Monday 31 December 2018

2018 Recap | Happy New Year!

2018 was a happy and fulfilling year at The Vegan Nigerian HQ - filled with new experiences, travel, exploration and a truckload of good food (of course!)

As we cross over into a new year, I can't help but smile as I think back on some of the highlights:
  • my blog turning 5!
  • being consistent with YouTube. This time last year, I made an unofficial commitment to post at least one video every week, and it happened! Click here to watch my top 10 vegan recipes of the year.
  • featuring real-life Vegan Nigerian stories such as this one.
  • catering a wedding for the first time. This was an experience and then some, chronicled in this blog post.
  • exploring the vegan food scene in Madrid, Malta, Thailand and Paris. I've well and truly been bitten by the travel bug and every holiday is an opportunity to discover great vegan food.
  • hosting a collaborative food/networking event centred around my favourite ingredient: plantain!
  • hosting a dinner for a celebrity guest.
  • cookery demonstrations at Brighton VegFest and London VegFest.
  • publishing my Plantain Cookbook.
I can't help but feel that 2019 is set to be extraordinary. I hope to shine a brighter spotlight on health and wellness - foods and lifestyle practices that make us feel our very best and lead lives that are joy-filled and fulfilling. I hope you stay tuned and continue to follow along.

Sending lots of love and good wishes for the New Year!

Tomi x

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Roasted Pear, Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Coconut Salad - Vegan Christmas Side Dish

Hey beautiful readers! Christmas is SO close and I'm finding it difficult to contain my excitement. Over the weekend I decided I'd test out a festive recipe ahead of the big day - a delicious vegan side dish that is sure to wow my family. Well...hopefully! I certainly think it's the bees knees; the perfect combination of sweet, slightly bitter, crunchy and delicate. Some people absolutely detest Brussels sprouts, but I'll venture to say that it's probably because they haven't had it cooked the right way. Give this recipe a try and you won't be disappointed.

(serves 2)
- 300g Brussels sprouts
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pear
- Leafy salad greens
- 1/2 cup shredded beetroot
- Handful toasted coconut

For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp finely chopped parsley

Start by removing the stems of the Brussels sprouts. Peel the outer layer and giving them a rinse. Place in a pot of boiling water for about 4-5 minutes. You want them to still be firm - nothing worse than mushy sprouts! Drain and allow to cool slightly before slicing thinly.

Finely chop the garlic and toss with the sprouts, along with the tablespoon of sunflower oil. Arrange on one side of a baking tray.

Thinly slice the pear and lay the slices on the other side of the baking tray.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.

Assemble the salad by placing all the ingredients in a large salad bowl - be as generous with the leafy salad greens as you want.

Whisk the salad dressing ingredients together and drizzle over the top.

You might also enjoy my festive chilli Brussels sprouts.

Tuesday 11 December 2018

African Christmas Market at The Africa Centre

Lots of Christmas gift inspiration at this year's African Christmas Market.

The Africa Centre is a dynamic hub set up to support and showcase African culture, enterprise, art and music in the UK.

Tuesday 4 December 2018

Vegan Mac and Cheese - Daiya Review

As you know (if you've been following closely), I was at London VegFest back in October. Canada-based company Daiya had a stall there this year and were making it rain with free boxes of their vegan mac and cheese.

I first encountered Daiya at Natural Products Expo West in California back in 2015 (read my California post here). They hadn't broken into the UK market at that point, but when I tasted samples of their products back then.. boy, did I wish that they would. Up until that point, it was the best vegan cheese I had tasted. It's not surprising to see that they've grown and gone international.

I didn't grow up with mac and cheese so I can't say that I'm an expert on what makes it good or bad. Still, I was excited to try it out. I stored it away in my kitchen cupboard for a day when I couldn't be bothered to cook or for when I had a craving for something comforting and 'cheesy'. That day came over the past weekend.

Daiya Deluxe Cheezy Mac comes in a bunch of different flavours, including Alfredo Style, White Cheddar Style, Four Cheeze Style with Herbs (coming soon), and the one that I will be reviewing today - Cheddar Style.

You'll see from my YouTube video below that the cooking process is ridiculously simple, so points for convenience.

The pasta is made from brown rice, so my gluten-free friends can rejoice. It cooked in exactly 8 minutes and still had a nice bite to it.

The 'cheese', which comes in a squeezy pouch, is a shockingly bright yellow. If this was achieved through artificial colours, I'd instantly have been put off. But the yellow colour is actually annatto - an orange-red condiment derived from the seeds of the achiote tree (thank you Wikipedia!) In terms of taste, it is rich, gooey and rightfully extremely cheesy.

I sprinkled some crushed chilli flakes over mine, because you can never have too much heat.
For a quick, lazy, comforting, one-off meal, Daiya's mac and cheese is a great shout and I would have it again.

Have you tried it? Would you try it? Let me know!