30 July 2009
If you are on a diet close your eyes and imagine. Imagine about cooking something that consists of the nourishment, vitamins, protein, carbonhydrates and taste of 30 different things. Also imagine that this meal is light, fills your stomach and is good for a diet. I hear you say "No way! What kind of diet is this?" Follow this recipe and decide for yourself if I'm right or wrong.
29 July 2009
String beans are always one of the most preferred vegetables of summer. Many kinds of dishes can be prepared from string beans. This time I will explain a cold dish of string beans with yoghurt. I tried it the first time, and it's very tasty. Don't look anywhere else, you can only find this recipe here!
27 July 2009
I have previously given you the stir fry version of smilax which is also known as catbriers, greenbriers, prickly-ivys or sarsaparilla. I later decided to cook the stew version. This dish is the first of its kind, there are no other recipes out there. So if you would like to have a taste this sour dish, go ahead and try it out. Don't forget you can add yoghurt mixed with crushed garlic as a topping. They go wonderfully well together!
23 July 2009
This wild plant is commonly found in the northern parts of Anatolia, but it is also found in the Mediterranean region and all around the world in temperate climates. Borage is known for its diuretic effect, it is a natural alternative for paracetamol and helps detoxification of the blood. "Borage" is also known as "starflower" and can be stir fried and pickled. I especially like the taste of the borage pickles, it has an extraordinary texture.
21 July 2009
It's a known fact that green lentils are a rich source of protein. Always try to cook lentils frequently. There are so many ways lentils can be cooked I don't think it will be that difficult. Here is a lentil recipe with vegetables which makes lentils even more nourishing than they already are:
20 July 2009
Who can just stand there and not taste a lovely dish made with olive oil, especially stuffed peppers? Most folk hesitate to make it at home, thinking it's a difficult job to prepare stuffed peppers but of course here I am to "prove them wrong!" If you know the job it only takes 40 minutes to prepare this lovely dish. Here are the secrets, just follow:
- 750 gr small regular shaped green bell peppers
- 1 and a 1/2 cups of rice, washed and strained
- 2 middle size onions, chopped
- 2 middle size tomatoes, sliced
- 1/2 a bunch of parsley, stems removed and chopped
- 5-6 stems of fresh mint, stems removed and chopped or 1 teaspoon of dry mint
- 1 tablespoon of small currants
- 1 tablespoon of pine nuts
- 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1 lemon
- 1 small cup of olive oil
- 2 cups of hot water
- The stuffing: pour half of the olive oil in a pot, add the pine nuts, currants and chopped onion and cook for 1 minute. Next, add the strained rice and stir for 2 minutes on low heat. Take it off the heat and add the chopped parsley and mint, ground black pepper and salt. Mix it all together and let it cool.
- Meanwhile, core the bell peppers by pressing gently into the stem part with your thumb and taking out the core with the help of a knife.
- Stuff the peppers with the rice mixture, with the help of a teaspoon. Be careful not to stuff too much, leave a gap of 1 cm empty, and keep the stuffing loose.
- Close the peppers with a slice of tomatoe and place them in a pot open side up. Keep them tight. If the pot is too big, use a smaller one.
- Slice up the lemon and cut the rinds off. Place the lemons on the stuffed peppers.
- Add the rest of the olive oil and 2 cups of hot water. Close the lid and cook for 15-20 minutes on low heat.
- Let it brew and serve cold.
- I've had a peep of other recipes. Some say you should put a cup of water in the stuffing, some say you should stuff the peppers with cooked rice. Don't believe them it's a lie! If you don't want your stuffings to be mushy follow this recipe.
- Again I've seen some recipes using 6-8 onions. Don't even think about it.
- As I've said before the ratio of rice to water is still the same: 1 cup of rice to 1 and a 1/2 cups of water. No more no less.
- When cooked there should be 2 cm of liquid in the pot beneath the peppers. If you cook too much and the water boils down, then the stuffing will dry out as it waits.
19 July 2009
You already know Okra Stew from my previous posts. I hope you have tried it because it's worth it. This post, as you have guessed is another delicious dish of okra, "Fried Okra with Yoghurt". The first time I tried it I loved it. It's amazing. Be sure I will cook fried okra a lot from now on!
18 July 2009
Red prunes are a great source for vitamin C. Prunes are also effective in detoxication and regulating the menstrual cycle. So as you have guessed I here present you a recipe of prunes, red prune syrup. Don't misunderstand when I say syrup, this a wonderful homemade alternative to fruit juice. It's perfectly refreshing when you drink it cold on long summer days.
