Thursday, February 20, 2020

Instant Pot Mushroom Wild Rice Soup

A perfect meal; this Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup made in the Instant Pot is hearty, easy to make and super delicious! Try it to believe it! 





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Soups are like a warm hug on cold days. But they are great for weeknight dinner year round. I can practically live on them! Given a choice between soup and dessert, I would probably pick soup. 

This wild rice and mushroom soup has been in my drafts longer than it should have! I made it, took photos and they got buried somewhere in the folders. I chanced upon them over the weekend and finally the post is up on the blog. 

We still have a few weeks of winter and all of spring to enjoy it. Plus, as I mentioned, this soup can be enjoyed year round! 



This Mushroom Wild Rice Soup

One of the BEST kinds of soups are the ones that need no baby sitting. Soups that are as simple as sauté, cook and enjoy. This soup is like that. No complex steps and no mess with a ton of utensils. 

All you need for this soup is the Instant Pot and a cup. It comes together very easily and has everything to qualify as a complete meal by itself. Combine with some toasted bread and it could define my weeknight meal for days! 

Besides enjoying it on the day it is made, this recipe freezes really well too. Make a big batch and enjoy it for a couple of meals. 



What do you need to make this soup?

Wondering about the ingredients? This mushroom and wild rice soup has one key ingredient; WILD RICE. Everything else is pretty much based on how you like your soup. 

Getting the actual wild rice is key to making the soup perfect. Once you have that, you are ready to make the soup. It is best to not get any sort of blend for this recipe as the blends often contain white rice which would become mushy in 35 minutes cooking time and then make the soup super thick, almost like a paste. 

I add some veggies to the soup and keep rotating them like carrots, kale, peppers, celery, beans, broccoli, mushroom, peas and spinach. I try and make a new combination each time I make the soup. 

The day when I shot this soup I had carrots, mushroom, celery and spinach. Sometimes I even throw in some tofu. It adds protein to the soup and makes it delicious too. So you can add anything you like to this one. 

A lot of recipes of this soup called for roux made on the stove top and added to the soup. I personally just mix room temperature broth and flour and add it to the soup. No need of cooking it separately or adding any additional butter. The soup is perfectly creamy and delicious. 



How to enjoy this soup?

As I mentioned above, this soup is a great meal by itself. However, if you would like any accompaniment, I would totally vote for a bread like Cheese Jalapeño Stuffed Pretzel Rolls or Ciabatta Sandwich Rolls. They are great with the creamy soup for sure. 

If you are freezing this soup to enjoy later, it is a great idea. Once ready to enjoy, heat a tsp of olive oil or butter in the instant pot and add the frozen soup. Pressure cook for 2 minutes and do a quick release. Enjoy a bowl full of warm soup! 



Ingredients

Wild Rice 1 cup
Carrot 1 medium, diced
Celery 2 stalks, sliced
Spinach a handful
Onion 1 medium, diced
Garlic 4-5 cloves, minced
Heavy Cream 1/2 cup
Vegetable Broth/ Water 4 cups
Olive Oil 2 tbsp
Paprika 1/2 tsp
Salt 3/4 tsp
Pepper Powder 1/4 tsp
Cilantro to top



Method


Press Sauté on the Instant Pot. Once the display reads 'Hot', add Olive Oil. Sauté garlic till fragrant and add onions. Sauté till the onions are soft and translucent. 

Add carrots, celery, mushrooms and wild rice. Stir and let them sauté for a minute. Deglaze the pot with 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water. 

Mix in Italian Seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper powder. Press Cancel. 

Close the lid and put the vent in sealing position. Press Pressure Cook/Manual and set the pressure to high. Adjust time to 35 minutes and let the soup cook. 

Once the timer reaches zero, wait for 15 minutes and then remove the remaining pressure manually. 

Open the Instant pot and set the mode to Sauté again. In a bowl mix together all purpose flour and 1/2 cup water or broth. Add that along with heavy cream to the soup. 

If the soup is too thick add some more broth or water. Let the soup simmer for 2-3 minutes and then add in spinach. Stir, add cilantro and serve warm. 




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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Air Fried Cauliflower Bites

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MazolaHeartHealth #CollectiveBias


Air Fryer Cauliflower Bites taste great and are super easy to make! A crave-worthy Vegan appetizer that is Keto friendly too! A clinical study showed Mazola® Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, visit Mazola.com


A delicious snack or appetizer that is easy to make. Does that sounds like something unachievable? This recipe of Cauliflower Bites will make it possible. A whole head of cauliflower coated with  Mazola® Corn Oil based marinade and air fried to golden brown! A PERFECT recipe to celebrate Heart Health Month this February.


