Tag: Healthy Turkish meals | Ozlem's Turkish Table (2023)

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From Menemen to Izmir Kofte; delicious and easy Turkish meals when you are on the move

By Ozlem Warren on November 18, 2013 in Appetizers and Mezes, Cakes and Desserts, Casseroles and Stews, Turkish Breakfast 18

We have just moved in to our new home; very exciting yet also busy with packing and settling in. I gathered a few of my favorite recipes here that can be easily prepared, yet delicious and wholesome – I know I will be turning to them and knowing I have good food ready to enjoy & serve will give me peace of mind, at the end of a busy day. These dishes can also be prepared ahead of time or can be cooked all in one pot. I hope these also may inspire you for wholesome and easy meals; look forward to sharing new recipes from our new home soon!

Turkish scrambled egg with tomatoes, peppers, oninons and feta cheese, Menemen

Tag: Healthy Turkish meals | Ozlem's Turkish Table (4)

Menemen; Turkish scrambled egg with tomatoes, peppers, onions and feta cheese.

What do you cook when you are loaded with boxes and busy unpacking? Well, this delicious scrambled egg and vegetables is packed with flavour, it is nutritious and gets ready in minutes. Menemen is one of my homeland’s favorite brunch item, and a great street food. There are many versions of it – garlic, onion, any choice of cheese, spinach would go well too. Served with nice crusty bread and a little garlic yoghurt by the side, this dish can make a wonderful light supper or a substantial lunch option.

Casserole of meatballs, peppers, onions and potato; Izmir Kofte

Tag: Healthy Turkish meals | Ozlem's Turkish Table (5)

Izmir Kofte; Casserole of meatballs, onions, peppers and potato

How about this melt-in-the mouth Izmir Kofte; Casserole of meatballs, peppers, onions and potato? This is a popular meatball and vegetable casserole (not only with the children but with the adults too!) that can either be cooked on the stove top or baked in the oven. It makes a complete and hearty main course served with plain white rice or a slice of crusty bread. Delicious, easy meal; you can add as much red pepper flakes as you would like for a spicier flavor.

Zucchini fritters with feta, dill and green onions – Mucver

Tag: Healthy Turkish meals | Ozlem's Turkish Table (6)

Zucchini fritters with feta, spring onions and dill; Mucver; delicious

Zucchini, kabak in Turkish, are very versatile, used in many dishes and their flowers are perfect for stuffing. This surprisingly easy and wonderful vegetarian fritters, Mucver, are fantastic accompanied by garlic infused yoghurt or a leafy salad and crusty bread. You can enjoy them as a meze/appetizer for supper or light lunch dish. The bite size versions would be a great party / finger food too. They are also wonderful served next day as a cold snack. They are easy to make and delightful. Here is my Mucver recipe, if you’d like to give it a go.

Bulgur wheat pilaf with vegetables; Sebzeli Bulgur Pilavi

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. I love this delicious and wholesome bulgur pilaf with vegetables; you get a complete, satisfying meal in no time. You can serve Cacik dip, yoghurt with cucumbers and dried mint as a side for a refreshing accompaniment.

Eggplants, green lentils and vegetables cooked in Olive Oil; Mercimekli Mualla

Tag: Healthy Turkish meals | Ozlem's Turkish Table (8)

Aubergine with green lentils, aubergine onions and peppers; Mercimekli Mualla- such a delicious treat

We have a whole section in Turkish cuisine called “Vegetables cooked in Olive Oil”, Zeytinyaglilar, where we cook vegetables in olive oil and serve them either cold or at room temperature. Once cooked, it is important for the dish to cool down in its pan and rest, allowing all the flavors to blend. Usually served with a wedge of lemon, this style of cooking is very healthy, tasty and refreshing. This traditional recipe, Patlicanli Mercimekli Mualla, is from Antakya, Southern part of Turkey, where my roots are from. The amazing flavors of green lentils, olive oil, eggplant and dried mint blend so well and take me back to Antakya immediately. Again, all-in-one-pot, delicious vegetarian meal you can prepare ahead of time.

