Lentil Sloppy Joes {Recipe}

Last night was a “Whoops!” night. Supper was not planned or started. Time was running out and my brain was blank. I knew my Instant Pot would need to be called on if I wanted supper on the table by the time the ball practices were over.

So I grabbed lentils. I grabbed dehydrated seasonings.  And started throwing them together. I decided I wanted to create a recipe that would be a convenience mix, that could be made up ahead, just needing a few liquids added when it’s time to cook. A go-to in times like this. I saved my chop chop time for the raw veggies I wanted to serve with these Sloppy Joes, and did that while the joe mix was cooking.

Sloppy Joes

Yes, I eat mine open faced.

Lentil Sloppy Joes

 

  • 1.5 cups lentils
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion
  • 2 Tbl. dried green pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried minced garlic
  • 1 tsp./cube veggie boullion/ no salt veggie seasoning
  • 1.5 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbl. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. unsulphured molasses
  • 1 pt. tomato sauce
  • 3 cups purified water
    (all ingredients organic whenever possible)

Cook at high pressure for 20-22 minutes in the Instant Pot.

Update: Last night was really an Whoops! that led to the Whoops here. What I crossed out above did work for us–twice. But I know better. Putting tomato products in with uncooked beans makes them take longer to cook. It will probably work better to cook the above without the tomato sauce.  It should only take about 8-10 minutes at pressure,  if you let the pressure release naturally (at least for 10 minutes). (For my lentils to get to the consistency we like, and doing quick release to save time, lentils take 11-13 minutes.)  Then add the tomato sauce in after the lentils are cooked. You may need to hit Saute to reduce it down at that point. I will re-make and update better directions here again. Sorry! The above (with the cross out) does work and taste delicious though. Just doesn’t cook the lentils as quick as it should.

Serve on sprouted/ whole grain buns, with plenty of raw veggies on the side.

Enjoy!

 


 

Great Guac

guacamoleOur eldest son came home over lunch today, just as I was finishing making guac. I asked if he wanted any. “Uhhh. I’ll have a taste.” Which became another, and another, and … until he’d eaten about half the bowl. “It’s better than usual.” I’m not sure whether to take that as a compliment or a cut… or neither, since I’m usually not the one who has made it when he eats it.

Regardless, it was great. Our guac really is always pretty much the same, but has slight variations depending on what we have on hand. Here’s today’s version.

Great Guac

Blend all till well mixed. If you prefer chunkier guac, mince the veggies, dice the avocado and mix and mash together.

Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator, (in a Mason Jar,) 🙂  with the pit of the avocado in the guac. That helps keep it from turning brown. (The lemon juice in it does too.)

Variations:

  • Sometimes we use a whole roma tomato, but aren’t huge fans of a lot of tomato in our guac.
  • If we don’t have jalapeño, we leave it out.
  • Sometimes we use lime juice, instead of lemon, if we have fresh limes on hand. And leave out the Lime EO.
  • If I have fresh cilantro, I use about 1/4 bunch cilantro leaves. Sometimes we leave it out completely. A “toothpick” of essential oil means put a toothpick into the oil in the bottle and stir that into the dish you’re making–for times when you need less than a drop.

Do you love guac?

 


 

 

Food Happens

Food happens with you start throwing things together. Good food.

Put my blueberries in before cooking my steel cut oats in my Instant Pot, because they were frozen. Had some homemade coconut yogurt I wanted to eat up. Have been experimenting with date paste as sweetener in more recipes, so had a bit of that left to use. And, as always, a sprinkle of a Tbl. of ground Flax Seed always boosts the goodness.

Result? FANTASTIC tasting Breakfast!

Blueberry SC Oats

 

What did you fuel your day with today?

 


 

 

Savory Mushroom Gravy {Recipe}

Savory Mushroom Gravy has become a family fave (except for 1 son who hates mushrooms). We love it over rice or potatoes. Although I don’t make the gravy in the Instant Pot, I do make its underpinnings there. This no-fat gravy is rich, hearty and flavorful. (You meat eaters will never miss the beef.)

