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Vegetable & Basil Penne Pasta

I’m often asked by readers to provide quick and easy meals for busy families. To be quite honest, I’m really not a cook who goes out of her way to make most things, so quick and easy is my preferred style. I don’ t have the time or the desire (usually) to complicate my life by running back and forth to the grocery store for exotic ingredients. I love to use what I have on hand. I take one look into the fridge and in my cabinets to see what’s there and my mind begins to calculate a recipe. Hey, is there an App for that?

Basil Preservation Tip

I had a lot of basil this summer in my balcony garden, which I froze. Basil freezes perfectly well when you cover it with olive oil, keeping it in a freezer safe container for about 3 months. Simply bring it back to room temperature or throw it into soups and stews for some of the most delicious additons to meals, without buying expensive fresh herbs at the grocery store- especially when it’s out of season.

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How to Make Pumpkin Puree

Are you tired of pumpkin from a can? I most certainly am. I know it’s not the worst thing in the world, especially when there are some really good organic varieties out there, but I’d much rather have the fresh alternative without any hint of aluminum taste in the pumpkin.

This is definitely the season for pumpkins- not just for baking, but cooking, too. Pumpkins have been ready here since early September and are still prominently displayed as a seasonal item in the market and stores.

Pumpkin puree is one of the most amazing results of steaming pie pumpkins, or those smaller varieties of pumpkins that look cute- plump and round and somewhat thick skinned with deep orange coloring. I’ll explain in a moment just how to steam them, but first let me tell you what you can make with steamed pumpkin- and it’s not just pies.

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Butternut Squash Soup

It’s amazing to think that a vegetable such as the butternut squash, so hard on the outside, can actually be broken into and puréed down to something as fine as a soup. subhanallah. Choose those with firm exteriors and no sign of bruising. They are a bit tough to chop, but that’s a good sign. … Read more

Okra, South Indian Style

This recipe was given to me by a dear college friend, a Malaysian woman smarter than just about anyone I know. I think she was engineering student by day and master chef by night. She’s the one who introduced me to cooking with things like coconut milk, peanut oil and lots of cilantro. And wok … Read more

Savory Zucchini Fritters

At the end of every summer, it’s easy to take the plethora of zucchini and other types of summer squash for granted. In my experience, people are trying to give it away because they have so much, and if they can’t give it to you as-is, they’ll try to give it to you in the … Read more

Tangy Lime & Sumac Summer Salad

While still experiencing the heat of the summer, it’s always nice to have a refreshing, light salad to accompany other summer foods. I love this salad not only because I love the addition of  lime juice to salads, but I also love sumac, the dried, crushed and ground fruit of the sumac flower typical of the … Read more

Swiss Chard with Toasted Cashews

Swiss chard is a spring vegetable that thrives and grows in cool weather, which means you can enjoy it again in the fall.  I found some lovely Swiss chard, bright green and firm, at my local Asian market. Here’s what I did with it to make a delicious side dish to meat, but will go … Read more

Asparagus Burgers Recipe | My Halal Kitchen

A Recipe for Spring: Asparagus Burgers

Sunday we took a trip out to the Chicago Botanic Gardens, just to capture the budding spring flowers on trees and, of course, the beautiful, colorful tulips. We also saw asparagus, which reminded me of my mom’s recipe for asparagus burgers, which is one of my favorite dishes.  Here’s the beautiful purple asparagus plant I spotted … Read more

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