Saturday, 30 August 2014

EXTRA SPICY WATERMELON SALAD (OIL-FREE)

Watermelon never tasted so good with this sweet and explosive salad recipe.

In response to one of my Facebook posts, Natural Nigerian mentioned that she likes to add watermelon to her salads. I got inspired, happened to have some watermelon at home, and decided to knock this beauty together. I love how my brain immediately goes to unexpected food combinations. Watermelon...scotch bonnet pepper...

The next time you crack open a giant watermelon, remember this recipe and give it a shot. You won't regret it.



Ingredients
(serves 2 or one very hungry individual)
- 1/4 watermelon (chopped)
- crispy lettuce (shredded)
- 1/2 apple (chopped)
- 1/4 cucumber (chopped)
- 1 tomato (chopped)
- 1-2 stalks spring onion (finely chopped)
- almonds/peanuts (optional)
- juice of 1 lemon
- fresh ginger
- 1/4 scotch bonnet pepper
- cayenne pepper
- ground black pepper
- pinch of salt

To make the dressing, grind the ginger and scotch bonnet pepper in a pestle and mortar. Add the juice of one lemon and allow to infuse.

Throw/arrange the rest of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Spoon/drizzle the dressing over it, making sure to avoid adding large clumps of the ground ginger and scotch bonnet (unless you're extremely fearless with your hot food!)

Sprinkle on some cayenne pepper, black pepper and a pinch of salt.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

YAM BURGERS

So I've given you the recipes for the home-made ketchup and bread rolls. All that's left is to share the actual veggie burger recipe that pulls the whole thing together. 

I wanted something a little different from the brown bean burgers I made over a year ago in my very first blog post (!) and if I had to compare the two, I think this yam burger wins hands down. I particularly like the way it crisps up on the outside and holds its shape perfectly. There's nothing worse than a veggie burger that falls apart on you, turning the process of eating into an embarrassing struggle and unintentional workout, not to mention the gloopy mess it creates. Anyway. I hope you give this recipe a try and that you enjoy it as much as I did. I won't always have the time or energy to make my own ketchup and bread rolls from scratch, but the actual burger is so easy and straightforward that it just might become a staple.

(If the plating looks rushed, it's because I was in a hurry to eat the thing... Aside from a burger that falls apart on you, nothing's more annoying than a cold burger.)

Ingredients
(makes about 6)
- 2 cups cooked yam (chopped into small pieces)
- 1 cup toasted breadcrumbs
- 1/2 red bell pepper (finely chopped)
- 1 large carrot (grated)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Spices (cayenne pepper/garlic powder/Cajun spice...)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Sunflower oil

Throw the cooked yam, breadcrumbs, red pepper and spices into a food processor and blend until you have a soft dough consistency. Scoop out the mixture into a bowl and mix in the grated carrots and seasoning. 

With lightly floured hands, shape the mixture into 6 burger patties.

Heat a little sunflower oil in a frying pan and fry the burgers on medium heat for about 6-8 minutes, turning over to brown on both sides. The aim is to allow the burgers to heat up all the way through.

Serve in a burger bun with a slice of fresh tomato, crispy lettuce, fried onions and ketchup. Enjoy!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

BREAD ROLLS

These turn out perfect every time and is a great way to get your whole house smelling like a bakery! I used these for my yam burgers and the texture was perfect. It held together well and was easy to cut through.
Give it a try and let me know what you think!


Ingredients
(makes 6-8)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp dry active yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup plain flour
- 2 cups wholegrain flour
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp salt
- melted vegan margarine or coconut oil (to glaze)
- sesame seeds (optional)

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water and leave to sit for about five minutes. 

In a large mixing bowl, add the plain flour, wholegrain flour, dissolved yeast mixture, coconut milk and salt. 

Knead for 10-15 mins on a floured surface until you have a smooth dough. 

Place in a bowl, cover and leave to rise for 1 hour.

Divide the dough into 6-8 buns and arrange on a baking sheet. Cover and leave to rise for a further 40 mins.

Brush with some melted vegan margarine or coconut oil (sprinkle some sesame seeds on top, if you want) and bake in a pre-heated oven, gas mark 6, for 15-20 mins until golden brown on top.

