Gift Ideas, Gifts Ideas for An Allergic Halal Foodie

Friday Foodie Gift Idea: Grater

Do you think that a grater is just for grating cheese? Well, that is just one of the many things in life that couldn’t be be farther from the truth in an Allergic Halal Foodie’s world. Chances are a dairy and nut allergic person will not even consider a grater to be useful. However, there are quite a few great allergy free foods to grate and I just wanted to spotlight a few.

Chocolate. Grate some dairy-free and allergen free chocolate pieces over ice cream, dairy-free whipped cream, hot cocoa, or directly into your mouth and you won’t be disappointed. Only have chocolate powder in stock or don’t have the time to make a quick stop at the market for that tasty allergen-free chocolate? Don’t fret. You can easily make your own solid chocolate. Recipe is here.

Bananas. Yes, you can grate bananas. Frozen bananas. A positive result of grated frozen bananas is dairy-free ice cream. When you grate the frozen bananas, top it with some of the chocolate you just grated, too.

Veggies. Carrots, zucchini, beets are just a few of the vegetables that will be quickly cut and ready for consumption with a hand grater.

Garlic. Instead of mincing this flavorful seasoning, try grating it. I have a garlic press which is also very helpful, but I personally always feel like a little bit of garlic remains in the garlic press compresses section and that always gets wasted. Try sticking the garlic clove with a fork and then grate without making your fingertips bleed. Nothing beats quick and fresh cut garlic and odor free fingers. 

Onions.  This always helpful if you don’t have a food processor, tend to use fresh onions frequently, or if you just hate chopping onions. 

So go ahead and purchase a grater for that foodie in your life (maybe it is you). 

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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.

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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!

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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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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.
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Dinner, Ramadan, Uncategorized

Ramadan Iftar Menu

There are a plethora of choices for the fasting Allergic Halal Foodie to eat for Iftar. Below are a few starters:

  • Dates. It is sunnah to break your fast with dates and water. Dates are a superfood and water is hydrating. 
  • Stuffed grape leaves with halal ground beef or lamb. Rice and meat wrapped in grape leaves sounds simple, yet deliciously meets the protein, carb, and veggie requirement. Make sure to use a dairy-free butter if you’re making these on your own or always inquire about the ingredients with the chef.
  • Soup. This is a easy dish with a wide range of options. Throw in water, seasoning, olive oil, veggies, and a protein of choice and you have a savory meal for Iftar. Hard pressed for ideas, here is a twist on a classic chicken soup recipe. 
  • Rice and beans. This a heavier dish than you think. It is a staple in my maternal heritage. The beans alone  provide a great source of fiber and protein, but go ahead and add your choice of additional protein like chicken or meat.
  • Kebabs. Pair with salad, couscous, bread, and even some plaintains and you’ll have a complete meal. If you’re not making the kebabs at home, make sure to ask the chef if the chicken or meat was marinated in yogurt.
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