Just had a really lovely evening watching TV Chef, Peter Vaughan, cook up some recipes that he discovered while he was travelling in Tibet. He also told us a little about the culture there and some of the special places that he visited as well as a really useful recipe that works well for the campervan…
Peter was doing a demo called ‘Food from the Top of the World’ which was about the time he spent in Tibet with Save the Children and some of the food that he discovered there.
Dalai Lamas Favourite Food
Apparently one of the Dalai Llama’s favourite foods is Momos which in Tibetan means ‘smiles’ and these are pastry parcels that really do like smiles. A bit like a samosa, they can have lots of different fillings and Peter’s had tofu and beansprouts and were really tasty (yes – we all got to taste the food too, Yay!). However, one bit of Tibetan cuisine that we were glad not to have to taste was Butter Tea which Peter said is definitely an acquired taste. It is made from black tea and yak butter mixed together and has a strong, oily flavour. I think I’ll stick to my Earl Grey but I can see how this would be a useful food for providing slow-burn calories for the really cold nights that you get in Tibet. Peter said that one morning, he went out from the tent to get his boots but he couldn’t put them on because the laces were frozen solid!
Simple Recipe for the Campervan
One really simple and useful recipe that we also got to try was Roasted Buckwheat. This will be in my cookbook ‘The Camper Cookie: Easy Recipes and Cool Tips for Your Campervan Life’ but here is a preview:
- Add a mugful of buckwheat to a dry frying pan and roast for about 10 minutes until it is nicely golden and popping.
- Put the roasted buckwheat in a jug or cafetiere and top with boiling water, about the same height again as the depth of buckwheat.
- Let it steep for around 5 minutes
- Pour the liquid off and drink as a tea
- You can then use the cooked buckwheat like you would use couscous or rice
The roasted buckwheat has a lovely nutty flavour and it feels very comforting to eat or drink. The great thing is, being that it’s not actually anything to do with wheat, it is great for people who are gluten intolerant. In fact, it is more like a vegetable (it is part of the rhubarb family) yet it feels and satisfies like a grain.
It is also super-healthy. Here is what Dr Josh Axe has to say about it on his ‘Food is Medicine’ website –
“Buckwheat – a nutrient-packed, gluten-free seed abundantly consumed in Asian countries for centuries – is now becoming increasingly popular in the U.S., Canada and Europe due to its many health benefits.
While most people think of buckwheat as a whole grain, it’s actually a seed that is high in both protein and fiber. It supports heart and heart health and can help prevent diabetes and digestive disorders. In fact, buckwheat seeds, also called “groats,” are so packed with nutrients and antioxidants − like rutin, tannins and catechin −that they are often called “superfoods.”
Despite its recent rise to nutrition fame, buckwheat is actually an ancient grain with a long history. Today, buckwheat is a favorite amongst plant-based and gluten-free eaters alike since it provides a high source of amino acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – all with relatively few calories and practically no fat. A major benefit of buckwheat compared to other grains is that it has a unique amino acid composition that give it special biological activities. These include cholesterol-lowering effects, anti-hypertensition effects and improving digestion by reliving constipation. “
Stores Easily in the Campervan
Buckwheat is also brilliant for the campervan because it stores easily as the dry groats yet it is so quick to ‘cook’. You can even buy it already roasted if you don’t want to do the pan roasting step.
It was a really fun night and it was great to learn about such a fascinating country as well as discovering a new recipe for the camper. What’s not to like!
I’m really looking forward to going on the ‘Speedy Meals for Busy People’ course at the cookery school in September