Money saver tips for Vegetable Fried Rice ingredients

Buying in bulk and storing can save you a ton of money. Every home manager loves to shave off an extra penny here and there from home keeping expenses and this is one of them.

I was at the frozen foods section of a large supermarket chain recently and i saw the price on a bag of chopped vegetables, good lordy. There is no way i was going to parting with that amount of money on imported packaged food, that lord knows what sorts of preservatives is in it.

Fried Rice is a regular meal in my home and i have learnt to save a lot of money by buying my vegetables in bulk and storing in the freezer.

The vegetables in the picture below cost me the following from Mile 12 Market , Ketu Lagos Nigeria.

Carrots 300 naira
Green Pepper 300 naira

Red Pepper 200 naira

Runner Beans 200 naira

Green Peas 300 naira

Spring Onions 200 naira
Total cost 1500 naira.

Green Pepper 300 naira

Red Pepper 200 naira

Runner Beans 200 naira

Green Peas 300 naira

Spring Onions 200 naira
Total cost 1500 naira.

From this amount of vegetables, i will get a total of 6 -600g- bags of vegetables enough to make fried rice for my family of 5 (sometimes more) at least 6 times.

So on the average each pot of fried rice will cost just about 250 naira or less for vegetables.

Procedure.

  • Wash your vegetables properly under running water to get rid of dirt. Peel the carrots, de-seed the peppers, and chop them up separately.

  • Combine all the ingredients in the bowl, toss properly to ensure that the vegetables combine evenly.

* If you want, at this point you can bag it up and store in a freezer at this point.

  • I prefer to season the vegetables so they are ready to use when i want to cook. I season with salt, bouillon cubes,curry, thyme.

  • Toss it well to ensure that the seasoning is well incorporated. Let it sit for 30mins before bagging.

Pack into air tight, freezer bags or polythene bags and freeze till you are ready to use. I’ve stored mine for as long as 2 months in a freezer.

This also saves you a lot of cooking time.

Homemade Fries: How to make great fries from scratch.

You can shave a few pennies off your shopping budget if you make your own fries at home for your self.

Say goodbye to store bought brands and stock up on your DIY (do it yourself) brand.

Blanching your potatoes before frying would give you really great golden potatoes. Blanching them and freezing for later use is just as great.


Ingredients

  • Medium sized Irish Potatoes
  • Vegetable oil
  • *Salt Optional

Procedure

  • You need potatoes of course

  • Wash and peel the potatoes using a knife or a potato peeler, and keep them in bowl of room temperature water, to prevent oxidation.

  • Using a knife or a potato slicer (a potato slicer is preferable because it keeps the slices consistent), cut the potato into strips.
Potato slicer

Cut potato strips.
  • Cover the potato strips in water, and if you’d like salt them and leave soaked for 30mins
Potato covered in salt water
  • Strain the water from the potato using a seive
  • Heat up some oil in a pan. Enough oil to for deep frying. Heat it up till its really hot.

Hot oil Tip

Since we mostly don’t use thermometers in cooking here, i learnt to know when oil is hot enough for frying from Sister Som, my friend’s sister. She taught me to put a drop of water in oil while bringing up the heat. As the oil heats up , it would start to make popping sounds to get rid of the water. When the sounds stops, you know your oil is hot enough.

  • Fry the potato till it’s just cooked, without allowing the skin to crisp.
  • Take it out of the oil and spread it out on tray lined with absorbent paper towel. See picture below.
Blanched fries
  • Set the tray into a freezer and freeze over night.
Frozen blanched potato fries
    • Take it out of the freezer and bag in an airtight freezer bag. If you however don’t have freezer bags, you can use airtight polythene/nylon bags.

    • Store it in a freezer till the next time you want to make some fries.

    When you are ready to make your fries, take the frozen chips out of the freezer, heat your oil till very hot, and deep fry till crisp and golden.


    Like this

    Tea Time; Let’s Have Homemade Herbal Tea

    Did you know you can make your own tea using a blend of your favorite herbs and spices?

    I do that all the time and i want to share one of my mixes with you.

    The beauty of this is that, this is made with locally grown spices readily available in the market, especially from the Hausa spice vendors.

    Tea is a beverage so popular it’s one of the most consumed in the world. It’s an aromatic beverage commonly prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured tea leaves. Mostly had for breakfast, however in some cultures, tea is had at any time of the day.

    In Nigeria tea is most popular as tea bags, and because of our British colonial past, we have our tea with a handsome helping of milk and sugar.

