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. 

Standard
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.

    881d7a45d1c9708b30b93608f3b05c92412f6e2e62b59efe7d

    Standard
    Dinner, Lunch, Uncategorized

    Mac & Cheese Haul

    Sometimes you don’t want to make something from scratch. Macaroni and cheese is one of those dishes that is typically made from scratch and has a distinct homemade taste. This distinct taste of this classic dish can be made dairy-free without skimping on the deliciousness.  It doesn’t have to be one or the other. In this case, you can have both. Justifiable if you want to cheat a little bit, but not with the flavor or risk of eating something that tastes horrible. 

    Here are the various “not-from-scratch” dairy-free Mac & Cheese options that exist and meet the Allergic Halal Foodie standards:

    Daiya Macaroni & Cheese. This is a great option because you don’t have to melt the cheese. This mac & cheese box includes the uncooked pasta and cheese sauce packet. The cheese sauce is extremely cheesy, eliminating the work of adding dairy-free butter, dairy-free milk, and any other extra cooking steps. Just boil the pasta and add the cheese sauce and you’re done! You do have the option to use their elbow pasta included or swap it out for your own preferred pasta shape. Decisions, decisions…

    Earth Balance Macaroni & Cheese is a nice choice for boxed mac and cheese. You can use their dairy-free butter, too, for the recipe.

    Amy’s Frozen Macaroni & Cheese is great because all you need is a microwave and patience of about five minutes. It makes it to the top of the list because of pure convenience.  They also use Daiya cheese, which is a plus and adds to the familiar great taste. The extra special bonus with frozen dairy-free mac and cheese is that you can quickly turn it into baked dairy-free mac & cheese by putting it into the oven in an oven safe dish. Dare to sprinkle some bread crumbs on top beforehand and you might be amazed with the quality results.

    Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese is a product in their line of products that is vegan and dairy-free. It comes with an already cheesy sauce included with the uncooked pasta. This line includes a gluten free option, too. 

    For some variety you can cook some halal ground beef with tomatoes or in a marinara sauce and add it to your boxed dairy-free mac and cheese of choice. It will become your beef and cheesy mac, beeferoni, mac and cheese with beef, beef chili mac and cheese without the beans, etc (or whatever is your preferred name for the dish). It all adds up to tasty halal food for the allergic foodie.

    Standard
    Dinner, Lunch, Uncategorized

    Eid ul Adha Lamb Leftovers

    Eid ul Adha is synonomous with several things, but it is most notably associated with lamb. Eid ul Adha literally translates into the celebration of the sacrifice (referring to the sacrifice that Ibrahim a.s. almost made with his son). If you have celebrated this holiday, you will have purchased a whole halal lamb that was slaughtered the day of Eid. Presumably you have given a third of the lamb meat to the needy, a third of the lamb meat for friends and extended family, and the keep the remaining third of the lamb meat for yourself. Wherever you get your 1/3 lamb, that portion is still a nice amount of lamb. 

    Lamb meat not going away anytime soon? Want to diversify the menu while not quickly getting tired lamb? Here are some lamb dishes (dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, seafood-free) to add to your menu while your lamb supply is high:

    Lamb and chickpea curry – This recipe uses dairy-free coconut milk. 

    Dibi sogo – This simple lamb meat and onions meal is without the yogurt marinade and can be paired with anything or eaten alone.

    Lamb chops ratatouille – This classic lamb chop recipe is made to look like an expensive restaurant style meal at home.

    Rosemary and garlic lamb shoulder with mashed vegetables  – Make sure to check out how to make dairy-free mashed veggies. 

    Parsi salli boti – This recipe doesn’t skimp on the variety of spices and the nice surprise is the dried apricot!

    Standard
    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…

    Standard
    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

    Standard
    Gift Ideas, Uncategorized

    Eid Gifts

    The end of the month of Ramadan is quickly approaching. Eid (the Arabic word for celebration) will be the day following the last day of Ramadan. There isn’t any fasting performed on Eid. It is actually forbidden in Islam to fast on Eid. This is great news for an Allergic Halal Foodie because eating during sunlight hours can resume on Eid day. While many will typically celebrate Eid with a feast at home or in a restaurant, gift giving on Eid is customary, too. With Eid being very near, you may have begun to brainstorm about gifts.  If you’re stumped on ideas and are not sure what to get for that Allergic Halal Foodie in your life, I’ve provided some starter suggestions: 

    1. Vitamix. From making dairy-free ice cream to making nut-free butter, there are a variety of things that this powerful blade can make or pulverize. I cannot begin to explain how this has changed my Allergic Halal Foodie life. For starters, it has a self cleaning option…
    2. Touchless soap dispenser. This gadget is great for preventing cross contamination anywhere in the house. Cleaning hands is essential for food allergy safety and this type of soap dispenser eliminates that danger of spreading food allergens since one never needs to touch the pump to get soap.
    3. Spiralizer. I love how the presentation of something simple like carrots or zucchini is just that much heightened with this cool gadget. 
    4. Allergic Halal Foodie paraphernalia. What other way to celebrate and acknowledge the Allergic Halal Foodie lifestyle other than announcing it with gear. 
    5. Manual Food Chopper. This gadget is such a great and inexpensive kitchen tool if you have limited counter space or if you don’t have an electrical food processor. I do have an electric food processer, but I use this chopper for a variety of things, particularly for cutting perfectly shaped French Fries and diced onions.
    6. Restaurant gift certificate. There are several restaurants that offer gift certificates. Check their menu online or make a telephone call beforehand to see what delectable food options your Allergic Halal Foodie can enjoy.
    Standard