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

(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!

- 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.

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 ;)

(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)


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

- 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 :)

(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.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Sticky Orange Tofu | Easy Vegan Recipe

You've probably heard it said that if you don't like tofu then it's because you don't know how to cook it or haven't tried it cooked properly.

Welcome to the recipe post that's sure to turn any tofu hatred into an epic love saga.

I was inspired to try this after seeing a post by @southernveganeats on Instagram. Hers was more of a dry rub of spices + orange. My take on it goes the gooey, sticky, finger-licking route.

The ingredients are so simple, you won't believe it.

Although I used an air fryer to crisp up my tofu, by all means go ahead and use your oven if you don't have one. Air fryers are a cool kitchen gadget to have if you have the extra counter space and want to save a tad bit more cooking time.

If you like this recipe, you'll also enjoy:
Sauced tofu and plantain
Chickpea and vegan sausage curry
Pineapple and peanut stir-fry
Golden papaya salad

I served mine with a side of sticky rice and home-grown kale. Other suggested ways to serve: tossed with noodles or thrown into a salad. Whichever way, the tofu will be the star - guaranteed.

(serves 4)
- 1 large block of extra firm tofu (about 400g), diced into bite-size cubes
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
- juice from 4-5 large oranges
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 vegetable stock cube

Air-fry or oven bake the diced tofu for 15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius until crispy.

In a large frying pan, add the oil and sauté the chopped onion, garlic and ginger for two minutes until they soften. Add the fresh orange juice. Season with cayenne pepper and dissolve the stock cube in the juice. Cook on medium-high heat for 6-7 minutes until the sauce has reduced, thickened and looks syrupy.

Toss the crispy tofu in the orange sauce.

Serve with a side of your choice. Enjoy!

Friday, 15 May 2020

Plantain Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's pie (also known as cottage pie) is traditionally a meat based pie with a mashed potato crust/topping. I was drawn to making a vegan version, and at first considered using sweet potatoes instead of regular white potatoes for the topping. But then I thought that it was only right to put a proper spin on it. It wasn't a long stretch for my brain to travel from sweet potatoes to sweet plantains. (Have you seen how obsessed with plantains I am??) And so this little number was born.

Underneath the layers of delectably soft and crispy sliced plantain is a rich sauce that I loaded with green lentils, mushrooms, carrots, sweetcorn and red onion. There's a healthy kick thanks to the addition of scotch bonnet and the whole thing pays homage to a traditional Nigerian red stew.

I hope you're inspired to try this recipe out for yourself. If you do, please share it online and tag @vegannigerian. It'll put the biggest smile on my face :)

(Serves 8-10)
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp sunflower or coconut oil
- 1 red onion (chopped)
- 200g chestnut mushrooms (roughly diced)
- 4 large carrots (diced)
- 100g sweetcorn
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 500g cooked green lentils
- 4 stalks green onions (chopped)
- 3 yellow (ripe) plantains

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. Rinse the plantains thoroughly and cut off the tops and tails. Make a shallow slit down one side of each plantain then cut each plantain (with the skin still on) into three large pieces. Place the pieces in a pot of boiling water and allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the plantain softens. Drain and set aside.

3. Place the chopped tomatoes, red bell pepper, scotch bonnet pepper and garlic cloves in a food blender and mix until smooth.

4. In a large saucepan, heat the oil and add the chopped onions, mushrooms, carrots and sweetcorn. Sauté for about 5 minutes.

5. Add the blended tomato/pepper mix to the saucepan and season with curry powder, thyme and a dash of salt.

6. In a small bowl, mix the cornflour with about 4-5 tablespoons of water to form a runny paste. Add it to the saucepan and stir well to combine. This will help the sauce to thicken.

7. Allow the sauce to simmer on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Add the cooked lentils and half of the chopped spring onions. Stir to combine. Transfer the filling to a large oven dish.

8. The plantain should be cool enough to handle now. Peel each piece and slice each one into thick rounds. Arrange the plantain rounds over the top of the filling to cover the entire oven dish.

9. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. The top of the plantain should brown nicely and if not, you can pop it under the grill for 1-2 minutes for a crispier finish.

10. Serve piping hot with the rest of the spring onions sprinkled on top for garnish. Goes great with a fresh side salad and wholewheat bread rolls.

If you like this recipe, you might also like:
Plantain Mosa
Plantain Flatbread
Plantain and Chickpea Curry
Water Fried Plantain

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

No-Flour Vegan Snack Ideas | 6 Easy Recipes

During this lockdown, it seems that everyone is rolling up their sleeves and baking up a storm. Whether it's getting in on the sourdough bread craze, or making a batch of brownies to comfort eat our way through these uncertain times.

