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Yoghurt with Dried Apricots, Walnuts, Pomegranates Seeds and Honey & More Ideas for a Delicious Brunch – Turkish Style

Yoghurt with dried apricots, walnuts, pomegranate seeds and blueberries; healthy, delicious, refreshing start for your day. 

Dried apricots, figs, prunes and raisins; not only very nutritious but also very delicious.

I wanted to share a delicious, healthy and refreshing breakfast that we like to do in my family; yoghurt with dried apricots, walnuts, pomegranate seeds and berries, drizzled with honey. This delicious treat is also suitable for gluten-free diet.

Back home in Istanbul, my parents still start a day with a few walnuts and dried fruit like apricots and prunes. Walnuts are power food; they are so rich in antioxidants that a small amount is more than enough. Just a handful of walnuts per day will help reduce the chances of heart disease, and other cardiovascular-related issues. Some of the best apricots are produced in Malatya, Turkey and the excess produce is being dried to be enjoyed all year around. Dried apricots and prunes are excellent sources of several important nutrients, including fiber, potassium and antioxidant carotenoids. Dried apricots and walnuts also pair very well, try the caramelized apricots stuffed with walnuts as a dessert; a delicious and nutritious treat. 

I have been eating this delicious yoghurt with dried and fresh fruits as a breakfast a lot recently; very refreshing and make you feel good. Yoghurt, another nutritious food that boosts your immune system, features a lot in Turkish cuisine. We use yoghurt in mezzes and appetizers, in soups, in marinating meat and many more.

I love the marriage of creamy yoghurt with the crunchy walnuts and juicy & zesty apricots, berries and pomegranates seeds. It is very easy to make and hopefully it will jump start your day!

This yoghurt with dried fruit, berries and walnuts is also suitable for gluten-free diet.

Serves 2

225 gr/8 oz/1 cup plain natural yoghurt

45 – 60 ml/ 3 – 4 tbsp walnuts, chopped

30 ml/ 2 tbsp dried apricots, chopped

30 ml/ 2 tbsp blueberries (or a berry of your choice)

30 ml / 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds

15-30ml/ 1-2 tbsp natural honey

Place the yoghurt in a bowl and simply stir in the walnuts, dried apricot, berries and pomegranate seeds, give a gentle mix. Drizzle the honey over and sprinkle extra few pomegranate seeds or berries if you like.

Afiyet Olsun!

 

Plain yoghurt, cheese, olives, oats and grains are also a part of Turkish breakfast.

We Turks love a good brunch especially at the weekends and to welcome the New Year; here are some of my favorite Turkish brunch treats, if you would like to indulge later in the day:

Sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. eggs with Turkish dried beef sausage, sucuk, variety of cheese, sesame seeded bread rings, simit, honey with Turkish thivk cream, kaymak – a heavenly brunch to welcome the new year!

Eggs with Turkish dried beef sausages – Sucuklu Yumurta-

Sucuklu yumurta - Turkish dried beef sausages with egg; so irresistable.

This is for me the center piece of the Turkish breakfasts/brunches. The spicy Turkish sausage, sucuk, goes so well with the runny egg. This with a crusty bread and a glass of cay – Turkish tea – by the side, would be my ultimate brunch 🙂

Scrambled eggs with tomatoes, peppers, spring (green) onions and feta cheese – Menemen

Scrambled eggs with tomatoes, peppers, onion and feta cheese, a delicious vegetarian breakfast.

 If you rather like a vegetarian option for your eggs; this scrambled eggs with tomatoes, peppers, onions and feta cheese would just fit the bill; delicious, juicy and healthy.

 Fillo pastry rolls, stuffed with mashed potato, cheese and parsley – Patatesli, Peynirli Borek

Fillo pastry rolls with cheese, parsley and mashed potato; a winner with children, as well as adults!

Fillo pastry rolls with cheese, parsley and mashed potato; a winner with children, as well as adults!

No Turkish brunch is complete without boreks – paper thin pastry, yufka, stuffed with cheese and vegetables. If you can’t find yufka, fillo sheets work well. This recipe also makes use of any left over vegetable like potatoes, delicious.

