A Healthy Sehri | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 23, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 23, 2015

FOOD-O-GRAM

A Healthy Sehri

Every person needs good, nutrient-rich food that provides sufficient energy for day to day activities, and in no other time of the year is it more important than during Ramadan. 

A few tips would be to not eat processed food, it is better to avoid high-fructose corn syrup and MSG during your fast. Fried foods are heavy in oil and that makes them harder to digest, especially when they're the first foods to be eaten after a long fast, try baking instead of frying them. 

Here are my recipes for Sehri that will keep you healthy, hydrated and hopefully full through the day.

MANGO AND CARROT SMOOTHIE
There are a lot of people who wake up during sehri only to drink a glass of water and go to sleep. This is extremely unhealthy and will keep you uncomfortable for the rest of the day. Drink this mango carrot smoothie instead; you can have this made and kept in the fridge. 

Mangoes are a super fruit loaded with antioxidants and more than 20 different vitamins and minerals. The following recipe will serve one person.

Ingredients:
1 cup milk
½ tablespoon almond butter (recipe below)
½  cup grated carrot
¾ cup fresh mango
5 ice cubes

Method:
Place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. 

ALMOND BUTTER
It is packed with protein and very
delicious! 

Ingredient:
3 cups almonds

Method:
Place the almonds in a food processor fitted with an "S" blade. Secure the lid and allow to whisk for 20-30 minutes, stopping and scraping down the sides as needed. (You can also do this with a blender, it might take a little longer). The almond butter is ready when the oils have released and the resulting butter is very smooth and creamy-- this takes more time than you'd expect, so be patient! Transfer the almond butter to a sealed glass jar, and store in the fridge for best shelf life.

BEST OATMEAL
Ingredients:

6 cups water
2½ cups oats (dried, rolled, steel cut)
½ cup frozen cranberries (available at Agora, Meena Bazaar and other superstores) 
½  cup dried apricots, chopped
¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste

Method:
Combine water, oats, frozen cranberries, dried apricots and salt in pan over low heat. Put the lid on and cook until the oats are tender and the porridge is creamy. 

 

SPINACH MUSHROOM WRAP
Ingredients:
1 seven-inch lal atta roti
¼  cup sliced mushrooms
¼  tsp black pepper
2 cups fresh spinach
1 large egg, plus 1 egg white, lightly whisked
2 tbsp crumbled, low-fat feta cheese (or cottage cheese if you like)
1 tbsp tomatoes, chopped

Method: 
Place the roti on a microwave-safe plate and heat on high for one minute. Coat a small pan with cooking spray, and then place it over medium heat. Sauté the mushrooms and pepper for two minutes. Stir in the spinach and sauté for another one to two minutes, or until wilted. Add the eggs and cook, stirring often until they are set, about two minutes. Place the egg scramble in the centre of the roti, and then top it with the crumbled feta and tomatoes. To wrap, fold up one end, then both sides. 

Mutton soup
Ingredients:

¼ pound of mutton, cut into chunks
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
Half of a zucchini, chopped
1 small potato, peeled and chopped
2 small onions, peeled and chopped
½ of a small capsicum (chop ½ of it very finely and leave the other half as a whole)
A handful of chickpeas
One small celery branch (it's best to get it from the inside of the celery; chopped)
One small bunch of cilantro, chopped
3 tbsp of vegetable oil
¼ tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1 and ¼ tsp salt
One small can of tomato paste
¼ cup of tomato juice
¼ cup of thin vermicelli
One or two sprigs of mint

Method:
Wash the meat and add it to the saucepan. Add carrot, zucchini, potato, onions, pepper, and celery. Throw in the chickpeas. Chop in ½ of the bunch of cilantro, the other half will be added later. Add spices, oil, and sauté everything together on low heat for about 5 minutes. 

Then, add the tomato paste and cover everything with water (The water level should be up to at least half of the saucepan). Turn the stove up to medium heat and let the soup come to a boil. When it boils, turn the heat down to low and let it cook.

You have to constantly stir the soup, like about every 10 minutes or so, so that the vegetables don't stick to the bottom of the pan. After an hour, add the tomato sauce. 

Throw in the other half of the capsicum (which should be a whole, not chopped). Chop in the rest of the cilantro and the twigs of mint (leaves only). Add four and a half cups of water, and turn up the heat again so the soup can come to a boil. When it comes to a boil, turn the heat down and let it cook for another half an hour. After that half an hour, add a cup of water (or as needed) and this time when it boils, throw in the angel hair. Don't cover the pan when you throw in the vermicelli because it will stick. Stir it around occasionally; when the vermicelli cooks, which is about 10 minutes or so, the soup will be done! 

Baked spring rolls
Ingredients:

225g minced chicken
75g finely shredded cabbage
30g finely shredded carrot
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
½ tbsp soya sauce
2 tsp minced ginger
1½ tsp minced garlic
½ tsp crushed chilli
1 tbsp corn flour
1 tbsp water
24 spring roll wrappers, bought from the frozen department at your supermarket
2 dessertspoon vegetable oil

Method:
Preheat the oven to 220 degree C, then fry the minced chicken until evenly brown. Drain excess fat. Mix chicken, cabbage, carrot, spring onion, coriander, soya sauce, ginger, garlic and chillies. Mix corn flour and water in a small bowl.

Place a tablespoon of the chicken mixture in each spring roll wrapper. Roll wrapper around the mixture, folding edges inward to close. Moisten fingers in the corn flour and water mixture, and brush wrapper seams to seal. Then place them on a baking tray, brush with vegetable oil and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown turning half way through.

Photo: Collected

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