Sunday, 5 May 2019

Vegan Nigerian Cooking Class



What a great evening this turned out to be!

As part of the 'Vegan Chefs of Colour' series by community cooking school 'Life After Hummus', I got to lead a Nigerian cooking class on Friday. We had a sold out event with 35 attendees learning the ins and outs of dishes such as jollof rice and efo riro.

The twist was that everything was low-fat and healthy to the nth degree. Aside from the plantain,  which needed a little spray cooking oil, the entire menu was oil-free. The jollof rice and efo was paired with a zesty coleslaw. Dessert was a palate-cleansing salad of fresh pineapple, mango and coconut, brought to life with a hint of nutmeg. For the full recipes, check out @lifeafterhummus on Instagram (recipes from the classes are always posted there afterwards).

Thank you to everyone who came along, to Farrah for all her hard work in organising the series and lovely volunteers on the night.

On a related note, if you're a group or corporate organisation looking for a fun team-building activity such as a cooking class, do get in touch!

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

6 Important Supplements Every Vegan Should Take

Guest article by Dr. Charles-Davies, a medical doctor who loves to share health information and runs 25doctors.com.

A vegan diet has its advantages; it can help to maintain a healthy weight, lower the risk for kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, colorectal cancer, and heart disease. Vegans rely heavily on consuming fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains - a diet that is very beneficial in providing fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamin A, C, E, folate, and minerals like potassium and magnesium


Now, the truth is that a standard vegan diet alone does not take care of all the body’s nutritional needs. If you adopt veganism, you need nutritional supplementation to stay healthy. You also need to speak to your doctor and dietitian to properly give you all the health information you need about your dietary choice.

Supplements For Veganism

Here are some nutritional supplements that you could take as a vegan if you want to stay healthy and enjoy the benefits of your dietary choice:

1. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. The body can store it in the liver for up to 4 years and urinates the extra. It is structurally the most complex and largest vitamin. This is the most important supplement in the list to consider.


Vegans should take B12 fortified foods or supplements derived by bacterial fermentation-synthesis. The recommended daily allowance for adults is 2.4 mcg per day, whereas pregnant women need 2.6 mcg and lactating women 2.8 mcg.


To identify the deficiency of vitamin B12 look for signs of confusion, depression, memory problems, tingling sensation, insensitivity to pain, fatigue, constipation, and loss of appetite.


Dietary sources for vegans include fortified cereals, grains, bread, and plant-based milk. Sprinkling nutritional yeast or spirulina on popcorn, potatoes, pasta, and salads will help to provide.
Taking high potency tablets - 2000 mcg once a week or 25 to 100 mcg daily is also a reliable source.


2. Omega -3S


Omega – 3 Fatty Acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids which are of three types – ALA, EPA, and  DHA.
ALA can be obtained from plant oils but DHA and EPA are mostly derived by consuming marine life, eggs, and krill.


These compounds are mainly essential for proper brain functioning as DHA supports grey matter in the brain. It has its role in neurodevelopment, cognition, treating various mental illnesses like ADHD, depression and bipolar disorder. Other roles include reducing autoimmune and allergic exacerbations.


Minimum consumption of 250-350 mg combined EPA and DHA is recommended daily.
 The sources of ALA include chia seeds, hemp seeds, Brussels, soybeans, walnuts, flaxseeds, and leafy greens.

DHA and EPA are mainly supplemented by the algae that act as a source for the fishes. You can pick up on these supplements.


3. Calcium/ Vitamin D

Vitamin D and Calcium act as a unit.
Calcium is one of the top 5 minerals required by the body. About 99% of Calcium makes up the bones. The rest of it is required for muscle contraction, blood clotting, maintaining normal heart rhythm, enzymatic functions and maintaining teeth.


Vitamin D which can also be regarded as a hormone that helps to absorb Calcium. It has its role in body immunity, anti-inflammatory lung benefits, treating kidney disease, depression, and weight maintenance.

The deficiency symptoms of these two may include fatigue, catching frequent infections, pain in the lower back or legs, easy fractures, impaired wound healing, hair loss, and frequent muscle sores.


Recommended daily allowance RDA for Calcium is 1000-1200 mg and for Vitamin D is 400-800 IU (10-20 mcg).


Vitamin D can be obtained by 20-30 minutes of sunlight exposure.
There are two types of supplements– D2 and D3 that provide the daily requirement (400/600/800/1000 IU tablets). You can also take 60000 IU every 6-8 months.


