I can't believe I haven't done a lot of cooking with Middle Eastern flavors. I mean, they are amazing!
You can go spicy or not so spicy. You can tailor them anyway you like.
Of course, you may lose some of the authenticity and move into the area of "fusion" cooking but, you know what, that's okay too.
This is a great meal to break into cooking with Middle Eastern spices if you are not familiar or, if you have family members that are afraid to try new things. *cough* Mom *cough*
This recipe makes 2 servings. 2 very LARGE servings. I believe one serving is about 500 calories. I had a hard time eating an entire serving. You could very easily split this into 3 instead of 2.
Chicken Shawarma and Quinoa Bowl
Garlic Yogurt Sauce
3/4 cup Greek yogurt, plain
1/4 cup shredded cucumber, pressed to drain off excess water
1 Tbsp fresh dill (or 2 tsp dry)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 slice purple onion, diced fine
juice of half a lemon
1 Tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp tumeric
pinch cayenne pepper
salt & pepper
1 cup dry quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
package cherry or grape tomatoes (about 20 - 30), halved
1 green pepper, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 cucumber, sliced
2 slices purple onion, diced
2 cups baby spinach
Prepare yogurt sauce - In a small bowl, mix together all the sauce ingredients - Greek yogurt, cucumber, dill, lemon juice, and garlic. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (NOTE - you may need to drain off any extra water if your cucumber was not pressed enough. Then simply give the sauce a stir.)
Prepare marinade - In a large Ziplock bag, place the chicken breasts with the garlic, diced onion, lemon juice, oil, cumin, paprika, tumeric, cayenne, and salt & pepper. Squish around to coat the breasts. Marinate at least an hour, up to overnight.
Prepare quinoa - Place quinoa and broth in a pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered until quinoa is done - about 13 - 15 minutes. Quinoa should be fluffy and liquid absorbed. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Prepare chicken - Place chicken and any extra marinade in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Cook until chicken is done and no longer pink inside - about 10 - 15 minutes. (NOTE - do this at the same time as the quinoa is cooking so they are both done at about the same time.)
To serve - In your 2 bowl (or serving plates), place the halved tomatoes in one section, place the green peppers, purple onion, and cucumber in another section, place a cup of spinach on each plate and top with about half a cup of quinoa (you may have some quinoa left over to use for something else!). Lastly, slice the cooked chicken into pieces and place in the bowl (or plate). Top with 2 heaping Tbsp of the garlic yogurt sauce.
This also is great for leftovers the next day.
I brought it to work and mixed it all together for a cold chicken salad-type lunch. It was amazing.
Again. I made it to be 2 servings but next time will break it into 3. It really does make a lot.
So many amazing flavors. So many different textures.
If you are looking for something to change up your everyday meat and potato meals then give this a try!! As an added benefit - so much healthiness in all the ingredients. You just can't lose.