How to Bake Artisan Bread $0.68 per Loaf!

How to Bake Artisan Bread @ $0.68 per Loaf

How to Bake Artisan Bread $0.68 per Loaf!

Sixty-eight cents. Yep, that is what it costs to bake a beautiful, crusty loaf of artisan style bread.  Flour, yeast, and salt. These three ingredients plus water yields a masterpiece that would cost upwards of $6 at a decent bakery.

Not surprisingly, the global pandemic has spurred an interest in bread baking. Since people have extra time at home, don’t care to run out to the supermarket often, and are happy to save over $5 with every loaf…why not bake it yourself?

And not least of all, baking one’s own bread brings a sense of satisfaction, pride, and joy which is probably the best reason to bake at this challenging time.

How to Bake Artisan Bread

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Cooking in Challenging Times

Chickpea Stew with Lots of Veggies

Chickpea Stew with Lots of Veggies
Kale, Cabbage, Spinach, Carrot, Onion, Celery, Tomato

We are cooking in some challenging times, my friends. But we can do this and we can do this well! Look in the fridge and get excited!

We are cooking without the luxury of just popping over to the supermarket to get whatever ingredient our original recipe requires.

Today’s meal started in the pantry with a can of chickpeas and progressed to the veggie drawer in the fridge. There was a very small head of cabbage left over from my Stuffed Cabbage rolls. Less than a half bag of pre-washed spinach, and an aging bunch of curly kale.

Staples of carrot, onion, celery and garlic are almost always on hand. It was here that this hearty, healthy, satisfying stew recipe began to take shape.

Also, don’t underestimate dried herbs. They definitely have flavor and can substitute for fresh in these unusual times. Hopefully the dried herbs in your pantry are not too old!

Chickpea Stew Recipe

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Adaptable Stuffed Cabbage for These Unusual Times

Stuffed Cabbage Recipe

Stuffed Cabbage with Mexican Crema and Walnuts
Jasmine Rice, Beef, Castelvetrano Olives, Herbs, Lemon

When I saw this recipe from Bon Appétit, I thought… I have a head of cabbage, I can make my own version without having to go to the dreaded grocery store. The result was a mighty tasty and quite striking Stuffed Cabbage made with everything on hand.

Give it a try! Use the recipe as a blueprint to incorporate what you have available. It’s actually quite fun to make the substitutions.

You’ll definitely need a cabbage, any kind will do. And long grain rice, fresh herbs, some kind of sour cream or yogurt, some nuts, an egg or two. And there you go!

The recipe is flexible; add meat or not, onion is nice but not mandatory. I like savory olives but you may like sweet raisins. Lemon is good for tart notes, but no lemon? No problem, Bon Appétit uses sumac in their recipe. No dill? Use parsley. Butter is great but olive oil would work just fine.

The recipe is easy, I did use quite a few pots and pans however. But hey, there’s plenty of time for doing dishes…

Adaptable Stuffed Cabbage Recipe

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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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