Iftar Special: A Three Course Meal by Chef for the Weekend

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Two weeks down, two more to go! I hope you’re all well hydrated and your goals towards a healthy body are aligned with a healthy diet, this Ramadan! In case they aren’t, Chef for the Weekend has got you covered.

The number one problem we all face is overeating, shortly followed by bloating as we down gallons of water at Sehri in an attempt to trick our body into thinking we’re well hydrated. My two cents? Don’t do that.

From Iftari till Sehri you have a total of about 8 hours. It is highly recommended you drink a glass every hour and also snack lightly at intervals to provide yourself with short bursts of energy throughout the day. Include the colour green in your diet once a day, in the form of your favourite veggies (How about sautéed broccoli with white sauce pasta, yum!) coupled with some protein and definitely include some fruit (the best time to consume fruit would be at Iftar, or try our dessert – caramel peach trifle, try incorporating fruits in your meals. Now that we have the basics covered I have three recipes to share with you guys that are bound to leave you wanting more. I mean it!

TROPICAL SMOOTHIE

Ingredients:

* 1 cup coconut water
* 4 cups cubed, seeded watermelon
* 2 cups cubed fresh or frozen pineapple
* 2 cups cubed fresh or frozen mango
* Ice, if needed

Instructions:
1. Place everything in blender and puree until smooth. Drink immediately, or store in fridge for up to 2-3 days.

CHICKEN BAKED PENNE PASTA

Ingredients:

12 ounces pasta shape
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken (about 2 small chicken breasts)
1 batch white sauce (see below)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese additional shredded Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh parsley)

Sauce Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup low-fat milk (I used 1%)
3/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 cups blanched sautéed broccoli

Directons:

Cook the pasta in a large stockpot of well-salted boiling according to package instructions. Drain. Return pasta to the stockpot and add chicken and alfredo sauce. Gently toss to combine until the pasta is evenly coated.

Pour half of the pasta into a greased ramekin or dish (either an oval baking dish or ramekins. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup of cheese. Layer with broccoli and the remaining half of the pasta evenly on top. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and just barely starts to turn golden or you can serve right away. Remove and serve immediately, sprinkled with additional toppings if desired.

To Make The Alfredo Sauce:

Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute one minute, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Sprinkle with flour, and stir to combine. Saute for an additional minute to cook the flour, stirring occasionally.

Slowly add chicken broth, whisking to combine until smooth. Whisk in milk, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let cook for an additional minute until thickened, then stir in Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until the cheese melted. Remove from heat and set aside.

CARAMEL AND ALMOND TRIFLE

Ingredients:

8 slices vanilla sponge cakes
6-7 halved peaches (boil)
3 cups Caramel( recipe below )
5-6 cups ready-made vanilla custard (refan)
2 cups whipping cream ( whippy whip)
1tsp vanilla bean extract
handful almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
1 cup cream
1 cup sugar
Sea salt

Method:
Caramel :- In a clear sauce pan , add sugar, melt until the sugar is completely dissolved and light golden brown. Add cream and whisk vigorously. Once thick and cool add sea salt. Preserve in a jar.

Place the cake slices in the bottom of the trifle dish. Strain the peaches, reserving the water . Slice the peaches and place on top of the sponge, then pour over the reserved peach juice. Pour the caramel over the peaches and sponge. Spoon the custard on top. Chill while you whip the cream. 2 Whip the cream to soft peaks with vanilla, and spoon over the caramel. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Just before serving, scatter the nuts over the top.

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About Zahraa Reza 1 Article
Chef for the Weekend is the brainchild of the talented Zahraa, who has melted the hearts of many with her scrumptious feasts. Upon popular request The Chef has started conducting cooking classes and catering for small events including decor. Chef for the weekend surely knows how to deliver gourmet food on to your plate effortlessly.They have the innate talent of transforming ingredients into culinary masterpieces that will leave you in an awe.

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