Egg Sandwich with a Low Carb Bread

I’m so sure if someone were to collect top five new year goals from a sample of people from at least 50 different countries—‘lose weight’ or ‘eat healthier’ would be among 95% of the sample’s New Year goals. And without shame, eating healthier is also one of my New Year goals. 

In mid-March last year, I started making changes to my diet and exercising and I have been able to lose 35 pounds since then, still on that journey though (check out @irinajoadunni on Insta). Anyways, one of the ways I did that was to eat less carbs. It sounds impossible for a Nigerian carb laden diet, but it is possible and rewardingly so. 

I’ve never been too much of a bread person but I love breakfast and by default, love a good breakfast sandwich. In a desperate attempt to find a replacement for bread in my treasured egg sandwich, I researched and came up with this super easy, fast, paleo and low-carb bread with a Nigerian twist. 

Would you believe me if I told you this was made in the microwave? Only takes about 10 minutes? Tastes JUST like an McMuffin/English Muffin? Will keep you fuller than any of those two could ever? You probably won’t until you try it for yourself.

What you'll need 

1 egg
1 tablespoon of coconut flour 
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 table spoon of grass-fed butter
3 tablespoons of almond Flour

*you may or may not notice (haha), but I love Trader Joe’s and I recommend buying their coconut and almond flours. This isn’t sponsored,I prefer their quality and I’ve tried about 6 different brands of coconut and almond flour.

s e a s o n i n g s

a dash of salt
yaji powder (optional, but it’s the Nigerian twist!)
or other seasonings (e.g. for a sweet bagel-like muffin, add cinnamon, a dash of vanilla and a sweetener of your choice)

What you'll do

1. In a microwave safe bowl or mug (ideally a ramekin), melt the butter for 20-30 seconds. You don’t want it completely melted or the bread won’t be moist. 
2. Add in the flour and other spices and mix well.
3. Add in the egg, whisk, and flatten out the batter evenly. (I often tap the ramekin on a oven mitt to ensure its even in the bottom. Let the batter sit for 3 minutes.

4. Microwave for about 1min30sec, each microwave varies, you can use a knife or a toothpick to check if its done. 

5. Once the bread has cooled a little, slice it in half and grill in a pan or toast in a toaster! 

There you have it! The bread is done! You can top it with whatever you like: cream cheese, an egg, peanut butter and jelly, avocado, the options are endless.

I topped mine with an egg, bacon, cheese, spring onions and of course, pepper powder!

Try this out and you won’t regret it! If you live in Nigeria, almond flour and coconut flour may be difficult to find, so let me know if you need help finding it!

Tackling Goals with a Reading Challenge!

Happy New Year! 

It's been way too long. I hope January wasn't too long for you? I hope you set some realistic and smart goals? 

I’ve always wondered: when do you stop saying “Happy New Year”? Is it in the first week of January when school and work resumes? Or do you keep saying it every time you see someone you haven’t seen this year? I was in my moms office earlier this week and she said ‘happy new year’ and I wondered is it socially acceptable to still say ‘happy new year’ on January 30th? New Years and Christmas seems so far gone (although my Christmas tree is still up #judgenot). However, we are only on day 31 out of 365 days, after all. 

So anyways, this is my last official new year greeting! I intentionally haven’t posted due to the combination of weddings, festivities and settling into the new year. Plus, I really wanted to strategize for the blog, and take time to set goals and my vision for the year. 

Two goals I set for the year are to: 1) learn continuously; and 2) be happy and do happy. One way I’ve decided to tackle/accomplish both goals is to read more. And not just in numbers or to read what I typically read but to expand my horizon and read about places, peoples, and issues I typically wouldn’t. Most of the books I buy tend to be African literature, which is fine but there’s a world of fiction and non-fiction to discover and explore. Which is why I created this challenge, although it mostly revolves around work by people of color, I still believe the topical books would open a new gateway for me and others who participate. Not only will I learn more, but I’ll also be doing something that makes me happy. 

I’m excited for this challenge and I hope you guys participate. Just because there are 18 prompts does not necessarily mean you will read 18 books. For instance, Kindred by Octavia Butler fits into at least two categories (Afro-futurist and one word title). I’ve put in some suggestions of books, but there are hundreds more for each category. So go ahead, save the picture below or download the pdf here and expand your bookshelf with me! 

If you’re going to participate comment below and be sure to use the hashtags on IG/Twitter! 

Also, I’m considering doing a goal setting post, let me know below if you’d like a post on that. 

I hope your year has been off to a great start and gets better! 

Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo Review + #AkeFest17 Highlights!

I promised myself to write at least one review before the end of the year, and I thought, what better book than the one I won’t stop talking about? Also, I attended Ake Books & Art Festival a month, where I met the author and had such a great time, more on that is below. Since this is my first review, it’s good to preface that you will find almost no spoilers here, I write a little about the book but more why I think you should read it based on how I felt and how you may feel (because I read minds) when you read it as well. Do enjoy!


Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo 
It's the truth—stretched, but still true. Besides, what will be left of love without truth stretched beyond its limits, without those better versions of ourselves that we present as the only ones that exist?

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed I frequently rave about this book and how talented Ayobami Adebayo is. I was actually gifted Stay With Me for my birthday, and I had seen a couple of reviews about it before then. I was not prepared for the emotional gut-wrenching ride I was about to embark on. 

I am such a picky reader. I don’t read just anything; I never finish a book I don’t love from the beginning. The books I’ve read this year, I kind of had to force myself to get through the first two or so chapters to get hooked. But not Stay With Me (pun intended?). I was gripped from the first few pages. From then it was such a captivating and journey. 

Adebayo’s talent (calling her by her surname out of respect, but I am so tempted to call her Ayobami because she’s my big sister in my head) is unparalleled. She does not write with much description— "the trees were swaying ever so softly in the cool summer day and so were the frills of my dress” kind of description—the book is filled with straightforward drama and dialogue, and quite frankly I think that it is why I admire this work. I cannot compare the feeling to any other book. I think the last time I felt so moved by a story was when I read Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie. 

Stay With Me is set in Ilesha and starts of with us right at the center of all the drama that unfolds in the latter half of the book. From the beginning I was curious to see how the story would pan out. We’re first introduced to Yejide, who is a strong yet naive woman battling with the societal pressure of having a child among the political turmoil in 1980’s Nigeria. Then we are introduced to Akin, her husband whom loves her deeply but holds a dark secret of his own. The book switches between both of their voices, providing alternative perspectives into the story. Yejide and Akin have what many people would call a modern marriage, both are educated and both work, although Yejide does not use her degree to find a job, she is quite obviously hardworking. Alongside them, are Dotun, Akin’s slightly wayward brother; Moomi, Akin’s mother who represents how women carry Nigerian patriarchy; Iya Bolu, the hilarious neighboring hairdresser; Funmi, the new wife Moomi imposes on Akin; among many others who added humor to the book (e.g. the men on the Mountain of Jaw Dropping Miracle; which provides a harrowing peek into the desperation to bear children among women in Nigeria). 

Weeks after reading this book I am still thinking about Yejide and Akin. Wishing I could call them. Wanting to know how Yejide is doing. Adebayo artfully compels the reader to care so deeply about Yejide and Akin, you are pulled into their lives, and in the end you will probably shed some serious happy and sad tears. 

For the non-Nigerian reader, you will get a peek into Nigerian culture and history. You’ll learn a lot about the heavy burden barren women in Nigeria face. Despite the very Nigerian setting, a number of experiences in the book would relate to women worldwide, I believe. For the Nigerian reader, you will simply beg Nollywood writers to take notes o how to write drama in a Nigerian setting and hopefully make a film out of this book. 

This book was a solid 5 stars for me, and I do hope you read it or let me know your thoughts if you have. 


Ake Book & Arts Festival

From the 16-18th of November I attended the Ake Festival in Abeokuta. The theme, this f-word, was apt and made the experience an unforgettable one.


