Hi guys, how are you all? I welcome you to my food diary. Check this pic guys, my mouth has just started drooling after posting this yummylicious food pic 😀 Well, today in my food diary I present to you this delish dish of “Chicken Shish Plate” which is a plate of marinated chicken cubes served with a bed of Turkish rice with a side of Shepherd Salad, Turkish bread and my favourite Jajik dip (which is made of shredded cucumber with crushed garlic, dill, mint and home made yogurt) Yummmm! Isn’t it tempting? You might have eaten this kinda food before, If you haven’t then let me introduce this Turkish dish to you. ‘Chicken Shish Plate’ – Voilaa! Turkish cuisine is one of my favourites that’s why I’ve decided to know more about it and find out why is it healthy? I’m going to share all this info with you …
Did you guys know that Turkey is one of only seven countries in the world that can produce enough food to feed its people. This advantage gives the Turks access to fresh, locally grown ingredients that help to create some of the freshest dishes available. Turkish cuisine is often regarded as one of the greatest in the world. Its culinary traditions have successfully survived over 1,300 years for several reasons, including its favorable location and Mediterranean climate. The people of Turkey enjoy a Mediterranean diet, (which has been promoted as one of the healthiest diets on Earth) with emphasis on: vegetables, legumes, grains, oily fish, seafood, nuts, fresh fruits and olive oil. Contrary to common belief, Turkish cuisine is generally not spicy (though this varies throughout the seven regions). Seasonings and sauces, although frequently used, are simple and light and do not overpower the food’s natural taste. The most popular seasonings include dill, mint, parsley, cinnamon, garlic, cumin.
Why is Turkish Food Healthy?
I believe most Turkish food is healthy because of healthy ingredients and the use of healthy cooking methods. Let’s discuss few of them in detail …
Yoghurt – is a staple ingredient in Turkish cuisine and is included in many forms. Yoghurt is used in many marinades for chicken and lamb. It is also widely used to make many dips such as humus. It is used as a dressing for salads and as a sauce for grilled vegetables or even eaten on its own as a snack.
Olive Oil – Olive oil is a very healthy component of Mediterranean diet due to the high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids and high level of antioxidants. In Turkish cuisine olive oil is used for salad dressings, and for preparing a wide range of dips and vegetable dishes.
Healthy Cooking Methods:
Grilling and Barbecueing – Grilling and barbecueing meat and vegetables is a long established tradition in Turkey. Red meat, chicken and fish along with an array of fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, onions and various bell peppers are all grilled. This is a very healthy way to eat vegetables. Grilled vegetables are generally served sprinkled with dried chilli powder and with some garlic. Grilling is a healthier cooking method than frying and choosing a mixed Turkish grill is a very healthy option.
Often a salad is included as a side dish. A typical salad is shepherd salad, made from cucumber, parsley, tomato and green onion with olive oil and lemon juice dressing. And sometimes they serve it with yogurt dressing as well. Ask for the dressing to be served on the side, because you can then control the amount of oil in the salad to control the calories.
If you’re familiar with Turkish food, you’ll know that rice features quite heavily in the eating process. A lot of Turkish recipes end with, ‘serve with rice’. If you go to a Turkish Restaurant, whichever dish you choose from the menu it’s highly likely that you’ll be asked whether you would like a side serving of rice to go with it. Turkish rice were new to me, when we were in restaurants, eating meals, we always wondered what those ‘brown bits’ were in our servings of Turkish rice. I became curious and did some reasearch and found out that those ‘brown bits’ are orzo (şehriye) and are a type of pasta, as you can see in the photo below.
Some Turkish rice recipes will use vermicelli, instead. Both are quite common and healthy. Turkish rice are made with very few and simple ingredients like rice, şehriye (orzo or vermicelli), butter, hot water or stock. I must admit that Turkish rice (şehriyeli pilav) is very tasty & nutritious – It’s rich and buttery and is indeed delicious on its own and definitely one of the most famous dishes in Turkey!
I hope you enjoyed Turkish food talk today and this chicken shish plate. 😉 I will catch you guys with another topic soon. Till than take care! 🙂