Date & Pistachio Topping

Date & Pistachio Topping

Travelling to the Middle East you will find that dates are a staple fruit and have been for thousands of years.   Ramadan is a time when we are inundated with these dates. Every household stocks up on them during the month and it is commonly the first thing eaten to break one’s fast. They’re great to eat, so delicious, nutritious and easy to digest. It is also traditionally narrated, that dates were in fact the food Prophet Muhammad ate when he broke his fast and reiterated their purifying benefits those thousands of years ago. Today many nutritionists and dieticians have highlighted the health benefits of eating dates. Hiba Jebeile (Nutrition/Dietetics) says, “Dates are packed with nutrients including fibre, magnesium, vitamin b-6 and iron.” Now is the perfect time to stock up on fresh #dates with supermarkets loaded with them before the month of #Ramadan begins 👍🏼 Dates are packed with nutrients including fibre, magnesium, vitamin b-6 and iron, BUT they are also energy dense, meaning they are high in calories and carbs for such a tiny serve…. so if you are watching your sugar levels, then limit your portion to just 1-2 dates… I know, I'm sorry 😐 #nutritiontips #sorrynotsorry A post shared by Hiba Jebeile (@shouldieatthis) on May 25, 2017 at 12:49am PDT After chatting to Hiba recently about some healthier dessert options this Ramadan we thought something with dates would be great. After making some suggestions, I decided to experiment a little to create a topping for my rice pudding (you can find the rice pudding recipe here). Here’s what I came up with! Print Date & Pistachio Topping...
RAMADAN – WEEK 2 Where’s the coffee?

RAMADAN – WEEK 2 Where’s the coffee?

Week 1 of Ramadan is pretty much done and dusted! How did you all go? Personally, in the first week, my body struggles a bit and I tend to get headaches. It’s mostly the change in sleep and more than anything the deep caffeine withdrawals. The trick is to keep yourself busy and it’s amazing how quickly the body adjusts. I also find it beneficial to remind myself of the intention behind my fast. The self-discipline, the patience, the remembrance of those who are less fortunate and not allowing it to be a mere act of hunger. Dear Coffee, I need you. ❤️ Me xoxo . . . ( 📸 via @coffeesesh ) A post shared by Lina — Sydney Foodie (@thelebaneseplate) on Jun 1, 2017 at 2:01pm PDT If you have a family with kids, especially tweens or teens who are also fasting, I know things can get a bit frantic. You’re not only managing your own adjustments but sometimes theirs too. I think this is a perfect time to get them to realise how much they take for granted, like their unlimited access to food and water. It would help to also get them to set attainable goals for the month. What bad habits do they want to break (phone usage, tv, internet usage!)? Or what character traits could they work on improving (patience, anger, gratefulness)? I hope you all found the Ramadan Menu Plan WEEK 1 useful. Even if you don’t cook the meals on those same nights, it’s a good reference for inspo when you get stuck for ideas! I’m continuing the series with Hiba Jebeile (Nutrition/Dietetics) and will update the blog...
The ‘Desert Rose’ Pavlova

The ‘Desert Rose’ Pavlova

Over the years we have seen the humble birthday sponge grow and transform into all kinds of creative, sometimes elegant, sometimes whacky, designs. Now with social media these designs can go viral, trends are so quickly created and people will go wild for them. I don’t mind buying these cakes. Any kind of cake really and I do, I certainly do! But when it comes to special occasions, for a loved one, I especially love making the cake myself. I am a DIY type. I really enjoy having something creative to work on and you can’t beat the taste of a homemade cake, especially one made with love (a dash of sweat & perhaps a few tears!). So when that right occasion comes around, I pull out my cake tins, I’ll sit and watch cake-making video after video and with conviction I think to myself, ‘I can do that!’ So I delve knee deep into cake making and baking one of the latest in cake ‘trends’ and I have to admit even though I start to regret it sometimes (just because it’s usually not as easy as I thought!), more often than not, seeing the look on the face of the recipient…just that end result, makes it all worth it. All these ‘trendy’ cakes aside, what I love baking most are the classics. Sponge, carrot, eclairs, lamingtons, pavlova…especially pavlova! If there’s ever an array of desserts on offer and pavlova is one of the options, hands down, I’ll go for the pav first! I love the crispy shell, the soft marshmallow-y inside and when it’s topped with freshly whipped cream and fresh...
Suhoor – the pre-dawn meal

