Ramadan is fast approaching and to benefit and make the most of Ramadan we should really prep in advance. As much as I enjoy cooking, I hate being in the kitchen for a long period of time. I love pre planned and prepped meals that are quick and easy. I also love when there are left overs and I can reuse/remake them into something else. As a busy mom of two or someone who is always on the go, here are some great kitchen tips to make meal time a breeze this Ramadan.
The first thing you should be doing before Ramadan is cleaning and stocking up your pantry. This means cleaning out and getting rid of any old spices or expired pantry ingredients. You don’t want to be in the middle of cooking to realize your rice or pasta is expired. Stock up on rice, pasta, lentils, beans and any other dry pantry essentials your family eats. We also stock up on water bottles, dates (duh), and I make batches of pre sifted dry pancakes, waffles, and bread/cake mixes. Just add your wet ingredients when you’re ready to cook or bake them. I personally have them ready for those days when I wake up late for suhoor or my kids request pancakes because they didn’t finish their dinner and now they are hungry way past bed time.
Aside from the pantry, you should also clean out the inside of your refrigerator and get rid of any old and expired food and condiments. Stock up on things like fruit, eggs, milk, cheese, butter, etc. I also like to juice, so we keep fresh juices and cold water for the summer heat in sunny Florida. Keep things that are nutritious and that will keep you hydrated and energized during the hot summer days of fasting.
Fruit is a great pantry staple to have on hand. I always have fruit pre chopped year round for my kids to snack on but during Ramadan I always freeze individual bags for smoothies or lassis. Spinach, kale and berry smoothies are great for Suhoor (the morning meal) and an ice cold mango lassi is so refreshing at Iftaar, when opening the fast. Chopped fruit in the fridge is ideal for a quick fruit salad to have as a side for any meal or my favorite way…at the end as dessert. Get creative and surprise the kids with a cute food design like palm trees. Turn it into a fun Ramadan lesson and tell them the dates we open our fasts with are grown on palm trees like the one you made. If you have a picky toddler like me, this is a great way to get them to eat some fruit.
4. Finger Foods
Finger foods such as kabobs, egg rolls and samosas are always great to have in the freezer for those lazy days when you’re just trying to make it to the end of the day. Shami kabobs (lentil and meat kebabs) are a definite freezer staple in my home. My kids love them as is but try turning them into Bun Kabobs, a popular Pakistani street burger or Nargisi Kofte…a Pakistani take on Scotch eggs.
5. Cooked Meats
And lastly, cooked meat is something I love keeping on hand. Whenever I have extra meat left over from a recipe, I always label and freeze it in a resealable bag. My favorite thing to freeze is ground meat. You can do sooo much with it. Add some cooked ground beef into the center of a potato cutlet for a nice meat surprise. Enjoy it in an aromatic meat sauce for lasagna or pasta. Heat it up and add it to your tacos or use it in a casserole. The possibilities are endless and it cuts your cook time in half if it’s already been cooked!
I hope these tips help you cut your meal prep time in half not just for the holidays but every day in the kitchen. Have a blessed and beneficial Ramadan!