Eggplant Bruschetta

Classic bruschetta atop baked eggplant slices is one way to nix the bread and still feel satisfied. The eggplant gives the dish a meaty texture, so a few slices of this dish can make a meal! I used mint in the tomato mixture for an even lighter and zestier twist. I could honestly eat this with every meal, it’s so delicious!

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Eggplant: lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol with its chlorogenic compound, is anti-carcinogenic due to its antioxidant nasunin content, is a great source of dietary fiber, protects against colon cancer, and is a great source of vitamin A, B vitamins, folate and vitamin C.

Eggplant Bruschetta

by Aylin @ Glow Kitchen

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients (Varies)

  • 1 large eggplant (the thickest one you can find)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • Small handful of mint
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions

Pick up the fattest eggplant you can at the market. Slice it into 1-inch thick pieces.

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Lay out the pieces on parchment paper, brush with olive oil on both sides, season with salt and pepper and pop into the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or until browned and cooked through.

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For the bruschetta, mix together 1/4 cup olive oil with the juice of one lime, and salt and pepper and toss with chopped tomatoes, 1/2 onion and handful of mint.

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To serve, simply tower each eggplant slice with the bruschetta.

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Enjoy!

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Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Creamy Tomato Soup

Creamy without the cream. No dairy necessary in my version of tomato soup — it’s vegan! The cauliflower base gives the soup a creamy color and a texture that won’t have you missing its moo’ing counterpart. There is also not a lick of oil in this recipe, so it’s great to have for an upset stomach, to nurse a cold, or to simply enjoy as a guilt-free snack, lunch, or a palette cleanser before a meal. Dried mint helps the soup keep a light and refreshing aftertaste.

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This soup glows.

Cauliflower: is a great source of vitamin C and manganese, which help protect from free radical damage and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, contains high amounts of the anti-inflammatory vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids, promotes cerebro- and cardiovascular health, contains 3.35 grams of dietary fiber in just one boiled cup, and is also a good source of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folic avid, proteins, phosphorus and potassium.

This is how to use it in a comforting soup:

Vegan Creamy Tomato Soup

by Aylin @ Glow Kitchen

Cook Time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 3 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 4 scallions
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • Dried mint for garnish

Instructions

Roughly chop the cauliflower and stemmed tomatoes. Peel off the top layer of each scallion and chop off the roots. Roughly chop the scallions as well. Add the vegetables to a large pot and fill with water until the top of the water reaches the top of the vegetables, which will be about three cups, but will change depending on the size of your veggies.

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Add 1 tsp each of mint, sweet paprika, and coriander as well as 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

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Stir the soup until the spices are distributed and close the lid of the pot and let simmer on medium-low heat for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the cauliflower is fully cooked and tender throughout.

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When the soup is finished, let it cool to room temperature before blending.

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Use an electronic hand mixer or mix in a blender until the chunks are gone and what’s left is a creamy pink soup. Garnish with dried mint.

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Enjoy!

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Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Quinoa Cakes & Flax Egg Tutorial

Have you ever made a flax egg? Sounds kind of strange, but many vegan recipes call for a flax egg to replace a real egg. I’ve never made one until very recently and it had always sounded weird and complicated to do, but it takes a mere minutes and the process comes in handy whenever I want to up the glow of any dish I’m making. Like quinoa cakes with homemade ketchup!

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Before we get to the quinoa cakes, let’s get the glow down:

Flax seeds: fight diabetes, has a high amount of cancer-protective compounds lignans (up to 800 times the amount as in any tested plant food) and alpha linolenic acid, fights constipation with its soluble and insoluble fiber content (one ounce of flax provides 32% of the US daily allowance of fiber), combats inflammation with its Omega-3 essential fatty acids, prevents menopausal symptoms with its estrogen-like phyoestrogens, fights heart disease by reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol, boosts the immune system, improved Alzheimer’s symptoms, and helps brain function and overall mood.

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Quinoa Cakes

Before preparing the quinoa cakes, make yesterday’s recipe. For the quinoa cakes, all you have to do is add 2 more ingredients to the Rainbow Quinoa Salad: 1 flax egg and 3 tbsp of oat flour.

For the flax egg:

Take one tablespoon of flax seeds, grind them up, put them into a bowl with 3 tablespoons of water. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes.

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You will notice that the water congeals and becomes jelly-like. Almost like an egg white.

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That was easier to do than I thought!

For the quinoa cakes:

Add the flax egg to the Rainbow Quinoa Salad.

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Fold in the oat flour. If you have oats, simple food process the oats until they are fine like flour.

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Mix the quinoa thoroughly with the other ingredients. Shake into little palm cup-sized patties. Place delicately on a baking sheet, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, or until the patties hold together and are crispy on the outside.

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When they are finished cooking, they should look like this:

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Serve on a plate with some homemade ketchup to dip. Enjoy!

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Grab and dip!

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Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Rainbow Quinoa Salad

This is a quick chop-chuck-‘n-chew recipe that I make all the time, depending on what grain and vegetable leftovers I have. I chop the vegetables small, toss with cooked quinoa (or any grain for that matter) and fold in a simple lemon and olive oil dressing. It’s a fresh, light, and satisfying way to get rid of veggies on their last leg and put to good use otherwise bland grains.

