Mixed-Veggies Fried Rice: Quick + Easy Recipe

I know it’s been a while and I tell you, the latest hiatus was unplanned.

What better way to re-start ‘my engine’ than to pretend I am doing some world of good in encouraging tempting someone to try this nutritious (medley) mixed-veggies fried rice?

 

mixed-veggies fried rice recipe

 

In my quest to inculcate healthy living / eating, I had succeeded in weaning myself and my household off MSG (to an extent) and I am now more in favor of natural herbs and spices.

For one, the ‘replacements’ are Natural with a capital N and really tastier.

I mean when we get round to convincing our taste buds to forget the unhealthy tastiness of the MSG-filled spices and seasonings available all around us, we’d get to agree that they are actually a tastier and healthier option.

So, let’s get round to the much-touted easy recipe for this delicious goodness called the mixed-veggies fried rice.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

Rice (white / brown / short or long-grained)

Olive oil (or any oil of your choice)

Moringa (leaves, preferably fresh)

Turmeric

Ginger

Garlic

Green peas

Carrots

Spring onions; white onions

Prawns

Green pepper -1

Bell (red) pepper -1

Salt / seasoning to taste

PREPARATION TIME FOR THE MIXED-VEGGIES FRIED RICE: 45mins
DIRECTIONS

-Chop / mince the veggies and combine in a bowl, season with salt or as desired.

-Cover and refrigerate for 10 – 20 minutes to allow the salt / seasoning seep in.

-In a pot, bring water to boil and add your desired quantity of white rice.

-Parboil by allowing to boil for 15 minutes and proceed to wash away the starch until water changes from milky to clear. Drain rice in a sieve and set aside.

-Heat 2 spoonful of oil in a different pot / saucepan / wok over medium heat. Add the pre-seasoned veggies -onions, pepper, garlic, ginger leaving out the peas, moringa leaves and prawns.

-Fry lightly for 2 minutes.

-Increase the heat to high and stir in the parboiled rice, prawns, turmeric and moringa leaves.

-Stir-fry for 3 minutes, add just a little water / chicken broth.

-Add green peas and cover the pot.

-Check for the ‘softness’ of the rice, if not fully cooked, add chicken broth / water as needed.

-Taste for salt and leave to cook some more, for about 2 – 5 minutes -stirring occasionally.

Scoop unto a plate, add your lightly fried chicken / fish and garnish with egg as desired.

I kinda love the yellowish color which is due to the Turmeric.

healthy mixed-veggies fried rice recipe

Is this something you might try?

Please say yes..

How to Make Fried Moringa Bean Cakes (Akara)

I love moringa, so much that food no longer  taste like food without some touch of the green wonder leaves.

fried moringa bean cakes

I heart Moringa

Okay let me confess…actually, my love for moringa is fast bothering on obsession. (If an obsession is ‘healthy’, it’s okay…isn’t it?)

There is no meal or drink I take that does not have a dash of moringa…it’s that bad and I am going to be sharing how I am incorporating moringa into my diet / lifestyle in a series :1001 things to do with Moringa.

A friend remarked just two days ago that very soon, all moringa trees would begin coming to life and starts taking to their heels whenever they see me coming.

So funny.

If you follow me on instagram, you would have discovered this new love of my life by now. If you don’t follow me yet, my instagram ID is biolaleye_1.

Taking care of myself / health has become non-negotiable for me and it should be for everyone else, too. That is about the only way we would be able to take care of all God has entrusted in our care -Family, work and all.

I have spoken about my health challenges several posts ago and you may check them out here. In my quest to improve my health and quality of life (as well as that of my family), I have been incorporating natural herbs and spices as well as fruits and there has truly been a significant improvement. Will put up a post of the things I am doing later.

Health is truly wealth and I am committed to deliberately investing in it.

Since I ‘discovered’ Moringa anew some months back, there is no meal this superfood is not added to; I have literaly been on a roll, experimenting in my kitchen and creating various dishes and drinks incorporating Moringa and herbs.

There is an healthy living category (and also the icook category) up there in the tabs and I am going to be adding all the dishes and drinks I make with Moringa and herbs to it tagged 1001 things to do with moringa.

This is to document this journey as well as to encourage and inspire someone out there who might need this.

This meal is popularly known as ‘akara‘ in Nigeria and is a staple of the South-western part of the country. It can be taken as snacks, alone or with Cassava flakes (Garri) or Custard or Pap (Ogi or Eko). Growing up, mum used to make it on Saturday mornings and we’d all take as breakfast with Ogi.

But I did not quite like it then because I disliked beans and her offsprings.

On starting a family and burdened with the task of coming up with different exciting dishes to break the monotony of rice, beans and yam, akara sneakily found its way into my heart and kitchen again. And now, I LOVE it and I love putting a spin on it, as with every other dish I come up with.

