Zeena Ramadan Series: Part I
Posted on May 16 2018
Happy Ramadan everyone! This year went by so quickly, we still can’t believe the sacred month of fasting is back again, ready to teach us new life lessons about faith, forgiveness, patience and helping others. Ramadan is the perfect time to slow down and reconnect with family and friends around the dinner table. It’s moments like these where we can build lasting memories, start a new tradition, laugh and share stories of our silly, sleep-deprived mishaps and build up the excitement for Eid celebrations to come.
In our home, we love decorations and make a conscious effort to hang string lights and banners around the dining room to make iftar time extra special. These days, we’re absolutely in love with the printable crafts by Sweet Fajr. Her cutout lantern banners are just too cute! If you follow us on Pinterest, you’ll find more Ramadan DIY’s and ideas to illuminate your home when guests come over for that first big dinner!
Follow @sweetfajr for more adorable freebies!
If you’re counting down to your first iftar, it’s safe to admit that after a long day of fasting, sometimes cooking can feel...well...a bit overwhelming. After all, we’re only human and with so much to do between work, school, errands or the kids, time may not always be on our side. So, how can you get organized and save time in the kitchen?
First things first, if you don’t already own an Instant Pot, we definitely recommend investing in one. You’ll enjoy stress-free cooking all month without that ‘slaving over a hot stove’ feeling. The best part is, you can literally toss in all of your ingredients at once, set a timer and come home to a hot, savory meal. But to make this process even easier, we suggest starting with a master plan!
Planning Your Menu
Creating a menu or meal plan at the beginning of each week will help you stay focused at the grocery store. Keep your plan posted on the refrigerator or write it on the family calendar, this way everyone will know what to expect.
Meal Prepping for Iftar
The goal of meal prepping is to do as much as you can in advance, so when it comes time to throw down in the kitchen, you won't have to reinvent the wheel.
Here are some easy tips to get you started:
- Wash, chop and assemble your ingredients the night before...or even a week in advance. Keep them stored overnight in a Tupperware or for the long term, place them in the freezer in a large (freezer safe) Ziploc bag.
- The Instant Pot is your friend! Use it to prepare large meals such as chili, pot roast, soups or stews, which you can reheat as leftovers. (*Scroll down for our Recipe of the Week: Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup!)
- Need to stretch a meal even further? Cook easy-to-freeze side dishes, such as whole grain rice, basmati or quinoa. In the morning, pull them out of the freezer to defrost in the refrigerator just in time for dinner.
Amany's Slow Cooker -Tortilla Soup
1 can whole peeled tomatoes (15 ounce)
1 can enchilada sauce (10 ounce)
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 can chopped green chili peppers (4 ounce)
2 cloves garlic
2 cups water
1 can chicken broth (14.5 ounce)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 package frozen corn (10 ounce)
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
(Optional) 1 teaspoon chili powder
(Optional) 1 pound shredded, cooked chicken
Place all ingredients in Instant Pot (slow cook), cover and cook on low setting for 6 hours or on high setting for 4 hours. Once complete, remove the bay leaf and use a hand blender to smooth out the texture of the soup. If you’ve chosen to add shredded chicken, use a wooden spoon to blend. Top with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and tortilla strips. Serve hot.
Remember to take a moment for you...
Want to know the best thing about slow cookers? They give you the opportunity to take a moment, step back from the daily grind and refresh your mind & body before opening the door to a flood of cheerful guests. With plenty of hugs and kisses coming your way at your next iftar, remember to make time to breathe before putting your best face forward.
Keep your skin as glowing and radiant as your smile with our 10-minute beauty routine:
- Wash your face and tame any flyaways with Bumble & Bumble's Invisible Argan Oil
- Moisturize your skin with all-natural Burt's Bees Skin Brightening Cream
- Slip into an effortless Midi Dress and a cute pair of sandals
- Spritz your favorite perfume
- Brighten your eyes with a swipe of kohl (*we love the easy-glide kohl pencil by Sephora)