A pressure cooker can be a terrifying thing, especially if you grew up in a household that didn’t use them at all, or had a mishap with one of the old models. I was in the former group, and because I knew nothing of how to operate them, and because of my background in general physics, I was terrified. That pressure could end up seriously injuring someone, if operated improperly. Thankfully, Melissa’s Produce put on a demo that included pressure cookers from Sitram and the Veggie Queen herself, Jill Nussinow.
Jill is a Registered Dietician, and is a self-proclaimed vegan, pressure cooking expert. Just like myself (and probably you too!), she was terrified of the pressure cooker. As she was growing up, her Mother would use the pressure cooker, and one time it blew its top! Could you imagine how terrifying that would be?
Vegetable Quinoa Salad (pg. 61)
She started her life as a vegetarian, then went vegan in her teens, developing a love of cooking beans and grains from scratch. If you’ve ever cooked grains or beans, you know that it takes a lot of time and energy. In an effort to cut down time spent in the kitchen and continue to eat the nutritious food that she wanted, Jill returned to the idea of using a pressure cooker, and eventually produced amazing results with it.
Lemongrass Cabbage Soup (pg. 165)
Cannellini Beans with Gremolata (pg. 101)
Moist Chocolate Cake (pg. 288)
Meeting Jill was amazing, and everything we tasted was delicious, of course! She was promoting her book, Vegan Under Pressure that uses a pressure cooker in every recipe, and everything is vegan. She gave a demo, and it made me much less terrified to use our new Sitram Pressure Cooker!
Sitram is a French-based company has been manufacturing pressure cookers since 1963, and uses the finest raw materials made from stainless steel, copper, and aluminum to craft these masterpieces. What I love most about it is the one hand open / close glide system to open and close the pot! When the handle is perpendicular, it’s open. When you twist the handle to be flush, it engages the rim locking mechanism, and the pot is closed. When you lock the pot, and bring it up to pressure, there is a pressure indicator that locks the vessel such that it cannot be opened. It has this, and two other safety mechanisms in place to ensure that no lids will be blown off!
I am truly in love with my Sitra Pro pressure cooker. I know everyone is all about the Instant Pot right now, and I have yet to get there, but in the mean time, this new vessel is my jam! The first thing I made in it were pinto beans. I added onion, and a ton of garlic, with a bit of salt. No shit, 20 minutes later I had perfectly cooked beans that were the best I have ever tasted! The onions were so tender, they disintegrated easily into the beans, and the infusion with the garlic were out of this world! I was a tad scared at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a piece of cake! Just sit down and read the owner’s manual, and understand all the parts before you start and you’ll be golden.
It was then time to move onto an actual recipe from Jill’s book. We had the Lemongrass Cabbage soup at the event, and I was so surprised by how good it was, I had to make it at home. One wouldn’t think that such meager ingredients would make such a spectacular soup, but it was truly astonishing! The lemongrass and coconut milk make it sing! You could make it in a regular stock pot too, but the infusion of flavors with the pressure cooker is simply spectacular.
I hope I’ve eased some fears surrounding the pressure cooker. With all of the safety features they have now-a-days, you can’t go wrong. Plus the food is delicious, and you’re saving energy by cooking beans and grains quickly that would normally take much longer! Cheers to quick cooking!
Do you have a pressure cooker? What is your favorite recipe? Inquiring minds want to know!
Lemongrass Cabbage Soup
Hearty cabbage combined with the lightness of lemongrass yields a sunny, refreshing soup - and you can eat a lot of it without feeling stuffed. The potatoes add a little body. If you prefer sweet potatoes, use them instead of Yukon Golds. The soup freezes well.
- 2 Teaspoons Canola Oil, optional
- 1 Cup Diced Onion
- 1 Whole Hot Chile, such as ripe jalapeno or serrano, either dried and left whole or fresh and minced, optional
- 1 Whole Lemongrass stalk, hard outer leaves discarded, stalk trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces, and bruised with the back of a knife
- 1 Clove Garlic, minced
- 2 Thin Slices Fresh Ginger, about the size of a quarter, plus more for grating
- 1/2 Medium to Large Cabbage, thinly sliced to equal at least 6 cups
- 1 Whole Medium Yukon Gold or other potato, slicked to equal about 1 cup
- 4 Cups Vegetable Stock
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk, Coconut Water, or coconut beverage, or a few drops of coconut extract mixed with water or stock
- Grated Zest and juice of 1 lime
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh Chopped Cilantro, for garnish
Heat a stovetop pressure cooker over medium heat or set an electric cooker to saute; add the oil, if using. Add the onion and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until no longer raw. Add the chile, if using, the lemongrass, garlic, and ginger, and cook another minute or two until the onion is just beginning to soften.
Add the sliced cabbage and potato, along with the stock and coconut milk. Lock on the lid. Bring to high pressure; cook for 4 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally. After 10 minutes, quick release any remaining pressure. Carefully remove the lid, tilting it away from you.
Using tongs, remove and discard the dried chile, if using, along with the ginger and lemongrass pieces.
Add lime zest and juice to taste and season with salt and pepper and grated ginger, if you like. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
*Disclaimer: I was given Jill Nussinow’s book ‘Vegan Under Pressure’, and a Sitram Sitra Pro Pressure Cooker. I was not compensated for this post in any other way. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.