I love Ramadan, it is the ideal time to appreciate the food and drink available to us and also to think about your diet and lighten your evening meals. Let’s face it, it’s super hot these days and a cooling salad is the perfect solution!
These recipes will ensure that when it comes to Iftar, you won’t feel bloated and full as the combination of ingredients has been designed to give you slow-releasing energy as well as help you to feel energized and nourished. Raw ingredients are ideal for an evening meal as the live enzymes in the food are easy to digest and contain natural life force, providing fantastic energy. The ingredients in these recipes are also high in water content – because whether you’re fasting or just trying to survive summer in Dubai, H2O is key!
Psst… the recipes are super easy to make – enjoy and Ramadan Kareem to all!
Fattoush (with some healthy twists)
I took a very traditional salad and made a few healthy upgrades to make this dish super nourishing, hydrating and replenishing.
~ serves 2 medium / 4 small dishes
~ prep & cooking time approx. 25 mins
For the salad:
1 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded into thin strips
6 large swiss chard leaves, torn into shreds – adding these dark leafy greens will provide additional phytonutrients (plant-nutrients) to make this more of a complete salad
1 cucumber, cubed
2 large tomatoes, cut into small triangles or sliced
¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves, finely shredded
1 tbsp fresh mint, finely shredded – this helps to provide extra digestive support as mint is soothing and cooling
For the dressing:
~ Mix in a blender or whisk
¼ cup cold-pressed organic olive oil
1 tbsp sumac
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar – this traditionally fermented vinegar is anti-inflammatory and is a known health tonic
High mineral salt such as pink salt (you will find this in organic stores as well as local supermarkets like Spinneys – the high mineral content will help to hydrate your body and replenish minerals – table salt will deplete minerals and is dehydrating)
Black pepper to taste
For the crackers:
~ Replace the traditional fatty fried pitta pieces with these healthy high-fibre crackers for a delicious crunch! Make a big batch for the week.
400g buckwheat, soaked overnight
200g cashews, soaked overnight
1 tsp high mineral pink salt
25ml lemon juice
25ml extra virgin olive oil
70g golden flax seeds, soak in water for 1 hour
35g flax meal
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
1 red pepper, finely chopped
~ pre-heat oven to 400 F
~ or, if you have a dehydrator, you can dehydrate these on 118 degrees F for approx. 9 hour or overnight until crunchy
~Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until well combined, leave out the flaxseeds soaked in water
~Pour soaked flax seeds into the mixture and slowly pulse to combine
~Allow mixture to sit for a about 7 minutes until water is soaked into the mixture – add more water if it seems too dry in places
~Spoon onto a baking sheet paper in a flat pan, or on a lined dehydrator tray
~Even out the mixture until it is thin on the sheet using a spatula
~Using a knife, score the mixture where you’d like the crackers to break off into pieces – square shapes work well
~Bake until the center is no longer soft, about 15-18 mins. Or dehydrate.
~Break into pieces
Assembling the salad:
~Toss the salad ingredients together in a large bowl
~Drizzle over the dressing
~Sprinkle over a few broken crackers and enjoy!
Quinoa, Cucumber & Chickpea Rounds
full of long-lasting protein energy sources such from the quinoa and the beans, as well as fibre to help keep digestion happy!
~serves 4 people
~prep & cooking time approx. 20 mins
1 cucumber, diced
½ can garbanzo beans / chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup cooked quinoa (I used red quinoa but you can use white as well)
¼ cup fresh parsley, finely shredded
1 lemon, juiced
2 tbsproasted tahini
high mineral salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
paprika – to garnish
~Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl
~Divide into 4 small bowls – ideally the size of your palm or smaller
~Put a flat plate on top of each bowl and flip over – slowly release the bowl so that you’re left with a round on each plate
~Season with salt and pepper to taste.
~Sprinkle a bit of paprika for garnish
~Keep refrigerated until ready to serve to keep in place
Vanilla & Pistachio Ice – Kream!
dairy-free, processed sugar-free and super yummy for all the family!
~serves 4 small portions – just right!
4 x large bananas, frozen (without skins)
1 tsp. fresh vanilla powder, or the beans from one vanilla pod, or a few drop of pure vanilla essence
handful of grated (using a grater or micro-plane) pistachio nuts plus a few whole for garnish
~In a high speed blender, blend the banana + vanilla until creamy and smooth
~Place the mixture back in the freezer in a sealed plastic container and freeze again for 1-2 hours until it is firm to touch
~Scoop out when ready to eat using a ice-cream scoop
~Grate pistachio over the top and serve straight up!
Hydrate with style: Lemon, Mint & Vanilla Water
Make water glamorous with this cooling twist, the perfect Iftar or dinner party drink
1 jug chilled water
The skin of 1 vanilla pod (yes, there is a use for them!) or a few drop of pure vanilla essence
A few mint leaves
1 large slice of lemon
Tiny pinch high mineral salt – like pink salt – adding in those minerals again! Do NOT use table salt, just leave out unless you use a pinch of sea or pink salt
~Place all ingredients in the jug and stir
~Allow to infuse for 1-2 hours before serving
~Keep chilled in the fridge
The vanilla pod will keep in the water for up to 2 days
Mia, a Certified Raw & Plant-based Chef, Yoga Teacher and Health Coach (AADP), is the passionate healthy foodie behind Graciously Green where she shares her favourite raw, cooked and plant-based recipes as well as green-living ideas. Mia’s mantra is to eat and live consciously, it’s as simple as that. Chef Mia offers realistic ideas for healthy eating with wholesome recipes that are fun, easy to make and most importantly delicious.
You will soon be able to meet Chef Mia and taste her raw, vegan and delightful bites at the NYLA Kitchen, part of a fab new Barre and wellness centre opening up in Jumeirah – watch this space!