Healthy treats: Kung pao chickpeas, flourless brownies and grilled cheese with apples

If you're looking for a healthy, easy instant pot recipes, we have two for you to try. These are both from The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook. Enjoy!

 

Kung Pao Chickpeas

Serves 4  |  Total time: 36 minutes

In this dish inspired by Chinese takeout, chickpeas are cooked in a flavorful sauce that will rival your favorite restaurant. I developed this recipe to use ingredients I always have in my pantry, including canned chickpeas, to make it an easy one to throw together on a busy weeknight. Be sure to use a syrupy balsamic vinegar for the best flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (or two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (about 1-inch knob)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice, like Jasmine or basmati, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 cup chopped green onions, tender white and green parts only
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Combine the onion, bell pepper, chickpeas, soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, ginger, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon of the red pepper flakes, and 1/3 cup of the water in the Instant Pot and stir well.
  2. Arrange a 2.5-inch trivet over the chickpeas and place a 7-inch oven safe bowl on top. Add the rice and 1 cup of the water to the bowl. Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to Sealing. Press the Manual or Pressure Cook button to cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.
  3. When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then move the steam release valve to Venting to release any remain- ing pressure. Remove the lid and use oven mitts to lift the trivet and the bowl out of the pot. Fluff the rice with a fork.
  4. In a separate small bowl, stir together the arrowroot with the remaining 2 tablespoons water to make a slurry. Stir the slurry into the hot chickpeas. The sauce should thicken and become glossy within 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the sesame oil and green onions. Serve the chickpeas and sauce over the rice garnished with the sesame seeds. Store leftovers in an airtight con- tainer in the fridge for 5 days.

Per Serving: Calories 350, Fat 4g, Carbohydrates 67g, Fiber 8g, Protein 13g

Flourless Brownies

Makes 16 brownies | total time: 45 minutes, plus cooling

These brownies are lower in sugar and fat than traditional brownies, but they still taste decadent enough to satisfy a sweet tooth. Baking in the Instant Pot keeps the brownies moist, with no risk of over-baking. Don’t be alarmed by the thickness of the batter, or by how soft the brownies might look immediately after cooking. They firm up as they cool, with a perfectly fudgy texture. I like to splurge and use dark chocolate chips for added texture in these naturally sweetened brownies, but you can leave them out completely to avoid the refined sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup almond butter
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

  1. Line a 7-inch round cake pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the almond butter, coconut sugar, cacao powder, egg, salt, baking soda, and vanilla and stir well to create a thick batter.
  2. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and use your hands to press it evenly into the pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top and gently press them into the batter. Pour 1 cup water into the Instant Pot and arrange the handled trivet that comes with your machine on the bottom. Place the brownie pan on top of the trivet and cover it with an upside-down plate or another piece of parchment to protect the brownies from condensation.
  3. Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to Sealing. Press the Manual or Pressure Cook button to cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then move the steam release valve to Venting to release any remaining pressure. When the floating valve drops, remove the lid.
  4. Use oven mitts to lift the trivet and the pan out of the pot. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan before cutting and serving, as they will be very frag- ile when warm. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 weeks.

Make it Vegan: Omit the egg, and instead combine 1 tablespoon ground flax or chia seeds with 3 tablespoons water for an egg substitute. Add 1 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar to help the “egg” react with the baking soda. Add 10 minutes to the cooking time, then follow the instructions as given.

Per Serving: Calories 125, Fat 7g, Carbohydrates 12g, Fiber 2g, Protein 3g

 

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