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Healthy Fasting: Suhur Meals

By Marzia Shamsi

suhoor meal

As we all know we are approaching this beautiful blessed month of Ramadan & Fasting during this month is considered one of the 5 Pillars of Islam — five activities that shapes our life’s for eternity. Prayer occurs on a daily basis; pilgrimage is done once in a lifetime; charity and professing one’s faith are both ongoing. Fasting the month of Ramadan is an annual observance; every year, isn’t it beautiful that we are getting an opportunity to take an entire month out of our lives to observe it and rededicate ourselves in the path of Allah?

While we concentrate in observing our wajibats let us also keep in mind how important it is to keep our health on track & how fasting has some amazing hidden factors that can boost our health if we follow a right regime & take essential nutrients by eating healthy!  In a narration of Abu Nuaim,Prophet Mohammad(p.b.u.h) said, “soomo wa tsahhoo”, which can be translated to mean, “Fast and be healthy.” Even science has proven the health benefits of fasting in the month of Ramadan . The International Congress on “Health and Ramadan” which was held in Casablanca in 1994, covered 50 studies on the medical ethics of Ramadan and noted various improvements in the health conditions of those who fast.

If any negative effects were seen at all, it was in those who over-indulge in food at iftar or do not sleep well at night. You should also keep in mind that if fasting will be dangerous to your health, such as in Type 1 or 2  Diabetics,or other serious health risks you are not recommended to fast as your medical condition may worsen.

For those of you who can fast, especially for our young generation here are some of the incredible health benefits of fasting on our overall well-being that is sure to blow your minds away.1) Provides tranquility of the heart and mind 2) Improves your blood fat levels 3) Promotes fat breakdown and weight loss are few of the many benefits of fasting. I have created few fun & delicious suhoor ideas that should not just be delicious to eat but have the best health benefits too.

Veggie Quinoa Pilaf


When preparing this colourful dish all it reminds me of is tropical freshness & spring combined together in one with all fresh ingredients such as mint,garlic,parlsey & fresh vegetable Quinoa Pilaf is packed with disease–fighting and immune–boosting substances called phytochemicals. These substances, along with nutrients in plant foods, are thought to protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease. Fun fact: One cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. Quinoa can add variety to your diet and contains more protein than other grains.


  • 1 yellow or red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1Cup Mushrooms (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 sprig of fresh parsley (julienned)
  • 1 sprig Mint (julienned)
  • 2 cups dry quinoa, washed and dried
  • 3 cups boiling water or vegetable broth (add 1 teaspoon salt if using water or unsalted broth)
  • Sliced Lemon wedges


  • Sauté onion, green beans, mushrooms,carrots,and garlic until they start to caramelize or turn brown.
  • Add cumin, red chilli flakes and quinoa. Stir constantly and cook for about 3 more minutes to allow spices and quinoa to toast.
  • Add boiling salted water or vegetable broth. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until all the liquid has completely absorbed and the quinoa has ‘bloomed’ add parsley & mint.
  • Do not stir during cooking and make sure the lid is tight to prevent moisture from escaping.
  • Remove from heat and allow quinoa to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add cilantro or parsley, if using.
  • Fluff with a fork and serve with thinly sliced lemon wedges.

Stored in a covered container in the refrigerator, leftover Quinoa Pilaf will keep for up to three days. 

 Spicy Cheesy Melts

Cheesy melts

This very easy cheesy melts recipe is an all time favourite & can be made with different variations such as different choices of beans & veggie of your choice it can also be topped with fried egg, shredded chicken or minced meat.


  • 2 heaped tablespoons canned cooked beans
  • 1 thick slice organic white or brown bread, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon prepared salsa (available in jars) or made fresh
  • 1 tablespoon shredded cheese, such as Mexican blend or Jack


  • Spread beans on toast. Top with salsa, then cheese.
  • Microwave on hightemperature until the cheese is melted and the beans are hot, about 45 seconds.
  • Serve at suhoor with mango juice or milk.

