Two sisters just blogging about their passion: halal food!


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Chicken in Mushroom Cream Sauce by Ikhlas Hussain

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Our favourite blogger, Ikhlas Hussain of the Whimsical Whims of Ikhlas Hussain, is our go-to person for easy, delicious recipes. We have tried countless recipes from her blog, both sweet and savoury, and have always been pleased with the results. The best thing is that her recipes call for ingredients you normally have at home. You may remember our Chicken Pot Pie post, which was also a recipe by Ikhlas.

We recently tried her recipe for Chicken in Mushroom Cream Sauce and it turned out incredible! Our favourite part was the sauce. It was so good that next time we may just skip the chicken altogether and just make the sauce and toss it with pasta. Yum!

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Chicken in Mushroom Cream Sauce

Yield: 2-4 servings

Ingredients

For the chicken
    • 2 lbs boneless chicken, cut into small chunks
    • 3 tbsp lemon juice
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp crushed chili peppers
    • 1 cup flour
    • Oil
For the sauce
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • mushrooms, sliced

Instructions

  1. Marinate the chicken with lemon juice, salt, and crushed chili peppers. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Lightly toss chicken chunks in flour until completely coated. Heat oil in a medium skillet and cook chicken chunks until golden and crispy on each side, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Once butter is light brown in colour, add flour and whisk well. Add chicken broth and mushrooms. Let cook for a few minutes and then add milk, salt, and pepper and turn down heat. Add cheese and mix well.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a flat baking dish, add cooked chicken and pour sauce on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and hot. Serve warm over rice or pasta.

Recipe by Ikhlas Hussain

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Brazilian Brigadeiro Recipe

IMG_9809 The best part about studying Nutrition and Food is that we get to eat in class quite often. Recently in one of our courses, the professor brought Brazilian Brigadeiros for us to try. She only had enough for about 1/3 of the class. When she asked who wanted to try it, our hand shot up at the speed of light. They looked like chocolate truffles, but smaller in size. IMG_9811 The Brigadeiro was exquisite! We love all things sweet and we love super sweet desserts, which is exactly how the Brigadiero tasted. We asked the professor for the recipe, which turned out to be uber simple. We recently made a batch and shared it with our family and friends who loved it. We modified the recipe from http://www.food.com/recipe/brazilian-brigadeiro-343401

Yield: 20

Ingredients: 

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoon Nesquick Chocolate Syrup

Directions:

1) Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes.

2) Stir vigorously to make sure all the ingredients are mixed. Cook until the mixture has thickened.

3) Pour into a dish and let it cool at room temperature. We put the dish in the fridge for a few hours.

4) Once you are ready to make the balls, take the mixture out of the fridge.

5) Grease your hands with butter/margarine and take about half a teaspoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball.

6) Coat the ball with chocolate sprinkles or shredded coconut. Place into a small cupcake liner.

We found that the Brigadieros can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 days and still taste fresh.

Enjoy!


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Anatolian’s Turkish Restaurant

Read our review of Anatolian’s Turkish Restaurant in Thorncliffe.

“Chicken Sauteed ($15.99) was an aromatic dish that had chicken breast, onion, green and red peppers, tomatoes and garlic, all sautéed in butter. The best part was that it comes sizzling to the table! It was served with white rice. If you do not like being too adventurous when it comes to trying new foods, then chicken sautéed is a safe dish to order. Although all the ingredients seemed basic, the way they were combined and cooked made this dish a family pleaser.”

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Click here for the full review.


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RaviSoups (Adelaide Location)

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It is officially soup season here in Canada. The best way to get through the frigid temperatures of January is by having a hot, hearty bowl of soup. A bowl of soup just makes us feel good all over. One of our favourite soups kitchens in Toronto is RaviSoups (Adelaide location). We had been notified by friends that this location serves halal meat and we were also told this by the staff at RaviSoups.

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The Adelaide location of RaviSoups has rustic decor. The unique wooden table makes for a great background for those soup photos you will want to instagram!

