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Ramadan Fast on a Vegan Diet

Mon, Jun. 11, 2018
Ramadan is a time of reunion, when family, generations of cousins, aunts and uncles come together around an iftar table far more generous than any dinner table you would see throughout the year. For vegans or vegetarians, however, avoiding animal protein and fat-heavy dishes means missing out on pretty much everything your host claims to have spent hours slaving to prepare. There’s also the unpleasant experience of reaching for the nearest vegetable or salad dish, in the state of insatiable hunger after hours of fasting, only to realize that it actually includes heavy amounts of chicken, meat or fish. Or maybe you’ll be savoring tomato soup or some vine leaves, only to realize that it is, in fact, cooked with some “minimal” animal protein content.

And this all pales in comparison to the looks of older people mocking your “unconventional” dietary options, which becomes part of your daily routine during the holy month.

So what better way to lure former naysayers than with mouthwatering recipes that are just as good as the ones they say you’re missing out on?

Here are a few easy ones that we’d recommend cooking in bulk for family and friends ahead of Ramadan iftars; because when you bring your own food, you’re neither sacrificing your values and dietary preferences nor running the risk of consuming food you can’t fully trust the ingredients of.

These simple recipes are not only ideal for vegans and vegetarians, but also for anyone health-conscious, looking for a delicious, nutritious meal that even the busiest can find time to make.


Indian lentil soup

This one is a variation of the red Indian Dal lentil soup, a satisfying dish rich in flavor, nutrients and protein. The easy-to-make dish is great as a standalone meal to break the fast, without going overboard and feeling stuffed.

Prep time: 35-40 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:
1½ cup brown lentils
1½ cup yellow lentils
1½ tbsp cumin
1 bsp turmeric
½ tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2 chopped garlic cloves
½ cup chopped onion
4 green and/or red peppers (chopped)
2-4 chopped green chilies. to taste
2 lemons
4 diced tomatoes
2-4 diced carrots

Instructions
1. Rinse the brown and yellow lentils thoroughly. Separately, heat the chopped garlic cloves and chopped onion in a saucepan, adding less than ¼ cup water to allow a slow simmer. Sprinkle minimal black pepper in the pan.
2. Throw the lentils in the saucepan, add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil.
3. As the water begins to boil, add the tomatoes, carrots, peppers and chilies. Stir and set heat to medium-low.
4. After 5 minutes turn the heat up.
5. Once it has been cooking for around half an hour, add the turmeric, cumin and olive oil to the mix, squeezing the lemons over it.
6. After taking the soup off the stove, pour in a blender and blend until smooth.
7. Season to taste.

daal-lehsuni-5
Indian lentil soup



Apple spinach green smoothies
A smoothie serving is a great way to break the fast, perhaps as an appetizer to a more hefty meal, or a healthy snack during non-fasting hours before anyone dotes on you to grab yet another spoon of koshary or mahshi. This juicy option is certainly revitalizing after a long day enduring the summer heat.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
1½ cup spinach
1 cup green tea
2tbsp honey (substitute with maple syrup or date honey as a vegan option)
1 tbsp flaxseeds (optional)
½ cup lemon juice
2 peeled cucumbers or green peppers
2 peeled diced apples
1 cup ice cold water
1 cup ice

Instructions
1. In a blender, mix the water, spinach and green tea. (You can also add the flaxseeds at this phase.) Blend until smooth; blending twice is recommended.
2. Add the green pepper or cucumber, as well as the apple and lemon juice. Blend yet another time.
3. Blend the honey with the mix.

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Smoothie



Mushroom cream soup

As they are quite rich in vitamins and minerals, mushrooms make a great substitute for meat, especially given the flavor and texture. This dish relies on coconut milk as a substitute for dairy, making it an ideal light dish for iftar or sohour.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cups sliced button mushroom
3-5 cups coconut milk
2 tbsp dried thyme leaves
1 tbsp black pepper
2 chopped green peppers
5-7 chopped garlic cloves,
2-3 chopped onions

Instructions
1. On medium-high heat, place the garlic and onions into a saucepan and sprinkle black pepper.
2. Add just enough water to keep the garlic and onions from sticking to the pan.
3. Stir until the garlic and onions begin to change color, then add the peppers. Sprinkle the thyme and stir again.
4. Pour the coconut milk and continue stirring, before adding the mushrooms.
5. Stir regularly to avoid sticking.
6. Bring to a simmer and allow it to cook for a few more minutes before serving.

Mahroum CreamSoup
Mushroom cream soup

Quinoa beets salad with greens

This is a low-fat, carb-heavy dish with incredibly low-calorie content, yet strong in the vitamins it provides. Quinoa, a grain recognized as a superfood, is also a great and tasty source of protein. Below is one option for a quinoa salad recipe, but different variations can be made with altered vegetable options. It can be served as an appetizer or a main dish, depending on serving size.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
½ cup red or white quinoa, or both
2 cups chopped beetroot
2 cups sliced cherry tomatoes
4 chopped carrots
4 chopped cucumbers
½ head iceberg lettuce
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped parsley
½ tbsp black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
3 lemons

Instructions
1. Place all the vegetables into a large bowl.
2. Boil the quinoa in one cup of water and stir intermittently. Once the seeds have absorbed most of the water, pour into the salad mix.
3. Squeeze the lemons over the mix and toss to combine.
4. Season with black pepper and olive oil; and begin serving.

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Quinoa beets salad with greens


Broccoli creamy pasta

This creamy pasta dish is dairy-free and light, offering a far richer flavor and digestive ease than your typical sauce-heavy pasta options. It’s also full of nutritious vegetables, making it an ideal option for the health-conscious.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
500 grams pasta
1 broccoli head
1 cauliflower head
½ kilogram mushrooms (optional, switch with another vegetable of choice. Cherry tomatoes are another good option)
2 cups coconut milk
4-6 chopped garlic cloves
½ cup chopped onion
2 chopped green peppers
½ tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2 lemons

Instructions
1. Bring approximately 2 liters of water to boil in a pot set to a high heat
2. As the water boils, cut the broccoli and cauliflower.
3. Toss the pasta, broccoli and cauliflower together in the boiled water, then set to a low heat until cooked.
4. Pour pasta and vegetables into a large sieve, then rinse them and set them aside.
5. Add pasta and vegetables to the sauce.
6. Stir well and serve.

Sauce:
1. Cook the garlic and onions in a saucepan, adding less than a ¼ cup of water to allow a slow simmer. Sprinkle minimal black pepper.
2. After a few minutes, stir the mixture in the saucepan. Add the green peppers and mushrooms then stir once more.
3. As the peppers soften and the mushrooms darken, pour the coconut milk and stir again.
4. Add olive oil and lemon juice.

Broccoli creamy pasta
Broccoli creamy pasta


Orange carrot smoothie

Another energy-fueling smoothie option, this recipe is more on the zesty side. Serve as a delicious snack or appetizer as desired. Make sure to add just the specified amount of ginger, since too much of it might taste too strong.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
2-3 cups orange juice
4-5 carrots, peeled
½ tbsp ginger
1-2 tbsp honey
1 cup ice cold water
1 cup ice

Instructions:
1. In a blender, place the water, carrots, orange juice and the ginger and blend twice.
2. Add the honey and blend yet another time.
3. Pour the mixture into a narrow

Carrot_Orange_Juice_Mocktail_Recipe-1
Orange carrot smoothie

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