A healthy iftaar

After fasting for more than 12 hours, I am ready to eat! Here are some tips that I keep in mind especially at an iftaar party:

Pick up the healthy options: Most likely we will be eating our traditional/cultural foods.  When it comes to our traditional foods, not all of them are unhealthy. Cholay (chickpeas), fruit chat, daal (lentils), haleem (lentils and meat) are some great food choices. Cholay, daal, and haleem have protein and carbs and usually not cooked with much oil (Click here to check out my nutrient analysis of homemade daal).

Go easy: Items like samosas and pakoray are deep-fried so don’t eat too many. I love these foods and it would be wrong to ask anyone to avoid their favorite foods. The key is to enjoy them in moderation.

Avoid eye-contact: With the dessert I mean… If you keep staring at the dessert…your mouth will start watering and you are more likely to fail at resisting your urge, and going to end up eating it. Tell yourself you are satisfied and just don’t make eye contact! Busy yourself with a good conversation or better yet head out for prayer.

Haleem 3

1 cup Haleem with fresh cucumber and cantaloupe

Remember: Vegetables are very low in calories so you can eat a lot of them!

What about Tandoori Naan?

Just 1 Deep brand Tandoori Naan has 250 kcals! If you eat 2 Chapli Kabobs with 1 naan that will put you over 500 kcals. A better option would be to choose a whole wheat tortilla instead of a naan.

Bottom Line is to eat what you enjoy in moderation. Try to include fruit and some veggies with your dinner to balance your meal, as well as get fiber and nutrients into your body. Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water!

Mindful Eating Tip

“As the size of our dishes increase, so does the amount we scoop onto them. They cause us to serve ourselves more because they make the food look small…The smaller the serving dish, the less you take, and the less you eat” Brian Wansink

After Taraweeh late night healthy snack ideas:

Low-fat frozen yogurt
2 cups of watermelon
Cup of milk with an apple
100% fruit juice popsicle stick
Low-fat popcorn
Click here for more snack ideas of less than 200 kcals

Chappli Kabab: healthier version

Chappli Kabab is one of my favorite foods but it is usually deep fried in oil. My mom slightly adjusted the recipe on the back of the Shan Chappli Kabab masala box to make it a little healthier.

chappli kabab

Bake it don’t fry it!

Forget the egg!

Go lean!

Serving size: 2 kababs

Number of servings: 6

Nutrition information per serving:                319 kcals, 16 g protein, 25 g fat

Ingredients:

  1. 500 grams of regular ground beef (approximately 1 lb)
  2. Shan Chappli Kabab Masala (1 packet =100 g)
  3. 1 large tomatoes, sliced
  4. 1 medium onion, chopped
  5. 1 large jalepeno pepper, finely chopped
  6. 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  7. 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  8. 1 tbsp corn oil

Directions:

  • In the minced meat add Shan Chappli Kabab masala, onion, jalepeno, ginger, garlic, and oil.
  • With wet hands make thin flat round kababs (about 12 kababs). Place a slice of tomato on one side of the the kabab, and place on baking sheet (spray the baking sheet with oil)
  • Bake in 350 degrees oven for 20 minutes or until kababs are cooked (internal temperature of 165 degrees)

Tip:

Use lean ground beef (281 kcals/serving)  to reduce the fat and calories. Use chicken instead of meat to cut out the calories even more.