When life throws you a curveball and you feel panicked, anxious, and fearful, the last thing you want to worry about is complicated cooking in the kitchen. And that was pretty much me this past week!
So, recipes like this Instant Pot Cauliflower Squash Purée become your friend because they basically cook themselves for you with little effort and stress. Chop, set to cook, blend, eat. Just a few easy steps and you have a delicious, comforting, and healthy side dish prepared in minutes! One that is Paleo and AIP-friendly and will go with any main course.
Since its creation, my Instant Pot Cauliflower Squash Puree has been so loved in my house that I make it almost once a week! This side dish is more flavorful than plain cooked cauliflower and lighter than mashed sweet potatoes. It’s silky, smooth, and oh-so-easy! (It’s also led me to create an amazing main dish, which I’ll be sharing with you next week. Stay tuned!)
For those who have been following my blog from the beginning, you know that I’ve had my share of curveballs – from pregnancy loss, to health scares, to new doctors, and crazy diets. (If this is all news to you, check out my Life and Health section and you can catch up on my story!) This week ushered in more unexpected, unwelcome setbacks. Both with the blog and with my health.
Maybe you noticed (but hopefully you didn’t!) that my blog took on a rather bland appearance last weekend. After glitches with posting my latest Egg-Free Breakfast Casserole recipe, I ended up completely losing my blog’s pretty, styled layout, colors, and logo. 🙁 I’m a novice when it comes to technical blog issues, so there was much weeping and despairing when I thought I might never restore the blog to its former glory.
My blog’s little crisis not only caused stress, but it put questions of doubt in my mind. Should I even keep doing this? Is this only causing me added stress? What’s the point of it all?
Once I calmed down, dried my tears, listened to reason (from my sweet and encouraging husband), and said a prayer, I realized that this was just a minor issue after almost a year of blogging. It was fixable. It wasn’t the end of the world. And I didn’t need to let it ruin almost 12 months of posts and recipes.
So, after a weekend of the blog looking less-than-stellar, I was able to reinstall and fix the glitches without losing any content. Thanks to wise counsel from friends, helpful tutorials from Minimalist Baker, and a few hours of set-up and customizations, Fed and Fulfilled is back and better than ever! 😉
You’d think that my freak-out over the blog’s glitches would have taught me a lesson on staying calm during unforeseen circumstances. Not quite.
Just days later, another crisis occurred, but this time it was health-related and a bit more serious. For the past couple months, my health seemed to be stable. I was still dealing with thyroid issues, frequent blood tests, and the AIP diet, but the scariest of my health symptoms had disappeared. And then this week, they all came back. Heart racing, fatigue, weakness, anxiety. All the things that I thought were gone for good.
So, as I had just done with my blog, I panicked. Instead of realizing that freaking out never helps, I went into a whirlwind of worry. Instead of remembering that I’d survived these symptoms before, I started fearing that they would be the end of me. And instead of lifting my burdens and worries to God, I internalized them and put pressure on myself and others to fix my problems.
And, just like with my blog, I started questioning and doubting everything I’d worked so hard on with my health. Is all this AIP dieting even worth it? Will my health ever be normal? Does God even care?
After encouragement from my family and lots of prayers to settle down, it dawned on me that my health issues, like my blog issues, are merely setbacks. They can be addressed, tended to, and repaired, even if it takes longer or is much more difficult than I would like.
I wish I could tell you right now that my health setback turned out just like my blog, with everything fixed, restored, and better than ever. But, that hasn’t happened yet. What HAS happened is that I’m not giving up hope. And, I’m slowly learning my lesson on how to handle the uncertainties and storms of life.
I can’t control what setbacks occur, but I can control how I respond. Turning to fear, worry, and panic only leaves me a wreck and worsens my health. Instead, I need to release everything to the Lord – not as a last resort, but as my very first priority. I need to remember that nothing is a surprise to Him or out of His control. And I need to hold on to the truth that He is always faithful and is working for my ultimate good. Even if His will and way are much different than my own.
These verses were so encouraging this week. I hope they offer peace and hope to you, too. I’ve known them since I was a child, but they have become much more meaningful to me as an adult.
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
Not only do these verses bring peace to my soul, but they remind me of the simple, beautiful parts of life. Green pastures, still waters, the table. After surviving setbacks, I realize all that I take for granted and feel like I have new appreciation for just about everything! There are so many blessings that I overlook in daily life, but when things are up in the air, I’m much more thankful for the small things, the normal things, the everyday things.
Which finally brings me to this Instant Pot Cauliflower Squash Puree! It’s not a flashy, show-stopping recipe. It’s a simple, everyday recipe you can always rely on to come through, no matter what else is going on in life! And for that, we can be thankful!
So, grab your Instant Pot (or buy one on Amazon), some veggies, and let’s start by chopping up some vegetables. For me, peeling and chopping is kind of a stress-reliever. If you can’t relate, it’s okay. It’ll be over soon and it’s really the only labor involved in this recipe!
Once your veggies are prepped, dump them into your Instant Pot along with the remaining ingredients. I recommend using herbs de provence, which is a lovely French blend of dried herbs. If you can’t find it, not to worry! Just use your favorites – sage, thyme oregano, rosemary. Whatever you like!
Make sure your steam vent is sealed when you cover your Instant Pot and turn it on. Using the “Steam” function, adjust the time to 3 minutes on high pressure and let it go! After it finishes, quick release the pressure by turning the steam vent to “venting” and make sure your hands and face aren’t in the way.
The final step is to puree your vegetables using a hand blender, like I did. Or, use a full-size Vitamix or high-speed blender. You could also simply mash the veggies, but you won’t get the silky smooth texture.
Scoop hearty spoonfuls of the Instant Pot Cauliflower Squash Puree into a large serving bowl or right onto your plate. We’ve gobbled this creamy, herby puree with fish, shredded pork, meatballs, roasted chicken, and more! It could also make a delicious first course soup with a little bacon on top!
So, when life brings you unexpected setbacks, know that you’ll always have delicious, healthy, and easy recipes to rely on, like my Instant Pot Cauliflower Squash Puree! Enjoy this simple dish, along with all of life’s everyday blessings!
- 1 cauliflower
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and seeded
- 3 large carrots, peeled
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 1 cup bone broth
- 1.5 teaspoons herbs de provence (or a mix of dried thyme, oregano, and sage)
- 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
- chopped fresh herbs to garnish (optional)
- Chop your cauliflower, squash, and carrots. Add them and the rest of the ingredients to the Instant Pot.
- Close lid and set to "Steam" for 3 minutes on high pressure with vent sealed.
- Quick release pressure when finished cooking.
- Puree mixture in the pot with a hand blender or transfer to a large blender to puree.
- Top with chopped fresh herbs, if desired.
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