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Corn, Mango and Chile Salad Cups

I don’t know about you, but my time in the kitchen just keeps on getting shorter and shorter and my patience level for long, drawn out dishes and cooking is sort of unmentionable these days. I want fast, but delicious and healthy- unprocessed, non-GMO, organic, etc. etc. Not easy to do but once I find … Read more

Pita Bread | My Halal Kitchen Pantry

Pita Bread

The ubiquitous bread of the Middle East and North Africa, pita bread has found a new home in America and the Middle East due to the introduction of it by the many immigrants who opened restaurants, groceries and ethnic markets, offering the freshly homemade bread that wraps mouth-watering shawarma and kebob sandwiches and selling the … Read more

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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Baked Salmon en Papillote (Parchment Paper)

Salmon is one of the easiest types of fish to make on a regular basis. It’s thick texture stays together nicely when cooking, so whether you’re frying, grilling or baking it, it tends to stay together really well.  This is great news for novice cooks or those who are a little intimidated to cook fish at all.  And winter is a great time to have salmon because it’s super high in Vitamin D.

Baked Salmon with Dill & Thyme | My Halal Kitchen

If you watch enough of the news or programs like the Dr. Oz Show, you’ve probably already seen recent reports that so many people are low in the ever important Vitamin D that protects our bodies and our immune systems from all types of diseases. 

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Baked Salmon with Dill & Thyme Recipe

By Yvonne Maffei Published: February 24, 2013

  • Yield: 3-4 Servings
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Ready In: 45 mins

Salmon is one of the easiest types of fish to make on a regular basis. It's thick texture stays together nicely when cooking, so …

Ingredients

Instructions

Holy Land Olives

Recently, my husband re-connected with an old college friend he hadn’t seen in years. As it turns out, when they reconnected many of their mutual friends wanted to have a small reunion.  That led to a dinner invitation extended to not just the guys but their growing families, as well- and a very special take-home gift for me: olives from the Holy Land.

Bowl of Palestinian Olives with Red Pepper

First, I should explain that an invitation is something Muslims are highly recommended to accept unless there’s a very valid reasons to decline (i.e. a previous commitment, an illness, etc.); not because you simply don’t want to go. I think there’s a lot of wisdom in this recommendation because I experience the blessings in it all the time.  

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Chicken Soup Recipe | My Halal Kitchen

Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe: A Winter Necessity

The flu is hitting a lot of people hard right now. On the local news here in Chicago, we’ve been told that area hospital emergency rooms are swamped with people being treated for the flu- heavy coughing and sneezing that they just can’t shake off without medical attention. And flu season hasn’t even officially begun.   In our house, we’ve been eating chicken soup to strengthen our immune system and give ourselves a fighting chance against whatever is out there.

Chicken Noodle Soup | My Halal Kitchen

Like most people, I grew up eating chicken noodle soup as a get-well food. To this day, whenever I eat it, it reminds me of the times when I was completely sick and fighting off something that chicken soup seemed to knock right out of the park, as long as I kept eating it, which was usually the only thing I could stomach.

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Caribbean Shrimp Salad | My Halal Kitchen

Caribbean Shrimp Salad

I used to do a lot of traveling in the winter months- short escapes to warmer climates like anywhere in Florida or south of the border to Mexico.  Coming from the Midwest, I was indeed a  young snow bird of sorts. Sometimes I did it with the excuse of studying (i.e. taking intensive Spanish language courses in Merida, Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico; other times it was just a gift-to-self for studying so hard throughout a college quarter to places like Playa del Carmen along the Mayan Riviera in Mexico.

first photo shrimp salad

While I sadly haven’t been back to either places in a very long time, I still have fond and special memories of the food, the people and the experiences there. The fish, in particular was so fresh- coming straight off the Caribbean– that it was served as ceviche in restaurants just a short time after being caught.  

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Winter Salad with Cranberries | My Halal Kitchen

Winter Salad with Cranberries & Nuts

You might not think of salads as a winter time food, but actually this is one of my favorite times of year to enjoy them.

Fall Salad with Cranberries and Nuts

Citrus is at its best in the winter, though it’s obviously not growing up here in the Midwest; it’s coming from wonderful groves in Florida, Arizona and California.  You can find fragrant meyer lemons, oranges and grapefruits (ruby red are my favorite) right now in most grocery stores or online and grate their peels to dry them for later use or use the fresh zest on top of salads, soups, rice and more (think ice cream, puddings, cakes, etc.)- the list goes on. 

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snack mix, party mix, nut mix,

Savory Party Snack Mix

Party season is well underway, whether you get into it or not. People are off work and ready to gather with family and friends to enjoy some great food. And almost everyone laments eating all that rich food and all those amazing cookies and other sweets that seem to find their way on your plate– even if that plate is the last thing you take home at night after visits.

party mix in individual cups

I am personally not fond of too many snack foods because I don’t like to fill up before meals, but nibbling on something healthy and tasty is something I enjoy because it doesn’t ruin my appetite for other great food to come. 

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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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