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Its glowsomeness revealed:

Quinoa: is a protein powerhouse (one cup has 9 grams), containing all  of the essential amino acids and is thus a complete protein, is rich in fiber and digests slowly as to provide a feeling of fullness, acts an an internal cleanser and helps keep you “regular”, contributes to liver health with it vitamin B and folate content, builds bones with his good calcium content, and offer 15 percent of the U.S. recommended daily allowance of iron in just one cup, helping to deliver oxygen to the blood and boosting energy and brain power.

Keeps you sharp, thin, and strong. Make sure you get some!

Rainbow Quinoa Salad

by Aylin @ Glow Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 yellow red pepper, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Instructions

Begin by chopping the veggies into fine pieces. Grate the carrot.  Add to two cups of cooked quinoa.

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For the dressing, whisk together salt, pepper, olive oil and juice of 1/2 a lemon. Fold into quinoa mixture until all is evenly coated.

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The dressing helps break down the toughness of the raw vegetables, evening out the textures and making for an awesome bite.

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Serve and enjoy!

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Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Jasmine Stuffed Peppers

With even more jasmine rice in my pantry, I wanted to use it in a unique, Turkish-inspired way.

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Turkish Dolma (Stuffed Peppers)

by GK

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients (6 stuffed peppers)

  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 hot green pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup jasmine rice, uncooked
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 6 green bell peppers
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • Extra veggies — hot green pepper, zucchini, tomato — for sauce (optional)

*Note: In the outline below, I only make 4 servings, but there was enough rice to make 6.

Instructions

Begin by chopping the onion. Slice the hot green pepper length-wise and remove the seeds and inside skin and then dice it.

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Sautee the onions and pepper with olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan on medium-high heat until the onion softens a bit – about 2 minutes.

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Add the jasmine rice and stir for approximately one minute.

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Once the onions have become transparent, put in the currants, salt, and pepper.

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Give the mixture a good stir and then add 3 cups water.

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Cover the pot and let simmer until the rice has absorbed all the water; however, the rice won’t seem completely finished, since it’ll go through some more cooking later when stuffed into the peppers.

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Speaking of peppers, it’s time to prep them.

Simply cut off the top of the bell pepper, about 1 inch from the top in order to preserve the cap. remove the seeds and “flesh” inside each pepper.

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Now stuff ‘em until full, but not burgeoning.

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In a small pot (that is small enough to hug the peppers so that they are able to stand up straight when places side-by-side), add about 2 cups of water and 2 tbsp of tomato paste and stir together on medium-low heat. When you put the peppers into the pot, you don’t want the water to exceed going 3/4 up the height of the pepper.

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Since my peppers tend to fall over when I try to place them upright in the pot, I like to add other things to the mix to help them hold their balance. In addition to pouring in the leftover rice, I also like to add hot peppers, tomatoes, and sometimes zucchini, depending on how much space I need to fill.

Atop each, upright-standing stuffed pepper, place a tomato slice.

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Cap each one off…

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Cover and let simmer on low or medium-low for approximately 30 minutes, keeping pace with the tenderness of the pepper.

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The house is going to smell pretty unbelievable. And then this happens:

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Serve with the sauce and other vegetables that were thrown in there. Garnish with parsley or mint. Generally, this dish is served cold, but I don’t really have the delayed appetite for that.

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Enjoy!

xo Aylin

Roka & Roasted V’s w/Goat Cheese

 

On Saturdays, I stock up on all my organic fruits and veggies.

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Every week there is always a surprise.

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Guava? In Turkey?

Recently, due to lots of visitors, I’ve been eating out and ordering in way too much.

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Things always taste better when someone else makes it. Well, not really, but the hassle-free aspect tastes pretty damn good to me.

Saturday night’s dinner was a feast, and the starting salad was my favorite salad ever. You can’t go wrong with baked veggies and goat cheese. This bad boy doesn’t even need a sauce. Roka is insanely pungent and not a bite you want to take unless it’s complemented by something to mild it out. The warmth of the veggies and the creaminess of the cheese do the job just right!

Roka & Roasted Veggie Salad with Goat Cheese

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Ingredients:

– 1/4 cup diced shallots

– 1 medium red onion, chopped

– 1 large tomato, chopped

– 1 eggplant, chopped

– salt & pepper

– 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

– handful roka

– goat cheese, to your liking

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

Servings: 2

 

Directions:

Chop the shallots, eggplant, onion and tomato.

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Place all veggies on aluminum foil.

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Toss with olive oil.

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Salt & Peppa.

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Cook in the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes.

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Cover the bottom of a plate with roka pieces.

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Top with the veggies.

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Add the cheese.

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No need for a vinaigrette or lemon dressing.

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Comforting, warm and delicious!

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Bon Appetit!

 

x Aylin

Quick bites

I was in a hurry this evening, so in the event of an emergency hungry tummy, I did the stop, drop and roll.

I stopped to look at what I had on hand: olive tapenade, some sun-dried tomatoes soaked in olive oil, fresh tomatoes, scallions, cucumbers and greens. And I simply took the washed leaves, dropped on the goods, rolled ‘em up, and nom nom nom’ed my way to satiation. Then flew out the door.

You know you’re in Turkey when…

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…that happens. How red and juicy and sweet and amazing is that!? I am not one to bite into a tomato as if it were an apple, but this guy was unreal.

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TIMES TEN.

In other news, here is a salad using none other than the cultured red cabbage I made last week.

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Complete with tomatoes, avocado, spinach, lime salt, olive oil and lemon juice.

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Another week of noshing wrapped up.

Have a wonderful weekend Smile !

Mine involves a music festival, some researching/writing for work Sad smile, a massage Smile, and some overdue beach attire shopping Smile Smile.

xo Aylin