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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Recently Discovered

National Oatmeal Cookie Day

Today is National Oatmeal Cookie Day…

I have only two holidays marked on my calendar every year, but being a foodie, I was surprised to have just learned of this national celebration. I love oatmeal cookies anytime, all the time, everyday. Although I don’t personally think there is a need to allocate a day for oatmeal cookie appreciation, I will commemorate the National Oatmeal Cookie Day with this easy no-bake recipe. It isn’t an oatmeal cookie, but good for those who don’t like oatmeal cookies yet want to join in on the festivities. As usual, swap out the marshmallows with halal or vegan ones, use dairy-free butter, and also dairy-free chocolate for this no bake bar.

http://www.bhg.com/recipe/chocolate-coconut-and-almond-bars-1/

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Recently Discovered

DIY Vegan Cheddar Cheese

What do you do when you have a food craving and don’t have that food item in your house or a crucial ingredient is missing? You do-it-yourself (make-it-yourself in this case)! I wanted to make cheesy Mac, but didn’t have the Daiya cheddar cheese in the fridge nor did I want to drive to the grocery store. Most recipes for homemade vegan cheese require cashews or some other nut. Since nuts are an absolute life threat in my household, I had to find an alternative. So, I just winged it and came up with this very tasty cheddar cheese. I wasn’t particular with the measuring and ended up having a great amount leftover, so I also ate some of this homemade cheese with quinoa tortilla chips afterwards. Delicious!

Ingredients:

  1. Carrots (6 peeled and boiled baby carrots)
  2. Potatoes (2 peeled and boiled)
  3. Nutritional yeast (1 cup)
  4. Salt (1/4 tsp)
  5. Garlic (1 clove or 1 tsp of garlic powder)
  6. Water (1 cup)

I threw all ingredients into my high speed blender and this is the end product.   

  

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Recently Discovered

Whipped Cream

I recently discovered dairy-free whipped cream! Rice whipped cream (for those gluten-free or soy-free folks) or soy whipped cream. Whether it is for your hot chocolate or to top off your desserts, it is vegan and halal so indulge yourself! 

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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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Breakfast, Recently Discovered, Snacks

Tasty Dairy-free Cream Cheese

The New Yorker in me couldn’t help but to buy this and of course ate it with…a bagel. I was happy when I found this at Trader Joe’s for less than $3. I was happier (and relieved) that I didn’t have to trek to that very well known, very expensive natural foods store to buy a dairy-free product. This product gets two thumbs up from me and one of my children. I already have plans to make dairy-free cheesecake, dairy-free cream frosting, and…

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Recently Discovered, Snacks, Sweets

Are these Fig Newtons?

I was at Trader Joe’s and something caught my eye. A sign that said $1.99 Fig Bites. I’ve been down that particular isle in the past and I never noticed this delicious snack that I so loved as a kid. They were called Fig Newtons when I was a little girl in New York City. I remember loving how their “cookie” looked different than any cookie in the supermarket at that time. Their shape, color, and taste blew me away. They were also packaged in such neat rows, which appealed to my mini-OCD personality self.

Aside from the sticker price being extremely nice, there weren’t any of our food allergens listed. I unabashedly put it in my shopping basket, even though it was not on my shopping list. I was with my children and one of kids asked me if there were any allergens listed in the ingredients. I happily said “No” and opened them immediately after we purchased them (actually, I waited until we were in the car with our tinted windows before I ate 3 fig bites. I shared it with them, too, they loved them! These fig bites receive all positive reviews from this team.

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(I actually finished the first package so quickly before I could take a picture. So, this is the second package that I bought to take this picture and eat…)

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