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Cheesy Jalapeño Burgers

It’s summer. It’s Ramadan. Do you blame me for craving a burger?  Hopefully not, because maybe you are, too. Chances are there’s plenty of people grilling the summer away as much as possible, since that’s usually the most popular item to throw on. In my case, grilling isn’t so easy so I opt for either oven baking or pan sautéing my burgers. Either way you have them, I think you’re going to love this recipe for a super-quick burger topped with what I think is one of our nation’s best cheese..and it’s halal-certified.

Cheese Jalapeno Burger, Oh My

Cheese from Vermont-based Cabot Creamery has long been on my list of favorite cheeses and in my shopping cart for many years, especially since I noticed that several of their products were halal-certified by IFANCA

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Creamy Date Shake

If you live anywhere in California or nearby, you’ve probably heard of date milkshakes and the pretty well-known stands at farms and orchards who sell them. I have lived in California, driven through it many times from all different angles and have never tried one, but I’ve heard plenty about them.

Date Shake

A date shake perfect for iftar, and a great way to incorporate dates into your diet 

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Slow Cooker Haleem

I’ve been told for years that haleem, the puréed meat and grains dish with South Asian flavors,  is a favorite Iftar dish for so many Muslims observing the Ramadan fast.  Though not a common way of eating meat American-style, (cooked down for hours and combined with grains all puréed together) if you pre-judge it and dismiss it, you may never really experience the potentially satisfying eating experience it offers. It’s also quite nourishing.

final haleem bowl

My version of mildy-spiced haleem 

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Lebanese Kibbeh Patties

I’m thrilled to be able to introduce you to the world of Ramadan foods from Lebanon by way of the following recipe for Kibbeh Patties from my friends at Mama’s Lebanese Kitchen. If you’ve never visited their blog, please be sure to visit their site to take in all the wonderful, healthy Mediterranean dishes they offer in addition to this one below.

Mamas-Lebanese-Kitchen-Kibbeh

Written by Edgard Sammour of  Mama’s Lebanese Kitchen. Photo credits to Mama’s Lebanese Kitchen

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Lemon Ricotta Dip

For some reason, during Ramadan I tend to see, make, eat and enjoy appetizers the most. It’s nice to have something light but substantial at the initial breaking of the fast, but it’s more than that for me. Maybe it’s because when the fast-breaking time comes every evening, it’s one of the sweetest moments I experience (whether the appetizer is sweet or savory). I love biting into something I can hear crunch, maybe because it then actually feels like the sound of food. I’m not sure what it is, but I enjoy it.

inside sweet phyllo

Dates, Tamarind & Walnut phyllo appetizers

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Cilantro & Mint Dipping Sauce

While Ramadan could begin tonight, I am beginning to think about one of my favorite times of the month- the breaking of the first fast. What will we have to savor the moment when the sun sets and it’s time to enjoy something sweet, a date perhaps, and then something quick yet savory before it’s time for the maghreb (sunset) prayer?

cilantro and mint yogurt sauce

Cilantro & Mint Dipping Sauce with Saffron Road’s new savory phyllo hors d’oeuvres

I love crunchy appetizers, but I’m not fond of deep fried foods, particularly after a long day of fasting. I love baked things and I particularly love anything wrapped in flaky phyllo dough, so Saffron Road’s new savory appetizersCrispy Samosas with Saag Paneerand Crispy Samosas with Vegetables will be on our Iftar table with my homemade Cilantro & Mint Dipping Sauce. Its creamy yogurt-base is stretchable- if you want more, just add more yogurt; if you want it thicker, use less yogurt to begin with.

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More Ramadan Preparation Tips [Video]

We’ve been talking so much lately about how important it is to be prepared for Ramadan- spiritually, mentally and practically. With long summer days to face ahead of us, we’ll either be prepared or up against a wall of how to get healthy food on the table for Iftar and the early morning pre-dawn meal … Read more

Are You Ready for Ramadan Cooking?

Ramadan, the 9th month of the Islamic calendar (lunar) and the holy month of fasting is approaching quickly. There is so much to prepare and it can be quite overwhelming if you think about it all at once. For those of you who are new to My Halal Kitchen, you may not realize that there are lots of organizational tips and ideas right here on the site, which I’ve linked to below.  Also, I’ve got plans for more tips and great ideas to come your way starting now and lasting through the end of ‘Eid, insha’allah. My hope is to help you get your kitchen and your home in order so that your mind can be at ease to focus on the things you need to do most during Ramadan, the real purpose of this time.

My Refrigerator, All Ready for Ramadan Cooking

Would you like to know how I organized my refrigerator with these adorable baskets? Tune in to tonight’s LIVE web chat to find out!

Live Web Chat: Preparing Your Kitchen for Healthy Ramadan Cooking

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Chicken Caesar Salad with Homemade Buttermilk Dressing

Potluck parties are nice, but just the word ‘potluck’ is a bit unappealing to some people who say that the idea of hoping to be ‘lucky’ about what ends up at a dinner where everyone brings a dish is more risk than they’d like to take with regards to their food. Jokes abound about this concept of communal eating, but no doubt it’s a common way of gathering and eating and can be a great way to experience variety, whether the party is big or small.

Cuban Sandwiches and a Table Spread at a Small Cuban-Inspired Iftar Dinner

When I was a college student (won’t say how long ago that was), I enjoyed potluck parties so much because it was a great way for everyone to have home-cooked meals from a small apartment dining room table that looked like a beautiful international buffet. My university had a large international student population, some of whom became good friends, so I was able to try things that I don’t even have the opportunity to eat now: South American specialties from places like Columbia, Peru, and Ecuador; Middle Eastern specialties from small villages, Malaysian curries, Indonesian satays, Indian sweets and so much more.

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Date and Walnut Tart

Dates are also the perfect baking fruit- they freeze well, they don’t make your baking products soggy and they add just the right about of sweetness to a dessert. Below is a deliciously simple tart recipe adapted from one of my favorite and most-used cookbooks, Mediterranean: A Taste of the Sun in Over 150 Recipes by Jacqueline Clark and Joanna Farrow.

The original recipe calls for a few things I didn’t have or didn’t have time to make, such as the homemade pastry dough. Instead, I buy a good quality one with very few ingredients, all of them natural and healthy and then freeze the crust for times like these.

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