Farmer’s Market Find

On Saturday, Husband and I walked over to a nearby Farmer’s Market in our new neighborhood.  I came across a stand that was selling products from East and West Gourmet Afghan Food – bolani and various sauces.

Not familiar with Afghan cuisine and having never heard of “bolani” before, a quick visit to Wikipedia turned up the following:
Bolani (Persian : “بولانی”) Bolani is a vegan flat-bread from Afghanistan baked or fried with a vegetable filling. It has a thin crust and can be stuffed with a variety of ingredients, such as potatoes, spinach, lentils, pumpkin, or leeks.

Bolani originates strictly from Afghanistan. It is vegan and very low-calorie. It is usually served as an appetizer, side-dish, or main dish.

It is similar to Paratha which comes from India, but it has different spices and ingredients.

East & West Gourmet Afghan Food is the only trademarked producer and retailer of Bolani in the US. Their products can be found in Farmers’ Markets all over California as well as Whole Foods Markets, Mollie Stone’s, Andronico’s, Corti Brothers, and various Food Co-Ops.

To me, they looked like quesadillas without the cheese.   I like quesadillas so I should like bolani, right?  Okay, so my logic may be flawed but whatever gets me to eat new things…

Pumpkin Bolani

Various sauces

The stand carried pumpkin and spinach bolani.  After sampling both of them topped with various sauces like cilantro pesto, I raided Husband’s wallet for cash.  I ended up walking away with one of each type of bolani (4 servings in each bag) and containers of garlic mint cheese (more like a yogurt), cilantro pesto and eggplant pesto which cost us $24 total (we got one product free).  A little pricey…  On the website, it said that their products were also available at Whole Foods so I’m going to see if my local branch carries their products and if so, what the prices are.  There’s always direct ordering from the website but I haven’t checked out what shipping costs are like.

The guy at the stand suggested heating up a skillet with a little bit of oil and frying the bolani or just microwaving it as it’s best served warm.  I brought some of the pumpkin bolani to work for lunch today and popped it in the toaster oven which gave the bread a little bit of crispiness on the edges.  Topped with the garlic mint cheese, it was yummy!  The yogurt-y sauce, while garlic-y, is not overly so and the mint gives it a nice refreshing quality.  This would work great as a vegetable dip or as salad dressing.

The thing I like most about these products is the fact that they are low calorie, low fat and packed full of nutritious stuff like vitamins and anti-oxidants n’ all the other things those guys in white coats say to eat else you’ll keel over and die.  Jamie Oliver would be proud…

I could see myself visiting this stand every week for bolani but I think my wallet may have a say about that.  Maybe every other week?

***Pictures yoinked off East and West Gourmet Afghan Food’s website.

A different take on sliders

I love the Fall…the cool weather, the leaves changing color, Halloween and, of course, the flavorful hearty food.

In my hunt for new dishes to try, I came across a recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls. That got the wheels turning in my head for a sweet and savory mix…pumpkin cinnamon rolls stuffed with sausage which evolved into pumpkin rolls for sliders using pork sausage instead of burger patties and an apple cinnamon chutney to top it off.

During one of my “bad movie nights”, I decided to try this idea out.

Pork sausage patty with sage, ginger cole slaw on a pumpkin roll

I made the dough the night before using this recipe. I admit I have very little experience with making dough; I ended up adding a little too much flour so the rolls came out a little dense but were still edible. The pumpkin flavor was very mild. I would use this recipe again, though I would maybe add a little bit more cinnamon and spice to try and make it less “white bread roll”-tasting.

Due to time constraints, I opted to buy Jimmy Dean’s pork sausage with sage rather than prep my own patties. Surprisingly, these were pretty decent and a time saver!

I thought the sliders needed some “crunch” texture-wise and wanted something to compliment the pork. I scrapped the idea of the chutney and decided on a ginger cole slaw.   I used a bag of pre-cut slaw mix, mayo and a mixture of freshly ground ginger and ginger powder to make it.  In regards to amounts, I just followed the usual mayo to slaw ratio and added ginger till it was to my tastebuds’ liking.   The slaw had a nice crunch, spice and also added some color as well.

The overall consensus by my guests were that these sliders were a hit though some thought I had a heavy hand with the ginger. 😉

It’s an easy dish to make and one where most of the work can be done ahead of time…perfect for a quick meal or for a party.