Spicy Vegan Spanish Style Soy Curls

Spicy vegan Spanish Style Soy Curls can be baked in the oven or cooked in the air-fryer. They’re a great main dish for dinner with Spanish Rice and sautéed vegetables.
 Soy Curls
By now, you probably know about my love of Soy Curls. If not, let me catch you up: I love Soy Curls! If you haven’t tried them yet, you need to remedy that soon. Soy Curls are made from whole, non-gmo soybeans, and they’re minimally processed. They have a meaty texture that’s similar to seitan, which makes them they’re a good option for those who follow a gluten-free diet.
Soy Curls aren’t available in stores in my area, so I buy them in bulk from Amazon. I recently splurged on a 10 pack, so I’ve been looking for new ways to cook them. I love them in tacos, wraps, and stir-fries, but what else can a soy curl do?
Spanish Style Chicken
I was recently web-surfing, and I came across what looked like a Soy Curl recipe. (I’m not even sure where I saw it now.) I clicked through, but sadly it wasn’t a recipe for Soy Curls but rather for Spanish Style Chicken. I had never heard of Spanish Style Chicken, but after a quick check with my friend Google, I discovered that it’s a thing and it’s pretty popular.
In this dish, the meat is flavored with a spice rub and then fried. I’ve seen a few recipes that also include a sauce. That’s easy enough to veganize, right?
Spanish Style Soy Curls
After looking at a few different recipes, I created a vegan version using Soy Curls. In this recipe, rehydrated Soy Curls are coated in a mixture made of flour and spices and then cooked. I decided to bake these Spanish Style Soy Curls in the oven rather than fry them to make them healthier. I’ve also made them in the air fryer, and they cook up nicely.
If you are cooking these Spanish Style Soy Curls in the air fryer, you can use a little spritz of oil to keep them from sticking to the basket (or each other). Whether you’re cooking these in the oven or air fryer, you want to toss them around at the halfway point and cook them until they’re slightly crispy on the outside but still chewy inside.
Spanish Style Soy Curls are a great main dish for dinner. I like to serve them with Spanish Rice and sautéed vegetables. They’re also great in tacos, burritos, and wraps as well as tossed into salads.

Spanish Style Soy Curls

Spicy vegan Spanish Style Soy Curls can be baked in the oven or cooked in the air-fryer. They’re a great main dish for dinner with Spanish Rice and sautéed vegetables.

1 vegan bouillon cube or 1 tablespoon vegan bouillon
3 cups boiling water
1 8-ounce package Soy Curls
1 cup whole wheat or all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup Chipotle Lime Dressing, for serving

If you’re cooking your soy curls in an oven, pre-heat it to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Wisk the bouillon into the boiling water. Place the soy curls in a large heat-proof bowl and pour the bouillon mixture over it. Allow it to sit for about 15 minutes, or until the soy curls have softened.
Drain the water press the soy curls with a spatula or wooden spoon to remove any excess water.
Mix the flour, paprika, cayenne, Aleppo, cumin, sea salt, and black pepper in large bowl. Add the soy curls to the bowl and toss to coat.
If you’re baking these in the oven, spread the soy curls out on your baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, tossing the soy curls at the half-way point. Cook until they’re slightly crispy on the outside but still chewy inside.
If you’re using your air fryer, cook on 400° for 10-12 minutes, tossing them after 5 minutes. If your air fryer is small, you might need to do this in batches. You can use a little spray oil to keep them from sticking to the basket, if you like.
Serve hot with a drizzle of Chipotle Lime Dressing.


Other soy curl recipes you might enjoy include:

Sweet and Sour Soy Curls
Soy Curl and Kimchi Tacos
Kung Pao Soy Curls
Soy Curl Marsala

The post Spicy Vegan Spanish Style Soy Curls appeared first on Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen.

