Thursday, 30 July 2020

4 Refreshing Summer Drinks

My favourite time of the year is here and tomorrow's set to be a scorcher! Stay hydrated with this round-up of fresh summer drinks:

1. Ginger Ale

2. Fresh Citrus Punch

3. Mint Iced Tea

4. Watermelon and Grapefruit Punch


Friday, 10 July 2020

Mango Thumbprint Cookies | Easy Vegan Recipe



I suddenly had a hankering for some shortbread cookies the other day. As you can imagine, finding vegan shortbread is next to impossible, butter being the primary ingredient: all butter this, all butter that. So I decided to make my own. I also had some leftover mango puree that needed using up and so decided to incorporate it into this recipe. Mango puree is stupidly easy to make. Blend fresh mango, pour into a pan and cook on medium heat, stirring consistently until it reduces down and thickens slightly. For a cheat version of this recipe, use store-bought mango jam instead.

I hate to state the obvious, but this is not the healthiest snack in the world. I suppose replacing the white flour with wholemeal or spelt flour would be a step in the right direction, but on this occasion I'm embracing the shortbread cookie in all it's nutritionally-void glory ;)

Thumbprint cookies, as the name suggests, involves using your thumb to press an indentation into each mound of cookie dough and adding a filling. Why not try strawberry jam, thickened pineapple puree or marmalade?

If you like this recipe, you'll also enjoy:
- Garri/Cassava Cookies
- Double Choc Cookies
- Baked Chin Chin

Ingredients
(makes about 20)
1 cup vegan butter/margarine (I use this brand)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla paste or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups plain flour
- 3/4 cup mango puree*/jam

*For homemade mango puree
- 3 ripe mangoes (peeled, seeded and chopped)
- 1 tsp sugar (or leave out for reduced sugar version)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice

To make the cookies,

Cream the vegan butter and sugar until smooth. Add the salt, vanilla and plain flour. Mix with your fingers/hands to form a soft dough. Don't over-knead it.

Form into small, bite-size rounds and place on a lined baking tray. Flatten each cookie, forming a small well in the middle with your thumb. Fill each cookie with about 1 teaspoon of the mango puree/jam.

Bake in a pre-heated oven, 160°C, for 20-25 minutes. Leave to cool for a few minutes before devouring. The mango will set and meld into the cookie. Little slabs of sunshine.

To make your own homemade mango puree, blend the chopped mango (preferably using an immersion hand blender) until fairly smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and add the sugar and lemon juice. Stir continuously on medium heat until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.






Thursday, 2 July 2020

Harissa Bean Spread | Easy Vegan Recipe



This rich, intensely flavoured bean spread is absolutely delicious and versatile - perfect in sandwiches, on toast, flat bread and even crackers.

It's important to cook off the spices in order to properly release the flavours. You'll be left with earthy, smoky tones. The taste is bold - just how I like my food - and its the ideal thing to have on hand when those savoury food cravings kick in.

Feel free to use other types of beans - kidney, black-eyed beans, adzuki, etc.

Hope you enjoy this recipe!





Ingredients
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 red onion (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp harissa paste
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp dried ginger
- 1/2 tsp dried garlic
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tin butter beans (drained)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- salt/pepper to taste
- Fresh mint (optional)

Fry the chopped onion in coconut oil (medium-high heat), then add the harissa paste, ground coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, garlic and tomato purée. Keep stirring for a couple of minutes to release all the spice flavours. Add the butter beans, lemon juice and seasoning (to taste). Cook for a further 2 minutes.

Transfer to a large mixing bowl and mash until you reach a spreadable consistency. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary.

Spread on toast, crackers or flat bread and finish off with some chopped fresh herbs such as mint, if you have any lying around.

Keeps for 3 days in the fridge.





Friday, 26 June 2020

Green Moin Moin


I'm genuinely surprised that this recipe doesn't already exist on the internet. When the idea came to me, I searched high and low but nothing came up. For this reason, creating this recipe felt like a food experiment in its purest form. I had an inkling that it would turn out okay because it's really not a stretch to imagine the results. The idea is so simple and pretty genius because any opportunity to pack in more greens, nutrients, fibre and vitamins is a plus. Moin moin is already pretty healthy - it's high in protein, steamed not fried, made with whole foods, gluten free. This variation adds a nutritional boost but is ultimately a fun way of rethinking traditional moin moin. It tastes flipping fantastic too, so there's that.

If you're not sure what moin moin is, check out this post for the original recipe and description.

Eat it:
- As a side with jollof rice or fried rice
- With a salad for something light and summery
- With ogi for breakfast
- On its own as a snack

About the Greens:
I've used my home-grown kale in this recipe, but I think this would work great with spinach, ewuro (bitter leaf), ugu (pumpkin leaf) or any other dark leafy vegetable that you have available. If you do try other variations, hit me up on Instagram, tag @vegannigerian and share your results.

The recipe can be modified to meet a number of dietary requirements:
a) Use a low-sodium vegetable stock cube and/or eliminate the salt for a low sodium version.

b) Blend 1/2 an avocado with the beans and spinach for a whole food source of fat and eliminate the sunflower oil if you are trying to avoid refined oils.

Steaming:
When I get my hands on some banana leaves, I will attempt this recipe again and steam in the traditional way. In the absence of the leaves, I steamed the moin moin in these 9 centimetre ramekins.


