Yogurt Soup (Yayla Corbasi)

So I looked in the fridge and what did I see? A whole lot of yogurt. It’s always been my philosophy to ‘cook what you have’. So today I made a yogurt soup. It’s one soup that everyone in my family loves. I’m not sure if there is a correct way of making this, but this is how I make it:

In a pan add yogurt (about 500g) and two glasses of water. Add an egg (this makes it what the Turks call ‘Terbiyeli’) and a couple of spoons of flour. Mix well with a whisk. Put this on the stove to start warming then add a handful of washed rice.

Occasionally give the soup a mix as it is cooking.

In a separate pan melt a spoon of butter. Add dried mint, basil, salt, red & black pepper and optional chilli flakes. Once the butter has melted add it to your soup.

Keep cooking on a low heat until the rice has soften, for about half an hour.

Yayla corbasi

I also sometimes like to add lemon to this soup.

Rus Salatasi

Not sure what the name of this salad might be in English, but in Turkish it is Russian Salad. I myself am slightly addicted to this salad and when I make it I can’t stop eating it. It must be the gherkins, they really must have something in them that makes people crave them. I generally do not like gherkins, and even pick them out of my burgers, but in this I love them. I understand why pregnant women crave them. When I am having a low carb day I can eat this without feeling guilty. It’s also a great side dish to serve to your guests. In Turkey they eat this as a jacket potato topping too.

In a bowl add equal amounts of cooked and diced carrots and potatoes, peas and chopped gherkins.

For the dressing add equal amounts of yoghurt and mayonnaise.

Healthy BMI!

I got on the scales this morning, and do you know what they said? Healthy BMI!!!

I am happy to tell you that I am now at a healthy weight for my height. It took me a year to get here (I literally did start in January, so not all new year’s resolutions are doomed to fail). I started the year trying to eat healthier and cutting down calories. I was exercising more, I’d even tried running for a while but that didn’t take with me. This style of dieting worked, until it didn’t. There was a good few months where I was making no progress. So last week I took dieting to a new level and cut out the carbs as much as I could (when you really start to look into this you find that carbs are in almost everything). I combined this with intermittent fasting, which I was already used to from before and bam- it worked! Hello healthy BMI 🙂 Hello new healthier me. I hope to lose a little more and hopefully I can now focus on toning up a bit and building some muscle. I feel like I am now equipped with all the knowledge I need to stay at a healthy weight. When I go grocery shopping these days I no longer look at the calorie content anymore, I look at they amount of sugar and carbohydrates instead, and while I am not soaking my meals in fat, I am a lot more comfortable adding oils to my cooking, particularly if I know that they are the healthier versions like olive oil.

Anyway I really must go now, housework is waiting for me, at least I will be able to do that today with a spring in my step and a smile on my face.

Stay healthy 🙂

Red Lentil Soup – Mercimek Corbasi

There is only one person in the world I know who doesn’t like a red lentil soup and that is my daughter. I’m not sure where I went wrong there. They say that for a child to learn to eat something new they need to try it about 17 times, my daughter has tried it about a million times and it is still a no from her. I guess there are some exceptions to this rule.

So sticking to my healthy meals regime – this is a very very simple and healthy meal idea. It’s so healthy and so simple that I think everyone should be able to make and eat this. I am going to give you two options here, mega simple and slightly harder.

 

Red Lentil Soup/Mercimek corbasi – simple

In a pan add a spoon of butter and melt with a spoon of salca (red pepper paste).

Add water, red lentils, a stock cube and cook till the lentils are soft.

And that’s it – done!

When we were little my mum never blitzed our soup, so when I first got married I never did either. Then one day my husband said that it would be so much nicer if I did. So for many years I would blitz it. After a while husband then declared he missed the old version! So in the Aydin household we sometimes blend our soup – and sometimes don’t.

You can also add as much veg as you like to this soup too – I usually grate a carrot in too – just to up my children’s veg intake.  I recommend blitzing when hiding veg.

 

Version 2 – Ezogelin Corbasi/Spicy Red Lentil Soup

I don’t know who Ezogelin was but I’m sure she was a darned good housewife. She did this to her Mercimek Corbasi:

Saute 1 grated onion in a spoon of butter, add a couple of cloves of grated garlic, spoon of salca, mint, salt.