Chocolate–Peanut Butter Candy Bites from The Vegan 8

Chocolate–Peanut Butter Candy Bites from The Vegan 8 by Brandi Doming are a delicious treat for Halloween, holiday parties, or anytime you’re in need of something sweet! They’re oil-free and gluten-free.
The Vegan 8
From the “jokes” I see on social media, it seems that most people think that healthy food is boring and bland. While, yes, some healthy food can be a little on the tasteless side, it’s totally possible to make meals that are both nutritious and delicious. And Brandi Doming is here to show us how with her new cookbook The Vegan 8.
Eight Ingredients or Fewer
As the name suggests, the recipes in Brandi’s cookbook can all be made with eight ingredients or fewer. That “eight ingredients” doesn’t count salt, pepper, and water, but those are all things that everyone has in their kitchen anyway. All of the recipes are vegan, of course. Most are oil-free and gluten-free, and there are nut-free options as well, so the book the book is suitable for those with various dietary restrictions.
If you’re new to healthy vegan cooking, Brandi begins The Vegan 8 with just about everything you need to know about getting started. There are tips for baking, lists of ingredients that might be unfamiliar to you, and information on equipment that might be handy to have on hand in your kitchen.
Classics and Comfort Food
If you’re a vegan cooking pro, you can skip right ahead to the recipes. These aren’t boring dishes. Brandi focuses on veganized versions of classics and comfort food, making it easy for vegan newbies to transition their diets.
This isn’t a book full of recipes for kale salads and green smoothies. You won’t find crazy “superfoods” listed in the ingredients, either. These dishes are made with ingredients that can easily be found at any grocery store, and they’ll appeal to everyone. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t be happy with a plate of Baked Mac ‘N’ Cheese, a bowl of Ultimate Broccoli-Cheese Soup. or a few Crowd-Pleasing Brownies!
The Chapters in The Vegan 8 include:

The Vegan 8 Kitchen
Scrumptious Snacks & Appetizers
Time-Crunch Lunches
Sauces & Dressings
Easy Entrées
Comforting Soups & Stews
Sides & Dips
Crowd-Pleasing Desserts

Chocolate–Peanut Butter Candy Bites
Since I’m crazy for chocolate and peanut butter, the first recipe I made from The Vegan 8 was Chocolate–Peanut Butter Candy Bites. These sweet little treats were super easy to make, and I already had all of the ingredients on hand.
I used a small scoop to make my Chocolate–Peanut Butter Candy Bites, and I was able to make 11 bites. (Brandi’s recipe says it makes 8.) I found that the chocolate-peanut butter balls were a little too soft to roll in the melted chocolate. But that was easily solved by popping them into the freezer for a few minutes.
These little sweets are absolutely delicious! They’re a great homemade treat for Halloween, and they’re perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas parties, too.
If you’re looking for healthy and easy-to-make comfort food classics, The Vegan 8 is the book for you!

Chocolate–Peanut Butter Candy Bites

My favorite candy bar growing up was Butterfinger. I swear, I could eat those back to back. These bites have the same flavors of the classic candy bar but are so much better. Instead of the outside being the chocolate coating with the crunchy sweet interior, I reversed them and also made them into bites. Man, they are delicious and a favorite among my taste testers! If you can’t find salted peanuts, then add a pinch of salt.

1/2 cup (128g) smooth peanut butter
3 tablespoons (18g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
3 tablespoons (60g) pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon (5g) vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon (2g) fine salt
1/2 cup (80g) roasted, salted peanuts
1/4 cup (40g) coconut sugar
3.5 ounces (100g) 70 to 72% dark chocolate chips or bar, finely chopped

