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Tag Archives | Nuts

Gluten-free and Delicious; Pasta with anchovies, garlic, capers and parsley, in tomato sauce

A typical Pazar -Market - in Istanbul; healthy and delicious foods like beans seeds and nuts in their natural, unprocessed form have a big part in Turkish cuisine.

My good friend Gillian needed to switch to a gluten-free diet recently and thanks to her, I have been learning a lot more about gluten-free products and how they can help with those suffering from coeliac disease (or celiac disease as known in North America) and auto-immune conditions. Good news is that she is feeling much better and moreover, finding exciting ways to incorporate gluten-free ingredients to her diet. BBC Food has some wonderful information challenges on gluten-free diet, gluten-free ingredients and substitutions as well as wonderful recipes to spice up gluten-free ingredients, if you would like to check out.

Gluten-free pasta; a blend of corn flour and rice flour

A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). Though it is nice to know that many healthy and delicious foods like beans, seeds, nuts in their natural, unprocessed form, fresh eggs, fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated), fruits and vegetables and most dairy products are naturally gluten-free.

Having coastline to the Aegean, Mediterranean and Black Sea, Turkey has wonderful variety of fish

Turkish cuisine is based on using fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables, plenty of fish, nuts and legumes. I am delighted to see that most ingredients we use in Turkish cuisine are gluten-free and suitable for those in need of delicious gluten-free recipes. Try our wonderful Appetizers and Mezzes, like this wonderful warm hummus with red pepper paste infused olive oil, or vegetables cooked in olive oil like this Artichokes cooked in olive oil with peas,carrots and almonds, for exciting ways to enjoy gluten- free diet.

Mercimekli Mualla - Lentils, aubergine, onion, garlic and peppers cooked in olive oil; a delicious gluten-free dish

Mercimekli Mualla - Lentils, aubergine, onion, garlic and peppers cooked in olive oil; a delicious gluten-free dish

How about lentils? They are an integral part of Turkish cuisine and their protein packed nutrition add to a healthful diet. For a delicious, gluten-free treat, try this Mercimekli Mualla, eggplant, tomato & green lentils cooked in olive oil. This tasty, versatile dish can be a wonderful side to grilled meat and fish or a meal on its own.

As for the grains; couscous, bulgur wheat and semolina are not gluten-free, and we use especially bulgur quiet a lot in Turkish cuisine. However, you can use quinoa, in the place of couscous or bulgur wheat for salads and side dishes. Try making my spicy bulgur wheat salad with vegetables,kisir, with quinoa, for a delicious, gluten-free alternative.

Delicious Coconut-flavored Tilapia Fish and Potatoes Curry by Peri's Spice Ladle

Indian cuisine is also a great source for delicious and easy gluten-free recipes. Please also check out the wonderful blog Peri’s Spice Ladle; Peri has a delicious Coconut flavored tilapia fish and potato curry this week, so worth trying.

Here is a delicious and easy gluten-free pasta recipe, inspired by my friend Gillian’s wonderful sauce to go with it. It was my first time trying gluten-free pasta (a blend of corn flour and rice flour); we were impressed by it and the sauce of anchovies, capers, garlic and tomato gave it a really nice punchy flavor. I like to add a tablespoon of capers for extra zing, if you like the flavor too. My husband didn’t realize it was gluten-free pasta until I mentioned at the end! 🙂

Hope this recipe and other Turkish recipes here in this blog may help you to enjoy a gluten-free diet.

Gluten-free and Delicious; Pasta with anchovies, garlic, capers and parsley, in tomato sauce

Gluten-free pasta with anchovies, capers, tomatoes and garlic in tomato sauce

Serves 2

Preparation time: 10 minutes                           Cooking time: 15 minutes

250gr gluten-free pasta (or enough for 2 people)

30gr/ 1 canned anchovy fillets in olive oil – coarsely chopped

1tbsp capers, rinsed

3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped

14oz/1 can of Italian whole or cherry tomatoes, crushed in your hand (this works really well in the sauce, but if you rather prefer to use chopped tomatoes, that works too)

15ml/1tbsp olive oil

Handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan and sauté the garlic for a minute or two. Add the crushed tomatoes in can (along with about 2 tbsp of water to get all the juices in the can) to the pan; give them a good mix and cook for a further two minutes. Stir in the capers and anchovies, combine well. Season with salt (if needed; as anchovies and capers are already quite salty) and black pepper and simmer on low heat for about 5-8 minutes.

