Cooking for Luv: Vegetarian Cooking Lessons & Personal Chef Services in West LA
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Sides

21 Sep Smoky Chilled Tomato Soup

It's ridiculously mind-numbingly hot here in Los Angeles and so I give you a ridiculously mind-numbingly easy recipe that requires no heat and no more than 5 minutes of your time! Tomato season is coming to a close (*sob*) and I'm using them in everything I can while they're still here and still incredible. This soup is a kind-of-gazpacho/tortilla soup/salmorejo type deal, and it's success hinges on the quality of your tomatoes so be sure to get the most fragrant and juicy ones you can find (the cheaper "softies" at the farmers market are perfect for this since their imperfections and almost-over-ripeness will be obliterated by the blender anyway). Use a high-quality Spanish smoked paprika as well for optimal flavor explosion, the bargain bin spice will get lost in translation.  [yumprint-recipe id='86']...

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24 Aug Red Wine Braised Shrooms with Bulgar

I know it's the middle of the summer, but I've just had this irresistible craving for something substantial, meaty and sumptuous the last few days (screw the 90 degree heat!). Maybe I have shrooms on my mind with everyone headed to Burning Man this week, maybe I just need a little love, but either way this hearty yet healthy recipe is hitting the spot. In just 25 minutes you'll have an easy one-pot meal studded with earthy meaty mushrooms and nutty bulgar wheat swimming in a sexy bath of decadent cabernet that is sure to please no matter the weather.[yumprint-recipe id='85']...

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10 Aug Smashed Potatoes with Tahini Sauce, Feta, Za’atar and Olives

When I lived in Israel many moons ago, I fell in love with many flavors of the middle east. The most memorable, though, has to be the Za'atar spice blend. A perfect mix of sumac, toasted sesame seeds, sea salt, and the herb Za'atar (a variety of wild thyme we often do not get here in the states so it is often substituted with greek oregano), Israelis put it on everything from baked goods to eggs to meats to pizza. My favorite of all Za'atar food vehicles was from a pizza place around the corner from me, a perfect pie consisting of mozzarella, feta, green olives, and za'atar (I must have consumed several hundred pounds worth in just half a year), and is the inspiration for this recipe.Now, if you've followed me for a while you know that I'm majorly potato-obsessed (really, it's the perfect food- you can do anything...

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03 Aug Roasted Watermelon “Salmon” with Avocado Crema and Cucumber Radish Chop

Want to blow your dinner companions minds? Serve them up this magical feat of culinary trickery. These slabs of watermelon have been transformed in texture and flavor with just a little spin in the oven, and actually come out looking so much like a piece of salmon that people have to do a double take when you tell them it's fruit. Topped with crunchy spicy chopped veg and a bright avocado crema, you'll have a light and gorgeous starter course that is a perfect summer alternative to the traditional watermelon salad.[yumprint-recipe id='83']...

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20 Jul Rainbow Carrot + Tarragon Ricotta Tart

The breathtaking beauty of the hundreds of rainbow carrots at the farmers market never stops amazing me, so I thought it was about time to promote them from their usual side-dish status and get them front and center as a main course dish (nobody puts baby in the corner!). Behold the carrot ricotta tart: simple, stunning, and ready for its starring roll in your next meal! [yumprint-recipe id='81']...

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13 Jul Cauliflower Popcorn

I've been working with a new family that is partially populated by three vegetable-hating kids. Over the course of the past couple of months, I have stealthy slipped broccoli, spinach, eggplant, mushrooms, kale, peas, zucchini, and carrots successfully into their meals- but this cauliflower recipe is by far the winner in my book since they will actually devour a vegetable in it's un-hidden form. By breaking the cauliflower florets into tiny popcorn-sized pieces, tossing it with butter and parmesan cheese (or vegan butter and nutritional yeast for their vegan dad), and calling it by a fun approachable name, they get excited about something that would otherwise be pretty scary! You'll want to take them out of the oven before they get too caramelized or brown (the color and depth of flavor can be a little too much for little palates) but if you're making these for adults keep them in an extra...

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29 Jun Scored Corn

This recipe was one of the first dishes I remember falling (hard) for as a kid. It fell into the same category in my house as pan-fried pork dumplings- no matter how much you made, there was NEVER enough (how a family of four ate 60 dumplings in one sitting is beyond me- but they were just that good). The recipe name Scored Corn is my dad's OG title for this dish, since he would carefully slit down every row of corn with a sharp knife, then deftly scrape out all the insides of the kernels leaving the outer layer still on the cob. I am far to impatient for that type of precision, so I have modified his technique to just scrape the cob and carry the outer bits along for the ride (it's more rustic that way, right? ;)) It is a messy task- you'll have corn milk...

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Cooking for Luv Wrinkled Potatoes with Olive Crack Sauce

08 Jun Wrinkled Potatoes with Black Olive Crack Sauce

I first experienced wrinkled potatoes, or Papas Arrugadas, at José Andrés' Bazaar restaurant in Los Angeles a few years ago, and they absolutely BLEW MY MIND. Something so simple, tender baby boiled potatoes, transformed by a crusty layer of salt on the exterior and an exceptionally tasty sauce. I've been making them ever since, but had a next level experience with them on my recent trip to Spain at a tiny restaurant in Barcelona called La Gilda because of what I can only call Crack Sauce. As a person who lives for sauces, dressings, and dips, this little bowl of creamy olive based sauce sitting in a pool of ultra spicy olive oil literally caused me to LICK THE BOWL (one of the perks of traveling alone- nobody to judge you from across the table). The owner wouldn't tell me what was in it and my only clue was from...

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13 Apr Luxe Mushroom Pate

My vegan foie gras recipe is one of my most popular and I love love love making it to wow friends from carnivores to meatless crusaders. Using lentils and walnuts as the base with ume plum vinegar as the secret ingredient, it has an extremely rich and umami packed flavor profile that you just can't quit eating til the last finger lick from the jar. This past week I was looking to create a legume free option of that recipe so I turned to the other classic meatless pate ingredient: mushrooms. Paired with some similar ingredients to my original (the miso stayed but I swapped in sherry vinegar for the ume plum), a few new secret umami bomb weapons (porcini powder, tamari, mustard powder and capers), some new freshness (with fragrant farmers market thyme and parsley), and the pièce de résistance: ultra lux fatty butter, this new pate is some...

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