Pressure Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey Meatloaf (Whole 30)

Sometimes it is hard being a friend,not because you don’t want to be but because you don’t know how to be. Sometimes your friend is going through something that is just tearing her apart. I Know there is nothing I  can say or do to fix the situation or make it better for her and it makes me feel helpless and a failure as a friend. I know she doesn’t feel this way about me but it is how I feel about myself.

In my head, I know all I can do is be present when we are together, let her talk when she needs to talk, cry, if she needs to cry, ignore the whole sorry mess, when she needs to ignore it. It doesn’t feel like nearly  enough.

I think that is why I was so grateful on Sunday when she asked if I could come spend the night and help her get her apartment together before our friend comes to town this weekend. Finally, I have some concrete way I can help. I can do something for her that makes a difference. The whole time she was working in the living room and I was working in the kitchen she kept telling me she was sorry she asked me to do this, she should be able to clean her apartment on her own. I tried to tell her I don’t mind we all have times we can use a hand.

At various  times throughout my life I have had people who called themselves my friend for as long as I was happy, fun and willing to help them when they had difficulties.  As soon as I wasn’t happy and fun and couldn’t help them with their problems they didn’t want to be around me.  In my book, that isn’t a friend. A  friend is someone who is there in good times and bad even when it is hard. I hope  I am suceeding for her, even just a little bit.

Pressure Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey Meatloaf

adapted from The Big Book of Paleo Slow Cooking

1 TBS olive oil

1/2 medium onion, diced

1 lb ground turkey

3/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1 celery stalk, diced small

1/2 tsp rubbed sage

1/2 tsp rosemary

1/8 tsp dried thyme

2-3 TBS dried cranberries

In a medium bowl, combine the onion, turkey, salt, pepper, celery, rubbed sage, rosemary, thyme, and cranberries.  Using your hands. gently combine the ingredients.  Don’t squish the meat between your fingers.  You don’t want tough, overworked turkey.  When the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, shape the meat into a loaf.  I use a 5′ x 3′ loaf pan to shape and cook my meatloaf.  You could free form it and cook it in any pan that fits your pressure cooker.  Lock the lid.  Bring to high pressure and cook for 5 minutes.  Natural release the pressure. 

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Pressure Cooker Pizza Soup with Greens (Whole 30)

I had all kinds of plans for the blog this week but then the dreaded allergies attacked my face with a vengeance.  Seriously, I look like I have been on a week long bender.  My eyes are red and puffy.  My nose is brighter than Rudolf’s.  My eyes are watering.  My nose is running and it feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest.  I sneezed so much and so hard the last two days I gave myself a horrible headache that just won’t go away.  It totally derailed any big attempts at cooking and photographing for the blog.

I am trying not to be a big baby about this because on the grand scale of things it isn’t cancer or Alzheimer’s or anything serious.  In fact, this is the first time since my Whole 30, in April, I have been bothered by my allergies at all.  I should be grateful.  Instead I am sitting here feeling miserable and very, very sorry for myself and I want the world to know it so here I am posting a whiney, crybaby post.  Tune in next week to my next post for our regularly scheduled non whiney, crybaby post.

I did manage to throw a soup into my pressure cooker.  The recipe came from my new cookbook, The Big Book of Paleo Slow Cooking.  I love slow cooking cookbooks because the recipes are usually, easily adapted for use in the pressure cooker.

Pressure Cooker Pizza Soup with Greens

1/2 bell pepper, diced

4 white mushrooms, diced

3/4 cup pepperoni, diced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

2-3 leaves kale, ribs removed and cut into small pieces

1 1/2 tsp dried minced onion

1/2 tsp garlic powder

8 oz can tomato sauce

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/8 tsp oregano

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups chicken broth

Place all ingredients in a 6 quart pressure cooker.  Lock the lid.  Bring to high pressure.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Quick release the pressure.

Pressure Cooker Squash (Whole 30)

A few weeks ago, I was at Natural Grocers whereI was totally seduced by a display of squash.  I bought an acorn squash, a spaghetti squash and a red kuri squash.  Once again, impulsively buying something I don’t usually buy because it was so pretty and now having to find something to do with it.  Oops.

The reason I usually don’t buy squash is because I am scared to death of loosing a finger or two trying to cut it half to bake in the oven.  On my way home, I was thinking about how I was going to cook the squash and what I was going to do with the cooked squash when I remembered an Instagram story where a lady cooked a whole pie pumpkin in her pressure cooker.  Is there anything my pressure cooker can’t do?

