Introduction: Meal Prep the African Way
This is meal prep the African way. Now the truth is we don’t really indulge in ready to eat meals (canned soups stews, rice and what have you), looking at the typical POS for food stuff its funny considering its all staple food stuff, although the trend(variety of meals and attempting foreign cuisines) is gradually creeping in to the Nigerian culture but access to these innovations have huge limitations in the form of cost of purchase, access to the supermarket or mall, storage is a problem too since the epileptic power supply can pose a challenge and after all the hassle you would still have to get some utensil to make cooking easy.
Step 1: ONE FOR ALL
so, since we are traditionally oriented, we have a lot of cooked meals which entails a lot of cooking that keeps the family going through the week, till yet another weekend (this meal prep is done during the weekends of the incoming week which includes shopping also). So we buy most cooking ingredients in bulk and store away. Very vital ingredients for cooking like crayfish, smoked fish and stockfish.
COOKING THE BASE FOR OTHER MEALS STEW AND SOUPS
The basic recipe for stew the Nigerian way is *******
- 5 plum tomatoes,
- chopped 2 red bell peppers
- chopped½ red onion, sliced ½ red onion,
- chopped 6 cloves garlictomato paste (340 g)
- 1 tablespoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon salt,
- 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper,
- cup water (120 mL)
- 1 cup vegetable oil (240 mL)
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 cubes beef bouillon
- meat (beef, chevon, chicken or turkey)
PREPARATION: In a food processor or blender, combine 4 chopped plum tomatoes, red bell peppers, chopped red onion, garlic cloves, tomato paste, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and water, blend until smooth. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the remaining tomato, sliced onion, remaining salt, and remaining pepper. Sauté until fragrant. Add rosemary, curry powder, and bullion cubes(seasoning cubes). Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the blended tomato and pepper mixture. Bring to a boil over high heat., add the already cooked meat of beef or chevon or the fried chicken and or turkey. Cover and simmer at lowheat for 20 minutes, until the stew has thickened. Remove stew from heat and let sit 10 minutes. Serve with white rice and fried plantains, yam, sweet potato, unripe plantain, irish potato, plain beans or bread. Any choice of meat.
STOCK FOR SOUPS
Another quick meal prep we use is making base stock for soup actually instead of boiling the bones and other undesired parts we actually prepare it with the actual intended edible meat parts and store away so in preparation of any soup you add the major ingredient to the stock and the leaf i.e. for melon soup fry the melon and add the stock. For bitter leaf, add the cocoyam and the shredded bitterleaf and your done with cooking.
Most time i like to make universal stock where i can add pumpkin leaves, bitter leaf, wild spinach, scent leaf or any other vegetables indigenous to us
Pls note that the seasoning for the stew is actually optional in reference to the perceived taste buds of the familly so the pepper and salting can be varied. Also meat lovers can have different combination of meat inside the stew.
Step 2: QUICK FIX BREAKFAST
So on a bright morning of work you just pop one container of frozen stew into the microwave or do a double boil to thaw while you boil up the rice or yam, plantain or potato. The yam, potato and plantain can be fried or cooked. Cooking Jellof rice the lazy man way entails adding raw rice to the stew and let it cook now if you want to consider beans, it’s usually cleaned out (sorting out the stones, pod coats and stalk) and soaked in water in the evening of the previous day (two aims achieved by this is to wash away the preservative used in guarding against weevil and to shorten cooking time)
Another meal prep which is also prepared and stored away until needed are pap and beans flour. Now using the above method of sorting the bean you take it to the mill where its ground to powder. So to prepare fried bean (akara) or cooked bean cake just add water and other ingredients and fry in oil or cook in wraps made it plantain leaves foil or better stil you can use old ceramic mugs with broken handles. Akara (fried bean cake) is usually accompanied by pap(fermented cereal pudding typically made from maize, sorghum, or millet). it can be stored in a container by compacting it and pouring a layer of water over it and changing It daily. Pap can also be replaced by oats or custard.
