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Showing posts from 2013

Best of Naija series -Yam and Liversauce

Here's something different from yam and eggsauce, yam and fried eggs which i would normally have made.

Its yam and liversauce. really easy! I added it to the "best of Naija" series because yam is one of the foods a Nigerian will cook and eat any-day,sometimes with just salted palm-oil/vegetable oil and nothing else.

For the sauce:

you'll need

boiled cow liver,kidney(optional) dicedTwo large green pepper1 large red bell pepperalready blended tomatoes,tatashe(red bell pepper) ata rodo (habanero) and onionsvegetable oil 1 tablespoon of palm oil for its flavour(very optional)one large onion,choppedseasoninggarlic and ginger,crushed/grated

Boil the pepper and tomato paste till the water dries and set asideIn another pan/pot, fry the onions, green pepper,red pepper,ginger and garlic(never cook without those.....wide grin) and add your tomato/pepper paste,add seasoning to taste. add the already cooked and diced liver pieces.allow to simmer for about 10-12 minutes. The consiste…

Potato and vegetable stirfry

Sometimes I wonder what to do with potatoes....I mean something really quick asides french fries,shepherds pie,please fill in the blanks.......

Some years ago, here's what I came up with one sunday evening. I also recently cooked this meal and was inspired to put it on my blog.

You'll need
Potatoes                                                           carrotsgreen peppercabbagegreen beans red bell peppersa tablespoon of butter seasoning (buillion/stock cubes, black pepper)Ginger and garlic (crushed)  Let's Cook
Peel and halve the potatoes, add some salt and boil. remove from heat before its too soft and mashy. In a pan, Fry the potatoes lightly till seared with a brown color and set aside.In a pan, add some butter, diced carrots,green beans, shredded/chopped cabbage and sliced green and red bell peppers.Add the crushed ginger and garlic(i usually blend my ginger and garlic together into a paste). Add seasoning to taste.Lastly, pour the arleady cooked and lightly fried po…

Good old Efo-riro

Good Old Efo riro can be eaten with many meals. I didn't have much drama with this meal growing up.

Recently I tried it with yellow Eba, which I didnt grow up eating, we ate eba made from the whitish garri(Ijebu garri precisely) ,But hubby suggested we try the yellow garri one day(coming from someone who isnt a foodie), I thought i'd try it too.Not bad I must say!

I love efo riro with boiled rice, without the usual stew! My love for this combo is a recent development ,over a year ago I guess.

I grew up using Ugwu leaves but I use spinach more often. Its really simple once you have your Spinach, if you're in the US, you may substitute ugwu and spinach for 'collard greens"or 'kale'. kale is becoming popular in Nigeria lately also thanks to farmers who carefully plant and nurture it in areas that have "kale-friendly" weather.  In Ibadan and other south western states, its not called just spinach, there are many species,efo shoko, efo tete....

I must…

How to cook crunchy one-pot Okra Soup (Ila-Asepo) +health benefits of Okra

My relationship with Okra has been a rollercoaster. First I liked it as a toddler till I was about 14 years old and by that time, anytime I ate it it, I felt nauseous, there seemed to be no remedy. My mum concluded it was a change in hormones! By the way Okra is called 'ladies' fingers' in some cultures, some call it 'gumbo' also. I have seen it served(fried) as a side with potato chips in the US. I bet some Nigerians would find that wierd.

I extracted this health benefit bit from a website(see reference at the end of the page)
Okra Promotes a Healthy Pregnancy - An extremely important B vitamin for producing and maintaining new cells, folate is an essential compound for optimal pregnancy. The vitamin helps prevent birth defects like spina bifida and helps the baby to grow sufficiently. Vitamin C is also essential for fetal development. Okra is rich in both folate and vitamin C.Helps Prevent Diabetes – Thanks to fiber and other nutrients, okra proves benefici…

Asian Shredded beef and mushroom sauce and how to get the best results in cooking basmati Rice

Yesterday was Sunday, I craved something from the Asian Cuisine collection. I thought to myself, I would make something I had done before but a different version. I had done a beef stew which is continental ,I learnt from my kenyan friends, its also kind of Irish. This recipe has an Asian twist to it, the soy sauce, mushrooms, green peppers...its just lovely. I got reminded of this sauce when my friend reeta put up a picture of something similar last week, whetting my apetite,lol. I also stumbled on a blog that made the recipe uncomplicated.

I decided I was going to give it a try, my non-professional idea of making the sauce(which I jotted down) matched her recipe just means its possible to guess how a meal was created by eating it more than once. This is especially true of people who take great interest in cooking.

Enough said. Lets cook.