The vegan sources for calcium are chickpeas, spinach, cereal, figs, almonds, navy beans, soybeans, and turnip.
Calcium-fortified plant milk, tofu, white flour and orange juice can be added to reach adequate requirements. Supplements are 2 tablespoons of Blackstrap molasses and Calcium tablets ranging from 200-600 mg every day.


TIP: Drink loads of water with calcium supplementation. Get a blood test for your levels to adjust your intake since an excess of both is harmful.


3. Iodine

Iodine is a major mineral in the body with a recommended daily allowance of 150 mcg. For pregnant and lactating women, it is up to 200 mcg.  It has its role in the synthesis of thyroid hormone.


Vegan sources include potatoes, prunes, bananas, corn, sea vegetables like kelp, sea lettuce, cranberries, and strawberries.


Since more than 30% of the world is deficient in Iodine, salt fortification has been used worldwide and is highly recommended. A deficiency will lead to thyroid dysfunction that can be noticed as a neck swelling, weight gain, poor hair and skin health, cold intolerance, memory, and menstrual problems.


4. 
Iron

The normal level of iron in the body is 3-4 grams. You can check these levels by your hemoglobin level, iron profile, blood picture, and complete blood counts. It has its role in transporting oxygen throughout the body, enzymatic action, DNA synthesis, and energy metabolism.


Iron deficiency is the leading cause of anemia. You may be dizzy, fatigued, light-headed,  or have palpitations, behavioral changes, paleness, headache, brittle nails, and hair loss. These signs are easily missed out, so, it is best to get a blood test done.


The recommended daily allowance is 8 mg for adult men and old women. It is 18 mg for women and 27 mg for pregnant females.


The sources include soybeans, black beans, chickpeas, quinoa, brown rice, pumpkin, sunflower, cashews, collard, green leafy vegetables. Despite this wide range of sources, vegans are more prone to develop iron deficiency. This is mainly because females lose iron with every menstruation and pregnancy.

Fortified iron cereals, grains, bread, and plant milk can help. You can supplement Iron in tablet forms and consume it 2-4 times a day depending upon the deficiency.


TIP: Have it alongside Vitamin C rich sources. They will help Iron absorb better.


5. Probiotics

Probiotics consist mainly of microorganisms that are the “good bacteria”. Vegans fear that they might be deprived of it since yogurt is the only known natural probiotic source.


Probiotics help with good digestion, prevent gastrointestinal diseases, increases immunity, improve mental health, reduce colon cancers, provide improvement in diabetics and obese individuals.
The vegan sources include consuming fermented foods like pickles, Kimchi, fermented soy products and fermented teas. You can also consume vegan probiotic capsules.
 Here’s a review of some of the best probiotics.

6. Proteins

Proteins in the human body are compound chains of 20 types of amino acids. They help in tissue growth, development, and repair. They also act as neurotransmitters, hormones, transporters, immune cells, enzymes. In fact, 16% of the body is made up of proteins.



Sources include peas, beans, cereals, grains, nuts, sunflower and sesame seeds. Certain foods like amaranth, soy and buckwheat will provide the full portion of essential protein requirement.

Protein should be consumed as much as 1 gram per kilogram body weight. So if you are 70 kgs, you consume 70 grams of protein. In case you are an athlete or are deficient in your intake, you can start supplementing with protein powder and using amino acid fortified food items.


Be careful not to overdose any of the above mentioned.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Easy Vegan Tiramisu


Back when I worked in a professional vegan kitchen, tiramisu was one of the signature desserts on the menu for some time. An out-of-the-blue craving inspired me to revisit it, and now I get to share it with you, so we all win!


If you can just take the time to make some vanilla sponge cake (check out the recipe here) and let it sit around for a day or two to get a tiny bit stale, then this dessert is a breeze to assemble. You only need a few store-cupboard elements: instant coffee, a tin of coconut milk, sugar and a dash of cocoa powder.

Enjoy this week's recipe/video, and don't forget to subscribe to the ol' YouTube channel - lots going on over there these days. And if you like this recipe, then you'll definitely appreciate my recipe for vegan banoffee pie!





Thursday, 25 April 2019

Jollof Rice and Moin Moin Stuffed Peppers



Stuffed peppers are nothing new, but it doesn't feature much in Nigerian cuisine. A shame, considering we have so many delicious things to stuff them with. In this case, I've used leftover jollof rice and moin moin. The jollof is made using brown rice (check out the full recipe here) which is perfect because you do need a slightly dense, mushy consistency to hold the dish together. And you can find the recipe for moin moin here.

