Dust off Your Instant Pot and Try These 7 Easy Plant-Based Recipes

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Can we all agree that one of the most challenging feats as adults is putting a healthy meal on the table, day after day? There's the planning, the shopping and then the cooking and cleaning.

Save yourself time and the headache by using your Instant Pot to create healthy plant-based meals that normally take hours in just minutes.
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It's time-consuming and it can be a lot to juggle. It's also a lot of pressure to keep everyone happy and meet everyone's dietary needs if you're cooking for your family. But there's a solution, and it involves transferring some of that pressure to a kitchen appliance equipped to handle it — a pressure cooker, or as it's more widely known, an Instant Pot.

Here are seven easy, plant-based recipes you can whip up in your Instant Pot in no time.

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1. Cauliflower Soup With White Beans and Lemon

Eating a smaller dinner may help with your weight-loss goals.
Image Credit: Arthur Bovino/LIVESTRONG.com
  • Calories: 176
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes

With just 10 minutes of prep work, you can have a healthy, homemade soup to serve at supper. It's light on calories but pair it with a piece of whole-grain crusty bread and you have yourself a meal. Keeping dinner on the light side might be a good thing.

Research suggests the time of day we eat affects the increase in metabolism after eating, according to a small February 2020 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The researchers observed that those who ate a big breakfast had a 2.5 times higher increase in metabolism post-meal, compared to those who ate a bigger dinner.

Get the Cauliflower Soup With White Beans and Lemon recipe and nutrition info here.

2. Risotto With Dried Mushrooms, Asparagus, Peas and Spring Onions

Did you know asparagus is a super nutrient-rich vegetable?
Image Credit: Arthur Bovino/LIVESTRONG.com
  • Calories: 516
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes

Risotto can feel heavy but pairing it with spring vegetables like asparagus, peas and spring onions helps balance out the meal. Asparagus is the star veggie in this dish. It's unique in that it leads nearly all other produce in the wide variety of nutrients it provides, according to the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board.

A one-cup serving of cooked asparagus has just 40 calories but provides 3.6 grams of fiber and 4.3 grams of protein. The veg is a good source (provides at least 10 percent of the Daily Value) of zinc, niacin, riboflavin, and vitamins A, C and E. It's an excellent source (provides at least 20 percent of the DV) of vitamin K, copper, selenium, thiamin and folate.

Get the Risotto With Dried Mushrooms, Asparagus, Peas and Spring Onions recipe and nutrition info **here.**

3. Smoky Chili With Sweet Potatoes

This chili is rich in carotenoids.
  • Calories: 176
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes

Chili in a slow cooker is, well, slow. It can take hours. And making chili in an instant pot is, you guessed it, instant.

This sweet potato chili is rich in lycopene and beta-carotene from the tomatoes and sweet potatoes, respectively. These two carotenoids are what give these produce their orange and red hues, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Observational studies (which don't prove cause and effect) suggest carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables are linked to reduced risks of heart disease and some cancers.

Get the Smoky Chili With Sweet Potatoes recipe and nutrition info here.

4. Chickpea Curry

This warm Indian dish is packed with spices and herbs.
  • Calories: 350
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes

With just 15 minutes of prep in the kitchen, you can have dinner for eight. The wonderful thing about Indian curries is that they're rich in herbs and spices. This particular dish combines cumin, coriander, mustard, turmeric, black pepper and garam masala.

A January 2019 review published in the Journal of AOAC International concludes that herbs and spices possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. They're also linked to helping with cognition and mood.

Get the Chickpea Curry recipe and nutrition info here.

5. Vegetable Barley Soup

Whole-grain barley makes up the base of this comforting soup.
  • Calories: 52
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes

You can enjoy this soup as a starter, or increase the serving to two to three cups and enjoy it as a meal paired with a piece of warm bread. Barley is a whole-grain that is especially rich in fiber. A one-cup serving of cooked barley has 6 grams of fiber along with 4 grams of protein.

The majority of the fiber found in barley is soluble, which is the type that helps slow down digestion, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Soluble fiber also helps manage blood sugar levels and is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.

Get the Vegetable Barley Soup recipe and nutrition info here.

6. Walnut Lentil Tacos

Once you try walnut in tacos, you may never go back.
  • Calories: 360
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes

Walnuts and lentils in tacos? Trust us. These plant-based tacos provide a unique spin on your typical vegetarian taco options and the combination of healthy fats, fiber and protein will keep you full.

Walnuts are unique from all other tree nuts in that they're the only nut to provide omega-3 fatty acids. This is important, especially if you follow a plant-based diet because it can be hard to get your daily dose of these essential fats, which are predominately found in fatty fish like salmon and tuna, according to the NIH.

Get the Walnut Lentil Tacos recipe and nutrition info here.

7. Burrito Bowls

Plant-based protein are not only good for the planet and your health, they're inexpensive, too.
  • Calories: 520 (plus toppings)
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes

These vegan burrito bowls will keep everyone happy because they're so customizable. The base is black beans, corn and white rice but you can opt for brown rice or any whole grain of your choosing.

That's part of what makes this dish so great. The base is comprised of inexpensive plant-based proteins and whole grains. For instance, a serving of black beans typically costs less than $0.10, according to the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council.

Get the Burrito Bowls recipe and nutrition info here.

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