Nadia Parekh, founder of home-based catering company Mélange, has provided a number of dishes for Homey’s Guide to Healthy Ramadan Recipes. The fantastic online selection of 40 delicious and healthy dishes comes from Beat Diabetes, the community-focused initiative from Landmark Group. Nadia has some great tips for a healthier diet during Ramadan…
The point of the cookbook is not to tell people who have fasted all day not to eat. The idea was for people to enjoy nice, simple, real, natural and wholesome food. But just to replace some of the ingredients with more healthy options.
For the vegetarian shepherd’s pie for example, using sweet potato instead of normal potato immediately adds extra fibre and extra vitamins, and also cuts carbohydrates.
For the chili quinoa, (above right) I added a lot of beans. You get your protein and fibre from that and the quinoa is such a great complex carb as it releases energy very slowly and for a long time. It keeps you full for longer and it is a very rich dish. A few spoons and you are good.
In terms of dessert, I made a Greek yoghurt tart instead of a sour cream one. It is half the fat and half the calories but the taste is exactly the same. And also for the peach crumble, I didn’t use any refined sugar. It was all natural: maple syrup, honey and palm sugar. I also switched out the wheat flour for almond flour in the crumble and the peaches are grilled with coconut oil. There is a lot of easy ways to switch out unhealthy ingredients for healthy ones and it does go a long way.
For iftar we basically recommend carbohydrate dense food - wholegrain and cereal, not refined products. Refined products release calories at an extremely fast rate and make you feel hungry much quicker. Wholegrains and cereals provide the necessary calories and sugar the body Delicious and healthy dishes such as Nadia’s amazing quinoa chili, salmon Wellington and a divine chocolate and raspberry tart are all available to download as part of the Homey’s Guide to Healthy Ramadan Recipes book. Nabz&G also contribute to the book which is part of the Beat Diabetes initiative. Download for free at has been deprived of the whole day and release calories a lot slower. But remember to have a small iftar before eating a bigger meal as the digestive system takes time to take in the food when it hasn’t eaten all day.
In the morning, juicing is a great option. It is an efficient way to get nutrients in a short space of time when you are not hungry. I’ve been putting together dates, fruit, veg, honey and yoghurt with a side of oats. It is not easy to wake up and eat a meal at 3am but this is a great way of chugging down all your food groups. It is great, just remember water too.