Instant Pot Recipes

Never Stop Improving: “Chorizo” Beans

“Chorizo” Beans

My approach to a healthy lifestyle is to never stop improving. I developed this recipe while making my Vegetable Paella. We had dinner at a Peruvian restaurant in the Poconos over the weekend. Ohhhhh, they had Paella Mariscada on the menu. It stirred up memories that I couldn’t get out of my head. I used to order paella every time I went to a Spanish restaurant. Paella is such a special and impressive dish that I came up with my own version some time ago. My original recipe included rice, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, red peppers and peas. What’s missing is the flavor of chorizo, a spicy Spanish-style sausage made with pork. My plan today was just to add some type of large bean to the paella. Luckily I had a bag of large lima beans on hand. I thought I would cook the beans with some garlic, but then my imagination ran wild. Could I infuse the beans with the flavor of chorizo? I looked up a recipe for real chorizo to see what other seasonings go into it. Oregano, thyme, allspice and cloves. I added crushed red pepper, black pepper, brown sugar and vinegar to the mix. After quick soaking the beans, I placed them in a pressure cooker with all the seasonings. They were done in five minutes. I boosted the chorizo flavor by reducing the excess liquid. Oh, boy! These came out tastier than I expected. These “Chorizo” Beans are tasty enough to eat right out of the pot but they were destined to join the party going on in my paella pan. I added the beans at the point in the recipe when the mushrooms, peppers, artichokes and peas are arranged on top of the rice. Do they taste like chorizo? It’s hard for me to say since I used to eat chorizo only when I ordered paella and that was over five years ago. What I can say is that they are deliciously different than any other bean dish I’ve had. If you’re not up for making paella you can try smashing them into a crusty Italian roll, include them in a burrito or serve with rice. Try these “Chorizo” Beans on their own or add them to my improved Vegetable Paella and make it a Vegi-curious day.

Paella with “Chorizo” Beans

“Chorizo” Beans

The recipe is intended to be included in the paella, you might want to double or triple the ingredients if you want to enjoy the “Chorizo” Beans on their own.

1 cup dried large lima beans, soaked

6 oz. water
4 garlic cloves, whole
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Pinch of ground cloves

Drain beans. Add the beans and remaining ingredients to pressure cooker. Cook on high for 5 minutes and quick release pressure. When safe, remove lid. If you have an Instant Pot, you can set it to “saute” and reduce any excess liquid. If using a stove-top pressure cooker reduce the heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid has cooked down. You can make these without a pressure cooker, just allow additional time for the beans to cook. Enjoy as is or add to Vegetable Paella.

 

 

18 Oct 2017

Something About Cauliflower: Cauliflower & Farro

Cauliflower & Farro

There’s something about cauliflower that makes me buy it even though it’s one of my least favorite vegetables. Maybe it’s the fond and tasty memories of my grandmother’s cauliflower dishes. She would make cauliflower fritters that were dipped in an egg-based batter, then fried until they were crisp and brown. The other, somewhat healthier way she made cauliflower was with oil, garlic and pasta. Both were delicious and comforting, but these recipes don’t cut it if you’re following a low-fat, plant-based diet. I wanted to stir up those memories of my grandmother’s cauliflower with all of the flavor and none of the guilt. For this recipe I used an instant pot to cook the cauliflower. The first batch came out mushy, so I cut the cauliflower into larger florets and adjusted the cooking time and temperature. You can make adjustments based on your experience using a pressure cooker. I’m also providing instructions for making the cauliflower on the stove top if you prefer that cooking method. The garlicky flavor and creamy texture of the cauliflower is a nice contrast to the nutty bite of the farro. There’s something about this cauliflower that’s comforting, familiar, current . . . and tasty. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Cauliflower and Farro

6 garlic cloves, chopped
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
¼ cup water

1 cup farro, cooked according to package directions

Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add a few tablespoons of water and the garlic. (You can use a light coating of olive oil if desired.) Cook until the garlic begins to brown. Add the fennel, red pepper, cauliflower and more water. Cover the pot and lower the heat to medium. Cook until the cauliflower is tender, adding more water if necessary. The idea is to use just enough water to prevent sticking yet having a little garlicky liquid to flavor the farro. Place the cooked farro and cauliflower into a large bowl. Mix well, breaking the florets into smaller pieces if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions for Instant Pot:

