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quick, easy recipes, linguine with mushrooms and garlic

Linguine with Spinach, Mushrooms & Garlic

If there is any one pasta dish you should make this week, it’s this one. Whether you’re a Meatless Monday subscriber (or any day of the week you plan to go vegetarian) or a strict vegetarian, this dish is savory, delicious and filling.

Linguine with Spinach, Mushrooms & Pasta | My Halal Kitchen

Perhaps the trick is using fully aromatic Crimini mushrooms whose texture is full and meaty, giving your mouth and your taste buds the illusion of eating meat. I simply didn’t have any meat in the refrigerator when I made this dish and we were too hungry to wait for anything to thaw before cooking. I’m glad we didn’t wait- this dish was a wonderful surprise and testimony as to what can happen in the kitchen when you use what you’ve got and pair ingredients that have complimentary flavors. In this case, spinach, garlic and mushrooms taste good in eggs (i.e. omlettes), over steaks and even in rice such as arborio.  

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Beef Stew Recipe | My Halal Kitchen

Slow Cooked Beef Stew- A Classic Comfort Food Recipe

I always crave comfort food in the winter time, but right now as a nation and a global community, it looks as though we could all use a lot of comforting, whether it’s through the gathering together of a community or our small family meals we need to be there for one another and offer support, a lending ear or a shoulder to lean on. To all of those affected by the tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut and everyone affected around the world by crimes of violence, my prayers, thoughts and sincere condolences are with you…

Beef Stew in Crock Pot

The smell and taste of my mom’s recipe for classic beef stew is one that has been with me since I was a small child. Although she was a working mom, on her shorter days or days off she would often begin making it early in the morning and put it in the crock pot to cook all day long so it would be ready by the time I arrived home from school. I still remember all of the ingredients by heart  and how they looked on the kitchen counter as she prepared it. I also remember being in a bit of awe as to how it would all fit so neatly into her round crock pot with the glass cover that eventually began to steam underneath. Later in the day she made white rice on the side, which indicated that it was almost time to eat since that was the last thing to do before getting ready to serve what to me was the ultimate comfort: knowing exactly what to expect in this meal and feeling cared for, loved and comforted through every bite. 

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Ground Turkey with Potatoes and Mint | My Halal Kitchen

Ground Turkey with Potatoes, Tomatoes, Mint & Parsley

This is a quick weeknight meal if there ever was one. If you can’t find halal ground turkey you can substitute with ground beef or chicken instead; alternatively- and if you’re feeling adventurous- you can purchase the whole turkey (typically found in the freezer at most halal meat markets) and grind the meat yourself with attachments that can be used with most Kitchen Aid stand mixers. Enjoy!

Ground Turkey with Potatoes and Mint

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Chicken Tikka Masala Tacos

When I saw Saffron Road’s new Tikka Masala sauce already made in their convenient new packets of simmer sauces, I knew I wanted to cook it with chicken but I also wanted to make something out of the norm, something not served over rice or with pita bread but instead fused together with another ethnic cuisine that would go well with these Indian flavors.

Chicken Tikka Masala Tacos up Close

Chicken Tikka Masala Tacos

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Lamb Stew with Pumpkin, Plantain, Sweet Potato and Chickpeas

When we look through recipes online or in magazines, what really prompts us to go out of our way to make a list and head out to the store with the intention of buying all the ingredients specifically for that recipe we enjoyed looking at so much?                                                                                     

I look at food for a living, literally, and am incredibly delighted by the vibrant colors and gorgeous photography that exists in the blogosphere and in the publishing world.  I can’t, however, make everything that awakens my stomach or inspires me to fly off the couch and dig into my cabinets for every spice listed in a recipe so that I, too, can make a gorgeous Thai noodle dish.

There is one Libyan dish, however, that prompted me to set out to use up our Qurbani meat to make this dish called Tbeikhet ‘Eid  which features pumpkin, chickpeas and raisins. I liked the idea of using seasonal produce like pumpkin so much that I decided to give it a try, though digressing a bit by using other ingredients that I had at home that were in much need of being used:

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Oven Roasted Lamb Chops

I don’t normally set out to by lamb chops, but instead I wait for the Qurbani meat to come when there are so many included in the package.  It gives me something to look forward to and I know they’re super-fresh.

Today, I didn’t plan on making lamb chops. Instead, I planned on making a lamb stew with pumpkin, sweet potatoes and chickpeas. I planned on using the thick pieces of meat that I thought I labeled on my freezer bags a few days ago. Come to realize when I opened my defrosted bag of meat that I had two beautiful thick chops ready to be cooked; not my stew meat.

Re-freezing is not an option to me so I decided to go ahead and quickly season and roast these chops. They turned out so tasty that I just had to share the recipe. They were seasoned so simply and cooked slowly to allow the taste of the meat to shine through. It’s the perfect recipe for a beautiful gourmet dinner at home without all the fuss.

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The Many Varieties of Traditional ‘Eid Foods

Muslims all over the world will soon be celebrating the ‘Eid ul Adha, or the celebration of sacrifice, commemorating the completion of the Hajj, or annual pilgrimage to Mecca. The ‘Eid ul Adha is one of two major celebrations for Muslims, the other being the ‘Eid ul Fitr, or the celebration commemorating the end of fasting in the month of Ramadan.

Because the Islamic months are based on a lunar calendar, these holidays do not fall at the same time every year with reference to the Gregorian calendar followed in the West.

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Penne Pasta with Swiss Chard and Beet Leaves | My Halal Kitchen

Pink Pasta: Penne with Swiss Chard and Beet Leaves

I didn’t intentionally set out to make pink pasta; it just happened as a result of my love affair with seasonal produce like swiss chard and beets, both of which were plentiful at the farmers market last weekend where I organized a Culinary Tour of the Green City Market here in Chicago.

And then it occured to me that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We are all exposed to the pink ribbons that indicate a fight against this disease, so I found it fitting that my pasta turned out pink as a result of the beet leaf juices that smother the pasta once it’s cooked and added in.  One person on our Facebook page even made reference to the fact that her girls would love it because it was girly.

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Chorizo and Eggs

It’s been more than ten years since I’ve eaten chorizo, a type of Spanish sausage spiced with flavors like paprika which gives it an orange color. The reason I haven’t had it in so many years is because it’s mostly made with pork. The only time I remember having it was on some tacos in Mexico during my time in the Yucatán. It’s quite popular in all Latin American countries, actually.

Chorizo and Eggs, not quite finished here

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