Recent online special guests included Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, who wrote about cooking with an Instant Pot. Here are edited excerpts from that chat. Recipes whose names are capitalized can be found in our Recipe Finder at washingtonpost.com/recipes.
Q: I bought a quart of unsweetened almond milk because the soup recipe I have called for 1/3 cup. The soup is great, but any suggestions for what to do with the rest, other than drink it?
A: Add it to smoothies, such as our Berry Almond Smoothie or Apple-Spice Smoothies. It’s good in Fruity Overnight Oats, or it can go savory in Chloe’s Vegan Sweet Potato Mac ‘n’ Cheese.
If you think you won’t use it up, freeze it. If you freeze it in ice cube trays, you could use it as a substitute for ice in future smoothies.
– Kara Elder
A: You can use it instead of cow’s milk in lots of ways. My favorite is just on cereal.
– Joe Yonan
Q: I have an Instant Pot in my Amazon cart waiting for me to hit “buy,” as I was thinking it may get more use than the pressure cooker I have. Does it really save time, like the pressure cooker? Is it more versatile? I’m also debating: Do I really need another item for the kitchen? Could it replace the rice cooker?
A: The Instant Pot is a multi-cooker. It does pressure cooking, slow cooking, rice cooking. There are a number of brands out there that do all of that, including Fagor Lux. These multi-cookers are versatile and can save you space, since you need only one machine instead of three.
– Bruce Weinstein
Q: I have never been adventurous when it comes to foods. At restaurants, I stick to a handful of foods that I know I like. When I was growing up, my mom cooked eight to 10 dishes; when I started cooking, those are the meals I would make. I feel like I am eating the same meals over and over again. One of the challenges of finding something new is not having a lot of time to experiment in the kitchen. I know a few things I don’t like: things made with peppers or anything with a fishy taste. What is a good way to introduce a few new meal options?
A: Can I offer one little bit of advice? Use your restaurant dining, not your home cooking, to expand your range. When you’re at, say, an Italian restaurant, order an appetizer or even a main course that might push you a bit. If you like it, then go on a search for recipes for that dish. Bruce and I have taught lots of classes on helping people get off processed food and onto “real” food, and we find that eating out is a terrific place to start: It’s not as daunting and is a bit more user-friendly.
– Mark Scarbrough
Q: I was making a recipe that called for tempeh but could not find it at my grocery store (a Harris Teeter in Virginia). I replaced it with tofu and don’t think it turned out well. Where can I buy tempeh? And when would you recommend using tofu vs. tempeh?
A: You can find tempeh – usually Lightlife brand – at Whole Foods, Mom’s, other organic markets and often at major supermarkets, too. I’ve bought it at the Harris Teeter in Navy Yard. Different stores have it in different spots, but always refrigerated. Did you ask?
Tofu and tempeh are very different and not something I’d substitute one for the other.