Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Back to School Pack Lunch Ideas for Kids

Back to School Lunch Ideas by Saiprojects
Hi everyone, happy new month of Spetember to remember :-)

Isn't it so surreal that Christmas is just around the corner in literaly 16 weeks woohoo.. I'm like a big kid at christmas lol and I absolutely love love all the Christmas hoo ha :-)

Today's blog is really for all mums out there (now don't get jealous dads, i'll be writing a blog for you shortly).
Now that the summer holidays are over; and all the hustle and bustle about taking the kids away for summer holidays are all over and the kids are starting to go back to their new year, I have decided to write a blog to help out mums who struggle with kids pack lunches.
Most schools serve school dinners but I know of some mums who prefer to serve their children pack lunches. ( I don't blame you :-)
I know it can be very daunting when you have to think of what to make for your child to take to school Mon-Fri and also having to think of what to make for dinner blah blah blah, well not to worry, I can help you out or at least sort of help you out J

I have drawn a list below to help you, or at least give you an idea of what to make for your kids. Here's a list of pack lunches ideal for kids.

What a typical pack lunch looks like

Tummy Fillers
Remember, growing kids need alot of starchy foods to give them energy; they also need meals packed with abundance of proteins, fibre, carbohydrates, and vitamins to help with their growing bones and also give them a healthy dose of brain power for the afternoon ahead.

Try not to make it too boring for the kids by mixing and matching as per the below.

Main meals
Pasta salad
Cous cous
Potato salad

You can easily get your hands on sandwich fillers from supermarkets
Sandwich Fillings
Tuna mayo
Ham & Cheese
Ham & Tomato
Cheese & Tomato
Prawn cocktail
Egg & cress
BLT- Bacon, lettuce & tomato
Corn beef & butter
Sausage & ketchup
Chicken & avacado
Sardine & tomato
Cheese & coleslaw
Jam & butter spread
Chocolate spread

It is really important to include one of their 5-a-day in their pack lunch to help stay healthy. Fruits are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals that also helps maintain a healthy gut and prevent constipation and other digestion problems.

Five- a- day

Veggies and dip are great.

I know kids like the odd biscuits and crisps etc; however it is really important to include healthy snacks in your kids pack lunches as this helps in developing their focus and concentration at school.

Cumcumber sticks
Carrot sticks
Scotch eggs
Rice cakes
Bread sticks
Low salt & reduced fat crisp- optional
Biscuit- optional
Cereal bar

Stay clear of sugary drinks & go for healthy otpions.
Thirst quenchers
Milk- semi skimmed or whole
Diluted fruit juice

I also recorded a Youtube video on Back to School, check it out here-
I hope this helps and has brought you out of a difficult situation with finding the best pack lunches for your kids. Have a fantastic day :-)

Thursday, 14 August 2014


Hey guys, I'm giving away an Aquasense water Jug and 19 water filters courtesy of Electrolux; worth a Whopping £125 ($206) . Link to subscribe to all my channels below.

This giveaway is to provide an opportunity for all my followers to get to know me and follow me on all my social media platforms. I will be doing a draw out of a hat and posting the winner's details on my Youtube and Facebook page.

All you have to do is follow me on the social media platforms below, GOOD LUCK :-)

Facebook:- Saiprojects
Instagram:- saiprojectscooking
Blog:- Subscribe to my blog
Twitter:- @saiprojects
Youtube:- You must be a subby on my Youtube channel

What are you waiting for, get liking now lol :-))

Closes 6th September 2014 @7pm GMT

Link to the Youtube video below:

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Club Sandwich- American Style

Hey guys welcome back to my blog...!!! You know that feeling when you run out of what to make for the family for breakfast, well look no further. Below is a really easy and simple way of making American style Club Sandwich that tastes amazing. Trust me if you make this for your family, they'll make you the Sandwich chef of the family lol....
Absolutely no cooking needed..
As I've been getting a lot of support from my American followers on my Facebook page, I thought i'll make something that originates from (Newyork) USA. I still love all my other followers from different parts of the world though ;-)

