I posted this elsewhere and couldn’t help reposting here, risking repeating from earlier posts:
Bought an electric pressure cooker a few months ago (Cuisinart CPC-600, $50 pre-owned but unused from Craig’s List).
One of the best purchases of my life, especially combined with my farm share, which brings me fresh seasonal vegetables. Also avoiding food packaging, which nearly eliminated food from boxes, bags, or other packages.
I tell myself I’ll follow a recipe at some point, but so far I haven’t needed one. All I do is wash vegetables, chop them, and put them in with beans or lentils, olive oil, garlic, onions, and whatever spices I feel like (usually just cayenne pepper). Then I add salt when I eat it. The flavors are deep, rich, and complex. The texture is like a stew that’s cooked all day.
Every time the resulting stew is so good I eat it until stuffed. Since it’s just vegetables and legumes so as best I can tell it’s high in fiber, vitamins, and nutrition, I think me feeling stuffed means I ate a healthy amount. The definition on my abs isn’t changing so I’m not putting on weight.
The latest batch has French lentils, carrots, beets, broccoli, cabbage, onion, garlic, cayenne, radish, celeriac, and maybe a few other vegetables. How do I choose them? Whatever came from the farm. But I could just as well pick random vegetables from a store. So I haven’t gotten bored because the vegetables change with the season. Other stews have included chard, squash, jalapeño, broccoli rabe, parsnips, collard greens, potato, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, red beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, mung beans, and I can’t think of what else
I never heard of some of these vegetables before, but I find out by tasting them after cooking. The only things pre-processed that’s gone in are olive oil and dried spices. Everything else is whole vegetables. I get the lentils and olive oil from the bulk food store (bringing my own bags and bottle).
I put zero planning into any of it and it’s among the most delicious, nutritious, fast-cooked food I’ve ever made. Seriously, I just chop random vegetables and combine them with legumes, oil, spices, and water. I only choose 9 minutes cooking time for lentils and 20 for beans (the instruction book’s suggestions). Perfect every time.
I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever get to recipes since everything comes out so good and changes with the seasons.
My recommendation if you’re thinking about getting one: buy one and just start using it. I had no idea I’d use it this much or enjoy the food so much. I have only praise for my model.
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