Avocado Banana Shake

Continuing on the beverage train, today I’m sharing a recipe the was inspired by our last trip to Toronto, Avocado Banana Shake.  It’s healthy, filling, cooling, and perfect for either Suhoor (pre-dawn meal) or Iftar (meal at sunset).

This literally takes a few minutes to throw together. Dump everything in a blender and blitz away!

 

AvocadoBananaShake

 

Avocado Banana Shake

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 bananas, peeled and diced
  • ½ avocado, peeled and pitted

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Strawberry Mint Limeade

I feel like when it comes to get-togethers, the beverage department is often overlooked. I enjoy making different types of drinks for gatherings, and one that I keep coming back to is this delicious Strawberry Mint Limeade. Berries are in abundant and bursting with sweetness this time of year, and combining them with fresh mint and lime juice results in a heavenly refreshing drink that is sure to be loved by everyone!

(Recipe adapted from here)

 

StrawberryMintLimeadePic

Strawberry Mint Limeade

Yield: 6 – 8 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups cold water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ pounds strawberries, hulled and diced
  • 20 mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice

Directions:

Prepare a simple syrup by combining 1 cup water and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring as needed (does not need to boil). Remove from heat and cool completely.

In a large bowl, combine strawberries and mint. Roughly mash with a potato masher (alternately, the berries can be roughly chopped in a food processor). Add remaining 5 cups of water, cover, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (up to overnight). Strain the liquid into a pitcher, discarding the solids. Stir in cooled simple syrup and lime juice.

Serve garnished with additional mint leaves.

Ground Beef Puffs / Keema Puffs (Patties)

I’ve shared a lot of nontraditional (nontraditional for us Pakistanis) Ramadan foods, and I think it’s time to share some traditional Pakistani Ramzan fare 😉

We love the deep-fried goodness that are pakoray (fritters) and samosay (triangular meat or vegetable filled pastry), but we try to limit our intake of them to 1 to 2 times a week (2 is really pushing it) during Ramadan.  I love the ease of homemade Puffs/ Patties (pronounced pey-teez), and they make for a really impressive addition to your spread.  The key to amazing Patties is to use a good quality puff pastry, and you need a knockout filling recipe.  I finally scored a filling recipe that I can use as my go-to from Fatima Cooks.  The resulting Patties are delicious and gorgeous, and totally stand up to the beauties from Pakistani bakeries 🙂

 

KeemaPuffsPic

 

Keema Puffs/ Patties

Yield: Varies

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ onion, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Handful chopped cilantro
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 pounds puff pastry, thawed and cut into desired size (may need more/less)

Directions:

Heat oil in a vessel over medium-high heat. Add onions and ginger-garlic paste, and sauté until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add coriander powder, cumin powder, black pepper, red pepper flakes, red chili powder, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Add ground beef, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Stir often while breaking up large lumps. Cook until all liquid has evaporated and mixture is dry. Cool completely, then add cilantro. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400°F and set aside a parchment lined baking sheet.

Prepare an egg-wash by whisking egg and water together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Lay puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface. Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground beef mixture in the center of the pastry. Fold pastry as desired and seal edges by pressing down gently with a fork. Place on prepared baking sheet and continue with remaining ground beef and pastry, placing at least 2-inches apart. Brush with egg wash, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and on the bottom. Cool for a few minutes before serving.

Note: Puffs can be kept frozen and baked at a later time. Freeze unbaked puffs (with egg-wash) in a single layer on a parchment or plastic wrap lined baking sheet. When completely frozen, remove from pan and store in a freezer-safe container. Bake unthawed, adding a few minutes extra to baking time.

Oatmeal Pancakes

Since we’ve had three back to back Iftar (break-fast) recipes, I thought that I should share something that would be nice at Suhoor (pre-dawn meal). These oatmeal pancakes (recipe adapted from here) are full of the goodness that comes with oats, they keep you feeling full without any added heaviness, and they’re super easy to throw together (everything is whizzed in a blender!).  Surprisingly they’re also light and airy in texture, even though they’re loaded with oats!

OatmealPancakesPic

Oatmeal Pancakes

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup instant or old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in the jar of a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly grease the skillet, and pour batter in ¼ cup increments. Cook for a few minutes, until lightly browned and large bubbles appear. Flip the pancake and cook until browned on the second side. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing the pan with oil as needed.

Creamy Herb Spread

Hello lovers! How has Ramadan been going for you thus far? We’re already 9 days in and I cannot believe it’s going by so fast (but isn’t that what we say every year?)! Alhumdullilah (praise be to God), it’s going well for us. Our son has been going for Taraveeh (special night time prayers at the Mosque) almost every night with my husband, and he loves it. Our local Mosque has arranged a daycare for the kids for while the parents observe prayer, and he loves hanging out with his little buddies there.

I’ve been trying to keep things interesting for Iftar (break-fast time), and I finally got a chance to modify some of this delicious Creamy Herb Spread from The Comfort of Cooking.  It’s an amazingly creamy and flavorful spread that can be used to fill veggies (like mini peppers or cucumbers!), and would also be amazing as a spread used for tea sandwiches. It’s versatile and keeps well in the fridge, and is a fun departure from traditional finger goods!

 

CreamyHerbSpread

Creamy Herb Spread

Yield: 1 – 1 ¼ Cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk (by hand or mixer) until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a piping bag and use as needed.

Leftovers must be refrigerated.