I can’t help myself. I love a good kitchen gadget. If it’s supposed to make cooking easier, healthier, or more fun, I’ve got to have it. So, on Black Friday when the shopping discounts were flying madly, I grabbed myself an Instant Pot. Everybody seems to have one these days, so I had to have one too. I laid out my money, hoping this wouldn’t turn into one of those gadgets sitting on top of my cabinets collecting dust and kitchen grease.
Now that the Instant Pot has been unboxed for a couple of weeks, I have my doubts about whether this thing will ever leave my kitchen counter. I have long loved my slow cooker and my rice cooker. And this can replace both of those and do so much more. The first experiment was a batch of macaroni and cheese. Way better than the box and in about ten minutes. The Instant Pot had my attention. My next go-round was Thai peanut chicken ramen. And if someone had told me a month ago that I had the ability to make Thai food that good I would have laughed. Yet here I am…somehow a master one-pot chef!
Since I now have the ability to cook a lot of food really quickly (this is where the Instant Pot really excels!), it dawned on me that I should join the meal prep movement. I love the ability to just grab a dish from my fridge or freezer for the day’s lunch. But Lean Cuisine has grown a bit tiresome and I can certainly do without the extra sodium that comes in those convenient plastic dishes. So Sunday afternoon I grabbed a five-pack of those infamous meal prep containers from my local Wally World and got to cooking. I started with a jumbo batch of brown rice, which the Instant Pot makes perfectly in about 30 minutes. Then I whipped up a big batch of my Asian favorite, chicken and broccoli. And just like that I had lunch for the week, with a few extra cups of cooked brown rice on reserve in my freezer. I’m sure the total expense of the ingredients was significantly less than I would have paid for five Lean Cuisine entrees, and I feel like the food is better for me.
I’m a gadget girl. But with this particular gadget I somehow fell backward into the money-saving world of bulk meal preparation. Right now my plan is to continue that trend. I’ll probably slip up at some point. But this week I’m loving my own cooking for lunch!