Showing posts with label Eating. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eating. Show all posts

Monday, July 8, 2019

Simple Wheat Chapatis

Dating all of the way to 16th century when Indian emperors ruled the Indian subcontinent, chapatis have made a name for themselves all throughout India. In fact, this cult-class staple can be found in virtually every Indian home, on every Indian dinner table. 

And the best part is chapatis are so easy to make. Once you master them, you will never go to any Indian restaurant again, as you will want make them at home. 

This bread only uses two key ingredients with a few others mixed in between. All you will need for this recipe is wheat flour, salt and fresh water. No need to add any butter or anything else to the mixture. One thing I have learned about Indian cuisine is that less is more, but flavor is everything. For good measure, I added some garam masala and a few extra spices hence why my bread is a little darker in color. 

Add your ingredients into a mixing bowl or even on a table. Take a small Indian rolling pin (commonly known as a chakla belan) and roll out the dough to form a small circle. The dough portions should be smaller in size. Now, take some ghee (purified butter) and place it onto a tava (which is basically a round frying pan) and place it onto it. If you don't use ghee, you can use butter or oil. 

It is helpful to have a set of cooking tongs nearby. Now it is time now to cook your chapati. I recommend cooking on medium heat and doing one at a time. A lot of authentic Indian people love to cook this bread directly on the burner, flipping both sides. They swear this is the key to making epic chapatis. 

One thing you will notice when cooking these is that each side of the bread should kind of rise, as if it were breathing. Amazing right? Once you are done and the bread is cooked on both sides, add some ghee and/or butter. Then, you will want to plate your bread. Make sure to plate each bread, one-by-one or piece by piece. 

Finally, garnish with your sauces of choice. This is strictly optional. In India, ghee is very popular. Especially when adding it to chapatis. The more, the better. The more, the merrier. In the picture I shared with you today, I cooked these tonight for dinner. I topped my chapatis with butter, ghee and fresh curd and garnished with fresh dill and mint straight from my garden. 

Once you master what makes an incredible chapati, you can get creative and add more ingredients later. In the meantime, embrace simplicity. This allows you learn how to make it. Especially if you haven't tried this bread before. It is one of the best breads you will ever eat. In fact, according to many Indian people this bread is the best there is.  

I hope you are having a wonderful day. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Cheesy Vegan Penne Pasta

Cheesy Vegan Penne Pasta
As a lacto-ovo vegetarian, I am discovering a lot of creative new ways to cook some of those timeless dishes without the carnivore classic in them. Kind of like the bun without the hot dog, only with a veggie dog in between the bun. As there are so many alternatives to meat (which you can find here) there are alternatives to those dishes that possess them too. And although I am a vegetarian, where I enjoy dairy, eggs and honey, I find myself really intrigued by vegan eating. In fact, there are times where I will go on what I refer to as 'vegan binges' and I will eat vegan for months. Is it hard to be a vegan? Absolutely not. It is just a matter of not worrying about what you eat, but only finding good food to enjoy that is not only meat-free, but free of dairy, eggs and honey.
 
Recently, in the kitchen I decided to create a very creamy yet cheesy vegan penne pasta. Most penne is vegetarian; however, not all of it is vegan. A good vegan penne can be homemade and rustic, as it can be found in a lot of grocery stores. Whole Foods for instance. So, how do you make cheesy vegan penne pasta?
 
First and foremost, you are going to want to add water into your pan followed by your favorite herbs and spices. The secret to any amazing pasta is to season the water in the pan before actually cooking the pasta. Of course adding more herbs and spices is an option later. I have been doing this for years and will continue for the rest of my life.
 
For this particular dish, I favor simplicity. What I added to the water only consists of salt, pepper and oil. That's it. No more, no less. You can add whatever you would like. If you are searching for that epic heat, you can add a little cayenne pepper and jalapeno. If you are looking to transform your cheesy vegan penne into a classic Italian dish, you can add some basil and oregano. You can do a lot, but for this dish I decided to keep it simple.
 
In a separate bowl, you want to create a base. This is where the magic happens. You are going to want to add one cup of unsweetened Silk Coconut Milk followed by two tablespoons of Earth Balance's vegan butter. You are also going to want to add some Sari Foods Nutritional Yeast Flakes followed by a little more salt. In my quest in making an outstanding cheesy vegan penne pasta, I added some vegan protein powder by Purely Inspired. This added a great balance of taste, creating a fusion of flavor. Blend everything together and sit the bowl aside.
 
Keeping an eye on your pasta, continue letting it cook until you have reached your desired texture. If you love your pasta al dente, it is key to test the pasta every few minutes. Once finished, strain the penne and place it directly into a separate bowl. Add the ingredients from the bowl. Mix generously.

Take a plastic or styrofoam plate, add some aluminum foil and place the penne on to it so it. Why? Because doing this will keep it's heat locked into place, so it won't get cold.
 
For more nutrition, you can add more of the nutritional yeast flakes. I will say this, adding more to the dish sort of dries it out, but is great for vegan athletes who are looking for more nutrients in their cheesy hot bite. Although the dish will lose it's creamy texture, the taste will remain the same.
 
Enjoy!