Cooking Tool of January, Pressure Cooker Roundup

The end of the month is hear and it’s time to wrap up our Cooking Tool of the Month series for January. This month we explored the Pressure Cooker. It’s one of my favorite tools in the kitchen and I use it a couple of times a week at least. I really hope you will consider buying one if I haven’t convinced you to run and get one yet. And if you don’t mind use the Amazon search tool in the footer of my website (the small change I receive from that helps to continue bringing you recipe and video content).

First I showed you this video on how to use your pressure cooker and we checked out Jill Nussinow’s new book The New Fast Food. We made a delicious Mediterranean Vegetable Stew with eggplant, red peppers, tomatoes, rosemary, spices and white beans.

Second, I show you one of my favorites ways to use the pressure cooker: to make bean soups in the winter. Throw in a ton of veggies and you have a one pot meal on your hands! Perfect for taking to work in a thermos on cold days. This recipe for Azuki Bean Soup is a long-time favorite because I love red beans paired with sweet winter squash.

We learned how to make fast, easy, and the most delectable seitan in the pressure cooker. This happens to be my favorite way to make seitan.

Lastly I posted my all-time favorite way to use the pressure cooker: to cook beans from scratch. And that’s just what I did to make this Sweet and Sour Kidney Soup from Meg Wolff’s book A Life in Balance: Delicious, Plant-based Recipes For Optimal Health as part of Cookbook Mania. I must admit I wasn’t doing a lot of cooking last week. I think I burnt myself the first week when I cooked out of 10 cookbooks! Cooking out of cookbooks takes more time for me that just whipping up my own food. With the windy weather last week this soup was just calling my name.

A Life in Balance is a macrobiotic vegan cookbook filled with wholesome recipes that are easy for everyone. If you are wanting to eat healthier and get off processed food this book is for you. It is also great for anyone that has a health condition. Meg Wolff has an amazing story of overcoming cancer and you can read more about here on her website.

I discovered an easy way of chopping fresh rosemary that I’m so excited to share with you! I’m sure someone already invented this but I just came up with it when I had this huge bunch of rosemary I couldn’t seem to get rid of. I was putting it in everything (remember these amazing cookies?). What you do is hold on to the bottom stem and brush the leaves down against the grain. Then take scissors and chop the leaves. No chopping required! Continue to brush leaves against the grain, rotate and clip.

I used what veggies I had available with the kidney beans and it was delicious. The combination of the apple butter, mustard, tamari, and lemon juice really gave the soup that sweet and sour flavor in a light, natural way. My dad ate 3 bowls of it! If you don’t like kidney beans you could easily switch them out for another or go sans beans and pile in the veggies. Some rice or udon noodles would be a really nice addition.

Sweet & Sour Kidney Bean Soup

Adapted from A Life in Balance

Makes 4 big bowls

2 cups cooked kidney beans (I made them ahead of time in pressure cooker)

4-5 cups vegetable broth

1/2 onion, cut in half-moons

1 cup sweet potato, cut in 1/2 inch chunks

1 cup cabbage, cut in strips

1 medium carrot, cut on diagonal

1 cup cauliflower, cut into florets

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons apple butter

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon tamari

Sea salt, to taste


Place 2 cups of broth in a large saucepan or stock pot and bring to a simmer. Add sweet potatoes, cover and cook for a few minutes. Add the rest of vegetables, broth and beans and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, whisk together apple butter, mustard, lemon and tamari. Stir in to the pot. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes. Season with sea salt if needed.

Guess what February’s Cooking Tool of the Month is? We put on our oven mitts to do some baking with Silicon Pans! They are my new favorite baking tools, which I’ve talked about before on the blog. Let the experiments in the kitchen begin!

Share with us your favorite pressure cooker recipes and also your favorite healthy baked goods recipes!

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    1. No no, don't make it a maybe, make it a "I will"! Seriously, you won't regret it. Can you imagine how awesome it would be to have a fresh piping hot batch of brown rice (which normally takes ages in the rice cooker or stove) in like 20 minutes? I can! It's awesome! Also, it's a great way to save money by buying bulk dried beans and grains, and cooking them quickly, rather than going for the tinned beans or parcooked grains. Barley in like 15 minutes. Beans in like 20. Chickpeas in 28. Seriously, can't go wrong! 

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