Wednesday, 25 February 2009


Hi all, now that it is nearly spring, sun is shining ( well sometimes!! ) and  the daffodils are popping their heads out, I am into healthy eating more than usual these days. It is good to look forward to the summer, to enjoy the sun and enjoy those wonderful fruit and vegetables in the coming months. I can hardly wait. 
Below I made two types of smoothies today. One with oats in for breakfast and a fruity one to enjoy later in the day. I hope you enjoy them  too.


2 tbsp of oats
3  tbsp black berries
1 banana
3 tbsp yogurt
3 tbsp milk
1 tbsp runny honey
extra blackberries for serving.

Add all the ingredients into blender and whizz until smooth.  Add some more milk if needed. Serve with blackberries.


3 tbsp chopped pineapple
1 apple
1 orange
1 small banana
3 tbsp apple juice
3 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp maple syrup
pecan or walnuts to serve.

Cut the pineapple and apple into wedges. Peel the orange and chop. Diced the banana. Add all the fruit into blender  together with apple juice, orange juice and maple syrup. Whizz until smooth. Add little more juice if you need to. Serve with pecan nuts.
Both of the smoothies serves 1.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009


  • 250 g lean steak mince
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 chillies, medium hot
  • 6 sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp goats cheese
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • pinch of cumin powder
  • salt.

1) Place onion, garlic, ginger and chillies in a food processor and pulse it couple of times. 
2) Add mince tomatoes,mince, cheese, parsley, salt and cumin powder and mix to  bind.
3) Take the burger mixture out of the processor and form into 2 large burgers.
4) Cook the burgers under hot grill or in a non stick pan until the both sides are browned and cooked to your taste.
5) Serve with salad, pitta bread or buns. 

NOT: I served mine with carrot, red cabbage, white turnip, celery, curly kale and parsley salad with lemon and olive oil dressing.
 Sun dried tomatoes in oil, in a jar  will be fine to use for this dish.
Makes 2 large or 4 small burgers.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

SWEET AND SAVOURY PANCAKES ( Tatli ve tuzlu krep )

Hi all, since it is nearly time for pancake day on Shrove Tuesday, I thought I get adventurous in the kitchen  and make my own style of pancakes.
How you make and eat pancakes depends on where you live in the world. Here in England, the most popular way of serving them is, with sprinkle of sugar and lemon juice, amongst many other  sweet and savoury  fillings  for the pancakes.
Today I made half a batch savoury batter with fresh parsley, salt and black pepper and the other half I used for sweet pancakes with added  cinnamon and sugar in the batter. This makes 7-8 pancakes.

  • 5 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 cup milk ( about 300 ml )
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • oil for frying
1) Mix all the ingredients and whisk by hand or with a blender to form a smooth batter. Then separate the batter  into 2 bowls to use one for savoury and the other for sweet pancakes.
2) Add 1 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley or pinch of dry parsley, salt and  black pepper  for the savoury batter.
3) Add 1 tsp of  sugar and pinch of cinnamon to the other reserved batter.
4) Heat a nonstick frying pan  with little oil,  pour some batter and cook for 1-2 minutes each side until golden.
5) Remove the pancake from the pan and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter.


1) Mussels and prawns with low fat fromage frais, fresh parsley
2)  Cooked chicken mixed with onion and diced peppers
3) chick peas mixed with walnuts and tahini.
4) Goats cheese with olives and rocket


1) Cream cheese and banana slices
2) peanut butter and honey ( my favourite )
3) Chocolate spread and sultanas
4) Chopped fresh fruit and nuts with drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

Friday, 20 February 2009


This is a great soup for those health conscious and watching their figure. it is also ,warming and low GI which keeps you fuller for  longer. I made it so that  it is easy to make with store cupboard ingredients but add any herb or extra vegetables you like to suit your taste. This soup is quite tasty without added oil if you are watching your calories.

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced finely
  • 1 small or half a large onion, chopped finely
  • 1-2  tsp olive oil ( optional )
  • pinch of cumin powder
  • pinch of dried herb of your chose
  • 6-8 cups of water
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp tomato or pepper paste
  • fresh parsley leaves, chopped.

1) Wash the lentils, place into a deep sauce pan. Add chopped celery, onion, olive oil, cumin powder  and 3 cups of  water.
2) Bring the lentils to boil and place a lid tilted. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes
3) Add 3-4 more cups of water , dried herbs and simmer for further 10-15 minutes until it is cooked.
4) Add  salt and pepper just before serving.

