Ramadhan Kareem everyone!!
Ramadhan has been creeping steadily toward summer, I hope everyone is holding up well. Its been a gorgrous day so far, and I've had fresh fruits and veggies from local farmer's markets in mind for both suhoor and iftar.
Since the Compact is a place to discuss creative alternatives to buying things we don't need, I wanted to take a minute and mention good things to buy this month: great foods that don't cost a lot to make, and feed our bodies well during this month of fasting. As you'll notice, they are very very simple too, nothing grand or indulgent, if you want to keep the world's hungry in mind, especially those who live and eat on less than $1 a day.
LENTILS. The incredible, less than $2/bag, yummy and versatile lentil. Boil in salt water and add to rice (Iranian Adas polo); make a simple soup by adding some sauted onion and garlic and celery, or roll them up in phillo dough, grape leaves, or wanton wrappers. Spices to consider: cumin and cinnamon.
CREPES and BLINTZES. Sooo sooo yummy. They have replaced that stack of pancakes that used be inprinted in my tummy's heart. They are lighter, digested better (at least for me), and can be filled with either sweet things or savory things. Mix up soft cheeses like ricotta or cottage, add in nutmeg, honey, and fresh berries for a sweet treat. SUGAR FREE, FOLKS. Oh yes. For a more filling, savory dish, mash boiled potatoes, add in cheddar cheese with chives or green onions, and pepper. Minimal fat, lots of yumminess. Very easy to make and assemble. I'd consider making them in advance, and then doing some last minute assembling for a wonderful suhoor.
BREAD and CHEESE. Been to Halalco recently? Try their Afghan or Iranian (Barbari) breads, under $2, toasted with cream cheese and thin slices of cucumber for a fresh Iranian breakfast sandwich. If you want to go all out, add some walnut halves, fresh basil, maybe even sliced tomato. You can get even crazier with some sliced avocado, or sliced boiled egg. Excellent with some sweet tea. Hello economy, HELLOOOO FLAVA!
FRUIT and YOGURT PARFAITS. I don't know how everyone else does it, but here's one simple way thats really quick and inexpensive. Take plain yogurt, add chopped fruit like apples and peaches, OR a variety of berries, sprinkle on some cinnamon (or ginger if you're doing apples), drizzle on some honey, and maybe top it off with some sliced almonds. Filling, easy to digest, and you could get the yogurt and nuts at halalco or other place where you won't have to pay premium price.
OATMEAL. Even in the summer, it can be excellent. I'm talking about plain ol' oatmeal, either 1 minute/ instant, or old fashioned. Its worth it to cook it over the stove top, it just takes 5 minutes (approx.). Its always best with a tinsy dash of salt. For a fresh flavor, you can add some ground cardamom, or ginger powder with apples.
Voila. Simple foods to nurish your body. Inexpensive, pretty nutritious, and pretty darn yummy if I do say so myself. Enjoy, and Ramadhan Kareem.