17 July 2009
Bulgur pilaf is a national dish of Turkey, and goes wonderfully well with jajik. Bulgur is a form of wheat, boiled and pounded. You will probably find it at the market as "cracked wheat". Don't worry what to cook for dinner, Bulgur Pilaf is easy and nutritious.
Because black mulberries are strong against pests, you can preserve them in the fridge or you can dry them to use later on. This fruit is a great antioxidant and a great boost for the immune system. Black mulberry mollases, pectin and "pestil" (dry paste) are commonly found in Turkey. It may be difficult to make these because they need a great deal of boiling, but with this recipe you can easily make black mulberry marmelade at home.
16 July 2009
Nowadays I have my mind set on cold dishes made with olive oil. These dishes are generally served as aperatives, and have a seperate place in the Turkish cuisine. You cook them, cool them and eat them. These cold dishes are light and are best eaten as main course in the summer. Here is one of those cold dishes made with olive oil: Fresh Blackeye Beans with Olive Oil.
This is a dish made of pinto beans and it's delicious when served cold. Generally it's difficult to get the right texture for this dish, some make it too mushy, and some don't cook it enough, you could break a tooth with the pinto bean. This dish is called "barbunya pilaki" in Turkey. "Barbunya" is the name of the bean, and "pilaki" is the name of the dish. Here's the recipe:
14 July 2009
13 July 2009
Imambayildi! This is the name of the delicious dish of aubergines stuffed with vegetables in Turkish, and it means "The imam (prayer leader) fainted." There are a few stories of where this dish got this weird name. I've investigated the subject and come up with this story:
"Okra!" Some love it, and some hate it because of the "slimy, sticky substance" it secretes when cooked. If you know the job this great vegetable won't go gooey, and let you down. Okra deserves much more than to be disregarded because of this sticky stuff. It's right in season and here is "a very light recipe made with only one tablespoon of olive oil and no slime." In these summer days, if you want to keep in shape, it would be a great decision to try okra. Give it a try you'll love the texture!
10 July 2009
Who doesn't like desert? Especially if it's light and easily digestible deserts are the happy ending to every meal. It's summer and choosing light deserts is a must if we want to go out and about in the summer heat. The classic Turkish desert Sütlaç is a perfectly light desert that mothers make for their children. It's totally easy to make, and so deserves to be "the first desert recipe" on this site. Come on and try this happy combination of milk rice and sugar!
For many years smilax was thought to be a source of "testosterone", which is of course not true since no plant has any hormones. On the other hand, it is known that smilax not only stimulates "hormonal activity", it also "strengthens the muscles and the libido."
08 July 2009
I previously gave you a recipe for "Stinging Nettle Puree." If you are fond of nettle I bet you will love this recipe for "nettle salad with tomatoe sauce".
- 250 gr of stinging nettle
- 2 middle sized tomatoes, grated
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 middle size onion, chopped finely
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tablespoon of grape vinegar
- 1/2 a small cup of olive oil
- 1 stem of parsley leaves
- 1 stem of dill leaves
- A Pair of thin rubber gloves
- Remove the leaves of the stinging nettle from the stems with rubber gloves, and wash. Be careful it really does sting!
- Put the nettle in hot water and boil for 10-15 minutes. When the nettles can be squashed with a spoon it's cooked.
- Put the nettle in a striner and press out the juice with the help of a spoon. Put the nettle in a service plate.
- Mix the grated tomatoe, finely chopped onion, crushed garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and lemon juice in a seperate bowl.
- Pour this mixture over the nettle and add the parsley and dill for decoration.
07 July 2009
I know you're used to drinking acidic and gaseous beverages. Here's a recipe that's not only perfect for hot summer days, but is also a drink that will make you stop drinking those harmful drinks. We don't find good homemade lemonade anymore, but with this recipe I'm sure lemonade will find its way into your homes.
- 10 lemons
- 1/2 an orange
- 1/2 a cup of sugar
- 5 cups of water
- 5-6 leaves of fresh mint
- Wash the orange and lemons thoroughly and scrape their rinds lightly to get rid of any pesticides and dirt.
- Slice the lemons into two and squeeze their juice into a large bowl.
- Add the squeezed lemons, orange, mint leaves and water into the bowl and stir until the sugar has disolved.
- Put the mixture in the fridge. Wait for 3 hours.
