 lb ground beef

salt and pepper, to taste

3/4 tsp olive oil

1/2 cup onion, diced

1/4 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup plus 1 TBS water

Heat a frying pan over medium heat, add oil.  When hot saute the onions until they are translucent.  Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink; drain the any fat.   Add the spices and stir to coat the ground beef.  Add the coconut milk and water.  Cook for 5 -7 minutes or until the sauce is thickened and it is heated through.

 

Instant Pot Mini Swedish Meatballs (Whole 30)

569

A few weeks ago,  I dropped my Aroma 2 quart pressure cooker and severely cracked the base.  I was a bit bummed when I discovered that the company that made my 2 quart no longer makes a 2 quart model.  Inspired by Christina Lane,  I decided to replace my 2 quart pressure cooker with an Instant Pot 3 quart mini.

I have been reluctant to purchase an Instant Pot because  1.   Instant  Pots are more expensive than other brands of pressure cookers.  More expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better  2.  I belong to several pressue cooking groups on Facebook and it seems to me that Instant Pot users have a more difficult time just getting the darn thing to work.

The 3 quart Lux mini fell into the price range I set.  I am not inexperieced at pressure cooking,  so far the mini is easy to use.  All in all,  I am very happy with my Instant Pot Lux 3 quart Lux mini pressure cooker. I’ll do a complete review in the future.

This recipe is my first attempt at creating something for my mini.  The key to keeping these meatballs whole while  browning them is to get the pot and oil hot before putting in the meatballs.  Also,don’t force the meatballs to turn.  They will release when they are ready to turn.

 

Swedish Meatballs

Ingredients

1/2 lb ground beef

6 TBS almond meal, use  bread crumbs if not Whole 30

3 TBS lightly beaten egg

¼ tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp allspice

¾ tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Sauce:

1 ½ TBS arrowroot, use all-purpose flour if not  Whole 30

½ tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1 ¼ cup water

½ small onion diced

¼ cup coconut or almond milk,  use cow milk if not Whole 30

In a medium bowl, add ground beef, almond meal, egg, nutmeg, allspice, salt and pepper.   Gently combine with your hands.  Fold the meat like bread dough, don’t  squish it  between your fingers or you will have tough meat balls.  Divide the meat into 8 portions.  Shape each portion into a ball  and set aside. Preheat your pressure cooker on the saute function.  When hot, add a splash of oil and add the meatballs   Brown the meatballs on all sides.  Don’t force the meat balls to turn.  The meatballs will release on their own.

When the meat balls are browned, add all the sauce ingredients except the arrowroot.  Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes.  Quick release the pressure.   Remove the meatballs and set aside.  Combine the arrowroot with about 1/4 cup of the liquid in the pressure cooker to make a slurry.   Once the slurry is smooth add it back to the pot and bring to a boil on the saute function.  Cook until the sauce is thickened.  I like to serve the sauce and meatballs over baked potatoes. 

Cranberry Bars

IMG_4498

This recipe isn’t Whole 30.  This recipe isn’t Paleo.   This recipe is good, old-fashioned baking and it has cranberries.  Win and win again. This week’s recipes are all courtesy of  Christina Lane at Dessert For Two.  You already know how much I love  Dessert For Two.  I have posted many of her recipes over the years.  Christina Lane is my favorite blogger ever.

What you don’t know is if  I had never come  across Dessert For Two there would be no A Solitary Feast.  It was never my intent to start a food/recipe blog when I started adapting recipes for one or two.  My intent was to adapt some recipes for my friend, Steph, who was moving out on her own for the first time and I wanted to encourage Steph to  cook.

When I gave her the recipes, Steph started telling  me I should start a recipe blog.  I kind of blew her off because 1.  I didn’t really know what a blog was.  2,  I didn’t really think anyone outside my circle of friends and, maybe, my mother would be interested in the recipes.  The idea of recipe blogs intrigued me enough I wanted to  check it out, though.

The very first blog I found was Christina Lane’s Dessert For  Two.  I love to bake as much as I love to cook so I tried her recipes right away.  I fell in love.  I have made dozens of her recipes over the years.  As I watched Dessert For Two bloom and grow, I started thinking there might be some place on the internet for my dinner recipes.  Three months later I posted my first recipe on A Solitary Feast.

Christina is not only my cooking and baking inspiration she also inspires me as a person.   In a world that seems to take pleasure in tearing you down, Christina has taken time to build me up and encourage me to step outside of my comfort zone.  In a world full of negative, she is a bright and shining positive.

Cranberry Bars

From Dessert For Two

6 TBS butter, cold and diced

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 1//2 cups leftover cranberry sauce

1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.  Leave enough parchment paper hanging over the sides to help remove the bars after baking.  In a medium bowl, add the  flour, sugar and salt.   Add the diced butter to the flour.  Using your fingers,  rub the butter into the flour.  You will know when the butter and flour are mixed well when it sticks together when you lightly squeeze it in your fist.  Spread the flour/butter into the bottom of  the prepared pan. Using  your  hands,  press the  crust mixture evenly into the bottom of the  pan.  You want to press relatively  hard  so the flour/ butter  mixture sticks together to form the crust.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Meanwhile, stir the vanilla into  the  leftover cranberry sauce.  When the crust is done baking, spread the cranberry sauce over the crust.  Bake another 20 minutes or until  the crust is golden brown.  Let cool in the  pan before slicing.

Instapot Mini Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

IMG_4499

I got my  Insta Pot Lux 3 quart mini on Sunday.  The first thing I made was Christina Lane’s Insta Pot spaghetti and meat sauce.  As  you know,  I don’t usually use store-bought ingredients in my cooking.  However,  I found a Whole 30 compliant marinara sauce i wanted to try for my next Whole 30 so I thought I would use this recipe to try it.

The quality of the sauce really matters in this recipe. I used Rao’s Roasted Garlic Marinara sauce that I bought at Walmart.  For a store-bought sauce, it wasn’t bad.  The store bought sauce made the hardest part of this  recipe deciding if you stirred the raw noodles enough to prevent them from sticking together

This recipe is enough to feed one very hungry person or two normally hungry people with a salad.

Instapot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce