Meal prep is something that many of us leave until the last moment. I’m not talking about taking the meat out of the freezer or refrigerator. I’m talking about chopping up all the vegetables that go in that soup, stew, one-pot meal. I’m talking celery, carrots, peppers, onions. (Onions are the worst in my humble opinion!)
Why not just buy it?
Before you jump up and tell me that you can just buy those items already chopped up, stop and think about it. What is cheaper, buying the already chopped up items and having to take what is available, or doing it yourself and including the items that your family likes? Last time I checked prices in the grocery store, it was cheaper to buy the produce in the produce section or at the produce market than to pay someone else to do all that chopping.
There are tons of books/pins/blogs that detail how to accomplish this. I love to look through these places for ideas. I don’t have a problem with the ideas they present, just the quantities!
It’s just my husband and myself, that’s it! I don’t need to cook a meal for more than 2 unless we are talking about soups. So what’s more convenient for me is ingredients that are prepped in such a way that I can simply measure out how much I need.
I don’t have time!
I got this idea the second time I bought a bag of celery stalks and part of them went bad before I could use them all. I grabbed a small cookie tray that would fit in my Side-by-side freezer and lined it with parchment paper. Then I grabbed my celery, cutting board and knife before starting to chop. 5 – 10 minutes later I had the tray filled with chopped celery. I popped it in the freezer and waited. About 2 hours later, I came back, and the celery was frozen enough that I could dump it from there into a freezer container. The pieces remained separated enough that I could easily just get what I needed out. I repeated this until I had all the celery done.
I took one large onion and cut it up using a mandolin slicer. It took maybe 5 minutes to do. This is going into the refrigerator for use. I’ll cut a few more up and freeze them to use later.
This is sliced Starfruit. A friend of mine has a tree in her backyard. She has started freezing the slices and then adding them to drinks instead of ice cubes.
Think about what you want to store the frozen vegetables in. I use a mixture of freezer bags and freezer containers. This makes it easier for me to see what is in the bags. Just remember to date the bags/containers so you know when you froze them.
My recipe calls for a different type of measurement!
Yeah, so do mine. My favorite cooking magazine, Cook’s Illustrated, once tackled this question. According to their tests, a small onion = 1/2 cup of diced onions, a medium onion = 1 cup, and a large onion = 2 cups!
Now, of course, you probably won’t only be dealing with just onions. Which led me to another website, https://www.howmuchisin.com/produce_converters Great website! Having found this, I plan to go back through my favorite recipes and make notes.
Now that I gave you some ideas, go forth and conquer! With all those vegetables already prepared, cooking becomes so much more enjoyable!
Have you ever found yourself in need of a quick snack for kids or friends? Try this quick snack made in Egg Bite molds for your Instant Pot!
Single layer cake mix
C raisins or Chocolate chips
This is the cake mix I used. It will fill two egg bite molds. Mix everything together. Use some baking spray to coat the egg bite molds. Carefully portion out the batter into the molds. Add raisins, chips or whatever to the batter. Place silicone lids on the molds and stack on a trivet.
Add at least 1 cup of water to the IP liner before transferring the trivet and molds to the pot. Seal the lid on the IP and set the timer for 8 minutes. After the time is up, do a NR for 5 minutes before unsealing the lid. Take the molds out and let them cool for 5 – 10 minutes before removing the bites from the mold. Enjoy!
While there are plenty of recipes that you can make in your Instant Pot without using any thing more than the pot and a trivet. You don’t need more than that for soups or stews. However, there are so many more recipes that just need an accessory or two to expand your use of it. I’m going to list a few of them with reasons why you might need it.
Egg Bite Molds
If you’re a fan of Starbucks, you have undoubtedly noticed their little egg bites. Now I don’t go to Starbucks, and couldn’t begin to tell you what is in them. Using a silicon egg bite mold will let you make egg bites of your own! Now besides your basic egg bites, I’ve seen cheesecake bites, meatballs, pancake bites, to name just a few. My favorite is muffin bites. If you buy the Martha White brand of muffin mix, it will make 7 bites, which is how many fits on a mold. I’ve been collecting recipe pins on my Pinterest Board, From My Kitchen and Instant Pot Recipes.
