Friday, January 31, 2014

Salmon sesame salad

  • When I saw the 10 Superfoods for pregnancy list at  Babycenter (see below ), I couldn't stop myself to mix whatever I had available at home to prepare this salad:
  • Ingredients
  • Smoked salmon
  • Romaine Lettuce (any greens would do)
  • Green onions
  • Radish
  • Sesame 
  • Dressing: classical Turkish style: olive oil, lemon juice and salt to taste..
So this salad has the salmon superfood with addition of sesame, a source of protein. Walnuts and boiled eggs could be added, lettuce can be replaced with dark green leafy vegetables like Swiss chard or spinach, some dried beans, chickpeas being my favorite, and would be a super salad. But it is super just the way it is! Belive me!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Turkish mercimek köftesi / Red Lentil patties

Turkish mercimek köftesi
Red Lentil patties

1 cup red lentil
1 cup bulgur (very thin cracked wheat, the one used to make Kisir)
3 cups water

½ cup olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste

½ bunch green onions
½ bunch parsley, chopped
1 lemon juice

Spices to your taste: salt, black pepper, red pepper
optional: dill, garlic, cumin, pepper paste

To serve : lettuce and lemon

·       Wash lentils and boil in water until it almost soaks the water.
Once you turn it off, add bulgur & salt. Mix once and cover to let the bulgur soften
·       Heat oil in a pan and add the onion, sauté for 2-3 minutes
·       Add tomato paste and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Add onion mixture to the lentil mixture.
·       Add parsley, green onion, spices and lemon juice to the lentils. Mix well.
·       Shape oval or round with hands
·       Place patties on lettuce leaves , serve with lemon.
·       Wrapping patties in a lettuce leaf is the recommended way to enjoy your mercimek kofte!

Afiyet olsun!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Dotty pasta salad

1 lb of pasta
1 lb of frozen veggie mix (carrots ,beans, corn, peas) are boiled together with olive oil and salt.
(Don't discard the water after draining. use for soups, so nutritional!)

2 cups of sour cream
4 spoons of olive oil
4 spoons of grated parmesan cheese (optional . i use whole foods 365 brand aged parmesan cheese )
4 spoons or more , poppy seeds!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cream cheese, sucuk muffins

Savory muffins..
I really like cream cheese in different flavors but Philladelphia garden vegetable cream cheese was not a hit for the household. So to save the cheese, i baked these yummy savory muffins. Great for breakfast, brunches and little one's lunch boxes,too! Feel free to try different cheese types...

Ingredients (makes 12 muffins)
1 box Philladelphia garden vegetable cream cheese- or any type - softened
3 eggs (save 1 yolk for top)
1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup oil
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup all purpose flour
100 gram sucuk (soujuk, Turkish sausage)
1 teaspoon turmeric - to give color and nutritous ,too!
3 table spoons sesame (save 1 table spoon for topping)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

How to prepare

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Mix the eggs with yogurt, then add oil.
  • Divide cream cheese into small pieces, add to egg mixture.
  • Sift the flour, add baking powder,soda, sesame, salt and turmeric.  Add to the mixture.
  • Finally add sucuk, save some for topping if you want.
  • Fill the 12-muffin pan.
  • Spread the egg yolk and sprinkler sesame.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes
Because of the cheese they will be super soft..

The butterfly muffin are from Tjmax. it was on sale, $1 for 24 ! Love savings $$$:)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My little one is 5 year old!

Kisir: Turkish bulgur salad
Pasta salad: Pasta, peas, carrots, corn, yogurt, mayo, olive oil
Smiley potatoes: always hit for kids. Find in frozen veggie sections
 American style :
Purple corn chips, humus, vegetable cream cheese spread, cracker, fresh fruits

Kadayif (kataifi) -should add the recipe soon
Chocolate- strawberry pudding
Muffins on bear stand ( from dollar tree so I wasnt sure if it could really stand but worked, yay!)
Cake: It is homemade by a friend, all from scratch. Coffee cake with white chocolate frosting and fondant decoration.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Çoban Salatası / Shepherd's salad

Çoban Salatası / Shepherd's salad

Without a doubt, Çoban Salatası / Shepherd's salad is the most common salad in Turkey during summer. Prepared with fresh local, red tomatoes from farms, cucumbers (thin and small ones, without seeds!) and onion... You would see this salad served every Turkish restaurant you go, especially kebap places. I believe this is to increase your appetite so you can eat more and more!

