Ramadan Bites 10, 11, 12

Ramadan Bites 10, 11, 12

Veggie Kabobs

Salmon with Olives

Watermelon Salad

30 wholesome, nutritious recipes to incorporate into your diet for 30 days

By Hanifa Hameed Diwan, Registered Dietitian
hanifa01@gmail.com

Veggie Kabobs with Tomato Basil Sauce
Nutritional Benefits:
  • Olive oil as mentioned previously, is high in antioxidants (preventing free radical cell damage) and monounsaturated fats (good fats). It has also been mentioned in the Quran many times, “And (We brought forth) a tree issuing from Mount Sinai which produces oil and food for those who eat.” (23:20) “He causes to grow for you thereby the crops, olives, palm trees, grapevines, and from all the fruits. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought.” (16:11)
  • Eggplant is very high in fiber, potassium (important for fluid balance), manganese (important for proper functioning of the brain and nervous system, as well as bone metabolism and structure), phosphorus, copper (important for iron absorption and energy production), magnesium and vitamins C, K and B vitamins (important for energy production and nerve function)
  • Zucchini is a source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as magnesium, potassium, copper, phosphorus, zinc and calcium. It also contains vitamin A and B vitamins. These all make it important for heart, nervous system and bone health.
  • Yellow squash is very high in iron, folate (comparable to meat), and beta-carotene (powerful antioxidant) and lutein (important for eye health). The Quran mentions these plants, “And we caused to grow over him a gourd vine.” (37:146)
  • Thyme contains very high levels of vitamin C, as well as being a good source of vitamin A and some B vitamins, iron (important for immunity, reducing fatigue and muscle health), copper (important for iron absorption and energy production), and manganese.
  • Basil is high in vitamin A, K (important for blood clotting and strong bones), C, magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium (important for strong bones. Also needed for proper functioning of the heart, muscles and nerves).
  • Oregano contains vitamins A, C, E (antioxidants), and K, fiber, iron, magnesium (increases energy and relieves muscle spasms), vitamin B6 and folate, calcium, and potassium. It is also anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal.
  • Herbs are also mentioned in the Quran, “And grain having husks and sweet scented plants.” (55:12)
  • Tomato sauce is high in antioxidants – beta-carotene, vitamin C (important for healing and immunity), and E (protective against toxins), lycopene, lutein and also contains potassium (important for water balance, nerve and muscle function)

Veggie Kabobs

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small zucchini cut into thin circles
  • 1 small yellow squash cut into thin circles
  • 1 small eggplant cut into thin circles
  • 1cup of tomato sauce
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves
  • A sprig of fresh thyme
  • A sprig of fresh oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • Toothpicks

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS

  • Put some of the olive oil in a large skillet with sprigs of oregano and thyme, on medium heat.
  • Place the slices of eggplant, zucchini and squash in the skillet (as much as can fit at a time) and cook until golden brown. (Move them around to help infuse the flavor of the herbs.)
  • Remove from heat and stack the slices on the toothpick till the top, alternating each vegetable.
  • In the same skillet, add the tomato sauce, finely chopped basil, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a few minutes.
  • Remove the sprigs of thyme and oregano and pour the sauce into a serving plate.
  • Place the kebabs on the sauce, sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
 

