BN Fam! Ki lon sele?!
Two weeks ago, I started a series on how we can eat and enjoy Nigerian food on a lighter note. Someone said “err but Chef Fregz our forefathers didn’t do all this FitFam cooking things and they were alright” I replied saying, “Sister, this is 2014 we don’t have healthy walks to the farm anymore nor do we engage in long treks to the stream to get water. All that exercise was used to burn all that palm oil fat and those carbs from the rice and yam.
People are we doing exercises? If not let’s start abeg. Small Small. Start with walking 4 times a week round your neighbourhood or swim over the weekend and once during the week.
But in the meantime (especially if we are trying not to put on too much weight) let’s just start by cooking things slightly different, but not forgetting flavour.
Anyway, in my seemingly lifetime journey to fitness and slim fit. I’m constantly meeting new fitness and health conscious people, and one of the coolest people ever has to EstaMorenikeji. Yes, we are still in this “catfish relationship” where we haven’t met each other. Even though we have planned to meet over 10km runs but one thing or the other gets in the way. Oh well through our virtual relationship I have learnt a lot form her and she showed me a couple of ways to eat Nigerian but keep it clean!
Esta showed me that ‘swallow’ can be fibrous and cheap. How? Oats! Yes, if you’re thinking “eh en?! Eziokwu!? (is it true?!)” yes it is.
I owe the soup part of the recipe to my baby girl Elizabeth (an ex steward at my grandparents’) who I cried to to make me vegetable soup that was tasty and oil-free and boom she made it! Edikankong that was tasty and guilt free. I knew I served a living God that day, especially when like my friend Atoke would say, I “motivated” it with Oatmeal Swallow.
For today’s post, I have adapted the recipe a little by adding cameroun pepper for an extra kick. Why? Pepper would make you eat less and drink more water and you;d be fuller than expected
Cooking time: The “worst” thing about making this dish is that it takes a little time with steaming/boiling the proteins. The meat takes a little time depending on the type of goat you buy. The female goat is softer and cooks within a shorter time frame. Apart from that it’s pretty quick and easy to do. I’d advise you not to cook your greens for too long, so that even when you freeze, it still retains its colour and nutrients for a little longer.
Okay, i’m going to be completely honest. I still added some palm oil… 3 teaspoons… and yes it made all the difference or so I told myself; but really just 3 teaspoons is okay. No need for the generous helpings of the oil palm.
What You Need
500g Ugwu leaves shredded
500g waterleaf or watercress shredded
1 teaspoon cameroun pepper powder
700g lean goat meat chopped into bit size chunks and skinned (optional is you really love the pomo like skin)
1 whole chicken about 1.4kilos (I used the tough local chicken it takes heat for longer and has more flavour for local dishes) cut up into 8 parts or 16 small bits
3 medium sized dried fish (any smoked dried fish you like is fine here)
3-5 tablespoons powdered crayfish (I used the big red ones)
Ata rodo to your taste (but be careful remember you have the cameroun pepper)
2 medium onions roughly chopped or sliced
salt to taste and extra to wash the water leaf
Seasoning cube to taste
3 teaspoons of palm oil
Start by boiling/steaming the chicken and the meat. In separate pots place the proteins with the sliced onions, pepper, cameroun pepper and water to fill it up half way. To the chicken add the dried fish and the crayfish and allow it dimer for about 30-40mins till the chicken is soft enough. The goat meat should steam soft in about the same time.
While all that is happening, wash your uwgu leaves properly making sure it’s sand free. Then, with the waterleaf wash it with salt and squeeze out the excess water and rinse to remove the saltiness. Squeeze again.
Place enough water to blanche the ugwu on fire. When it has boiled, pour over the ugwu and don’t to allow it sit in the water for longer than 5 minutes. Squeeze the excess water. Place the washed waterleaf and ugwu leaves in the same pot as the chicken and add the goat meat as well.
Allow to simmer for about 12 minutes but ensure that the leaves are still slightly crunchy and still looking fresh and green. Stir in 3 teaspoons of palm oil at the end.
Leave to cook slowly in its own residual heat.
For this part of the recipe you just need water and oats.
If you have time and energy you can powder your oats in a food processor, high speed blender or a good regular blender using the smaller attachment or a spice/coffee grinder. Do not waste your money buying an expensive brand. Use a cheaper not so known brand.
What You Need
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups of oatmeal (powdered or plain)
In saucepan (preferably one that has a handle) place about 2 cups of water and leave to boil. Once it starts to bubble, add the oats and with a wooden spoon stir till well combined. Leave on medium heat to continue to cook. Start stirring and beating it quite vigourously as the water evaporates. Keep doing so as it starts forming like Amala or Semovita. When the oatmeal starts to catch at the pot its about ready. This goes on for about 5-10 minutes.
So there it is… Ekikankong all the flavour with out the fat.
I would like to thank one of the best human beings ever… Ms Beatrice Lawale of Benedetta Photography! She shoots with so much passion and knows what she’s doing I’m begging her to be my official photographer but my pepper never rest! Follow her on Instagram – @missbenedetto and see her work here!
So try this recipe this weekend, so you can eat and not feel guilty. I mean even if you have ice-cream or cake after you would have stuffed yourself first with all that fiber (Yes let’s lie to ourselves or should I say live a little!)
Chef Fregz loves to cook! He is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris Culinary Arts School in France and hosts monthly “Chef Fregz Specials” where he whips up a yummy menu with a different theme each time then everyone enjoys a taste. He also caters special events and private dinners. To find out more visit www.cheffregz.com. Chef Fregz provides premium private catering services. For bookings and orders email [email protected] – @Chef_Fregz on Instagram and Twitter. You can check out the Chef Fregz Page on Facebook as well.