Vegan Nigerian “Meat” Pie
by Tomi Makanjuola (@Vegan Nigerian)
This quintessential Nigerian snack was a prominent staple in my childhood – either as an after-school snack or a weekend treat. I have found memories of my family driving to one of the many eateries in Lagos to pick up a half dozen of the pies for us all to enjoy. When I was old enough to start cooking on my own, I was SO proud when I was able to nail a homemade version of the dish. After going vegan, it was reassuring to know that I could still recreate this snack, particularly thanks to the availability of plant-based meat and dairy alternatives.
As the name suggests, the central ingredient in the traditional recipe is ground meat, and the pastry layer often contains egg and butter. But to make the plant-based version, I prefer to use soy-based mincemeat, and I replace the dairy ingredients with a plant-based alternative – Flora Margarine.
It’s an easy recipe to make and I really appreciate how with just two easy substitutions, I can still create a dish from my culture and my childhood that meets me where I’m at in my life’s journey now as a vegan. Anyone, even kids, can make this dish, and the best part is rolling out and filling the dough – there’s just something so therapeutic about the process. I love it as a great lazy Sunday afternoon activity.
Once finished, I can assure that you’ll have a savoury pastry to satisfy all taste buds. Whenever I make the dish for others, I always receive positive feedback – it’s hard not to love a flavourful, savoury pastry such as this. In fact, the first time my family – all meat eaters – tried it, I didn’t tell them it didn’t contain meat. Needless to say, they were very surprised to learn it was 100% plant-based!
DID YOU KNOW? A traditional Nigerian meat pie calls for dairy butter in the pastry dough. Replacing dairy butter with plant margarine in Tomi’s recipe saves 3.12 kg CO2-eq, which is equivalent to the emissions from 27 plastic bottles!
*Based on published research
Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers, by J. Poore & T. Nemecek. 2018.
Large-scale regionalised LCA shows that plant-based fat spreads have a lower climate, land occupation and water scarcity impact than dairy butter. 2020.
For more information see https://upfield.com/purpose/environmental-footprint/