Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Recently Discovered, Snacks, Sweets, The Food Allergies, Uncategorized

Costco Haul: July 2017

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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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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