Speak to pretty much any parent and their main complaint will be the lack of sleep. Also, featuring high in parental grumbles are the lack of time we get and how difficult it can be to get the kids to eat yummy, nutritious food – often the two can be linked. Lack of sleep has never really been an issue for me, I could sleep through an earthquake, but lack of time, especially at dinner time, and ensuring the kids eat well is definitely something that I experience as a stay-at-home dad on nearly a daily basis. It’s a real concern.
So, when I was asked to try out the new Ninja Foodi Tendercrisp Pressure Cooker, I was interested to see if it could help make my life easier and ensure the kids are eating well at dinner time.
The cooker itself is packed full of functions including; pressure cook, air fry, slow cook, roast, cook from frozen, it can keep food warm for up to 30 minutes and its parts are dishwasher safe, but its main selling point for me as a busy parent is the idea of one pot cooking. There’s no need to stand over a stove watching multiple pots and pans; making a meal using the Ninja Foodi ensures everything is contained in one place.
The kids were quick to point out that the actual device itself resembles a long-lost relation of a droid from Star Wars, and I’ll be honest, on first look I was slightly afraid its futuristic appearance and multiple buttons might get the better of me (I’ve only just got used to using the fax machine I was hashtag gifted in 1989), but I needn’t have been afraid. I found the whole process genuinely very straightforward. You see, for possibly the first time ever, I’ve come across a cooking device that comes with easy to understand instructions! It’s a miracle. Not only are there basic instructions, but there’s also cheat cheats and recipe ideas too! For so long, I’ve stuck to long and laborious methods that I know work when cooking, but all that was about to change.
Armed with cheat sheets, cooking guides and a new-found confidence with food technology, I put on my best ninja impression and started making one of my kids’ favourites, homemade tomato soup with grilled mozzarella bread. Now, this might sound like it’s never going to win me the MasterChef gong, but soup is a brilliant way of filling their bellies whilst also sneaking in extra vegetables that they have no idea about.
Here’s what I did…
Vegetable oil (I used rapeseed)
Half an onion
Clove of garlic
Warm Ninja Foodi for 5 minutes
Vary amounts below according to taste and number of diners.
Add oil (couple of mins)
Add finely chopped garlic and onion (couple of mins), plus pinch of salt and pepper
Add 250 ml water, crushed tomatoes, finely chopped cherry tomatoes, finely chopped mushrooms, finely chopped courgette and tiniest bit of finely chopped chilli
Stir occasionally for 5 minutes
Close pressure lid and set for 10 minutes
Add sliced baguette to the soup (one it’s not boiling) and place thinly sliced mozzarella on top of the bread
Close the grill lid and set for 2 minutes
Serve with a little double cream on top
The kids wolfed it down, including the hidden courgette, mushrooms and onion, the grilled mozzarella was perfect, and everyone was happy with full tummies. A resounding success.
As I mentioned, two of the things I worry about as a parent is the kids not getting enough yummy goodness and the lack of time I have to prepare their food. The Ninja Foodi solved both of those issues, so there was more time in the evening to sit back, put Star Wars on and look out for Foodi’s second cousin once removed.
See the Ninja Foodi for yourself here https://ninjakitchen.eu/uk/product/ninja-foodi-op300uk/