Vegan Pressure Cooking – Review, My Favourite Recipe & A Giveaway

As winter lags on in its traditional fashion, and my goal for February is to eat at home more often, JL Fields‘ new book – Vegan Pressure Cooking, couldn’t have arrived at a better time. It is a cookbook filled with straightforward recipes for hearty meals that are finished in an hour or less (including prep and cooking) and helpful advice on the hows and whys of pressure cooking.

First of all, a pressure cooker is a vegan’s best friend. I wish I had one of these in university, and I just wish I could hand them out to everyone looking to cook plant-based for less. With the initial investment of a pressure cooker pot (be it electric or stovetop), it pays for itself in time and the ability to cook dry beans quickly and easily (especially for people like me who nearly never soak their dry beans or legumes.) But luckily for us, we didn’t even have to buy one ourselves – JC’s mom got us a shiny new InstantPot (an electric pressure cooker) for our Non-Denominational Family Gift Exchange last month, and ever since I’ve been using the heck out of it.

The nice thing about JL’s book is that it starts with a Pressure Cooker 101 – everything you might want to know about pressure cooking, but didn’t know to ask. With answers to questions like What kind of pressure cooker should I buy? and Will elevation affect cooking times?, and more. JL ends the introductory chapter off with incredibly helpful pressure cooking time charts which continue to be a great reference now that I feel more comfortable going rogue with my pressure cooking experiments.

The book is split up into useful functional chapters:

  • Beans and grains
  • Soups and stews
  • One-Pot Meals
  • Meal Helpers and Veggie sides
  • Sauces and Dips
  • Sweet treats

Each of these are broken down a bit further, but I found myself gravitating towards the One-Pot Meals and Beans and Grains (thanks to a fantastic subsection on hot breakfasts – & I don’t even normally like breakfast.) The lovely Apple Pie Steel-Cut Oats (page 48) was great at anytime of the day – I’ve had it breakfast and for a mid-afternoon snack. Plus JC liked it enough to make it again himself one morning.

steel cut oatmeal

I also saw “lazy” and “tofu scramble” and knew it was relevant to my interests.  (Tofu Scramble, page 110)

Vegan Pressure Cooker - Tofu Scramble

I’m still likely to make tofu scramble in the traditional frying pan fashion, but this was a nice throw-everything-in-a-pot-and-eat-it kind of dish that I could see taking advantage of during one of those tofu-craving moments.

I also made the Basic Seitan on page 146, but didn’t dig the texture as much as I hoped I would (needed more gluten), but I breaded and fried it in the oven with positive results.

One of my favourite recipes was the New World Székely Goulash which I wanted to share with you – with the permission of the publisher. But then I realized it was already on the publisher’s page, so I’ve just posted the ingredients, along with a few notes, and my shiny mise en place/board of organization – which I’ve realized is the only way I’ll ever properly follow a recipe without making stuff up as I go along.

Mise En Place Pressure Cooking

Then, through the magic of the internet and the pressure cooker, you can end up with a bowl of this tasty tasty goulash in a traditional(ish) Hungarian style in no time at all.

Goulash - Vegan Pressure Cooker

Where the usual meat in goulash is replaced with hearty chickpeas and calls to my Eastern-European roots with delicious sauerkraut and hefty spoonfuls of paprika. Worth noting however that in my experience dishes with sauerkraut can be a bit too much for (some) people – you might want to try this recipe after rinsing & draining the ‘kraut. As for me – bring it on. (I also added more paprika.)

New World Székely Goulash
Excerpted from Vegan Pressure Cooking by JL Fields

1 cup (200 g) dried chickpeas, soaked for 12 hours or overnight (p.s. remember when I said I don’t soak dry beans? This recipe was no exception. I didn’t soak the beans. p.p.s this was not a good idea, and increased my cooking time by about double. Soak your damn beans people – don’t be a MeShell style pressure cooker.)
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄2 cup (80 g) half-moon slices yellow onion (I used one chopped yellow onion)
1 1⁄2 cups (195 g) chopped carrots (this ended up being approximately 3 carrots)
2 tablespoons (14 g) paprika, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
2 cups (470 ml) vegetable broth
1 cup (245 g) tomato sauce
1 bay leaf
1 to 1 1⁄2 cups (235 to 355 ml) water, or as needed
1 teaspoon sea salt
32 ounces (896 g) sauerkraut, drained (for reference – I found that a 750ml jar of sauerkraut weighed approximately 825g)
1⁄2 cup (120 g) vegan sour cream (I used Tofutti)

Visit QuarySpoon for the full instructions.

