04 Jan Instant Pot Resources
When I first bought an Instant Pot, I was really overwhelmed. Finding good Instant Pot resources and recipes was a challenge. Most recipes I found were rubbish, using both too much fluids, cook times that were way too long, and cooking methods that were not disability-friendly.
Then I stumbled upon a YouTube channel and the corresponding website, and the heavens opened and the angels sang. The YouTube channel and website full of recipes was created by someone who has rheumatoid arthritis, making it very disability-friendly. This must-use website is Two Sleever by Urvashi Pitre.
Exactly one month after purchasing my first Instant Pot, I purchased a second one. I use my Instant Pots for 95 – 99 per cent of my cooking.
After some time tweeting about my adventures in Instant Pot-ting, friends asked me for help. So, I created a doc with Instant Pot resources that would allow them to get a jump start and learn all they needed to know. It also included budget information because most people with disabilities have to cook on a budget.
Now, I share these resources with everyone.
Instant Pot Resources for People
Instant Pot Resources for People
Must Watch Videos
You must watch everything on Two Sleever’s YouTube channel, as you’ll learn a lot about how the Instant Pot works as she does her 30-minute to 1-hour cooking videos.
But start with the following to get a crash course:
Understanding your Instant Pot: Learning about the different settings on your Instant Pot
Pot in Pot cooking for your Instant Pot
Making Rice in a Pressure Cooker
How To Adapt Recipes for Pressure Cookers in 6 Parts
Cooking with Spices Playlist
Why Did my Food Burn in the Instant Pot?
Lots of Lovely Lentils in your Pressure Cooker
Learn About the Maillard Reaction and Why You Don’t have to Pre-Brown Meat
Recipes to Get You Started
Her recipe index can be filtered based on Style and Cuisine. So, you’d want to check “Instant Pot” and then under cuisine, choose the food-type(s).
Also, her Instant Pot Indian Cookbook is a must-have. I have the physical cookbook because I hate devices in the kitchen. If a physical book isn’t a must-have, you can get all the recipes on her website.
And she released a second cookbook filled with ketogenic recipes. I’m not sure what makes a ketogenic diet special because when I look at her keto recipes on her website, it’s how I’ve always naturally eaten, otherwise I feel like crap after I eat (high good fat, low carb, good proteins). The recipe book contains a variety of different cuisines and savory foods. You can get all the recipes for free from her website if you want to test some before buying the book.
Any recipe that is a minimum of 10 minutes at high pressure is perfect for pot-in-pot cooking so you can cook your rice at the same time, if going with Basmati rice which I highly recommend.
Some more recipes (based on the types of foods I eat [Indian, Mediterranean, Asian], but other cuisine choices can be found at Two Sleevers):
You can substitute the wine for water or double the chicken stock. I’d recommend doubling to stock for flavour. I don’t do pork, so I skip the pancetta. This makes A LOT, and great for freezing for quick lunches (and even dinners).
I use about ½ – 1 tsp of regular dried basil because you can’t get fresh Thai basil leaves where I live. I’m currently growing Thai Basil, so I will use that once it’s ready for harvest.
Also, I just dump all ingredients after the heating the paste step, cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. Recipes that call for a two-step cooking process like this are ridiculous unless you care about the fact the bell peppers will liquify.
I use regular fresh ginger root because there is no galangal where I live. I also use a full can of full-fat coconut milk and reduce the chicken broth to 1.5 cups.
You can substitue the coconut oil for another type of oil, like olive oil or peanut oil or canola oil. I use yellow onions.
I use a full can of coconut milk because it’s roughly the same amount.
You can substitute the carrot, beans and broccoli for a couple cups of whatever frozen veg mix you like (you can even get that combo). If adding the veg frozen, increase high pressure cooking time to 12 minutes. The veg may liquify but you still get all the nutrients. I also use bottled lime juice (1 tbsp per freshly squeezed) because fresh limes are bloody expensive in Canada.
Also, I don’t do the sauté chicken because pre-browning meat is unnecessary. I just cook at high pressure for 10 minutes (12 minutes when using frozen veg).
I also use my own blend of spices instead of curry powder because I grew up eating authentic. This curry powder recipe is decent. It makes ¼ of curry powder, which this recipe calls for*.
I don’t do the tofu because too much soy causes my lupus to flare. I just use raw chicken (Step 4). I also don’t do the dumplings but instead do a side of peanut butter infused rice (add a tablespoon or more – whatever tickles your peanut fancy – to the rice when cooking).
This is a stove-top recipe. Just pour everything — except for the egg, cornstarch/water mix, green onions — in and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes. Then, do the steps post-cook: add egg if wanted, thicken, garnis). I also add the pepper during the cooking process.
As per the other recipe, I substitute the tofu for chicken. I also substitute the sesame seeds for sesame oil (same amount as previous hot and sour recipe) and add that during the initial ingredients dump.
Also, for both recipes, I use portabella mushrooms instead of shiitake because they are way cheaper.
I use basmati instead of jasmine.
*Misc. Tips and Budget Stuff Because I’m Budget-Conscious (for both Canadians and Americans)
It cost me about $300.00 CAD to feed myself a month (including replenishing pantry items every other month). This is going to go down a bit once my AeroGardens really get going, and my tomatoes and peppers are harvested.
Food prices are way more expensive in Canada (as Canadians know), especially fresh veg because it’s imported from the US. Costs are higher for Canadians not living close to the border. Sorry, I didn’t budget for the increased cost the farther north you are.
Meat is also very expensive here. 2 lbs (1 kg family pack) of boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs is $20 CAD! Meat eats up over 50% of my food costs.
I buy garlic, ginger root, bell and different chili peppers, mushrooms, and potatoes fresh. I buy spinach, peas, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, frozen.
I also buy lemon and lime juice in a bottle because it’s the same cost as 1 fresh lemon or lime. Bamboo and coconut milk, I buy canned. A 14 oz (398 mL) can of diced tomatoes is $2 CAD. Dried lentils are super cheap here, so I’m assuming it’s the same in the US.
You can substitute ginger root for ginger powder (1 tsp-ish). You can substitute fresh garlic for garlic powder (1 tsp-ish).
Based on preliminary research — though, it’s difficult to find prices per state) –these recipes would cost Americans about $150 – $200 USD per person a month. I’m hoping, anyway. Or hopefully even cheaper.
The biggest upfront costs will be filling your spice pantry if you want to do your own spice blends for different flavour profiles, instead of just using curry powder. I buy my spices from Amazon because they are about 50 per cent cheaper than in-store.
Spices can be expensive, so any recipe that calls for separate spices instead of curry powder, just add up the measurements of the individual spices and add that amount of curry powder. It won’t have all the different flavour profiles, but it will still be yummy.
GARAM MASALA: Urvashi says to make your own because most in-store is crap, which is true. I do make my own.
If you can’t make your own, when looking for Garam Masala, look for one that has all or most of the ingredients found in Urvashi’s recipe, or you may just have to make your own. If it’s red, it’s really wrong because it’s mostly paprika. https://twosleevers.com/punjabi-garam-masala-recipe/ or https://twosleevers.com/home-made-garam-masala-recipe/ (two different varieties but that gives you an idea of the types of ingredients you are looking for if buying it pre-made).
All recipes that say 4 servings make 3 Jules-sized servings. So, that’s three meals in one session. They keep in the fridge for 3 days or freeze them in serving portions (all are good for freezing). When freezing, I add the rice at the bottom and the sauce/chicken on top.