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
- 1-2 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!