Halal Meal Prep 2 | How we prep our meals for healthy Ramadan

Our Halal Meal Prep journey started with planning and shopping in Halal Meal Prep 1. Now, we focus on prepping the single ingredients, groups of ingredients, and some sweets and savory for the time of fasting. Join us in the preparations of our Moroccan-Finnish family in North Europe, Finland, and find some new ideas for your meal prep, let it be halal or any meal prep with or without any diet!

Four bowls full of roasted almonds, sesame seed and flour

With all that planning and shopping I created a Moroccan Kitchen Staples shopping list for the ingredients to help you with the shopping and stocking. Now when the pantry is lovely full it’s time for some serious prepping. Just kidding. If we are feeling Moroccan with our halal meal prep – well Moroccans are never so serious! But anyhow lots of things to do and prep ahead! Moroccan mamas do most of the big meal prep with their daughters or together with other mamas.

Tips for general meal prep – Ready set go!

  • Get all the ingredients ready.
  • Keep the counters clean from execs stuff – you will need some counter space I warn you!
  • Do some washing ALL THE TIME. I mean it. In meal prepping you need often the same tools and you will also gather a pile of dishes in the end.
  • Do batch work: cut all the vegetables in a row, pack all the meats in a row, and roast all the almonds and sesame seeds in a row. It takes less time to do the same kind of tasks in batches and you will have several ingredients prepped for your halal meals in no time!

Prepping the ingredients

Preparing the single ingredients makes halal meal prep and planning for our family so much easier than whole meals with a full menu. We like to have options to choose from and not to have the dinner entirely planned out. I focus on things that I can freeze for longer or stock in the fridge for about one week. For leading a healthy lifestyle my approach is always that whole foods are healthier choices than ready-made food – homemade food wins any day.

As we went through in Halal Meal Prep 1, there are some ingredients, that are excluded from this prepping. All pork products and all alcohol-based products are left out and we use only halal meat. In this meal prep for fasting time we focus on healthy fats, whole ingredients and of course plenty of water.

Vegetables

We use a ton of vegetables. For healthy meals, there are always some vegetables to brush, peel, cut, steam, roast, and freeze. Vegetarian options give balance to the meals and well-chosen bring both fiber and protein to your portions. Choose always fresh ingredients with the highest level of quality to reach your health goals.

Soups are good for breaking the fast. With soups, you have plenty of vegetables and plenty of liquids to fill the thirsty body. I buy a bunch of celery stalks and chop them nice and small in zip-lock bags in the freezer to use for example in harira soup.

I chop always some potato wedges in a box ready. Then I cover them with water so that they do not get dark. If I change the water every few days, they will be good for about a week. When I want to use the potato wedges, I will pour water out, season the potatoes in the same box, coat them with some olive oil, and stick them in the oven at high temperature to get some amazing oven potatoes.

In the same way, I cut the vegetables for the next two to three days ready. Things like soup vegetables (carrots, potatoes, onions, pumpkins) in one box, pizza toppings (paprika, red onion, tomato, olives) ready cut in one box, and oven vegetables (potato, sweet potatoes, sweet pepper, eggplant) in their own box.

Now the hard part of rinsing, peeling, and chopping is done, and cooking itself takes minimum time. More time is saved, and you can just toss yourself on the couch and grab a nice book for a moment. Perfect!

Beans and chickpeas

I prefer to cook my own beans and chickpeas and not to use the canned ones, so I do cook them in advance. Then I rinse and cool them down and freeze them in their own zip-lock bags. When they are completely frozen. I tap the bags against the table lightly to get them loose and easier to use and stock in the freezer.

Herbs

Some herbs freeze well. I cut some parsley and coriander in their own bags. They freeze well and it is very convenient to take a small amount to toss in the pan when needed. I like to chop up some mint as well for some Moroccan mint tea.

Roasting

Before baking I roast plenty of things to save time in baking. The sweets of Ramadan do need a ton of for example almonds and sesame seeds. So I roast at least a few kilos of each in a row. All the almonds go to the oven pan after the oven pan, and then the sesame seeds (or on a skillet on the top of the stove) and some flour too! If you are doing some sellou (sfouf), you know the mountain of crushed almonds and sesame seeds that you see in the travel pictures decorated with whole almonds – yes that one – then you need some roasted flour.

Roasted almonds
Roasting the beautiful golden colored almonds.

