Thursday, December 15, 2011

We interrupt this break ...

Hi Everyone ... I had to interrupt this break to introduce you to the 800th follower of Reduce Footprints. Yep ... we've grown!  WhooHoo!

Introducing ...

Scott Wischmeyer

If you're not familiar with Our Tiny Earth, you're really missing out.  It's a terrific blog about the journey to sustainability.  Recently Scott invited readers to weigh in on how they are promoting the local economy and the environment.  It promises to be a great discussion and I encourage each of you to head over and leave your comments ... because ... Reduce Footprints' readers have a lot of valuable information to share.

Thanks Everyone!

We now return to our regularly scheduled break!  

Monday, December 5, 2011

Vegan Recipe - Overstuffed Aloo Parathas

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Vaishali and her wonderful blog, Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes. Vaishali, born and raised in Bombay, India, now lives in a suburb of Washington, DC. Many of her recipes are inspired by the tastes of home. For example, My Dad's "Not-Mutton" Mushroom Curry is based on a dish her father prepared each Sunday for her family. Baked Samosas with a Chickpea Stuffing is inspired by "Thursday's selection" in the cafeteria of her first job. Other recipes are simply foods which Vaishali loves like Can't-Have-Enough-Basil Pizza, Savory Avocado and Herb Tortillas and Whole Wheat Vegan Pancakes. Most recipes come with a story ... little glimpses into how the recipe was created or what Vaishali was doing when she thought of it. Similar to a high-quality cookbook, each recipe includes lovely photography, compliments of Vaishali's husband, Desi.

When I visit Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes, I am reminded that food isn't simply about ingredients and methods ... it's about a whole experience ... about places we've enjoyed, childhood memories and the events which inspire us. I'd like to thank Vaishali for "coming by" and sharing one of her special dishes with us.

Aloo Parathas are popular Indian eats, but restaurant versions are usually not healthy because they use refined flour and tons of oil or ghee. My Overstuffed Aloo Parathas are a healthy vegan version made with whole wheat and just a touch of oil, but they taste decadent enough to qualify as true comfort food.

Aloo Parathas were the first meal I made for Desi, my husband. I was a new cook at the time and he jokes to this day that I took a whole day to make them. But don’t worry—this recipe won’t take you more than an hour, including prep. Do pay attention to the technique, because that’s half the battle won.

Overstuffed Aloo Parathas:
(Makes 4 parathas)

Ingredients for paratha dough:

1 cup white whole-wheat flour
1 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ajwain seeds, also called carom seeds (optional, but very tasty. They are available at any Indian grocery store or online)
½ tsp red pepper flakes
Water for kneading the dough

Place all the ingredients except water in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer. With your fingers, rub the oil into the flour until the flour looks grainy. This step will help make your parathas flaky.

Add a little water at a time and knead into a fairly stiff but pliable dough.

Place in an airtight box and set aside for at least half an hour to let the dough relax.

Ingredients for the potato or aloo stuffing:

6 medium-sized potatoes (use any kind. I used red bliss this time). Boil the potatoes until tender and then mash them as smooth as possible. Lumps will make it difficult to roll the parathas. I also try to keep the skins on, but if they don’t break up easily just discard them.
½ cups green peas, cooked until really soft, then mashed along with the potatoes
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp finely grated ginger
1 tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup finely chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Divide into four portions. The portions may seem large, but remember these are overstuffed aloo parathas—they are really tender and flaky with a thin covering of dough and lots of delicious potato inside.

In a small bowl mix together and then set aside for at least half an hour:

2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil

To put together the parathas:

Divide the dough into four portions. Take one portion, divide it further into two, and roll each into a smooth ball.

Using a little flour, roll each ball into a circle, about 4 inches in diameter. The edges should be slightly thinner than the center.

Place one portion of the stuffing in the center of the round, leaving a ½-inch rim around the edges. Brush some water around the edge and place the second round on top. Press down with your fingers to seal the edges tightly. If you have air bubbles, use the sharp tip of a kitchen knife to poke a hole or two in the top round to remove the air.

Using some more flour (not too much), roll the paratha gently into a slightly larger round, about 6 inches in diameter. If some of the filling squirts out, just repair with your fingers, pat some flour on it, and keep going. Small mistakes won’t ruin your paratha, so don’t fret.

Repeat for the remaining three portions of dough.

Heat a nonstick or cast-iron griddle over medium-high heat. Place a paratha on it and let it cook until golden-brown spots appear on the underside.

Flip the paratha and brush some of the garlic olive oil on top. Once golden-brown spots have appeared on the underside, remove and keep warm by wrapping the paratha in a kitchen towel.

Serve very hot with some chutney, any spicy Indian curry, or just on its own.

Thanks, again, to Vaishali for that delicious recipe. I can't wait to try it!

If you have a vegan recipe which you'd like to share, please send it to me HERE. And for all the recipes we've shared so far, be sure to visit our recipe page using the tabs at the top of this blog ... or by clicking HERE.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Vegan Recipe

It's the first Friday of the month and that means it's time to share another delicious recipe!

However ...

Good Food Takes Time To Prepare

So ... please be patient until Monday while the chef creates something wonderful for you.

It promises to be FABULOUS!

See you then!