Still, there are some who are struggling to find any flour at their local supermarkets (ongoing panic buying?) and therefore deprived of the therapeutic joys of whisking up a cake batter.

Over the last few weeks, I've shared recipes for orange cake and coffee walnut cake. For every comment or message from someone saying how much they've enjoyed the recipe, there's been a comment to lament the lack of flour in the store cupboard.

I've compiled a list of savoury and sweet snack ideas that do not require any flour whatsoever. Flourless delights, if you will. I hope it gives you some ideas and satisfies those quarantine cravings.

(Simply click the link to access each recipe...)

1. Moin Moin
Delicious savoury steamed bean pudding.

2. Garri Cookies
Forget eba, have you tried using garri to make cookies? A revelation.

3. Banoffee Pie
Proceed with caution. You might end up finishing in one sitting.

4. Chocolate Nice Cream
Adapt the original banana nice cream recipe by adding some cocoa powder or melted chocolate.

5. Akara
Fluffy, deep-fried cousin of moin moin.

6. Bounty Chocolate Bars
Delightfully healthy and vegan take on the classic bounty chocolate.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Crispy Cauliflower | Easy Vegan Recipe

Cauliflower wings, cauliflower bites, crispy cauliflower... whatever you want to call it, they're amazing and worth making.

The spices used can be customised to suit your taste - whether you want something mild (mixed herbs, cumin etc) or fiery (cayenne pepper, paprika, etc) - so feel free to play around with different combinations until you discover your signature flavour. I've gone for a combination that's heavy on the garlic and heavy on the heat.

I am yet to make these in an air fryer, but I imagine you'll get solid results. If you decide to bake them, spray with a little oil before baking and make sure the florets are spread out evenly on the baking tray.

As always, share your wonderful cooking trials with me over on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (tag @VeganNigerian) so that I can repost and share the food love.

Have a fabulous weekend,

Tomi x


(serves 2-4)
- 16 cauliflower florets
- 1/2 cup plain flour
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2-3 cloves garlic (finely chopped or grated)
- sunflower/vegetable oil for frying

Place the florets in a pot of cold water (enough to cover the cauliflower) and boil for 10 minutes until slightly softened. Drain and place in a large bowl.

Add the flour and spices. Toss gently to coat the florets evenly.

Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry the florets in small batches, allowing them turn golden brown and crispy on all sides (you may need to turn the heat down to medium-high to prevent burning).

Serve on its own or with a dipping sauce as a snack. Or serve as a side dish to your main meal. Enjoy!

Pop a few next to your jollof rice... utter deliciousness!

Saturday, 25 April 2020

How to Make Kale Chips | Healthy Vegan Snack

Remember when kale chips were all the rage? I have visions of the mounds of kale chips we used to make daily at the vegan restaurant I worked in back in 2016. We'd use it to garnish meals; we'd serve it in small bowls to put on the restaurant tables as a snack. I massaged and seasoned my way through more mounds of kale than I care to admit.

Kale chips haven't gone out of style for me. And on days when I need to use up yellowing bunches of kale, this is my go-to for a quick, healthy, moorish snack.

The chips need to be baked at a low temperature (think the temperature of a dehydrator) but if I'm impatient, I give them a 10-15 minute blast in the oven at 160 degrees celsius. At 110-120 degrees celsius, you'd be looking at 25-30 minutes.

The very easy process is as follows:
1) Wash the kale under cold water.
2) Pick the leaves off the stalk.
3) Add a bit of oil, seasoning and salt. Mix to coat the leaves.
4) Spread the kale leaves out on a baking sheet and bake for 15-30 minutes, checking periodically to remove any that crisp up faster than others.

Some of the seasoning I like to use (in various combinations):
- salt
- black pepper
- lemon/lime juice
- nutritional yeast
- chilli flakes
- hot sauce
- curry powder
- ginger powder
- garlic powder

If I make a large batch, I like to store my kale chips in an airtight container for up to 2 days. (I usually eat it all in one sitting though!)

If you like this recipe, you'll also like:
- Crispy Baked Carrot Chips
- Baked Vegetable Chips
- Garri Crusted Avocado Fries

In the video below, I make kale chips using an air fryer and compare it to the oven baked version.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Vegan Orange Cake with Orange Buttercream | Bake With Me

A few weeks ago, I saw a post on Twitter that joked about pulling out a can of sliced pineapples from under the bed to surprise someone on their birthday during the coronavirus crisis. Rather post-apocalyptic. I had a little chuckle because I thought it was so over the top. If I'm being honest, the severity of the crisis hadn't hit hard yet. Fast forward to now, living through a lockdown, and this scenario doesn't seem so far-fetched.

It was my mum's birthday this past week and because your girl's got mad skills, there was not a tin of fruit in sight. Instead, I made this beaut of a cake: two layers of orange flavoured sponge cake with orange buttercream frosting.

