Ramadan 2020

Ramadan is almost upon us and this year it is going to be challenging for many Muslims around the world with the pandemic going on. Please remember to observe social distancing guidelines and stay safe.

For the last few months I have kind of fallen off the Slimming World wagon and have just been eating what I wanted. This Ramadan, I intend on fully getting back on track with my food habits and hopefully will carry on after Ramadan ends too.

I have done my first week meal planner for Ramadan to include foods I enjoy eating and all part of the plan. My healthy extras are mainly being used at Suhoor time with my meals at Iftaar mostly being Free Food or low in syns. All the recipes can be found here on my blog. I hope this is useful for anyone following Slimming World or anyone that just wants some ideas on what to eat!

I will open my fasts everyday with a date (syns) and fresh fruit with plenty of water, followed by the main meal. I intend on keeping active this Ramadan by doing home walking videos. If you’ve not tried this before, do give it ago. It is amazing! There are lots of Youtube videos of walking at home to choose from, I usually follow ‘Walk at Home by Leslie Sansone’. There are different miles to chose from and you can work up a sweat without having to do any burpees or squats! I will do around 3 of these a week.

What are your plans for this Ramadan? Are you going to be following Slimming World or being active at all? Remember this planner is just to give you an idea of what I will be eating, you don’t have to follow it to the letter or follow it at all. Everyone likes different foods and with SW it is so easy to adapt many dishes, it is not all just salad! Plan meals you’ll enjoy eating that fits with the plan. I know some people find there are too many carbs on my planner but with SW carbs are not banned! The carbs included in my Iftaar are Free Foods (apart from the pitta bread on day 7), and if you are a SW member, then you’ll know that Free Foods are unlimited and you don’t have to weigh, measure or count quantities of these foods in any way. Remember the two golden rules of a healthy diet:

  1.  A wide variety of food
  2.  Everything in moderation

If you follow the plan properly, you will lose weight. Measure your healthy extras accurately and count your syns carefully. It is as simple as that!

Hope you all have a blessed Ramadan. Please remember my family and I in your prayers.

Ramadan Mubarak x

Ramadan 2020 Planner Week1

Ramadan 2020 Planner Week1

 

Chickpea Pilau

An easy pilau recipe that is syn free if you are following Slimming World.

Serves: 4

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 30-45 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 black cardamoms
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 green chilli, whole
  • 1 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained

Method

Spray a pan with plenty of spray oil. Add onions, salt and cumin seeds. Cook until onions are browned (this may take a while, be patient), add hot water as needed to the pan to stop onions from sticking to the pan. Add the ginger/garlic paste.

Add the chilli, cardamoms and cloves, followed by the garam masala and black pepper. Cook the spices for a few minutes before adding the stock.

Remove the whole spices (cardamoms and cloves) and add the chickpeas. Let most of the water evaporate before closing the lid and cook on a low heat for around 15 minutes.

Quorn Chilli

A vegetarian alternative to making chilli, using Quorn mince.

Serves: 4

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 40 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • Passata
  • Tin red kidney beans, drained
  • Spray oil
Quorn Chilli Ingredients

Quorn Chilli Ingredients

Method

Spray a pan with spray oil and fry the onions until soft with the cumin seeds. Add hot water to the pan if needed to stop the onions from sticking to the pan.

Add the garlic, chilli flakes, paprika, ground cumin and mixed herbs. Stir well and cook for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the Quorn mince. Crumble the stock cube over it and mix well. Add passata and cook the mince on a low heat for around 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain and rinse the red kidney beans and stir them into the mince in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Add some water to the mince if it is too dry and season to taste.

Serve with plain boiled rice, fat free yogurt and cheese.

Spaghetti Bolognaise

I haven’t posted a SW friendly recipe in what seems like a very long time, but I do have plenty of recipes on the blog. I have been exploring baking a lot more lately, as we are all at home due to the current situation, but I still cook mostly SW friendly meals for us. This is just one of our favourite meals we enjoy eating so I thought I’d record it for my YouTube channel and post it on here too as I don’t have this one on here yet. There are lots of other pasta dishes you can find on my blog but not this one.

Hope you enjoy it, remember to tag me or share with me any of the creations you make from the blog. I love seeing them all and like to share your creations on my social media too.

