By Marzia Shamsi
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
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.
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
- 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.