You'll need
Some strips of beef1 tablespoon  of cornflourbeef seasoning cubeOne large green pepperCarrots, J…

Best of Naija Series....Palm oil dodo ,whole boiled egg sauteed in Sunday Stew

Yesterday evening I wondered what to cook. Then I remembered that once or twice, I had eaten plantain fried in palm oil. I decided to try that. As opposed to the usual omelette or eggsauce I would have made. By the way, palm oil isn't terrible in the diet. too much of everything is not good for you. Palm oil has its advantages when eaten in the right amount.
I decided to make a stew my aunt and I call 'Sunday stew", its just refined stew that youre tired of. you kinda make it more interesting!

Saute some onions, enough of green and red bell peppers, some diced carrots and steamed peas if you would. add your old stew and reason to taste.
Boil eggs ,place them in cold water for some minutes, peel and drop the hard boiled eggs in the sunday stew.
heat some palm oil, slice your plantains and fry the plantains,turning them over to ensure each side is cooked, becareful not to cook over very high heat so the insides can cook.
Serve the stew with the plantain.

One funny thing about…

Best of Naija series.....Jollof rice

Its served in every Nigerian party: weddings,naming ceremony,office parties,even bridal showers,its the popular Jollof rice.Accompanied by dodo(fried plantains), cole slaw or a full salad, this meal is yummy when cooked properly. I usually make a vegetable Jollof rice because I dont like the idea of plain rice,except off course i'm eating it with a biiiiig portion of salad.

Memoirs: I remember a School I attended outside Nigeria, organized an international week. One unique thing about that department was diverse Nationalities,I was asked to cook something Nigerians love and I didnt waste time deciding what I was gonna cook!.Jollof rice!

I called my dad(an expert in finding naija food in the US) to ask how to identify our dear 'atarodo' among dozens of species of pepper with the same colour and/or size.LOL.

I found the right ingredients thankfully and cooked it happily,garnished it with plantain, and watched the foil bowls/tray go down to the last grain as people from …

Best of naija series...Beans and dodo

Honestly as a child, I didnt like beans for any reason. I remember I would be the last kid to leave the table during lunch as i painfully swallowed each spoon of this meal I didnt quite understand. Beans is a rich source of protein as most people know, I have come to like it a bit now and can only eat it in small portions,plus it must be accompanied by DODO ( fried plantain) or ripe boiled plantain. I cook a specie of beans called "ewa oloyin" ,the english literal translation is 'Honey Beans'. I divide into two portions, make one half into porridge beans and keep the rest plain which we serve with steamed white rice,peppered stew and chicken.

This recipe is for the exact beans porridge i made. I dont like crayfish (strange huh?)so I used stockfish instead.
     you'll need
2 cups of beans1 cooking spoon of palm oilsome stockfish2 cooking spoons of fresh ground pepper (habanero)and tomatoes1 stock cube1 medium sized onionripe plantainsalt(optional)  Clean the beans…

The next time you wonder what to have for sunday dinner.........

Last week i stocked up on vegetables but somehow didnt get the time to make something nice with them. On sunday evening,I wondered what to cook. I had some steamed white rice, stews and sauces in the fridge, some grilled chicken also.what was missing is the veggies-a must have. Here's my easy peasy recipe for mixed veggies

      Ingredients                                              -carrots,diced or sliced in circles or sticks
-green beans
-green pepper
-seasoning-stock cubes and some curry
-red bell pepper
-cabbage,chopped or into semi thin shreds depending on the texture you want
-spring onions/shallots
Some people dont think brocolli tastes good,however,having it tasty depends on what you do to it. before using it in the mixed veggie,I steamed/boiled it on low heat with half a teapoon of garlic salt (garlic salt is salt infused with garlic,its a classic and can be found on most spice shelves in the stores) and some butter.It makes it more flavourful!  
For t…

Ditch the frying (potatoes and chicken)

So we know that quite a number of people nowadays are trying hard to lose weight, cut down on cholesterol,build healthy hearts and stay healthy generally. Fried foods which most people love,contributes largely to the fat/cholesterol build. Lets face it, fried food is tasty but there are other ways of enjoying tasty food. last saturday, we had grilled chicken and baked potatoes for brunch, with some all natural smoothie.(refer to post on saturday morning rendevouz for smoothie recipe).

what you need

for the chicken
6 chicken drumsticks or chicken breasts1 teaspoon of salt1 teaspoon of crushed garlic and ginger2 tablespoons of freshly ground pepper or dry pepper1/2 a teaspoon of curry1 teaspoon of mixed herbs or just oregano,sage,basil or a mixture of all1 teaspoon of adobo seasoning/ 1 large chicken stock cube1 tablespoon of water lets cook

Mix the dry rub(the dry ingredients),add a table spoon of water or olive oil to moiston…

Healthy Oven baked wholewheat nectarine and apple pancake-batter

Hello people, So i made a healthy wholewheat pancake batter but instead of making it in a pan, I baked it.One reason I like this,it saves you from standing by the cooker flipping pancakes. the apples and nectarines also give it some all natural sweetness.

