The other day I attended an ‘itara’ – it is one of those celebrations that lead up to a wedding, where the bride’s family go to see where the bride will be married i.e the groom’s parents’ home. The catering was so on point and for the first time ever I got to taste real creamed spinach. Creamed spinach is a dish many hotel claim to serve but I can guarantee you, it’s just a rip off, just ordinary cooked spinach if you ask me.
Anyway, after the wonderful experience, I got inspired to find out how to make it. As usual I searched for a recipe online and was pleased to discover that one of my favourite food bloggers Ree of The Pioneer Woman has one. Ree is such a funny writer and I always enjoy reading her recipes.
This recipe may look a bit complicated but I guarantee that it’s foolproof 🙂 I sorta halved her recipe since I was just cooking for hubby and I. If you are planning to cook for more people I suggest you follow her quantities.
For the cream sauce
Butter about 50 gms
3 tablespoons plain flour
1 small onion finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic finely minced
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
A pinch of nutmeg
For the spinach
Spinach – enough for 4 people (hard to say quantity, I bought 3 bunches for Kshs. 10 each)
2 tablespoons butter
In a sauce pan start by making the white sauce. Melt the butter, do this on low heat.
Sprinkle over the plain flour and start whisking, I don’t have a whisk so I just used my handy dandy wooden spoon.
Cook for five minutes, stirring frequently till golden brown.
Add the onions and garlic.
Stir together and cook for another minute.
Finally add the milk whilst whisking.
Cook the sauce for about five minutes, stirring occasionally. It will start to thicken
Now, saute the spinach. Here I got hubby to assist with both the sauteeing and the photography 🙂
In another sufuria, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. You may be required to add in the spinach in batches. Luckily my sufuria was large enough so it sufficed.
Add the spinach.
How deceptive the spinach is, it fills up the sufuria only to wilt and reduce in after a few minutes of cooking. Ensure not to overcook the spinach, it should still have a crunch to it.
Back to the sauce, at this point, I got a bit worried cause mine had really thicken, nothing like Ree’s , don’t fret though. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and add the pinch of nutmeg.
Now spoon over the sauteed spinach stirring it in gently.
The thickness of my sauce didn’t mess up the outcome. Such a relief.
In case you find it a bit too creamy for your liking add more sauteed spinach.
Wow!!! Someone say AMAZING!!!\
I dare you, try this creamed spinach recipe and for sure you won’t regret it.
Sometime back hubby and I had gone for dinner at my parents home and mum had prepared some boiled bananas that complemented the beef and veggies very well. I had never thought of preparing them like that, with new ideas in mind I purposed to try it out. Fast forward a few weeks later, I get a bunch of unripe bananas from my pal Judy.
This recipe is pretty simple and requires minimal ingredients 🙂 I chose to fry mine instead of boiling so as to add a nice touch to the taste.
4 medium sized onions sliced
8 unripe bananas, peeled and washed
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Serves 3 people
Tip: When peeling the bananas, to avoid the sap from sticking onto your hands, you can either wear a polythene bag as gloves then peel or apply some vegetable oil on your hands. 🙂
In a sufuria, heat the vegetable oil then add the onions.
Patience is required to ensure the onions cook down well, we want them translucent not burned, so do it on low heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Once cooked add the bananas and coat with the onions. Cover for a few minutes to let the flavour of the onions infuse the bananas.
Add some little (emphasis on little) water to get the bananas cooking. As the bananas cook down the water will also evaporate.
Cover and let the bananas cook.
You will know the bananas are done when they flake easily when pierced by a fork.
Serve with your favourite stew and veggies.
I served with chicken in coconut sauce and creamed spinach. The recipe for creamed spinach will be up on the blog tomorrow 🙂
This was one delicious meal. I have to say this, I surprised myself.
At times I’m never too sure of what to cook so I normally settle on the star of the meal then I just go with the flow and during those moments I end up ‘creating’ my own recipes. This being one of them. The first time I made this I didn’t have any intention of posting on the blog but after positive reviews of photos I had posted on my facebook, I decided to make it again.
The simplicity of this recipe is in the minimal ingredients needed. I know some of you may wonder how one doesn’t cook with onions, but it happens and it’s something I do often. Anyway, let’s get to cooking 🙂
2 boneless chicken breasts cut in strips
1 large red bell pepper sliced lengthwise then in half
Dried oregano leaves
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
The chicken strips are cut easily when the chicken is between frozen and thawed.
In a shallow pan or skillet heat the oil. Then throw in the chicken strips.
Excuse the pan, it’s quite old, one of hubby’s when he was still a bachelor 🙂
Cook the chicken for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and some black pepper.