    I really like using Zobo leaves to make tea, not only because it makes such a beautiful colour of tea, it’s also very aromatic and zingy.


    Health benefits of this herbal tea.

    Herbal teas are good detoxifiers. So is this tea. All the ingredients play a key role in metabolism, detoxification of xenobiotic and flushing toxins out of the body

    It Aids in digestion, Treats nausea & headache, Prevents respiratory disorders, Aids in breast feeding, Helps in weight loss, Helps allergies , Improves skin health, Improves kidney health.

    Increases Immunity;
    The presence of vitamin C in sorrel is pretty impressive.
    Vitamin C also referred to as ascorbic acid, increases the production of white blood cells and stimulates the immune system, which is the first line of protection against pathogens and other free radicals present in the body, hence helping to prevent cancer.


    Ingredients

    • Dried Zobo leaves (Hibiscus Sabdariffa, Roselle, Red Sorrel, or Jamaican Sorrell.
    • Fennel Seeds
    • Dried Mint leaves
    • Cinnamon

    Procedure

    Blitz them all together in the dry mill of your blender, a food processor or coffee grinder. I don’t have a measurement for this. Just eye ball it and go with your gut.

    To make a brew

    • Add 1/2 teaspoon of the tea a cup of boiling water. Allow it to infuse. You can use a tea infuser or strain using a seive.

    Sweeten with honey or any non-nutritive/zero calorie sweetener e.g Stevia or Truvia.

    You can enjoy hot or cold. Do not add milk to this tea because the acidity in the zobo it will cuddle the milk.

    Moinmoin 

    Happy International Women’s Day. 

     I have a five year old son and I am raising him by God’s grace to be the best version of the man God has destined him to be. He loves to cook with me in the kitchen and I encourage him. We made this meal together and even made a video tutorial on How to wrap moinmoin in leaves.

    I found a very inspiring post on Facebook that underscores the reason why I’m raising my son this way.

    Read Excerpt below

    “I’m Worried About Our Sons” By Funke Egbemode.


    Today, I am worried about our sons, today’s young men. I am truly worried and every mother should pause, take a closer look at her sons and daughters and answer this question: are you empowering your son for the journey ahead of him? Answer truthfully, after all you are alone and you don’t have to let anybody hear you…


    I think Nigerian mothers have not done well raising future husbands and fathers. Let’s admit it, we have not scored above average, that is if we achieved average at all…

    Take a closer look at your beautiful daughter and your handsome six-footer son. Who is better prepared for the task ahead? I know some of us had realised this and have done better than others but most Nigerian mothers need to buckle up. Our sons are not what they should be and we cannot have the society, the country we desire when we put unprepared men and overgrown boys in positions of authority….

    It does not matter if women produce the next president and Central Bank Governor and 20 state governors, the achievement of Nigerian women and indeed women world over will continue to be marred if all we do is churn out half-baked and ill-equipped fathers and husbands. We cannot have a great society with just great women and less than good fathers and husbands…

     We’ve got to pay more attention to the quality of sons we are raising. Are we teaching them the right values? Have you sat your boys down and told them only impotent men beat their wives? Have you told your sons a man is not man if he cannot provide for his wife and children, that the ‘dangling modifier’ in between his legs is not really what proves his manhood in his home? …

    Since this year’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Inspiring Change’, let us change the way we have brought up our boys. Let us teach them the skills that will protect their manhood beyond using the right condoms. (First published in 2015)


    Culled from Facebook

    Recipe

    (Serves 8 – 10 persons)

    • 3 Cups peeled   Beans (Honey Beans/ Oloyin)
    • 1 cup Vegetable oil
    • 1/2 Cup Crayfish
    • 1 or 1 1/2 cup Stock  (Fish/Beef/Chicken stock)
    • 4 Hard Boiled Eggs (chopped)
    • 500g Mackerel; boiled and Flaked
    • 1 onion
    • 8 (or more) Jalapeño  (Bawa) Pepper or Tatashe
    • 2 Bouillon Cubes  (Any season cubes of your choice e.g knorr) *or to taste
    • Salt (to taste)
    Some of the ingredients used
    Peeled Beans

    Procedure

    • Blend Beans with pepper and onions to a smooth paste
    • Blended paste

    (Ensure not make the paste too runny by adding too much water while blending about 500ml – 750 ml of water should be sufficient for blending this quantity of beans)

     

     

    *Tip* don’t ever add tomatoes to your beans paste, the acidity in the tomatoes will not allow you paste to set when it is cooked

