Browse Author by Elaine
Dawn Butler, Vegetables

General Tso’s Tofu

Tofu
1 (16-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, pressed and cubed
2 tablespoons Tamari sauce
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more as needed
2 large strips of orange zest, removed with a vegetable peeler
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

Sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons Tamari sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha
juice of 1 orange
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Optional
steamed broccoli
cooked rice
sesame seeds

Directions for Sauce
In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, Tamari, Sriracha, orange juice, and cornstarch until the cornstarch has dissolved. Set aside.

Directions for Tofu

  1. In a large zip-top bag, combine the tofu, Tamari, and cornstarch. Toss to coat — the cornstarch will become goopy.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the tofu, working in batches as needed, and sear for about 3 minutes on each side, until crispy all over. Add more oil between batches as needed.
  3. Return all the tofu to the skillet and add the orange zest, garlic, and ginger. Cook for about 3 minutes.

Add the sauce to the skillet with the tofu and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes more, until the sauce thickens.

If desired, add steamed broccoli, garnish with sesame seeds, and serve over rice.

Dawn Butler, Vegetables

Eggplant & Cheese Casserole

2 eggplants (about 2-1/2 pounds total)
1 cup (5 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut several slits in the eggplants and place on a baking sheet. Bake until very tender, about 50 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Peel the eggplant, being careful to remove and discard all skin.
  4. Place in a colander and let drain for about 30 minutes.
  5. Coarsely chop the drained eggplant.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  7. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish.
  8. In a large bowl, combine the feta cheese, Cheddar cheese, eggs and bread crumbs. Stir in the eggplant.
  9. Pour into the prepared dish and drizzle with olive oil.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes.
  11. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.
Dawn Butler, Salads

Apple, Spinach & Endive Salad with Pomegranate Dressing

4 apples such as Granny Smith, Gala or Fuji, cored and chopped
2 ounces baby spinach
2 large heads Belgian endive, thinly sliced crosswise
1-1/2 cups walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 pound blue cheese (such as Maytag), crumbled (2 cups)
1 cup Pomegranate Vinaigrette (see below)

Combine the apples, spinach, endive, walnuts and blue cheese in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat.

Pomegranate Dressing
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk together the pomegranate molasses, vinegar, mustard and honey in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. The dressing can be made 2 days in advance and stored in a container with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator.

Dawn Butler, Vegetables

Spicy Sweet Potato Empanadas

1 pound sweet potatoes, scrubbed (2 potatoes)
olive oil
1/4 cup sour cream
1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
1-1/2 tablespoons pure Grade A maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, such as Pepperidge Farm, defrosted in the refrigerator
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water, for egg wash
Flaked sea salt, such as Maldon

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line one sheet pan with aluminum foil and another with parchment paper.

Rub the sweet potatoes with olive oil and prick them all over with the tines of a fork. Place the potatoes on the foil-lined sheet pan. Bake for about 1 hour, until very tender when pierced with a knife. Lower the oven to 375 degrees.

Allow the potatoes to cool enough to handle, then peel and discard the skins, placing the potatoes in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the sour cream, butter, maple syrup, chile powder, orange zest, orange juice, 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 3/4 teaspoon black pepper and mix well. Set aside.

Unfold one sheet of the cold puff pastry on a floured cutting board. Roll the sheet into a 12-inch square with a rolling pin. With a sharp paring knife, cut four 5-inch circles from the pastry, using a dish as a guide and discarding the scraps. Place a heaping soup spoon of filling on each circle, leaving a 1-inch border. Brush the edges of the circles with the egg wash and fold over, making half circles. Crimp the edges together with the tines of a fork. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry. Place on the parchment-lined sheet pan. Chill for 15 minutes.

Remove from refrigerator. Brush empanadas with the egg wash and sprinkle with the sea salt and pepper. Make 2 small slits in each empanada to allow steam to escape. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until puffed and browned. Serve hot.

Dawn Butler, Eggs and Pasta and Legumes

BBQ Tofu

1 (16 ounce) package extra firm tofu
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg white
1 tablespoon barbeque sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup barbeque sauce

  1. For a meatier texture, press tofu. (If you prefer a more tender texture, this step can be omitted – start at step 2 instead.) Place block of tofu in a colander over bowl, and place a heavy weight on the tofu (a can of tomatoes, for example). Allow tofu to drain (refrigerated) for at least 30 minutes or longer. Discard liquid and pat with towels to dry tofu.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and 1 tablespoon of barbeque sauce. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl. Dip tofu slices into egg mixture, then into flour mixture, shaking off excess flour. Fry in hot oil for about 1 minute on each side, until golden brown. Just fry enough at one time so they are not crowded. Remove from the oil to paper towels to drain and cool.
  3. Preheat broiler. Brush tofu slices with additional barbeque sauce, and allow to marinate while the broiler heats. Arrange them on a broiler pan, or wire rack set over a cookie sheet for best results.
  4. Position oven rack about 6 inches from heat source. Broil for 5 minutes on each side, or until browned and crisp, watching closely so as not to burn. Serve warm with the remaining barbeque sauce for dipping.
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

1 pound lentils, rinsed
10 cups vegetable broth or water
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
1-1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2 medium potatoes (1-1/4 pounds), scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
10 ounces baby spinach, chopped
1 small butternut squash (1 pound), peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, with leaves, sliced
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 lemons

  1. In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, combine the lentils, stock or water, jalapeño, coriander, cumin, oregano and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, about 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
  2. Add the potatoes, spinach and butternut squash, re-cover and cook another 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes and squash are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, and cook, stirring, until it starts to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the celery and garlic and cook, stirring often, until they soften, 3 minutes. Add the mixture to the soup, deglazing the skillet with a little soup liquid and adding the deglaze contents back to the soup pot. Add the salt and pepper, taste, and add more if needed. Pick out and discard the bay leaves.
  4. Thinly slice one of the lemons and cut the other into wedges. Just before serving, stir the lemon juice into the soup. Serve the soup hot, with a lemon slice floating atop each bowl. Pass lemon wedges at the table.
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.