Healthy foods are focus of musician's cooking repertoire

2014-03-12T00:00:00Z 2014-03-13T18:15:25Z Healthy foods are focus of musician's cooking repertoireEloise Marie Valadez Eloise.Valadez@nwi.com, (219) 933-3365 nwitimes.com

Demir Demirkan is a fan of the cooking craft and doesn't hesitate to experiment with ingredients.

"I don't follow a lot of recipes. I make up my own," said Demirkan, during a recent phone interview.

Demirkan, a musician, songwriter and singer, is a member of pop/rock and world music band Painted On Water, along with vocalist Sertab Erener. The group is kicking off its North American tour March 15 with two shows at Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. FYI: Visit paintedonwater.com or dromnyc.com

"I'm very big on breakfast," Demirkan said, adding he enjoys making various egg dishes. The musician said he's also very attuned to healthy eating and was vegetarian for awhile. Since he works out often, he said he makes sure to get a good amount of protein in his diet.

"I switched back (from being vegetarian)now. I eat red meat, fish, chicken and turkey," he said.

One of Demirkan's favorite dishes is Masala Omelet, which is an omelet made with Indian spices. The musician's heritage is Turkish and he said his family cooked very healthy at home.

"My parents were both good cooks," he said.

When Demirkan steps into the kitchen, he said he also enjoys making smoothies. Kale is a favorite ingredient which he blends into various dishes as well as in smoothies.

Demirkan said his fellow band member Sertab, who is his girlfriend, is interested in healthy eating as well. "It's a lot better when you're with someone who's eating healthier," he said, adding it's easier to stay on track that way.

Try the following recipe from Demirkan.

Masala Omelet Demir Demirkan style (Makes 2):

Salt (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon)

Ground black pepper (1/2 teaspoon)

Cumin (1/2 teaspoon)

Rosemary/ finger crushed (1 teaspoon)

Powdered red pepper (mild), 1 teaspoon (This herbal mix is up to you. Usually it will change quantity and/or ingredients according to how you feel that morning. This is what makes it unique for each day)

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Crushed or diced tomatoes ( 2 ounces)

Oyster mushrooms (1 package) cut into small pieces

1/4 cup no flavor soy or almond milk

Egg whites (6-8 ounces)

DIRECTIONS: Mix the herbs and salt in a small bowl. Make sure to finger crush dried rosemary. Put the olive oil In a pan. Add the herbal mix (masala) to the oil. Heat on mid to low fire. Be careful not to cook or burn the oil. Heat with lid closed until oil is bubbling a little bit. Let the herbs infuse into the olive oil. Add tomatoes. Cook over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes. Add the oyster mushrooms and stir evenly with oil. Add the soy/almond milk. Stir evenly. Close lid and cook over medium heat. Cook until the mix is half way watery and mushrooms are cooked. Add egg white and stir evenly. Cover lid and cook over medium heat. Your mix will get solid and rise. Do not overcook until bottom is brown fried. Serve with oregano or basil on top. Enjoy with some Turkish style brewed black tea!

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