Chicken Soup with a Big Comforting Matzo Ball

Chicken Soup with a Big Comforting Matzo Ball

Chicken Soup with a Big Comforting Matzo Ball

If this were a normal Passover, I would be in Chicago right now with 15 lbs. of brisket in the oven, a huge pot of chicken soup on the stovetop, plus some 100 matzo balls in production, prepping for a  fabulous multi-course meal for my family and friends as I have done for the past two decades.

Since, unfortunately, this is not a normal Passover. I am in Las Vegas, not Chicago. And I’m not cooking a multi-course meal for thirty-five, I’m cooking for one. Just a nice bowl of my chicken soup with a big comforting matzo ball.

Happily, in spite of the global pandemic, we’ll still be holding our Seder and holding tight to tradition. We will all Zoom in on the internet at sundown on Wednesday to retell the Passover story of how we were slaves in Egypt before God led us to freedom with signs and wonders. Each year at Passover we go on a journey in our hearts from slavery to freedom and from sadness to joy. This year is no different in that respect.

Big Matzo Ball Recipe and Matzo Ball Secrets

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Eggplant Steaks, Restaurant Style

Eggplant Steaks, Restaurant Style

Eggplant Steaks, Restaurant Style

A couple months ago we had an absolutely delightful and completely unique meal at Roy Choi’s restaurant, Best Friend, at Park MGM on The Las Vegas Strip.

“Best Friend is… Koreatown in a capsule – a portal to the streets of LA, but also rooted in what makes Las Vegas… VEGAS. Hip hop-to-bibimbop. Kimchi-to-spaghetti. BBQ and late-night food. I want Best Friend to energize the minds of people looking to experience the best in life. Whether they are from Hollywood or Hong Kong, D.C. or Down Under, I hope all guests are licking their fingers with their mouths full saying ‘holy sh!t’ as they reach across the table for another bite. LA food in Las Vegas. Los Vegas. Best Friend. Forever.” – Roy Choi

Blown away by the KALBI Korean BBQ marinated bone-in short rib; SLIPPERY SHRIMP crispy rock shrimp, chili mayo, walnuts; ELOTES kewpie mayo, lime juice, tajín, cotija, cilantro; and EGGPLANT SCHNITZEL.

The eggplant was simple yet elevated with its silky interior and crunchy exterior. The sauce was intriguing, creamy, and mustardy. Fresh peppery green arugula provided the perfect balance to the fried eggplant. Brilliant.

In his endearing, personal, and somewhat irreverent cookbook L.A. Son, Chef Choi writes, “I make a mean schnitzel.” Yep, he sure does.

Eggplant Steaks Recipe

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Broccoli and White Bean Soup with Tempeh Croutons, Microgreens

Broccoli and White Bean Soup

Broccoli and White Bean Soup
#glutenfreevegan
Tempeh Croutons, Microgreens

I’ve got a corned beef brisket cooking on the stove top right now, but that won’t be ready in time to share with you for St. Patrick’s Day dinner. I do, however, have a gorgeous striking spring-green soup here.

It’s vibrant and velvety and vegan. It screams of springtime with its verdant color and micro purple princess flowers which have a delicate texture and mild green pepper flavor. Tempeh croutons add just the right amount of crunch and earthiness.

This Broccoli and White Bean Soup is hearty enough to be served as a satisfying lunchtime meal, one that is healthy and happy… chock-full of protein, veggies, and fiber.

Broccoli and White Bean Soup Recipe

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High Protein Breakfast Risotto #glutenfreevegan

High Protein Breakfast Risotto #glutenfreevegan

High Protein Breakfast Risotto

Red Lentil Risoni with Pea Protein Milk, Cinnamon & Vanilla
Vegan Yogurt, Blueberries, Walnuts, Maple Syrup
#glutenfreevegan

Good Morning Friends! For a very satisfying high protein vegan breakfast, I’m combining a lentil rice alternative with a pea protein milk alternative. Hitting all the delightful breakfast high notes – it is sweet and savory, crunchy and creamy, fruity and nutty, with warm spice overtones.

This recipe was developed for my friends at Explore Cuisine. And for the sixth year in a row, I will be cooking in Anaheim, California for 90,000 natural product aficionados at the Natural Products Expo West  on March 5, 6, and 7. Please stop by Booth #5162 to sample this uber-tasty High Protein Breakfast Risotto in a rotation with my other dishes:

  • Edamame & Spirulina Spaghetti with Vegan Pesto
  • Green Lentil Lasagne
  • Red Lentil Penne, Arrabbiata Style
  • Chickpea Fusilli with Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese Sauce
  • Red Lentil Risoni, Risotto Style with Spicy Soyrizo
  • Black Bean & Black Sesame Fettuccine with Miso Ginger Sauce, Carrots and Zucchini, Sesame Seeds
  • Chickpea Risoni Greek Salad Style

*All of the samples will be vegan and gluten-free.

