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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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Sauteed Spinach and Zucchini | My Halal Kitchen

Sautéed Spinach, Baby Zucchini and Mushrooms

The season in between spring and summer is the time to make the best use of delicious veggies- spinach, baby zucchini, fingerling potatoes, and white button mushrooms. Fortunately for us, they all go so well together in flavor profiles, too. Try this saute recipe over rice or pasta. We even had the leftovers stuffed in pita halves with melted cheese. Ah-mazing…

veggies sauteeing in butter and olive oil

Sautéed in butter and olive oil

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Arugula and White Cheddar Frittata

During my college years, I had a small patch of land in my back yard and would often make nice homemade meals for my younger cousin who lived in the dorms. Coming from Sicily just a few years earlier and craving a taste of home, she was so excited to see that there was an opportunity to have some freshly grown produce that was definitely not available in the cafeteria or grocery stores nearby.  When she asked me to grow some arugula, I was intrigued by something I’d never grown before and so planted it for us to enjoy, and enjoy we did that year…

 It really can’t be easier than simply putting everything in a bowl and mixing it together

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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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Oven-Roasted Vegetables

I can’t think of a more perfect fast food dish that’s homemade and healthy. Roasted vegetables warm up the house in the winter while warming up our plates, too. They add such great color, nutrition and taste to other dishes served alongside main courses. Additionally, roasted vegetables can be puréed and blended into soups or used an incredible flavor base for … Read more

Fresh Organic Produce Straight to Your Door– Enter the Giveaway!

After recent holidays like ‘Eid ul Adha and Thanksgiving, everyone is tired- tired of shopping, cooking, and maybe even tired of eating! It is, however, a great time to get healthy and commit to eating more fresh produce to detoxify the body and rejuvenate health.

My sauteed organic kale and onions that came fresh from Door to Door Organics

You might be thinking that with the change of season (to cold, gloomy and blustery winter) your days of getting fresh organic produce were over, at least until the spring. Or, maybe you’re just too busy to get to the indoor farmers markets on Saturdays or even fight the long lines at your favorite grocery store over the weekend.

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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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Roasted Pumpkin

If there’s ever one recipe that will help create even more recipes, it’s those for roasted vegetables. I absolutely love to fire up the oven and get my produce seasoned and roasted to eat them as-is, puree them into soups or throw them into stews. You can be as creative as you want to be or simply enjoy them straight out of the oven.

Vegetables with similar roasting times to pumpkin are acorn squash and butternut squash, depending on their sizes, of course.

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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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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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