Leek Lava

Leeks are extremely versatile and pack enough taste to cook as simply as possible and still have a satisfying dish. For this recipe, I skipped using any oil or butter and simply baked chopped leeks with tomato puree and some garlic and onion for a savory dish with deep flavor that complements any grain you have on hand.


Leeks: reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, fight colon and prostate cancer with its carcinogen-fighting quercetin content, contain protective antioxidants carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, prevent aging, keep down high blood pressure, are low in calories, are blood cleansers, and heal wounds.

Tomato Leek Lava

by Aylin @ Glow Kitchen

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Keywords: bake boil simmer lunch side dinner vegan vegetarian fat free leeks tomato puree brown rice

Ingredients (2 servings)

  • 3 leek stalks, chopped
  • 8 oz tomato puree
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 servings cooked brown rice


Chop the leeks, 1/2 onion, and garlic. Place onto a baking sheet and evenly pour one cup of tomato puree atop the veggies. Season with salt and pepper and pop into the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes or until leeks are cooked through.



Serve atop brown rice or grain of choice.





Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Mushroom & Thyme Rollin’

I originally wanted to make a mushroom and thyme pizza, but then I decided to put a twist on my idea – literally. In Turkey, we have a traditional dish called “börek”, which is meat or cheese stuffed pastry, with many variations across the country. You won’t find a dairy-free or meatless so easily, unless you make your own.

You could use your own store bought dough, or use the recipe I include, although the recipe I list is enough to make up to 10-15 servings. The filling recipe is just suitable for one, so depending on how many people are eating, adjust the two recipes accordingly. I made the entire dough recipe because I want to use the rest for a pizza later this week.



Mushroom Stuffed Dough Twirl

by Aylin @ Glow Kitchen

Cook Time: 25-30 minutes

Keywords: fry saute bake main dinner vegan vegetarian mushrooms whole wheat flour thyme

Ingredients (Filling makes 1 serving; dough makes 10-15)

For the Dough

  • 1.5 cups whole-wheat flour (give or take depending on conditions)
  • 1.5 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp salt

For the Filling

  • 1 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • Handful of fresh thyme (without stems)
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

For Presentation

  • Drizzle olive oil
  • Thyme leaves
  • Red pepper flakes


For the dough, in a large bowl, add to the lukewarm water the salt and yeast. Add the whole-wheat flour in 1/2 cup increments until the mixture thickens. You may find yourself exceeding the recommended flour amount. Feel it out.


Knead the dough for about 10 minutes on a floured surface until it smoothens and can form a pretty little dough ball. Place into a bowl that has sides covered in olive oil (to prevent sticking), and cover with a moist towel. Store in a warm place until the dough doubles in size – approximately 1 hour.




You know it’s ready when you poke into the dough and the hole you create doesn’t puff back up.


For the filling, chop the onions, separate the thyme from its stems and chop the mushrooms.



Begin to sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat with salt and pepper. When the onion just starts to become translucent, add the mushrooms and thyme. Sauté another 2 minutes, or until the mushrooms cook through.



To stuff the dough, grab 1 handful of the dough, which will count as one serving.


Work with the dough alongside whole-wheat flour to help prevent sticking. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to make a flat sheet, about 1/2-inch thick. Poke into the dough to prevent air pockets as you spread its area.


Yes, I’m using a glass water bottle as my rolling pin. I don’t own a proper one Smile.


Evenly coat the dough with the mushroom mixture. It will look scant, but you will be rolling the dough, so there will be overlaps of the mixture, which concentrates the filling while eating. Roll the dough over the mixture and unto itself until you reach the other edge.


Take the right end of the log and curl it upwards and to the left, rolling it until it reaches the other end, forming a circle.


Put on a baking dish, brush with olive oil and bake in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes, or until browned and the dough is cooked through.








Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Onion Blossom

I’ve always wanted to try this. You could dip the onion into batter and fry it for a massive onion ring shaped like a blossom, or you could keep it simpler, and healthier, by baking it. Afterwards, garnish with whatever floats your boat – shredded cheese, herbs, or truffle oil – or dip the pieces into mayonnaise, ketchup, or your own creative sauce. Baking this also makes the house smell amazing.


