Dawn Butler, Eggs and Pasta and Legumes, Vegetables

Savory Spinach Bread Pudding

2 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1 10-ounce box frozen shopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/8 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
1/2 of a 12-inch loaf of Italian bread, cut into 1/2 inch slices (about 9 slices)
1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
4 ounces cheese, shredded, about 1-1/2 cups (combination of cheddar, gouda and/or parmesan)
6 eggs
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt

Lightly grease a 13 by 9 inch baking pan.

To a large skillet, add the olive oil and mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach and Sriracha sauce.

Arrange bread slices in the bottom of the baking dish. Spoon the spinach mixture over the bread.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, and salt. Pour over casserole. Set aside to allow eggs to soak into bread, about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake casserole until it is set, puffed and golden, and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, (45 to 60 minutes). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Elaine Walker, Soup

Lentil Soup

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
1 (32 ounce) carton chicken broth
1 cup red lentils
1 large carrot, diced
2 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
1 pinch chili powder

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and cook until the onion has turned golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, kosher salt, black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon of chili powder. Cook and stir 2 minutes more until the spices are fragrant.

Stir in the chicken broth, lentils, and carrot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup in the cooking pot. If desired, you can just puree it for a minute or so, leaving it a little chunky.

Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro, then season to taste with salt. Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of chili powder to serve.

Candy, Elaine Walker

Maple Candy

2 cups pure maple syrup (use amber grade B for a deeper flavor)

Lightly grease the sides of a large saucepan (this will prevent the syrup from boiling up).

Lightly grease molds (silicone “bite-sized brownie” molds are best).

Pour the maple syrup into the saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Do not stir. Boil until syrup reaches 235 degrees F (soft ball stage) on a candy thermometer.

Turn off the burner but leave saucepan there to cool. Cool to 175 degrees F without stirring. Once the temperature has cooled to exactly 175, stir the mixture rapidly with a wooden spoon until the color begins to turn lighter and mixture becomes thick and creamy. Don’t overbeat or it will become crumbly.

Pour into molds. Set aside to cool. Once cool, unmold candy. Store in airtight containers up to 1 month.

Makes about 18?

Elaine Walker, Vegetables

Cauliflower Tikka Masala

Cauliflower Marinade:
1 pound cauliflower florets (about 1 head)
7 oz wt. plain 2% fat greek yogurt (do not substitute any other type of yogurt)
1 tablespoon garam masala (good quality spice and do not substitute any other spice)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Sauce:
1 cup plain canned tomato sauce (without Italian spices)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon butter
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
fresh cilantro

Marinate the Cauliflower:
In a large bowl, stir together yogurt, garam masala, lemon juice, pepper, and ground ginger until well-mixed.

If any cauliflower florets are on the larger side (more than 2 inches), cut them into smaller florets. Measure out 16 ounces of florets to use for this recipe.

Toss the florets in the bowl with the marinade until well-coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Roast the Cauliflower:
Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Prepare a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Add marinated cauliflower florets to the baking sheet, spreading them out in a single layer. Reserve any leftover marinade in the bowl, if any.

Bake at 400 F until the cauliflower is tender and the marinade looks dry, about 20 minutes, depending on your oven and taste preferences. While waiting for the cauliflower to bake, proceed to the next step to make the sauce.

Sauce:
In a large pot, add and stir together all sauce ingredients and any leftover marinade. Bring to a simmer.

Simmer until the sauce thickens and reduces by one-fourth, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a simmer.

If the cauliflower isn’t done yet, keep the sauce warm over low heat.

When the cauliflower is done, add it to the sauce, stirring for a minute until the cauliflower is well-coated with sauce.

Serve while hot, and optionally garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.

Elaine Walker, Slow Cooker or Instant Pot, Soup

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

5 medium carrots, chopped
5 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked wild rice*
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (or a mixture of thyme, sage, etc.)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

To the Instant Pot, add all ingredients and cook for 45 minutes (manual, high pressure, quick release).

* Use only wild rice. Do not substitute brown rice or a wild rice blend.

Elaine Walker, Slow Cooker or Instant Pot, Soup

Spicy Carrot Soup

8–10 large carrots, peeled and chopped coarsely
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1-1/2 cups chicken or veggie broth
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon red curry paste
cilantro and peanuts for topping

Stovetop Instructions: Saute the onions and garlic with a little bit of oil until soft. Add the carrots, coconut milk, broth, and curry paste. Simmer until carrots are soft. Add peanut butter and stir until melted. Using immersion blender, blend until smooth; season generously with salt, top with peanuts and cilantro.

Instant Pot Instructions: Place all ingredients in the Instant Pot and set for 15 minutes. Using immersion blender, blend until smooth; season generously with salt, top with peanuts and cilantro.

