Home Baked Mixed Grain Bread
Stuffed Celery Roots
Pasta with Basil
Turkey Tandouri
Quince Dessert

Many people have been diagnosed with heart disease at a very young age. Although, it doesn’t always result in death, many people lose their quality of life due to the nature of the heart disease. The heart health is a concern for every woman and man from every age group and it can only be achieved by adopting healthy lifestyle habits. One of the most important fields that dieting is involved the most is the heart health. When we were looking for an answer to the question of “What should we eat if we’d like to keep a healthy heart?” we’ve decided to talk to Prof. Dr. Erdem Kaşıkçıoğlu.

Kaşıkçıoğlu, who is from Kahramanmaraş, has chosen a heart healthy Aegean cuisine menu. After arriving to his house, we have discovered that Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hülya Akhan Kaşıkçıoğlu, who is the Chief of Cardiology Clinic at the Dr. Siyami Ersek Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Training and Research Hospital, had her share in this. Prof. Dr. Erdem Kaşıkçıoğlu has mentioned that his wife was a big help to put together the menu as well as preparing it: “The dishes that we have prepared for you are cooked regularly in our kitchen. We cook meals with red meat, too.”

Are there any concerns related to heart health in Turkey that requires us to be alarmed?
Unfortunately. Especially, the increase of obesity among children caused by an inactive life style grows our concerns about the heart disease, which might become common with the next generation. Nutrition is important. Families should develop some kind of control mechanisms eat their meals together. We recommend a fat-free diet program. Low calorie and low glycemic index foods should be preferred. In addition, we should consume foods that are rich in fiber regularly.

Anything to avoid when consuming bread?
You should eat bread, too but it should be made of whole-wheat flour. You should choose breads rich in bran or oats. Don’t eat white bread. Foods that are rich in fiber regulate your appetite because they fill your stomach and intestines by expanding.

What about pasta?
Of course, you and your children can eat pasta or rice. You should prefer the pastas that are made from whole meal flours. Don’t use too much fat for the sauce. Pasta with tomato sauce, which is consumed widely in Turkey, is a good option in terms of the richness of fiber. Eating pasta with ketchup or mayonnaise is not right. I see people who eat even rice with ketchup to my surprise, very wrong.

Red meat is widely preferred and consumed. People who think of their health are not supposed to eat it?
Actually, it is misunderstood. Red meat is nutritious. It is the only food from where we can get the essential amino acids. We get the absorbable iron from red meat the best. Besides, anemia is highly common in Turkey. For this reason, we must include red meat in our diets. Some families think that there should be red meat at every meal but twice a week is healthy. We advise not to use fat while cooking red meat.

Is there anything to avoid while using fat for cooking?
The list of foods that are included in your diet is as important as their intake amounts. For example, just because we suggest the use of olive oil for heart healthy diets, some people think that they can use it as much as they want. However, you are not supposed to consume it more than two tablespoons a day. You can eat natural and unprocessed butter but watch the amount.

Are we not active enough?
Our motto; ‘If we don’t consume more calories than we can burn, no problem.’ I have to add that if you eat a chocolate bar, you should jog for 5km. There is a problem with our eating culture. We should stop to eat before reaching the border of being full. We keep eating until we feel full, this is wrong. When you feel that, you are not that hungry any more, stop eating. However, in our culture we don’t feel full unless we eat bread. Especially white bread increases your appetite. As much as you eat, you’d want to eat more. You cannot control it. Some people eat bread with pasta or rice. We are a family of four and we bake a 200gr of whole grain bread and consume it in a week. More of it is not necessary.

You have cooked turkey for us today. Should we eat white meat widely?
When someone talks about white meat, chicken comes to mind; however, we became afraid of eating chicken. As an urbanized society, we should purchase the products that the production stages are known to us. There are naturally fed, lean chickens available. Though, their price is three times higher than regular. This won’t change. Because our health is under a threat. White meat and fish, which are not genetically manipulated, should be preferred, especially sea caught fish. Turkey is less risky. They are raised more naturally than chicken and widely outdoors in the countryside. Its rate of fat and cholesterol is also lower.

Half kilogram seven grain flour mix, 1 cup of walnuts, half tea glass of flax seeds, 1,5 cup of warm milk, 1 pack of dry yeast, 1 dessert spoon of sugar, half cup of warm water
Preparation: Mix the yeast, sugar, and warm water in a cup and let it rest for 10 minutes. Place the flour in a big bowl. Add the raised yeast mixture and warm milk into the bowl. Mix it until a dough starts to form. Add the chopped walnuts and the flax seeds into the dough and knead. Allow the dough to proof, loosely covered with a damp cloth, until doubled in size (1-2 hours.) Place the dough in a bread pan. Bake it in a preheated oven at 230 degrees for the first 10 minutes then lower the heat to 210 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.

2 medium size celery roots, 2 carrots, 1 cup of green peas, 1 medium size onion, 1 grapefruit, 1 orange, 2 tbsp of olive oils, one quarter of a bunch dills
Preparation: Peel and finely slice the onion. Chop the carrots into cubes. After peeling the celeries, slice them into one-inch circles. Arrange the celery pieces in a wide pan. Pour the rest of the ingredients on top of it. Squeeze the grapefruit and the orange. Pour the juice into the pan. After adding the olive oil and water, cook it over low heat until they are soft for about 30 minutes. When the dish cools down, move the celery pieces onto a serving plate and top with the rest of the vegetables. Sprinkle with finely chopped dills before serving.

Whole-wheat pasta, 3-4 sprigs of basil, 1 onion, 4-5 cloves of garlic, 2 dessertspoons of dried basil flakes, half pack of tomato puree (if they are in season use 4-5 fresh tomatoes, grated)
Preparation: Bring a large pot of water, added 2 tbsp of olive oil and salt, into a boil. Add the pasta into the water and boil until it is al dente. Sauté the onions and garlic in a pan over low heat. Add the tomato puree and dried basil flakes. Keep to sauté 2-3 minutes more. Pour the sauce into the pasta and let it sit for 1-2 minutes before serving.

1 kg turkey leg, 1 bunch of thyme, 10-15 cloves of garlic, 2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, 10-15 pearl onions, 1 dessert spoon of cumin powder.
Preparation: After removing its skin, place the leg into a big bowl. Prepare a mixture with the olive oil, the cumin, and the 5-6 grounded garlic cloves. Rub the mixture on to the leg. Using a knife, make small cuts on the leg. Slice the rest of the garlic cloves into halves and place each one into a cut slashed on the leg. Add the thyme sprigs. Cover the bowl tightly and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight. Before roasting, move it into a pan with a lid. Add the peeled pearl onions and salt the meat. Close the lid tightly and roast it in the oven for 2-3 hours at 170 degrees.

4 medium quince, a little less than 2 cups of water, 2-3 cinnamon sticks, 1 cup of sugar, 6-7 rosehip flowers, walnuts, ice cream
Preparation: Wash and peel the quince. Remove the seeds and keep them aside. Layer the bottom of the pan with most of the peels. Place the quince on top of them and toss the rest of the peels, the cinnamon sticks, the seeds, and the sugar on top. Pour the water and cook over low heat until the quince are soft. Move them into a deep serving bowl including its syrup and let it cool. When serving you can add some ice cream or chopped walnuts on top.