OK Easy weasey, here you go:-

4pcs of slice bread
1 Tomato
5 slices of small Cucumbers
2 slices of cheddar cheese
4 slices of ham
3 slices of bacon

Cook up the bacon in a frying pan, no need for you to add any oil as the bacon contains alot of fat. Cook both sides until done and set aside. Toast the 4 slices of bread in a bread toaster, spread the mayonnaise on one slice of bread. Add the tomatoes and cucumber, add ham, cheddar cheese, and cover with one slice of bread (spread with mayonnaise) cover it faced down with the Mayo'd bread. Add the lettuce, a slice of bacon, spread mayo on another slice of bread. Add another slice of bacon, and finally add the last slice of toast spread with the Mayonnaise.

Get 4 toothpicks and pin the 4 edges of the club sandwich with it and cut the middle with a sharp knife, turn and cut the other side with the knife until you have 4 little triangles of sandwich. And there you have it, serve with Chips and Avocado or anything of your choice like a bed of salad, you can even add Ketchup, chilli sauce etc.. Trust me it tastes yummy guys :-)

Voila, easy right :-) Watch it on Youtube here:-

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Supermarket Comparison- Your Weekly/Monthly Grocery Shop

Happy Happy Sunday everyone; I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful sunshine wherever you are? And if its not sunny where you are, don't worry I promise to post you a a little bit of sunshine by special delivery :-)

Okay you know that feeling when you visit a supermarket for your weekly or monthly grocery shopping and you end up spending a fortune; you unpack your shopping and end up saying "really, is this it???" I spent £100 on food shopping thinking my cupboard would be pack full of food but it just looks scanty.. Yes that feeling, trust me I experience it all the time. Infact I don't even bother visit supermarkets for my grocery shopping anymore, I get them delivered to my home address. I find that its easier for me to sit online and shop rather than visit the supermarket and wander about for ages and still end up forgetting one thing or the order.

Today's blog post is gonna be a bit long so grab a brew , pen and paper and happy reading..!!!
If you are all about saving money on food shopping then this post is for you. I visited 5 different food chain supermarkets to carry out my research and I have come to a conclusion that would shock you.. Here are the below cupboard essentials and their price comparison results.

Princes Tuna Chunks In Brine 4X160g

We all love our Tuna, What's a Tuna/Pasta bake without a Princes Tuna chunks in Brine, well note down the prices below and I'm sure by the end of this read, you'll change your mind about your favorite supermarket..
Supermarket Price Comments
Asda Buy 2 tins for £6 Amazing offer
Tesco A whopping £6 for one tin Shocking-I thought Tesco had one of the cheapest prices???
Sainsbury's £5 for one tin Didn't expect any less
Morrison A cheeky £4.99 for one tin, lets just say £5 Pathetic

Pink Lady Apples X 4
One of your 5/a day, Pink lady apples are the best.. I remember the days when I used to work at a M&S checkout, I used to always hide one of these at the back of the fridge (they run out in less than 4 hours of putting them in the fridge) to be able to purchase one later and get staff discount of course.

Supermarket Price Comments
Asda £2, Buy any 2 for £3 Amazing offer
Tesco N/A Tesco don't do Pink lady apples, how terrible
Sainsbury's £2.60 Didn't expect any less
Waitrose £2.60 Didn't expect any less
Ocado £2.60 Didn't expect any less

Ben & Jerry's Clever Cookies Ice-cream 500ml

Perfect for this summer, its tastes as good as the container looks, worth a try and you won't regret it. Its a bit on the pricey side though; for its size...
Supermarket Price Comments
Asda £2.50 I just love Asda
Tesco £4 Never shopping at Tesco again even if my life depended on it
Sainsbury's N/A Msheww
Waitrose £4.49, any 2 for £6 Sorry Asda is still cheaper
Ocado £4.49 Didn't expect any less

Tetley Blend of Both Tea- 80 tea bags

Gosh I'm such a tea lover, I have to have my brew everyday.. I don't care if its Summer, Autumn or Winter, I love my TEA.. lol ;-)
Supermarket Price Comments
Asda £1.50 Brilliant for a tea lover like me
Tesco £2.55 Never shopping at Tesco again even if my life depended on it
Sainsbury's £2.55 Oh Pls
Waitrose £2.55 Sorry Asda is still cheaper
Ocado £2.55 Didn't expect any less

