These healthy recipes come together effortlessly in everyone's favorite multi-function appliance, the Instant Pot.

By Betty Gold
October 07, 2019
amazon.com

Let’s start with the basics: the easiest way to follow an anti-inflammatory diet is by eating real, whole, and unprocessed foods to promote a healthy inflammatory response in your body. Some of the most significant benefits to reducing your body’s inflammation are decreasing your risk for conditions such as chronic body aches, persistent indigestion, and diseases such as fibromyalgia, heart disease, and cancer.

So, what exactly is inflammation and why do you want to avoid it? If you’ve ever had a cold, sprained your ankle, or scraped your knee, you’ve experienced inflammation. It's your body’s natural (and necessary) response to outside stressors on your body, like injury or infection. Normally, once your body has the stressor under control, the response turns off. But when the inflammation response doesn't stop working and continues to function long after the original need, it can lead to damaging chronic inflammation in your body.

The good news is that you can help promote a healthy inflammatory response in your body, and control and reduce chronic inflammation through healthy diet and lifestyle choices. Nature is filled with foods that contain powerful, inflammation-fighting nutrients. And what better (easier!) way to cook them is there than with an Instant Pot? This multi-function appliance lets you cook cuts of meat, vegetables, eggs, soup, and more that would normally take hours in minutes—and with nothing more than the touch of a button.   

That’s why we consulted with Maryea Flaherty, anti-inflammatory diet expert and author of the new The “I Love My Instant Pot®” Anti-Inflammatory Diet Recipe Book on the best foods for fighting inflammation. Here are four delicious, easy-to-make, anti-inflammatory recipes from her book. Cook them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or all of the above.  

Spinach and Artichoke Egg Casserole

Spinach and artichoke pair so well together and also pack a nutritional punch. Step up your egg game with this Spinach and Artichoke Egg Casserole. With fresh chives and lemon, the flavors are bright in this satisfying breakfast that is ideal to serve a crowd with very little hands-on prep time.

Hands-On Time: 10 minutes    Cook Time: 18 minutes    Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 12 large eggs
  • 14 cup water
  • 4 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 (14-ounce) can baby artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 34 teaspoon table salt
  • 12 teaspoon black pepper
  • 14 teaspoon garlic salt

How to Make It

  1. Spray a 6-inch round pan or 7-cup round glass bowl with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and water.
  3. Stir in the spinach, artichokes, chives, lemon juice, table salt, pepper, and garlic salt.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.
  5. Place 2 cups water in the inner pot and place the steam rack inside. Place the pan on top of the steam rack. Secure the lid.
  6. Press the Manual or Pressure Cook button and adjust the time to 18 minutes.
  7. When the timer beeps, quick-release pressure until float valve drops and then unlock lid.
  8. Remove egg casserole from pot and allow to cool 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

This simple recipe delivers on flavor in a big way, and boneless, skinless chicken thighs cook to tender perfection in the Instant Pot. Resist the temptation to quick-release pressure after the cooking time. The key to perfectly cooked chicken in your Instant Pot, that isn’t dry in the least, is to let pressure release naturally. So be patient and the reward will be worth it.

Hands-On Time: 10 minutes    Cook Time: 11 minutes    Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 112 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Juice and zest from 1 large lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
  • 13 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder

How to Make It: 

  1. Add the oil to the inner pot. Press the Sauté button and heat oil 2 minutes.
  2. Place the chicken thighs in the inner pot and brown 2 minutes per side. Remove the chicken thighs from the pot and set aside.
  3. Add the onion to the pot and sauté 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another 30 seconds.
  4. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and Italian seasoning. Scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Press the Cancel button.
  5. Put the chicken thighs back in the pot along with stock. Secure the lid.
  6. Press the Manual or Pressure Cook button and adjust the time to 7 minutes.
  7. When the timer beeps, let pressure release naturally until float valve drops and then unlock lid.
  8. Remove the chicken from the pot and then stir in the arrowroot powder. When the sauce is thickened, serve on top of the chicken thighs.

