Cooking · food · Lifestyle

Tomatoes, tomatoes, to buy some fresh things….

For several weeks now, I’ve been more adventurous with food and have been paying extra attention to eating generous portions of fresh fruits and veggies more than I possibly did last year and I must say that I see good results ‘cos my skin certainly feels clearer and my bowels happier 🙂

While foraging for my weeks’ supply, I ran into these luscious Riccio Fiorentino tomatoes in the organic section and was certainly attracted to them due to their deep red colour and their trademark ridges. I do love eating tomatoes and learnt to juice and eat them fresh like my daddy, however, I certainly balk at spending a king’s ransom on vegetables.

I thought I could just buy a kilo or two but was forced to drop them like hot potatoes when after it was weighed the cost of my 6 tomatoes was enough to buy me my entire basket of vegetables for the week.  I felt a bit disappointed and settled for my regular everyday tomatoes all the while thinking of the sweet, rich flavour of those beauties.

Am I the only one who feels that the prices of these organic products are most times irritatingly exorbitant and exaggerated?

A Click A Day · food

My Yummy Chicken Mango Salad – A Click A Day.


This is mango season and the delicious fruit abounds in the fruit stalls right now.

Taking advantage of its sweetness asides from juicing them and making smoothies, they can be used in fresh salads as well.

I made this platter yesterday evening and you have to take my word for it that it’s yummy and of course, you are welcome to give it a try 🙂

Quick Recipe

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped

1 long red chilli, deseeded and chopped (optional)

1/2 of a tomato, deseeded and chopped (optional)

1 stick of cucumber (optional)

2 – 3 cups of chopped roasted chicken – remove the skin

2 mangoes, peeled cubed or sliced into small bits

150g of mixed salad greens

Preparation Steps:

  1. Combine the Olive oil with the lemon juice and add the parsley and chilli if you are using chilli.
  2. Combine the chicken, mango, salad greens, tomato (optional), and cucumber (optional) in a large bowl. Drizzle your dressing, toss lightly to mix and serve.
  3. Enjoy 😉

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

out-of-the-silent-breath 2





food · Lifestyle

Cooking for my family – Jollof Rice with beef, fried plantain and salad.


Jollof rice is a staple dish eaten in most West African homes and though I am not living in my home country, Nigeria, a lot of our native dishes feature big time on my menu each week.

As a busy mum, I try to cook a large pot that will serve my family at least twice. This is time saving and grants me some respite on some evenings when I can just kick back a little and not sweat over the cooking pot.

So, from my cooking pot, I bring you my own modified version of jollof rice. Modified in the sense that I added some vegetables. I always seek ways of sneaking in extra veggies for my children in as much as my younger son finds time to pick the peas, he still gets to eat a good portion.



  • 1.5 kg Uncle Bens long grain parboiled rice
  • 1 kg of fresh, red tomatoes blended with red bell peppers, chilli pepper, ginger and garlic.
  • Beef or Chicken (depending on your families taste. I use both)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 large onion or 2 medium onions
  • 3 cooking spoons of vegetable oil. I use Canola oil.
  • 4 Knorr cubes
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 3 tsp curry powder – if I find Nigerian curry powder all the better ‘cos it’s more aromatic.
  • 450 gms of diced vegetables.
  • 1 tin of pureed tomato paste to add more colour – optional.


I prepared the tomato stew by boiling the tomatoes first to lose to lose excess water, then fry the dried blend in the vegetable oil and spice.

Most times I make the stew before hand and keep in the freezer so that whenever I want to cook jollof rice it’s a question of using the prepared stew and it can also be used to eat other meals like boiled yam, beans…

Cook your meat with curry, garlic, thyme, salt, ground pepper, Knorr cubes and chopped onions. The cooking time depends on the type of meat and how soft you want it. You can also fry or grill the meat depending on your taste.

Parboil the rice by boiling it. Rinse the parboiled rice and leave it in a colander to drain.

Cooking Steps:

  1. Pour your meat stock and the tomato stew into a sizeable pot and leave it to boil.
  2. When it boils, add the parboiled rice, curry powder, salt and pepper to taste. The quantity of water should be at the same level with the rice to ensure that the rice doesn’t get too soggy by the time it’s cooked.
  3. Cover the pot and cook on low to medium heat. Jollof rice has the tendency to burn so keeping it on reduced heat helps to prevent it from burning so much before the water dries up.
  4. Normally, the rice will be done by the time the water is dry but if not, add more water in small quantities and keep cooking on reduced heat till done.

When it’s cooked, you can serve with fried plantains and salad.

It usually serves us twice even with generous helpings 🙂

Enjoy your day today.

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‘A Richly Layered and Passionate Read.’ Jan Cliff

Out of the silent breath