Savory Mushroom Gravy

Savory Mushroom Gravy

Dry or water Saute:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Add:

  • 3 cups veggie stock/broth (or water with 2 veggie bouillon cubes, stir to dissolve and disperse).

Add:

  • 3/4-1# mushrooms, chopped (crimini)
  • 2 Tbl. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • black pepper

Simmer until mushrooms start to soften.

Mix (I shake in a small mason jar):

  • 6 Tbl. fresh ground whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup water

Whisk in. Simmer till thickened.

Serve over Brown Rice or baked or mashed Potatoes.

I cook both Brown Rice and Potatoes in my Instant Pot. The Brown Rice link will take to instructions.

red potatoes brocolli iPot

For Potatoes:

  • approx. 3# medium red potatoes

Place 1 cup water in Instant Pot pan. Place potatoes on trivet set in pan. Put lid on. Seal. Hit Manual and 10 minutes. Quick Release is fine, or let it sit on Keep Warm until you’re ready to serve dinner.

To add the frozen Broccoli, I stopped the Instant Pot with 2 minutes left. Added the frozen Broccoli in a stainless steel pot that fits. Restart Instant Pot for 2 minutes. Quick Release. (If using fresh broccoli, you may need 0 minutes.)

Add a fresh greens and veggies salad and enjoy this hearty, potatoes and gravy dinner. Try it and let me know what you think.

 


 

 

 

Lisa’s Easy Veggie & Lentil Stew {Instant Pot Recipe}

Quick and easy, delicious and filling, and Good for You-Naturally!™ Those are the criteria I am looking for in developing most of my recipes (and looking for in others’ that I try). In other words, Freedom & Simplicity™ that’s Good for You-Naturally!™ This one fits the ticket!

It’s a recipe that had become buried in the box. We used to really enjoy it but somehow it hadn’t been made recently, and certainly not since I’d got my Instant Pot. It was time for it to come back to life. Especially now when I needed something quick and easy (time was short), something warm and hearty (spring blizzards are no fun), and as always, something both very yummy and health promoting.

Veggie & Lentil Stew

Here’s my recipe as I developed it years ago. Below that is my adaptations yesterday, when we were in a hurry. We all dove in and I didn’t think to take a pic until I was jarring up the leftovers. Yes, it makes a pot full! Fantastic lunch for today.

Lisa’s Veggie & Lentil Stew
(all ingredients are organic here, get as many as you can that way)

  • 12 c. purified water (approx.)
  • 1 c. brown rice
  • 1.5 cups lentils (dried)
  • 1/4 tsp. dried minced garlic (approx.)
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 3 bay leaves (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 chopped onion (or 3-4 Tbl. dried minced)
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped (or a handful dried)
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1-2 cups corn
  • 1-2 cups peas
  • 2 cups green beans
  • 2 cups tomato sauce (or whatever they’ve shrunk that can down to now)
  • 1 qt. crushed tomatoes (or whatever they’ve shrunk that can down to now)
  • nice squirt of Bragg’s liquid aminos

Add it all to the pot and simmer until done.

How it came together yesterday:

Was out of bay leaves, so they truly are optional. Used dried onion and celery. Had a big bag of frozen mixed vegetables on hand–carrots, corn, peas, green beans. Well how perfect is that?! I used 4 cups of the mix, and added an extra cup of frozen corn. I threw everything into my Instant Pot (6 qt.), filling with water to about the 4 L line. I have no clue how much water that was. I hit the buttons for high pressure and 22 minutes (the time needed for brown rice, the longest cooking ingredient) and left for Good Friday church service. We got home to stew done and on Keep Warm. (i.e. Natural Pressure Release–it was full enough it probably would have splattered if I tried to Quick Release.) The water was all absorbed, so I added more. Served it with fresh veggie sticks, and whole grain oatmeal muffins.

