HAPPY ANNIVERSARY !!!!!

I’m so excited about today. Thanks to Facebook memories I was reminded the the blog officially launched a year ago today. I’m so happy that in a space of a year I was able to chronicle my food therapies and share them with you all.
Thanks for following me on this journey.

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Recently  I’ve not been so consistent and this is the reason why. Many of you know I run a Fresh Fruit Juice business Vie  Juice . The last few months of any year are usually peak business periods as such I was really busy between October and December. This new year we (my team and i) have been working really hard on some business expansion, expanding our customer base , trying out new business models. So I must confess that this has kept me really away from my kitchen and when I cook up a mini storm I hardly have time to do a photo shoot as I duck right back into all my paper work, staff supervision, quality control, customer service, whilst at the same being wife and mom . 

I love what I do, as it also an extention of food. Creating new juice recipes and experimenting with natural ingredients and fresh and dry spices, who knew chillies, ginger , tumeric, cloves , cardamom … pair so great with basic tropical fruits.

It’s Ounje Aladun’s anniversary!!!! (just before I get carried away talking about Vie Juice)

To show appreciation, I would be doing a give away!!!   Keep your eyes peeled to all our social media pages as we would be announcing what the prizes are and what you need to do to qualify to win. All I can say is …. Get ready to cook.

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Thank you so much for your love and support.

Eebolo a fragrant vegetable.

Eebolo is a seasonal vegetable, it comes out with new yams. It has a strong aroma hence the popular yoruba saying “Ko si bi a se le se eebolo ti koni run igbe! ” meaning “No matter how much you cook eebolo it would still smell earthy.”

Some people pronounce it as “Bolo”
Picture below.

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Photo Credit , 9jafoodie.com

Eebolo is a tender vegetable and could quickly disintegrate if left for too long on the heat or if it is blanched.

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Recipe

•     Tomatoes and Pepper depending on how hot you like it, I’d say the pepper should be more. (Roughly blended)

•     Meats (e.g tripe, beef, snail, Goat meat etc)

•     Fish (e.g smoked fish, eja osan, stock fish etc)

•      Powdered Crayfish

•     Seasoning cubes

•      Salt

•      Locust Beans

•      Palm oil

Procedure

–     Pick, rinse and slice your eebolo leaves.

–     Boil your meats or fish or whatever you want to cook it with.

–       In a pot add meat stock, meats, Snails,  stock fish etc and allow to simmer together.

–       Add crayfish, locust beans,  salt and seasoning cubes sparingly. When the water is drying out add your coarsely blended pepper and some palm oil. Don’t cover the pot so that the steam can escape and the fluid reduce too.

–     When the water has reduced down, add the Eebolo leaves 10 minutes after the pepper and turn down the heat. Stir in the eebolo, do not cover, allow to cook for about 3-5 minutes and take it off the heat.

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Pair it with your favourite carbohydrate accompaniment.

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Ofe Nsala

I’ve had this recipe sitting in my draft for a while now. Asides being plagued with a bad phone, I have been very preoccupied. I’m not from the south eastern part of Nigeria but more often that not, people ask me if I’m igbo, probably due to my fair skin. I love soups from the south east of Nigeria, that doesn’t mean I’d give up my love for Ewedu  and Gbegiri any time soon. Nsala soup asides being great with starchy accompaniments, it is spicy and perfect for a cold rainy day or as a remedy for a flu.

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Recipe
I’ve always used the recipe from AllNigeriaRecipes com.  So here it goes

Ingredients

•   Cat Fish: 4 one-inch thick pieces

•   Fresh or dry Utazi Leaves

•    Thickener: RawWhite Yam / Yam Powder / Potato Puree or Achi

•   Scotch Bonnet (Ata Rodo/  Habanero peppers)

•   Salt (to taste)

•   Crayfish (a handful for 4 cuts of fish)

•   1 bouillon  cube

•   Ogiri Okpei

Procedure

–   Wash properly and  cut the catfish into 1 inch thick cylindrical discs and remove the intestines. Place in bowl and pour very hot water on the fish. This process of pouring hot water on the fish toughens the
skin of the fish so that the pieces do not disintegrate while cooking the soup. Leave for about 2 minutes and wash the fish with cold water. You should also wash off any slimy
substance on the outer skin of the fish at this time.

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–    Boil a few cubes of raw white yam. When soft, pound with a mortar and pestle till a smooth
paste is formed, then set aside. You can substitute white yam with yam powder or potato
puree for the thickening.

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–    Wash and pound/blend the utazi leaves, the chilli pepper and the crayfish and set aside.
Utazi is bitter in taste and only used for flavouring so one or two leaves should be enough especially when using the fresh leaves.

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–    Place the catfish in a pot and pour enough water to cover the fish. Add the seasoning and
cook till done. Feel free to add dry fish to this soup recipe.

–   When the catfish is almost done, add the crayfish, pepper and utazi leaves blend. Also add
the yam paste in small lumps and salt to taste.

–   Cover the pot and allow the contents to cook at high heat till all the yam paste have
dissolved.While cooking, if you think that the yam paste will make the soup too thick, you
can remove some that are yet to dissolve.

Your Ofe Nsala is ready to eat alone or with a starchy accompaniment e.g Eba,  Semo,  Pounded yam e.t.c

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Ponmo Alata

Spicy Ponmo.  Ponmo is a delicacy!  I don’t know what the government thought they were saying, sometime last year, they  want to  ban Ponmo! We should put this curly cow hide on a national emblem already. I know a lot of people agree that ponmo is the truth. It’s said that Ponmo has no nutritional value but that does not take away the fact that it melts in your mouth when it is well cooked or for the slightly tough ones it is crunchy. Some weeks back in the Lagos Island market, i observed people rushing to buy Peppered Ponmo,  they had been waiting for the hawker to come around and when she did they swarmed around her. My first introduction to Ponmo Alata was also in the same market years ago. I love to eat it as much as I love to cook it. Cooking it is very easy. image Recipe Ingredients •    500 g Ponmo •    1 1/2 cups coarsely blended pepper mix (tomatoes + pepper + onion) * pepper content should be a little high. I like mine really spicy so I do a ratio of 1 tomato to 5 peppers (2 scotch bonnet + 3 jalapeño ) and quarter of a medium sized onion. So people can’t handle that kind of heat. •    1/8 cup Vegetable oil •    1 small onion •    Bouillon Cubes •    Salt Procedure –    Wash the ponmo throughly, cleaning and peeling out any unnecessary stuff on it. image –    Season with salt and bouillon cubes,  add onion and boil the ponmo image –     When the ponmo is tender, take it off the heat  and set aside. Heat up some oil and add the pepper.  Add stock from cooking the ponmo. Add more seasoning if you want. image image image –    Cook with lid off till the water reduces completely and the pepper starts to fry. Stir the ponmo into the pepper sauce,  cook for an additional 3 minutes and turn off the heat. –    Allow the ponmo to stay in the pepper for at least 30 mins before serving image image

Let’s make some spread for breakfast

Spread Time! 

For breakfast or as a dip

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1. Peanut Butter

2. Orange/Blueberry Jam

3. Five Chillies Jam.

RECIPES

FIVE CHILLIES JAM

•  5 Red Scotch Bonnet

•  5 Yellow Scotch Bonnet

•  5 Green Scotch Bonnet

•  5 Green chilli pepper (green jalapeño)

•  5 Red Jalapeño (sombo / bawa)

•  1 shallot (small onion)

•  2 garlic

•  5 cloves

•  1 very small ginger

•  1 very small tumeric

•  3 small tomatoes

•  1/4 tsp salt

•  1 tbsp Lemon or Lime

•  1 1/2 cup of sugar

•  1/2 cup water

–  Roughly blend all the ingredients except sugar, salt,  lemon/lime.

–  Pour all into a clean pot and place on heat.

–  Add sugar, water, salt, lemon/lime. Bring to boil on high heat,  turn the heat to medium and allow to bubble as the water reduces, then low heat to simmer.

–  Turn off the heat when the syrup has thickened enough to drop from the spoon.

ORANGE/BLUEBERRY JAM

•  5 Oranges

•  7 Blueberries

•  1/2 cup Sugar

•  a pinch of salt

•  Water

– Peel oranges get rid of the rind, but get some orange zest from your orange before you peel the rind.

– Remove seeds and separate all the inner skin from the meat.

*Shortcut I used the pulp of some oranges I had extracted for juice.

Place a clean pot on heat, add water or orange juice, orange zest, orange pulp or meat add a pinch of salt, sugar and boil. Once it starts to boil add whole blueberries,  turn down the heat and allow to bubble as the water reduces.  Take off the heat once the syrup has thickened.

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PEANUT BUTTER

Recipe for Peanut butter
https://ounjealadun.com/2015/02/17/how-to-make-peanut-butter/

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Peeling Potatoes without tears

I made this discovery some time ago, and I’ve shared it on other platforms but not yet here, so I’m excited to share with you guys.

I was preparing to make a sweet potato dish and all day the thought of peeling potatoes and getting sticky green hands and green potatoes haunted me. I thought I’ll push the task to my help, as I was about to delegate the idea just hit me. 

SHOCK THE POTATOES!!!
I remember I had learnt somewhere to peel whole tomatoes by shocking them, so why not Potatoes too.

This is how to shock the potatoes

Boil water and pour over your potatoes in a bowl allow to sit for a minimum of 1 minute

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Next pour lots of ice cubes into the water. -If you are shocking tomatoes, you pour the ice immediately, the tomatoes would jump out of their skin-

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Then peel your potatoes with a peeler or knife, see how it looks so clean and white,

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and my palms are clean too.

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Feels like I just hit a jackpot.

*if ice or ice cubes are not readily available, use ice cold water instead. It would work very well too.

Bean and Yam Pottage

Last night I made a beautiful dream out of one of my childhood nightmares.
See as a child I did not like food. Asking me to go and eat was sort of like a punishment. I was a very picky fussy eater and this went on into my late teenage years. I used to forget to eat and was content to go on an empty stomach. At the age of 19, I stood at 5 ft 7 and weighed 51 kg at my heaviest. Of course all that is history now, I’m 5 ft 7, weigh 73kg that is what two pregnancies and good food does to your body.

Well my mum hated to see food go to waste and as such a combination of yam and beans was certain when there was a left over of both. For me that was just traumatic. I hated beans as a meal on its own and I really didn’t care for yam, and the only genius plan mother:- dearest could come up with was mix both!!!
No telling that half the time, it ended in the trash.
So i don’t know why Beans and Yam would cross my mind for dinner.
And to think I didn’t do anything fancy to it and I still liked it.

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Recipe
3 1/2 cups Honey Beans (Ewa Oloyin)
2 1/2 cups yam cubes
1 cooking spoon Palm oil or more
1 cup blended pepper and onion mix
Chopped assorted meats and fish
Meat Stock
1 tbsp Powdered Crayfish (blend with some Cameroon pepper)
Salt to taste.
2 Bouillon Cubes

Procedure
– Wash and boil beans for 10 mins (if using a pressure pot) or 25 mins if using a regular pot. You just want to soften the beans.
– Add the yam to the beans along with pepper, powdered crayfish  and palm oil and meat stock. Cover the pot and leave to cook for another 10 or 20mins (pressure pot or regular pot).
– Add assorted meats and fish and taste, season with salt and bouillon cubes if need be.
– Turn the heat down completely and allow the  simmer till the broth thickens.

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Can’t believe I enjoyed this!

Avocado Cream (a healthy alternative to mayonnaise and salad cream)

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Are you on a diet? Do you still add mayonnaise, salad cream and all the other high in unhealthy cholesterol stuff to your salads, because you can’t stand dizzling it with olive oil, vinaigrette, etc. 
This is a healthy alternative and it tastes as nice mayonnaise or salad cream.

Avocado Cream.

2 avocados
1 1/4 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar.
(*substitutes include White Wine Vinegar or Rice Vinegar. Apple Cider is a weight watchers healthy choice though)
1 tbsp Lemon juice

Cut open avocados and scoop out the flesh.
If you don’t want the greenish colour scoop out only the yellow flesh.
Blend with vinegar and lemon juice till smooth in a blender. – i use the dry mill cup-

*for extra kick sometimes I blend 1 Green chilli pepper and 1 Green Scotch bonnet (Ata rodo) with it.
If you don’t like the bland taste of avocados you can add 1/4 tsp of Salt to it.

Store in an airtight container and store I fridge. It has a shelf life of at least 30 days stored in the fridge with constant power supply.

See two ways I enjoy my Avocado Cream.

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A bowl of salad topped with Avocado Cream
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Gluten free, guilt free cookies, topped with Avocado Cream

Happy Mother’s Day

In the last two weeks my son (he is 3 yrs and 7 months), has been asking me to buy him cooking tools. He asked me everyday and even picked one from the racks in the mall. I had to return it because it was all pink and girlie. This weekend he made me promise I would get him one, “Mama, I really want to cook, please buy me a pot, and plates, and ………” he said. I knew I really had to oblige him even if it meant buying the pink girlie set. You should have seen the look of glee on his face when I presented him this set. He has been singing all sorts of cooking songs. image image This is what happens when your mother is Òunjè Aladun.

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That is him helping me juice some orange

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mums in the world.

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Me and my little man