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Preparing for Eid: Freezer Cooking with Simmer Sauces

All across the city people are making preparations for Eid, including our family. The sheep have started to find their way into city markets, small stalls are popping up to sell charcoal and bundles of straw for the sheep. There are plenty of advertisements marking the holiday, new clothes for sale, and people looking to gather the last little bit of money to go towards their sheep purchase. (Note: if you’re visiting Morocco right now, bargain hard! Most vendors want to make a sale, any sale right before this holiday.) Eid in Morocco is very different than Eid in the US where the holiday lasts one day and often times people make many adjustments to have even a small celebration.

One of the biggest differences here is that the holiday lasts three days and often times butcher shops are closed for up to a week after the holiday. All butcher shops. Yes, you can still get meat from grocery markets but it can be a hassle. Instead I learned last year to prepare ahead of time. I’ve shared before how much I like using freezer cooking for Ramadan prep, well the same is true now for Eid too!

Saffron Roads’ Simmer Sauces are a great time saver and we love everyone of their flavors. I didn’t think it could be any easier to use them than simply mixing them in but I also have added them to my freezer cooking routine now too. Since they are so easy to use as is, why would you want to include them with freezer cooking? I find that by mixing them with meat before freezing it, the flavors can really marinade well. You can achieve this by leaving them in the refrigerator for a few hours too but this saves me time. I simply label the bag with which sauce I’ve used and freeze it! To make it really easy, purchase some Ziploc freezer bags and use a bowl to set your bag in so that the contents don’t spill.

Freezer Cooking with Simmer Sauces

When you’re ready to cook you can thaw (or place frozen) in a skillet and finish cooking. You also could put it in a slow cooker to cook while you’re at work. One recipe I recently made with diced up frozen I marinaded with the Korean Stir Fry Simmer Sauce is fried rice. You’ll love it! Feel free to use any vegetables you have on hand either fresh or frozen. While I opted for chicken, you can use beef or lamb too.

Korean Chicken Fried Rice


Korean Stir Fry Fried Rice


  • 1 lb chicken diced into small pieces
  • 1 envelope Saffron Road Korean Stir Fry Simmer Sauce
  • 5 cups cooked rice
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables (or more)
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon Garlic
  • 2 tsp sesame sauce
  • 3 eggs
  • Soy Sauce (for the side)
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil


  • Dice chicken into small pieces, add to a Ziploc bag along with 1 envelope of Saffron Road Korean Stir Fry Simmer Sauce. Remove excess air, and freeze until ready to use.
  • To prepare - add 2 Tbsp vegetable oil and 1 Tablespoon of garlic to a large skillet.
  • Remove meat from freezer and add to skillet frozen or thawed if previously taken out.
  • Begin to cook meat, adding vegetables when the meat is 1/2 way cooked.
  • If liquid begins to dry up, add a small cup of water and cook on low until vegetables are tender and meat is cooked through.
  • Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, add the remaining 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil and cooked rice.
  • Allow rice to cook for 8-10 minutes until the bottom begins to get crispy.
  • Mix the rice and push to one side of the pan.
  • Crack the 3 eggs into the empty side of the pan and use a spatula to "scramble" the eggs.
  • Slowly add the rice into the eggs so that they are completely combined.
  • Drizzle the rice with the 2 tsp of sesame sauce, mix and cook a few more minutes to warm up the sauce and enhance the flavor.
  • To serve lay a bed of rice on a plate, add the chicken and vegetables and drizzle with soy sauce.

After you make this a few times you’ll be whipping it up all the time! I love using this as a way to get rid of leftovers and get my kids to eat lots of vegetables and protein without complaining. You can use several different simmer sauces with the same recipe for a little different flavor.

Korean Stir Fry Fried Rice


How do you prepare for Eid? It’s almost here!

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I hope you’re all having an amazing summer. I’ve been busy readjusting to life here in the United States while we’re visiting. The weather is much cooler and my boys are loving lots of open green space to run and play. We’ve had plenty of bike accidents already and K even got to visit a friends house and help out with their chickens! He came home full of stories about how he got the eggs and the families Amish neighbors and their horses. I keep thinking how wonderful it is that my kids will know so many different ways that people live from a young age. Really I am so happy I’m able to give them this life.

