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Tips for Making Ramadan Cooking Easier on the Family Chef

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Sweet and Savory Beef Stew (Link to recipe in post)

During Ramadan, much attention is given to Iftar- that meal awaiting us at the end of the day’s fast. This is certainly understandable, as many of us are look forward to that meal all day. For the family chef(s), the process of cooking for one’s family is certainly a blessed opportunity that is filled with reward and thanks. That said, we also want to leave time for reading, learning, and other acts of spiritual rejuvenation. And, honestly, time for resting as well. After all, these are long days. Hopefully, that tips I will share today will make it easier to get Iftar, or the break fast meal, on the table.

  • Plan your meals ahead of time. Trust me, it will make things ten times easier if you only have to think about what you’re going to cook once in the week. (See link to a free meal planner below)
  • Cook on the weekends. Or, at least, do you meal prep then, such as all of your chopping.
  • Recruit help from the rest of the family. The prophet (pbuh) often prepared his own food. Cooking should be a family affair. If you have children, recruit the little ones in your house to help. They love the sense of responsibility and accomplishment.
  • Cook one or two days ahead so you don’t feel pressure to have the meal completed by Iftar (break fast) time. The last thing you need is a brood of hungry folks breathing down your neck. In my family, we typically will have the same meal 2 days in a row. I use those 2 days to get a jump start on the next meal. And I try to choose meals, that don’t require a lot of oversight. The more “hands off”, the better. This brings me to the next tip.
  • Keep it simple. Believe it or not, Ramadan isn’t about the food, and Iftar isn’t meant to be a feast. Use one pot meals, or even your slow cooker, for easier cooking and cleanup (see link to recipe ideas below).
  • If you have children that need to be fed during the day, try making their food for the day all at once. Place it on the table or in the refrigerator. Then they can munch throughout the day without needing much further help from you. Even better, if they’re old enough, have simple meal options they can make themselves, such as sandwiches, bean and cheese burritos, or a healthy boxed macaroni and cheese. Then, simply place a bowl of fruit and/or veggies on the table, and encourage them to grab some with their meals.

Click here for a list of easy one-pot meal recipes:
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/easy_one_pot_meals
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/healthy-one-pot
Click here for a FREE weekly meal planner (print from desktop computer): Weekly Meal Planner

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