Wednesday, 25 February 2015

SORREL OGI (GUEST POST)

How's this for adding a touch of excitement to food? In this guest post, the creative Nigerian food blogger Tatashey shares a vibrant sorrel (hibiscus flower) flavoured ogi recipe. I'd never have thought of adding fresh fruit to my ogi and the addition of pineapple here has got me thinking of all the fruity possibilities :p This could easily pass for a dessert as well, if served chilled. How luxurious and silky does this ogi look though! Sigh...

If you love this recipe as much as I do, then pop over to Tatashey's page and let her know :) You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

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Ingredients
- Sorrel leaves
- Water
- Ogi/Pap (white)
- Fruits (optional)

Directions

Put sorrel leaves and 1 cup water in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes then strain leaves from liquid and set aside in a bowl.


In the same pot, add 2 tablespoons ogi/pap paste and mix with 2 tablespoons of water.


Add the hot sorrel liquid to the ogi and stir continuously till it thickens. Once it starts to bubble, take off heat immediately.


Serve hot with choice fruits (like pineapple, apple, banana or berries).



Saturday, 21 February 2015

SAUCED TOFU AND PLANTAIN (GUEST POST)

If you missed the last guest post (Efo and Poundo) then click here to check it out.

Now, today's guest post features the culinary genius that is 9jafoodie. Her Nigerian recipes are all rooted in tradition but there's no denying the modern touch she brings to every dish. When I asked her to create a vegan meal, she completely exceeded my expectations and I can't wait for you guys to try it out. Go check out the 9jafoodie website and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Enough from me, here's the post...
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The inspiration for this meal came from gizdodo, a combination of plantain and gizzard that is simmered in tomato sauce. Instead of Gizzard, I made use of extra firm tofu. Tofu is a great source of protein and one of my favourite things to eat. I started eating tofu as a kid; it was widely sold in Kwara state where I went to high school. Tofu is extremely versatile; it can be used in sauces, stir fries and stews. On its own, tofu tastes bland, but it will easily absorb the flavour of whatever you put in it. On the nutrition scale, tofu is a good source of Protein, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Copper and Selenium, and a very good source of Calcium and Manganese.






















Ingredients
1 block extra firm tofu (cubed)
1 large ripe plantain (cubed)
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper
Salt – To taste
Deep frying oil
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 small onion - chopped
1/4 red pepper - chopped
1 cooking spoon tomato sauce














Directions

1. Combine the first 6 ingredients. Set aside.
















2. Heat up the deep-frying oil. Fry spiced Tofu/plantain until both start to brown. Remove from oil and set on paper towel to rest.















3. Place a pan on medium heat; add in the two tablespoons of oil, other left over ingredients and fried Tofu/Plantain. 















4. Stir to combine. Add a touch of water. Stir. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and leave to simmer for 5-7 minutes. 















Serve and Enjoy!



Thursday, 19 February 2015

HELLOFOOD (NIGERIA)

So many food options, so little time. And when you throw in the possibility of getting stuck in traffic during rush hour as you go in search of a takeaway, it’s clear to see why a service such as the one provided by hellofood is so invaluable. 
hellofood is a brand new delivery service website that launched in Nigeria recently, with the aim of making food ordering quick and easy. With over 250 restaurants linked to their website, variety (and the chance to try something new!) is only a click away. The website is extremely user-friendly, reliable and professionally designed. All you need to do is enter your city/location, search for cuisine type or enter a particular type of restaurant you have in mind, and you will be presented with a range of online menus to choose from. You then select what you want to order, enter your details and pay on delivery. Simple as that. 
It all sounds wonderful, but of course I had to take a look at it from a vegan perspective too. I had a browse through the menus of a handful of restaurants listed on the site to see the vegan options available and came across a few gems. At Petit Paris in Lagos, for example, you can get a wide range of fresh smoothies and juices, with side orders of garnished fried plantain or herb French fries, steamed rice and so on. At Nono’s Delight in Ebute Metta, you can order jollof rice, indomie with vegetables, moi moi, boiled plantain, spaghetti jollof and side salads – a ton of variety without the need to touch meat and dairy. Most of the Asian-themed restaurants such as China Town Express in Victoria Island also provide veggie options and alternatives such as stir-fries and vegetable curries. 
The best offering of vegan food, however, comes from the ground-breaking restaurant, Veggie Victory, located on Lagos Island. Every single item on the menu is vegan. How exciting is that! And their full menu is available to you online. From tofu suya to veggie burgers to egusi soup, jollof rice and yam porridge, to fresh smoothies, juices and shakes. You can order with the knowledge that your food has been prepared in a 100% meat-free environment! 
To give this service a try, visit the hellofood website or download their app for extra convenience. Let me know how you get on and I’d especially love to hear your feedback if you order from Veggie Victory!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

TWO YEAR BLOG ANNIVERSARY (AND MY LATEST VEGAN DISCOVERIES)

Today marks the two year anniversary since I started this blog. I can still remember the exact moment I decided to start it. I was at home on vacation, sprawled on the sofa with my laptop in front of me, TV buzzing in the background, smiling to myself as the name 'The Vegan Nigerian' popped into my head and commenting to anyone who'd listen that it has-a-nice-ring-to-it-don't-you-think? I was still at the beginning of my vegan journey and everything about it was exciting. Two years on, 169 posts later, and I am just as excited about it today as I was back then. Gosh...'back then'...how time flies!