Set the instant pot to saute. Add garlic and a little bit of water or olive oil and cook until browned. Add fennel seeds and red pepper and cook another 30 seconds. Add water. Change the setting to pressure cook on low. Cover and cook for 4 minutes. Quick release pressure and when safe, remove cover. Place the cooked farro and cauliflower into a large bowl. Mix well, breaking the florets into smaller pieces if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

23 Aug 2017

Ole! Chipotle Sweet Potatoes & Taco Kale

Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

I like to get the most out of my food, so I try to come up with recipes that can be used in a variety of ways. I’ve been thinking about some type of empanada to make for Cinco de Mayo. I wanted it to be easy and definitely not fried. The “easy” parts were baking sweet potatoes, sauteeing kale and defrosting black beans. What’s nice about these recipes is that they can be enjoyed in so many ways. We had the sweet potatoes, kale and black beans plated for dinner one night and I used the left overs to make the empanadas a few days later. The empanadas can be filled a day before you plan to bake them, so this makes them perfect when planning a party. You could also use them to fill burritos or enchiladas. I’m hungry, how about you? Let’s enjoy our dinner tonight and come back for some empanadas later in the week. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

Note: As long as I’m putting on the oven, I usually make a large quantity of sweet potatoes to have for other meals during the week.

About four large sweet potatoes
1 chipotle in adobo sauce (from a can)

Preheat oven to 350F. Place a few potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until very soft and the juices start to ooze out of the potatoes. Remove from oven and cool enough to handle. Remove the skins, measure out two cups and place in a small bowl. Add one canned chipotle pepper and mash to combine.

Serve as a side dish or as a component in burritos or empanadas.

Kale with Taco Seasoning

1 lb. kale, de-ribbed and chopped
6 large garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons taco seasoning

Set an instant pot to saute setting. Add garlic and cook until lightly browned. Add ¼ cup of water and taco seasoning, then place kale on top. Set instant pot to cook on high pressure for 3 minutes. Quick release and remove cover when safe. To cook on stove top, saute garlic in a large non-stick skillet, add water and kale. Cover and cook until wilted, then remove cover to allow liquid to evaporate.

30 Apr 2017

Multitasking: Cannelini Beans & Sun-dried Tomatoes in an Instant Pot

White Beans & Sun-dried Tomatoes

Multitasking. The term goes back to 1965 and refers to the ability of a computer to apparently process several tasks, or computer jobs, concurrently. The term has since been expanded to “human multitasking”  as an apparent human ability to perform more than one task, or activity, over a short period of time. There are therapeutic benefits of being “in the moment” and concentrating on one task, but sometimes life just does not allow for that. I owe today’s recipe to my need and ability to multitask. The morning started out as usual. Take out and feed Caitie; breakfast with Bruce and he’s off to work; a little therapeutic internet surfing for me; and meal planning. When I looked at the time, it was after 8:00, which is the time to get Mom out of bed. I had some cannelini beans soaking on the counter to be used to make pasta fagioli. I typically make this dish on the stove, but decided to throw it together in my Instant Pot. I sauteed a lot of garlic then added sun-dried tomatoes, crushed red pepper, the beans, water and some seasonings, set the timer for 8 minutes and let the pressure release naturally. In that time, I was able to get Mom ready, put in a load of laundry and start re-organizing the linen closet. The aroma that was drifting up to the second floor (and lingers throughout the day) was so intoxicating that I couldn’t wait to come downstairs to taste the beans. It was only 9:30 in the morning and I was enjoying some toasted sour dough bread with a spoonful of creamy, garlicky beans. What a way to start the day! Whether you’re a single  professional, working mom or dad, or a busy home economist, this is a great way to get things done and still enjoy a healthy, delicious meal. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Fagioli for Instant Pot

1 lb. cannellini or other white beans, soaked overnight and drained

1 teaspoon olive oil (optional)
¼ cup chopped garlic (about 6 extra large cloves)
Crushed red pepper, to taste
½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2-3/4 to 3 cups water
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Cooked pasta or farro for serving

Set electric pressure cooker to saute setting. Heat olive oil and garlic and cook until starting to turn color. Add red pepper and sun-dried tomatoes and stir. Add about 2 tablespoons of water and cook about 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients. Pressure cook for about 8 minutes and let pressure come down naturally. Remove cover when safe. If there is too much liquid, set to saute and reduce to desired thickness. If not enough liquid, add additional water. Stir in parsley before serving. Serve with cooked pasta or farro.

