Fast, Healthy, Gluten-Free Meals Under Pressure

Reader Contribution by Wendy Gregory Kaho
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I conquered my fear of the pressure cooker two years ago. Since then I’ve used it to cook a lot of beans that I used in soups, stews and even baking. I asked Linda Etherton, The Gluten-Free Homemaker, to share some of her favorite recipes. Linda is one of my favorite gluten-free bloggers and her site is full of family-friendly, gluten-free recipes. Her Gluten-Free Wednesdays are a great place to find new gluten-free recipes from some of the best food blogs. Here’s what Linda has to say:

These days every cook is interested in making a fast meal, at least at times.  We’re also interested in eating healthy food, but fast food is usually not healthy food.  Usually.  Using a pressure cooker is one exception.

Fast: Pressure cooking takes approximately 1/3 the amount of traditional cooking time, but it really varies according to the food you are cooking.  I cook quartered large potatoes for 10 minutes under pressure.  White rice only takes 5 minutes and brown rice takes 22 minutes.  Split pea soup also cooks in 22 minutes, and I can cook a roast in 45 minutes.  Compared to a conventional oven or normal stove top cooking, pressure cooking is always faster.

Healthy: Pressure cooking uses only a small amount of water for foods that do not need to absorb water such as potatoes, meat, and vegetables.  Therefore, fewer nutrients are lost to cooking liquid.  The lid of a pressure cooker is well sealed which means nutrients are not lost to the air either.

Pressure Cookers: As with any cooking equipment, there are differences in the quality of pressure cookers.  I have only used Kuhn Rikon which is a high quality brand.  It has two pressure settings which allows me to cook things like rice that foam at a higher pressure.  You can view which Kuhn Rikon cooker I have at this pressure cooking post on my blog.

You can find pressure cookers at different places online, including Amazon.  I even bought a second Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker from eBay.  It was a slightly older model, but had not been used and the savings made buying a second one feasible.

Recipes:  I found that after following recipes for a while, I got the hang of how to cook with a pressure cooker and started adapting my own recipes.  A new pressure cooker should come with a small recipe book. There are also great cookbooks such as Lorna Sass’ Pressure Perfect, and there are recipes to be found online.  Here are a few of mine: 

Split Pea SoupChicken, Vegetable, and Wild Rice SoupHoneyed BeetsRice and Quinoa Pilaf

Linda Etherton began her gluten-free journey in 2000 when she was diagnosed with celiac disease. She shares recipes and information about living gluten free on her blog, The Gluten-Free Homemaker. Linda believes that gluten free can and should be delicious and never apologizes for serving gluten-free food.

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