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, 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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      Ramadan, Uncategorized

      The Fasting Allergic Halal Foodie

      The month of Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar.  For the entire month of Ramadan, it is a requirement for able Muslims to refrain from doing several things, particularly eating food and drinking beverages while the sun is up. The fasting Muslim eats a pre-dawn meal called suhoor. It is eaten before the Islamic dawn prayer called Fajr. Muslims resume eating and drinking (sometimes it’s often said “break their fast”) with something light at sunset, the time of the Islamic sunset prayer called Maghrib. It is Islamic tradition to break the fast with dates and water.  After Maghrib prayer, the evening meal called iftar is eaten. 

      The Allergic Halal Foodie fasts the same way as all Muslims except with the additional precautions of avoiding food allergens. The food allergens that are typically nuts, dairy, peanuts, egg, fish, and seafood tend to make its way into most of nutrient rich foods that one would want to eat before fasting. 

      Here is a sample day of fasting for an Allergic Halal Foodie:

      1. Eat suhoor before dawn. Include proteins and good fats like avocados, meat, and dairy-free protein packed smoothies. 
      2. Drink lots of water before you start fasting.
      3. Pray Fajr prayer.
      4. At sunset, break your fast with water and dates (or tea and something sweet like dairy-free pastry).
      5. Pray Maghrib prayer.
      6. Eat iftar and include proteins and good fats like quinoa, olive oil, and meat.
      7. Hydrate with water and hydrating fruits during the night before sleeping.

      Give yourself enough time to eat the suhoor and enjoy it, too. Don’t just grab a nut-free granola bar. Make that suhoor a complete and tasty meal, as there is additional blessing in eating suhoor.

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