Cooking

Interview: Chicago's Best Personal Chef Katie Simmons on Why Plants Rule in the Kitchen!

Interview: Chicago's Best Personal Chef Katie Simmons on Why Plants Rule in the Kitchen!

I find it fascinating how a plant-based diet can influence people around the world in different ways.

Late last year, I began chatting with Katie Simmons, "Chicago's Best Personal Chef," after stumbling across one of her excellent vegan recipes online and getting to know just by reading up on her background on her website - Plants-Rule.

Her story is a powerful one that has the ability to promote change - if you need some inspiration to make diet and lifestyle changes, seeing her own transition, loss of 50 pounds, and reclaiming her health is truly great. The "journey," as you will see, even comes with some scale not unlike the Lord of the Rings!

But, the story does not stop there.

Do You Have to be a Professional Chef to Eat a Plant-Based Diet?

Do You Have to be a Professional Chef to Eat a Plant-Based Diet?

If you have spent any amount of time researching the benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet and lifestyle, you have probably come face-to-face with an abundance of recipe guides catering to every niche of the plant-based lifestyle. Not to mention, thousands of free recipes available online. Plant-Smart Living even provides both a recipe guide and free recipes online as well.

But, being so exposed to recipes constantly in this lifestyle can have adverse effects too.

How To Cook Swiss Chard in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

How To Cook Swiss Chard in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Swiss chard is one of my favorite vegetables due to it's taste, versatility in recipes, and nutritional content. Medical doctors would agree that Swiss chard is a "nutritional powerhouse" as it is an excellent source of Vitamin A, K, C as well as magnesium, potassium, iron, and dietary fiber. Swiss chard is one of those miracle vegetables that I always like to mention to people who are questioning if they can really get the essentials for living from eating a plant-based diet. I have the added benefit of growing this veggie in my organic garden as well, which helps me to live the sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle I desire.

How To Cook Red Beets in an Instant Pot DUO60 Pressure Cooker

How To Cook Red Beets in an Instant Pot DUO60 Pressure Cooker

One thing we love to do here at Plant-Smart Living is step outside into our organic vegetable garden to pick the vegetables we are going to prepare. Today, red beets are on the menu and we are planning to show you how you can prepare them in an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. We are currently using the Instant Pot DUO60 model, but the suggestions provided here may be transferable to other models of Instant Pot cookers, as well as other brands of pressure cookers. If you have not yet purchased this appliance, we would suggest you check out our pressure cooker review as we have found an Instant Pot to provide us with quick access to more diversity in our whole foods, plant-based diet.

How To Cook Kale in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

How To Cook Kale in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Cooking fresh kale in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker is surprisingly easy. I always enjoy eating kale (and most other vegetables) in their raw, unaltered form, but the reality of vegan eating is that it is sometimes best to "mix it up" from time to time. There are times when I return home from a long work day and just need something easy. My Instant Pot DUO60 Pressure Cooker provides me with the opportunity to make something tasty without having to spend a large amount of time in the kitchen. Much like other appliances like a microwave or oven, once you add the food you are planning to cook, you just set the time and let it do the rest.

How To Cook Delicious Apple Crisp in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

How To Cook Delicious Apple Crisp in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

I wanted to provide some detail on how you can cook apple crisp in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. I am using the affordable Instant Pot IP DUO60, 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker. Those eating a whole foods, plant-based diet and exploring a vegan lifestyle may quickly come to ask the question, "What do I eat for desert that is sweet and tastes good?" Unfortunately, modern society has ingrained in our minds that the tastiest foods have a lot of unneeded sugar and processing. I have found that nature provides us with plenty of sweet treats. Apples serve as an excellent base when looking for something like this because of the natural sugars, yet they are still very nutritional and a key element of a vegan diet. I am happy to say that cooking some apple crisp is not all that difficult, and is actually made easier by using a pressure cooker!

How To Cook Broccoli in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

How To Cook Broccoli in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

I wanted to provide some insight into cooking broccoli in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. I am using the affordable Instant Pot IP DUO60, 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker. Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables because of it's unique taste and nutrient density. I enjoy growing it in my garden (as you can see at the start of the video) and like bringing it inside to my kitchen and table.