Alhamdulillah, Robbil Alameen, another Ramadan is fast approaching and I am sure every one of us has got one plan or the other being put in place to ensure this year will be better than last year in shaa Allah, I am still struggling though. May Allah (S) make us reach Ramadan and may HE grant us all we need to make the most of the month and accept all our efforts.
7 years ago, I started my journey as a married woman and began fasting as one. Coming from a home where Ramadan meal preparations (iftar and sahur) were usually elaborated, it was a huge relief to know that Hubby’s eating habit during Ramadan is different; easy to make, simple to eat.
Our men need to understand that we also need to indulge in actual acts of worship during Ramadan, yes we know there is a reward for cooking for our family, but we also want to earn the reward for the recitation of the Quran, and other voluntary acts of worship.
This year, I decided to do a little meal idea/plan for myself based on my experience from previous years to reduce the time I spend thinking about what to cook; something the kids can also enjoy and I hope that others can also benefit from it in shaa Allah.
Although our main Ramadan goal shouldn’t be about losing weight, we, however, shouldn’t use Ramadan as an excuse to eat too much or eat unhealthy food. We should strive to make sure that our food preparation is time-saving because we need more time for ibaadah (worship) and that we do not indulge in wastage. We should remember that one of the lessons Ramadan aim to teach is for us to understand the pains of those who have nothing to eat and the religion of Islam emphasises on being moderate in all our actions.
Although our main Ramadan goal shouldn't be about losing weight, we, however, shouldn't use Ramadan as an excuse to eat too much or eat unhealthy food. Click To Tweet
“And eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allâh) likes not Al-Musrifûn (those who waste by extravagance)” Al-A‘raaf:31
“And waste not by extravagance. Verily, He likes not Al-Musrifûn (those who waste by extravagance)” Al-An‘aam:141
We have one major challenge in Nigeria though, that is, an epileptic power supply which is why so many homes might find it difficult to save time and money on cooking, but we put our trust in Allah (S) and pray HE bless us spiritually, physically and financially this Ramadan and beyond.
These foods are easy to prepare when properly planned, simple to eat and they are healthy!
Boli Ati Ata Dindin (Roasted Plantain & Fish With Fried Stew)
This is common street food in Nigeria which can be found by the roadsides especially during the plantain season, an open charcoal grill is used to prepare it. I picked this meal because it quite easy and fast to make, also you don’t need to eat much to fill up.
For your homemade boli, all you need is:
-A functioning oven/Grill (nothing high tech)
-Ata lilo (grounded fresh pepper)
This is a very healthier way to eat plantain compare to frying it in oil. You can also use some vegetables to garnish the fried stew to make it all round healthier. Another healthy way to eat plantain is to boil it and eat with vegetable soup.
Check out this easy to follow recipe for Boli.
Dundun, Dodo Ati Ata Dindin (Fried Yam/Sweet Potatoes & Plantain With Fried Stew)
This is another Nigerian street food which we can also choose to redefine by dipping the yam (parboiled) and plantain in a batter. Some might say this is not really fitfam but one thing I do to make my food healthier is by incorporating vegetables, therefore, you can add some veggies to your fried stew or use stir-fry sauce to eat it. Check out this recipe.
Ogi/Oat Ati Moi-moin/Akara (Pap/Oat With Steamed Bean Pudding/Bean Fritters)
I don’t know who made the rule but Ramadan in a typical Nigerian Yoruba home isn’t complete without this combination. Some people will even tell you that no matter what they eat for iftar or sahur if they do not take pap; then they haven’t eaten. Ogi is made from corn or guinea corn or millet. Moi-moin and akara are both made from beans and can also be taken with quick oat, bread or eko (solid pap).
This combination is quite refreshing and healthy after a long fasting day when eaten in moderation, it is easily digestible.
I am sure to be indulging in moi-moin this Ramadan in shaa Allah especially with my newly found easy to use and wash moi-moin cups.
Tip: if you have good power supply, peel a large quantity of beans (check here for how to peel beans with blender) and keep in the freezer every week, also when you are sure you will be eating moi-moin or akara for iftar the following day, you can blend the beans in preparation; this is to save some cooking time.
Rice is a common staple in Nigerian homes, the most affordable food no matter what the health fanatics are saying. It comes in brown or white, but most homes in Nigeria cannot afford brown rice especially where they cook for a large number.
This is one of the easiest and fastest food, it can be eaten plain boiled with stir fry veggie sauce (healthy yummy), fried stew, curry goatmeat stew, ayamase (ofada sauce) or other indigenous soups. It can also be cooked as jollof rice or fried rice.
To keep it healthy, remember to indulge in vegetable soups more.
Check out easy to make Stir fry sauce recipes here.
Goat Meat/Fresh Fish Pepper Soup
Me o, I love pepper soup because it is quite easy and quick to prepare which should be our food preparation goal for Ramadan.
This is another common food in Nigeria especially taken at breakfast. Since we take iftar for breakfast, we love this too. It can be eaten with bread or plainly boiled yam. Don’t forget to add some vegetables to make it a bit healthier.
Check out this easy to follow recipe.
Samosa And Spring Rolls
This idea came to me after we asked a question on our Instagram page about Ramadan time management tips and two of our non-Nigerian followers mentioned samosas. If you know how to make it from scratch, good, make some and put in your freezer; all you will need to do is bring it out to thaw, then fry it for iftar! If you can’t make it, just order for frozen ones and keep it (I already ordered mine).
Why I love the samosas and spring rolls idea is because, on those days when you are too tired to indulge in food preparation, these with smoothie/beverage/tea will come in handy.
Personally, I DO NOT like cooking at sahur; I am more of a leftover from iftar kind of person for sahur. I am also okay with noodles or garri sometimes, Alhamdulillah for my husband! But this year in shaa Allah, I hope to incorporate smoothie into my sahur meal plan.
But for those of us who will always vote for swallow; remember moderation is the key. Eating 3 wraps of eba at sahur won’t give you more energy, you will only become tired and lazy.
We can go for foods like lightly prepared:
Banana flour etc.
Tip: To save time at sahur, ensure that the soups which will be used to eat your swallow are ready at iftar; preferably if you can, cook a large quantity over the weekend and store in your freezer. If you will be eating rice, you can parboil it at iftar and complete cooking at sahur.
I still don’t understand why Yoruba men want their wives to pound yam at 3:00am in the morning; if you must eat pounded yam, there is something called Poundo Yam (yam floor) or buy a very good blender, it will do the same job, save time and everyone will be a winner!
As I grow older, I have come to realise that we don’t need varieties of food during Ramadan, some people don’t even have anything to eat, should we not pause and reflect upon the blessings of Allah (S)?
May Allah (S) ease our affairs.
What is that easy to cook and eat meal for you in the month of Ramadan? Share with us in the comment section below, we will love to read it.
About The Author
UmmSom is a married Mum of two munchkins; a blogger, writer and an Entrepreneur. She enjoys cooking, crafting, reading and being Mum to her bundles of joy.