Beat the Winter Blues with Comfort Food
Dark mornings and even darker evenings are upon us. For many of us, the cold season brings in the winter blues, which can leave us feeling down, depressed, and less energized than normal. To help battle the blues, we suggest making your favorite comfort foods!
This winter weather calls for a steaming cup of hot cocoa and some soul-warming comfort food. Get cozy with food that is simple and doesn’t require a lot of work. Think soups, stews, casseroles, and even chili.
A tool we are big fans of is the Instant Pot - a small appliance which serves as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and more - all in one! From gooey baked pastas to meaty stews, the Instant Pot is one tool that does it all.
Instant Pot Recipes for Comfort Foods
To help you get through those cold, dark days and nights ahead, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite comfort foods to make using the Instant Pot fun and easy. Some of them come from our very own Instant Pot enthusiast, Kjesti Easton.
Let’s get cooking!
Baked Potato Soup
- 1 ½ lbs. Potatoes (red, yellow, or russet)
- ¼ cup of butter
- ¼ cup of flour
- ¾ tsp. Salt
- ½ tsp. Pepper
- 4 cups of milk
- 1 tsp. Of Better than Bouillon Chicken Base
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 3 green onions, diced
- 1 (3 oz) package: real bacon bits
- If using red or yellow potatoes, scrub them clean. If you’re using Russet potatoes, peel them. Pour 1 cup of water in the bottom of your Instant Pot and then place the trivet into the bottom. Place potatoes on top of the Trivet.
- Cover the Instant Pot and lock the lid. Make sure the valve setting is set to “sealing”. Set the pressure cooker button for 10 minutes on high pressure (for red/yellow potatoes) or 20 minutes (russet). When the timer beeps, carefully move the valve to venting to let the pressure release. When you can, remove the lid.
- Remove potatoes and set aside. Discard the water. Turn the saute setting to “less”. Melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, whisk 1 tablespoon of flour at a time into the butter mixture until you get a creamy, lump-free roux. Add in your salt and pepper. Let the mixture bubble, but remember to whisk constantly.
- Once the mixture is bubbling, add in your milk and Better than Bouillon and whisk. Adjust the saute setting to “high”. Whisk every few minutes until the milk starts to thicken and bubble.
- Turn the Instant Pot to its “warm” setting. Stir in your sour cream, cheddar, diced onions, and bacon.
- Smash the potatoes with a potato masher. Stir the potatoes in an Instant Pot. Salt and pepper the soup as needed.
- Ladle into bowls and serve.
Kalua Pork (courtesy of Kjesti Easton)
- 3 slices of bacon
- 1 3lb-5lb Pork shoulder roast
- 1 cup of water
- Alaea Red Hawaiian Coarse Salt (or smoked/kosher salt)
- On your Instant Pot, press the saute button. Place your bacon at the bottom of the liner to begin sizzling.
- While your bacon is cooking, cut your pork shoulder into 3-4 pieces.
- Rain down ¾ teaspoons of coarse salt (or ½ teaspoon of fine ground salt) per pound of meat, on all sides.
- Place pork in a single layer atop of the bacon and pour a cup of water into the liner of your Instant Pot.
- Close your Instant Pot lid and lock it. Press cancel, then manual. Press the + button until it reads “90”. When the time has finished, turn your cooker off until the pressure drops.
- Open carefully. Shred the pork with forks.
- Serve and enjoy!
15 Bean Soup with Sausage (Courtesy of Kjesti Easton)
- 2 tbsp. Of Vegetable Oil
- 12 oz. Hot or Sweet Italian Sausage
- 1 Onion, Chopped Finely
- 1 Carrot, Peeled, and Chopped Fine
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. Of minced fresh thyme, or ¼ tsp dried
- 4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
- 10 oz. 15-bean soup mix, no favoring packet, rinsed, picked over and salt-soaked overnight
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 oz. Swiss chard, stemmed and chopped
- 1 large tomato, cored and chopped (or half a can of diced tomatoes)
- Salt + pepper
- Heat 1 tbsp. Oil in pressure cooker pot. Once heated, brown sausage on all sides. Transfer to a plate.
- Heat remaining 1 tbsp. Oil on medium heat (saute button, wait for hot). Add onion and carrot. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in garlic and thyme for 30 seconds.
- Add broth, soaked beans, and bay leaves, while scraping up any brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add your sausage back to the Instant Pot.
- Lock the lid in place and bring to pressure for 25 minutes.
- Quick release pressure at the conclusion of time, being careful to avoid steam burn. Open the lid away from you.
- Remove bay leaves and the sausage. Cut sausage into ½ inch thick pieces.
- Bring soup to a simmer (saute), stirring in your chard and diced tomato.
- Cook until the greens are tender, about five minutes.
- Stir in sausage and season to taste with salt and pepper.