I popped my spaghetti squash into the pressure cooker, locked the lid and let it go.  I opened the pressure cooker to a perfectly cooked spaghetti squash.  It was easy to cut in half and gently scoop out the seeds.  Once I scooped the flesh out and seasoned it with a little salt, pepper and butter.  I had a very tasty side dish for my dinner in a fraction of the time it would take in the oven and I still have all my fingers.

Note:  The squash from Natural Grocers are organic and are on small side.  If you buy conventionally grown squash from the market you may have to add more time due to their large size.

1 small squash

1 cup water

In a 6 quart pressure cooker  liner, add 1 cup water.  Add the steamer insert and place the squash.  Lock the lid and set on high pressure for 6 minutes.  Release the pressure naturally.   Open the lid and let the squash cool until you can handle the squash with out burning the fingures you saved not having to cut the squash in half.  Once cooled cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds then scoop out the flesh.  Season with salt, pepper and butter and eat or use in another recipe.

Whole30 Day 6 Pressure Cooker Pork Roast

I don’t have much to say today. I am just so tired.  I guess this is normal. I am not giving my body the quick form of energy it is used to using and my body isn’t efficent using  the new  form of energy I am giving it yet. The literature says  this too shall pass.

Thank goodness for my pressure cooker.  If I had to make an effort to cook today, I probabally would have given in and orered  a sandwich from Erbert’s and Gerbert’s.

Pressure Cooker Pork Roast

1 3 lb pork roast

1 – 2 tsp salt

1 – 2 tsp smoked paprika

1-2cloves garlic cloves, sliced

Place your trivet in the bottom of your pressure cooker liner.  Add enough water to bring your pressure cooker to pressure.  Cut seveal slits into your roast and push slivers of garlic into each slit.  Spinkle the top and bottom with salt and paprika.  Be generous. You want it to be well seasoned.  I ended up using about 1 1/2 teaspoons each of salt and paprika.  Place the roast on the trivet. Lock the lid.  Bring to pressure and cook for 90 minutes.  Use natural release.   Remove the pork from the liner and slice or shred the pork.

Whole30 Day 2 — Pressure Cooker Hard Boiled Eggs

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One of the things that drew me to the Whole30 is they want the Whole30 journey to be about more than a number on the scale. They don’t want you to weigh yourself for the entire month. No problem here, I don’t own a scale. How do you stay motivated if you can’t see the number on the scale consistently go down? The Whole30 helps you stay motivated by concentrating on non scale victories (nsv). Non scale victories are the little success’ we have everyday on our journey. Maybe we bypassed the free donuts in the break room at work. Maybe we bypass a serious sugar craving by taking a walk. Maybe we, firmly but politely, told our less than supportive friend, we would love to spend time with them, just not at a restraunt.

Today I had a NSV that I am pretty proud of.  I decided to go to a movie this afternoon. I am on vacation and I made it through  my first day of my Whole30, I wanted to have a little celebration.   I didn’t think bypassing the concession stand would be that big of a deal.  I usually go to the movies with my friend, Steph, who has sensitivities to certain sounds, like me munching on popcorn.   I usually don’t get anything as I refuse to pay $4 for candy I can get at work for .98 cents.  I seriously under estimated the pull of movie theater popcorn on my psyche.  As I walked towards the theater I actually thought I am only on day 2.  I could have the popcorn and start over tomorrow. Nobody would have to know.  The problem is I would know so I went in bought my ticket and took my seat without a stop at the concession stand.  Popcorn just wasn’t worth screwing up my Whole30.

There are as many ways to hard boil eggs as there are people who boil them so why am I posting this one?  On the Whole30 eggs are your friend.  Hard boiled eggs are a quick source of grab and go protien.  Hard boiled eggs in the pressure cooker  is a very quick way to make them.  I absolutely love the texture of the eggs made in the pressure cooker and even eggs fresh out of the chicken peel like a dream.

Pressure Cooked Hard Boiled Eggs

However many eggs you want to cook

enough water to bring the pressure cooker to pressure

Place the eggs in the pressure cooker liner and add enough water to bring the it to pressure.  Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.  Release the pressure with a 10 minute natural release.  Rinse under cold water until the eggs are cool.  Store in the refrigerator.