Tag Archives: hummus

Greek Chicken Bowl

Spring is here! Fall is my favorite season, but spring has to be a close runner up. It’s so great to have the sun out more, a little warmer weather, and feel like everything is coming alive again. I have definitely spent more of my waking hours today outdoors than in, and I love it.

Spring also feels like a great time for some lighter, faster meals. Still filling, but with a fresh feeling. I love these Greek chicken bowls for lunch or dinner. Easily adaptable to whatever tastes you have in your house. Also easy to use some store bought ingredients to save yourself some time. Enjoy!

Greek Chicken Bowls (Serves 4 at least)

Greek Chicken Bowl

1 cup quinoa
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp oregano
1 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
¼ tsp garlic powder
2 tsp lemon juice
½ seedless cucumber, diced small
½ cup hummus
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
½ seedless cucumber, diced small
½ cup feta cheese
kalamata olives, optional

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with foil.

2. Combine quinoa, broth, and lemon juice in a pot. Cook quinoa as long as package directs. Fluff with a fork.

3. Place sweet potatoes on one baking sheet and chicken on another. Drizzle sweet potatoes with oil. Combine salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic. Toss half over potatoes, rub half on chicken. Bake for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and chicken is 165 degrees (rotate pans halfway through cooking time).

4. Combine yogurt through chopped cucumber in a blender, pulse until combined. (tzaitziki sauce)

5. To serve, place 1/2 cup quinoa, 1/2 sliced chicken breast, 1/4 of the sweet potatoes, 2 tablespoons hummus, some red onion, some tomatoes, some cucumber, and 2 tablespoons feta in a bowl. Drizzle with tzaitziki sauce and olives to taste.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 652
Protein: 54 g
Fat: 18 g
Saturated Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 120 mg
Carbohydrates: 70 g
Fiber: 10 g
Sodium: 787 mg

Recipe notes: This recipe looks complicated. You can simplify if you have rotisserie chicken meat on hand. Also, buy storebought hummus (any flavor) and tzaitziki sauce if you like. The toppings listed here are yummy, but you could also throw in some spinach or any vegetables you like.

Source: adapted from Everyday Reading

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Hummus Pasta

Today is a quick post about a quick, delicious lunch I discovered last week. I was looking at a fridge full of random leftovers and needed something new to eat. I gave this random idea a try, after some googling to make sure I wasn’t insane, and it was crazy good. And it got tons of veggies in me, which always makes me happy at lunch.

Hummus may sound like an odd “sauce” for pasta, but it works really well. It gives flavor and creaminess with no added work. This is more of an idea recipe than exact instructions. And as the idea was for lunch, I’m giving a single serving. Feel free to scale up each portion for more people.

Please pardon the slightly blurry picture. Apparently I was in a hurry to eat!

Hummus Pasta

Hummus Pasta

1 ½ cups chopped vegetables (broccoli, sugar snap peas, cauliflower, grated carrots, zucchini, etc)
1 cup tortellini pasta
2 tablespoons hummus (I used roasted red pepper, but use whatever flavor you like)
2-3 ounces shredded meat, optional
handful of cherry/grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons feta cheese

1. Boil water in a medium saucepan. Add vegetables and cook for 3-5 minutes or until basically as tender as you want them.

2. Add in pasta and meat. Cook according to pasta package directions.

3. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water. Mix hummus into pasta and vegetables. Add cooking water a teaspoon at a time as needed to thin the hummus to coat everything. Top with tomatoes and cheese. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes: Use whatever vegetables you have on hand. A frozen blend would work well here as well. Just make sure it isn’t something that will cook for a long time, like big hunks of carrots. You could also use regular pasta, rather than tortellini. I’d just put the noodles in at the same time as the vegetables then. You want everything to finish cooking at about the same time.

Source: original recipe

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Israeli Nachos

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was quiet and filled with lots of delicious food. Couldn’t have asked for more.

For as long as I can remember, New Year’s Eve has meant a dinner of appetizers. As a kid, I loved that. We got to eat in front of the TV, which never happened. My husband and I have continued the tradition, although our selection is pretty different from what I had growing up. We vary some items, but some sort of chip/dip/nacho combo is always in there.