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Add the peanut butter, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt to a bowl, and stir until it comes together into a thick batter and is completely smooth. Roll about a heaping tablespoon of the dough into small balls, creating 8 balls total. Place the balls on the prepared pan.
To prepare the coating, add the roasted peanuts and coconut sugar to a food processor, and process until the mixture is in very small pieces but not as superfine as a flour consistency. Add this mixture to a wide, shallow bowl. Set aside.
Add the chopped chocolate to another small microwave-safe bowl. Melt in the microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds or in a double boiler. If microwaving, stir, and then heat in 10- to 15-second intervals until the chocolate is almost all melted. Be careful not to let it burn. Stir the chocolate until it is completely melted and smooth.
Place 1 ball into the melted chocolate and use a fork to rotate and coat it completely. Tap the fork gently on the side of the bowl, letting the excess chocolate drip off. Immediately place the ball into the peanut coating mixture and rotate it multiple times with the fork until coated well. Place the ball back on the pan and repeat with the remaining balls.
Place the pan in the fridge to set for about 20 minutes. Store the balls in the fridge to retain their shape. They can be set out at room temperature after they’re fully set for parties, but they will become softer and less crispy as time passes

Tip: Be sure to use a peanut butter without added oil or sugar. To make these nut free, sub the peanut butter with sunflower seed butter, if you don’t mind having that as a strong taste in these bites. With this sub, the batter may be a tad more wet and may need to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes before adding the chocolate.
Recipe reprinted with permission from The Vegan 8 by Brandi Doming.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like:

Vegan Tahini Truffles
Sunbutter and Chocolate Pretzel Pie
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Truffle Mini Tarts
Chocolate-Almond Date Truffles

I have a copy of The Vegan 8 for one lucky winner. Follow the instructions below to enter. Contest ends at midnight on October 16th. U.S. and Canadian residents only, please. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Chocolate–Peanut Butter Candy Bites from The Vegan 8 appeared first on Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen.

Vegan Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Cozy up to a bowl of cheesy Vegan Broccoli and Rice Casserole. It’s just thing to keep you warm and snug on chilly evenings.
Comfort Food
Comfort food season is here, and I can’t think of anything more comforting that a hearty cheesy casserole. This casserole is made with brown rice and broccoli and it just might be my favorite cold weather meal.
Broccoli and Cheese Sauce
Broccoli is probably my favorite vegetable. I came to love it because of the cheese sauce my mom would make it with when I was little. It was frozen broccoli drowning in a sauce made from a packet of powdered mix, but I loved it.
 I still love broccoli and cheese, only now as an adult, I’ve ditched the dairy. Often, I’ll add broccoli to my mac and cheese, and I make my own cheese sauce with hidden veggies. There’s just something really magical that happens when cheese sauce combines with those little florets.
If this recipe looks familiar, it’s because it’s based on my own Broccoli with Cheese Sauce recipe. I had created it a few years ago in order to curb my childhood comfort food cravings. Instead of pouring cheese sauce over cooked broccoli and serving it as a side dish, I’ve combined the two with cooked rice and baked it to serve as a main.
Vegan Broccoli and Rice Casserole
The “cheese” in this Vegan Broccoli and Rice Casserole is actually made with vegetables. Here, I’ve used carrots, potatoes, and onion. In my original cheese sauce recipe, I had used cauliflower and sweet potatoes. I had to change it because Dennis can no longer eat cauliflower. (He has gout and sadly, cauliflower causes it to flare up.) If you’d rather use cauliflower instead of potatoes, go for it.
Although I did include approximate amounts of carrots and potatoes, you don’t need to worry about being precise. The recipe will work if you use a little more or a little less than what I’ve listed.
Having leftover rice in the fridge helps this casserole to come together pretty quickly. I like to make a big batch and then freeze it in small containers. The cheese sauce can be made in advance, if you know you’re going to be pressed for time. You can make the whole casserole in advance, cover it and place it in the fridge, and then pop it in the oven when you’re ready for dinner.
A big bowl of Vegan Broccoli and Rice Casserole is all I need for dinner on a chilly weeknight. If you want to add a little protein, you can add a can of cooked chickpeas in when you’re mixing the rice, broccoli, and cheese sauce together. You also serve this as a side dish with grilled seitan or a Gardein patty.

Vegan Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Cozy up to a bowl of cheesy Vegan Broccoli and Rice Casserole. It’s just thing to keep you warm and snug on chilly evenings.

