I am trying not to start my recipe posts with the usual “I love…”, so here goes my attempt. Once upon a time, I was introduced to a Senegalese restaurant in downtown Baltimore by one of my dear Cameroonian friends. This trip created a soft spot in my food heart (aka my belly) for Senegalese cuisine. As a Nigerian myself, I thought that nothing could rival Nigerian food in this spot, but after I tasted the National dish of Senegal, Thieboudienne (also known as Ceebu Jen, riz au poisson, thiébou dieune, tíe biou dienne and thieb-ou-djien) , there was a mini war for my food heart. This Thieboudienne recipe is a mouth watering rice and fish dish that is like nothing I had before.
While preparing this alternative chips & fish dish, I couldn’t help but think of my parents. Growing up, seafood was a big part of my life, not just because I ate it a lot, but because there are so many memories surrounding fish and chips and other seafood dishes that I would never forget in a hurry. My mother is originally from a coastal area of Nigeria, so seafood was always a tradition for her. I imagine that marrying my dad meant she got to share tons of interesting recipes with him because by the time I came around, my dad had already fallen in love with seafood himself.
I’m sure most of us have already come up with (and hopefully not yet broken) some new year resolutions. If you’re like me, the majority of your new year resolutions tend to focus on a more healthy lifestyle. One specific resolution I made this year was to eat more vegetables in 2015, I even bought a squash the other day… (still not sure what I’ll be making with it, but more on that later). One of my favorite vegetables is spinach, and though that word sometimes triggers distasteful memories of its bland taste usually unmasked by boring recipes, or disguised in green smoothies, allow me to introduce you to a very common Nigerian recipe that will change the way you feel about this vegetable forever! This spinach stew locally known as “Efo Riro” is guaranteed to be one of the most savory and delicious spinach recipes you will ever taste.