Little boy sharing a taste with his mom while cooking

Take a Taste of Nigerian-Inspired Meals

Feeling uninspired when trying to cook healthy meals? Nigerian meals offer new flavors for more exciting family meals. You can fix your favorite dishes using Nigerian staples while eating smart. Traditional Nigerian foods include maiz, yams, cassava, and plantains. Typical Nigerian meals are tomato stew, porridge, soups such as egusi soup, and jollof rice. All of these foods can be used to create a Nigerian-inspired meal that fits MyPlate!

MyPlate recommends lean protein, whole grains, and making half of your plate fruits and vegetables. Nigeria has many local fruits and vegetables that are also easily found in grocery stores in America. Some examples of these are mango, pineapples, plantains, cucumbers, okra, and cabbage. Chicken and fish are great protein choices! However, if you prefer no meat in your meal, plant-based proteins like lentils, nuts, beans, and soy protein such as tofu are great alternatives! To round out the MyPlate meal, add a serving of whole grain rice. This is a delicious and a healthy way to try new foods from other cultures!

Nigerian meal of chicken stew with fried plantains

A typical Nigerian meal that fits into MyPlate.

Try this recipe for yam porridge to get a taste of Nigerian-inspired meals.

Yam Porridge

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, diced
  • 2-15 ounce cans no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoon ground hot red pepper
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 yams or sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 low-sodium chicken bouillon cubes
  • 2 cups spinach

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Sauté chicken breast pieces until browned.
  3. Add tomatoes and onion and red pepper to the skillet with chicken. Fry for 10 – 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add yams, water, and buoillon cubes to pan. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add spinach and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.

Many staple foods in Nigeria can be found at most U.S. grocery stores at an affordable price! Try these tips for shopping on a budget.

  • Brown rice is cheaper if bought in bulk.
  • Bouillon cubes give you more bang for your buck instead of buying cans or cartons of broth.
  • Buying chicken on the bone costs less. You can trim off the fat and remove the bone yourself or cook as is.
  • Shopping for fruits and vegetables that are in-season tend to be cheaper than those that are out-of-season.

Enjoy cooking Nigerian food that first into the MyPlate guidelines!  Let us know how your family liked the Yam Porridge recipe in the comments.

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