Elaine Walker, Slow Cooker or Instant Pot, Vegetables

Potato Curry in Tomato Gravy (Aloo Rasedar)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 cup tomato, chopped
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or red chili powder (adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon vegetable masala (optional)
2 to 3 potatoes (1 pound) cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (adjust to taste)
1 tablespoon lime juice

  1. In a large skillet, add oil, cumin seeds, and ginger. Saute for a few minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes, coriander, turmeric, cayenne or chili powder and vegetable masala. Saute for another 3 minutes, then pour all into Instant Pot.
  3. Add potatoes and water to Instant Pot. Stir well.
  4. Start on Manual/Pressure Cook mode at high pressure for 2 minutes. When the pressure cooker beeps, press cancel and quick release the pressure manually.
  5. Add garam masala and lime juice. Stir.
  6. Optional, mash some potatoes with the back of the ladle. This will help thicken the curry. If you like a thinner gravy, you can add some water and let it come to a boil on sauté mode.

Note:
This potato curry thickens as it cools. Before eating, add water as needed and heat the curry.

Beef or Lamb, Elaine Walker, Pork, Slow Cooker or Instant Pot

Salisbury Steak with Onion and Mushroom Gravy

¼ cup bread crumbs
¼ cup finely diced onion
1 egg
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
½ pound lean ground pork
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 ounces (1/2 of an 8 ounce package) sliced cremini mushrooms (or baby bella, white or button mushrooms)
¼ cup dry red wine
2 cups beef broth (Kitchen Basics brand if you can find it)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water

  1. Combine bread crumbs, diced onion, egg, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic in a large bowl. Stir well and add beef and pork. Mix gently and form 8 equal-size patties. Place patties on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour or more.
  2. Add oil to a large skillet and turn heat to medium high. Brown patties in batches, removing to a plate when done. Add sliced onion and saute until brown, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook 2 minutes more.
  3. Transfer onion and mushrooms to the Instant Pot. Add wine, broth, tomato paste; stir well. Add cooked patties to the pot and turn to coat.
  4. Close and lock the lid. Use Manual setting and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes.
  5. Release pressure using the natural-release method according to manufacturer’s instructions (usually 10 minutes). Unlock and remove the lid.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Add mixture to the pot slowly, stirring constantly. Select Saute function; cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. The gravy will be fairly thin. Add an additional 1 tablespoon corn starch for a thicker gravy.
Elaine Walker, Soup

Korean Seaweed Soup (Miyuk Gook, served on birthdays)

1 (1 ounce) package dried brown seaweed*
1/4 pound beef top sirloin, minced
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
tofu (optional)
2 to 3 dried shiitake mushrooms (optional)
2 cups chicken or beef broth (or water if preferred)
4 cups water
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Soak seaweed in water to cover. After an hour, drain and then rinse. Soak for another 30 minutes, then drain again. Cut into 2 inch pieces.

Heat a saucepan over medium heat; add beef, sesame oil, and 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce, and cook for 1 minute. Add tofu and dried shiitake mushrooms if desired.

Stir in seaweed and remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce; cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.

Pour in 2 cups broth, and bring to a boil. Stir in garlic and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

* Do not use “Nori” seaweed (bits of seaweed pressed together to make “sushi” sheets). Some reviews of this recipe said it would be better to use a bit less seaweed.

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.)

Dawn Butler, Eggs, Pasta, Beans, Tofu

Szechuan Tofu Stir Fry

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup Tamari sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ketchup
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons peanut oil
8 ounces extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into 1/2 inch strips
2 cups broccoli florets, blanched
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
2 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage (optional)
1 cup thinly sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms (optional)

  1. In a bowl, a food processor, or a blender, combine the water, peanut butter, Tamari, vinegar, sugar, ketchup, garlic, ginger, and red-pepper flakes, and blend well.
  2. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and stir-fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. Add the broccoli and bell pepper, and stir-fry for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the cabbage and mushrooms and stir-fry 3 minutes longer, or until the vegetables soften.
  6. Return the tofu to the skillet. Add the sauce and stir-fry to coat the vegetables.
Dawn Butler, Eggs, Pasta, Beans, Tofu

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, Pasta, Beans, Tofu

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.