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. 


Ground Chicken Burgers (Whole 30)


This week posts have been really hard to write. I think it’s because this week it has really been hard to be home, in general.  On Monday,  I sent all my animals to be boarded while my apartment is being painted and my carpets are being cleaned.  Its for a good reason, obviously, but I haven’t been totally by myself in this apartment since 1999,  the year I got my first bird.  The apartment is too quiet and, even worse, it is missing the vital spark that are my animals. The worst part is there is still a week to go until I can bring them home.  Sigh.

Ground Chicken Burgers

Adapted From Lady Melady My Castle, My Food

1/2 lb ground chicken  thigh  meat

2 TBS onion,  finely chopped

2 TBS red bell pepper,  finely chopped

1/2  cup baby spinach, finely chopped

1/2 tsp  garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp sage

In a small bowl, combine the chicken, onion, bell pepper, spinach, garlic powder, cumin, salt, paprika and sage.  Use your fingers and mix well.  Form into two patties.  In a skillet, over medium heat, heat oil.  Cook patties until browned, about 5 minutes per side.  Serve with your favorite burger toppings.

Chicken Broccoli “Cheese” Skillet (Whole 30)

I finally did it!!!  This  morning I  ordered an Insta Pot Lux 3 quart mini. It should be here Sunday.  I am so excited  I already know what the first thing I am going to make in it.  I have a whole meal including dessert planned. I am such a geek when it comes to cooking and food.

I am not usually brand conscious but since I broke my 2 quart  Aroma pressure cooker I  decided to give Instapot a try.  I am a little nervous.  I belong to a couple of pressure cooking face book pages and it seems Instapot users have a lot of problems with figuring out how to get the darn things to  work.   However,  I am not new to pressure cooking.  I have over two-year experience in pressure cooking so hopefully, I will be able to figure things out quickly.   I will let you know how it goes.

This is not a pressure cooking recipe.  It is the last recipe I am going to post this week from Physical Kitchness.   Doing a Whole 30 can be really intimidating because we “give up” so many things and we have to spend so much time in the kitchen.  The thing I like about Physical Kitchness is she gives us really good food in a reasonable amount of time in the kitchen.  Many of Physical Kitchness’ recipes could be considered comfort food.

Adapted From Physical Kitchness

1 1/2 cup broccoli florets

1/4 cup water

11/2 lbs chicken thighs

“Cheese”  Sauce

1/4 cups raw cashews, soaked in water over night

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth

1 TBS nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

Place a 1/2 cup water in a saucepan over medium-high  heat. Add the broccoli, cover, and cook for 5-6 minutes or untill barely crisp tender.  Turn the heat off and set the broccoli aside.  Dry the skillet.  Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil.  Heat over medium  heat.  Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts.  When the oil is hot,  add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes.  Flip the breasts and cook 4-5 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.  Meanwhile  drain the soaked cashews and put them in a blender.  Add the broth salt, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard.  Blend until creamy, scraping the sides down as needed.  When the chicken is done cooking, turn the heat down to medium low and add the broccoli and “Cheese” sauce back to the pan.  Heat through.

** If you forget to soak  the cashews overnight, bring 1 cup water to a  boil and add the cashews.  Boil for 1-2 minutes or until the  cashews soften.  Drain and follow the directions for the cheese sauce.

The Fast Five (Whole 30)

Taped to the inside of my  cupboard doors are 5 recipes.  I always keep the ingredients for these recipes on hand for those days when cooking seems like a chore, not a joy.  The recipes can be made in 20 minutes or less. The recipes weren’t Whole 30 so I can’t use them on a round.  I really missed them.  So I decided before I did my second round I would have a Whole 30 version of my fast five.  This is what I came up with.  At this point,  I probably could add many more quick and easy recipes to this list.  Like cooking in general,  cooking a Whole 30 only has to be as complicated as you want to make it. Find the non Whole 30 recipes for my Fast Five under the title of What to Cook When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking.

Sloppy Joes

Pan Fried Sardines

Teriyaki Chicken

 20 Minute Beef and Zuccini Stir Fry

Tuna Salad, 2 Ways

Stir Fried Chicken With Ketchup (Whole 30)


Okay, I don’t blame you if you think this recipe sounds a little strange.  I did too when I first time I saw it.  All I say is trust Mark Bittman, the recipe creator.  I have made hundreds, literally hundreds, of his recipes and he will never steer you wrong.

You can see my original, non Whole 30 adaption here.

Stir Fried Chicken With Ketchup

Adapted From How To Cook Everything

¾ lb chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes, patted dry
¼ cup arrowroot
2 TBS  olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 TBS slivered garlic
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons  Whole 30 ketchup

Toss the chicken with arrowroot  so it is lightly coated. Put 1 tablespoon oil in a large non stick skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot add the chicken in one layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. When the chicken is browned on one side toss it and cook until it is just about done, 5-10 minutes depending on the size of the pieces. Transfer to a plate. Turn off heat and let the pan cool for a minute. Add the remaining oil to the pan and turn heat to medium high. Add the garlic and cayenne. Cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the ketchup and stir; cook until it bubbles then darkens slightly, about 1 minute. Return the chick to the pan and stir to coat with sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve over rice.