Edikang Ikong

So i woke up to tend my vegetable garden, which i had left unattended for a about two weeks or a lil more. I wear many hat’s like many people and the month of April right to the first two weeks of May was very busy. First i got NAFDAC approval for my products FDVie Juice yaaay! Then we were vendors at the GTB Food and Drink fair , then renovation of the production facility , plus daily life!

So my garden was overgrown with Waterleaf! I remember my first attempt at planting waterleaf with seeds, i waited many months it didn’t yield until my staff told me to propagate using stems instead. Now the plant is in every pot in the garden, just dispersing its seeds. That means I’d be having a lot of waterleaf soups.

Freshly harvested waterleaf from my container garden

So after pulling out a lot of waterleaf yesterday, i made Edikang ikong

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 800g washed and choppedWaterleaf
  • 500g washed and chopped Ugu leaves
  • Assorted Meats
  • 1 cooking spoon blended pepper mix (Scotch bonnet -ata rodo/Bawa)
  • 3/4 cup palm oil
  • Stockfish
  • Smoked Fish
  • 1 tbsp blended crayfish
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Salt to taste

Procedure

  • In a pot, season your meats with salt and bouillon cubes (to your taste) *Don’t* season with onion. Add water and cook till the meat is soft and tender. I usually cook my meats with smoked fish heads for rich flavour

  • When your meat is cooked and the water is properly reduced, add your blended pepper mix and palm oil.

  • Taste to see if it requires additional seasoning, if it does add some more. Add, stock fish, smoked fish, crayfish and cook till the water is reduced completely.
  • When the water is completely reduced and you can see the palmoil glistening on the meats, add chopped water leaves.

  • (Let your washed water leaf and Ugu leaves strain in a seive to allow all the excess water get away, your chopped leaves should be near dry)

  • Stir in properly , the water leaf will wilt into the pot, let it simmer for about 3 minutes
  • Next stir in your Ugu leaves, stir it in well till it incorporates well with the waterleaf.
  • Cook with lid off , on medium heat for an additional 8 – 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot with your preferred accompaniment.

Please don’t tell my Yoruba ancestors that i almost denounced Efo Riro in favour of this tasty pot of goodness that is native to the Efik people.

Oatmeal swallow

Okra Utazi Surf and Turf Peppersoup

I will file this under comfort food. Slightly spicy, light delicious, something you snuggle up in bed on a cold day to eat.

Utazi is a beautiful aromatic herb and i love the fragrance and the bitterness of it.

I wanted to make a okra peppersoup and i thought it would taste great to pair the heat of the pepper with utazi.


Recipe

Ingredients

  • 250g Cod Fish (You can use any fish of your choice)
  • 2 Large carbs
  • 2 snails
  • 1/2 cup small shrimps
  • 2 tsp of peppersoup spice
  • 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 5 Medium sized Okra
  • 2 green scotch bonnet
  • 2 yellow scotch bonnet
  • 5 Utazi leaves
  • 1 (4cups) litre water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Achi powder (optional)

Instructions

  • Clean and cut your fish into sizes you like. Clean up the rest of your seafood and the snails.
  • Clean your okra, peppers and utazi
  • Cut the okra and the peppers into slices

  • Cut your Utazi into thin slices.

  • Put your fish and snail in a pot, add the pepper soup spice, cayenne pepper, salt, bouillon cubes, with two cups of water. Add half of your pepper slices
  • Cook with lid on, on medium heat till the fish is cooked. Give the snail at least 5 mins headstart before you add the fish.
  • When the fish and snail is cooked add the rest water, bring to a simmer. If you are using achi, add it now.
  • Add your crabs, and the okra. Cook for 3 mins then add the shrimps, utazi and rest peppers. Cook for an additional 3 mins and take it off the heat.

Now serve and tuck in!!!!

Look how gorgeous

Ube Hummus 

I’ve been quite obsessed with Ube the last couple of days. After making a Corn on Cob rubbed with Ube a few days back, I realised Ube can be a great Dip, pretty much like Hummus. Hummus is originally made with chickpeas, it’s of middle eastern origin.

Since Ube already pairs well with Corn, I tried it with some of my favourite things and it paired really well.

Cooked Ube’s is like mashed Sweet+Irish  potatoes with a tang.

RECIPE 

Makes about 2 250ml Mason  jars.

