Instant Pot Saffron Rice with Currants and Pine Nuts

Instant Pot Saffron Rice with Currants and Pine Nuts

“Yellow rice,” as I called it then, was my dinner request. Just yellow rice!

The stand-in name was just about right, at least in this instance, because the rice I so craved was a mix my mom would make from a little foil packet purchased at the store. I’m not sure what exactly was in that mix, though I have a hunch: yellow coloring, natural flavors, and salt. It felt like I could eat that rice for days without getting tired of it.

This version of yellow rice is not that yellow rice. It’s made with Saffron—real saffron— and studded with pine nuts and currants. It’s beautiful, and it' tastes beautiful too. I could eat it for days without getting tired of it. At first bite, I was immediately transported back to Mom’s yellow rice. It’s a bowl of nostalgia, but also global flavors. It’s vibrant, and homey. And, it’s made in your Instant Pot! (affiliate link)

(It seems like as a kid, I often identified foods by their color: get the recipe for grown-up Pink Sauce here).

Instant Pot Saffron Rice with Currants and Pine Nuts
Instant Pot Saffron Rice with Currants and Pine Nuts

For a video of this recipe, click here!

Instant Pot Saffron Rice with Currants and Pine Nuts

Published May 21, 2019 by
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Serves: 6   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white rice (such as basmati)
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced small
  • 4 pinches saffron
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup minced parsley, plus more for garnish

  • Directions:

    1. Turn Instant Pot to sauté setting and heat 1 tablespoon of butter. Add diced onion, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until translucent.
    2. In a mortar and pestle, grind the saffron so that it is almost a powder—a few larger pieces is OK.
    3. Add rice, water, remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, saffron, and salt to pot. Stir.
    4. Secure lid on Instant Pot, and set to “Rice” setting, with the vent in the closed position. Timer should set to 12 minutes.
    5. When the timer goes off, release the pressure. Add currants, pine nuts, and parsley to the pot. Use a fork or spatula stir everything together, fluffing the rice as you go.
    6. Serve hot, sprinkled with additional parsley for garnish.

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    Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce

    Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce

    I’m trying something a little different today: a consolidated blog post. While I love writing, sometimes getting a blog post drafted (and published) is a chore. And, I have heard so many people—from friends to general internet chatter—say they wish it was easier to get to the damn recipe! So, here you are. This is an ingredient-heavy recipe, but once you’ve made it once you’ll see it’s quite easy to throw together. Cold rice noodles make a great lunch for enjoying in the sun, on the patio. Fresh herbs, tahini, and spicy Sriracha are bold and bright. Hope you enjoy!

    Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce
    Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce

    Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce

    Published May 7, 2019 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



    Ingredients:

    For the Sriracha tofu:
  • 1 pound extra firm or super firm tofu, drained
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • For the tahini dressing:
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • For the bowls:
  • 1 eight ounce package Mai Fun rice noodles
  • About 2 cups spring greens
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1 cucumber, diced small
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1 daikon radish, julienned
  • 3 sprigs Thai basil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • Optional garnish: toasted sesame seeds and lime wedges

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 475°F and fit a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. Place Sriracha, olive oil, and soy sauce in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes and place in bowl. Use a spatula to gently turn tofu in sauce until coated. Using tongs or a fork, move tofu to prepared baking pan, leaving at least 1/2 inch of space between pieces. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Using tongs, flip tofu to the other side. Bake for an additional 12-15 minutes, then place pan aside to cool and turn off oven.
    3. Meanwhile, prepare tahini dressing: place tahini, maple syrup, rice vinegar, water, ginger, and garlic in a small bowl and whisk until fully incorporated (note: at first, tahini might not want to mix in, but eventually it will become a smooth sauce!).
    4. Cook rice noodles according to package. Place cooked rice noodles in a fine mesh sieve and rinse with cold water.
    5. Assemble bowls: divide spring greens among serving dishes. Top with rice noodles. Add red pepper, cucumber, carrot, and radish. Top with tofu, then garnish with basil, mint, peanuts, sesame seeds, and lime wedges. Drizzle with tahini sauce. Serve.

    Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce
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    Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake

    Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake

    This recipe for banana pecan cake stemmed from a well-loved recipe on the New York Times.

    Following recipes has never been my style—I’m guess many of you are the same way. I like to have an outline, but then I go from there: Frosting? Hmm, too much sugar for an afternoon snack for me. Will this work with a gluten-free flour blend? Let’s give it a shot. Ingredient by ingredient I swap in and swap out. This is how I like to navigate a kitchen, and I find, when I follow my gut, I like the output more.

    Everyone has unique tastes and preferences. It’s for that reason that I hope everyone will do some tweaking and twisting while they prep their dinners. It’s for their own good! There have been countless times when I followed a recipe to a “T” and later regretted it, wishing I had swerved in a different direction.

    Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake
    Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake

    Baking (more of a science) provides less wiggle room for adjustments, though you can still make changes if you know your ingredients well. An easy personalization here would be to swap pecans for walnuts, or leave out the nuts all together. I know that nuts are an extremely divisive ingredient in banana bread … the original NYTimes version does not call for them, however since I skipped the frosting, I wanted to add something that would give this cake a second dimension. No regrets.

    The line between bread and cake is blurry, especially when it comes to sweet breads, like banana bread. It is really bread? You can call it what you want — I’m calling this one a cake, though, it’s a cake I would (and do) eat for breakfast.

    Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake

    Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake

    Published April 16, 2019 by
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    Serves: 9   |    Active Time: 50 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (2-3 bananas) 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups measure for measure gluten-free flour blend (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour (affiliatel ink))
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • Optional- 1/4 cup pecan pieces

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F and fit a 9 inch square baking dish with parchment paper.
    2. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, banana, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract using an electric mixer.
    3. Add flour, salt, and baking soda and blend until a uniform batter forms.
    4. Spread batter in an even layer in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with pecan pieces.
    5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick, inserted into the middle, comes out clean.
    6. Allow to cool 10 minutes, then lift from baking dish and slice into squares. Serve.

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