6 Inch Springform Pan
I didn’t quite believe it when I saw recipes for cheesecake that could be made in this smaller pan. I just didn’t believe you could cook a cheesecake in an Instant Pot. Then I did a little checking. It seems that custard recipes such as cheesecake, need a water to enable them to cook more evenly and slowly. The traditional method is to use boiling water in a roasting pan. Doing it this way, you would need to wrap tinfoil around the bottom of the springform pan to keep the water from leaking in. Now contrast that with placing your smaller springform pan on a trivet inside the Instant Pot. You get all the benefits of the water bath while still keeping the pan above the water! For a empty nest couple like ours, 6 inch pans are perfect.
6 cup Bundt Pan
This is another potential work horse in your kitchen. There are fabulous recipes out there for pound cakes that are sized for a 6 cup pan. In our current economic climate, wouldn’t it be better to make smaller cakes that will serve your family for one or two meals instead of three or four? I’ve even come across a recipe for “Monkey Bread” that is made in a 6 cup Bundt Pan in an Instant Pot! What a great treat!
6 cup Round Bowls, Cake Pans
These are great for making all kinds of things, casseroles, cakes. Just use your imagination. You may have to reduce the number of servings you are making, but wow, it is fabulous.
These should be another given accessory. There are any number of foods that are steamed. Steamer baskets come in a number of sizes. I even have one with a divider so that you can steam 3 different foods at the same time.
Hard Boiled Egg Rack
Easter is coming, folks. For those of you with small children and grandchildren, that means Easter Eggs. Now no one seems to argue that you need to boil the eggs for around 9 – 13 minutes. The problem comes in how long it takes that water to boil in the first place! The more eggs you need to make, the more water since you need to have water covering the eggs by 1 inch. BUT if you are doing them in a Instant Pot, you only need 1 cup of water no matter how many eggs you are making. Set the timer to 5 minutes. Once the timer goes off, let the IP release naturally for 5 minutes before doing a quick release. Scoop the eggs out and place in ice bath for 5 minutes. No matter how many eggs you are making, they are all cooked completely! So much easier!
Bringing together the #1 diet and the #1 most popular kitchen appliance, this Instant Pot-authorized cookbook makes it more convenient than ever to cook the Mediterranean way, incorporating more vegetables, grains, beans, and seafood into your diet, and exploring the healthful, authentic flavors of cuisines ranging from Turkish to North African in everyday one-pot meals.
Made in the Instant Pot, succulent meals such as Chicken Tagine, Lamb Meatballs with Couscous, Pickled Onions, and Tahini, Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto, and Gigante Bean Soup with Celery and Olives become hands-off affairs for the busy cook. The Instant Pot also takes the waiting game out of cooking dried beans and sturdy grains so it’s easy to enjoy them more often. And vegetables get star billing, both as main dishes (Braised Whole Cauliflower with North African Spices), and sides (Marinated Artichokes and Baba Ghanoush). Recipes embrace the tenets of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, translating its less-meat-and-more-vegetables approach into vibrant, healthy one-dish meals that take the guesswork out of balancing portions and multiple dishes. Most recipes are ready in under an hour. And full nutritional information is provided.
Rating: 2 out of 5.
I bought this book when I first got my IP. I love how America’s Test Kitchen pays attention to the details. I have to admit that the first time I did more than just leaf through it was just recently. I wanted to make shrimp and was looking for a new recipe. I don’t make rice because my husband has problems with it. To my delight, there was a recipe using Orzo! Turned out really well. I plan to try other recipes as well.
J&JTOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE5.0 out of 5 stars Top 5 Cookbook
Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2019 Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am virtually speechless... at how Amazing this book is, for All.
I mean, it's America's Test Kitchen, which if you don't know,
has made a living out of literally testing everything, in a kitchen, from appliances to recipes to store bought items.