As we’re away from Morocco, Ramadan has gotten away from us. I’ve had a coming to terms with my feelings about the holiday. I wrote about them on Multicultural Kid Blogs today. It took me a long time and a lot of courage to share my feelings, but I’ve also learned I’m not alone.

To celebrate the end of Ramadan and upcoming Eid I’ve decided to do a big Eid giveaway. I haven’t done any in a while and since we’re having such a good time I thought I’d share a few of my favorite things. There’s something in this giveaway for the family, something for the kids, and something for mom!

Eid Giveaway MarocMama

Let’s start with the kids 

I don’t know about you but I always struggled to find great books for my kids about Islam, Morocco, and Islamic holidays. Our libraries were lacking and what I found online was just poorly done. Thankfully this is changing. I had the opportunity to review the book Ilyas and Duck Search for Allah a few weeks ago. The book is really well illustrated and written in clear, easy to relate to English. Yes, this sounds like it should be obvious but I’ve been disappointed in plenty of books for this reason.

Ilyas and Duck Search for Allah

My kids were a little old for this book, though my youngest was interested. It’s a great read for kids in the 2-6 year old range. Really one of the best picture books I’ve seen when it comes to Islamic topics. So one lucky winner of this giveaway will get their own copy of the book! If you want to follow as new books are released be sure to like Ilyas and Duck on Facebook and Twitter.

For the Family

If you’ve been here for awhile you’ll know about my continuing partnership with Saffron Road Foods. They’re one of my favorite food companies and I’ve been a fan since their line launched. I always have dry things like their simmer sauces and chickpeas in my suitcase to restock my kitchen. I was thrilled to find a box of their newest frozen entrees on the porch shortly after I arrived in the US.

Saffron Road Korean Tacos

The first thing I tried were the Korean Style Tacos. Don’t you love the food truck packaging? I loved the detail of the founder Adnan as the bus driver! I usually think anything heated in the microwave is subpar but was really happy with how good these were. You know it’s good when your 10 year old is asking for his own!

Ingredient Lists


Even though these products are convenience food they’re made without chemicals and “food” items that can’t be pronounced. Just to show you an example I snapped a picture of the ingredient list (it’s the top image) and then dug through my mom’s freezer to find something else with a label to compare. Now you’re wondering what’s that other label for? Bread. It’s for flatbreads. Crazy isn’t it?

So to share my love of Saffron Road I’m giving you a basket to make dinner time with your family more enjoyable!

Saffron Road Gift Basket


What’s in the basket?

  • coupons to pick out your own entrees at stores around the country that carry Saffron Road
  • Lamb Broth
  • a package of Falafel Crunchy Chickpeas and Chipotle Crunchy Chickpeas
  • 6 assorted Simmer Sauces
  • an apron and;
  • wooden cooking utensils

Awesome right? Visit the Saffron Road Facebook page and Pinterest page for lots of mealtime inspiration.

For You

This is a gift from me to you. Over the last year I’ve heard a lot about Stitch Fix. If you haven’t it’s basically a mail order personal shopper. As frequently as you’d like (as much as every 3 weeks) a personal stylist selects 5 pieces of clothing or accessories based off a profile you fill out. You get the box, try everything on, and choose what you’d like to keep. What you don’t want you mail back in a prepaid envelope. What you do want you simply pay for. If you don’t want anything, no problem – mail it all back. Each shipment has a $20 styling fee that is automatically applied to any purchase you make.  If you decide you want to keep everything in the box, you get the $20 credit plus 25% off your total.

