Instant Pot Beet Thoran

his simple South Indian side dish is my favorite way to eat beets! Beet thoran is a flavorful stir-fry cooked in curry leaf spiced coconut oil with onion, fresh or frozen grated coconut and a few spices. Making this side dish in an instant pot makes cooking this thoran a breeze!

instant pot beet thoran

It’s no secret that I love beets – after all, the name of my blog is My Heart Beets. This simple beet recipe is one of my all-time favorite side dishes to make when preparing a Keralite meal.

In the past, I used to chop or grate raw beets (which isn’t very easy to do) and then cook them (see my old recipe… definitely not as easy as this one). With my instant pot recipe, I first steam the beets in the pressure cooker which makes it easy to remove the peels and then chop up the soft beets. Then, I stir-fry them. It’s so much easier to make which means we eat this thoran far more often.

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What is Thoran?

If you’ve never heard of the word “thoran,” it basically just means “stir fry” and is a traditional Keralite way of cooking. You can make anything into a thoran! You just need to grate or chop vegetables, mix them up with a few other ingredients and stir-fry it all together.

When I say you can make anything into a thoran, I’m not kidding. Here are just a few thoran recipes on my blog: zucchinibutternut squashcabbagesardines (yep, even sardines…). I also have a green bean thoran in my instant pot cookbook – you should check out my book if you haven’t already!

I only started making thoran after marrying my husband, Roby, whose family is from Kerala. It’s now my favorite way to cook vegetables because while flavorful, it’s not overpowering.

I feel like typically Indian vegetable dishes are heavily seasoned, especially north Indian recipes. Don’t get me wrong – both are equally good in completely different ways. It’s just nice to enjoy a lightly seasoned veggie dish sometimes, where the vegetable really shines. It’s like, in this dish, the beet is the star and the other ingredients merely supporting actors. I’m currently imaging a large beet dancing in the middle of a stage with lights shining down on it… a jar of coconut oildances in the distance. Sometimes I tell myself that I write these random things in my blog posts to see if anyone is actually paying attention… but the truth is that this is actually what goes on in my mind. I’ve already written about half of a beet themed musical in my head in the amount of time I’ve spent writing this post.

Out of all the thoran dishes I’ve tried/made, I have to say beetroot thoran is my all time favorite (my hubby’s favorite is green bean thoran – which is again, in my cookbook!).

instant pot beet thoran

I hope you love this recipe and find it super easy to make. One thing to keep in mind – depending on the size of the beets you use, you may need to adjust the cook time. I find that 15 minutes works well for me for medium to large beets but if you’re using smaller beets, you can probably reduce that time to 10-12 minutes.

instant pot beet thoran

Perfect Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce

What’s the best thing about this delicious homemade sweet and tart cranberry sauce? The fact that it’s effortlessly easy and absolutely perfect! You’re going to want to have this bright, tangy and sweet sauce on your dinner table this holiday season.

instant pot cranberry sauce by myheartbeets.com

This instant pot cranberry sauce is perfect for savory meats (hello turkey and ham) or use it in/on sweet treats (cranberry cheesecake using my 2-ingredient cheesecake recipe? yes please!).

You only need three things to make this sauce:

  1. cranberries
  2. apple juice (or another type of juice/water)
  3. sugar/sweetener of your choice

I know a lot of people use orange juice in their cranberry sauce but I’ve always been pro-apple juice when it comes to cranberry sauce. Cranberries are tart and apple juice adds a fruity sweetness to the jam plus it allows me to get away with using a bit less sugar. That said you can use orange juice or water if you’d like.

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instant pot cranberry sauce by myheartbeets.com

You guys. Promise me you won’t buy cranberry sauce this year.

My instant pot cranberry sauce is honestly easier to make than opening up a can of store bought sauce. Seriously. Dumping cranberries into a pot = much easier than finding a can opener and you know, using it to open a can of sauce…

Plus, homemade is always best. Unless you’re like my younger brother and prefer the “ridges” that come from a can of jellied cranberry sauce… in which case, I don’t think we can be friends (unless we’re related) so maybe stop reading my blog lol. And yes, Rishi if you’re reading this I will have a can of sauce just for you and I will also be annoyed about it come Turkey day.

Back to my homemade cranberry sauce. No need to stand by the stove waiting for cranberries to pop – instead, dump them into your pressure cooker and sit down on the couch with your feet up. Put on a Christmas movie (thank you Netflix) and chill.

instant pot cranberry sauce by myheartbeets.com

You can make the sauce right now which means one less thing to make during the actual holiday.

This is one thing you can make pretty well in advance. I feel like cranberry sauce always tastes better after a few days anyway – the tartness mellows out a bit and it gets nice and jammy after chilling in the fridge. Homemade cranberry sauce will last in the fridge for like 10 days and in the freezer for a few months. So make this for Thanksgiving and save leftovers (if there are any) for Christmas! Or just make a double batch and freeze half.