A flower that glows without the sun…

Onions: have anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, anti-coagulant and anti-bacterial properties, are high in iron and beneficial for the treatment of anemia, lower blood pressure, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, thin blood and dissolve blood clots, cleanse the blood, act as a diuretic, prevent hair loss (if its juice is applied to the scalp), boost the immune system, complement diabetes treatment, prevent osteoporosis, liquefy mucus in lungs, are a potent aphrodisiac, and treat urinary tract infection.

All you need is 1 onion, about 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil, and dash of salt.


Begin by slicing off the top of a Vidalia onion. Do not slice the other end, because that is the part that will hold the blossom together.


Begin to cut the onion in half across the middle, but not through the stem. Cut just to the bottom, keeping the stem intact.


Continue to cut the onion in half across the middle, forming eighths.


Open the onion parts delicately, making sure not to snack the pieces from the stem, until the onion resembles a blossom. Place on a baking dish, brush with olive oil, season with salt, and pop into the oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.



Voilà! Have fun with this one.







Jasmine Stuffed Peppers

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


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.


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


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.


Add the jasmine rice and stir for approximately one minute.


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


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


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.


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.


Now stuff ‘em until full, but not burgeoning.


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.


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.


Cap each one off…


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


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



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.








xo Aylin

The Classic GK Veggie Burger

Veggie burgers are everywhere these days, but it’s becoming more difficult to find one that doesn’t contain a bucket load of nuts, beans, or something else heavy, gas-inducing, or not a far cry from its meaty counterpart. If you want a protein-packed burger, a vegan rendition is best made using a bean base. Tonight, however, I was just looking for the burger experience without the post-dinner food baby.

I’ll show you how to make a kidney bean-based veggie burger in an upcoming post. But for now, the GK standard veggie burger stands as such:


Classic Veggie Burger

by Aylin

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20

Ingredients (4-6 patties)

For the Burger:

  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 2 cups crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • *1 cup reserved juice pulp (from having juiced cucumbers, greens and carrots)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
*optional, can be replaced with 1 cup of mashed beans (kidney, white)

For the topping:


Before I made this burger, I made sure to save about 1 cup of the pulp after preparing my daily green drank.


A great way to re-use the pulp! (P.S. I don’t advise tasting it as such…bleh and boring.)


Another part (or rather, topping) of the burger to prepare is the red pepper. Don’t be scared to char the pepper – it won’t burst into flames or anything. You could also bake the red pepper. The blacker, the better. When completely charred, seal it with aluminum foil or cover it in a brown paper bag and let it sit. This will help the skin to peel off in a cinch.


Now, to the burger itself.

First, dice the onions, celery and garlic and shred the carrot. Toss into a hot saucepan with 1 tbsp olive oil. Cook until the onion is nearly translucent. Season with salt and pepper.


Next, roughly chop the cremini mushrooms and add them to the saucepan. We are adding them a bit later than the other vegetables, because mushrooms cook faster and thus require less time on the stove.


Once the mushrooms are cooked through, remove from the stove and pour mixture into a glass bowl. Let it sit for a moment to cool down.


Then toss in the chopped scallions, nutritional yeast, juice pulp, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt, pepper, and 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.


Mix thoroughly. The result should be able to hold together well in the hand and able to form flat patties. Make same-sized patties and place them in aluminum foil that has been rubbed with some olive oil. Drizzle all the patties with olive oil in order to achieve that crispy top while baking.


Put in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 20 minutes.

In the meantime, gather the goodies.


Remember this guy? This probiotic-packed red cabbage has been building up enzymes all week stored away in my cupboard and is now ready to use, pickled and perfect!


Ding! The burgers are ready.


Let’s assemble this mofo. You could use a regular or whole-wheat/grain bun, but I nixed the bread and used some grilled eggplant as the base. I then topped the eggplant with lettuce, the burger, mustard, roasted red pepper, a tomato slice, avocado slices, red cabbage, another layer of lettuce, and lastly another layer of eggplant.

Leftover toppings were put on the side of my plate as a salad.


All these pictures look the same, and they all make me drool the same.




Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin