Thursday, November 9, 2017

More Salad Please!! Purslane- White Beans Salad


I said goodbye to summer(finally) put away the summer clothes and swimming suits since I live in a warm climate and just newly got into fall/winter mode.😀Am I late? Guys, it's still 18 -20 C(68 F) degrees here in the Aegean! One thing..let's combine a summer veggie and a grain one more time before we wave hands to the warm weather and keep eating smart with seasonal food. According to many farmers, common purslane is annual weed. Since we love purslane and it still being in grocery stores makes it a delicious, healthy and easy salad to come to our dinner table.

With healthy recipes let's join American Hearth Association's Eat Smart Month in November.
Bring pulses and dry legumes to the table. It takes some time, soaking and cooking the legumes if you don't prefer using canned but is totally worth it!




Ingredients
A large bunch of purslane
1 cup white beans (cooked)
1 onion (thinly sliced)
1 glove garlic
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
Juice of a lemon
Sea salt
2 bay leaves
Olive oil
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)


Since pressure cooking doesn't require a much higher temperature and cooks in less time, preferable for preserving nutrients. Besides, it reduces lectins and phytic acid in grains and beans we should avoid to protect the digestive system. And..a warm welcome to dry beans!!

Rinse the beans and put them in a large bowl. Cover in 4 times their volume of water. Soak the beans a night before and they'll be ready to cook next day. Drain and rinse the beans and place in a pressure cooker or a  pot. Add the bay leaves and garlic(make beans even tastier) and a drizzle of oil.  Add enough water to cover and boil until they are tender. Let them cool.


 Pressure cooker / cooking time 15-20 minutes.
 Pot / 30-40 minutes. 
   
Make the dressing by mixing the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pomegranate molasses.

Remove the leaves in the clusters and rinse the purslane and pat dry. Gently toss together with the dry beans, the onion (red onion gives a better taste but I ran out) and the salad dressing. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds.
I also love pomegranate seeds on lettuce salad. Mmmm.👪


I'm always hungry for a salad😍

yonca is cooking: Spinach&Arugula Salad
Spinach-Arugula Salad

 Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Paleo + Vegan (Gluten Free) Fall Cookies

Since Fall is here and cookie season has already started, I have been experimenting with the flours for awhile. Gluten free flour, almond flour, garbanzo flour, gluten-free buckwheat flour, tapioca starch, arrowroot powder. Trying to make healthy Vegan and Paleo friendly delicious cookies, muffins, cakes, bread, pies... Baking is relaxing and 
I like to keep things simple.

PALEO + VEGAN (GLUTEN FREE)
FALL🍂 COOKIES

yonca's kitchen

Let's not skip the fun while baking healthier. Even though I try something new and not being successful, laughing and enjoy being in the kitchen comes first. Everything for happiness!!! Cheers for healthier cookies and having good time!


Ingredients:
2 cups almond flour
2 tbsp dark maple syrup
1.5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
Zest of one lemon (finely grated)

Stir all the ingredients together until a smooth dough forms. Roll into a ball and press down gently.
Place on baking tray.
Bake for about 8 minutes. (350F/175 C) 
Sprinkle some cinnamon on the top of each cookie. Let em' cool before removing them.  

Mmmm...Cinnamon!!! 
Yes...I'm LOVING that smell and it reminds me how much I missed fall.
Time to call the kids😃 Hooray!!!
Mine is 15 this year but is still a cookie monster. So am I. 😀

Happy Fall 🍁

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Air Fryers - The Healthier Way to Fry

If you and your kids love fries and you are looking for a healthier cooking method for your loved ones to eat better, you definitely need an air fryer. An exceptional gadget that uses rapid air technology.


 

3 Main Reasons For Having an Air Fryer;

- Less fat! Your meal contains less fat than regular frying. Air fryer doesn't have a special compartment for oil. It cooks food perfectly with drizzling some olive oil instead of submerged in hot fat and still makes it tasty.

- Still tasty! Crispy and crunchy on the outside and a juicy inside. If you are a fry lover, first thing that pops in mind is "Can it cook food, chicken, dumplings, veggies crunchy enough like deep fryer?" The answer is;  air fryer could replicate a deep-fried taste. It is worth to try for eating healthier. 


- Time saver! 
Faster than a convection oven. When we compare this kitchen appliance with a pan or a deep fryer, it's almost the same. Cleaning after use is much easier. It's a life saver especially for working moms and dads! Healthier choice, easier clean up process!

You can cook your family favorite meals with less fat, by circulating hot air with a fan in an air fryer like a convection oven. You can read the similarities and the differences of convection ovens and air fryers here


If you heard about air fryer but you haven't got one yet, you most likely have another question in your mind.


What Can You Cook in Air Fryer?


While it improve your life style and eating habits, you can still enjoy your favorite foods on the table.


