The weather is getting warmer, and the patience to stay in the kitchen is getting thinner. So here are some quick recipes for Ramadan that can be prepared beforehand for sehri or iftar.
DRAGON’S SMOOTHIE BOWL
1-2 pink dragon fruit
½ cup watermelon (cubed)
Freeze all the fruits for at least 2 hours prior to preparing the smoothie bowl. Peel and chop the fruits before putting it all into a food processor or a blender, keep pulsing the fruits until it is a smooth and creamy consistency.
Pour into a bowl and place generous amounts of seeds, nuts, dried fruits such as flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, cashews, almonds, apricots, and dates, and granola to garnish the smoothie bowl.
Use seeds, nuts, dried fruit, and supplement powder of choice.
BEETROOT WITH APRICOT AND ALMOND CREAM CHEESE
2 cups water
1 cup vinegar
2-4 tbsp palm sugar
3 tsp salt (2 tsp for blanching; 1 tsp for cheese)
4 tbsp cream cheese
2-3 slice dried apricot, chopped
4-6 almonds, chopped
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp olive oil
Freshly cracked pepper
Fresh mint leaves to garnish
Wash and peel the beets, and cut into quarters.
In a heavy bottomed pot, add water, and bring to a boil. Add vinegar, palm sugar and salt, and stir until the palm sugar and salt have dissolved. Add the beets. Cook till tender and set aside to cool before storing in the fridge.
In a bowl, combine cream cheese, almonds, dried apricot, rosemary, dill, olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the well mixed cheese mixture into a moulding tool so that it is more presentable. (Note— this works as a great dip for parties too.)
Cut the cold beetroot into slices and serve with a dollop of the cream cheese, roasted walnut and fresh mint leaves.
GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD IN LETTUCE WRAPS
For the dressing —
1 cup plain yoghurt
4 tsp honey
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
For the salad —
4 cups grilled chicken breasts, diced
½ cup almonds, crushed
½ cup red grapes, halved
1 red apple, diced
Iceberg lettuce pieces
To make the salad dressing, combine the yoghurt, honey, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl, and whisk until it is a creamy consistency.
For the salad filling, combine the grilled chicken, almonds, grapes, apple and salad dressing in a bowl. Use a wooden spoon to coat the ingredients with the dressing. Let the mixture chill for an hour.
Use the iceberg lettuce to form the wraps, put a generous spoon of the chicken salad into the lettuce and serve.
2 cups pitted dates
2 cups slivered almonds, toasted
2 tbsp honey
½ cup desiccated coconut
½ cup sesame seeds
¼ tsp salt
Plump dates work best for this recipe; if dates are dry, soak in hot water for 30 minutes before preparing the truffles. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and pulse until a soft dough is formed.
The quantity of honey should be adjusted to the sweetness of the dates. Once the dough is formed, shape the mixture into balls and roll in desiccated coconut, crushed pistachios, sesame seeds.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
KHOSHAF — DRIED FRUIT & NUT COMPOTE
1 cup apricot, dried
1 cup prune, dried
1 cup fig, dried
½ cup raisin
½ cup pine nut
½ cup almond
½ cup walnut
½ cup pistachio
1 tbsp rose water
1 tbsp orange blossom water
½ cup sugar
1 cup water
Soak dried nuts in separate bowls for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.
In a medium saucepan, add sugar and water to prepare a syrup.
Keep over high heat for 3 minutes until a syrup is formed, then turn the stove to low heat.
Add the rose and orange blossom water and continue stirring. Once the syrup is ready, set aside.
Rinse the dried nuts and peel the skins. Once the nuts have been cleaned, add to the syrup. Add the dried fruits to the syrup and marinate for a few hours, or overnight.
Serve by itself or over plain yoghurt.
Photo: Sobia Ameen