Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Instant Pot Baby Zucchini With Mushrooms And Bell Peppers On Banza Pasta

Zucchini makes a great topping for Banza Pasta!

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Two Birds with One Stone!
Our new strict gluten-free diet often leaves us wanting for pasta and Banza Pasta fits the bill. Also, having a easy and delicious recipe to use our abundance of summer zucchini comes in quite handy! 

As we are eating for brain health, besides avoiding gluten, we want to lower our carbs. Banza, made mostly from garbanzo beans, has way less carbs and much more fiber and protein than regular pasta.

Cooking Zucchini in an Instant Pot
Cooking zucchini in an Instant Pot can be tricky. If you don't release the pressure and uncover immediately, the zucchini can turn to mush. The trick with these delicate vegetables is to use LOW PRESSURE and only cook for ONE MINUTE! (For other vegetables, see Cooking Vegetables in your Instant Pot.)

Pick or purchase small zucchini so that you can cut them into small circles. The integrity of the circles will also keep the zucchini from overcooking.

I know some of you cook your pasta in the Instant Pot, but I do not recommend doing that with Banza or other bean pastas. Bean pasta needs lots of water and will foam up a lot during cooking. Without sufficient water, it will get gluey.

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Instant Pot Zucchini with Mushrooms and Bell Peppers
Vegan, Gluten and Dairy Free
[makes 6 servings]

Large soup pot for the pasta
Instant Pot for the zucchini 

Salt for the pasta water
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced or thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 pounds small zucchini, sliced in 1/2 inch rounds
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 ounces of Banza rotini per person*

* One box will make 4 servings. This recipe will make enough zucchini for 6 servings. I don't recommend making more pasta than what you will consume as it doesn't keep well. So if you are cooking for two, make 1/2 the box and save the rest of the zucchini for another night. It also makes a great side dish. One box of Banza is enough for 4 (2-ounce) servings.

Start boiling water in a large soup pot on the stove for the pasta. Salt the water according to the directions on the Banza box.

Press the SAUTE button on your Instant Pot. Heat the oil and then add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and mushrooms. Cook until they soften, about 3 minutes. Press the OFF button.

Stir in the zucchini, basil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot for 1 minute at LOW PRESSURE.

While the zucchini is cooking, cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. It takes about 7 minutes but test it at 6. Use a big pot as it foams up quite a bit. Scoop off the foam with a spoon and discard. When done, drain and set aside.

When the zucchini is done, IMMEDIATELY release the pressure. Carefully remove the cover so that the water on the lid doesn't dump back into the pot. Discard the water on the lid.

Stir the zucchini and test with a fork. (If it's not done, just place the cover back on the pot for another minute but don't turn it back on.)

Remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot and place on the counter to keep the zucchini from over cooking. 

Divide the pasta into individual bowls and spoon the zucchini mixture over the pasta and serve.

Save left over zucchini for another night. It makes a great side dish.

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