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Thu, Nov 21, 2019 11:25 PM
Tue, May 07, 2019 12:12

5 healthy Iftar recipes

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Eating healthy for Iftar can be a real struggle and there is no denying the appeal of mouth-watering and piping hot fried foods such as kachoris, samosas and pakoras.

Eating healthy for Iftar can be a real struggle and there is no denying the appeal of mouth-watering and piping hot fried foods such as kachoris, samosas and pakoras.

However, if you are looking to break your fast with healthier options we've got you covered.

Here are five filling, delicious and healthy recipes you can try for Iftar without feeling guilty:

1) Baked samosas

Can't say no to samosas? This healthier spin on the classic Iftaar must-have won't make you feel like you're missing out while also not feeling guilty.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp red or yellow curry powder

1 tsp garam masala

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/8 tsp - 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 medium onion, finely chopped 

1 medium carrot, finely chopped 

2 medium potatoes, finely diced

1 or more red/ green chili peppers to taste, seeded and chopped (optional)

1 tsp garlic powder

1 cup water

about 1 1/2 cups green peas, fresh or frozen and thawed

10 egg or spring roll wrappers/ whole wheat wrappers 

Method:

A. Combine the oil and spices in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Stir the spices around in the oil for about two minutes. Add the vegetables, raise the heat to medium and stir-fry for about fice minutes.

B. Stir in the garlic powder and water. 

Cover the skillet and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

You may need to turn the heat down a bit midway through the simmering. 

Stir in the peas and cook for a few more minutes until they're heated through. 

Take the skillet off the heat and let the samosa filling come to room temperature. 

You can speed this up by transferring the filling to another container.

C. When you're ready to fill your samosas, position two racks in the middle of the oven and heat it to 375. 

Give two cookie sheets a pretty good coating of nonstick, and have a little container of water, a pastry brush and your wrappers ready.

D. As you wrap the samosas, arrange them on the cookie sheets. 

You should be able to get five on each sheet without them overlapping. 

Thoroughly douse them with more nonstick spray to help them brown, then pop them into the oven for about eight minutes. 

Get them out, turn them over to brown on the other side, and return them to the oven, switching rack positions, for another eight minutes. 

Take them out and eat!

You can also replace the vegetables with cottage cheese and spring onion.

2) Whole wheat open-faced chicken sandwich

Ingredients:

Mayonnaise:

1/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon hot sauce 

Chicken:

4 (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breast halves 

1/4 teaspoon salt 

1/8 teaspoon black pepper 

Vegetable oil

4 slices whole wheat bread, toasted

4 small romaine lettuce leaves 

2 plum tomatoes, each cut lengthwise into 4 slices

1 avocado (optional)

Method:

A. To prepare the mayonnaise, combine first five ingredients in a small bowl.

B. To prepare the sandwiches, sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. 

Place a large nonstick skillet coated with vegetable oil over medium-high heat; add chicken. 

Cook five minutes on each side. 

Reduce heat to low. 

Cover; cook fice minutes or until done.

Remove from heat. 

Cut chicken diagonally across grain into thin slices.

C. Spread one tablespoon mayonnaise on each of four bread slices. 

If using avocado, spread/ place two pieces on the bread. 

Top with one lettuce leaf, 1 chicken breast half and two tomato slices.

3) Hummus bowl

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups (250 grams) boiled chickpeas

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup well-stirred tahini

1 small garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt to taste

2 to 3 tablespoons of water

Dash ground paprika or sumac, for serving

Carrot and cucumbers cut into sticks or whole wheat pita bread (optional)

Method:

A. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tahini and lemon juice and process for one 

minute, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process for 30 seconds more. 

This extra time helps “whip” or “cream” the tahini, making the hummus smooth and creamy.

B. Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice. 

Process for 30 seconds, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process another 30 seconds or until well blended. 

Open, drain, and rinse the chickpeas. 

Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor and process for one minute. 

Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, then add remaining chickpeas and process until thick and quite smooth; one to two minutes.

C. Most likely the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. 

To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add two to three tablespoons of water until you reach the perfect consistency.

D. Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Serve hummus with a drizzle of olive oil and dash of paprika. 

You can serve the hummus with carrots and cucumber sticks or whole wheat pita bread.

4) Chicken lettuce wraps

Ingredients:

6-7 leaves iceberg lettuce

250 gm chicken

2 tbsp oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp soya sauce

3 tbsp hoisin sauce

1 tbsp ginger, finely crushed

1 tbsp vinegar

1 tbsp siracha sauce

1/2 cup spring onion, finely chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Method:

A. Heat oil and fry ginger and garlic for two minutes.

B. Now add onion, chicken, spice and sauce and cook for 10 minutes.

C. Then add green onion and take it off heat. 

D. Place iceberg lettuce on a plate and add chicken to it. 

If you want, drizzle siracha sauce on top.

5) Fruit Chaat

Ingredients:

2 medium apples

2 large bananas

1 orange/ guava/ pomegranate any other fruit you like

1 cup grapes

1/2 teaspoon chaat masala, optional

1/4 teaspoon brown sugar, optional

1 large lemon or lime juice

Some water/ orange juice

Method:

A. Chop all the fruits and place in a bowl.

B. Add some water mixed with sugar or any juice of your choice. 

Mix well and serve.

6) Chicken skewers

Ingredients:

1 cup plain fat-free yoghurt

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons paprika

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 

Zest from one lemon

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1-3/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

5 garlic cloves, minced

2-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of any excess fat and cut into large bite-sized pieces

1 large red onion, cut into wedges

Vegetable oil, for greasing the grill

Method:

A. In a medium bowl, combine the yoghurt, olive oil, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic.

B. Thread the chicken onto metal skewers, folding if the pieces are long and thin, alternating occasionally with the red onions. 

Be sure not to cram the skewers. (Note: You'll need between 6-8 skewers.) 

Place the skewers on a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil. 

Spoon or brush the marinade all over the meat, coating well. 

Cover and refrigerate at least eight hours or overnight.

C. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Grill the chicken skewers until golden brown and cooked through, turning skewers occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes. 

Transfer the skewers to a platter and serve.

You can even serve the chicken skewers with brown rice to make a filling meal.

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