NOW. It’s time for a Canada-Only giveaway.

To Enter: In the comments tell me about your experience with pressure cookers – good or bad,  OR tell me which Vegan Pressure Cooking  section your most keen on exploring. You can also enter a variety of ways on the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post. Follow your heart. You can enter until Monday February 16th, 2015 – 12:00am EST. Winner will be announced and contacted by Monday February 16th, 2015 by 5:00pm EST. Please use a valid email address.

Vegan Pressure Cooking - JL Fields

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Other stuff:  You may remember JL Fields from such blogs as JL Goes Vegan, and books like Vegan For Her.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free review copy

Don’t Fear the Pressure Cooker.

About MeShell

I live in Toronto with my partner JC, our brand new son, our three cats, and usually a few foster cats. I like technology, vegan food, travelling, and lots of other things. For more information about MeShell, JC, Emmie, Kes, or Marmie, visit our About page.

17 Comments

  1. I have an instant pot & love it! A vegan must have! Hoping to getting a hold of this book soon to try out some new recipes!

  2. My partner and I just completed the Veganuary challenge and are eager to extend our new knowledge and mindful eating into a new daily life practice. We regularly use our dehydrator, but, have been investigating pressure cookers to help us maintain and grow our transition into 100% vegan eating. We are most interested in pressure cooking techniques and mastery of the mighty vegan stew.

  3. This is something I’ve been putting off. I find the idea of pressure cooking a little intimidating and kinda (unjustifably) terrifying. I keep imaging a seal failure that results in a stew explosion that blows up our entire apartment, ala Fight Club. I wish I used my slow cooker more often, but I never have the foresight (or patience). This seems like exactly what I’m looking for. Most interested in quick “One-Pot Meals” and hopefully a section on how not to kill one’s self.

    • Don’t listen to Kevin. He’s a Soylent addict. He won’t appreciate the pressure cooker cookbook LIKE I WILL.

    • I’m still scared of the stove-top pressure cookers – but for some reason, the electric one doesn’t scare me at all. Something about being able to leave it completely alone for the duration of cooking + not having to worry about it. If you do decide on a pressure cooker – the instant pot has been pretty incredible.

      Chapter one is devoted to “how not to kill one’s self” or you know, just Pressure Cooking 101, but that’s kind of the same thing.

    • Same as Kevin, here! My mom used her slowcooker a lot, but mostly for recipes with meat, so I really hadn’t given much thought to vegan slowcooking recipes! This book looks amazing, and thanks for the recipe!

  4. I have TWO of the freakin things and NEVER used them once, as I am so scared to use them, I have no experience and no recipes to try…so I am a total virgin at this and need all the help I can get really lol…sheesh….in my 40’s and I can actually call my self a virgin LMAO….

  5. I have a new pressure cooker that I adore (it’s a T-Fal). The real fantastic thing is that i don’t have to remember to soak the beans!

  6. I will have to try the goulash. I like the cookbook and all of its simple recipes. I also don’t like she askes for presoaking the beans because one of the advantages of the PC is to not need to do so but then the veggies turn to mush!

  7. I have a Fagor stove top and it’s been pretty awesome for the past few years. The valve is shot, so I might pick up one of those fancy electric ones. It’s great for making curry, but one time I didn’t put in quite enough water and everything tasted like ash 🙁 Bummer!

  8. I <3 my pressure cooker SO much, but really, I only use it for cooking beans from dry…and apparently it's capable of so much more! I'll have to check out this book (or win it!)

  9. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that the section of the book I am most drawn to is the sweets—but, I feel that a book like this would encourage me to explore the other, more nutritious sections. Thanks for the opportunity to get what looks like a fantabulous book!

  10. I’ve never actually used a pressure cooker, but the section that I’m most wanting to check out is the one pot meals. I love minimal mess and ease in cooking.

  11. I’m so excited for this giveaway because we’ve had a pressure cooker for years but have only used it to make beans and chickpeas, I would love to explore using it for making one pot meals. Our experience for making beans and chickpeas though has been incredible, whenever I eat canned chickpeas now I totally notice the difference. Fresh out of the cooker is so much better!

  12. I have been wanting to get an Instant Pot for some time – and now I see there is a book to go along with it! 😉 As a lazy single vegan this sounds like a match made in heaven! gotta get both…..

  13. I’ve never used a pressure cooker before, but I am keen to try!

Comments are closed