 Crepe suzette


Can be made by store brought pancake mix but I’d always recommend to make your own from scratch this crepe suzette recipe has it own zing. I can assure you that this citrusy yummy crepe recipe is going to make your kids wanting to wakeup to it before you at suhoor.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup less 1 tablespoon      water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Butter
  • Orange syrup:
  • 16 tablespoons butter (2 sticks), divided
  • 4 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 4 ounces Grand Marnier, divided
  • Fresh cream


  • Whisk all the ingredients vigorously until the batter is completely smooth; allow itr to rest in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before making the crepes.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a crepe pan or large skillet over low-medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of batter to the pan and swirl until the bottom of the pan is covered with batter. Cook the crepe for 1 minute, or until the crepe is slightly moist on top and golden underneath.
  • Loosen the edges of the crepe, slide the spatula under it, and then gently flip it upside down into the pan. Cook for 1 minute and transfer the cooked crepe to a plate to keep warm. Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
  • In a large skillet set over medium heat, melt half of the butter until it foams. Remove the skillet from the heat and sprinkle the half the sugar over the melted butter. Add half the orange juice, and then add the crepes to the pan to coat both sides in the orange syrup. Fold the crepes into quarters or roll them into cylinders.
  • Melt the remaining butter in the skillet, remove it from the heat, and then add the sugar and orange juiceto make more orange syrup. Place a scoop of  fresh cream next to each crepe and drizzle the crepe Suzette with the orange syrup.

This crepes Suzette recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.


About the Author:

Marzia Shamsi is a single mother to two lovely kids. Brought up in the UAE, a Canadian resident originally from India. A professional chef out of house while at home her first and last name is Mom. An amateur blogger who’s just started out, Marzia loves to share her thoughts and knowledge and dreams of owning her own restaurant some day.



Recipe of the Week: Thai Red Curry

By Marzia Shamsi

Healthy Thai Red curry

We relish Thai food in my household and this recipe is easy to make, making for a super popular weekend supper. The best thing about Thai cuisine is that we can play around with ingredients without losing  authenticity. Thai cuisine places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components and a spicy edge.

An online research reveals seven dishes from Thailand   listed in the world’s 50 most delicious foods rankings. That doesn’t surprise me, seeing the diversity in different spices, curry pastes and a long list of different variations of noodles and rice. My version of this red curry recipe allows you to use any vegetables of your choice and people allergic to shell fish can replace it with boneless chicken or fish.

I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as I do.


  • 1tbsp  sesame or canola oil
  • 1 can  coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon  brown sugar
  • 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
  • 1 pound  large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 1 cup  assorted vegetables of your choice; I have used bok choy and zucchini.
  • 1/4 cup   fresh Thai basil
  • 2 tablespoons premium fish sauce
  • Cooked wild rice or jasmine rice
  • Fresh red chillies, thinly sliced


  • Sauté garlic in oil then add coconut milk and let simmer on medium heat. Stir in curry paste and sugar until well blended; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low then simmer five minutes.
  • Stir in shrimp and vegetables. Cook three to five minutes or just until shrimp turn pink and vegetables are tender-crisp. Stir in basil and fish sauce.
  • Serve with cooked wild or jasmine rice, if desired. Garnish with additional basil and red chilli  to give it that spicy kick.
Nutrion Information Per Serving:  309 Calories
Fat 33g,
Protein 21g,
Carbohydrates 10g,
Cholesterol 168mg,
Sodium 1095mg,
Fiber 1g


About the Author: 

Marzia Shamsi is a single mother to two lovely kids. Brought up in the UAE, a Canadian resident originally from India. A professional chef out of house while at home her first and last name is Mom. An amateur blogger who’s just started out, Marzia loves to share her thoughts and knowledge and dreams of owning her own restaurant some day.

Recipe of the Week: Roast Beef Tenderloin

By Marzia Shamsi

roast beef tenderloin

This is one of the most easiest sunday roast recipe that one could ever wish for. Beef tenderloin is one of the finest cuts of the beef that cooks easily and holds on to the juice and flavour of the dish intact during the roasting process.


