I took another class with Amanda Hatherly called Vegan Instant Pot Cooking at Santa Fe Community College. Amanda is very knowledgeable about nutrition, a subject that is a total enigma to me. But I am very willing to learn. That is why I go to her classes. She is a certified Food for Life Instructor. That is a big deal. Well, all you healthy eaters and nutritionists know that but until I started taking Amanda’s courses, I didn’t have a clue. I am not vegan but the following recipes are easy and very tasty.
I am always intrigued with technology, especially technology that makes my venturing into a kitchen more interesting. So, this course provided some very interesting recipes. Yes, even some recipes that I could cook. Please know that this is a very, very low bar. So, If I can cook these recipes so can you.
Amanda started with Irish Oatmeal. I do not like oatmeal. I don’t care how healthy it is. When I think of oatmeal I think of gruel. Seriously, I have avoided oatmeal the majority of my life. But I am always willing to taste food especially if I haven’t cooked it. This oatmeal was amazing. I am not a convert, but it did taste good. The cool part is that you can make this recipe and eat it later. That is that kind of cooking that I am all for. Amanda used steel cut oats and water. You can dress the oatmeal up, but I wanted to try it plain. It was good. I could make this.
The next recipe was so easy that I even stated in class that I could prepare this. In fact, if I had known about this, I wouldn’t have eaten so much cheap Ramen packages when I was in college and after. You take a jar of pasta sauce, a package of pasta, and a bag of frozen green peas (one of my personal favorites), olives and a little water. All of these delicious ingredients go into the instant pot at various times and in close to 20 minutes you have a meal. Viola!
Next, we received a recipe for apple butter. This was a new experience for me. I have heard of apple butter but just thought it was an expensive item that I could live without. This stuff is delicious. I love that you can throw apples into the instant pot peeled and/or unpeeled and boom, some pretty cool stuff emerges. Amanda’s cooking pal, MaryElla showed us how to combine all these beautiful ingredients.
Our next recipe tasting was lemon date zucchini bread cake. I’m in with anything that has dates. I love them. But I have to admit that I am not good about remembering to put dates in as a killer ingredient. This recipe was so good that I bought a spring form pan for our instant pot so we could use it at home. The lemon flavor overpowered the zucchini which is fine with me. The most interesting part of this whole food adventure was the cream cheese substitute. That was so tasty on the zucchini bread/cake. The cream cheese wasn’t made of cheese, but I really didn’t know that. All I knew was this cream cheese was less greasy than regular cream cheese. For me, once you taste this particular cream cheese without the greasy taste, you really didn’t know that you didn’t like this kind of cream cheese.
Our next tasting was Parmesan cheese. I am getting better about this. The first time I tasted “fake cheese” which was actually nutritional yeast, I said that this isn’t cheese. It is closer to sawdust. This is untrue because I have never eaten sawdust even when I was younger. I ate dirt but never sawdust.
Once again this “cheese” was made of nutritional yeast and macadamia nuts (which I also love). It still isn’t cheese to me, but it is tasting closer to “real cheese”. Hey! I am from the Midwest where cheese is its own food group. It is cheese not dairy, just cheese. Dairy is a whole other food group. So, the nutritional yeast cheese is starting to grow on me.
The next recipe was Lentils Three Ways. The Instant Pot made this recipe a breeze. Well, a lot easier than you would think. MaryElla showed us how to make lentils Latino style, which were tasty and delicious.
Our next nutritional adventure was steamed vegetables. I thought this was cool, but I actually steam most of my vegetables in a great steamer that I have. This is the only cooking I am really familiar with. So, I am not letting the instant pot steal my thunder. I will continue to steam the old way.
The last recipe was for a vegan yogurt. I do not like yogurt. Once again, I don’t like the mouth feel. This yogurt actually tasted good.
I would highly recommend that everybody in Santa Fe take Amanda’s course. Her classes sell out quickly. Continuing Education is very lucky to have Amanda as an instructor. This class was a real deal! The class cost 49 dollars and I ate all kinds of healthy food. I have the photos to prove it!