Health, Latest, Lifestyle

Prepare Five Healthy Iftar Recipes In Under 15 minutes

‘Prepare’ being the key word

By Hafsa Saeed

Nothing’s worse than standing in a hot as hell kitchen, inhaling the scrumptious aroma, and trying to ignore the crispy chicken lying only a few centimeters away from you in Ramazan. And once it’s time for iftar you find yourself munching on super oily food and ending up bloated for the next few hours. Well, worry no more! We bring you five super healthy recipes that you can prepare under 15 minutes. You’ll end up eating clean and you won’t even notice that you ever entered that dreaded kitchen of yours.

Zaara Abbas, a rowing coach and trainer at Karachi Boat Club and the Vice President of Pakistan Rowing Federation, shares three of her secret recipes which are not only healthy but also delicious!

Baked Chili chicken

Replace all your fried dishes with baked ones and you’ll cut down a gazillion calories and the risk of blocking your coronary artery.

Here is what you’ll need:

  1. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  2. 2 garlic cloves, chopped (or add as needed)
  3. 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  4. 1 lemon cut into pieces
  5. Grated lemon zest (optional)
  6. Coriander to taste
  7. 1 teaspoon chili flakes or a few red chilies (to taste)
  8. Thyme leaves to taste
  9. Oregano 1-2 teaspoons recommended
  10. One whole chicken (in pieces, you can use K&N’s Karhai cut)
  11. Eight baby potatoes or one large potato cut into pieces
  12. 10-12 baby tomatoes

Let’s get into the thick of the things

Preheat the oven to 200C. Then head to your kitchen counter and combine the herbs, chili, oil, lemon juice, and garlic in a bowl. Add chicken and potatoes to the mixture and mix well. Spread the chicken and potatoes out in a large, flat dish or a baking tray and spread lemon wedges around it.

Season it and you’re done! The chicken isn’t, but all you need to do now is pop it in the oven and forget about it for 40 minutes or until the chicken is golden. Then add tomatoes and roast for another 10-15 minutes. Basically, you’ll be out of the kitchen within 15 minutes. And you’ll make the second and final round at Iftar.

Lime Chicken

It is fulfilling and if you do the prep a night before then this lime chicken will only take five minutes to land on your iftar table.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. 1/2 tsp sea Salt and pepper (to taste)
  2. Pinch of cayenne pepper
  3. A pinch of chili flakes (optional if you don’t like spicy food)
  4. 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  5. 1/2 teaspoon parsley
  6. 1/2 cup chopped coriander
  7. 4 tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  8. 1 tablespoon olive oil

It is as simple as is tossing everything together

Mix seasoning, herbs, and lemon juice in a bowl, then add the chicken, and leave to marinade for up to four hours or overnight. A few minutes before you’re ready to eat, put olive oil in a pan on medium heat, and cook chicken till golden brown on both sides.

Serve it with salad or brown rice.

Whole Wheat pasta

It will take care of all your Italian food cravings without dumping those extra pounds on you.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 red chili, diced (more can be added depending on taste)
  3. 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
  4. 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  5. 1/3 cup fresh parsley, diced
  6. Juice from 1 large lemon (freshly squeezed)
  7. 450 grams whole wheat pasta (linguine)
  8. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water with 1 tsp salt. Drain.

Stir and fry. That’s it.

Heat oil in a wok on medium flame. Cook garlic, red chilies, and parsley for two to three minutes. Then add pasta, herbs, and seasoning to the wok, and mix well. You can add more lemon juice and herbs over the pasta for added flavor if you want to go tangier.

We might not be experts on eating clean, but in this world you need to find a way to eating pizza while staying fit. Here two of our most favorite healthy quick fix recipes and one of it is a pizza!

Frozen Smoothie Bowl

Ditch that glass of sugar filled Rooh Afzah your mother slides your way with an angelic smile. It is A LOT of sugar in that red liquid. Opt for a refreshing and filling smoothie bowl instead!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. One cup of frozen berries (strawberries/blueberries/raspberries or a mix of all three)
  2. Two medium sized or One large frozen banana
  3. Half cup yogurt
  4. 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  5. Nuts/seeds/fruits for topping

Blend it away

Blend the frozen berries and banana with yogurt in a high speed food processor or blender till you get a smooth thick mixture. You can add a teaspoon of honey if you prefer it sweeter.

Top with your choice of nuts, seeds, granola or even more fruits. We like having ours topped with a handful of almonds, shredded coconut, and chia seeds!

Bran pita pizza

This recipe comes together in literally 10 minutes! You can even make a vegetarian version if you don’t have thawed chicken at the time of iftar.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. 1 bran pita bread
  2. 1 chicken breast cut in cubes
  3. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  4. 2 teaspoon chicken tikka masala
  5. Sauce of choice (tomato sauce/ketchup/ peri peri sauce)
  6. Sliced bell pepper
  7. Sliced Onion
  8. Low fat cheese
  9. For Sprinkling: oregano, garlic powder and red chili flakes.

Fry, sprinkle and bake

Stir fry boneless chicken cubes in one teaspoon of olive oil and two teaspoons of chicken tikka masala for five to seven minutes or till tender. Spread tomato sauce or some peri peri sauce on the pita bread. Top it with cooked chicken, bell peppers, sliced onions, and some low fat cheese. Sprinkle oregano, garlic powder and red chili flakes to keep things interesting. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 for 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.

If baking isn’t an option, then keep the pizza in a covered nonstick frying pan on a low flame for five to ten minutes.

Slurp! Enjoy these quick fix five recipes and send a small prayer our way for rescuing you from the mad heat!