1 large carrot, chopped ( (about a cup))
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped ((about 2 cups))
¼ cup chopped onion
½ cup raw cashews
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 bunches broccoli, cut to bite-sized florets ((about 6 cups))
2 cups cooked brown rice
½ teaspoon paprika

Preheat your oven to 350°.
Place the carrots, onion, potato and cashews in a large pot. Fill it with enough water to cover the vegetables plus about two inches.
Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are fork tender.
Drain the vegetables and save the water. Allow the vegetables to cool slightly and then place them in a high-speed blender or food processor along with the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, mustard powder, and salt. Add 2 cups of the reserved cooking water and blend until smooth and creamy. Add a little more water if the mixture is too thick. Keep in mind that it will thicken when it’s heated.

While the vegetables are cooking, steam the broccoli. Add about an inch of water to a large pot. Place a steamer basket inside and fill it with the broccoli florets. Bring the water to a boil, cover the pot, and let cook for about 3 minutes.

If you don’t have a steamer basket, you can blanch the broccoli. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, and have a bowl of ice water standing by. Cook the broccoli in the water for a minute or two. Remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon and plunge into immediately in the ice water.
In a large bowl, mix together the cooked brown rice, steamed broccoli and cheese sauce. Pour the mixture into a large casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the top has turned golden brown.

If you love broccoli like I do, you might also like:

Broccoli with Fermented Black Bean Sauce 
Lemon Pepper Soy Curls with Broccoli
Vegan Broccoli Quiche Cups
Broccoli and Tempeh with Spicy Peanut Sauce

The post Vegan Broccoli and Rice Casserole appeared first on Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen.

Kale Caesar Salad with Roasted Chickpeas

Kale Caesar Salad with Roasted Chickpeas is a hearty dish that makes a terrific meal any time of the year. It’s great for lunch on its own, and it’s a perfect side for pasta or sandwiches, too.
Kale, Caesar!
Today I answer the question, “How many Caesar salad can one blog have?” The answer, “As many as I want!” This definitely ins’t the first, and I doubt it will be the last
Caesar is my favorite type of salad. I frequently order them when dining out, and make them at least once a week. When I make them at home, I like to mix up the ingredients I use. Sometimes adding other veggies, such as shredded purple cabbage or carrots.
Kale Caesar Salad with Roasted Chickpea Croutons
This Kale Caesar Salad is one that I make often. As I mentioned recently, I often use roasted chickpeas instead of bread for croutons. I usually make garlicky chickpeas, but I might mix it up and make them spicy if I’m making a taco salad. Now that I have an air fryer, I tend to just dump the chickpeas and spices in it without measuring anything. They cook in about half the time they would in the oven.
I used to use a tiny bit of oil in my roasted chickpeas, but I’ve found that they cook up just as crispy with aquafaba, which is the chickpea cooking water. If you’re cooking beans from scratch, save a little of the water. If you’re using canned chickpeas drain the liquid in a small bowl. I save my chickpea water in small containers in the freezer, so I have some on hand if I need it.
I often make my dressing with cashews and my “parmesan” with walnuts or almonds. Recently, I’ve had several requests for nut-free cooking classes, so I’ve started to mix things up and use silken tofu in my dressing and hemp seeds in the parmesan.
Massage that Kale!
Kale can be a little tough to chew in its raw state. The best way to combat that is to massage it with an acid. The lemon juice in this salad dressing is acidic, so it will help to break down the kale’s tough fibers. Massage your kale until it just beings to wilt. There’s nothing worse than overly relaxed kale!
Easy to Make
This salad may look like it requires a lot of work, but don’t let the long ingredients list fool you – it comes together quickly. Both the dressing and the parmesan only take a minute or two to mix up in a blender or food processor, and they can be made with the chickpeas are roasting. If you’re pressed for time, the components can all be made ahead of time and the salad can assembled when you’re ready to eat.

