Tag Archives: african recipes

Beef Meat Balls

Meat ball is a small ground meat rolled into balls made from chicken, turkey , beef,  et cetera. The meat is minced or chopped and mixed with eggs or bread crumbs, onions.

Recipe includes,

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 kg package ground turkey
  • 1 egg, beaten

1/3 cup bread crumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking dish with the olive oil, and place it in the oven while preheating.  
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground turkey, egg, and bread crumbs using your hands. Using an ice cream scoop if possible, form the meat into golf ball sized meatballs.
  3. Place about 1 inch apart in the hot baking dish. Press down to flatten the bottom just slightly.
  4.  Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn them over, and continue baking for about 5 more minutes, or until somewhat crispy on the outside. Serve with pasta and sauce or however you’d like.

 

How To Make Ekpang Nkukwo (Cocoyam Porridge)

 Cococyam porridge popular known as Ekpang nkukwo, is a native Efik meal and apparently is also native to Cameroonians.

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Made from grated cocoyam and water yam (optional), the dish is spiced up with so many other ingredients and the nutritional contents cannot be rivalled. The meal, however, is not an everyday meal. It is so special and it is reserved for majorly special occasions.

Usually wrapped in vegetables which are so rich in vitamins, there certainly cannot be Ekpang without periwinkles. Of course, periwinkles are low in fat and calories but contain protein, omega-3 fatty acid and water.

INGREDIENTS 

Water Yam or cocoyam

Vegetable (cocoyam leaves optional or Ugwu preferable)

11/2 cups of periwinkles with their shell

Dry fish

1 cup of crayfish

1 cup of tiger shrimps

4 cubes of maggi

1.5 tablespoons of dry pepper

½ teaspoon Crushed dry bitter leaves

1 tablespoon blended crayfish

4 cups of water

3 cooking spoons of palm oil.

Pre- preparation

Wash and cook the beef and dry fish with the seasoning till done.

Peel, wash and grate the cocoyam and water yam  and mix them together.

Rub a generous amount of red palm oil on the insides of the pot you will use to cook the Ekpang.

Wash thoroughly, the ugwu or cocoyam leaves

Blend the pepper and crayfish

Wash the shelled periwinkles with warm water and salt

DIRECTIONS

Line your pot with periwinkles and season with a teaspoon of salt, pepper and 2 cubes of Maggi cube.

Boil 1.5 cups of water

Scoop some cocoyam onto your leaves and wrap them till the edges of the cocoyam are sticking out on both ends of the leaves.

image

Once this is done, put the pot of the cocoyam on low heat and let it heat up for about 10 minutes.

Season with 1 table spoon of salt, 1 table spoon of dry red chilli peppers, 2 cubes of maggi, a pinch of crushed dry bitter leaves and a tablespoon of blended crayfish.

 Add dry fish, shrimp, and dry crayfish but don’t stir in.

Pour in the hot water slowly around the edges and still leave on low heat for 5 more minutes.

Increase the temperature to medium heat and pour in 2 cups of water as your pottage cooks. Cook for 20 minutes on medium heat with a covered pot.

Add more water as need be until the cocoyam at the ends of the leaves start to harden.

Stir your pottage gently at this point and reduce to low heat for cook for 5 more minutes.

Pour in 2 cooking spoons of palm oil, stir in and leave to simmer on low heat for 5 minutes and food is served.

Serve with chilled water or fresh juice

Calories In Peppers

Peppers — hot or not – spicy or sweet, contain many phytochemicals, which are naturally occurring compounds found in plants.

Many of peppers’ phytochemicals have antioxidant abilities. This means they can help neutralize free radicals in the body, which damage cells. So they may help prevent or reduce symptoms of certain diseases.

 Consuming just one yellow pepper provides the body with 7 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A, 15 percent of vitamin B6, 568 percent of vitamin C and 500 percent of potassium.

This means that even if you only eat a few pieces of the pepper, you’re still providing your body with a nutritious and beneficial snack.

Weight Loss Tips

There are certain foods you should avoid when trying to get healthy and lose weight. Most of these food are obvious because they contain ingredients known to cause weight gain. There are some foods not as obvious and can be just as bad for you. These foods are a problem because most people do not know how to avoid them and therefore consume them more often than they should. Here are five such foods you should never eat again.

White breadimage

White bread is a local staple but the truth is, it doesn’t have any nutritional value. It contains a lot of sugar and isn’t as filling as desired. Substitute your white bread for whole grain or whole wheat bread when possible. Also substitute bread on your sandwiches with lettuce leaves, fresh tomato or cucumber.

Fried Foodsimage

Many people only associate fried food with fast food restaurants and do not realize they also consume them at home. Especially in this part of Africa, it’s hard to avoid frying most meal. But if you must, use olive oil instead as it more healthier and has lower fat content

Cream-based salad dressingsimage

Salads can be very nutritious but can become unhealthy when covered in cream-based dressings that contain a lot of fat and calories. There can be more calories in your salad dressing than in the rest of your entire salad. Try oil-based salad dressings instead. They taste lighter, and have less calories.

White riceimage

Rice is a common staple but the truth is, white rice can cause your body to store fat when it doesn’t need to. It also has no nutritional value. Local rice (Abakaliki) and brown rice is the best option because it is full of fibre, vitamins and nutrients. It will also keep you satisfied longer so you are less likely to overeat.

House Warming party

In my earlier article i mentioned how i hosted my guests to a cocktail housewarming party with some sumptuous stick meats like peppered goat meat (Asun), peppered gizzard and peppered cow skin (Kpomo).

So after 18 months of the building construction, we decided to throw a house warming party as its the perfect way to meet neighbors and introduce your new home to friends and family.

It started with light music in the background while welcoming guests with a glass of chilled pineapple juice or water for a start. Different games where made available for anyone who wished to keep busy with another invitee. While some just interacted with others.

Of course guests won’t show up at the same time, so myself and hubby planned on giving a couple of tours to the available guests on ground and we kept it brief (5 minutes tops) so while one of us show people around, the other was by the front door to greet newcomers.

We didn’t want a formal party that would keep guests looking so serious and uptight like they came for an interview. The idea was to host an informal party that would make everyone loosen up.

Things got interesting once it was time to serve them the spicy peppered kpomo for a start with chilled drinks including alcohol. This was really an appetizer as my guests craved for more.

Then came the peppered gizzard and the guests were wowed by it. They never had an idea that I was saving the best for the last which was the peppered goat meat (Asun),

This left them craving for more.

Now it was time to enjoy the best part: the dance. Days before the party, hubby had carefully selected some of Naija’s best hip-hop hit songs and he made a good DJ that night. We all danced till we dropped. It was really fun! A guest was moved to say: “You’ve made my evening and it seems we’re going to name you the Chief of Entertainment in this Estate”. We all laughed.

After about 3 hours of a fun-filled night, guests from far were taking their leave, while others who lived around hanged around for more stick meat, drinks, games and mingling. It was a nice evening hosting my guests and I was really excited they all loved my home-made stick meat.

10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Carrots

 

 

That saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, is also applicable to carrots too.

In recent years, carrot has gotten a lot of attention because of its many health benefits, including beautiful skin, cancer prevention, and anti-ageing and most amazing of all is the increase in sperm count.

Eating either as raw fruit juice or in cooked form, carrot can be easily added to one’s diet without much extra preparation

Health benefits of Carrots are:

Cancer prevention

Eating fibre rich carrots reduce the risk of colon cancer by as much as 24 per cent. Another study shows that women who ate raw carrots were five to eight times less likely to develop breast cancer than women who did not eat carrots.

Studies have shown that eating carrots may help lower the risk of breast cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer. Researchers in a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reported that carrot contains a compound that acts as a natural pesticide found to reduce the risk of cancer in rats.

Consumption of carrots increases the level of beta-carotene in the bloodstream. British researchers discovered that increasing beta-carotene consumption from 1.7 to 2.7 milligrammes a day reduced lung cancer risk more than 40 per cent. The average carrot contains about three milligrammes of Beta-carotene.

Healthy skin 

Vitamin A and antioxidants protect the skin from sun damage. Deficiencies of vitamin A cause dryness to the skin, hair and nails. Vitamin A protects the skin from sun damage and even prevents premature pigmentation, wrinkling, dry skin, acne and uneven skin tone. An inexpensive and convenient facial mask, made from mixing grated carrot with a bit of honey, ensures a beautiful skin.

Improves vision 

Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A is transformed in the retina, to rhodopsin, a purple pigment necessary for night vision. In addition, beta-carotene help protect against macular degeneration and the development of senile cataracts. Macular degeneration is a common eye disease of elderly. It impairs the macula.

A study found that people who eat the most beta-carotene had 40 per cent lower risk of macular degeneration than those who consumed little.

However, boiling carrots whole boosts health benefits rather than slicing them. According to Food chemists at Newcastle University , slicing them before boiling for instance resulted in the loss of 25 per cent of its healthy ingredient, falcarinol by a quarter.

