On my very delicious menu today is the amazing fisherman soup! Perhaps one of the most famous indigenous riverine delicacies; this recipe is made with an assortment of seafood and a few robust Nigerian spices that creates a wonderfully intense flavour. This dish is indeed one to prepare for your family and friends, as it is an ultimate crowd pleaser. A little taste of this delicious south southern delicacy will leave them wanting more and more.

The first time I tried this dish was in Eket in Akwa-ibom state; and like most akwa-ibom dishes, this recipe is very rich, as it is packed with the best ingredients available at the fishmongers market. With this, there is no denying the fact that delicacies from the riverine areas are always so delicious and fresh due to the availability of seafood present in their region.

This soup has semblance with rivers native soup, although slightly different, they are both very delicious hearty meals that should be enjoyed in company of friends and family. It is also very similar to a Mediterranean seafood soup called bouillabaisse made with a rich mixture of fish, shellfish and prawns and flavoured with tomatoes, saffron and orange. I like to say that the world is interconnected one way or another by food and this recipe brings that thought to life in many ways.

This is a pretty simple and straight forward recipe and it cooks quickly too, seafood doesn’t cook for too long, else it will begin to scatter all over the place. Am really excited to get this recipe going, I actually made it for my family here at home to celebrate Mariellasmenu clocking three years. We have put out a contest on all our social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram and twitter so as to reach out to our able customers and followers. A lucky winner will win a 2 litre bowl of our delicious efo-riro soup as well as 3 thousand naira worth of recharge vouchers. You can check that out on our social media platforms later on. For now, let me quickly share this recipe with you so you can recreate and celebrate with us from home as well.

Let’s cook!

Ingredients
1) Seafood assortments ( I used snails, prawns, fresh fish, and periwinkles)
2) Dry pepper ( I made it spicy, use as you desire)
3) Crayfish 20g
4) Oziza leaf a handful
5) Oziza seed 10g
6) Palmoil ¾ of a cup
7) Okra 10g
8) Pounded yam (I used to thicken the soup)
9) Seasoning 10g
10) Salt 2g

Directions
1) Prepare all of the ingredients by washing them thoroughly

2) then, boil and pound the yam and set aside, this is to be used to give the soup its slightly thick consistency

3) Now, in a clean pot with about 2 cups of water, add the seafood assortment and season well, pound the oziza seeds and tie in a sieve cloth, add this into the pot as well and allow all to simmer for 5 minutes then set this aside.











Cookstip: I do not add the fish immediately with the rest of the seafood because I don’t want the fish to break into bits, you can add the fish after the rest simmers for 3 minutes

4) Now take out the tied oziza seeds from the pot and add into another pot of boiling water

Cooks tip: another 2 cups of water will do. Remember I cook for my large family hence my measurements. Please adjust your measurements accordingly.










5) Add in the crayfish, dried pepper, seasoning and salt, stir this a little before adding the palm oil.

6) Bring the heat down a little and add in the sliced oziza leaves. Allow to simmer for two minutes or just enough time for the release of the distinctive oziza aroma.



















7) Now start adding dollops of the crushed yam/pounded yam inside the pot and allow to melt and dissolve. By this time you will notice that the sauce has thickened.

8) Pour this sauce into the parboiled seafood assortment and stir gently, still on low heat, allow this to simmer for 4 minutes or until the sauce is well incorporated with the seafood.




9) Add in the fresh okra chunks and periwinkles and stir again gently, give this a minute, then set it down and your delicious fisherman soup is ready to be devoured with any Nigerian swallow.


with the christmas festivities just around the corner, I think you should add this to your christmas dinner menu! do you already have plans for your christmas party? comment below and let us know. remember to follow our instagram page to take part in the contest.

Be Inspired!

Mariellasmenu

















So I made a delicious and healthy milk drink today using dates, coconut and beetroot. and I must tell you that it tastes absolutely amazing. There is this honey like sweetness from the dates, a milky creaminess from the coconut and a rich earthy flavor from the beets, coming together to make this milk drink a winner for me. This milk drink is thick and packed with a whole lot of nourishing goodness that is sure to keep you full for a long time. The sheer simplicity of this drink makes it a must try at home. You don’t have to do too much; just blend, sieve, refrigerate and serve!

