Show 403, December 12, 2020: Laura Theodore – “The Jazzy Vegetarian” with Vegan-Ease

Cookbook Author Laura Theodore“Choosing a plant-based diet is made deliciously easy with the new softcover edition of Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet, a new approach to cooking vegan. Written by Laura Theodore, the TASTE award-winning host of public television’s Jazzy Vegetarian, this comprehensive guide is suitable for novice cooks and long-time vegans alike, offering more than 130 step-by-step, wholesome, “eco-nomical,” and satisfying recipes that are quick and easy, each complete with nutritional analysis. Enhanced by over 200 gorgeous, full-color photographs, each recipe is ranked with an Ease-Factor to make it easy to choose recipes that fit into any busy schedule, using ingredients already on hand. This cookbook and guide includes all you need to know to embrace a cost-saving, healthier lifestyle for you and your family.”

Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease is for those cooks who think that plant-based recipes take too much time to prepare, are too expensive, or require exotic, hard-to-find ingredients. Based on her experiences leaving the food mecca that is New York City for the wilds of rural New Jersey, vegan chef and television host Laura Theodore created the concept of “vegan-ease” to show how anyone in this country can easily – and economically – create delicious plant-based meals that will be embraced by any foodie, whether omnivore, vegetarian, or vegan.”

“Featuring recipes like the “Hungry Guy” Burger with Baked Steak Fries, Not-So-Crabby Cakes, Mac ’n Peas with Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce, Peanut-Butter Chocolate Mousse, Maple-Raisin-Date Truffles, and Lemon “Buttermilk” Cake, Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease offers every home cook an easy, fresh approach to compassionate, mindful – and healthy! – eating.”

For the Holidays, Laura graciously shares with us her recipe for Butternut Squash Stuffed with Apples and Cranberries from the “Stress-Free Holiday Recipes” Chapter.

In addition you can also watch Laura preparing Butternut Squash Stuffed with Apples and Cranberries.along with all of the other Vegan-Ease – An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant Based Diet recipe videos.

We’re joined by “The Jazzy Vegetarian” herself, Laura Theodore.

Play

Butternut Squash Stuffed with Apples and Cranberries

Butternut Squash Stuffed with Apples and Cranberries by Laura TheodoreRecipe excerpt from: Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease
by Laura Theodore
Jazzy Vegetarian

Makes 4 servings

In the northeast, late fall at the farm market brings many enticing kinds of squash. Butternut is one of my favorite varieties of winter squash to cook with because of its nutty sweetness. Stuffed with a savory and sweet blend of rice, spinach, apples, walnuts and cranberries, this cold weather seasonal dish makes a festive, nutritious and appealing entrée for any special meal.

  • 1 very large butternut squash, peeled
  • 2 cups cooked short-grain brown rice
  • 1½ cups lightly packed baby spinach
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning blend or Italian seasoning blend
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large casserole dish with unbleached parchment paper.

Cut 2- to 3-inches off the top of the squash. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and then cut each piece in half lengthwise to make 4 sections of squash, equal in size. Scrape out the seeds from each section.

Put the rice, spinach, apple, cranberries, walnuts, all-purpose seasoning, sea salt and ground cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl and stir to combine. Divide the stuffing mixture evenly, mounding it into the hollowed center in each of the four squash pieces, mounding it as you go (see note).

Put the squash quarters, stuffing side up, in the prepared casserole dish. Tent with foil and bake for 1 to 11⁄2 hours, or until the squash is very soft. For a crisp topping, remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of baking. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes and serve.

Chef’s Note: If you end up with extra stuffing, put it in a small, covered casserole and bake alongside the squash like a holiday stuffing. Makes a great side dish.

Amount per serving, based on 4 servings:  332 Calories; 6g Fat; 1g Saturated fat; 9g Protein; 35mg Sodium; 70g Total Carbohydrate; 17g Sugars; 11g Fiber

Photo Credit: David Kaplan

Recipe from Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet
©Laura Theodore 2015, 2020. Reprinted by permission.

