Ease under Pressure

Move over, microwaves — pressure cookers are back! Leading the charge is the pressure cooker king, chef Bob Warden. We mastered his failproof technique for the time-saving tool and lightened up a few of his recipes for tasty, diabetes-friendly, healthful meals.

 

PRESSURE COOKER 101
Gone are the days of the pressure cooker splattering food all over the kitchen ceiling. Modern electric cookers are easier, safer, and more versatile than ever. And because these airtight pots cook with steam pressure, the cooking process is much faster. Familiarise yourself with pressure cooking 2.0 with some of Chef Bob Warden’s best tips:

START WITH THE MANUAL
Before you begin, read the instructions for your pressure cooker to understand how it works and how to use it safely.
PRESSURE PREHEAT
After you add ingredients to a pressure cooker, figure that it will take an additional five to 15 minutes to bring the cooker up to pressure. Bob likens it to preheating an oven.
RELEASE PRESSURE
There are a few methods for releasing steam from a pressure cooker at the end of cooking time. For the quick-release method, open the steam valve or lid to let the pressure escape all at once to stop the cooking. If you prefer the natural release method, when the recipe is done, just let the cooker sit until all the pressure dissipates on its own. It usually takes about 15 minutes.

 

Herbed Green Beans, Carrots, and Cranberries
SERVINGS: 6 (3⁄4 cup each)
CARB. PER SERVING: 18 g
PREP: 10 minutes COOK: 2 minutes STAND: 2 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 450- to 650-g pkg. frozen whole green beans
11⁄2 cups julienned carrots*
1⁄2 cup vegetable broth
3 tbsp. butter
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1⁄2 tsp. onion powder
1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄8 tsp. black pepper

 

1. In the cooking pot of an electric pressure cooker combine the first eight ingredients (through onion powder).
2. Cover with lid and lock securely. Cook on low for 2 minutes. (For crisper vegetables, cook for 1 min.) Quick-release the pressure. Unlock and remove lid.
3. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes or until cranberries are softened. Use a slotted spoon for serving.

*TEST KITCHEN TIP: To julienne-cut carrots, peel and cut carrots in half lengthwise. Lay halves down on their flat sides and cut lengthwise into about 1⁄8-inch-thick strips. Stack strips a few at a time and cut into 2- to 3-inch lengths. For faster prep, use packaged fresh juliennecut carrots.

 

STOVE-TOP PRESSURE COOKER DIRECTIONS: Using a 4 to 6-quart stove-top pressure cooker, prepare as directed in Step 1. Cover with lid and lock securely. Over high heat, bring cooker up to 2 to 3 kilos of pressure. Reduce heat just enough to maintain steady pressure. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Quick-release the pressure. Unlock; remove lid. Continue as directed.
PER SERVING: 129 cal., 6 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 15 mg chol., 234 mg sodium, 18 g carb. (4 g fibre, 10 g sugars), 2 g pro.

 

 

Pork Vindaloo
SERVINGS: 6 (3⁄4 cup meat mixture and 1⁄3 cup rice each)
CARB. PER SERVING: 18 g
PREP: 25 minutes MARINATE: 2 hours COOK: 15 minutes STAND: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
1 kg boneless pork loin roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1⁄2 cup chopped onion
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. sugar*
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1⁄2 tsp. salt
1⁄2 tsp. ground cumin
1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp. ground cardamom
1⁄2 tsp. ground ginger
1⁄4 tsp. chili powder
1⁄4 tsp. black pepper
1⁄8 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups hot cooked brown rice

Snipped fresh cilantro (optional)

 

1. In the cooking pot of an electric pressure cooker combine the first 16 ingredients (through cloves),** stirring to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Stir in broth.
2. Cover with lid and lock securely. Cook on high for 15 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes before quick-releasing the remaining pressure. Unlock and remove lid.
3. Using a slotted spoon, serve meat mixture over rice. Drizzle with cooking liquid. If desired, sprinkle with cilantro.

 

STOVE-TOP PRESSURE COOKER DIRECTIONS: Using a 4 to 6-quart stove-top pressure cooker, prepare as directed in Step 1. Cover with lid and lock securely. Over high heat, bring cooker up to 5 to 6 kilos of pressure. Reduce heat just enough to maintain steady pressure. Cook
for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes before quick releasing the remaining pressure. Unlock and remove lid. Serve as directed.

 

*SUGAR SUBSTITUTE: We do not recommend using a sugar substitute for this recipe.
**NOTE: Don’t have all these spices? Substitute 1 tablespoon curry powder.
PER SERVING: 324 cal., 10 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 100 mg chol., 369 mg sodium, 18 g carb. (2 g fibre, 2 g sugars), 37 g pro.

 

 

Turkey and Vegetable Meat Loaf
SERVINGS: 6 (5 ounces meat loaf and 1⁄3 cup sauce each)
CARB. PER SERVING: 10 g
PREP: 20 minutes COOK: 25 minutes STAND: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1⁄2 cup reduced-sodium chicken stock or broth
1 tbsp. packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1⁄2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1⁄2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1⁄2 cup finely chopped zucchini
1⁄4 cup finely chopped red sweet pepper
1⁄4 cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1⁄2 tsp. salt
1⁄2 tsp. black pepper
1⁄8 tsp. ground allspice
2 lb. 93% lean ground turkey

1. In the cooking pot of an electric pressure cooker combine the first five ingredients (through Italian seasoning).
2. In a large bowl combine the next nine ingredients (through allspice). Add ground turkey; mix well. Shape mixture into a round loaf and place in cooker.
3. Cover with lid and lock securely. Cook on high for 25 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes before quick-releasing the remaining pressure. Unlock and remove lid. Serve with sauce.

