Vegan Under Pressure

Jill Nussinow’s (aka The Veggie Queen) latest book is called  Vegan Under Pressure.

If you are looking for a lot of processed ingredients, this book is not for you. If you are looking for tasteful wholesome, plant based foods ready  in a matter of minutes, with a great variety of recipes- then stick around because you will want to have this, this might even be better than The New Fast Food (although I love that book as well).

I’ve always been afraid of pressure cookers. I did not grow up around them. I didn’t like it when my neighbors used them – they are loud and can be heard down a quiet hallway. I gathered up some courage to buy one but it sat in the box for months collecting dust. It was Jill who gave me the courage to take it out and at least do a water test so I knew what I was in for. KIDS!!!!! OUT of the kitchen. Do not I repeat do NOT come in here, I don’t care what the excuse may be. Hands were shaking, palms sweaty. I was counting down the minutes until the pressure went up. I was thinking  “I hope no one is above me in their kitchen right now”. I mean, all *those* stories were true right? The lid could just pop off and go flying? I heard whistling, I backed up as far as I could go. One of my minions tried to come in the kitchen “GET OUT!!!!!”. The pressure came up, I nervously tipped toed to the stove, quickly turned the heat down. I waited, fiddled around with the heating. After I was satisfied, I turned off the stove. I felt silly about how I reacted, apologized to my minion for losing my mind. But, the fear was always there. I now use that as the pot I cook corn in.

I wish I had this book a few years ago. It would’ve made all the difference. Even though I found Jill encouraging, I was never 100% comfortable with the stove top pressure cooker. She did take the time to chat with me about using it, but she couldn’t devote online time to really help me. No one could. BUT after reading Vegan Under Pressure, I know I can take out my stove top pressure cooker and use it, without losing it. She explains the different types of cookers, has a side by side comparison of stove top vs electric, and suggests some tools that might make cooking easier. She takes you by the hand, explains things and shows you not to be afraid. With the knowledge she gives you, you will easily gain confidence. You will go from riding a bike with training wheels, to riding it without hands.

She has trusted cooking charts for grains, rice and beans. Not just the popular ones, but for all of them (I’m pretty sure she got all of them) DIY spices, explains the story behind Ancient Grains such as Teff, Millet, Wild rice and so on. I found that to be interesting.

All in all this book is about light and refreshing to stick-to-your-ribs, comfort food to everything in between.

Now, let’s get on to the main attraction, the food! I was only allowed to choose one recipe from the book. It was hard to narrow it down. All the recipes I’ve made so far, have great flavor, easy to obtain ingredients and fresh. I didn’t use mushrooms just because I don’t like them.

Text excerpted from Vegan Under Pressure, © 2015 by Jill Nussinow. Reproduced by permission of
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Photo © Lauren Volo.

Thai Red Curry with Winter Squash, Mushrooms, and Broccoli

Serves 4 to 6

I am wowed by the flavor of this fusion-style dish, where winter squash pairs very well with Thai curry.

The mushrooms add earthiness and a lot of texture, while the broccoli (or greens) adds freshness.

If you are not familiar with lime leaves, you will likely recognize the flavor if you’ve eaten Thai

food. Store the leaves in your freezer so that they are available when you need them. Galangal is a root,

similar to ginger, that is used in Thai cooking. Chana dal is split chickpeas, which are used often in Indian

cooking. If you can’t find them, split red lentils stand in easily.

This is a perfect winter dish.

1 cup sliced onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon or more minced hot chile, such as jalapeño; or ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

½ cup chana dal or split red lentils

2 pieces dried galangal slices

2 kaffir lime leaves

1¾ cups vegetable stock

½ cup regular or light coconut milk

2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste

4 to 5 cups (or more) peeled cubed winter squash, such as butternut, kabocha, or acorn (1 pound)

4 ounces oyster mushrooms, sliced

1 cup broccoli florets; or 2 cups thinly sliced kale, collard greens, or Swiss chard

1 to 2 tablespoons lime juice

Chopped cilantro, for garnish

1. Heat a stovetop pressure cooker over medium heat or set an electric cooker to sauté. Add the onion

and dry sauté for 1 minute. Add the garlic and chile and cook 1 minute longer.

2. Add the chana dal, galangal, lime leaves, ¾ cup of the stock, the coconut milk, and curry paste. Lock

the lid on the cooker. Bring to high pressure; cook for 3 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally.

Remove the lid, carefully tilting it away from you.

3. Add the squash, mushrooms, and remaining 1 cup stock. Lock the lid back on the cooker. Bring to high

pressure; cook for 3 minutes. Quick release the pressure. Remove the lid, carefully tilting it away from


4. Stir in the broccoli. Lock the lid back on and let sit for 2 minutes. Carefully open the lid. Remove the

galangal slices.

5. Transfer the contents to a large bowl. Add lime juice to taste, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve.

Thai Red Curry

For a chance to win Jill’s latest book Vegan Under Pressure, click on the link. I’m having problem with being able to post the image. The giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents. Good luck!!


Vegan Under Pressure

Click to enter contest.

Congratulations to Shane T, he won Vegan Under Pressure 🙂



13 thoughts on “Vegan Under Pressure

  1. It’s because of Jill’s previous book that I dared to buy a pressure cooker. I would love to win her new book! Pick me!

    1. You can get it from any Asian market, but I have been able to buy it in the Asian produce section of a grocery store. I did use canned coconut milk for this recipe.

      1. Seems like the stores I go to don’t always have oyster mushrooms. Is there a good substitute?

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