Friday, 22 August 2014

HOMEMADE KETCHUP

My quick and easy version is super tasty and will go perfectly with your veggie burgers and chips. Also great as a dip for crisps and crudit├ęs. I used this sauce with the yam burgers I made yesterday and it complemented it perfectly! 


Ingredients
(makes 2 cups)
- 4 large tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup water
- 6 tbsp rice wine vinegar / apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp corn flour

Blend the tomatoes, bell pepper and water until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Boil for about 5 minutes on high heat then turn the heat down completely and allow to simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes. 

Dissolve the cornflour in a little hot water. Add to the sauce and stir well. Bring to the boil again, stirring continuously until the sauce starts to thicken.

Allow to cool before serving. 
Store in a glass jar to maintain the freshness. Keep refrigerated and use within a week.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

SIMPLE SALAD

The salads seem to have it these days. Here's another fresh, easy recipe. There are days when I crave simplicity in my food and this is just one example of what I'm likely to put together.
This was originally posted on my instagram page (www.instagram.com/vegannigerian) and got sufficient attention for me to turn it into a post. Feel free to add as much or as little of each ingredient as you want. I used one tomato and about a 1/4 cucumber for this particular dish. The more greens you can pack in, the better. Vegetables (especially green leafy vegetables) are generally very low in calories, so you don't need to be afraid of eating them to your heart's content. More mouthfuls... Each one packed with decent vitamins and minerals... Win. 


Ingredients
- shredded lettuce
- tomatoes (thinly sliced)
- cucumber (thinly sliced)
- whole almonds
- juice of 2 lemons
- dried mixed herbs
- cayenne pepper
- sea salt 
- capers (optional)

Place/arrange the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

To make the dressing, whisk the lemon juice, cayenne pepper and mixed herbs together in a small bowl. Pour over the salad. Sprinkle on a pinch of sea salt for extra taste, and a few capers (optional). 
It tastes even better when you leave it to rest for a couple of minutes before serving.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

BEST VEGAN SALAD...

...I've made so far.

Perhaps it's the variety.

Or the lemon-scented dressing.

Or the inclusion of plantain.

Whatever it is, this salad hits all the right spots. It's crunchy, slightly tart, sweet, savoury, and incredibly filling.

I've peeled the carrots with my good ol' julienne peeler (remember this recipe?). You can get yours here too (in the 'kitchen' section).


Ingredients
(serves 1-2)
- 1 plantain

- 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce (thinly shredded)
- 1 large carrot (julienned/cut into strips)
- 1/4 small red onion (finely chopped)
- 1/4 cup chopped pineapple
- raisins/sultanas
- 1 tbsp chopped nuts
- fresh strawberries (optional)

For the dressing:
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 tsp maggi seasoning
- 1 tsp olive oil

Toss all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, maggi seasoning, olive oil and dried thyme in a small bowl and whisk with a fork. Pour over the salad and mix well.

Peel and slice the plantain diagonally. You have two options on how to cook the plantain. For a leaner dish, grill the slices, turning them over to brown on both sides. Alternatively, you can make traditional fried plantain by frying the slices in a little sunflower oil, turning over to brown both sides. Remember to drain the excess oil on some kitchen paper.

Serve the salad with the plantain. Enjoy a filling, wholesome lunch or dinner.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

NICE CREAM : 25 DELICIOUS, DAIRY-FREE RECIPES



I hope you're all enjoying the summer and keeping safe.

I am very pleased to share my new e-book featuring 25 scrumptious vegan ice cream recipes.
They're all healthy, guilt-free and totally delicious! So you can indulge as much as you want without worrying about your waistline. 

Would love it if you could download a copy and share with family, friends and anyone you think will find it useful! This is one way to brighten up your summer and treat yourself and your loved ones to something that treats you well in return.  

You can find it in the Amazon Kindle Store or in my store under the 'Books and DVDs' section.

Thanks guys! :) x



A little teaser of the kind of recipes you'll find inside:

 Coconut Candy

Spicy Chocolate

Caramel Cone


Friday, 1 August 2014

FOUR LAYER CHOCOLATE CAKE

Hello folks,

If you're not following the blog on Facebook yet, then what are you waiting for?! :) I'm going to be trying extra hard this month to post lots of useful/interesting links and articles, so do join in and get liking and sharing and all that good social mediary stuff. 

