Electric Pressure Cooker Easy Meals

Okay. I admit it. I don’t have the time and/or energy to make recipes “from scratch” every night of the week. In my ideal world, when preparing dinner, I would never rely on bottled sauces or dressings, never use seasoning packets, or use canned soups. But in my real world, with special needs kids, errands, chores, etc., sometimes I just need a hot quick entree to serve with rice and a veggie.

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Happy Thanksgiving from My House to Yours

I am sitting here with my younger son watching the Macy’s Day Parade, sipping my coffee, my rolls are rising in the oven with just the light on, and I am feeling thankful for all this year has brought me.  I have a wonderful family ( both immediate and extended across the country), the best dog in the world, wonderful doctors at the Kellogg Eye Center, and the joy cooking brings me.

Thanksgiving cooking is a weeklong cooking event for me.  So, the pies (pecan and pumpkin) are already done, so is the cranberry sauce and cranberry salad.  The mashed potatoes were made in the Instant Pot yesterday, and I will reheat them today.  I also used the Instant Pot yesterday to make the mashed sweet potatoes I will use in my casserole that I’ll assemble in a few hours – I even made the streusel topping for it last night.  I’ll also make my light from scratch Corn Casserole in the Instant Pot today – again, I mixed together the dry ingredients last night and put them in a container to use today.

As you can see, I’m all about making the actual cooking I do on Thanksgiving itself easier so that I can enjoy the holiday and the football!

My tip for the day is to head over to Pressure Cook Recipes.com for their Cranberry Sauce in a pressure cooker recipe.  It was literally 15 minutes from when I took my bag of cranberries and orange from the refrigerator until when I put my container of finished cranberry sauce back in.  This one is definitely a keeper, especially if you are on Weight Watchers, because it uses half the sugar and I substituted Splenda, making the orange juice the only thing with points in the recipe.

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and a table full of good food!

Balsamic Cranberry Chicken Thighs – 6 Smart Points

I was in Ann Arbor, Michigan (what a beautiful town) for a few days for a visit to my eye doctor, and got home last night. I had a Weight Watchers meeting this morning (a visit to Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor set me back) and then ran a variety of errands.  By the time my youngest son got off the bus, I realized I had no idea what I was making for dinner, and it was too late to drive to the store to pick up anything.

I dove through our freezer and pulled out some chicken thighs. I then started combing my cookbooks on Kindle but couldn’t find an appealing recipe for which I had all the ingredients.  So, it was time to come up with something on my own based on what I did have. It is quite a simple recipe, yet cooking the thighs in the sauce in a pressure cooker infuses the flavor throughout the meat, leaving it moist and seasoned throughout.

I served it with Jasmine rice – 3 SP for 1/2 cup cooked rice – and Birds Eye Steamfresh Brussel Sprouts with sea salt and cracked pepper – 2 SP for 3/4 cup.  So, the whole meal was balanced, filling, delicious, and only 11 Smart Points.

i hope that you and your family like it as much as mine did.

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Balsamic Cranberry Chicken Thighs – 6 Smart Points

An easy to make fall dinner that should please even picky eaters.

5 minPrep Time

35 minCook Time

40 minTotal Time

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Recipe Image

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken thighs, boneless and skinless (about 8)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce, whole berry (canned)
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Spray the pot liner with cooking spray. Set it on Saute More.
  2. While the pot is heating, season the thighs with salt and pepper. Working in two batches, brown the tops of the thighs - approximately 4-5 minutes each batch. Remove to a platter.
  3. Put the chopped onion in the pot and saute until it starts to carmelize. If there is stuck on stuff from browning the chicken, add the 1/4 cup of water and work with a spatula to scrape up the drippings and let the onions absorb the flavoring.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, and the cranberry sauce, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, garlic powder and rosemary and mix well.
  5. Arrange the browned thighs in the pot on top of the onions. Pour the sauce mixture on top of thighs trying to cover all.
  6. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Use quick pressure release.
  7. Remove the chicken thighs to a platter. To thicken the sauce you can either saute while stirring until it reduces by half, or you can mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in 2 tablespoons of water and add the slurry to the sauce. Saute until it thickens (2-3 minutes).
  8. Each thigh with 1/2 cup of gravy is one serving.
  9. Serve with rice or noodles.
Cuisine: Low Calorie, Low Fat, Pressure Cooker | Recipe Type: Poultry
7.6.4
12
http://www.pressurecookinglight.com/2016/11/17/balsamic-cranberry-chicken-thighs-6-smart-points/

Creamy Celery & Potato Soup – 3 Smart Points

Good afternoon!  It has been a busy week here – my niece and nephew from Israel came to visit this week.  We had a few days of sight-seeing in downtown DC, going to an American movie theater (complete with recliners), and going out to eat in the ever-shrinking number of Kosher restaurants in the Metro DC area. They are on their way back to Israel after a wonderful but too-short visit, and it is time to focus on this week’s menu. 

How many of you have seen a celery root (also known as celeriac), let alone cooked one?  Not many, I am guessing.  I discovered this amazing root vegetable a year ago, when I decided to try this soup, and fell madly in love with this ugly knotty root.

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This root can be hard to find, depending on your local stores.  Sometimes my standard local grocery stores carry it (Giant, Wegmans, etc) in the section with other root vegetables- beets, turnips, fennel, etc.  At other times it is nowhere to be found on their shelves.  But my local Asian supermarkets (including H Mart), always have it and substantially cheaper than at the other stores.

The taste of this root, when cooked, is like celery on steroids.  You will never be able to eat plain cream of celery soup again. This particular soup, with both celery and celeriac, is so flavorful and filling, that it is hard to believe that it is low-calorie too.

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Curry Pumpkin Pressure Cooker Soup – 4 Smart Points

Fall is finally here in the northern part of the Mid-Atlantic Coast. And for me, fall means pumpkins 🎃. And pumpkins mean pumpkin bread, pumpkin pies, and pumpkin soup.

Now, one can always bake pumpkin goodies using canned pumpkin, but I look forward buying my pie pumpkins at the grocery store or a roadside stand in WV, and roasting my pumpkin and pureeing it myself.

To roast your own pumpkin, buy pie pumpkins (the small ones; sometimes called sugar pumpkins), remove the stem if it is still attached, and cut in half.  You will need 2-3 pumpkins depending on the size you have. You cannot use jack o’lantern pumpkins because they have a high water content and little taste – i.e., they’re not good eating.  Next, scoop the seeds out of the halves.  You can roast those later like regular pumpkin seeds.

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Creamy Mashed Cauliflower & Potato – 2 Smart Points

Raise your hand if you love potatoes.  I do! 

One of my biggest challenges on Weight Watchers has been to cut way down on starches and carbohydrates.  I’m one of those people who will always take savory starches over sweets. Offer me a bowl of ice cream OR French fries and I will take the fries every time.

So, I decided to try Mashed Cauliflower.  There actually are people out there who claim that they taste just. like. mashed. potatoes.  Umm, no, they don’t. They taste like mashed cauliflower, which is good, but they are thinner and less starchy in consistency.

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