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 — 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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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. 

Instant Pot Mini Carrot Cake Steel Cut Oats

IMG_4346 (2)

Today it finally started feeling like spring.  Who knows how long that will last?  It was a lovely 42 degrees.  I know some of you don’t think 42 degrees is lovely but here in North Dakota, 42 degrees is practically a heat wave.

Even though it is getting warmer,  I am not quite ready to give up my steel cut oats for breakfast yet, especially when my pressure cooker makes them so easy to make.

Instant Pot Mini Carrot Cake Oatmeal

Adapted From A Taste of Home

1 1/4 cup water, for the oatmeal

4 oz crushed pineapple, undrained

1/2 cup shredded carrot

1/4 cup steel cut oats

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4  tsp pumpkin spice

Place the trivet in the bottom of the liner.  Add 1 cup water to the bottom of the liner.  In an oven safe bowl that fits in the line, combine the water, pineapple, carrot, steel cut oats, cranberries, cinnamon and pumpkin spice.  Place the bowl on the trivet.  Lock lid and cook on high 15 minutes.  Natural release.