This Keto friendly recipe is super quick and needs only a handful of pantry essentials including cauliflower, a few spices and Mazola Corn Oil. A clinical study showed Mazola Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, visit Mazola.com.

This recipe has been a favorite in our house for many parties as well as weeknight sides. Using the air fryer makes it super quick, non messy and definitely delicious. Plus the marinade can be made in under a couple of minutes and the cauliflower soaks up the flavors quickly too.

Video Recipe



Why use Cauliflower in this recipe?

For a very long time cauliflower has been a star in vegetarian cooking. From the traditional recipes like aloo gobi and cauliflower 65 to more complex cauliflower pizza and rice, cauliflower is everywhere.

A perfect replacement of chicken and other meats, cauliflower is a great carrier for various flavors. It does not have any strong flavors in itself making it great for all kinds of sauces and marinades.

Cauliflower is easily available year round at a LOT of places. You will not have to hunt for it. From the local farmer's market to big chains, everyone has these on their aisles.

Lastly, the florets are beautiful and they cook really well in a pan, on the grill, in the air fryer as well as the oven. This gives us a lot of ways to use them.


How to make the BEST Cauliflower Bites?

The starting point of this recipe is definitely the cauliflower. So pick one that looks clean and will not need a lot of trimming. Make the recipe while the cauliflower is still fresh. This gives the dish a perfect crunch.

I used the air fryer to make the recipe and I must admit I LOVE air fried cauliflower. Ready in just 12-15 minutes, the air fryer is great for this recipe. However, the same can be made in the oven too. Just spread out the bites in a baking tray and bake at 350 F for 15-18 minutes.

The ingredients here mention hot sauce. Adding 3-4 tbsp of sauce will not make the recipe SUPER spicy. But if you have a smaller cauliflower, it might. So start with 3 tbsp of hot sauce and add more if you think it is required. If you like spicy food, add some more!

While placing the bites in the air fryer tray make sure they do not pile on top of each other. They should be in a single layer to cook evenly.


Swaps to make this recipe 'Better for You'

This recipe uses a few swaps that makes it delicious and better for you. By using these swaps I like to enjoy the recipe more often!
  • Use almond flour in place of regular flour. Not only is it full of nutrition, it is perfect to give the cauliflower a great crust.
  • Mazola Corn Oil in place of butter. This one is an all-purpose, cholesterol free cooking oil that is a smart heart-healthy* choice for your family. *See Mazola.com for more information on the relationship between corn oil and heart health. It has a variety of uses include baking, grilling, sautéing, stir frying, or mixing up a marinade or dressing.
  • Air fry or bake instead of frying. When the ingredients are not submerged in hot oil, it makes them lighter while still being delicious.
  • Serve the bites with a lighter dip like the Greek yogurt one in the recipe below. Or serve it with celery sticks.

Variations

I have used cauliflower in this recipe but other vegetables like broccoli, carrots, french beans and mushrooms work equally well. You can use a mix of these vegetables too.

The hot sauce in the recipe makes it spicy. Add a pinch of sugar or some honey to make it sweet and spicy.

Use the oven instead of air fryer if you do not own an air fryer. I would totally recommend having an air fryer at home though! I hope you try this recipe for your next party or movie night!



Ingredients

For the Bites
Cauliflower 1 medium head
Mazola Corn Oil 3 tbsp
Hot Sauce 3-4 tbsp
Almond Flour 2 tbsp
Garlic Powder 1/2 tsp
Pepper Powder 1/2 tsp
Salt 3/4 tsp

For the Dip
Greek Yogurt 1/2 cup
Shredded Cucumber 1/4 cup
Garlic Powder 1/4 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Pepper Powder a pinch

Method

Preheat air fryer to 400 F/ 200 C.

Chop the cauliflower into bite size pieces. Wash and pat dry.


In a bowl add oil, hot sauce, almond flour, garlic powder, pepper powder and salt.


Add the sauce to the cauliflower bites and mix until coated.

Transfer half the cauliflower bites to the air fryer tray and fry for 12-15 minutes. Halfway through this time open the air fryer and toss the bites.

The edges should be crisp in 12-15 minutes. Remove and set aside.


Add the remaining batch but cook for 2-3 minutes less.

To make the dip, whip the Greek Yogurt till smooth. Add the remaining ingredients under dip and mix well.

Serve the cauliflower bites with the dip.