Acorn-Potato-Corn Chowder

It’s cold and miserable out. Below freezing and it’s been sleeting & snowing all day. I had previously decided I did not want to cook tonight and had informed the men folk that they needed to scrounge for dinner. Then I got a wild hair up my ass to make soup…again. This is what I did:

1 tbl extra virgin olive oil

pulp from one small acorn squash that has been pressure cooked and mashed

4 cups of low sodium chicken stock

2 cans of cream style corn

1 cup of 2% milk

1 – 4 oz package of applewood smoked bacon instant mashed potatoes

herb seasonings of your choice (I used some archer farms everyday seasoning)

1/2 of a large red onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/8 cup of brandy for deglazing

1-2 tbl butter

the merest drizzle of agave syrup

salt & pepper to taste

Turn the baby dragon (aka Instant Pot pressure cooker) to saute and add the olive oil. When it starts to get hot, add onion and stir well to coat with oil. Allow to saute for about 2 minutes then add the garlic. WHen things start to get a little color and the onion bits are beginning to stick, add the brandy to deglaze. Scrape in the squash pulp and mix well. Add stock, corn and seasonings.

Close the lid, shift the vent nozzle closed and set the baby dragon on Manual and the time for 5 minutes. When you hear the the tell-tale beep, shut off the pot and vent. Once Dragolet has vented his spleen, open and stir well. Add the cup of milk, potatoes, butter and agave and whisk until blended, adding salt & pepper at your discretion.

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I did not add any additional salt to this as I figured the corn, stock and potaotes had more than enough, however, I did add a shake of white pepper.

Sorry for the lack of photos, but I wasn’t sure I was going to blog this until I was done and it turned out so very nice.



Chicken Soyrizo Kalesplosion

I had high hopes of making this today, but the thought of deboning and skinning the two pounds of chicken thighs I had on hand seemed too daunting to me. So here is my version of this soup.

The Stock

1 tbl extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup of dry white wine

2 lbs of chicken thighs, (skin and bones attached)

2 medium carrots, unpeeled and cut in rough chunks

2 celery stalks, leaves included, cut in rough chunks

1 small red onion, cut in rough chunks

2 largish cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in quarters

3 small bay leaves

a decent sprinkling of dried thyme

5 cups of water

Add the olive oil to your pressure cooker pot and click the Saute button. The medium setting is the default and what you want. As soon as it is hot, add the chicken thighs and sear on both sides.

ChorizoCHick 001mmmmm. nothing says delicious like a plate of partially cooked chicken!

Remove chicken to a plate and deglaze pan with the white wine. Add celery, carrot, onion and garlic, mix well.

ChorizoCHick 002steamy veg!

Add chicken back in on the top of the veg, pour water over the whole mess and float the bay leaves and thyme on the top. put the lid on (making sure the vent nozzle is closed…I have to remind myself each time) and set your pressure cooker to manual and 20 minutes cooking time. The default pressure setting is high, so that is just perfect.

ChorizoCHick 003

ChorizoCHick 004

Go play some Star Wars the Old Republic.


When the pot beeps, turn it off, vent it and open the lid. Remove all the chicken with tongs and place on a waiting plate (NOT the same one as before because EWWWW…germs). Scoop out most of the veg with a slotted spoon then simply strain the stock into a separate bowl.

Allow the chicken to cool in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the ingredients for the soup.

The Soup

1 tbl extra virgin olive oil

1 package of Upton Chorizo Seitan (I have never used this. I usually buy Frieda’s Soyrizo, but I decided to try something different.)

1 bunch of Lacinato Kale, large ribs cut out and chopped

1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed

chicken thigh meat with all bones, skin and yoings removed, shredded

the stock you made previously

1 can of fire roasted, diced tomatoes

chili ancho powder

sea salt

Tajin Clasico Low Sodium seasoning

the juice of one lemon

drizzle of agave syrup

ChorizoCHick 005this recipe had a lot of prep time, but it was split into stages and so did not feel like a chore

Don’t even bother cleaning the pot after dumping the stock to strain, just make sure all the large chunks of veg matter and chicken funk are gone, add the olive oil and set to saute again. Once it is hot, add the seitan chorizo, season with some chili ancho and Tajin and mix well.

ChorizoCHick 006Looks deceptively like sausage, no?

Allow this to saute for about 5 minutes before adding the cubed potatoes, again stirring well to make sure the taters are coated with spices.

ChorizoCHick 007starting to resemble a complete dish…

Use the liquid off of the canned tomatoes to sort of deglaze the pan a bit before adding in the chicken and tomatoes, a little more chili ancho and some salt. Stir well and add the kale & stock. Lid the pot, make sure the nozzle is closed, set on manual for 7 minutes.

ChorizoCHick 009at this point I had remembered that I had neglected to snap more photos of each step of the process but decided fuck it…I have enough photos here

Once the baby dragon whines to be burped, allow it to vent, remove the lid add the lemon juice and a drizzle of agave syrup. Stir well and serve.

ChorizoCHick 010nom away at your leisure!

Roast Beast…Under Pressure

Yeah, I don’t know if I will ever get tired of my pressure cooker, so expect a lot more recipes on here, heh.

