A sample online survey recently conducted by HealthPlus, a network of specialized outpatient centers in Abu Dhabi offering premium healthcare services combined with the latest innovative technologies in the sector, indicates that years of warning by dietitians and healthcare professionals appear to have finally started to make an impact on people’s Ramadan eating habits.
According to the survey, people seem to be more conscious about what they eat and are actively making an effort to change their habits during Ramadan after noticing that traditional foods associated with the Holy Month are not as healthy as they might expect.
“Lots of people nowadays consider the month of Ramadan as a great opportunity to establish a balanced and healthy lifestyle. It is refreshing to see that eating habits may be taking a healthy turn, with people eating less, avoiding high fat foods and opting to cook healthy. Hopefully the new and improved trend set during Ramadan will contribute to positive shifts in behavior throughout the year, positively impacting the obesity epidemic”, said Souzan Najm, Nutritionist at HealthPlus.
Ready to start Ramadan on a healthy note? Here is a healthy and easy recipe perfect for Suhoor – an extremely vital meal that you should never skip during Ramadan, as it fuels your body with energy for most of the day. Compliments of Souzan Najm, Nutritionist, HealthPlus.
Quinoa Pilaf with feta, sun-dried tomatoes and chickpeas
(Recipe yields 4-6 servings)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 leek, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt & black pepper
- 1 ½ cup quinoa
- ½ cup roughly chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- ½ cup drained cooked chickpeas
- 75g low fat feta cheese crumbled, for sprinkling
- 2 table spoons of chopped fresh dill or parsley or cilantro or rosemary
- Heat the olive oil
- Add the leek and season with salt & pepper
- Cook until it softens with stirring occasionally (about 8-10 minutes)
- Add the quinoa and stir for about 5 minutes
- Add tomatoes, chickpeas and 3 cups of water
- Bring to a boil then cover and simmer gently on low heat
- Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid and is tender (15-20 minutes)
- Turn the heat off and let it cool for 5 minutes
- Stir in the dill and sprinkle with feta
- Serve hot, warm or at room temperature and enjoy!