     

    • In mixing bowl, stir the paste well for at least one minute, then add your oil and stir thoroughly until the oil is properly incorporated. Then add your salt, crushed bouillon cubes and mix thoroughly till well incorporated.
    • Then add in the flaked fish and chopped eggs and mix.
    • Scoop into your leaves. * I have a preference for wrapping moinmoin in leaves as it is not only tastier in leaves, it is healthier. Cooking your food in polythene bags allows harmful chemicals to seep into your food*.                                                             I have a made a video tutorial on HOW TO WRAP MOINMOIN IN LEAVES  click the hyperlink to watch.

    https://facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1235014743280473&id=613368625445091

     

    • *You can cook your moinmoin in ramekins
    • Add about a cup or two of water  to a pot, (preferably a steaming pot) if you don’t have a steaming pot, you can place the stalks you cut off from your leaves at the base of the pot as a barrier between the water and the wrapped moinmoin . Place the wrapped moinmoin on the barrier, cover the pot, you can cover it with more leaves to trap steam , cook on medium heat for at least 20 – 25 mins.
    • Your moinmoin is cooked when the paste sets  and it’s cooked all the way though.
    Cooked Moinmoin.
    Moinmoin is also called Olele in Yoruba

    Ebiripo 


    I made Ebiripo today and I shared pictures on my Facebook wall, I had even written that I was channeling my imaginary Ijebu side, little did I know I did indeed have Ijebu Remo roots, royal roots as a matter of fact, LOL! My dad saw my post and sent me this message on WhatsApp.

    Dad: “​Labake you made Ebiripo. You don’t know what you’re reminding the Bolumoles of. It used to be brought for the family from Sagamu, the native home of my father’s mother.” 

    “Baskets of Ebiripo wrapped in banana leaves. You brought back my childhood  memory”.

    “That food is  native to Remo people of Ogun State. Not very popular amongst the Yorubas”.

    “I’m surprised that you’re eating. Who taught you to eat it?”

    Me: The things I have learnt to eat in my quest for food, they are plenty

    Dad: “You know my father’s mum was from the Royal family of Sagamu and her only son my Dad were treated with great respect.”

    And that is how I found out I have an Ijebu side!

    I’ve been meaning to try my hands on making Ebiripo, so I reach out to a friend Funmilayo Ademoye and she showed me how incredibly easy it was to make.  It’s so easy. 

    Typically Ebiripo is eaten with Egusi soup, or pepper sauce, but it is acceptable to eat it with any soup of your choice. 
    I made mine with Smoked Fish Pepper Sauce  and it was legit delicious!
    How to make Ebiripo

    • Cocoyam
    • Salt (to taste)
    • Moinmoin leaves (to wrap the Cocoyam paste)
    Cocoyam , Moinmoin leaves

    *I didn’t include the measurements as you can make work with whatever quantity works for you. 

    Procedure 

    • Peel and cut the Cocoyam 
    • Grate or blend into a paste. 
    • Peeled and cut Cocoyam, Cocoyam paste

      Add salt to taste and mix well. 
    • Place a pot on medium heat, if you have a steaming pot you can use it or place a barrier at the base of the pot, locally the stalks on the moinmoin leaves is placed inside the pot at the base before adding a little way.
    • Scoop the paste into the leaves and wrap. Place the wrapped leaves in a pot and steam till it is cooked

    Serve with your soup of choice.

    Ebiripo

    To make the pepper sauce, I used the recipe I use for making sauce for Ekuru.I only added Smoked Cod fish (panla), Smoked Tilapia (Bonga fish), powdered crayfish. 

    You can learn how to make the sauce here: Sauce 

    Beans Pottage

    Its amazing how life changes you. Growing up , beans was one of my most hated meals. I hated eating many things as a child anyways, my mum still can’t believe how I’ve turned around and become a foodie, I hated beans. Then life happened and I found myself married to a beans lover, and I had to cook and of course eat it more often than I could have ever imagined.

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    Beans porridge is one of the most popular plant protein dishes in Nigeria. In the University the boys hostel was known as the hub of beans  porridge. The boys didn’t seem to know how to cook anything else other than beans. Beans porridge can very easily be a one pot meal and it was easy for them to pair it with bread or garri and have a fully stomach for the whole day.

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    Easy as it is to cook beans, it is quite  easy to go wrong with it too. The best type of beans to cook beans pottage with is Ewa Oloyin  (Oloyin Beans / Honey Beans) . Honey beans is naturally sweet hence it the name.  However even in the absence of honey beans, a few tips can help you make a tasty meal of beans pottage.

