It’s Christmas season once again, and that means attending parties left and right. Some of these gatherings are potluck parties wherein we’re required to bring a special dish to share with everyone. Aside from that, we also have our own parties to host at the office and at home. That means we need to be creative with the dishes we’re preparing. In addition, there’s a need for us to eat in a more health-conscious manner. Christmas is a great time to indulge, but that doesn’t mean we need to be remiss with our health.
We put together a list of healthy rice recipes you can enjoy with friends and family over Christmas dinner. You can also serve them at parties outside Christmas. We recommend using Kinmemai Japanese rice, which is healthier and easier to prepare than normal white or brown rice.
Shrimp Fried Rice
Ingredients: Kinmemai Better White Rice, egg whites, peeled and deveined shrimp,half of the ginger slices, red pepper flakes, matchstick-sized ginger slices, snow peas, carrots, garlic, dry sake, rice wine, slices of one small red onion, thin slices of the white and green parts of scallions, vegetable oil, and low-sodium soy sauce.
- First, prepare Kinmemai Better White, then set aside to cool.
- Next, marinate the shrimp, ginger, sake, vinegar and pepper flakes in a bowl for 15 minutes.
- Then toss everything in a nonstick skillet and cook on medium-high heat for two minutes. Set aside on a large plate.
- Cook the carrots, garlic, red onion slices and snow peas on the same skillet until they are crisp, yet still soft and tender.
- Set them aside on the same plate as the shrimp.
- Scramble the eggs on the skillet and place on the same plate as the shrimp and vegetables.
- Place the rice back on the skillet and fry with vegetable oil until it becomes brown.
- Stir in the eggs, shrimps, and vegetables and combine with dry sake and soy sauce.
- Remove from heat and place in a large bowl.
- Finally, garnish the dish with scallions and serve.
Fish and Brown Rice Burrito Bowl
Ingredients: Kinmemai Better Brown, eight halves of basa fish fillet, black-eyed peas, finely chopped red onions, chopped tomatoes, chopped parsley, torn lettuces, olive oil, cumin, garlic salt, and paprika.
- First, prepare Kinmemai brown rice, then set aside.
- Create a salsa mix using the onion, parsley, and tomatoes. Set aside as well.
- Create a spice mix using cumin, garlic salt and paprika in a small bowl.
- Lay the fish fillets on the tray and rub the spice mix on both sides of the fish.
- Put half of the fillets in a nonstick skillet and cook each side for three to four minutes. Repeat with the rest of the remaining fillets. Remove and set aside.
- Warm the rice again on the same skillet and mix with black-eyed beans.
- Divide the fish fillets, rice, and salsa in bowls, and serve.
Serve these recipes during Christmas parties and have you and your friends a happy, healthy and jolly Christmas!
BBQ is great to have for any occasion and for any setting. After all, what is more satisfying than to see beautifully seasoned meat heating up on a bed of live coals? BBQs are also great for people to bond over because it is a group activity. Over the years, BBQs have evolved as one of the best things to do when there is a reunion – be it of friends or of families! Here are some awesome reasons why halal BBQs are just great for bonding with family.
1) Involves everyone
BBQs require the involvement of everyone if it has to be a success. Right from shopping for the BBQ and preparing the halal meat, to grilling it on live flames, BBQs require the assistance and cooperation of everyone in the family. As a result, there is more conversation between people, bringing them closer. This leads to family members learning more about what is going on in each other’s lives, which in turn can create a very strong sense of belonging and a reliable support system for each person in the family.
2) Success depends on everyone’s efforts!
BBQs do not depend on the efforts of only one person but is a group effort. Each person may be good in something different. As such, it is only when each person comes together, bringing each of their talents, that a BBQ can become successful. A family may have someone who is an expert on seasonings, while another may be really good at setting the coals aflame. Yet another person may be a halal shopping pro while another could be really great at entertaining everyone. Needless to say, the success of a BBQ depends on everybody present, which is another reason why it is such an amazing thing to do to get the family bonding.
3) People MUST interact
In an age where everyone is constantly hooked on to their gadget screens, a BBQ is an event where people will simply have to engage in interaction, keeping aside their gadgets for a while at least. As a result, there is not only more interaction but also better quality of interaction – something that is vastly missing from our interaction these days. As a family, it is very important that people engage in better and meaningful conversation so that they can know and understand each other better.
4) Promotes a sense of community and sharing
Invariably, during the BBQ, you will find that people are sharing and helping each other out. For example, an act as simple as passing the mustard can go a long way in promoting positive feelings between two family members who may previously have not been interacting much. Besides, it builds a sort of network, both of an emotional as well as of a social support that can prove to be of great help to you sometime in the future!
