I Tried Acorn Squash in the Instant Pot…Yum!

Since purchasing my Instant Pot, I have tried cooking a lot of new foods I was hesitant to try before. Different varieties of squash probably being the biggest. I have learned that I don’t like Spaghetti Squash no matter how it is prepared, but love Butternut Squash (check out my soup recipe here!). Aldi has Acorn Squash on sale this week, so I thought, why not? I purchased two (for less than $1.50!), but could only fit one in the Instant Pot once I cut it in half. I was worried it would not be enough for my family of three. But it turned out that one was enough of a side for us and both my husband and son enjoyed it. So win-win!

Here is what I did:

Materials:

  • Instant Pot Trivet
  • Spoon
  • Tongs
  • Measuring Cup
  • Knife
  • Cutting board

Ingredients:

  • Acorn Squash
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbs butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Procedure:

  1. Wash Acorn Squash and remove any labels.
  2. Cut Acorn Squash in half and, using a spoon, scoop out any seeds.
  3. Place water and trivet in inner pot of IP.
  4. Place Acorn Squash side by side, cut side up on trivet.
  5. Place 1tbs butter in each half, season with salt and pepper.
  6. Close lid and seal vent. Set at Manual on High pressure for 5 minutes. NPR for 15 min.
  7. When done, careful remove from pot using tongs or a large spoon.
  8. Enjoy!

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Instant Pot Beets

I love beets in salad, but I am not always a fan of the beets you get from a jar or can. So when I saw a bunch of fresh beets at my local grocery store, I decided to try cooking them in the Instant Pot. Perfect!

Materials:

  • Ingredients:
    • Beets
    • 1 cup Water
  • Procedure:
    1. If your beets have stems, discard those. Some people like to eat them, but I am not one of those.
    2. Place your beets whole on a trivet in the Instant Pot inner pot with 1 cup water.
    3. Close Instant Pot lid and the vent. Set on Manual on High Pressure for 20 min and QPR when done.
    4. Peel beets. You will find that the skin almost slides off. Be careful though cause these will be hot and will stain your hands bright pink if not wearing rubber gloves.
    5. Enjoy!

    The beets will keep for a few days in your fridge. I tossed mine with some salt, pepper, and butter. I ate them with some lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts, and blue cheese as a salad. Yum!

    Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad (no mayo!)

    I cannot eat mayo. I am not sure what causes the intolerance, but I have been that way since I was a kid. If I eat it, I get a rather queasy stomach. So I often look for ways to substitute sour cream or cream cheese in recipes instead. Today for lunch I made chicken salad. My son had a friend over and they both had some. I can say this has the thirteen (well almost) year old boy seal of approval.

    Materials:

    • Large Spoon
    • Bowl Scrapper
    • Measuring Cup

    Ingredients:

    • 3 Chicken Breasts
    • 1 cup Chicken Broth
    • 8 oz Sour Cream
    • 16 oz Cream Cheese block
    • 1/4 cup Craisins
    • 1/2 cup chopped Pecans
    • 1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
    • 1/8 tsp Salt
    • 1/8 tsp Pepper
    • 1/8 minced Onion
    • Crackers (optional)

    Procedure:

    1. Cook your chicken and broth in your Instant Pot. Mine was frozen, so I cooked it on Poultry on High for 20min. NPR…actually I forgot I was making it, so it naturally depressurized because it was out of sight out of mind.
    2. Place your chicken in your mixer bowl. Turn on low setting. Let your mixer do the work of shredding your chicken (I wish I took a picture of this! It was the first time I tried, but it worked perfectly).
    3. Add your sour cream, cream cheese, and seasonings. Turn mixer on low setting. Scrape sides if needed to make sure it is mixed evenly.
    4. Add your fruit and nuts. Fold in.
    5. Enjoy with crackers or alone.

    This turned out so well. Like I said, the boys enjoyed it too. I have extra in the fridge so lunch for tomorrow is taken care of as well. You can add more seasonings or extras as you want. I think next time, I will add some diced celery for some extra crunch.

