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.