    Recipe

    Serves 6 

    Ingredients

    *all measurements are made with standard measures.

    •      3 1/2 cups Beans

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    •      2 Medium sized onions
    •      1/2 or 3/4 cup of jalepeno blended pepper OR you can use 1 or 2 tablespoon (s) of Cayenne pepper
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    Blended jalepeno (sombo/bawa/long tatashe) with onion
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    Cayenne pepper
    •      1/2 cup Palm oilimage      
    • 4 tbsp ground crayfish
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    Ground dried Crayfish
    •    *1 Bonga Fish (optional ) you can use it shredded or blended to a powder.

      •       2 Cubes bouillon cubes
      •      Salt to taste.

      Procedure

      –     Pick beans for dirt,  rinse beans throughly.

      * It is said that the amount of pesticides applied to beans for storage is really high, in fact some western countries recently placed a ban on importation of beans from Nigeria due to the high presence of pesticides. This has also been linked to the cause of heartburn and flatulence  after consuming beans. Beyond washing beans throughly, you can slightly parboil the beans and discard the water, or soak the beans in boiling hot water for at least five minutes, discard the water, rinse and proceed to cook.

      –     In a clean pot or pressure pot, cook the beans with water and  one chopped onion.  

      *I strongly recommend that every one owns a pressure pot even if it is just for cooking beans. With a pressure pot, the beans is tender in about 15 minutes. If you are using a regular pot, you have to cook for between 30 – 45 minutes to get the beans to be tender enough

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      The beans is tender and it is beginning to split

      –      When the beans is tender, add, palm oil, crayfish, blended or Cayenne pepper, salt, * bonga fish  bouillon cubes (I use knorr more recently Adobo Seasoning )

      –       Cook all together for about 20 minutes or until all the elements are well incorporated in the beans and the beans pottage has thickened. Turn off the heat and serve

      –      Enjoy with dodo (fried plantain ) Garri (roasted cassava granules ) , yam, Bread or just by itself .

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      Peanut Butter Soup; A cheat code for traditional (Omisagwe)groundnut soup

      For our readers in the diaspora who sometimes wonder how to  cheat with some of the Nigerian recipes, this is for you. Traditionally groundnut soup is made with raw groundnut, ground to a fine powder. Anyway I found myself with a very dear friend who’s blender didn’t have a dry mill and she didn’t have a coffee blender either, and I had promised to make her groundnut soup. So we decided to experiment with peanut butter. We reached for a jar of Skippy  Peanut butter from her panty and went to work hoping it would come out great. I can tell you it did.

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      Recipe

      Ingredients

      •     1 1/2 cups Peanut butter

      •     3 dried Cameroon pepper

      •     2 tbsp Ground pepper (Ata rodo /Scotch Bonnet /Habenero)

      •     1 Tsp Uziza seeds

      •     1/4 cup Palm oil

      •     Cooked Assorted Meats and Fish

      •     3 cups beef Stock

      •     1/8 cup crushed dried Efirin leaves.

      •     Salt and bouillon cubes  (Maggi or knorr … etc ) to taste.

      Procedure

      –      Blend the Cameroon pepper and uziza seeds together to powder, if you have a dry mill blender. If you have a regular blender, blend the uziza and Cameroon pepper with the other pepper and some water.

      –     In a pot , add the meat stock and the peanut butter,  stir the peanut butter in the meat stock till it dissolves completely. Put your cooker on medium heat.

      –     Add, palm oil, Uziza, and ground peppers now. Allow to cook for about 3 mins the  add the meats and fish . Taste for seasoning and add additional seasoning if necessary. Leave the pot covered and cook for about 10mins,  add about 2 cups water if the consistency is too thick. Cook on medium heat.

      –      Because peanut butter is very oily you’d notice the oil start to float at the top, that is why you need very minimal palm oil.  Add the efirin leaves and stir it in, turn the heat down to low and turn it off about 3 minutes after.

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      See how much oil the peanut butter gave off

      Enjoy your peanut butter soup with any starchy accompaniment as you would your native soup.