  • 3 pounds beef  tenderloin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, dijon mustard & sprigs of fresh thyme.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). If roast is untied, tie at 3 inch intervals with cotton twine. Place roast in pan, and season with salt, garlic powder, dijon mustard and pepper.Make slight incisions on the top of the meat to place the thyme leave looking like a bouquet. Add seasonings to taste.

Roast in oven for 60 minutes (20 minutes per pound).

Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.


About the Author: 

Marzia Shamsi is a single mother to two lovely kids. Brought up in the UAE, a Canadian resident originally from India. A professional chef out of house while at home her first and last name is Mom. An amateur blogger who’s just started out, Marzia loves to share her thoughts and knowledge and dreams of owning her own restaurant some day.

Healthy Pumpkin Bread Recipe

By: Khaula Mazhar

So it’s that time of year again when ( if you have kids) you somehow end up with pumpkins. I am the lucky recipient of three fine (and free woot!!) manageable sized pumpkins. They sat on my doorstep to welcome in the Fall and now they have come in. To be slaughtered, mashed and exposed to extremely high temperatures. For thus is the life of the noble orange pumpkin. To sacrifice itself for our gastronomical pursuits. Without further ado, I give you all le recipe.



  • One small pumpkin.
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cups of water
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 3 cups of raw sugar (demerara)
  • 3 ½ cups of whole wheat flour (or a mix of white and whole wheat – I do both ways and they both turn out fine)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ half teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ or 1 teaspoon depending on your taste ( I use half a teaspoon) ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger (dry)
  • Chopped walnuts ( as many as you like- the more the merrier!)



  1. Preheat your oven to 350 Fb11ee2b4-4ad5-4ded-99aa-9319506f8c4a

  2. Wash your adorable little pumpkin. Take a huge knife and cut it in half, clean out all the seeds. After you have dried your tears, stick your pumpkin halves facing down on a baking sheet or foil tray and bake them till very soft.

  3. I clean the seeds, sprinkle them with salt and bake those as well, they are good to munch on!

  4. When a knife goes in very easily you know your pumpkin is done. It usually takes about an hour or hour and a half, depending on the size of the pumpkin.

  5. Scoop out the pulp. Mash it all up well. This should make about two cups of pumpkin puree. You can use 1 ½ to 2 cups depending on your taste. Mine ended up just a little less than two cups so I dumped all that orange gooeyness right in.

  6. In a large bowl mix the puree with eggs, water, oil and sugar. In another bowl mix all the dry ingredients.

  7. Stir your dry ingredients into the pumpkin mix. Pour into two 9 X 3 inch greased loaf pans (or whatever size you have). You may need to use three loaf pans if your pans are small.

  8. Bake at 350 F for about an hour. Keep checking! When your knife comes out clean your glorious pumpkin bread is done. Enjoy!!

If you try this recipe, please be sure to share your thoughts, questions, or suggestions!

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About the Author:

Khaula Mazhar, author of Mama Loves Me, has written for Dawn Pakistan and now bestows her wisdom upon the world at her blog. Last time she counted she had five kids, however the vast amount of laundry has given her doubts. This is a cause of constant distraction as she tries to finish writing the next NYT best-seller.

Quick and Healthy Snacks for Kids

By Elaf Selim


Once upon a time, there was a lovely mommy who had a little 7 year old girl. Every school morning, mommy would open her fridge and stare for 5 minutes not knowing what to put in her daughters lunch box. She wished she had ideas for quick and easy snacks that are also healthy and nutritious. Most of the packaged snacks for kids provide little to no nutrition value and include preservatives, artificial colors and flavors. Here are some ideas for all the lovely mommies who struggle with the same problem.

When it comes to packing a snack, which gets eaten and not returned back home, you need to be a bit crafty.

Variety is Key

Don’t pack large quantities of the same item but different items in smaller quantities. Children get bored. Also change the combination of items every day.

Include More Drinks

Some mommies forget this but children get very thirsty at school. In addition to adding a water bottle, you can add something to drink such as a yogurt drink, flavored milk, or juice. Try to choose juice made from natural sources with no added sugar.

