Monday, September 14, 2015

MY FOOD SECRETS

Dear gorgeous person, you!


Thanks to all my Instagram food pics, I have recently had an influx of messages from you guys about posting all the food pics in one place so it made sense to do it here. A lot of you know I don't do recipes. I'm so Nigerian in that respect - we dabble, pour and throw ingredients in and just go by what we think tastes good. I also go by how 'spicy', 'bland' or 'tasty' I feel I want my food to be on the day, depending on my mood or the occasion. E and I love a bit of a balance - we mostly like spicy and hot but will also settle for bland on some days. 

I've been very much looking forward to sharing all these amazing food pics with you! I would suggest you use the list of ingredients only as a guide, then spice as you want! Go forth - have faith in your inner chef, mix up the ideas below and step up your lunches and dinners x


Dinner: Wholewheat pasta cooked as chilli con carne with frozen peas and sweet corn, served on a bed of warm lettuce. Yes you read that right - warm lettuce - try it, it's amazing! 


Lunch: Stir fried prawns with rice and peppers on a bed of cold lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber. This may look light but it's actually very filling thanks to the prawns and rice.

Lunch: Chicken breast and plantain curry cooked with no oil and some greens. This is a nice and easy dish. You could do it without the chicken for a vegetarian option. Alternatively, you could replace the chicken with beef or the plantain with sweet potatoes. The possibilities are endless.



Dinner: White spaghetti with beaten eggs fried with onions and tomatoes - and of course a side of yummy lettuce. This was actually left over eggs I had from the day before. I just wanted to get rid of it and although I wouldn't normally have eggs and spaghetti, this actually worked really well.

Dinner: Boiled white rice and Nigerian egg omelette (eggs with onions and chopped tomatoes) served with boiled plantain and some spinach cooked in soy sauce, with bell peppers and baby tomatoes. I love plantain and the best way to eat it would probably be fried, However, the healthiest way is boiled and as long as you don't over boil it, you get the perfect texture and it's AMAZING with omelette cooked this way. Yum!! 

Dinner: Extra lean beef stir fry with bell peppers and onions served next to steamed basmati rice (Fried with mixed veg and soy sauce)

Gotta love a healthy roast sometimes. E and I have some variation of a roast on most Sundays. This was home made and as you can see, I have drowned it in gravy - I love me some gravy. Ingredients: Roast sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, broccoli and cauliflower served with some veg. It was so good on it's own, I didn't need any chicken/beef but usually, I do have chicken or beef on the side. 



Breakfast: I absolutely love this meal - one week, that's literally all I ate for breakfast everyday! I call it my mega breakfast, It has sardines, sweetcorn, scrambled eggs (made with almond milk) laid carefully on some wholewheat toast and of course served with some fruit - strawberries, blueberries with a lovely cup of hot green tea! Just YUM!


Dinner: White Basmati rice stir fried with prawns, mixed veg, onions and spiced with soy sauce. This is my staple, go to, quick and easy food. It only takes 20mins to make and it's filling, healthy and just yummy! To save even more time, sometimes I just throw in some Uncle Ben's rice into the microwave which cooks in 2mins and then another 5minutes in the wok to fry the rice in onions, veg and prawns - easy as!!! I would cook a lot of this and use it in different variations throughout the week.

Speaking of variations - here's one. This is exactly the same dish as above except that I have added some greens. A slight variation really does go a long way. Yum yum yum. 


Now that you've seen some of the typical foods I eat daily, you may wanna know what spices are in my cupboard. I tend to use spices such as garlic, curry powder, coriander, chilli, paprika, parsley, mint, maggi cubes, Chinese 5 spice, lemon and thyme mix and so on - it really depends on what I'm cooking. Don't be scared to try as much or as little of these in your food. Just don't forget to taste as you add so you know what effect each one is having on your meal.

MY TOP FIVE FOOD TIPS...

I appreciate not everyone has the time to prepare a home cooked meal every day. As much as it looks like I have a lot of time on my hands, the truth is I don't really and even if I did, I'd much rather not spend it cooking. So here are a few things I do to keep it as stress-free as possible.

1. Mass cook - some people do a big bulk cook on a Sunday but realistically, the best way to mass cook is to 'cook as you go'. Always cook for an extra mouth with every meal. It means you will always have extra to put in the freezer and you're not eating the one meal you mass cooked on Sunday everyday! 

2.  Reuse your left overs. When E and I buy a whole roast chicken on Sundays for example, we end up using the rest of it in a chicken curry! It's still chicken but it now looks and tastes different. There's nothing as boring as eating the same food - the same way you did yesterday!

3. Vegetables are very important but only eat the veg you like. I only like specific types of veg like beans, asparagus, mixed veg of carrots, peas and sweetcorn so I tend to use these quite a lot. Occasionally, I would do broccoli and cauliflower but these aren't my favs hence are scarce in our kitchen.

4. Find your staple food and make variations of it. The same applies to ingredients or spices. Some of ours are avocado, rice, prawns, chicken and beef. We pretty eat these all the time but in very different ways as per above. For more inspiration, do have a look on my Instagram.

5. Get into healthy habits early. I'm by no means a health expert but I'm learning to be as healthy as possible. For example, I would mostly dry fry i.e. with no oil (Even when I'm cooking a curry). If I need to, I would sometime use cal oil (1 calorie spray) e.g. when poaching eggs in an egg poacher but then when absolutely necessary, rather than vegetable oils, I tend to use Lucy Bee Coconut oil to fry and olive oils in cold salads. 

If you do use any of the above, or would like to suggest any tips/recipes for me to use, please do let me know in the comments section below. Also as much as I don't do recipes, I would be more than happy to put together a more specific guide/recipe for you if you let me know which meal you might be interested in below.

Lots of love, 
J
xo xo 

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