These are what I loosely call “Israeli” Nachos. They were originally inspired by nachos my husband got at Middle Eastern restaurant and then riffed off of this online recipe. I like that there is some substance, but easy on the cheese. The hummus kind of acts like the guacamole, the Israeli salad like the pico, and the yogurt sauce like sour cream. Whether you could find anything like this in Israel, I don’t know. But I’d eat it if I did.

If you are looking for other appetizer ideas for your New Year’s celebrations, look here.

Israeli Nachos (Serves 4)

Israeli Nachos

½ tablespoon olive oil
¼ red onion, diced
½ jalapeno, diced small (seeds and membranes removed if preferred)
1 clove garlic, mincedd
1 can reduced sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon curry powder (to taste, based on heat of your curry)
Tortilla chips
Shredded mozzarella cheese (about ¼ cup per person)
1 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
3 tomatoes, chopped
½ cucumber, chopped
¼ red onion, diced
½ tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 recipe hummus

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion and jalapeño until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add 1 clove garlic, cooking 1 minutes. Add chickpeas, garam masala, and chickpeas. Saute until combined and heated through, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

3. Spread tortilla chips evenly over baking sheet. Sprinkle chickpea filling evenly over the top. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for about 5-7 minutes, until cheese is melted.

4. While cooking, prepare yogurt sauce by coming yogurt, 1 clove garlic, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and tahini in a blender until smooth.

5. Also prepare salad: combine tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and remaining olive oil and lemon juice.

6. Serve nachos with hummus, yogurt sauce, and salad.

Recipe notes: Pita chips seem like the logical choice here, but I remember them being tortilla chips at the restaurant. Either would work of course. You notice I didn’t put nutritional information on this one. This one is a little complicated, since it is very variable on how many chips you like and how much of the dips you use. You will have a lot more dip than bean topping. So, you could double the topping. I didn’t have any, but I think some chopped flat leaf parsley in the salad would be really nice.

Source: adapted from memory from Laffa restaurant in Tulsa (If you are ever in Tulsa, go there please. Yum!) and here

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Chicken Shawarma

As part of my schooling, I participated in several cultural sensitivity programs. Food and diet are a huge part of every culture, so it was important to try to understand different cultural groups before trying to treat them. However, I think the thing I learned most from these programs was how culturally insensitive we all are, on purpose and completely on accident.

Ethnic-inspired recipes on this site are an area where I verge on being culturally insensitive. I hesitate to even use the traditional name for dishes, since I know that I have made changes to each dish. So please be aware, dishes on my site are often inspired by flavors from around the globe. But I don’t feel restricted from adding my own personal flair to dishes.

Chicken shawarmas are no exception. I first ate shawarma in London and fell in love. Juicy meat, chewy bread, an assortment of vegetables I didn’t recognize, and some sort of sauce that leaked out purple on my hands came together in a beautiful harmony. I’ve tried a few at a variety of restaurants since, but none have lived up to the one in my memory. This recipe is more of an homage than trying to recreate what I had in London. But it makes for a delicious, hearty dinner. Enjoy!

Chicken Shawarma (Serves 4)

Chicken Shawarma

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons olive oil
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
4 whole grain pitas or flatbreads
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cucumber
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ recipe of roasted red pepper hummus
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
12 tomato slices
½ red onion, thinly sliced

1. Combine lemon juice, curry powder, oil, salt, pepper, cumin, and cloves in a large, resealable plastic bag. Add chicken. Toss to coat. Allow to marinate for at least an hour, up to 24 in the fridge.

2. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill chicken until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per side. Once chicken is done, lightly grill pitas until just warmed through.

3. Combine yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, cucumber, and garlic in a food processor. Blend until combined.

4. To serve, spread about 1 tablespoon of hummus on flatbread. Top with chicken, lettuce, tomato, onion, and yogurt sauce.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 453
Protein: 43 g
Fat: 12 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 87 mg
Carbohydrates: 47 g
Fiber: 7 g
Sodium: 816 mg

Recipe Notes: You could marinate and grill the chicken breasts whole, and then slice when ready to serve. They will just take longer to cook that way. I was too lazy to make or buy pitas when I took this picture. This was some leftover naan bread I warmed up from the freezer. Not traditional in any way, but a decent substitute. You will not use all of the yogurt sauce. But it is delicious on salads, sandwiches, etc.