Kale Caesar Salad with Roasted Chickpeas

Kale Caesar Salad with Roasted Chickpeas is a hearty dish that makes a terrific meal any time of the year. It’s great for lunch on its own, and it’s a perfect side for pasta or sandwiches, too.

For the Chickpea Croutons

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 14-ounce can
1 teaspoon of aquafaba ((the water from the can of chickpeas))
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Caesar Dressing

1 12.3 ounce package silken tofu
¼ cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon capers, drained
2 teaspoons mellow white miso
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon mustard powder

For the Hemp Seed Parmesan

1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard seed

For the Salad

1 large bunch kale, destemmed and chopped
1 large head romaine lettuce or two romaine hearts, chopped

Make the Chickpea Croutons

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the chickpeas in a bowl and drizzle on the aquafaba and lemon juice. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, and mix to coat.
Bake for 20 minutes, and then carefully roll the chickpeas around on the baking sheet. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they don’t burn.

If you have an air fryer, you can cook them on 400°F for about 15-20 minutes, or until crisp. Shake the basket at the halfway point. 

Let the chickpeas cool for 5 to 10 minutes before adding them to your salad.

Make the Caesar Dressing

Mix all of the ingredients together in a high-speed blender or food processor until smooth and creamy.
Refrigerate until ready to use.

Make The Hemp Seed Parmesan

Mix all of the ingredients together in a spice grinder, a small food processor, or the dry blade of a high-speed blender. Do not over-mix!
Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Assemble the Salad

Place the chopped kale in a large bowl and pour on about half of the dressing. With clean hands, massage the dressing into the kale, until it just begins to wilt.
Add the lettuce and the remaining dressing to the bowl and toss to coat.
Sprinkle on the parmesan and then add the chickpeas. Serve immediately.

Note: After typing up and photographing this recipe, I realized that it’s very similar to one from Oh She Glows. It certainly wasn’t my intention to copy another blogger. This is a dish that I’ve been making on a regular basis for several years, and it’s in the same vein other recipes that I have here on my blog.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like:

Reuben Salad
Roasted Chickpea Taco Salad
Kale Caesar Salad with Cider Carrots
Caesar Pasta Salad

The post Kale Caesar Salad with Roasted Chickpeas appeared first on Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen.

Vegan Chickpea Noodle Soup

Vegan Chickpea Noodle Soup will keep you warm and cozy on chilly days. This dish is a great lunch or even light dinner.
Soup isn’t a Meal
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m not much of a soup person. While I will have a bowl occasionally for lunch, it’s usually not my first choice for a meal. Jerry Seinfeld once said that soup is a meal, but I sided with his friend Kenny Bania on that debate. Soup isn’t a meal.
I do appreciate a hot bowl of soup on a cold and snowy day, however. In the cooler months, I will sometimes make a big pot of Spicy Lentil Carrot Soup or Roasted Kabocha Soup at the beginning of the week so that I have food for lunches during the busy weekdays. If I know a snowstorm is coming, I like to make big batches of soup and freeze it. Then, if the power goes out, I just have to reheat it on the camping stove we bought for emergencies.
Canned Soup
I grew up eating that canned soup with the red and white label that Andy Warhol liked so much. As a kid, I thought it was delicious. These days, if I’m in a pinch, I’ll pick up a premade variety from Whole Foods, but I do prefer to make my own.
One of my favorites as kid was chicken noodle soup. I didn’t care about so much the chicken, but loved the saltiness of the broth combined with the fun-to-eat noodles. I remember slurping down bowls of it while watching cartoons on sick days. Sometimes, my mom would pack hot soup in a thermos in my Hardy Boys lunchbox for my lunch at school.
Vegan Chickpea Noodle Soup
I’ve veganized my favorite childhood soup and made it healthier. Hearty chickpeas are the star of the dish, and I’ve used gluten-free fusilli in the place of noodles. (Perhaps the use fusilli is a subconscious nod to Jerry Seinfeld?) Low sodium vegetable stock takes the place of the salty broth that was in soup of my younger days.
I’ve used kale in this recipe to give it a little nutrient boost, as well as a little bit of color. Chicken noodle soup is usually made with celery, but I don’t like cooked celery, so I’ve left it out. Feel free to add a sliced stalk or two if you like it.
Serve this vegan Chickpea Noodle Soup on its own for a light meal or pair it with a sandwich for a heartier repast. I love to serve it for lunch with roasted vegetable wraps.

