Tag Archives: pressure cooker

What’s Saving My (Health) Life Right Now

It’s already February! And today marks the halfway point of winter. Woo hoo! We can do this.

How are your resolutions going? I heard someone say recently they love February because we can all get over our resolutions and talk about sweets again. I hope you aren’t in the camp because your resolutions are truly LIFESTYLE changes that you want to keep always.

Anne Bogel, on modernmrsdarcy.com, starts a discussion every year on this date about things “saving our lives”. It is easy, especially in dreary winter months, to focus on all the things going wrong. I had a day like that yesterday. To combat the negativity, it is important to focus instead on the things going right and making our days/weeks/lives better. I love this idea. I actually started my list a couple weeks ago when I was having a rough time. It made a huge difference in my attitude.

Baby Grins that Save My LIfe

This baby girl and her sweet grins are definitely saving my life. Today, I’m sharing 6 things that are saving my life in the aspects of nutrition/health/cooking.

1) Amazon Prime music playlists. I recently made my own playlist on Prime (something I didn’t know I could do). It is all my favorite workout songs. Now, I get excited to exercise and get pumped up during my video when a new song I like comes on.

2) Costco produce. I usually don’t buy many fruits and vegetables at Costco. My family isn’t very big, so I feel like we waste it. But it has helped me make better food choices lately. It’s magic. I can eat more vegetables at lunch when I have lots of salad ingredients or carrots around.

3) Smoothies. Part of how I’ve been using up all that produce is smoothies. I drink a smoothie for breakfast pretty much every morning lately. It helps me rehydrate after my workout. I can drink it while I feed my baby or tidy up the house a bit, so I can multi-task more. My current go to mix: frozen berries, milk or water to thin, banana, greek yogurt or an instant breakfast packet, spinach, baby cucumber. Yum!

4) Treat days. One of my resolutions this year was to only eat treats on two days a week. I’m not going to lie. This is not particularly easy sometimes. But I REALLY enjoy my treats on days I’m allowed them. And I find I’m eating a little less random stuff. When it is a treat day, I know EXACTLY what I want to eat. I’m not just scavenging random candy or fruit snacks I don’t even like from the cupboard.

5) Healthy snacks. To get through my non-treat days, I do allow myself to snack. Yogurt, popcorn, and trail mix (nuts, dried berries, and yogurt chips) are my go-to’s that help me satisfy my cravings without going crazy.

6) Pressure cooker. I am not cool and have an Instant Pot. I’d love one, but my stove-top pressure cooker works well enough I can’t justify that big of a purchase. But it makes food SO fast, which is helpful as our evenings seem to be busy lately. Rice, beans, soup, and chicken are some of my favs right now. I’ll be sharing recipes soon.

What’s saving your life right now, nutrition or otherwise? Share in the comments!

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Beans and Cornbread

Quick apologies for my absence. I recently moved. Just a few miles, but into a house. A grown-up house. It is amazing and stressful and overwhelming and fun. Not only did that take a bunch of time, but I was cooking out of a microwave and electric skillet for several days. Sadly, this photo was an improvement on the unpacking of my kitchen at one point. But now I’m all unpacked and ready to go!

IMG_3876

Last week, I had a guest post on The Kitchen Professor on Cornbread in a Cast-Iron Skillet. It is one of my favorite uses for cast iron skillets. Check it out!

And, if you are looking for something to go with that cornbread, I have a recipe featuring another specialized pot quickly becoming one of my favorites. The pressure cooker. Several food blogs I follow have posted about pressure cookers in recent months. Last summer, as I was packing my kitchen, my friend commented on how nice my pressure cooker was. I told her it was because I had never tried it. Now that I’m all unpacked, I’ve been testing it out. It’s pretty great. Brown rice only takes 20 minutes to cook! With the recent demise of my rice cooker, this has been a life saver.

But my real favorite is beans. While the beans in my crockpot are great and easy, pressure cooker beans are so quick. I have generally soaked mine, but you don’t need to do so. Beans are a nutritious, filling, and affordable meal. Beans, cornbread, and a side of greens. Very Southern and very delicious! Enjoy!

Pressure Cooker Beans

This isn’t an exact recipe. Just some ideas and resources I have found helpful.

1 pound of dry beans
Aromatics: large chunks of onion or dried minced onion, celery, garlic cloves or powder, bay leaf
Salt: either up to 1 teaspoon salt or you could add a few slices of bacon (yum)
6-8 cups water

1. Optional: soak beans in 6-8 cups of water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain water.

2. Combine beans, aromatics, salt, and water in pressure cooker. Make sure you don’t fill your pressure cooker more than about ½ full.

3. Cook according to your cooker’s guidelines. Here is useful information about cooking times and adjusting for altitude, etc.

4. VERY IMPORTANT!! Let the pressure release naturally, which will take 10-15 minutes. You can put the cooker under cool water to fast release the pressure. However, you will have weird beans. The beans in my picture were cooled that way. Some were slightly underdone. Lots of cracked beans. Have patience and let it release naturally. Totally worth the extra time.

What do you like to cook in a pressure cooker? What do you wish you knew how to cook in a pressure cooker? Let me know in the comments and I’ll experiment for you!

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