Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Ramadan, Recently Discovered, Snacks, Sweets, Uncategorized

Costco Haul: June 2017

When I first heard of the big box stores that sold bulk items, I immediately thought that those stores existed only for business owners or rich people. Then I moved to California when I got married. I became my husband’s plus one (+1) to his Costco account. Since you only get one extra Costco membership card without any additional fees, I felt honored to have access to this store. I couldn’t wait to see what products were sold and what was the big deal (literally and figuratively). Once inside I immediately noticed how there is something for everyone in this huge store. If you are newbie shopper or a frequent shopper at Costco, it can get overwhelming.  I want to spotlight some items that you may not have noticed.

1. Organic non-dairy milk. As you know, an Allergic Halal Foodie is dairy free. Most likely you will drink non-dairy milk when eating your cookies. There is a lot of allergy safe cookie eating in an Allergic Halal Foodie’s life, so why not save time and money by buying your dairy-free beverage at Costco. It has a long shelf life, too.

2. Organic dates. With Ramadan this month, this item is a handy addition to your Costco shopping list. They’re organic and delicious. It is sunnah for the fasting Muslim to break their fast with dates and water. Not interested in sunnah practices of breaking your fast with dates, you have plenty of ways to eat dates like this homemade Twix bar that uses the dates for the caramel. Yum!

3. Organic maple syrup. The uses of maple syrup is vast. In addition to using it to drizzle onto homemade dairy free Belgian waffles, I like to use it for quick allergy friendly barbeque (equal parts of ketchup and maple syrup) and teriyaki (equal parts of soy sauce and maple syrup) sauces. Yes, it is really that simple to make those 2 sauces.

4. Halal Lamb Roast. Sometimes you can’t or don’t want to make an extra trip to your halal butcher. Alternatively, Costco has halal meat! It doesn’t get any sweeter than that…

5. Organic pasta. Most “gourmet” pastas have egg. Costco has an organic pack of pasta that is egg-free. True foodies know that there are endless options with pasta meals. 

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Breakfast, Ramadan, Uncategorized

Pre-dawn (Suhoor) Ramadan Menu

The pre-dawn meal called suhoor is eaten  before the Islamic dawn prayer Fajr. In addition to this meal being mandatory before one starts fasting each day during the month of Ramadan, there are blessings just in eating it. Make sure to load this meal with protein, fiber, fruits and vegetables, as well as hydrate yourself with water.  So don’t skimp on this meal as it provides you with blessing and feul for your day. 

  • Fruit and protein wrap. Take a flatbread and spread nut-free butter of your choice (I use this  soy nut butter because of a nut allergy). Slice some fruit and place on top of the nut-free butter. Sprinkle some cinnamon then roll it up to eat it as a food wrap or fold it in half and eat with a knife and fork. If you don’t have any flat bread, you can use any slice bread. Cut off the crusts of the bread slices and then use a rolling pin to make flat.
  • Bran muffins are a great source of fiber that you can easily make dairy-free with this recipe or buy them at the store. 
  • Oatmeal is a healthy suhoor staple  that is easy and filling. You can prepare your oatmeal and toppings in advance and just add your dairy-free milk and heat when ready to eat. Here are some DIY oatmeal packet ideas
  • Smoothies are a great way to get in protein, fruits, veggies, and liquids.  The picture is an apple, spinach, and ginger smoothie. Super easy and delicious. Add your dairy-free yogurt or dairy-free protein powder and you’ll have a quenching pre-dawn fiesta in your mouth.
  • Water. Simple, yet essential for suhoor. Make sure to include at least 2 cups of water before you start your fast. Not a fan of water, try drinking it room temperature or try putting some fruit slices for flavor.

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    Ramadan, Snacks, Sweets, Uncategorized

    Watermelon Appreciation


    July is National Watermelon Month. I am not surprised. This very juicy fruit was hydrating during Ramadan and remains a symbol of summer. However, all self-proclaimed Foodies know that we don’t need to wait for a particular month to appreciate any food. Foodies appreciate food anytime and all of the time. If you’re allergic to watermelons or simply don’t like watermelons (like me), you can still join in on the watermelon appreciation month festivities by serving it to others. There are blessings in feeding others.

    Here is a cool video on conveniently cutting that watermelon: youtu.be/LR6FNkC9U5s

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    Dinner, Ramadan, Uncategorized

    Ramadan Iftar Menu

    There are a plethora of choices for the fasting Allergic Halal Foodie to eat for Iftar. Below are a few starters:

    • Dates. It is sunnah to break your fast with dates and water. Dates are a superfood and water is hydrating. 
    • Stuffed grape leaves with halal ground beef or lamb. Rice and meat wrapped in grape leaves sounds simple, yet deliciously meets the protein, carb, and veggie requirement. Make sure to use a dairy-free butter if you’re making these on your own or always inquire about the ingredients with the chef.
    • Soup. This is a easy dish with a wide range of options. Throw in water, seasoning, olive oil, veggies, and a protein of choice and you have a savory meal for Iftar. Hard pressed for ideas, here is a twist on a classic chicken soup recipe. 
    • Rice and beans. This a heavier dish than you think. It is a staple in my maternal heritage. The beans alone  provide a great source of fiber and protein, but go ahead and add your choice of additional protein like chicken or meat.
    • Kebabs. Pair with salad, couscous, bread, and even some plaintains and you’ll have a complete meal. If you’re not making the kebabs at home, make sure to ask the chef if the chicken or meat was marinated in yogurt.
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      Ramadan, Uncategorized

      The Fasting Allergic Halal Foodie

      The month of Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar.  For the entire month of Ramadan, it is a requirement for able Muslims to refrain from doing several things, particularly eating food and drinking beverages while the sun is up. The fasting Muslim eats a pre-dawn meal called suhoor. It is eaten before the Islamic dawn prayer called Fajr. Muslims resume eating and drinking (sometimes it’s often said “break their fast”) with something light at sunset, the time of the Islamic sunset prayer called Maghrib. It is Islamic tradition to break the fast with dates and water.  After Maghrib prayer, the evening meal called iftar is eaten. 

      The Allergic Halal Foodie fasts the same way as all Muslims except with the additional precautions of avoiding food allergens. The food allergens that are typically nuts, dairy, peanuts, egg, fish, and seafood tend to make its way into most of nutrient rich foods that one would want to eat before fasting. 

      Here is a sample day of fasting for an Allergic Halal Foodie:

      1. Eat suhoor before dawn. Include proteins and good fats like avocados, meat, and dairy-free protein packed smoothies. 
      2. Drink lots of water before you start fasting.
      3. Pray Fajr prayer.
      4. At sunset, break your fast with water and dates (or tea and something sweet like dairy-free pastry).
      5. Pray Maghrib prayer.
      6. Eat iftar and include proteins and good fats like quinoa, olive oil, and meat.
      7. Hydrate with water and hydrating fruits during the night before sleeping.

      Give yourself enough time to eat the suhoor and enjoy it, too. Don’t just grab a nut-free granola bar. Make that suhoor a complete and tasty meal, as there is additional blessing in eating suhoor.

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