I have a bottom round beef roast, about 2 pounds that I needed to cook. I had plans to make this, but said plans went awry when my lazy nature took over. So this is my take on a quickly cooked pot roast to be used for later meals, sandwiches or what have you.

1 – 2 lb bottom round beef roast

2 celery ribs, diced

1 medium carrot, peeled & diced

1 medium shallot, minced

1 small bunch of green onions, sliced

1/4 cup water

1/8 cup wine of your choice (a good table red would be perfect, I only had Savignon Blanc and so used that)

1 can of fire roasted, diced tomatoes

meat rub of your choice (I used a coffee and garlic rub from Trader Joe’s)

2 tbl extra virgin olive oil

healthy drizzle of worcestershire sauce

4 bay leaves

Rinse and pet dry roast, rub on all sides with the meat rub of your choice. Turn Instant Pot on to saute (medium is fine), add olive oil and sear meat on all sides.

RoastBeast 001

(yeah, yeah…I snapped my pic before I finished searing)

Remove meat and add celery, carrot, green onion and shallot, stirring to mix well and make sure all bits are coated with oil.

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Saute until soft…about 5 min or so. Deglaze with 1/8 cup of wine, stirring well to get all the little caramelized bits up.

Add roast back on top of the veg mix, drizzle well with worcestershire sauce, dump can of tomatoes over the top, pour 1/4 cup water around the sides and nestle your 4 bays leaves in.

RoastBeast 004

(I apologize for the potato quality of this photo, I was standing on my tippy toes to try to get the whole shot and I was wavery.)

Hit the Manual button and add 10 minutes to the 30 that automatically shows up. The default setting for the Instant Pot is high pressure so you have no need to fiddle with that. Make sure your quick steam release is closed, and leave it. When the beeper goes off, shut off the pot, and open the quick release. Once the baby dragon has vented it’s spleen, open the pot and you have roast. Simple as.

Edit: When I opened the belly of the beast, I poked the roast and decided to give it another 12 minutes of cooking time. We shall see how it fares when I crack the dragon again.

Second Edit: The beef is done. I have removed it and the 4 bay leaves from the pot, added a can of beef broth, a 1/4 cup of water and a 12 oz box of Fiber Gourmet rotini pasta. Am cooking for another 3 min while I slice & cube the beef. Will add the beef and some frozen mixed veg back to the finished pasta, saute a bit and VOILA…Beef & Noodles.

Squashed Taco Mac

The theme this week seems to be Taco. Not that this is a problem in my house, EVER. I am completely enamored with my Instant Pot pressure cooker. SO much so that I spent last evening processing the proliferation of winter squash I had on hand. 1 acorn, 1 spaghetti, 1 butternut and one delicata were dealt with most soundly. I bagged the mashed remains and froze for future use. I did save back the smidge of delicata that I had garnered however, and decided to use it to make a riff on this.


1 1/2 c delicata or butternut squash puree

8 oz  box of Fiber Gourmet elbow macaroni

2-3 c water

1/2 tsp ancho chili powder

1/2 tsp Tajin low sodium seasoning

1/2 c 2% milk

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

2 oz shredded sharp cheddar

2 oz shredded taco blend cheese

3 kraft 2% american singles (yeah, it’s a weird cheese combo but the recipe called for 6 oz of cheese so I used what I had)

leftover taco meat (I had about 1-1/3 cups)

1 can of drained pinto beans

Add dried pasta to the Instant pot and add enough water to cover, about 2-3 cups.

Cook pasta on manual high 1 minute less than half of the cooking time. For instance, if box directions say boil for 10 minutes-set  for 4 minutes. After cooking, do a quick release (watch for a water fountain, the baby dragon likes to spit).

Open lid and scoop off most of the water, leaving maybe 1/2- 3/4 cup in pot with pasta.

Add the garlic powder, tajin, ancho chili powder and onion powder to the milk. Stir and then add the mixture to the pot. Add cheese and stir until mostly melted. Add the squash puree and stir.

Put the pot on sauté (the middle setting is fine) and stir mixture for 3-5 minutes until hot and mixture is smooth.

Add Taco meat and pinto beans, stir well and serve.


(As I am mostly vegetarian, or trying to be and can only eat beans sparingly, I took out my portion prior to this step and  added about 1/2 cup of sauteed mushrooms to mine. But the guys devoured the meat & beaned version)

Taco Caked

Yesterday I cooked some parsnips, onion and potatoes in my pressure cooker, mashed them and had some for lunch and dinner (dinner I had some pressure cooked zucchini in brown butter and wine on top). Since I still had a ton left over, today I mixed them with some low sodium taco seasoning, an egg, some panko crumbs and a little shredded sharp cheddar. Made patties and am now baking some and frying some in a little olive oil. Here’s hoping they turn out well.

I apologize for this not being an actual recipe and for the lack of my usual, sketchy quality photos.

Okay, maybe I am not sorry for the lack of shitty pictures, heh.

UPDATE! I did manage to take a photo of the baked ones, we shall not speak of the one I tried to saute. It was a fail.


I topped a couple of those with a dollop of refried beans and a drizzle of taco sauce and had a green salad on the side. Delicious. I plan on freezing the rest for easy meals later.