Lentil Tacos in the Instant Pot

It started in 2014, I would get emails asking if I could create recipes to use in the Instant Pot. My response was always, “sorry, I don’t have an Instant Pot but if you buy me one I’ll make recipes for you.” No one took me up on the offer so eventually I bought one myself. If you aren’t familiar with the Instant Pot it is an electric pressure cooker.

I’ve been slowly adapting my recipes to work in the Instant Pot and today I’m going to share my Lentil Taco’s recipe. You can use the original recipe if you are looking for a stove top version.

Vegan Gluten-Free Plant-Based Lentil Tacos

Lentil Tacos in the Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry brown lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp each of salt, garlic powder, chili powder and onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

Do

  1. Dump all of the ingredients into our Instant Pot and give it a little stir to mix everything evenly.
  2. Close the lid, make sure you move the pressure release to the sealed position.
  3. Press the Manual button and use the arrows to get to 15.
  4. Once it is done turn the Instant Pot off and release the pressure.
  5. Carefully open the lid and give it a stir. Let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

Serve

These are great in crunchy or soft tacos, as part of a burrito or taco salad. If you don’t have an Instant Pot don’t worry you can use the stove top recipe, it’s just as easy and just as delicious. For a little variety try my Quinoa-Lentil Tacos! They are a family favorite!

Simple Veggie Soup in the Instant Pot

I want to start by telling you that this soup can be made on the stove or in the Crock Pot as well. For those of you with an Instant Pot you can cook this soup much more quickly.

This Simple Veggie Soup (in the Instant Pot) is so easy and delicious. You can add different ingredients if you prefer but this is made with basic veggie staples that we always have on hand. You know me, I like to keep it simple.

simple veggie soup

There are a few variations on this recipe. To make this soup heartier you can add Great Northern beans. It will cook more quickly if you soak the beans ahead of time. The soup is delicious with or without beans.

I added all of the ingredients to the Instant Pot in the morning and set the timer to come on 4 hours later so it would be ready in the afternoon. This will allow the beans to soak for a while if you are using them

Simple Veggie Soup in the Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 1 large carrots, sliced (this equaled 1 cup of carrots for me)
  • 5 red potatoes, quartered (I didn’t peel them)
  • 3 liters of water (12 cups)
  • 1 cup dry Great Northern beans (optional)
  • bullion or dry broth mix (read the label to figure out the appropriate amount)

Do

  1. Put all of the ingredients into the Instant Pot and close the lid.
  2. Press the SOUP button, then if using the timer press the TIMER button.
  3. Use the + or buttons to select the appropriate number of hours you’d like the Instant Pot to delay cooking. (The time will be the delayed time before the Instant Pot starts.) Remember that it takes time for the Instant Pot to heat up and cool down, especially when cooking soup so you need to take that time into consideration.
  4. Once the Soup is done the Instant Pot will keep it warm until you press CANCEL. Allow the steam to release naturally or use the quick release.

Serve

We eat this soup as is with maybe a sprinkle of salt. It’s perfect if you’ve been fighting a cold or are just in the mood for warm veggies.

Notes

If you are cooking it immediately you do not need to select the TIMER button.

If you are using dry beans they need to be soaked OR you may need to increase the cooking time, check the cooking time chart to be sure.

If you are making this in the Crock Pot just cook it all day or for about 6 hours.

If you are using beans and cooking this on the stove it will take about 90 minutes to cook soaked beans, if the beans haven’t been soaked it will take longer. I recommend you cook the beans first then add them to the soup.

The soup will take about 30 minutes without beans or with previously cooked beans.

Do you ever just make a simple soup? What are your “must” have ingredients? 

Dinner in Minutes

As I mentioned last week I’m now working full-time. Gone are the days of slow cooking beans on my stove or making dinners in the early afternoon and reheating them in the evening. Our schedule is much busier now so I’m much more strategic with our dinner plans.

I still have my favorite go to recipes that are really quick like my Veggie Pad Thai. If you haven’t made it yet you really should. I can have it ready in about 15 minutes.

Dinner in Minutes: Strategies for Quick Dinners

dinner in minutes strategies for quick dinners

If your schedule is tight and you need dinners with minimal prep time I think you’ll appreciate these ideas.

Use your Slow Cooker

Many of my recipes can’t handle the slow cooker all day. Six hours would probably be the longest for the casseroles but the Potato Soup, Taco Soup, Enchilada soup, and chili will work fine in a slow cooker. Baked potatoes (and Baked Sweet Potatoes) can also be cooked in the Crock-Pot all day. (The one linked is programmable.)

Batch Cook on the Weekends

You don’t have to prepare every meal but I’m a big fan of cooking items like beans, grains, potatoes, etc. to be reheated during the week. I usually try to have 2 or 3 things cooking at one time. Then throughout the week I can mix and match those items with other items that cook quickly like pasta.

Have Back Ups Ready

I keep canned beans for those days I’m not prepared and don’t have time. Just this week I pulled out a can of beans to make Unfried Black Beans for my family. It was much healthier than anything else we would have eaten on such short notice. I also keep frozen veggies on hand for those days when I have no time and I’m out of produce. I can add them to soup, stir fry or steam them.

Oatmeal is also a great, quick and healthy meal. Sure, it’s breakfast but it is filling and hearty.

Eat Simple Meals

Like the oatmeal mentioned above, choose meals that are easy to prepare. Pasta with marinara, Baked Potatoes, Veggie Wraps, Bean and Grain Bowls, Bean Burritos are all simple meals. Save the complicated meals for the weekend. If you’ve done some batch cooking most of these things can be ready in less than 15 minutes.

