wintery lentil soup

as we try to adjust to full-time life at home one of the biggest challenges has been finding healthy meals that are both filling and enjoyable for everyone. generally speaking we are each on our own for breakfast, we have a vegetarian lunch that can be a sort of open buffet (so that if the girls have online lessons at the same time they can eat earlier orator as necessary) and a dinner that has consists of meat or fish, salad and a strong veggie side dish.

today’s soup and sandwich lunch was a winner!

a tasty wintery lentil soup filled with healthy green lentils and tons of greens, homemade hummus with celery and carrot sticks, and open faced grilled cheese sandwiches- on sourdough bread for erim, asya and alegra and on our homemade gluten free bread for alara (recipe coming soon 🙂 )

the soup is super simple to make and tasty to boot… warm and cozy for such a terrible grey istanbul day — check out the recipe below and please send me a picture if you make it too!


  • 1 cup green lentils- allow to soak in fresh water for 1 hour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic- finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion- finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot- finely chopped
  • 2 large handfuls fresh spinach, kale or other greens
  • 1 small handful fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper to taste


  • heat spices in small pan for aroma-set aside
  • in a medium sized pot heat olive oil-
  • add garlic and onions- sauté until soft
  • add carrots and allow to soften for 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally
  • add spices
  • meanwhile drain lentils and add to vegetable mix
  • cover with fresh water and bring to a boil
  • add salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper as desired
  • simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils and carrots are soft
  • taste and season as necessary
  • add greens, stir in until slightly wilted and serve immediately and enjoy!

limey fresh cauliflower rice

week one of home isolation is behind us, and week one of at home learning has just begun…

oddly today was the hardest day we, as a family, have experienced so far… online learning was really self-led learning to a great extent; erim’s decision to work from home meant a lot of long and tedious conversations with the IT people from his company as everything that could go wrong with our modem went wrong; and any expectation of meaningful work on my part proved impossible.

BUT we did happen to have some beautiful fresh cauliflower on hand, and i hadn’t actually tried making cauliflower rice before so it seemed like to perfect opportunity to create a light and delicious side dish for tonight’s dinner.

the cauliflower was a lovely compliment to the girls’ main dish of pan grilled steak. erim and i had a plant-based dinner of broad beans cooked with tomatoes and olive oil (zeytinyagli barbunya), cold celeriac root with quince, and green salad. an easy and satisfying way to spice up dinner; i will certainly be trying some more variations before cauliflower goes out of season 🙂

lime & cilantro cauliflower rice

1 medium head cauliflower- wash, finely chop and allow to drain thoroughly

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic- finely chopped

1 handful green onions- finely chopped

2 large handfuls fresh cilantro- finely chopped

1 medium lime- juiced

salt, pepper and red pepper to taste

–heat olive oil in a large pan and add garlic and onions

–saute until soft, add cauliflower and allow to soften, stirring occasionally unitl lightly browned

–remove from heat and stir in cilantro and lime juice

–serve immediately

and of course, a glass of nice red wine certainly doesn’t hurt…