The fried moringa bean cakes was borne out of my desire to add moringa to every meal I churn out.

To make Fried Moringa Bean Cakes, you need:

2 – 4 cups of red or white beans

2 – 4 spoons of moringa powder or a bunch of fresh moringa leaves (I used semi-dried leaves which is as good as fresh)

2 – 4 teaspoons of ground crayfish

2 – 4 pcs of scotch bonnet or habanero pepper

A clove of garlic / ginger

Salt (Optional: Adobo seasoning / Mrs Dash)

Olive oil / Sunflower oil / Canola oil (I used Sunflower oil)

Fried moringa bean cakes

Beans. pepper, moringa, ginger, garlic, turmeric & crayfish

METHOD OF MAKING FRIED MORINGA BEAN CAKES:

-Soak your Beans in cold water for 5 – 10minutes minutes to soften the beans a little (Red beans soften faster in water)

-Remove / peel off the now soft skin and remove the chaff. Clean thoroughly by draining the water and repeatedly adding fresh water until you are satisfied.

 

-Add the clean de-skinned beans with the pepper, crayfish, moringa, ginger and garlic into your blender and blend.

-When blending, add just a little water to the blender content and Run the blender, if the blender blades resist, keep adding more water -a little at a time until the blades are able to move ‘freely’.

Adding water, ‘little by little’ is to prevent ending up with a watery beans-paste which would be no good for this recipe.

-As soon as the mixture moves around fluidly / smoothly in the blender, cease adding water and blend until smooth to the touch or until you are satisfied with the consistency.

-Decant into a big enough container and start stirring the mixture / paste with a spoon. Stir / mix in just one direction.

fried moringa bean cakes

Blended beans paste

This step is to ensure the incorporation of air into the mixture. This might take between 10 to 15 minutes (of cardio exercise).

-Add salt to taste.

-Heat your desired oil till it is hot.

-Scoop a small spoonful of paste into the oil to test the readiness / hotness of the oil.

-When satisfied the oil is hot enough, start frying the paste in bigger spoonfuls.

-Let it fry till it is as puffy and golden as desired, turning at intervals to ensure the sides are not burned.

fried moringa beans cake

Frying Akara…

-Scoop out the balls into a bowl or platter lined with towels to absorb excess heat.

fried moringa bean cakes

fried moringa bean cakes

Akara and Pap

You can enjoy this as snacks or as a main meal.

The Moringa bean cakes can be accompanied with Custard or Pap (made from millet or maize) or Cassava flakes (Garri) or Bread.

Note: My akaras are flat and not round / puffy because I love them like that and that is the only way I can really enjoy them without peeling off the crunchy back to eat and thrashing the soft portion on the inside.

Recall I mentioned way up there that I hated beans and all her off-springs growing up. Back then, I would only eat the golden and crispy back and secretly throw away the inner mushy part when nobody was looking.

It became an habit and I still love the crunchy / crispy outer part till date.

This is why I always make my bean paste lighter (with water) and I would still go ahead to press it flat in oil. However, I do not recommend this…*smiles*

Bean cake lovers swear by the puffiness and claim it is more enjoyable as a round ball rather than the deflated version I love.

So, go ahead and try this.

You would be having a ball with this fried, nutritious balls while knowing you are packing a lot of nutrients into your body.

For me, I am never going to make Akara, again without moringa. Now that would be a completely cruel deprivation.

Is this something you want to try?

Yay or Nay?

 

 

Banana-Apple-Ginger Smoothie

BANANA-APPLE-GINGER SMOOTHIE -A WORLD OF GOODNESS IN A BOTTLE!

Banana-Apple-Ginger Smoothie
Until some months ago, I used to associate smoothies with fitness-fixated humans of the world. Lol.

How wrong I was. Or how right…I mean, who wouldn’t want to be fixated on fitness and the general well being of this house we live in and carry around?

Our body is the only house we live in, why shouldn’t we take care of it or be fixated on it? (Provided fixation is not equal to obsession..)

Peradventure we have one or two people walking the same shoes I was in, in ‘that era’, I am pleased to announce to you that the best you can do for yourself, and body is to make fruits a very regular part of your diet – a better part, even.

Yeah, I know it requires a great deal of effort, conscious efforts but it can be done.

If we consider how much we are likely to spend (financially, emotionally, psychologically, etc) on treatments if we happen to come down with any of ‘those’ dreadful illnesses, then the daily cost of some apples, carrots, bananas, nuts, etc is insignificant in comparison.

So let’s get on to it.

How to make the Banana-Apple-Ginger Smoothie or any smoothie at all is a no brainer.

Let me tell you my big secret, the how-to (make smoothies) got me staying away (from smoothies) until late 2015. Yes, you read that right.