Then add your water, lentils and a hand full or rice and/or bulgur and cook till all is soft.

Ezogelin is  a legend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes I will admit that this is a terrible photo, but I am no Instagram queen. Also I have yet to buy some pretty plates!

 

The Turkish Diet vs Healthy Eating

Now I am no expert on nutrition  (although I have probably read enough about dieting and healthy eating to make me one) but they do now say that the Mediterranean diet is one of the best. When they say this I am not convinced that they include the Turkish diet in this equation, although technically we are Mediterranean. Now I don’t have any statistics on hand to back this up, I just know a lot of unhealthy Turks. I always thought that this was because of the amount of fat they added to their food. I am constantly telling my mum off for the amount of oil that she adds to her dinners.

But get this, a lot of studies on nutrition are now saying that eating fat doesn’t make you fat.

This goes against everything that we have ever been taught. I am still skeptical and I will keep encouraging my mum to lessen the amount of oil she uses, but I am less wary about eating what she cooks.

Minimise the oil in a Turkish dish and you will find that a lot of the food is quite healthy. The diet includes plenty of vegetables and pulses, all cooked to maximise the taste. You cannot accuse Turkish food of being bland.

You will have most likely heard by now that carbohydrates and sugar are the new evil. Whilst everyone can agree that sugar is bad, not everyone is sure that we should be limiting our carb intake. I am almost convinced that this is the way forward. I am currently trying to cut down on my carb intake, after all I have spent nearly all of my life over indulging on carbs, so giving my body a break from carbohydrates shouldn’t hurt too much.

I hope to include a lot of delicious and simple Turkish dishes to this site soon, just bear with my whilst I try to lose a couple more kilos. I am currently on a low carb diet, for example today for my late lunch I will be having a chopped up chicken breast. I cook this on the stove. I always use lemon, cayenne pepper and chilli flakes to spice it up – then add a random selection of herbs. I serve on a bed of salad. I sometimes add a dollop of humus too.

I am still a firm believer that you should eat everything in moderation, after all if you were to take the processed food and junk food out of a western diet, would we all still be unhealthy? I doubt it very much.

Experts haven’t quite settled the carbs vs fat argument yet so don’t get fixated on that for now if you are looking to get healthy. Just eat more veg – everyone can agree on that one!

If you are tempted to go low-carb, this is the book I am currently using to get ideas:

I Diet so that I can Eat

A common side effect of staying at home is weight gain. I personally put on a lot of weight whilst staying at home. I love eating, eating makes me happy and so that is what I do when I get bored. Making myself a cup of tea and having a chocolaty snack with it is what helps me to get through the day. I am now trying to break that pattern. It is possible instead to use your time at home to develop healthy eating habits. That is the stage that I am at  now. I still have my tea breaks but try to eat either a lower calorie snack or a protein based snack instead.

Low carb eating is ‘in’ right now and there is a reason for that. It works! Cut out the carbs and watch your waistline shrink. There are lots of studies out there now saying that we have been eating wrong, and that a heavy carbohydrate based diet is not good for us. I am beginning to think that they may have a point. Medical advice changes all the time and it may well be the case that they change their minds in the future and tell us that cutting out carbs was the wrong thing to do.

Up until recently I had been restricting my calorie intake and did manage to lose weight.  I have now plateaued so I will be cutting out carbs and intermittent fasting to lose the last stubborn few kilos in order to get to a healthy weight. At this rate it won’t be long till I reach my goal. It’s quite exciting. Not only that but I feel confident that I will be able to stay at a healthy weight moving forward.

My mantra is: I diet so that I can eat!

Are you looking to lose weight but don’t know where to start? I would suggest starting by cutting out the junk food and sugar. I have watched a whole load of videos on you-tube and this really helps to reprogram your brain so you you can really understand where you have been going wrong. We can all agree that sugar is bad. Watch the videos to see how we have been fed a high sugar diet without even realising it.

If you can do all this then I also suggest you include a low carb protein based breakfast to set you up for the day.

I will keep you up to date on my progress.

For now, stay healthy!

Love, Ela.