The ingredient quantities make up enough for a two-layer, 8-inch round sandwich cake. Feel free to halve the quantity for a one-layer cake. The buttercream is just enough to spread in the middle and on the top. For a rustic 'naked cake' effect, you can smear small amounts around the outside.

If you'd like to have some virtual company and bake along with me, you can prep all your ingredients and check out my YouTube video. Let's bake together!

And if you do make this cake, share a picture of it online and tag me @vegannigerian so that I can repost :)

for the cakes
- 5 cups self-raising flour
- 2 and 1/2 cups caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups vegan milk (I used Alpro coconut)
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 cup sunflower or vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- zest from 4 medium oranges
- juice from 1/2 medium orange (for syrup)

for the orange buttercream
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 1/2 cup vegan margarine
- zest from 1 medium orange

for garnish
- 3 semi-dehydrated orange slices
- fresh mint

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

To make the cakes, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a very large bowl. Set aside.

In another bowl or large jug, combine the vegan milk, orange juice, oil, vanilla extract and vinegar. Whisk to combine.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold gently with a spatula until just combined. Add the orange zest and fold again to distribute. Be careful not to over mix.

Prepare 2 round 8-inch round cake tins, coating the insides with a dab of vegan margarine and dusting with a little flour to prevent sticking. Use a round of baking paper at the bottom of the tins if you have  any to spare.

Divide the cake batter evenly between the two cake tins. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and cooked all the way through (a toothpick stuck in the centre of the cake should come out clean).

Once the cakes are out of the oven, leave to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle the extra orange juice onto both cakes. This will soak into the cake and act as a syrup to keep them moist and enhance the orange flavour.

While the cakes are cooling, prepare the buttercream and garnish. To make the buttercream, combine the icing sugar, vegan margarine and orange zest in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth and creamy (I used an electric hand whisk to seed up the process).

Prepare the garnish orange slices by baking them at 120 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes until they are semi-dehydrated. The idea is to draw out most of the moisture so that it doesn't make a mess of the buttercream.

Assemble the cake by spreading half of the buttercream between the cakes and the other half over the top. Decorate with orange slices and a sprig of fresh mint.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Aubergine Nuggets | Easy Vegan Recipe

How's everyone coping with the lockdown? Hope you're thriving and resting and enjoying delicious home-made grub. Here's another recipe to add to your list of things to try: aubergine 'nuggets'.

A snack idea that's simple to make, melt-in-the-mouth and totally delectable. They're dairy-free and egg-free (of course) and can be adapted to suit a gluten-free diet.

I made a batch of these nuggets for my family recently and they loved it, so do give it a try and share your attempts on social media, tagging @VeganNigerian so I can repost.

As you'll see in the ingredient list below, I used spices that may seem unusual and uncommon. That's simply because I happen to have them in my kitchen cupboard and felt like experimenting. Feel free to use whatever you have available at home.

(serves 4)
- 1 large aubergine
-  500ml water
- 1/2 cup plain flour or wholegrain flour or gluten-free flour
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek
- 1/2 tsp mace
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- salt
- sunflower oil

Peel and cut the aubergine into large nugget pieces. Submerge them in a simple brine mixture of water and salt (to taste).

In a large bowl, mix the flour with the seasonings/spices of your choice.

Heat some sunflower oil in a large frying pan - enough for shallow frying.

Shake off the excess water from each nugget and dip each piece in the flour mixture to coat completely. Place in the hot oil and fry on both sides on medium-high heat until golden brown. Depending on the size of your pan, you can fry multiple pieces at the same time. Drain on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil. Serve warm with a sauce of your choice.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Coffee and Walnut Cake Slices

Baking soothes the soul.

In this era of self-isolation and social distancing during the coronavirus crisis, a lot more of us will be cooking and baking. I recommend this as a way to stay busy, learn a new skill, manage anxiety and/or expand your recipe repertoire.

As much as we should be choosing healthy, immune-boosting meals where possible, there will no doubt be moments where we want a cheeky treat. I had such a craving this weekend and this vegan coffee and walnut cake absolutely hit the spot. It's easy to make, perfectly sweet, moist and balanced in flavour. It's the ideal sharing snack if you're in quarantine with family or housemates. If you're isolating solo, even more for you to enjoy over the course of a week or two.

If you do try this cake, be sure to take a pic and tag me on social media @VeganNigerian.

Stay safe, much love x

- 250g self-raising flour
- 150g soft brown sugar
- 200ml coconut milk (or other dairy-free milk)
- 3 tbsp instant coffee granules
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 100ml sunflower oil
- handful walnuts (roughly chopped)

In a large bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar. Set aside.