Healthy Glowing Skin (from the inside)

Vitamin A and antioxidants protects the skin from sun damage. Deficiencies of vitamin A cause dryness to the skin, hair and nails. Vitamin A prevents premature wrinkling, acne, dry skin, pigmentation, blemishes, and uneven skin tone.

Prevents stroke

According to a Harvard University study, people who ate more than six carrots a week are less likely to suffer a stroke than those who ate only one carrot a month or less. Many studies have shown that carrot has good effect on brain.

Expels worm

An infusion of carrot has long been used as a folk remedy for thread worms. A small cup of juice or two medium sized carrots taken in the morning for at least a week can help to deworm

Anti-Aging

The high level of beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism.  It help slows down the aging of cells.

Prevent Heart Disease

Studies show that diets high in carotenoids are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.  Carrots have not only beta-carotene but also alpha-carotene and lutein.

The regular consumption of carrots also reduces cholesterol levels because the soluble fibers in carrots bind with bile acids.

Healthy Teeth and Gums

 It’s all in the crunch! Carrots clean your teeth and mouth. They scrape off plaque and food particles just like toothbrushes or toothpaste.  Carrots stimulate gums and  trigger a lot of saliva, which being alkaline, balances out the acid-forming, cavity-forming bacteria.  The minerals in carrots prevent tooth damage.

Improves Sperm Count

“The secret to healthy sperm? Carrots,” the Mail Online website declares. The study it reports on found that certain vegetables may help improve sperm quality. Men who eat carrots can boost their sperm quantity and quality by a 6.5% increase in sperm motility.

So never deny your body the right to keep healthy.

How To Prepare Custard

 

Knowing how to make custard is a skill you’ll never regret learning. Great for every pudding you can think of. Personally, i enjoy having custard with fried plantain or bean pudding (moi-moi)

Truthfully,every time I make custard it is never smooth, it is always lumpy so how do you make a simple custard that you can use with a desert?

Custard Powder

Water (Hot and Cold)

Evaporated Milk 

Sugar (to taste)

DIRECTIONS

Put some custard powder into a good size bowl.  

Start mixing by pouring a small quantity of cold water into the bowl of custard powder. As you stir,  add some more water till you have a medium mix with no lumps.

Set the bowl aside and put a kettle of water to boil. Make sure the water will be enough. It is better you boil too much water than not have enough water.

Just before the water boils, stir the custard mix very well because some of the custard may have settled at the bottom of the bowl. If not stirred well, this is the major cause of lumps when you start making the custard.

Once the water boils, pour it slowly but steadily into the bowl of custard and stir at the same time. Pouring the hot water slowly and stirring at the same is very important because this prevents lumps from forming.

Once you see the custard starts to thicken, stop stirring and reduce the flow of water you are pouring till the custard has completely set.

Stir the custard very well. If it is too thick for you, you can add a little hot water. But be careful else your custard will become watery. And remember that you will still add liquid evaporated milk. Add evaporated milk and some sugar to taste and stir everything to the way you like it.

Custard is ready to be served. 

How To Prepare Peppered Gizzard

Peppered gizzard makes a wonderful appetizer especially when it is served at special occasions such as parties or even at home to entertain guests as small chops.

So I hosted my guests to a cocktail house warming party last weekend and it was really fun. Instead of the usually fried rice with chicken, I decided to go simple with peppered kpomo, peppered gizzards as well as peppered goat meat popularly known as asun.

Here are the ingredients for preparing peppered Gizzards;

2 packs chicken gizzards

Fresh peppers (enough qty to your taste)

2 medium onions

1 big stock cube

1 teaspoon thyme

Salt (to taste)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Toothpicks (for serving)

Rinse and place the gizzard in a  pot, add 1 cup water ,in 1 cube of maggi, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Simmer on low heat for 25 minutes.

Increase the heat to high and stir constantly till all the remaining liquid in the pot is absorbed. You don’t want to lose any flavour by pouring away the gizzard stock.

Lay the gizzards flat in a baking bowl.

Grill in an oven at 170°C or 338°F till the top side is dry and brown. Turn them and grill the underside too till dry and brown.

 imageIf you don’t have an oven, just deep-fry them.

Pound or chop the fresh peppers (no water)

Cut the onions into big chunks.

 imageHeat the vegetable oil in another pot.

Add the pepper and onion. Allow to fry for 3 minutes and season with 1 maggi cube, thyme and salt to taste then add the grilled or deep-fried gizzards.

Stir very well till the pepper is evenly distributed on the gizzards.

Serve with chilled drinks.