I was hesitant to try this for a few reasons. First, I wear modest clothing. Surely to be fashionable they’d have no idea what I could or couldn’t wear. After filling out my profile and leaving detailed feedback (including a link to my Pinterest style board) I was absolutely thrilled to discover everything that was sent to me met my needs. So yes, if you wear hijab, they can send you cute, fashionable clothes. Second, how expensive was this going to be? I’ll be honest, I hate shopping. I tend to stick to the same things and since I’ve lost about 100 pounds I’m just unsure about what does or doesn’t work for me. I automatically gravitate to larger sizes that aren’t flattering because they’re just too big! So yes these clothes are more expensive than the Old Navy or Target clearance rack but they’re very well made and high quality. At this time in my life I’m more interested in investing in several pieces that are better quality than lots of cheap things.

So if you’re on the edge, here’s your chance. The winner of the giveaway will get a $20 Stitch Fix gift card to schedule your first fix! 

One optional entry (that actually gets you 5 entries!)  in the giveaway is to sign up and schedule your first fix – if you win you can use the gift card to cover your first purchase. If you already get Stitch Fix you can use the gift card for your styling fee or to purchase a piece.

There you have it. One lucky winner takes all!

Follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter entry form below to put your name in the drawing.  Wishing you lots of luck and a blessed final days of Ramadan!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: This giveaway is open to those with a US address. Signing up for Stitch Fix is done through an affiliate link. I’ll earn a small credit if you decide to sign up.

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Tips For Planning an Eid al Adha Party

planning an eid party

Eid is just around the corner! I am busy working on a guest post for My Halal Kitchen about what Eid preparations are like in Morocco.  The sheep have just started coming into the city and people are beginning to prepare. I’ve heard many butchers will close for the rest of the week and my kids have a holiday from school. Earlier this year, at the end of Ramadan my sister threw an Eid al Fitr party for us.  We were in the midst of packing and getting ready for our move and so between her and my mom they had a family party so we could still celebrate without the stress of hosting.  It was really wonderful. I know that there is a feeling of needing to go above and beyond for holidays but it is also very possible to create a wonderful day/evening without going over the top.

Lamb Kebabs

The star of the Eid al Adha table is of course the lamb. Instead of preparing it multiple ways (as is sometimes the case), stick with something easy.  Lamb kebabs marinate quickly and can be grilled outside or under the broiler. This recipe from Nom Nom Paleo was what Ashley used and there were no complaints – it was wonderful! You can certainly eat the lamb alone but she served it with both a pomegranate glaze (on the side) and a mint sauce (on the side).  I loved them both but the pomegranate glaze was exceptionally tasty!

Pomegranate Molasses

  • 4 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Place the pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice in a 4-quart saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the mixture has reduced to 1 cup, approximately 70 minutes. It should be the consistency of thick syrup. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the saucepan for 30 minutes. Transfer to a glass jar and allow to cool completely before covering and storing in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Mint sauce

  • 1/2 seedless cucumber peeled, seeded, and chopped (1cup)
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • Coarse Salt and Freshly ground white pepper to taste

Finely chop or grate the cucumber, mix into the yogurt and add lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Stir in mint and chill, covered, until serving.

Salad Quad

For the salad course it was a bit Moroccan traditional with hummus thrown in for good measure!  The salads served were;

I make hummus fairly regularly but Ashley added in a few ingredients that I normally don’t.  I loved the flavor!

Ashley’s Hummus

  • 2 cans chickpeas, Drained And Rinsed
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup tahini (sesame Paste)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, Peeled
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron thread, crumbled
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley or 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped, For Garnish

Combine all ingredients except for cilantro or parsley in a food processor and process until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.  This recipe does great a sweeter tasting hummus but it’s flavorful and a wonderful change up from traditional hummus!

Couscous and Bread

For the main dishes there was also couscous and vegetables. Instead of preparing couscous the traditional way, Ashley opted to use Bob’s Red Mill Couscous Rice, cooked in chicken broth and add some saffron for color. The vegetables were lightly seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and cumin and then roasted in the oven. Because this meal was all gluten-free she also made this bread that is our favorite recipe.

