Rainbow Salad With Herbs Galore // Regenbogensalat mit reichlich Kräutern

Rainbow Salad With Herbs Galore // Regenbogensalat mit reichlich Kräutern

Rainbow Salad With Herbs Galore // Regenbogensalat mit reichlich Kräutern

(Die Deutsche Version findet ihr wie immer im Anschluss an den englischen Text)
Spring arrived in Istanbul a few weeks ago and we are already heading full speed towards Summer. While in Southern Turkey the skin-warming sun lures people into the sea for the first time this year, in Istanbul we are celebrating the sun’s return by letting sweet and plump, bright red strawberries melt in our mouths. All the while the Spring showers, turning the Black Sea region into a bright green wonderland, are responsible for the abundance of delicate and rich greens on display at our weekly farmers market. Trying to refrain oneself from those treats would almost be an insult to this country’s fertility. Thus, happily volunteering to pay tribute, mint, parsley, dill, thyme, basil and other greens pile up in our kitchen every week. We’ve become quite creative in terms of putting the various herbs to use, though sometimes we just can’t keep up and the delicate little plants wither away. To use up all of the herbs in due time I came up with this little rainbow salad. Instead of the usual lettuce I put in bol bol (Turkish for plenty of) fresh herbs resulting in a feast for the eyes and fireworks for your taste buds. I wouldn’t even mind having this salad two days in a row. Recipe after the jump. There is a German version too …

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Devil’s Dung, certified fructose free // Teufelsdreck, garantiert fructosearm

Devil's Dung, certified fructose free // Teufelsdreck, garantiert fructosearmDevil's Dung, certified fructose free // Teufelsdreck, garantiert fructosearm

(Die Deutsche Version findet ihr wie immer im Anschluss an den englischen Text)

Last month I treated myself to a little something special. No, I didn’t visit any expensive restaurants, nor did I spend a day at a local Hamam (well actually, I did that too). I did however venture into the world of Ayurveda. Seriously? Ayurveda? Yes, seriously. At the end of the day everybody has their own idea of what a proper ‘treat’ should look like, right? And no, just to spoil the premature excitement and even though that would have been a nice treat as well, I didn’t spend 4 weeks at a yoga resort, meditating all day and sipping on one chai after another, as might be the common association when it comes to Ayurveda. (Note to self: Remember to travel to a distant place and meditate for four weeks someday). Anyway, my exploration into the field of Ayurveda was of course food related and came in form of an Ayurveda cooking class. It sounded interesting enough to make me get up very early on a Sunday morning and literally hop on a ferry to the Asian side of Istanbul.

The term Ayurveda translates to something like ‘wisdom of life’ and is known as a traditional Indian art of healing. Even though the Ayurveda teachings go way beyond just knowing how to nourish your body, that is the part I’ve been coming across quite often lately,which doesn’t come as a surprise. The teachings of Ayurveda seem to know it all, when it comes to calming down and healing a stressed stomach and an unbalanced digestion. And thus I embarked on a welcome excursion into an ancient knowledge promising to treat several unwelcome dietary symptoms. Who wouldn’t, right?

Needless to say, I was pretty excited about the upcoming class and looking forward to acquiring new insights and inspiring recipes, while happily munching on food all day long. My expectations were by far exceeded, thanks to Ulli, the very knowledgeable and kind Ayurveda expert and yoga therapist holding the class. In just four hours she introduced us to a broad palette of herbs and spices as well as to their individual and combined healing benefits. We also talked about sprouting and soaking and on how to make food easier on the stomach in general. Which might further emphasize why this class was invaluable to me. Even though I tend to choose my ingredients wisely when cooking at home, there are still some things that upset my tummy to a certain extent, though they shouldn’t according to so-called popular science. I’m sure that with Ulli’s advice I’ll soon be kicking some serious symptom butt. The best thing about the class though, was it’s simplicity. That’s what made the whole Ayurveda approach so appealing to me in the first place. Despite the many ingredients in use and the alternate approach to what most people dub a normal diet, it is highly applicable. Integrating certain ideas and ways of nourishing in my day to day food routine even felt easy and natural. After all, nobody’s asking you to turn into a fulltime Yogi, right? (I just wanted to make that clear in case this post was getting a bit too spiritual for you ;)

Such a long introduction and I still haven’t told you about the thing that got me most excited during the class, which was a malodorous, but promising ingredient by the distinct name of Asafoetida. Malodorous? You might ask. Well, a spice commonly known as devil’s dung does not necessarily provoke odorant thoughts of a beautiful flowery Spring meadow. Unless of course meadows full of dung are your thing. Asafoetida, aka devil’s dung or hing, has been a staple in medicinal history for centuries but is rarely found in most modern cuisines, except for maybe the Indian. But let me tell you why Asafoetida is of such interest to us FM’ers. I mean, who would voluntarily add something to a dish that smells of rotten eggs? Two words: Garlic & Onion. Seriously, I couldn’t believe my ears when hearing nor my tongue when tasting it. Sparingly used and when heated in some fat, Asafoetida loses its ‘sharp’ taste and releases subtle tastes of onion and garlic, without causing the painful symptoms and bloated stomach. In fact its effect is quite the contrary. It is known to calm the stomach and reduce flatulence. Would somebody responsible for causing this spice’s near passing into oblivion please raise their hand? It’s scandalous and I need someone to blame. More after the jump. There is a German version too …

