Generous Ginger!

Ginger is another one of those herbs that we know to be a “cure-all”, documented as such in Aruveydic, Chinese, American folk and Islamic medicine. Ginger acts as an anti-nausea remedy, stimulates circulation and aids digestion, and reportedly is an aid against cold and bronchial symptoms. This food is so special that it is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. Allah says: “...and they will be given to drink a cup of wine mixed with ginger” (76:17). According to The Medicine of the Prophet, ginger is hot in the second degree and wet in the first degree. It heats the body, helps the ingestion process, softens the stomach mildly, helps open the clogs of the liver that are caused by coldness and wetness, and helps against the wetness that causes sight impairment. Ginger is also said to strengthen sexual power and decompose the thick gases that accumulate in the intestines and stomach. When taken with hot water and sugar or honey, it works as a laxative that will rid the intestines of harmful bacteria. Ginger also makes an effective ointment to dissolve phlegm.

Halal Orange Chicken (Chinese American Inspired)

As promised, here is the long awaited orange chicken recipe. This one I made up myself, and it's a hit with the entire family! Alhumdulillah.
When using the marmalade try to find a brand with no sugar added. I found a brand called St. Dalfour, all natural 100% fruit.

4 boneless, skinless halal chicken thighs or 2 chicken breasts
1 cup of orange juice (freshly squeezed from oranges)
4 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup of green onions
1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more)
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
4-5 tbsp all natural orange marmalade
Whole wheat pastry flour, plus 1 tbsp reserved
3 tbsp. Rapadura or Succanat
Salt and pepper
Olive or coconut oil

Cut halal chicken into bite sized pieces. Then make a marinade out of the first seven ingredients, leaving out the marmalade. Marinade chicken pieces for at least an hour, or up to 8 hours. Remove chicken pieces from the marinade with a slotted spoon. Prepare a bag of flour, add salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken pieces to flour bag and shake. Shake off excess flour and add chicken to a pan of shallow hot oil. Brown on both sides. Repeat the process until all chicken has been fried. Add chicken to a 8x8 pyrex baking pan. Also add reserved marinade, sugar, marmalade and along with 1 tablespoon of flour mixed with just enough water to make a paste. Bake at 350 oven for 30-40 minutes until chicken runs clear and orange marinade juices have thickened. Serve chicken over brown or basmati rice.

The Eggcellence of Eggs

Muhammad al-Baqir, peace be upon him, said: “Whoever does not have children, let him eat eggs and eat them often, for it increases progeny.” Contrary to popular views, eggs are heart-healthy and can help to prevent heart disease, and may actually lower blood cholesterol. Eggs also promote healthy eyes by reducing chances for cataracts. Eggs are nutrient-rich and are a good source of protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and sulphur. Eggs are well-known for their ability to promote healthy brain function; thus they are also very beneficial for the functions of the nervous system. Eat eggs that are prepared in a healthy way. Eat fewer fried eggs and more hard- and soft-boiled, poached, and sunny-side-up eggs. Also try any of the wonderful baked egg dishes in our cookbook.
It is best to get organic free-range eggs. Most commercially produced eggs are inferior in vitamins and minerals, due to the lack of sunlight, that these chickens receive. They are also lacking in precious Omega Oils that free range chickens get, when allowed to eat bugs, worms and forage. When you eat free range eggs note the deep orange color of them, in comparison to regular super market eggs. This is proof of their richness in Vitamin A, and other beneficial nutrients.

Meatless Loaf (American Vegetarian)

By far this is one of my favorite veggie dishes. It comes from a book called Lean and Meatless. Satisfied the all the meat lovers in my house
Goes great with brown rice, or mashed potatoes, with gravy.

¼ cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup any combination of diced celery, green pepper, fresh parsley, drained and seeded tomatoes, carrots, squash, cooked dried beans, olives, etc.
1 cup finely chopped nuts of your choice
1 cup grated cheese
1 cup cooked rice
1/3 bread crumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Black pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the vegetables until limp.
2. Combine the sautéed vegetables with the remaining ingredients. Mix well; adding a small amount of liquid if the mixture seems too dry. Pour the mixture into a greased loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes. Serves 6.