Source: adapted from Cooking Light

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4 Hummus Variations

My toddler is in the “dip” phase of eating. Everything is better if she can dip it in something. Red dip (ketchup) and white dip (ranch dressing) are her main go-to’s, but she is willing to branch out. Today, she asked me for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch with red dip. Gross.

While her obsession can be frustrating, I have to admit that I love dip myself. Chips and dip, veggies and dip, soup with a sandwich to dip, rolls to dip in gravy…really I could go on. The biggest problem with dip is the addition of empty calories. Hummus falls into the traditional dip pitfalls by being somewhat calorically dense, but does at least provide some protein and fiber along the way. I have found that if I pack it full of flavor, I don’t use as much dip either, which reduces the calories.  Here are four different variations on hummus we have been enjoying lately (with only pictures of three because I don’t always think things through).

Enjoy!

Basic Hummus (Makes about 2 cups)

Basic Hummus

1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup tahini
¼ cucumber
1 clove garlic
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup water (or more)

1. Combine ingredients in a food processor. Blend, adding water to achieve desired consistency. Serve or chill until ready to use.

Nutritional Information (Amount per 2 tablespoons):

Calories: 26
Protein: 2 g
Fat: 2 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 5 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sodium: 36 mg

Variation 1: Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion (where I forgot to take a picture.

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Take a whole head of garlic. Slice off the bottom to expose the cloves inside. Drizzle ½ teaspoon olive oil on it. Place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes, until soft. Let cool.

3. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add one thinly sliced onion. Saute until beginning to brown, about 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until deep golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

4. Prepare hummus as above, omitting original garlic. Substitute up to half of the cloves from the roasted head of garlic. Add in the onions. Blend to desired consistency.

Variation 2: Roasted Red Pepper

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

1. Preheat a grill or broiler to high. Lightly coat a red bell pepper with olive oil. Grill or broil, turning every few minutes as each side is charred. Once done, place in a paper bag for 5-10 minutes. Remove from bag. Peel off skin. Remove stem and seeds. Chop red pepper.

2. Prepare hummus as above, adding in chopped red pepper.

Variation 3: Sun-Dried Tomato

Sun Dried Tomato Hummus

1. Prepare hummus as above, adding ⅓ – ½ cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes (preferably dried, not packed in oil).

Recipe Notes: Don’t be afraid to add water to get the consistency you want. I also found that this solidifies a bit when refrigerated, so maybe err on the thin side if you are not serving immediately.  You could also try these variations with my baba ganoush recipe with yummy results.

Source: Adapted from various sources online

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Baba Ganoush and National Nutrition Month

Happy National Nutrition Month! The theme for this year is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle”. The first thought that popped into my mind when I heard the theme was carrot and celery sticks. Something about the crunch and fresh taste of raw veggies epitomizes that idea to me.

However, I’m going to be completely honest with you. I really don’t like eating raw veggies without some sort of dip. I know that is very un-dietitian of me. But I need my ranch, peanut butter, something to help get them down. I especially like this baba ganoush, since it is veggie based. It’s like getting an extra dose of veggies as I’m eating my carrots. Win!

Enjoy!

Baba Ganoush (Makes about 1 ½ cups)

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1 large eggplant
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons feta cheese crumbles

1. Preheat oven to 450.

2. Prick eggplant all over with a fork. Place on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake about 20 minutes, until it is soft inside. Let it cool until you are able to handle it. Cut in half lengthwise, let any water drain, and then scoop the pulp into a food processor.

3. Add salt, tahini, lemon juice, and most of the dill to the food processor. Blend until smooth. Garnish with remaining dill and feta just before serving.

Nutritional Information (Amount per ¼ cup)

Calories: 58
Protein: 2 g
Fat: 3.5 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 3 mg
Carbohydrates: 6 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 85 mg

Recipe Notes: Most recipes include garlic. I made this once with garlic and found the raw garlic way too overpowering. I opted not to add it the second time and didn’t seem to miss it. However, I am pregnant, so my tastes are a little sensitive. I would keep the garlic to one small clove, finely minced, if you were to add it. Parsley is more traditional than dill. But I had dill on hand, and I really liked the flavor punch. Parsley would be a more mild herb to add, if you don’t like dill.

Source: slightly adapted from Ellie Krieger

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