11 Jan 2017

Smokin’ Good: Frank n’ Burgers

Frank n’ Burger

I don’t remember exactly what I was doing a few weeks ago when I had what I call a “sensory flashback”. It was most likely brought on by something I had cooking on the stove, but there was something in the air that reminded me of the sweet and tangy onion sauce served up by the hot dog vendors of New York. Some folks like sauerkraut and mustard on their hot dogs and others like chili dogs. Maybe it’s a Brooklyn thing, but there’s nothing sweeter than a hot dog with red onion sauce. The sauce is so easy to make with ketchup or tomato sauce, onions and spices. The hard part is the hot dog. I’m sure there are countless vegan versions of hot dogs made with tofu and seitan. The problem for us is that there is too much sodium and fat in these products. A problem for others may be a soy or gluten allergy. So, how about those carrot dogs simmered in soy sauce that were popping up every day this past summer? They might make a fun treat, but a meal it does not make. And, again, it’s too much sodium for us. I wanted to come up with something substantial that would fit inside a bun and was reminiscent of that smokey hot dog flavor. I started with pinto beans as they have a pink-ish hue to them. I pressure cooked them with onions, garlic and liquid smoke to infuse the beans with flavor. I used sweet potatoes as a binding ingredient and for their color and smooth texture; oatmeal to absorb excess liquid; sauerkraut for a little zing; and some smoked paprika and additional liquid smoke to deepen the smokiness. All I can say is that the aroma coming off the griddle smelled just like hot dogs cooking on the grill on a summer afternoon. We enjoyed them with mustard and onion sauce on toasted burger buns. I was stuffed before I was done with mine. Smoky, sweet, tangy. All that and healthy, too. These Frank n’ burgers just might go down as my all-time favorite bean burger . . . and hot dog. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Frank n’ Burgers

Makes 8 to 10 burgers.

8 oz. dried pinto beans, soaked overnight
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons liquid smoke

1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup cooked sweet potato
1 cup sauerkraut, drained
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
Black pepper, to taste

Hot dog onions (recipe follows)

Drain and rinse beans. Place in pressure cooker with onion, garlic and liquid smoke. Pressure cook on high according to manufacturer’s instructions (usually 4 to 6 minutes). When safe, release pressure and drain the beans.

Place oats in bowl of food process and process until coarsely ground. Add remaining ingredients and the cooked beans. Pulse until combined. Taste the mixture before adding the additional liquid smoke. The mixture can be chunky.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide mixture evenly and form into patties. One-third cup is the perfect size for standard burger buns. One-half cup measure will make a thicker burger suitable for a larger Kaiser roll. Refrigerate until firm. Heat an electric griddle on high and cook burgers until browned on both sides, about 15 minutes total. You can also bake in a 375F oven, turning once halfway through cooking (about 20 minutes total).

Serve on toasted buns and topped with mustard and hot dog onions.

You can cook the burgers, let them cool and wrap individually to place in the freezer. Simply defrost/re-heat in the microwave or on an outdoor grill.

Onion Sauce

2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Garlic powder and black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook until onions are soft and sauce has thickened and becomes flavorful.

03 Jan 2017

Build a Better Taco Step 1: Yogurt Sour “Cream”

Sour "Cream"

Sour “Cream”