Note: I am not a picky cook about the amount of ingredients, especially about salads. This is just a suggestion to serve 4-6 people
2 tomatoes finely chopped
1 onion finely sliced
2 cucumbers  finely chopped
1green pepper, seeded finely chopped
½ bunch flat-leaf (italian) parsley, chopped 
(I skipped this as I don't like parsley)
5 tablespoons of olive oil
1 lemon juice
Salt and Pepper
Optional: Topping with Turkish black olives
Put all the salad ingredients.
Always better to mix dressing ingredients separately and add the dressing to the salad right before serving and mix.

  • Tastes great when chilled  but make sure to cover it otherwise you will have an onion smelly fridge!
  • The salad juice is the most delicious part. Just dip your bread and enjoy!
  • The version with feta cheese addition is called gypsy salad (cingene salatasi)
  • This salad has the typical Turkish salad dressing thatconsists of lemon juice , olive oil and salt. Some people replace lemon juice with vinegar or pomegranate sauce,  a sweet source sauce that is great for kisir(bulgur salad).

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Noah's Pudding/ Asure

Turkish Asure/Asurah/Noah's Pudding
It is very common to cook asure in Turkey in the first month of lunar calendar.The story of this desert is as follows: When Prophet Noah’s ark came to rest on Mount Ararat ,they didnot enough food so they put everything they had together and coked asure!
It is believed that cooking asure will bring blessings to the household during that year.We share it with neighbors and friends as much as possible and spread the joy!


And finally I am ready to share the recipe of my a little different , yet tasteful  Asure/ Ashura / Noah's pudding recipe. 
This was chosen as the best Ashura at a local competition. The judges were diverse : Turkish, American and Peruvian  :) So this means this Ashura has an internationally proven taste:)

I should mention that I am not a picky cook, the amount of the ingredients are subject to change ( I don't even remember for some of them how much I added.) Actually for ashura, in general there is no unique way and ingredient list to cook but major ones: wheat, beans, raisins ( I don't like it so skipped) apricots and of course sugar!

This would yield ~40 cups

1 cup wheat (I used a little more than that)
1 cup rice (precooked)
1 cup chick peas ( I used canned )
1 cup northern beans ( I used canned) )
1 packet ~ 100 gr of dried apricots (Turkish ones are the best! You can find in many American grocery stores as well) ( diced into small pieces and stayed in water to make it softer)
Figs ( diced into small pieces and stayed in water to make it softer)
~5 cups sugar

the rest is all optional so feel free to add dry nuts/fruits to your taste:
 Poppy seed
Sesame ( at least 2 full teaspoons, i cooked them) (gives a great flavor!)
Black seeds
1 table spoon butter
1cup milk
1 table spoon honey
1 pinch salt
1 orange peel, (diced into cubes and boiled in water, discard the water, it has a bitter taste) (thisgives a great flavor,too!)
Half lemon zest

Other options may be but not limited to:
Almonds, peanuts, apple,orange, pear, raisins, prune, any dry or or fresh fruit  as desired
Clove, rose water for the flavor
walnuts, pistachios , peanuts, sesame, coconut, almonds, pomegranate 
Also cinnamon, hazelnuts

How to prepare Asure / Ashura/ Noah's Pudding?
One night before: 
(Soak wheat  in water before if possible)
Boil wheat in a big pan with 5 cups of water for about 10 minutes and turn the heat. It will adsorb the water and get soften in th morning
The day you cook:Add ~4 cups of water to the precooked wheat and let it boil. 
*At each step stir continously ,don't let the bottom stick Add chickpeas, dry beans and precooked rice. 
Add dry fruits.
Add seeds.Add milk
Add salt and sugar and boil for additional 10-15 minutes.
Serve with toppings, decorate and enjoy!
It will get thicker as it cools down so you may add boiled water as needed while cooking.*You can add more/less water/ sugar depending on your preference.
Afiyet Olsun, Good Appetite!

My first Ashura
I posted on instagram !

Click here and here to see the winner Asure of the "Best ASure competition"!

Here is a basic recipe:

1 cup wheat,
1 cup chick peas,
1 cup garbanzo beans,
1 cup raisins,
Almonds, peanuts
Dried apricots, figs, or any dry fruit and nuts as desired
Apple,orange,orange peels if desired
5 cups sugar, water (enough to cover)
Topping: walnuts, cinnamon,almonds,pomegranate etc
How to prepare Asure /Noah's Pudding?
Soak wheat, chick peas and garbanzo beans in water overnight.
Boil them in seperate pans. (You can use canned chick peas and beans).
After they are cooked ,mix them in one big pot and add dry fruits and nuts that remained in water for while and cut into small pieces.
Add to mixture along with sugar and boil for additional 10-15 minutes.
Serve with toppings
*You can add more/less water depending on your preference
Afiyet Olsun, Good Appetite!

Click here and here to see the winner Asure of the "Best Asure competition"!