Serve this sauce with turkey or my Thanksgiving meatballs or beef rib roast or my instant pot ham. Happy Holidays!

instant pot cranberry sauce by myheartbeets.com

Easy Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake

This delicious and creamy pumpkin cheesecake is so easy to make! You only need a few ingredients to make this cheesecake and you can do it all in an instant pot!

instant pot pumpkin cheesecake by ashley of myheartbeets

Move over pumpkin pie, there’s a new dessert in town. Meet my friend: pumpkin cheesecake. This isn’t your average pumpkin cheesecake either… this is a super tasty and creamy pumpkin spiced cheesecake with an oatmeal cookie crust! And it’s topped with a sweet pumpkin glaze. It’s going to blow all of your other desserts out of the water.

I’m not sure why I’m getting competitive over dessert – because really, you can have it all over the holidays. Have your pumpkin pie, your pecan pie and apple pie. Just don’t forget this pumpkin cheesecake because it’s the best. Sorry, I can’t help myself! It’s really that good.

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instant pot pumpkin cheesecake by ashley of myheartbeets

This isn’t your average cheesecake. The two main ingredients that make the base of this cheesecake: yogurt and condensed milk. I know, I know – how can it be cheesecake without cheese?! Well these two ingredients somehow form the most magical dessert and it tastes JUST like cheesecake.

This recipe just so happens to be easily adaptable. Here is my original recipe and from this, I’ve also shared recipes for mango cheesecakelemon cheesecake and now this pumpkin cheesecake!

instant pot pumpkin cheesecake by ashley of myheartbeets

Here is a video of me making a lemon cheesecake – it’s pretty much the same process as this pumpkin cheesecake:

I can’t wait for you to try my pumpkin cheesecake! You’re going to love everything about it! While you can certainly make this without a crust – I highly suggest trying it with my oatmeal cookie crust – the two go together SO well. Sweet and creamy pumpkin cheesecake with a little bit of sweet crunch in the crust! You’ll love it!

instant pot pumpkin cheesecake by ashley of myheartbeets

instant pot pumpkin cheesecake by ashley of myheartbeets

easy instant pot pumpkin cheesecake


INGREDIENTS

Oatmeal Cookie Crust:

  • ½ cup rolled oats (I buy gluten free oats from trader joes)
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • 1 (14 ounce) can condensed milk (sweetened)
  • 1 cup whole milk greek yogurt (full fat)
  • ¼ cup canned pumpkin puree
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Pumpkin Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree,
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

INSTRUCTIONS

To make the crust:

  1. Blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor until well combined.
  2. Press the crust onto the bottom of a greased 6-inch (or 7 inch) cheesecake pan with a removable bottom.

To make the Pumpkin Cheesecake:

  1. Add the condensed milk, yogurt, pumpkin puree and spices to a bowl and mix well.
  2. Pour the mixture on top of the pie crust then cover the pan with foil.
  3. Add 2 cups water into the steel inner pot, then place the trivet/wire rack that came with your pressure cooker into the pot. Place the pan on top of the rack.
  4. Secure the lid, close pressure valve and cook for 30 minutes at high pressure.
  5. Naturally release pressure for 20 minutes, then release any remaining pressure (do not leave the cheesecake sitting in the pot). The cheesecake should be set – it shouldn’t wiggle.
  6. Allow the cheesecake to cool down on a wire rack. I find it easiest to unmold the cheesecake while slightly warm.
  7. Put the cheesecake in the fridge to chill for 4-6 hours.

To make Pumpkin Glaze:

  1. Combine the pumpkin puree, maple syrup and spice together in a bowl and mix well. Pour this on top of the cake right before serving. This will add great flavor and color to the cake and make it look pretty!

Thanksgiving Meatloaf

This Thanksgiving meatloaf is comfort food at its finest. It tastes like a combination of the two best things served during Thanksgiving dinner: turkey and stuffing. This main dish meatloaf is a great way to use up leftovers or make this instead of a big turkey on Thanksgiving day.

Thanksgiving Meatloaf by myheartbeets.com

Thanksgiving meatloaf is flavorful, delicious and perfect for the holiday season. It’s loaded with fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme and sage. And it’s topped with a sweet cranberry glaze. All you need to do is serve this with some mashed potatoes for a perfect Thanksgiving-y meal:

Thanksgiving Meatloaf by myheartbeets.com

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If you want to do a little something different for Thanksgiving this year, then give this turkey meatloaf a try. Or if you’re wondering what to do with all those leftovers, this is the recipe to make!

Really you can make this whenever you want and enjoy delicious and comforting Thanksgiving flavors any time of the year. It would be kind of weird to make this in the summer though… I mean, I would do anything for meatloaf, but I won’t do that.

(someone out there, please tell me you got that lol).

My recipe for Thanksgiving meatballs is a favorite during the holiday season – they are super cute and make for an awesome appetizer. Well this meatloaf has all the same flavor but is much easier to make (no rolling meat into little balls) and can serve as a main course. Like the meatballs, this meatloaf is also made up of fresh herbs, crunchy celery, toasty walnuts and topped with either cranberry sauce or a mixture or ketchup and cranberry sauce – your choice.

Thanksgiving Meatloaf by myheartbeets.com

Thanksgiving Meatloaf by myheartbeets.com

thanksgiving meatloaf


  • Yield: 5-6
  • Cuisine: American

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons ghee/butter
  • 4 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup ground golden flaxseed meal (or almond flour)
  • 4 tablespoons chopped sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne, optional

Topping: simply top with cranberry sauce or a mixture of:

  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons cranberry sauce

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Melt ghee/butter in a pan over medium heat, then add celery and onions and stir-fry for 5 minutes or until softened. Add walnuts and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  3. While the onion mixture cools, add the ground turkey, eggs, flaxseed meal/almond flour, herbs and spices to a bowl and mix well. Then add the cooked onion mixture and mix well.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a 9×5 loaf pan and bake at 375F for 45 minutes.
  5. While the meatloaf is baking, combine ketchup and cranberry sauce together in a bowl and mix well.
  6. Remove the meatloaf, spread the ketchup on top, then bake for another 5 minutes or until cooked through (should reach an internal temp of 165F).
  7. Allow the loaf to rest for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.

NOTES

  • Omit topping if following a whole30 diet

Easy Paleo Pie Crust (Nut Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free)

This nut-free paleo pie crust is perfect for sweet or savory recipes. It’s flaky and buttery and super easy to make!

paleo pie crust - nut free, grain free, gluten free

This paleo pie crust is so simple to make! You just combine 5 ingredients together in a food processor and press the dough into a pie dish. No need to roll anything out or make things complicated. Just blend in a food processor, press into a pie pan and bake. That’s it, really.

We learned about a year ago that my husband is allergic to almonds and so I’ve had to get pretty creative with my paleo baked goods. Well, this pie crust is nut free and picky husband approved. It’s surprisingly perfect. It’s so buttery and tasty and well, perfect.

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It’s easy to mold with your fingers too – I mean, look at those crimps in the crust! I’m not good at crimping at all – the dough just made it easy. You can just press it up against the pie dish if you want – no need to try to be fancy. But if you want to be fancy, be fancy 🙂

For this crust, I use a combination of tapioca flour (arrowroot works too) and a bit of coconut flour, a pinch of salt, cold butter/ghee and an egg. Together, these ingredients form the most delicious gluten free crust – one that everyone will enjoy.

I can’t wait to hear what you think of the crust and what you make with it!

paleo pie crust - nut free, grain free, gluten free

easy paleo pie crust (nut free, gluten free, grain free)


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup cold butter (1 stick) or cold ghee, cut into pieces
  • 1 egg

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine the flours and salt together in food processor, then add the butter and egg and mix until a dough forms. This will all happen right in the food processor.
  2. Press dough into a 9-inch pie dish.
  3. Bake at 350F for 15 mins or until browned OR fill the pie with a filling then bake according to the type of pie you are making (e.g. if you are making this pecan pie, you will need to bake for 45 minutes).

NOTES

  • I have and am very happy with this food processor – if you’re looking in the market for a new one 🙂

Gluten Free Chocolate Pecan Pie (Paleo, No Corn Syrup)

This ooey gooey chocolate pecan pie is going to be the star of your holiday dessert table this season!

gluten free chocolate pecan pie

When it comes to making pie, I have two major criteria:

  1. it must be amazingly delicious
  2. it must be ridiculously easy

And guess what? This pecan pie is definitely those two things. Excuse me, I mean, this chocolate pecan pie. Because why make a pecan pie without the chocolate?

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I mean, this picture here is proof of number 1 – you can just tell it’s going to be a darn good piece of pie.

gluten free chocolate pecan pie

This is the pie for those of you intimated by making pie. I promise you, this pecan pie is a really simple recipe.

The pecan pie filling is a cinch to make and the crust is super easy too! You can use any crust that you’d like with this recipe but I highly suggest my flaky grain free and nut free paleo pie crust – it’s the perfect crust for this pecan pie and so simple to make too! No need to roll out any dough, just make the crust in a food processor and press it into a pie pan. I’ve also made this pecan pie using the frozen gluten free pie crusts from Trader Joe’s and those are great too.

gluten free chocolate pecan pie

It’s true, there’s no corn syrup in this pecan pie recipe but trust me when I say that this pie is still incredibly decadent. You won’t miss a thing.

Rather than use corn syrup, my recipe calls for a combination of maple syrup and brown sugar (or coconut sugar if you want to keep things paleo-friendly). There’s also plenty of butter, pecans and chocolate chips! And we can’t forget the vanilla extract – it adds great flavor and aroma.

gluten free chocolate pecan pie

For the pecans, I like using a combination of roasted and salted pecans and raw pecans but you can use whatever you prefer! I use roasted inside the pie and raw on top to decorate 🙂

gluten free chocolate pecan pie

I made this chocolate pecan pie during a Friendsgiving party and it went faster than pumpkin pie, which I think is pretty telling. It’s also a hit with my family!  I can’t wait to hear what you and your friends/family think of this chocolate pecan pie!

gluten free chocolate pecan pie