Instant Pot

Use a Pressure Cooker

As you probably know I recently bought an Instant Pot. I love it. I can quickly cook dry beans in about 30 minutes. My favorite thing lately is pinto beans cooked in my Instant Pot, brown rice and diced potatoes. I’ve been using it’s timer so I can set it up before I leave in the morning and dinner will begin cooking just before I get home.

I’ve also used it to cook brown rice, lentils, chili, veggie soup, potatoes and sweet potatoes and several of my casseroles. It’s been a lifesaver for us and well worth the investment.

Do you have fool proof ways to get dinner ready in minutes? What are they?

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10 Reasons I Bought an Instant Pot

Even though I generally like to cook, sometimes I get tired of spending so much time in the kitchen. Our life style has changed a lot lately and I don’t have the same amount of time I used to have. I’ve been hearing about the Instant Pot from other bloggers and foodies but I wasn’t ready to commit.

0 Reasons I bought an Instant Pot

10 Reasons I Bought the Instant Pot

There are a lot of reasons I decided to buy the Instant Pot so I decided to share my list with you. If you are like me and have been wondering about the Instant Pot maybe this list will help you decide if it is right for you.

Before we get to the list I want to mention that some people are scared off by the price. IT IS WORTH IT! You can regularly find really good deals on Amazon and free shipping! Anytime I see a deal I share on social media!

1. Cook Beans Super Fast

This is the first thing that piqued my interest. I heard that people were cooking beans in as little as 10-15 minutes for soaked beans and as long as 35-40 minutes for dry beans. Since it normally took several hours to slow cook beans this got my attention. I was really concerned that this was another single use appliance so I wasn’t won over yet. Then I heard it again and again. People I really admire were in love with their Instant Pot and it officially landed on my wish list.

2. Make Perfect Brown Rice

I’ve always thought that rice was really easy to cook. I know some people really struggle with it but it was easy for me. The first time I made brown rice in the Instant Pot I read and re-read the grain to water ratio. I was puzzled because it used less water and I was worried I would get crunchy rice. Guess what, it wasn’t crunchy it was perfect! Perhaps the most perfect rice I’ve ever made with just the right amount of “stickiness.”

Previously when I would have a busy day I’d cook rice in my Crock Pot. We love the Mexican Casserole and Cheezy Broccoli and Rice Casserole but some readers found it too mushy. The Instant Pot made these recipes perfectly in a fraction of the time. No more mushy rice.

3. Steam/Cook Veggies in Minutes

When I hold local classes I usually admit that my method of cooking is to start cooking, walk away and forget I’m cooking, smell the food later then go back to the stove to check on it. That is why all of my recipes are so simple and easy. I’ve burned more than my fair share of veggies by forgetting about them. The Instant Pot cooks veggies in minutes. Just be sure to release the steam once they are finished cooking.

4. Built in Timer (So it’s ready at dinner time)

My favorite thing about Crock Pots is that you can leave and come back to fully cooked meals. My Instant Pot goes one step further. It has a timer so it won’t start cooking until I want it to. Dinner doesn’t have to start cooking in the morning and cook all day. You can program it to begin dinner at 4:30 and keep it warm until you get home.

Even if you are home during the day think about how much time you will save by setting it up during a spare moment and not thinking about it again until dinner time.

Instant Pot

5. Easy Clean Up

My least favorite thing to do in the kitchen is washing dishes. If I could outsource it, I totally would. Sometimes I don’t cook a specific meal because I don’t want to do the dishes. The Instant Pot is really easy to clean up. It comes with a big stainless steel pot and a lid. That is all you have to wash and it’s really easy.

6. Pressure Cooking Retains More Nutrients

This one I’ll have to leave to the experts but I’ve read that pressure cooking retains more nutrients because foods cook for a shorter amount of time and less water is used. Due to the high pressure, beans and grains become more digestible. So if you’ve avoided beans and grains due to stomach issues this MAY help. (I’m not a doctor or scientist so don’t eat something that could make you sick.)

7. They are safe

You and I have all heard crazy stories of pressure cookers blowing up. I’ve resisted pressure cookers in the past because they scared me. The Instant Pot is safe! There are 10 safety features built-in to the Instant Pot including automatic pressure control, high temperature warning, and a lid that locks while pressurized plus many more.

8. Slow Cooker

The Instant Pot is roughly the same size as my slow cooker (it’s a little taller) but it does the same job with the touch of a button. If you plan to use your Instant Pot as a slow cooker regularly be sure to purchase the optional lid.

9. Saute feature

The Instant Pot can also saute with the touch of a button. So you can toss onions and garlic in, select saute, get the rest of your ingredients ready and then add them to the pot and program it to make Soup  or whatever else your heart desires.

10. All of the other Features

Believe it or not there are a lot of other features I didn’t mention. I bought the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker. In addition to all of other things I mentioned it also makes yogurt, YES VEGAN YOGURT. You can also make veggie stock, “bake” potatoes, cook a whole squash or pumpkin and loads of other things I haven’t discovered yet.

Are you won over yet? I know some of you are because I’ve had readers ask for Instant Pot recipes. Guess what, they are coming! I’m also trying out my old recipes to see what changes can be made to cook them in the Instant Pot.

Don’t worry, there will still be plenty of non-Instant Pot recipes but you may want to put it on your wish list just in case.

This page contains affiliate links. That means if you purchase something using this link I’ll make a small percentage at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting this site. 
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