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!

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Faux-tisserie Chicken via the Instant Pot

I love getting creative with food. It is one of my go to small “c” everyday types of creativity. I have not really been discussing my blog much with friends, but I shared my beef stew recipe with a friend who wanted to know what my favorite goto recipes were for the Instant Pot. She didn’t realize at first that the link I sent her for this blog was actually my blog. When I told her that you can also use the IP to make rotisserie style chicken, she requested that for the next post. So here is my Faux-tisserie Chicken recipe. Enjoy!

Materials:

  • Instant Pot 6qt Duo
  • Instant Pot Trivet
  • Tongs
  • Knife
  • Small bowl
  • Measuring Cup
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Cutting Board
  • Paper Towel

Ingredients:

  • Whole Chicken (small enough to fit in your inner pot)
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Thyme
  • 1/4 tsp Parsley
  • 1/4 tsp crushed dried Rosemary
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 sprigs fresh Rosemary
  • Olive Oil ( see instructions for amount)

Instructions:

  1. Remove the gizzards from the inside of your chicken. Depending on the brand, you might not have this in yours, but don’t forget to check!
  2. Pour a small amount of Olive Oil onto a paper towel. Use this to rub the skin of the chicken with oil. The amount of oil used depends on the size of your bird. Don’t skip this step though or you will have trouble with the next step!
  3. Turn your IP onto Sauté mode. When heated, place your chicken in the inner pot for 3-4 minutes. Then flip the bird over and repeat for the other side. Be careful not to burn the skin! See this is why I told you to grease up that bird…did you skip that part and now have your chicken stuck to the bottom of your pot?
  4. Turn off your IP and carefully remove the chicken from the IP inner pot using tongs. Place on cutting board.
  5. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze juice onto the chicken. Stuff the squeezed rinds inside the chicken.
  6. Cut the onion into fourths. Stuff the inside of the chicken with the onion.
  7. Stuff Rosemary sprigs inside the chicken.
  8. Mix your dry spices together in a small bowl. Rub this spice mixture all over your chicken.
  9. Pour chicken broth into the IP inner pot. Place your trivet inside the pot.
  10. Return the chicken to the inner pot, breast side up on top of the trivet.
  11. Close lid and seal the vent. Set on Manual on High for 25 minutes. NPR for 15 minutes.
  12. Using tongs, remove the chicken from the IP to a serving dish.
  13. Let rest before serving. —You could also place the chicken under the broiler for a few minutes if you want crispier skin. As you can see, we thought it was good as is…

*Optional*

You will have liquid leftover in the pot. Turn your IP back to Sauté. Mix water with cornstarch. When boiling, pour the cornstarch mixture into the liquid while stirring with a whisk. This makes a great gravy. Adjust the amount of cornstarch depending on how thick you want your gravy. The thicker the mixture, the thicker your gravy. I used 1/4 cup cornstarch to one cup water.

What’s for Dinner? — Instant Pot Lobster

As promised, here is the update on what we had for Easter Dinner– Lobster!

Did you know that Aldi sells frozen lobster tails? It is usually a special, but my Aldi seems to always have them in stock. They sell two to a package for $12.99. So I can basically serve a lobster dinner to the three of us for less than going to Red Lobster or Outback. We used to get away cheap, but my son has been expanding his food repertoire and that now includes things like sushi and lobster.

The best part about having an Instant Pot is that it means you can cook things from frozen with no thawing. So here is what I did:

Materials:

Ingredients:

  • 6 Lobster Tails (frozen)
  • 1 cup water
  • Old Bay (optional)
  • Lemon (optional)
  • Butter (optional)

Procedure:

  1. Place 1 cup water in the Instant Pot. If adding Old Bay, do so now.
  2. Place rack in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  3. Place three lobster tails on the rack, shell side down.
  4. Place steamer basket on top of lobsters.
  5. Add three more lobster tails to the steamer basket.
  6. Close lid and vent. Set Instant Pot on Manual on High Heat for 3 minutes.
  7. When time is up, Quick Release so as not to over cook.
  8. Serve with butter and lemon. Enjoy!

Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

Another holiday is upon us and of course I found a way to use my instant pot to its best advantage…Easter Eggs! Of course before we could do any coloring, I needed to cook the dozen eggs. What would I do without this wonderful kitchen tool?

Now, some may say that you could easily make the eggs on the stovetop instead of using the IP, but honestly, they haven’t seen me cook. I have tried the stove and they don’t always come out right. My husband tried the hack of using the over and a muffin tin, but then your eggs get this brown burnish tinge to them that doesn’t play well with coloring your eggs. I have never had any problems using the IP. So here is what I did…

Materials:

Ingredients:

  • One dozen eggs
  • Water
  • Ice

Procedure:

  1. Pour one cup water into your Instant Pot .
  2. Insert steamer rack and basket.
  3. Place eggs in basket. –if you are using less than a dozen eggs, you can use the insert dividers or tinfoil to keep the eggs from moving around too much.
  4. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and close the vent. Set on Manual on high heat for five minutes.
  5. Let natural pressure release for five minutes, then quick release the rest. You may want to use a towel to turn the vent, it will be hot!
  6. Prepare a bowl with water and ice. You need enough that it will completely cover your eggs.
  7. Using tongs, move eggs carefully into the bowl containing the ice water. —Be careful not to drop the eggs into the ice bath. I did that and an egg broke.
  8. When eggs are cool, use your favorite coloring kit or eat them as is.

Of course, coloring eggs is a great small “c” activity that can be done with the whole family. My son had a friend over today and I have to say that even teenagers can still have fun coloring eggs (Dad helped too!).

I plan to use the Instant Pot a lot this weekend as I prep food for the holiday. I picked up both a roast and lobster tails from Aldi, so I haven’t decided which will grace our table on Sunday. I am leaning towards tails on Saturday and roast on Sunday. What are you planning on making?

Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Growing up, it was a tradition that St. Patrick’s Day meant corned beef and cabbage. I have been trying for over twenty years to duplicate the texture and flavor of my mom’s traditional dish. I have tried slow cookers, the oven, and the stovetop; but none of it has come out with that falling apart texture or buttery flavorful cabbage. So I did a test run with the Instant Pot.

I have to admit, I did my research beforehand and was shocked to see that people were saying it takes 90 minutes in the IP. However, I saw it in multiple places so there had to be something to it. Worse-case scenario, I was down a couple bucks for the price of the meat. This is a two-part IP recipe since if you put everything in the pot at once, your cabbage will basically be non-existent. When the 90min countdown was done, I was nervous that we would be eating McD’s instead for dinner. However, when step two was complete, I have to admit things were looking good.

Good is an understatement! This was the best corned beef and cabbage that I have ever had (sorry, Mom!). So if you want to duplicate it, here is what I did:

Materials:

6qt Instant Pot

• Cutting board

• Knife

• Measuring cup

Ingredients:

  • 2lb Corned beef with seasonings
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Five small white potatoes, halved
  • Small cabbage, quartered
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup baby carrots

Procedure:

  1. Place corned beef in Instant Pot with chicken broth and seasoning.
  2. Set IP to Manual, high-heat, for 90 minutes. NPR
  3. Add cabbage, carrots, and potatoes. Top with butter.
  4. Set IP to Manual, high-heat, for 5 minutes. NPR
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Creativity means not just doing things the way they have always been done. I love updating family favorites using modern techniques or tools. Do you have any family traditions that you have put a new spin on?