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Pictured above is the Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Tiger Shrimp, served with a cheese biscuit and red pepper dipping sauce. The roasted red pepper soup had a hint of sweetness but overall had a savoury flavour and aroma. The soup was topped with fried onions and cilantro. The soup had a grainy texture to it, which we actually kind of enjoyed.

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The Chicken Hot Pot Broth soup tasted just as good as it looked. The soup had coconut milk, lemongrass, kaffir lime, fresh noodles, bok choy, edamame, mango, pineapple, crispy shallots and fresh herbs. The fragrant lemongrass and kaffir lime gave the soup a Thai flavour, which was really delicious! There was a generous portion of chicken, bok choy and noodles in the soup to make it super filling. The fresh cilantro was  the cherry on top! The mango and pineapple chunks were surprisingly good additions to the soup.

We have also tried the Porcini Mushroom Wild Rice Bisque and Oven Roasted Veggie wrap in the past and both items were delicious. The Oven Roasted Veggie wrap is one of our favourite items on their menu.

Just to reiterate, the halal meat is at the Adelaide location of RaviSoups. They have three other locations in downtown Toronto and we are not sure if those locations serve halal meat as well. Your best bet is to call before you go.

Address: 

22 Adelaide St W.,
Toronto, ON M5V 1R1

Phone:

(647)435-8365

Website: 

http://ravisoup.com/index.php


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Chef Aleem Pop-Up at The Midpoint

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Halal upscale ethnic street food is what Chef Aleem Syed is serving up at The Midpoint from Thursday-Sunday in downtown Toronto. This is in anticipation of the launch of his food truck “The Holy Grill” in February 2015. Chef Aleem came to greet us in person and invited us to come take a look at his menu. With each and every customer that came in, he went over the entire menu in detail, explaining all the components of each dish. Rarely do we get to interact and chat with the chef himself, so this was a pleasant surprise for us. Chef Aleem is passionate about his food and is really excited about his new venture. He knows exactly where his food comes from. He places a great emphasis on using local ingredients and supporting local farmers.

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Chef Aleem has worked for reputable restaurants in Toronto including Canoe, North 44, and Terra, before a spinal cord injury put him on a wheelchair. His extensive culinary training and experience was evident in the way he ran the kitchen and how knowledgable he was about food.

The menu changes up every week and most items are under $10, which is great! Chef Aleem recommended the burgers, so we ordered both of them and also got poutine.

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Mom’s Butter Chicken Poutine ($6) was a poutine with a South Asian flare. It was a combination of fries smothered with butter chicken curry, topped with cheese and garnished with chopped vegetables. It was a savoury dish that explained in one bite what Chef Aleem meant by ‘ethnic street food’.

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The Cheese Burger ($9) was one of the best cheeseburgers we have ever had. We were pretty stoked by the bun alone that everything else was a just a bonus. For the big, mean meat patty, this soft and hearty bun with a distinct sweetness did justice to the burger. The halal bacon and cheese completed the cheeseburger and made it perfect.

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The Big Diesel ($9) was our absolute favourite dish of the evening. We mean, just look at it! Does the picture not force you say Mashallah, TabarakAllah? This burger was heaven. The toppings were a marriage made in heaven: sweet and tangy sauce, a fried egg, pickles, halal bacon, cheese, crunchy bits on top of a juicy beef patty. They may just bring tears of joy to your eyes!

Two disclaimers for Muslims visiting The Midpoint: Chef Aleem only rents the kitchen from the owner of The Midpoint. The Midpoint does have a full-service bar but Chef Aleem’s menu doesn’t offer alcohol. Since a diverse population visits to try Chef Aleem’s food, some customers do order alcohol. However, all profits from the bar go straight to the owner and aren’t affiliated with the pop-up. Furthermore, the ambiance with loud music and dim lighting may not be to the liking of some customers.

