Happy Independence Day Nigeria

To commemorate this celebration I made a simply smoothie with

Avocado, Rice Cereal, Milk and 1 tsp of lemon juice. Sweetened with Truvia.

Both the Green and Creamy coloured part are Avocados.

I used only the fleshy yellow part the avocado for the middle and for the Green I peeled it with the vibrant green layer

Blend, separately and layer.

Garden to Table

This year I started my backyard garden after procrastinating for over two years.

As a little girl I really enjoyed gardening. My maternal grandmother had a small garden outside her house in Molete for sometime and the highlight of my visit was helping to weed the garden. My parents also had a small garden behind our kitchen in our first house.

They grew Patminger , Snake gourd (It’s a climbing plant that is shaped like a snake, when it ripen it turns bright orange or red. The inside is red and tastes better than tomatoes in stew), vegetables etc. Eventually the garden moved to the backyard beside the well where my dad planted Bananas, plantain and citruses.

I even joined the Decor Team in church as the youngest member because it was the team that was tasked with beautification and horticulture in the church. The senior members were very nice and kind to me. They gave me cuttings to plant at home too.

Since I got married and got my own place I’ve been paying lip service to starting a garden. I even started by collecting containers I never put anything in, until one morning in July. I was just recovering from malaria I was bored stiff from being indoors. On impulse I instructed my staff to get me soil. With no clear idea or direction I started my garden. First as a vegetable garden and then I added ornamental plants.

Like my friend Ugochi said, the gardening bug that bit me left its fangs. I say it left its jaws too.

The Efo Tete I harvested today was one of the first set of plants I planted in July. Today it made it to my table. Absolutely organic. No synthetic fertilizers , no pesticides

And it did have a beautiful natural sweetness.

RECIPE

I’m sorry I eyeballed all of the ingredients so I don’t have specific measurements

  • Fresh Vegetables (chopped and unblanced)
  • Blitzed Pepper mix (tomatoes/peppers)
  • Chopped onions
  • Blended crayfish
  • Smoked Mackerel
  • Stock Fish (pre soak)
  • Seasoning cubes
  • Salt
  • Meats of choice ( I used snails)
  • Palm oil

Procedure

  • Heat Palm oil to smoke point, add chopped onions. Fry till tender. Then add pepper mix and crayfish.
  • Cook for 10 mins and add all your fish and cooked meats
  • Season with salt and Bouillon cubes.
  • Let the sauce reduce completemy before adding your rinsed and chopped vegetables.
  • Stir in the vegetables. Leave it on heat for not more than 3 mins. Then turn of the heat and leave the lid on for the heat to finish off the cooking

Seafood Ogbono

SEAFOOD OGBONO

I’m in love with seafood and that is no secret. Making this was inspired by making Seafood Okra.

Recipe
1. Ogbono Seeds (a 170g milk tin size)

2. Uziza leaves (a handful of thinly sliced leaves)

3. Assorted Fresh Seafood (shrimps/crabs/prawns/fish)

4. Smoked catfish and stockfish

5. 1/8 cup dried crayfish

6. 1/2 tsp Uziza seeds

7. 5 dried Cameron Pepper

8. Cayenne pepper ( ground dried chilli pepper )

9. 1 tbsp palm oil

10. 1 tbsp ogiri

11. Salt

12. Seasoning cubes

Procedure

I used a slightly different method to cook this. I cooked the Ogbono separately before adding it to a lot of cooked seafood

To cook the Ogbono

  • Grind Ogbono Seeds with crayfish.
  • Blend Cameroon pepper and Uziza seeds together.
  • Rinse Uziza and Ugu leaves .
  • Put a clean dry pot on heat and add palm oil, next add the ground Ogbono and stir till all lumps are dissolved now add your meat stock, if you don’t have meat stock add water. The soup starts to thicken and get stretchy.
  • Now add ground Uziza seeds and Cameroon pepper, and a little cayenne pepper for extra heat -if you can take it-
  • Now add your dissolved -dissolve with water- ogiri, and allow to cook for about 5 minutes now add the Uziza leaves and turn off heat after 3 mins.

Preparing the seafood

  • In another larger pot, cook the seafood starting with the fish, cooked with water, onions, seasoning cubes, salt, shredded stockfish, bonga fish.
  • When the fish is almost done, add the Carbs and cook for 3 mins, then add the Prawns.

At this point pour cooked Ogbono into the pot of Seafood and shake it together to mix.

I stirred very carefully with a wooden ladle , cooked for 5 mins and lastly I added the periwinkle. Cooked for 1 1/2 mins and turned off the heat.

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Ofe Assorted! (An Exotic Soup)

Filing this under food therapies. I’ve called this soup Ofe Assorted because that is what it is, I’ve used the basic principle for cooking soups like Oha, Onugbu, Ofe owerri to make this soup, using 3 of my favourite vegetables together. I have also resisted the temptation of calling this soup Ofe Owerri as I have no intention of offering the “Guardians of ancient recipes”, as that is tantamount to offending the gods of the land.

I have stayed a safe distance from entering right smack into the controversy of what vegetable goes into Ofe Owerri. I understand the importance of preserving ancient recipes, if you must tweak it, by all means mention that you put a spin on it but don’t say that is gospel.

I’m a Yoruba girl raised in Ibadan and I know that something as simple as a Ewedu soup has to be made as simple as it is yo stay true to it. Just Ewedu, iru water, salt ,seasoning and if you want to add potash to soften it. Addition of Egusi , fish and all what else is a spin on it, don’t sell it as the original recipe.

Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Oha leaves
  • 1 cup shredded Uziza leaves
  • 1/2 cup shredded Utazi leaves
  • 1 litre Stock
  • 3 tbsp fresh pepper blend
  • 1/2 Cup Palm oil
  • Assorted Meats (cooked)
  • 3 tbsp ground crayfish
  • 1/2 cup mini snails
  • 1/2 cup periwinkle in shell
  • 1/2 cup shredded Stockfish
  • 1/2 cup shredded Bonga fish
  • 1/2 cup shredded smoked Eja Osan
  • 2 Bouillon cubes (I used knorr)
  • 1 tsp Ogiri (optional)
  • 1 tbsp dried Achi
  • Salt (to taste)

Procedure

  • Cook your assorted meats till they are tender and you have about 1 litre of rich stock. To improve the flavour of your stock for this soup add some Stockfish or smoked fish head while cooking your meats.
  • Add your fresh pepper blend and palm oil, ground crayfish and cook for about 10mins.
  • Next add your smoked fish, stockfish, snails and periwinkle , cook for about 5 – 7 mins.
  • Add your achi , stirring it in carefully . Cook on medium heat for about 3 mins.
  • Add your vegetables, giving the Utazi and Uziza a 2 minutes head start before the Oha.
  • Turn the heat off after cooking it for about 5 mins.

  • Enjoy!!!!

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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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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