Pressure Cooker Book Review: The New Fast Food

 I am happy to start reviewing books that you might find interesting. I will not only review the cookbook, but I will also cook several recipes from them, plus photograph and share a sample recipe  (with the author’s permission). Already own this book?  Leave a comment to share your opinion, too!Farro Risotto  I was glad to get a copy of Jill’s new book to see how a real expert treats whole grains in the pressure cooker and I wasn’t disappointed! It would not be an understatement to say that several of her recipes and techniques have changed me as a cook!Sample Recipe:  Farro Risotto with Asparagus and PeasThe New Fast Food – 
The Veggie Queen™ Pressure Cooks Whole Food Meals in Minutes

Veggie Queen Cookbook

by Jill Nussinow, MS, RD 
March 2011,  in e-book format (coming in print later this year)
227 Pages, 143 recipes
Suggested Retail Price: $12.95
Purchase: sold directly by the Author

Readers of this website have already seen me extolling the virtues of this author when I shared her Pressure Cooker Veggie Stock Video.

I was glad to get a copy of Jill’s new book to see how a real expert treats whole grains in the pressure cooker and I wasn’t disappointed! It would not be an understatement to say that several of her recipes and techniques have changed me as a cook!

Jill Nussinow’s pressure-steamed brown rice technique has been getting a lot of buzz on my Facebook page because it has seriously gotten me and several of “hip” readers to reconsider eating it.  I have been mistreating brown rice – using too much water, boiling it to death, and using old dusty bags from the bowels of my kitchen cabinet.  Jill suggests starting with a “fresh” bag, and then pressure steaming it using a sophisticated rice:water ratio that decreases the amount of water for each additional cup of rice.  The result is nutty and al dente and not like the chewy wood pulp I have made in the past.

Her sage advice does not stop there.  Her book contains whole sections on the difference between “old” and “new” pressure cookers, why a pressure cooker is better than a slow cooker, care and feeding of your pressure cooker, do’s and don’ts,  bean basics, and much more.  Detailed pressure cooker timing charts are conveniently grouped together at the beginning of the book, and then again in the sections they are related to — the first version of this book had a slight omission that I was assured will be corrected in future versions. The tables did not state that the beans/grains to water ratio refers to one cup of the beans or grains to the quantity of water stated.

But for me, the most important part of the book is the recipes!  Jill’s friendly tone and inventive recipes will pique your interest.  The recipes are divided into 6 sections:

  • Grains for All Occasions, 27 recipes
  • Beans and Other Luscious Legumes, 19 recipes
  • Vegetables in Side Dishes and Main Courses, 37 recipes
  • Soups, 29 recipes
  • Stew, Chili and Mixed Dishes,  21 recipes
  • Desserts, 10 recipes

Her recipes are so “meaty” and full of color, you won’t even realize the whole book is vegan.  As an omnivore, I am quite impressed that Jill managed to combine so many flavors and textures without meat, fish, cheese, or eggs!  So I plan to refer to this cookbook quite often for  greater variety of healthy recipes to offer my family.  I do wish that the book had a few more desserts, 4 of the 10 are fruit compotes, but that is a very small blemish in an overall stellar collection of recipes.

Being Italian, I was immediately attracted to her Farro Risotto recipe, known as Farotto in Italy.  I had been working on converting an Italian recipe to the pressure cooker but could not get the water to grain ratio right.  Instead, this recipe was perfect the first time and even my husband, who is not a very adventurous eater, enjoyed it!

Try the Farro Risotto for yourself — the proof is in the pressure cooker!

Farro Risotto with Asparagus and Peas

Farro Risotto
Recipe from Jill Nussinow’s new e-book, The New Fast Food.

1 tablespoon oil, if using
2 shallots, peeled and diced to equal ½ cup
1½ cups farro seminperlato
½ cup white wine
2½-3 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon chopped tarragon or ½ teaspoon dried
½ teaspoon salt
½ pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup fresh or frozen, thawed peas
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in your pressure cooker medium-high heat. Sauté the shallots for about 2 minutes. Stir in farro and coat with oil, if using. If not, dry toast the farro, for about 2 minutes. Add wine and stir until it evaporates, about 30 seconds.

Add 2½ cups of the broth and the tarragon, taking care to scrape up any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the cooker. Lock pressure cooker lid in place. Over high heat, bring to high pressure. Reduce heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the pressure come down naturally.

Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow steam to escape. See if the farro is cooked to your liking. If not, put back on the heat and bring to high pressure for another 2 to 3 minutes. Then let the pressure release naturally again.

If the grain is cooked how you like, stir in the salt, asparagus and peas. Simmer on the stove top, adding the remaining broth if necessary, until the farrotto is cooked as desired and the vegetables are bright green. Add the freshly ground pepper and additional salt, if desired. Add the remaining broth if the dish needs it. This dish should have the same texture as risotto, which is a bit runny but not too soupy. It will thicken as it stands. Serve hot, immediately, garnished with parsley, and soy cheese, if desired.

Serves 4-6

Photo by Hip Pressure Cooking. Recipe republished with permission from the author.

To Authors and Publishers: Have a book you would like for me to see and review?
It doesn’t have to be a new book, it can be an established book that deserves notice and  attention, the subject should be of interest to the readers of Hip Pressure Cooking . I will ask your permission to publish one of the recipes in the book to cook and photograph for my readers to see what it’s all about.  Contact me to find out how to get me a print or electronic copy!