Mouthwatering: New shows offer fresh take on food

Public television and YouTube offerings appeal to tastebuds with a focus on plant-based meals and diverse cuisine from LA neighborhoods.

Sam Robinson/WGBH
Jamie Oliver, host of “Jamie’s Ultimate Veg,” on set holding his dish, Veggie Pad Thai.

Bring on the Veggies

The affable British chef Jamie Oliver wants you to “eat your veg” and like it, too. As more people look for ways to eat less meat and more vegetables, Mr. Oliver is launching “Jamie’s Ultimate Veg” to show that doesn’t have to mean boiled and bland food. The eight 30-minute television episodes alternate between visits with restaurant chefs and home cooks in cultures known for their emphasis on vegetables (think Caribbean, Indian, Middle Eastern) and Mr. Oliver’s kitchen, where he demonstrates how to create dishes like mac and cheese packed with greens, a meat-free shepherd’s pie, creamy coconut pumpkin rice, and a beautiful caramelized onion tart. “Jamie’s Ultimate Veg” is presented by WGBH Boston and distributed by American Public Television. Check local public TV listings in February for showtimes. The companion cookbook, “Ultimate Veg: Easy & Delicious Meals for Everyone,” is also now available.

Go ‘Off Menu’ in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Times food writer Lucas Kwan Peterson explores the culturally diverse neighborhoods of LA through their menus in a new YouTube series “Off Menu.” Whether it’s grocery shopping in Thai Town, studying the art of sushi-making, or sampling cultural mashups like chicken tikka pizza, Mr. Peterson shows sides of LA beyond velvet-roped nightclubs and surfing spots. One episode takes a serious look at the city’s pervasive homelessness and profiles those working to provide nutritious meals in dignified environments. Mr. Peterson also traces the roots of LA’s Mexican-inspired cuisine across the border by hunting for the best tacos in Tijuana and following the changing food scene in Mexico City.

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