hema’s sphere

ramadan recipes

Posted by hema on September 17, 2007

and time saving tips when cooking.

(i got it done in time! i’m so glad i finished before ramadan! i did start it beforehand and i’ve been added to it in bits. i still need to add some recipes, so keep checking back but i have linked on to other recipes for now)

starters

dates!

fruit– there is a good reason for having fruit on an empty stomach rather than as desert. i’ve forgotten why, so you’ll have to take my word for it! put it out af iftari time instead of fried food. if fruit is the only thing on the table at that time, people will eat it!

salads! make it interesting and experiment with adding different dressings. try egg salad or lightly grilled chicken with salad (rocket leaves work really well with grilled chicken) add herbs to low fat yoghurt and use it instead of mayonaise.

fruit chaat– i never used to like the idea of spices in fruit, but i’m coming around to the idea now. you can buy fruit chaat mixes to make it easier

deserts

trifle

i made one …
(i have no idea why it’s blurry. even my camera likes habiba’s trifle better!)

and habiba made one..

you see, there is a reason why i think she is the most creative person i know, mashAllah.

i can’t really eat trifle due to my custard phobia (i’m pretty certain that is a legitimate phobia to have)but love making it because it’s so easy. simply add layers of custard, jelly, fruit(optional), cake (optional) and cream.
*tip-use dried milk instead of cream as a healthier alternative
*use tinned custard and fruit to save time. (i think you would be forgiven for doing that during ramadan at least!)
* decorate using strawberries and choclate( you might need practice to get it habiba perfect. i just stuck them on:(
(why is this in italics? WHY WON’T IT CHANGE BACK)
I’m going to go do some marking and come back and hope it’s sorted itself out.
hhm..

cheesecake-baba’s very easy chocolate cheesecake recipe can be found here. warning: you will gain a few pounds just by looking at it!

mango mouse- simply add a tin of mango puree to whipped cream and erm.. that’s it! you can add fruit juices as well like lemon juice and orange juice. garnish using chopped nuts and mint leaves if desired.

jelly with fruit. i like jelly because it’s so funny. i don’t know why but it just is! add chopped fruit to the jelly before it’s set. see here if that didn’t make sense. it’s a great way to get children to eat fruit without realising.

frozen yoghurt is a great alternative to ice cream.

things to do with honey

add to drinks, such as hot milk, instead of sugar.

have it on toast.

use in recipes like flapjacks instead of golden syrup

honey and lemon chicken

in porridge, on pancakes

things to do with dates

date cake! date loaf. date scones

main meals
stirfries– use instand noodles with chicken and vegetables. see here for other time saving tips for chinese food.

pasta-quick and easy, use fresh vegetables for a healthy option.alternatively, some pasta sauces have vegetables in them which can be quite handy. or use tinned tomatoes and lots of oxo cubes and soy sauce.

boil rice instead of making pilau sometimes. it’s so much healthier. my favourite meal ever is rice with lentils and lots of salad.

roast or gril food instead of frying it.

switch to brown bread and/or flour and use cooking oil instead of butter.

drinks

water! for me, cofee makes me very thirsty so i have to have about 2 glasses before and 2 after, and i drink about 3 cups of coffee a day, so i think i’m ok with my water intake for now! always have a glass of water before you start eating.

fruit juices, fruit smoothies- it may be a good time for me to go back on my word and try iMuslim’s green smoothies

mix drinks together to keep it more interesting. i like vimto with coke. if you’re going to give fzzy drinks to children then dilute them with plenty of water or fruit juice.

sahoor

if you’re the type that can’t face food in the morning, thenbtry drinking fruit smoothies.

i like to have nesquick flavoured milk. it’s supposed to have extra nutrients, plus it tastes nice.

if you can face food, then the best type to have is brown bread, cereal. i would explain why, but my sisters visibly cringe everytime i try to talk science so i’ll leave it. but eating foods that are high in fat or sugar will actually make you more hungry during the day(not to mention thirsty)

time saving tips in the kitchen

  • chop onions up all in one go and keep them in the freezer. same with the garlic, just put a lot in the grinder all in one go, and freeze. or, chop enough onions for two days and keep half in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • cook enough for two days so you don’t have to cook every day. or if you have relatives/friends living nearby, organise it so that one of you is cooking for both families on one day so that you only have to cook every other day. most families end up sharing food anyway, so you might as well save some time out of it and it will prevent food from going to waste if people end up sending too much over as is usually the case.
  • if you have food left over and your family find it boring to eat the same thing, then do soemthing different with it. eg, roast chicken can be used in a casserole or sandwiches (think salsa and tortillas)
  • leftover vageatbles- make a stew or casserole.
  • make pasta bake with leftover pasta(simpy place in an oven proof dish with cheese sause and heat it in the oven(i wasn’t going to comment on the italics thing again but arrrrhhgg, it just won’t change back)
  • prepare meals in advance and freeze. or freeze leftovers and have them on another day when you are find you are too busy to cook. eg if you’re making something like shepards pie or lasange, i find it’s easy to make two and freeze one.
  • what might be seen as “bland food” by some members of the family(potatoes, sandwiches etc) can be spiced up by serving with chutney, or more interesting fillings (such as salad and humous, tangy chicken etc)

if you do have to cook a sixty course meal like poor daisy, then time spent in the kitchen doesn’t have to be wasted..

  • take the radio into the kitchen to listen to your local ramadan radio station, play nasheeds, quran recitation or an audio lecture. if you can’t use a radio or cd player, then downlaod lectures on to your phone or iPod.
  • test yourself by going through any quran or duas you may have memorised or do some dhikr.
  • give the kids a beneficial activity to do on the dining table/breakfast bar so you can supervise them while you are cooking.
  • if that’s not an option, then do any chopping/preparing in the living room, so you can spend time with the family at the same time.
  • get everyone to pitch in. cooking is more fun when there is more than one person doing it, and kids generally love to help with preparing. get them to help with preparing the healthier foods and they are more likey to eat it. eg let them arrange vegetabels as smily faces.

wow all this talk of food is making me hungry:) apologies for anyone who read this post whilst fasting, but spare a thought for poor samia who has to work with food every day..
finally, it can be difficult during ramadan to find the time to make yourself

finally, for anyone who is finding it difficult to look half decent in these busy months, umm maymoonah had some tips a while back on how busy mums can still adorn themselves for their husbands, which might be relevant to some of you.

i hope some of these links and tips have been of benefit to someone at least and apologise if anything is unclear. email me if there is anything that needs clarifying or you are unsure about.

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