*After taunting you with pictures of food for so long, here's a recipe finally. It's what I ate for breakfast this morning, alongside some strawberries, chocolate, an oatmeal cookie, and a handful of nuts. What can i say? It's summertime and U have no problem with decadence at 7 AM in the morning. In fact, I'm all for it—which is why this recipe is particularly glorious.
*Last year, while I was in Europe, there was one place I really wanted to go but never made it to: Istanbul. One of my best friends had studied abroad there and loved it, and I have always been fascinated by Middle Eastern architecture and culture. Oh and another thing—the food—I have always loved Middle Eastern food.
*This recipe is inspired by Turkish flavors: the spices, the dates, the nuts, the tahini—those are all staples of Turkish cuisine. When I recall memories of Turkish or Turkish-inspired cuisine, I remember the tahini-covered brussel sprouts with pistachios and pomegranate seeds that I had a Oleana a few months ago, the date-cardamom granola at Sofra sprinkled over thick, tangy labneh, and the Turkish sweets at the Harrods' food hall in London, which I brought back to my hotel room and enjoyed with a cup of tea: tahini shortbread rounds, date-nut rolls, sesame halvah, and a flaky syrup-drenched baklava. I’ve been dreaming about making this breakfast for a long time after realizing how well a tangy cream goes with dates and nuts, and how the creaminess of tahini can add such nuanced depth. It was finally realized this morning in the form of an almond-crusted, date and yogurt stuffed french toast—with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.
*This recipe does not take very long to throw together, and it makes for a wonderfully sweet weekend breakfast—but you can also enjoy it on a Monday morning like I did.
*I made a non-dairy version of this breakfast because I don't do well with dairy, but regular milk and yogurt would work just fine.
*This recipe is easily doubled, though the French toast batter in the recipe is enough for 2 servings.
*Turkish Stuffed French Toast
1 English muffin, halved (alternatively, 2 slices of bread)
1/2 c milk (I used almond milk)
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1 Tbsp flour of choice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 c sliced almonds
1 tsp coconut oil (or cooking oil of choice)
2 dates, chopped (make sure to use fresh dates! they should be soft.)
2 Tbsp yogurt, cream cheese, or sour cream (I used coconut milk yogurt)
1 serving tahini caramel (recipe follows)
1. In a wide bowl, combine the milk, flaxseed, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk and stir well. Let sit for 5 minutes to let mixture thicken.
2. Place the two English muffin halves (or bread) into the mixture and let sit for 2 minutes to soak up the liquid.
3. While the English muffin is soaking, heat the coconut oil in a pan on the stove over medium heat.
4. Place the sliced almonds in another wide bowl. Dip each soaked English muffin half into the bowl of sliced almonds, making sure that the sliced almonds cover both sides of each half.
5. Place the two English muffin halves into the heated pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, making sure that the almonds don’t burn.
5. With the muffin halves still in the pan, ladle the yogurt onto one half, and top with the chopped dates. Top off with the other English muffin half, creating a sandwich. Let sit in the pan for another 30 seconds, then flip the sandwich onto the other side, and let cook for 30 seconds.
6. Serve with warm Tahini caramel sauce, along with fresh fruit and nuts!
*Tahini Caramel Sauce
makes 1 serving
1 Tbsp tahini
2 tsp date syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
2 tsp warm water
Combine all ingredients and stir well. If desired, heat sauce over stove or in microwave.