The original recipe I had for Shrimp Biryani called for the shrimp and the rice being cooked in the Instant Pot. You were supposed to use U-10 shrimp which are too pricy for our weeknight meal but apparently able to hold up and not get over cooked during the 3 minute pressurization. So we cooked our smaller shrimp in a frying pan and the rice in the Instant Pot. The rice has lots of different spices including turmeric, which is supposed to be healthy for you, onions, chiles, and tomatoes. John used part of the spices to saute with the shrimp while I put the rest of the spices in the Instant Pot and sauteed them along with onion, garlic, and a super chile before adding the soaked rice and closing up the Pot. After the 3 minutes are up you immediately release the pressure and then let the rice hang out for 5 minutes under a tea towel.
Shrimp biryani, basmati rice and snow peas with zucchini
On Sunday for our Breakfast for Dinner meal I tried to change things up a bit. Instead of my usual scrambled eggs and veggie breakfast patty, I tried an omelet that was supposed to look like a pancake with a bunch of things on it. My toppings were a chopped up veggie patty, onion, garlic, spinach, and tomatoes. It came out fine but I actually like my plain scramble better.
Instead of having the usual scallops, potatoes, and collard greens, I expanded the veg and cut out the starch. I know that as I approach my goal weight-wise it becomes more difficult to lose weight so I have to cut calories where I can (without giving up my beloved popcorn!) The vegetable turned out pretty well. I chopped up the collard stems and added them to the pan first with onions, the frozen corn, and chunkier pieces of carrots. After about 5 minutes I put in the collard leaf chiffonade and the thin slices of carrot. The dish was seasoned with some garlic powder, salt, a dash of sugar and vinegar, plus light butter. I made a bed of the colorful vegetable melange for the yummy seared scallops to sit on. Such a good meal!
Seared scallops with collard greens, corn, onions, and carrots
Rarely a week goes by that John and I do not make what we call our classic chicken dinner. John puts one chicken breast that we share in the immersion circulator and sets the temperature to 160F. I chop up a rutabaga or two and cook the pieces in the Instant Pot under pressure for 12 minutes. When everything is almost ready I give the broccoli a quick sauté.
Chicken breast, rutabagas, broccoli
I came across this recipe and decided to make it my own. The original recipe called for chorizo, russet potatoes, tomatoes, kale, and broth. My version has turkey sausage, kale stems and leaves, small red potatoes, cannellini beans, carrots, tomatoes, celery, onions, red bell pepper, and broth. Here it is bubbling on the stove.
Kale soup on the stove
Soup can be anything you want to make it. Chorizo is too fatty for me so I subbed in turkey sausage. I wanted potatoes that held their shape so I used waxy small potatoes. I wanted it to be heartier so I added cannellini beans. I thought more vegetables would make the soup taste better so in went carrots, celery, bell pepper, and the cut up stems from the kale. I used chicken stock and reinforced the chicken-y flavor with powdered bullion (we call that chicken salt.) Since we were missing the smoky flavor of the chorizo, John suggested smoked paprika and red pepper flakes for a bit of zip. Some of the ideas I got from reading other peoples’ comments about the dish and others we just came up with on our own. A recipe is just a starting point. Put your personal flair on it! And don’t forget to make notes of everything you did!!
Finished bowl of soup
We are using up meat that has been in the freezer for more than 6 months. I think that these boneless beef short ribs are the last ones. Making a beef stew in the Instant Pot is really easy and relatively quick. Season the meat and leave it in fairly big chunks so you don’t have to keep turning it over as you sear the beef on the Sauté function. Add some beef stock, a can of tomatoes, onions, potatoes, carrots, and celery. Set the Pressure cook time for eighteen minutes and when it’s finished let the pressure drop naturally for 10 minutes and then release the rest. Make a slurry of a little gravy and your favorite thickener to give the gravy a bit more viscosity. Voila! You’re done in around 45 minutes (mostly hands off cooking.)
Instant Pot beef stew