2 cups of wheat flour                                           
2 teaspoons of baking powder
3 tablespoons of honey
3 cups of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of chopped nectarines
1 cup of  sweet diced apples

mix the dry ingredients together,
make a well in the middle and pour the wet ingredients,
mix together and instead of laddling into a hot gridle/pan on the stovetop,

pour into a baking dish and bake for 30minutes at 200 degrees Centigrade.

allow to cool and dig in, serve with fresh apple/nectarine slices and drizzle with honey or maple syrup.

Sausage and Beef Lasagna

Lasagna is great for weeknight and weekend dinners.lasagnas can be made in different ways.mushrooms,chicken or sausages may be added,depending on the flavour you're looking for. Some people feel its complicated but for me ,it doesnt take so long to prepare.

here's an easy and practical recipe

  tablespoon olive oil                                                  

1 pound sweet Italian sausage1 pound lean ground beef (lean)1 medium sized finely diced onion1  large finely diced carrot2 garlic cloves, minced1 small can tomato paste1 1/2 cups water2 teaspoons dried basil1 teaspoon dried oregano1 to 2 teaspoons salt1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
For assembling the lasagna

tablespoon olive oil 12 unbroken lasagna noodles 2 cups ricotta cheese1 egg, beaten1 pound mozzarella cheese, grated

Let's cook

Heat a pan/wok, add the olive oil, add the ground beef, season and sir the beef till browned, add the carrots,sausage and the seasoning(basil,salt,oregano or just mixed herbs,some…

Preserving Green leafy Vegetables by freezing

Today, I am writing about preserving green leafy vegetables. Sometimes, people are unsure if  freezing of leaves reduce the freshness when prepared. After experimenting, I suggest that leaves can be frozen till you're ready to cook. I used Ewedu and Spinach for the latest experiment.
I cant resist giving you a quick background on Ewedu Leaf before I discuss its preservation.

Ewedu leaf ,for those who dont kow it ,is the local name for the Genus Corchorus .
Different common names are used in different contexts, with the name "jute" applying to the fibre produced from the plant, 'Mallow-Leaves" for the leaves used as a vegetable. On a lighter note, a friend's 3year old daughter asked for the English name of Ewedu  and her mum put it up on facebook,asking for answers.

 she did get  many hilarious answers (you'd understand this better if you are from an ewedu eating background) well, I suggested the english name "we-do"!
 Corchorus has a mucilagin…

Potato salad!

Potato salads are easy to make and great for lunch,picnics and even dinners! I made a quick one for my toddler's birthday picnic.Here's what I did!         

8 Potatoes                                                                                  
5 tablespoons of Mayonnaise
1 Spring onion/shallot
1 Small bunch of Parsley1 teaspoon ground black  pepper
Some Seasoning
Half teaspoon of Basil/sage/rosemary(separate or combined in one spice)

Dice/cube the potatoes and boil,turn off the heat before its too soft but make sure it's cooked.
Set aside to cool.

In a bowl,combine the mayo,seasoning,ground black pepper,chopped parsley,chopped spring onion
Mix properly and pour over the potatoes,toss the mixture and serve.

Saturday morning rendevouz

A biuuuutifule saturday morning for me is one filled with love,sharing,laughter and worship. after a good family devotion,I like to have the tv on while making an interesting breakfast,sometimes an african breakfast(Precisel
y Nigerian),other times,something english,french or western for a change.
Today its french toast and caramelized apples drizzled with honey/Syrup. french toast is so easy to make,(Recipe on my blog).One interesting thing about this meal is,it can be served as breakfast or dessert.

Fruit smoothies are great with french toast.They add that burst of energy and nutrients.Blend together your favourite fruits on high speed,its better not to strain it because what you would get is a thin liquid called combo today was pineapples,apples and pears.really yummy and healthy. Its also great for older babies and toddlers.You should try it. You may also want to read my post on the benefits of apples to encourage you on the need to add apples to your diet. I served break…

An apple, or two a day!

Lately, I have been eating AT LEAST an apple a day,Yes I know one or two of its health benefitts, one is its vitamin c content and another a cancer fighting property but today I recieved a mail from one of these subscriptions that explicitly outlined the benefits of apples,I thought it was cool and worth sharing.

The average apple is portable, tasty, has about 65 calories and 3 grams of fiber, and offers lots of vitamin C and some other antioxidants. Apples contain pectin, a water-soluble fiber that is known to help lower cholesterol and balance blood sugar.

Diabetics—eat your apples! Apples contain flavonoids and phytonutrients (plant stuff) that regulate blood sugar. Not only that, apples contain galacturonic acid, a substance that lowers the body’s need for insulin.
· Apples contain quercetin and naringin, two cancer-fighting substances. · Apples fill you up but don’t add a lot of calories, making them perfect for dieters or for anyone trying to maintain a normal weight.
· Appl…