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Published on November 7, 2019

27 Healthy Pressure Cooker Meals (with Easy Recipes)

27 Healthy Pressure Cooker Meals (with Easy Recipes)

Do you want to be able to make healthy meals on a weeknight, but feel like it just takes too long?

This is where pressure cooker meals come to the rescue! With an electric pressure cooker, like an Instant Pot, you can make meals a lot faster than on the stove or in the oven. You also just set the time, and let it do its thing while you do yours, until you hear the beep.

Taking advantage of this time-saving device to make healthy meals is easy, but it’s hard to know where to start in searching through all of the recipes online. It takes forever to browse around and find something you want to make.

Let’s get you started with 27 easy recipes for healthy pressure cooker meals you can make this week – along with some info on why they’re healthy to motivate you to make them.

1. Chipotle Burrito Bowls

    This recipe is not only spectacularly delicious, but shows you how to use the pot-in-pot method for your pressure cooker to make rice and beans at the same time. This way, you can flavor them differently, and portion out each section of your burrito bowl for a gorgeous meal.

    Check out the recipe here!

    2. Maple Bourbon Chili

      Adding sweet potatoes and a little splash of maple syrup and bourbon takes an already delicious chili to the next level. This one is also vegetarian, so it’s free from cholesterol and saturated fats, and the kidney beans bring cholesterol-lowering fiber and homocysteine-lowering folate for a heart-healthy bowl of goodness.

      Check out the recipe here!

      3. Butternut Squash & Sage Risotto

        Risotto is so luxuriously creamy and rich, but the traditional method takes a lot of time and constant stirring. Making it in your electric pressure cooker means you can set it for five minutes, and let it go on its own. This recipe pairs slightly sweet butternut squash and earthy sage for a perfect fall meal.

        Check out the recipe here!

        4. Lentil Ragu

          Lentils make a perfect stand in for ground beef in this hearty and flavorful ragu. They’re a good source of folate, iron, B vitamins, and fiber – all of which help contribute to your energy levels and heart health.

          Check out the recipe here!

          5. Moroccan Winter Squash and Chickpea Tagine

            A lighter take on a traditionally slow-cooked North African dish, this vegetarian tagine from is cooked quickly in the pressure cooker. The easy pickled raisins sound like an exciting flavor boost to try!

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            Check out the recipe here!

            6. Chickpea Bolognese Spaghetti Squash

              Swap the meat for protein- and mineral-rich chickpeas, and the spaghetti for vitamin-rich gluten-free spaghetti squash! Cooking spaghetti squash in your pressure cooker cuts the time down significantly from baking it, so you have this delicious and nutritious meal on the table quick enough to enjoy even on a weeknight.

              Check out the recipe here!

              7. Lasagna Soup

                All the delicious comfort of lasagna, but as a one-pot stew you can make quickly in your pressure cooker. Richa gives the helpful tip that because pasta cooking times can vary, look at the time on the package you’re using and divide by two to get the time you should set on your pressure cooker.

                Check out the recipe here!

                8. Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Quinoa Salad

                  Learn how to make perfectly cooked quinoa in your pressure cooker with the helpful video, and then toss it into a tasty salad that you can pack up for lunches on the go.

                  Check out the recipe here!

                  9. Thai Coconut Chickpea Stew

                    A flavorful, creamy, protein-rich soup with just five main ingredients, and ready in twenty-three minutes. Perfect for a weeknight, with enough leftovers to take for lunch the following day.

                    Check out the recipe here!

                    10. Pasta Puttanesca

                      Making pasta in your pressure cooker is easy and quick, and perfectly flavored here with capers, olives, and tomato sauce. Including crushed red pepper flakes gives a little kick of spiciness, and also works as a slight appetite suppressant, so that you’ll be less likely overeat this yummy dish.

                      Check out the recipe here!

                      11. Butternut Squash Soup

                        This gorgeous golden-colored soup is full of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory carotenoids. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, and oil-free – but doesn’t skimp on flavor! The addition of a granny smith apple is brilliant, to add to the depth of flavor and bring out the natural sweetness of butternut squash.

