Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Turkey meatballs in a yoghurt sauce

A few months ago Mr Bball and I tried the 4-hour body diet for four weeks. After our China trip we were in desperate need of a short health kick. This diet was all about protein – no milk products (including yoghurt), no white carbohydrates and no sugar (including fruit).

So confession time, I didn’t exactly give up yoghurt for four weeks. You’ve read my blog, how could I. Instead I reduced my intake. Anyway I digress…what I want to share with you is one key lesson I learnt. The diversity of turkey. I made turkey burgers, turkey San Choy Bau and turkey chili con carne.

This recipe is inspired by a turkey kofta recipe from Jamie Oliver’s cooking magazine. Thanks Jamie!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • ½ zucchini grated
  • 500g turkey mince
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1.5 tablespoon yoghurt for meatballs and 100g yoghurt for sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili flakes (optional/to taste)
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ½ chopped tomato
  • Salt and pepper
  • Plain flour to dust

  • Part cook the onion and garlic in 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil until soft and starting to brown
  • Put 1/2 onion and 1 clove of garlic into a bowl and add the turkey mince, zucchini, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1.5 tablespoon yoghurt, chili flakes, salt and pepper.
  • Mix well and form into round meatballs – dust with plain flour. You should make around 18-20 small meatballs.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and seal the meatballs until brown
  • Remove the meatballs from the heat and clean the pan
  • Return the pan to heat, add ½ tablespoon of olive oil and brown the onion and garlic
  • Reduce heat and add ½ cup of chicken stock and ½ chopped tomato (or a full tomato if you love tomato).
  • Add the turkey meatballs to the sauce and cook for 15-17minutes on medium heat or until cooked through. Turn half way through the cooking process to keep meatballs moist
  • Add the 100g of Greek yoghurt to the meatballs for the last two minutes of the cooking process. Turn the heat to low before adding the yoghurt
  • Serve with couscous.

A quick, tasty and perfect weeknight dinner.

My farewell fun yoghurt fact – “Turkish use to call yoghurt white oxygen.”* It doesn’t have a Greek origin – this is heartbreaking for me to read! I am Greek after all.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Baked yoghurt chocolate cheesecake

We all know that food can conjure memories – whether happy or sad the power of food is truly amazing. 

A piece of toast with Kraft singles (yes plastic cheese), spaghetti and meatballs, hot Milo and pasticcio (Greek lasagne) all remind me of my Grandma. Fritz and egg reminds me of my Dad (while a happy memory I still cringe at the thought). Vegetable soup, eggs and chips, roasted vegetables and grilled chicken reminds me of my Mum.

Cheesecake conjures up multiple memories for me. It reminds me of big family dinners at my Grandmas house (she makes the best cheesecake ever), working at The Cheesecake Shop (baked American cheesecake was my favourite) and eating Papa’s ricotta baked cheesecake in a park in Haberfield, Sydney. It is one of my favourite desserts.

So at a cousin’s catch up and responsible for dessert, a cheesecake seemed like the most obvious choice. This baked cheesecake is light and not overly sweet.

  • 1 pack of plain biscuits – e.g. coffee biscuits or yoyos
  • 75g butter (more if biscuit crumb is still too dry)
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 90g caster sugar
  • ¾ cup of Greek yoghurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/3 cup chocolate coarsely cut.

  • Take out the cream cheese from the fridge to soften
  • Crush biscuits in a food processor until it resembles bread crumbs
  • Melt butter and add to biscuit crumb
  • Grease patty pans
  • Spoon approximately 1.5 tablespoon of biscuit mixture into the patty pan (depends on size of pan) and push down to make the base
  • Put the patty pans into the fridge to firm up the base
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees fan-forced
  • Cut up the cream cheese and mix in the caster sugar
  • Beat in the Greek Yoghurt until smooth
  • Beat in the 2 eggs
  • Beat in the lemon and vanilla essence
  • Softly mix in the coarsely cut chocolate
  • Spoon the cheesecake mixture onto the biscuit base. You’ll make approximately 15 mini cheesecakes
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes or until firm
  • Let cool and then set in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight
  • Serve with your favourite berries. I served them with strawberries.

Thanks to QLKitchen for the inspiration! This dessert was a hit, even demolished by those without a sweet tooth.


Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Yoghurt and zucchini fritters

I’m a little fussy when it comes to vegetables. Texture can both excite and disgust me and for some reason zucchinis fall into the latter category. Cut thick I’m not a huge fan. However grated I’m all ears. So to increase my vegetable intake I started making zucchini fritters.

These zucchini fritters are a perfect way to get vegetables into your kids or into fussy kid-like adults (yes…that’s me).

  • 1 ½ zucchinis
  • 1 tablespoon yoghurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 150 grams ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoons dried chili (optional)
  • Salt and paper
  • 3 tablespoons flour.

  • Grate the zucchini
  • Squeeze the zucchini to remove any excess moisture
  • To the grated zucchini add the yoghurt, egg, ricotta cheese, oregano, chili salt and pepper
  • Sift in flour and mix well.
  • Heat a pan with oil
  • Add a tablespoon of mixture and form into a circle
  • Cook until brown on each side – around 4-5 minutes on each side, depending on how hot your pan and thick the fritter is.

Serve as a side dish to a grilled piece of meat, an entrée with tomato and chorizo salsa or with a side of bacon and eggs for breakfast. I sometimes add corn to the mixture too – which adds nice texture, colour and flavour.

My farewell fun yoghurt fact – “Yoghurt with added fruit jam was patented in 1933 by the Radlická Mlékárna dairy in Prague. It was introduced to the United States in 1947, by Dannon.”*