Dinner, Lunch, The Food Allergies, Uncategorized

Takeout Food Tuesday: Mexican Food

It is really typical to have a day (or week) when you do not want to cook. As an Allergic Halal Foodie, you might feel like it is your obligation to cook, but it isn’t the whole truth. There is always a way to eat good food cooked by someone other than you. I like to remember when I was a little girl in New York City, my mother would have a night when she didn’t cook dinner, rather she ordered takeout food. For us it was Fridays, but takeout food day can any day you choose. The first thing I would suggest to do is to pick a cuisine and call up those places. Tell them about your food allergies and ask if they can make accomodations (like cook without peanut oil or hold of on the grated cheese). Also ask if them for their meat and chicken supplier. Then you can check on your own time if their supplier is halal. Many restaurants may serve halal meat and chicken, but may not put a visible halal sign or may not obtain halal certification for a variety of reasons.

I like the Hot Shop located in Albany, CA. I found it unexpectedly while driving througn the town. This eatery is a family friendly and family owned place. It is a popular place to eat and all without a website. I walked in and loved that I can see the whole kitchen. This is helpful to ensure that my order is correct and there isn’t any cross contamination. The food is Mexican cuisine and there are some specialty dishes including one with an Afghan cuisine flavor. At the end of the day, we all found something to eat and their food is delicious. Try these tips at your local Mexican cuisine place and enjoy your “takeout food day” at your convenience.

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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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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.

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    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

    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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    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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    Recently Discovered

    DIY Vegan Cheddar Cheese

    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!

    Ingredients:

    1. Carrots (6 peeled and boiled baby carrots)
    2. Potatoes (2 peeled and boiled)
    3. Nutritional yeast (1 cup)
    4. Salt (1/4 tsp)
    5. Garlic (1 clove or 1 tsp of garlic powder)
    6. Water (1 cup)

    I threw all ingredients into my high speed blender and this is the end product.   

      

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