Friday, February 5, 2016

225 Best Pressure Cooker Recipes

225 Best Pressure Cooker Recipes
by Cinda Chavich
Paperback, 336 pages

For me, pressure cooking was one of the last areas of cooking that I attempted. Tales of grandmothers and flying lids and stained ceilings were enough to put me off for a while.

But much has changed over the years and pressure cooking is a fast, effective way to cook. Especially with tougher cuts of meats and with dried legumes.

I know that in my neighbourhood, the Indian community has embraced the pressure cooker whole heartedly, and they know a thing or two about cooking.

225 Best Pressure Cooker Recipes  This new edition has been redesigned and features a new cover and 25 all-new recipes.

The pressure cooker is indispensable for the busy home cook simply because most foods cook in one-third the time of conventional cooking methods, saving time and energy without compromising the quality of the food. Many food writers and other foodies have embraced it as the kitchen tool of the millennium.

Cinda Chavich provides an incredible variety of recipes that range from everyday meals to dishes for entertaining, and specifically include vegetarian options. For example there is one recipe for hands-free risotto cooked to creamy perfection in 6 minutes. Recipes for almost instant homemade stocks and broths are infused with the flavors usually available only from hours of slow cooking. A tender beef and red wine stew cooks in only half an hour with inexpensive cuts of meats that usually require long, slow cooking that takes hours. The pressure cooker truly shines when it comes to preparing beans and whole grains in these recipes for sumptuous Indian curries or black bean soup.

Here is a sampling of some of the vibrant and flavorful recipes that can be created in minutes:

    Wild Mushroom and Potato Bisque, Cajun Black Bean and Sausage Gumbo
    Beef Short Ribs in Barbecue Sauce, Perfect Pot Roast, Kansas City Pulled Pork Butt
    Wheat Berries Carbonara, Risotto with Mushrooms and Shrimp, Coq au Vin
    Orange Espresso Cheesecake, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Strawberry Jam.

In addition there are great tips throughout the book for pressure cooking essentials, preparing beans and making stocks. There is also a handy table of cooking times for vegetables, fruit, meat and poultry.

Barley with Mint and Root Vegetables, page 261

Barley is a healthy whole grain that makes a nice substitute for rice. Prepared in the pressure cooker, it’s fast, toothsome and never sticky. Adding grated Parmesan to this dish gives it a flavor that’s reminiscent of risotto. Be sure to caramelize the vegetables until they’re nice and brown — that’s what gives this savory root vegetable dish it a full, rich flavor.

1⁄4 cup    unsalted butter    60 mL
2    carrots, cut into small cubes    2
2    parsnips, cut into small cubes    2
1    sweet potato, peeled and cubed    1
1    onion, chopped    1
1 cup    pot or pearl barley    250 mL
3    cloves garlic, minced    3
3 cups    chicken or brown stock    750 mL
2 tbsp    chopped fresh mint    30 mL
2 tbsp    chopped fresh parsley (optional)    30 mL
1 cup    finely grated Parmesan or Asiago    250 mL
    cheese (optional)
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.    In the pressure cooker, heat butter over medium heat.
Add carrots, parsnips, sweet potato and onion; sauté until
vegetables start to caramelize. Add barley and garlic; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes to toast the grains. Pour in stock.

2.    Lock the lid in place and bring the cooker up to full pressure over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, just to maintain even pressure, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and release pressure quickly. The barley should be tender. If not, cover (but do not lock) and simmer over low heat until tender.

3.    Stir in mint, parsley and Parmesan (if using). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Courtesy of 225 Best Pressure Cooker Recipes by Cinda Chavich © 2013 May not be reprinted with permission. Available where books are sold.

Pork Wraps with Green Tomatoes and Ancho Chilies, page 124

This is a traditional Mexican stew, made with tart, green tomatillos, a vegetable that resembles a small green tomato in a papery husk. You can substitute unripe, green tomatoes in the fall, or even use regular tomatoes with an added 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice for tartness.

2 tbsp    extra virgin olive oil    30 mL
11⁄2 lbs    pork shoulder, fat removed,     750 g
    cut into chunks
4    cloves garlic, minced    4
1 tsp    salt    5 mL
1    large onion, chopped    1
1 cup    chopped green tomatoes or     250 mL
    tomatillos or one 10-oz (284 mL) can tomatillos
1 cup    chopped ripe tomatoes    250 mL
1 cup    dark beer    250 mL
1⁄2 cup    orange juice    125 mL
1    jalapeño pepper, seeded and     1
2    dried ancho or pasilla peppers,     2
    seeded and crumbled
1 tsp    ground cumin    5 mL
2 tbsp    all-purpose flour, whisked     30 mL
    with 2 tbsp (30 mL) cold water
11⁄2 cups    frozen corn kernels, thawed    375 mL
1⁄2 cup    chopped fresh cilantro     125 mL
    (about 1⁄2 bunch)   
12    large whole wheat tortillas     or hot cooked brown rice 12
    Garnishes: sliced avocado, shredded Cheddar cheese and sour cream

1.    In the pressure cooker, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add pork in batches and cook until browned. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside.

2.    Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic and sauté until
fragrant. Add salt. Add onions and sauté for about 10 minutes or until they start to brown. Return pork to cooker; add green tomatoes, ripe tomatoes, beer, orange juice, jalapeño pepper, dried chiles and cumin.

3.    Lock the lid in place and bring the cooker up to full pressure over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, just to maintain even pressure, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and release pressure quickly.

4.    Whisk in flour mixture and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until thickened. Add corn and cook for 2 minutes longer. Stir in cilantro and serve immediately, wrapped in tortillas with garnishes, or over rice.

Tip: Ancho or pasilla chiles are medium-hot dried chiles; fresh banana or Hungarian hot peppers are the closest substitute.
Courtesy of 225 Best Pressure Cooker Recipes by Cinda Chavich © 2013 May not be reprinted with permission. Available where books are sold.

Perfect Pot Roast, page 78

Use beef rump or round roast in this flavorful pot roast recipe, a classic comfort food. You can also substitute bison, a popular new red meat that is ultra-lean and raised without growth hormones and antibiotics. The braising makes it tender, and the puréed vegetables add richness to the gravy without extra fat. And it’s done in less than an hour!

1⁄4 cup    all-purpose flour    60 mL
1⁄2 tsp    salt     2 mL
1⁄4 tsp    freshly ground black pepper    1 mL
1    31⁄2-lb (1.75 kg) beef braising roast    1
3 tbsp    vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil    45 mL
1    large tomato, chopped    1
1 cup    diced onions    250 mL
1 cup    diced carrots    250 mL
1⁄2 cup    diced celery    125 mL
1 cup    beef stock    250 mL
1 cup    dry red wine    250 mL
2 tbsp    all-purpose flour, whisked     30 mL
    with 2 tbsp (30 mL) cold water
1 lb    wide egg noodles, cooked and     500 g
    tossed with unsalted butter
    Minced fresh thyme or oregano

1.    In a plastic bag, combine 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) flour with salt and pepper. Add roast and shake to coat all sides with flour. Discard excess flour mixture.

2.    In the pressure cooker, heat oil over medium-high heat and brown roast well on all sides. Transfer to plate. Set aside.

3.    Add tomato, onions, carrots and celery to pan; sauté until lightly browned. Place roast on top of vegetables. Pour in stock and wine.

4.    Lock the lid in place and bring the cooker up to full pressure over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, just
to maintain even pressure, and cook for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and release pressure quickly.

5.    Transfer roast to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
In a blender or food processor, purée vegetables and stock. Return to pot and slowly whisk in flour mixture. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until gravy is thickened, about 5 minutes. Season gravy with salt and pepper to taste. Season to taste with thyme or oregano. Arrange egg noodles around roast on platter and drizzle with gravy.

Tip: Try serving this with steamed new potatoes instead of the egg noodles.
Courtesy of 225 Best Pressure Cooker Recipes by Cinda Chavich © 2013 May not be reprinted with permission. Available where books are sold.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Cook. Nourish. Glow: 120 recipes that will help you lose weight, look younger, and feel healthier

Cook. Nourish. Glow
120 recipes that will help you 
lose weight, 
look younger, 
and feel healthier
by Amelia Freer
Hardcover, 336 pages
Publisher: Appetite by Random House

Yes, you can both cook healthfully and experiment in the kitchen at the same time. It is about getting comfortable in your own kitchen and with your kitchen skills. By being familiar with healthy ingredients and cooking techniques and keeping things as organic and unfussy as possible.

