Caesar Salad


Serves 4

What you’ll need:

  • 3 medium-large romain lettuce hearts
  • 1 small white sweet potato, cubed, baked or steamed
  • 2 cups Beyond Meat Chicken Free Strips
  • 1 tsp Miyoko’s Creamery Butter
  • 1 Tbs capers
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, diced
  • 1/4 cup Follow Your Heart Parmesean

For the dressing:

  • The juice from 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp crushed, dry wakame seaweed
  • 1 Tbs nooch (nutritional yeast)
  • 1 tbs The Vegg or Vegan Egg
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • Black pepper to taste


  • Rinse and chop Romain lettuce, place in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a nonstick pan, melt the vegan butter and sear the sweet potato cubes, garlic and Beyond Meat Chicken Free Strips at medium heat until golden (about 8 minutes, flipping sides).
  • Set aside to slightly cool, then combine with the romaine in the bowl.
  • To make the Parmesean crisps, in the same pan, sprinkle the Follow Your Heart Parmesean into 4 disks, and cook on medium heat until brown and crisp on each side. Remove from pan and set aside. These will top the salad.
  • In a jar, combine the lemon juice, vinegar, wakame powder, nooch (nutritional yeast), vegan egg, tahini and black pepper.
  • Pour the dressing over the ingredients in the bowl. Cover the bowl securely with a plate and shake to mix.
  • Top with capers, black pepper and vegan parmesean crisps.

Vegan Matzoh Ball Soup Recipe


Matzoh Ball Soup is a Jewish soul-food recipe that should be in your arsenal of cold-weather comforts. In this video I show you how to make a big pot of flavorful soup with those crave-worthy matzoh dumplings that can feed a small party. Your bubbie would be proud.

You’ll Need:

  • Large Soup Pot
  • 5-6 cups Matzoh Meal
  • 12 Vegan Eggs (I used the VeganEgg from Follow Your Heart) * combine w/ 4½ cups Ice-cold water (or swap cold seltzer for more fluffy balls)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 Tb nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tb vegetable boullion base (I use Seitenbacher)
  • 1 cup dried porcini mushroom
  • handful of fresh dill (about ½ cup)
  • about 12 cups water for broth
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


This is just a basic recipe that can be customized to your liking. Want to add coined carrots and chopped celery for Ashkenazi accuracy? Go for it. Throw in broccoli, kale, seitan, or Beyond Meat Chicken and make it more protein packed.

For Directions, watch the video above.

RECIPE: Vegan Matzah Brei


If you celebrated Passover, you may have piles of matzah left over. Sure they’re great as giant crackers to eat with hummus, but something I grew up eating the morning after Passover was Matzah Brei. Traditionally, this Ashkenazi dish is made with matzah and fried eggs. It’s sort of like a savory french-toast but with matzah instead of bread. I veganized the recipe and am happy to share how easy it is to make!

What you’ll need (serves 4):
• 4-6 matzah crackers (there is now organic, whole wheat and spelt matzah available)
• 1 12oz. package of silken tofu• 1 Tbs of The Vegg
• 1 cup of water
• tofu scramble seasoning (make your own, or Fantastic has a pre-made seasoning packet)
• a large non-stick pan (or cooking oil to prevent sticking)
• vegan sour cream to taste
• horseradish to taste
• fresh dill

1. Beat together 1 Tbs of The Vegg and 1/2 cup water.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine the Vegg mixture, the tofu, the Scrambler packet and the remaining water until it becomes a smooth batter.3. Break the matzah into fourths.
4. Quickly run the matzah under cold water to begin tenderizing it and to help the batter stick.
5. Heat your nonstick or oiled pan to medium-high.
6. Pour the batter into a wide bowl for coating the matzah.
7. Dip the matzah in the batter, covering both sides, and place immediately into the hot pan.
8. Flip when medium to dark brown (around 1 minute on each side).
9. Serve hot with vegan sour cream, vegan cheese, fresh dill and horseradish.



Photos by JP Bevins

Chef Dan Strong is co-owner of one of New York City’s most sought-after food stands. I’ve waited on many a long line for Chickpea & Olive’s famed Phatty Beet Slider as earlier customers walk by groaning in pleasure. With his partner Danielle Ricciardi, the duo are one of the city’s power couples reshaping the gastronomic landscape. In this third installment of LÄRABAR’s Healthy Hero series, we spend an afternoon with Chef Strong as he shares an amazing mazemen recipe and features a cherry pie LÄRABAR crusted Zabaglione. We get to hear what inspires this butcher-turned-vegan chef, what frustrates and calls to him, and we even get some insight into what he soon plans to ferment.


