It should probably go without saying that The Halal Guys serves tasty, halal food. However, I just had my first experience with this eatery with my husband and kids. I was amazed that my kids with food allergies could eat almost everything on the menu. The food allergens that we avoid are egg, dairy, nuts, seafood, peanuts, and fish. We were recently in Southern California and we stopped into The Halal Guys. We had to ask our typical rundown of questions (i.e., what type of oil do you use? what are the ingredients used to make that dish? etc…). I was pleasantly surprised that peanut oil wasn’t used and there was only one item (other than the obvious off limits baklava) that was off limits due to the egg yolk content. Even though I am from NYC and live in the SF Bay Area, which are both full of The Halal Guys locations, I had never been or tasted their delicious dishes. If you’re in the mood for tasty, quick, and halal (and food allergy friendly) food, check out a location near you. Always ask about your food allergens as each location may have a slightly different menu. Bon Appetit!
There are always great finds at Costco. Even though I shop at various grocery stores to complete my grocery shopping list, the bulk (literally and figuratively) of the items on my list are at Costco. What does an Allergic Halal Foodie need that isn’t from a health food store and doesn’t break the bank? Well, take a peek here at July’s Costco haul.
- Organic Raisins. Two huge bags of organic raisins for your delight are available at Costco. I like to put them in my couscous, oatmeal, and homemade dairy- and nut-free trail mixes.
- Nature’s Path Organic Cereal Flakes. How do you take grains like spelt, barley, and more and make it into a very tasty cereal? Nature’s Path successfully found a way. Plus this cereal has a great amount of protein. Add the organic raisins that you just purchased from Costco and you will have a high protein and healthier “Raisin Bran”-ish cereal. I also add these flakes to a homemade trail mix.
- Organic Blueberries. Blueberries are so great and nutritious. My kids loved blueberries since infancy. There is a good size list of things to eat with your blueberries. If you are not sure where to start your blueberry path, here is a dairy- and egg-free recipe for blueberry muffins.
- Organic Quinoa. Typically expensive for a small box, this huge bag of quinoa is the best deal around. The amount of protein along with its health benefits makes this item always on the Costco list.
- Organic Ketchup. What else goes well with sweet potato fries, halal chicken bites, and meat patties? Ketchup and lots of it! You get a twin pack of big organic ketchup bottles at a price that is unmatched elsewhere.
At some point, an Allergic Halal Foodie may experience not being in the mood to cook. Although it is the safest and most assuring option to cook your own meals, it is a completely normal sentiment to not want to cook. It is essential to not feel restricted because of your dietary restrictions. To assist with this potential dilemma, I’ll post takeout food options on Tuesdays.
This Tuesday’s Takeout Food is Saffron Road. Frozen food for an Allergic Halal Foodie?!?! Yes, frozen food is an option. Who says takeout food has to come from a restaurant? My definition of takeout food is prepared food that is eaten outside of the place where it was prepared. Saffron Road is 100% halal and has a variety of products for people with food allergies. Their takeout frozen food products have the ingredients clearly listed as well as highlight the common food allergens. Also, check out their website for product details and locations. Don’t be surprised to see that some of the product locations include the whole gamut from specialty grocery stores to the big chain supermarkets. If you really want to maximize your takeout food experience, have the groceries delivered to you from the grocery store. Many stores offer same delivery. Enjoy your takeout food!
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.
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.
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!
- Carrots (6 peeled and boiled baby carrots)
- Potatoes (2 peeled and boiled)
- Nutritional yeast (1 cup)
- Salt (1/4 tsp)
- Garlic (1 clove or 1 tsp of garlic powder)
- Water (1 cup)
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!
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…
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.
(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…)