Seeing as yours truly is a lazy human who can sometimes be frugal and who is adept at shying away from anything that has the tiniest suggestion of stress, I just maintained my lane – taking my fruits the good old way of biting, chewing, gulping and digesting..until my eyes literally opened.

What you need to make smoothies:
  • Fruits and a (powerful) Blender!

If you have fancy smoothie makers, the type I gawk at online for years, fine. Otherwise, just make use of your Blender. We all have one on our kitchen shelf / cabinet.

Here is how to make any smoothie at all:

Simply throw your fruits into a (powerful) Blender, blend smoothly and you have your delicious cup or bottle of goodness ready to take in less than 5 minutes.

Now, how cool is that.

Banana Apple Ginger Smoothie

 

How I Made My Banana-Apple-Ginger Smoothie

2 (frozen) Green Apples

2 ripe (frozen) Bananas

1/2 (inch) Ginger

1 cup of (cold) Water

I diced the apples and removed the seeds, peeled the bananas and cut into smaller bits and finally scraped the ginger clean.

The three ingredients were blended for about two minutes (until smooth) and transferred to a bottle.

BENEFITS OF TAKING SMOOTHIES OVER EATING ‘RAW’ FRUITS

Now, here is one thing about smoothies which I love very much:

It ‘protects’ the teeth from prolonged acidic assaults!

Our dental enamels should not be over-exposed to acidic fruits / foods for the same reason fizzy drinks are being discouraged.

Prolonged chewing of sugary / acidic foods exposes us and our dental wonders; When we take smoothies, we do not have to worry so much about that.

This is because the teeth are protected to a large extent considering that we do not have to keep biting into the fruits on end.

That is of course subject to the fact that we do not ‘prolong’ taking the prepared smoothies.

Remember that an apple a day does not mean an apple eaten on end, the whole day.

See what I mean?

HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE BANANA-APPLE-GINGER SMOOTHIE
BANANA

Banana-Apple-Ginger Smoothie

For one, bananas is a favorite in my home and is one of the fruits my lil men take without much persuasion. That is my number one benefit.

Seriously, bananas are packed with so much nutrients and vitamins such as Vitamin B6, Manganese, Vitamin C, Potassium, Dietary Fiber, Protein, Magnesium, Folate, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin A, Iron.

Some benefits:

  • Improves the health of the eyes
  • Memory preservation
  • Useful in treatment of diarrhea / bowel movement
  • Reduces the chance of developing asthma
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces risk of  cancer
  • Improves the health of the heart
  • Reduces risk of stroke
  • Preservation of bone mineral density
  • Reduction in the formation of kidney stones, etc
APPLE
Banana-Apple-Smoothie

Health benefits of apples

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, they say…and I believe.

Besides being yummy as a starter or accompaniment, apples are considered to be rich in important antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fiber.

Some benefits:

  • They are reputed to help prevent memory loss
  • Improves neurological health
  • Reduces the risk of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease
  • Reduces the risk of stroke
  • Lowers bad cholesterol level
  • Reduces the risk of diabetes
  • Reduces the risk of breast cancer, etc
GINGER
Banana-Apple-Ginger Smoothie

Health benefits of Ginger

LET me tell you why I added ginger (besides the health benefits, of course).

I wasn’t sure I’d love the ‘concentrated’ sugary taste of the combination of bananas and apples, so I decided to ‘temper’ the sweet taste with the tanginess of the ginger!

My love affair with ginger started some 10+ years ago (never looked back).

Some benefits:

  • One of the greatest and healthiest spices (for cooking)
  • It contains nutrients and compounds that are beneficial to our bodies and brains.
  • Contains ‘Gingerol’ – a substance with powerful medicinal properties.
  • Used in alternative medicine / therapy
  • Helps in preventing / reducing nausea
  • Helps fight flu and cold.
  • Has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects
  • Effective against osteoarthritis, muscle pain and soreness
  • May lower blood sugar and improve heart health
  • May help in treating chronic indigestion
  • May help prevent cancer
  • May improve brain function and protect against alzheimer’s disease
  • Can help fight infections by inhibiting the growth of bacteria

Err…back to our banana-apple-ginger smoothie, considering all the wondrous benefits you’re going to load your body in one cup / bottle, are you willing to give this a try?

Note: If you are all for all-sweet-no-tanginess, you may want to leave out the ginger but I strongly recommend adding ginger so you don’t get to miss too many benefits. I am biased though because I am Ms. Ginger…I particularly love the slightly ‘biting’ flavour of this smoothie..

So, what’s your favorite fruit combo / smoothie?

Mango Apple Carrot Smoothie : My New Found Love

Mango Apple Carrot SMoothie

Our lives are so busy (I know mine is) that we sometimes fail to achieve our daily nutritional goals and requirements, this newly found love of mine -Mango Apple Carrot Smoothie offers a deliciously easy and healthy way out.