Then add the bell peppers and sprinkle over the oregano about a tablespoon will do.
Let the peppers cook down, as they cook the chicken will also brown up a bit.
Eggs must be some of those things that are a staple in the leo tunapika kitchen. seeing that I love baking and making pancakes I am always using eggs. Most of the times, I can finish a whole tray even without having fried or boiled one, imagine. When I remember I to fry them up. This is a simple recipe which can work as an omelette but since my eggs turning skills are still very dismal, I always end up scrambling mine 🙂
1 medium sized red bell pepper, diced
1 tbsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp dried parsley leaves
Salt to taste
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Start by heating your pan preferably a non stick. Then add the vegetable oil.
Once the oil is heated, add the bell pepper pieces and let them cook down.
Add the salt, dried oregano and dried parsley.
In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs.
Now pour in the eggs into the pan.
Let the eggs cook and if you are a macho egg turner, go for it. As for me, I scrambled the eggs 🙂
These have to be the most delicious fried eggs I’ve ever tasted. The flavour of the bell pepper and oregano was spot on. Allow me to say this Foodgasm!
It’s getting pretty cold in Nairobi and soup is one of those things to help keep the cold away. It’s funny that I hardly make soup despite the recipe being pretty simple. So the other day my friend Rachael chats me up on gtalk asking for a recipe for butternut squash and a few days later I decide to make some.
1 medium sized butternut squash peeled, seeded and cubed
3 medium sized carrots cubed
1 red apple peeled, cored and cubed
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves garlic sliced
1 inch of ginger chopped
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
As I have said making soup is pretty easy. In a saucepan heat the vegetable oil and fry the onions, garlic and ginger. Let them cook down for a few minutes.
Throw in the butternut, carrots and apples. Stir them and cover to cook for a few minutes. You may be wondering why I added in an apple but after reading various soup recipes with apples added in so I decided to try it out 🙂
Add the liquid.
The chicken stock I used was from the water I had poached the chicken for these quesadillas and since it had seasoning I didn’t need to season my soup. Cover and let the soup simmer until the squash is tender. This will take about 30 minutes.
Once cooked pour the soup in a blender or food processor. Ensure to cover the blender since the soup is hot.
Pulse it until pureed. At this point check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Serve in a soup bowl, garnish with some fresh coriander. I didn’t have some so I sprinkled over some dried parsley.
Enjoy with some bread rolls and remember to keep warm.
According to hubby the soup was beyond awesome. I loved it, I’ll definitely make it again.
It’s been a while since I did a leftover rice recipe. As most of you know by now, I enjoy working with leftover rice. This time round I had leftover poached chicken breasts from my quesadilla recipe. This recipe is pretty simple and you can easy subtitute the chicken with any meat or vegetable you have leftover.
3 cups pre cooked rice
1 cup leftover chicken, shredded
1 cup sultanas, soaked in water
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
3 spring onions, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
a dash of soy sauce
1 tablespoon paprika
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
On a heated skillet add the vegetable oil and fry the spring onions.
Once cooked down, add the bell peppers.
Season with the salt and paprika.
Add the chicken shreds.
Stir then add the rice. Since the rice and chicken are already cooked you just need to get them heated.
Finally drain the water and pour over the sultanas.
I love it when hubby surprises me with food stuffs, yeah, after getting married I’m surprised at the gifts I get excited about. Raw fish! The gift was timely because it had been a while since we had eaten fish. I wanted to prepare something quick that would not require a lot of handling. I had no intentions of posting this recipe and thus I didn’t take proper photos, but after posting a photo of the meal on my facebook page, I thought otherwise.
I eyeballed the ingredients (I didn’t measure), however, I will try and estimate the quantities.
1 fish fillet
3 tablespoons of bread crumbs
2 rosemary twigs, leaves finely chopped
1 tablespoon of dried parsley leaves (optional)
1 tablespoon of fish masala
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
It takes barely two minutes to prepare so start by heating your skillet then add the vegetable oil.
As the oil is heating, prepare the fish. In a large shallow bowl mix all the ingredients, well except the fish.
Generously coat the fish with the dry ingredient mixture. Ensure you pat the mixture on, so that it sort of sticks. Do that for both sides.
Finally gently and I mean gently place the fish fillet on the skillet. You can even add the excess mixture on the top side.
Cook for about four minutes or until browned. Gently flip it over and cook the other side. Ensure you don’t break the fish apart. Presentation is key here.
Serve on a large plate and garnish with lemon quarters.
You can serve this with either rice, ugali, potatoes or just eat it as it is like I did. Like I said, I had missed eating fish. Don’t believe me? Check out the last photo 😀