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Breakfast Smoothie Istanbul Style // Frühstücks-Smoothie Istanbuler Art

Breakfast Smoothie Istanbul Style (fructose friendly, gluten free, dairy free) // Frühstücks-Smoothie Istanbuler Art (fructosearm, gluten-frei, laktosefrei) // by FructopiaBreakfast Smoothie Istanbul Style (fructose friendly, gluten free, dairy free) // Frühstücks-Smoothie Istanbuler Art (fructosearm, gluten-frei, laktosefrei) // by Fructopia

(Die Deutsche Version findet ihr wie immer im Anschluss an den englischen Text)

When it comes to breakfast, pretty much everyone has his or her own idea of the “perfect” set-up. The choices are endless, be it cold or warm, liquid or solid, savory or sweet, or nothing at all. Since being diagnosed with FM breakfast is not only mandatory for me but also a way to start my day in a calmer manner. It’s a chance for me to be nice to my stomach first thing in the morning, so that it won’t be too upset later in the day if something wrong comes along. Whenever I skip breakfast entirely the day is basically ruined. Then all I think about is ‘how on earth will I get something quick to eat on the way to wherever I’m headed. Which is, as you probably know yourselves, rather impossible. So breakfast has become a very important part of my morning routine. Options being somewhat limited for us, it’s easy to stick with the one meal we like that doesn’t upset our stomachs. As I am constantly freezing I’m in love with my bowl of warm oatmeal, which I discovered last fall. It tastes good and warms me from the inside. However, now and then, I do crave something different. I’ve experienced that my stomach and thus my digestion tends to get lazy, when I feed it the same thing everyday. So I went into the kitchen one morning last week and finally put my newly acquired blender to use. I gathered all my favorite foods and came up with one heck of a breakfast smoothie. Even though I actually prefer to chew on something solid, it was hard not to fall in love with this creation. It is a true blend of flavors (no pun intended). The avocado gives it a silky touch, while the turmeric adds a hearty taste and ginger and cinnamon fire up digestion adding warmth and spice. The seeds give it a subtle crunch and add valuable seed oil. The tiger nut and banana add natural sweetness before the bee pollen tops it off with a taste of summer. Still not convinced? How about it leaving you energized for the rest of the day? :) Recipe after the jump. There is a German version too …

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Time to create and cherry stem tea // Zeit etwas zu schaffen und Kirschstiel-Tee

Time to create and cherry stem tea // Zeit etwas zu schaffen und Kirschstieltee // by Fructopia Time to create and cherry stem tea // Zeit etwas zu schaffen und Kirschstieltee // by Fructopia

(Die Deutsche Version findet ihr wie immer im Anschluss an den englischen Text)

These days, when opening my browser I’m looking at around 20 open tabs. Each one of them contains beautifully written blog posts and stunning recipes that I’d like to try, tinker around with and cook as often as needed for them to be presentable right here to you, yes you. Basically, I am constantly thinking about cooking, discovering new ingredients and food in general. Then I check my weekly schedule, trying to find time slots to take plans into action and continue working on the tasks I failed to complete due to my current workload. Sigh. Right now I work every single day. By work I mean working for other people, doing jobs that lead nowhere, that don’t lighten up my hard, that don’t make me want to work all through the night to finish and present to the world. Sure, I’m happy to have these jobs, as they provide me with the necessary means and the ability to put food on the table and have a roof above my head. Then again I get frustrated when reading about all those success stories scattered around the web. Sure, stories on failing have equally increased over the years, but the fact is, those ‘lesson learned’ stories are mostly written by people who are already successful. I don’t begrudge their success, but I envy their courage to take risks and actually get started. So far I haven’t found the key of overcoming my own fear and hesitation of getting started, which was actually one of the main reasons I wanted to come to Istanbul, besides learning Turkish. Learning how to take risks and start something on my own. Turkish people are incredible when it comes to entrepreneurial spirit. The slightest sense of an opportunity is seemingly all they need to get started, to found their own company, produce what is needed and get people talking. I thought this spirit would rub off on me more easily, but I’m still caught in the hamster wheel called day-to-day life also known as routine. I know everything will turn out right in the end, but I’m not sure whether my patience is conducive at this point of my life or not. And reading statements like the following, “whether it’s by actually blogging on your blog, or starting your startup, value is created by doing.” doesn’t make it any better. The worst thing is, they are right. Period.
And unfortunately, or luckily (I haven’t decided on this one yet) the only person who can change how much value I create is myself. So here we are on my blog, the initial value I created to kick off a personal project of let’s say ‘daily value creation’. My plan is to create value everyday, whatever the form. Let it be a recipe tested, a blog post written, a conversation held about my own projects. Who knows what’s out there to be created once you’ve got the ball rolling, right?

So let’s make some tea and watch this video over and over again.
Recipe after the jump. There is a German version too …

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