By taking that one, random decision to start the blog, I think it's fair to say that I've been led onto an incredible path. I continue to encounter inspiring people, places and opportunities. It has sharpened my focus on what I want out of life. Everything seems possible. It's allowed me to keep dreaming while also finding contentment in the things of the present; it's given me the chance to keep doing the things I love - unapologetically; it's shown me that life can be more than simply following the status quo; that life is too short to waste it on things you're not passionate about. I believe God allows everything to happen for a reason and the existence of this blog is no exception. If over the course of the last two years, the blog has caused someone to take a moment to reflect on the importance of their health and well-being (in terms of nutrition) and act on it, then it would have served some purpose.
All these life lessons though... Not bad for a blog that's simply about food and recipes, eh? 

Choosing to go vegan has honestly been one of the best decisions I've made, and having this platform to share this small part of my life and to showcase the diversity and ease of vegan cooking/eating is something I can't take for granted. So... a big, heart-felt thank you to every single person who reads and supports the blog. I'd probably still be updating if only one person bothered to read it, that's how much I enjoy it! :) Keep reading, keep sharing, let's keep the dialogue going.

In other news, I've been discovering a few fun things in the vegan world lately. Here are some snaps from places I've explored, foods I've tried, restaurants I've visited, in the last month or so. Many more foodie adventures to come, by God's grace...

1. Camden, London
When I asked for lemon & ginger tea at Inspiral Cafe, I didn't expect it to be so fresh with actual lemon and ginger pieces floating in my mug - loved it! Also, great view from where I was sitting!




And then I had to visit Cookies and Scream to try their vegan baked goods. A chocolate brownie this time around. My brother approved...



There were vegan options at the Camden Lock food court. Mostly falafel, but hey! The last time I was there, I spotted a West African food stand with jollof rice, plantain and all that good stuff...they seemed to be missing this time around :(



 2. Brighton
Brighton is vegan central, I still can't believe how vegan-friendly the city is! Café's, restaurants, grocery stores, you name it. Here's Infinity Foods, which is packed full of vegan products...


VBites, offering tons of meat-free alternatives. I used their vegan mince in my bolognese recipe...


And then there was Terre à Terre. I'll let the food pics do the talking...








Dinner at Food For Friends, an award-winning vegetarian restaurant...




3. Food For Thought, Covent Garden, London
Kinda cramped in there but the portion sizes are generous...



4. The Gate, Hammersmith, London
Lovely, chilled atmosphere. Very fancy indeed. I hear Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Stella McCartney are fans of the place. I can understand why. My starter consisted of plantain fritters filled with vegetables, served with shaved fennel and pomegranate in a coriander and lime dressing with blueberry and chipotle coulis. Like I said, fancy...


Good ol' rice and curry...


And finally, the poshest looking crumble I've ever seen...


Friday, 13 February 2015

COCONUT VANILLA CAKE (NUDIE SNACKS REVIEW)

Just in time for valentine's day! Who will you be spoiling this year? Whoever it is (and, hey, you might want to spoil yourself too!), this cake makes a perfect gift with that added personal touch. Ditch the conventional flowers and chocolate; bake a cake instead!

I couldn't resist buying the heart-shaped cake tin I used for this recipe. More importantly, I couldn't resist buying some coconut flour to test out in a cake recipe. I ended up making two versions. One that is completely gluten-free and uses a large amount of coconut flour. Another that has coconut flour as a smaller component. I wasn't happy with the first one and I think I'll need time to tweak the recipe before sharing it on here (bear with me my gluten-free friends!). I do have a picture of it though (the two below) and if you reaaallyyy want me to share what I've attempted this time around, then shoot me an email at vegannigerian@gmail.com and I'll send it to you directly. Maybe you'll have better luck or maybe you just might like the texture as it is!



The one I'm sharing today is the second attempt that is NOT gluten-free. It came out amazingly well - spongy, light and held together nicely.

The product I'm simultaneously reviewing is Nudie Snacks Coconut Chips, sent to me by the company. The coconut chips are great as a snack on their own, but I've decided to use them in this coconut vanilla cake recipe as a garnish, to provide that extra crunch and texture with every forkful of melt-in-the mouth vanillery-coconutty goodness.

The premium toasted snack has a slightly sweet flavour and contains all natural ingredients, making it the ideal alternative to oil-laden potato crisps. It's the perfect snack for any coconut lover or any health-conscious person who wants to grab a bite while on the move. I sent a packet to one of my readers as part of her 7 Day Vegan Challenge giveaway snack hamper and she said it was her favourite snack in the bunch!
If you're tempted to give it a try, you can get it on Amazon! Don't forget to follow Nudie Snacks on Twitter!



Okay, let's get on to the recipe.



Ingredients
Dry:
- 1.5 cups self-raising flour
- 2 tbsp corn flour
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar or raw cane sugar
Wet:
- 1.5 cups coconut milk
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil or sunflower oil
- 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
To decorate:
- 1 tin coconut milk (refrigerated upside down)
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Raspberry jam
- Fresh raspberries
- Coconut chips (Nudie Snacks Nudie Snacks original 40g)

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Grab a second bowl and whisk all the wet ingredients together. Pour the mixture into a lightly greased tin that's also dusted with coconut flour.


Bake in a pre-heated oven, gas mark 5, for about 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned on top and firm to the touch. There may be a few cracks on the top - don't worry about that! Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 20 minutes.


Turn the cake out carefully onto a flat surface. Allow to cool for a further 30 minutes before decorating.



Spread a layer of raspberry jam over the top of the cake.



Make the coconut cream topping by opening a refrigerated can of coconut milk and scooping out the solid coconut 'fat' into a bowl. Add a tablespoon of the coconut liquid that has settled at the bottom of the tin then discard the rest of the liquid. Add 2 tbsp icing sugar and a 1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste to the coconut fat. Combine well to form your coconut 'cream'. Place the cream in a piping bag and start to decorate the top of the cake. I just created little mounds of cream over the top of the cake.



Garnish with fresh raspberries and toasted coconut chips. Serve and enjoy!






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