The Holy Month of Ramadan

Ramadan represents the goodness, grace and the entire blessings of Allah.

Shia Wisdom

Once again the Holy Month of Ramadan is upon us and Muslims around the globe will enter a spiritual journey toward their creator by fasting and devoting an entire month to whatever gratifies their Almighty Lord. The 185th verse of Quran’s 2nd chapter states: “The month of Ramadan, in which the Quran was revealed. A guidance for people and clear proof of guidance and criterion.”

The entire month of Ramadan has been defined and labeled as month of guidance, as the blessings of Allah are poured on his subjects around the clock. During this month, any movement, action, deed, hint or even good intention of a believer is rewarded with blessings and considered as worship. The Holy Month of Ramadan equalizes the sense of need among all believer, regardless of their social and economic class. Whether poor or wealthy, elite or random citizen, men or women, everyone will experience the pain and sufferings of those less fortunate. Continue reading The Holy Month of Ramadan

What’s for Dinner: Quick and Easy Shrimp Pesto

With increasingly busy schedules, it can be challenging to find time to cook a nutritious, homemade meal. Finding fast, easy recipes that everyone will enjoy is key. Shrimp pesto is a great option that is simple to make and only requires a few ingredients. If you’re feeling ambitious and have some extra time you can make your own pesto, otherwise you can use premade pesto from the store. Many of the ingredients you may already have in your pantry or refrigerator. Not only is this a quick option for family dinner nights, it makes a great meal for dinner parties as well.

Ingredients:

 

  • 6 cups of water
  • 4 ounces of angel hair pasta
  • 1 ¼ pounds of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¼ cup pesto, divided
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 ounce (1/4 cup) fresh parmesan cheese, shaved
  • Basil leaves for garnish (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. Cook the angel hair pasta according to the directions on the back of the package. Prepare to desired tenderness.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, use a separate pan to bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, add shrimp and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until done. The shrimp should be pink throughout. Drain shrimp and place in a large bowl.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of pesto and the grape tomatoes to the shrimp and stir.
  4. Add pasta and 2 more tablespoons of pesto, stirring until well mixed.
  5. Sprinkle the freshly shaved parmesan cheese on top and garnish with basil leaves if desired.

Shrimp are a nutritious source of protein that are low in calories and contain no carbohydrates. In addition, they are high in vitamin B12 and contain vitamins A and E, iron, magnesium, and other nutrients as well. While some people are concerned about the high cholesterol found in shrimp, when eaten in moderation they can be okay, and some studies have shown this cholesterol may not be that bad.

Making your Own Pesto

If you don’t want to use premade pesto, you can whip up a fresh batch on your own. However, to make pesto you do need a food processor.

Ingredients:

 

  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons garlic, chopped (about 9 cloves)
  • 5 cups of fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups olive oil
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

 

Add the walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic to the food processor and process for approximately 15 seconds. Next add the basil, salt, and pepper until well mixed. Leave the food processor running and slowly add the olive oil through the feed tube. Let it keep mixing until the contents are well pureed. Finally add the parmesan cheese and continue pureeing for one minute. You should have a fresh, creamy pesto bursting with flavor and ready for use in your pasta dish. To store the excess pesto, pour a thin layer of olive oil on top and keep it in the refrigerator. To freeze, add a layer of olive oil or press plastic wrap on top making sure there is no air trapped between the layers.

Enjoy as a Family

A delicious meal can bring the whole family together. Take this time to talk about your day, discuss upcoming events, and enjoy each other’s company. Having a variety of quick and easy recipes on hand also means that children can lend a hand with preparations. Let them get involved so that they grow their cooking skills and are proud of the contributions that they are making. This can also become something special that you do together.

Remember that preparing a delicious meal does not have to take a lot of time. There are many healthy, flavorful, quick recipes that you can add to your collection and that your family will love.

Best American Weekend Recipes for a Family on the Go

Here’s a problem that most any family can relate to: Balancing the hectic schedules of family life with the desire to enjoy fellowship around the table—and to observe some semblance of good nutrition, to boot.

For families with a lot of activities, taking time to enjoy a meal together is tough. Tougher still is actually preparing that meal at home, rather than succumbing to the all-too-natural desire to order pizza or pick up some fast food takeout.

But enjoying family dinners is possible, even for families that are always on the move. The trick is to find the right recipes—and, perhaps, to actively cherish time spent preparing meals together.

Your family may have some favorite weeknight recipes of its own, some go-tos that are easy to prepare and enjoyable for everyone in your household. Even so, it never hurts to expand your repertoire and to partake of some new dishes. Consider a few of the options listed below.

Spaghetti and meatballs. This is a classic meal, of course, and has a few different benefits. It’s hearty and filling, and it’s beloved by almost everyone. There are many variants on this family staple, but here’s a recipe that you can complete in just 40 minutes. (Added bonus: The meatballs are baked, not fried!)

Cashew chicken. This dish is an all-time Chinese takeout favorite, but you can enjoy a homemade variation that’s every bit as good! This is a wonderful meal for getting pickier members of your family to enjoy some vegetables, too. Try this 30-minute recipe, and augment it with some mushrooms, celery, carrots, or other veggies of your choice.

Cheeseburger flatbread pizza. Quick questions: Do the people in your family enjoy cheeseburgers? And do they enjoy pizza? If you answered yes to both then this dish is really a no-brainer. Try this version of it, which you can prepare in just 35 minutes. (And it’s a good option for kids who may want to help sprinkle on some ingredients, too.)

Barbecue chicken sandwiches. Speaking of crowd pleasers, everyone likes a good barbecue sandwich, but a lot of barbecue recipes take copious amounts of time to complete. Here is an excellent recipe that you can have ready and on the table in just over 20 minutes’ time!

Tortilla-crusted chicken. This is a wonderful dish for families who want something a little spicy, a little bit Tex-Mex. You can use store-bought salsa, which provides big flavor but doesn’t require a lot of labor. The recipe can be made in 20 minutes or so!

Chipotle bean burritos. Here’s another Mexican-styled dish that you can prepare in under 30 minutes, and with ingredients that are all wonderfully inexpensive. Get some chips and salsa or guacamole to really make your family mealtime a fiesta! The recipe is here.

Maple-glazed salmon. Now here’s a great, lean recipe for families that want a low calorie count as well as big flavor! This salmon dish is served with some delicious vegetables, and it can be made and on the table in just around 25 minutes.

Herb-roasted chicken. Here’s one more for the healthy-and-delicious column—a savory chicken dish that’s offered with a number of yummy veggies. This one can be made in 40 minutes’ time, and is sure to be a hit with everyone!

White chili. Once it starts to get a little cooler outside you may find yourself craving something in the way of a soup, and white chili is something that everyone tends to enjoy. You can prepare it in under an hour, and, with this recipe, you can use chicken or turkey.
Of course, there are plenty of great recipes on the Web, including on Pinterest, for families on the go. Try a couple this week, and see how well your clan likes them. Add some new flavors to your weekly routine, and enjoy time spent together in the kitchen!