Two sisters just blogging about their passion: halal food!


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Date Balls

With Ramadan just a few months away we thought we’d help you think of some suhoor and iftaar ideas. Dates are a great source of energy and a must have item in most Muslim households. One of sisters, however, doesn’t like dates too much and it’s always a struggle to eat one to break our fast. With date balls being all the rage lately as energy balls, and after we tried a friend’s variation of it, we thought we should try make some at home. IMG_0143 We found a super easy recipe at My Halal Kitchen that required just a few ingredients. So we whipped up a batch and the results were delicious They are aesthetically pleasing, full of goodness and make a great snack. And for those days when you wake up late for suhoor, just pop a couple of these in your mouth and you’re good to go! IMG_0136 Here is recipe from My Halal Kitchen:

Ingredients

18 pitted Medjool dates

1/4 cup almonds

1 cup ground coconut

1 cup ground pistachio

Instructions
  1. Pit the dates. Add to a food processor, then add the almonds. Pulse or blend for about 30 seconds, making sure that the almonds are fairly well chopped. The mixture should result in a sticky mass, and usually moves to one side of a food processor when done.
  2. Place the ground coconut and the ground pistachio onto separate plates.
  3. Roll the mixture in your hands until it forms a ball. Roll in the ground coconut or pistachio until fully covered. Continue to do so until all of the dates rolls have been coated. Keep chilled until ready to serve. Keeps for about one week fresh, in the refrigerator.

There are many variations of this recipe; some of them include various nuts and/or chocolate in it. So get creative and experiment.

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East Meats West Review

We had some of the most delicious sandwiches ever at East Meats West in Mississauga. Check out our review on Halal Foodie.

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Click here to read the full review.


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Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

Lately we have been experimenting with soups and came across Butternut Squash Soup recipe from Blendtec. We gave it a try with slight adjustment and loved it! In fact not just us, but our whole family loved it.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients
1   large butternut squash (approximately 4-5 lbs)
2   tbsp olive oil, divided
114   c water, divided
1   carrot
1   stalk celery
1   onion
18   tsp dried thyme
14   tsp kosher salt
18   tsp ground black pepper
312   c low-sodium chicken broth (28 oz)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds, and pierce squash skin with fork. Brush squash halves with 1 tablespoon oil, and place halves flesh-side down in pan. Fill pan with ¼ cup water to prevent squash from drying. Bake until tender, approximately 45–60 minutes. Reserve ½ of baked butternut squash for future meal.

Meanwhile, add carrot, celery, and onion to WildSide+ jar. Secure lid and press “Pulse” several times, until vegetables are chopped. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large pot. Add carrot, celery, and onion, and sauté for 2–3 minutes. Then add thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, another 2–3 minutes.

Add 1 cup water, carrot, celery, and onion to WildSide jar. Secure lid and select “Batter” or blend on Medium Low (speed 3 or 4) for 30 seconds.

Pour pureed vegetables back into large pot. Add one can of chicken broth to pot; simmer.

Meanwhile, scoop flesh from one squash half. Add second can of broth and squash flesh to WildSide+ jar. Secure lid and select “Soup” or blend on High (speed 8 or 9) for 90-180 seconds. Pour into pot with pureed vegetables, stir, and simmer, giving flavors time to marry for a few minutes before serving.

Source: Blendtec – Butternut Squash Soup

Adjustments to the Recipe

  • We initially replaced chicken broth with vegetable broth; however, given the high level of sodium present in vegetable broth, we replaced it with water and the soup still tasted great!
  • Butternut Squash soup tends to be somewhat sweet; we decided to add 2 stalks of celery as opposed to 1 and just loved how it enhanced the taste
  • We found that sprinkling some cilantro (during serving) enhanced the taste of soup
  • We recall we may have chopped up a clove (or two) of garlic and added it while sautéing some of the ingredients

Lastly and importantly, you can pretty much use any blender or hand blender to puree the ingredients at intervals mentioned in the recipe and it should generate the same results as Blendtec’s preset keys.


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Crunchy Kale Chips

Kale Chips We were looking for a healthy snack that’s not just yummy, but is also full of goodness. Lo and behold we decided to make kale chips! Here’s a summary of the recipe we used: Ingredients

  • Kale
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Cayenne Pepper

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Remove stem from kale leaves and chop into either large pieces or bite-sized (depends on your preference)
  • Thoroughly wash them and use salad spinner or paper towel to dry them well
  • Take a cookie sheet or any other oven safe tray and spread them thinly
  • Carefully sprinkle some olive oil, ensuring it’s not too much
  • Add salt to taste; kale is generally slightly bitter, so you may wanna be careful with the amount of salt you use
  • We like spicy snacks, so we decided to sprinkle some cayenne pepper
  • Pop in the cookie sheet/baking tray in the oven for 10-15 minutes
  • Remove them from the oven and let them cool for several minutes before indulging in kale chips

Hope you like kale chips just as much as we did!


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Roasted Beets with Mint Yogurt Sauce

One of us sisters does food demonstrations at a local community centre for a group of women in a fitness program. We focus on healthy, easy to make recipes. Recently, we made Roasted Beets with Mint Yogurt Sauce from Martha Stewart’s recipe. It turned out delicious and the ladies in the group loved it.

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Here is the recipe from Martha’s Stewart’s website:

Ingredients: 

  • 1 bunch medium beets or 3 bunches baby beets (about 1 1/2 pounds total), scrubbed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, toss beets with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover dish tightly with foil and roast until tender when pierced with a knife, 45 to 60 minutes, depending on size. When cool enough to handle, rub beets with a paper towel to remove skins.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, mint, cumin, and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Spoon yogurt sauce over beets and serve.

We roasted the beets differently than in the original recipe. Since it was our first time cooking beets we googled a few more recipes to see how others roast them. So for step 1, we washed and scrubbed the beet roots. Then we wrapped each beet root individually with foil. We placed all the individually foil wrapped beet roots on a baking sheet and baked them at 425 F for 45 minutes. We then took the them out of the oven, unwrapped them and THEN peeled the beet roots and chopped them.

Many ladies in the group mentioned that they boil beet roots, but it gets messy because beet roots leave a lot of colour. We found that wrapping them in foil was relatively mess-free.

The mint yogurt sauce is what makes the roasted beets comes to life. Honestly, the sauce is everything. You can have these roasted beets as a side, as mixed into a bigger salad, or tossed with almost anything you like.