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.
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.
Don’t let the foreign name fool you, these babies are totally easy to make. The best thing is that you can stuff the tortillas with just about anything. Quesadillas are a mexican delight where a tortilla is filled with mostly cheese and other ingredients then folded in half and served. Before I go further, I need to decipher the foreign terms, tortillas, are closely related to what we know as chapatis. Actually they are one and the same if you ask me. One thing though, when cooking the tortilla, cook lightly on each side for a minute just to get it lightly browned.
3 flour tortillas
1 medium red onion sliced
5 slices of cheddar cheese cut into strips – if you have a block of cheese, grate it instead
dried oregano leaves
Half of an avocado, optional
For the chicken
Boneless chicken breasts
1 red onion roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 inch thick of ginger, roughly chopped
1 sprig of rosemary, optional
750 ml of water
salt to taste
I started by poaching the chicken breasts. In a saucepan, pour in the water then throw in the onions,garlic, ginger, rosemary and the chicken. No need to cut the chicken first.
Cover and bring it to a simmer.
As the chicken is cooking, I made the tortillas.
After about 20 minutes of boiling the chicken will be done. Remove from the stock and shred it into bit size pieces. Store the stock to use it in stews or steaming rice.
From here, get ready to assemble the quesadilla.
Take one tortilla, line one half of the tortilla with the cheese strips.
Then add the sliced onions, coriander and the chicken shreds. Sprinkle some oregano.
Then add another layer of cheese.
Gently place the tortilla with the stuffing on a hot skillet. Fold it in half, press hard. Cook both sides for about a minute or so or until the cheese melts.
Repeat the above steps for the rest of the tortillas. I added some avocado slices in one of the quesadillas.
Once all done, cut them into wedges and serve with some guacamole or kachumbari.
To say this meal was amazing would be an understatement. I shocked myself. Simple yet delicious. I dare you to try this out. I’ll definitely make more of these babies and even try different ingredients, I’ll also try and so a post on how to make tortillas.
Butter beans are white or cream coloured flat beans. They are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and thiamin. They are a good source of protein plus they are very low in calories and fat. I have come to love these beans not only because of their nutritional benefits but also for their rich taste.
Another thing if, you are pretty busy with either work or school, beans and other legumes tend to become your friends. Let’s take the case of these beans, I bought a 1 kg pack, then washed and soaked the beans overnight. The following day, I cooked them in a pressure cooker for about an hour and they were done. Once cooled, I packed in portions enough for three people then refrigerated. This helps because if I want to cook beans in the evening all I do is remove one pack from the freezer and voila, stew in 20 minutes tops.
1 half of a medium sized onion sliced
2 tomatoes diced
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1/4 tablespoon black pepper
1 cup pre cooked butter beans
2 bay leaves
1 cup water or vegetable stock
Handful of dhania chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt to taste
First, have you guys noticed how expensive some vegetables have become? I was shocked the other day when I went to the market and found that 8 and I mean 8 tomatoes are going for 100 shillings (slightly above one dollar). The onions and the dhania are equally expensive. The horror. It seems until the shortage ends, I’ll stick to using onion halves and substituting tomatoes with tomato paste. Enough with my rant back to the cooking.
In a sufuria, heat the vegetable oil. Saute the onions. When I was setting out my ingredients, I realised that there was a potato laying around, so instead of throwing it out, I peeled, washed then diced it and added it to the sauteed onions.
Add the tomatoes.
Next, add in the spice; turmeric powder, black pepper and the coriander powder.
Stir and cover to let the tomatoes cook down.
Add the butter beans.
Stir in with the yummy spice mixture. Add the water and the bay leaves.
Cover and bring it to a gentle boil.
After ten minutes of simmering, remove the bay leaves then throw in the chopped dhania.
Note: Bay leaves are never eaten, they are great for adding flavour to the food, always remember to remove before serving
Stir for about two minutes just to awaken the flavour of the dhania. Serve with your accompaniment of choice.
I normally avoid cooking kienyeji (road runner) chicken for fear of under cooking it and of course the fact that it can be a bit tough. On one of my visits at my neighbours place (read the Murigis), I found some Tupike magazines which I gladly skimmed through and voila I landed on this recipe.
I was to host my colleagues for lunch and that moment a light bulb went on since I’d been clueless on what to prepare. So I hosted the lunch and for sure the chicken was a hit. Not only was the chicken perfectly cooked but it was delicious and soft. I believe my colleagues enjoyed since I’m yet to get a negative remark.
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of crushed garlic
1 teaspoon of crushed ginger
The pot roast:
1 road runner chicken cut in pieces set aside the giblets (liver,heart) and neck
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into huge chunks
3-4 celery sticks, washed and cut into chunks
1 large red onion chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Start by making the marinade.
Crush the ginger and garlic.
In a large bowl combine the vegetable oil and soy sauce.
Then mix in the ginger and garlic.
Finally put in all the chicken pieces and mixture evenly with the marinade. Ensure the chicken is thoroughly coated. (The next image is disturbing, viewer discretion is advised)
Now, cover the bowl with a clear cling wrap and put it in the fridge for a minimum of thirty minutes. If you have time you can marinate it overnight (in the fridge of course).
So thirty minutes or so later…
Making the pot roast;
In a large sufuria, or rather one that can fit one whole chicken put about one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Let the oil heat up then saute the onions.
Once the onions are browned, add the marinated chicken pieces. The cooker should be on high, the aim here is to brown the chicken pieces. When adding the chicken start with the chicken thighs and legs followed by the other pieces.
Keep stirring to ensure all the chicken pieces get browned. Do this for about three minutes.
Let the chicken cook on high for about ten to fifteen minutes then add in the carrot chunks and the celery. You can season with a little salt.
Now, reduce the heat to medium or medium low , cover the sufuria and let the chicken cook for forty five minutes.
So, here is where I mention that the chicken was too delicious and we were really hungry that I forgot to take pictures of the end result… yeah it happens. Anyway, go ahead try out this recipe I guarantee that you will never whine again about kienyeji chicken being tough.
Finger licking good. I have cooked this many times over and I’m not about to stop. I think I’ll cook this for dinner tonight.
Thanks for stopping by and I apologise for the hiatus, being a wife, employee and study can sometimes take a toll on someone.