Easy Eid Table

I’m not sure who gets the decorating credit, my mom or sister, but it was easy and beautiful – and child safe – we had 5 of them roaming around!  The table was set with a plain white tablecloth and then paper napkins were used to create a little pattern.  Votive candles and lanterns worked for fun lighting and appearance.  Along with a big bouquet of flowers, and a camel teapot just for added flair. It’s really easy and inexpensive!

gluten free ghriba cookies

Who can forget dessert?!  I’m busy in Morocco making cookies for next week and I know these gluten-free ghriba will be on our table.  Ashley took a swing at them using my recipe with great results.  Almond, Vanilla, Preserved Lemon Ghriba are a unique take on their traditional counterparts but kids and and adults love them! My niece here pulls the almond centers out and eats them first!

Strawberry Shortcake

One more super simple dessert idea is to make shortcakes with fruit.  Use of the last of summer’s bounty or opt for some cooked down apples or pears in cinnamon and cardamom.  Shortcake mix can be bought in a box mix or can be easily made at home too. A little whipped cream and everyone is happy.

What’s on your Eid menu this year? Consider inviting over a family or someone that may be alone or in a difficult time to celebrate. It really can mean a lot!

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Creative Gift Ideas for Adults and Kids This Eid

Gift-giving is a tradition in Moroccan, and most Islamic cultures. You wouldn’t show up at someone’s home for dinner without a small gift for the hostess or children.  For Eid-al-Fitr, and Eid-al-Adha gifts take on a more celebratory role.  In Islamic countries the practice of gift giving during these holidays is largely based on giving children gifts.  It makes the event feel festive.  For children who have fasted the entire month of Ramadan (after which we celebrate Eid-al-Fitr) this is a token, a reward for their hard work and sacrifices. I have to admit it’s just in recent years that we’ve started to make the celebration of Eids more of a “big deal” by inviting family over and having small gifts for the kids. Since we are moving in two weeks, my sister has invited us (she’s not Muslim by the way) to her house for Eid dinner.

Eid Gift Ideas

If you’re hoping to celebrate in a bigger way this year here are some ideas from other bloggers to pique your interest;


Eid Gift Ideas Boys

My friend Amnah of, Little Life of Mine is kind of genius when it comes to her Eid gift bags.  I wish she was my auntie!  In this post she talks about some of the bags she has made for family members and her thought process as she puts them together.

If you’re like me then you could be at a complete loss as to what to get for older nieces and nephews that you have potentially spent quite a bit of time away from.  Amnah also faced this situation and opted for a sit down interview (ok not that serious!) with the kids to get a feel for what they like, and what they really weren’t into.  When in doubt – ask!  I think this point is especially true for older kids with specific tastes.

Eid Treat Bag

Do community members at your masjid hand-out treats to the kids on the Eid?  In some communities this is very common.  It reminds me of large family gatherings in Morocco for Eid when everyone brings something for the children of the family. Saira at Confessions of a Muslim Momaholic helps her kids make their own bags before Eid.  Then before the service they fill them with items that will keep them busy during prayers.  Aftewards they have a bag to take home their goodies too!

Eid Gift Bags

If your community doesn’t hand out treats for the kids wouldn’t that be a great tradition to start? Amnah has some really great, low-cost ideas to create gift bags en masse. You could tailor the contents for older kids and younger kids, but I’m sure that kids of any age would love to discover something special waiting for them on Eid.

Eid Lollipops

It’s a craft and a gift rolled into one!  Samantha at Life of a Mompreneur makes these fun chocolate lollipops and then wraps them in cello.  They can then be passed out as an Eid treat – just be sure to eat them first so they don’t melt! These might be a little fussy for a very small child to make but a great project for a 8+ year old to try with guidance.

Eid can take on a flavor of commercialsim too – just like any other holiday.  But, there are many ways to have a sustainable and holisitic holiday. Priscilla of Salam Mama has so many great suggestions such as; having a Mealess Monday (or other day) throughout the year, using leftover dates in creative ways, extend the Ramadan spirit of giving throughout the year, opt for gifting “green” gifts and spreading the love.  Her post contains some really fabulous ideas for a green Eid!

Eid Decorations

A Crafty Arab shares these great printables for Eid decorations.  There are some that could be used for home decorating and others for specializing treat bags or table decorations.

