The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for your Instant Pot Review, recipe and a giveaway

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I knew Kathy Hester’s newest book The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for your Instant Pot would be an asset. (I was one of the lucky ones to be able to recipe test for her.) This book is strictly written for your IP, and not the stove top pressure cookers like so many of them are written for, those are easily adaptable- but with Kathy book there’s no wondering what setting you should cook it on. For those who have bought an IP, and it’s still sitting in the box in the corner (yes I’m looking at you) to those who use their IP daily, there’s something for everyone. Kathy explains everything you need to know about the Instant Pot, what it is, what it has to offer and the different functions of each setting. There’s the dos and do nots, ninja ticks, special diet considerations. Kathy has thought of everything, sifted through all the information and gives you a comprehensive insight that is easy to read. Kathy’s book is like a study guide that is fun to read and motivates you to get in the kitchen and cook… er, throw things in a pot and get on to the rest of your day. It’s that simple.

Kathy has 9 chapters, no nonsense titles; you are going to find what you are looking for.

Chapter 1: 5 Recipes to start, which includes The Best Not Refried Black Beans.

Chapter 2: Quick and Easy Homemade Staples to Save You Money. I have never heard about jalapeno powder before, so I was stoked when she has a recipe to make your own. You will never believe how easy it is and how much flavor it gives the dish.

Chapter 3: Bean and Lentil Recipes That Cook in Half the Time. I really enjoyed All the Beans Soup.

Chapter 4: Fun and Delicious Ways to Add In More Whole Grains. I really want to try the Vegan Sushi Bowl. Kathy includes a cooking chart so if you want to cook another grain, you can do so easily without having to Google

Chapter 5: Eat Your Vegetables: Easy and Elegant Plant-Based Fare. Smokey Pecan Brussels Sprouts are so good, even the people who hate Brussels sprouts will love this easy recipe.

Chapter 6: Fast and Easy Comforting One Pot Meals. The Mini Tofu Frittatas are so good. These will become your weekend must have’s.

Chapter 7: Fast and Comforting One Pot Meals: This has to be my favorite chapter in the whole book. I love how Kathy put together a few dishes and it all cooks at the same time. I really enjoyed the CSA Layered Indian Dinner, Black as Night Layered Halloween Dinner, One Pot Burrito Bowl.

Chapter 8: Decadent and Healthy Desserts.  Try the Vanilla Spice Tea Concentrate.

There’s so many recipes that I would like to mention, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. The ones I listed are the ones I recommend you try first.

I’m excited to be sharing Kathy’s recipe for Smokey Pecan Brussels Sprouts!!!


Smoky Pecan Brussels Sprouts



2 cups (176 g) small baby Brussels sprouts, as close to the same size as possible

¼ cup (60 ml) water

½ tsp liquid smoke


¼ cup (28 g) chopped pecans

2 tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup

Salt, to taste


For the pressure cooker, add the Brussels sprouts, water and liquid smoke to your Instant Pot and mix well. Put the lid on and close the pressure valve. Cook on high pressure for 2 minutes. (Note: If you have very large Brussels sprouts, you may need to double the cooking time.)

Once the cooking time is up, carefully move the pressure release valve to release the pressure manually.

For the sauté, switch to the sauté function and add in the pecans and maple syrup and reduce the liquid as you finish cooking the sprouts. Remove from the heat once tender and add salt to taste.

The above photo’s and recipe was published with permission by Kathy Hester.

I was sent out a copy to review and I’m excited to be able to send one lucky winner with a Canadian mailing address out a copy as well. Would you like to win this book? Click here to enter. Or you can purchase a copy here.

Pear Crisp

I’ve been wanting to make a crisp for sometime. I use to make the one from the Betty Crocker book, but since going vegan, I just couldn’t get it to taste “right”. I was stoked when I came across a post by Kathy Hester . Pears, oatmeal, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg. Can you smell the flavour already?! I knew when I was reading it, I could smell it. In fact if I was to sell a house, I’d whip one of these up before the viewings started.


This dish just takes your mind away and for me, I thought about happy childhood memories, sneaking down to shake Santa’s gifts before my parents woke up, or laughing with my brother while drinking a hot chocolate with whipped cream moustache’s placing bets on who’s marshmallows would melt the fastest, or trying to walk up a small ice covered hill, we kept falling down and laughing at each other. That’s right at each other and not with each other.


I had to sample this hot out of the oven- but when the kids go to bed, I’m going to put ice cream on it. I’m just not sharing tonight lol


I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I am. I used a mixture of pears and Granny Smith apples and didn’t use any more agave (I don’t really like sweet fruit for a crisp) Click on Kathy’s name if you already haven’t for the full recipe 🙂

What is your favourite fruit for a crisp?


Menu For Dec 6-12

I actually made everything this week, so I do have pictures. Everything I made can be found on line, so you will be able to make the dishes as well 🙂

I wanted a lasagna but didn’t want to make the ricotta cheeze, so when I found this recipe Pea and White Bean Puttanesca  from Laura Theodore’s website knew this would hit the spot. Noodles, peas, beans and homemade sauce- YES!! This will serve four people when you pair it with some garlic bread, and or a salad.