Include Finger Veggies

Children need vitamins and fiber but lots of them don’t like veggies. Get crafty and choose vegetables which can be easy to eat, fun and colorful. Try some or a combination of mini carrots, cherry tomatoes in different colors, cucumber slices and celery sticks. If your child likes dips, you can add some ranch sauce or ketchup in a small container. You can even make your own yogurt dips.

Fruits are Dessert

Instead of adding candy, baked pastries or jam sandwiches to lunches;  fruits can provide the needed sweetness. Children love strawberries, apple slices, different berries, pineapples and bananas. Make sure you wash them and put them in a plastic container so they are not mushed in the lunchbox.

 Protein is Most Important

Include easy-to-eat options such as Grilled chicken cubes, Tuna mini sandwiches, Cheese sticks, all beef burgers cut in wedges, chicken wings. You can cook them in batches and store them in the fridge or freezer so you have a variety at hand.

Choose Healthy Treats

You can still add some fun treats but choose the healthy alternatives. For example, choose vegetable crackers instead of regular ones, pop-corn instead of chips and rise crispy bars instead of candy bars (if they are even allowed in your school).

Make it Fun

When you choose veggies and fruits, add a colorful combination so it’s more fun. You can also use some fun containers with colorful cartoon images.

Add Love Notes

For that special warm touch, add a sticky note in the lunch box with some love encouraging note to your child. It will make a difference, believe me. Write from your heart and keep it short and simple. Ex: “Mommy loves you”, “You are a good girl J” or even “Eat healthy and have fun!”. You can also try a fun riddle or joke to make them smile.

What are some tips you have for packing quick and healthy lunches?

About the Author

Elaf Selim is a Software Engineer, a Jewelry designer, a blogger and a Mom. She is the owner of SkiesAndSparkles.com, a handmade artisan jewelry shop. She loves photography, writing, historical architectures and nature in all forms.

Gluten Free and Fasting

By Sameera Ali


Six months ago, while getting an adjustment at my chiropractor’s office, I  was complaining about how much pain I’m in all the time and that no matter how little I eat, I always seem to be bloated and lethargic plus losing weight is such a battle for me. After hearing me out, my chiropractor suggested I try going gluten-free for a week and see how that works! Well six months in and 15 pounds down, I’ve never felt better!

Benefits of being gluten free are numerous and immeasurable but it does come with its own set of challenges, mainly getting used to new and different flavours and letting go of wheat, and since Ramadan is here, a new challenge for me is to find filling and nutritious gluten free foods I can use for Suhoor and Iftar. The fasts will be long and time for replenishing lost energy and nutrition will be very little. You can literally call it the proverbial “race against time”!

Suhoor Tips

Here are my tips for Suhoor.

I plan to continue with Protein Smoothies/Shakes as my first meal of the day as I find them to be most filling and satisfying. Here some of my go-to Protein Shake recipes guaranteed to keep you full for 4-5 hours straight!

Banana and Date Protein Shake


  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 scoop of your favourite Vanilla flavoured protein powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk/plain milk
  • 2 dates
  • 1/2 cup ice


Blend everything together and enjoy!

Mixed Berry Protein Shake


  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries
  • 1 scoop of your favorite Vanilla flavoured Protein Powder
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 cup ice


Mix everything together and enjoy!

For days I won’t have time to make a shake I plan to make ahead these delicious and easy to make protein bites!

Make Ahead Mocha Protein Bites


1/2 cup of almond butter

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp hemp seeds

2 tbsp shredded coconut

3/4 cup of vanilla protein powder

1 teaspoon melted coconut oil

2 tablespoon crushed raw almonds

1 tsp cocoa powder [optional]

1 tsp instant coffee powder [optional]


Mix almond butter, protein powder, honey and coconut oil until smooth.  Then add remainder of ingredients. Roll into 1 inch balls and place in an airtight container in the fridge for storage.

These can be made with many different ingredients and proportions to create custom protein balls to satisfy your personal preference!