Food Gift Ideas

Ma’amoul – These cookies are popular in Ramadan too, but especially during Eid. In the Middle East there are special molds used to make these cookies but you can use shaped petit four pans to create unique shapes and designs. Life of a Mompreneur shares her easy recipe to create ma’amoul in an American stocked kitchen.

Checkerboard Cookies are some of my favorite.  I just love multi-colored cookies. I think these are a fun addition to any cookie plate.  Chef in Disguise has this recipe on her website.

Want to have a special breakfast treat either at the masjid or to send home with kids?  What about a breakfast pizza?  Summer Eid’s a great time to do this.  Simply bake the crusts and provide the frosting in a small container, and fruit in another.  This recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie will get you started.

Sheep Cake Pops.  Bakerella makes an adorable sheep cake pop.  You might want to save them for Eid al Adha but really is there any wrong time to make a sheep on a stick? No I didn’t think so.

Gift Ideas for Adults

Sometimes it’s all about the kids and adults get left out.  Especially for those of a “transitioning” age – say 17-22ish I think giving gifts is still applicable.  Really being generous to everyone is always appreciated.  Some ideas might include;

Hand painted tile coasters – awesome for a dorm or apartment. You can never have too many coasters.

Homemade Granola – Granola is so easy to make and almost everyone enjoys it.  You can inexpensively make a very large batch and divide it up.

Cookbooks!  For the new wife, or for someone who might be moving into their first apartment cookbooks can be a lifesaver.  I recently received a copy of Relish, by Daphne Oz. I was surprised with the layout of the book.  While it certainly has recipes (great recipes I might add!) it also has life sections. I really consider it a home ec course in a much more attractive and readable form.  She provides self-care tips, entertaining advice, and even some basic sewing tips.  I was really confused at first, but the more I looked at the book the more I realized this would be THE perfect book to give to a young adult, and/or newlywed bride.

A Few Others to Consider;


Will you be gifting anything special this year?  Share your ideas in the comments below!  

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Moroccan Eid Menu Planning

This year I’ve been seeing so many great posts sharing Eid menu plans, like this one from Holly of Arabic Zeal or this one from Hollie of Common Cents Mom. In the past I have done a post after our big Eid celebration but as I started to plan it made sense to instead share ideas early.  We will only be staying in New York until Sunday afternoon but I still plan to make breakfast and lunch to celebrate.  I am really hoping that this year will be a little more special than years’ past. Just being surrounded by a MUCH larger community will hopefully give a more holiday feel.

So here are some of my favorite recipe ideas for Eid Breakfast and Lunch. 


M’semmen always is a part of our Eid table.  I don’t make m’semmen very often anymore and I haven’t been able to finalize a good gluten-free version but the kids love it.

Earlier this month I shared a guest post on My Halal Kitchen for Moroccan style crepes.  What I love about this recipe is that it’s versatile.  You can stuff them with sweet or savory toppings.  Or make a mixture and have a crepe filling station for your guests.

If you want something that can be assembled and tossed into the oven in the morning this Apple Pear Galette might be the perfect option. This version includes cheese but you can easily omit it.

Other Breakfast Ideas:

  • Harcha
  • Beghrir 
  • Fruit Salad
  • Scrambled Egg Station – include toppings like cheese, meats, sauteed vegetables, etc.

Eid Lunch/Dinner Ideas

In late summer soup is not something highly sought after.  This shrimp soup is light and unique.

This is quite possibly the most delicious “set it and forget it” style recipes. Traditionally cooked in a coal burning oven or in an underground oven mechoui is a delicious addition to any Eid table.

Beef or Lamb Tagine with Prunes is celebration food in Morocco. It’s served on Eid tables, at weddings and birth celebrations. The combination of sweet and savory in this dish is not appealing to some but, after the first bite they can’t put down their bread.


Amalou Cookies

I like to make these amalou cookies for guests because of how unique they are.  You won’t find them in a bakery (it’s my own recipe), and they are a little work but the results are worth it.

If you’re looking for more recipes stop by Pinterest and browse my Appetizer, Breakfast, EidMoroccan Food, and Desserts boards.