Cook. Nourish. Glow. gives you the skills to cook freely, healthily and with the fun and spontaneity that makes cooking an art and a joy.

Nothing can stop you now, it's time to Cook, Nourish, Glow.

Chapter One starts with Kitchen confidence, Chapter Two - It's all about taste, Chapter Three - Eating the rainbow, Chapter Four - On the go, Chapter Five - The naughty chapter, Chapter  Six - Friendly fats, Chapter Seven - Happy tummy, Chapter Eight - Entertaining, Chapter Nine - Everyday food.

From the Back Flap:

Cook yourself healthy with Cook. Nourish. Glow, the eagerly anticipated companion to bestselling Eat. Nourish. Glow.

Following the phenomenal success of her first book, Eat. Nourish. Glow, Amelia is back with a much-awaited cookbook. Containing over 100 delicious and easy-to-prepare recipes, Cook. Nourish. Glow will equip readers with the skills and knowledge to improve their health while empowering them to cook with confidence.

     Chapters will cover cooking in the simplest terms, featuring step-by-step visuals designed for the novice chef; how to use and prepare staple pantry ingredients; eating on the go; a "naughty" chapter--because living healthily is about consistency, not perfection--and a chapter full of dishes designed to combat gut-related issues. Recipes will include: Fine Omelette Layered with Tomato and Saffron, Tapenade and Mixed Herbs; Sweet Potato Cakes with Grilled Tiger Prawns and Saffron Sauce; Fig and Raspberry Panna Cotta; Eggs and Leeks with Tabasco and Tarragon Dressing.

     Amelia is a firm believer that absolutely everybody can cook delicious, healthy, beautiful food. Many of us feel pressure to be perfect in the kitchen but with Amelia, anyone can learn how to assemble nourishing food in minutes using fresh ingredients that will transform how you look and feel. As Amelia says: "My aim is to create a useful, rewarding and ultimately inspiring everyday cookbook. I truly understand how what we eat has the ability to transform our health and wellbeing, and I love to show people how some simple changes can make a huge difference to how you look and feel."

     Be inspired to cook yourself healthy with Cook. Nourish. Glow.

AMELIA FREER (FdSc, Dip ION, mBANT) is a qualified nutritional therapist and author of the bestselling Eat. Nourish. Glow. Amelia embarked on a career in nutrition after years of struggling with her own diet and now uses her expertise to transform the lives of her clients and readers. Amongst her success stories are famous names such as Boy George, James Corden and Sam Smith.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Prairie Girl Cupcake Cookbook

The Prairie Girl Cupcake Cookbook
Living Life One Cupcake at a Time
by Jean Blacklock

Photographer Christina Varro
Publisher: Appetite by Random House

Cupcake lovers rejoice!

Cupcakes - the trend that will not die, nor should it ever. There is good reason, scratch that - there are two good reasons why people will always love cupcakes. One is the cupcake itself, the other is the icing. In this case, real butter icing.

I love me a Canadian gal or guy makes good story and this is no exception. Tired of corporate life and always imagining herself as a baker first - even from her early childhood, Jean Blacklock opened up the first of her Prairie Girl Cupcake shops. You can guess by the name where she hails from.

And now you can bake her cupcakes - from scratch with high quality ingredients, just like her, in this new cookbook inspired from her shops.

Life is short, eat dessert first.

From the Back Flap:

With more than 50 recipes for any and every cupcake occasion, as well as the secrets for the most decadent, delicious cupcakes imaginable, cupcake lovers and bakers everywhere will fall in love with this beautiful, easy-to-use book from the famous Prairie Girl Bakery.
Jean Blackwood

Known for having the best cupcakes in Toronto, Prairie Girl Bakery takes fans and readers behind its kitchen doors to share recipes, tips and techniques in the pages of this must-have book. Whether you’re looking for classic, gluten-free or vegan recipes, The Prairie Girl Cupcake Cookbook has everything you need to treat yourself and your loved ones, one cupcake at a time.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Complete Prebiotic & Probiotic Health Guide

The Complete Prebiotic & Probiotic Health Guide
by: Angela Sirounis, Dr. Maitreyi Raman &
Jennifer Shrubsole
Trade Paperback, 288 pages

Time to get that belly in shape. On the inside! 

