The Halal Guys

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When I was visiting New York City, I had the opportunity to eat at a halal cart. It was pretty amazing. The Halal Guys are the most popular of the halal carts. Three partners opened up a hot dog cart on West 53rd & 6th Avenue in New York City in 1990 and then switched over to Mediterranean food to cater to Muslim cab drivers. That’s how Halal Guys were formed. They are pretty well known all over Manhattan and have expanded outside the Big Apple. Now they are here in the Valley of the Sun with a few locations planned. I had a chance to visit their Tempe location which is in the perfect spot because nearby Muslim community. The menu consist of platters (with salad and rice) and sandwiches. You can either get chicken, beef gyro, a combination of both or falafel. I got the beef gyro sandwich and really enjoyed it. The white and red sauce are a must and really add some spice and flavor to your meal. I’m excited to made a return visit!

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Beef Gyro Sandwich

The Halal Guys Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Elite Event: Lettuce Be Healthy at Fresh Millions

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This was the perfect Yelp Elite event to start off the new year. Especially after two months of holiday parties. Fresh Millions is a fast-casual “eat healthy” concept food chain that has endless combinations available from their menu. They offer lunch or dinner entrées that include made-to-order gourmet salads with a variety of mix-ins, hot bowls, soups, and grilled paninis. They first opened in 2015 and locations have been popping up all over the Valley since then. People love choices these days and Fresh Millions allows you to choose what you want on your entrée. You basically order on one side of the stainless-steel counter, pick your toppings, pay at the other side of the counter and take your food to a table. For bowls, you choose your base (brown rice, noodles, spinach, romaine, etc), a protein (chicken, shrimp, steak, tofu), a sauce (basil pesto, Thai peanut, green curry, etc) and four mix-ins. You can even go half-and-half base and do rice and romaine/spinach. The cooks will mix and sauté up your creation and you can watch the magic happen right over the counter as they are an open kitchen. For the little ones, they have a healthy fresh kids’ menu. If you are in a hurry and don’t want typical unhealthy greasy fast food, this is the place to go.

We had a Yelp Elite event at Fresh Millions to celebrate their grand opening location in Gilbert. I love these events that introduce me to new places around the Valley. I also love getting more acquainted with my fellow Yelp Elites as these are the people with the most knowledge of where the best eats are in the Valley. We were given sandwich and salad samples and able to create our bowl. For dessert, we had a table full of yummy cookies to choose from. This was a fun event and I look forward to a return visit.

 

Fresh Millions Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fiesta Blend Stuffed Bell Peppers

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Whole Foods sells Engine 2 products and I thought I’d try one of their recipes. Engine 2 makes whole plant-based foods that taste good. They hope to help people rid themselves of refined and processed foods and live a more healthier lifestyle. I love stuffed bell peppers and this was a simple delicious healthy recipe to make.

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Ingredients:
2 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise through the stem end and seeded
1 avocado, diced and divided
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
1 (13-ounce) package frozen Engine 2 Plant-Strong® Organic Fiesta Blend Grain Medley, prepared according to package instructions
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

Method:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange bell pepper halves cut-side down on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and roast until just slightly charred and softened, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool.

To make the dressing, blend avocado, lime juice and cumin in a blender until smooth. In a large bowl, toss the Fiesta Blend Grain Medley with onion, cilantro and half of the dressing. Taste and add more dressing if desired; save remaining dressing for another use. Mound the mixture into the roasted bell pepper halves and garnish with cilantro.

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Mango Chicken

Trader Joe’s recipe

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 (12 oz) jar Pineapple salsa
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen Mango chunks or frozen Tropical Fruit Trio

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place chicken breasts in a baking dish, cover with salsa, and top with mango chunks (don’t bother thawing). Lightly drape with aluminum foil. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until chicken is done and juices run clear when cut. Be careful not to overcook. Serve over rice.

Bacon and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast

– Trader Joe’s recipe
  • 1 tub Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 1 package Uncured Bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, pounded flat
  • Toothpicks or kitchen twine (or whatever you can find in your kitchen drawer)
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp (each) Dried Oregano, Dried Basil
  • 1 can (28 oz.) Diced Tomatoes & Juice From Can

Combine feta and bacon in a mixing bowl. Place 1/4 cup of the cheese/bacon mixture on the center of each chicken breast. Fold breast over to enclose mixture; fasten with a toothpick or kitchen twine. Heat a large sauté pan and add oil. Heat oil to medium and add stuffed breasts; turn breasts while cooking to brown on all sides. Add tomatoes and seasoning to pan. Lower heat to a simmer; cook about 15 – 20 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°. Place chicken on a serving platter (remove toothpicks or twine) and spoon tomato sauce over.

* – I served it over rice