Instant Pot Mini Monday — Mac and Cheese


Guys,  I am so excited!  I get to share the recipe I tested for Christina Lane with you today.  It’s Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot.  I have to be completely honest, when I first saw this recipe I didn’t have any idea how the heck it was going to turn into mac and cheese with no milk and pasta made in the pressure cooker.  I thought this may be the second thing I found not worth making in the pressure cooker.  However, I trust Christina so I made the recipe just like we talked about.  I am so glad I did because this is awesome.   I have made this mac and cheese twice in the last week and I can’t remember the last time I made a recipe twice in one week.  The quality of the cheese you use is what makes this dish use the best you can afford.  I used my favorite Cabot extra sharp cheddar and Frigro block Parmesan cheese.

Christina Lane’s Instant Pot Mac and Cheese


Instant Pot Mini Monday Beef Stroganoff (Whole 30)

This week something amazing happened.  Well, it was amazing to me.  I was watching Christina Lane’s Instagram story when she flashed a picture of a recipe she is working on for her blog.  As with all of her recipes, it looked amazing so I jokingly asked her if I could recipe test it for her and she said YES!!!  She sent me her recipe notes and we talked about it for a while.  I am so honored! To me it indicates a high level of trust because there are still a lot of people out there who think just because it is out there on the internet it is free to take and claim as their own.  I guess those people where absent on the day their English teachers and professors talked about plagiarism.  Anyway, my feelings on that subject are a post for another day…   I am also honored Christina, a professional who makes her living on her recipes, valued my opinion on her recipe.  I am a proud home cook, not a professional.  So to have someone whose work I admire like I admire Christina’s, take what I have to say seriously was a great gift.  It means a lot to me.

Just so you know the recipe is amazing and as soon as she posts it to her blog, I will link to it for you.  In the meantime, try making Beef Stroganoff.

Instant Pot Mini Beef Stroganoff

Adapted from Wholesome Delicious

3/4 lb lean beef stew meat

1/4 large onion, chopped

1 1/2 garlic cloves, minced

5 oz sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons beef broth

2 TBS coconut aminos

2 TBS red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup coconut milk or coconut cream, the stuff at the top of a can of coconut milk

1 1/2 TBS arrowroot

salt and pepper

Preheat the Instant Pot on the saute function.  When hot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot.  When the oil is hot, saute the onions for about 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute 1-2 minutes more.  Cancel the saute function.  Season the beef with garlic powder and onion powder, salt and pepper, to taste.  Place the beef on the onion/garlic mixture.  In a small bowl, combine the broth, coconut aminos and apple cider vinegar.  Pour over the beef.  Add the sliced mushrooms.  Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.  Natural release.  Add the coconut milk or coconut cream and stir. Dissolve the arrowroot in the water.  Add to the pot.  Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened.

Instant Pot Mini Monday — Iced Tea (Whole 30)


After almost 4 years of  pressure cooking, I have finally found a recipe that I wouldn’t want to make in my pressure cooker again.  Its my recipe for Italian Tomato Sauce.  I made it this morning to put over some meatballs for lunch.  The sauce wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t as good as when I do it on the stove.  I think the problem is in the pressure cooker’s steam filled environment doesn’t evaporate liquid and concentrate the flavors like cooking on the stove top.  It also doesn’t save any time doing it in the pressure cooker so I won’t be making Italian Tomato Sauce in the pressure cooker again.

On recipe I make almost daily in my pressure cooker is Dr. Urvashi Pitre’s pressure cooker ice tea. Making tea in the pressure cooker results in a super smooth tea with absolutely no bitterness.  I can and do drink this iced tea without any added sugar.  This means I have something other than water to drink on my next round of Whole 30.  I use Red Rose brand of black tea but you could use any brand you like.

Pressure Cooker Iced Tea

From Two Sleevers

4 regular tea bags

6 cups water

1/2 cup sugar (omit if Whole 30)

Place the tea bags and water into the liner. Bring to high pressure and cook for 4 minutes. you can quick or natural release. Add sugar to taste. Stir to dissolve. Serve over ice.

Instant Pot Mini Monday — Chana Salaad


I love my pressure cooker and I love Indian food so it was inevitable I would love Dr.  Urvashi Pitre’s Indian Instant Pot cookbook.  Dr.  Pitre has an incredible talent for taking complicated recipes and simplifying them without changing the recipe’s essential flavor.

I love the way Dr. Pitre gives recipes for all the spice blends he uses in the book, except for her Chana Masala recipe.  Dr. Pitre allows us to use a store-bought blend in that recipe because the individual ingredients would be too hard for the average person to find.  Best of all, her recipes taste fantastic.

If you don’t want to buy a cookbook, although I heartily suggest that you do, or don’t have a pressure cooker, check out Dr. Pitre’s blog, Two Sleevers.  She has tons of recipes from all sorts of cuisines from all over the world, all types of cooking methods, and all types of diets.

Chana Salaad

from The Indian Instant Pot Cookbook

1 cup dried chickpeas

3 bay leaves

3 cups water

1 cup finely minced red onion

1/2 cup diced tomato

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

In the liner, combine chickpeas, bay leaves and water.  Lock the lid and cook on high 20 minutes. Allow the pressure to release 10 minutes then quick release the remaining pressure.  While the chickpeas are cooling, combine the onion, tomato and cilantro in a large bowl.  Drain the chickpeas and add them to the vegetables.  Add the salt, cayenne, and lemon juice.  Mix well, taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

Instant Pot Mini Monday — Onion Chopped Steak with Easy Gravy


The last few weeks I have been cooking in my Instant Pot mini almost exclusively.  Partly because I am having so much fun seeing what it can do and partly because it avoids heating up my kitchen.  Since I now have a huge pile of tried and tested IP mini recipes and I don’t want to turn A Solitary Feast into a pressure cooking blog,  I am going to make Monday my Instant Pot mini recipe day until I run out of recipes.

My first month’s recipes are all going to be adaptions of some of my all time favorite recipes.  Onion Chopped Steak with Easy Gravy is one of my all time favorite recipes.  The original recipe call for an envelope of onion soup mix and a packet of brown gravy mix.  It took a bit of tinkering but I got the same flavor without the processed ingredients.  This is one of those recipes that isn’t necessarily faster in the Instant Pot than on the stove.  I like the convience of just throwing things in the liner and letting it go until I am ready to eat.

Onion Chopped Steak with Easy Gravy

Adapted From The Desperation Dinners Cookbook

½ lb ground beef
¼ cup bread crumbs
2 TBS milk
4 tsp dried onion flakes
2 tsp beef bouillon
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp celery salt
1 1/2  cup beef, chicken or vegetable broth
2 TBS flour

In a small bowl, combine the beef, bread crumbs, milk and spices; mix well with your hands.  Form into 2 patties of roughly equal size.  Lay 2 squares of aluminum foil on the counter.  Add 1 patty to each square.  Seal each packet by folding the edges together twice.  Place each packet on the trivet in the liner.  Add the beef broth to the liner.  Lock the lid and cook 12 minutes then quick release the pressure.  Remove the hamburger packets and set aside.  Measure 3 tablespoons  of broth from the liner into a small bowl.  Add the flour and stir until a smooth paste forms.  Using the saute function, bring the broth to a boil.  Add the flour paste and whisk until the broth thickens.  Serve the gravy over the beef patties. 

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