Chickpea Noodle Soup

1 teaspoon neutral flavored oil
¼ cup diced yellow onion (about ½ of a small onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, sliced or diced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups uncooked whole grain fusilli or similarly shaped pasta
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups chopped kale
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften and become fragrant, about 10 minutes.
Add the vegetable stock, noodles, chickpeas, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper to the pot. Bring to a bowl and then lower the heat to simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until the noodles are tender, about 10 minutes. (The time will vary, depending on the type of pasta you use.)
Add the kale to the pot and stir until wilted.
Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Serve hot.

If you enjoyed this Chickpea Noodle Soup, you might also like:

African-Inspired Chickpea Peanut Stew
Curried Cauliflower Cream Soup
Lasagna Soup
Roasted Kabocha Soup

The post Vegan Chickpea Noodle Soup appeared first on Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen.

Last Minute Red Lasagna

Everyone needs a go-to lasagna recipe. A great one. And, here’s the thing, making lasagna doesn’t have to be an all-day affair. This is a true weeknight lasagna. No pre-cooking sauces, no pre-cooking noodles. You, literally, stir the first five ingredients together into a vibrant crushed tomato sauce, and start layering. Also, it isn’t a cheese bomb. I try to keep things light here. It’s the rare lasagna that is arguably healthful enough to make once a week, and still feel like it is working in your favor. Very light on the cheese front, yet still hitting the lasagna mark. Served alongside a good salad? It’s nice payoff, with minimal effort.

A Few Lasagna Tips
A couple of related tips. If you come across fresh pasta sheets, stock up. You can freeze them, and then you always have them on hand. Alternately, if fresh pasta is hard to find where you are, stock up on no-boil (whole wheat, if possible) lasagna sheets. These are the ones I come across where I live. It’s hard to make the mental leap that they will work out. It seems impossible, because they’re like dense, stale crackers, and…no boil!? But I’m always pleasantly surprised. Try them!

Tasty Variations
Last thing! Sometimes I spice the red tomato sauce with curry powder and a big squeeze of fresh orange juice for a fun twist – I’ll note that variation in the recipe below. I’ll also note a variation that omits dairy altogether. If you use egg-free pasta, it’s a good vegan version.
Continue reading Last Minute Red Lasagna on 101 Cookbooks

Vegetable Noodle Soup

This vegetable noodle soup is as simple, direct, and delicious as it gets. Served extra hot and plump with pasta noodles, it’s the kind of soup that comforts minds and bolsters spirits. If you’re vegetarian or vegan looking for an alternative to chicken noodle soup, this should be in your wheelhouse.
I mention it in the recipe, but any short pasta will work here.  If there is a short shape that is easy for you to find. Or a shape you love, swap it in!

Noodle Soup Variations
There are a host of things you can use in place of the pasta noodles here. For example, you can serve the broth over leftover rice, cooked farro, or pearl barley. Or make a ravioli version! You can also stir any of the following into individual bowls of soup to take things in slightly different directions – toasted sesame oil, lemon olive oil, sriracha sauce, miso, or curry paste. Noodle soup is super adaptable, use this as a jumping off point!
Continue reading Vegetable Noodle Soup on 101 Cookbooks

