Turkish BreakfastNo, not the candy…Turkish breakfast! I was in a session with a new patient and her husband (since he does all the cooking), and as we were talking about breakfast ideas, he asked me what I eat for breakfast. Now, I have a handful of regular breakfast options in my rotation, but on that particular morning (and on many mornings), I had what I call “Turkish Breakfast,” which requires a bit of explanation.

When we visited Istanbul in December, we stayed at the lovely Ottoman Imperial Hotel. We received daily breakfast with our stay, and what a breakfast it was. Yes, there was a display of cold cereal for the Westerners, but we ignored that, instead diving into what you see here:

Breakfast in Istanbul

We loved those breakfasts so much, that we adopted a version of it as soon as we returned home, and it’s been part of our rotation ever since. What I love about it is that’s it’s both nutritious and highly flavorful, so it’s very satisfying. There’s adequate protein from the cheese, egg, hummus and yogurt. There’s healthy fat from the olives and olive oil. there’s phytonutrients from the tomato, parsley, cucumber and olives. The various components of this breakfast not only have diverse flavors, but varying textures as well. I just love it. (As a bonus, it’s travels well on mornings I eat breakfast at my desk at work, although in a container, not on a pretty plate like the one at the top of the post!

That particular breakfast, enjoyed two days ago, included:

  • Sliced cucumber
  • Sliced tomato
  • Quartered hard-boiled egg
  • Hummus (homemade)
  • Feta
  • Comte cheese
  • Two types of olives (from Big John’s PFI)
  • Fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • Olive oil

Not pictured is the slice of homemade rustic sourdough bread. Or the coffee. Not featured on this particular morning was plain Greek yogurt, sweetened with a dab of honey (also from Istanbul) or stewed dried fruit. In the Istanbul photo you can see the dish of yogurt with one stewed apricot, one stewed fig, and a small chunk of honeycomb.

The power of protein

The yogurt of course supplies more protein, and sometimes appears instead of the egg, or I might have a bit of both. One thing I recommend to all of my patients is to eat a protein-rich breakfast. While there are few things I love more than cooking a pot of steel-cut oats on the weekend, I find that I get hungry sooner (even with the addition of nuts) than I do when I have more protein (that said, I have some patients who can make it all the way to lunch on an oatmeal-and-nut breakfast, so your results may vary).

Man, I am really missing Istanbul right now. It has everything, gorgeous historical sites, tons of well-fed street cats, the best baklava EVER, delicious food and yes, Turkish Delight.