Heat up about 50ml of the dairy-free milk and dissolve the instant coffee granules in it. Combine with the rest of the milk in a large jug/bowl and whisk in the vanilla extract and sunflower oil.

Add the wet ingredients to the flour and sugar. Fold and combine gently to form a smooth batter.

Pour the batter into a lightly greased or lined baking tray (12" x 9") and sprinkle the chopped walnuts over the top. Bake for 25 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius. Leave to cool before slicing into squares.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

How to Host a Live Cook-Along or Cooking Tutorial

If there's one thing that's emerging from this coronavirus crisis, it's the way we're being forced to think and work in more creative ways. On Sunday, I hosted an online cook-along, streaming live to an audience on YouTube. There were hiccups and connectivity issues, but ultimately it was a lot of fun and an extremely rewarding experience.

With most of my in-person events cancelled for the foreseeable future, I definitely see myself exploring and harnessing this form of engagement going forward.

Based on my experience so far, below are a few tips for any chefs and bloggers who are interested in hosting a live cooking tutorial:

You’ll need the following equipment:

- Mobile phone or camera
- Tripod or sturdy surface to lean phone/camera

Before Filming
  1. Promote your event - decide what you will be cooking/teaching and communicate this to your audience via social media or your mailing list. Get them to sign up in advance.
  2. Choose your platform - I used YouTube Live but you can also try Facebook Live, Instagram Live or Zoom.
  3. Test the video and audio quality - fix any issues before you start filming
  4. Check your WiFi connection - make sure that it is strong and reliable
  5. Find the right shooting angle - figure out where to place your camera for optimum exposure. A tripod will make this easier but if you don’t have one, try resting your phone/camera on a shelf or get creative by making a tripod out of a stack of books etc. You should be visible and central within the frame, and include the work surface and stove top you will be using to prep the food
  6. Prepare your space - tidy up any areas that will be visible on camera. Ensure that the space is well lit with natural lighting. Beautify with props or plants if possible
  7. Prepare your ingredients - have your ingredients washed, ready and portioned out before the session begins
  8. Prepare a rough script and place it somewhere off camera but visible to you (see below for example)

During Filming
  1. Speak clearly and loudly, at a moderate pace
  2. Look directly at the camera when speaking to the audience
  3. Try to follow a roughly timed script, for example:
- Introduce yourself - 2 minutes
- Introduce the recipe, the ingredients and the story behind it - 5 minutes
- Showcase how to cook the recipe - 20-30 minutes
- While the food is cooking, interact and answer audience questions
- Plate up and present the final dish to the audience
- Thank the audience for watching, and encourage them to follow your work online.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Mother's Day Online Cook-Along | How to Make Perfect Jollof Rice

Hello everyone,

First and foremost, I hope you are all keeping well and staying safe. As each day gets stranger with Covid-19 (coronavirus), it goes without saying that this is the time to really look out for each other.

It is my hope that The Vegan Nigerian platform will be a safe haven for everyone - a place you can come to when you need a break from the unrelenting and downright soul-sapping news. You can still expect recipes (I'm hoping to develop some immune-friendly dishes so that we can all stay healthy during self-isolation) and I've got a few ideas for other online content down the line so that we can beat the boredom!

As you may have already seen, all my planned events have been cancelled for the time being. Vegan Life Live is hoping to postpone to a later date and they will keep all exhibitors and ticket holders in the loop.

Many small businesses, groups and individuals are going to be negatively affected over the coming months. In light of this, I'll be hosting an online cook-along fundraiser this Sunday (Mother's Day) at 4.30pm.

The YouTube Live cook-along will be free for anyone to watch, but I am kindly requesting donations, all of which will be donated to Migrateful. Migrateful is a charity that empowers refugee and migrant chefs to teach their cuisines to the general public. Due to the coronavirus crisis, they have had to suspend their upcoming cooking classes. Many of the chefs rely on the classes as a source of income and/or donations. Asylum seeker chefs in particular, who are unable to work at all, will be hard hit.
In this cook-along, I will teach you how to make the perfect jollof rice, providing tips and lessons learned from my own mum (no pressure!)
Here is how it works.
  1. RSVP and/or donate on Eventbrite. There, you will find all the details of the cook-along, including which ingredients you’ll need if you want to cook along (you can also just watch as a cookery demo and take notes if you want!) 
  2. On Saturday evening, I will email everyone who has RSVP’d with a reminder link to the cook-along.
  3. On Sunday at 4.30pm, we’ll cook together, chat and hang out live on YouTube!

Whether you’re self-isolating together or apart from loved ones, you can all participate virtually and bring some cooking joy into your day.
I’ve never done a live show like this before so bear with me as I try to streamline the process. 
Hope to see you live on Sunday. Until then, wishing you all good health.
Tomi x