Monday, March 29, 2010

Green Beans with Potatoes (Patatesli Taze Fasulye)

1 pound of green beans trimmed (fresh or frozen, Italian cut, all optional)
1 big onion finely chopped
2 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tbs tomato paste
1 can of petite diced tomatoes
1 medium potato
2 cups of water

1. Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions until translucent
2. Add tomato paste and stir for 1 min.
3. Add green beans, and tomatoes stir and add water.
4. When the water boils add the potatoes
5. Cook until the potatoes are soft but intact.
6. You can serve with rice or bulgur pilaf.

Wild Ahi Tuna (Yellowfin) Steak

Yellowfin (called ahi in Hawaii) is the least oily kind of tuna; and it is flavorful. The secret to successful tuna cookery is to not overcook it; overcooking makes tuna dry out. Whichever cooking method you choose, your tuna will be cooked when its flesh becomes opaque yet is still moist on the inside.

1 to 1/2 pounds Ahi Tuna steaks, thawed if necessary (makes 4 servings) If you can find it look for "sashimi grade”, filleted, fully trimmed and cut like a “center cut” filet steak, about 2” thick.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime-juice
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Rinse Ahi with cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.
2. Combine oil, 2 tablespoons lime juice and salt.
3. Baste Ahi with oil mixture.
4. Broil on a well greased broiler pan 5-6 inches from source of heat.
5. Cook 8 minutes per inch of fish, measured at thickest point, turning once and basting frequently.
6. Do not overcook. Ahi should be pink in center when removed from heat.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ancient grain for modern times - Bulgur Pilaf with Capellini Corti (Tel Sehriyeli Bulgur Pilavi)

"No whole grain is more versatile, economical, quick cooking and savory than this toasty sibling of cracked wheat. You can like brown rice or steel-cut oats, but with bulgur you can fall in love." Ancient grain for modern times January 14, 2009 By Janet Fletcher, Chronicle Staff Writer

This easy to cook pilaf has a light, nutty flavor. It is a great healthy side dish especially if you are pressed with time. Bulgur is more nutritious than rice and couscous, because it contains more fiber and more vitamins and minerals and has a lower glycemic index than white rice or couscous.

1 cup of coarse bulgur (washed)
2 cups of boiling water
1/2 cup of Capellini Corti or Orzo
2 tbs of butter or canola oil
1/4 tsp of black pepper


1. Heat the oil/butter and add cappellini stir frequently until the color changes to light brown.

2. Add the bulgur and water.

3. Turn the heat down to low when the water boils. Cook until the water is absorbed and bulgur is tender, stirring occasionally

4. For best results place a paper towel between the pot and the lid, let it sit for 5 to 10 min. before serving.

White Beans with Chicken (Tavuklu Kurufasulye)

Perfect comfort food for a cold winter night. White beans are good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other beans. This recipe tastes best if made with Dermason beans. Dermason also called whit beans are legumes rich in nutrients grown mostly in Turkey. They are white in color and can be cooked, baked and blended with any vegetable or meat. If you can't find dermason beans you can use cannellini bean/white kidney bean/fazolia bean or navy beans which can also provide the same smooth texture and nutty flavor.

For vegetarian version of this dish simply skip the meat.

1 cup dried or 2 cans whit beans
1 lb chicken breast or beef cubes
1 large onion (diced)
1 banana pepper or jalapeno pepper (diced)
2 tbs of canola oil
2 tbs of tomato paste
2 cups of boiling water
1 tsp of black pepper


1. Soak the beans overnight (1 cup dried beans yields 2 1/2 cups cooked beans), if you are using dried beans change the water 2 times while soaking, next day boil them until soft. To save cooking time you can skip the soaking process and pressure cook the beans for 30-40 min.
2. In a large pot, heat the oil, brown the chicken and cook for 5 min. on medium low.
3. Add onion and pepper and saute until soft.
4. Add tomato paste and stir for 3 min.
5. Add the beans, salt and water, cook on medium low for 35 min. If you prefer spicy, you can add dried chili peppers.
6. Serve with white rice or bulgur pilaf

Friday, March 19, 2010

Very Berry Smoothie

Increase your daily intake of fruits with one easy drink, it takes less than 3 min. to make this smoothie. A healthy breakfast smoothie is a well-rounded fuel to power you through your day. It can also take the place of dessert or an afternoon snack. The secret to a great tasting smoothie is using frozen fruit which will yield thicker, more flavorful results. Not only is frozen fruit cheaper, frozen food has just as much if not more nutritional value than the "fresh"fruit you find on the shelves. This is because frozen fruits such as blueberries and strawberries are picked at their peak of freshness, while most fruit sold in stores is picked way before it's ripe so it doesn't expire before reaching the store shelves. Less time to ripen means less time to be fully enriched with all the nutrients that nature provides during the ripening process.

