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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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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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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Snacks, Sweets, Uncategorized

Chocolate Rice Crispy Treat

What happens when you mix chocolate rice cereal, dairy-free and allergen-free butter, and halal marshmallow? You get a delectable classic rice crispy treat.

Ingredients:

  1. Chocolate rice cereal (I chose this brown rice cereal with less guilt)
  2. Halal and allergen free marshmallows (I usually use either one of those two brands) 
  3. Dairy-free and allergen-free butter

Recipe:  

Melt allergen-free butter and marshmallows (in a pot on the stove or microwave). Pour chocolate rice cereal into the melted marshmallows. Pat down and shape with a silicone spatula. Cool in fridge. Eat and enjoy!

**I chose to shape these treats in a casserole dish and then I cut them into squares. I also didn’t list the quantity of ingredients used because you can tailor this simple recipe to your taste. I used less rice cereal than marshmallows because I never had halal marshmallows when I was a young girl. I really don’t need to explain how I subconsciously try to make up for lost times…**

These were my results.

  

You can see the excess of white marshmallows. If this isn’t your desired result, just add more chocolate rice cereal to the melted mixture before the batch hardens and before placing in the fridge.

 

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Snacks, Sweets

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I love oatmeal raisin cookies, especially with a sandwich, or with a glass of cold milk, or with a cup of hot chocolate, or as an anytime of the day snack. I am particularly a fan of the chewy, soft oatmeal raisin cookie without nuts. I have mostly gobbled down oatmeal cookies that have eggs and/or dairy butter as an ingredient.  I have tasted a few vegan oatmeal raisin cookies, but those usually contained nuts or weren’t as tasty nor chewy.  I found the best vegan oatmeal raisin cookie and it is located at Trader Joe’s.  Bravo to Trader Joe’s for accurately naming this cookie Chewy, chunky oatmeal raisin cookie. It is a perfect title. Notice how they put vegan inconspicuously on the label, too? It is probably because vegan foods typically have the reputation of not being as delicious as its non-vegan counterpart. 

The additional good news is that the bag contains a very generous amount of cookies for a very low price. Check out the pictures. And yes, the bag is empty less than 24hours after purchase. I really love oatmeal raisin cookies…

  

 

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Snacks

Cheesy snack

Call it however you would like (Cheesy crackers, Cheez-its, Goldfish crackers, Cheese squares, etc), but everyone can appreciate and crave a cheddar cheese snack or binge.  These Earth Balance Vegan Cheddar Flavor Squares have succeeded in creating a delicious cheesy snack.  I initially purchased this for my children when I saw this at our favorite expensive natural food store.  Since I don’t have a dairy allergy, I decided that I should have the honor of taste testing and comparing it to the dairy cheese snacks before I offer it to my children. Unabashedly, I ate the whole box.  In my defense the box isn’t that big (based on my foodie standards) and they taste great, without the junk food guilt! Luckily, I had another box and the children loved them, too.

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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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