If you want to know the best store bought chili mix to the best butter to bake with, ATK has tried it out.
They have a show on PBS around 8pm if you want to hunt it down.
So when they make a cookbook, and there is a new edition every year, you can trust it's right.
And this Instant Pot version is. Oh so right.
I dare say, it qualifies as a "Desert Island" cookbook.
One of only 5 you'd need for the rest of your life & the rare good for gifting cookbook.
Too many details to cover so, I'll highlight my faves.
One, adding a hand towel under the cover after you quick release your grains, like rice or quinoa,
and resealing while it sits, makes professional quality fluffy rice move from side dish to main course.
Two, it's not just Instant Pot items.
Simple recipes, like salsa verde, pesto, tzatziki, and of course spices but,
for those you need grinder/ food processor.
The cooking times are spot on.
Including the beginning pages with a cheat sheet for grains, beans, vegs & proteins.
Even a trouble shooting guide if you're new to, Instant Pot or, just cooking in general.
Ps, the foil sling for the salmon was The Best salmon ever,
including my addiction to Costco's pesto salmon. As easy to clean up as well.
As a no meat eater, in a meat loving household (yes, I do seafood but that's it),
the recipes with chicken broth translated so easy by subbing veggie broth.
Yes, there is a recipe to make your own but, Walmart's brand of Organic Veg Broth is the best I tried.
Obviously, I tried a lot. It's the only one with a rich veggie flavor, not salt, pepper or carrots.
So for under $3 @ quart, that's my staple, not making my own.
This is a book rich with winter comfort foods, light summer fare and a wonderful variety of flavor.
But the best part, and No, it's not the quick ease of the Instant Pot, is
with America's Test Kitchen attention to detail, you can be confident, even as a novice,
your recipe will come out right the first time.
JnJ love4.0 out of 5 stars America's Test Kitchen is the best
Reviewed in the United States on December 7, 2020Verified Purchase
I like how they explain why a recipe works and now I can use my instant pot more. the only problem I have with their recipes is some ingredients are hard to find or you might only use a small amount and be lefty with the rest and not use it. So I just omit some of those and it is fine.
Ladyfingers5.0 out of 5 stars Best Of Both Worlds--Greek/Turkish/North African Cooking Made Easy In An Instant Pot
Reviewed in the United States on December 13, 2019Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I couldn't wait for America's Test Kitchen to combine one of my favorite ways of cooking with some of our family's favorite foods. Mediterranean Instant Pot is chock-full of one pot meals, and the ingredient range is diverse enough to satisfy anyone's palate. We love lamb--this cookbook allows me to experiment with different cuts. The first recipe we tried was perfect for our cold Michigan winter day--Moroccan lamb and lentil soup. The addition of harissa makes it wonderfully spicy, and no need to head out to the store to purchase. The recipe for this condiment is also included, as are many others like hummus, baba ghanoush, basil pesto and tzatziki.
One unique feature common to all America's Test Kitchen cookbooks is format--every recipe is fully explained, starting with an introductory paragraph explaining why it works and where to get ingredients, to ending with detailed recipe directions and beautiful photo accompaniments to assure mistake-free end results. I'm a seasoned cook--the recipes found in this book are as suitable for me as they are for beginners. Besides great Mediterranean meals, the beginning of the book is loaded with helpful tips about instant pots as well as successful rice, bean, vegetable and protein cooking methods.
I couldn't be more pleased with these Mediterranean recipes, and using an instant pot makes them almost effortless.
The extravagant one
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book with some superb looking recipes, but....
Reviewed in Canada on May 9, 2020Verified Purchase
Every single one of them seemed to include beans - which I intensely dislike - pasta or potatoes.
The latter I like but my husband and I are both diabetic, so guess what I am careful with and am trying - after nearly 20 years - to get him to cut back on: beans - which he loves - pasta and potatoes!
