Ramadan Bites 28, 29
Nut Roast and Pumpkin Casserole
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- Olive oil 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) “Lit from (the oil of) a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire.” Surah An-Noor (24:35) The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Eat oil and use it as an ointment, because it is from a blessed tree.”
- 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 ageing). 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.”
- Tomatoes are high in alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene (carotenoids). Also they are provide the A, C, E vitamins and potassium. When these are combined with healthy fats such as avocado and olive oil, the body’s absorption of carotenoids increases.
- Eggs are an excellent of source of inexpensive, high quality protein. The whites are rich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B2, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper. Important for bones, blood and cell regeneration.
- Mushrooms provide a form of lean protein, as contain no fat, also contain iron (which promotes the formation of red blood cells), Copper (can regulate and stimulate the absorption of iron), selenium (bone strength and increasing durability. It also strengthens the teeth, hair, and nails, furthermore, this essential nutrient is a powerful antioxidant, which rids the body of free radicals and generally strengthens the immune system. , potassium (acts as a vasodilator, relaxing tension in blood vessels and so helps reduce blood pressure), riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D (facilitate the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous, as well as containing these nutrients.). They also provide Beta-Glucans and conjugated Linoleic Acid (these have anti-carcinogenic properties), contain natural insulin and enzymes (help break down sugar and starch in food), contain Ergothioneine, a powerful antioxidant found only in mushrooms (provides protection from free radicals as well as boosting the immune system), contain natural antibiotics, like penicillin (inhibits microbial growth and other fungal infections and stimulates and regulates the body’s immune system, and can help heal ulcers), contains vitamins A, B-Complex and C (strengthens the immune system.)
- Pecans contain protein, energy, fiber, amino acids, fats (Oleic acid-monounsaturated fatty acids, a source of phenolic antioxidants and help to decrease total as well as bad cholesterol” and increase good cholesterol), starch and sugars. They also contain B- vitamins ( important as co-factors for the enzyme metabolism in the body), Beta carotene, lutein ( protect the body from diseases and infections), vitamin A, C, K ,E (the protein, vitamin E and oxidants help in protecting the heart and reducing risk of hypertension.). It also contains minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium.
- Almonds provide antioxidants in the form of vitamin E (important for a healthy immune system and eyes, as well as helps lower cholesterol) and contains healthy monounsaturated fats. Even a small amount of almond butter contains high levels of magnesium (important for heart health, calming nerves and relieving muscle aches) and even potassium (important for blood pressure and overall heart health, as well as relieving stress, improvement of muscle strength, for metabolism, water balance, and the nervous system.) In addition almonds are a good source of fiber and protein.
- Tamari is gluten free, lower in salt, than regular soy sauces and derived from soy protein which is high in amino acids (tryptophan) which provides its flavor. It is also a good source of vitamin B3, protein, manganese.
- Yeast extract good source of protein (it is an excellent source of complete protein, needed to build muscle, connective tissue and enzymes), B-vitamins (important for metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, digestion, immunity and red blood cell production and healthy brain functions), chromium (helps lower insulin levels) and is a good source of zinc, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, vanadium, molybdenum and lithium.
- Salt, to taste
- Cold pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1TBS
- Onion, 1 large, chopped
- Garlic, 4 cloves, finely chopped
- Canned chopped Tomatoes, 2 cans
- Basil, 2 tbsp, chopped
- Mushrooms, , 1/2 cup, chopped
- Breadcrumbs made from whole wheat bread, 4 slices
- Pecans, 4 oz, chopped
- Almonds, 4 oz ground
- Tamari (Soy sauce), 1 tbsp (Kikkoman is good)
- Yeast Extract, ½ tsp
- Organic Large Egg,1
- Black Pepper, 1 dash
- Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onion until soft, then add the garlic and the tomatoes and cook on a low heat for about 30 mins, or until the liquid has evaporated and mixture is thick.
- In a bowl add half the tomato mixture and the basil, mushrooms, breadcrumbs, pecans, almonds, tamari, yeast extract, the egg and salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Line a rectangular 1lb loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Pour the mixture into the pan. Smooth out and cover the top with another piece of parchment paper.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for 1 hour.
- Take it out of the oven and it cool.
- Take the paper off the top and slip it out and remove the rest of the paper.
- Cut into thick slices and serve with the remaining tomato mixture. It can be thinned down with a little water.
Image courtesy of http://bakersfieldfamilyfun.com/
- Peppers are high in vitamin B6, E and C, (important for the immune system and skin). They contain several phytochemicals and carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene, (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits). (Chilies provide similar nutrients) Peppers also contain Lutein important for eye health.
- 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)
- Lemon is high in vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and pectin fiber. It also has medicinal and antibacterial properties, as well as being a blood purifier. The Prophet (PBUH) liked citrus (Utrujj) and said, “The example of the believer who reads the Quran is the example of the Utrujj: its taste is delicious and its scent is pleasant.”
- Pinto beans contain antioxidants called polyphenols (could be preventative with regards to cancer), contain the flavonoid, kaempferol, (helps reduce inflammation), dietary fiber (helps lower cholesterol, and increases satiety), iron, magnesium and potassium thiamin and riboflavin.
- Pumpkin is extremely high in Vitamin A ( important for vision),carotenoids, beta carotene( gives the orange color and converts these to vitamin A), contains potassium( higher than a banana and important for fluid balance), vitamin C ( important for fighting infections and immunity). The gourd is mentioned in the Quran in surah As Saffaat [37:146] “And we caused to grow over him a gourd vine.” It is also narrated by Anas Ibn Malik that the Prophet (PBUH) also liked to eat pumpkin.
- Sweetcorn is an excellent source of folate (extremely important for heart health), thiamin (essential nutrient for brain cell and cognitive function), and contains zeaxanthin (yellow pigment that can have a protective effect against macular degeneration). Vegetable stock provides vitamin A, which you need for healthy vision and immune function.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 TBS
- Salt, to taste
- Garlic, 4 cloves
- Pumpkin, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt, 2 cups, mashed
- Vegetable stock , 4 cups
- Onions, raw, 2 large, chopped
- Red Peppers, 2 large
- Frozen Sweetcorn, 5oz
- Basil, 1.5 TBS
- Pinto beans, 2 cans
- Lemon juice, 2 TBS
- Black Pepper, dash
- Skin the pumpkin and deseed the pumpkin and cut it in to small pieces.
- Put it in a large pot with the vegetable stock and garlic and bring to a boil. Then cover and cook on low heat for another 10-15 mins until tender.
- Meanwhile in a skillet, heat the oil and saute the onions and peppers with ½ TBS of the chopped basil. Then cover and continue to cook on a low heat until slightly browned.
- Puree the pumpkin in blender and add to the peppers with the sweetcorn and the beans (liquid too). Then add the lemon juice and salt and pepper. Garnish with the rest of the basil.
- Serve in warmed bowls with crusty whole wheat sprouted bread.