Thursday, 29 November 2012

What's In My Seasoning?

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you should know I stopped cooking my food with Maggi cubes, read THISTHIS and THIS.

After a lot of trial and error, I finally found the right combination of herbs, spices and salt to give me a similar taste to food cooked with Maggi. Not only is this a healthier alternative (read above posts for more information) but the herbs and spices have many benefits which I'll blog more about in future posts..

My simple combination is mixed herbs, mixed spices and sea salt. I also use parsley when I'm cooking fish and, sometimes, pork.

BUT there are times when I don't have access to these and I go back to my childhood favourite combo of curry, thyme and salt, then I throw in a spice I LOVE - ginger, especially for chicken. Ahhh, it seems like yesterday (and not over 2 decades ago), I remember waiting for my turn (we always had a cousin or the other over during the holidays) to fry my eggs, seasoned with - curry, thyme and salt :)

Mixed Herbs
I alternate between:
Schwartz* Mixed Herbs
Ingredients: Marjoram (40%), Basil, Thyme (20%), Oregano.
Sainsburys Mixed Herbs
Ingredients: Dried Sage (25%), Dried Thyme (25%), Dried Oregano (20%), Dried Marjoram (20%), Dried Parsley (10%)

Mixed Spice
I usually alternate between:
The Vital Ingredient Sweet Mixed Spices (Which I purchase from GNC here in the UK)
Ingredients: Coriander, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Fennel, Cloves, Cardamon
Schwartz Mixed Spices
Ingredients: Cassia (40%), Coriander Seed (38%), Caraway, Ginger, Cloves
(Although, sometimes I use the supermarket brand)

Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt
My go-to salt is Maldon sea salt which I buy from Sainsburys or Holland & Barrett.

*Schwartz is available in most supermarkets. Large tubs (and amazing value for money) are sold in Costco.

I suggest playing around with the ratios to find out what works for you although, I have mentioned how much I use in some recipe videos. 

Monday, 26 November 2012

My Weekend...

I *really* treated myself this weekend, unfortunately BUT I'm back on track ;)

Here are a couple of pictures from the last 2 days:

On Saturday, I went to my friend's Thanksgiving dinner, yes we're in London (!!!), and had an amazing time with an amazing assortment of food... YUMM!

I didn't have enough time so I co-washed my hair, applied my leave in conditioner and blow dried my hair. Did two flat twists in front and held the rest of my hair up with a banana clip. Finished with a big flat twist at the back.

I'll put up a tutorial video soon

On Sunday, I went to visit my big-sis-from-another-Mama and this was my dinner, yum!

Look our for some requested posts in the next few weeks.

Have a great week ahead!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Thanksgiving Recipes (REQUESTED)

On Sunday, Omozele (on Twitter) asked me to post some healthy Thanksgiving meal ideas.

She asked and I delivered ;)

Although these recipes are Thanksgiving inspired, they're great for any occasion so try one or both of them out :)

I found out about ground almonds through Katt of Fitter London and it's now always in my pancakes as a flour replacement.

Ground almonds are a great flour alternative because: 100g of flour contains ~ 7 times the amount of carbs as ground almonds.

I'm happy about the way the dough turned out and will soon be trying a much healthier version of our beloved Nigerian meatpie... watch this space.

To all those who celebrate Thanksgiving:


Monday, 19 November 2012

Happy New Week :)

Hope you had a relaxing weekend like I did :) I think I spent all of my Sunday in bed or on the sofa, of course I got up to eat ;)

Thanks for voting for me in the Nigerian Blog Awards, unfortunately I didn't win but congratulations to ALL winners... next year will be better :)

I've been asked to post a video on healthy Thanksgiving meal ideas. Here's a sneak peek, the video will be up tomorrow:

I think this Pumpkin 'Asaro' Recipe could be one of a few Thanksgiving dishes, so if you haven't tried it, now's the time :)

Friday Workouts is a new series (--> Last Week's Video <--) but last Friday, just when I finally got the drive to workout, I found out my camera battery was dead so I didn't record the first (main) part of my workout while the battery was charging.

Here's what I did:

Of course, I won't make the same mistake this Friday! I'll make sure my battery's charged.

Have a fantastic and productive week ahead. Make sure you stick to your healthy goals, I'm on a mission as I had a couple (MORE) stressful weeks and things are finally looking up :)

Don't forget to send in your video/blog requests here or:

See ya!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Healthy Plantain Recipe: 'Dodo' (Pan) Fried Plantain and Tomato Scrambled Eggs

A couple of weekends ago, I was about to prepare this meal and thought I might as well record it. That's my cooking life now - before I cook anything, I look for my camera and tripod!

Then, sometimes, I have grand plans to cook and record... and NOTHING happens. I bought all ingredients for two simple and healthy meals on Monday, today is Wednesday and I still haven't cooked either. *sigh*

Anyway, on to this recipe. If you're Nigerian, you know we love to deep fry our plantain for 'dodo', and any random vegetable oil is often used. A long while back, I thought I'd try out pan frying plantain to see if it would work out. I remember burning it the first time and this was because I'd left the heat on high and forgotten it needed more time to cook because of the little oil used.

After that mishap, I figured it out and this is how I fry my 'dodo' now.

In the video below, I fried the eggs in chopped tomatoes using the leftover oil from the 'dodo'.

My Suggestion: Eat half a plantain with a lot of eggs, especially if you're cutting down on your carbs. The eggs are a great source of protein and will definitely fill you up quick.

I have a few posts lined up including a requested one on seasonings I use. 

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Friday Night Workout!