Olive salad with onions, tomatoes and pomegranate molasses – Zeytin Ufeleme

Olives with tomatoes, onion, parsely flavoured with olive oil and pomegranate molasses, a delicious treat from Antakya, Antioch.

This delicious olive salad hails from Antakya, Southern part of Turkey, where my roots are from. Olives are deliciously flavoured with onions, tomatoes, olive oil and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses. Wonderful for brunch, as well as an appetizer.

Sesame encrusted bread rings – Simit

Simit, sesame encrusted bread rings must be the most popular street food in Turkey.

Simit is indeed the quintessential Turkish food; these sesame-encrusted bread rings must be the most popular snack and street food at home. Most folks in Turkey have simit for breakfast with a cup of cay (tea), sliced cucumber, tomatoes and feta cheese. Simit has a wonderful crust and softer inside, and easy to make at home.

 Cay – Turkish tea

A glass of cay, Turkish tea by the Bosphorus is the ultimate treat for me ; )

Well, Turkish tea, cay, goes down very well to accompany all above! Especially if you are by the Bosphorus, Istanbul, you may loose track of  how many glasses of cay you consumed : )

 

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Medley of Mushrooms with Garlic and Roasted Peppers, in Olive Oil – Healthy Food can also be Wonderfully Delicious

"Wonderful time spent with great company. I have learnt lots, loved all the food & already planned to introduce some of these dishes over Christmas to my nearest & dearest. Thank you for a great Saturday."

Warm greetings to you all; or Merhaba, as we say in Turkish. We had a wonderful, fun packed Healthy Eating and Living Event last Saturday, with inspirational talks on healthy living -many thanks to Leonie from EatWright for her wonderful presentation and Turkish cookery demonstrations –many thanks to Eser too for her delicious gluten-free treats. Please check out my Turkish Cooking Classes Page  for more information and photos on this fun packed, delicious event.

 

Leonie’s wonderful fresh produce went down so well with the warm hummus with red pepper flakes infused olive oil.

We talked about making the right choices for healthy eating and living. Healthy food can also be wonderfully delicious; there is no need to sacrifice the taste. Seasonal fresh produce, grains, beans, fish, olive oil are not only very good for us but they are also packed with flavor.

 

Fragrant spices; a natural, delicious way to add flavor to any dish.

 How about spices? You can add such wonderful flavors in a natural, healthy way, through spices and herbs. For instance, it is the fragrant cumin that makes hummus, taste like hummus. Here is a short video of my hummus demonstration at our healthy event – first try; look forward to adding more videos in the future- my special thanks to Zeynep! –Hummus demonstration, by Ozlem’s Turkish Table

The simple yet utterly delicious Shepherd's Salad, Coban Salata complements any grilled meat and vegetables so well.

A sprinkle of dried mint would totally transform the taste of Cacik – cucumber& yoghurt dip or a handful of fresh parsley gives a lovely, refreshing flavor to this Shepherds Salad, Coban Salata. Talking about spices, please check out the inspirational Spice Trip program on Channel More4 in the UK; a great watch to understand the mysterious and wonderful world of spices.

Medley of sauteed mushrooms and roasted peppers in olive oil; healthy, delicious and easy.

This medley of mushrooms with roasted peppers has been a big hit at our class last Saturday. You can use a variety of mushrooms; portobello, chestnut, oyster or shitake mushrooms, all work very well. Garlic and mushrooms are made for each other and the meaty texture of mushrooms work so well with the juicy, roasted peppers. A squeeze of lemon over them with sprinkles of parsley; your healthy, delicious vegetarian treat is ready to be enjoyed- Afiyet Olsun!

Turkish hot pepper paste, biber salcasi. One of the main staples in Southern Turkish Kitchen, including mine!:)

l flavored the roasted peppers with red pepper paste, biber salcasi; a spoonful this paste adds such a wonderful, rich flavor to any dish. You can get red pepper paste in Middle Eastern stores and Tulumba.com. How about having a go to make your own red pepper paste?  You can also use red pepper flakes instead for flavoring.

I hope all these ideas may inspire you to make good choices for healthy eating; after all, we are what we eat. How do you add flavor to your dishes? Please share with us; your ideas and comments are always very welcome.

