Sunday, 18 February 2018

Vegan Nigerian Stories: Ema

1. Tell us about yourself.

My name is Ema and I work as an advisor at a university. I enjoy relaxing, travelling and the gym (well I’m trying to).

2. How long have you been vegan and what inspired the change?

I have been vegan since January 3rd 2016, i.e. this is my 3rd year. My most influential vegan inspiration was a girl who I met on a trip to China in summer 2015 and she was the first vegan I had actually met and chatted with and I asked her questions about veganism, which she answered. I am very open to trying out new things so when I returned home, I started to eat a more plant-based diet, and would eat meat on occasion and also at Christmas due to lack of planning. When the new year came, I decided to try veganism strictly  and see how long I would last, and well, here we are :). I also had several epiphanies whilst eating prior to this, where I would be eating a piece of  meat and think, ‘oh crap! that was once alive’ and would be really grossed out for a moment, but carry on eating anyway.

3. How did your family/friends react to you going vegan?

Well my parents thought I had joined a cult or something, and often  said that what I was doing wasn't right since God said we should eat meat. The ‘V’ word soon became some sort of taboo in our house  and I kid you not, we once had a family meeting where I was accused of rejecting the right upbringing I had been given, all because I went vegan. One would have thought I was a murderer or something.
They are slowly easing into it though, because 3 years in, I am still alive and healthy and strong. My siblings support me 100% and they are all very pro-vegan, though they are not vegan themselves.  

My friends have mostly been supportive, except the ones that become nutritionists when you talk about being vegan. Some made statements like, ‘I’m sure you will soon eat chicken’ and ‘but bacon…’ Quite frankly, such comments have kept me going, as well as the feeling that comes with being vegan  i.e. I feel good after I eat, I don't feel heavy, I have a lot more energy and have been inspired to get fitter. 

4. Thoughts on being vegan in Nigeria?

I haven’t been to Nigeria since going vegan and I slightly dread the trip because I know how animal products are incorporated into most foods.

5. Give us an idea of the kinds of meals you eat.

6. Any tips for fellow Nigerians/anyone who wants to go vegan?
a) Just do it!
b) Your body is a temple, not a graveyard, so treat it like one!
c) Be more open minded to trying out new foods and new experiences.
d) It's okay to not get it right straightaway.  Just try and try again.
e) Planning is the key to getting it right, especially when you first start.
f) Do a lot of research. There are a lot of Facebook and Instagram groups for support and inspiration. 
e) Just because it's vegan, doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

5 Years, 5 Giveaways

The Vegan Nigerian blog turns FIVE on February 15th! Half a decade! I can hardly believe it.

To say it's been a wonderful ride so far would be an understatement. Keeping it short and sweet as I often like to do, I'll just say that I am immensely grateful for every single person who has followed along, tried a recipe, attended an event, and offered support in one way or another through words and actions.

As I'm in a celebratory mood, this giveaway features FIVE vegan prezzies under the categories of food, knowledge, gadget, beauty and experience. You can enter right here on the blog by subscribing and leaving a comment below. Or you can enter via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by tagging FIVE friends under the giveaway posts. Simple.

FIVE people will be selected randomly and notified on 27th February. Good luck!

#1 - FOOD - Varo Jollof Rice
12 packs of jollof rice in the original and mixed veg flavours. Lunch or dinner sorted for the next fortnight!

#2 - KNOWLEDGE - 'You Won't Believe It's Vegan' Cookbook
Learn a bunch of new recipes and hone your vegan cookery skills with this handy vegan cookbook.

#3 - GADGET - Tofu Press by Tofuture
A unique, stylish and efficient way to remove excess water from unpressed tofu. A must-have for lovers of tofu.

#4 - BEAUTY - Vegan Beauty Products by Bourne Beautiful Naturals
A selection of cruelty-free, handcrafted skincare products that smell like a dream and leave you all radiant and stuff. 

#5 - EXPERIENCE - Two free tickets to The Vegan Nigerian Pop-Up Restaurant
For London residents only. Bring a friend along and enjoy some of my cooking in real life. Hint: there's currently an event in the works. Coming soooooooon! ;)

Monday, 12 February 2018

Our Hen House Podcast

Hey guys,

If you're into podcasts (and you should be! :p) then check out my interview with Jasmin Singer on episode 422 of Our Hen House where she asks me questions about my vegan journey, recipes, animal rights, and lots more!

Really hope you give it a listen! Be sure to follow and subscribe to Our Hen House for brilliant content centred around the movement to end the exploitation of all animals.


Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Hackney Downs Vegan Market

I paid a visit to the Hackney Downs Vegan Market for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It was a rainy, dreary day, but that didn't stop crowds of people from gathering to enjoy the delicious selection of vegan food and products on offer. In this short clip, I highlight a some of the vendors that were around on the day, most of them regulars at the market. If you've got some spare time over the weekend, pop over to East London and treat yourself. Open every Saturday between 11am and 5pm at Hackney Downs Studios ;)

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Vegan Beef Stew | VegMeat [VIDEO]


This post's especially for readers and subscribers living in Nigeria.

A while back, I got my hands on a pack of 'Vegetarian Chunks' a.k.a. 'VegMeat', a product created by the individuals behind Nigeria's first vegan restaurant situated on Lagos Island - Veggie Victory. In spite of the name, it is in fact suitable for vegans. If you think going vegan is impossible because you absolutely looovvveee your meat, but there's a part of you that would totally go for it if a worthy alternative existed, then this product may be just perfect for you.

With no additives or preservatives, VegMeat is a healthy meat substitute that has the taste and likeness of beef. Bonus? It has none of the cholesterol that you find in meat, making it ideal for anyone who wants to avoid heart-related diseases in the long-run or is simply looking to watch their weight.

So, I'm sure you're just gagging to know what it's actually made of. You'll be pleased to hear that the ingredients are wholesome and chemical-free: soya protein, wheat, garlic, ginger, salt, vegetable oil, onion.

It's many uses include but are not limited to: stews, soups (like efo riro and egusi), and suya.

At N500 (98p) for a packet which serves about 4 people, it won't add too much of a dent to your budget.

If you're in the diaspora, I'm sure you already know which meat substitutes are out there. Soya chunks can be bought online from Amazon, or in stores like Holland & Barrett, and Planet Organic.


- 2 cups red stew mix (blended tomatoes, red peppers and onions)
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 150g vegetarian chunks
- vegetable stock cube
- salt to taste

In a large pan/pot, heat the sunflower oil and add the red stew mix. You can make this dish oil-free if you wish.Add the vegetable stock cube and season with salt.

Add the vegetarian chunks. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetarian chunks have softened.

Serve on a bed of rice or other carb of choice.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Chocolate Almond Mousse [VIDEO]

Want a gorgeous, light, healthy vegan dessert that's ready in under 10-15 minutes? I've got you covered.

My OG readers will recall the first time I discovered chocolate mousse made using avocados. My mind was blown! Fast forward a few years and here I am revisiting the jaw-dropping phenomenon. This time with a slightly nutty twist.

Enjoy the recipe and video, make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel for weekly content (Tuesdays = upload days!), try not to drool over your keyboard as you scroll through these pics, and well...have a fantabulous week!

(serves 2)
- 3 ripe avocados
- 1/3 cup Vita Coco coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 heap tablespoons brown sugar

- 1 heap tablespoon ground almonds
- flaked almonds, to garnish

In a food processor, blend all the ingredients (except the flaked almonds) together until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides of the food processor and blend at intervals.

Chill for a couple of hours before serving with a generous sprinkling of flaked almonds.