One person found this helpful
Today, I’m doing something I’ve never done before. This cookbook hasn’t been released yet, so I’m urging you to pre-order it. I truly do love my Instant Pot. So much so, I ordered my youngest daughter one for Christmas, besides getting her some of the accessories. This book is really great. I’ve already made 2 of the recipes from it, making things I’ve never tried before. One of the many things I enjoyed about it is that they don’t just stick to recipes that you can make using the insert pot. They include recipes for the egg bites tray, the steamer, a glass baking bowl plus others. That extends the usefulness of this book. So try a few and enjoy!
From Pot Roast, Potatoes, and Gravy to Simple Lemon Cheesecake, 175 Quick and Easy Recipes (“I Love My” Series)
175 must-have 5-ingredient recipes perfect for anyone looking to save time and effort—all while using your favorite appliance the Instant Pot.
Now using the Instant Pot is easier and more convenient than ever with these 175 delicious, simple, and straightforward recipes using just five ingredients or less. Perfect for people on the go, this cookbook will help you make mouthwatering dishes for every meal of the day that the whole family will love.
Using ingredients that you probably already have on hand, The “I Love My Instant Pot” 5-Ingredient Cookbook features fast and affordable recipes that don’t require a lot of prep or shopping. And best of all, they’re satisfying, flavorful recipes you will want to make over and over again!
Including an easy-to-understand overview of your Instant Pot, this cookbook has you covered for every occasion. From breakfast to dinner and desserts and snacks in between, you will save more time (and money) than ever while enjoying tasty food all day long.
Make weekly meal prep in your Instant Pot easy with over 50 recipes and 7 weekly prep plans
Meal prep has never been easier with an Instant Pot. With it’s versatility and ability to cook quickly and efficiently, you can use your Instant Pot to cook meals for the week ahead, or prepare your meals on your prep day and just dump them into the Instant Pot for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. With seven customized prep plans, Meal Prep in an Instantwill show you how to use your prep day efficiently to prepare three lunch or dinner meals and one breakfast meal, package them up for the week ahead, and enjoy fresh, delicious meals without struggling to figure out what to make for dinner every night. Here’s what you’ll get:
•Over 50 recipes that will appeal to a variety of tastes and appetities •Seven weekly meal plans, each featuring four primary recipes, three alternate recipes, and one dessert, and many of the recipes are dairy-free or vegetarian •Detailed prep day plans for every weekly meal plan, each designed to help you maximize your time in the kitchen on your prep day •Handy shopping lists and equipment lists to help you execute your plan perfectly and efficiently
This book is so good that I’m giving serious consideration to buying it for both of my daughters! I’m retired so I have the time to pick and choose my recipes. Both my daughters are working with a child to cook for. Anything I can do to make things easier for them, I’ll do. The organization of the preparations and the recipes are wonderful. I especially enjoyed the range of accessories that are utilized in the recipes.
Multicookers such as the GoWISE USA and Instant Pot Duo are hugely popular; however, most recipes are unreliable or are designed to work in only one model of multicooker–and most often, they use only the pressure-cook setting. Enter Multicooker Perfection, a collection of foolproof recipes tested and developed to work in any multicooker and conform to your schedule. Make each recipe “fast” using the pressure-cook setting or let dinner cook while you’re out by preparing it “slow” on the slow-cook setting.
These crowd-pleasing recipes are perfectly suited for cooking at the touch of a button, from soups and stews like Easy Beef and Barley Soup and Chipotle Pork and Hominy Stew; to weeknight-friendly meals like Braised Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Capers, Ziti with Sausage Ragu, and Thai Braised Eggplant; to company-worthy dishes like Tamarind Braised Beef Short Ribs and Osso Buco with Sweet and Spicy Peperonata. Plus, you’ll find a chapter of unexpected recipes like Boston Brown Bread, Buffalo Chicken Wings, and even a perfectly creamy Cheesecake. Make cooking easier and better with this must-have cookbook for any multicooker owner.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
I swear, my favorite new appliance in the kitchen is my Instant pot. I wasn’t sure just exactly what I could make in it other than soups and stews. Well this cookbook changed my opinion of that! The incredible range of recipes really surprised me. Cheesecake, really?
