Did you get a new Instant Pot for Christmas? So did I! Last year. And …
I barely used it in the past year.
- I am scared of it. Pressurized contents? Burning hot explosions? Scary.
- We don’t eat a lot of meat. Instant Pots seem ideal for meaty dishes.
But everyone else is doing it and raving about the meal they cooked for their family in 30 minutes, so I decided that I needed to stop being a wuss and plug the thing in. Thankfully, writing this post gave me a reason to get going.
I stopped eating red meat almost 10 years ago. I also avoid pork, but I occasionally eat fish and poultry. I don’t want to pressure anyone to eat like I do, but if you are looking for some healthy and hearty ideas for this new year, cutting back on your meat consumption is a good way to start. If it seems too drastic to go vegetarian, try cutting out meat at dinner a few nights a week. Eating less red is better for the environment, it is cheaper, and people who eat less meat generally consume fewer calories, weigh less, and have less instance of heart disease.
Of course, these are all generalities and there are exceptions, but they seem like more convincing reasons for the average non-vegetarian to periodically abstain from meat. My family eats chicken or fish about once per week in our home. The rest of the week, we eat vegetarian meals (and sometimes even vegan).
So, now back to my Instant Pot. If I don’t want to cook up a chicken or a pot roast, what can I make in my new fancy kitchen gadget that my kids will actually eat? It can be tough to know where to start, so I compiled a week’s worth of some of my favorite vegetarian or vegan kid-friendly Instant Pot recipes.
*Included only if two out of my three children found it edible. The third child doesn’t eat anything that is not a chicken nugget, so he doesn’t count in the vote tally.
Kid-Friendly Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes
Refried Beans (+ Vegan Nachos) from Make Real Food
I usually wrap these up in a tortilla with some cheese and avocado and serve fruit on the side. I tried to make the nachos once, and the kids said they were gross. I disagreed, but we have gone back to wrapping these delicious beans in tortillas. I like my beans really smooth, so I stick my immersion blender in for a few seconds once the beans are done.
Tuesdays are for Tacos! Try these Lentil Tacos from My Plant-Based Family.
They couldn’t be easier, and my kids LOVE them! Well, they like the taco shell at least. And also the shredded lettuce.
Wednesdays are busy nights for us, so I need something easy. I like this Quick & Easy Pea and Celery Risotto from Instant Pot Eats.
The lemon in this is delicious. Serve this risotto with a bag of steam and serve broccoli or some carrot sticks. Easy!
For a quick meal that will have leftovers for a Friday lunch, try this Beefless Stew from Straight Up Food.
This is actually NOT an Instant Pot recipe. But I just made it last night in my Instant Pot, and it was delicious. I just added everything to the pot all at once except the peas and parsley. I also cut the water in half because Instant Pots don’t need quite as much water as a stovetop method would. I set the timer for manual, added nine minutes, and went about cleaning up the dishes. When it was finished, I served it with some crusty bread and a dollop of sour cream in the stew (which was AMAZING!).
My kids LOVE pasta. On Friday, skip the dinner fights and make this easy Lentil Bolognese from Detoxinista in your Instant Pot.
I always serve it with pasta (in fun shapes!), and I also chop and saute my favorite veggies in a little olive oil in my Instant Pot before adding everything else. I made this last week and added one zucchini and half a pound of mushrooms on saute mode. Once they were starting to soften, I added the rest of the ingredients and started at step one in the recipe.
For Saturday, I am going to give you a breakfast recipe that I love: perfect oatmeal from Feed Your Skull.
Add your kids’ favorite fruits, seeds, and nuts … and maybe a little maple syrup. Come on—it’s the weekend! Live a little!
On Sundays, I like to make a hearty meal that prompts my family to linger around the dinner table. This Italian Farmhouse Soup from instant Pot Eats is so delicious.
I serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches (something my pickiest eater will eat) or homemade rolls and with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan on top. For a vegan option, you can skip all cheese related additions. My advice with this one is to have everything pre-chopped before you start sautéing. The Instant Pot gets hot really fast, and things may get burned if you leave it unattended for too long while you are chopping other veggies.