Joshua Katcher: I’ve eaten your food and it’s awesome. What is your creative process for developing new foods?
Chef Dan Strong: Inspiration, procrastination, exasperation, coffee, serve the first draft, and keep adjusting until I have a recipe. Often Danielle and I will find a recipe for something we miss and then I will try to rebuild each piece. For thanksgiving I found a Bon Appetit recipe for cornbread stuffing with pears and banger sausage. So first step, find an authentic cornbread recipe and test it until I have a solid vegan version. Then I turn to the next piece. I imagine it’s like any of the creative processes that I can’t do: draw on inspiration, figure out how to make it authentic, and then adapt it to reflect a noble truth.


JK: Chickpea & Olive has a huge following. What is it like to maintain such a sought-after brand in New York City?
DS: It’s an honor. I go into work everyday and feel obligated to make each dish better than it was the day before. I don’t know if I’m always successful, but I always try. Maybe it’s a little salt on the bread, or the three layers of sauce on our phatty melt, or a little extra sear on the burger. I like to think that those little details get translated to our customers. They might not be able to put their finger on what made their sandwich “so good”, but they have to go tell their friends about it.


JK: The mainstream culinary community seems to look down upon vegan cuisine, yet so many exciting things are happening with it. How do you account for this disconnect?
DS: Change always starts when the artists pick it up. Next, Alinea, Picholine, Gramercy Tavern, Del Posto, Per Se…. Every one of them has a vegan tasting menu. Jean George Vongerichten is opening a plant based restaurant. I see that the food culture is moving in that direction, but I’m still frustrated every time someone looks at our menu and sneers. But hey, the way I see it, the 6th mass extinction is already underway. Why grumble?


JK: Tell us about the food you made today.
DS: We have a buckwheat somen mazemen in miso-shiitake gravy, with pan roasted mushrooms, okra, bokchoy, snow peas, and grilled tempeh in a chili black bean marinade. For dessert we went Italian with a cashew zabaglione, and we used LÄRABAR for the crust.

Buckwheat Mazemen (family size)



  • 8 quarts water
  • 1 pound dry shiitake mushrooms or 2 pounds mushroom stems
  • 1/2c Shiro miso

Tempeh marinade:

  • 1/4c spicy black bean paste
  • 1/4c stir fry sauce
  • 2tbsp soy sauce
  • 2tbsp peanut oil

1/2lb each:

  • Okra, trimmed and split in half
  • bokchoy, cleaned and cut in cross-sections
  • snow peas
  • tempeh

1/4lb each:

  • oyster mushrooms, rough chopped
  • shiittake mushrooms, rough chopped


  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 inch ginger, diced

2lb soba noodles

  • Bring water to a simmer, and add the miso and the mushroom stems. Toast half of the chopped garlic, shallots, and ginger in a pan with a little oil until caramelized and add to the pot of water. Simmer for 1 hour.
  • Cut tempeh into 1 inch cubes and marinate over night, or at least for a few hours. assemble on a lined sheet tray and bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes.
  • Pan roast the mushrooms with oil in batches until golden brown, seasoning each batch with salt. Toast the remaining garlic, ginger, and shallots until caramelized and toss all of the mushrooms back into the pan. Stir until the mushrooms and aromatics are fully incorporated.
  • Remove the mushrooms stems from the broth with a spider or strainer and bring the broth to a boil. Blanch the snow peas, the bokchoy and the okra in the broth in batches, removing each ingredient after and running under cold water. This step is especially important for the okra.
  • Cook the noodles in the broth for 5-6 minutes and remove a portion to each serving bowl. Return the vegetables to the broth, add the mushrooms and let the pot return to a simmer, then ladle the broth over the noodles. Garnish with the baked tempeh.


JK:You used LÄRABAR to make a really good dessert. What about LÄRABAR do you like? Do you have a favorite flavor?
DS: LÄRABARs are simple, delicious, and remind me of many of my favorite desserts. I ate the blueberry muffin today, it was excellent, but peanut butter cookie is my favorite.

