Place ribs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add wine.
Bring the water to a boil, drain and rinse ribs.
Put the ribs into an instant pot, cover with water and cook for 50 minutes. Alternatively, you can simmer them in a large pan on the stovetop for 1 hour.
Mix ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350℉ (380℉ for crispier ribs)
Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and lay ribs in the pan in a single layer. Brush both sides with the cooking sauce.
Bake for 10 minutes, turning once.
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While ribs are notorious for being high in fat and calories, it’s not all bad news. They also contain a healthy dose of necessary nutrients so count them in for the occasional treat!
“I can’t cook” means different things to different people. Whatever that might mean to you…help is on the way! Here are just a few ways to get your cook on!
It’s a fact. Some people can’t cook. Of course, “I can’t cook” means different things to different people.
Some people can’t cook because they don’t have the means to cook. Maybe they rent a room that doesn’t have kitchen privileges. Maybe they live out of hotel rooms because they travel a lot. Maybe their stove is on the fritz. Or maybe their house did, in fact, come without a kitchen.
Some people can’t cook because, well, they just can’t cook. Maybe they just don’t have the patience, the time or the confidence.
Then there are the people who simply don’t cook. Nope. Not doin’ it.
What shall we do with all these non-cookers who still want to eat a healthy diet? As it turns out, I have a few ideas.
Easy No-Cook Meals And Snacks
Chicken salad — grab some pre-cooked organic chicken and mix with mayonnaise. Jazz things up a bit by adding your favorite mustard, some grapes, walnuts or whatever tickles your fancy!
Peanut butter and strawberry sandwich — pick up a fresh-baked loaf of bread from your local bakery. Slather on some chunky peanut butter and sliced strawberries. Or smooth peanut butter and apple slices. How about cashew butter and fresh raspberries? There are no rules.
Overnight oats — There are only about a million flavor combinations and it keeps for up to 5 days in your fridge. Win-win!
Tomato, mozzarella and basil — This is exactly what it sounds like it is. Slice up a fresh tomato and top it with slices of fresh mozzarella and some fresh basil. Pair this up with the cooked shrimp you picked up in the frozen food aisle and you’ve got a meal!
Garden salad — It all starts with some bagged lettuce and fresh veggies (get the pre-cut ones to save time!). Toss it up with some mushrooms, nuts, seeds, avocados and/or hard-boiled eggs then top it off with homemade ranch, thousand island or Caesar dressing. Because there’s no such thing as “just a salad”.
Corn Salad — Saw fresh corn off the cob, put it in a bowl with some thinly sliced red onion and radishes then toss it with lemon poppy dressing.
Coleslaw — Simply mix shredded cabbage, green and/or red, and grated carrots. Make the dressing with 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp olive oil, 2-3 tsp sugar and ¼ tsp salt. Ask the produce clerk to cut a head of cabbage so you can buy just a half or a quarter of it.
Fruit salad — A pile of your favorite fruits and berries topped with plain yogurt (mix in a bit of honey and a drop of vanilla, if desired). Use what’s left of the yogurt to make dill dip, which is great for dipping fresh veggies!
Let’s talk for a minute about how handy these are. Not only can this multi-function puppy pressure-cook food in no time flat, but it can also slow cook, steam, sterilize, make yogurt, saute, cook rice, cook eggs and even air fry. It even comes in a mini (3-quart) size so you don’t have to cook for an army.
You can cook just about anything in an Instant Pot. Throw it in there, turn it on and walk away. In case you’re feeling insecure, Instant Pot comes with access to an app that has cooking tips and recipes.
A more cost-effective option in this category is a slow cooker. It doesn’t have as many uses but it will still cook dinner for you. No, it doesn’t come with an app but I can recommend this cookbook!
This magical device was invented in the 1940s and we’ve never looked back. The first home models, introduced in the 1960s, carried a price tag of around $4,000 when adjusted for inflation. Luckily for us, things have changed and we can pick up a decent model these days for right around $100.
