Feb 20, 2016

"vegan under pressure" + giveaway

Lori, you are the winner of the book! Please contact me!

The brand new cookbook, Vegan Under Pressure (Amazon, B&N), by Jill Nussinow, has been on my radar ever since its release was announced. I was very thrilled when I was asked to review this book, since I have a pressure cooker I adore and I love making food fast.

As wonderful as that idea is, it is also important to note that while cooking under pressure is pretty fast (sometimes as quick as a few minutes!), the bulk of the time of pressure cooking is taken up by the time the pot takes to come to pressure and then, after cooking, the time it takes to release pressure. Once you are comfortable with that, pressure cooking really is a wonderful way to get dinner or lunch on the table quickly. And because it is a pressure cooker, most of the time (though not all the time!), it is one-pot cooking.

Let's get into Jill's book.

Jill first covers the basics, just in case this is your first forage into pressure cooking, and then gets into the recipes, which include a chapter on spice blends and seasonings you can make at home. Then she dives into recipes for Grains, Beans, Vegetables, Soups, Main Courses, Toppers: Sauces Fillings and More, Appetizers and, finally, Desserts. Jill provides a wide range of recipes, as you can easily tell.

Now for some recipes.

The first recipe I stumbled on I knew I just had to make; I love kohlrabi and this one sounded really delicious: Mustard-Parsley Kohlrabi, in the Vegetable Chapter. As expected, it was completely wonderful - and easy to make. It's on page 145.

This recipe took 5 minutes at high pressure and comes dressed in a delicious no-oil dressing.

This next recipe was an easy choice for me because lately I have found myself with a surplus of chickpeas; Middle Eastern Chickpea and Tomato Soup, page 182. As with all the recipes, there is a cute icon at the top of the page that indicates how long it is cooked for and this one took 14 minutes at high pressure.

This soup is laced with saffron and a wonderful assortment of Middle Eastern spices. Another easy and tasty meal.

Finally, I made another bean recipe, this one a lima bean dish. Although the recipe calls for baby lima beans, I love large limas and since I had it on hand, this dish turned into a large lima bean dish. Of course, the recipe as written will be just as delicious as when I made it.

The fennel and artichokes in this dish, along with the lemon and mint, made this a unique and delicious meal. We used some whole-grain bread to sop up the wonderful stew.

But, hey, don't take my word for how delicious it was! Make it yourself! Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (hmco.com) is sharing the recipe for Greek Stewed Lima Beans below (coming soon). In the meantime, enter to win a copy of Vegan Under Pressure, again, courtesy of Houghton Mufflin Harcourt.

To enter to win, just leave a comment about your thoughts regarding pressure cooking or Jill herslef. For a second chance to win, follow me on Facebook, Twitter or via RSS Feed (via a Reader) and leave a SECOND comment. All the cute buttons for following are available on the top right of this blog, just below the photos of my books. Contest is open to US and Canada addresses and will end February 29 at midnight (it is a leap year, after all). Good luck!

Greek Stewed Lima Beans with Fennel and Artichokes
Serves 4

Fennel and artichokes make a great pair and this brothy, springtime stew brings out the best in all of its vegetables. If you think you don’t care for lima beans, this dish may change your mind. It did for me. If you really don’t care for them, make this with cannellini beans but add an extra minute to the pressure cooking time.

Serve with a salad and a hunk of hearty bread or spoon over cooked polenta for a Mediterranean feast. This dish benefits from using olive oil for sautéing and your best extra virgin olive oil drizzled on top, but you can still leave it out.

1 tablespoon olive oil, optional
1 cup diced leek, mostly the white part
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced carrot
½ teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
1 to 2 teaspoons dried oregano
1¼ cups vegetable stock
1 cup baby lima beans, soaked and drained
2 bay leaves
1 cup chopped fennel bulb, cut into 1-inch pieces
¼ cup chopped fennel fronds
½ cup frozen (not thawed) or drained canned artichoke hearts in water
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon dried or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, optional

1. Heat a stovetop pressure cooker over medium heat or set an electric cooker to sauté; add the oil. Add the leek and sauté for 1 minute. Add the garlic, carrot, rosemary, and 1 teaspoon of the oregano. Sauté another minute, stirring often. Add a tablespoon of the stock if you get any sticking. Stir well.

2. Add the remaining stock, drained beans, bay leaves, fennel bulb and fronds, and artichoke hearts and stir. Lock on the lid. Bring to high pressure; cook for 6 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally. Carefully remove the lid, tilting it away from you.

3. Taste a few beans to make sure they are cooked through. If not, lock the lid, return the cooker to high pressure, and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes. Remove the lid carefully.

4. Add the lemon zest and juice and the mint. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oregano if you want a highly flavored dish. Transfer to a bowl or platter. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Greek Stewed Lima Beans with Fennel, Artichokes, and Tomatoes:
If you love tomatoes and think that they would make this dish pop for you, feel free to add 1 cup diced tomatoes when you open the pressure cooker. Stir in, lock on the lid, and let sit for 2 minutes.

Text excerpted from Vegan Under Pressure, © 2015 by Jill Nussinow. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.