Rice & Veggies in the Instant Pot

After being on the road for a couple of days, tonight we wanted something simple for dinner. With the Instant Pot, it’s easy to throw all of the ingredients into one pot, seal the lid, and let dinner cook while the baby plays and has his bath. My husband stopped on the way home for some wine and crescent rolls to go with dinner tonight. It was the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day…trying to go out to eat would have been a nightmare tonight!

Rice & Veggies in the Instant Pot


  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • Bag of frozen organic peas and carrots
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning (I use Slap Ya Mama)


  1. Add all ingredients to the Instant Pot and stir.
  2. Close lid and make sure it is placed on “sealing”.
  3. Set to Pressure Cook, set time for 6 minutes on high pressure.
  4. When it has cooked, allow the pressure to release naturally for at least 10 minutes.
  5. Make sure the pressure is fully released before opening lid. Stir before serving.

Avocado Toast

I don’t know why I never thought of giving our 11 month old son avocado toast before today. Avocado and bread are probably his two favorite foods. We had a ripe organic avocado on the kitchen counter and I gave him half of it on his high chair table. I tore up a piece of toast into bite-sized chunks and mixed them in with the avocado and he LOVED it! Then I made some toast for myself and spread the other half of the avocado on it. It’s the perfect breakfast to share with a vegan baby!

Baked Carrot Chips

We have a busy week planned so we wanted to minimize dishes tonight. We had asparagus in the fridge that we needed to use. We sautéed mushrooms with the asparagus and cooked some leftover pierogies that were in the freezer.My husband wanted some carrot chips on the side also. We love them! They’re similar to sweet potato fries but a bit healthier. We always buy a bag of carrot sticks or Publix dip chip carrots but they would work fine with fresh cut carrot sticks also.

Baked Carrot Chips


  • 1 lb carrot chips or sticks
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper or seasoning of choice (I use Slap Ya Mama)


  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. In medium bowl, toss carrots in olive oil to coat.
  3. Arrange on large cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  4. Sprinkle seasoning over carrots.
  5. Bake 10 minutes, stir and bake 10 more minutes.
  6. After 20 minutes they should be done, but we leave them in the oven for 10 minutes after we turn it off to make them extra crispy.
  7. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Polenta and Baked Beans

Yesterday’s baked beans recipe made a LOT. We had a big serving last night and again for lunch today, and plenty to freeze for the next time we get a craving for smoky beans!

Today Eric and I both had our long runs, so when we got home we were both so hungry. We wanted something quick and easy to make as well as filling. We had a tube of polenta in the fridge along with half of a container (about 6oz) of mushrooms, so we decided to have those with some baked beans. It was delicious and took less than 15 minutes to make!

I cooked the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then I sliced the polenta into 1/4 inch round slices and put it in the same pan with garlic and onion powder. I sautéed it until the polenta was soft and golden brown. We heated up the beans and mixed it all together. Protein, carbs, low fat, no cholesterol, and a lot of flavor!

Smoky Baked Beans in the Instant Pot

My family loves baked beans. We have the canned version often but today I decided to make them myself with the Instant Pot!


  • 1 lb dried Great Northern Beans, sorted and rinsed
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder


  1. Sort beans and remove any foreign material. Rinse thoroughly. Transfer to a medium saucepan and cover in an inch of water. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, allow beans to cook for one minute, then remove from heat and soak, covered, for at least one hour. Drain and rinse after soaking.
  2. Set the Instant Pot to sauté mode. Add olive oil. Sauté onion and bell pepper until onion is translucent. Add garlic and cook for one minute.
  3. Turn off Instant Pot and stir in 2 cups water and the beans.
  4. In a bowl, mix the remaining ingredients. Add to the beans and stir well.
  5. Place lid on Instant Pot and set to sealing. Use the manual setting, high pressure, and set timer for 45 minutes.
  6. Allow pressure to release naturally for at least 15 minutes.
  7. When pressure is released, remove lid and stir before serving.

Lentil & Oat “Meatloaf”

We have had a bag of dried lentils in our pantry for a few months. We usually use them for soup or burgers but I decided to try something new tonight…a “meatloaf” made of lentils, steel-cut oats, and rolled oats. It was pretty easy to make and definitely delicious!

Lentil & Oat “Meatloaf”

  • 1/2 cup dried lentils, sorted and rinsed
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1 cup water, boiling
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup ketchup + 3 tablespoons for topping
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter or other nut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper optional
  1. In a medium saucepan, add the lentils and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and turn the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  2. Add the steel-cut oats and cup of boiling water. Cover again and cook for 10 more minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375. Grease a glass loaf pan with a small amount of olive oil or cooking spray and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  4. When the lentils and steel-cut oats are cooked, remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.
  5. Transfer to the loaf pan. Top with 3 tablespoons of ketchup.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  7. Remove foil and bake uncovered for 8-10 minutes.
  8. Allow loaf to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Vegan Southern Black-Eyed Peas

Black-eyed peas are one of the staples of a Southern kitchen. Most cooks in the South prepare them with animal fat and meat. However, it is possible to cook a perfectly flavorful dish without harming a single animal!

My husband, Eric and I are runners and we are working on getting into shape for some races that we have planned. We have had a lot of bread and carbs lately, but tonight we decided to cut out the carbs and go for a more nutritious meal. Instead of serving the black-eyed peas with rice, I made cauliflower “rice” and instead of bread or potatoes we had baked carrot chips. It was a filling meal but not too heavy. Perfect for the night before a workout!

I cooked the black-eyed peas in my new Instant Pot. I’m having so much fun learning to cook with it! I cut the cauliflower into florets and put them in our Ninja blender to pulse them into “rice”.

Here are the recipes:

Vegan Southern Black-Eyed Peas


  • ½ white onion, diced
  •  2 cloves fresh garlic, pressed
  •  2 tablespoons olive oil
  •  ½ teaspoon paprika
  •  ½ teaspoon chili powder
  •  1 ½ cups dried black-eyed peas, sorted and rinsed but not soaked
  •  3 cups water
  •  2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper (optional)


  1. Dice the onion and press the garlic cloves.
  2. Place the oil in the pressure cooker and set it to sauté. When it is heated, add the onion and sauté until it is translucent. Add the garlic, paprika, and chili powder and stir for a minute.
  3. Add the rinsed black-eyed peas and the water.
  4. Place the lid on the pressure cooker. Make sure that the vent is sealed.
  5. Place the cooker on the manual (pressure cook) mode and set the time for 25 minutes.
  6. Release the pressure naturally. Make sure that you do not open the lid until the pressure has released.
  7. Before serving, stir in the nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper.

This will make 2 generous servings.

Cauliflower “Rice”


  • 1 head of cauliflower, washed
  •  ¼ cup of water
  •  ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper (optional)


  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets.
  2. Place 1/3 of the florets in a blender or food processor. Pulse until crumbled. Repeat until all florets have been crumbled.
  3. Add the crumbled cauliflower and the water to a skillet. Cook on medium-high heat until water is absorbed and cauliflower is tender (approximately 5 minutes).
  4. Stir in salt and pepper before serving.

This makes 2 servings of cauliflower rice.