Eggs and Pasta and Legumes, Elaine Walker, Slow Cooker or Instant Pot

Creamy Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

1 pound macaroni pasta
4 cups water
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt (optional)
1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded cheese that melts well (Swiss, Gouda, Fontina or Monterey Jack)

To the Instant Pot, add the macaroni, water, butter, kosher salt, ground mustard and garlic salt. Cook in the pressure cooker for 5 minutes on high, then quick release. Add the evaporated milk and half of the cheeses and use a wooden spoon to vigorously stir until the cheeses have melted. Add the rest of the cheese, stirring until the sauce is creamy. Add any additional toppings or mix-ins below at this time.

Note: The creamy texture comes from the evaporated milk and the Swiss-like cheese. Using regular milk and only Cheddar will not yield the same results.

Pesto Mac & Cheese: To each single serving, add pesto sauce (about one tablespoon?), some toasted pine nuts plus chopped sun-dried tomatoes or roasted red bell peppers.

Veggie & Crispy Fried Sage: To the instant pot, stir in cooked butternut squash, steamed broccoli or roasted cauliflower. To make the crispy fried sage, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to a fry pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the sage leaves and cook for 15-30 seconds, flip, and cook for another 20 seconds or so. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and sprinkle with kosher salt to top the mac and cheese.

Eggs and Pasta and Legumes, Elaine Walker, Sauces

Tuscan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup strained tomato (tomato puree)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon fresh minced sage

Pour the olive oil into a large pot over medium heat, and saute the garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add in the tomato, pumpkin, water, salt, cinnamon, and maple syrup and bring the sauce to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and stir in the coconut milk and minced sage.

Serve over cooked pasta.

Note: I haven’t yet made this. It might be good to wait to add the maple syrup at the end, and just do 2 teaspoons to start. Also, it might be good to reduce the amount of tomato and substitute some pureed cooked carrots (like in the Tuscan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce from William Sonoma).

Breads and Muffins, Elaine Walker, Vegetables

Cauliflower Bread

1/2 to 1 head of cauliflower (enough to make 3 cups finely riced)
6 large eggs, separated
6 tablespoons canola oil (OR olive oil)
1 ¼ cup superfine almond flour (OR 1/2 cup coconut flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line an 8 inch by 4 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.

  1. Rice the cauliflower: Rinse the head of cauliflower, then dry it. Chop the cauliflower into large pieces. You can include the cores, but discard the leaves. Place the cauliflower pieces in a food processor and pulse until it has the texture of coarse crumbs. It should be finer than if you were making a cauliflower rice dish. Work in batches if necessary and don’t over process or it will get mushy.
  2. Cook the cauliflower, either by steaming or via microwave, until tender (3 to 4 minutes in microwave). Allow cauliflower to cool.
  3. Once cooled, place a small amount in a tea towel and wring dry. Repeat with remaining cauliflower, working in small batches.
  4. Add egg whites to a mixing bowl. Beat at high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, combine eggs yolks, oil, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until a smooth paste forms.
  6. Stir in 3 cups of the cauliflower until evenly mixed. (Freeze the rest of the cauliflower for later use.)
  7. Add about ¼ of the egg whites to the paste. Use a spatula to fold in the egg whites. When egg whites are completely folded in, add in another batch of egg whites and repeat until all egg whites are incorporated. The mixture should look pale and fluffy. Be careful not to beat the egg whites because that will cause them to lose the air whipped into them and the bread will not properly rise.
  8. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until bread is done. Allow bread to cool before slicing.

Store in the refrigerator and use within 5 days. Can be frozen.

Note: You can make this bread more flavorful by adding shredded cheese or dried herbs like rosemary, thyme or oregano. Add them when you add in the cauliflower.

Breads and Muffins, Dawn Butler

Apple Pecan Stuffing

2 – 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 bunch fresh sage
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
1-1/2 cups pecans, chopped
salt, pepper
2 eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 cups vegetable broth
6 cups sourdough bread (crusts removed), hand-torn into 1-inch pieces

Set a large saute pan over medium heat and add olive oil, sage and thyme sprigs. As the oil heats up the herbs will crackle and fry, infusing the oil. Remove the sage and thyme and set aside on a paper towel to drain – these can be as a garnish, if desired.

In a sauce pan, heat olive oil; add apples and pecans. Season with salt and pepper. Gently saute until pecans are lightly toasted and apples are just cooked slightly – about 3 to 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together eggs, cream, and vegetable broth. Add torn sourdough bread, apples, and pecans. Using a wooden spoon, mix the stuffing until well combined.

Put stuffing in a greased baking dish and bake at 350F for about an hour (covered part of the time), until heated thoroughly and lightly browned.