Turkish beans salad with vegetables, olives, boiled egg in sumac dressing; Fasulye Piyazi

Tag: Healthy Turkish meals | Ozlem's Turkish Table (9)

Bean salad with onions, tomatoes, olives and boiled eggs – Fasulye piyazl

What do you cook when you have limited time? Well, this bean and vegetable salad, fasulye piyazi, can be ready in a flash, it is very delicious and healthy. At home, traditionally we serve fasulye piyazi with grilled meatballs, koftes. There are traditional restaurants, lokantas, at home that solely serve Turkish style meatballs, fasulye piyaz and pickled cucumber and peppers. This salad is also a great alternative for lunch, served with some nice crusty bread or in can be a part of a meze spread. I would happily have this salad with some nice bread aside for a light supper.

Baked dried apricots with walnuts – Cevizli kayisi tatlisi

Tag: Healthy Turkish meals | Ozlem's Turkish Table (10)

Baked dried apricots with walnuts; delicious, easy and packed with goodness.

One of Turkey’s most prolific fruits is the apricot. Because of their abundance, some of the yearly harvest is allowed to dry in the hot summer sun in order to be enjoyed all year round. Malatya, a city in southeast Turkey, is particularly famous for excellent dried apricots which are exported throughout the world. Apricots are great snacks; they are packed with fiber, antioxidants and their naturally rich, wonderful flavor is icing on the cake. This delicious & easy baked dried apricots with walnuts dessert is great for sharing with friends and family or just indulging yourself.

Delicious, frothy Turkish Coffee – Turk Kahvesi; More than a Drink

For me, nothing more relaxing than taking a break with a nice cup of Turkish coffee. Turkish coffee, Turk kahvesi is one of the most popular traditional drinks at home in Turkey and I love the whole ritual, the experience of it. In Turkish, we have a saying “Bir fincan kahvenin kirk yil hatiri vardir” which means “The memory of a good cup of Turkish coffee lasts 40 years”. Turkish coffee is a drink of friendship; you are offered this traditional, aromatic drink wherever you go in Turkey; when visiting friends and family, in the shops, while waiting in the bank, in hairdressers.. We take time to pause and enjoy this special drink with a friend or family or sometimes simply reflect with every precious sip. A glass of water and Turkish Delights, Lokum by the side complete the Turkish coffee ritual. And I always look forward to putting the feet up and enjoy a sip of Turkish coffee at then end of a busy day.

Afiyet Olsun!


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Etli Taze Fasulye – Green beans with ground meat and vegetables

By Ozlem Warren on September 15, 2010 in Casseroles and Stews 1

Etli Taze fasulye; green beans cooked with onions, tomatoes, potatoes with ground meat; delicious, healthy and easy

I spotted some lovely runner beans in the market and made this very popular Turkish dish. I like to add potatoes too, though traditionally we wouldn’t. It is wholesome, healthy, delicious and very easy to make – and you get your 4 vegetables a day in one go! If you can’t find runner beans, you can use French beans too.

You can cook this dish ahead of time and gently reheat just before eating. It is a huge help and comfort not to worry about dinners during the week and this recipe certainly helps! You can serve with pilaff rice and Cacik dip, Cucumber and yoghurt dip with mint, for a complete meal.

Serves 4 – 6
Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 45-50 minutes

250 gr/9 oz ground (minced) lean beef
500 gr/1 1/4 lb runner beans (or French beans), trimmed and cut in 3-4 pieces
115 gr/4 oz small potatoes, halved and sliced
2 medium onions, finely sliced
400 gr/14 oz can of chopped tomatoes
30 ml/ 2 tablespoons olive oil
240 ml/ 8 lf oz water
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper/ paprika flakes to serve – optional-

Sauté the onions with the olive oil for a couple of minutes over medium heat and add the ground meat. Continue cooking for further couple of minutes. Add the potatoes, beans and tomatoes and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook over medium to low heat for about 40 minutes (French beans may take shorter to cook). Cook for a further 5-10 minutes if needed. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper to your liking.

Serve hot, sprinkled with red pepper/ paprika flakes if you would like, with some crusty bread or plain rice by the side.

Afiyet Olsun!

Note: I previously made the vegetarian version of this dish, “Runner beans cooked in olive oil”, Zeytinyagli taze fasulye, which is lovely for hot summers day.

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