Browse Category by Elaine Walker
Elaine Walker, Poultry, Slow Cooker or Instant Pot

Shredded Chicken with Ranch & Cheese Sauce

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
4 ounces cream cheese, broken into chunks
1 (1-ounce) packet Hidden Valley Ranch dry seasoning/salad dressing mix (If using a different brand, look for one that has 110 mg of sodium or less.)
1 cup chicken broth
1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cheddar cheese
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

  1. Put the chicken and cream cheese into an Instant Pot.
  2. Whisk together the ranch dressing and chicken broth. Pour over chicken & cheese.
  3. Close and lock the Instant Pot lid. Select Manual mode and cook at high pressure for 25 minutes.
  4. When the timer goes off, use a Quick Release. Unlock and carefully open the lid.
  5. Transfer the chicken to a plate and shred the meat: Use one fork to hold the chicken steady. With the other fork, scrape and tear the chicken apart.
  6. Now turn the Instant Pot on to Saute.
  7. Whisk together 1-1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch with a little cold water. Add back to Instant Pot and whisk until smooth.
  8. Add the shredded chicken, cheddar cheese, and bacon to the Instant Pot. Saute for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  9. If a thicker sauce is desired, mix another 1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch with a little water and then add to Instant Pot. Stir until well mixed.
  10. Press the CANCEL button to stop the cooking program.

Serve over buttered toast.
(Note: This tastes better than you’d expect. Kids would probably like it.)

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)
8 ounces sour cream (original recipe called for 7 ounces of Greek yogurt and a tablespoon of lemon juice, but the sauce curdled)
1 tablespoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Sauce:
1 cup plain canned tomato sauce (without Italian spices)
1 cup half and half
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

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 an inch), 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 lightly browned, about 20 to 30 minutes. 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.

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, Pasta, Beans, Tofu, 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.

Elaine Walker, Vegetables

Stovetop Creamed Corn for Grandma

1 can corn, drained
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional

In a skillet over medium heat, combine the corn, cream, salt, sugar, pepper and butter. Whisk together the milk and flour, and stir into the corn mixture. Cook stirring over medium heat until the mixture is thickened, and corn is cooked through. Remove from heat, and stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted. Serve hot.

Eggs, Pasta, Beans, Tofu, Elaine Walker

Baked Tofu and Bok Choy

2 (14-ounce) packages extra-firm tofu, drained
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
3 heads baby bok choy (10 to 12 ounces), stems removed, leaves separated (may substitute large bok choy, torn into large pieces)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup smooth natural peanut butter
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wrap each block of tofu in a clean dish towel, place on a large plate and microwave on HIGH for four minutes. The tofu will release much of its liquid. Unwrap and cut each block into 8 planks.
  2. Place the tofu on a large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil and the tamari, flipping the planks to make sure they’re well coated. Sprinkle with black pepper. Arrange the tofu slices in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes, until the tofu starts to lightly brown. Flip the planks and bake them for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the tofu is deeply browned on the edges.
  3. While the tofu is baking, add the bok choy to a second large rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with the remaining sesame oil and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Bake for 20 minutes, until wilted.
  4. Meanwhile, make the peanut sauce: In a blender or food processor, combine the peanut butter, water, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, lime juice, ginger, hoisin and red pepper flakes and puree until smooth. Use additional water to thin the sauce, if necessary.
  5. To serve, divide the tofu and bok choy among plates. Drizzle with peanut sauce and sprinkle with red pepper flakes.