Tip for making quicker grains and beans: Use a pressure cooker! {Vegan MoFo #8}

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by JL Fields on October 11, 2012

My Vegan MoFo theme this year is “Go Vegan with JL…In the kitchen!” in which I reply to your questions about cooking in your vegan kitchen.  (I explain a bit more about my theme and plan for my October posts here.)


Today’s issue:

“I need an easy way to make grains, beans and legumes in advance from bulk and then store (freeze?) for later use.  I don’t want to use canned, but don’t always have time to soak (or remember to soak!).”

Oh, this is easy!  Use a pressure cooker!  You don’t have to soak your beans (you can if you want to but it’s not necessary) and your beans and grains are done in minutes.

I have written a great deal about my pressure cooker, and created many recipes with one.  You can browse my old posts to read more about my recipes and love for the pressure cooker. Here are a few that may be helpful to those of you new to pressure cooking:

I am often asked what kind of pressure cooker I use. I only have experience using Presto stove top pressure cookers with the “jiggly top” – specifically the 6-quart and 4-quart cookers. I turn to these two books constantly: Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure and The New Fast Food  (both the print and electronic edition).  Disclosure: I have affiliate relationships with each link listed.

Just yesterday I decided to reheat the lentils I made in my rice cooker earlier in the week;  I wanted to add a grain to the lentils so I grabbed a box of bulgur and whipped this up in no time.

Bulgur Paprika

by JL Fields @ JL goes Vegan

Ingredients (Serves 4 – 6)

  • 1 cup dry bulgur
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 3/4 cups water


  1. Toast the bulgur in the pressure cooker (uncovered) for just a few minutes (be careful not to burn it).
  2. Stir in paprika and salt.
  3. Add oil, garlic and water, cover, and bring to pressure.
  4. Cook at pressure for 5 minutes.
  5. Allow for natural release (no more than 10 minutes).
  6. Remove the pressure cooker lid, away from you, and fluff the bulgar with a fork.

The pressure cooker really is the way to quickly cook two vegan staples – beans and grains – and to prepare food in bulk. Both foods freeze well (I use ziplock freezer bags), though I do find that grains dry out a bit so after thawing I reheat them with added liquid such as vegetable broth, water, or a “cheese” or tomato sauce.

I have said repeatedly, to anyone who will listen, that the pressure cooker is a game-changer for new vegans.  I mean it!

Are you a pressure cooking vegan?

  • GetSkinnyGoVegan

    Love it. Had a torrid love affair with my pressure cooker for several years & cooked my way through a few books. Until something in the top needed to be replaced and I am so lazy that I just then tried the rice cooker. Well, then the top to the rice cooker broke so then I used the slow cooker!!!! In the meantime I bought another rice cooker, but have yet to replace the thingamajiggy on the pressure cooker. I could never believe how cheap and easy it was with even just ONE of these tools. Education & ability to buy legumes dried & veggies is key. THAT should be our government food system, NOT GMO fruit loops. Sigh.

    • JL

      Yes, let’s start a government campaign to educate on how easy it is to enjoy dried grains and beans!

  • I am definitely a pressure-cooking vegan! I wouldn’t say it’s changed my life, but who am I kidding – it totally has!

    • JL

      Ha! Love it!

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  • veggiesara

    I love your mofo theme! There are many helpful topics, thank you JL 🙂

    • JL

      Thank you, @veggiesara:disqus! So great to see you!

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  • jem

    I’m WFPB_noOil and I seldom use salt. Can I cook bulgur without the oil an salt? Thank you.

    • JL

      Yes. It will taste different.

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