This week, I am continuing the #stillonthebeansmatter ministry. Usually when I have to cook Moin Moin for people on the weekends, I end up with extra bean batter, which most of the time goes to waste. If I manage to steam the excess, I will either forget it in the freezer till it becomes dry, or in the fridge until it goes bad. Being a food blogger does come with a degree of food waste, sadly, but this year, I said to myself, enough Dunni. You come from a place where a lot of people are going hungry every day, you can’t be displaying ingratitude by wasting food. So, last saturday, again I ended up with excess bean batter, but this time I said nah, I will find creative ways to use Moin Moin. There is only so much Moin Moin and garri, or Moin Moin and Eko (if i can even find the Eko, lol). Eko is also called Agidi by the way. So, anyways, as I am over my smoothies now, yeah I got kinda bored, the next frontier to try is salads. Newsflash, I don’t like salads, never have, but my local supermarket manages to do some salad bowls/packs that are not half bad with the right dressing.
So, on Sunday night, I dunked a Mediterranean salad in a bowl, and added a few cubes of Moin Moin to it, and placed in the fridge. Of course, to get the shape I wanted, I had shavings of Moin Moin left, which I just added to the leftover bits of salad from the packaging, sprinkled on my favourite honey mustard dressing (which is evil by the way – 100g contains 571 calories, digest that information, lol), and it was a very yummy dinner. You couldn’t imagine that I was itching for monday, just so I could have a go at my bowl.
I wanted to give my salad some ooomph, and flash back to Nigerian parties, where you got served moin moin, salad, jollof rice/fried rice on a plate, and a side of diced dodo. I knew immediately, dodo was my answer, but you see, we are Fit famming, and frying is kinda persona non grata at the moment, so on monday morning, while i prepared for work, I grilled a plantain in my halogen oven (which makes the best grilled plantain by the way. FACT, lol). I sliced up a few rings, and it was out of the house for me.
Gorgeous, gorgeous, healthy lunch. I picked out the moin moin and grilled plantain, whacked in a microwave at work for about a minute to warm up, and the contrast with the flavours of the cold salad and the dressing, my bowl emptied in minutes. This salad can not just be used as a packed lunch, for work, you can make it for dinner, or a starter at a dinner party. I mean, our Western counterparts serve some form of salad as starters all the time. We have been consuming fancy pants salads, fro ages now, using varied western ingredients, how about we Nigerianise our salads, with our very own home cooked ingredients. The possibilities are endless. Choose your choice of vegetables for a salad, you can even add some smoked mackerel to it, boiled eggs, anything you can think of, trust me it works.
Last week, i was totally minding my business, looking for something else, when I scrolled down a page and found a picture of a mason jar salad. It jolted me. OH MY GOODNESS, how clever is that, how cool is that, wow, how come I am just seeing this. ideas were just zooming through my brain in seconds, oh wow, I am so late to the game with this trend, but hey, I am early in the game of the Nigerian Mason Jar Salad eh. I was already planning a Moin Moin salad, anyways, so I said that’s it. I am making this. On Monday night I decided to assemble my mason jar salad. This time for effect, I used diced fried plantain. I didn’t realise how much I have missed fried plantain. Crikey, I gobbled it up fast, didn’t care that it was approaching midnight. Yums!!!!! Anyways, by the time I got more than 3 quarters way up, I realised that I had gotten carried away with my stacking, and my jar, was also not tall enough. So, for the sake of pictures, I just piled on the leafy veg. You can bet that I went straight to ebay to order a tall Mason Jar. It should arrive this weekend, and I am going to be experimenting with all kinds of things. The internet is full with ideas about meals in a mason jar, desserts, breakfasts, salads, you name it. Nigerian food is about to throw its hat into the ring people.
Here is a quick tutorial from Two bited Club. Full details HERE
Here is my first try –
- Cherry tomatoes
- Boiled Eggs
- Moin Moin cubes
- Plantains - grilled or fried
- Sweetcorn - optional
- Green leafy veg
- Your choice of salad dressing
- You can choose to do this in a bowl
- Or stack it in a jar. Follow the rules of dressing first, followed by half moon cut cucumbers, then the tomatoes, followed by chopped onions, chopped boiled eggs, diced dodo, moin moin cubes and the leafy veg
The Moin Moin and Dodo Mason Jar Salad
My food photography mentor Lindsay, has mentioned a few times how you sometime need fresh eyes, for your pictures. I took these on Monday night at thought they looked crappy. I consoled myself by saying, at least another mason jar is on its way, I will try again. I was going to get something totally unrelated from my SD card, and glanced at the pictures again, oh wow. They are actually not as bad as I thought. Yeah, yeah, shooting at past midnight, I totally forgot the rule of lights and glass, so my pictures do have a glare, but I know how to prevent that for next time, so stay tuned.
This is what you call a meal in a jar. Did I mention again that the internet is full of ideas. Google Mason jar salads, and you will find yourself spending hours poring over all the creative, delicious goodness. Stay tuned for more from me, heck I ordered two tall Mason jars, and I am now on the hunt for the small and cute ones.