One of the reasons that I grab America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks is the way they explain everything. And I do mean everything! If there is something that you need to do different, they not only tell you “how” to do, they explain “why” you need to do. It makes following their recipes so much easier.
So if you’ve got an Instant Pot, grab this book. No, they didn’t rate the Instant Pot the highest, but every one of these recipes is doable if you follow the instructions. One of take away’s that I got from it is that anything you can do in a Slow Cooker, you can do in an Instant Pot!
Reviewed in the United States on April 23, 2018 Verified Purchase Having actually used a jiggle-top pressure cooker, and learning that early electric models were hardly reliable, I waited a long time before trusting the wave of acceptance as serious. It appeared to have a learning curve, so I reviewed several multicooker cookbooks. And then I saw America’s Test Kitchen MP handbook. I have ATK’s Food Processor Perfection and now use my machine regularly. When MP arrived I devoured it from cover-to-cover. It was a disappointment to learn that my machine didn’t even come in second in the rating tests, but affected recipes did recommend how to adapt for the shortcoming of the brand due to temperature issues. I’d only tried hard-boiled eggs in my new cooker, so now turned to serious cooking using the North Carolina-Styled Pulled Pork recipe and was delighted with the result. (I also realized why one should order additional silicone gaskets when the results remained so fragrantly evident, even after careful washing.) Yesterday I made Macaroni and Cheese – YUM! I like the “why this recipe works” lead-in, the occasional suggestions for variations, adjustments for cooker size differences. and the photos that accompany nearly every recipe. This book makes clear that, as long as the user follows the basic multicooker user’s manual, it’s difficult to make a mistake in the kitchen so feel free to adjust seasonings, etc. (I often include Pimenton de la Vera DOP by El Rey in savory recipes because of its lovely smokey flavor.) I definitely recommend ATK’s Multicooker Perfection, even if its recipes are primarily based on a discontinued machine. They actually work on all multicookers.
Store-bought ricotta can’t hold a candle to creamy, rich homemade cheese. You don’t need any special equipment, and the YOGURT setting on most Instant Pot models gently heats the milk to the perfect temperature, so there’s no worrying about scorching the milk on the stove. If you don’t have a Yogurt setting, heat the milk on Sauté on Normal/Medium heat, stirring occasionally, until a thermometer reaches 190°F before proceeding as directed. Ricotta is only as good as the milk you use to make it, so buy the best milk you can find and make sure that it isn’t ultra-high-temperature (UHT) pasteurized milk. The UHT process changes the proteins in the milk and will prevent it from forming curds. You can use fresh lemon juice to make the milk coagulate, but I find it easier to add citric acid, which you can find at spice shops or buy online. The liquid left over in the pot after cheese making is called whey, as in Little Miss Muffet’s “curds and whey.” It’s full of beneficial probiotic organisms, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, so don’t pour it down the drain! You can use it in soups, sauces, and smoothies as a neutral-flavored liquid that adds a big nutritional boost.
You might feel like making lasagna in a pressure cooker is crazy. Don’t you need an oven for those crunchy edges? To make sure the meat is cooked through? How can anyone make lasagna without baking it? Well, trust us – this one is well worth making. If you have a 6- or 7-inch springform pan and you kept the trivet that came with your Instant Pot®, you can make a delicious layered lasagna pie in 30 minutes. And if you want to make it ahead, you can prep the lasagna, put it in the freezer, then put it right into the Instant Pot® for an easy dinner.
This is a dish I first came in contact with many years ago when my husband and I were stationed on the island of Guam. It was fantastic! Ever since, I’ve been looking for a recipe that would recapture that great taste. This one from Food Network comes close. I’ll list just a few of ingredients to “whet your appetite!”
This simplified version of a traditional Filipino comfort food was meant for your Instant Pot (a slow cooker, pressure cooker and stove-top stand-in, all in one). The pressure cook setting prepares it in no time and best of all, there’s only one pot to clean up.