Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spinach Purée with Cheese

Spinach Purée with Cheese
  • 2 lbs fresh baby spinach
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1  cup grated romano or parmesan cheese, divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Wash, drain and finely chop spinach. Place it in a large pot. Cook over medium heat until the water it releases evaporates, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside to cool. Squeeze dry the spinach to get rid of excess moisture.

In a separate pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and using a whisk, continuously stir the flour-butter mixture for about 3-4 minutes. Slowly add milk while stirring the mixture with a whisk to avoid lumps. Add ¾ of the grated cheese, stir. Add spinach, stir with a spoon. Continue to cook until the mixture is hot, stirring frequently.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat, place in a serving dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, serve hot.

Bon Appétit! Afiyet Olsun!

Spinach finely chopped
Spinach cooked
Spinach is added to the white sauce

Grated cheese is added to spinach purée
Spinach Purée with Cheese

Friday, March 7, 2014

Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing
  • 6 cups baby kale
  • 1 medium green apple, sliced
  • 1 medium orange, peeled
  • 1 small avocado, diced
  • 2  Tbsp hemp seeds (optional)
  • 2-3 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/2 cup oranges
  • 1/2 small sweet onion, thinly sliced (optional)
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
  • 3 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon avocado or grape seed oil
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
For dressing, mix together all ingredients with a whisk or by shaking in a bottle. Taste and make adjustments to your taste. I usually at least quadruple the recipe and save the left over dressing in the fridge for future use with other salads. Set aside the dressing.

Wash and drain kale. Remove any stems that are sticking out. 

Cut apple into slices and then cut each slice across in thin triangles.

Peel oranges with a knife, exposing the juicy orange part. Cut oranges in half lengthwise. Place on the flat side. Cut each half again lengthwise, then slice across.

Combine kale, apples and oranges in a large bowl. Add thinly sliced onions (optional). Add enough dressing to cover the leaves. Toss well to make sure the dressing is evenly distributed. Add hemp (optional) and pumpkin seeds, avocados and gently toss again. Transfer to a serving dish, serve chilled.

Bon Appetit! Afiyet Olsun!

Baby kale
Baby kale stems removed
Kale Salad ingredients
Kale Salad ready for tossing
Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Savory Dill and Cheese Pastry

Savory Dill and Cheese pastry
Savory treats are my favorites for tea time. My friend Nur served these to us with coffee and they were an istant hit with everyone. They are very easy to make and freeze very well. If you freeze, when ready to serve, take them out of the freezer, put them in a preheated oven for 5 minutes. They will taste like they just came fresh out of the oven. You can use olive oil, as well as any other healthy oil like walnut or avocado oil.

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • ½ cup oil
  • 2 eggs (one yolk separated for glazing)
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Black caraway seeds


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Separate one egg yolk, save it for glazing the top of the pastry later. In a large bowl, mix yogurt, oil, and eggs with a whisk. Add crumbled feta cheese and dill, mix with a spoon. Add flour and baking powder. Mix well with a spoon. Cover the dough and let it chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Grease a cookie sheet. Take a walnut size piece of the dough, roll it between your palms into a ball and place on the cookie sheet. Repeat until all dough is used. Dough will yield about 40 pieces. Add a table spoon of water into the egg yolk, mix well. Brush the egg yolk over the pastry balls. Sprinkle black caraway seeds over the pastry. Bake in the oven until golden brown (about 30-45 minutes). Serve hot or at room temperature. 

Bon Appetit! Afiyet Olsun!
Yogurt, oil, feta cheese and fresh dill

Dough is ready to go in the refrigerator

Chilled dough

Pasty balls ready for glazing

Pastry balls glazed, ready for baking

Savory dill and cheese pastry fresh out of the oven

Savory dill and cheese pastry

Savory dill and cheese pastry