  • 50 medium sized Ube
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil

* Optional Ingredients (didn’t use any)

Chill pepper

Garlic paste.
Procedure

  • Wash Ube gently but thoroughly to get rid of sand.
  • Bring about 1.5 litres of water to a boil.
  • Once boiled, dunk the Ube in it for not longer than 3 minutes and strain. (You can salt the water if you like but it’s unnecessary.
  • Allow it to cool a bit so you don’t burn your fingers before using a small knife to open the skin and peel the flesh off the seed of the Ube.
  • Blend in the Ube with Olive oil  two batches a blender.
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Procedure in pictures. Wash, Blanche, Peel
  • Store in an air tight container and refrigerate. (I haven’t tested the shelf life inside the fridge yet, with do, I’d update this post)


Isn’t this platter gorgeous? (Carrots, Cucumber, Celery sticks, Corn, Potato chips, plantain chips)

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Cucumber Stick with Ube

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Ube Hummus with Carrots sticks, Cucumber sticks, Celery sticks, Corn, Potato chips, plantain chips

Plantain Veggie Sauce

This was inspired by a post I saw last night on “So You Think You Can Cook”. The poster didn’t have enough time to share her recipe but I created this from visual inspiration .

Trust me when I say this is so delicious. You can eat it alone or pair with Rice 

Recipe 

  • 3 Large Ripe Plantain
  • 2 cups of meat stock 
  • 300g  sliced Vegetables (I used Ugu+Efirin+Efo tete/green)
  • 3 cups of blended pepper mix (tomatoes/scotch bonnet/ habanero (rodo)/tatashe(capsicum)/ onion)
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable oil (for the sauce, you’d need more for trying the plantain. 
  • 3 cups chopped lighty fried meats (I used goat meat)
  • Shredded Fish (Smoked cod fish, dried sardines (bonga fish), about 1cup or more)
  • Bouillon cubes (2 or more depending on your tatse
  • Salt to taste 

Procedure 

  • Chop up your plantains and deep fry till it’s almost turning brown and set aside.
  • You should have pre-fried your meats.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of oil in a pot, allow it to heat up, once hot pour the pepper mix , fry slightly and pour in the stock. If you are using bonga fish, rinse well and add to the pepper from the start. Cook for 5 mins and add the fried meats. On medium heat, cook the stew till the water has completely reduced add your bouillon cubes and salt. Cook with lid on.
  • Once the water has completely reduced, add smoked fish, and vegetable. Cook for about 5 minutes with the lid off.
  • Stir in the fried plantains and let it simmer for about 2 mins and turn the heat off.  

Ugba Salad 

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This recipe is courtesy of an amazing lady i met on facebook, Ngozi Ogwuegbu Nnopuechi. She made the “awesomest” Ugba Salad for a hangout some time back  and she was kind enough to share her recipe with me when i asked her. This is a shout out to her. I sent her a picture of my first attempt below.

This was my first try in 2015. Ngozi was quick to commend me.

 

 

 

It was so hard to photograph this, with all the lighting issues i had then

 

Recipe 
2 Cups Ugba,

3 Uziza  leaves sliced thinly ,

4 Utazi leaves sliced thinly,

1/2 tsp Powdered Crayfish ,

Ehuru (2 seeds ground finely),

1 tsp Potash,

1/4 cup Palm Oil,

Salt (to taste)

Pepper (to taste preferably cayenne pepper)

*Stockfish (optional)

*Garden Eggs optional

 

Procedure

  • Soak your stockfish in hot water until the fish is tender. Rinse your ugba thoroughly , some people prefer to wash it with warm water and salt.
  • To make the base, heat up your palm oil in a pot or wok. Dissolve the potash in 1 tbsp Water. Pour the dissolved potash into your heated oil. The oil will froth and cuddle, turn down the heat and stir well.
  • Once base is done add Ehuru it has a strong aroma and salt
  • Add the Stockfish, Ugba and then pepper crayfish seasoning
  • Add the thinly sliced Uziza leaf and utazi leaf and you’re done

You can serve with smoked fish or fried fish. I experimented with dodo (Fried Plantian) and it was absolutely delicious.

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Ugba Salad with Fried Plantains, an amazing discovery!!

 

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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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    Waffle Omelette

    I was inspired to do this yesterday after I saw a recipe shared on one of the fitness groups I belong. The author used a sandwich toaster to make what she call Egg Sandwich. I tweaked her recipe a little and used a waffle maker to make this.

    For those people on a protein diet,  this is perfect for you.

    You can use a sandwich toaster instead of the waffle iron.

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    Recipe

    This serves 5 adults.

    •      10 fresh eggs

    •      1 Cup Flaked fish (Tuna or Mackerel preferable)

    •      1 small onion  (chopped)

    •      2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley  (you can use substitute with dried parsley

    •      Salt (to taste)

    •      1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (dried ground pepper or Atagigun as yoruba people call it)

    Procedure 

    As shown below. Beat eggs, add  all the ingredients together, spray some non-stick cooking spray on the waffle maker , scoop some mix onto the iron and cover till it beeps or the signal light comes on.

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    Enjoy with a cup of green tea if you are on a protein diet or add whatever accompaniment you please.

    Almond Milk

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    Since I made Almond Milk for the first time, I fell in love with it and I’ve made it several more times. In compliance with my diet routines I have had it more frequently in the last few days.