Serves: 5

Syns: FREE (count cheese as healthy extra A choice)

Time Taken: 45 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Spaghetti Bolognaise

 

Ingredients

  • 500 chicken mince
  • 2 small red onions, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and grated
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 chicken stock cube, crumbled
  • 1tbsp Italian herbs or mixed herbs
  • Chilli flakes to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cal spray oil
  • Spaghetti
  • Cheese to serve (40g light cheddar cheese is a healthy extra A choice)

Method

Spray a pan with plenty of 1 cal spray oil. Add chopped onions and fry till lightly golden. Add some boiling water if the onions start to stick to the pan.

Add crushed garlic, followed by the carrot and stock cube. Mix well.

Add the herbs, chilli flakes and seasoning.

Add mince and brown it all over before adding the passata.

Lower the heat, pop the lid on the pan and cook the mince for 30 minutes. Cook the pasta as per packet instructions towards the end of the cooking of the mince.

Once pasta is cooked, drain and mix with the cooked mince. Sprinkle with cheese and serve with a side salad.

Chilli Con Carne

Haven’t shared a Slimming World friendly recipe for a while, so I thought I might as well post this one as I haven’t made this in such a long time and this is not in my recipe list!

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I have been having some major house building work done since March this year and we have been without a kitchen all this time. Cooking has been extremely difficult! So this is how we have been coping. We have 3 bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor. We turned the smallest bedroom (hubby’s office) into our kitchen with a table top electric hob, a small fridge (big enough just for the essentials like milk, cheese, butter), a microwave, slow cooker and my trusty Tefal Actifry. My youngest daughter’s bedroom has been turned into our living room. We moved her bed and most of her furniture away so we could put the sofas and TV there. Luckily we had our loft conversion done a couple of years ago so we gained two bedrooms and a bathroom there so all the kids (I have 3 daughters) share that space. Our main bedroom is also hubby’s office for the time being.

I have to admit the work has taken much longer than we anticipated, we did have a few problems along the way which delayed the work but it looks like it will be end of September/ early October before we can start using the downstairs space again and I cannot wait!

I can’t wait to share with you once it is complete, in the meantime, if you are on Instagram please follow me on there for my house renovation updates and other bits and bobs about me on @Rahema_m.

Anyway, back to the recipe! Hope you enjoy this simple chilli recipe. We had it served with boiled rice topped with cheese and jalapenos, but it is lovely on a jacket potato too. As always, if you make this or any other recipes featured on my blog, feel free to tag me in your creations. I love seeing your versions of them x

Serves: 4

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 60 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Chilli Con Carne

Chilli Con Carne

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • Tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • Tin red kidney beans
  • Spray oil

Method

Spray a pan with spray oil of your choice and fry the onions until soft with the cumin seeds. Add hot water to the pan if needed to stop the onions from sticking to the pan.

Add the garlic, chilli flakes, paprika, ground cumin and mixed herbs. Stir well and cook for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the mince and brown it off on a high heat. Crumble the stock cube over it and mix well. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and tomato puree and cook the mince on a low heat for around 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain and rinse the red kidney beans and stir them into the mince and cook for a further 10 minutes. Add some water to the mince if it is too dry and season to taste.

Serve with plain boiled rice.

Bulgur Wheat Salad

I love bulgur wheat and this is a very easy to make recipe. It is perfect for a picnic, lunchboxes or a side dish. You can add any fillings of your choice and change the herbs if you prefer. 40g of feta cheese is a healthy extra A choice, so bear that in mind when adding your cheese. As always, feel free to tag me in your creations. I love seeing my recipes recreated.

Serves: 4

Syns: FREE, when using cheese as part of your healthy extra A choice

Time Taken: 20 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Bulgur Wheat Salad

Bulgur Wheat Salad

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of bulgur wheat
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • 1 oxo vegetable cube
  • Diced red onion
  • Diced cucumber
  • Diced pepper
  • Tin of chickpeas (drained)
  • Chilli flakes
  • Chopped fresh parsley and coriander
  • Feta cheese

Method

Put the bulgur wheat in a pan with the boiling water and crumble the oxo cube to it. Cook on a low heat, covered, until all the water has evaporated and the bulgur is cooked.

Whilst the bulgur wheat is cooking, prepare and your veg and herbs you want to add to it.

Once the bulgur is cooked, use a fork to fluff up the grains and let it cool completely before adding the veg and herbs.

