Rethink Your Breakfast: Turkish Style

September 1, 2011   25 Comments

Snack Girl has been fortunate to visit Turkey twice in her 41 years. Both trips taught me so much, and I remember them vividly.

Turkish Breakfast

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.


Turkish Breakfast Recipe

1.6 from 15 reviews

(serves 1)

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


Put on plate and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

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. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 25 )

Wow! The Turkish sure know What they Are talking about when it comes To meals! I never Would Have thought of eating Something like That for breakfast. Thanks for sharing. :)

Oh yum. I could have that for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

This brings back wonderful memories. We lived there for 4 years in Ankara. When we vacationed around the coastal areas the breakfasts they served were wonderful and deliciously fresh. My favorite was the fresh ekmek (sourdough type bread).

:) Had lightly salted and peppered cucs, toms and red grapes this morning with some goat cheese on the side - YUM!!

You got my attention today!! :) I'm such a wannabe Turk, I'm going again this year, I can't wait.. The turkish breakfast is my favorite.. Turk kahvaltı çok çok çok sevdim.

I've had (and love) breakfast for dinner ( pancakes, frittata, etc...)

But never had I thought about dinner or lunch for Breakfast. Interesting though, I may have to give it a try.

I'm middle eastern and grew up on this stuff. It really is a delicious/nutritious way to start your day! This type of spread and a soft boiled egg was our typical breakfast when I was a kid. Actually, I'm serving this for dinner tonight but with some hummus, salami and basil. It's too hot to cook! By the way, if you rinse the feta before eating, it cuts back on the sodium. I've also been buying the "Lite Feta" from Trader Joe's.

i've been recommending real food for breakfast for ages. people are so conditioned into eating cereal for breakfast, but this kind of breakfast is so much better for you.

I too loved those breakfasts in Turkey. And you are right, they wake up the brain as well as the body. As a scientist, do you have an explanation for this?

I've been married to a Turk for 3 1/2 years and he introduced me to their awesome food (lunch and dinner are just as delicious as breakfast). As a Weight Watcher I tried tracking my points the first few days but with the language barrier and the metric conversions I was overwhelmed so for the 2 weeks in February that we were there I just listened to my body and ate until I was satisfied but not full. I was pleasantly surprised to lose 2 pounds and I fully believe it is the lack of processed food that made it happen.

Sounds similar to other Eastern European breakfasts. In Western Europe there would be cured meats added.

I've always loved the European style breakfasts and see that this layout and offerings are not much different. It is definitely filling and puts my mind in a good attitude to start the day (plus the java there is usually really good - 2 cups for sure!)

Simple. I'm trying this.


meh. I prefer breakfast Japanese style.

this would be a nice snack if I liked feta or cucumber.

would probably substitute ricotta or goat cheese.

AND I LOVE to eat some delicious soft boiled egg, like the "Brits".

This looks delicious! I've eaten soft-boiled and poached eggs on the wild herb combinations from the store for breakfast. I sometimes use grate parmesan cheese on the salad and add lemon juice and EVOO.

U can soak the feta cheese for 1 hr or 2 depending how salty. I add " refried Fava Beans" to this breakfast and I 'm so satisfied; then just a salad for lunch....YUM!

Add the eggs and olives, take away the pita (no wheat/gluten for moi), and I'm in heaven. I'd sprinkle spices on the feta (I love oregano or garlic/pepper on feta).

Yum!!!! I may shop tomorrow for the ingredients (have feta and tomatoes and olives, need fresh cucumber and maybe some red peppers). THANKS for reminding me how much I love patter type cheesy middle eastern meals. (I used to do the Greek thing, bread, salt,kalamata, feta, briki fixed coffee on occasion).

What do you suggest for those who dont like tomatoes? I have tried to eat them and just cant stomach them.

If you want to add a little spunk to feta cheese, try adding cumin seeds. It may sound odd but it's absolutely delicious. Simply rinse or soak the feta and mix with cumin seeds. Transfer to a container and allow the flavors to marry for at least 24 hours. I used to stuff olives with this. It was always a big hit at cocktail parties. You can also serve this cheese with pickled or roasted beets. Oh so good!

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