The Instant Pot Starter Guide for Me and You

This is for everyone who ordered an Instant Pot recently, and also, somewhat selfishly, for myself. It’s an Instant Pot Starter Guide – all the links, references, and resources I’ve collected as I get to know my 9-in-1 Instant Pot. I’ve also compiled 40 Essential Instant Pot Links, and have a (growing!) collection of Instant Pot recipes. Also, If you’re still thinking about purchasing an Instant Pot or Multi-cooker, this buying tool might help. It can help you decide which Instant Pot / multi-cooker / pressure cooker to purchase based on the features important to you: Instant Pot Buying Guide.
Let me start by saying, my road to the Instant Pot hasn’t exactly been straight. I like to think I shy away from of-the-moment appliances, and instead, have collected a good number of donabe, flameware, and other clay cooking vessels that I cherish and cook with regularly. That said, I’ve been increasingly intrigued by sweeping Instant Pot mania (couldn’t be later to the party, I know). Additionally, some of my favorite cooks are making magic, or at least dinner, with them.
What tipped the balance? One of my favorite cookbook authors released Dinner in an Instant: 75 Modern Recipes for Your Pressure Cooker, Multicooker, and Instant Pot. I buy every Melissa Clark book. Every one. So, it seemed like the time to join the Instant Pot tribe, and have a little fun. Also, the newest Instant Pot has a yogurt function! And, furthermore, it has eight other functions – pressure, slow cooker, rice cooker, egg cooker, sauté mode, steamer, and on and on. Oh, and people are baking cakes in them?! Woah.

First impression stepping into this world? It’s a lot. My guess is that many of you are either looking for instruction and inspiration (like me), or you are way ahead, and have your own favorite resources. So that’s what this post is about. I actually needed an Instant Pot Starter Guide, and suspect many of you might as well.
I’m going to include my “best-of” list here, including anything that catches my attention, anything I don’t want to lose track of – and I’ll try to keep this list updated over time. But, please, if you’re seasoned in the Instant Pot arts, with ideas, favorite tricks, inspiration, and whatnot – please (please!) leave a comment. And lastly, as I work on recipes, I’ll link to favorites here:
– Instant Pot Mushroom Stroganoff with Vodka (make this!)
– Instant Pot Minestrone Soup
– Instant Pot Congee (game-changer)
– Instant Pot Chickpea Cauliflower Korma
– Instant Pot Fiasco Beans
– Instant Pot Brown Rice Bowl with Chickpeas (PIP)
– 10 Minute Instant Pot Mushroom Broth
– Instant Pot Indian-spiced Simmer Sauce
– Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili with Kahlua (Instant Pot slow cook or pressure cook)
– Creamy Four Ingredient Chili Mac
– Instant Pot Dynamite Cold Tonic
– Instant Pot Herbed Chickpea Plov
– This is the Instant Pot I purchased: Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1 Also! Note, there are over 1000 questions answered on this page. A lot of good questions, a lot of good answers.
The official Instant Pot site, it has videos, updated information related to the different models available, FAQs, and a recipe database. There is also a lively Facebook community, and Pinterest page. There is also an official Instant Pot Cookbook: The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook by Coco Morante.
– How To Use an Instant Pot: A Guide by Melissa Clark (NY Times)
– This is How to Become an Instant Pot Whisperer (101 Cookbooks)
– The Instant Pot manual has tables with timing recommendations, this site has more.
– Inside the Home of Instant Pot, the Kitchen Gadget That Spawned a Religion (NY Times)
– Rancho Gordo Heirloom Beans & Pressure Cooking Guide (PDF)
– Why Do Cooks Love the Instant Pot? I Bought One to Find Out (NY Times)
– The Instant Pot Cult is Real (TASTE)
– Send Help: I’m (Kind Of) Falling in Love With the Instant Pot (Food52)
– I Tried The $99 Kitchen Gadget That Everyone’s Obsessed With (Buzzfeed)
– After Cooking All My Meals in an Instant Pot for a Week, I Get What All the Hype Is About (Self)
I want to make amazing thali plates with this thing. That’s my personal holy grail of Instant Potting.
– Ministry of Curry Instant Pot Recipes
– Ten Instant Pot Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes or Less (The Kitchn)
– Detoxinista / Instant Pot Recipes
– Cook With Manali / Instant Pot Recipes
– Five One Pot Indian Stews (Tasting Table)
– I’m excited about the concept of layering (or, pot-in-pot cooking)! For example, you use racks and containers to cook multiple recipes, like this one. – An explanation of PIP (pot-in-pot) cooking. And here’s another one. And a great comprehensive video.
– Instant Pot Hot Sauce (Simply Happy Foodie)
Continue reading The Instant Pot Starter Guide for Me and You on 101 Cookbooks

