Ramadan is a chance to slow down, and reflect upon the relationship we have with ourselves and with each other.Perhaps the most obvious aspect of Ramadan is the fast; abstaining from food and water during daylight. Once the sunsets and daylight fades, the fast is broken with a meal called Iftar. Iftars are meant to be a simple affair withlight dishes but this is rarely the case. Instead, it is common to find Iftars full of fried and starchy foods, whichprevents our digestive system from getting the reset that it needs. Needless to say, this negates the health benefitsenjoyed from fasting, which can range from an improved immune system to increased brain function.Here are two quick and healthy meals to help you reap the health rewards of fasting this Ramadan:
SPICY CARROT SOUPIngredients:
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 white onion sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp Thai red curry paste (omit if spicy food is not preferred, add 1 tbsp cumin powder instead)
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 400ml can coconut milk
- 1 tbp chopped coriander, to garnish
- Heat the oil in a large stockpot.
- Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until onion is translucent and mixture is fragrant.
- Add the carrots and the parsnips and stir for another 2 minutes.
- Add the curry paste and stir well to coat the vegetables in the paste.
- Pour in the vegetable stock and coconut milk and stir well.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for approximately 30 minutes until carrots and parsnips are cooked through.
- Allow to cool slightly, then blend using a blender or immersion blender (careful as the soup is hot!)
- Pour back to the pot and gently reheat.
- Garnish with coriander before serving.
Tips: This soup freezes well for up to 1 month. It can also be prepared one day in advanced and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Cover and reheat gently on the stove over low heat before serving.
BROCCOLI QUINOA SALADIngredients:
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 3 cups rocket leaves
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 large avocado or 2 small avocados
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp water
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Line the broccoli florets on a baking tray and roast until cooked through and slightly crispy and golden on theedges.
- Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa under cold running water and boil in a saucepan with just enough water to cover the quinoa.
- Once the quinoa is cooked through, drain and spread out on a large plate so it cools faster.
- When the broccoli and quinoa are cool, mix together in a large salad bowl with the rocket leaves and pine nuts.
- Chop the avocados into cubes and add to the salad. Toss together gently so the avocado stays intact.
- For the dressing, place all ingredients in a lidded jar and shake vigorously until all ingredients areincorporated.
- Drizzle over salad and toss together until well mixed.
Tips: The quinoa and broccoli can be prepared the day before and kept in airtight containers in the fridge. Thedressing can also be prepared beforehand and stored in a jar in the fridge. Add the dressing and the choppedavocado right before serving, to prevent the avocado from turning brown.
These two recipes provide a good serving of vital nutrients to nourish your bodies during Ramadan. With the abundanceof fresh produce used in both the salad and the soup, your body will thank you for giving it the digestive rest thatit needs.Don’t forget to share this article with your family & friends!