Butternut squash ‘columbo’, homemade coconut milk & my pressure cooker..

I was watching the an old Nigel Slater cookery series recently, and he said exactly what I have said many times: that recipes are not necessarily there for you to take word for word, but to provide inspiration. I think this is so true. When you first start cooking, you do follow all the instructions to the letter, I know I did, but as your confidence grows and you start to feel bolder and more experimental, you realise that you can take a recipe as a suggestion and a guideline and play with it – I literally threw together a loaf of bread this week, which worked beautifully and made me inordinately proudly!! I’ve been doing a lot of that this week, there’s been lots of dishes being made and played with in my kitchen…

However, when it comes to pressure cooking, I’m still going by the book. My confidence is growing as I understand the science more, but for now, I’ll still refer to some instructions..

As some of you may recall, I only recently ventured into the world of pressure cooking; I am definitely getting to grips with my cute little pressure cooker, and recently purchased a new cookbook to help me along. After several searches and reading reviews, I decided to buy ‘Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure‘ by Loran J. Sass.  

It’s become my pressure cooker bible, it’s filled with tips and tables as well as recipes, and has made sense of using the pressure cooker for me. The book also includes some useful incidental recipes, not necessarily using the pressure cooker, like the coconut milk one above that I followed yesterday, to support your cooking. 

This is a really useful recipe if you want to make sure your coconut milk isn’t full of nasties, or if you just can’t buy it where you are. Or if you don’t want to open a whole can – I just ratioed down the quantities for my uses, used my Nutribullet and it worked fine. 

I decided to try out the Squash Columbo recipe as it contains so many ingredients that I like: butternut squash, tomatoes, ginger, spices…what’s not to like?? And all cooked in 6 minutes!! Very cool 🙂   

I don’t think it’s fair to share Lornas entire recipe with you, you should buy her book for that really, but you get the idea above. I also added some chopped coriander when I ate the dish. 

The fear of pressure cooking is definitely lessening, and now that I know that you can always replace the lid and put the pan back over the heat if things aren’t cooked enough, I’m definitely happier! I thought that if you opened the lid and it wasn’t cooked, that was it, job done, no second chance, but no, you can replace the lid and pressure cook for more time, or just cook it on the heat minus the lid if it needs a bit of finishing.  

 I ate more of the squash dish the next day with some added roasted baby plum tomatoes and garlic over the top..a very tasty addition! 


And with the rest of it, as is my wont, I threw in some tahini and blended it to see what it would be like as a dip! Also, VERY tasty!  

    There’s always so many things you can do with one dish, push it and play with it, I say! As Salt ‘n’ Pepper sang in all those years gone ago ‘Push it, push it real good!’ 

If you’d like to know more about the author of my book, Lorna actually has two blogs on wordpress as well as a facebook page ‘Lorna Sass is My Home Girl’ and all the usual social media. When I contacted her last week about sharing her book with you all, she responded very quickly and was so very friendly 🙂 

Lorna Sass





29 thoughts on “Butternut squash ‘columbo’, homemade coconut milk & my pressure cooker..

  1. Ace Worldwide News Group

    Reblogged this on ' Ace Foodie News ' and commented:
    #AceFoodNews – June.07: Just love watching Nigel Slater and agree wholeheartedly with your ‘ word for word ‘ comment. As a chef I have always adapted recipes myself and found the perfect solution for taste and completeness. It really works. Shared on here and also on Facebook like page and food group. #ChefCJ


  2. apuginthekitchen

    I have never heard of this dish, the Squash Columbo. I am petrified of pressure cookers, I know the cookers nowdays have many safeguards I should really try. That coconut milk recipe is a revelation, wonder how it would work with fresh coconut. Lorna sounds so nice and must check out her book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

      Thank you, Suzanne 🙂 I was the same about the pressure cooker, but I’m definitely getting more comfortable with it.
      The coconut milk works well, but I used dried coconut, might be worth a try with fresh and see what happens?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. skd

    You seem to be having fun cooking under pressure lol. I have always made coconut milk with fresh coconut. I should try this recipe now. Love the look of this dish. must be delicious. My daughter who was passing by , just got wowed by the pictures on your blog. She is telling me that the photography is way too excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loretta

    What a great, vibrant dish, and I’m sure made all the more effortless with your new gadget. Isn’t it wonderful to learn and explore new ways in the kitchen? I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of your wonderful creations in that pressure cooker 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. theclevercarrot

    Yes! Cooking is inspirational. Go with the flow. Of course, the necessary confidence is needed for that initial push (as you say!) but should not be taken so seriously. There’s no fun in that!
    This meal looks lovely. Homemade coconut milk is something I would love to try. I just read Celia’s post about her pressure cooker stock… and now your pressure cooker recipe… I think I need one? Thanks for sharing Elaine!

    Liked by 1 person


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