Do you have the mid-winter menu blues? The holidays are long gone, and with them the dinner parties, the roast turkey and ham, the specialty foods and meals that don’t take a lot of imagination because we cook them year after year. Now it’s just cold and dark. You crave healthy comfort foods, but don’t want to put a lot of effort and time in.
Enter the marvels of the Instant Pot and slow cooker – our two favorite kitchen helpers. The Instant Pot, an electric pressure cooker, has become quite a craze of late, and with good reason. You can turn out flavorful, healthy foods—everything from dry beans perfectly cooked to pot roast or chicken dishes—in a fraction of the time. And the slow cooker, which obviously (because it’s slow) takes longer but often is easy and all-in-one-pot convenient, is a trusty standby for delicious winter fare (soup or chili anyone?).
Our latest issue of House Calls Magazine offers up some tasty recipes (by Heather Garvin) that will expand your Instant Pot or slow cooker repertoire. Toss the ingredients together, hit the “on” button, and enjoy reading a book by the fire until it’s done.
For the slow cooker:
Cauliflower Tikki Masala
½ Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
1 Tbsp. garam masala (available in most spice aisles)
1 tsp. ground turmeric
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (or to taste/preference)
1 28 oz. can no-salt added tomatoes
1 cup coconut milk
1 large head cauliflower, cut into large florets
1 14.5 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Cilantro and cashews for garnish
- Heat olive oil in skillet and sauté onion until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger and seasonings. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and lightly browned.
- Add tomatoes and juices to deglaze the pan. Then transfer it all to the slow cooker.
- Add cauliflower, stir in coconut milk and chickpeas. Cook covered for 4 hours.
- Serve stew-style over brown rice or with naan bread. Garnish with cilantro and cashews.
For the Instant Pot:
Salsa Verde Quinoa Chicken Bowls
1 cup quinoa, rinsed, uncooked
1 small onion, diced
2 cups sweet potato or butternut squash, peeled and diced
½ Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. kosher salt
2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 to 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast or thigh
1 cup salsa verde
Fresh avocado or crumbled feta cheese and lime slices for garnish
- Combine first 7 ingredients in an Instant Pot. Top with sliced up chicken and salsa verde.
- Close lid and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Use “vent” function to quick-release pressure.
- Shred chicken further as desired, then serve in bowls with garnishes.