Mix through some feta cheese and season to taste

Ramadan 2019 Meal Planner

I posted a poll on my Instagram today asking if people wanted to see my meal plan for this Ramadan, and the majority said yes so here it is!

I have included below my main food plan for Suhoor and Iftar.

I will open my fast every day with water and a variety of fruit – watermelon, berries, mango, grapes etc. and one date (3 syns for each Medjool date). After praying I will eat my main meal with coffee and try to drink as much water as possible (I aim to drink 6-8 glasses of water, not all in one go! This will be drunk throughout the night up until Suhoor). I don’t intend on eating a dessert, although I will be making it for my family. I will be using my syns on dates instead or within my meals and I may have a cereal bar or a chocolatey treat with a coffee.

Hope this helps those following Slimming World plan. For my Food Optimising guide through Ramadan please click here.

Ramadan 2019 Meal Planner

Ramadan 2019 Meal Planner

Ramadan Mubarak x

Fish & Coconut Curry

A really simple and easy curry to make – I normally use frozen basa fillets (I let it defrost before using). The syns in this recipe come from the coconut milk, please check the syns if you use a different brand. I get the coconut milk tins from B&M Bargains (4 for £1 – a real bargain!) and it is just the right size. Each tin is only 7 syns, divided by 3 of us works out at less than 2.5 syns per serving. I used to buy the bigger tins of coconut milk and only use half a tin and throw the rest away, so I’ve stopped doing that. This curry is lovely served with coconut rice if you don’t mind using more syns.

Serves: 3

Syns: 2.5 syns per serving

Time Taken: 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Fish & Coconut Curry

Fish & Coconut Curry

 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 200g passata
  • 1.5 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (methi)
  • 1 veg oxo cube, crumbled
  • 165ml tin Full Moon coconut milk
  • Firm white fish fillets

Method

Spray a pan with plenty of syn free spray oil and cook the onion till lightly golden. Add hot water if the onion starts to stick to the pan.

Add the chopped garlic and fry for another couple of minutes. Add the fenugreek leaves, curry powder, crumbled up oxo cube and passata and cook the spices down for about 10 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and the fish fillets and cook on a gentle heat. Try not to stir the fish too much or you’ll end up with broken pieces. Instead, gently shake the pan when you need to.

Served with boiled basmati rice and a speedy salad.

Banana & Date Smoothie

I know a lot of people usually struggle to eat Suhoor (pre dawn meal during Ramadan) so here is a recipe that although is quite high in syns. it is still within the recommended daily syns allowance. I like to use unsweetened almond milk for this recipe for a nutty flavour but you can use any other milk of your choice. Just remember to check what the health extra allowance is for the milk you’re using. Top tip: try to use the ripest banana you have as this will make the smoothie even sweeter without having to add any extra syns for sweetening the smoothie.

Banana & Date Smoothie

Banana & Date Smoothie

 

Serves: 1

Syns: 13 syns plus part of healthy extra A choice

Time Taken: 5 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana, chopped
  • 3 Medjool dates
  • 200ml unsweetened almond milk
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

Method

Remove the pit from the dates and mix all the ingredients together. Serve immediately.

Cajun Chicken & Orzo

A simple dish ready in minutes and it is great cold too. This is lovely topped with some feta cheese as part of your healthy extra A choice. I topped mine with green chillies and cherry tomatoes.

Cajun Chicken & Orzo

Cajun Chicken & Orzo

 

Serves: 2

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast, diced in small pieces
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 3 tbsp. tomato puree
  • Fresh parsley and coriander to taste, chopped
  • seasoning to taste
  • 250g orzo pasta

Method

Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water for around 9 minutes. Once cooked, drain the water (reserving some for later) and cool the pasta under cold water to stop it from sticking together whilst you cook the chicken.

Spray a pan with plenty of syn free spray oil of your choice and cook the onions for around 5 minutes till they start to golden. Add a little hot water if the onions start to stick to the pan. Add the garlic and the carrot and mix well. Cook until the carrot has softened slightly.

Add the diced chicken, Cajun seasoning, paprika, seasoning and chilli flakes (if using). Mix the chicken with the spices well.

Add the tomato puree, mix and let the chicken cook for around 15 minutes (cook for longer if your chicken pieces are bigger). Add some of the reserved water from the pasta to the chicken to stop it from drying out. Add the peppers in the last couple of minutes of cooking together with the parsley and coriander. Cook for another couple of minutes before adding the cooked pasta and mix it all well together.