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Recipe Roundup: Get pressure cooking!

by Cally Peterson

Shaundra Ziemann-Bolinske
Photo by NDAREC/Liza Kessel

When she was deployed stateside in 2018, Capital Electric Cooperative member Shaundra Ziemann-Bolinske spent a lot of time with her electric multicooker. She experimented with recipes and honed her pressure-cooking skills. It was a way to keep her mind off all she was missing out on that year.

As a nearly 20-year active member of the U.S. Army Reserves, the Hazen native had been deployed before. She served in the 2008-10 campaign of Operation Iraqi Freedom, earning a Bronze Star Medal and a Combat Medical Badge as the executive officer of a forward surgical team.

“It was life-changing,” Ziemann-Bolinske says.

Her second deployment was life-changing, too. By this time, Ziemann-Bolinske was a wife to Bob, a busy lawyer, and a mom to two equally busy little boys, ages 3 and 1 ½. She had been a family and community wellness agent with NDSU Extension – Burleigh County for several years. It was a job she loved, and one that fit with the family life she wanted, too.

“I love working in Burleigh County. Extension provides information that is anti-bias and research-based,” Shaundra says. “Working in public education allows you to use your background to bring to the local population.”

In addition to her military service, Shaundra’s background includes stints with General Mills Inc., as a food science technician, and Cloverdale Foods Co., as the food safety and quality control director. She studied at Bismarck State College for a year before graduating from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. There, she faced a choice: dentistry or food science?

“I chose food, because that was my love,” she says.

Returning from her first deployment, Shaundra moved home to North Dakota, desiring to be closer to family. She met her husband a week later.

“Our connection was food,” she says.

Today, Shaundra uses her knowledge of food and nutrition both in her Extension job and to nourish her growing family. She is due with their third child – a girl – later this month.

“Healthful and nutritious eating is a lifestyle. Making sure my family has the knowledge and skills to make those healthy choices – it’s everything to me,” she says.

Her advice to families is simple: “Just keep introducing healthy choices every time you eat.” If you’re in a pinch and have to grab a boxed meal, that’s OK. Add a vegetable to it.

Shaundra recalls a time when her husband had to go with a quick boxed mac and cheese dinner.

“My son said, ‘Dad, I don’t like my mac and cheese without broccoli!’” she recalls. With no broccoli at home, Shaundra’s son happily settled for spinach.

“One of the best edges you can give your child is sitting down to eat a meal,” she says.

Shaundra has found the pressure cooker to be an advantageous tool in the kitchen.

“It’s actually your best friend when you’re busy. You can turn a recipe that takes hours into minutes,” she says.

Conversion charts for turning stovetop, oven or slow cooker recipes into pressure cooker versions can be found online or through the pressure cooker manufacturer.

Plus, pressure cooking aids in digestion.

“Pressure cooking also helps break down the starches and sugars, and even proteins, that can be hard on the body,” she says.

Shaundra encourages readers to not be afraid to give pressure cooking a try. Do the research and find the model that works best for you.

“There are so many fail-safes on these units,” she says. “I love the pressure cooker!”

NDSU Extension has developed many resources to help individuals find pressure cooking success. A new handout focuses on pressure cooking dry beans and offers pressure cooker tips, helpful information on beans and recipes. NDSU Extension agent and Capital Electric Cooperative member Shaundra Ziemann-Bolinske joined us in the North Dakota Living test kitchen this month to try two of the recipes – classic chili and red beans and sausage.
Visit to learn more.

RECIPES by NDSU Extension


    1    cup pinto beans, dry
    ½    cup kidney beans, dry
    4    quarts water, plus 3 T. salt (for soaking beans)
    2    T. olive oil
    1    lb. lean ground beef
    2    cups onion, chopped
    1    red bell pepper, chopped
    2    tsp. garlic, minced
    2    T. chili powder
    1    T. oregano, dry, crushed
    1    T. cumin
    ½    tsp. salt, or to taste
    ½    tsp. black pepper
    ⅛    tsp. cayenne pepper
    4    cups reduced-sodium beef broth
    1    (14 oz.) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
    1    (6 oz.) can tomato paste
    Optional toppings: sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro, chopped red onions, corn, diced avocado or tortilla chips
Two hours prior to cooking, place beans in 4 quarts of water with 3 T. of salt and allow the beans to soak for at least two hours. After soaking, drain and rinse beans.
On the sauté setting of your electric multicooker or pressure cooker, heat oil in the bottom of the pot; brown ground beef. Rinse and prepare vegetables as directed. Stir in onion, bell pepper and garlic, sautéing until onion is soft, about two minutes. Add spices and stir until fragrant, about one minute. Stir in broth, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and beans. Pressure cook on high for about 20 minutes, and then allow a natural pressure release for 20 minutes, keeping the float valve closed and lid sealed. Release any remaining pressure by unlocking the release valve. Remove lid, opening away from you for safety. Cook chili on sauté setting until it thickens, stirring frequently, about five minutes. Serve with your choice of toppings.

SHAUNDRA’S NOTE: To aid in digestion, try soaking your beans overnight in the saltwater mixture. Certain nondigestible carbohydrates in beans, called oligosaccharides, are to blame for intestinal gas and stomach discomfort. The longer dry beans soak, the more those gas-producing carbohydrates are released into the soaking water.

Makes 12 servings. Per serving nutrition: 200 calories, 5 g. fat, 24 g. carbohydrates, 7 g. fiber and 420 mg. sodium.



    1    lb. kidney beans, dry
    4    quarts water, plus 3 T. salt (for soaking beans)
    1    T. olive oil
    1    lb. andouille sausage, thinly sliced
    1    large onion, chopped
    1    green pepper, diced
    2    celery stalks, diced
    3    cloves garlic, minced
    2    tsp. kosher salt
 1½    tsp. fresh sage, chopped
   ½    tsp. black pepper
   ¼    tsp. cayenne pepper
    3    bay leaves
    6    cups water
          Brown rice, for serving
         Optional: cilantro, for serving
Two hours prior to cooking, place beans in 4 quarts of water with 3 T. of salt and allow the beans to soak for at least two hours. After soaking, drain and rinse beans.
Press the sauté button on an electric multicooker or pressure cooker and add 1 T. oil to pot. Add sliced sausage and sauté for about five minutes or until browned. Add onion, green pepper, celery, garlic, salt, sage, pepper and cayenne pepper, cooking until onions turn soft and clear. Turn off sauté mode and add remaining ingredients to pot and stir. Select manual and set to 40 minutes at high pressure. After cooking, allow pressure to release naturally for about 20 minutes, keeping the release valve closed and lid sealed. Release any remaining pressure by unlocking float valve, then remove lid, opening away from you for safety. Remove bay leaves. Serve over prepared brown rice.

NOTE: This recipe has Louisiana roots. “Red beans and rice” is a traditional Cajun dish of the South. For traditional kick, serve with a splash of your favorite hot sauce. This would be a great dish to serve at your Mardi Gras party in February!

Makes 12 servings. Per serving nutrition: 240 calories, 9 g. fat, 16 g. protein, 26 g. carbohydrates, 10 g. fiber and 680 mg. sodium.

Cally Peterson is editor of North Dakota Living. She can be reached at

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