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                        It has a little kick from some curry powder, but if you wanted to appeal to younger taste buds you could leave that out and it would surely be a hit.

                        Check out the recipe here!

                        12. Minestrone Soup

                          Minestrone is a perfect example of comfort food that’s wholesome at the same time. It usually needs to simmer for quite a while to cook the potatoes, but in your pressure cooker, it’s done in no time. Packed with vegetables, kidney beans, and pasta, this is a fully balanced meal in a bowl.

                          Check out the recipe here!

                          13. Chana Masala

                            Using an authentic blend of Indian spices, and perfectly pressure-cooked chickpeas, you can create your own restaurant-level chana masala at home! Spices like ginger and turmeric are anti-inflammatory, and cumin may help with blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar balance.

                            Check out the recipe here!

                            14. Quinoa Pilaf

                              Pair protein-rich quinoa with anti-inflammatory turmeric, along with a heap of whatever vegetables you have on hand, and turn it into a delicious healthy meal in 20 minutes. This is proof that easy and healthy meals definitely don’t have to be boring!

                              Check out the recipe here!

                              15. Cajun Red Beans with Sausage

                                Infuse some red beans with cajun seasonings and vegetables, then toss in some vegan sausage if you like. This is perfect for batch cooking, to portion your meals for the week or freeze for later, so that you don’t resort to take out on those hectic days.

                                Check out the recipe here!

                                16. Cuban Black Beans and Rice

                                  Soft cooked black beans and rice, seasoned with garlic, onion, cumin and topped with an easy salsa of fresh lime juice, avocado, tomato, and red onion sounds like an absolutely perfect meal. Not only is this delicious, but you’ll get thirty-two percent of your daily protein needs in just one serving.

                                  Check out the recipe here!

                                  17. Creamy Vegetable Soup

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                                    This soup has a whole lot of vegetables packed in for maximum nutritional power, including cauliflower which is loaded with cancer-fighting compounds. At the end, you stir in cashew cream to create a rich creamy broth without any dairy.

                                    Check out the recipe here!

                                    18. Chik’n Stew

                                      Go a step beyond chicken soup by adding all sorts of veggies and chickpeas for a hearty and nourishing stew. It’s so easy to put together: simply put everything in your pressure cooker, set the time, and then stir in some spinach before serving.

                                      Check out the recipe here!

                                      19. Split Pea Soup

                                        Split pea soup is so rich and hearty, and usually takes a long time to cook on the stove, so it’s a perfect one to speed up in a pressure cooker. This recipe uses all the classic flavors of split pea soup, but replaces the saturated fat and nitrates of bacon with a dash of liquid smoke. The smoky tempeh crumbles are perfect toppers, and if you don’t make your own, you could just use tempeh bacon.

                                        Check out the recipe here!

                                        20. Thai Peanut Chickpea Soup

                                          Peanut butter adds such a full, rich flavor to this soup, and packs so many vegetables in to get you all kinds of nutrients. It’s gluten-free, oil-free, vegan, uses the one pot of your pressure cooker, and is ready in just thirty minutes.

                                          Check out the recipe here!

                                          21. Portobello Pot Roast

                                            With zero cholesterol and saturated fat, this makes a healthy version of hearty comfort food – all made in your pressure cooker for a quick dinner with minimal cleanup!

                                            Check out the recipe here!

                                            22. Three Sisters Soup

                                              The three sisters are the Native American trinity of corn, beans, and squash that were planted together because they were mutually beneficial as they grew. This soup brings them together with the beautiful flavors of sage and ancho chili powder.

                                              Check out the recipe here!

                                              23. Indo Chinese Corn Soup

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                                                Indo Chinese cuisine is Chinese recipes adapted to Indian tastes, so this hearty soup is flavored with toasted sesame oil, cumin, and ginger. It’s thick enough that as Kristina suggests, you could enjoy it with rice for lunch the following day.

                                                Although corn isn’t always thought of as a health food, it’s a good source of B vitamins and iron for energy, as well as zinc and selenium for immune health.