I am absolutely mortified by Tesco's prices and it has made me feel very confident in my choice of sticking with Asda. I thought they were all about "saving money" and "every little helps"; well every little does not bloody help. And also their Clubcard is a waste of time and useless.. yes I said it, its useless. You spend £100 every month and you get a £1 voucher in the post 6 months after, come on Tesco what the hell do you think this is? Anyways rant over...
Sainsbury's on the other hand I kind of expected the price, I don't even go there for my food shopping. Their only benefit is their Nectar card that I use when I buy Petrol so I can save money on my next visit.
I also believe it is definitely worth shopping online as its easier, cheaper and more economical; and you get it all delivered to your door.
The best Supermarket to shop is ASDA, which is my very favourite store, they don't offer any store card or points card but their prices are way more cheaper than any other food chain supermarket.
I can go on and on and on by showing you your different food essentials but you'll be here till next year.

Tips of saving money whilst Shopping

The following Tips have helped me alot particularly in saving over £37 a month on Food shopping

  • First things first is to visit your kitchen with a notepad and a pen and write a list of what you need, this helps alot so you do not forget to buy what you actually need.
  • Shop online and not in stores- You save money on your journey to the store and you end up buying things you do not need when you visit the store. 
  • Be careful of BOGOF (Buy One get One Free) deals, the price of the 2 items could be what it was previously before the supermarket decided to put the item on Promotion
  • Visit Price comparison websites if you're shopping online. This way you are shown different prices of each item compare to other supermarkets.
  • Always save your shopping list in your favorites to keep a tab on what your essentials are.
  • More importantly check your receipt after shopping, you could be over-charged. Remember every penny counts.

Basically be wise when shopping

What am I trying to get at here?? Well that journey to the supermarket for your weekly/monthly shop to me is a waste of time. Don't get me wrong, its a nice day out for some who's got kids and just wanna get out of the house; but I'll rather take the kids to the park and make them walk around until they are super tired than take them on a jolly ride to a supermarket and end up spending double what you could be saving.  And I am definately going to be shopping online (At Asda of course)

Thanks for visiting my blog :-)

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Grilled Plantain stuffed with Scrambled Eggs

Plantain is a very versatile fruit that can be boiled, steamed, cooked, fried & grilled....

I went food shopping yesterday and managed to stock up on plantain; I thought to myself what can I do with Plantain as I'm not that much of a fan... "Grill it Sai" (that husky voice of mine echoed in my head lol).. Okay I'll grill it and stuff some eggs in it (might as well right?) To be completely honest with you, when you try this method, I can guarantee you that you'll hardly ever have your Plantain another  way other than grilling.. YES I'M IN LOVEEEEE :-)))

You guys do know how I make all my dishes quick and easy, so here you go.

Note:- Plantain does not always have to be fried, grilling with no oil is much more healthy.

For the Grilled Plantain all you need is Plantain (not too ripe and not too unripe, so a little bit in between) and a tiny bit of olive oil for glazing.

Scrambled eggs
Mixed bell peppers (green, yellow and red)
1 red onion
1 scotch bonnet
1 fresh tomatoe
Vegetable or sunflower oil
Salt to taste
Stock cubes
All purpose seasoning

 Peel off the skin from your Plantain and place it on your grill pan, glaze both sides with a drop (i mean a tiny weeny bit of olive oil) and place in the grill for 25 minutes; making sure you constantly check check it and turn once one side is grilled.

Place your frying pan on fire, add some oil (Olive or Sunflower, up to you), leave to heat up for 2 minutes on low heat, add the mixed peppers, onion, scotch bonnet, tomatoes and seasonings, fry for about 2 minutes until fried.
Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and add some salt to taste.
Add the whisked egg into the fried mixture and continually stir by breaking them all into pieces (picture below). Once fried, drain the oil from the eggs and place in a bowl to cool down.