    Instant Pot Sale!

    Did you miss out on the Amazon Prime Day Instant Pot sale because of those glitches and now the IP is back at full price? Well, here is a second chance to get a great deal on the Instant Pot. Sur La Table is having a three day Instant Pot sale!

    Okay, yes, there are affiliate links here which means NQSH gets a small portion of the sale but really this is a great deal and if you have been reading the blog for a while you know I love my Instant Pot. I was so exhausted after work the other night that I just threw some frozen sausage in the IP and in minutes had Sausage with Red Sauce with Penne. No defrosting, no heating up the house in the Summer with the oven.

    Get the 6qt InstantPot Ultra for $99.96 (Valued at $300) at Sur La Table! Offer valid 7/20-7/22.Amazon currently has the Instant Pot Ultra 6qt on sale for $159 which is still better than the $300 MSRP, but you can snag this same IP from Sur La Table for almost $50 less! Plus there is free shipping since your order will be over $59. The one on sale is not the exact model I have, in fact, it is better! There are so many options with the Ultra that the Duo doesn’t have, like a cake setting…hmmm…possibilities…

    Sur La Table

    This sale is only lasting the weekend, so if you are interested, you need to check it out by Sunday, July 22. Let me know in the comments if you were able to get one.

    Sur La Table

    Instant Pot Black Bean Soup

    I am the only person in my house that likes Black Bean Soup. So when I make it, I don’t want a huge pot since I will be sick of it before I can finish it. Every recipe I find seems to call for dried beans and makes way too much. I wanted to see if I could make a simpler batch.

    On Sunday, I made myself a small batch that portioned out perfectly for lunches during the week. Honestly, I did not plan on making this ahead of time. It was more looking in the pantry to see what I had and what I could make. I typically keep canned beans on hand and had the tomatoes and chilies just in case. Everything (except the dried cilantro) came from Aldi, so it was a cheap meal that has saved me the cost of lunches for a whole week. Win!

    I will caution that I like spicy food. This has quite a kick to it. So if you follow the recipe exactly, be advised. I also did not account for the saltiness of the chips. Different brands might have different levels of salt. This is not exactly a dump soup recipe. Be aware that the same ingredients were added in stages in some places. However, it took under 30 minutes to make. It gave me enough for six servings. Plus everything came from my pantry!

    My son even tried it, but it was too spicy for his tastes. You could leave out the chilies and just use tomatoes if you wanted something a little milder.

    Materials:

    Instant Pot 6qt Duo

    Ingredients:

    • 3 12oz cans Black Beans
    • 1 10oz can Tomatoes & Green Chilies
    • 2 cups Chicken Broth
    • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
    • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
    • 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
    • 1/4 tsp Chili Powder
    • 1/4 tsp Cumin
    • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
    • 1 tbsp Dried Minced Onion
    • 1 tbsp Sea Salt
    • 2 tbsp Salsa
    • 2 tbsp Dried Cilantro
    • Shredded Cheddar Cheese (optional)
    • Sour Cream (optional)
    • Tortilla Chips (optional)
    • Lime Juice (optional)

    Procedure:

    1. In the Instant Pot, dump chicken broth, tomatoes and green chilies, all dry seasoning except for 1 tbsp dried cilantro, and 2 of the cans of black beans together. Set on Soup for 10 minutes.
    2. When soup is done, carefully release the vent on your Instant Pot. There will be a lot of steam, so be careful not to burn yourself.
    3. Take your immersion blender and carefully blend your ingredients together. Again, be careful! This is very hot. Don’t burn yourself!
    4. Add your salsa and the last can of beans. Stir. I like the texture this adds. Also add that last tbsp of dried cilantro. I love cilantro, so the more the better for me.
    5. Serve your soup with crushed tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. You could also add a squirt of lime juice if you have it. Enjoy!