Step 3: LAUNCH THE EASY WAY
Launch is quite simple. Its all about "swallow" as we call it (making small balls of a cooked meal generally of the carb or fibre foods and then dipped in soup and swallowed...... NO CHEWING PLS ). Now a minimum of two types of soup is cooked on a weekend packed (per serving of the number of people in the family) and frozen away in the freezer.i.e. vegetable and melon soup.
Launch break for us is just a walk over, all you have to do is pop one soup storage container for 4/5 servings into the microwave or double boil. Boil water and make garri (cassava flakes) semovita, semolina, corn flour, wheat flour or unripe plantain flour depending on choice also ready to eat swallow wraps called “fufu” (processed cassava meal) which require just hot water to heat it up and its ready to eat are also available and can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days
N/P Always take the food out of the deep freezer on time for it to defrost. Heating up frozen food is not very good coupled with the time lost.
Step 4: ALL FOR ONE; CASSAVA FLAKES
Garri (cassava flakes) is a very popular staple cereal in african. In my country its a delight because of all the possible combination you can have with it. its also cheap to buy and keeps the hunger abay Some add ons of this cereal are;
- Plainly taken you add sugar or honey add ordinary water
- Groundnuts and some milk with cold water
- you can add dates and or coconut.with coldwater
- smoked fish i.e.cat fish
EXCERPTS: Its also worthy to note that our food vendors are also trying, you can schedule meal delivery to your door steps. The top leaders and there addresses:
1. Naija Eats: Is a simple and
express solution to order takeaway food online. You can order breakfast, lunch or dinner from all your favorite restaurants on this platform. naijaeats.com
2. The Kitchen: Is an online food store that is dedicated to delivering delicious healthy and already cooked meals. The platform makes planning and holding a catered event easy. thekitchen.com.ng
3. MHQstore: This store promises to make it convenient for you by delivering not just food items alone but other quality products and services in perfect condition and on on time. mhqstore.com
4. Easy Appetite: Formerly Lazy Appetite, the “grub-hub” connects you to the best restaurants, pizza houses and fast-food outlets serving your location; further bridging the gap between you and your food. Easy lets you recommend meals to friends. easyappetite.com
5. Gloo: This online store promises to deliver a wide variety of high quality brands of supermarket goods direct to the doorsteps of her clients on a same-day basis and at very affordable prices . gloo.ng
6. Gingerbox: Formerly know as Jaramall, offered a wide range of food items, but after re-branding to Gingerbox, it decided to focus on delivering fruits for offices only. jaramall.com
7. CityChops: An online food ordering service that allows customers to choose from a variety of restaurants in Lagos and order meals for pick up or delivery. citychops.com
8. Hellofood: This online platform boasts of a staggering selection of restaurants around the city for users to choose from. Hellofood lets you pay for your food at delivery with no extra-charge. hellofood.com
9. Supermartng: Customers can order from multiple stores and can select what time they want it delivered. Where other companies deliver in days, this online mart promises to deliver in hours. supermartng.com
10. Foodstantly: Aside delivering ready to eat meals from various restaurants, this marketplace enables food vendors; restaurant owners, caterers, farmers and set up shop and sell online. foodstantly.com
11. Efoodmart: Like other online grocery shops sells all types of groceries with major focus on the Nigerian local foodstuffs , it also touts an e-Restaurant where you can order all sorts of food for group meetings, events or gatherings . efoodmart.ng
Step 5: ROAD SIDE EATERIES; THE HOPE OF BACHELORS
In nigeria the road side food vendors and hawkers make life easy for people on the go you can buy just about anything you want from them (actually basic staple food although you may see other side attractions like bread friuts and others) you find them in street corners along the road and in the markets dishing to all the hungry folks. Many bankers and working class mothers purchase food on the go for them self and the kids on the way to school. so if you are out there and you have done your cooking over the weekend i bet its time to take time out with your family and have fun actually breakfast to dinner will just be few minutes away
Step 6: Let the Fun Begin
If you have done your meal prep for the week guess its time to have fun with some cooking utensil (impersonating Rayden in mk)
Participated in the
Meal Prep Challenge