Ramadan Bites 6 & 7: Ginger Chicken and Mixed Bean Chili

ramadan bites

Ramadan Bites: Recipes 6 and 7

30 wholesome, nutritious recipes to incorporate into your diet

By Hanifa Hameed Diwan, Registered Dietitian


image courtesy of: https://www.mnn.com

Ginger Chicken and Quinoa
(serves 4-6 people)


  • 2lbs of boneless chicken breast
  • 1 small onion
  • 1TBS Ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 can of organic tomato sauce
  • 2tsp of seasoning salt (1tsp for the chicken and 1tsp for quinoa)
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 2tsp cumin
  • 2tsp coriander
  • 1tsp sumac
  • 1tsp cayenne pepper (can omit)
  • 3tsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil      


  • Peel and finely chop the onion, garlic and ginger.  Add to the pan with some olive oil and saute till onions golden brown. Set aside
  • Dice the chicken and add to the pan.  Then add the spices and continue to saute for 3 minutes.
  • Add the tomato sauce, mix and cover and leave to cook on a low heat until the chicken is tender. (About 20 mins)
  • Meanwhile bring 2 cups of water to a boil.  Add seasoning salt and the raw quinoa.  Cook for 15mins.  (The grain will absorb the water)
  • Serve the chicken on a bed of quinoa.

Nutritional benefits

  • Chicken is a good source of protein, calciumironmagnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc.  Also provides vitamin C, B vitamins (including B6), vitamin A, E, D, K. These play a role in immunity, production of bone and blood cells, hydration and energy metabolism.
  • Garlic is very rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Manganese. It contains antioxidants that protect against cell damage and aging. And contains a sulfur compound (allicin), beneficial for heart health.
  • Quinoa provides iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E, and fiber. It is one of the only plant foods that is a complete protein, (contains all nine essential amino acids). It is also Gluten free.
  • Ginger contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, such as beta- carotene and salicylate, as well as high levels of calcium, potassium and magnesium. This spice is mentioned in the Quran as a food of paradise, where Allah (SWT) says, “And they will be given to drink there of a cup (of wine) mixed with Zanjabil (ginger).”(76:17)

My Mixed Bean Chilli
(serves 9)


  • 15-16 Organic dried Bean Soup mix (10oz)  (usually consisting of pinto beans, large and baby lima beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, black eyed beans, red kidney beans, white kidney beans, navy beans, pink beans, small white beans, cranberry beans, green lentils, red lentils, yellow lentils).
  • 1 can (14oz) organic tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14oz) organic diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1lb chilli beef (ask for it to be ground for you from a lean cut of meat) or ground turkey/chicken (can omit meat if want a vegetarian version)
  • 3 small cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1tsp of fresh ginger minced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 3tsp organic no salt seasoning (such as Mrs. Dash.  I use the Costco brand)
  • 1 tsp avocado oil


  • Put the bean mix in a large pot or dutch oven, rinse the beans to get rid of any debris.Then add the water and bring the beans to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for about 2 hours. This can also be done in a crock pot.
  • Meanwhile saute beef/turkey/chicken, onions, garlic and ginger in pan with the avocado until meat is cooked.  Then add this to the beans, along with all the other ingredients and continue to cook for the remaining two hours on a low heat, until legumes are tender.
  • Serve in a bowl and enjoy.  My family eats it by itself as it’s a full meal                                                            
  • Other spices can be added to reflect your own taste.

Nutritional benefits

  • Beans and lentils– on their own provide certain amino acids (most plant proteins are incomplete), but when these are combined together they form a complete protein.  (Often equivalent to animal proteins.). Legumes are also an excellent source of fiber and provide complex carbohydrates, B vitamins, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc (important for immunity, cell growth and wound healing), and phosphorous. Legumes are also naturally low in fat.
  • Avocado oil has a high smoke point so is ideal for sautéing.  It has a buttery taste and is high in monounsaturated fat (heart-healthy, as it helps regulate bad cholesterol) and lutein (antioxidant that improves eye health).  On a salad it can help with absorption of fat soluble antioxidants such as beta-carotene from vegetables.
  • Meat: Beef (lean red meat)-lower in saturated fat, and high in protein, B vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and B6-Important in the function of the nervous system, formation of blood cells and tissue.), vitamin E, iron (carrying oxygen in the blood), zinc ( important for immunity), and magnesium ( important for building bones and energy release from muscles). Turkey in addition to the above, is also a good source of potassium, important for electrolyte balance in the body. In the Quran, Allah says “And we shall provide for them fruit and meat, such as they desire.” (52:22) “And with the flesh of fowls that they desire.” (56:21) However it is important to remember that even though the Prophet (PBUH) liked meat, he would eat it in moderation. 
  • The benefits of other ingredients have been mentioned in the previous ‘Ramadan Bites’.


 The month of Ramadan is a great time to nourish our bodies as well as our minds. For the duration of the month, Registered Dietitian Hanifa Hameed Diwan will be bringing you 30 recipes, filled with fuel for the body and mind so that you can focus on fueling your soul. Each recipe will contain its nutritional benefits, so that you know why you are eating and not just what. We hope you enjoy this series!

Did you miss the pre-Ramadan health webinar with Sr. Hanifa?
Catch Fruitful Ramadan right here!