The Best Simple Cauliflower Soup

This is the simplest cauliflower soup. And it is so dang good. The ingredient list is shorter than short, and if you have a great yellow curry paste on hand (or even just a good one), it is worth making.

I love the super silky texture you get from blending this soup in a high-speed blender, but a hand-blender is B+ level good as well. So, don’t sweat the equipment side of things too much.

This is the latest in a long-running series of love letter recipes to simple pureed soups, including (get ready 😉 carrot soup, asparagus soup, green soup, tomato soup, also this broccoli soup. What I’m saying is, blender soups forever.

I get a little crazy with the toppings, but the soup is good simple and straight too. Here the cauliflower soup is topped with toasted pine nuts, fried shallots, and hemp seeds, and more of the yellow curry paste whisked with a bit of shallot oil. You could also season this with a favorite Indian spice blend, for another take. Or a simple showering of fresh herbs. Play around!
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Instant Pot Minestrone Soup

Making really good Instant Pot minestrone soup with dried, un-soaked beans is possible. I wasn’t sure at first, and it required a few attempts to get the recipe right, but check it out! Deliciousness. Let’s start at the beginning. Like many of you, I love minestrone soup. It’s hearty and filling. It’s healthy, made with a diverse mix of ingredients your body wants more of. And, if you have an Instant Pot, a good minestrone is going to be one of your standbys.
Instant Pot Minestrone Soup: The Strategy
Ok, so most of the IP minestrone recipes I see rely on canned beans, which I was hoping to avoid. Instead, I wanted to develop a minestrone version from dried beans – un-soaked(!) dried beans. Because, that way, you don’t have to plan ahead. Second, I want to avoid that murky, overcooked, canned soup flavor (and texture) we’re all familiar with – it shows up when you use canned beans and then cook them again under pressure. The size you cut your ingredients ended up being important as well, and so was when you add them to the pot. I landed on a specific order here that maintains brightness, acidity, flavor definition, and general deliciousness. More on that below!

A few notes & techniques
Potatoes: I found any potatoes cut too small turn to mush after cooking under pressure for 35+ minutes. Not great. So, I started using big chunks of potato, really big – and they’re incredible! Creamy, perfectly cooked, and nicely structured. Carrots are more dense, and handle the pressure just fine.

Tomatoes & Kale: I think the inclination is to add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot, seal it up, and go for it. The minestrones I attempted to cook this way lost a lot of vibrancy. But not this version! This version has you stir in crushed tomatoes, and kale immediately after releasing pressure. The acidity of the tomatoes brightens the soup immediately, and holding the kale back until the last minute keeps a bit of structure, color, and flavor definition.
Pasta: A lot of people love to add pasta to their minestrone soup. You can certainly add a handful of dried, short pasta before pressurizing, but, quite honestly, it’s much better if you cook the pasta on its own. You can also stir dried pasta into the soup directly after it has pressure cooked, adding a bit more water if things get too thick. In short, on the pasta front, you can be pretty flexible. It’s open to personal preference (and how convenient you’d like the process to be).
Serving Ideas
I like this minestrone straight and simple, and I also like it flaired out with toppings. A few ideas: a dollop of pesto, a drizzle of lemon olive oil, or a big squeeze of bright lemon, some chopped olives. Stir in a couple of handfuls of day old bread for something more like a ribollita.
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