All frozen foods, fries, nuggets, fish sticks, etc.
It does a great job for reheating leftovers.
French fries in less calories,
Roasting nuts,
Raw meat,
You can roast chicken, pork, beef and also grill vegetables in the air fryer.
Roasted whole chicken, doesn't take more than 30 minutes.
Baked goods (cakes, muffins) Yes, you can bake with optional buy accessories.

Can I Replace a Convection Oven With an Air Fryer?

Air fryer gives food a fried texture and the same taste of convection cooking. It is totally up to you! But most air fryers have a small capacity. If you have a big family, you might need to use it in several batches or look for a XL model.

This affordable appliance will help you transform your kitchen into a modern space without breaking your budget. Fry, bake, roast, grill.. This magic appliance can do it all!

Is It Worth Buying?

It is multi-functional, easy and fun to use, affordable, portable and the most important, much healthier than other frying gadgets!!! Totally worth it!

There are so many kitchen appliances that have come and gone in my kitchen over the years. Some of them were very useful, were worth to buy and keep them. Some, waited for the garage sale. I don't like to purchase appliances just because they look cool. They must be really useful, multi-functional items are most preferable for sure. At least must work for one good reason. There is no room for the appliances I don't like to use and no room in the budget to purchase kitchen tools/gadgets I'm sure that I would never use again.


Zucchini Sticks

Fast, easy and healthy zucchini sticks, even your kids would love to eat zucchini with this air fryer recipe. I have been cooking this favorite family food in the convection oven for years! Now, it is time to try it in this new world kitchen appliance. Zucchini Sticks/recipe

The variable temperature allows to cook up all kinds of food from frozen veggies to your family's favorite pizza! This gadget would probably be your new favorite item in the kitchen. One new kitchen appliance can make a big change in your life, can give a start to eat better. Air fryer, will touch your life!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Purple time of the year! Lavender season / Inspire me- 1

Close your eyes! Let yourself flow into a purple dream!! You're in a lavender field. Refreshing, relaxing..smells heavenly
 It's the perfect time to visit a lavender farm! 


It's purple time of the year!
Add a lavender farm visit to your summer vacation, plan a day trip or a weekend getaway. Believe me, you need it more than you think. Take pictures of gorgeous views and stay calm in purple beauty.

Lavenderlands to visit;

Provence/France - Full color sunflowers and lavenders together makes a beautiful shot.  (July/August)


Senanque Abbey (the Abbaye Notre Dame de Sénanque) near Gordes.
Sénanque Abbey is the most famous place for a lavender shot to make your Provence visit unforgetable.
Try to go there early to catch the right position for the perfect shot. It will not be so crowded in the morning, no parking problem either..more info



Mayfield Lavender, Banstead, UK. Located ~ 13 miles from center of London. Open everyday 9am to 6 pm. Read more..


Mt. Shasta Lavender Field in California. One of the highest peaks in California area. Due to the unusual weather, they announced that they can not open this blooming season until to June, 2018 on their Facebook page.

I lived in Long Island for more than ten years. We love LI and driving around. If you are around New York or planning to visit it this summer, along with Long beach, don't skip the Lavender farm.

It is located in East Marion, Lavender By the Bay! Open daily 9 am to 6 pm. Read more

Lavender By the Bay

   
The best spot to view the lavender in Japan is Farm Tomita! Furano, Hokkaido
 more..


Lavender Farm Guest House in Franschhoek. It is one of the oldest towns in Republic of South Africa. Luxery suits with a lavender view! Amazing!
Read more


Give yourself another experience in Kuyucak Village-Keçiborlu, Isparta/ Turkey. A beautiful lavender town is also famous with lovely roses. This city smells lavender and rose! Your visit to Turkey would be an escape from stress in July.
Read more


Lavandario in Cunha city, Sao Paola State, Brazil. Amazing 30 types of flowers, bigger or smaller, violet, lilac, white and pink ones!..more info


Sunshine Herb / Lavender Farm,
Washington, US more info

Can't stop myself from diving deeper into the purple dream. I need more lavender, more purple.. Let's make Lavender ice tea. Sounds good?


I love iced tea, iced coffee for summer time and like to keep a variety of iced tea and coffee on hand in the refrigerator all summer long.
This aromatic herb goes incredibly delicious also for drinks.

Lavender Iced Tea:

1/2 gallon water
1 1/2 tsp lavender
2 tea bag (family size)
2 tsp honey ( skip it if you don't like your tea sweet or you're a vegan..still delicious!)
lemon slices to garnish.

Bring water to a boil. Make your tea in a pot with hot water, add lavender, let it steep for 4 minutes. Remove tea bags and also lavender using a strainer. If you like sweet, add honey. Chill it in the refrigerator.
Serve over ice.

