Instant Pot Tomato Soup

BM #117 : Week 3, Day 2
Theme : Colorful Foods

During the peak corona times, I started stocking up on canned tomatoes. I always keep one or two canned tomatoes, but I had never bought a set of 12 before this. Thankfully i didn’t have to rely on those solely and once we all got adjusted to the new normal, regular grocery shopping resumed.

I had a lot of canned tomatoes with me and that’s when I started looking up soup recipes. Original recipe here uses tomatoes with a choice of substitution for canned tomatoes. I went that route to use up mine. I also looked for an instant pot/pressure cooker recipe so that I can just add everything into the pot and forget about it until it’s done. I served this with a sautéed mushroom sandwich for lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (or 1 kilo fresh tomatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon of dried basil or your choice of herbs
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Set Instant Pot in Sauté mode. Add the butter (or oil) into the pot. Sauté onions and garlic for a couple of minutes. Add the carrots, tomatoes, basil or herbs of your choice, salt and sauté for another minute.
  2. Add 2 cups of water, pepper and change the mode to Manual. Cook for 8 minutes in Manual mode. Let the pressure release naturally.
  3. Using a hand blender, purée the soup. Change settings to sauté mode again and add honey and cream. Taste test and adjust seasonings if needed. Turn off when it’s all well combined. Serve hot with croutons on top.

Linking this post to Kids Delight, event hosted by Vaishali this month.

Watermelon Pizza

BM #117 : Week 3, Day 1
Theme : Colorful Foods

I made this watermelon pizza towards the end of summer just before the weather started getting cold. It’s a combination of all my son’s favorite food items. Watermelon, yogurt and Kiwis rank among the very top of my son’s favorite food list. He loves flavored yogurt and that’s his go to snack. We stock upon a couple of boxes from Costco all the time. There is added sugar in it, but since it’s a lot more healthier than the alternatives, I don’t bother too much about the sugar.

This is an easy to do “recipe” where you just cut and arrange the watermelon slices. Then you top with whatever fruits you have in your fridge. Like I mentioned my son loves kiwi and so we are always stocked up on that too. I had berries, so used that as toppings too. I went for vanilla yogurt as the “cheese” here. You can add a spoon of yogurt to your slice just before eating it. Weird as the combination sounds, it’s actually works well together!

Ingredients:

  • Watermelon slices
  • vanilla yogurt
  • Fruits of your choice for toppings

Method:

  1. Cut the watermelon into pizza like triangle slices.
  2. On a serving tray, arrange it into a circle. Top with fruits of your choice.
  3. Keep the vanilla yogurt in the center. Serve.

Linking it to Kids Delight hosted by Vaishali this month.

Fruit platter

BM #116 : Week 5, Day 2
Theme : Fruit platter

My son loves fruits and so does his friends. I usually serve a couple of fruits in bowls when his friends come over – usually grapes, mangoes or watermelons. It gets over fast and that’s where I got the idea of a colorful fruit platter. This could be a great snack tray or appetizers to serve to a crowd.

I made a trip to Farmers market just to buy fruits for this platter and I have used only half of what I bought in this platter. When I started laying it out, I decided to stick with only red color fruits. So the rest of the fruits went right back into the fridge. I have been looking at a lot of Instagram posts for platter ideas and this one here is inspired from one of the platters I saw there.

Fall is here and soon it will be just sweaters and thick pants. We have already had a few days where we had to take the thin jackets out. Before we get into the completely cold weather, I wanted to enjoy a tray full of summer fruits. I wanted to add a couple of fruit dips to the platter, but I forgot it – to be honest. So it’s just fruits here on the plate.

Scroll down for more pictures and to see posts from my fellow BM bloggers for the day.

The platter has

  1. Water melon slices
  2. Red grapes
  3. Pomegranate
  4. Black Plums
  5. Clementines
  6. Raspberries
  7. Blackberries
  8. Apples

Start with the bigger fruits. Arrange it first where you want them. Mine is inspired from an Instagram post. Now keep adding the bigger pieces of fruits and fill the space in between with smaller fruits like grapes and berries.

Oranges or clementines look a lot better when you take off that spider web like layer of white pith.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#116

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Breakfast platter

BM #116 : Week 2, Day 4
Theme : Platters

Arranging platters for this week had been fun. I never realized it before that toast and pancakes can be served in a much better manner than what we were doing. We just bring a jar of peanut butter or maple syrup to the table and serve ourselves and that was it. But when we had this platter, all the choices were right in front of us…so we had each pancake with a different topping. Nutella and strawberries pair well. So does banana and peanut butter. I didn’t add bananas to the platter even though I had it at home.

My son loves overnight chia seeds. It’s very handy to have especially when is back from his classes and needs something quick and filling. For this platter, I left the sweetener out since there was so many to choose from. Overnight oats are also easy to make and again, for this platter, you can add peanut butter or jam or both or Nutella to flavor it if you prefer.

Even though this is a breakfast platter, we had it as an early dinner. I know…pancakes for dinner!! I had some leftover hot chocolate pancakes that I used up for one of the pancakes. The second one was a banana and oats based pancake from the King Arthur Flour Whole grain book. Both recipes are keepers i might try the hot chocolate ones later during Christmastime.

Scroll down for pictures and the recipes.

The breakfast platter has

  1. Hot cocoa pancakes
  2. Apples
  3. Blueberries
  4. Overnight chia seeds
  5. Oranges
  6. Bread
  7. Oats banana pancakes
  8. Strawberries
  9. Overnight oats with chia seeds
  10. Walnuts and almonds
  11. Chocolate chips
  12. Butter
  13. Maple syrup
  14. Strawberry jam
  15. Peanut butter
  16. Nutella

Overnight chia seeds:

Add 1/4 cup chia seeds with 1 cup milk of your choice. I have used coconut milk here. Cover with a lid and Refrigerate overnight. Use any of the options above for sweetener and toppings at the time of breakfast. My son had it with maple syrup and strawberries. I prefer liquid sweetener like maple syrup, honey or agave. It’s easier to mix it in than sugar as everything will be cold.

Overnight oats with chia seeds :

Mix 3 tablespoons oats, 1 teaspoon chia seeds, 3/4 cup milk in a container. Cover and refrigeration overnight. Next morning add plain or flavored yogurt to bring it to the texture you prefer. At breakfast time, mix in the sweetener of your choice and top with whatever you like from the spread.

Banana Oats pancake:

  • In a mixing bowl, mash 3 small ripe bananas. Add two tablespoons melted butter or oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir in 2 eggs.
  • In a different bowl, whisk 1 cup oat flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in the mashed banana mix. If the mix is too dry, add water in tablespoons until you get a pancake batter consistency.
  • Wait for ten minutes and prepare pancakes. Serve with any of the toppings from above.

Hot cocoa pancakes:

  • Whisk together 1.5 cups of flour, 4 packets of Swiss miss hot chocolate packets and 2 teaspoons baking powder in a mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup milk, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons melted and cooled butter or oil.
  • Mix dry and wet ingredients together. Add a few more tablespoons of milk, if needed to bring it to the pancake batter consistency.
  • Prepare pancakes with the batter and serve with syrup or Nutella or anything of your choice.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#116

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