Saturday, September 06, 2008

Bolani. And cilantro pesto.

My husband and son go to the farmer's market every Sunday these days, sort of a dad and son outing of the week. Mateo loves his fruit, and I love some time alone, so it's a perfect match that they go together; my husband buys tasty fruit, Mateo samples tasty fruit, and I get to do whatever I want for about 45 minutes. Win-win.

Last weekend my husband was instructed (by myself) to buy a crepe for Mateo and I to share since there is a crepe stand at the market. Mateo likes pancakes, so I figured he'd like crepes. And while I think it's great that he loves fruit, a boy cannot live on fruit alone.

What did my husband come home with? Bolani and cilantro pesto. He bought the bolani filled with potatoes because he thought I'd like it (he was correct). He bought the cilantro pesto because he liked it and figured I would too (I do).

He then proceeded to eat the cilantro pesto with just about everything.

At some point I asked him how much the bolani and the pesto cost. I knew he was addicted to the pesto, and we both really liked the bolani, so I needed to know what this habit was going to cost on a weekly basis.

He told me I didn't want to know. It was a lot.

After further pressing, he fessed up. For both, $12 bucks.

I told him he can't buy either item ever again.

Then Friday night hits, the night we tend to eat out because I don't want to cook. I asked my husband what he wanted to eat and he suggested Afghan food from a place down the street. I said I was game. He then mentioned he hoped they served the bread and the pesto. Ah, the addiction calls him, I thought.

So we ended up getting the food from the Afghan place, and it was surprisingly very good. And yes, they serve bolani, and yes, our meal came with the pesto sauce. My husband was in Afghan food heaven.

Today I told him he better not buy the bolani or pesto tomorrow, when he goes to the market with Mateo. He said in defeat, "I know...."

Then I realized I could probably make the cilantro pesto myself. I looked it up, found some recipes, and realized a serving, on average, is like 300 or more calories. And a serving is? you may be asking. Oh, like maybe a tablespoon. I forgot the fat. The fat is about 24 or so grams, per serving.

Yeah, yeah, I'm not stupid. I know pesto is super fattening, but it just never dawned on me how fattening it was. Luckily the bolani isn't that bad at about 300 calories, 5 grams of fat (the recipe I found, anyway).

So now my husband has an expensive and high calorie / high fat habit. I am now on a quest to find a healthier version of the pesto so we both don't drop dead any time soon.

And, by the way, we were schooled by the man at the restaurant that "bolani" is pronounced "bologna." Like the flat, pressed together meat bits we all ate as kids in sandwiches. Who knew.


Anonymous said...

It's good stuff, isn't it?!

The "cilantro pesto" you are speaking of is actually very low fat - I don't think they use any oil in it, and just a few nuts. It's a vinegar-based pesto - call it a chutney, since it's a far cry from the standard basil-pinenut-cheese pesto. Finely chopped cilantro, raw garlic, walnuts, and chili pepper, made into a sauce with vinegar, sugar and a bit of salt.

the bolani, on the otherhand has a bit of oil brushed onto the bread...

Nut Nut said...

It is very good stuff. I did find a recipe for a cilantro pesto that wasn't totally fattening - that was after this post, however.

henry said...

I actually just got into eating bolani and the cilantro pesto also but im having trouble finding recipes for both the spinach bolani and the cilantro pesto sauce. Could you share some of your favorite recipes? thanks alot in advance. and i love reading your blog =]

Bolani Connoisseur said...

Actually the Cilantro Pesto in particular is very low calories.

In an 8 ounce container, there are 7 servings, and each serving has 35 calories (only 5 of those calories are from fat, which comes strictly from walnuts).

Total Fat per serving: 0.5g, Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 110mg, Total Carbohydrate 5g, Protein 2g.

Those are pretty good stats if you ask me.

As for the Spinach Bolani:

There are about 4 servings in a 14oz package.

Calories 103
Calories from Fat: 23
Total Fat 3g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 346mg
Total Carbohydrate: 17g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Sugars 1g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A: 121%
Vitamin C: 9%
Calcium: 9%
Iron 7%

The Pumpkin Bolani is even lower in Calories! (86 calories per serving)

You can see all this information for yourself on their website at

Bolani Connoisseur said...

I made a slight error earlier. The nutrition information for the Cilantro Pesto listed above is in fact for Garlic Mint Cheese. Here is the correct information for Cilantro Pesto:

Servings per Container: 3.5 servings.
Calories per Serving: 45
Calories from Fat: 15
Total Fat: 2g
Sat Fat/Trans Fat/Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 570 mg
Total Carb: 5g
Dietary Fiber: 1g
Sugars: 3g
Protein: 1g
Vitamin A: 35%
Vitamin C: 25%
Calcium: 2%
Iron: 4%

Please excuse my error. Also, Pumpkin Bolani is actually 84 calories for half a bolani (not 86).