If you are like me for whom skipping breakfast and/or dinner (while forgetting to take the recommended 5-A-day) is fast becoming a norm, then this might come in as a very healthy alternative.

I have been on the sidelines for a while watching and reading different ‘fitfam’ posts and recipes that are all over the NET but as I basically have no extra weight to lose, I merely contented myself with being a cheerleader.

The desire to start making healthy decisions and clean up for a greater body and mind led me to explore this and I am glad I did. I currently feel like I just found the solution to the world’s nutrition problems in the Mango Apple Carrot Smoothie!

HOW TO MAKE A DELICIOUS CUP OF HEALTHY MANGO APPLE CARROT SMOOTHIE IN 5 MINUTES OR LESS

Total Time Taken / Required: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS (I USED)

2 Medium sized (Frozen) Mango

2 Medium sized (refrigerated) Carrots

1 Medium sized (refrigerated) Green Apple

2 tbs Skimmed Milk (My tolerance for evaporated milk is poor, hence this option. You can substitute as desired)

1/2  cup of water

PS: Depending on the quantity required, you may want to reduce or increase the fruit portions accordingly.

I previously (erroneously) believed making smoothies could only be achieved with some specialized fancy Smoothie Blender and I was ready to invest in one until I tried with my ‘normal’ Kenwood Blender today and it worked.

By the way, I found some really cool and sleek Kenwood Smoothie maker online and I think I still need some education.

Does a specialized smoothie blender make the process easier / better or add to the taste of the smoothie, anyone?

I’d say to ‘newbies’, if you want to blend fruits / make smoothies, start with some quality Blender and you are good to go.

So, back to our 5 minutes or less easy-to-put-together yummy Mango Apple Carrot Smoothie.

Trust me, this is very easy to throw together…just check out the easy steps below.

Mango Apple Carrot Smoothie

Wash your mango(es), apple(s) and carrot(s)…I used 2 mangoes, 1 apple and 2 medium sized carrots, you can play with the quantities depending on the flavor you prefer to be dominant.

*I did not peel the mangoes and apple, I blended the fruits with the ‘skin’ to get the utmost from the fruits…and I love it*

  • Cut up the fruits, remove the seeds (as necessary),
  • Add water or milk to the Blender -I made use of Skimmed Milk and half glass of ‘chilled’ water but you have the option of using milk only or water only and/or throw in some iced cubes,
  • Turn on your Blender, start blending on low speed to finely chop / marsh the fruits and increase to high speed setting for a smooth and creamy consistency,
  • Pour into a glass or cup,
  • Enjoy your yummy and creamy cup of fiber-full goodness -Mango Apple Carrot Smoothie.

*It is advisable to clean out your Blender immediately to make it easier to get out all the fruit pieces. If left to dry before cleaning, you risk having the fruits / veggies becoming hard / caking on your blender which might be kinda difficult to clean off.

I normally clean out my Blender by pouring in water, adding one or two drops of liquid wash, covering the Blender and squishing it all around.

 

Mango Apple Carrot Smoothie

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF THE MANGO APPLE CARROT SMOOTHIE

MANGO

According to research, Mango has antioxidant compounds which protects against cancers of the colon, breast, blood and prostate.

They are also thought to help reducserum cholesterol levels, improve eyesight, boost the immune system, fight against diabetes and aid digestion among other benefits.

APPLE

Apple is found to be rich in ”antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fiber. The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease”.

It may help improve neurological health, reduce the risk of stroke, prevent dementia, diabetes, breast cancer, etc

Apples
Image source

CARROTS

Carrots are known to be rich in Vitamin A which helps in improving vision and beta carotene which has been linked to a reversal of / in colon cancer. It is also thought to help in fighting cancers of the Lung, blood, Prostate, etc

You see, we would be doing our bodies a world of good by combining these great and nutritious fruits.

Whatsmore, it also offers a great way to get our children on a very healthy path.

This morning, my lil men were eager to taste the smoothie and I graciously coerced obliged them.

D1, my picky eater does not like mango and considering that it is the dominant ingredient / flavor in this smoothie, I did not expect him to love it.

Predictably, he did not go beyond his first and only mouthful. I watched in amusement as he wrinkled his nose and announced that it looks like poo and tastes yucky!

D2 was more adventurous and went on to help himself a second time and he seemed to like it.

It was quite refreshing and filling, I did not have anything to eat until after 2 hours or thereabouts.

We are definitely going to be experimenting more with different yummy and healthy combinations until I get the perfect one for them, but for now, I still am enjoying my Mango Apple Carrot Smoothie in my cute little cup (You want to scroll up to have a peek?).

I’d really love to know your favorite fruits combination.

Have you tried the Mango Apple Carrot Smoothie before?

Is it a combination you are willing to try?