I recently posted up some pictures of this indulgent four-layer chocolate cake that I made for my brother's birthday. The response was great, so I hope you give it a go at home and enjoy the final results as much as my family did. Or make it for someone special and watch their eyes bug out mid-bite as you casually reveal that it is, indeed, entirely vegan! 

My brother was a massive fan. And before you say: 'Well, he has to say he likes it, you're family etc etc...', it is worth pointing out that no one tells it to me straight like he does. He has been the guinea-pig for many of my crazy kitchen experiments and he never fails to say exactly what's on his mind - whether good or bad or...outrageous. With his infamous sweet-tooth and life-long experience in tucking into more cakes than he'd probably like to admit, I was thrilled to receive his positive feedback on this one.

Also, I've never had this much fun baking a cake before. I'm not ashamed to admit that this one came with diagrams and to-do lists and revised shopping lists and... well, I got a liiitttlllee bit obsessed with the idea of what I wanted it to look and taste like. Took two days to construct: one day to bake all the layers and let them cool, another day to create the fillings and ice it up. It's technical, it's time-consuming, and there are many steps involved. Only start this if you have a free weekend or couple of days on your hands.

You'll need a 12" cake tin, cake spatula or palette knife, piping bags and nozzles. 

Enough chatter. Recipe time.
































Ingredients
For first cake mixture:
- 3 cups plain flour
- 1.5 cups soft brown sugar
- 6 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2/3 cup sunflower oil
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 tbsp vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
- 2 cups water

For second cake mixture:
- 3 cups plain flour
- 1.5 cups soft brown flour
- 6 tbsp dried/shredded coconut
- 6 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2/3 cup sunflower oil
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup water

For the filling:
- 3 cans coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 6 pitted dates (or 1 cup raisins/sultanas)
- 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries (or other fruit of your choice)

For the frosting:
- 6 ripe avocados
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 8 pitted dates (or 1 cup raisins/sultanas)
- 4-6 tbsp cocoa powder

For the decoration:
Go wild. Do what you want. But I used...
- dried fruits (cranberries, cherries, etc.)
- dessicated coconut
- dark chocolate squares

To make the two separate cake mixtures, always start by mixing the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder etc.) in a large bowl.  Then mix the wet ingredients (oil, water, vinegar, coconut milk, etc.) in another bowl and whisk lightly with a fork before adding it to the dry ingredients. It is important that you combine this way in order to get the right cake texture.

When you've made the first cake mixture, divide it into two equal parts and bake each part individually in a lightly greased 12" cake tin for 30 minutes in the oven, gas mark 5. Allow to cool slightly before taking out of the tin, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Repeat this process for the second cake mixture.

If possible, allow all 4 cake layers to cool down completely overnight before attempting the filling and frosting.

To make the filling, take the refrigerated cans of coconut milk and scoop out the coconut fat that separates to the top. Avoid adding the excess liquid that has sunk to the bottom. Blend the coconut cream, dates (or raisins/sultanas) and cocoa powder in a food processor until smooth and creamy. 

Start to assemble the cake (on a cake board or tray) by spreading the cream filling between each cake layer. Arrange the chopped fresh strawberries (or other fruit) in one of the layers along with the coconut cream. I did this to have a burst of fruit freshness in each slice. Plus it adds a nice vibrant colour.

Place the stacked cake in the fridge while you make the frosting.


To make the frosting, blend the avocados, dates (or raisins/sultanas) and cocoa powder in a food processor until smooth and creamy.

Take the cake out of the fridge and frost the cake with about 3/4 of the frosting mixture using a palette knife or cake spatula to get a smooth covering. Don't worry about getting it perfectly smooth. It's a messy job so be prepared to wipe around the base of the cake board afterwards.


Use the other 1/4 of the frosting mixture to pipe along the base or anywhere else you wish. I used the little that was left to pipe the number '24' on the top.


Decorate with a mixture of dried fruits like bright red cranberries; sprinkle on some dessicated coconut; top with chocolate squares/chunks/chips etc... 

Refrigerate for an hour or two before serving so that the frosting hardens up a little. Store in the fridge and consume within 3-4 days.


Get creative with your decorations and send me a picture of the final product. If I get responses, I will feature them on the blog at some point...