 

NOTE: We do not recommend using a stove-top pressure cooker for this recipe.
PER SERVING: 277 cal., 13 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 112 mg chol., 605 mg sodium, 10 g carb. (1 g fibre, 5 g sugars), 30 g pro.

 

 

White Chicken Chili
SERVINGS: 6 (12⁄3 cups each)
CARB. PER SERVING: 35 g
PREP: 50 minutes COOK: 20 minutes STAND: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup dried navy beans
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup chopped onion
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock or broth
11⁄2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
1 cup water
3⁄4 cup chopped green sweet pepper
3 tbsp. snipped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp. lime juice
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄4 tsp. black pepper
Sour cream (optional)

1. Rinse beans; drain. In a medium bowl soak beans in enough water to cover for 45 minutes. Drain and rinse beans.
2. Meanwhile, in the cooking pot of an electric pressure cooker heat oil on high or “brown.” Add chicken and onion; cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add the next 12 ingredients (through black pepper). Stir in beans.
3. Cover with lid and lock securely. Cook on high for 20 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes before quick-releasing the remaining pressure. Unlock and remove lid. If desired, serve with sour cream.

 

STOVE-TOP PRESSURE COOKER DIRECTIONS: Using a 4 to 6-quart stove-top pressure cooker, prepare as directed through Step 2, cooking the chicken and onion over medium-high heat. Cover with lid and lock securely. Over high heat, bring cooker up to 5 to 7 kilos pressure. Reduce heat just enough to maintain steady pressure. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Allow pressure to release naturally.

 

 

Lemon and Dill Fish Packets
SERVINGS: 2 (1 fish fillet each)
CARB. PER SERVING: 3 g
PREP: 15 minutes COOK: 5 minutes STAND: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
2 5 to 6-oz. fresh or frozen tilapia or cod fillets, thawed
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄4 tsp. garlic powder
1⁄4 tsp. black pepper
2 sprigs fresh dill
4 slices lemon
2 tsp. butter
1 cup water

 

1. Rinse fish; pat dry. Place each fillet in the centre of a 14-inch square of parchment paper. Sprinkle fish with the next three ingredients (through pepper); add dill. Top with lemon and butter.
2. Bring up two opposite edges of papers; seal with a double fold. Fold remaining ends to enclose fish, leaving space for steam to build.
3. Place a small metal rack or trivet in bottom of cooker; add the water. Place fish packets on rack.
4. Cover with lid and lock securely. Cook on high for 5 minutes. Quick-release the pressure. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

 

STOVE-TOP PRESSURE COOKER DIRECTIONS:
Using a 4 to 6-quart stove-top pressure cooker, prepare as directed through Step 3. Cover with lid and lock securely. Over igh heat, bring cooker up to 5 to 7 kilos pressure. Reduce heat just enough to maintain steady pressure. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Quick release the pressure. Unlock and remove lid. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
PER SERVING: 162 cal., 6 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 10 mg chol., 396 mg sodium, 3 g carb. (1 g fibre, 1 g sugars), 26 g pro.

 

Ratatouille
SERVINGS: 8 (1 cup each)
CARB. PER SERVING: 11 g
PREP: 45 minutes COOK: 6 minutes STAND: 6 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
12 cloves garlic, minced (2 tbsp.)
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 medium eggplant (1 lb.), cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large zucchini and/or yellow summer squash, coarsely chopped
2 medium green and/or red sweet peppers, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
1 cup coarsely chopped tomatoes
2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1⁄2 tsp. black pepper
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄2 cup vegetable broth
1⁄4 cup shaved or shredded
Parmesan cheese (2 oz.) (optional)

1. In the cooking pot of an electric pressure cooker heat oil on high or “brown.” Add onion and garlic; cook for 2 minutes or until onion begins to soften. Stir in tomato paste. Add the next seven ingredients (through salt). Pour broth over mixture in cooker.
2. Cover with lid and lock securely. Cook on low for 6 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally for 6 minutes before quick-releasing the remaining pressure.* Unlock and remove lid. If desired, sprinkle servings with cheese.

STOVE-TOP PRESSURE COOKER DIRECTIONS:
Using a 4 to 6-quart stove-top pressure cooker, prepare as directed in Step 1, cooking the onion and garlic over medium-high heat. Cover with lid and lock securely. Over high heat, bring cooker up to 2 to 3 kilos pressure. Reduce heat just enough to maintain steady pressure. Cook for 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Allow pressure to release naturally for 6 minutes before quick-releasing the remaining pressure.* Unlock and remove lid. Serve as directed.
*TEST KITCHEN TIP: For crisper vegetables, quick-release the pressure immediately after cooking without allowing the pressure to release naturally.
PER SERVING: 81 cal., 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 162 mg sodium, 11 g carb. (4 g fibre, 6 g sugars), 2 g pro.

 

Associate Editor
Easy reading is damn hard writing.