Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Save Money with Your Pressure Cooker and Vegan Cooking

Having just paid $4.99 per gallon for diesel for my car, I am looking for ways to save money. Luckily I am already happily ensconced in pressure cooking.

I think that most people don't realize the many ways that the sky-rocketing fuel costs are going to impact them. It is going to mean rising food costs. So, to save money, you may have to go with my eating beans and grains once a week (or more) plan.

I'd like to see everyone adopt vegetarian or, even better, vegan eating at least once a week. OK. This may mean eating rice and beans but they don't have to be ordinary rice and beans.

Did you know that it only takes about 5 minutes at pressure to cook pinto or black beans (if they aren't really old)? More recently harvested beans cook more quickly but if you don't have the luxury of buying beans from a local farm or heirloom bean grower such as Rancho Gordo or Tierra Vegetables, you won't likely know the age of your beans.

Last week I demonstrated how to prepare red rice and beans (instead of red beans and rice) in the pressure cooker. The rice (which is whole grain) took 9 minutes at pressure and the beans took 4 minutes at pressure. You can season either any way that you like.

I also made a quick vegetable dish that included scarlet turnips, watermelon daikon, spring onion, garlic and yellow squash which took just one minute at pressure.

My complete meal hardly used any fuel at all, except for the cost of getting the vegetables. But these days I am on my bicycle so the energy that I burn is my own, therefore I am using my fuel well.

I encourage you to do the same -- get a pressure cooker, play with it and enjoy many meat-free days, saving time, money, energy and maybe even your health. And if you feel like it, ride your bicycle.

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