Elise Bellin, Librarian of the Islamic Resource Center, wrote this book review as part of an ongoing series that focuses on a range of books within the IRC collection as a service to the community.
My Halal Kitchen
by Yvonne Maffei, © 2016 ISBN: 9781572841741
Finding good halal (Islamically permissible) food that you can make at home can sometimes be a pain. It sometimes seems like everything has gelatin, pork or wine products in them. So when you find a good halal recipe with simple ingredients and simple steps, it feels like a godsend. Finding an entire blog devoted to the halal culinary arts which aren’t solely Arabian cuisine is absolutely heavenly. That devotion to finding recipes that can meet a family’s taste requirements while maintaining a halal mindset has helped Yvonne Maffei, author and founder of the insanely popular lifestyle blog MyHalalKitchen.com, make a name for herself.
The book, My Halal Kitchen, is a collection of recipes from her blog and never before seen recipes all maintaining halal standards focused on all-natural, organic ingredients. This book is filled to the brim with beautiful full-page color illustrations that leave your stomach rumbling and part of you wanting to reach through the pages and take a bite out of the beautifully plated dishes.
It even begins with a glossary of Islamic terms helpful to a reader who is not Muslim and a brief introduction to what it means for a food to be considered halal. Therefore even if you aren’t as familiar with halal restrictions, Maffei makes it easy to understand. Later, when you find recipes in the book such as Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise Sauce or Spaghetti Carbonara for instance, you understand why the substitutions from the traditional ingredients are so important.
Whether you are Muslim and require a halal diet, just looking for a healthy alternative to many of those processed foods available today, or curious about a different dietary lifestyle, this book is a good place to start your search.
Founded in 2010, the Islamic Resource Center (IRC) is the first Islamic public lending library in Wisconsin. The IRC aims to provide resources to educators, students, health professionals, interfaith groups, and any members of the Milwaukee community that want an accurate understanding of the Islamic faith, its practices, and its people.