I've listed all the ingredients below and the tutorial video that follows shows the full process. I'm trying to get my view count up on YouTube so I hope you won't mind sitting through the video ;)

Ingredients 
(Serves 4)
- 1/2 cup brown honey beans or black eyed beans (soaked overnight then peeled)
- Big handful of kale or other leafy green vegetable
- 1 cup water
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil (or eliminate is you prefer low-fat meals)
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- salt to taste (or eliminate if you prefer low-sodium meals)

Video

More than happy with the results

Do you spell it moin moin or moi moi? Not sure if it's down to regional differences but I've always known it as the former. In any case, whether you call this green moin moin or green moi moi, I hope you enjoy this recipe!

What a beat...

Monday, 15 June 2020

Nigerian Buns | Vegan, Egg-Free and Dairy-Free

Nigerian buns are crispy on the outside, soft and pillowy on the inside. Much like its deep-fried cousin Puff Puff, it's a popular snack and street food. The difference between the two is that while puff puff relies on yeast to rise, create air bubbles and puff up, buns tend to be slightly sturdier and are completely yeast free.


Nigerian buns are traditionally non-vegan because they contain eggs and sometimes butter and milk. This recipe calls for just 3 simple vegan ingredients and the results are beautiful. Comparable to yeast free doughnuts in terms of look and texture, quicker to make as you don't have to wait for yeast to do the work, and it's easy to play around with the flavour.

This 3-ingredient recipe provides you with a plain base to work with. To add some more excitement to your buns, you could choose to add a dash of nutmeg or cinnamon or chilli powder. You may wish to drench the crispy treats in melted chocolate, runny peanut butter or almond butter. You may wish to infuse it with desiccated coconut, raisins or chocolate chips. You're straying into non-traditional territory with these additions, but I certainly don't see why they wouldn't work.

If you try this recipe, share your creations with me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.


The 3 ingredients:
- Self-raising flour: I understand that this is harder to find outside of the UK, but this can be made at home and is essentially be a blend of all-purpose flour and baking powder as a raising agent. The simple formula is that for every 150g of plain or all-purpose flour, you add 2 teaspoons of baking powder.

- Sugar: I used ordinary caster sugar. Not the best nutrition-wise, but this treat doesn't pretend to be healthy. I haven't tried with sugar substitutes such as agave or maple syrup; I suspect that this would alter the texture slightly but I'd certainly encourage you to try it out and see for yourself.

- Soya yoghurt: plain and unsweetened, preferably. Coconut yoghurt and coconut cream could work too if you don't mind having a strong coconut flavour. In the absence of vegan yoghurt, I've used plant-based milks such as almond, soya and cashew milk.


Makes 12-15 mini buns:
- 8 heap tbsp self-raising flour
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 180g soya yoghurt (approx.)
- oil for frying

Method:
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl to form a thick, sticky, gloopy batter. You may have to eye the yoghurt and add an extra tablespoon or two if your mixture is too dry.

- Heat some sunflower or vegetable oil in a small non-stick saucepan, enough to deep fry.

- Use a teaspoon to scoop rounds of the batter and drop into the hot oil. It will sink at first and then rise to float at the top of the oil. Repeat this to fry multiple at the same time. Keep moving the buns around so that they brown on all sides. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and place on some kitchen paper to drain excess oil. (Tip: before each scoop of batter, I dipped my spoon in a bit of oil. This provides a barrier that stops the batter from sticking to the spoon and makes it easier to drop into the hot oil)

To make larger buns, use a tablespoon to scoop the batter instead.


If you like this recipe, you'll also like:
- Puff Puff
- Banana Lime Fritters
- Akara (bean fritters)
- Plantain Mosa

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Chickpea and Aubergine Curry with Quick Flatbread

It goes without saying that this platform wholeheartedly supports the Black Lives Matter movement. I encourage every single one of my non-black readers to take an active stance against racism; to do the work necessary to dismantle it in yourselves and in the society around you. To educate yourselves and amplify/support black voices and donate to charities involved with the movement. I've shared thoughts and resources on my Instagram page, so do check it out. The work never ends and championing the lives of black people is certainly not a passing trend.

With the heaviness of the last few weeks, I've recognised the importance of nourishing myself and prioritising my well-being. Cooking, amongst other practices such as journaling, has always been that centring and calming activity for me. I hope it can be the same for you.

Enjoy the quick and easy recipe below. It uses ingredients that you probably already have at home and tastes like a dream. As always, share your creations with me online and tag @vegannigerian :)



Ingredients
(serves 4)

For the curry:
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tin coconut milk
- 1 tin chickpeas (drained)
- 1 aubergine (cubed)
- fresh kale leaves
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- salt to taste

For the quick flatbread:
- 6 tbsp plain or spelt flour
- 2 tbsp self-raising flour
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- pinch of salt
- warm water (enough to form a soft dough)

Place all the ingredients for the curry (except the kale) in a saucepan and simmer on medium heat for 10-12 minutes. Add the fresh kale at the last minute.

Form a soft dough with the flatbread ingredients. With floured hands, shape into a roughly round shape with your palms and fingers. Cook in a lightly greased frying pan for a couple of minutes on each side until golden brown spots appear.