                                                Check out the recipe here!

                                                24. Goulash

                                                  A bit like the building blocks of minestrone, but with paprika, this Hungarian soup makes a nourishing, wholesome, and delicious meal the whole family is sure to love. This recipe replaces meat with cholesterol-free and high-fiber lentils for a heart healthy version.

                                                  Check out the recipe here!

                                                  25. Indonesian Black Rice Pudding

                                                    This is so wholesome but also so delicious it can double as breakfast and dessert! With just three ingredients, it’s simple to make, and cooks a lot faster in your pressure cooker than on the stove. As Katie points out, the black color of the rice indicates that it has the same powerful antioxidants as blueberries.

                                                    Check out the recipe here!

                                                    26. Blueberry Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

                                                      All you need are three ingredients and two minutes on high pressure to make this delicious and protein-packed breakfast bowl. It makes four servings, so you can portion it out for the week ahead. Top it with maple syrup, pecans, and almond milk for the full experience.

                                                      Check out the recipe here!

                                                      27. Sugar-Free Apple Butter

                                                        This is so easy to make, and with the sweetness coming from the natural sugars of the apples and dates, you can’t go wrong!

                                                        A great dish to make in a big batch after going apple picking, so you can enjoy it all winter. Spread it on a bagel, scoop it on top of your oatmeal or pancakes, or have a little bowl for a snack or healthy dessert.

                                                        Check out the recipe here!

                                                        So there are no excuses left, now that you have 27 easy recipes you can start making healthy meals in your pressure cooker. The beauty of having healthy food ready to go is that it makes take out that much less tempting. And the magic of electric pressure cookers is that you can set it and forget it, while you unwind after work and come back when you hear the beep to dish up the goodness.

                                                        For more easy pressure cooker recipes to explore, check out 17 Power Pressure Cooker Recipes for Rushed Weeknight Meals .

                                                        Featured photo credit: Ella Olsson via unsplash.com

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                                                        Heather Nicholds

                                                        A vegan, a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and a food lover.

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                                                        Last Updated on November 15, 2019

                                                        10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

                                                        10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

                                                        Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, these bad habits are difficult to break because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

                                                        Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental and emotional health.

                                                        Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

                                                        If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

                                                        Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

                                                        1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

                                                        Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

                                                        Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

                                                        Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

                                                        2. No Motivation

                                                        Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academics and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

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                                                        This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family and life in general.

                                                        If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

                                                        3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

                                                        Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to break bad habits.

                                                        A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to eventually become a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

                                                        A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

                                                        The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

                                                        4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

                                                        One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

                                                        We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

                                                        Over-eating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of crisps, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are needed by us. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

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                                                        You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

                                                        5. Upward Comparisons

                                                        Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

                                                        The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

                                                        These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

                                                        6. No Alternative

                                                        This is a real and valid reason why bad habits are hard to break. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

                                                        Someone who has physical or psychological limitations such as a disability or social anxiety may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

                                                        Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

                                                        Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

                                                        7. Stress

                                                        As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing bad habits.

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                                                        When a person is stressed about something, it is easy to give in to a bad habit because the mental resources required to fight them are not available.

                                                        Stress plays such a huge role in this that we commonly find a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

                                                        8. Sense of Failure

                                                        People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

                                                        Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

                                                        Over-eaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store.

                                                        Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

                                                        If such people slip even once with a glass of wine or a smoke or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

                                                        9. The Need to Be All-New

                                                        People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

                                                        These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit.

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                                                        10. Force of Habit

                                                        Humans are creatures of habit and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

                                                        Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or munching on crisps when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

                                                        These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

                                                        Final Thoughts

                                                        These are the main reasons why bad habits may be difficult to break but it is important to remember that the task is not impossible.

                                                        Do you have bad habits you want to kick? My article How to Break a Bad Habit (and Replace It With a Good One) gives you tips on well, how to kick bad habits while my other article How Long Does It Take to Break a Habit? Science Will Tell You gives realistic information on what to expect while you’re trying to quit them.

                                                        There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

                                                        Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

                                                        Reference

                                                        [1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?

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