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      How to make Beef Sausage Meat

      Following my posts on Sausage Roll and Scotch Egg,  I’ve had a couple of mails asking what is beef sausage is and where to get it. My answer has been,  you can get it from the frozen goods section of any good supermarket or store. I prefer to use the CHI brand or the UAC brand. Beyond knowing the brands, you can actually make yours. I’ve been hoping to do post on this, and as fate would have it, I realised late this evening that I didn’t have any sausage in the freezer and I am making sausage rolls for my mother – in – law tomorrow morning. I quickly called Le hubs to pick up a pack for me from Spar but when he got there they were closed. There is no way I would be disappointing this sweet woman, she needs it for a fellowship meeting tomorrow. So i went into my freezer to get out a pack of beef. This is what I did . You need. 1. 350 grams of beef, cut up into small pieces image Use a knife to cut off the sinew. image Other ingredients 1/8 cup Vegetable oil 1/8 cup water 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper  (Ata gigun) 1/4 tsp salt Ginger (just a small piece, peeled) image Season the meats with salt, pepper and ground ginger In a good blender, blend seasoned meat with oil and water till a you get a soft  smooth paste of meat. image Wrap it up in cling film or a polythene bag and put in a freezer bag and keep in the freezer till you need it. You can use it immediately. image image

      Mango Jam

      Mango! Mango! Mango!

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      I’m obsessed with mangoes! I look forward to mango season and when the season is almost over, I make tubs of jam so I can still enjoy some mangoes a little longer.

       

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      I first tasted Mango Jam when I was in JSS 1. I was spending some time with my friend Ekenem’s family because there was severe fuel scarcity and our 3rd term final exams was on, I lived miles away from school and but they lived a walking distance from school. Ekenem’s Mum is a great cook and she made the most awesome mango jam I ever tasted. Though I never got her mum’s recipe, I’ve been in love with Mango Jam ever since.

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      Recipe.

      •   4 medium sized mangoes.

      •   2 cups of orange juice -you can use water instead- (this time I used Mango Juice)

      •   1tsp of Lime Juice

      •   1/8 tsp of orange/ lime/ lemon zest

      •   1/8 cup of sugar

      •   *2.5ml of vanilla flavour or 1/8 tsp Cinnamon powder (optional)

      Procedure

      –   Peel Mangoes, slice and dice to cubes

      –   Boil with sugar, juice or water, lime juice, zest and vanilla or cinnamon if you want in pot over medium heat. Bring to boil for about 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to simmer

      –   Allow to simmer till you have a thick not runny consistency. Stir regularly as it boils. If your mango cubes are too chunky, break it up with cooking spoon or ladle as it boils. The colour would change to a light orange shade. Avoid letting it burn except you like the burnt caramel flavour.

      And that is how to make mango jam.

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      Spread it over your bread or crunchy toast, it makes for a great dipping sauce too.

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      *Please avoid thready mangoes. If however you get very thready mangoes, puree your mangoes first and sieve to get rid of the threads, before you proceed to boil.

      STORAGE

      ☆   Store in an airtight container. If you are using a glass jar, wash the jar and boil the glass jar  or stand the jar in a bowl and cover completely with boiling water and about a teaspoon of salt for about 10 minutes. This is to kill any  micro organism in the jar and prevent food poisoning.

      ☆   Pour in the Jam and cover firmly with lid. Store in a refrigerator.

      ☆   If you don’t have a refrigerator or power supply is not regular where you live, pour the jam into the jar when it is warm, stand jar in a container and pour boiling hot water to the neck of the jar, leave it in the hot water till the water gets cool. Take it out and leave it on a counter top.

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      How to make Short Crust Pastry

      Shortcrust pastry is a type of pastry often used for the base of a tart, quiche or pie, more popularly used in meat pies and sausage roll in Nigeria.
      Short crust pastry does not puff up during baking because it usually contains no leavening agent, however most Nigerian short crust recipes call for Baking Powder. Shortcrust pastry really is so easy to make. It is one of the most versatile pastry as it can be used for both savoury and sweet dishes.
      (Credits Wikipedia, About Food)

      All you need for Short Crust Pastry is

      •  350 g Flour (3 cups)sieved
      •  170 g Margarine
      •  1/4 tsp Salt
      •  1/2 tsp Baking powder
      •  1 Egg.
      •  8 tbsp of water or less

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      – In a bowl combine flour, margarine, baking powder, salt and rub using the tips of your fingers until it resembles bread crumbs

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      – Add one egg and water and combine until the mixture binds and forms a soft dough. Handle the pastry gently and lightly.

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      – Roll into a ball and place pastry in fridge for about 15 – 20 mins to set. The Pastry can be kept in the freezer for as long as 6 months. Just wrapped tightly with cling film, cover with tin foil and chunk it into a freezer bag.

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