NOT: If you like to add the garlic and the ginger, add them to the soup at step 1, with the lentils and celery.
Add the tomato puree at step 3 and fresh parsley just before serving.


1 CUP lentils  = 150 gr = 5 oz

3 CUPS  water = 500 ml = 1 pint.

Thursday, 19 February 2009


Hi all, this is great healthy  vegetarian , low fat dish which is easy to make and feel good food for the cold evenings. It serves 2.

  • 2 cups chopped curly kale
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, diced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 cup drained chick peas
  • pinch of turmeric, coriander and chili powder
  • dash of soy sauce
  • 1-2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds for sprinkling.
1) Wash all the vegetables in vinegar water to get rid of the pesticides. Chopped them roughly. 
2) Place curly kale, red pepper, onion,and garlic in a shallow frying pan together with water. Bring it to boil, stirring. Turn the heat down and stem the vegetables for 5 minutes.
3) Add tomato puree, chick peas, and the spices. Stir. Cook for further 2-3 minutes.  
4) Turn the heat off. Add sesame oil and soy sauce to taste.
5) Transfer it to a serving plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds just before serving.

Monday, 9 February 2009

FRUIT & NUT CHOCOLATE COOKIES WITH SESAME SEEDS (cukulota ve susam biskuvi,kuki ))

Yesterday it was snowing outside and I thought what better than to put the kettle on,  for a nice cup of coffee  and make some cookies while watching the snow falling. I was in a creative mood and  created this recipe. It took couple of attempts  to get the recipe right but the result was very good and the cookies were lovely. Makes 30- 32 cookies.

  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 egg and plus 1 egg white, beaten
  • 2  full cups of self raising wholemeal flour ( 250 g )
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 level tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 100 g fruit and nut chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 yolk of an egg for glazing
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds for sprinkling.

Preheat the oven and grease the baking tray. Place chocolate in a plastic bag and break them with the rolling pin until you have small pieces. Set aside. Separate one of the eggs to use the yolk for glazing and white for the dough mixture.

1) In a large  mixing bowl, cream the butter, olive oil and sugar until light and fluffy. I used electric hand blender. 
2) Add the beaten egg and egg white gradually. Sieve the flour, cinnamon and salt together. Mix the sesame seeds and chocolate pieces with the flour. Then add flour and nut mixture into the  creamed mixture, mix well with a wooden spoon. Add milk and mix thoroughly.
3) Divide the dough in to 30 walnut size pieces and shape them with floured hands,  into rounds. 
4) Place them into the baking tray and press them gently to make 5 cm round cookies. Brush them with egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
5) Bake in preheated oven 190 C, 170 Fan setting for 12- 15 minutes. Cool them on wire rack before serving.

Friday, 6 February 2009


These scones were colorful and tasty using figs and candied cherries. It was great tea time treat with home made jam and clotted cream.

  • 1 cup self raising flour ( 110 g )
  • 1 cup wholemeal self raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 heaped tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter ( 75 g )
  • 5  dried figs, chopped ( 50 g )
  • 30 g candied ( glace ) cherries, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • extra milk for glazing the scones.
Pre heat the oven and lightly grease a baking tray.

1) Mix flour , sugar and salt. Sieve all three in mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and rub with your fingertips until you achieve fine bread crumbs. 
2) Stir in the chopped figs and cherries. Mix the egg in. Add milk and mix together to form a soft dough. 
3) Roll the dough on a floured surface, about 2 cm thick. Cut into 8- 10 scones using a 6 cm cutter. Place the scones on the baking tray and brush them with milk.
5) Cook the scones on preheated oven at 220 C, 200 Fan setting for 10 -12 minutes until they are golden brown.
6) Cool them on wire rack. Split and serve them with jam and clotted cream.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009


  • 200 g cooked king prawns
  • 1 tbsp caviar
  • 2 tbsp half fat creme fraiche
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp half fat mayonnaise
  • 3-4 tsp water
  • Bed of fresh rocket
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Mix 1 tsp mayonnaise with tomato paste and some water to make a runny paste. Set aside.
Place washed rocket on a serving plate. Spread 1 tbsp of creme fraiche over the rocket. Then the king prawns and  then, the rest of the 1 tbsp of creme fraiche over the prawns. Top it up with caviar. Decorate with the paste and serve immediately.