1 small banana
1/2 cup soy milk
1 scoop soy protein (unflovared-unsweetened)
1/2 cup frozen unsweetened berries (rasperry, blackberry, strawberry)
1/3 pomegranate juice
1/3 crushed ice

1. Put all ingredients in a blender.
2. Blend for about 10 seconds or until all ingredients are smooth
3. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Beet Soup with Potatoes and Beet Greens

A great way to make the most of your CSA shares is to try the same vegetables in different forms. If you are using beets only for salads and throwing the greens, try this recipe for a great way to get the nutritients from the beet greens. Beet greens are rich in potassium, calcium, vitamin A and other minerals and vitamins. They also contain high amounts of lutein and beta-carotene. You can also puree the soup with a hand blender and served with creme fraiche on top.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup diagonally sliced carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 1/2 cups finely chopped peeled beets (about 3/4 pound)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped red potatoes (about 1/2 pound)
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 (10 1/2-ounce) cans beef broth (vegetable stock for vegetarian version)
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
4 cups coarsely chopped beet greens (about 1 pound)
1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion, carrot, and celery; sauté 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
3. Stir in beets and next 6 ingredients (beets through tomatoes).
4. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
5. Stir in beet greens and cook 5 minutes.
Recipe is adapted from Jean Kressy, Cooking Light, March 2001

Leeks in Olive Oil (Zeytinyagli Pirasa)

If you never tried leeks in olive oil, get ready for a pleasant surprise. The flavor combination is very light and tasty. Leeks, like garlic and onions, belong to a vegetable family called the Allium vegetables. Since leeks are related to garlic and onions, they contain many of the same beneficial compounds found in these well-researched, health-promoting vegetables. Despite the health benefits and distinct flavor leeks have been overlooked in many kitchens and only used for adding flavor to stock. This recipe is an example of classic Turkish olive oil dishes and like all the olive oil dishes it tastes much better when it is cold, so be sure to allow time for chilling before serving.

3-4 Leeks
1 (medium/big) onion
1/3 cup olive oil
2 small carrots, halved and sliced
1/4 cup or 2 tablespoons white rice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 lemon, juice of
1 1/2 cups water

1. Trim leeks and remove a few of the outer layers, discard tough green leaves. Wash leeks well in several changes of water, spreading the leaves apart to rid the of sand.

2. Cut the leeks in rounds or crosswise into 1 inch lenghts and set aside

3. Heat olive oil (medium heat) and saute the onion until transparent stirring frequently
4. Stir in leeks and carrots and stir for 3 min.

5. Add the water, sugar and salt and raise to a boil

6. Add the rice after the water reaches boil

7. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the leeks and rice are tender but still intact.

I strongly recommend squeezing a bit of lemon juice over just before serving.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Avgolemono Soup with Meatballs (Terbiyeli Kofte)

Avgolemono (Greek: Αυγολέμονο which is the "terbiye" in Turkish) is a soup made with egg and lemon juice mixed with broth, heated until they thicken but before they boil and curdle. Avgolémono translates to "egg-lemon," in English. Following is the Turkish version of this soup, Greek version of this soup usually has long grain white rice or orzo instead of meatballs and does not have carrots and potatoes. If you like creamy soups you will definetely enjoy this soup! Although the traditional recipe uses ground beef, I used ground turkey to make it healthier.

