A lot of you have probably been wondering why I have taken such a long hiatus. Truth be told, it’s a combination of many things. Life, the universe, everything!
But the main thing is that both my husband and I have been trying to eat healthier and eat less. And it’s just the two of us, so making a big meal to last us a whole week, and by us….I usually mean ME, just wasn’t cutting it! My husband works unpredictable hours so sometimes, he’s not even home for dinner. So eating the portions I make for my blog as leftovers was not necessarily great for the strict diet and exercise regime I put myself on before I got married last October. And it sort of just carried over after we got married and into the this past 2012 year.
I’ve since lost several pounds and I fit my clothes so much nicer. I went from wearing usually a size 12-14 to a size 8. It’s not much but I kind of want to keep it this way. So trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle and eating less meant I had to put the pressure cooker away.
Poor Peggy. I mean, I didn’t tuck her away into some deep, dark cabinet in my kitchen, she was still out on my counter where I could see her pretty much every day! I occasionally put her to work on large meals when I was having people over and I cooked a few dishes that I have already blogged about before. But she was seriously on a nice long vacation. 🙂
Recently, I started to realize that I’m beginning to lose my cooking mojo. I was drawing a blank whenever I was trying to come up with something to eat or cook. I had to resort to Pinterest sometimes to get inspiration. And of course, The Pioneer Woman. The majority of the foods I eat these days rarely need a lot of “cooking”. It’s mostly non-processed whole foods that barely even need a microwave. (BTW, I hate using the microwave.) So not “cooking” was just totally killing my cooking mojo…..
But I’m back. And I’m taking baby steps. Easy recipes and hopefully healthy recipes. I have to find a happy medium where I can cook, cook healthy, and still maintain my weight. Let’s hope this works!!!
- 1 Package Kielbasa Sausage (Chopped into half-moon size)
- 2 Cups Chopped Butternut Squash
- 1 Onion, Chopped
- 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1 Shot Glass Sherry, Cooking Wine or White Wine
- 1 Cup Wild Rice (I ran out, so I just used brown rice)
- 4 Cups Chicken Broth
- 2 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
- 2 Cups Fresh Kale
- Water (Not pictured)
In the pressure cooker inner pot, add a bit of olive oil and press START to turn on the Browning feature. Or if you have a different model of the Elite Pressure Cooker, set your cooker to Brown.
Put in the first 4 ingredients into the pot and saute for about 4 minutes.
Pour in the shot glass of cooking wine or sherry and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
Turn off the Browning feature. Add in the wild rice and the chicken broth. Depending on how much soup you want, you can fill up the rest of the pot with water. Add in the sprigs of fresh Rosemary.
That’s pretty much it. Don’t put the Kale in with the soup yet until afterwards. Kale needs just a little bit of heat to cook and wilt slightly. Look up Kale on wikipedia and you’ll find out about all the wonderful and healthy nutrients it has. Slightly cooking it is the best way to eat it.
Lock and load the pressure cooker. You know the drill. But for the newbies, turn the lid to lock it into place. Set the Pressure Valve on the top to “Airtight”. Press the Pressure Cook Time button and set it to cook for only 10-minutes.
That’s pretty much it.
If you are making a really large pot, almost full pot, the pressure cooker will take quite a while to heat up everything inside and come to pressure. It took almost 30-minutes to build up pressure. Once the pressure has been reached and the float valve has sealed, the letter P will appear on the LED screen and the 10-minutes will begin to count down. Once the 10-minutes has reached 0, the cooker will automatically beep and go to keep warm.
Using a dish rag, carefully release the pressure by turning the Pressure”Valve to “Exhaust”, I threw my dish rag over the valve too so the pressure didn’t spit all over the place and it also minimized the hissing sound since my new dog doesn’t seem to like the sound. She runs and hides under my bed.
Once the pressure has been completely released, the float valve will drop which will release the locking mechanism on the lid. Now you can turn the lid to unlock it. Be careful of looking into the pot too closely. It’s hot stuff inside!
Give everything a good stir. When the soup is ready to serve, you can add the kale to it and let the heat of the soup cook it just slightly. It will take less than a minute. Add salt and pepper to taste as you serve and eat. YUM YUM!