This milk drink recipe was given to me by a friend of mine who is of Hausa Fulani decent. Originally, her recipe consisted of only dates and coconuts, I however added beets, to make it a bit more vitamin enriched as well as give it the rich velvety red color it has right now. I am sure your family will fall in love with this milk drink. I have a very similar milk drink recipe on here, you can try that out too and decide which you prefer. But for me though, this is a winner!

                                          Date fruit
Dates are the edible drupe fruits from date palm trees. Also known as Dabinu in Hausa, dates can be eaten in both fresh and dried forms. They very sweet and chewy and are used in preparing various dishes, especially many Moroccan and Middle Eastern recipes. It is also an essential commodity in the Northern part of Nigeria where it is used mainly for breaking fasts during the Ramadan. I believe this is because, the natural sugars found in dates, helps cure their sugar-rush and boost their energy levels, after such long hours of fasting. Dates are also high in natural sugars, thus, making them great substitutes for sweeteners. Which means dates can be used to sweeten teas, smoothies, juices, and milk drinks. They are also excellent for making caramel sauces and for baking sweet treats. Of course one has to use in moderation especially if you are diabetic.


Apart from their very sweet tastes, Dates are highly nutritious fruits packed with enough vitamins and minerals to set you on the right track for the day. As stated in www.medicalnewstoday.com, dates are loaded with antioxidants such as polyphenols which protects the human body from inflammation, dates also contain fiber which helps promote healthy functioning of the excretory system, and the fiber also keep us fuller for longer periods. Dates are also high in potassium, selenium, manganese, copper, magnesium and so much more, all these vitamins and minerals found in dates help cure constipation, diarrhoea, high blood pressure and intestinal disorders and so much more. In other words eating dates is good for you. Remember if you are diabetic, try and go minimal with it'

Do you also know that dates are natural aphrodisiacs and are beneficial in increasing sexual stamina and reducing sterility? Well studies have shown that dates contain high levels of estradiol and flavonoid, chemical elements that aids the increase of sperm count and motility! Same goes for women as well. consuming dates helps keep women lubricated naturally

See why this drink is a winner anytime? Go on, try it now!

Ingredients

1) Dates 1kg

2) 2 large coconuts

3) 6 large beetroots

4) Clean water

Directions
1) Pit and soak the dates i
n clean water until very tender. I soaked mine overnight from 8pm, so when I got up in the morning it was already very soft









Cookstip: do not drain the water from the soaked dates, you need it to blend the coconuts and beets.
2) Crack the coconuts and peel the beetroot. Cut then into small sizes, just so they can fit into your blender

3) Put as much dates, coconut and beetroot as you blender can contain and blend in batches, remembering to add more water for more fluid.










4) Pour out into a sieve or cheese cloth. Cheese cloth is much better. Squeeze out all the liquid, chill and serve cold.
Cookstip: This milk drink doesn’t keep for too long, make the quantity your family can finish in a day or two


Remember that my measurements are usually large because I cook for my family, if you are single or have a smaller family, please adjust the measurements accordingly.

Be Inspired

Mariellasmenu




On my very delicious menu today is chicken and cauliflower soup, a dish that I have come to really love from the first time I tried it. I am a huge fan of cauliflower because, to me, it looks and tastes almost like broccoli and I love broccoli so much. No matter the recipe I make it into, for me broccoli will always be a favorite of mine, so being that cauliflower has semblance with broccoli, it makes my favorite vegetable list as well.

Cauliflower is an excellent healthy replacement for rice and potatoes, especially if you a diabetic, or just interested in a healthy lifestyle change due to the fact that it is weight loss friendly. The upside to adding cauliflower into your diet is that, because it has such a bland taste on its own, it tends to mop up the taste of every other ingredient you use along with it in any given recipe. Call it jack of all taste but master of none and you will be so right! Did I mention that it is also very filling? Hence it will keep you satiated for a long time but without the sugar rush. Just imagine substituting cauliflower for all your rice and potato dishes, then you would understand just how versatile this vegetable is.

Cauliflower can be made into jollof cauliflower rice, cauliflower fried rice, you can boil and mash it as a replacement for mashed potatoes, it can be grilled and eaten with a healthy dipping sauce, the taste of grilled cauliflower replicates roast yam but of course it is not the same. You can boil and mash it for use as cottage pie topping rather than potatoes, it can even be made into cauliflower swallow for those of us who love our solid food and soup.

Apart from how amazingly delicious this vegetable is, it is also a super-food that help ward off lots of diseases. such as diseases of the brain, heart diseases, diabetes and the dreaded cancer. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable just like broccoli and cabbage, kale and Brussel sprouts and it contains a combination of cancer fighting antioxidants such as, carotenoids, tocopherols and ascorbic acid. These are elements that are believed to reduce the size of cancerous tumours by about 50%.

As further explained on Draxe.com; studies has shown that, cauliflower is very useful for the prevention of cancer and for fighting inflammation. Also, it decreases the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson disease. So tell me why this vegetable shouldn’t make your own list of favorite vegetables?

If you really want to relish this recipe, try using fleshy parts of chicken, like chicken breasts, this way, there will be no obstructions with every mouthful you gobble up. For today though, I used chicken thighs and I left the bones in it, I like the extra flavor this adds to the dish and I get to crack some bones as well. I guess that makes me a true Nigerian as we love some bones in our meat.

I also like to make this dish a bit watery, just so I can sip the spicy soup along while I relax with outstretched legs on a cushion. But if you like it thick, you can leave it on low heat to simmer for a few more minutes, and this will allow the soup thicken to the consistency you desire.

Lets cook!

Ingredients
1) Broccoli 500g or 2 heads
2) Chicken 500g
3) Mixed bell peppers as desired (tatashe) (red, green and yellow)
4) Scotch bonnets atarodo (as desired)
5) Garlic ( I used a whole bulb) I love garlic a lot
6) Onions 1 medium sized bulb
7) Seasoning cubes 10g
8) Salt (small pinch)
9) Carrots (optional) just for more colors
10) Olive oil or any oil (3 table spoons)


Directions
1) Prepare all the ingredients by washing and cutting into bite size pieces, cut the cauliflower into little florets and grate the ginger, just so that you get all the ingredients in your spoon with every scoop. when you take a mouthful of the dish, you would have a everything in it

Cooks tip: this dish takes about 7 minutes cook time, the bulk of the work is used up preparing the ingredients.

2) In a clean pan, add in the 3 table spoons of oil, it might even be too much because chicken releases its own oils as well, so use maybe two spoons. I realized while cooking this recipe that my dish turned out a bit oily

3) Add in the grated garlic, sliced onions and half of the peppers that you have chopped, stir fry for a minute the quickly add the fresh chicken and the seasoning and salt

4) Keep stir frying until the chicken becomes tender, you would also notice an increase in the liquid in the pan, every meat releases its juices when it is under heat











Cookstip: at this point you will find out the fragrant garlic, the spicy scotch bonnets and the sweet peppers has been deeply infused into the chicken, flavoring it deeply and resulting into a perfect marriage of all the ingredients. I promise you, you and your family will fall in love with this dish

5) Once you have achieved this stage, add in the cauliflower and stir fry quickly, then pour in about 400ml of water.

Cookstip: I have a measuring cup at home, but you can use any cup and add as much water as you want, depends on the consistency that you want. Like I said before, I like mine a bit watery.

6) Allow this to simmer on low heat for another 3 minutes or until the cauliflower has soaked in all the goodness from the rich chicken stock and is visibly tender. Cauliflower doesn’t cook for too long, so try to watch out.








7) Once this is cooked to your desire, add in the rest of the chopped peppers, stir, drop it down and serve hot! This is a complete meal for me but you can serve this as a sauce with rice or pasta. I believe that your family would ask for more

 Drop your comments below and let us know what you think about this recipe. you can click the share button at the top of the page to share on all social media platforms as well.


Mariellasmenu is on Instagram, Facebook and Googleplus. Follow us everywhere!

Be inspired!

Mariellasmenu

Plantain chips are the ultimate Nigerian street snack right now, especially for people who are on the go. I mean, everywhere you turn, you would find someone with a bag of plantain chips and I believe it’s because they are well packaged and portable and can fit easily into any bag. Sort of like a grab and go snack if I can call them that. Whether ripe or unripe, soft or crunchy, peppered or plain, plantain chips are also very filling as they help keep people satiated until about lunch time, am very sure that this is why plantain chips are a favourite amongst workers.

But did you know that a pack of plantain chips is loaded with a lot of salt? So much salt that it is almost impossible to taste the plantain at all. And the thing with our taste buds is that, once food gets into our mouth, the taste buds senses and responds to the different tastes and then sends this information to the brain regarding the taste of the food. That is, if it is salty, sweet, bitter or sour. It is believed that the taste buds in charge of sensing the saltiness in meals is located at the tip of the tongue, so once you stuff these salty plantain chips in your mouth, what your taste buds pick out is the saltiness first and not even the real taste of the plantain chips!

