Turkish cuisine provides healthy, hearty, delicious food for family and friends.
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Tag Archives | healthy eating

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,



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Bulgur Wheat Pilaf with Sautéed Mushrooms, Peas and Tomatoes – Mantarli, Bezelyeli Bulgur Pilavi

We consume a good amount of bulgur wheat in Turkish cuisine – in the form of salads, soups and pilaf rice – and I am always on the look out for spicing up bulgur. Packed with fiber and vitamins and low on fat, bulgur is a very healthy option and can be very delicious too. This time I experimented bulgur with sautéed mushrooms; the meaty, juicy flavor of mushrooms worked really well with bulgur. If you can add a few more vegetables into the mix and grate some parmesan (or any hard cheese you prefer) over, this dish could be a wonderfully satisfying, easy and delicious supper. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Bulgur wheat pilaf with sauteed mushrooms and vegetables; wholesome and delicious.

Bulgur wheat pilaf with sauteed mushrooms and vegetables; wholesome and delicious.

Serves 4- 6
Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

4 garlic gloves, crushed and finely chopped
3 large Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped
3 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
45gr/1/2 cup frozen peas
350 gr/12 oz bulgur wheat, rinsed and drained
600gr/1 pint/2 1/2 cups hot water
30ml/2 tablespoons olive oil – and an extra drizzle for the bulgur

A squeeze of lemon

5ml/1 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Grated parmesan (or any hard cheese you prefer) to serve

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy pan. Stir in garlic and chopped mushrooms, and season with salt generously (mushrooms and garlic go very well and the salt helps the water to come out of mushrooms). Sauté for 2-3 minutes until mushrooms soften and start to loosen up. Add the dried oregano and a squeeze of lemon and mix well. Turn the heat off, leaving it a side.

On a separate pot, drizzle a little olive oil and add the bulgur and chopped tomatoes, tossing thoroughly over low heat. Add the hot water, season with salt and ground pepper. Stir to combine thoroughly. Bring to boil for 1-2 minutes, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 8 minutes. At this time stir in the frozen peas to bulgur mixture and stir to combine. Then cover and simmer for a further 3-4 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and add the sautéed mushrooms into the mixture and combine well. Cover the pan with a paper towel and press the lid on top. Leave to steam for a further 10 minutes.

Bulgur wheat pilaf with mushrooms and vegetables - ready for your enjoyment

Bulgur wheat pilaf with mushrooms and vegetables – ready for your enjoyment

Serve the bulgur pilaf with some grated parmesan over the top. You can serve some steamed vegetables by the side if you would like too.

Afiyet Olsun,


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Bulgur Wheat Pilaf with Vegetables – Sebzeli Bulgur Pilavi

Bulgur wheat pilaf with onions, tomatoes and peppers

Bulgur wheat pilaf with onions, tomatoes and peppers

My cousin asked me recently what to feed his 15 month old baby. Our children have been eating mainly what we have been eating (with the condition of compromising from the seasoning and adding more salt and spices on our own plate), we have been lucky. And that’s what I have suggested to him. Turkish food provides a healthy and balanced diet to the children too and this bulgur pilaf with vegetables would be a healthy and delicious option to give to them – my children enjoy it greatly!

Often confused with cracked wheat, bulgur wheat is a grain made from cooked whole wheat berries, which have had the bran removed, and is then dried in the sun and crushed. As it has already been cooked, it requires little cooking to reconstitute itself. It is available coarsely and finely ground. For pilaf, the coarser type is used, to create a nutty and delicious dish, which is a meal in itself and served with yoghurt. Bulgur has been a major staple in many rural areas in Turkey; during the Ottoman Period, the rice was a very precious commodity that only the rich could afford. This made the bulgur a very popular option and healthy one too. It is reach in fiber and provides good source of protein.

Serves 6
Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: about 20-25 minutes

350 gr/ 12 oz/ 2 cups of coarse organic bulgur wheat, rinsed and drained
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
15 ml / 1 tablespoon olive oil
30 ml / 2 tablespoons butter
400 gr /14 oz can of chopped tomatoes
600 ml / 1 pint / 2 1/2 cup hot vegetable or chicken stock or water
1 teaspoon salt – please adjust to your taste –
freshly ground black pepper
chopped parsley for garnish – optional-

Rinse the bulgur under cold running water, drain and set a side.

Sauté the chopped onions in olive oil and butter until soft. Add the green bell pepper and chopped tomatoes, cook for another minute. Add the stock (or water) and bring to boil.

Add the bulgur, salt and ground pepper and stir once. Cover and cook over a low heat until the bulgur has absorbed all the stock and stem holes are visible on the surface. It is important not to stir the pilaf during this time. Remove the pan from the heat. Cover the pan with a cloth or absorbent kitchen paper and the lid over the top. The bulgur will continue cooking in the steam and the cloth will absorb any excess moisture. Leave to stand covered, for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Delicious and wholesome bulgur wheat with onions, tomatoes and peppers

Delicious and wholesome bulgur wheat with onions, tomatoes and peppers

Fluff up the pilaf with a fork and serve hot, garnished with a sprinkling of chopped parsley if you would like.

Afiyet Olsun,


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