Address:

1180 Queen Street West, Toronto

Website: 

https://www.facebook.com/kravebistrotoronto

Chef Aleem featured in:

http://www.torontolife.com/daily-dish/restaurants-dish/2014/11/21/pop-pick-paralyzed-chef-aleem-syed-gives-sneak-peek-menu-new-halal-food-truck/

http://globalnews.ca/video/1742479/young-paraplegic-chef-to-open-his-own-business


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Organique Juice Bar

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If you follow us sisters on Instagram (isadiaa and nadiaa88), you probably know that we love smoothies. Our Blendtec blender is our favourite kitchen appliance and ever since we bought it a few years ago there has been no looking back. As much as we enjoy making smoothies and juices at home, we enjoy trying new and interesting combos at juice bars.  We had been on the lookout for quite some time now for cold pressured juices, so when we came across Organique Juice Bar in Mississauga, we were ecstatic!

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Located on 154 Queen Street South (Unit 106) in the Streetsville area, Organique Juice Bar is run by young entrepreneurs with a passion for all things healthy. Super friendly and approachable, we had a nice chat with the owners who told us that the juice bar is only six weeks new. They were knowledgable about the ingredients used in their smoothies, let us try samples of various cold pressed juices, and told us about all the new things that they will be adding to their menu. They plan on offering snacks in the near future and will be serving organic halal meat to cater to the large Muslim community of the area.

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All their produce and ingredients are organic and natural, and their juices raw and unpasteurized. We really liked how the owners were dedicated to providing quality ingredients and strived to find suppliers that met their requirements. On our first trip to this juice bar, we decided to get a cold pressed juice and a smoothie.

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We tried the Carrot & Company cold pressed juice made of carrot, apple and ginger. This 500 mL bottle contains almost 2 lbs of fruits and vegetables! This is made possible by the cold pressed juicing procedure that squeezes every ounce of goodness from fruits and veggies between stainless steel plates with hydraulic pressure. This juicing method allows for greater nutrition and provides more enzymes than conventional juicing methods. This particular juice that we tried was very light and refreshing. The apple and carrot combination gave it a mellow taste and the juice had just a hint of ginger.

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We also tried the Banana Shake which was a blend of coconut water, banana, coconut meat, agave, nectar, goji powder and vanilla. One sip and we were sold! Maybe we were a little biased because we love banana smoothies but this was seriously a delicious drink.

We are super excited to have the Organique Juice Bar in our neighbourhood and cannot wait to visit again.

Website: http://www.organiquejuicebar.com


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Burrito Planet

On a rainy, stormy weekday night in downtown Toronto, we stumbled upon Burrito Planet located on 181 College Street. It is located conveniently on the UofT St. George campus and if you are a student there, you have probably visited Burrito Planet more than once.

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We really liked the simple menu: Burritos and Sides. The last thing we want at a takeout place is an enormous and confusing menu. This place was perfect for a quick bite. The burritos come in chicken, steak, lamb or veggie and can be regular or large in size. They also have specialty burritos such as the Beef Bolognese, Tiger Shrimp, Atlantic salmon, and Planet Hybrid. We decided to get the regular size Chicken Burrito ($6.95). Although we wanted to try the Planet Hybrid, which has beef, chicken and shrimp, we were too burnt out that day to be in the mood for experimenting.

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We really liked the neat and clean service and prep area. If you know us you know that cleanliness makes us uber happy. We also found the customer service to be friendly and helpful. These two things helped us forget about our wet shoes and wet hijabs from the rain.

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Customers have the choice of white or whole wheat tortilla. Rice and a beans are spread on the tortilla. Next, customers get to pick their toppings (all of which looked super fresh). We got all the toppings: lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, corn, cheese, jalapeños and sour cream. The spice level of the burritos range from mild, medium or hot.

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Next the freshly grilled chicken was added. Here is a picture of our chicken burrito before it was rolled up and grilled.

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Here is a picture of how the burrito looked while we munched on it. Sorry for the horrible pictures but we were so hungry that we pretty much inhaled the food. We absolutely loved the smoky flavour of the chicken and wished there was more of it in each bite. The vegetables were crisp and overall the burrito was filling. We had picked medium for the spice level but next time we would go for hot to satisfy our South Asian taste buds.

Should you check out Burrito Planet? Most definitely! The burritos are great bang for the buck and we found the food to be flavourful and filling.

Visit their Twitter account for more pictures: https://twitter.com/burritoplanet