1/2 pound ground beef or turkey
1/3 cup of rice
1 egg
1 medium potato petite diced
1 medium carrot petite diced
6 cups of chicken stock or water
1 cup bread crumbs (preferably japanese panko)
1 teaspoon blackpepper
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour (I used white whole wheat)
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
2 egg yolks
1 lemon's juice
1. Mix meat, rice, 1 egg and bread crumbs season with mint, salt, and pepper to taste.
2. Mix well and shape into mini balls.
3. Sprinkle flour and parsley into a large tray and add the meatballs. Shake until meatballs are coated with the flour.
4. Bring broth to a boil and add carrots cover and simmer for 5 min.
5. Add the meatballs to the simmering broth cover and simmer for 15 min,
6. Add potatoes when meatballs are half cooked
7. In a seperate cup beat egg yolks with lemon juice
8. Add 1 cup hot broth to the mixture and mix well, add to soup and mix, whisking continuously.
9. Reduced heat and simmer for another 5 mins.
10.Serve with freshly ground black pepper or a touch of fresh-chopped parsley

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A "medicinal" Soup - Turkish Yogurt Soup Recipe (Yayla Corbasi)

"Rice soup with yogurt is the Turkish version of chicken soup: a panacea for everything from mild depression to colds and upset stomachs. If the yogurt is homemade, recovery is guaranteed, they say. This soup absolutely has to be seasoned with dried mint" (The Worldwide Gourmet)

This a soup which is made in all regions of Turkey. Literal translation of its name means "the soup of the high plateaus". In the old days when refrigeration was not available it was difficult to keep milk fresh and it was thus turned into yogurt as soon as possible. Plateaus were cool and consequently the best yogurt could be found in these high plateaus. Hence the name of this yogurt based soup. (Reference courtesy of


2 cups of plain yogurt (I use low fat, or fat free to make it

1/3 cup rice

1 egg

5 cups of water

2 tbs flour

For the sauce:

2 tbs butter (I used olive oil to make it healthier)

2 tbs dried mint

1 tbs paprika or red pepper flakes (optional)


1. Wash the rice and place in a saucepan, add water and salt and cook for 30 min. or until the rice is soft, it must be well cooked to be pleasing to the palate.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour and yogurt; add the egg and a few spoonfuls of cooking water from the rice to temper the mixture and continue whisking for a few moments.

3. Put the yogurt mix in a separate pot and start cooking on very low and continue whisking for ten minutes.

4. Gradually pour rice soup into the saucepan containing the yogurt, stirring constantly until it returns to a boil. Continue cooking for 10 minutes over very low heat.

For the Sauce:

Heat the butter/oil in a small skillet and add dried mint and red pepper flakes stir a couple of times and immediately remove from the heat (don't let it burn).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Orzo Soup I and II (Arpa Sehriyeli Corba)

If you are pressed with time and desperately craving for a bowl heart warming soup, try this recipe. It is easy, quick and delicious. Oh and if you have some little fussy eaters at home, definitely try this soup! You can make it with chicken or vegetarian version.

Orzo Soup I (with chicken)

1 cup orzo
2 tbs butter (I use canola oil to make it healthier)
1 1/2 tbs tomato paste
5 cups of water (or chicken stock)
1/2 cup garbanzo beans (soaked overnight or canned)
1 cup shredded chicken (you can use leftover rotisseri chicken)
1 tbs parsley/ or dried mint
1. Heat the oil and add tomato paste stir for 2 min.
2. Add water, bring to a boil. Stir in orzo and garbonzo beans. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes or until orzo tender. Add chicken and cook for another 5 minutes.
3. Add the parsley or dried mint before serving.
Orzo Soup II (Vegeterian with fresh tomato and basil)
3 tomatoes (peeled and petite diced)
2 tbs butter (or canola oil)
1 cup orzo
5 cups boiling water
1/8 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and thyme
1. Heat the butter in a pan and add the tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes are soft.
2. Add the water and boil for 2-3 min. Add dried basil, oregano, and thyme and then stir in orzo. Cook for another 10 min.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spinach Soup - I

