We are in the first few days of the blessed month of Ramadan, and it’s crucial that we try and take advantage of every minute of this blessed time. The companions of the Prophet (saw) would prepare for this sacred time six months in advance! Whether it’s freeing up your schedule to increase time in worship, or possibly changing your routine slightly in order to be more productive in the morning, it’s also important to recognize your diet has a direct impact on your ibada’h (worship).
It might feel like a very different Ramadan, given the masjid are closed and everyone is in their homes. Remember though, your relationship with Allah SWT is not contingent neither on time nor place. You can make duaa at home, gather your family to pray together, and prepare healthy meals to provide you all with the energy you need to stay fit.
It’s easy to get tempted to sleep half the day and try to kill the time of the remainder by watching television or entertainment. However, both your health and time are amanehs, trusts, from Allah (SWT), and if anything, especially in Ramadan, you should be striving to preserve both. The Prophet (saw) reminds us in a famous hadith that, “there are two blessings which many people lose, they are healthy and free time [for doing good].” It’s easy to prepare a load of deep-fried food and sweets, often done especially for Ramadan. However, my advice is to try your best to consume healthy meals, in order not to feel lethargic or sluggish after eating, making it difficult to pray Taraweeh.
These Imsakhan rolls are a delicious appetizer your entire family can enjoy and are loaded with healthy ingredients. They taste greatly baked and come out crunchy. Try these this Ramadan, and compare how you feel the days you avoid fried food, versus having something healthier like these rolls.
The history of the recipe goes way beyond being a health coach and trying to come up with healthier options for clients or friends. Being Palestinian meant that, Imsakhan, a popular Palestinian dish made with layers of large fluffy bread, each topped with onions and sumac, then topped with chicken and roasted pine nuts at the very top, was a tradition in my home. This twist to the original recipe is my mom’s, which we’d make at parties or other occasions to make the delicious taste of Imsakhan easier to consume for guests. After all, it can get pretty messy with all of the olive oil it normally takes (soaking each bread), as well as the onions and sumac. Given I’m a certified holistic health coach and author of Sunnah Superfoods, I found it imperative upon me to give it a small touch of Sunnah foods and for that, I’ve added the ginger and vinegar. This recipe is easy to make at home, and a fun project your kids can join in on (with the exception of cutting onions!).
Chop the onions and place them in a deep skillet with the avocado oil. Cook on medium-high heat until onions are tender and translucent in color.
Add the chicken to the skillet. Top with the salt, mustard, and ginger. Cook about 3-4 minutes, and then add the sumac and vinegar. Continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the chicken is well done.
Place one tortilla on your cutting board or a large plate (for rolling). Fill with a scoop of filling, top with pine nuts, and roll firmly. Place on a baking sheet.
Continue the same step for the remaining tortillas, leaving space between them on the baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and bake on 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20-25 minutes, or until the rolls are nice and crispy.
Allow to cool, then cut the tortillas in half. Serve with organic yogurt for a scrumptious meal.
Noor H. Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, SUNNAH SUPERFOODS, a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other language.