Interview with Author M.K. Johnston of ‘Halal Comfort Food’ and the GiveAway

Hello people, I hope you are all good and healthy . Today we have a special guest on our Food Blog, and the post is not a normal recipe post. We are doing a Book Giveaway and interview with Author Mindy Johnston . ‘Halal Comfort Food’ is her debut work which has a guide for Halal Foods for newly reverted Muslims and many of your favorite dishes with Halalified recipes . I have the copy of her book and believe me even as born Muslim they were few things I didn’t know come under the details of Halal food.


To Enter the Giveaway for getting your copy of the book . The rule is simple , answer the question below in comment box and I will message you to get your delivery address  if you are the lucky winner . There is only one lucky winner. 

What is your favorite  relief moment when you were looking for Halal food in a strange place , what did you find ? 


You can read the full interview below .

  1. How did the Idea for Halal Comfort Food struck you ?

MJ: Before I converted to Islam, I had spent several years developing recipes for a completely different cookbook.  Once I converted, I realized that those recipes were basically useless, as they were full of haram ingredients like alcohol and pork products.  So I was stuck for a while, trying to figure out whether I should just throw out the recipes and give up on the book, or whether I should keep working on recipes for another cookbook.  But the thing is, I really liked a lot of those recipes, and a lot of the foods that I used to eat.  So rather than just give up, I thought, why not just take those recipes and remake them with halal ingredients?  So I started experimenting with foods and recipe substitutions, and found that the results were really good!  And since I figured there are a lot of converts out there who might also want to find halal versions of their old favorite foods, I thought, why not make a cookbook featuring those foods and helping others to figure out how to make halal versions of their favorite foods as well?  So this became the main theme of the recipe section of the cookbook.  And since it was mainly geared toward converts, I also included information on what is and is not halal, and recipe substitutions so that readers can give their own recipes halal makeovers as well.I also included information on what is and is not halal, and recipe substitutions so that readers can give their own recipes halal makeovers as well.I also included information on what is and is not halal, and recipe substitutions so that readers can give their own recipes halal makeovers as well.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to be a  writer ?

MJ: I started writing when I was pretty young, but it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to write.  I started out writing poetry, then progressed on to short stories.  Eventually I decided I wanted to write novels.  But though I have started several novels over the years, I have sadly never finished one of them!  After a while though, probably while I was in college, I realized I had a knack for writing nonfiction.  And since I have always loved cooking as well, I finally thought, why not combine the two?  And so after I graduated from college, I began working on recipe development for a cookbook.  I have to admit, I thought that writing a cookbook would be easy, but considering the time it took me to develop all those recipes and put them together, it was not such an easy task after all!

3. Tell us 3 things  about yourself which are not mentioned in the Author description of your book ?

MJ:  I am an avid coupon-er.  I love a good deal, and am very thrifty!

In addition to my love for food and writing, I also love clothes and fashion in general.  I also sell Islamic clothes and other fashion accessories like vintage purses and shoes on eBay.

I used to be a vegetarian.  This didn’t last once I got pregnant with my first child and started craving steak, however!  But this is where my interest in food ingredients and recipe makeovers began.  I can tell you, it is a lot easier to make a halal version of mac & cheese than a vegan one!

4. How long did it took you to write this book?

MJ:  All in all, it was about 5 years of recipe development, but that took a bit longer than it might have taken otherwise since I more or less restarted in the middle of it.  Once the recipes were ready, the actual writing probably took only a few months.

5. What is your work schedule like when you’re writing or when you wrote this book ?

MJ:  I work full time, Monday through Friday.  I work on developing recipes as much as possible since I have to cook every day no matter what.  But the majority of the writing took place in the evenings and on the weekends.

6. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

MJ:  I love to read, though I don’t always have time to do so.  When my schedule is too hectic for reading, I still like to get my reading fix, so I listen to a lot of audiobooks!  I like to watch movies with my husband, and when I have time I like to do fun things outdoors, like taking the kids swimming or go hiking.

7. Who else is in your family and what do they think of your writing?

MJ:  I have a husband and two daughters.  They are all pretty happy with the recipe development part of my writing habit, because it means they get to try out all my experiments!  My husband especially likes to make recipe requests, lol.

8. What was one of the most difficult thing you learned in writing a Halal Food book?

MJ: The most difficult part of writing this book was probably finding source materials to properly explain which foods are and are not halal.  It seems pretty simple, just going off of what the Quran says, but there are actually a lot of differing opinions out there, and not many books on the subject (not in English, at least).  For example, some people feel that shellfish is haram.  Some people will eat only certified halal meat, while others feel it’s fine to buy non-zabihah meat and just say “Bismillah” over their food before eating.  My goal was not to tell people what to do or how they should eat, but to present all of the information so that they could make up their own minds.

9. Which is your favourite book?

MJ: That is a really tough question!  There are so many books that I love, it is hard to pick just one.  To be completely honest, I really love reading YA novels, especially ones that deal with the paranormal, like Twilight.  I also love dystopian novels, like The Handmaid’s Tale and The Hunger Games.