I have a little more time free on Fridays and thought I'd use the time wisely by working out and also recording it.

I usually attend the Fitter London 'Kettlebells for Strength, Size and a Sixpack' class on Saturdays so there was no way I was going to kill myself doing anything super intense. Well, it's Sunday morning and I can barely walk thanks to the combo of the jump squats in the video below and the horrendous legs workouts in Matt's Fitter London class the next day.

Watch and if you like this possible weekly installation, please let me know by clicking on the thumbs up button on the video page.

See you soon for another Healthy Nigerian Recipe... I will be uploading one later today (another plantain recipe that I randomly recorded last weekend).

Next week's (actual) video will be up on Wednesday or Thursday.

Have a GREAT week ahead!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Plantain Recipe: 'Boli' with Goat Meat and 'Ata'

I've gotten a few requests for more Nigerian recipe videos so this month, as suggested by my friend Cucina Ceri, all recipe videos will be healthy Nigerian meal ideas.

For more Nigerian and Nigerian inspired recipes, check H E R E.

I use little to no oil when cooking my stews, this started when I was on Weight Watchers years ago and wanted to stick to my points requirement BUT still enjoy Nigerian food. I cut down on the oil and used the oil/fat from the chicken/meat and still got the expected flavour.

I've also applied this to the recipe below as usually the blended tomatoes, onions and pepper mixture is usually fried in a lot of oil to get the 'ata'.

Watch and let me know if you try this out.

I recorded another plantain video, and as it was straight forward, I might post it this week as well.

As always, please contact me on Twitter (@Adura_O), Facebook (AduraOO) or via email (info'at'adura-o'dot'com) with any blog or video requests you have.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Guest Post: Blackberry, Strawberry & Banana Smoothie

I always mean to get into the smoothie habit, maybe one or two a week but I forget! A few weeks back I was ill and someone suggested an orange, lemon, lime and ginger smoothie packed with vitamins and antioxidants. It tasted great and I had 2 servings in one day! :)

I haven't tried the smoothie below yet but I will soon, I'll probably add a couple of handfuls of spinach because I love my greens ;)

Now to Aloted's post...

Growing up and till now I am not able to eat fruits in their natural state, they make me puke. I have no idea why. Banana seems to be the only fruit I can eat without feeling like puking. However it is my desire to be healthy, I want to have my five-a-day, or at least close to it so I decided to go the smoothie way!

The first time I had a smoothie was when my sister made some for me. It was yummy and I totally loved the concept! Especially since I could get my nutrients from fruits and veggies this way.

I haven’t really been faithful with making and drinking smoothies but recently I decided to change my ways.

Today I would like to share with you one of my very simple smoothie recipes: Blackberry, Strawberry and Banana Smoothie.

On a good day you would never catch me eating strawberries. They taste sour to me but the good thing about having strawberries in a smoothie is you won’t notice the sourness.

What you’ll need:
  1. Frozen Blackberries & Strawberries ½ pack (I think frozen works best for smoothie, though some people add in ice cubes. They are also cheaper and still have similar nutritional value to fresh ones) 
  2. 1 banana 
  3. 3-4 heaped table spoons of Greek Yoghurt (you could use natural yoghurt as well)
  4. Apple Juice or Water 

Put the above in a blender or a liquidizer. Add just a little water or apple juice so your smoothie can have a creamy texture. Adding juice will give it a sweeter taste.

I used water, as I didn’t have apple juice. Next time if I use water I’ll add in a little honey to make it sweeter. Good thing with smoothies is you can add whatever you like!

Please ignore the messy look of my blender ☺

Blend for a minute or so and viola your smoothie is ready! Serve immediately and drink.

TIP: Make your smoothie in small batches so that it doesn’t go off. If you have left overs you can keep in a cup or bottle with a lid and drink the following day. My sister says smoothies go off after two days. Hmm, freezing left overs might actually work. I would have to try that one-day.

A few benefits of the above ingredients are:

Blackberries (no not the phone!) are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. They are highly nutritious and full of antioxidants. They are also low in calories, carbohydrates, and fat making them one of the best fruits for a balanced diet. They have loads of other healthy benefits.

Strawberries are a nutritional powerhouse, low in calories, full of antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C. Strawberries boost your immunity, promote eye health and help fight cancer.

Bananas are full of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and are one of the best sources for potassium, which is an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function.

Greek Yoghurt is very healthy and contains protein, reduced sugar, healthy bacteria and calcium. It can help you curb cravings and can serve as a mid day snack.

So with those benefits I listed and I haven’t even scratched the surface yet, tell me you don’t want to try out this simple yet nutritious smoothie. In fact, it takes less than 10 minutes to make.

It is very easy to come up with your own smoothie recipe. Make it fun by experimenting with different fruits you like.

I think what I like most about smoothies are you get to ingest more than 1 fruit or veg at a time. Totally cool don’t you think?

Another lovely smoothie I absolutely love is a mix of green grapes, apples and spinach. Sounds odd right? But it's totally yummy and so full of nutrients. You can find my recipe here.

Do try out either of these recipes. I would love to know what you think.

Aloted Omoba (pseudonmyn) is passionate about empowering women. She is the founder of the Super Working Mum website where she writes practical tips for the working mum who desires to optimize her relationships, resources and time. She has recently written her first e-book- Boosting Your Confidence, 15 Steps To Success In The Workplace. For your FREE copy of her ebook, please vist You can find her on twitter as @superworkingmum and/or @aloted

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Easy Twisted Updo

This took little to no time.

I will definitely record a tutorial soon, I was running late so I couldn't today.

Here's a video of a go to hairstyle of mine: