Thrifty meals: Instant Pot Spicy Stew

Black bean and sweet potato spicy stew

Black bean and sweet potato spicy stew

I recently bought JL Fields’ Vegan Pressure Cooking – Delicious beans, grains and one-pot meals in minutes, because I needed to experiment a bit more with my Instant Pot. Pressure cooking is great for one-pot meals, and – being someone who happily could eat out of a bowl with a spoon for almost every meal – stews, soups, chillies and curries made in the Instant Pot are definitely my thing.

And as my due date creeps ever-closer, my mind is turning to maternity leave (finally booked!) and surviving on statutory maternity pay. I have squirrelled some savings away, but it’s still going to be tough going. So pressure cooking for me will help keep the bills down and the nutrition up when it comes to making my meals.

Vegan Pressure Cooking - JL Fields

I adapted JL Fields’ sweet potato and black bean stew recipe to my own tastes, and according to what I had in the cupboard. And it turned out great (see top pic)! I only had half a sweet potato in wrapped in foil in the fridge, so I used some maris piper potatoes* instead of one full sweet potato, and swapped out the chopped tomatoes for some leftover passata I had hanging about. Thankfully all the other simple ingredients I already had to hand – celery, carrots, onions, garlic, veg stock, garam masala, ground cinnamon and a tin of black beans. I have a feeling it’s one of those recipes that can easily be adapted, depending on what you have available in your store cupboards. For instance, I didn’t have bay leaves so I just left them out… it was fine!

The recipe calls for dried black beans – and although I’ll be having a go with these in the future (dried pulses are inordinately more frugal than tinned) – I used pre-cooked beans and just adjusted the water/stock ratio and tweaked the cooking time to roughly half. It all worked out really well… although initially a bit watery, the floury potatoes broke down to thicken the sauce. I also find with pressure cooked food, I need to at least triple the amount of spice, especially if it’s aromatic. So I did just that, and added in a generous kick of cayenne pepper, because I like a nice spicy bite to my food.

Served with rice cooked in a steamer, I’d say all in all this double large portion of food probably cost well under £2.50 altogether. I could have easily made it into two hearty meals and added some green veggies (cheap!) for extra healthy eating points. When the growing season gets going I’ll also be able to cut costs with my own homegrown veggies.

Here’s the original black bean and sweet potato recipe – I’m looking forward to developing my own frugal but oh-so-tasty recipes and sharing them with you in the future 🙂

*pressure cooked floury potatoes are just the best – creamy, crumbly and full of flavour!

Comments

  1. Looks lovely 🙂

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