Vegan Lentil Curry

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 55 mins

Total time: 1 hour

Servings: 4

This recipe is adapted from a recipe on the Simply Vegan Blog (  I made a few changes of ingredient types or amounts, but otherwise prepared it precisely as recommended.  This can be made without oil by sautéing with a broth or water.  It is an excellent fasting recipe for Orthodox Christians and was well received in the house!


  • 1 cup uncooked lentils
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbs minced garlic
  • ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • ¾ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder


  • Cook lentils according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Cook rice according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and the onion and cook over medium-high heat until golden brown.
  • Add the tomato sauce, coconut milk and spices and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Add cooked lentils, stir and cook for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Serve the lentils over the rice.



  • Serving size:1/4 of the recipe
  • Calories:485
  • Sugar:8 g
  • Sodium:8 mg
  • Fat:8 g
  • Saturated fat:8 g
  • Carbohydrates:78 g
  • Fiber:5 g
  • Protein:8 g



That Green Dip

This was a Cooking Connection recipe at the local HEB.  It is simple and tasty.  This makes a party sized serving.  We did substitute Fiesta Ranch flavor Hidden Valley from the recommended Buttermilk Ranch flavor.


  • 1 Jar HEB That Green Sauce
  • 24 oz Sour Cream
  • 1 dry package – Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch Dip Mix


  • Mix sour cream and That Green Sauce
  • Mix in dry ranch mix.
  • Serve with chips.

InstantPot Taco Pasta

This is a nice recipe that I discovered online and made with only a few modifications. (Original Recipe Here:

  • 1 lb ground beef , 90% lean
  • 1 oz McCormick taco seasoning
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 8 oz dry elbow macaroni
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, mexican blend or cheddar jack)
  • 1 dried red pepper, crumbled
  1. Set Instant Pot to saute. Add the ground beef and break up as it cooks. Once ground beef is browned, stir in taco seasoning, tomato sauce, beef broth and then pasta.
  2. Cover and seal lid. Change setting to manual and adjust time to 5 minutes.
  3. Once Instant Pot beeps to show it’s done, wait two minutes then quick release. Carefully remove cover and stir.
  4. Add cheese and stir in, cover but don’t seal. Allow a minute or two for cheese to start to melt.

When you serve it consider adding toppings such as sour cream, guacamole, salsa, or melted queso.


Nutritional Info below:

The serving size here is one rounded scoop of the InstantPot ladle.  There recipe yields ten scoops.  I ate 2 scoops for my dinner and with some chips on the side and toppings on the pasta was quite full.
IP Taco Pasta Nutrition

Instant Pot Shrimp Paella


This is a simple but tasty paella recipe that can be configured to be fast friendly!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Servings 4

Calories 318 kcal


  • 1 lb jumbo shrimp, shell and tail on frozen
  • 1 cup Jasmine rice
  • 4 Tbsp butter/margarine
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup cilantro optional




  1. Set Instant Pot to Saute function. Add butter to pot and melt. Add onions and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook for about a minute more.
  2. Add paprika, turmeric, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and saffron threads. Stir and cook for about 1 minute. Add red peppers.
  3. Add rice and stir. Cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add chicken broth and white wine, making sure all rice is covered.
  4. Add shrimp on top. Turn off Instant Pot and cover. Make sure valve is set to sealing.
  5. Set Instant Pot to Manual Mode and set a 5 minute timer. When done, quick release.
  6. Remove shrimp from pot and peel if desired. Serve with Cilantro.

Recipe Notes:

Make sure there are no dry bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. This could result in that annoying “burn” signal some pressure cookers give off. Once you add your broth (but before you place frozen shrimp on top), stir with a wooden spoon to ensure there is no food stuck to the bottom.

Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas

Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas


Soaking is not required.  These turned out really well.  This used the Instant Pot pressure cooker and directions are specific to the Instant Pot. Adapted from an online recipe linked below.  Served with vegan cornbread for Lent.

  • Prep Time: 3 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 48 minutes
  • Serves: 6


  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas
  • 6.5 cups vegetable stock*
  • 2 sliced jalapeno peppers


  1. Add all ingredients into the Instant Pot.
  2. Close and lock the lid.
  3. Make sure the top knob is turned to “Sealing”.
  4. Press the Manual Button.
  5. Adjust “Pressure” to high (if not there already).
  6. Set for 25 minutes (using the + or – buttons) and you’re done!

Peanut Butter Chili (Vegan)

This recipe was made for Lent 2017 after I saw a good friend of mine rave about some peanut chili he had tried during Lent at an Indian restaurant.  The guts of this recipe came from AllRecipes, with some of my common changes.  Even my non-peanut butter liking son ate it without complaint.  The peanut butter really acts as a thickening agent, giving the chili good body and texture.  The spices blend well with it and keep the peanut butter side from overpowering the chili side.  Makes 8 servings.


  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (10 oz) can Rotel mild tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tbs garlic, minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place the diced tomatoes, water, garlic, and bay leaves into a saucepan, and bring to a simmer over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low, and season with the cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.
  3. Cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
  4. After 15 minutes, pour in the black beans and kidney beans
  5. Return to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the peanut butter until dissolved, then remove and discard the bay leaves.
  7. If desired, season the chili with salt and pepper.  I did not add any salt or pepper.


Shrimp Bisque

This evening we had a shrimp bisque, made with soy milk because it is a fasting period. Delicious.


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter
  • 2 tablespoons onion, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 small carrot, grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons flour (all-purpose wheat flour or white rice flour)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup vegetable chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk (soy milk for fasting periods)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or additional 1/2 cup milk)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce (gluten-free, if necessary)
  • 3/4 pound raw shrimp (cut into pieces)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt, or to taste
  • Optional garnish: fresh parsley, cilantro, or thyme leaves


1.Melt the butter or coconut oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
2. Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the flour and tomato paste and cook and stir 30 seconds. (this was very thick so after adding liquid below, I used an immersion blender to help it blend)
4, Immediately stir in the broth, milk, and wine (if using), and whisk until combined.
5. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil.
6. Reduce, simmering, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. 7. Add the shrimp or lobster pieces and cook until completely heated through, about 2 minutes.
8. Remove bay leaf. Stir in lemon juice and add salt to taste. (I also used the immersion blender to blend the shrimp into the bisque, this helped with texture, as the soy milk doesn’t thicken quite the same as regular milk).

Serve with optional garnish.