Dinner, Lunch, Snacks, The Food Allergies, Uncategorized

National French Fries Day


All self-proclaimed Foodies love eating great food. We’re not in the habit of making up holidays around food. We truly appreciate food daily. However, I would be doing a disservice to Foodies everywhere if I didn’t inform you (albeit late in the day) that July 13th is French Fries Day. This day does not mean we have a green light to eat French Fries all day long. Because we can eat fries all day long any day of the year, I just want to discuss the history of the French Fry. The French Fry didn’t even orignate from France. A very long time ago, the Belgians fried small pieces of potatoes when their small fish that they typically fried was not accessible to fry (sounds like an Allergic Halal Foodie move finding substitutions for your food “restrictions”).  English speaking folks saw and heard this and thought it was French language and cuisine and thus we have the name, French Fry.

The relevance for an Allergic Halal Foodie is that not all French Fries from real potatoes are edible. I say real potatoes because not all French Fries are from 100% potatoes.  Watch a video here of partial potato French Fries.  Are McDonald’s fries halal? No, because of the non-halal beef that is included in their fries. What type of oil were the fries fried in and what was previously fried in that same oil are questions to ask before you grab your bottle of ketchup, or vegan aioli, or vegan mayo, or halal chili, or…

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Dinner, Lunch, Snacks

Fried Chicken Bites

Who doesn’t love fried chicken?!?! If you have dairy or egg allergies, you are used to hearing fried chicken recipes using egg or buttermilk as a binding agent for the flour coating. Even the store-bought fried chicken or restaurants have allergens that keep me away. Believe me, I have looked and am always looking for convenient and good food! Hence my solution is to make it myself. I discovered that cooking up this halal, dairy-free, egg-free dish when I’m craving fried chicken was my best option. This super easy recipe can be easily paired with anything or nothing and it is still delicious. Watch out because you might find yourself eating this more frequently than expected (Ok, maybe that’s just me…).  

Ingredients:

Raw boneless and skinless chicken breasts

Flour

Soy milk (or any dairy-free milk)

Salt (and/or optional multi-seasoning)

Oil

Preparation:

Cut up the chicken breast into small pieces of your size preference. Season the chicken pieces to your taste.  Put flour into one bowl with a dash of salt and stir. Put soy milk (or any dairy-free milk of choice) into another bowl. Pour oil into a frying pan and heat up the oil in the frying pan on your stovetop. Dip each of the chicken pieces into the dairy-free milk then dip into the flour. Dip each chicken piece again into the dairy-free milk and then dip each piece again into the flour. Shake off excess flour of each piece and then place each chicken piece into the hot oil. Fry on each side evenly. When each side has reached the desirable shade of brown, remove from the fried chicken pieces from the hot oil, placing the fried chicken pieces onto a plate with a towel to catch any oil underneath. Then towel blot the top of all chicken pieces to absorb any excess oil. 

This doesn’t taste as delicious when it is reheated in the oven. Tastes best when eaten hot, but then again there usually aren’t leftovers to reheat when you make these chicken bites…
  
 

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Dinner, Lunch, Recently Discovered

Dairy-free mozzarella cheese

I love cheese. I could blame the lasting effects of French colonization and its influence on my heritage or it could just simply be that foods taste so good with cheese. I do have dairy cheese in my house, but because of the allergies in my household, I always stock dairy-free cheese. Which one is best? There are so many choices for dairy-free cheese. I know, because I have purchased and tried most of them. I usually buy Daiya’s dairy-free cheese products. They have a variety of styles  (shredded, slices, block, wedges, etc) and flavors (mozzarella, cheddar, provolone, etc). I typically purchase Daiya products at Whole Foods, but when I saw that Trader Joe’s now sells a dairy-free mozzarella shredded cheese for less than $3.50, I was elated! I still buy Daiya products (which are never less than $5), but love the idea that a convenient, cheaper option exists.

It was almost hidden. I regularly frequent Trader Joe’s and I am always on the lookout for new and edible products. I even check different Trader Joe’s locations, as they tend to stock based on customer demand. Initially, I always only noticed that they have a soy-cheese alternative block style, but it isn’t dairy-free. It has dairy in it. This dairy-free shredded mozzarella package is located among the other packages of dairy cheese shreds.

I use it in a variety of ways like for pizza, manicotti, salad toppings, lasagna, even Alfredo sauce when I don’t have dairy-free parmesan cheese in stock. Enjoy!

  

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Dinner, Lunch

Extra Chipotle rice, please?

Undoubtedly, the rice at Chipotle is delicious with whatever other food item you choose to add from their menu. It is so good that I always ask them if I can please have extra rice. The variety of facial and verbal responses that I have received from their server staff doesn’t deter me from asking for more rice each time I go to Chipotle. The long lines don’t deter me. The recent price increase doesn’t deter me, either. I really like the white and brown options they offer. I just had to find out if I could have this rice at the drop of a dime, at any moment. I can and you can, too.  This extremely easy recipe makes you feel like a professional chef (or at least a chef who can work at Chipotle)!

Ingredients:

  • Jasmine rice (3 cups)
  • Oil (2 tbsp)
  • Salt (1 tsp)
  • Fresh cilantro (1/4 cup)
  • Lime or lemon (1/2)

I will preface the steps for making this rice by saying that I always use a rice cooker to cook white or brown rice. I never successfully learned how to make rice in a pot on the stovetop nor do I have plans to master that skill.  Rice cookers are an absolute required appliance (and nice convenience) in my life.

Add the uncooked rice, 1 tbsp oil, and salt to the rice cooker pot and press cook. Finely chop the fresh cilantro. I never chopped cilantro before, so I admit that I just chopped everything (including the stem) and it is fine and aesthetically acceptable in this rice. Then squeeze 1/2 of a lime (through a strainer or sieve to avoid seeds in your rice!). Add this lime juice to your cilantro with a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp oil. Stir the cilantro, salt, oil, and lime juice. Add this cilantro mix to your cooked rice. Fluff rice with a fork and enjoy.

*You can tweak the cilantro mix and add more or less of any ingredient, if you want more of a particular flavor. I didn’t want my rice turning too green from the cilantro mix, so I didn’t put too much cilantro. I also didn’t want a strong lime flavor, so I used 1/2 a small lime instead of a whole lime.

 
Pair this with whatever you desire or eat alone (but why would you not eat it with chicken, or steak, and beans, and lettuce and…).


Quick and easy, but mostly delicious!

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