Nutty For Coconuts

Coconut - The meat of the coconut is very helpful in destroying the intestinal parasites that we get from digesting infected foods. The coconut water is good for kidney and urinary bladder problems. Coconut oil, contrary to what many people think, is very healthy oil indeed. Coconut oil is actually beneficial for the heart. It helps to lower blood cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. It aids in digestion, builds up the immune system, and helps in fighting many diseases because of its antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. It has been claimed that it helps deal with viruses such as herpes, influenza, and even HIV. Coconut oil is also noted for helping with weight control when used regularly. There are more benefits of coconut oil; however, to be brief, we will end here. No wonder it is an ingredient in so many of the recipes in this book.

Just Say No To Crisco

Hydrogenated Oils (Shortening and Margarine) - It is important to note that hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils have been banned in many European countries because of the harm that they cause to our bodies. However, here in the good ole U.S.A. we are still using this poisonous ingredient in many food products. Hydrogenated oil was invented in order to get around the high cost of butter. They are oils that have been chemically changed by adding in hydrogen molecules to make them firm so they would resemble the texture of butter. It’s cheaper to produce hydrogenated oil than it is to put butter in food products.
Some of the effects of hydrogenated oil are that it causes weight gain, slows down your metabolism, raises the levels of bad cholesterol and lowers the good cholesterol levels, increases blood insulin, increases free radical formation, and affects the immune system. Hydrogenated oil is closely linked with the increase of diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and so much more.

My dietary alternatives for these are butter, palm oil, and coconut oil. For all of my baking that calls for shortening I use a palm oil put out by Spectrum. I love this oil; it should be known that this form was the shortening of choice, along with coconut oil for bakeries, until around the late 1950s. That was when the domination of partially hydrogenated soybean oil came about, with the claim that it was healthier - but it has proven to be anything but. Again, palm oil, coconut oil, and even butter are the better alternatives.

In conclusion, don’t let expense keep you from good health. Just bake less if it becomes a money issue. But remember that cheap products are the reason we’re in the predicament we’re in now. They want production to be cheaper, so they feed us poison. If we don’t pay for it now, we’ll pay for it later in medical costs, to say nothing of physical and emotional pain.

Chicken with Chinese Black Bean Sauce

This recipe is adapted from The Every Day Low-Carb Slow Cooker Cookbook by;Kitty Broihier,M.S., R.D., and Kimberly Mayone.

2 Tbsp sesame oil, divided
1/4 cup water
6 cloves of garlic, halved
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp Chinese black bean sauce
1 Tbsp (sucanat or honey)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
3 pounds assorted bone in chicken pieces, skinned, fat trimmed

1. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker crock, except the chicken; mix well.
2. Add the chicken pieces and toss with the sauce to coat chicken thoroughly. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours. Serves 5

Succanat and Rapadura

Rapadura and Sucanat are great substitutes for refined table sugar. Not only are they sweet, but they are full of nutrients and as well. Because these sugars are processed very minimally, the molasses that naturally is part of the sugar cane juice is not seperated. With white sugar the molasses is stripped from the sugar and then sold seperately as a health food. These sugars are great for baking and cooking, and when combined with other whole food ingredients, (whole grains, virgin oils, etc) can allow you to enjoy a nutritious, guilt free meal or dessert. Rapadura does not spike the glycemic index like refined sugars do. Ofcourse as with everything, however, we should exercise moderation. To learn more about these sugars, go to

Thai Red Curry Chicken

This recipe comes from the book, The Every Day Low-Carb Slow Cooker Cookbook. I like the recipe. It comes out more like the consistancy of a soup. I serve with brown rice.

1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp red curry paste
1/4 cup halal chicken broth
1 14 ounce can coconut milk
3 Tbsp sugar (I use succanat or rapadura)
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs,fat trimmed and cut into bit sized pieces
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 8 ounce can bamboo shoots drained
1/2 head fresh cauliflower, core removed and broken into florets (about 2 cups)
3/4 pound fresh green beans (about 4 cups)
2 Tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil leaves (optional)

1. In the slow cooker, combine the curry paste, broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, and succanat; mix well with a whisk. Add chicken, onions, bamboo shoots, and cauliflower; stir to coat ingredients with sauce.

2. Place green beans on top of mixture and cook on low for 8 hours.
3. Before serving, stir the green beans into the dish, and add sliced basil, if desired.