This is a wonderful dish from Central Turkey. It takes some time to prepare but your quests will be impressed at a dinner party. Traditionally the sliced aubergines fried in oil but I grilled them today which worked very well and it was lighter than the original recipe.

  • 2 aubergines, sliced thinly
  • olive oil for brushing
  • sprinkle or salt
  • 250-300 g lean, tender lamb pieces
  • 2- 3 tbsp oil or butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 2 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme or pinch of dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • hot water
  • Half a cup of washed rice
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup of hot water

1) Brush the aubergine slices with olive oil on both sides, sprinkle with salt and grill under preheated grill, on the top shelf for 20 minutes turning once. Grease a non stick dip pan, 15 cm wide and 6 cm deep. Arrange slice of aubergines all round the pan and at the bottom of the pan as shown above. Set aside.
2) Chop the lamb in to small cubes, Saute the onion in oil first then add the meat and cook until brown. Add the garlic, thyme and tomato pure. Add enough hot water to cover the meat and bring it to boil. Place the lid and let the meat simmer for about 30- 35 minutes. Add little more hot water if the meat is drying out.
3) Add rice, parsley, mixed spice salt and ground black pepper to the meat. Add one cup of water to cover the rice and meat mixture. Bring it to boil then simmer for about 7 minutes until. The rice still should be mushy and half cooked. Turn the heat off.
4)Transfer meat and rice mixture in the pan with prepared with aubergine slices. Then over lap the slices and cover the the meat and rice mixture completely, wrapping the filling. Pour half a cup of hot water gently and bring the pan to boil.
5) Then turn to heat to very low and steam the dish for 15 minutes with lid on. Let it rest for 10-20 minutes before turning it over to a serving plate. Decorate with parsley leaves.

VEGETARIAN ICLI KOFTE ( Veceteryan icli kofte )

This type of stuffed kofte, traditionally made with minced meat but some friends requested the vegetarian version. It was tasty and I enjoyed making these with different vegetarian fillings. Makes 15- 16 icli koftes.

  • 1 small onion, 
  • 4 heaped tbsp fine bulgur ( bulgar wheat )
  • 4 heaped tbsp coarse semolina
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • pinch of chili and cumin powder ( optional )
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

1) Chick peas, cooked with onion, tomatoes, herbs and spices
2) Beans with mix veg
3) Cheese and onion
4) Lentils cooked with leeks, ginger, chili and garlic
5) Boiled and grated potato mixed with spring onion, spinach and grated cheese.
6) Chopped nuts and mashed chick peas.


1) Place  roughly chopped onion in a food processor, pulse it couple of times. Add bulgur, semolina, egg, tomato puree, salt and spices. Pulse it several times until you achieve a  smooth paste. Bring it out and make 16 walnut size balls.
2) Take each piece and make a hole  in the middle with your thumb. Then turning the index finger inside the bulgur balls to make thin holes. Wet your fingers while doing so. Make the holes as thin as possible.
3) Fill the holes with vegetarian filling of your chose about 1 tsp in  each ball and close them to make oval or round shapes. At this stage if it breaks, just mend it and close it with little water and cover the holes.
4) Bring 6 -7 glasses of  water to boil, add some salt. Drop 6-8 koftes at a time so they wont overlap. Boil on medium heat for 15 minutes. Take them out carefully with perforated spoon and let them cool on kitchen paper for 10 minutes.
5) Shallow fry them in hot oil, drain them on kitchen paper  and serve them with sweet and spicy sauce.


Hi all, last night I made these stuffed courgettes which turned out quite delicious. I made two batches, one to cook on conventional oven and one to cook in microwave. They were both equally good. Makes 12.

  • 3 courgettes
  • 3 tbsp couscous
  • 6 tbsp boiling water
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped leeks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp finely diced mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp grated medium fat cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander or 1 tsp dried herbs
  • pinch of cumin powder and chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Half a cup of hot water
  • 2 tsp tomato puree
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Cheese slices or grated cheese  for the top

1) Cut the courgettes in half then cut each one longways from the middle, as shown above, to make 12 pieces. Place them on a large plate and microwave them for 5 minutes on full power to soften them. Let the courgettes cool for 10 minutes then scoop the middle out with a spoon or cut with a knife. Set aside.
2) In a separate bowl soak the couscous with hot water, cover and leave for 5-7 minutes. Then add rest of the ingredients up to salt and pepper. Mix well.
3) Place about a tablespoonful of the stuffing for each courgette and place them into a oven proof tray. Mix tomato paste in hot water and pour in to the baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle extra cheese on top.
4) Bake in pre- heated oven on  200 C  for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown.


