Chicken Shawarma Pitas

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healthy-chicken-shawarmaI’ve always been a fan of Middle Eastern, Greek, and various blends of Mediterranean food. There’s always something exotic about it that makes a meal feel special. I even carry my own bottle of curry powder with me.

Yes, I’m weird but I’m prepared anytime I’m faced with something bland and boring to eat. A few sprinkles of curry will liven up anything pretty much. Months ago The Kid and I hit up the food truck park in Fort Worth. There was an amazing one with all kinds of pitas and Middle Eastern food.

There was one delightful concoction that I’d never heard of – chicken shawarma. It was a mixture of grilled chicken, slaw, jalapenos (it IS Texas), and a “special” sauce all shoved in a warm pita bread. How I’d had missed out on chicken shawarma I’ll never know, but it was heaven in a pocket.

I set about figuring out how to make my own and was shocked at the unhealthy-ness of some of the recipes I found. I will put a disclaimer that typically Middle Eastern food is not unhealthy. Most of this I’m assuming has been Americanized into a different version. Not one to miss out on something so yummy, I set to making a scaled down, diet friendly version.

Chicken Shawarma Pitas

  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 pita breads, 6 inches round
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Tomato slices

Mix 2 Tbsp lime juice, curry powder, cumin, and 1 tsp garlic in a ziploc baggie or shallow dish. Add  the chicken breasts and flip or shake them around to coat them in the marinade. To make my life easier, I freeze my chicken breasts in 1 pound batches in ziploc baggies. I thaw them and add marinade like this right in the baggie. Easy as can be.

To make the shawarma sauce, mix the tahini, 2 tsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp garlic in a little container. Real shawarma sauce has yogurt in it but since The Kid has a dairy allergy, I didn’t bother adding it. If you want more sauce for your pita, you can mix in 1/4 cup of plain non-fat yogurt.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill over medium heat for about 10 minutes per side until cooked thoroughly. I like my chicken slightly browned and crispy on the edges but that’s a personal preference. Slice the chicken into thin slices. Cut the pitas in half to make 2 pockets per pita. Smear a bit of the sauce inside and add your chicken slices, romaine and tomatoes.

Makes 4 pita sandwiches at approximately 300 calories each. These were really easy to throw together and I had leftovers for 2 days of lunch. Have you ever heard of chicken shawarma? Do you travel with a bottle of your own spice, just in case?

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