Eggplant Steaks, Restaurant Style

Eggplant Steaks, Restaurant StyleEggplant 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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Quinoa Salad with Pineapple Vinaigrette

Quinoa Salad with Pineapple Vinaigrette

Quinoa Salad with Pineapple, Blueberries, Toasted Almonds
Spinach, Arugula, Red Onion
Pineapple Vinaigrette

Here is a harmonious salad that I developed for my friends at Great Giant Pineapple, one of the top three global producers of premium pineapples. It is perfectly balanced, with a variety of flavors, textures, and colors. And it’s simply delightful for summertime al fresco dining…

We will be sampling this salad along with other pineapple products at the IDDBA Convention on June 2, 3, and 4 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. IDDBA is the largest industry-only show for dairy, deli, bakery, and food services industries. Please visit us at Booth 3444 where I’ll be preparing this Quinoa Salad plus a fabulous Goat Cheese Flatbread with Pineapple Salsa and Fresh Herbs.

Quinoa Salad Recipe

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Vegetarian Meatloaf, Mushroom Gravy

Vegetarian Meatloaf, Mushroom GravyA Moist, Tasty, Satisfying Vegetarian Meatloaf
made with
Oatmeal, Quinoa, Walnuts, Hazelnuts, and Gruyere Cheese
served with
Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom Gravy

The somewhat mysterious walnut loaf on the vegetarian restaurant menu seemed way too heavy for lunch, so I ordered the sprouted salad instead.

While the salad was completely delicious, I was still curious about that hearty, compelling “vegetarian meatloaf” so I decided to make one at home.

While researching vegetarian walnut meatloaf recipes, I came across several that sounded similar to our local restaurant’s version. Upon further investigation, it appears that the original recipe is over 2 decades old, from famous vegetarian chef Deborah Madison.

Madison recently noted that 20 years ago she would add cheese to many of her recipes. These days however, with the variety and quality of vegetarian ingredients, she no longer relies on cheese to substitute for the meat. In this vegetarian meatloaf, cheese does play an important role…but vegan cheese should work fine too.

In my interpretation of the recipe, I substitute oatmeal and quinoa for Madison’s brown rice, and make many other adjustments as well, but credit for the concept definitely goes to her.

Vegetarian Meatloaf, Mushroom Gravy Recipe

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Vegetarian Indian Biryani

Vegetarian Indian Biryani

Vegetarian Indian Biryani

If you were one of the 90,000 people who attended Natural Products Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center earlier this month, you may have had a chance to sample my uber-popular Indian Biryani with Chickpea Risoni.

My friends at Explore Cuisine introduced this new product at the Anaheim show to rave reviews. Chickpea Risoni is rice-shaped chickpea flour (made into pasta, orzo style) produced in Italy that is gluten-free, higher in protein and fiber than white rice.

South-Asian Biryani is traditionally made with white rice and incorporates chicken, meats or fish to make a flavorful, all-encompassing one-pot dish. Here we substitute chickpea risoni for rice to provide protein for a very substantial vegetarian dish. Exotic spices, garlic, ginger, nuts, fruits, fresh herbs, caramelized shallots, and fresh lime juice all add fabulous textures and flavors.

The recipe is simple and easy…the result is layered and complex.

Vegetarian Indian Biryani Recipe

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