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

 

Lotus Biscoff Cheesecake

 

Ingredients

  • 250g Lotus Biscoff biscuits, crushed
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 400g cream cheese
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 400g Lotus Biscoff spread
  • 250ml double cream

To decorate

  • Crushed Lotus Biscoff biscuits
  • Whipped cream

Method

Add the butter to the crushed biscuits and pour into a dish, flattening it well. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes.

Beat together the double cream with the icing sugar for a few minutes till it starts to thicken up. Add 200g lotus spread followed by the cream cheese. Do not overmix as that could turn the mixture runny.

Add the cream mixture to the biscuit base and let it refrigerate again for around 30 minutes.

Melt the rest of the biscoff spread and spread it all over the cream mixture.

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.

Fried Chicken Bites

This is one of the kid’s favourite meal at the moment, it is not SW friendly but it can easily be adapted. Instead of frying, this can be baked in the oven. Most ingredients are free food, apart from the breadcrumbs and the cornflour so just remember to syn that and use a fat free natural yogurt. Serve with SW chips.

NB: Ensure all your chicken pieces are similar in size so they all cook at the same time.

Ingredients

  • 750g chicken, cubed
  • 1 tbsp onion granules
  • 1 tbsp garlic granules
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • Salt to taste

To dip

  • Natural yogurt
  • Breadcrumbs

Fried Chicken Bites

Fried Chicken Bites

Method

Marinade the chicken in all the spices and the cornflour for a couple of hours.

Place some yogurt (if the yogurt is too thick, thin it down with either lemon juice or some milk) in a bowl and the breadcrumbs in another.

Dip each piece of marinated chicken cube into the yogurt first then the breadcrumbs. Repeat a second coat of yogurt and breadcrumbs for a crunchier crumb.

Heat up oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken.

Jam & Coconut Tray Bake

This is one of my all time favourite bakes, it is so easy to make and it is perfect on its own or with some custard as a dessert. I do have a Slimming World friendly version of this here.

Ingredients

  • 225g margarine
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 50g dessicated coconut
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tsp baking powder

To decorate

  • Jam
  • Dessicated coconut

Method

Preheat oven at 170c.

Grease and flour a baking tin, I use 9×11 inches tray. Set aside.

Cream the margarine and sugar together till it is light and creamy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by a spoonful of the flour.

Once all eggs have been added, add the vanilla extract, followed by the rest of the flour, baking powder and dessicated coconut. Mix all ingredients well together and transfer into prepared tin.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Once the cake baked, let it cool slightly before removing from the tin.

Melt some jam in the microwave and spread all over the cake. Sprinkle with coconut and cut into slices.

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.

Chocolate Concrete

Chocolate concrete is one of my fondest memories from my time in school. I came to the UK when I was 15 and had never come across this delicious treat back in Portugal. Once I was introduced to them, there was no stopping me eating them! I remember having them nearly every day, mostly plain but sometimes with pink custard. Happy memories!

I like mine to be slightly soft and not rock hard so add an egg to my mix. Do check out my video below on how I made this! And whilst you are there, please subscribe to my channel too. It would mean so much to me. Let me know what kind of videos you’d like to see on my channel.

NB: Please note that the tin I used in the video was too big, and I only realised after I had greased the tin that I was using a cake tin instead of a swiss roll tin which is much smaller. The recipe below is for a swiss roll tin and it makes 12 slices. If you have a bigger tin like the one in the video, then double the recipe and cook it for slightly longer.

Chocolate Concrete

Chocolate Concrete

Ingredients

  • 225g plain flour
  • 170g margarine, melted
  • 30g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 170g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten

Method

Pre heat oven 160c.

Grease a swiss roll tin and set aside till needed.

Weigh out the flour, cocoa and sugar in a bowl and mix.

Pour melted margarine onto dry ingredients.

Add beaten egg and mix all the ingredients together.

Pour the mix into the prepared greased tin, flatten into tin and corners.

Sprinkle a little water to the mix and bake for around 15-20 minutes.

Once baked, sprinkle with sugar and cut into slices. Let it cool completely in the tin to harden.

Nani’s Biscuits

These biscuits are actually called Melting Moments but they are affectively known as Nani’s Bisuits in our family. My mum used to make these all the time when we used to get together, they were the kid’s (and our) favourite. So buttery and moreish, perfect with a cup of chai.

They are super easy to make, even Mufti Menk made them the other day! The recipe I used is not the same as his though. The one I used is one that has been passed down to me from family.

Nani's Biscuits

Nani’s Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 250g butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cornflour
  • 1 cup plain flour

Method

Pre heat the oven to 160c.

Cream the butter and icing sugar together. Add the vanilla extract.

Add the cornflour and plain flour and mix it by hand until you have a dough.

Place the dough mixture in a piping bag with a large nozzle attached.

Pipe each biscuit onto a baking tray (make them as long or as short as you want). Make sure there is some space in between the biscuits.

Bake them in the oven for around 10-12 minutes till they’re lightly golden.

Once you remove the biscuits from the oven, let them cool down on the tray for another 10 minutes.

Once the biscuits are cooled, you can dip them in some melted chocolate to make them even more indulging or leave them as they are as they’re equally tasty.

Karak Chai

The recipe below makes 2 cups of karak chai using evaporated milk, but any milk will do. I don’t use evaporated milk all the time, but sometimes I like to treat myself. Normally I just use semi skimmed milk. This recipe can be made SW friendly, make sure you measure the amount of milk used as part of your healthy extra A choice and use sweetener instead of sugar (or syn the sugar used accordingly).

My top tips to a good cup of karak chai is to always use good quality loose black tea (I am lucky my sister always supplies me with a huge batch from India, so I haven’t ever had to buy the tea myself, yet!); and secondly, make sure you keep stirring the tea whilst cooking. I know lots of people don’t, but I always stir.

If you don’t have loose tea, use a couple of tea bags instead. We like to have Yorkshire Gold tea bags.

Adjust the amount of loose tea depending on how strong you want your chai. Do note that as the tea is brewing the colour will get darker so take that into account when adding your loose tea. Add less to begin with and if you think that once it has boiled a few times it is still not strong, then add more tea.

You could also make karak coffee this way with evaporated milk, replacing the tea with coffee granules obviously!

Karak Chai Ingredients

Karak Chai Ingredients

 

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp black loose tea
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 5 green cardamoms, lightly crushed
  • 1 tin of evaporated milk
  • sugar to taste

Method

Bring the water to boil. Add the loose tea, spices and sugar. Let it boil a couple of times before adding the milk.

Once you’ve added the milk, keep stirring the tea on a medium heat, taking care it doesn’t boil over. Make sure you keep a close eye on the tea and lower the tea (or remove the pan from the heat) once it start to boil to the top of the pan.

Do that a few times (around 5 times is enough) and strain the tea into cups.

Karak Chai

Karak Chai