Fast Recipes Feature: My Halal Kitchen

My Halal KitchenMy Halal Kitchen is a culinary arts blog that combines halal cooking with Sicilian, Puerto-rican and other ethnic recipes with a focus on healthy, wholesome eating.  Site creator Yvonne Maffei discusses the inspiration behind her culinary arts site and its unique content.

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

I'm an American-born Muslim woman with a Sicilian and Puerto-Rican ethnic heritage. I was a school teacher for nearly 10 years before deciding to pursue food writing and the culinary arts on a full-time basis.

I’m passionate about wholesome food, healthy living, good nutrition, gardening, and learning about the fascinating culinary traditions of people all over the globe. I love to cook and the kitchen is my favorite part of the house. I'm currently a food writer, recipe developer, culinary instructor and halal food consultant.

What was the inspiration behind creating

For those who are unfamiliar with the term halal, it simply means "permissible" in the Arabic language. In the context of My Halal Kitchen and all things related to food, it indicates what is permissible within the dietary guidelines of Islamic principles. The most common comparison is kosher, the Jewish dietary guideline that the general public tends to be more familiar with.
I wanted a platform where I could share with readers of any ethnic, cultural or religious background the tasty recipes I’ve been fortunate enough to gather from family and friends around the globe, only with halal substitutes. I also wanted to share kitchen tips, stories about cooking, my thoughts on food, and where readers would be able to find all the same things I do to create healthy, halal meals.

What can readers find on

My Halal Kitchen is constantly expanding and evolving. Readers can not only find healthy, halal recipes using our recipe index, but they can also learn to decipher ingredients at restaurants on our 'Eating Out" page to see if unfamiliar terms at ethnic restaurants or on grocery store shelves may contain things that are not halal.
Additionally, they can learn how to create their own halal pantry by checking out the list of suggested items to keep in stock at home in order to create their own halal meals.
Our Travel page is growing with us. As we discover more and more restaurants and ways to find halal everywhere we go, readers can benefit from our experiences by checking out that page.
Most of all, what everyone can find on My Halal Kitchen is a community of people interested in wholesome nutrition, healthy living and a friendly and open platform for discussion on every article and recipe presented.

What are your favorite things to cook/bake?

This is a tough question because I really love to do just about anything in the kitchen, but I have to say that I love two things the most: 1) one-pot family meals like a lamb stew, because not only is it simple and quick to throw together, but it's hearty enough to satisfy a table full of people; and 2) baked goods I can make without even looking at the recipe, such as foccacia bread and yogurt cakes. When you've done the same thing over and over, it's not a hassle to put it together quickly, even if guests are arriving at the last moment!

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If you had to pick the most important feature of a recipe, what would it be?