Larabar-Crusted Cashew Zabaglione


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp marsala
  • 1 cherry larabar
  • Combine everything but the larabar in a high speed blender and puree until creamy. transfer the mixture to a saucepan and bring to a boil. set aside.
  • Place the larabar in between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it out with a rolling pin or a bottle of marsala wine until its about an 8th of an inch thick. line the inside of a ramekin with the larabar roll-up. press into the corners.
  • Pour the cashew mixture into the ramekin and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours until the custard sets.
  • Garnish with marsala wine reduction or sprinkle with caster sugar and brûlée with a torch.


JK: Where do you get most inspired when buying ingredients?
DS: In my early days I used to wander the markets in Chinatown for inspiration. Nowadays I go mushroom foraging whenever I have a chance. When I don’t have time for all of that I go to union square farmers market. Lani’s farm has an amazing organic selection with all sorts of weird looking root vegetables, and sweet berry mountain farms has something in the order of 6 varieties of heirloom fingerling potatoes. The German butterballs are incredible.


JK: Have you discovered any new foods that you’re excited about using?
DS: Not so much “using” as making. We have started along hummus recently, and that project has gotten me interested in other packaged products. I want to start fermenting pickles and cheeses, and I found a tofu misozuke recipe that I’m excited about. LÄRABAR was fun to use as well. The ingredients like date, cherry and almond, are fantastic for chefs because they’re simple and versatile. They’re great on their own, but in this case it was a convenient way to make a tasty, gluten-free crust.

JK: Aside from gastronomy, what else do you spend time doing?
DS: Binging on NPR, yoga, fantasy novels, and therapy.


JK: What must we all try? (Food or not)
DS: If I had my chance to be a dictator? Everyone would have mandatory therapy. I also think everyone should try a plant based diet. I’m vegan because as I see it veganism is a form of protest. The plant based diet that comes with that protest has made me healthier than I’ve ever been.

JK: What does the future hold for Chickpea & Olive?
DS: Fast casual restaurants, tinned and potted products, packaged dips and spreads. And then I want to diverge and try to do a trattoria, a bistro, and a noodle shop. Danielle wants a juice bar and a raw shop. Maybe also a saprophytic mushroom farm! And a creamery! And a cheese cellar! But I digress.

RECIPE: Lunch Trio


This lunch features Butternut squash with trumpet mushrooms, shallots & tempeh, a Boston lettuce wedge with cheesy horseradish mustard dressing, and a hearts of palm salad w/ tomatoes, capers & olives. Make any one of these, or go for the triple-threat with all three. I used all organic ingredients.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (serves 2):

Squash & Trumpet Tower
• 1 medium-large butternut squash (already baked, or 1 can of puree)
• 3 large king trumpet mushrooms
• 1 large shallot
• 1 cup of tempeh
• 1 tsp nutritional yeast
• 1 cup of vegetable stock (or one cube unsalted bullion)


1. If your squash is baked, simply scoop out the flesh. If not, use a can of squash puree.
2. Chop the mushrooms, shallots, and tempeh.
3. Bring a large pan to medium heat, and add the mushrooms, shallot and tempeh.
4. Slowly add the vegetable stock, letting it cook off each time. If you run out of stock, simply use water. This deglazes the pan and releases some fantastic flavors due to caramelization.
5. Once the mushrooms, shallots and tempeh have softened and turned golden, add the squash and continue adding water or stock slowly.
6. Add the nutritional yeast which will help  thicken the mixture. Remove from heat.
7. If desired, spoon into a hollow ring or small bowl to mold for presentation.

• 1/2 Head of Boston Lettuce
• tablespoon of horseradish
• 2 tablespoons mustard (I used deli-style)
• 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
• 1 tsp nutritional yeast
• Black Pepper to taste


1. Remove the outer leaves of the Boston lettuce, then slice into quarters. Rise clean and rest facing down so water drains.
2. In a small bowl combine the horseradish, mustard and vinegar. This is the dressing.
3. Plate the lettuce. Using a spoon, apply the dressing to the wedges. Top with nutritional yeast and black pepper to taste. Set aside.

Palm Salad
• 1 Can of Hearts of Palm
• 1/2 cup small tomatoes (cherry or grape)
• 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
• 1 tablespoon of capers
• 1 tablespoon cashew cream cheese ( I used Dr. Cow, but any vegan cream cheese can be used)


1. Chop the hearts of palm, slice the tomatoes and olives.
2. In a bowl mix everything including the capers and cashew cream cheese.
3. Serve cold.