Pressure Cooking Black Rice


Black rice (also known as forbidden rice) has come into vogue lately, and for good reason. It has a nice nutty flavor, a toothsome but tender texture, and it’s packed with nutrients. It also looks very, very cool.

Luckily, it’s also very easy to make in a pressure cooker (such as an Instant Pot). I have a recipe for Forbidden Rice With Grapefruit and Jalapeno in my new book (out May 1), but until then, here’s the basics of how to cook black rice:

Pressure Cooker Black (Forbidden) Rice
makes about 3 cups

1 cup black rice, rinsed and drained
1 1/4 cup water or broth
1 teaspoon oil
1 pinch salt

For electric pressure cookers: Cook at high pressure for 23 minutes. Use a 10-minute natural release followed by a quick release.

For stovetop pressure cookers: Cook at high pressure for 20 minutes. Use a 10-minute natural release followed by a quick release.

Pressure Cooking Black Rice

Pressure Cooker Farro Risotto

pressure risotto

I will never cease to be amazed by pressure cooker risotto.

Risotto is a dish I’ve always loved, but rarely made at home because standing over a hot pan and constantly stirring isn’t my idea of a good time. Now I make it at least once a month since the pressure cooker takes all the pressure off (oy). It’s almost completely hands-off—you can literally walk away while the risotto cooks. It’s the best.

I’ve talked about how you can make risotto with brown rice, but did you know you can also make it with farro? The whole grain has a lightly nutty flavor and pleasantly chewy texture, and it make a surprisingly creamy risotto. It’s a great way to add some whole grains to your life.

Get the recipe here.

Pressure Cooker Farro Risotto

Pressure Cooking Wheat Berries


I’ve recently added wheat berries to my diet! Pretty exciting stuff. You can find them relatively easily in Whole Foods or another health market, and even though you can easily spend $200 in a health food store, wheat berries are pretty affordable. Here’s some stuff to know if you want to add them to your life:

Hard wheat berries, also labeled hard red wheat, are the most nutritious. They are chewier than the soft variety, but not too chewy (if you ask me). They also take the longest to cook, and often call for soaking, but it’s no big deal in a pressure cooker.

Soft wheat berries, sometimes labeled soft or pearled white wheat, are lightly processed for easier cooking and eating. They are more tender and take less time to cook.

To cook wheat berries: Add 1 cup of rinsed and drained wheat berries, 4 cups of water, a pinch of salt, and a glug of oil to an electric pressure. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes (for soft berries) or 40 minutes (for hard berries) and use a natural release. Drain.

Serve as a grain in soups, salads, or other savory dishes. Make a breakfast bowl with yogurt and fruit. It’s all goooood.



Pressure Cooking Wheat Berries

Mini Muffins

mini muffins

I love breakfast pastries, and that includes a good muffin. I’m not talking about those vending machine cake rocks, I’m talking tender, lightly sweet, and satisfying muffins. I make them often and toast a couple for my breakfast during the week. In order to justify this, I make my muffins as healthy as possible–using white whole wheat flour, flax in lieu of egg, and no butter (that goes on later). I’ve tried several recipes over the years and have tweaked and altered until I was happy with them.

This year I’m trying not to eat as much sugar (and so far, epically failing), so I tried a new recipe that contains no refined sugar. I didn’t have fruit juice, so I used milk–the big problem here is most of the sweetness comes from the fruit juice. So I had to improvise, which meant I ended up using some raw sugar. Whoops.

Regardless, they ended up being tasty little muffins with low sugar content. If you’d like to go sugar free, I’d suggest trying the original recipe with fruit juice. I halved the recipe and it made 14 little mini muffins.

Whole Wheat, Low Sugar Mini Muffins
makes about 28 mini muffins

1½ cups white whole wheat flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg
2 tsp finely ground flax mixed with 2 tablespoons warm water*
3 T honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup milk or soy/almond milk
1/8 cup chia seeds
1 cup of chopped frozen strawberries and blueberries, mixed with 2 T raw sugar

Preheat to 400 degrees and prepare two mini muffin tins.

Prepare fruit and set aside. Mix together the dry ingredients (minus the flax).

Add the wet ingredients (including flax) and mix just until combined. Add berries and chia seeds and fold in. If the berries are soupy, toss them with a tablespoon or two of flour first.

Fill cups 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake for about 12 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

*Before beginning recipe, mix 2 tsp finely ground flax with 2 T warm water in a small bowl and set in fridge to set up. Remove and stir just before using.

Mini Muffins