Once the Plantain is grilled, place on a plate to cool down for 2 minutes, and then gently slice in the middle. Add the eggs and there you have it.. So easy right.. :-) Let me know how you get on and please don't forget to subscribe to my blog, like me on Facebook (Saiprojects), and subscribe to my Youtube page

Remember you don't wanna stuff the Plantain with too much eggs or else you won't enjoy it whilst biting into it :-)

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Tilapia Fish Stew

One of my favourite fish ever!!!! Tilapia Tilapia Tilapia, oh God how I absolutely love it..

Hey guys welcome back to my blog, today's menu is Tilapia Fish stew served with plain boiled rice; I know alot of Africans (Nigerians per say) love this particular specie of Fish as its most likely the easiest Fish to cook for a family. What makes mine special is the fact that I use palm oil to cook mine and not the traditional sunflower oil; well I kind of use both for my fish stew only because I'm extra lol.. :-)

Ingredients:- (serves 5)

Tilapia fish shown below
2 x Bell peppers
2 x Red or white onions
2 x Scotch bonnet- qty depends on level of spice
3 x Plum tomatoes or fresh tomatoes
100ml Palm oil
10ml Sunflower oil
Salt to taste
2 Stock cubes
All purpose seasoning to taste


As I get the clean frozen Tilapia fish in a pack, I don't need to do thorough cleaning again (thank God), I literally just soak it in water for about 10minutes to defrost, and then clean some of the leftover dirt around the Petoral fin. Once this is done, I season it with stock cubes and all purpose seasoning (please don't over season as you're still going to add seasoning to the stew). (I don't fry or grill my fish).Place a pot on low heat, add the palm oil and sunflower oil for 10 minutes on really low heat. Blend the plum tomatoes together with the onions, bell peppers and scotch bonnet together until very fine. Add to the oil, mix well together and add the other half of the seasoning. Leave to cook for about 15 minutes (on medium heat) until you start to see the oil residue on the top of the stew. Add the fish and leave to cook for a further 7 minutes. Please make sure the heat is not too high so as to avoid the fish tearing into pieces.. And voila there you have it... Let me know how you get on :-)

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Efo Egusi

Hey guys, welcome back to my blog.. Really really quickly I'm going to be showing you how I make Efo Elegusi, one of Naija'a most popularly served dishes at parties.

Its so easy to get it right and equally very easy to get it all wrong. I made a pot full to feed about 6 people with the below measurements..

Egusi powder (dried)
Dried crayfish
50ml of Palm oil
1 Stock cube
1 teaspoon of All purpose seasoning
A handful of Iru (locust beans)
Stock fish- any desired amount (optional)
smoked turkey- optional
3 pieces of Mackerel fish
Assorted meat (cooked)
Bitter leaf (optional)
Spinach or Efo soko
100ml of Beef stock
1 red onion
1 scotch bonnet (atarodo)


Assorted Meat

Chop the onions and scotch bonnet into tiny pieces and leave aside.

Add the palm oil in a saucepan and heat on low heat for 5 minutes.

Now add the onions and scotch bonnet pepper into your pal oil mix and leave to fry for about 5 minutes on low heat. Once fried, add the locust beans to simmer with the onion and pepper.

Add the dried egusi, stir and leave for about a minute.
You'll notice that all the content would start to dry up- don't worry that's fine

Now add the beef stock, stir and add your assorted meat by making sure you leave the mackerel fish for the last.

Also add your stock fish if you're using any, stir and check salt content. You can now add your all purpose seasoning and stock cube. Remember your beef stock contains seasonings so be careful not to add too much seasonings.

 Add the dried crayfish, leave to simmer for about 7minutes. Add the bitter leaf as you prefer, leave to cook together until you start to see the oil residue at the top of the stew. As soon as you can see this, finally add the spinach (make sure you cut into pieces) and voila "there you have it".. Enjoy by serving with Eba, Pounded Yam, Amala, Semo or better still my favourite Rice :-)

Don't forget to let me know how it goes when you try yours...!
Please don't forget to subscribe to my blog and my YouTube channel:- Thanks for your support everyone o'toodles


Happy Cooking 

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Gizzard Mix (Gizdodo)

Hey guys hope everyone's having a chilled out weekend? Well as for me, its been a busy sunday for me doing some food shopping.
Today's menu is one of Nigeria's most popular side dishes; Gizzard and Plantain aka Gizdodo. Its basically a combination of gizzard, spices, mixed peppers and plantain; and I must say I'm not really a fan of plantain but since the hubby eats anything plantainised, (hope that's correct english lol) Gizdodo has been one of his all time favourite. I made it to a family friends Christmas party last Christmas and everyone including hubby fell in love with it. A whole pot of it went in seconds (great right). My hubby has now requested I make it almost every weekend, jeez men what are you like? lol.... Man city & Sunderland were playing today and all hubby's friends decided to chill at ours today so I thought I'll entertain them with it.
Anyways you know I always bring to you easy and quick meals and I can guarantee you that when you try this method, you'll thank me later.
By the way my guests requested they took some away but unfortunately a full pot of it was gone in 15mins. O'

Video Pictorial here:-

So here we go:-

Cooking time:- 1 hour
Ingredients (to serve 4-6)

Gizzard (chicken gizzard):- there are 2 types of it, the turkey and the chicken. I've never used the turkey one so I'll stick to what I know which is the chicken gizzard
2 medium sized red onions
1 scotch bonnet/habanero pepper
1 tin of peeled plum tomatoes
1 bell pepper
Mixed yellow, green & red pepper (I used the already cut frozen one, makes life easier lol)- get from any food chain supermarket
2 medium sized plantain
2 teaspoons of salt
stock cubes
1 teaspoon of All-purpose seasoning
1 fresh lime or lime juice
Olive oil

Kitchen foil

Step by step Instructions
Prepare your gizzard by firstly cleaning it thoroughly; now the gizzard can be extremely dirty so you'll need to clean properly. Cut the lime into half and squeeze the first half into the gzzard in the container, soak for about 10minutes as lime contains acid and in effect also kills the dirt in the gizzard. After 10minutes start the cleaning process and make sure all the extra fat and dirt is taken off the gizzard. Repeat this process until really clean (picture below). Squeeze the second half of the lime in the gizzard and use your hands to massage it, once this is done rinse well and place in a pot. Add salt, stock cubes, thyme & onions and leave to boil for at least 40minutes. Whilst that's boiling, prepare your pepper and add the plum tomatoes in a blender with 1 onion, 1 scotch bonnet (you can add more if you like that burning sensation), 1 bell pepper and blend roughly (picture below). Heat about 150-200ml of olive oil in a pot on really low heat for about 20mins max (remember on really low heat). After the 20mins, add the pepper mixture (you only need half, as this pepper is just to coat the gizzard so store the remaining half in the freezer as you won't need alot of blended pepper) stir and add 1 stock cube, a teaspoon of all purpose seasoning, salt to taste and leave to fry on low heat. Once frying, you'll begin to see the oil residue at the top of the stew, the stew should also have reduced in size during the frying stage (you're doing well so far). Don't worry as the stew is just to coat the gizzard not make it a watery stew.

Now your gizzard should be ready, place in an oven pan and put in the oven for 17mins on 375-400°F ♎ 190- 200°C. If you prefer frying, you can always fry but as most people are now becoming very health concious, oven cooking is the healthier option.

Once done, place the gizzard in the stew and mix. Whilst this is cooking, start peparing the plantain by cutting into cubes (pictures below), fry and leave aside. Add the mix pepper (green, yellow & red) into the gizzard mix and sliced onions and leave to cook for a further 2 mins. Now everything should start to come together and should start looking shamazing lol. Add the plantain and leave to steam for 2mins(please time this as plantain will get soggy once left in for too long); voila you're done & you can see that this is so easy to prepare...Well done, you've now successfully completed the Gizdodo stage, let me know how you get on please :-) and stay tuned for more recipes :-) Comments & questions welcome.

                                         Gizzard being soaked with fresh lime

                                                                             Both sides of the gizzard to be cleaned


gizzard boiled and in an oven pan with kitchen foil

Olive oil


                                                      gizzard after being in the oven