You may already have your meat meal prep planned using the oven or some other appliance in your kitchen. What you may not have worked out is how you are going to make the sides and ensure that everything is done in the right portions in the low-carb method. One way you can do that is to use the Instant Pot. You may think that will limit you, but there are several ways to use the Instant Pot to make more than just your typical steamed vegetable option.

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are one of the most common sides in traditional meal prep and planning. They are easy to make, easy to buy in many forms, and easy to add flavorings and other ingredients to. The issue with mashed potatoes is, of course, the carbs. In a low-carb household you can change things up, and still have a mashed potato like side by using cauliflower. Just break down the cauliflower into florets and put through your food processor on pulse. Put them into the Instant Pot and cook on low for 5 minutes. You can also choose to put the florets in and then mash them when they are cooked.

Spiral Pasta-Free Noodles

Zucchini, spaghetti squash, and other similar vegetables can be used as pasta noodles. You can do this easily with a spiralizer or by roasting the vegetables in the Instant Pot. If you use the spiral cutter first, just put the noodles in with the sauce and meat for 5 minutes on the soup setting to finish off the dish. If you are roasting the vegetable first, make sure it is a hard squash. Use a fork to remove the vegetables meat and use the shredded vegetable as the pasta.

Sweet and Tangy Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are an easy vegetable to roast, but honestly it can take almost an hour in the oven and can heat up the entire kitchen. Instead you can put the brussel sprouts with some bacon, garlic, and balsamic in the Instant Pot. Set it on low for 5 minutes and you have roasted vegetables without the time waste and without the need to heat up the entire room or use too much energy.

These are just a few of the ways you can use the Instant Pot to make vegetable sides. Remember, you don’t have to stick to steamed vegetables and you can do everything from purees to mixes. Play around with these ideas and use them as the base point for your meal planning and options.