Saturday, 26 September 2015

Garden Update

The garden is doing so many wonderful things. Its all so very very exciting. Here are some things that got me dancing this week:

Sweetcorn. If you have been following my garden posts, you will know I have had no luck with growing sweet corn in the past. Corn needs to be planted close to each other so pollination can happen. Seeing as I live in a concrete jungle....I decided to try something radical and try to grow corn in the largest pots I could find. Success. Beautiful super soft and sugary sweet corn. I have planted a few more pots so a few lucky people will get to buy some

I got these seeds from a special aunty. It looks like an apple right? Its a cucumber. A lemon cucumber. Simply gorgeous

Ginger. Yes. I grew ginger. Look at how beautiful these rhizomes are. So soft and the flavor is insane. It will be so hard to go back to buying the shriveled stuff from the markets.

There are some more interesting things happening in the garden and there just might be a giveaway pretty soon...


Monday, 31 August 2015

From The Garden Of Uzo's Food Labs...

Our garden is doing all sorts of  wonderful things. What started out as a hobby in January this year has become  a growing business and another part of the Uzo brand. We sell our produce once a week and we now have 2 garden sites expanding everyday.
Here are some of the gorgeousness from our organic garden over the past few weeks
Sweet banana and jalapeno peppers

Turnip greens

Curly kale - the variety available in Lagos, We offer vegetable pots for sale like this kale pot so you can have a steady supply of kale for a few months

Forage premier kale

Experimenting with growing cauliflower. We have a head forming. Fingers crossed

Fresh basil dried and stored

Lima beans

Long rod okra

Curly kale pot on the way to its new home

Harvested lima beans

Cherry tomato coming through

Yellow pear tomatoes

Green bean flowers

Italian basil pots

Butter crunch lettuce

Black beauty egg plant

Carrot ready for harvest


Green beans ready to be picked

Sweet basil

Broccoli florets

Mixed produce basket for a client

Green beans

Interesting white and black speckled moth on zucchini leaves

Purple tomatillo plant growing

I am putting together a series of videos for the Youtube channel on gardening which will be fun, fun, fun.
I would love to hear from you - questions about the garden and produce. Please send emails to

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Poulet Yassa and some rambling...

How do working wives and mother do it? I mean really? I really want to know. Actually - let me rephrase...How do mogul wives and mothers do it?  I have been working so very hard building the brands, being a wife and mother and I honestly cannot remember my name a lot of the time. I have decided to ramble on the blog now and again and see if that provides some relief....

Now on to Chicken Yassa .....

This is a dish that is very very common in Senegal and The Gambia. Some websites even claim that it is the national dish of Senegal. I stumbled on this dish when I was searching for recipes to use up an over enthusiastic purchase of onions. This dish gets its flavor from a lot of onions. I mean a lot of onions. Some would say an obscene amount of onions. It also uses lemon juice which is not a very common ingredient in meat dishes here in Nigeria. I tried one of the more popular versions of this recipe and decided I like it enough to tweak the recipe and voila...a new family favorite.

To make Chicken Yassa that feeds 4 people, you will need:
  • 1 chicken cut into 8 pieces
  • 6 large onions - thinly sliced
  • 2 yellow or red scotch bonnet peppers - finely diced
  • Juice from 4 large lemons
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup green olives
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 stock cubes
  • Salt & black pepper to taste
  • Add all the ingredients except for the oil, mustard and olives to a bowl and mix together. Marinate overnight in the fridge
  • Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and grill or fry until brown and set aside. Save the marinade
  • Heat the oil in a large pot . Remove the onions from the marinade and add to the pot cooking until they begin to brown - about 10 minutes. 
  • Add the rest of the marinade and the browned chicken pieces to the onions and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the mustard and olives and cook until chicken is cooked through. 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with rice, yam or potatoes.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

A few weeks ago, I got a package from a new wholly Nigerian company run by 2 young ladies called Uwa Earth Foods. The package contained a selection of their preservative free and all natural peanut and cashew butters - crunch peanut butter, spicy peanut butter, cashew butter and chocolate cashew butter. To say I was excited is an understatement. A lot of the things I love in 1 package: Female entrepreneurs, Organic food company, preservative free, very few ingredients, cute packaging and proudly Nigerian.
I went into mad scientist mode thinking about what to do with all these goodies apart from smearing on bread. This is one of the results. These cookies are chewy and rich. The creaminess and taste of the cashew butter adds a sophistication to these cookies that you will not get from peanut butter. The chocolate chips add just the right amount of sweetness. These cookies can be eaten warm or cold with some milk or cocoa which would be perfect for this rainy season. You can also serve this with plain vanilla ice cream for an indulgent treat.
To make about 30 cookies, you will need:
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 125g butter
  • 125g cashew butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon set aside
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons liquid full cream milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Whole cashew nuts for decoration
  • In a bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt and set aside
  • Using a stand or hand mixer, cream butters, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour mixture until incorporated. Add chocolate chips and stir with a wooden spoon till evenly mixed
  • Place in fridge for about 10 minutes
  • Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough unto baking sheets lined with parchment paper
  • Sprinkle each cookie with some granulated sugar and top with a whole cashew nut pressed into the dough
  • Bake in a preheated oven (350F) until golden brown - between 12 - 15 minutes
  • Let
  • Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely

*You can find Uwa Earth Foods on Facebook & Instagram- @uwaearthfoods

Monday, 29 June 2015

Red Wine Punch...

Have you figured out that I love to mix drinks yet? I fancy myself a mixologist in my own little world. I am not sure everyone else especially my friends in the drinks business would agree but I specialize in delusions of grandeur and so I choose to bask in my title of Queen of the mixologists.
This red wine punch came to life in an attempt to do away with seeming endless bottles of wine in my pantry. I am doing all that I can to use up all the bottles but we keep getting more as gifts and I do not seem to be making much progress.
On the plus side, this punch recipe uses a full bottle of wine so you will not have any wasted wine. You will need a pretty large pitcher or jug for this recipe as well as:
  • 3 cups orange juice
  • 3 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 bottle good quality red wine
  • Orange slices
  • Lime slices
  • Combine all the ingredients and stir to combine. Chill and serve


Sunday, 28 June 2015

Garden Update

As a gardener learning everyday, the rainy season has been interesting. A lot of seedlings died. Plants tilting in all sorts of directions. Some pots waterlogged. My blood pressure has risen and crashed so many times, I cannot even begin to count.
There is some stability now though. I asked questions, did research and made a few amendments. I have also made my peace with the fact that in this growing process, there will be all sorts of wins and losses. I will just take it all in stride especially as we work to expand the garden and offer more produce for sale.
 Here a few things we have growing:
Red Russian Kale

Curly kale. The kind commonly found for sale in Lagos

Forage Premier Kale

Cherry belle and white icicle radishes

Hungarian hot wax peppers

Prize head lettuce