Prepare the courgettes as above and place them into a microwave safe dish. Cover with cling film and make one hole in the middle for steam to escape. Cook on full power for 10 minutes. Then grill on high heat on preheated grill until the cheese bubbling and crispy on top.

NOT: I used 650 W microwave on full power. Please adjust your cooking times for different power settings.

Monday, 2 February 2009


Hi all, if you are  like me and not too keen on liver, I guarantee that you will change your mind after making this dish. it was delicious and full of iron lol and we all need iron now and then. Hope you enjoy.. This serves 2. style

  • 250 g ox liver
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • oil for frying
  • Salt, chili flakes and dried time to taste.
  • 1 large red onion
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 bunch of fresh, chopped parsley


 1) Wash the liver pieces  and remove any skin and ducks. Dry with paper towel  and place them into the freezer for an hour or so. When we take it out of the freezer it will be easier to slice the liver. 
2) Cut and slice the liver very thinly, as thin as you can. Then cut into strips and small cubes. Coat and toss with flour.
3) Heat the oil and deep fry  half of the liver for 2 minutes on high heat. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Do  the same with the other half of the liver.
4) Fry the dried whole peppers in oil for one minute, turning over and making sure it is crispy on all sides.
5) Slice the onion thinly, add salt and wash under cold water, rinse and drain in colander. Add chopped parsley. set aside.
6) Place cooked liver on serving plate, Sprinkle salt, chili flakes and dried thyme to taste. Decorate with crispy red peppers and serve with onion and parsley piyaz.


  • 2 medium potatoes  per person
  • 2-3 tbsp of finely chopped leeks or spring onion
  • Handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of chili flakes ( optional )
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 15- 20 black olives
 Wash and boil the potatoes in their skins. Drain the water and let the potatoes  cool for 15 minutes.  When they are warm enough to handle, peel and dice them into small squares.
Add chopped spring onion, parsley, oil, chili pepper, salt and pepper. Mix well and decorate with black olives. Serve warm.


Here are some images from eastern Anatolia region. It is Lake Van,  Head of Hercules in Nemrut Mountain National Park and Ishak Pasa Sarayi ( Palace ) in East Beyazit District.


These meatballs are specialty of Eastern Anatolia  region and quite different from ordinary meatballs. it takes some practice to master to shape them but delicious once prepared and worth all the effort. Ingredients below make 25 icli kofte.

  • 3 tbsp row, lean mince meat ( about 100 g )
  • 1 onion, diced finely
  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • pinch of salt and chili flakes to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 3 tbsp row mince meat
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  •  pinch of chili flakes ( optional )
  • 6  heaped tbsp fine bulgur wheat ( fine bulgar cracked wheat )
  • 1 small egg
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 heaped tbsp plain flour
Fist saute the onion in oil then add the mince, salt, chili powder and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and add the walnuts. Set aside to cool.


Place onion and the mince in a food processor and pulse it several times. Add the bulgur, egg, salt, chili powder and tomato puree and mix in the processor it until it is smooth. Transfer the mixture into a dip bowl and add the flour, a spoonful at a time until you achieve fairly firm dough.


1 ) Divide them  into 25 pieces and shape them the size of a walnut. With wet hands make a hole in the middle of each pieces  and shape them either round or oval shape, turning the index finger rapidly inside the balls to make  holes in them. Make the shells as thin as possible.
2) Fill the holes with sauteed mince mixture ( about 1 tsp ), squeeze and cover the holes, shaping with wet hands. If it breaks, just patch it up with little water and close the holes. Make the shells  smooth outside, with wet fingers.
3) Bring a pan of salted water to boil, about 6-7 cups. Add the balls carefully into the boiling pan of water. ( about 6-8 at a time so they wont over lap ). Once boiled turn the heat to medium and boil the koftes  for 15  minutes. 
4) Take them out with perforated spoon and let them cool before deep frying the cooked meatballs until golden brown. 
Repeat this until you boil and fry, the reminder of meat balls.

NOT : Koftes are good served just boiled  but they are extra special if they are deep fried or shallow fried after they are boiled.
Picture at the top, showing 4 deep fried and 3 boiled icli koftes for serving.