Toward the end of Ramadan I can start to feel zapped of both energy and recipe ideas. I tackle this fatigue by revisiting my repertoire of favorite yet easy-to-put-together dishes. For suhoor, I really need quick and satisfying options that won't make me feel too full. I try to avoid any processed sugars or oily foods because they'll drag me down later in the day. For iftar, I'm looking for flavorful meals with little preparation time — especially during the weeknights. This meal plan brings all that thinking into one place. Maybe it'll inspire you as you plan for the coming week of meals.
Sunday is the day I use to get ready for the week — Ramadan or not. It's perhaps even more important during this month, since the work day is long and all I usually want is a nap when I get home. My meals have to be quick and easy enough for me to want to prepare them.
Suhoor: These buttermilk pancakes with orange zest aren't your typical fluffy pancakes, but they're still filling. Plus, the orange zest gives them a nice zing.
Iftar: This spread has a surprising blend of flavors that just go so well together. The rack of lamb is incredibly flavorful due to the spices and dates, and the creamy yogurt sauce is great for dipping the lamb into. A light bulgur salad rounds out the meal with something full of veggies and contrasting textures.
Monday means getting back to work and a weekly routine. It also means having to survive the daily grind while still fasting, so meals should be easy and quick enough to get on the table on time. You can also still follow the Meatless Monday trend with these vegetarian dishes.
Suhoor: We always have a plethora of dates in Ramadan, so why not add them to smoothies, with the addition of a fresh seasonal fruit like apricots? This recipe is one of my go-tos.
Iftar: I love the vegetarian Mediterranean flair of this menu because it's hearty but not too filling. The eggs in the frittata provide protein and the salad adds the crunchy texture to go along with it.
On Tuesday I might have some leftovers from the previous day's meals but if not, there's no need to worry because this day's meals are quick and easy to throw together. Since the ingredients are all so fresh and seasonal, they're also just delightful to bring together in these dishes.
Suhoor: If you can get your hands on fresh figs, which are usually readily available in the summer, you must try this combination with bananas in this fig and banana smoothie. It has such a wonderful, creamy texture and it's quite filling as an early morning meal before the fasting day.
Iftar: This menu is so light, but it's also refreshing and hydrating because of the coconut water and the watermelon salad. Also, I love a good wrap for iftar, which can be a wonderful break from firing up too many pans on the stove just to make the main meal.
I won't let the middle-of-the-week slump get me down with too much cooking on an already busy and difficult day, which is why I like this very light and refreshing summer menu of soup, salad, and a lovely limeade drink to top it all off.
Suhoor: Banana date cups can be wonderful to have at either suhoor or iftar, but in the early morning hours it's easy on the stomach yet has enough substance to keep you satisfied without adding any processed sugars.
Iftar: This is a super-light menu for that middle-of-the-week cooking most of us just really don't want to do at all. I like to keep it vegetarian, but you could certainly add meat like shredded chicken to either the soup or the salad, or both.
It's so close to the end of the week, but with one more day to go before the weekend I feel as though I just need to pamper myself a bit and have breakfast for iftar. It's super quick and super comforting and if I have any leftovers, it's perfect for the next morning's suhoor, too.
Suhoor: Strawberry, pineapple, mango and spinach may seem like an unlikely combination of ingredients for a smoothie, but they go together so well and make for a delicious drink that really can hold you over for much of the day. Pair it with a nice hot bowl of oatmeal for an even more substantial suhoor.
Iftar: Sometimes I love eggs for dinner, just like other breakfast items. Somehow they're comforting and hearty at the same time, and they make me feel like I'm not really making too much effort to put a three-course meal on the table, but still eating enough to feel satisfied. Eggs with sejouk is hearty and color, thanks to the sejouk, a Turkish-style spiced sausage, is a great substitute for chorizo and goes so well with eggs. If you don't want to actually cook with it, just cut a few pieces up and keep it on the side of the eggs when serving.
Just making it to Friday makes it worthy of a celebration! I love something fun and festive on Fridays, so I make food that is a little different from the norm but not too labor-intensive.
Suhoor: This green breakfast smoothie has a banana, kale, apple, and an avocado to smooth it out. Feel free to sweet up the greens and fruit to suit your own tastes.
Iftar: I'm a huge fan of all the vegetables and fruits in this menu, making it a healthy and refreshing one. Substitute ground turkey or beef for the chicken in the eggplant and the results will be just as delicious.
A great way to end the week is to make something that will lend itself to other meals, which is totally possible when cooking a large chunk of meat such as a leg of lamb. Make a great salad to go along with it and you'll be eating healthy while feeling fully satisfied, too.
Suhoor: If you want a taste of the tropics, this smoothie is the thing to make. With the perfect combination of pineapple, bananas, and coconut flakes (substitute coconut water if you don't have the flakes), it's one of the best drinks in my recipe box.
Iftar: Once cooked, this lamb can be thinly cut to make into sandwiches for the next iftar meal or cooked further and shredded for the most delicious tacos.
- Oven-Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb is a great dish to make for a crowd because it will provide a lot of leftovers for the remainder of the weekend. You can serve it in slices with potatoes or rice on the side, or continue to cook it until it shreds easily and then add to tortillas for some amazing tacos.
- Greek Salad