As stated in www.medicalnewstoday.com, our daily intake of salt is highly important for proper fluid balance and muscle and nerve function, as salt help regulate blood fluids in the human body. However, it has been proven by research that excessive salt intake can lead to high blood pressure, weight gain, stomach cancer, kidney stones and cardiovascular diseases.

So why not make your own plantain chips at home and control the amount of salt you add into it? Especially if you have unripe plantains at home like I do right now. Rather than leave them at home to ripen all at once, you can make them into chips and store in air tight containers for at least a week. You can make them in batches before they ripen and pack some for work too, if you are one who is constantly on the go. Alternatively you can buy plantains in small bits, 200 naira worth of unripe plantain is quite a lot, you can get this and make chips yourself.

The chips I have made today is just plain plantain chips but you can season and spice it as it pleases you, remember to go easy on the salt and you will be just fine with your recipe. I have never had to add salt to plantain when I chip them or fry as a side dish, I find this completely irrelevant, especially with ripe plantains because they are so sweet on their own. I totally skip adding salt and my family is used to this already. But when I serve guests, I find that I always have to explain my reasons and so far it is always accepted.

Let’s make chips!

Ingredients
1) Green plantains ( as much as you desire)

2) Oil for frying

3) 2 pinches of salt ( I suggest you do without it)

4) Milled dried chillies (optional, I didn’t use this in this recipe)


Directions
1) Peel the plantains and make sure none of the skin is left on the flesh, it there is, you can easily peel off when you are about to slice

2) Slice the plantains into desired shapes

Cooks tip: it could be full length, thin rounds or as diagonals, any shape at all, slice to shapes that pleases you. I sliced mine round today to replicate the chips on sale on the streets and to get this perfect thinly sliced rounds, I used a mandolin that I bought for 200 naira. As cheap as the mandolin was, it gave me the ultimate rounds!

Cooks tip: After slicing, I spread the plantains on a tray and left them to air for about 30 minutes. This is just so that any moisture on the plantains would dry out and this stopped the chips from sticking together when I started frying.

3) Heat the oil in a deep pan, make sure to add enough oil to fully cover the plantains and allow it to get really hot, about 400F is ideal, you can try this out by dropping a few plantains in the oil, once it sizzles then its ready










4) Now start adding the plantains to the hot oil, but be careful not to over crowd the pan so as to keep the plantains from sticking together

5) Fry and stir the plantains gently, you need to pay attention here as the plantains fry very quickly because of how thinly sliced they are.

6) Remove the chips from the oil once they are golden or fried to your desire, drain on paper towels to get rid of excess oil, sprinkle with very little salt, or leave this part out all together and your home made chips is ready! As it gets cooler, it gets crunchier.

Be inspired!

Mariellasmenu


 Drop your comments below and tell us what you think and if you find this post inspiring please share it by clicking the share button at the top of the page. we love you

Mariellasmenu is on  https://web.facebook.com/MariellasMenu/ Instagram@mariellasmenu Twitter@mariellasmenu and Google plus Follow us everywhere!!!!

Hello everyone! On the menu today, is the very easy to make unripe plantain fufu recipe, I call it easy to make because, the process is totally devoid of hassles. And as you all know, quick and stress less recipes makes cooking enjoyable for many people.

Plantain is enjoyed by almost everyone, especially when it is made into dodo and eaten with delicious stewed beans like my last recipe here; but for me though, I prefer unripe plantain due to its versatility, as it can be made into many healthy recipe options, such as unripe plantain porridge, catfish pepper soup with unripe plantain like this other recipe I have here. it can be sliced thinly with a mandolin and made into plantain chips or grilled as boli served with delicious fish sauce and greens, it can also be dried and milled into plantain flour for amala, when ripe it can be made into desserts and breads and so much more. Unripe plantains which are such great substitutes for rice and potatoes for people who are diabetic or who are just looking to lose a bit of weight, are a great source of potassium and potassium helps combat the effects of sodium, thus making plantain an excellent blood pressure regulating food.

                                        

Plantains are high in fibre, so when consumed, plantains aid digestion, the high fibre content also means that plantains will keep you very full for a long time. They also contain magnesium which help keep the body healthy as well as control blood sugar level. While it’s ripe counterpart (ripe plantains) even though very sweet, contains natural sugars that grownups can do without.