So far all my efforts at baking a gluten free bread have failed but just the other day I saw a new gluten-free blend in the store and I plan to bake some loaves of bread and freeze them to use as needed if the bread turns out good! Please share your tried and tested gluten free bread recipes if you have any in the comments section!

For Iftar Ideas, check out my blog at positiveidentity.blogspot.ca as I log in my tried and tested recipes throughout the month of Ramadan so everyone can benefit from them. Bon Apetit et Ramadan Kareem!


About the Author:

Sameera Ali is a full-time freelance content writer /SEO expert and a mom of four wonderful kids who keep her busy and thankful always.

Recipe Of The Week: Oatmeal Cake

 By Aaisha Zafar Islam

oatmeal cake recipe

Oatmeal Cake

We have a family friend who is an avid baker and she is always generous in sharing her recipes and its source. Another thing, her cakes are different from the usual chocolate-y, spongy variety; she will bake and share cakes that have added nutrition and fiber in them.

When she brought around this cake, I hounded her to contribute here on MuslimMoms.ca, and of course I photographed her cake to go with the recipe!

Since it has oats, this cake can double-duty as a quick grab-n-go breakfast. It is also the perfect companion to a cup of tea or coffee or as a snack on its own. Cinnamon and nutmeg lend it a spicy aroma and the crumbly topping with nuts enlivens things up!

 Ingredients for Cake

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 ¼ cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/ 1/s tsp soda
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

Ingredients for Topping

  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup oats
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter and prepare a 9 inch cake pan.
  2. Mix in oats and boiling water, let stand for 20 minutes.
  3. Sift dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  4. In another bowl, cream butter, add in the sugars and beat till fluffy.
  5. Blend in eggs and vanilla.
  6. Stir in oats mixture into the ‘wet’ ingredients.
  7. Fold in the dry ingredients and mix well.
  8. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake till a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. This takes around 40-50 minutes.
  9. Mix up the topping ingredients in this time.
  10. Remove cake from the oven and while it is still hot, top with the topping mix.
  11. Put it back in the oven, on broiler setting for a couple of minutes till the top is slightly browned.
  12. Take out and cool on a wire rack.
  13. Cut into pieces, enjoy!


  • You can use a cup of all-purpose flour and ½ a cup of whole wheat flour for added whole grains goodness.
  • If you use sweetened coconut, reduce the amount of brown sugar in topping.
  • Experiment with nuts, this recipe used almonds, you can try pecans, cashews, peanuts, walnuts or filberts/hazelnuts.

Do you like baking’different’ cakes? Let’s share our recipes on Muslim Moms of Canada forums!

Recipe: Avocado Oatmeal Cookies

By Aaisha Zafar Islam

Recipe Avocado Oatmeal Cookies

Avocados are easily one of nature’s super fruits. They are calorie rich, high in fat, but it is mostly good fat. Mono-unsaturated fat, that makes up most of an avocado, eases inflammation in the body and helps in reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and raising HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

They are also rich in fibre and nutrients like folate, potassium, phytochemicals lutein and zeaxanthin that help the body absorb more carotenoids while being great anti-oxidants on their own.

They make you feel full faster, because of their rich, creamy taste, but all the calories are put to good use in your body. Since they have a very mild taste of their own, avocados easily take to other ingredients and make a healthy addition to any recipe.

Honey Comb Bread

By Kiran Asif

Honeycomb Bread

A beautiful looking bread which is soft like cotton and cheese filling makes it irresistible. Can be served with jam, jellies, honey or maple syrup. A perfect lunch box item which is mess free. Kids love to pull the buns apart!

Chicken Handi

By Kiran Asif

chicken handi 2

Chicken handi is a very famous dish. Handi means a clay pot and traditionally chicken was cooked in that. Its creamy gravy keeps the tender morsels of chicken succulent and juicy. We love to eat it with naans but it is equally delicious with plain steamed rice. Its a quick cooking dish made with boneless chicken breast. I have used chicken with bones but by all means you can replace it with boneless chicken meat. Here is how the recipes goes: