Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Steamed Kale for Breakfast. The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker.

A lot of people had questions from yesterday's blog posting about exactly how Chef Aj recommended that I prepare the steamed greens every morning. 

Chef Aj uses an electric pressure cooker made by the Instant Pot company. Instant Pot was generous enough to send me a complementary Instant Pot for Chef Aj's visit to Cleveland and food demo this past weekend. I had tried it a few times before she came, but was really waiting for her to "show me the ropes" before I totally dug in.

The beauty of the Instant Pot is that you can do pressure cooking without any of the stress involved in a stove top pressure cooker. You simply set it and go, either releasing the pressure after the designated cooking time or letting the cooker release the pressure naturally. It really could not be easier.

Of course, you do not need fancy kitchen equipment to steam greens. Just put a bunch of greens in a pot with some water, cover, cook to desired tenderness and go. But I don't know if I could do that every single day. The Instant Pot makes this greens in the morning thing just about the easiest thing you could ever make for breakfast, outside of eating some processed garbage.

Plus, you can put the stems in the Instant Pot along with the leaves and they cook until tender. No more ripping leaves off of stems. I was never able to do that simply by steaming my greens on a stovetop. The stems were always woody and chewy. With the Instant Pot, they are tender and delicious!

Here are the steps:
(1) Fill the stainless steel liner with chopped and washed greens. You can buy all sorts of bagged or boxed chopped and washed greens in the supermarkets these days. Kale, collards, turnip greens, swiss chard. I like to mix kale with one of the other greens for some variation. Try it, it's really good. The unit should be about 3/4 full, loosely packed. It's very convenient if you buy 10 ounce bags of washed and chopped kale from Trader Joe's. Just throw the whole bag in.

(2) Add 1/2 cup water.

(3) Put the lid on and lock it.

(4) Plug in the Instant Pot.

(5) Set the thingie on the top of the lid to "sealing" (and not "venting").

(6) Press the "manual" button.

(7) Using the "-" button, lower the cooking time at pressure to 4 minutes.

(8) In a few seconds, the until will beep, letting you know that it's starting.

(9) When the timer goes to zero, release the steam by turning the thingie on the top of the lid over to "venting." A lot of steam will pour out of the hole in the top.

(10) Remove the lid.

(11) Onto the greens, pour about 2 tsp of your favorite vinegar. There are amazing flavored vinegars out there these days--try some!

(12) I like to top my greens with some of Chef Aj's Faux Parmesan. Faux Parmesan: In a food processor, grind 1 cup raw cashews or almonds, 1/2 cup nutritional yeast and 1 Tbsp of salt-free seasoning (Benson's is the best), until a powdery mixture is achieved. If you like it more chunky, process less.

(13) Serve over brown rice or a small potato if you must for the first few times you eat this for breakfast, but after a few days, eliminate the starch.

But almost the best thing about the Instant Pot is how easy it is to clean up, which is what makes this whole business of making greens for breakfast so fast and easy. You wash out the stainless steel liner, which is so fast and then just wipe the inside of the lid with a wet cloth. That's it. No heavy pan to wash, no awkward lid in your sink.

I know that if you want to purchase an Instant Pot you can do it on Amazon and get a crazy good deal! Just $119 with no shipping if you have Amazon Prime. That's $100 off of the list price.

Did you try eating steamed greens this morning for breakfast?
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