Explore Cuisine Red Lentil Risoni is an organic gluten-free rice alternative made exclusively of red lentil flour. It is produced in Italy and has 13 grams of protein per 2 oz. serving.

Sproud dairy-free and plant-based milk alternative is developed in Sweden, produced from pea protein that is vegan, environmental-friendly and 100% allergen-free with five times the protein of almond milk per serving.

High Protein Breakfast Risotto Recipe

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Chilled Carrot Avocado Soup

Chilled Carrot Avocado Soup #raw #vegan #glutenfree

Chilled Carrot Avocado Soup
#raw #vegan #glutenfree

Chilled soup, in January? Let me explain.

Rock Stars in the Kitchen Kelly Hansen, lead singer of Foreigner; and Mary Moore, Founder and CEO of Atlanta’s The Cook’s Warehouse teamed up last Sunday at The Las Vegas Market for a gourmet cooking demonstration.

The presentation was delightful and the food was divine. Along with Chilled Carrot Avocado Soup they prepared Kelly’s Kickin’ Guac with Blue Corn Chips, Ensalada de Noche Buena, and Argentinian BBQ with Chimichurri.

In addition to sharing his enthusiasm for cooking and how clean healthy eating was important to his career as a singer, Kelly captivated us with stories about his gourmet food competitions, life as a rock star, and a bit of history of Foreigner whose first album debuted in 1977.

Las Vegas Market Cooking Demonstration

Las Vegas Market is a trade show held twice a year at the World Market Center located in downtown Las Vegas. It is a 5 million square-foot showcase for home décor, furniture, lighting, textiles, housewares, gifts, gourmet products, hospitality furnishings and more. Additionally, the trade show features many excellent seminars, presentations, and cooking demonstrations.

Kelly & Mary’s soup demonstration was so fast and easy. Fresh vegetables, fruit, and spices just go into a blender, et voilà – a very tasty, raw, vegan, gluten-free, healthy soup is born! I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR A SOUP LIKE YOU, TO COME INTO MY LIFE.

Chilled Carrot Avocado Soup Recipe

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Fresh Yuzu Bohemian Cocktail

Fresh Yuzu Bohemian Cocktail

Fresh Yuzu Bohemian Cocktail, Yuzu Foam

It’s cocktail hour! And time to use the yuzu. The fruits on my Southern California yuzu tree are at their ripest. On a trip back to LA last week, we picked the yuzu and flew home to Las Vegas with a big bag of fresh citrus fruit. It’s OK to carry on the plane per the TSA. Good to know!

An extremely aromatic fruit, a basket of yuzu perfumes the whole room. No wonder that it makes an equally aromatic cocktail; a heady complex floral elixir with notes of mandarin orange, grapefruit, lemon, and lime.

The traditional Bohemian Cocktail is made with grapefruit juice. Substituting fresh squeezed yuzu takes this cocktail to a whole new exotic level. The foamy head adds a layer of luxurious richness and creamy texture to balance the tart invigorating citrus. A dash of bitters always finishes a classic cocktail with more aromatic notes and cool understated stylish flair.

Fresh Yuzu Bohemian Cocktail Recipe

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Short Rib Kreplach and Nana’s Meat Soup

Short Rib Kreplach and Nana's Meat Soup

Celebrating Hanukkah, The Festival of Lights
with
Short Rib Kreplach and Nana’s Meat Soup

Back in 2008 I had asked my Mother about recipes from the past. She said that my Nana (my paternal grandmother) made excellent soups. I remembered her chicken soup which I still make to this day, and her delicious borscht. Mom said that she always liked Nana’s meat soup. Meat Soup, I asked? Mom said that it was just like chicken soup but with meat. She still had the recipe.

These are the ingredients my Mother had listed on the old recipe index card from notes she took while watching her mother-in-law make meat soup: short ribs, carrots, onions, parsnips, celery stalks, parsley root, dried large lima beans, and egg noodles.

In honor of Hanukkah and in remembrance of my dear mother Joyce (1933- 2013) and dear grandmother Fanny (1894-1972), I’m making Nana’s Meat Soup and adding those comforting Jewish dumplings known as kreplach, filled with tasty shredded short ribs of beef.

Short Rib Kreplach and Nana's Meat Soup

Short Rib Kreplach and Nana’s Meat Soup

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