Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis challenged Italian cooking traditions when she showcased a Beyond Meat bolognese recipe on The Ellen Degeneres Show. The Food Network star switched out conventional beef and cheese for plant-based protein and dairy-free cheese to produce a fully plant-based dinner dish. De Laurentiis appeared as Ellen’s guest to promote her new cookbook Eat Better, Feel Better. The book is her personal journey to discovering how to boost her health by eating better, hoping that recipes will encourage people to try eating plant-based alternatives to support personal nutrition.

“I had never worked with [Beyond Meat] before, for this book, I tried a few recipes and I found that the [Beyond] bolognese was really good,” the chef said. “I was really floored by it.”

De Laurentiis encouraged DeGeneres to cook with the Beyond Meat, claiming that it cooks like the real thing. The final product was a delicious plant-based bolognese topped with vegan parmesan. De Laurentiis' visit to The Ellen Show reveals the versatility of so many traditional recipes, and the ease with which dishes rooted in meat or dairy can be transformed into plant-based classics.

“I realized that although I grew up on really great Mediterranean food, I sort of steered away from that with way too much sugar, way too much dairy, and way too much gluten,” the chef told Ellen. “It is a way to still eat that great Italian food, but scaling it back a little bit.”

De Laurentiis may be the latest chef to replace conventional beef with Beyond Meat, but she’s joined by a growing list of celebrity chefs. Food Network chef Spike Mendelsohn opened PLNT Burger in Maryland after being inspired by the Beyond Burger, founding a restaurant that serves only plant-based burgers, fries, and soft-serve ice cream. The PLNT Burger chain is expanding rapidly, opening up in Whole Foods Markets and breaking ground with brick-and-mortar locations across the DMV.

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