A healthy tummy is key to optimal health and happiness. And cultivating good digestive health, including friendly bacteria, is the answer. 
Seriously, go a week without sex and you will live. Go a week without pooping and you won't want to. 
These are the things you think about when you are over 40. Or at least I do. 

Many chronic diseases can be helped or even cured with a proper diet that works on maintaining a healthy digestive system as a part of overall nutrition. 

The leading expert on developing a healthy microbiome (belly bliss) offers a comprehensive guide to getting yours into shape. Includes recipes! 

Contents Include:
Part 1: Understanding the Gut Microbiome
Part 2: How to Achieve a Healthy Microbiome
Part 3: The 8-Step Biotic-Balanced Program
Part 4: Recipes for a Healthy Microbiome

From the Back Flap:

Did you know that the gut contains over 100 trillion bacteria?

We have 10 times as many bacteria in our gut as we have total number of human cells in our entire body! In recent years there’s been a great deal of research exploring the relationship between a healthy gut and overall health. A healthy balance of good bacteria plays a huge role in disease prevention and treatment.

Prebiotics and probiotics are vitally important when it comes to maintaining a healthy gut and optimal health and wellness. Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that act as “food”or probiotics. Prebiotics help probiotics grow and remain in your digestive system. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that naturally live and flourish in the colon. From a poor diet to overuse of antibiotics, there are many health and lifestyle choices that can seriously compromise healthy levels of both prebiotics and probiotics.

This outstanding book, written by one of North America’s leading gastroenterologists,helps us understand the relationship between prebiotics and probiotics, their impact on health and the significant role diet plays in maintaining optimal levels of bacteria. It also provides recommendations on how to practice biotic-balanced living through diet.

To get you off to the best possible start, there are 175 tempting recipes that make the transition to a healthy diet easy and delicious!

Squash with Quinoa and Apricots

Banish the blahs with this robust combination of fruits, vegetables and a nutritious whole grain seasoned with ginger, orange and a hint of cinnamon.

If you prefer, use frozen chopped butternut squash in this recipe. Reduce the quantity to 2 cups (500 mL). For best results, toast and grind the cumin yourself. Place seeds in a dry skillet and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Immediately transfer to a mortar or a spice grinder and grind. To make ahead, complete step 1. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to cook, continue with steps 2 and 3.

Makes 8 servings

•    Medium to large (31⁄2- to 5-quart) slow cooker

1 tbsp    vegetable oil    15 mL
2    onions, finely chopped    2
2    cloves garlic, minced    2
1 tbsp    minced gingerroot    15 mL
1 tbsp    ground cumin (see tip, at left)    15 mL
2 tsp    finely grated orange zest    10 mL
1    2-inch (5 cm) cinnamon stick    1
1 tsp    ground turmeric    5 mL
1 tsp    salt    5 mL
1⁄2 tsp    cracked black peppercorns    2 mL
1 cup    Vegetable Stock (page 212) or 
    250 ml ready-to-use vegetable broth
1⁄2 cup    freshly squeezed orange juice    125 mL
4 cups    cubed peeled winter squash     1 L
    (1-inch/2.5 cm cubes)
2    apples, peeled, cored and sliced    2
1⁄2 cup    chopped dried apricots    125 mL
11⁄2 cups    quinoa, rinsed    375 mL

1.    In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, cumin, orange zest, cinnamon stick, turmeric, salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add stock and orange juice and bring to a boil. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.

2.    Add squash, apples and apricots to stoneware and stir well. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours, until vegetables are tender. Discard cinnamon stick.

3.    In a pot, bring 3 cups (750 mL) of water to a boil. Add quinoa in a steady stream, stirring to prevent lumps, and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, until tender and liquid is absorbed. Add to slow cooker and stir well. Serve immediately.

Courtesy of The Complete Prebiotic & Probiotic Health Guide by Dr Maitreyi Raman, Angela Sirounis & Jennifer Shrubsole © 2015 Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.