Week 29 – Basic Hummus, Whole Wheat Pita Bread, and Grilled Chicken Shawarma


Phew!  I am just happy to be standing right now.  The week was great – Pure Barre one night, trivia with friends another, date night on Friday – but it’s all been clouded by the nasty allergic reaction I’ve been having for the past 48 hours.  For those of you who don’t know, I’m allergic to soy.  And the side effects are similar to when someone who’s lactose intolerant has milk.  stomach, intestines, other things I can’t say…it’s just awful.  The good news is that traces of soy don’t bother me – if something was packaged in a facility where they process soy, whatever.  What it does mean is that I can’t go around popping edamames, eating tofu, and sipping on a soy latte.  Unfortunately, somehow my skinny caramel macchiato that I treated myself to on Friday afternoon was made with soy milk.  I know this is the issue due to the timing of my reaction beginning (about 6 hrs later), the fact that nothing else I had on Friday would have that high of a hidden soy content, and that Matt had all the same meals as me on Friday and is just fine (so no food poisoning in there).  Anyway, thanks to this mix up I did absolutely nothing on Saturday, the couch was my best friend.  But today the symptoms were less awful so I fought them, took a walk with Matt to get groceries in the 60 degree wonderful sunny weather, and made some homemade goodness (this week’s recipes).

I first found the recipe for grilled chicken shawarma and was excited about that in and of itself.  Then, I remembered I’d saved a recipe for homemade hummus from the library books I got a while back, and THEN I stumbled upon Annie’s recipe for whole wheat pita bread.  So many things to make from scratch!  Which I absolutely love doing, when I have the time, which I do for another 1-3 weeks.  Matt helped out with everything and dinner was so stinkin delicious, I can’t wait til lunch tomorrow when I get to eat the leftovers!!  Hope you all enjoy this as much as we did, if you haven’t noticed this made the Our Favorites So Far Page.

Whole Wheat Pita Bread (recipe from here)

Makes: 8 pitas


  • 2¼ tsp. instant yeast(1 pkg)
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1¼ cups warm water (105˚-115˚ F), divided
  • 1½ cups bread flour, divided
  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour, divided
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Cornmeal, for sprinkling


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, honey and ½ cup of the water. Stir gently to blend.  Whisk ¼ cup of the bread flour and ¼ cup of the whole wheat flour into the yeast mixture until smooth.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in bulk and bubbly, about 45 minutes.
  2. Remove the plastic wrap and return the bowl to the mixer stand, fitted with the dough hook. Add in the remaining ¾ cup of warm water, 1¼ cups bread flour, 1¼ cups whole wheat flour, olive oil and salt.  Knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.  Transfer the ball of dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat, and let rise in a warm draft-free place, about 1 hour, until doubled in bulk.
  3. Place an oven rack in the middle position. Place a baking stone in the oven (if using) and preheat to 500˚ F.
  4. Once the dough has risen, transfer to a lightly floured work surface, punch down the dough and divide into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball.  Flatten one ball at a time into a disk, then stretch out into a 6½-7 inch circle.  Transfer the rounds to a baking sheet or other work surface lightly sprinkled with cornmeal.  Once all the rounds have been shaped, loosely cover with clean kitchen towels.  Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, until slightly puffy.
  5. Transfer 4 pitas, 1 at a time, onto the baking surface. (Note: These can be baked on a baking stone or directly on the oven racks.  We used a pizza stone, but we’re told either method is fine.) Bake 2-3 minutes, until puffed and pale golden.  Gently flip the pitas over using tongs and bake 1-2 minutes more.  Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.  Repeat with the remaining pitas.  Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


IMG_4522Basic Hummus (Recipe from this book)

Makes: Approximately 2 cups


  • 1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/s tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin


  1. In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt, and cumin and process or blend until smooth. Add ¼ – ½ cup of water to help smooth out the mixture and to obtain your desired consistency.  If you are using a blender, you’ll likely need a little more water than if you are using a food processor.


Jalapeno-Cilantro Hummus – Remove the seeds from a jalapeno and add it to the hummus along with a handful of fresh cilantro.  Process until smooth.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus – Add 1 whole roasted red pepper (from a jar) to the hummus, process until smooth.

Green Onion and Parsley Hummus – Add 3 trimmed green onions and a handful of fresh parsley to the hummus, process until smooth.


Grilled Chicken Shawarma (recipe from here)

Makes: 4 servings


For the Shawarma:

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, divided
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Middle Eastern seasoning mix*
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, divided
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 – 1 ¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup English cucumber, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 pinches dried dill
  • 4 small or 2 large pitas or wraps

For the Toppings:

  • Hummus
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Sliced red onion
  • Sliced pickles or cucumbers


  1. In a large ziploc bag, combine 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 cup yogurt, lemon juice, seasoning mix, lemon zest, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Add chicken and massage bag to combine all ingredients. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill or grill pan to high heat.
  3. Make the yogurt sauce: In a small bowl, stir together remaining ½ c yogurt, remaining 1 clove minced garlic, remaining 1 tsp lemon zest, cucumber, vinegar, dill, and salt to taste.
  4. Grill the chicken until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, turning once halfway through cooking. Transfer to plate; let rest 5 minutes.
  5. Warm up or grill your pitas while the chicken rests.
  6. Assemble: however you want and enjoy!

*Middle Eastern Seasoning Mix: Mix 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 ½ teaspoons coriander, ¾ teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon ground cloves.  Makes about ¼ cup seasoning.

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