Salmon with Olives in a Tomato Sauce
Serves 4
Nutritional Benefits:
  • Salmon is an excellent source of high quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids (Eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA). These are important for healthy heart and brain function, and ensuring joint health.), as well as potassium, selenium (Important for immunity, antioxidant activity, prevention of inflammation and for a healthy metabolism), and vitamin B12 ( For healthy nerves and red blood cells.) The bounties of the sea are mentioned in Surah Nahl (16:14) “And it is He who subjected the sea for you to eat from it tender meat and to extract from it ornaments which you wear. And you see the ships plowing through it, and (He subjected it) that you may seek of His bounty; and perhaps you will be grateful.” The Prophet (PBUH) also encouraged consumption of fish, as narrated by Ahmad and Ibn Majah. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “We were allowed two dead animals and two bloods: fish, locust, and liver and spleen.”
  • Onions contain phytochemicals and vitamin C (important for immunity), chromium, (important in blood sugar regulation). Onions contain a powerful compound called quercetin which is known to play an important role in preventing cancer.
  • Garlic is very rich in Vitamin C (important for immunity), Vitamin B6 (important for immunity, metabolism, and healthy heart and skin), manganese (Important for bones and fat and carbohydrate metabolism), as well as a sulfur compound, Allicin (This has been shown to prevent organ damage due to heavy metal toxicity.), and antioxidants (protection against cell damage and aging).
  • The variety of food provided for us is mentioned in the Quran in Surah Al Baqarah (2:61) “And (recall) when you said, ‘O Moses, we can never endure one (kind of) food. So call upon your Lord to bring forth for us from the earth its green herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions.’ (Moses) said, ‘Would you exchange what is better for what is less? Go into (any) settlement and indeed, you will have what you have asked.”
  • Sumac is extremely high in antioxidants and has a potent anti-inflammatory effect. It has been shown to be beneficial in heart disease and diabetes.
  • Brown Rice is considered a healthy food because it is high in magnesium, (important for heart health), B vitamins, manganese (important for healthy bones, formation of connective tissue, calcium absorption, and carbohydrate and fat metabolism), phosphorus (important for bone and protein formation, digestion, hormonal balance, nutrient utilization, and cellular repair) iron and fiber.
  • Olives/olive oil, lemons and tomato sauce (Please refer to previous recipes for benefits)

Salmon with Olives in a Tomato Sauce

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 Wild caught Salmon fillets
  • 1small onion finely chopped
  • 3 small garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1TBS organic no salt seasoning (e.g. Mrs. Dash)
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup pitted green olives
  • 2 tsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can organic tomato sauce
  • 1 lemon cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 cups brown rice

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS

  • Take the brown rice and add 4 cups of water, 1tsp of olive oil and salt to a pan and cook on high heat till it reaches a boil. Then cover and leave on a low heat for about 45 mins, drain if necessary.
  • In a bowl mix the onions, garlic, sumac, (1tsp) salt and pepper organic no salt seasoning, and chopped olives and (1 tsp) olive oil.
  • Place the salmon fillets in the above marinade, and gently rub it into the fish.
  • Meanwhile put the tomato sauce in a baking dish and place the salmon on top.
  • Pour the remaining marinade on top of the fillets.
  • Cover the dish with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 350 F for 15 mins.
  • Take out the fillet and spoon the sauce over the salmon, and squeeze some lemon over it too.
  • Serve with ½ cup of the cooked rice and a salad of choice.

 

Watermelon Salad
Serves 2
Nutritional Benefits:
  • Watermelon is about 92 percent water, but also contains large quantities of vitamins A, B6 and C, lycopene (Important for heart and bone health, prostate cancer prevention, and is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties), amino acids (Citrulline is an amino acid that is converted to arginine. These are important in promoting blood flow and thus cardiovascular health. These are found in the white area near the rind and in the flesh). This can be eaten at Iftar after you break your fast. The Prophet (PBUH) would combine dates and watermelon. The Prophet (PBUH), said”The hotness of this substance (dates), neutralizes the coolness of that (watermelon).”
  • Onions contain phytochemicals and vitamin C (important for immunity), chromium, (important in blood sugar regulation). Onions contain a powerful compound called quercetin which is known to play an important role in preventing cancer.
  • Basil is high in vitamin A, K (important for blood clotting and strong bones), C, magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium (important for strong bones. Also needed for proper functioning of the heart, muscles and nerves). Herbs are mentioned in the Quran, “And grain having husks and sweet scented plants” (55:12)
  • Tomatoes are high in antioxidants – beta-carotene, vitamin C (important for healing and immunity), and E (protective against toxins), lycopene, lutein and also contains potassium (important for water balance, nerve and muscle function)
  • Vinegar contains polyphenols, antioxidants (protective against heart disease and cancer) and improves immunity. The Prophet (PBUH), said about vinegar, “What an excellent food is vinegar.” (He ate it with bread)
  • Feta Cheese is a good source of calcium and also contains protein. However it contains fat. So only a small amount needs to be eaten. Despite this it is necessary for optimal brain function. The Prophet (PBUH), liked to eat cheese too (Narrated by Abdullah Ibn Umar)

Watermelon Salad

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups of watermelon cubed
  • ¼ red onion sliced thinly
  • 3 tomatoes cut into quarters
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves torn
  • 1oz feta cheese
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a bowl combine the watermelon, onion, tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese and balsamic vinegar.
  • Toss together with the basil leaves and enjoy!