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Flavor Of Valley
Flavor Of Valley



“Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C,” says Toronto-based registered dietitian Madeleine Edwards. Most mammals—except for humans—have the ability to produce vitamin C naturally, which is why it’s so important to get your daily requirement. “One serving of strawberries contains 51.5 mg of vitamin C—about half of your daily requirement,” Edwards says. “Double a serving to one cup and get 100 percent.” Vitamin C is a well-known immunity booster, as well as a powerful, fast-working antioxidant. A 2010 UCLA study discovered that the antioxidant power in strawberries becomes “bioavailable” or “ready to work in the blood” after eating the fruit for just a few weeks.

10 Health Benefits of Strawberries
1. Helps burn stored fat



Antioxidants are disease-fighting compounds. Scientists believe these compounds help prevent and repair oxidation damage that happens during normal cell activity. Apples are also full of a fibre called pectin’a medium-sized apple contains about 4 grams of fibre. Pectin is classed as a soluble, fermentable and viscous fibre, a combination that gives it a huge list of health benefits.
1. Get whiter, healthier teeth
An apple won’t replace your toothbrush, but biting and chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, reducing tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria.
2. Avoid Alzheimer’s
A new study performed on mice shows that drinking apple juice could keep Alzheimer’s away and fight the effects of aging on the brain. Mice in the study that were fed an apple-enhanced diet showed higher levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and did better in maze tests than those on a regular diet.
3. Protect against Parkinson’s

Health Benefits of Cucumbers

Health Benefits of Cucumbers

Cucumbers belong to the same plant family as squash, pumpkin, and watermelon(the Cucurbitaceae family). Like watermelon, cucumbers are made up of mostly (95 percent) water, which means eating them on a hot summer day can help you stay hydrated.
However, there's reason to eat cucumbers all year long. With vitamin K, B vitamins, copper, potassium, vitamin C, and manganese, cucumbers can help you to avoid nutrient deficiencies that are widespread among those eating a typical American diet.Plus, cucumbers contain unique polyphenols and other compounds that may help reduce your risk of chronic diseases and much, much more.

Stuffed Eggplants With Ground Beef

Stuffed Eggplants With Ground Beef
1 lb (450-500 gr) eggplant
1 cup oil for frying
1 onion, chopped
200 gr (~1/2 lb) ground beef, medium
1 green pepper, chopped
1 tomato, diced / 5 tbsp crushed or diced tomato
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp black pepper

3 tbsp crashed tomato / 1 ½ tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ cup warm water

Wash and peel the eggplants. If they are slim, cut them in half in length. If they are chubby ,cut them into four slices lengthwise. Then place them in a bowl and add water to cover the slices. Leave them in water for 15-20 minutes for better taste. Then take the slices and dry with a cloth.
Place the oil in a skillet and turn heat to high. Fry both sides of eggplants till they become soft. Do not over fry. Place the fried eggplants into a Pyrex dish and sprinkle some salt on them. With a spatula or spoon, smash them lightly to make them softer.

Kidney Bean Salad

Kidney Bean Salad
1 can kidney beans or 1½ cup cooked kidney beans
1 tomato, diced
¼ red/ white onion, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled, grated
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp vinegar (optional)
½ tsp salt
Black olives
Fresh parsley
1 egg, boiled, sliced

Wash the kidney beans and drain. Then mix all the main ingredients in a plate.
In a small bowl mix all the sauce ingredients and pour the sauce on the piyaz.
Garnish with the boiled egg, fresh parsley and black olives.
Piyaz goes well with meatballs, beef, lamb and chicken dishes.

Shish Kebab

Shish Kebab
1 lb boneless beef or lamb
1 tsp salt
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp paprika
1tbsp lemon juice
Green/yellow/red pepper, cut in big chunks
2-3 medium onions, cut into 4
Any kind of vegetables you like
Wooden/ metal skewers

In a bowl, combine salt, garlic, olive oil, cumin, paprika and lemon juice. Cut the meat uniformly sized 1 to 2 inch cubes for quick and even cooking.
Then add the meat into marinade sauce and mix them all. Leave for marinating at least 1 hour, preferably one night in the fridge.
Drain the meat and discard the marinade sauce, do not use it again.
Put the meat and vegetables on skewers. If you are using wooden skewers, leave them in water for 30 minutes, to prevent them catching fire over the grill.
Cook Shish Kebabs on the grill, electric grill or you can bake them in the oven at 400F (200C) till all sides are golden brown and tender.

White Beans with Meat

White Beans with Meat
White Beans with Meat is a very traditional and common dish in Turkey, especially when it is served with pilaf and pickles. Turkish people just love this dish.

2 cups white/butter beans
½ lb beef/lamb meat, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 dried red pepper/green pepper, chopped
½ tsp baking soda (optional)
¼ tsp chili red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tbsp salt to taste
1 cup hot water

Wash white beans, place them in a pot and cover with water (approximately 1 inch above the beans). Leave them in water overnight or for at least 12 hours. The next day, cook them with the same water till beans get soft over low heat. You could add baking soda to have softer beans quicker. When they are soft, add ½ tbsp of salt.

Mercimek Koftesi

Mercimek Koftesi
½ cup red lentil, washed and drained
1 cup fine bulgur
2 ½ cups water
1 onion, chopped finely
2 tbsp tomato paste
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp black pepper
1/3 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt to taste
¼ cup hot water
½ bunch fresh parsley, chopped finely
½ tsp dried mint/3-4 pairs of fresh mint, chopped finely
2 green onions, only green parts chopped finely
Lettuce leaves or arugula
Lemon wedges

Boil red lentil with 2 ½ cup of water. Make sure the lentils are soft but there is still some water in the bottom. Turn the heat of and stir in fine bulgur, close the lid. Leave for at least 10 minutes to make bulgur absorb all the water and expand.

Pilaf with Carrots

Pilaf with Carrots
1 cup rice, washed and drained
2 carrots, shredded/diced
1 small onion, chopped (optional)
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp canola oil
2 cups hot chicken stock/water and chicken bouillon
1 tbsp salt to taste
¼ tsp black pepper
Fresh parsley to garnish

Wash the rice several times with warm water and drain. Cover the rice with warm water and leave it for 15-20 minutes and drain. If you do not have time for this, just wash the rice and then drain.
In a pot or saucepan, sauté onions and carrots with oil and butter. When carrots become soft stir in rice and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Then add salt and chicken stock/water and chicken bouillon. Close the lid and cook over low heat till rice absorbs all the water. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes.
Sprinkle some black pepper and garnish with parsley before serving.

Lady's Thigh Kofte

Lady's Thigh Kofte
1 lb ground beef
1big onion, chopped
½-1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
½ cup rice, washed and drained
1 cup hot water
1 tsp+ ½ tsp salt to taste
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp black pepper

For Frying:
½ cup canola oil
2 eggs, beaten
¾ cup flour

Boil rice in a cup of hot water and add ½ tsp salt. Leave it to cool.
Cook 2/3 of ground beef in skillet till its color turns to brown over medium heat. Then, stir in onion and the remaining salt. Cook till onions get soft over low heat (3-4 minutes). Finally, stir in the parsley and the spices and turn the heat off.
In a large bowl mix the cooked ground meat mixture, rice and the remaining raw ground beef. You can knead with your hands if you like.
Cover the mixture and leave in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Turkish Dumpling

Turkish Dumpling
Manti is one of my favorite Turkish traditional dishes. Manti is very popular and common in Turkey. It takes time to prepare, but it’s really worth of your time! You should try it to taste a real Turkish flavor. Preparing manti is very fun and easy if you make it a team work.

3-3 ½ cups flour
1 egg
2/3 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp salt to taste

Filling:½ lb ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped/shredded
½ tsp salt to taste
½ tsp black pepper

For cooking:
8 cups water
1 tsp salt

Sauce:2 cups yogurt
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ tsp salt to taste
3-4 tbsp butter/oil
1 tbsp tomato paste/2/3 tsp paprika
2-3 tbsp water
Dried mint

In a bowl place the flour, crack the egg and add the salt and water. Then knead till you get a firm and smooth dough. Knead for about 8-10 minutes. Make sure to make it firm to flatten easily later. Cover it with a damp towel or cloth and leave for a rest (15-30 minutes).

Ali Nazik

Ali Nazik
2 medium eggplants
1-2 green pepper (optional)
150 gr ground beef
1+1 tbsp canola oil
½ cup garlic yogurt
½ tsp black pepper
1-2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
1 tsp salt to taste

Make holes in the eggplants with a fork to make them roast better. Roast them and peppers in the oven or over the grill till they get soft. Let them cool. Remove the skins of both eggplants and peppers. Chop them finely; add half of the salt (1/2 tsp) and sauté with one tbsp of canola oil for about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate. If desired, mix the eggplants with half of the garlic yogurt.
Cook ground beef with one tbsp of canola oil and stir in black pepper and the remaining salt. Place cooked ground meat over the eggplants and the garlic yogurt on top. You can garnish with parsley. Also if desired place 2 tbsp of butter in a small frying pan and melt over low-medium heat. Once it starts spitting turn the heat off and stir in ½ tsp paprika. Pour all over the dish.

Sheet Borek

Sheet Borek
1 lb(454 gr) Phyllo Pastry
3 L(13*9*2”) Pyrex casserole dish
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk
1/3 or ½ cup oil
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds(optional)

In a bowl place the eggs, oil and milk. Mix them with a whisk. You will use this mixture for every two or three layers of the pastry and on top.
Grease the Pyrex dish. Take 2-3 layers of sheets place them on the counter. Spread three tbsps of the mixture on it and put some of the filling you are using and spread it evenly. Wrap it around loosely, do not make it tight. Start whirling the wrapped pastries from the center of the Pyrex. Continue spreading 3 tbsps of mixture and filling. Then, wrap and continue whirling from the end of the last one. Repeat the same procedure till the pastry sheets finish.
Pour the remaining liquid mixture on top of the borek. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and nigella seeds (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C) and cook for about 45 minutes, until it turns golden brown.

Turkish Pogaca with Cheese

Turkish Pogaca with Cheese
2 cups lukewarm milk/ water
1 cup oil
1 egg (yolk for egg wash, white for dough)
1/3 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
5-6 cups all purpose flour
Instant yeast (7 gr)/1 cube fresh yeast
For glaze: beaten egg yolk, nigella/sesame seeds/poppy seeds

1 cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup fresh parsley/dill, chopped (optional)

Place the lukewarm milk, sugar and the yeast into a bowl. Stir well to dissolve the sugar and the yeast. Let it rise for 10-15 minutes.
Then, add the salt, egg white, oil and flour, knead for 10 minutes. Place a plastic wrap over the dough and let it rest for 2 hours or till it rises up to double its shape Grab egg size pieces from the dough and make it flat in your palms and put the cheese filling inside. Close and make it round or any kind shape you like.

Fried Dough

Fried Dough
2 cups lukewarm water
4-5 cups flour
1 tsp salt to taste
1 package fresh yeast/ 2 tsp active dry yeast
1 ½ -2 cups oil for frying

Place the lukewarm water and the yeast into a bowl. Stir well to dissolve the yeast. Add the salt and flour; knead for 10 minutes, till dough becomes elastic. The more you knead the better your dough will be. Cover the dough with a plastic wrap or a clean cloth and let it rest for 2 hours in a warm place or till it rises up to double its volume..Place dough on the counter and punch to release air. Cut the dough into walnut or egg size pieces (as you like). Place them on the counter and leave for 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile heat the oil in a saucepan or pot. Flatten dough pieces using your fingers (for about 1/3 inch thick). Fry both sides lightly. Dough will turn yellow. Then, place the fried dough pieces over a paper towel.
Serve Fried Dough warm or hot with cheese, cream cheese, jam/jelly or fruit preserves.

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