Saturday, January 5, 2008

Kiymali Ispanak (Turkish Spinach Dish with Ground Beef)

Some more Turkish food that is naturally gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free, and egg-free (GFCFSFEF)! Both kids love this! Go spinach!


1/4 to 1/2 pound ground beef/turkey
1 large or 2 medium yellow/white onion(s)
2 pounds fresh spinach
3 big soup spoons full of tomato paste (no need to be exact!)
3 big soup spoons of white rice (no need to be exact!)
Salt and pepper to taste


Dice the onions. Wash the spinach well. Cut off bottom stems. Chop the leaves. Rinse the rice until water runs clear-ish.


Put oil in a large pot (like a soup or pasta-size pot). Put all onions in pot. Cook on medium heat (stirring frequently) until onions become pink-ish. Add in the meat and keep cooking until meat is browned. Mix in tomato paste, salt, and pepper; blend flavors. Add spinach and cover pot with lid. (It will seem like a lot of spinach but it reduces as it cooks!) The spinach will cook in its own liquid, but stir it every now and then to make sure your meat isn't burning on the bottom - don't have the heat up too high! Cook until the spinach is soft/wilted. Add the rice and 2 cups of water. Cover and cook on low heat until rice is cooked.


You will need to serve this in a bowl (kind of like a stew?); it won't work well on a plate. This dish is commonly served with plain yogurt, but you'll forego the yogurt for the CF'ers in your group! Note that this is an entree by itself and not a side dish. You have your meat, your veggie, and your carb all in one bowl.


Kalyn said...

This one sounds really delicious!

Anonymous said...

I had to leave out the tomatoes because we have phenol issues, but it still worked out great! (I know - it's no longer a turkish dish after that!) I added cooked rice instead after sauteeing everything together so it made for like a "fried rice" sort of dish, instead of "stoup" (stew+soup).

But it was still really really good... will be making this weekly i think!


Michelle said...

This sounds great! We tried your red lentil and tomato paste soup last night and it was very good!

I have two questions about this recipe:
- Do you think I could use brown rice and add an extra half cup water and let it simmer longer? Or should I reduce the liquid and add 6 spoonfuls brown rice (6 since it doubles in size after cooking). How would you adapt the recipe for brown rice?
- How many would you say that this recipe serves?

Thanks, Tori! Great blog, cute kids, yummy recipes!

Tori said...

Hi Michelle! Glad you liked the red lentil soup! We make that ALL the time here! For the spinach recipe, sure you could use brown rice. The rice is actually a small part of the meal; the focus is the spinach and meat. The dish is basically ready when the rice is done, so just watch your rice and go by that. You can add liquid as well; Turkish cooking for these types of dishes is very forgiving and exact measurements are not needed. I say give it a try with the brown rice. I'm sure it'll be great! Let me know how it goes! - Tori

~M said...

Hi Tori! I realized I never reported back, but I really enjoy this dish! Last time, I used 1 lb of (kosher) ground turkey, 1 onion, 1 package of pre-cut and washed collards and kale, 1 can tomato paste, and 3 spoonfuls of brown rice. I soaked the brown rice for most of the day to soften it. I liked the bit of crunch from the kale and collards, though they were pretty braised by the end of cooking the brown rice, about 45 minutes to an hour. DELICIOUS!

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