Pumpkin Risotto

by Chef Elizabeth Whitt

Serves 8

1 onion, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, divided
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cups Arborio rice
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup white wine
5-6 cups chicken broth
1 small baking pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1-2 inch pieces
1/2 cup grated parmesan or pecorino
1/4 cup cream (optional)

Heat broth in a sauce pan.  Bring to a boil, add pumpkin or butternut squash and a few pinches of salt, turn off heat and let sit until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Remove squash with a slotted spoon and set aside until rice is done. Heat a 4-to-5-quart saucepan over medium heat and add onion and 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Cook until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.  When onion is tender, add the rice and cook stirring frequently for about 1 minute, to coat the grains of rice. Add the wine and begin adding broth 1-2 cups at a time and continue to stir often. Your liquid should be at a constant simmer so adjust your stirring or your heat to achieve tiny bubbles. Once the rice has absorbed most of the liquid add more.  Begin tasting the risotto after you have added half of the broth. When it is cooked it should be tender but not mushy. Continue adding broth until it has reached correct consistency, about 20 minutes.  Add cheese, cream and 1 tbsp. butter and stir until combined.  Fold in squash, check for seasoning and serve.

Oven Baked Method: Heat a large oven safe skillet or Dutch oven over high heat. Add oil, onion, salt and pepper and sauté until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add rice, more salt, white wine, cubed but uncooked butternut squash and 4 cups chicken broth and stir until combined. Bring broth to a boil, cover and bake in oven at 400 until rice is done, about 15-25 minutes. Check cooking after 15 minutes and add more broth if needed. When rice is just or almost done, add in cheese, butter and cream if desired and let rest 10 minutes and serve.

Show 46, November 2, 2013: Chef Instructor Elizabeth Whitt

Elizabeth WhittFeeling ambitious in the kitchen…? Time to get a running start on holiday cooking and entertaining. Our superstar chef instructor, Elizabeth Whitt, of www.ChefElizabeth.com is with us again to get those holiday preparations pointed in the right direction with relative ease.

Pumpkin is in this year. Chef Elizabeth has both a savory and sweet recipe to add to your holiday collection. First up is an incredible Pumpkin Risotto with a fresh baking pumpkin or butternut squash. For dessert there is a not too sweet Pumpkin Cheesecake. Yum….!

When Chef Jet has his own culinary questions he turns Le Cordon Bleu, Paris-trained to Chef Elizabeth. She has a series of popular holiday classes coming up that always sell out early. On November 7th she has “Make-Ahead Holiday Side Dishes” from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and “Holiday Pies and Desserts” the same day from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Then on December 5th its her most popular class, “Appetizers and Hors D’oeuvres,” from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

All classes are at the Cypress Community Center in Cypress.

Play

November 3: Barbara Fairchild, Merrin-Mae Fuentebella, Jason Kessler, Anita Lau, Elizabeth Whitt, Josiah Citrin, Matt Bencivenga

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, food journalist, cookbook author, educator, and consultant
Segment Three: Chef Merrin-Mae, winning cheftestant, Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen”
Segment Four: Jason Kessler, food journalist
Segment Five: Anita Lau of the Mad Hungry Woman blog”
Segment Six: Chef Instructor Elizabeth Whitt
Segment Seven: Josiah Citrin, Chef/Proprietor of Melisse
Segment Eight: Matt Bencivenga, executive chef and partner of the Wolfgang Puck Catering Company

Jet Tila with Ben McKee of Imagine Dragons at Life is Beautiful Festival in Las VegasThanks to all of our loyal & enthusiastic listeners who were part of the audience for Jet’s Saturday afternoon cooking demo with Ben McKee of The Imagine Dragons at the Life Is Beautiful food and music festival in Downtown Las Vegas. It was standing room only for the demo in the Chefs On Stage East tent.

Jet and Andy preview the show. We have everything from a snapshot on where to dine now in New York to what it takes to prepare and serve gourmet food to the demanding VIPs at the Breeder’s Cup at Santa Anita. Also we’ll get the behind-the-scenes with a winning chef from Food Network’s new hit series “Cutthroat Kitchen” hosted by Alton Brown. Jet is one of the regular judges for the first season.

Barbara FairchildBarbara Fairchild is a respected food journalist, cookbook author, consultant, and educator. She is best known to us as the long-time former editor of Bon Appetit Magazine when they were based in Los Angeles.

This summer she taught a course in the Arthur L. Canter Journalism Institute at the prestigious New York University. Barbara tells us all about that as well as provides us with some great Manhattan dining suggestions ranging from a deli find to fine dining Italian and a comfortable celebrity chef restaurant that’s really worth going to.

Merrin Mae FuentebellaChef Merrin-Mae is a cheftestant on the first season of Food Network’s high pressure “Cutthroat Kitchen” hosted by Alton Brown. Her episode is entitled “Kiss My Grits” and was first aired on October 6th.