The best thing about this recipe is that, the plantain does not undergo any form of processing like it does when it is turned into plantain flour, this means that all the vitamins and minerals are retained in this swallow as opposed to processed plantain flour which we honestly cannot vouch for its contents when bought from the market. What’s not to love?

Let’s cook!

Ingredients
1) Unripe plantains

2) Water for blending

 







Directions
1) Wash, peel and chop the plantains into chunks small enough to fit into your blender

2) Add the water and blend until you get a very smooth and moderately thick paste

3) Now transfer this blended plantain paste into a clean pot and turn on the heat to low

4) Continue stirring the paste nonstop until it thickens enough to your taste

5) Drop it down and serve with any Nigerian soup of your choice and lunch is ready!!!!






Cooks tip: I used 3 medium sized plantains and that made enough fufu for me and my two daughters. Its so easy and straight forward, I believe everyone will love to try this recipe out



Be Inspired!
Mariellasmenu




On our menu today, is the very delicious Nigerian stewed beans, a recipe after the hearts of every Nigerian student. This is because one doesn’t have to add too much condiments into prepping beans for it to be delicious and this is a story every student wants to hear. I remember back in the university; during the exam period, which was usually the period when most students would be broke, I would run out of food supplies but never beans because of its low price and easy availability. beans is a staple that no one cares about, and if you prepared some, no one would eat with you. So it was always at the far end of my food storage. Imagine all I missed then relegating sweet beans to the background (especially the honeyed beans) when in fact it should have been top most on my meal list.

Every type of beans available today is highly nutritious and there are over 60 different varieties of edible beans. With the scientific name Phaseolus vulgaris, beans are produced from plants which belong to the leguminosae family and they contain 10% water, 24.5 % protein, 48% carbohydrates 14% dietary fibre and about 3% lipids. Beans also contain vitamin B, vitamin E, vitamin K and vitamin J. what’s even really amazing is that there are so many other recipes that can be made using beans, such as moi moi, akara, agoyin, beans and corn, beans and rice, ekuru and many more

Did you know that eating beans on a regular basis lowers cholesterol and sugar levels in the body? Well it does, due to the presence of dietary fibre, making it a go to staple for diabetics. It also helps prevent constipation and intestinal problems which is good news to those suffering from bloating. For this recipe today I will be preparing honeyed beans (oloyin) but feel free to use any beans you have in store, the recipe will still be grand! My recipe is simple and straight forward but most of all, it would put a smile on your family’s face.

Let’s cook!

Ingredients
1) Honeyed beans 600g
2) Scotch bonnets (atarodo) as desired
3) Tomatoes 60g
4) 2 large onion bulb
5) Seasoning 10g
6) Salt 2g
7) Palm oil half a cup
8) Water 6 cups
9) 1 Smoked mackerel optional



Directions
1) Measure and pick the beans neatly making sure there is no stone or chaff when you are ready to cook it

2) Rinse the beans once and then quickly add 6 cups of water or enough water to soften the beans into a clean pot and pour in the beans. Slice one of the onions into the pot at this point and allow it to cook together until tender

Cooks tip: I love soft beans, it has to practically melt in my mouth and I achieve this by adding enough water and sliced onions, then checking it regularly if a top up of water is needed to tenderize the beans to my taste. You should do this too

3) While the beans is simmering, wash and slice your tomatoes, scotch bonnets and the other large onion into small bits, don’t worry too much about the tomatoes because that disappears totally when it is fried and added into the beans. For the scotch bonnets, I used about 40g too because I love spicy beans. The spicier the better








4) In a clean small pot or frying pan, add the palm oil and allow to heat for 2 minutes, now add in the sliced onions and stir fry for a minute or until it begins to caramelise

5) Then add in the tomatoes and onions, stir fry these for about 5 minutes, you would find that you have a thick and rich tomatoes sauce, add in the smoked mackerel, seasoning and salt at this point and stir fry for another minute









Cooks tip: I must say to you that adding the mackerel is truly unnecessary, honeyed beans is so delicious on its own.the addition of tomatoes, sweetens it even further, albeit naturally, instead of adding sugar into beans as it is popularly done in Nigeria.









6) Now pour this sauce into the pot of beans, stir well and allow to simmer on low heat for 3 minutes or until the sauce is fully incorporated in the beans and it is ready!!!

7) Serve hot fried plantains or garri and tell me what you think about this recipe in the comments section below.


 Be Inspired!

Mariellasmenu