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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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Puerto Rican, Rice, Arroz

Arroz con Gandules | Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas

I grew up eating arroz con gandules, that quintessential rice dish that every Puerto Rican family has their own version of making. Most of the time it was made con pollo, or with chicken, but it was also made vegetarian, too. My mom is an American-born Puerto Rican whose family was very traditional in their foodways so this dish was always at the table of family gatherings.

Arroz con Gandules | Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas

I remember my great aunt, Virgen (whose name was pronounced in the dialect as “Beehin”) used to make it every single time we went to her house to visit.  As soon as she heard we were on our way, she would whip it up quickly and serve it to us with a coke (and I had already usually just eaten a full meal of Sicilian meatballs and pasta at my Sicilian grandparents’ house just before visiting).    

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Vegan Slow Cooker & Interview of Kathy Hester | My Halal Kitchen

An Interview with Kathy Hester and the Vegan Slow Cooker Giveaway

 I love cookbooks that offer interesting ways to cook familiar recipes while addressing the need to put healthy meals on the table despite our hectic lives as well as the need for economical ingredients that stretch to feed the whole family. What an added bonus it is to have a book that also offers hearty recipes without the meat for those days we want to skip it, or simply to try something a little different than what we’re used to.  That’s why I love The Vegan Slow Cooker Cookbook by Kathy Hester. 

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Herbivoracious by Michael Natkin | My Halal Kitchen

CLOSED: Michael Natkin and the Herbivoracious Cookbook Giveaway

Several months ago I attended the Eat Write Retreat event for food writers and bloggers, which took place in Washington, D.C. It was a weekend filled with discussions and a chance to meet some very interesting people in the food industry.  Cookbook author Michael Natkin was one of those people. He talked about the process of writing Herbivoracious, an incredibly vibrant cookbook full of interesting and ethnically-diverse vegetarian recipes that are simple to make but uniquely set apart from any other vegetarian cookbook I’d seen before.

I read the book cover to cover and became so inspired to cook more vegetarian meals than ever before. I also knew that I had a ton of questions about how Michael came to write this book since I found his recipes to be globally-inspired and have several that feature super healthy recipes from Middle Eastern cuisine

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Grilled Eggplant and Pepper Salad

Summer food is equivalent to grilling, right? Well, in the intense heat we’re feeling here in the Midwest I’m not sure everyone is so excited about firing up the grills all the time. I mean, it’s really hot- even in the evenings I’ve seen temps at 98° F. That said, with all the amazing summer produce to be found at farmers markets and in our own gardens, there still needs to be a way to use up your favorite summer veggies even if it means staying indoors and NOT turning on the oven.
grilled eggplant and pepper salad

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Saffron Road’s New Line of Vegeterian Entrees

You may have already heard about Saffron Road’s new vegetarian entrees, which are making quite a buzz on places like Facebook and Twitter. Vegetarians, vegans and those who are gluten-free are raving about the flavors and quality of these products, and I couldn’t agree more.

These Manchurian Dumplings photographed above were soft, saucy and had a nice kick of spice to them. The ginger tasted so fresh that it came as a really nice surprise- how often do you find that in a frozen entree? This is done right. (It’s also suitable for vegans).

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French Beans with Garlic, Cumin and Toasted Sesame

French green beans are one of my favorite side dishes. They’re light, go well with most foods and make me feel content that I’m getting a healthy vegetable on my plate. I usually make them Italian style with garlic, tomatoes and olive oil, but this time I opted to satisfy my craving for something Asian.

I had some lovely fresh garlic, sesame seeds that were already toasted, ground cumin, and plenty of good toasted sesame oil.  Other than the beans, this is all you really need to make the dish. I think a bit of fresh ginger would be nice, too.

It’s a super-quick side dish to any meal and perfect for late weeknights when you’re in the mood to smell wonderful scents coming from you kitchen. It’s good relaxation cooking.

Here’s what you’ll need to get there:

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Heirloom Tomato Salad | My Halal Kitchen

Heirloom Tomato & Chickpea Salad

I wanted to share this recipe with you before it gets too late to use any of those summer tomatoes around here in the Midwest. Some people around the country still have a nice harvest coming in; others around the globe are actually experiencing a completely opposite seasons than us. In theory, I suppose someone … Read more

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