Anchovies and capers go well with garlic and tomatoes in the sauce

While the sauce is simmering, place the gluten-free pasta in a saucepan of boiling water, add a little salt and a dash of olive oil. Stir occasionally and boil for about 10 minutes, until “al dente”. Towards the end of the cooking, take 2 tablespoons of the pasta’s cooking liquid and add to the pasta sauce, along with the parsley, mix well. Once pasta is cooked, drain the water and mix the pasta with the sauce.

Afiyet Olsun (means in Turkish; “may you be happy and healthy with the food you eat”),

Ozlem

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Fascinating Istanbul where old and new co-exists; time to take it all in

Over looking the Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia from the Istanbul Modern Museum

It’s my last few days in Istanbul, the city I love, the city I feel alive – is there any city in the world you feel this way? Today, I have been visiting a few of my favorite spots in Istanbul, old and new, both breathtaking in their own ways.

Istanbul is a city, where old and new co-exists. I have been to the wonderful Istanbul Modern – Istanbul Museum of Modern Art-  in Karakoy, Istanbul today. İstanbul Modern embraces a global vision to collect, preserve, exhibit and document works of modern and contemporary art and make them accessible to art lovers; a fascinating place to be.

Istanbul Modern is also now hosting some wonderful exhibitions like Fifty Years of Urban Walls: A Burhan Dogancay Retrospective

and After Yesterday; an exhibition of images from the İstanbul Modern Photography Collection.

While at Istanbul Modern, you can have a nice break at their cafe, with stunning views of Sea of Marmara, Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia.

Just next to the Istanbul Modern is one of my favorite mosques, Nusretiye Mosque (Cami), built in 1825; it still looks stuning, though unfortunately in need of repair.

Wonderful Nusretiye Mosque, Istanbul

From Karakoy, you can take the tram to Eminonu; our next stop is Spice Market, Misir Carsisi!

Entrance of the ancient Spice Market, Misir Carsisi

Built in 1664, Misir Carsisi, Spice Market is a feast to all senses; it’s the place both Turks and visitors come to stock up spices, nuts, dried fruits and nuts.

Time to shop; Spice Market

Dried apricots, figs and dates stuffed with nuts, very inviting!

Fruit teas and cezves - long handled pots to make Turkish coffee

You can also get herbal and fruit teas at Spice Market; Turks love cay, black tea leaves, but the fruit tea is not a traditional drink with us. It is always a surprise to see the popularity of apple tea in Spice Market.

Stalls and shops are friendly and generous to share the treats!

I am happily accepting the offer of Turkish Delights, who couldn't?

And here are Turkish Delights with different flavors; plain, with rose water, with pistachios, walnuts and many more. Did you know you can make your own Turkish Delights? Here is the recipe if you would like to have a go.

Make sure to stock up your spices at the Spice Market

How about spices, with their mesmerising smells and colors? We add wonderful flavors to our dishes with the use of spices in Turkish cuisine. Make sure to stock up on dried red pepper flakes, dried mint, cumin, ground black pepper, sumac, zahter (wild oregano) at the Spice Market.

Nuts stall, full of delicious pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts and more

There are other treats like these colorful lamps, decorations, scarfs, even kaftans and costumes at Spice Market!

 

 

My daughter helping to prepare our Bayram - end of Ramadan - breakfast

I hope you enjoy these shots from different parts of Istanbul; so live, so vibrant. And I hope you can make it here sometime : )

Until next time,  Mutlu Bayramlar &  Best wishes from Istanbul 🙂

Ozlem

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