TUESDAY’S HEALTHY FUEL RECIPE: AUTUMN BUTTERNUT PORK STEW – INSTANT POT OR SLOW COOKER
Do your days begin to feel a time-squeeze with less daylight hours? Although the number of hours in the day stays the same, less daylight often makes me feel more rushed than ever.
For many people, less time equals less cooking. I know this because it’s this aspect of life I work on most with clients (of course!). And, I’m the first to admit that I don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen. I need and use quick recipes…but, I’m still dedicated to cooking nourishing, health-promoting meals. One of my all-time favorite time-saving tools is the slow cooker. And, my new favorite on is the Instant Pot. Whether you cook slow or with a pressure cooker, you can get a fantastic meal on the table, and do very little work after the initial prep.
Either method allows the flavors to come together beautifully, and if using meat, meat to become fork-tender.
This week, I’m sharing one of my favorite Autumn Slow Cooker recipes, Butternut Pork Stew, instructions for slow cooking, instructions for pressure cooking, and a few bonus slow-cooker recipe resources for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike..
Recipe of the Week: Delicious Butternut Pork Stew
- 1 1/2 pounds pork boneless loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 Tbsp butter or avocado oil
- 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
- 32 ounces chicken broth
- 2 cups 1/2-inch diced peeled parsnips (or an additional 4 carrots if not parsnips available)
- 1 1/2 cups 1-inch cubes peeled butternut squash
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons flour OR 1.5 Tbsp cornstarch for gluten-free
- 3 tablespoons butter or organic coconut oil
- Place butter or avocado oil in large saute pan over medium high heat. Saute pork to brown on all sides, just 1-2 minutes per side.
- Mix all ingredients except flour and butter in 3 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low heat setting 6 to 7 hours (or high heat setting 3 to 4 hours) or until pork is no longer pink and vegetables are tender.
- Mix flour and butter. Gently stir flour mixture, 1 spoonful at a time, into pork mixture until blended.
- Cover and cook on high heat setting 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
Electric Pressure Cooker (here’s the Instant Pot I use):
- Turn pressure cooker on to saute function. When hot, add butter or avocado oil and saute pork to brown on all sides, just 1-2 minutes per side.
- Switch pressure cooker to the stew/meat setting for 45 minutes.
- Add all ingredients except flour and butter.
- Close cooker and allow to cook. It will take an additional 10-15 minutes to build pressure and 10 minutes to natural release pressure after cooking.
- After natural release of 10 minutes after cooking, mix flour and butter in small bowl.
- Switch cooker back to saute, gently stir in flour mixture, 1 spoonful at a time, until blended.
- Cook on saute setting 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Enjoy!
The 9-in-1 electric pressure cooker serves as my slow-cooker, my pressure cooker, my rice cooker, and my homemade yogurt maker. I seriously need another because I have to organize what I’m cooking around what’s already in there- seriously I use it 5 of 7 days per week. Anyway, if you’re interested, this is the newer version of my Instant Pot – it looks like mine is only offered used now:
Yes, I love my instant pot. But I have survived years and years with my slow cooker (and actually, my instant pot doubles as a slow cooker, so I only have the one device now). If you think slow cookers are out-dated, over-rated, or complicated (yes, I’m in a rhyming mood), you ought to give one another try. They are amazingly simply time savers that de-stress dinner time and allow for wonderfully healthful meals. They can make cooking for a family easy. Or, they can provide freezable leftovers if cooking for one or two (just cool, divide into appropriate portions, and freeze in freezer baggies for up to 6 months).
Here’s more recipes to get you going this Autumn Winter:
Meat-Based from Rubies and Radishes: http://www.rubiesandradishes.com/2013/09/25/15-best-paleo-slow-cooker-recipes/
Vegetarian from Oh My Veggies: http://ohmyveggies.com/50-vegetarian-slow-cooker-recipes/
Both meat-based and vegetarian recipes can be used to keep dinners “light at night.” Simply omit any extra grains/carbohydrates most nights and load up on additional vegetables on the side of these recipes. For more information on my dinner strategies and recommendations for optimal cycling weight and health, see this post.
Want to learn more about electric pressure cooking with a tool like the Instant Pot. Here’s my post on why I LOVE mine. And, I will be updating it soon with new recipes because I keep learning more tricks.
The best reason to use a slow cooker or electric pressure cooker? More time to ride, run, and climb. That’s right…dinner’s practically cooking itself, so go ahead and get in a few more miles.
Fuel Your Adventure. Nourish Your Body.
image c/o tasteofhome.com
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