Asian Chopped Kale Salad with Chicken

A 1-cup serving of kale gives you over 1,000 percent of the amount of vitamin K you need in a day. Vitamin K is important for bone health and heart health, and it also helps maintain brain function and a healthy metabolism. They don’t call kale a superfood without good reason. 

Hands-On Time: 20 minutes    Cook Time: 6 minutes    Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 12 cup chicken stock
  • 2 bunches kale (about 12 ounces total), de-stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 3 cups chopped cabbage
  • 14 cup pure sesame oil
  • 14 cup almond butter
  • 14 cup raw honey
  • Juice from 2 medium limes
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium tamari
  • 14 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 13 cup sesame seeds

How to Make It:

  1. Add the chicken breasts and stock to the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Secure the lid.
  2. Press the Manual or Pressure Cook button and adjust the time to 6 minutes.
  3. When the timer beeps, let pressure release naturally until float valve drops and then unlock lid.
  4. Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and allow it to cool completely. Once it is cool, chop the chicken.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together the kale, bell peppers, carrots, cabbage, and chopped chicken.
  6. In a blender, blend together the oil, almond butter, honey, lime juice, tamari, and garlic until smooth. Pour the dressing onto the kale salad and toss to coat. Add the sesame seeds and lightly toss. Serve.

Sweet Potato Hummus

Traditional hummus gets an extra nutritional boost from vitamin A–rich sweet potatoes in this healthy appetizer. The sweetness of the potatoes is countered nicely with the sesame paste and ground cumin. A perfect balance! To keep this an anti-inflammatory snack, use this hummus as a dip for carrot sticks, celery stalks, or cucumbers.

Hands-On Time: 10 minutes    Cook Time: 7 minutes    Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice from 1 large lemon
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cooked chickpeas
  • 14 cup tahini
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

How to Make It: 

  1. Press the Sauté button and pour the oil into the inner pot. Allow it to heat 2 minutes.
  2. Add the sweet potato and salt and sauté 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté an additional 30 seconds. Press the Cancel button.
  3. Add the lemon juice and secure the lid. Press the Manual or Pressure Cook button and adjust the time to 2 minutes.
  4. When the timer beeps, quick-release pressure until float valve drops and then unlock lid. Allow the mixture to cool.
  5. Transfer the contents of the inner pot to a large food processor. Add the chickpeas, tahini, and cumin and process until you have a smooth mixture.
  6. Allow the hummus to chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving.

Salmon with Red Potatoes and Spinach

There’s nothing better than being able to cook your entire dinner in one pot. The amazing Instant Pot makes that possible, and this salmon dinner might just become a new family favorite. The garlicky potatoes and greens are full of tremendous flavor and are two anti-inflammatory superstars.

Hands-On Time: 10 minutes    Cook Time: 7 minutes    Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound small red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup water
  • 114 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 34 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 4 (5-ounce) salmon filets
  • 14 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 12 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 4 cups packed baby spinach
  • 4 lemon wedges

How to Make It: 

  1. Place the potatoes in the inner pot and add 1 cup water, 14 teaspoon salt, and 14 teaspoon pepper. Place a steam rack on top of the potatoes.
  2. On top of the salmon add the paprika, lemon zest, 12 teaspoon salt, and 14 teaspoon pepper and place the salmon on top of the steam rack. Secure the lid.
  3. Press the Manual or Pressure Cook button and adjust the time to 3 minutes.
  4. When the timer beeps, let pressure release naturally until float valve drops and then unlock lid.
  5. Remove the salmon and steam rack from the pot and set aside.
  6. Press the Sauté button and cook the potatoes 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the oil and the remaining salt and pepper. Use a fork to gently mash the potatoes to achieve a chunky texture. Press the Cancel button.
  7. Add the spinach and stir until wilted, about 1–2 minutes. Serve the salmon and potato and spinach mixture with the lemon wedges.

Excerpted from The “I Love My Instant Pot®” Anti-Inflammatory Cookbook by Maryea Flaherty. Copyright © 2019 by Simon & Schuster, Inc. Used with permission of the publisher, Adams Media, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved.

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