10. Do you have any message for your readers ?

MJ: Play with your food!  I just want for my readers to have fun in the kitchen, and not feel as though they are constrained in any way by following a halal diet.  There are a lot of times we may want to try some food at a restaurant or office party, but we hold back for fear that it may have some questionable ingredient, or is made with meat that is not halal.  But rather than feeling left out, know that there is nothing we can’t have if we are willing to get a little creative in the kitchen!

11. Is there any new book you are already working on or planning to start with?

MJ: Yes, I am currently working on recipe development for my next cookbook!  I can’t say when it will be ready, but I plan to have a lot more recipes in the next one, and a wide variety of foods from around the world, in addition to more halal makeover recipes!

I wish you all the best for the success of your book and In sha Allah we will see you with many more books.


Water Melon Coolant

A very Easy Summer Drink that you will love !

You will need :

300 gms water melon, peeled , cut and deseeded.

100 ml of Chilled Water.

Mint leaves (2-3)

1 tbsp sugar  ( Add per your taste )

Blend in everything together in a blender for a minute or two.

Serve chilled.


“Social Media” Participants

You can find a lot of tried and tested recipes on Recipe Hunter’s Blog plus she has shared information for a lot of cooking blogs in her this blog post !



If you wish to have your social media / blog information added, please leave your information on original post: An open invitation to all Bloggers and I will be more than happy to add your information.

Last update:  March 28, 2017  I will update as I receive new inforamtion.  Thanks to all those already listed.  Please share the love to your followers, have them follow our blog (TRH), then link on this platform as well.  ♥ ♥

Read all about our
“Social Media” Participants

Meet Dr. Rex @ It Is What It Is and read her very inspiring About note.

Meet Ella Price @ My Favorite Recipes

Meet Jo Ann @ fearlessinjesuschrist and read all about her found hope and victory in Jesus post.

Meet Sue @ MY LOUD BIPOLAR WHISPERS and read her story and journey about living, surviving and thriving with bipolar disorder.

Meet Vincent @ Talmidimblogging

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Aloo Bukhara Chutney (Plum Sauce)

You will love the sweet and sour flavor of it.Perfect to get along with any  savory snacks.



Plums- 350 grams

sugar – 200 grams

Salt-1/2 teaspoon

Chili Powder-1/2 teaspoon

Cumin Powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Water -2 cups


Cut the fresh plums into small pieces and put them in a pan.

add water ,sugar and spices to it.

Bring to a boil until you see plums getting soft and then simmer it for 5-10 min, till you see a thick sauce.

Cool and store in a jar.

You can keep it in  fridge for a week.

You can eat it as a dip with roasted or fried chicken, pakoras( fritters) or even with simple daal chawal.(lentil soup and rice).



Key Lime Mousse




Preparation Time :15 minutes

Ingredients :

Cream Cheese (0% Fat) 500 ml

Whipping cream  1/2  cup

Lemon juice (1 tablespoon)

Key Lime juice (2 tablespoon)

Lime zest  (1)

Sugar (150 gm)

Vanilla essence ( 1 teaspoon)

Slices  of lime and Almond flakes for garnishing.

Directions :

Mix the  lemon juice , Lime juice ,vanilla essence into cream cheese using a spoon.

Use an electric hand mixer to mix sugar and whipping cream in a separate bowl until it become light and foamy.

Now  add the mix  of whipping cream to  the cheese mix , taste the sugar and  lemon  in it, adjust to suit your taste if you like more lemon flavor or more sweet.

Pour into serving glasses.

Garnish with lime slice and almond flakes.

Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.



A healthy chocolate mousse for the weight watchers!! Will try this weekend 🙂


This chocolate mousse is so freakin’ delicious that I could not stop licking my fingers/the spoon/the insides of the food processor whilst making it! Before I give you the recipe though, I want to put in context just how HEALTHY and NUTRITIOUS this recipe actually is by comparing it to celebrity chef, Jaime Oliver’s. FYI, I have nothing whatsoever against Oliver; undoubtedly he’s an excellent Chef . However; I believe his “Delicious Chocolate Mousse” recipe contains some pretty naughty/”unhealthy” ingredients: (chocolate pieces, sea salt, eggs, caster sugar, full-fat cream, amaretto liqueur, cocoa powder, sesame snaps and sour cherries ) whilst in comparison, my recipe is:

1 small banana
1 ripe avocado
4 tbsp raw cacao powder
2 tbsp honey 
2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
berries to decorate

Need I say more?

Anyone that knows me at all knows that I have a HUGE sweet tooth and I LOVE chocolate. I assure you…

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Green Smoothie

Looks great! Need to give it a try! For all my friends who are on Diet, Would be a nice drink to add to the diet.

Real Foods Mom

I love green smoothies and have been drinking one daily for the past 6 years! I rarely miss a day because I don’t feel my best if I do. Green smoothies help me to feel energized and clean, and how many people do you know that get this many greens in a day, let alone just at breakfast:

2016-01-08 08.38.34Yeah, not many…probably just the crazy people :), like me. Even when I travel, I try and drink green smoothies…if a blender isn’t available for me to borrow then I’ll usually find a local health food store and buy premade green smoothies.

2016-01-06 08.39.21

I posted another green smoothie recipe on this blog about 4 years ago which you can find by clicking here.  I change my recipes up regularly, using different greens and fruit that are in season, but the outline is the same:  water, greens, fruit and ice or frozen fruit. Sometimes I’ll…

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