Mm-mm Good for You-Naturally!™ Mushrooms would have been a fantastic add-in (that I will add to the recipe card), but didn’t think of at the time (and not sure I had any on hand.)

Let me know if you make this recipe and how you like it!


 

Lisa’s Black Bean Burgers

Can you believe it? One of the things I’ve never made from scratch is Veggie Burgers. Long, long ago we used to buy a box of dry mix that we added water to. We lost that source, and for a while bought frozen patties, but I wasn’t completely happy with those ingredients, so we didn’t have them often.

Now that I have my Instant Pot and can go from dry beans to ready to use in less than an hour, I decided to give it a try. I researched several recipes, then forged out on my own. What do I like? What has been in restaurant burgers that I’ve liked? What sounds good? Here’s what I came up with last night. They were delicious. But the variety is endless.

 

Lisa’s Good for You-Naturally! Black Bean Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked Black Beans (1 cup Black Beans, 2 1/2+ cups water, Instant Pot high pressure 15-30 minutes. Natural Release.)
  • 2 Tbl. Ground Flax Seed mixed with 3 Tbl. water
  • 1/4 Red Pepper
  • 1/4 medium Onion (I used Red)
  • 1-2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/4+ tsp. Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper (ground)
  • 1/2 tsp. Real Salt (opt.)
  • 1 Tbl. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1/4+ cup bean water
  • 1/2 cup Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup Corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

Directions:

  • Cook Beans.
  • Grind Flax Seeds and soak in water.
  • Process Peppers, Onions, and Garlic until as fine as you’d like. Add Spices, Aminos, Oats and 1 cup of drained Beans (reserve liquid) and process again, pulsing to mix spices in thoroughly, but not turn oats into flour. Add water and Flax, beginning with 1/4 cup water (that’s all I needed) and pulse slightly to mix.
  • Add remaining Beans, Mushrooms, and Corn. Pulse just to mix in (not break down much.)
  • Form into patties onto parchment paper. (I just use a 1/4 cup measuring cup or scoop, and flatten the tops a bit.)
  • Bake at 350° or Grill (I put into freezer for a few minutes to firm up a bit before grilling.) approx. 15 minutes. Flip half way through.

 

  • Makes approx. 10 burgers. Can be frozen with parchment paper between.
  • I served with Avocado Slices
  • Use Organic ingredients and purified water
  • You don’t have to use a Food Processor. You can just chop the veggies, and moosh all together with your hands (or mash the beans a bit and stir with a spoon.)

Unbaked/ungrilled patties. I will update with cooked picture when I make again. Sorry. Forgot.

8411_1012738348800553_5070700641611734267_n

Enjoy! And let me know how you liked them!


 

Peanut Butter Bars

I took these bars to the Community Playhouse a couple times during Mary Poppins. A few asked for the recipe, so here it is.

Peanut Butter Bars

  • ¼ cup applesauce (apples and water only)
  • 1 cup peanut butter, almond butter (nuts only)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon unrefined salt
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp flour – almond or whole wheat
  • ⅔ cup coconut sap “sugar”
  • ¼ cup carob chips or cacao nibs (can be omitted)
  • up to 2 tbsp almond milk (or other), only if needed

 

  • Mix dry ingredients together. In seapate bowl mix stir nut butter, until it stirs well, add and blend int the wet ingredients (not the milk.) Mix together, and stir, stir, stir till all is smooth. Only add milk if necessary. It will be stiff.
  • Spread into greased 8″ sq. pan. (Coconut oil or real butter or lecithin mix)
  • Bake at 350° for approx. 15 minutes. They will seem not done, but if the top is set, they should be. Just allow them to cool for at least 20 minutes to firm up.

Enjoy! Let me know if you make them and how you liked them.

adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

Sorry, no picture taken. I will try to remember to take one when we make them again, and add it here.