I mentioned right after Christmas that I had asked Honey for an Instant Pot for Valentine’s Day. We’ve abandoned all of those “no gift with a cord” rules this year. I mean, the heated mattress pad is my favorite thing I’ve ever owned, so far so good with the Instant Pot, and I really want a Nepresso for my birthday soooo….. I think he’s going to make it through the gauntlet just fine with all of these small household appliances.
Anyhoo, the Instant Pot arrived a bit early and, after staring at it in the box for a few days, I daringly opened it up and set to work. I had muster some real courage to just plug the thing in. Ha!
I didn’t actually plan to use it this first night. But, when practice ran late for one of the boys and homework took longer than usual for the other one, I was in a pinch to get dinner on the table. So, I thought it was as good a time as any to give it a go.
Sill talking about our fun dinner out at Bongos Cuban Cafe, I had already purchased everything to make the Cuban Black Bean-and-Yellow Rice Bowls from last month’s Southern Living. I just needed to figure out how to do it in the Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Cuban Black Bean-and-Yellow Rice Bowls
Adapted from Southern Living
- 1 package frozen plantains, prepared according to directions OR bag of sweet plantain chips (Trader Joes – we did both because we had leftovers and ended up liking the chips much more than the frozen plantains)
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 (10-oz.) pkg. yellow rice
- 1 small jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped (about 1 Tbsp.)
- 1 1/4 cups chopped red onion (from 1 onion), divided
- 2 (16-oz.) cans seasoned black beans, drained (do not rinse)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 radishes (about 3 oz.), chopped
- 1 ripe avocado, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 lime, quartered
With the Instant Pot on Saute mode, heat 1 T. oil. Add jalapeno and 1 cup of the red onion. Cook until tender.
Turn the Instant Pot to Pressure Cooking mode. Add rice, black beans, water, cumin and salt. Cover and make sure valve is on “sealing.” Press the manual button and set to 22 minutes. When the timer beeps let the pot sit for at least 10 minutes and then use the quick release for the rest of the pressure.
Divide cooked black beans and rice evenly among 4 bowls. Top each with plantains, chopped radishes, and diced avocado. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and remaining 1⁄4 cup red onion. Serve with lime wedges.
NOTE: Always follow the manufacturer directions for your specific Instant Pot, including on sealing, venting and cooking times.
Here is what mine looked like versus the meal from the Southern Living kitchen. Pretty nice, right?!
It was a delicious meal that we all enjoyed and will absolutely make again. It is also a wonderful option for meat-free Friday during Lent!
Now, here are my initial thoughts on the Instant Pot.
- Nobody was harmed in the making of this meal. Aside from the very scary first release of pressure, it was not terrifying at all :-)
- I don’t believe that the Instant Pot saved me any time at all in making this particular recipe.
- The real value of the Instant Pot – for me on this night – was that once I put everything in it was a no-fuss supper. No stirring, boiling over, temp adjusting maintenance. I LOVED THAT! I am famous for burning my rice to the bottom of my pot, only after it has boiled all over my stove a few times.
- It was very easy to clean, even more so than the heavy crock pot that this is also replacing.
- In hindsight, I should not have tried to adapt a recipe to the Instant Pot on my first go. I had to read 4,000 other recipes – none of which were in agreement – on how long to cook the rice and what the liquid to rice ratio should be.
- Honey chose the 8QT Instant Pot Duo Plus. I told him I didn’t want to outgrow it, and our boys already eat a ton at ages 9 and 12, so I think he made an excellent choice.
So, am I sold? I need a little time on that and some more things to try. I would love for y’all to share favorite Instant Pot recipes, cookbooks, tips and tricks with me! In fact, I’m kind of counting on y’all. :-)
8QT Instant Pot Duo Plus (affiliate link)
DIXIE DELIGHTS DELIVERED