When I build a taco, it’s done from the bottom up: taco shell, taco filling, taco sauce, sour “cream”, tomatoes and lettuce. To get ready for Tacos I start from the top down to prep some of the toppings. I have two non-dairy alternatives for sour “cream”. The simplest version is a super thick soy or almond milk yogurt. A slightly less-simple version (yet still easy) is to mix the yogurt with an equal amount of cashew cream and some lemon juice. Since I haven’t had much luck finding a decent unsweetened non-dairy yogurt where I live, I make my own in an Instant Pot. At first my results were “hit-or-miss”, but I have the technique down to be confident enough to share it with you. The basic technique is to heat milk to180F to kill any bad bacteria, then cool it to 110F. This is very important since temperatures over 110F will kill the yogurt cultures. When the yogurt has achieved the thickness and sour taste you like you can refrigerate it as is. If you wish to use it as sour “cream”, you will need to strain it through butter muslin to get rid of the whey. It may seem like a daunting task to make your own yogurt, but once you’ve done it a few times it just becomes routine. Of course, you can always opt to purchase commercially-made non-dairy sour “cream”. In either case, stay tuned. I will be sharing my recipes for no-salt added Taco Seasoning, Taco Sauce and Mushroom Tacos. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Here’s a list of things you need to make the yogurt:

  • An Instant Pot with the yogurt function. If you don’t already own an Instant Pot, it’s worth looking into. It’s an electric pressure cooker and slow cooker all in one. If you’re thinking about getting one, I suggest you go all out and get the one with the yogurt function as it will maintain the temperature of the milk consistently at 110F.
  • Soy milk or Almond Milk. I found out the hard way that the key to making yogurt is that the milk has to be made with filtered water and no additives. If you use tap water, the chlorine will kill all that good bacteria in the yogurt culture and it will not thicken and get that sour taste. Sometimes I make my own almond milk with filtered water. Other times I buy Westsoy Organic Plain Soy milk. I will give instructions on making your own almond milk below.
  • Vegan Yogurt Culture. I’ve had success using Belle & Bella Yogurt starter, so I won’t recommend any other brand.
  • Nut milk bag, usually made from butter muslin, to strain the almond milk.

To Make Homemade Almond Milk

Measure 1 quart of filtered or bottled water into blender container. Add 7-1/2 oz. of raw, blanched almonds. Process on high until the almonds are very fine. Depending on your blender it might take two to three minutes.  Hold a nut milk bag over a large container. Pour milk into the bag and squeeze out the liquid. You should have one quart of milk.

To Make Homemade Almond or Soy Milk Yogurt

You can use home made almond or soy milk that’s been made with filtered or bottled water. You can also use 1 quart of Westsoy Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk.

  • 1 quart soy or almond milk
  • 1 packet of Belle & Bella Yogurt Starter
  1. Pour one quart of milk into a two-quart glass Pyrex measuring cup. Heat in the microwave until the temperature of the milk reaches 180F. Pour into the Instant Pot insert and let the milk cool to 110F.
  2. Add yogurt starter (this is called “pitching”) and whisk just enough to dissolve. Cover the Instant Pot, leaving the vent to “open”. Press the yogurt button and adjust the timer to 12 hours. You can check the yogurt after 8 hours to see if it’s thick and tangy. The longer you leave it, the thicker and tangier it will get.
  3. If there is a lot of liquid (whey), you can strain it by lining a colander with a piece of butter muslin or cheese cloth and allowing the yogurt to drain. Spoon into covered containers and refrigerate. This yogurt lasts for about one week.

There is conflicting information about using your home made yogurt as the starter for subsequent batches. Some say that you must use a fresh packet of culture, meaning that you have to keep buying the commercial starter. I’ve had consistent success using 2 tablespoons of my existing batch of yogurt per quart of milk.

To Make Non-Dairy Yogurt and Cashew Sour “Cream”

Mix equal amounts of thick cashew cream and non-dairy yogurt.

Drained Yogurt & Whey

Drained Yogurt & Whey

 

 

 

