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In this episode we are blessed to have Lara Blank as our Guest Chef! Lara comes from Ukraine originally and has honed her skills as a master pastry chef, founding her successful baking company here in California called Lara’s Delicious. Although Lara specializes in tantalizing gourmet baked goods, in this episode she’s come to show us how to prepare some authentic Ukrainian dishes!

Borscht!
Borscht is a Russian Beet Soup which takes a variety of forms, some that include meat, some that are served cold, and then there is Lara’s special recipe that is 100% Vegan and served piping hot! To describe this Borscht, is to describe more than a Beet based Soup, for this has all such an amazing medley of Cabbage, Potatoes, Sweet Red Peppers and a kick of Cayenne Pepper that will make you hold your bowl out for seconds and thirds!

Salad Olivier
Well this may have a French sounding name, but try to imagine the most innovative, crunchy, tasty and sublime Potato Salad you’ve ever had! Lara adds the kitchen sink to her Salad Olivier, including Alaskan King Crab Legs, Peas, Cucumber, Celery, Carrots and of course Potatoes! So yummy you’ll have to section off a third of your plate or more to keep piling this delicious Salad on!

Beet Salad
Ruby Red meets Purple Haze this grated Beet Salad dances with delight across your palate! Lara is an artist when it comes to combining flavors, textures, colors and aromas in all her cooking, such that each bite contains a happy new sensation and discovery! With the Beet Salad, Lara takes the sweet side of the Beets and tempers it with some hearty, minced Raw Garlic, throws in some Walnuts and specially soaked Raisins, then with just a hint of Mayo, brings it all home! You go girl!

Stuffed Peppers
What would a traditional Ukrainian recipe episode be without Stuffed Peppers? In this episode we make both a Vegan version of the stuffing (with Mushrooms and Rice) and a non-Vegan version (with Free Range, never caged chopped Turkey). Then Lara and Bruce demonstrate the best ways to deal with making stuff-able Red and Yellow Peppers, then adding a Vegan tomato sauce blend to the pot for steaming all the ingredients together. This is a dish that is so simple to prepare, yet tastes like hours of gourmet love have gone into them! Really super tasty!

 

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