Rethink Your Breakfast: Turkish Style

Healthy Turkish Breakfast

September 13, 2012   29 Comments

Snack Girl has been fortunate to visit Turkey twice in her 43 years. Both trips taught me so much, and I remember them vividly.

My memory of Turkey is so good because my brain was AWAKE for it. Every morning, I was served something like the above photograph.

The photo above is my Massachusetts representation of a Turkish breakfast - I forgot the olives, hard boiled (or soft boiled) egg, and the yogurt, honey, butter, and jam (perhaps my memory isn't so good after all).

What I DID remember was the feta-like cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, and bread because I loved this combination. Many breakfasts in Turkey were served buffet style so I could make my own selections and this was what I chose.

Why would this breakfast be so revolutionary to an American? Of course, I tried many times to order Cheerios and Corn Flakes, but no one knew what I was talking about :)

Well, I couldn't quite believe I was having cucumbers and tomatoes for breakfast!! Why hadn't I been served this before? I happen to love both of these fruits (sometimes called vegetables).

This is so ridiculously simple and refreshing as a snack, breakfast, lunch, or even dinner (change portion sizes accordingly). The saltiness of the cheese plays off the sweetness of the fruits.

The preparation time is just a bit more than pouring your milk into your cereal and it feels so luxurious to have 4 different foods on your plate.

Give me my java and this plate and I am in heaven (and I don't get hungry before lunch).

The sodium is a bit high here because of the saltiness of the cheese. If you are watching your sodium - eat less cheese and add a soft or hard boiled egg.

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Turkish Breakfast Recipe

(serves 1)

2 ounces feta cheese
1/2 cucumber sliced
1/2 ripe tomato sliced
1 whole wheat pita bread

Put on plate and enjoy!

337 calories, 14.3 g fat, 38.9 g carbohydrates, 16.3 g protein, 6.1 g fiber, 876 mg sodium, 9 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only.
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First 20 Comments: [ see all 29 ]

Great post, and good reminder for me! I dated a Turkish man several years ago and this is exactly what he ate for breakfast every day!

on September 13, 2012

Love your sugestions - I'll have to try this one.

on September 13, 2012

I love this kind of meal, simple and easy!!

on September 13, 2012

Great breakfast and if you replace the cheese with some hummus and its vegan.

on September 13, 2012

Like the idea about the hummus (fiber)

on September 13, 2012

Similiar breakfast in Israel. Eastern Europe replaces the pita with a hard roll, and feta for salami. Not quite as healthy, but ohhh so good. Cukes and Tomatoes have become a regular breakfast item for me.

on September 13, 2012

We spent 5 days in Turkey for our honeymoon and I remember loving these breakfasts! I really liked the assortment of cheeses and olives they would have out, too.

on September 13, 2012

It's very similar to half a bagel (or bagel thin) with a shmear of cream cheese or some fresh mozzarella, garden fresh tomato and a bit of red onion (for that crunch with a touch of zing)!

on September 13, 2012

My kind of snack! Will have to try to breakfast; however, I have tomatoes often for breakfast. Ever had tomato and scrambled egg? Yum-o!

on September 13, 2012

dear snackgirl....

I can't believe you are 43!!!

That breakfast is perfect, perfectly local without the olives.....

First time I went to Belgium I was given a tomato omelet -- never forgot it. Who needs meat for dinner?

on September 13, 2012

I think this would be a great Snack! Your ideas are always amazing! :-D

on September 13, 2012

That breakfast looks so refreshing! I do remember Dutch breakfasts being somewhat similar. Or maybe it was just deli meat, slices of cheese and a small piece of bread. Okay, not that much similar. My memory may be failing me, too...

on September 13, 2012

I am from Iran, and in Iran, this too is a typical breakfast or light dinner. Other variations which are also very delicious are bread and feta with:
watermelon (super yummy)
fresh basil leaves
fresh tarragon
some walnuts with any of the above combinations

and of course....sweet tea to drink with any of the above!

on September 13, 2012

With all these great choices don't think I will be eating cereal again.

on September 13, 2012

I'd add fresh figs as well. Very similar to what I ate when I was in Turkey last year

on September 13, 2012

I love learning about other cultures and what they eat for meals. When I was in Ecuador, our standard breakfast was white bread and butter, jelly if we were lucky, a slice of cheese if we were really lucky. Needless to say most of the Americans started bringing our own peanut butter.

on September 13, 2012

I've not been quite as lucky as Snack Girl...but lucky enough to go to Turkey once. Like you, I loved those breakfasts and wrote a post when I returned from my trip last summer that I thought you might like:

on September 13, 2012

I've just been getting bored with my breakfast options lately and this is really perking me up! I would so love to visit Turkey one day, mostly for the food :) This looks terrific and love the idea to add nuts, honey, hard-boiled egg etc. I wonder if my toddler would go for it...she does enjoy all of these foods. Thanks for the idea as always!

on September 13, 2012

I'm also from Iran and remember the delicious breakfast every morning as a child. Halva (although not low-cal) was also a staple, rolled up in lavash bread.
Snackgirl - Hooray for being 43! I'm the same age. :)

on September 13, 2012

Thank you Snack Girl for this post. I have a very hard time eating American traditional breakfast food in the morning, I always end up getting sick. Ever since I was a kid I'd rather have leftover dinner from the night before for breakfast. This dish is so delicious you had my mouth watering. And completely simple. My only question is why didn't I think of doing this myself? Seems so obvious. Guess what I'm having for breakfast tomorrow? Thank you again!!! Love your site.

on September 13, 2012

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