A Match Made in the Kitchen: A Love Letter to My Instant Pot
As a “welcome to one more year of college life before you’re flung into the real world” gift to myself, I have recently fallen in love with my newest kitchen accouterment: the Instant Pot. Truly a match made in the kitchen, this new techy pressure cooking dream appliance has fulfilled my culinary gadget dreams more than any Shark Tank binge watching could prepare me for.
Star of the Show
*though do keep your eyes out for deals at other stores. I got mine on sale at Target in HP for $60 and sold my other kitchen gadgets to effectively get it for ten real dollars (my monetary logic is very flawed, I know).
It sautés! It pressure cooks! It keeps warm! It cooks quinoa in 1 minute (well, minus pressure build up time but still oh so speedy enough to warrant the click-baity claim)! It is dishwasher safe!
If my rambling here doesn’t show my infatuation with this gadget, enjoy this montage of a kitchen-gadget-themed photoshoot, courtesy of the marvelous staff photographer Isaac Tannenbaum, who put up with me holding this Instant Pot in my kitchen for a solid hour. Check out more of his work on his website or Instagram!
To show my truest love, in the most digital of ways, I have rounded up my favorite recipes (including one of my very own from my recent squash soup making spree! Though, do bear with me, as I don’t have any actual measurements #oops) to make when under pressure (ba da tsk! Literally and figuratively! It’s a time-cutting kitchen device!).
Back to Basics
This pressure cooking bad boy can do a lot of neat things, but it’s also phenomenal for cutting down time when you’re cooking staples. Here are some of my frequently visited video recipes for quickly cooking grains and legumes galore!
A Roundup of Some Tested Dinner/Lunch Recipes
Per usual, I have severely over-scheduled myself this quarter and don’t have the #funds to buy lunch all the time (first year Kat never, ever saw herself missing Bartlett, but, well… here we are kids!). These meals are quite low effort and have kept well in the fridge for my new accessory aesthetic of tote-bag-filled-with-tupperware-containers.
DIY Ginger Miso Squash Soup
During the cold months (#tb to when we had class canceled!), this “make it what ya want” soup recipe is quick, easy, and very satisfying. I’m apologizing now for my sheer inability to follow a recipe consistently, so here is my best recreation. It is very much a dump everything in the pot and then blend type scenario (aka very hard to mess up).
squash of your choosing - 2 cups, chopped (might need two for smaller squashes)
yellow onion - 1 medium onion, diced
vegetable broth - enough to cover the squash (about 2 cups - I use water and a vegetable bouillon paste)
minced ginger - 1 to 2 tablespoons
minced garlic - 3 to 4 cloves (I like a lot of garlic)
white miso paste - 1 big tablespoon (vary to your taste)
drizzle of olive oil
salt, pepper, and other seasonings (I like a dash of sage)
optional: coconut milk to get nice and creamy (use less broth to cook and add milk at blending stage)
Chop and prep all ingredients
Sauté onion, ginger, and garlic in some oil until fragrant (feat. sauté mode of this beautiful gadget)
Whisk miso paste and broth to smooth out
Add everything to the pot
Pressure cook on high pressure for 15 to 20 minutes (longer time = more flavors mingling)
Quick release pressure when time is up (just flip venting knob)
Transfer to blender jug & blend - add water or coconut milk to thin consistency to your liking
DIY Greek Yogurt
Another really neat thing to try out, and my new “hobby” (I’ve done it twice and clearly call everything I ever do a “new hobby”) is making my own yogurt!
Disclaimer: This is super easy to do and produces great results, but I’m warning you now that this takes ~24 hours from start to finish (nothing to do other than wait though!).
This video lays it out very, very clearly, but the process is essentially: heat milk, let cool, add a scoop of yogurt as starter (store bought or from a past batch. You can get fancy with actual starter culture but trying to keep this #easy and closest to my own lazy life), let the Instant Pot do its magic #patience, strain, flavor (if ya want!), and (finally!!) enjoy.
The final product is so, so creamy and rich. Literally I can’t return to my old favorite Trader Joe’s greek yogurt ever again (probably will though because this takes forever).