Sunday, 14 June 2015

[Food]: Sehri Made Easy (and Healthy)

In the first week of Ramzan, I am rather excited about waking up  for sehri, making sehri for the family, eating, talking, prayer. And then, the lethargy sets in. If you are like me, the will and stamina to eat at sehri drops. This leads to some serious suffering during the day. But I have discovered some tips and tricks to keep full during the day.

1. Beans, beans, beans

Beans are the poor man's (and dieting woman's) meat. Rich in protein and comparable to meat in terms of calories, beans are actually better than meat. The higher fibre and water content of beans means that we feel fuller faster. Fibre also means that beans take longer to digest and keep us fuller for longer during the fasting day. Beans also prevent us from feeling hungry. They are low in sugar which prevents insulin levels in the blood from spiking and causing hunger.
Mix and match your beans - make a three bean salad or four or five. Add an olive oil and citrus based dressing and you are set for a delicious, healthy and filling Sehri meal. I make one with red beans, corn and chickpeas. For extra power, replace corn with black eyed peas.

I add some cucumbers to my 3 Bean Salad. 

2.  Cheese and Bread

Too simple to be true. Get some cottage cheese and toast some whole wheat pita bread and you have a delicious sehri meal. Of course, you should jazz it up like I do. My mother makes different flavors of cottage cheese/paneer - with zaatir, chilli flakes, baby garlic etc. You can try cut the cheese into thin slices and stick them in the oven until it is slightly golden. Cheese is a high energy food that will nourish you and the whole wheat pita will keep you fuller for longer.

My mum makes excellent zaatir cheese

3. Loaded Omelette

Try to cram as many food groups into your eggs! Vegetables, grains, meats,dairy and even fruit! With  an omelette, you have the 'meat' covered by eggs but you can add in a sliced sausage or chicken chunks. There's an endless options of veges than can go into your omelette, so try to pick the healthiest ones such as spinach or broccoli. Throw in some cottage cheese/paneer chunks and some tomato or avocado to complete the dairy and fruit sections of the five food groups. As for the grains, you can have this omelette with half a whole wheat pita bread or just add from whole wheat bread crumbs to the omelette. The bread crumbs also help hold this giant omelette together.

You can add all your favorite flavors to eggs!

4. Haleem

Possibly my favorite food in terms of convenience. While making haleem takes considerable investment in terms of time and effort, once it's done you can freeze it in small portions and defrost when needed. It is also the kind of food that requires very little effort - just microwave and eat, even when you have woken up 15 minutes before Fajr. Besides, it's healthy! Packed with grains and proteins, it's a complete meal in a bowl.

Not just for Muharram, but for Ramzan too!

Sehri is one of the toughest meals to prepare and consume. And if you do it wrong, you are going to be in some serious during this warm weather Ramzan. I like to make Sehri fun - I ensure that I have a a variety of different dishes to keep me interested. It has to be something that's worth waking up for! Stock up your freezer with delicious, quick meals for Ramzan.

For more ideas on what to eat this Ramzan, check out YummyMummyAndMe.

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