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.


  1. I love my pressure cooker especially after investing in a top quality one. My cheapy $25 one blew up one too many times. My huge, Spanish Malfesa pressure cooker is beyond amazing.

  2. I love pressure cooking. I use it to make stocks and cook beans quick!

  3. I have never used a pressure cooker before and am not familiar with it at all.
    I appreciate Jill covering the basics for someone like me!

  4. I have an Instant Pot and I love it! It would be great to have Jill's book. She is a fount of pressure cooking wisdom.

    gaia at cinci dot rr dot com

  5. I follow you on Facebook and Twitter. FB name: Terri Jones Cole, Twitter name: GaianTLC

    gaia at cinci dot rr dot com

  6. I've never tried pressure cooking but would love to!

    - Judith

  7. Hi Zsu, I follow you on Twitter (@Jenny_Vegan) and Pinterest (inspiredjenny)

  8. To be honest, I've always been intimidated by pressure cookers, so I've never used one before :-/


  9. The first thing I ever made in my pressure cooker was a batch of pinto beans, in preparation for making refried beans. They were so much better than anything I'd ever eaten before, it is now my preferred way of making beans! Pressure cookers are so flexible and easy to use (much more so than when I was a kid and they would explode, from time to time!).

  10. I love cooking lots of different beans in my pressure cooker. I love all the wonderful recipes in this book!

  11. I have a Mediterranean background and grew up eating all kinds of legumes. This book sounds terrific and mouthwatering.

  12. Jill's books and classes on pressure cooking appeal to me a lot! Always looking for ways to cook vegan/vegetarian foods quickly and in a healthy way.
    Can't wait to get a multi-cooker pot of my own and some of Jill's books

  13. I love using the pressure cooker for beans. I loved my mother's old cooker, but she took it back so I bought a cheap one. Big mistake. It just doesn't hold pressure. As soon as it heats the gasket loses shape. I am lusting for an InstaPot, but have no counter space

    Chely C. at pepitajobo A T icloud D O T com

  14. Thanks. I want an Instant Pot so Jill's cookbook is a must-have.

  15. I've never used a pressure cooker, but I'm very tempted to now!

  16. I have an electric pressure cooker. The only thing I've ever made in it is pinto beans. This cookbook could help me advance beyond just beans.

  17. I love using my pressure cookers (yes, several, including a Kuhn-Rikon brand new at a yard sale for $5). Great for dried beans, and all types of grains, and for 'driving in' flavor.

  18. Karen Goodwin Delaney follows on Facebook

  19. I follow you all over social media. I'm veggiessavetheday!

  20. Amy Katz. Inadvertently deleted comment.

  21. Love using my pressure cooker for beans. Cooks them in a snap. My favorite is to cook plain beans, freeze them for 45 minutes on a cookie sheet, and then throw them all into a gallon-size freezer bag so I can measure out the amount I need ... from 1/4 cup to throw into a smoothie to 2-3 cups for soup or another recipe. Just bought your bowl cookbook and can't wait to try some of the recipes. :)

    1. That's a great tip! Thank you for sharing it. And thank you for getting Vegan Bowls! Please let me know if you ever have any questions about any of the recipies.

    2. Lori, you are the winner of "Vegan Under Pressure!" Congratulations! Please email me with your mailing address. My contact info is zsu at zsusveganpantry dot com.

  22. I have been looking for a pressure cooker lately. Then I decided I wanted an instant pot instead! I cook too much rice and beans not to have one!


Thanks for your comment! I'll check if it's spam and post if it is not. I appreciate your time and effort for commenting! ~ Zsu