So we all have those days when we know we have to cook, but we feel as though someone yanked our lungs out and did a tap dance on them. What's your best trick for getting in and out of the kitchen with REAL nutritious food?
My secret weapons have to be my crock pot and my pressure cooker. I was sharing on another thread about my pressure cooker lasagna, so I'll share the recipe here. It's literally 7 minutes to YUM — at least the cooking bit.
The basic recipe is your favorite lasagna recipe, down-sized. The trick is in the technique.
- In an oven-proof pan or bowl that will fit in your pressure cooker without the sides touching, assemble your lasagna recipe with UNCOOKED noodles. It doesn't require special noodles — just your usual dried lasagna noodles.
- Put an oven-safe trivet or three mason jar lid rings on the bottom of the pressure cooker.
- Take aluminum foil and fashion a sling to go under and around your lasagna pan. You'll need to seal it up so that the noodles will cook, and you also need a handle to get it out.
- Carefully drop the wrapped pan onto your trivet.
- Add a cup of water to the bottom of the pressure cooker.
- Bring the pressure cooker to high pressure, then turn the heat down to low and cook for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the pressure cooker to "naturally" release.
- Open the lid and with oven mitts carefully remove the lasagna by the aluminum foil handle. Unwrap the lasagna. You should have perfectly cooked lasagna that's ready to eat as is, or if you want the top browned, you can stick it under your broiler or in a hot oven.
If you want the taste of lasagna without the fuss, you could do a penne pasta dish.
- Brown your sausage or ground meat in the bottom of your pressure cooker.
- Add a half pound of pasta to the pan and toss in the meat, scraping to loosen the bits of meat on the bottom.
- Add 1 3/4 cup of water to the pan.
- Add a 28 ounce jar (or the equivalent in your favorite homemade sauce) to the pan atop the noodles — DO NOT STIR.
- Rinse out the jar with a quarter cup of water.
- Lock the pressure cooker, bring it up to pressure and then reduce the temp to simmer. Cook for five to eight minutes, depending on your pasta (if it says al dente in 10 minutes, cook 8. Al dente in 7, cook five).
- Remove from heat, and allow to come down from pressure naturally.
- Remove the lid and stir to combine, then add grated or shredded mozzarella cheese to make extra cheesy.
Now what's your favorite secret weapon in the kitchen?