Medley of Mushrooms with Garlic and Roasted Peppers, in Olive Oil

This delicious vegetarian course complements any grilled meat, fish or baked potatoes well as a main course. You can also serve it as a starter with some crusty bread by the side.

 Serves 4-6

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes                                    Cooking time: 45-50 minutes

350gr/12oz Portobello or chestnut mushrooms, gently cleaned with a damp cloth and sliced

350gr/12oz oyster or shitake mushrooms, gently cleaned with a damp cloth (please tear into pieces)

Green, red and yellow bell (or pointy) peppers – one each-, deseeded, cut in half and sliced lengthwise

4-6 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped

60ml/4 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 juice of lemon (or a little more if you like the tangy taste)

Handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

½ tbsp. red pepper paste or 1 ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F

Coat the peppers with the olive oil and the seasoning and bake in the preheated oven until they start getting charred.

Place the sliced peppers in a baking tray and pour 2 tbsp olive oil over them. Season with salt and ground black pepper and coat the peppers with the olive oil and the seasoning. Bake in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until they are getting charred.

Juicy, meaty mushrooms and garlic go so well together.

While the peppers are baking in the oven, cook the mushrooms. Heat the remaining olive oil in a shallow pan and add the mushrooms and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and cook a further 3-4 minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley, give a good mix and turn the heat off.

A little Turkish hot pepper paste, biber salcasi, add a lot of flavor to the vegetables.

Once the peppers are baked, add the red pepper paste to them (or the red pepper flakes) and combine well.  Stir in the cooked mushrooms to the peppers and gently mix them well. Serve hot, with sprigs of parsley over the vegetables.

 Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

 

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Let's celebrate healthy living with delicious Turkish food and great tips for healthy living!

Seasonal, colorful fruit and vegetables; a very important part of the Turkish Cuisine

Turkish cuisine is healthy, delicious and most Turkish recipes are so easy to prepare. We use seasonal produce, and spice up, flavor our dishes using spices, olive oil, nuts and other natural ingredients.

Aromatic, fragrant spices are at the heart of Turkish cuisine to flavor our dishes

I am delighted to inform you that we have a fabulous Healthy Living and Eating Event coming up on Nov 24th Saturday, from 11am to 1.30pm. It gives me a great pleasure to partner up with Leonie Wright from Eat Wright and Eser Kilcioglu from the Pretty Little Bakery. We would like to show you that you can create easy, delicious meals – wonderful for the upcoming festive season too- that are also healthy and good for you. In addition to my Turkish cookery demonstration and Eser’s demonstration of wonderful gluten-free treats, you will be enjoying a very valuable, informative talk on Healthy Eating Tips by Leonie from Eat Wright.  Needless to say, there will be abundance of delicious food and friendly, feel good atmosphere, all through the event! If you are in the area and would like to join us, please check the details of this wonderful event at Cooking Classes or Contact me.
One of the dishes I will be demonstrating at this wonderful event is the Carcassian chicken in walnuts, whole grain bread and garlic infused olive oil sauce; A very delicious and healthy way to enjoy chicken, you can’t believe there is no cream or mayonnaise in the sauce, yet still very tasty!

Circassian Chicken, Cerkez Tavugu is a delicious and healthy garlicky, red pepper flakes and olive oil infused sauce - simply irresistable

The story of the Circassian Chicken says; during the Ottoman reign, the Sultans took a particular liking to women of Circassian origin and many were captured to serve in the harems as concubines and wives. These fair beauties delighted the Sultans and with them came this dish. Originally the dish was made with fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, used liberally in Circassian cuisine. However the Palace chefs decided to create their own tamer version. This is a great option for a light lunch, served with a green salad and toasted bread or steamed vegetables. The left overs of wonderful dish also makes a great sandwich filler!

You can also spice up your left over chicken roast with the Circassian chicken’s walnut & olive oil sauce. No cream, no mayonnaise; but just a tasty, healthy dressing of garlic, few slices of wholegrain bread, olive oil and red pepper flakes, you can create a delicious chicken dish. How about serving this dish with the refreshing Shepherd’s Salad, Coban Salata? 

I hope these delicious and healthy dishes inspire you; as always, I would greatly appreciate if you can let me know how your experience turned out.

Best wishes for a healthy, enjoyable eating & living for us all,

Ozlem

 

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