The level of competition was particularly intense and the sabotages were devilish. Chef Merrin-Mae made us proud in SoCal (she is a local) and she won the episode. One of the other cheftestants was a “Chopped” winner and was eliminated after the first round!

She currently works at Alma with executive chef Ari Taymor. When she did the show she was part of the culinary team at Sotto.

The latest fad diet that is getting a lot of attention is the Paleo Diet (also known as the caveman diet.)

Jason Kessler of Food RepublicFood journalist Jason Kessler of Food Republic and Bon Appetit was actually on the diet for 40 days and shares his experience with us. Jason’s observation is that because the diet is so restrictive you can drop some weight rather quickly. The severely limiting factor is that it gets monotonous rather fast.

San Diego, we haven’t forgotten you.

anita-lauAnita Lau of the Mad Hungry Woman blog is with us with a San Diego dining discovery. Anita was a nominee for a Golden Foodie award in Journalism this year.

Anita’s find is Ristorante Kaz. This is an intriguing Japanese Italian fusion cuisine spot. Anita’s favorite bite was an angel hair pasta dish with creamy sea urchin with spinach and salmon roe.

Elizabeth WhittFeeling ambitious in the kitchen…? Time to get a running start on holiday cooking and entertaining. Our superstar chef instructor, Elizabeth Whitt, of www.ChefElizabeth.com is with us again to get those holiday preparations pointed in the right direction with relative ease.

Pumpkin is in this year. Chef Elizabeth has both a savory and sweet recipe to add to your holiday collection. First up is an incredible Pumpkin Risotto with a fresh baking pumpkin or butternut squash. For dessert there is a not too sweet Pumpkin Cheesecake. Yum….!

When Chef Jet has his own culinary questions he turns Le Cordon Bleu, Paris-trained to Chef Elizabeth. She has a series of popular holiday classes coming up that always sell out early. On November 7th she has “Make-Ahead Holiday Side Dishes” from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and “Holiday Pies and Desserts” the same day from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Then on December 5th its her most popular class, “Appetizers and Hors D’oeuvres,” from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

All classes are at the Cypress Community Center in Cypress.

Josiah CitrinFifteen years ago when fine-dining restaurants located outside of the protective umbrella of luxury hotels were at a low ebb in Los Angeles Chef Josiah Citrin sold his stake in a very popular Santa Monica dinner house and went out on his own to open a ultra-luxe, destination, freestanding, fine-dining, contemporary French restaurant with California accents. That was the start of Melisse. All these years later it still impresses.

Josiah is a new member of the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation’s prestigious Culinary Council. On November 10th Josiah and five other culinary superstars will join forces to cook an extraordinary six course repast at Melisse in Santa Monica to raise funds for The Foundation. Two different levels of wine-pairings are available for a supplement.

The esteemed group of chefs includes Gavin Kaysen, the Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Operations for Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud in New York, Palm Beach, and Toronto. He has previously represented the USA in the Bocuse d’Or culinary competition. For reservations please call 310.395.0881.

The Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation, established in 2008, is a non-profit organization led by a Board of Directors of renowned chefs Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Jerome Bocuse (Paul’s son.) The Foundation is devoted to recruiting, training, and financially supporting the promising young American chefs who compete on behalf of the United States in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or competition, held in Lyon, France every two years. Think of it as the Olympics of the culinary world…

The 2013 Breeder’s Cup, horse racing’s premier international event, returns to storied Santa Anita Park on November 1st and 2nd.

Matt BencivengaWolfgang Puck Catering (they cater the annual Governors Ball for The Oscars) has been selected to serve it’s fine-dining, seasonal cuisine to some 5,000 demanding VIP attendees. Wolfgang Puck Catering’s cuisine will be served in the Trackside Marquee, Frontrunner, Sierra Vista, Trophy Lounge and the Chandelier Room.

Founding Executive Chef and Partner (of Wolfgang Puck Catering) Matt Bencivenga joins us to talk about the challenges of maintaining Spago quality at large events. It takes a lot of skill, planning, and an army of chefs.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Barbara Fairchild, food journalist, cookbook author, educator, and consultant
Segment Three: Chef Merrin-Mae, winning cheftestant, Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen”
Segment Four: Jason Kessler, food journalist
Segment Five: Anita Lau of the Mad Hungry Woman blog”
Segment Six: Chef Instructor Elizabeth Whitt
Segment Seven: Josiah Citrin, Chef/Proprietor of Melisse
Segment Eight: Matt Bencivenga, executive chef and partner of the Wolfgang Puck Catering Company