Nutrition and Fitness with Randa

Homemade Tortilla Chips

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Lentil Bruschetta

This is an incredibly easy and versatile dish to make, not to mention fast! I have used this Lentil Bruschetta in a variety of ways - as an appetizer spooned over crusty baguette bread or crackers, mixed in with rice for a complete vegetarian meal, and as in this healthy dinner, combined with pasta.

What makes it so quick to create is both the pre-made bruschetta sauce and the pre-cooked lentils; of course, you can boil your own lentils and make your own homemade bruschetta, but when in a hurry nothing beats a few shortcuts!

With 15 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber per serving (this pasta meal serves 6), you don't even need to add anything else (except maybe a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts - yum!) However, it would also be outstanding with a small side of grilled chicken, fish or shrimp.

If you come up with another way to use this Lentil Bruschetta, let us know!

"Lentils, a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family.This tiny nutritional giant fills you up--not out."

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Turkish Pide Pizza and Cold Yogurt Cucumber Soup

Ramazan is a good friend of mine who I met in Turkey years ago and is now spending time in our hometown with his wonderful wife. He the pastor of a church in Antalya, Turkey and has a heart of gold - and a love for good food! I will never forget my first experience eating delicious pide pizza at an outdoor restaurant one warm summer evening in southern Turkey - it was brought out steaming on a wooden board and set in the middle of the table, and if my memory serves me correctly, I polished it off and ordered another one!

Ramazan offered to teach me how to make this popular pizza and its refreshing counterpart, cacik, a cold yogurt and cucumber soup. I was especially intrigued when I learned he had worked at a pide shop when he was younger! I learned from a pro!

I think the pizza would be wonderful cut up and served as appetizers at a party, taken on a picnic, nibbled on for a snack - hot or cold, or eaten for dinner with the soup, as we did. (The kids loved that their pizza looked like a boat!) It is fun to make and even more enjoyable to eat.

"The Turkish Cuisine has the extra privilege of being at the cross-roads of the Far-East and the Mediterranean, which mirrors a long and complex history of Turkish migration from the steppes of Central Asia (where they mingled with the Chinese) to Europe (where they exerted influence all the way to Vienna). All these unique characteristics and history have bestowed upon the Turkish Cuisine a rich and varied number of dishes.....The Cuisine is also an integral aspect of culture. It is a part of the rituals of everyday life events. Anyone who visits Turkey or has had a meal in a Turkish home, regardless of the success of the particular cook, is sure to notice how unique the Cuisine is."  -

INGREDIENTS for Pide Pizza with Meat

  • Dough (enough for 6 pizzas)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large green peppers, chopped
  • Cumin, red pepper, salt and pepper (add to your liking)
  • 1.5 lbs lean ground beef
  • 6 medium tomatoes, chopped and seeded

INGREDIENTS for Cacik (Cold Cucumber Yogurt Soup)

  • 3 cups plain Greek yogurt or regular yogurt
  • Chilled water to thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp dill, dried
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and grated
  • Dried mint and olive oil

Pide Pizza, just like the Turks eat it!

Cacik, cold yogurt soup with cucumber and mint

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