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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    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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    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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    Recently Discovered

    National Oatmeal Cookie Day

    Today is National Oatmeal Cookie Day…

    I have only two holidays marked on my calendar every year, but being a foodie, I was surprised to have just learned of this national celebration. I love oatmeal cookies anytime, all the time, everyday. Although I don’t personally think there is a need to allocate a day for oatmeal cookie appreciation, I will commemorate the National Oatmeal Cookie Day with this easy no-bake recipe. It isn’t an oatmeal cookie, but good for those who don’t like oatmeal cookies yet want to join in on the festivities. As usual, swap out the marshmallows with halal or vegan ones, use dairy-free butter, and also dairy-free chocolate for this no bake bar.

    http://www.bhg.com/recipe/chocolate-coconut-and-almond-bars-1/

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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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