I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was like a kid at Christmas thinking about what I was going to write and how I was going to say it. For this post I think it best to start at the beginning.
Tator asks me every year what I want for Christmas and every year it makes me mad. I think that after being married for 16 years, he should know things to get me. After all, I don’t ask him for a list. But this year I decided to just give him a list for Christmas. I called it my wish list.
So color me surprised when about a week later the doorbell rang and the UPS fella was dropping off packages. There was this big box and on the outside of it was printed what was inside of it. Surprise blown. I quickly took a picture and text it to ol Tator. He promptly replied back with some #$*#&! words of sorts. More like a ARE YOU KIDDING ME????? NOPE I am not. So there it was weeks before Christmas and my Instant Pot had arrived. So I did what any good wife would do, I wrapped my own present!
Yesterday was the day. The day to try out the Instant Pot. So for those of you not sure what an Instant Pot is exactly it is a new fangled and programmable pressure cooker. Gone are the days of “mamas pressure cooker”. That think scared the bejeezus out of me. Who remembers the big ol silver pot of pressure. The little silver top hat that went on the little valve to release the pressure. The scary stories that accompanied it. I start shaking just thinking about it!
Now the Instant Pot comes with manuals on how to use it. Yes I said manuals…with an S! That was a little scary for me. But I digress. I decided a great way to add veggies to the Ponderosa residents diet was to disguise them or hide them. The less they knew the better off we would be. Now I have a friend who’s a blogger and she does a “Meatless Monday”. I was pretty sure if I did that here at the Ponderosa, I might be voted off the Ponderosa. Baby steps….Baby steps. So I decided that dinner would be a Busting at the Seams Veggie Spaghetti Sauce.
The Instant Pot has a saute feature where I could have added the meat and cooked it. But I decided to just make the sauce in the pot and then add it to the cooked hamburger and Italian Sausage.
So I started with 1 28oz can of whole peeled tomatoes and 1 28oz can of diced tomatoes, added in 6 baby bellas that I quartered, chopped up an onion, 2 baby zucchini, big handful of shredded carrots, super big hand full of spinach, 4 peeled garlic cloves, salt and pepper, lots of fresh basil, some Italian Seasoning, a little sugar, and water. Placed the top on the Instant Pot and set the timer manually for 19 minutes.
I would not be telling you the truth if I said I put the top on and walked away and forgot it. It was so quiet. I must have walked over 5 times and leaned in real close to listen to see if it was doing anything. I learned that first it has to build the pressure before the time actually starts. So once it was pressurized the 19 minutes popped up on the pot. Once the time was done, I waited for a few minutes. Then I released the pressure manually! I couldn’t wait. Releasing the pressure put some yummilish smells into the kitchen at the Ponderosa. Once the pressure was released, I used my Immersion Blender to pulverize the veggies and finish my hidden veggie plan.
It was a little thin, I learned to not add extra water! So I added a cornstarch slurry to thicken it! I also had enough sauce for the block! So I froze some. I added sauce to the hamburger and Italian Sausage I cooked stove top. It smelled like HEAVEN!
Tator remarked at the table that it wasn’t very red. I am not sure why it wasn’t bright red. I can only surmise that all the veggies that were in it changed the color. But after that remark and my raised eyebrow of a challenge. Tator was blown away with how awesome it was. It was delish. I was successful in feeding my family more veggies, the easy way.
So was it an Instant Success; I’d say YES. Do I have lots to learn about my new fangled pot; YES. But for my first attempt, I did not decorate my cabinets with spaghetti sauce and I didn’t have to make another dinner because it was horrible. SO high fives in that department.
From the Ponderosa Kitchen,