Your summer drink is ready with many benefits like helping digestion and anxiety, relieves headache and relaxing. Lavandula angustifolia helps sleep as well. Recent researchers say too much iced tea might be a reason of a kidney stone. Life is... all about balance 🤣

Enjoy!

Happy 4th of July everyone🗽

(to be continued..more lavenderlands)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Avocado, tomato, cheese panini with herbs

Panini is something I CAN NOT stay away from! I know it sounds weird but just go with it.



Combining different ingredients I already have in the kitchen and to create a taste in minutes everyone in our family would like and makes life easy and delicious! 

Another thing I can't give up is herbs(fresh or dry), love adding more flavors to time saver recipes. Making life simple and happy with easy, healthy, tasty recipes and being open to new tastes.
Oh gosh..life is really delicious.

My son doesn't get in the kitchen often, but grilled cheese sandwiches/paninis is his expertise..lol!

This panini is made using fresh Spicy Bush basil from the pot in my balcony which has tiny leaves(intensely flovered basil type).
Feta crubles (its refined flavor makes the panini full flavored and melts easily).


Ingredients:
(Total time 15' for 3)

6 bread slices
1 big tomato
3 tbsp olive oil
Avocado mix;
1 avocado(blended with 2 tbsp milk)
1 tsp pomegranate sauce (A fruity Middle Eastern inspired dressing, goes perfect on any green and grain salad. I usually have a bottle in my pantry)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dry thyme,salt,pepper
a handfull of fresh basil and parsley(finely chopped)
3 Mozerella cheese slices
1/2 slices American cheese ( I added half of a slice each)
1 tbsp feta scrumbles We're a cheese monster family of 3 😊
Feta cheese has a refined flavor, makes the sandwiches full flavored.
Drizzle the inside of bread with oil.
Arrange avocado mix, mozerella, feta, tomato slices, American cheese and place on a hot grill/panini maker.
What are you waiting for? Get a bite! Enjoy!!!


Cheers to an easy and happy life!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Cheshme (Çeșme) ll

Aegean Coast! Where the palm trees meet the pine trees. Alacati (Alachati) is a town on the Aegean coast of Turkey, has become one of the trendiest places to vacation. Its architecture, #vineyards, #windmills, #windsurfing, #kitesurfing, crystal clear water, beach clubs, stone houses, boutique hotels, restaurants with wood tables on the narrow streets, international fishing tournament (Alacati Big  Fish) which is open to all amateur fishermen, 1001 different types of weeds/herbs and Alacati (Alachati) 8th Annual Herb(wild weed) Festival which is held on the 6-9 April this year. I was there!

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Okay, maybe a lot of the world is still waiting for the warm weather, tasting spring mood, the amazingness of the spring flowers and grabbing up only a light jacket to go out..Now, I'm taking you guys with me to the Aegean cost! 
If  you have read my first post about this town Cesme (Cheshme) l you probably know what it's like.  

My son Aria took the photos and we had fun all day long tasting, watching, dancing, taking photos, hanging out on the lovely streets of Alachati. We tasted delicious and gastronomic dishes cooked by creative ladies besides buying fresh herbs and weeds.

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Lavender and Rosemary

Lavender is quite beneficial for health,
helps in convulsion and digestive issues.
Grilled rosemary-lemon chicken breast for dinner tonight. 
Cooking with fresh herbs is always more enjoyable and tasty.

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Bay leaves with the note of benefits for skin, hair and health.

Cooking with the freshly dried bay leaves gives a warm aroma I loved. 

Mastic gum is obtained from the resin of the Mastic tree, 
used in making desserts(ice-cream, jam, cookies) and also medicine.

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Mastic tree

Cesme (Cheshme)Turkey and 
Cios (Greek Island) is 
the souce of  mastic resin.

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Mastic cookies

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Endless varieties of delicious layered pastries 
with herbs, spicies, cheese, meat called 'Borek'

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'Nettle' was the main theme of 
Alachati Weed Festival this year.
Soups, pastries, salads and more.. 

Nettle tea is a great 
health-boosting herb, offers 
numerious benefits
 including kidney problems, 
its ability to stop both 
internal and external bleeding.

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Fresh Artichokes

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Rice pilaf with artichoke and dill

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Zucchini Flower Dolma 

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An amazing food show to taste, prepared in a number of tasty ways
different types of the huge variety of local herbs, weeds like 
Ebegumeci(hibiscus), Karabas otu(lavandula), Turp otu(radish root), 
Sevketi Bostan( a type of thistle), Radika (chicory) and more.

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There was an explosion of ice-cream options in Cheshme. 
Tiramisu ice-cream was extremely delicious!

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Olive varieties..Homemade olive oil in bottles

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Alacati (Alachati)

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Spring flowers

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My handsome photographer :)

Happy Spring!!! 🐦 Happy Easter!!!

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