What’s on your menu?

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Who’s ready to party? We’re starting to get into the holiday spirit with Eid right around the corner. Last year I did a special giveaway with Silver Envelope, a great online store that offers Islamic stationary such as Eid greeting cards, Ramadan party supplies and everything that you need for a birthday party or other celebrations. I’m excited to again partner with Silver Envelope this year to offer you a chance to win some greeting cards. With Eid only a couple days away this is going to be a quick giveaway. Instead of telling you everything about these cards I’m going to post some pictures to show you how lovely these cards are. There will be a winner for each of the cards, totaling 5 chances to win!


Haji Noor Eid cards


Silver embossed Eid cards


Flying High Eid cards


Zellij kids color-in check-off cards

Blue Diamonds Eid cards

How to enter

– Leave a comment answering: How do you connect with friends and loved ones during the holidays?

Additional entries (leave a seperate comment letting me know which you’ve done)
– Follow Silver Envelope on Facebook
– Follow MarocMama on Pinterest

Gveaway ends at midnight Monday August 13th

Open to US residents. Winner will be notified Tuesday August 14th for shipping address.

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I have been meaning to get this recipe up for sometime but kept having other things to put up instead!  This is generally made during Eid al Adha in Morocco.  While I have never eaten it (I don’t do organs) MarocBaba and even M do like it.  The first meal of Eid al Adha in Morocco always includes all of the items that don’t freeze well such as the liver, heart, and kidneys.  The rest of the sheep is hung up so that the meat partially dries.  The dish that everyone waits and looks forward to is boulfaf.  L’faf in Moroccan means “to roll with something inside,” which is exactly what boulfaf is.  The recipe is very simple but Eid just wouldn’t be the same without it.

Boulfaf – Grilled Lamb Liver


  • 2 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika (use cayenne pepper if you like heat)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 lamb liver
  • Strips of caul fat


  • Place the liver in a grill basket and place it on a hot grill. Leave the liver for 10 to 15 – it should be cooked through. In some parts of Morocco they boil the liver until cooked. The reason for this is to remove the metallic taste from the organ.
  • The caul fat is the lacy fat that surrounds some of the interior organs. This is used to wrap the cooked liver. To prepare the caul fat it is removed from the sheep. A clean white sheet is hung on a clothes line and the the fat is draped and clipped – just like hanging up clothes. It is then left for several hours to stiffen. Once removed the strips are rolled like a cigar and ½ pieces are cut.
  • Mix all of the spices together. Cut the liver into bite-size cubes and sprinkle with the spice mixture, then wrap each with a piece of the fat. Slide onto a metal skewer.
  • When all of the liver has been used, place the skewers back on the grill. DO NOT do this inside of the house (such as in a grill pan). The melting fat will cause smoke – sometimes a lot of smoke. This should only take a few minutes to melt some of the fat.
  • Serve hot with the same spice mixture as a condiment. Guests can add more depending on their preference. Moroccans eat boulfaf with pieces of Moroccan bread.
  • In Morocco every family shares skewers of their boulfaf with neighbors to share part of their sheep. In the Moroccan spirit of hospitality for every skewer you give, chances are good you’ll get two in return!


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vegetarian eid soup

Eid al Adha is right around the corner (Sunday) and is perhaps most well known as the “sheep holiday”.  Muslim families purchase a live ram and on the morning of Eid sacrifice the animal.  This is done as a remembrance of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son on God’s command.  At the last minute God replaced Ismail with a ram.  After the sacrifice families separate the ram into three parts; one for themselves, one to share with friends or family and one to donate to the poor.

Many women pride themselves on creating a wonderful meal on Eid, making many dishes that only make an appearance for this holiday.  One obvious staple is plenty of sheep.  This year we’re not making our own sacrificing but allowing a relative in Morocco to do the sacrifice for us.  We’ve consciously cut out a lot of red meat from out diet and neither MarocBaba or I would eat enough of the meat over the year to warrant buying one.  Frankly, I’m still pretty full of meat from our trip last month.  This got me thinking about others who are either vegetarian or just don’t like mutton.  There generally aren’t a lot of options for them on the Eid table.