31 Oct 2016

A Casserole for Every Season: Creamy Green Beans & Mushrooms

Green Beans & Mushrooms

Green Beans & Mushrooms

If you live in the US, you might be familiar with the green bean casserole that’s usually served around the winter holidays. It’s saved for special occasions because this decadent side dish made with cream of mushroom soup and fried onions is not something to be consumed on a regular basis. So why am I breaking with tradition and making it during the summer? Well, I happen to have mushrooms and a bag of green beans on hand. Besides, I don’t think the Pilgrims served it at their Thanksgiving banquet because green beans were not in season that late into the harvest. I decided to use my Instant Pot for this recipe. I started out making a mushroom gravy by sauteing onions and mushrooms in the Instant Pot, then added flour and a hearty vegetable stock. (I like the stock recipe from The Millenium Cookbook.) After adding the beans and pressure cooking for a few minutes, I stirred in a few dollops of cashew cream for another level of creaminess. A few shakes of truffle salt intensified the mushroom flavor. (Truffle salt may seem a bit extravagant, but a little goes a long way and is worth the indulgence.) I served the beans with corn on the cob and a baked potato, but they could be enjoyed as a complete meal or as a side to your favorite lentil loaf or seitan roast. These beans are healthy enough to be enjoyed any day of the year, yet decadent enough to serve as part of a holiday meal. Get to your local farm stand and pick up a bag of fresh green beans while they’re in season. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Green Bean & Mushrooms for Instant Pot

2 cups hearty vegetable broth
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
8 oz. white button mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons flour
1 lb. green beans, stems removed
Salt and pepper to taste (truffle salt adds a deeper mushroom flavor)

Set instant pot to saute setting. Add 2 tablespoons of broth and onions and cook until onions begin to soften and brown. Add mushrooms and continue cooking until lightly browned, adding more broth as needed to prevent sticking. Add flour and stir to coat. Add remaining broth and continue cooking until thickened (should be the consistency of a thick gravy). Add green beans and ¼ cup of water and stir. Set instant pot to manual setting and pressure cook on high for 2 to 3 minutes, then quick release pressure. If the bottom of the insert has browned, simply scrape up with rubber scraper to incorporate with the beans and sauce.

 

26 Jul 2016

The Heat is On: Red Beans in an Instant Pot

Red Beans & Rice

Red Beans & Rice

One of our go-to bean dishes is Red Beans & Rice. I posted about it a long time ago and you can find the original, slow-simmered recipe here. Well, the spring rains have stopped, the heat is on and we have a lot of gardens to tend to. I can’t afford to be tethered to the stove with so much going on outside. Besides, who wants to stay inside when the sun is shining? I wanted to make a few bean stews to keep in the freezer and decided to try my hand at adapting them for the Instant Pot. The beauty of an Instant Pot (or any electric pressure cooker) is that you can set it and forget it. So while Bruce was starting to weed outside, I made short work of my Red Beans recipe. The original recipe called for measured amounts of onions, peppers and celery. I didn’t feel like taking the extra time and clean-up for measuring so I opted for using whole vegetable amounts instead. I sauteed the vegetables right in the instant pot with no oil; then added the beans, water and seasonings; pressed a few buttons and walked away. For one pound of dry beans, I used 4 cups of water. The beans came out too watery for my liking so I ended up reducing the liquid by cooking for additional time on the saute setting. I would use about 2-1/2 cups of water the next time I make it. (Based on your experience with pressure cooking and your personal preference, you can adjust the amount of liquid accordingly.) Another “cool” tip is to make your rice in an electric rice cooker. Again, you can set it, forget and walk away with perfectly-cooked rice in an appliance that doesn’t heat up the kitchen. When the heat is on outside you can get out of the kitchen quicker with Red Beans & Rice made in an Instant Pot. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Red Beans and Rice

• 1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and sorted over
• 1 large onion
• 2 celery stalks, chopped
• 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• Pinch cayenne
• 3 bay leaves
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
• 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
• 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
• 2 to 4 cups of Better Than Boullion No Chicken stock or water
• Liquid smoke to taste

• 4 cups cooked rice

Place the beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and set aside.
Set an Instant Pot to sauté , add the onions, celery and bell peppers and cook until lightly browned. Season with the salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the bay leaves, parsley, thyme, beans, liquid smoke and stock or water. Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 8 to 10 minutes, then let pressure come down naturally. When safe, remove lid and with the back of a heavy spoon, mash about 1/4 of the beans against the side of the pot. Remove the bay leaves.
Serve over rice.