Microwaves are not just for reheating last nights’ dinner. You can toast nuts or roast garlic. You can bake a potato or cook it cubed up for potato salad. Pasta, steamed vegetables, winter squash, sweet treats. Yes, you can even cook meat, although you’ll want to do a little research on cooking methods before you attempt that big, beautiful steak.
There are plenty of gadgets available (if you’re a gadget kind of person) but most of the time, you can use whatever microwave-safe dishes you have on hand to achieve the desired effect. Sometimes, all you need is a mug.
You can also find microwaves in many places when you’re on the road. Convenience stores, supermarkets, truck stops and travel centers usually have them for public use. (Remember to be polite and buy a bottle of water or cup of coffee while you’re cooking your lunch!) Microwaves are a standard issue in hotel and motel rooms. There’s also one in the break room at work, although its cleanliness is always in question.
I received a rice cooker as an (unsolicited) gift from a family member. I had never wanted one and I wasn’t sure I would ever even use it. Once again, I’m not a gadget person. I still use the cooking pans I got second-hand from my parents after I got married, which they had received as a present when they got married, over 60 years ago. I just didn’t see the need to cook rice in a rice cooker when my elderly but reliable saucepan works just fine.
…that it’s awesome. And it’s not just for rice. That’s right. I said it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were all sorts of one-pot meals I could make in this thing. It times itself, I didn’t have to remember to stir it AND it keeps it warm until I’m ready to eat.
Now, I am a fan of rice so I usually mix in some raw protein and veggies right in with the uncooked rice and water and let it do its thing. Easy-peasy. Here’s the thing, though. It also has a steaming tray that suspends above the rice so I can just as easily cook the meat and veggies separately.
It makes oatmeal, mac and cheese, soups, chili and stewed fruit. You can even use it to bake bread and cakes.
It’s compact, easy to use and easy to clean. It’s versatile like the Instant Pot and slow cooker but with a few differences. It has fewer options than the Instant Pot and cooks faster than the slow cooker. The price range is broad but a basic rice cooker is usually less than $40, similar to that of a basic slow cooker.
That About Sums It Up
OK, so that doesn’t really sum it up. There are a lot of different options out there for the cooking challenged and, if you search hard enough, you can learn how to use a curling iron to cook bacon or a clothing iron to make grilled cheese sandwiches. While it seems like either of these options could (technically) work, I’d like to think I’ve put forth the most reasonable choices for people who can’t (or don’t) cook.
What about you? What cooking hacks have worked for you? Let me know in the comments below!
It’s all the rage so guess what? I hit the streets to get the lowdown on 10 different models and their accessories! I hope you enjoy this review of Instant Pot.
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I’m sure you’ve heard of Instant Pot. It’s That Thing that has everyone talking. That wondrous, marvelous, amazing, extraordinary, almost transcendent piece of kitchen equipment that the whole world is raving about. Since you’re here, reading this review, I assume that you’re considering buying and you’re looking to see if this is the brand for you.
The fact is that Instant Pot is the best-selling and most popular pressure cooker out there. It’s user-friendly and has many, many uses, from the obvious (pressure-cooking) to things you may not be aware of such as making yogurt, cooking eggs and even sterilization. The problem (at least for me) is that there are 10 different models available. T.E.N. Which one is the right one for you? I’m going to break it down for you here.
My review of Instant Pot.
Basic Instant Pot Features
There are certain features that all Instant Pots have in common so I’m going to cover those first:
High-Pressure Cooking Function that cooks food up to 70% faster.
Slow Cooker Function.
Steamer Option for cooking vegetables, seafood, and eggs. Steamer accessories are included with Instant Pot.
Saute Function for sauteing, browning and reducing.
Rice Cooker Option to cook rice in as little as 4 minutes.
Warm Setting for keeping food at the proper temperature when it’s finished cooking.