I created this very healthy and filling soup to fill the void.  I used Saffron Road broth to speed up the cooking time and add a really great flavor.  I love Saffron Road because all of their products are halal and completely natural, but also many of them are gluten free.  I stopped using canned or boxed broths awhile ago because of the high sodium levels and blah taste but Saffron Road broths are really different – so much flavor.

There is a little bit of prep work to make this recipe but it’s well worth it.

Pre-cut all vegetables (love the purple potatoes don't you)

Gnocchi can be made ahead of time and frozen until ready to use.


Vegetable and Ricotta Gnocchi Soup


    Ingredients for Soup:
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • 4 carrots chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 zucchini chopped
  • 1-2 small to medium potatoes
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1 1/2 cartons Saffron Road Vegetable Broth (if not wholly Vegetarian the Chicken Broth is great too)
  • salt, pepper, cumin for seasoning at the end
  • For the Ricotta Gnocchi
  • 3 cups of AP unbleached flour + more for dusting
  • 32 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c parmesan cheese


  • To make the gnocchi start by placing the ricotta in a strainer or on top of cheesecloth suspended over a bowl. This is to drain any excess water out of the cheese - leave for 30-60 minutes.
  • In a stand mixer add 2 cups of flour and the parmesan cheese. Mix using the flat beater. Once the ricotta is strained add this to the flour along with the eggs. Mix on a low speed to combine everything, adding the final cup of flour as the mixture combines.
  • The gnocchi will be ready when it has a thick and slightly sticky consistency. Chill for 20 minutes before rolling.
  • Remove from refrigerator and pull off a ball of dough. Dust a flat, clean work surface with flour and roll the dough into the shape of a snake. You can make it as fat or thin as you'd like. I make mine about the size of a dime. Cut off pieces of the dough about every 1/2 inch. Use a fork to make a depression on the tops of each one.
  • Set aside in a single layer. If you don't plan to use all of them they can be put on a cookie sheet and flash frozen for 30 minutes, removed and stored in a freezer - safe ziploc bag.
  • Making the Soup
  • (I like to do all of the prep work first and then add ingredients as needed)
  • Prepare the lentils by soaking in warm water for 30 - 60 minutes before cooking. The longer you leave them to soak the faster they will cook. Peel the carrots, potatoes and zucchini and cut into small cubes - keep them separate from each other because they will be added to the pot at different times.
  • In a heavy bottom pan or dutch oven add the olive oil and garlic and turn on medium/high heat. When it starts to sizzle pour some of the Saffron Road broth into the pot.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and add the rest of the carton of broth. Drain the lentils and add them, as well as the potatoes and carrots.
  • Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium. Allow to cook 45 minutes and check the tenderness of the lentils and vegetables. If tender, add the 1/2 carton of broth and the zucchini and peas.
  • Place another pot of water to boil (for the gnocchi) at this point. Once it boils add the gnocchi. It will only take a few minutes to cook and you will be able to tell it's done when they float.
  • Remove from the water with a slotted spoon, add a small amount of the cooking water to keep them from clumping.
  • Serve the soup and gnocchi in separate bowls, encouraging guests to take the amount they would like of each. This will help with any leftovers there might be as the gnocchi tend to break down if left in liquid. Top each bowl with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Here are some of the other great things Saffron Road has going on around the web this Eid;

Great deals on their products at Whole Foods and Kroger nationwide!

A giveaway for a copy of Clean Your Kitchen Green from Yvonne of My Halal Kitchen and free product coupons on their Facebook page.

Speaking of My Halal Kitchen – make sure you check out these two posts to get ready for Eid too!

Follow Saffron Road on Twitter and Facebook for updates and new product releases.  Visit their website to find your local grocery stores that carry Saffron Road products.
What’s on your menu for Eid?  Do you have other meat-free ideas to share with other readers?
Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post however I did receive free Saffron Road products to create this recipe.  

   This recipe has been linked to FaveDiets November Blog Hop.  

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