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Instant Pot - Meal Time Made Easy

Looking for a quick meal? An Instant Pot (IP) is a multifunctional programmable cooker (pressure cooker) that allows you to cook a variety of foods including roasts, chicken, stews, soups, grains and more, in less time than most other cooking appliances. The specific functions will vary based on the model you purchase, but basic programs are sauté /browning, slow cook, pressure cook, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker and warmer. With all these different functions you get multiple appliances in one. Some models of the IP come with an extra lid that converts to an “air fryer” to crisp up food. Others are Wifi enabled, allowing programming and monitoring right from your smartphone or tablet.

How easy is it to use? IP’s are easy to use - sauté your meat or vegetables (if needed) and just dump everything else in, close the lid, press a button and let it do it’s thing.

How long does it take to cook a meal?

It depends on which foods you are cooking and mode you are using, but it can prepare dishes up to 70% faster than regular kitchen appliances. For example, pulled-pork takes up to 4 hours on the stove, but only 40 minutes on HIGH (pressure cooking mode) with the IP. Pre-soaked dried beans only take 4 to 10 min!

Which one should I purchase?

The right size depends on how many meals you want to cook. The IP comes in 3 sizes: 3 quart - feeds 1 to 2 people, 6 quart - 2 to 5 and 8 quart - 4 to 8. The large size helps make extras for the week, or freeze.


When newly starting, choose and follow an “Instant Pot” recipe closely! This will help you to get used to the different functions. Check out the recipes on-line and YouTube videos with step-by-step instructions on how to prepare different dishes. Once you are comfortable you can have fun experimenting with your own favorite recipes!




Yummy vegan instant pot chili featuring red lentils, fire-roasted tomatoes, walnuts, black beans, pumpkin, chipotles, and all the good toppings.

Yield: Lots for freezing

NOTE: If using a smaller Instant Pot size, cut

recipe by half (50%)

Pumpkin Chili Ingredients:

1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes

half an onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 poblano peppers, chopped

2 to 3 chipotle peppers, chopped

Or for milder flavour - bell peppers

2 cups walnuts, chopped

1 cup red lentils

1 cup bulgur (a type of wheat)

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon salt (adjustable)

6 cups water (refill the tomato can about 2x)

Add at the end:

1 (14-ounce) can pumpkin puree

2 or 3 (14-ounce) cans No Added Salt black beans, rinsed and drained

OR cook beans from scratch (do this first) Instant Pot 101: How to Cook Legumes).

1 cup of dried beans = about 3 cups of cooked beans

To Start: Place all the chili ingredients in the IP and set to “soup” mode (30 minutes).

To Finish: Release the steam, stir in the pumpkin and black beans, and season spice if needed. Serve with avocado, lime wedges, cilantro, tortilla chips, rice, or cornbread… whatever you like with your chili! If it’s too thick, you can always thin it out with additional water.

Note: When you use the “soup” function on your IP, it will heat your soup to 230F, so it doesn't burn. It also does not heat the bottom of the pot as much because it knows that nobody is stirring the soup during the cooking process : )


This chickpea stew is a delicious main meal full of Moroccan-influenced spices and flavours. It can be served over couscous, barley or brown rice.

1 large onion, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed

2 teaspoons cinnamon powder

2 teaspoons cumin powder

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or chilli

2 heaped teaspoons paprika powder

1.5 to 2 cups (400g) diced canned tomatoes

2 tins (400 g each) canned chickpeas/garbanzo

beans, drained and rinsed well

2 tablespoons of raisins

12 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped into pieces

140 g/ 5 oz. washed baby spinach or frozen spinach

3 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable stock (Imagine Organic - Low Sodium is my favorite)

½ teaspoon salt (or less) and some pepper, to taste

A handful of fresh cilantro or parsley leaves to serve

  • Turn the IP on and press the Sauté function key. Once slightly heated, add the onion and olive oil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and spices and stir through for 30 seconds. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir through. Press Cancel to stop the Sauté function.

  • Pop the lid on top, lock it (making sure the steam valve is pointing to Sealing) and set the Instant Pot to Manual, HIGH, for 10 Minutes. After 3 beeps, the IP will start to build up the pressure and the cooking will begin. Once the timer goes off, allow 10 minutes for the pressure to release naturally, and then use a quick release to let off the rest of the steam (simply point the sealing valve to Venting).

  • Open the lid and stir the stew.

Note: For this stew recipe, they used tinned, cooked chickpeas so the cooking time only takes 10 minutes on HIGH pressure. If you want to use dried garbanzo beans/chickpeas, cook them first following these timings.

Dry cooking time: 35-40 minutes on high pressure in enough water to fully submerge the beans.

Soaked cooking time (soak beans for at least 4 hours): 10-15 minutes on high pressure in enough water to fully submerge the beans.

Then use the above recipe!

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