Getting Back to Cooking

Woohoo! I cooked a meal for the week this past weekend! It’s magical to be getting myself back on a schedule. And now I plan to (hopefully) bring a cat home this weekend and probably go off it again but let’s hope I can stick with it. I even made it to the gym yesterday guys. And did everything on my to-do list. AND managed to watch an episode of Bill Nye, read three chapters in my fun book and write a blog post. All that really means I’ll probably be a slug the rest of the week but hey, Monday was productive!

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A lovely summer meal

This recipe, Chicken Shwarma in the Slow Cooker, is tasty and not really super healthy to be honest. BUT, I estimate at least 5-6 servings from it so I think once it all spreads out, it’s not super terrible. I use whole wheat pitas too which must could for something right? This came together really well. I hadn’t used frozen meat like this before but found it made life alot easier in the long run. I also took the original post’s suggestion and serve this with grapes and it’s revolutionized dinner sides for me. I love the sweet with the salty savoriness of the shwarma and the cool cucumber sauce. I put a few dashes of mint in the cucumber sauce to for a little extra coolness. I am a fan. I think I also just love a good Greek dish in the summer. It matches well!

Ingredients

6 Tbs. lemon juice
6 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. curry powder
2 dashes cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2.5 lbs. boneless chicken thighs, strips or straight thighs [Tyson frozen is what I used]
8 oz Greek style yogurt
1 small cucumber, chopped finely
Mint, to taste
whole wheat pita bread
tomatoes, chopped

Directions

  1. Stir lemon juice, olive oil, salt, curry, cayenne pepper and garlic together in a small bowl.
  2. Place chicken in slow cooker. [Side Note: I had used this sort of flash frozen meat before, you need to rinse this meat off before using which I did not know until I read the bag.]
  3. Pour olive oil mixture over the top, stirring to coat the chicken well.
  4. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
  5. Stir cucumber and yogurt together, adding a few dashes of mint to the mixture. [Side Note 2: I put this together about an hour before the chicken was done to let the ingredients set a bit with each other. I think it helps. I could also be delusional.]
  6. Serve chicken in pita bread, topped with yogurt sauce and tomatoes. I used grapes for a side and it’s brilliant!

The original post and recipe is at Eat at Home Cooks.

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Chicken Gyros

I found a recipe for beef gyros last year that I adore but hadn’t found a good recipe for chicken gyros. I had plenty in my Recipes to Try folder but just hadn’t actually found one that sounded good. With my new kick on trying Hungry Girl recipes, they had one for Chicken Gyros that made my menu for this week.

This is a really easy recipe to put together and I like that I could do it in stages. I made the sauce and then cut up all the vegetables for the toppings and then made the marinade for the chicken. I then was able to clean up the kitchen while the chicken marinaded before starting cooking the chicken. I do like when I don’t feel like a recipe thinks I can be doing four different things at the same time!

The chicken came out so tasty; juicy and well marinated. The lemon juice balances well with the oregano and garlic. For the sauce, I used dried dill instead of fresh and I think I got the amount a bit off – my sauce is a bit more dill-y then I would like but not bad. I would spring for the fresh dill next time I make this. In general, this was a delightful recipe; perfect for late spring, early summer. I paired it with a cup of raspberries for dessert 🙂

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The original recipe at Hungry Girl is here; I followed it mostly. I did double the recipe to make enough to take me through the week and I left off the feta cheese (the one kind of cheese that I am not a fan of).

Ingredients:
Sauce
1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
3 tbsp. peeled and finely chopped cucumber
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh dill
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. chopped garlic
1/8 tsp. salt

Marinade and Chicken
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/8 tsp. salt
8 oz. raw boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes

Gyros
2 high-fiber pitas
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
1/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes

Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine all sauce ingredients, and mix well. Cover and refrigerate.

To make the marinade, in a small bowl, mix lemon juice, oregano, garlic, and salt. Place cubed chicken in a large sealable plastic bag, and cover with marinade. Seal and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Bring a grill pan (or skillet) sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add chicken, and discard marinade.

Cook chicken for 4 minutes. Flip chicken, and cook for about 4 more minutes, until cooked through.

To assemble the gyros, microwave pitas for 20 seconds, or until warm and pliable. In a medium bowl, mix cucumber, tomatoes, and feta cheese.

Plate pitas, and spread the centers with sauce. Top with cooked chicken and cucumber mixture. Fold and eat!

MAKES 2 SERVINGS