Prepping the sweet and savory

For Ramadan time, there are several sweets and savory to prepare beforehand. Many are good through the whole month, some are good to freeze too. Here are some of my favorites so far.

Sellou (Sfouf)

Sellou is something totally amazing. It’s like almond butter but thicker so that you can make a whole mountain out of it. I do it with roasted almonds and sesame seeds, but it can be done as well with several different nuts. It is called sellou in southern Morocco while in the north it is known as sfouf. Sellou is loaded with healthy fats and protein from the almonds. I do a few kilos of sellou ready and serve it with bigger dinners as in the photo, but for just our family I tend to flatten it on a smaller plate and decorate it with roasted almonds and sesame seeds. The rest of the batch stays well in an airtight box for up to one month.

Tight-packed Moroccan sellou (sfouf) mountain on a blue plate with almond decorations. Hand with spoon spooning a piece away.

Chebakia

The joy of making chebakia before Ramadan is so pure. It takes time and it is definitely not the easiest one to do, but it looks so impressive with the floral decorations and deliciously coated with honey and sesame seeds. As with the previous Moroccan sweets, I do a big batch of chebakia in advance and it lasts through the whole month – well if there’s anything left… When thinking about the healthy aspects, well chebakia is a clear sweet dessert biscuit. But when making it at home you can choose high-quality honey instead of honey syrup (which means plain sugar) you can level up your treat. Chebakia is usually served with a flavorful tomato soup, harira, filled with beans or chickpeas to palace the sweet flavors.

| RELATED: 5+1 ways how to fold and shape Moroccan chebakia cookie

Briouats

Briouats can be savory or sweet. They are folded and rolled in triangles with a yummy filling made of halal chicken breasts with vegetables or, for example, crushed almonds, honey, and orange blossom water. I always use ready-made frozen phyllo dough for, well, I am not that crazy to do something as thin as paper-like dough like phyllo at home! If you have ever made Indian samosas, briouats are very close friends of theirs. Instead of deep-frying I usually bake the briouats in the oven to avoid huge quantities of frying oil.

The best way to meal prep briouats is to prepare at least the filling in advance. I do normally at least a few different fillings so that I can roll up lots of briouats at the same go to use my time wisely. Depending on the style of your filling, you can freeze it and defrost it when you need it, or preserve it in the fridge for a few days to use it for briouats. If you would like to freeze them as ready-made the phyllo dough is not best for that one, but something thicker like spring roll pastry would go nicely. If you have a fresh dough (not defrosted) you can roll the briouats into triangles or cigars and defrost before frying on the pan or in the oven.

Msemen (rghaif)

Msemen is one of our family’s morning meal favorites, it wins overnight oats or regular pancakes any day. It is a crispy layered square pancake. It is crazy how thin you can make the dough just with the help of olive oil and sweeping hand motions against the baking surface. Msemen is folded into nine (!) layers and then flattened again. I share my other tricks in making and storing the msemen in the full msemen recipe post.

Square msemen pancakes arranged on a silver tray with a honey jar and a pot of Moroccan mint tea and glasses.
Harcha breads on a silver tray. Cream cheese spread and honey in tiny glasses with tiny butterknives.

Harcha

Harcha, the semolina flatbread, is maybe easiest of these all to make. Even so, I sometimes do a batch in the freezer ready to defrost some when it is time to break the fast in the evening and my daughter is craving for some harcha.

I panfry the harchas and let them cool down completely before sealing them in a zip-lock bag and sicking in the freezer. I use a toaster to heat them quickly.

Cleaning beforehand

Aside from meal planning, I tend to do a bigger cleaning before the fasting time of Ramadan. I will have to adapt to the thinking to do a bare minimum what comes to cleaning during fasting. With that one in mind, I use the cleaning schedule to keep track of the tasks that I have accomplished. Instead of the to-do list, I use it as a did I do it list.

Then when I have it all ready, I make myself a pot of Moroccan Mint tea and chill ♡.

Download the Moroccan Kitchen Staples list here

Did you miss the list in Halal Meal Prep 1? Here you can download the Moroccan Kitchen staples shopping ingredient list for you!

Pin it for later!

Moroccan kitchen staples list with different categories of ingredients used in Moroccan cuisine, Glas jar of almonds is fallen on it and almonds are lying half covering the paper.

Check out my Moroccan recipes

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