The I Love My Instant Pot Cooking For One Recipe Book– a Review

It’s hard to find decent small batch cookbooks. When you add a specialization like small batch cooking in your Instant Pot, it is almost impossible to find decent cookbooks. Way too many small batch cookbooks are just thrown together to cash in on a trend rather than provide useful recipes for those who cook for just one or two. So I am excited when I find a a small batch cookbook for a specialization, like pressure cooking, that I actually like and would incorporate into my daily meal rotation.

What I like about it:

  1. It has decent sized portions. I don’t know why but a lot of small batch cookbook authors assume you have an appetite the size of a pea. I don’t know about you, but I am a big girl with a big appetite. I don’t want to eat dinner then an hour later want to eat a meal again.
  2. The recipes don’t rely on processed ingredients. While some recipes have processed ingredients most don’t.
  3. The recipes have complete and accurate ingredient lists and directions. You would think that would be a given in a cookbook but I found, often it
  4. There are a good variety of recipes. It isn’t just one basic recipe with a dozen slight variations.
  5. The food tastes good.

What I don’t like:

  1. A lot of times the recipes call for a partial use of a canned ingredient, like 2 tablespoons of black beans or 4 tablespoons of tomato sauce and there is no chart or index telling us what other recipes use those ingredients. This can lead to a lot of wasted ingredients.
  2. I disagree with some of the things presented in the opening chapter. Things like the 3 quart Instant Pot is too small to cook anything but single portions and side dishes. If you know me even a little bit through this blog, you know I use my 3 quart Instant Pot for everything, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert and it is, more often than not, more than a single serving.
  3. I am not sure why the author uses dried onion flakes rather than fresh, chopped onion. I subbed fresh, chopped onion for the dried flaked onion in several recipes and it worked just fine so feel free to use whatever you have on hand.

On the whole, I like this cookbook and would recommend it if you like using your Instant Pot and need a little small batch inspiration. I bought both the cookbook and the ingredients to try the recipes with my own money and I didn’t receive any compensation from the author or Instapot for my review. All opinions in this review are my own.

Primal Palate Spice Blends — A Review

In Monday’s post, I said I have only been making simple meals lately. One way I have been keeping it simple is by using the Primal Palate spice blends I bought a few weeks ago.

I bought the spice blends because I was getting bored with my meals. Usually, when that happens I go to the library and get a new cookbook or head out to the farmers markets or my favorite natural food stores to pick out a new ingredient. The pandemic closed those doors to me so I decided to try ordering something new on line.

I chose Primal Palate because it is a small company that works with the Whole 30 program. If I am buying food it’s going to be stuff that is useful on any future Whole 30s I do.

I am really impressed with this company and its product. Here is why.

Things I Like:

1. The spice blends come in glass bottles with shaker lids so they are easy to use and clean and refill when you are finished with the blend.

2. The openings are large enough to fit a standard 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon.

3. Every spice blend uses organic spices.

4. The spice blends smell amazing. Spices that have no smell, have no taste. When you remove the seal on each blend you don’t even need to bring your nose to the bottle to smell how good they taste.

5. They are versatile. One reason I started adapting spice blends for small batches is because it doesn’t make sense to buy a big bottle of a spice blend to use a small amount for one or two recipes then have the rest go to waste. I have found not only can you use Primal Palate spice blends for the specific recipes for them on the Primal Palate website, it is easy to use them for just about anything. I have used the spice blends for salad dressings, marinades, in soups, on several types of meat as a Rub, and over vegetables. I am sure I will discover more uses for them as time goes on.

Things I Don’t Like:

1. Most of the spice blends contain salt. This is my only and very minor complaint. The added salt in the spice blends can lead to overly salty food if you aren’t careful.

I am extremely happy with my purchase so much so I bought 6 more Primal Palate spice blends to play with and I will buy more bottles of my favorites as I run out. Will this mean I no longer adapt small batch spice blends? Of course not, there are dozens of spice blends out there to adapt and play with. However, Primal Palate spice blends will also have a place in my kitchen from now on.

This is not a sponsored or affiliated post. I recieved no compensation for my review. I love the product and thought it might be helpful to those of us who are experiencing food fatigue due to all the cooking from home we are now doing.

The Oatmeal Artist — A Review

WIN_20141027_095825 (2)One of the first blogs I ever read was Lauren Smith’s The Oatmeal Artist. I couldn’t believe there could be a whole site dedicated to the subject of oatmeal. Really, what can you do with oatmeal besides serve it with brown sugar and milk or make cookies with it? Fortunately, Lauren’s oatmeal vision isn’t so limited. Aside from cooking oatmeal on the stove top, you can bake it or make overnight oatmeal, which is essentially soaking it. And don’t get me started on the flavor combinations. You could try a new flavor everyday for a year and never have the same one twice. My current favorite oatmeal flavor is the banana bread. It makes my apartment smell amazing and it tastes even better then it smells.

What I really like about Lauren’s site is that most of the recipes are scaled for one but are still filling portions. The recipes are, for the most part, free from processed ingredients. The only draw back to Lauren’s blog is that some of her recipes use hard to find and/or expensive ingredients. However, if you are an oatmeal lover and willing to search a little, there are plenty of awesome oatmeal recipes at The Oatmeal Artist.

These are some of my favorite flavors from The Oatmeal Artist.
Banana Bread Oatmeal
Green Apple Walnut Oatmeal
Baked Cranberry Oatmeal

Chocolate Moosey — A Review

One of the reasons I started A Solitary Feast was because I couldn’t find any blogs or websites that had small batch recipes for the kind of food I liked to eat. There were some sites out there for things like a romantic Valentine’s dinner for two with very expensive meals but what do I eat the other 364 days a year? On the other side, I found sites that offered such simple food it was almost insulting. I shouldn’t have to live on things like scrambled eggs and toast, unless I want to. I just wanted recipes for the kinds of food everybody else was eating but without all the left overs.

Although I have been adapting recipes for 1 or 2 for over 5 years, I keep looking for other people’s small batch recipes. Recently, I was researching a recipe and came across a blog called Chocolate Moosey. Intrigued by the name, I decided to see what the blog had to offer. My first click took me to a recipe for two. I clicked the recipe index and found more recipes for two. But wait! Can these recipes forĀ  two pass my tests. No processed ingredients? Nope, none. Can I easily find the ingredients! Yep, easily.

I tried two of the recipes, biscuits and gravy and the shaksuka. The recipes were complete and easy to follow. Best of all the recipes were very good. If you are interested in a different perspective on recipes for two and small batch recipes check out Chocolate Moosey.