- Sieve the mixture with a fine muslin cloth.
- Your lemonade is ready. Serve with ice cubes.
- We scrape the lemons to get rid of the dark spots.
- The amount of water and sugar are upto you. Add slowly and test to see if the texture is good.
- Add a few strawberries and experience an even better flavour!
It's cherry time! Everybody loves to eat cherries in the summer, but the most precious part of this fruit is always thrown away: the stems! Go on and ask "What are we supposed to do with the stems?" The stem is the most benefial part of a cherry. It helps losing weight and keeping fit, and is good for gout illness, kidney infections, bronchitis and many more medical problems. here's how you can use cherry stems for your health and beauty:
Wash the cherry stems thoroughly and strain. You can use them fresh or leave them to dry on kitchen paper if you prefer to use them later.
Wash the cherry stems thoroughly and strain. You can use them fresh or leave them to dry on kitchen paper if you prefer to use them later.
- Take a handful of cherry stems (40-50 stems) and boil in 3 cups of water. Leave it to cool and drink 1/2 a small cup in the mornings on an empty stomach. This recipe is especially good for kidney infections and menopausal problems.
- Take a handful of cherry stems boil them together with eith a small cup of sour cheries, blackberries, or cornelian cherries, for 5 minutes and then leave to cool. Drink a small cup in the mornings on an empty stomach. 2 weeks later you will notice that you have lost a few pounds and all that puffiness that was bothering you has gone.
- Take 4 handfuls of cherry stems (200-300 stems) and boil in 3 lt of water for 10 minutes. Then add 20 gr of cinnamon sticks and 5 gr of linden leaves (10-20 leaves). Let it steep for 1 hour and then use it as bathing water. It will liven you up and let your skin breath. You can also put this mixture in a small tub and put your feet in it for 20 minutes. Those heel pains will go, you will feel lighter and asif you were in a rose garden!
- You can also steep the cherry stems and drink it like tea. It's lovely. Give it a try.
06 July 2009
Yesterday I gave you the recipe for rice pilaf. In Turkey rice pilaf goes very well with Jajik, which I will explain here in this post. "Jajik" or "Cacik" in Turkish, is a commonly prepared appetizer in Turkey and can be a replacement for a bowl of salad. It's perfect for hot summer days, refreshing and nourishing. If you are fed up of eating salads you can try jajik for a change. This recipe is for 2 servings, after a try you can play with the amounts I give here, according to your own preferences. The main ingredients are cucumber and yoghurt, adding the others are up to you.
05 July 2009
"Try this recipe and get a guaranteed result for super pilaf."
04 July 2009
- 250 gr samphire
- 1 middle size tomatoe, grated
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- juice of half a lemon
- Cut the stems of the samphire. Becareful to cut the branchy hard parts off. Keep the soft parts. Then wash them and boil for 10-15 minutes.
- Strain the samphire and leave to cool.
- When cool, remove stringy bits inside each shoot, as you can see in the picture below. Hold at the root part and pull the green soft skin off.
- When you have finished skinning, leave to strain for 3 minutes.
- Put the samphire in a service plate. Add grated tomatoes, crushed garlic and lemon juice.
- Finally dribble the olive oil all over, and add some lemon slices to decorate.
- When boiling the samphire, check to see if they have softened to see if they are cooked.
- Don't eat without garlic!
- Don't add any spices, such as dry mint, red pepper, thyme, etc...
- It has a sweet, sour, and salty taste. Check before adding any extra salt.
03 July 2009
All of you know string beans, we use it a lot in summer dishes. here's another recipe for string beans that's cooked very commenly in the Black Sea Region of Turkey, called "Dible". I hear you ask: "What is Dible?" the meaning of the word comes from when you slightly burn the food at the bottom of the pot. The result is similarly something like that, but ofcourse you don't get burnt food, as you can see in the picture. It's a light meal of any one of string beans, kale, cabbage, peas, or aubergine with rice. It's nutritioning and easy to cook, 20 minutes tops.
It's the right time to find peas in the market. Go buy some fresh peas in their pods, shell them and either throw them in the freezer in a fridge bag ready to cook, or boil them and do some canning. If you want to eat them now, use this recipe to make a delicious meal with peas and eggs. By the way up in our home town peas are called "bezene" and they can be eaten raw with their pods, because the peas in these pods are very small. We cook this recipe with "bezene" (peas in their pods), but I assume you are using larger peas so you should shell them and use the peas only.