For the sauce, I used this Dad’s Marinara. This recipe is quick and easy and good! It’s a nice hearty sauce. I used onions and added about 5-6 cloves of garlic, because I love onion and garlic. This makes for an excellent dip as well. For pizza, bread, or grilled cheeze.



To make up a new dish so it wasn’t like eating left overs all week, I put some pea and white bean puttanesca in between two slices of bread, topped with chao cheeze and grilled it. Now that was tasty. I think next time I will use garlic butter instead of plain butter on the bread.


Kathy Hester has a new recipe for the instant pot. Don’t worry, she has a slow cooker method as well. This hits the spot considering I’ve had a cold, and feeling really lazy- so when I read that I only need to chop a few carrots, potatoes, onion, garlic and throw in some spices- cook it for 10 mins, I knew this was a must. Trust me, it was worth burning my lips to taste it before it cooled.



Today Dec 4 is national cookie day, so it’s only natural for me to turn to Dreena Burton and make her chocolate chip cookies. These bake in 11 mins, and it takes all of 20 mins to prep and bake. Word of caution, you might want to make a double batch if your kids are anything like mine- because they go fast. Here’s the link for the Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies. There’s a wheat-free, soy-free option.

I’m also going to be making home fries, some tofu dish and baking some bread, muffins and I’m wanting an apple/pear crisp, or apple/pear  cake or something fruity sweet and sinfully good. Kathy Hester posted this recipe not too long ago and I bought pears just for this Vegan Holiday Gingerbread Pear Crumble From OATrageous Oatmeals. Check out her site for the picture of it. I wish I could reach into the internets and grab that dish. I’m drooling.

All of the dishes I made had enough for left overs. I had to freeze the left over pasta sauce (stored in a mason jar) because I wasn’t planning on using it all. I’ve all put some soup in the freezer for a quick healthy option when I don’t feel like cooking. My meals for the week cost next to nothing. I did use canned beans, but normally I use my instant pot to cook them in.

For my juices this week, I made carrot, granny smith apple and lemon juice. So cheap right now. a 2lb bag of carrots 2.00, a 5lb bag of apples 3 something. Lemons were expensive they were 6.00 but there was at least 10 in the bag. (or they were .77 each)


Do you buy canned beans? Or do you buy a bag of beans and cook them?


Getting sauced with the Easy Vegan Cookbook

I wanted to make Kathy Hester’s one pot veggie vodka pasta – so I made her Mushroom, red pepper pasta sauce. No shrooms though- the first and last time I had them- I was at old man’s bar and thought a of couple guys were sailors. Yeah ok- not the mushrooms Kathy calls for- I was just trying to be funny. I just don’t care for mushrooms. But the sauce is still great! You can find the recipe on page 85 of the easy vegan cookbook.


The sauce took about 1/2 hour to make, and it’s very good! If I was in a hurry to make the pasta, I would make it the sauce a day ahead of time.

Random thought: I do not like my can opener  the dollar store ones are better, unless I just ended up with a dud


Anyway, back to the pasta.


Throw everything into 1 pot. I used a wok.


15 mins later, I was eating this hearty, tasty, easy meal!! This is going into rotation. If you don’t want to use Vodka you can leave it out- but I’m sure it adds a depth of flavour.

If you want to try this pasta for yourself- head over to Richa’s site. Seriously, if you have 15 mins, you have time to make this. I’m sure the left overs will be great!! And not only was the dish easy to make- ONE pot to clean…. Perfect! If you have a copy of the Easy Vegan Cookbook flip to page 90.

Szechuan Sauce Heaven! – Take-out Food No More

After a few times of Brandi telling me, ‘I swear you will never order take-out again when you try this’, I decided to give it a go.   O  M  G is all I have to say.  It took all I had not to lick the sauce from the hot pan, but I did lick it from the spatula.  I told Brandi that I would have to be half dead from exhaustion in order to justify take-out again (and that still wouldn’t be a good enough excuse) because this recipe is that easy to do and that scrumptious…and way, way healthier than take-out.


The recipe can be found on page 136 of The Easy Vegan Cookbook by Kathy Hester

For once in my life I followed a recipe to a tee (the sauce).  And, anyone who knows me, knows that is near impossible for me to do.  What have you done to me Kathy?!?  LOL.  I will never order take-out again.

So, that was on a Friday night that I first tried the Szechuan sauce.  Did I have to try it again AND so soon??  Yes, yes I did.  The following Friday night, I made the sauce with these veggies…..Oh, all that is holy…super delicious!


I added baby potatoes and asparagus…Taste buds delighted…need I say more?

National Sandwich day

It’s National Sandwich Day, and I had a veggie burger for lunch, so that counts. Sorry no pictures about that… it was just a veggie burger, nothing special – no mac n cheeze added, or tater tots, or anything like that. So, for supper I pulled out another recipe that I have made before. It was really the sauce I was after, but that stuff I could just drink. It’s that good.

I cut up my veggies, broccoli, zucchini, carrot, celery, onion. (Yes, I love my mason jars)

imageUsed my zester, to zest some garlic and ginger

imageCooked my veggies in the wok


Mixed up

imageDinner is made. I might add some rice or noodles to it, if I could only stop eating it out the wok. We can always pretend, I made a wrap out of it, or a grilled sandwich…….

What did you make tonight for dinner?