İzmir Köfte (meatfree)


This is a success story! Having just finished a plate full of this lovely dish, I am contemplating another one. And yet, it is meat free! Eureka! My recipe, my technique, I did it and am very proud of myself too. Since I became semi-vegetarian (no meat. just a bit of fish from time to time) a couple of years ago, this dish particularly was in my head. Soya mince or quorn mince are not necessarily better than meat, but as it is proven here, are good substitutes.

I think the combination of the spices is the secret.. Oh, and the well-known juice you get at the end which is unmissable.  (You can clean up this juice with some bread left in your plate afterwards!)

Now here we go:

Serves 4 – 6

250 grams of soya mince
3 -4 tomatoes (cut into eighths)
1 big or 2 medium size bell peppers (remove the seeds then chop them into long slices)
2 – 3 medium size potatoes (cut into eighths or more)
1 onion (grated nicely in a bowl)
1 egg
handful of parsley (chopped)
breadcrumbs (as much as the kofte dough needs)
two or three spoonfuls of tomato or pepper paste
black pepper, red pepper flakes, cumin, curry powder, salt, thyme

1. Slice the potatoes and keep them in a bowl full of water (this keeps the potatoes from going brown)
2. Take a medium sized salad bowl, put the soya mince, egg, chopped parsley, grated onion and spices, stir them and add the breadcrumbs until it makes a nice dough. Here. it is up to you, if it is too dry, wet it with a few spoons of water, if too soft then add more breadcrumbs.  You have to decide, I am afraid!
3. Heat the oven to 200ºC.
4. Make kofte balls from your dough, there should be approximately 15 pieces. I usually take a piece of dough, roll it in my palm, then press on it slightly.
5. Brush an oven dish (like a tray or glass casserole dish around 2 inches deep) with oil then place the potatoes, tomatoes, kofte balls and peppers onto it.
6. Dissolve the tomato or pepper paste in three glasses of water then pour over the oven dish. Drizzle with oil.
7. Cook in the oven till the sauce starts boiling then bring the oven down to 180º C or so.
8. Cook a little bit more, then your Izmir Kofte is ready, enjoy!


Soya meat balls (with lemon treated sauce)

Non Meat Meatballs

This is originally a non vegetarian recipe, I tried it with soya minced meat and the result was pretty ok! It does not taste like original one but still a good one!

It is quite easy the only trick is the sauce. It is prepared with a similar technique like in cretan pepper soup just a little bit more attention!

What do I need to buy?

250 – 300 gr soya minced meat
breadcrumbs (let’s say equivalent of 2 slices of bread)
half a glass of basmati or jasmine rice
parsley (half a bunch)
1 onion (grated)
1 medium size carrot (chopped ın cubes)
1 medium size potato (chopped in cubes)
(optional: half a glass of peas)
olive oil
2 eggs (keep one yolk separate)

For the sauce

1 lemon juice
1 eggs yolk

How to make soya kofte balls?

1. First of all, mix soya minced meat, chopped parsley, washed rice, 1 egg, breadcrumbs, grated onion all together in a bowl and knead as you might do with a dough.
2. Then have a surface covered with some flour, spread some flour in your hands then begin making small balls in your palm. You should cover each ball with flour so they won’t split whilst cooking.
3. Then put one and half litres of water in a pan, once boiled, add the carrots, potatoes and peas then add the meat balls in it. It takes 15 – 20 minutes to cook I guess.
4. Making the sauce: Mix the lemon juice and the egg yolk in a bowl, then add one or two spoonful of the water you boiled then mix and whisk nicely, get them know about each other. By doing this, you are avoiding the egg yolk from cooking over heat.
5. Pour it slowly in each corner of you pan.

Let it simmer then serve warm. Enjoy!

Roasted spicy chips or crisps – you name it!


Well, not as spicy as I wanted it to be, but success story I think as they were delicious. Important thing is be generous when you are mixing your spices. As some of you might know, when cooking, if any food is too spicy, one can put a piece of peeled potato, it sucks all the spice!

Serves 4 people

8 – 10 salad potatoes (will be cut in circles) or 4 – 5 normal size potatoes (cut like apple slices)
Olive oil
grapeseed oil
garlic granules
onion granules
red pepper flakes or paprika or any spicier red pepper sauce
black pepper
a little bit of salt (you do not have to put it as all the other spices give a beautiful taste)
fresh thyme

1. Put all these spices in a bowl and mix olive oil and grapeseed oil in it, stir well.
2. Add the potatoes, make sure they have spicy sauce all around them.
3. Heat the oven to 180 – 200 C.
3. Place them on a tray, and let them cook about half an hour depending on how crispy you like it!

Do not forget! There is always an healthier option , do not use any oil or spice at all just roast them they taste like classic chips but not oily!