31 May 2017

Interview with Yvonne Maffei, author of My Halal Kitchen

Interview with Yvonne Maffei, author of My Halal Kitchen

Could you let us know what inspired you to write your latest book?

I was inspired by a desire to really explain halal cooking in depth and how to make any type of global recipe halal by offering delicious substitutes for pork and alcohol in cooking. I figured that if I wanted to enjoy Italian, French or Latin food then most likely the rest of the halal consumers would at least like to give it all a try if they could!

What do you have planned for this Ramadan? Anything interesting or will it involve of down time?

Ramadan is always such a busy time for me, as I’m working on new recipes and preparing for Eid menus throughout the month. Couple that with reading the Qur’an, tending to work and family obligations and the time goes pretty fast, which actually helps when you’re trying not to think about your hunger all day long. This year I’ll also be preparing for my first ever trip to Istanbul and the Black Sea region of Turkey and I couldn’t be more excited so I’ll be mapping out all the places I would like to visit and praying for a safe and productive trip!

Some Muslims eat a big meal when they break their fast before Tarawih, and something small later, and others have a small meal and then a big meal after Tarawih. Which would you recommend?

I feel best when I have a proper Iftar- breaking the fast with dates, water or a hydrating drink and something small like a fruit salad or savoury snack. Afterwards, prayer then a regular sized meal and something light and refreshing again in the later part of the night after Tarawih is the best rhythm for me and I recommend it to others.

To me, nothing feels worse than eating unhealthy foods (i.e. sodas, sugary desserts, heavy and greasy meals) especially when it’s so important to be alert and productive throughout the month since it’s the most beneficial time to get closer to your Lord and ask for all that you desire in the Dunya and the Akhira.

Here are some other tips from Human Appeal when fasting during Ramadan

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Replace caffeinated drinks or fruit juices with milk or coconut water.

Follow the Sunnah and always have Suhur, even if it’s just a few dates and water.

Include hydrating foods in your diet like watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, pineapple and lettuce.

Eat nutritious home-made meals with lots of fruit, vegetables and fibre.

Cut right down on salt, sugar, fat, white carbs, fried foods and don’t give in to cravings for junk food.

Eat slowly and don’t overeat. The Sunnah is to fill a third of your stomach with food, a third with water and leave a third for air.

Take a little walk after Iftar to help with heartburn, indigestion and to energise you for Tarawih.

Stay active but if you work out, adjust the intensity. Try to fit in a short afternoon nap to help revive you

BT’s Muslim Network is fundraising for Human Appeal’s East Africa Appeal this Ramadan. You can donate today by visiting East Africa Appeal here

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