The One "Cheese" Recipe You Need to Impress All of Your Friends
At the West end of Abbot Kinney in Venice, CA, where the bustle slows as the street crawls toward the beach, there is a Sakara family favorite that calls "the coolest block in America" home: Plant Lab, a plant based culinary school focusing on the elevated + artful creation of plant based food.
Plant Lab has become known worldwide as THE place to go for serious chefs to learning the art of plant based cooking, nutrition, and philosophy. Their core training programs (full time courses of varying lengths), include enrollees that range from novice to experienced chef, and hail from all corners of the globe and restaurants of varying prestige. They're not there to learn how to make "weird vegan food" but rather dishes that are showstoppers in their own right. While their core programs are in the vein of a traditional culinary education (knife skills, kitchen etiquette, etc) they also include the nutrition science and philosophy behind plant-based living.
With these elements woven in, Plant Lab is providing what they've found many students come for: information and skills to help them (or those they serve) live more conscious lives without sacrificing pleasure, beauty, or taste. With courses taught at their hub in LA, as well as in NYC, Barcelona, Berlin, Milan, Toronto, via "pop-ups" all over the world, and online, Plant Lab is sowing the seeds for a worldwide shift in how we think about food - one that has the potential to transform the health of individuals, their communities, and their plot of the planet from the inside-out.
You may be wondering how to you can get in on the action, short of dropping your day job and signing up for a few months of beachside cooking, eating, and bliss (though that sounds like a good plan to us!). There's good news...
Your Sakara subscription includes recipes created by the Plant Lab masterminds. We've been working with the Plant Lab team since 2016 to infuse your breakfast, lunch, and dinner with culinary ingenuity, beauty, and thoughtfulness. As the gold standard for plant-based restaurant experience, we knew that we could trust Plant Lab to help us bring that same level of culinary expertise to your doorstep.
Want to dip a toe in and transport to LA?
First and foremost, visit Plant Food + Wine, the restaurant serving up Plant Lab philosophy in real time. It epitomizes California chic- think cool wooden tables, clean white walls, big windows, and of course: California produce prepared and plated with artful attention… prep your food photography skills because your Instagram won't want to miss this.
You can also take a mini course or weekend workshop as Plant Lab now offers abbreviated intensives focused on a specific subject (raw desserts, for instance) or technique (raw fundamentals, for example). Our family of LA clients recently had the pleasure of attending a private workshop with a Plant Lab culinary expert and learned to make probiotic nut cheeses + other ferments (see below to recreate the masterpiece!), including a take-home a jar of kraut to cure and tasting the most exquisite log of probiotic nut chèvre we've had to date.
Plant Lab is a must-do for any Sakaralite looking to deepen the way they think about cooking + eating plants, want to have some fun in the kitchen, or simply continue on a path of living consciously in relationship to their food, community, and planet. It’s a favorite of ours for a reason and we know you’ll love it too.
HERB CHEVRE FERMENTATION
½ cup macadamia
soaked ½ cup cashews
soaked 2 tablespoons water
1 acidophilus capsule
Add all ingredients to a blender, open the acidophilus capsule, pour their contents into blender, and discard the capsule. Blend above ingredients until completely smooth. Place in the center of a cheesecloth and wrap tightly. Place in a strainer elevated over a bowl and let ferment at room temperature for 36-48 hours or in a dehydrator at 90ºF for 24-36 hours. Cheese should have a distinctly sour smell when properly fermented.
1 ½ teaspoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt ¼ cup herbs, minced
Set 2 tablespoons of herbs aside, thoroughly combine the remaining ingredients with fermented cheese base. Using a sheet of parchment paper, roll flavored cheese base into a log shape Sprinkle remaining minced herbs over a fresh sheet of parchment paper. Roll log in herbs, coating it evenly. Wrap tightly in parchment, and allow to age at least 3-5 days in refrigerator before serving.