Suhoor – the pre-dawn meal

Suhoor (سحور‎‎ suḥūr), which literally translates to ‘of the dawn’ or ‘pre-dawn meal’ is the meal that is eaten in the very early morning, yep, you guessed it, just before dawn or sunrise. During the month of Ramadan this meal replaces breakfast and even though there are some who give it a miss (like me, sometimes!), it is in fact highly recommended to wake up and at least have something small with a cup of water. Considering that suhoor is the only meal you can have until iftar (breaking of the fast time at sunset) it becomes especially important to avoid skipping. As part of this Ramadan blog series, I’ve asked Hiba Jebeile (Nutrition & Dietetics) to share with us her opinion on the benefits of suhoor, some meal tips to keep you well nourished throughout the day as well as handy recipe links. __________________________________________________________________________________________ In Ramadan, Suhoor really needs to be the breakfast of champions. While it does take a bit of extra effort to prepare meals and wake up that little bit earlier in the morning, there are many benefits to waking up for suhoor including: Providing you with the energy and nutrients for the day Keeping your metabolism going and helping to prevent Ramadan weight gain Removing the need for a second meal or late snack in the evening Modern diets tend to include processed breakfast foods such as cereals, breads or liquid drinks. Breakfast and in the case of Ramadan, suhoor, should always include a slow release carbohydrate, source of protein or dairy, plus fruits or vegetables. Here are our top picks for your suhoor this Ramadan: Something to...
RAMADAN – WEEK 1 Are you ready?

RAMADAN – WEEK 1 Are you ready?

Guess what folks, yep it’s that time of year again…Ramadan (2017 /1438 AH) is here. For those of you playing at home… Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar year where Muslims abstain from eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset. Sounds pretty tough and sure in other parts of the world where the daylight hours are longer and hotter, it may be. This year in Sweden, for example, daylight goes for 19.5 hours! In recent years, in Australia though, the fasting month has fallen on the shorter, winter days which means this year our fasting hours are approximately 11.5. So there should be no complaining from Down Under! Be that as it may, it’s really important to remember, fasting isn’t just about abstaining from food and drink. We often tend to forget the fast has a lot more to do with pressing the breaks on the ‘fast life’. Naturally, we all get caught up in the mundane rituals of everyday life. We are all so busy with family, work, studies, kids, schedules and so on. There’s always something we need to do, somewhere we need to be. The fast of Ramadan is a gentle reminder to think about what we are doing with our time and where we are heading. Ironically, we are ‘fasting’ but in natural fact the term ‘fast’, not only represents abstaining from certain things but more importantly marks a period of slowing down and reflection. Ramadan is also a time for breaking bad habits and setting goals in an attempt to increase such things as self-discipline, humility, patience & charity.  In saying that, what we call ‘iftar‘ or the breaking of the...
Stuffed Eggplant & Capsicum

Stuffed Eggplant & Capsicum

Print Stuffed Eggplant & Capsicum Ingredients 6 - 7 whole red capsicums 2 large eggplants 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 brown onion 3 garlic cloves 1 large carrot 300g beef mince 1 cup basmati rice 2 tablespoons tomato paste 400g can diced tomatoes 2 cups beef stock 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/4 teaspoon baharat 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 100g fetta Instructions Preheat oven to 200°C. Cut the eggplants in half lengthways. Using a sharp knife, cut out flesh leaving about a 1 cm border. Dice the eggplant flesh into 1cm cubes. Cut tops off capsicum and remove seed. Wash rice. To make stuffing: Heat oil in a large saucepan & add onion, garlic, eggplant and carrot. Cook for about 5 minutes until onion and eggplant has softened. Add mince. Cook until browned. Add tomatoes, stock, salt, pepper, baharat, paste and rice. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Place eggplant and capsicum on an oven tray that's lined with baking paper. Spoon stuffing into eggplant and prepared whole capsicums. Top with the crumbed feta. Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through. 4.21 http://thelebaneseplate.com/stuffed-eggplant-capsicum/ Recipe & Images © The Lebanese Plate...
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