Stainless Steel Inner Port has a 3 ply bottom and is dishwasher safe.
Accessories included: stainless steel steam rack with handles, rice paddle, soup spoon, measuring cup and condensation collector.
Free Instant Pot App for iOS and Android devices that’s loaded with hundreds of recipes as well as an online community to provide support and guidance.
More than 10 built-in safety features, including Overheat Protection, Safety Lock and more to ensure safe pressure-cooking
All Instant Pots except the Lux 6 in 1 have these additional features:
Low-Pressure Cooking Function for cooking items such as hard or soft-cooked eggs as well as more delicate vegetables and fish.
Yogurt Making Function.
Pot By Pot
Now that we know the basics, let’s get down to the brass tacks: the pot-by-pot comparison so you can choose the perfect Instant Pot for you! Ready? Let’s roll.
Instant Pot Duo Plus is an updated Duo. Duo Plus upgrades include the easy seal lid to automatically seal when pressure-cooking and a cooking progress indicator, so you know when cooking begins. It has 15 one-touch Smart Programs and can prepare meals for up to 6 people.
A larger version of the Instant Pot Duo Plus 9 in 1 has all the features of the regular Duo Plus but in an 8-quart size.
Instant Pot Duo Plus Mini has a 3-quart capacity. It’s great for making side dishes or for anywhere that space is limited. It has 13 one-touch smart programs but does not have the cake or beans/grain option offered in the larger size.
A central dial with a simple turn and press provides added precision in program selection and adjustment. 16 one-touch Smart Programs include complete temperature customization and preset cooking times for up to 6 hours.
The automatic altitude adjustment takes the guesswork out of recipe conversion while the new self-closing pressure valve adds a higher safety rating.
Instant Pot Duo Evo is a hybrid of the Duo Plus and the Ultra and has features you won’t find in other models. It has 10 one-touch Smart Programs and 48 customizable preset options, making it a must-have for cooking enthusiasts!
It has the biggest display of all the models we’ve looked at so far, big, bold and angled so it can be read from a distance while the new cooking progress indicator shows clearly where you are in the cooking cycle. The 1200W heating element reduces preheating time allowing you to make meals faster.
The easy seal lid automatically seals the pressure cooker while the improved steam-diffusing cover takes the fear out of the pressure release process. Pressure release time is shortened with the new QuickCool technology.
The cookware-grade inner pot made from 304 (18/8) stainless steel features non-slip, cool-to-the-touch silicone handles and a flat bottom that can be used on gas, electric and induction stovetop/cooktop.
Accessories include stainless steel steam rack with long handles and an extra sealing ring.
This WiFi-enabled cooker lets you schedule, cook, adjust and monitor the progress of your meals on the go from your mobile device with the Instant Pot app. It’s also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant. As if that’s not awesome enough, you’ll have access to thousands of pre-programmed recipes and 13 one-touch Smart Programs!
The sustained 15psi pressure in this cooker not only cooks food faster while using less energy, it also enables you to do home pressure canning. It automatically releases pressure in the pot when the food is cooked. New Nutriboost technology creates a boiling motion during pressure-cooking to break down food, adding nutrition, flavor, and taste to soups and bone broth.
A new-brushed stainless steel exterior body, stainless steel interior cooker and inner pot are made from food-grade 304 stainless steel and accessories include 2 heat-resistant silicone mitts.
A lot of people I know call their Instant Pot a game-changer. They’re absolutely hooked.
Much of their fondness comes from a place of convenience. There is a shorter cooking time for large, tough cuts of meat, wild rice, steel-cut oats and lentils plus its ability to cook meat from frozen.
As a one-pot meal creator, it will leave you with fewer dirty dishes, leading to a quicker cleanup time. You can’t hate that!
What about you? Which Instant Pot are you going to choose? If you already have one, tell me what you think about yours! I’d love to hear from you.