Cooking for Luv: Vegetarian Cooking Lessons & Personal Chef Services in West LA
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27 Feb Dad’s Pork Dumplings, Gone Vegan

For a WASPy midwestern guy, my dad sure did make a mean pork dumpling (and mad latkes too, go figure). No matter how many he made, there never seemed to be enough (and in the rare occasion there were a few leftovers squirreled away, we would eat them cold for breakfast, nom nom nom!). The intense gingery flavor, the crunchy chewy texture, and the myriad dipping sauce options all command a visceral reaction of my tastebuds just on memory alone. Making the dumplings was an all-hands-on-deck family activity from start to finish, not only because of the sheer joy and warm fuzzy quality time it created, but also (because of what I now realize as an adult flying solo in the process) if you don't want to be sitting in the kitchen for HOURS, it takes many hands to crank out the massive amount of dumplings we always consumed.Now, I...

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02 Feb Carolina Panthers Super Cam Jam with Fried Pickles

The last in my series with Fox Sports for their Superbowl campaign, this one is made for the man with the million dollar smile- Panther's superstar quarterback Cam Newton, aka Super Cam. Spicy and sweet hot pepper jelly (inspired by a real Carolina grandma, Lauris H. Connolly) is perfectly paired with my favorite crowd-pleaser: fried pickles (don't be scared- they are always the first to go at any party I bring them to!).This recipe makes 3 jars of jam, so you can share one with your crowd and hoard the rest to use on toast, over cream cheese as a dip, in sandwiches, or pretty much on anything! [yumprint-recipe id='100']...

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07 Dec Turnip and Tater Latkes

Every year I try to have a new take on latkes at the Chanukah table, and since I'm usually home in North Carolina when creating these recipes, inevitably they have a southern spin. Sometimes they're just a twist on the traditional (check out my latkes with southern style milk gravy recipe), sometimes they're horrible and weird, and sometimes they just wind up just perfect and become an instant favorite tradition for the coming years like this recipe. These turnip and tater latkes are mostly turnip and turnip greens (lending a lot of nutritional goodness not often found in the traditional potato guys and an earthy vegetal flavor not often found in the super sweet carrot or sweet potato versions) with a little potato to mellow that mighty turnip punch. You can leave out (or use the low end measurement) of the red pepper flakes if you're not into spice, but...

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30 Nov Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

Until the 5th grade, my mom's Hambone Stew was my favorite soup on earth.Growing up, I was an incredibly picky eater, and second in the line of evil food items on my list (spinach) was the dreaded pea.And my mom, a damn smart woman, was determined to get me to eat my veggies. So, that hambone stew? It was actually just split pea soup, but since she knew I wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot pole if I heard the word "pea", she craftily renamed it and I licked the bowl every time. Now, as I mentioned, it was my favorite...

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23 Nov Vegetarian Thanksgiving – Persimmon, Fennel + Pumpkin Seed Stuffing

Whether you call it stuffing or dressing, people go to battle for their own family recipe. And since it is such a wildly personal thing, and beliefs on texture, consistency, and moistness are all an ongoing debate- you have a couple of options here. Use 0 eggs for a very loose stuffing, 1 egg for a little binding, 2 for a tighter bind, and 3 for sliceable stuffing. The amount of broth you use is your call, for something much drier you can drop down to 4 cups, for wetter stuffing go up to 6 (My preferred combo is 2 eggs/5 cups, but I will not be so bold as to tell you what to do here!). Vegans can omit or replace the butter/egg with vegan buttery spread + egg replacer. Gluten-free folks can just swap in GF stuffing cubes. Any way you make it, it's a deliciously vegetarian, new,...

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09 Nov Beet Threeway Tartine

After an incredible Sunday Funday cocktail event with The Juicebox Truck last night where they whipped up the most insane smoky earthy Beetbox juice and El Silencio mezcal cocktail for my guests, I've had beets on the brain (and a whole hell of a lot of leftover beets and greens in the fridge). So I set out to craft a recipe inspired by the cocktail and using all parts of the beet, and this Beet Threeway Tartine was the happy resulting product. It may seem like a lot of work for a piece of toast, but it's totally worth the effort. Roast the beets and make the pickles ahead of time and store in the fridge and the recipe finishing time is cut to just 10 minutes. Now, go forth and get your beet on![yumprint-recipe id='92']...

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02 Nov Grilled Romaine with Vegan Creamy Cashew Caesar Dressing

Caesar salads are one of those great comfort foods that often remain elusive to vegans since it's so tough to replicate the depth of flavor that anchovy and parmesan bring to the table. This recipe aims to please both plant and meateater palates alike by giving some heft to the normally sad vegan caesars (through some serious flavor building). By charring the romaine the normal blank-slate and boring lettuce gets some serious body, and by whipping up a dressing with some of the best secret ingredients in a vegan's arsenal (creamy cashews, cheesy nutritional yeast, and umami bomb Worcestershire) paired with some briny capers (to give it some anchovy-esque goodness), we give the traditional dairy/fish dressing a serious run for its money. Add in some crunchy little croutons and fresh cracked pepper and you have one hell of an epic salad!Vegetarians and meat-eaters can top this with some real deal...

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19 Oct Farro Salad with Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Vinaigrette

October holds a special place in my heart. It's a month of changing leaves, costumes (my favorite!), and all things pumpkin (ok, and it just happens to be my birthday month too!). With pumpkin on my mind, I created this easy little healthy pumpkin infused salad to honor the great October (it would also be a great Thanksgiving dish!). If you're feeling ambitious, take it a step further and dice up a fresh pie pumpkin, roast in the oven at 425 for about 20 minutes (until golden) with a little oil an salt, and toss the little croutons in for a pumpkin trifecta! [yumprint-recipe id='89']...

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12 Oct Sweet Potato + Apple Tian

Even though it's still blazing hot here in LA, it IS actually fall and with that comes the bounty of autumn produce. The display of apples at the market today made me swoon, and I knew something had to happen with them in my kitchen today. Since my sweet tooth is mostly limited to dark chocolate and pie making is better left to the genius bakers in my life, I went all savory on those little bites of fall. The resulting recipe: a gorgeous spiral of a sweet potato, potato, and apple tian. While it takes time to bang out the spiral (but even with my lack of patience I didn't lose my mind, so don't fret), it's totally worth the effort to be able to set this beauty on your table.The key to making this work is to get even slices (I highly recommend using a mandolin), and it's...

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28 Sep Vegetarian Franks and Beans and Greens

My meatless monday creations usually are born from a combo of cravings and whatever the hell I have sitting in my fridge and pantry. This dish is a perfect example of those two coming together in a pretty perfect way, when all I wanted was beans and bbq and I just happened to have every single ingredient sitting around in my kitchen. Smoky, sweet, spicy, and hearty this one pot meal is fabulous to eat on its own or serve alongside a BBQ spread.  [yumprint-recipe id='87']...

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