This recipe came to mind because I had a ton of red peppers that I needed to use up. Not one to turn a blind eye to a good bargain, I came across a fruit & veg stall while ambling through Peckham one day, and saw that they were selling 10 red peppers for £1. Yes, you read that right. How could I resist? The standard thing would have been to blend it all up to use in stews etc, but I'm glad that inspiration struck and I made this instead. Red peppers, when roasted, are absolutely delectable. They get soft and sweet and succulent, with a more intense flavour than their raw counterpart.

These freeze really well, so are great for meal prep. Make a bunch of these and you've got lunch/dinner sorted for the next week. Simply reheat in the oven or microwave, and serve with a side of fresh salad.

Enjoy this week's video, be sure to give it a go, and don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for weekly videos!





















































Friday, 19 April 2019

MyHeritage DNA Results | ANCESTRY | Nigerian and...?



As a storyteller, I have a deep fascination with history, memory and family sagas. I've been on a recent quest to create my family tree and to see how far back I can go in tracing the steps and stories of my distant relatives. By interviewing older members of my family, I have already uncovered a myriad of exciting facts and anecdotes. Like a bright-eyed young student, my thirst for knowledge is insatiable.

When I first heard about the DNA tests you can take to discover more about your genealogy, my first thought wasn't about the potential dangers of sending off such sensitive data to some random company. As I type this now, I get a little passing chill. Who's to say our world isn't heading down a very Black Mirror path? But the chill quickly dissipates to a shrug of indifference. Que sera sera.
No, the suspicion and skepticism did not immediately spring to mind. Ever the idealist, I couldn't wait to try it out; to dig deeper into the rabbit hole of my current mission.

Before receiving my results, I made a few predictions. I guessed that I'd probably end up being 95% Nigerian, 3% Ghanaian and 2% some mix of other West African identities. Well...give the video a watch to see how far off I was.

Now that I have this new information, my research has become more nuanced and I am able to refine the questions posed.

Time will tell how far back I can trace, but one thing I know for sure is that it is vital for us to tell our own stories; to understand and take pride in where we've come from; to capture our history in concrete and intentional ways that will inspire generations to come.

Regular foodie content will resume next week. Until then, stay happy!

Thursday, 18 April 2019

My Go-To Quick & Easy Veggie Stir Fry

Hullo,

I've got a backlog of posts to catch you up on. If you follow me on YouTube then you'd have seen this veggie stir-fry recipe already. I don't want to say that I am losing steam when it comes to posting on the blog, but there are certainly times when I procrastinate and let things slide. Especially now that I'm being super consistent with videos, that extra step of then creating a blog post around it is taking some getting used to. My lazy self mentally checks out once I hit that video upload button and then I tell myself that this bit can come later. Sigh. Still, with spring well and truly underway and the brighter weather sending my energy levels bursting through the roof (I'm convinced that I'm solar-powered), here I am at my kitchen table...writing this.

When it comes to quick vegan meals, it doesn't get more generic than a stir-fry. Everything but the kitchen sink gets jumbled up in a pan, exact measurements fly out of the window and each chosen ingredient is just a bit of what your stomach fancies in that moment. I've been on a kale kick recently and so this recipe (with slight variations here and there) has been a staple of late. I eat it with almost everything - rice, pasta, boiled potatoes... heck, it even tastes like heaven with pounded yam. I take the quick and easy one level up by using Siracha hot sauce to pull all the veg together. I'm in and out of the kitchen in 10 minutes or less, and it is glorious.

Enjoy this week's video, don't forget to subscribe to my channel and I'll catch you sooooon! x









Sunday, 24 March 2019

Vegan Nigerian Mukbang

London-based food company, I Go Chop, recently launched a home delivery app (I Go Chop Express) which allows hungry customers to order Nigerian street food straight to their door. To celebrate this launch, they sent me a brilliant box packed with vegan food and goodies, along with a discount code that I can share with you - vegannigerian - to get 15% off your order.

Download the app on iTunes or Google Play.

With all that glorious food suddenly at my disposal, I decided to film a mukbang video for this week's YouTube upload. A mukbang is a style of video where an individual eats a large amount of food in one sitting while speaking to an audience through the camera. A rather weird phenomenon that has taken over the internet in recent years.