Big family get together coming up? Then do give a serious thought about having a BBQ party for the whole clan! Get in touch with EZBBQ, a halal certified catering company, for more information on BBQ catering and for help in organizing the event.
Halal foods are always a popular subject of discussion, even though there isn’t any reason for that. Because of that controversy you sometimes see in the media, there are many really common myths about keeping halal. When it comes to reality, none of those myths are true, but they continue to live in people’s heads.
Common Misunderstandings About Halal
- Halal slaughter is really cruel.
PETA was the organization raising this rumor constantly. But in fact, this is not true. Most people consider it to be cruel as halal killing doesn’t involve stunning. However, in some countries (e.g. Australia) it sometimes does. But halal killing doesn’t allow an animal to feel fear and makes that throat cut really fast with a sharp knife, so an animal doesn’t suffer.
- Halal is extremely expensive.
Many people believe that getting halal meat would cost them more than regular meat. Halal accreditation really involves paying a little extra, but just a little, so a consumer doesn’t feel that cost. Many plants also don’t divide their production into halal and non-halal, so in the end, all meat they produce is labeled halal, so you definitely don’t pay any extra. Others claim that halal meat in some parts of the country is even cheaper than getting non-halal meat.
- Halal foods aren’t clean.
This myth comes from people who have been served poorly in halal places. This indeed could be true a decade ago, but now it’s definitely not. Quran prescribes cleanness in food and public places, so you don’t have to worry about the quality of your food when you’re trying it in halal places. It will be done perfectly, without any toxins, your meat won’t have any issues with it.
As more and more people are turning to Islam or are just interested in Islam culture or trying something new, those myths turn out to be just rumors. And the quality of services in halal places increases, so you won’t encounter anything bad or weird. Actually, you might find many halal places more welcoming than Western places.
People are often diving into halal hysteria when they don’t understand the reasons why it’s so important for Muslim folks to do halal. But in fact, going halal could be the best decision you make in your life even if you’re far away from Islam. The reason for that is halal meat itself.
Reasonable Grounds for Trying and Sticking to Halal Food
- It’s the way an animal lives.
Halal meat doesn’t just come from an animal that was slaughtered in some specific way, contrary to a popular belief. If a whole thing was just about slaughter, it would be much easier to do halal. But true halal meat comes from an animal that was treated really well during their whole life. That animal could only eat clean, good foods, it was taken good care of, so it’s clean when it comes to your table.
- It could be a lot cheaper.
Actually, many people are going halal only because sometimes it’s much cheaper. Try to visit some halal places and you will probably notice that difference too. That would seem weird, as halal animals require a higher level of maintenance, but still, the halal meat won’t leave you broke.
- You really know something about your foods this way.
Many people state that the best part is actually being aware of the fact where your food actually comes from. Each year there are different reports about people getting sick after they try something in a store, and it seems that FDA is not doing that good job after all. But you don’t have to worry about this is you incorporate halal into your life. You know that the flesh of that animal you’re eating is clean and you won’t feel bad after.
- There aren’t any harmful parts.
Halal doesn’t allow adding of any toxic or harmful elements into animal’s ratio or into the meat after a slaughter. This really might seem a bit old-fashioned, but it makes sense. Science is still not clear about long term effects of different pesticides and toxins, but it seems that those could be really harmful to a human’s body.
- There won’t be much blood.
Another thing about ritual slaughter is that it drives blood away from the body. Halal killing presumes that a cut would be made on an animal’s neck, so blood from a body pumps into a brain. This way, when meat is cut, there isn’t that much blood, so it’s cleaner.
- A pork part is also understandable.
Muslims are not allowed to eat pork, which for many people seems weird, but it has some historical meaning. Pigs long time ago really could spread many germs and diseases, as those animals don’t lead the cleanest way of life. They also mate with their own relatives and eat their excrements. Those facts lead to contaminations and health risks.
- An animal doesn’t suffer.
Halal rules require that an animal doesn’t see a knife, this way it’s not scared. An animal isn’t allowed to see another animal being killed, and a knife has to be really sharp, so it won’t feel much pain. Actually, this way of killing is really humane, especially if you compare it to some other ways.
- You are what you eat.
This is an old saying, but many still believe it to be true. Consuming halal meat tells that you’re taking good care of your body and health. It also tastes really different and maybe you will fall in love with the unique taste of the halal meat itself.
It seems that health benefits of halal foods are really evident and clear. You can enjoy a wide variety of tastes and good foods while you’re still sure of the source of your meat. You also don’t have to worry about catching a germ or something bad from that meat. And well, even the fact that your meat doesn’t contain blood, could make it much softer and delicious. It’s good to make smart choices with your food.