07 Jul 2016

Italian Cult Food: Broccoli Rabe & Chickpeas in an Instant Pot

Broccoli Rabe & Chickpeas

Broccoli Rabe & Chickpeas

Broccoli rabe, again! For the past three weeks I’ve been getting a bouquet of broccoli rabe in my CSA share. That’s just fine with me since  ’tis the season for broccoli rabe and . . . Bruce is coming home from San Francisco today with a bag of sourdough bread. Does it get any better? Anyway, broccoli rabe is what I call an “Italian cult” food as we take great joy in preparing, eating and talking about broccoli rabe. It tends to have a bitter taste and that’s probably why it’s usually made with a lot of garlic that’s browned in olive oil. That aroma is just intoxicating. So I decided to make some broccoli rabe in my Instant Pot. In my somewhat limited experience with pressure cooking food, I’ve found that the process really can pound flavor into foods and you can get by with just a little oil, if any. This method is perfect for making broccoli rabe and chickpeas since they can stand up to the  pressure. The recipe is fast. Simply brown the garlic right in the pot, add red pepper, broccoli rabe, chickpeas and a little water. It only takes 3 to 4 minutes to cook and with a quick release you go from prep to plate in about 15 minutes. As I was enjoying my lunch it dawned on me that some fennel seeds would have been a nice addition. Boy, I hope this isn’t the last broccoli rabe of the season. Not only does this make a nice plated entree, but it will make a delightful sandwich with some of that sourdough bread. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Broccoli Rabe and Chickpeas in an Instant Pot

Makes 2 to 3 servings

  • ½ teaspoon olive oil (optional)
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Crushed red pepper to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoons fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1 bunch of broccoli rabe
  • 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained
  • ¼ cup water or vegetable broth
  • Salt to taste

Cut off about 1” of the broccoli rabe stems and discard. Cut the remaining broccoli rabe in half. Set an instant pot to saute setting. (If using a stove-top pressure cooker, heat on medium high.) Add olive oil and garlic and saute until brown. Alternately you can dry saute the garlic, adding water if necessary to prevent sticking. Add crushed red pepper and fennel seeds and cook about 30 seconds longer. Add broccoli rabe, ¼ cup of water or broth and chickpeas to pot. Secure lid and pressure cook on high 3 to 4 minutes, then quick release pressure. If there is excess water in bottom of pot, set to saute and cook until the liquid evaporates.

06 May 2016

March Muffin Madness: Sweet Potato-Apple Muffins with Candied Pecans

Sweet Potato-Apple Muffins

Sweet Potato-Apple Muffins

Only three  days left in March and I have a few more Mad Muffin recipes waiting to get into the game. I came up with this recipe after overcooking some sweet potatoes and apples in my Instant Pot. (Remember, there are no mistakes in the kitchen; only new recipes to be discovered.) The taste was good, but the texture was too mushy. I use pumpkin puree in a lot of my baked goods and thought this might put an interesting spin on muffins. Since this sweet potato recipe also contains onion, my goal was to create a sweet and savory muffin that could be enjoyed at breakfast, snack time, brunch or even dinner. Instead of folding chopped pecans into the batter, I candied them with maple syrup in a non-stick skillet and sprinkled them on top of the muffins. I used the sweet potato-apple recipe from from Vegan Under Pressure cookbook, but you can simply boil or pressure cook a large sweet potato and a small apple (and some onion if you like) until mushy. Since I had a large portion, I portioned the puree into one-cup containers and placed them in the freezer for future use. You can play around with the spices, even add a little thyme or marjoram for a more savory touch. These muffins are good on their own and even nicer with a smear of cashew cream cheese. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Sweet Potato-Apple Muffins

1 cup whole wheat all purpose or pastry flour
½ cup oat flour
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. cloves
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup sweet potato-apple puree*
½ cup + 2 tablespoons soy or almond milk
¼ cup almond butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract (or 2 tsp. bourbon)
½ cup chopped pecans (see notes for praline topping)
Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 muffin cups with liners. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.

In a separate, smaller bowl, stir together sweet potato puree, milk, almond butter and vanilla.
Add wet ingredients to dry and stir just until blended.

Divide batter among muffin cups, then place a spoonful of filling onto top of batter. Bake 16-18 minutes, or until tops spring up when touched lightly.

*Pressure cook sweet potatoes, apples and onions for about 3 minutes. Let cool, then puree in blender or food processor.

**Pecan Praline topping: Place pecans and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup in non-stick skillet. Heat over medium heat until maple syrup coats the pecans. Let cool, then remove to cutting board to chop. Sprinkle on top of muffins before baking.

29 Mar 2016

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