Why does Popeye the Sailor Man eat spinach? According to WHFoods: We all know that Popeye made himself super strong by eating spinach, The BBC has reported that this portrayal is partially due to the iron content having been mistakenly being reported as ten times the actual value; a value that was rechecked during the 1930s, whereby it was revealed that the original calculations of the German scientist, Dr. E. von Wolf, contained a misplaced decimal point, but you may be surprised to learn that popeye may also have been protecting himself against osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer, arthritis, and other diseases at the same time.
This is a very easy recipe, my mom usually makes it with ground beef, I like vegetarian version just as much. If you want to add ground beef brown the meat first before you saute the onion.
1 lb spinach (savoy or semi-savoy)
2 tbs canola oil
1 big onion
1 1/2 tbs tomato paste
1/3 cup rice
5 cups of water
Salt, pepper
Lemon juice (optional)
1. Fill your sink or a large bowl with fresh, cold water. Add the spinach and swish them around with your hands to dislodge grit and dirt, washing gently but thoroughly. Let the spinach stand a few minutes so the dirt sinks to the bottom of the bowl or sink. Change the water couple of times.Lift the spinach from the water and spin dry in a salad spinner or blot with paper towels. Finely chop the spinach and set aside.
2. In a large pot heat the oil and saute the onion until transculent.
3. Add the tomato paste and stir for 2 min.
4. Add the spinach and stir for 1 min. then add the water and the rice.
5. Cover and cook on low heat until the rice is cooked.
6. Serve with lemon juice on top.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Borlotti Beans (Barbunya Pilaki)

Very popular side dish in Turkey, I especially like it the next day. You can use the leftovers for lunch in a whole wheat wrap with mixed greens, it is very satisfying and nutrious yet keeps your blood sugar steady.

Borlotti beans, also known as roman beans or romano beans (not to be confused with Italian flat beans, a green bean also called "romano bean"), are a variety of cranberry bean bred in Italy to have a thicker skin. It is very popular in Italian, Portuguese and Turkish cuisine. Pinto beans look the same as cranberry and borlotti beans, but differ in taste. Pilaki is a style of Turkish meze and may refer to several dishes that are cooked in a sauce made out of onion, garlic, carrot, tomato or tomato paste, sugar, and olive oil. Beans prepared in this style (fasulye pilaki, with white beans, or barbunya pilaki, with borlotti beans) are served cold, garnished with parsley and slices of lemon. In Greek cuisine, this style is known as plaki. (Reference courtesy Wikipedia)

Borlotti beans are very delicious when they are fresh but it is almost impossible to find them fresh here in States. Dry beans are available year around and they also provide good texture. If you can't find them you can use pinto beans the taste will be different but still delicious. If you are pressed with time you can use canned pinto or roman beans for a quick delicious side dish.

1 cup dried borlotti beans
1 medium onion diced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 carrot
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes or 1 big fresh tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cup hot water
lemon and parsley for garnish

Optinal Ingredients:
1 small potato petite diced
1 clove garlic
1 green banana pepper
1. If you are using dry beans soak them overnight and change the water before boiling.
2. Boil the beans until soft.
3. In a seperate pot saute the onions in olive oil, (garlic optional)
4. Add carrots (if you are using you can add the green peppers) and saute until soft
5. Add tomato paste (add the potatoes/optional)
6. Add the beans and tomatoes stir for 3 min.
7. Add salt, sugar, and water.
8. Turn down the heat and cook for 45 min.
9. Garnish with parsley and enjoy with a squeeze of lemon on top

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Nutritious Turkey Chili

After a long shopping day, we came home exhausted. The last thing we want to do was cooking and waiting for dinner, I weighed our options and decided that instead of waiting for at least 45 min. delivery time. I can prep a quick Turkey chili and have a hearty and nutritious meal while saving my family from all the added salt and fat of take out foods. Thanks to frozen peppers and onion mix I had in the freezer. By having frozen veggies and canned beans at hand you can prep a hearty dinner in no time. You can also brown your meat and onions and add them to the rest of the ingredients in a slow cooker, your dinner will be ready the next day!

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 medium onion
1 green bell pepper
1 green red pepper
1 (15.5) can red kidney beans
8 oz or half cup whole kernel corn
2 (14.5 oz) cans organic diced tomato
4-5 dried chili pepper
4 table spoons chili seasoning
shredded cheddar for garnish


1. Heat the pot and brown the ground turkey
2. Add onions and peppers (you can save time by using frozen mix) and saute for 3 mins. or until the onions change color.
3. Drained and rinse kidney beans to reduce the sodium content,
4. Add the beans, corn and diced tomato
5. Add the chili seasoning you can add or reduce the amount of seasoning to your liking, also add the dried chili peppers at this time if you like your chili hot.
6. You can serve your chili with warm multigrain tortilla and light sour cream
7. Bon appetit!