This video is quite different from others I've shared previously, and I suppose it was fun trying something new. Aside from watching me eat, you'll get to find out a bit more about me as I answer some Nigerian-tag style questions. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you have a wonderful week!

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Vegan in Utrecht, Netherlands

Veggieworld festival in Utrecht took place on the 9th and 10th of March this year, and I was invited to lead a cooking workshop by the festival organisers, ProVeg. So off I went with my little cabin bag and the ingredients I'd need to make two of my favourite recipes from my cookbook - choc chip plantain pancakes and sweetcorn/plantain fritters.

The video below captures some of the highlights from my trip. Give it a watch to get a glimpse of the festival, my workshop, and some delicious vegan food finds (particularly useful for anyone thinking of travelling to Utrecht and wondering where to find the best vegan food)!

Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more content, and stay tuned for this Sunday's video. It's going to be...different.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Vegan Pancake Party | Video



This stunning video by [IG: @dungubook] captures the highlights from last week's event. Enjoy!

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Pounded Yam Pancakes | Vegan and Gluten-Free

My blog has a decent number of pancake recipes, from banana oat pancakes, to hemp pancakes, to malted plantain pancakes, to sweet potato pancakes, to classic French crepes. Things are about to get more interesting with this recipe...

When it comes to sweet breakfasts, pancakes absolutely top the list for me and with pancake day just around the corner (as well as the collaborative pancake party I'm hosting on Tuesday), I've been experimenting with yet another variation that is not only vegan but gluten-free as well. Gluten-free pancakes can be tricky. You have the texture to consider (we only care for light, fluffy pancakes round these parts), and how well the pancakes hold shape, etc.

I had low expectations when I began experimenting with this particular recipe using Olu Olu's pounded yam (iyan) flour. Pounded yam is a classic Nigerian savoury dish eaten with a side of vegetable stew. Check out the recipe here. It's unheard of to use this flour in sweet dishes, but the result was an absolute revelation; a surprise on all levels. I'd even go so far as to say that this is currently my favourite vegan pancake recipe.

Check out the video below to see how it's made, and let me know if this is something you'll be trying for yourself!



Ingredients
(makes 6-8)
- 1/2 cup poundo flour (click here to buy)
- 1-2 tbsp sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 and 1/2 cups soya milk
- Sunflower oil

Place the flour, sugar, salt and soya milk in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Leave to stand for 15-20 minutes.

Heat some sunflower oil in a large frying pan and fry the pancake batter for a couple of minutes on medium heat. Flip and brown on the other side.

Drain on some kitchen paper. Serve with your favourite toppings (berries, syrup, bananas, peanut butter, chocolate sauce, jam, lemon, cinnamon... etc.)


Sunday, 17 February 2019

My Vegan Valentine | Pop-Up Restaurant



It felt good to be back doing a pop-up, and what sweeter way to kick things off than a Valentine's Day event. My guests were wonderful, the venue beautiful and thanks to an amazing assistant, the whole thing went without a hitch.

The menu, for any curious cats, was:

- Trio of dips (sweet potato, beetroot, caramelised onions) with spiced cassava flatbread
- The Vegan Nigerian taste bowl (jollof rice, plantain, stewed beans, rainbow coleslaw & sauteed kale
- Chocolate mousse with hibiscus jelly and coconut sugar cookies

If you're ever in need of someone to brighten up your event, special occassion or retreat with some delicious food, don't hesitate to get in touch with me. This year, I'm embracing memorable, inspiring and down-right fun events.

And here are a few pictures from the night:








Vegan Pancake Party! | Event Details

Choc-Chip Plantain Pancakes from my Plantain Cookbook. Click here to grab a copy!


If the number of pancake recipes I have on this website is anything to go by, it's pretty obvious that I can't get enough of the stuff. If I could, I'd have it for breakfast every other day.

And so with pancake day coming up next month, I've teamed up with Olu Olu Foods, AngryBlackKitchen and UNDERLDN to host an all-out pancake party. As well as some classic pancake flavours and toppings, things are going to get super fun and experimental. You've probably noticed in recent posts that I've been using Olu Olu's cassava flour in a number of innovative ways. Well, that's not going to stop anytime soon. Aside from cassava flour, we'll also got plantain flour, yam flour and bean flour to play with.

Come alone or come with a friend, I'd love to see you there! Tuesday 5th March, 6.30pm - 8.30pm at Black Cat Cafe in Hackney. Tickets are only £10 and can be purchased from Eventbrite here. Hurry though, because with barely any promotion, tickets are already selling fast!




Sunday, 10 February 2019

Apple Pot Pies | Cassava Flour Pie Crust



More culinary experiments with Olu Olu's cassava flour. If you haven't already, check out the delicious cassava pasta I made a couple of weeks ago.

Apple pot pies are quicker to make than regular apple pies in that you only need a slab of pastry to cover the top. This recipe is therefore the way to a quick snack or dessert in just a few steps. No rolling pin required, no fancy pastry techniques.

The pastry turned out crispy around the edges, and had a bit of a chew to it - I guess that's what you get when you essentially make a fufu crust.

If you're feeling particularly playful, definitely give this recipe a try. I'm loving all the new and different ways I can use traditional West-african ingredients... Refreshing to break the mold once in a while!






Sunday, 3 February 2019

Vegan Nights London - Worth the Hype?

I wandered down to Vegan Nights for the first time last Thursday. It's this huge, incredibly hyper night market (usually on the last Thursday of the month) that celebrates all things vegan. Food stalls as far as the eye can see, music blaring overhead and crowds of eager folk either eating, dancing or capturing their experience digitally.

On a cold January night, you'd think the crowd of revellers would be somewhat modest, but numbers were through the roof, definitely hitting the thousands, and it was a glorious sight to behold.

I'd heard from various people over the course of last year that it was worth the time and effort to visit but something always got in the way of me going. Now that I've seen it for myself, I fully understand the hype around it and it fills me with immense excitement to see how veganism is growing in leaps and bounds!

In this week's video, I've gathered some of the clips captured from the night - I hope it gives you a full sense of what to expect if you're ever tempted to wander down and see for yourself!

Thursday, 31 January 2019

My Vegan Valentine - Event Details

Love is in the air at The Vegan Nigerian HQ as I prepare to host a Valentine's Day three-course vegan dinner.

My very first pop-up event of the year!

I'm looking forward to welcoming couples and individuals who want to enjoy a delicious meal in a delightful setting. Whether you come as a couple, as best friends, or simply wanting to treat yourself (because why ever not!) I'm sure you'll have an amazing experience.

Book your spot and join me on Thursday 14th February at Paradise Plantbased. Doors open at 7pm and dinner will commence shortly afterwards.

Tickets can be bought here.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email or leave a comment below!


Sunday, 27 January 2019

Homemade Cassava Flour Pasta


This recipe goes out to all my gluten-free friends out there. It also goes out to any chef or home cook who loves to experiment with different ingredients.

Cassava flour is made from nutrient-rich cassava tubers that have been washed, sun-dried and milled into fine flour. It is a staple in many African countries, often used to make fufu. However, in this week's video I use it to make my very own gluten-free pasta. The recipe is easy, delicious and worth a try!

To make your own homemade pasta, you'll need cassava flour, ground flax seeds and water. That simple. Check out the video below to see all the steps I took:


Sunday, 20 January 2019

Guinea Corn Porridge | Red Ogi



Hello wonderful people,

I've officially switched my YouTube upload days to Sundays, so here I am with yet another recipe video. This time sharing how I prepared this nutritious bowl of guinea corn porridge. Back in 2014, I shared a recipe for ogi (also known as akamu or pap), which is a corn-based porridge made using white or yellow maize. This dish falls under the same family, except here we have a bowl of gorgeous coral pink.

Guinea corn is an ancient grain that is packed with a lot of goodness. It is a great source of calcium and iron, and it is high in fibre and protein. Nowadays, you can buy guinea corn flour online from your local African food store (if you're not based in Nigeria). Whipping it up into a porridge is easy as pie, as you'll see in the video below.


You can have it plain or sweetened. You can top it with fruits, seeds and nuts to add some texture and sneak in more nutrients. You can serve it with a side of moin moin or akara. Any which way, it is delicious and sure to hit the spot.

Have a great week, and see you next Sunday with another videooo :)




Monday, 7 January 2019

Guide to Going Vegan | Free Download


You're curious about veganism or you're ready to take the leap.

But you have questions and want to find out what a vegan lifestyle really entails. How hard is it? What can you eat on a vegan diet? How can veganism change the world? What benefits can you expect? 

This guide will provide you with all the information you need to get started.

Download your free copy below:

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