    If you are on a diet, here are some of the dietary benefits of Almond Milk

    Almond milk is a beneficial addition to a diet geared toward weight loss or weight management.   Almond milk is also high in fiber.
    A glass of almond milk contains nearly one gram of fiber per 8oz. serving, and fiber is important for healthy digestion.

    Plain, original almond milk provides only 60 to 70 calories per cup, and it’s:

    Low in protein, providing only 1 to 2 g per cup,

    Low in fat 2.5 g

    Has 0 g saturated fat

    Only 8 g carbohydrates
    (culled from thescienceofeating.com)

    Recipe

    Ingredients

    •    Almonds (untoasted, unsalted)

    •     *Dates (or Honey)to sweeten  (optional)

    •    Vanilla extract 

    •    Water

    Procedure

    –    Soak dried unsalted Almonds for 8 – 12 hours or over night.

    * If you are using dates,  soak and pit the dates you need about 1/4 cup dates to 1 cup almond.

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    Rinse Almonds and blend. If you are using dates,  blend  with dates and water in a blender till smooth. Add vanilla extract.

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    Use a cheese cloth or muslin cloth to seive it and collect the milk in a clean bowl. 

    You can serve chilled,

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    Make a milk shake with it…

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    It tastes delicious with cereal

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    Oil less Efo Riro

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    My current diet plan has taught me something which I’ve always known, there are no shortcuts to weight loss. Whatever fancy pill or detox drink you are on, it would be in vain without eating clean and some exercise. Beyond the weight loss,  maintenance and healthy living is very important.
    My husband always gives me the side eye when I speak of weight loss, he thinks I have no business with weight loss. I think otherwise, knowing how I loved being 65 kg pre- pregnancies. Now at 73 kg (5 ft 7 inches) I aim to leave the 70 ‘ s zone. I’ve succeeded many times and I fall hard on my face again and I start again. I’ve found what works for me, exercise! Unfortunately this is the first time in 5 yrs I’ve not been to the gym in 6 months, business has been BUSY!

     
    So I got a detox pack with includes some shakes and herbal potions, just for a quick fix. However after  seeing that I’d over shot my calorie target times 5, I knew it was time to start again. Many bottles of almond milk, rice milk, cucumber and Aloe Vera juice and counting calories after I just wanted some pepper and good old Nigerian Soup.

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    The recipe and Procedure is same as normal Efo Riro, but without any oil.

    Recipe

    •    Efo Tete (1 bowl rinsed and shredded, bowl in this case is a 3 litre bowl)

    •    Coarsely blended pepper mix containing 10 Atarodo (scotch bonnet / habenero) ,1 Tatashe  (capsicum or bell pepper or jalapeño ), 1 Tomato

    •    1 large Onion chopped

    •    Assorted Meats and Fish

    •    1 tbsp Iru (locust beans)

    •    1 tbsp Powdered Crayfish

    •    1 soft curly Ponmo (chopped)

    •    Salt

    Procedure
    –     Pick, Wash, Slice and blanch vegetable in warm water.

    –    Wash, season and parboil the meats, don’t add too much water.

    –    Coarsely blend pepper and onions.

    –    Add blended pepper to cooked meat with iru and Stock fish and crayfish.
    *DO NOT COVER THE POT.  The intention here is to allow all the water evaporate.

    –    Season with salt and bouillon cubes, if needed.

    –    Allow pepper to cook, you’d know it is ready when all the water is completely reduced and you can see the pepper start to simmer.

    –    Now add the sliced and slightly blanced vegetables, stir the pot carefully from the bottom to top, till the pepper is well mixed with the vegetable.
    Turn the heat down and allow vegetables to cook for about 5 mins, because you want to retain the brilliant green colour and some crunch. Do not cover still.

    –    Once ready, turn off heat and wait about 10 minutes before you put a lid on your pot.

    Pair with any other food you like .

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    No Fuss Steamed Vegetable

    This is probably the easiest vegetable dish you’d ever make. No oil, no pepper , and can be paired with any dish you like. I’ve over indulged in all the sweet and highly calorific stuffs, it’s time to come clean.

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    Recipe

    •   1 bowl (1 litre bowl) of washed and shredded vegetable  (Ugu in this instance)

    •   1 Large Onion

    •   2 Smoked Mackerel (deboned and shredded)

    •   Salt to taste  

    •   Bouillon Cubes

    •   1 tbsp Powdered Crayfish

    Procedure

    –   In a pot or saucepan add about 1/8 cup of water, chop onions and set in medium heat.

    –   After about 5 mins, add the vegetable, salt,  bouillon cubes,  and crayfish.

    –   Stir well and add deboned and shredded mackerel.  Stir till all is well incorporated. Don’t cook the vegetable too long, let it retain its fresh green colour.

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    I’ve been having a little too much fun with mine.  Portion Control! *winks

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