Man, how this year is flying by. I know I say this all the time, but I really can’t believe it. I feel like the older I get, the quicker the time goes. Does anybody else feel like that?
I happen to like a lot of veggies, although there is nothing wrong with some steak from time to time. Am I right? This week I am sharing my salty, cheesy, slightly sour and sweet, PARMESAN TOMATO CRISPS!
A few weeks ago I made some bomb vegan burgers, here with a side of asparagus fries, here. To keep the veggie meal theme going, I topped the burger with a fresh yogurt sauce, kale instead of regular lettuce (because regular lettuce is plain boring to me) and these juicy tomato crisps! I love crisps or chips in any form, but as you know the basic “Lays” kind isn’t that good for you and sometimes lack in flavor.
Tomatoes are in season right now, and I was able to find some meaty, juicy “Big Beef” ones at the market. The tomatoes are still on the vine and are fairly large and firm. The bigger the tomato, the better for this recipe. First, I start by slicing the tomato into large pieces. Keeping them nice and thick to begin with will help with the cooking process as they do cook down and become thin and shriveled. Simply top the tomatoes with toppings of your choice; olive oil, Parmesan cheese, sea salt and fresh herbs. Then cook low and slow in the oven until crispy and bursting with flavor. If you have a dehydrator at home this would be a great recipe to use in it. These are an excellent topping to any burger, pasta dish, or even just a snack.
Parmesan Tomato Crisps
6 beefsteak tomatoes sliced
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. sea salt
2–3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese grated or shredded
2 tbsp. Italian seasonings or fresh herbs of choice
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
In a bowl carefully mix all ingredients together until tomatoes are evenly coated.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place slices on sheet.
Put in oven for 2 to 4 hours checking periodically, and flipping halfway until edges are charred and tomato is crisp.
It is officially that time of year—the holiday season. There’s nothing like Christmas and New Year’s in the West Indies. Between the pepperpot in Guyana and the palm trees decorated in lights in Trinidad, the home food, warm weather and laid-back ambiance makes us wish we could escape the cold and head back to the Caribbean. Most of us, however, cannot “take holiday” and find ourselves hungry for fresh dhal puri and doubles. But, thanks to these Indo-Caribbean food bloggers, we can bring the motherland to our kitchens.
From Diwali mithai specialties to curry chicken, Matthew is creating a name for himself as a young Guyanese food blogger. He makes a great effort to incorporate Hindu holidays and traditions on his Instagram account, in conjunction with the customary foods and sweets associated with these religious events. However, his expertise does not end there, with new and alternative recipes for classic dishes such as curry chicken and bhara, Matthew takes center stage sharing both traditional Guyanese dishes as well as specific religious dishes made for festivals. His most popular YouTube video, with 1.4 million views, features his grandmother and focuses on the best tips to make the softest Guyanese paratha roti. In addition, his YouTube account is home to many videos offering guidance to Indo Caribbean cooking. Find recipes at @mattews.guyanese.cooking
Natasha Laggan of Trini Cooking with Natasha is wildly popular throughout the Caribbean and the U.S. With humble beginnings, Natasha credits her love of food to her family’s business. She speaks of the nostalgia home food provides her as she reminisces memories of her grandmother’s cooking and helping her mother make sandwiches early in the morning. Featured by Forbes, Natasha grew her Facebook following quickly throughout the pandemic by posting old YouTube videos. Today, she has more than 1 million followers on Facebook and over 200K followers on YouTube. She uses her passion for cooking and Trinidadian culture to bring easy-to-follow recipes to viewers. Her following has now reached the West Indian diaspora globally as she has also become a brand ambassador to two well-known food companies. Follow the food expert @trinicookingwithnatasha.
With over 100K followers on YouTube, Ria is quite the expert when it comes to making roti. Her dhal puri, sada roti and paratha roti tutorials have over 1M views! However, her expertise does not stop there. Of the 180 YouTube tutorials, her recipes vary from curry to other Trinidadian favorites like macaroni pie and pigtail soup. Just scrolling through her YouTube page makes your mouth water. From doubles to classic Trinidad bakes like pound cake and sweet bread, she provides precision and anecdotal commentary while guiding you through the familiarity of home food. Check out Ria’s page at @cookingwithria.
Known as Chef Devan, Devan Rajkumar embraces his Guyanese Canadian heritage by creating recipes combining flavors of both the East and West Indies. His love of food has allowed him to expand his role to judge in a popular Canadian cooking show: Food Network Canada’s Fire Masters. His cooking often blends the flavors of multiple cultures but also creates the classic recipes of his motherland. With a multitude of interests, Chef Dev uses his social media platform to connect with followers by sharing various aspects of his life that go beyond cooking. His most recent YouTube video provides a trailer for an upcoming video “Tastes Guyana” which shows him exploring Guyana from the inside, specifically deep parts of the inner country. To learn more about Chef Devan follow @chefdevan.
Reshmi is the chef behind the growing blog, Taste of Trinbago. A Trinidadian native who now resides in Texas, she uses her love of food and Trinidadian culture to share hacks, tips and easy recipes with West Indians throughout the globe. She finds a way to simplify traditional West Indian meals, that we once watched our elders make with curiosity. From holiday specialties like black cake to Diwali delicacies, Reshmi has brought vegetarian and non-veg recipes to followers in an extremely accessible way. She even posts recipe cards on her IG highlights for followers who may need written instructions. Her IG profile is a mix of various West Indian foods while also sharing bits of her life and even her secrets to baby food. Follow her @tasteoftrinbago.
These are just five Indo Caribbean food bloggers sharing their secrets to easy cooking. The once very daunting recipes and food instructions our parents gave have been simplified by most of these bloggers through video, voice over and modernized recipes. We no longer have to estimate a “dash, pinch or tuk” of any masala. We are just days away from Christmas and this is the perfect time to find the best-suited recipe to make that paratha for Santa.