  • The book chats, were amazing and Adebayo’s was one of my favorites. I also attend two other book chats featuring Zinzi Clemmons, Hadiza El-Rufai, Alexis Okeowo, and Dayo Olopade. I also bought three books: What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky by Leslie Arimah; The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas; and So The Path does Not Die by Pede Holist 
  • The sessions were very thought provoking and left me reinvigorated for the work I do in mental health & sexual and reproductive health and rights. My favorite was the Futures for African Women; it was a quick session filled with brainstorming the issues African women face. 
  • Meeting Mona Elthaway for the third time on the third continent! She spoke while I was a student at Drew University, I also saw her in England at the TedXEuston event. 
  • Being in the presence of the glorious, Ama Ata Aidoo. As a pan-African studies student, with a Ghanaian professor, a number of our courses included a book by Aidoo. I did my senior capstone for the major featuring Changes. I couldn’t stay for the whole session but she provided me with a quote I’ll never forget: 
 A girl’s voice does not break; it only gets firmer.
It was my first time attending and, I'm seriously looking forward to #AkeFest18.


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Plantain Crusted Fish

Part of the reason I started this blog is because I love to cook. But my love for food goes way beyond cooking and eating it; I love learning about food, the science behind how things go together, and experimenting with it. This later part, my sheer curiosity about food is half of the reason this blog exists. This recipe embodies that.

I don't remember exactly how I came about this, but similar to the desire for another batter for butterfly prawn, I wanted an option outside of breadcrumbs for coating fish/chicken. Also, I think I just really love plantain and I love cooking in ways other than the typical fried/grilled/boiled plantain.

First of all, this is the best crusted fish I've ever tasted. Seriously. The sweetness from the plantain compliments the fish so well and is just so lovely and wonderful and great. No better way to describe, it's so easy to make too (only 5 steps).

Here's the recipe for you try out for yourself:

What you'll need 

2 fillets of firm white fish (haddock, cod, tilapia)
1 egg
1 cup of plantain chips (preferably the sweet ones)
1 lime
fresh cilantro/coriander

s e a s o n i n g s
- salt
- one tablespoons of crushed red chilies
- one teaspoons of garlic powder
- teaspoon of thyme

What you'll do:

1. Rinse/clean your fillets and season and set aside.

2. In a blender/coffee grinder (I used my MagicBullet) grind the plantain chips until almost powder like.

3. Coat each fish with plantain crumbs by dipping into the bowl, followed by a dip into the egg mixture, then a final dip into the plantain crumbs.
This is what it should look like

4. Place on a tray and keep in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes.

5. Bring it out and cook in the oven for a max of 20 minutes at 350ยบ F.
All done!

Squeeze some lime juice over it and top with cilantro. Serve with rice (especially coconut rice) like I did, or even fried plantain with a side of spicy mango salsa.

Let me know if you try it out!

A Woman, Regardless : World Wide Wednesday #2

Hey hey!

Hope you're not suffering from the midweek blues like I am. Not so much that I am tired from work, but I am tired from the world. There has been a lot of talk around social media spaces about sexual harassment & misogyny and it's consequences. On the flip side, I've been feeling extra inspired by women, who regardless of the burden women are subjected to, are still a full life, inspiring others, sharing their stories and working tirelessly to dismantle a rigid society in dire need of change.

While this series it meant to be lighthearted and meant to motivate, I believe it is importnat to talk about these things. This is the reality of flow women, and humans. These are things So this will be different from the previous WWW (if you didn't see the first one, check it out!) and the ones to follow. In the first half I'll share few issues that stuck me, and ultimately nudged me to center today's WWW around this. In the second half, I'll share links and videos about the women who have inspired and motivated over the past few days to take joy in being myself, black, and a woman, regardless.

Do enjoy!


Me Too
Currently falling in love with Instagram 'doodlers' whose art provide social commentary on issues I'm passionate about. This was on my discover page on IG and it aptly describes my feelings about the current sexual harassment/assault revelations about Hollywood celebrities. Combined with my own experiences, those of friends and families, those splashed across the news and those highlighted through the #MeToo campaign, I feel increasingly hopeless and ANGRY.


Refusing to stay silent 
One of my dear friends (who has an amazing clean beauty blog), Queen, posted about her experience with sexual harassment, and she accurately details the very real and frustrating reasons women do not speak about their experiences: (1) fear of drawing attention to myself,  (2) [worrying] about what might happen to assailantsnot wanting to tarnish their reputation, and (3) fear that no one would believe me. It is quite frustrating that this is the reality of women who face unwanted sexual attention and violation. In the end she brilliantly details the flip side of her reasons: I will no longer indirectly protect men who try to violate me and other women. There are consequences for our actions. You should think about consequences before assaulting or harassing someone. I do not care about your reputation, your family or your job. I do hope that with the current discussion of these issues, more and more perpetrators will be named and shamed.

Because the religious leaders said so
The latest sitcom titled "fake Nigerian politics and morals" showcases yet again (1) how religion has often been used as an excuse fro misogyny and to opress women (2) our leaders really just don't get it. The country's military took several steps backward from their 2011 step forward in training female regular combatant cadets in the Nigerian Army (apparently they will still be trained in the Nigerian Navy and Air Force). The reason? Northern Muslim clerics test the idea of and want to prevent a situation where, one day, a woman will lead the army and give orders to men (them). Basically, women were outperforming men (haha) and were moving up the ladder, apparently two female cadets beat their male counterparts and won a place in the United States Military Academy. Classic case of salty men in power.

Women exploited because of poverty
In this post, I talked about how I was mistaken for a prostitute on a solo trip to Rome. There has always been something quite fascinating and gravely disturbing to me about trafficking. Over the years, I've come across women trafficked  in my line of work and I continually work to understand the nuances behind trafficking. and conducted researched to improve their rehabilitation. However, last week over two dozen Nigerian and other west African women were murdered while attempting to cross the Mediterranean sea. Here, as in most cases of trafficking, the interaction between poverty, gender and racism cannot be unraveled.


We all go through something
So now, I've dumped all this depressing information on you, how do you react? Though these might be triggering, painful, and frustrating it is the reality and staying informed is the painstaking yet  important first step to the world I described in the beginning. And so is taking care of yourself and other women. Also self love/self care is not just eating comfort food (sobs into giant plate of plantain) but realizing what hurts, why, and getting the help you need.


Not just the food
Including this was not because of the food, although these akara donuts or as Chisom Ombau likes to call them "akaronuts" did draw my attention to her page, 9jaDelicaies makes me want to get up and work. Chisom, the creator behind 9jaDelicacies is a mother of 3, a wife, a food blogger and has a full-time job. On top of that her pictures make her food look as amazing as I am sure they taste. So for me, and I hoe for you too, Chisom epitomizes that women can do it all, be it all, however they want.


Live for yourself
This speech by one of my many #WCE, Tracee Ellis Ross, reminds and encourages us to live our lives for ourselves. Becoming the "Brave you" as Ross says, gives us the courage to hold our own agency, our own choice, our own desire, our own longings, our own fear, our own grief, our own future.

A throwback to pick you up
This is for my girls all around the world
Who've come across a man who don't respect your worth
Thinking all women should be seen, not heard So what do we do girls?
Shout out loud!
Do you recognize these lyrics? Over the weekend I a found myself humming to Genie in the Bottle by Christina Aguilera and went on a Christina Aguilera music binge session. When I got to Can't Hold Us Down, I couldn't believe how much of a feminist/female power/let's show our worth anthem it was. This song deserves a post of it's own, which may come later. But for now, let this be your pick up song for the rest of the week, reminding you to stand your ground, believe in yourself, and just revel in your strength and amazingness as a woman, or (if your a man reading this, let it remind you that your female counterparts are worthy of respect).


Hope you enjoyed this one! This was tough but fun to write and I hope you learn something new, enjoy the rest of your week and remember women all over the world are sharing their stories and declaring their power.

Which of these stood out to you the most? How do you feel about all that's going on? Please share down below! 

Solo Travel Tips + Memories from Rome

November 10th officially made it one year since I moved to Nigeria. And then it hit me: I’ve been stuck in this bittersweet country for a year. Adulting and wanderlust just don’t go well. I’ve been craving for a break—to travel off to a new place and come back refreshed and ready to tackle end of year deadlines. Alas, I can’t travel for so many reasons; none of which included having no one to go with. I’ve only travelled alone once (I’ve gone on trips for conferences and stayed alone), but I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and perhaps because I’m an only child, I think I prefer traveling alone than with people.

Solo travel is scary for so many people, especially if you’re a woman and you’re black (especially in European and Asian countries). So daunting, that when I told my best friend back in 2014 that I wanted to go to Rome alone, she panicked. I, however, was not bothered, I’m a master planner and pride myself in being able to navigate new places pretty fast (kinda). So, in 2014 I went to Rome alone for four days—and I survived. Except for one racist experience where I was mistaken for a prostitute (there are a lot of women trafficked from Nigeria and other African countries to Italy for prostitution), I had an amazing eat.pray.nolove trip. Here are some tips that made the trip easier and you should jot down when planning a trip alone.

After checking into my hotel around 6:30 pm, I looked for the nearest phone shop, checked the closest place on my list of sights to see and headed to the Vatican. Although it was quite late and I couldn't go inside. I loved seeing the Vatican at night.

Solo Travel Tips: 

1. Do your research 

 Know the do’s and don’ts of the country you’re visiting. This reminds me of all of Samantha's woes (menopause hormone pills and making out in public) in Sex and The City 2. Haha! Also, research whether traveling alone to that particular county would be a wise. Although, I have never felt unsafe in foreign countries, I have heard that certain countries are not best travelled to alone. Do your research and decide if visiting x country would be safe and appropriate for you, while also considering your strengths. I.e., If you know you’ll get lost because you always get lost, don’t go to a country where language might be a barrier and then you’ll get lost.

2. Plan, plan plan! 

 It’s so easy to just say hey i’m going to x place, and I’ll just go with the flow and do it “like the locals,” but in reality you're not a local and when you travel alone as a person of color in a country where your type is definitely a minority, you’re not really a local. Which makes planning is essential. know what you’ll be doing, where you’ll be doing it, and when you’ll be doing it. You don’t have to plan every hour down to a T but have a general idea of what you’d love to do, see and of course, eat. Which is my favorite thing about travelling alone, you get to do what you want, always! Planning also helps so you can inform your family and friends where you'll be in case of an emergency.

*Before I went to Rome, I went to a Barnes and Noble and considered buying a book called Top 10 in Rome along with some others and ended up sitting in the attached Starbucks and taking notes of top places I’d love to visit, which became the places I did visit.

Some of my top places to visit: (l-r) Villa Borghese, Pizza Navona (I ended up attending mass at Sant'Agnese in Agone, a beautiful church in the square, and of course the Vatican this view is from the top!
3. Be safety conscious

As mentioned above, you should be aware of safety concerns in the country you’ll be visiting. No matter how “safe” the Internet deems a place, as a foreigner you may draw attention to locals looking to exploit or take advantage. This includes being low key and not drawing attention to yourself. You’ll be alone and unfortunately predators around where you lodge may notice this, especially if you carry flashy things.

4. Be accessible/have access. 

 If you travel frequently, I’d first of all recommend having an unlocked phone. Because I move between Nigeria and the U.S, my phones have always been unlocked, which has helped greatly in traveling. I typically always get a spare sim card when I travel with a low costing plan to be able to make a few calls, use maps, and send messages to my friends and mom to let them know I’m safe & ok. If this isn’t an option, a lot of phone companies often offer affordable plans so you can roam your phone for emergencies. Also, writing down phone numbers (your hotel or host family, emergency personnel) helps if you can’t roam your phone or get a sim card. You can always use a telephone box, look for information centers in the downtown tourist area and ask for help with making a quick call in case of an emergency.

*Nowadays, a lot of tourist areas have free wifi so always check for this. You can make Whats App calls, and use google maps in case you get lost (also google maps and I believe Apple maps [like below] has an offline mode that shows you a moving blue dot as you walk, so if you pin a place while connected you might be able to see it when you’re offline and navigate your way there).

5. Write or document in your own way. 

The previous tips have been about being safe but one benefit of traveling is being able to reflect and enjoy your own company. When I went to Rome I recorded videos of myself and wrote in a journal whenever i went out to eat. Also writing the things you do and things you learn about the country while you are there is always fun. I sometimes find notes I took from previous trips and reflect fondly.

6. Have fun! 
Don’t be shy! Ask people to take pictures of you when you need to. I often set my camera/phone and stand where I’d want the shot taken and ask them politely to take the picture. Sometimes this doesn’t always work out and you get pictures with the hand covering the flash, but it’s still worth the potentially great shot! Don’t be lonely because you're alone! Take uplifting books and movie along to read watch when your back in your hotel room at night. Converse with people you meet at restaurants, tourist attractions libraries, museums and more. Not only will you learn more about the local culture but you’re bound to meet other tourists and learn about their culture too.

All in all, have fun be safe and don’t let the fact that you’re alone hold you back from enjoying a potentially life changing experience!

Have you ever travelled anywhere alone or have you had an itch to join team #solotravel? Comment below, and also add your own tips ;)

Shrimp Coconut Rice

Long time no food post! These past few months have been one hell of a roller coaster and I'm currently grateful for some semblance of normalcy. I'm also getting excited for the holiday season coming up, so many weddings and functions (the Naija 'owambe') and thinking of all the food that will be eaten if I don't start training my brain and mouth to cooperate now. In the past you'd only see jollof rice, fried rice, and if you're lucky ofada rice at owambes. But these days, there are several types of rice (including the disaster of a thing many caterers call 'chinese rice'). Anyways, I'm yet to see coconut rice as an option at these functions. Which upsets me because I LOVE coconut rice. It used to be a Sunday staple in our house before I went to university.

Coconut has always held a special place in my heart, I would beg my mom on after church if she could make coconut rice. I'd always chose coconut flavored anything over many other flavors. Add chillis to it and you've won me over! This recipe is exactly that-- a combination of thick plus creamy coconut and hot chillis (with some seafood thrown in). Though traditionally, I'd use the homemade milk from fresh coconuts, but there's something so special and delectable about using coconut cream instead of milk.

What you'll need

1 can of coconut cream
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup of stock
1/2 cup of shrimp
2 tablespoons of chili sauce
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 cups of rice (basmati or regular parboiled rice works)

s e a s o n i n g s

- salt
- two tablespoons of grounded crayfish *
- two teaspoons of curry powder
- teaspoon of mixed herbs
- teaspoon of thyme
- teaspoon of garlic powder
- bay leaves
- maggi or knorr seasoning cubes **

* If you don't have grounded crayfish use either crayfish flavored maggi cubes or fish/seafood stock.
**Use this to your preference and depending on how thick your stock is. Two cubes are shown above but I only used one.

What you'll do:

1. In a medium saucepan, heat up the coconut oil and add onions. Stir fry till translucent.

2. Add the chili sauce, and seasonings. Stir fry for 2 minutes.

3. Add the stock and coconut cream and bring to a slow boil. While the mixture is cooking, wash the rice until water runs clear.

4. Add in washed rice and cover tightly. Cook for 15 minutes, add prawns, then cook for another 15-20 minutes.

5. Add in the ground crayfish, and reduce the heat to low.* Allow the pot to simmer for 5 minutes and it's all done! Ready to be served with fried turkey. Or chicken. Or fish. Or just devoured straight from the pot.

* I made this recipe back in June, I recently recreated the dish and I popped the rice into an oven safe dish and baked for about 7 minutes after adding the crayfish and trust me, it made a difference!

Let me know if you try this out, and what you think!