Lemon Dressing: Add ingredients to a jar with a tight fitting lid, or small bowl, then shake or whisk to combine.
Couscous: Add water, salt, and olive oil to sauce pan and over medium high heat bring to a boil; once boiling, add the couscous and stir; then cover the sauce pan and lower the heat to simmer; simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer cooked couscous to a bowl.
Add dressing: Add about 1/8 c. of dressing to the slightly warm couscous and toss well to combine. Set aside (or refrigerate) to cool completely.
Salad: Add couscous to a large mixing bowl then add chickpeas through mint, and toss to combine. Add about 1/3 of the dressing and toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Serve: Add mixed lettuce greens to a plate, top with a generous scoop of the couscous salad; sprinkle the pistachios and feta on top and drizzle with dressing.
This feast is beyond delicious. Serve with pita, naan, or tortillas. Chicken recipe from Noshastic, and rice recipe adapted from A Family Feast.
Chicken Shawarma Ingredients:
1 lb. boneless chicken
3 TBSP fresh lemon juice
3 TBSP olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
4 tsp. ground cumin
4 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
Middle Eastern Rice Ingredients:
2 TBSP olive oil
1 c. rice
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 1/2 chicken broth or water
Salt, to taste
Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad Ingredients:
1 large English cucumber, diced
5 green onions, diced
1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1/4 c. parsley, minced
1/4 c. mint, minced
3/4 c. crumbled feta
Zest and juice of 3 lemons
1/2 tsp. Sumac
1 garlic clove, ,minced
1/2 c. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Garlic Sauce Ingredients:
Garlic, minced to taste
Chicken: Place the lemon juice through cayenne in a Ziploc bag and combine. Add the chicken and marinate overnight. Cook chicken on grill, stovetop, or oven.
Rice: In a medium saucepan, add olive oil and heat to medium heat. Add rice and cook for five minutes stirring often with a wooden spoon. Add spices and cook one minute; then carefully add broth/water. Bring to a boil and cover and lower heat to low and cook for 12 minutes. During the 12 minutes stir occasionally. After 12 minutes, remove from heat and let sit covered for five minutes, then fluff with a fork.
Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad: In a medium bowl, combine salad ingredients. In a small bowl combine dressing ingredients, and then mix dressing with salad.
Garlic Sauce: mix desired amount of mayonnaise and garlic to taste.
Our love for Middle Eastern food continues with this delicious tabbouleh made with millet berries. We’ve never had millet berries before but it’s kind of like bulgar and cous cous. The kiddos tried tabbouleh for the first time and devoured it!
You can easily substitute bulgar or cous cous for the millet.
Recipe adapted from War Eagle Mill.
1 c. millet berries
2 c. water
3/4 c. parsley, finely chopped
1/3 c. mint, finely chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
4-5 green onions, diced
1 1/2 c. tomatoes, diced
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Bring 2 cups water and 1 cup of water to a boil; cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Uncover and fluff with fork and let cool.
Place parsley, mint, cucumber, green onions and tomatoes in a large bowl.
In a small bow, stir together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Add cooled millet to bowl with veggies and combine; then add the dressing mixture and toss to coat.
A good tzatziki makes any kebab sandwich or schwarma sandwich even more delicious. I first had tzatziki at Albasha (when we lived in Baton Rouge), except at Albasha it’s called Grecian Sauce. Whatever you want to call it, it’s worth making.
We made chicken kebabs and served the chicken in a pita with some chopped tomatoes and onion then topped it with the sauce.
We had some sauce leftover and made fish the next night….and oh was this sauce d’lish on fish!!!
Chicken shawarma is so good. If you’ve never tried it, seek out your nearest middle eastern restaurant and try some. If you’re like us and live somewhere where there are no middle eastern restaurants, this recipe comes close to some of the yummiest shawarma sandwiches I’ve ever had (be mindful that bad shawarma is just that, bad.)
I sauted the chicken until all the liquid was cooked off, then let the chicken get a nice golden crust. This crust simulates real shawarma taken right off the rotisserie spit, so I would definitely do this step.
Recipe adapted from the July 2008 issue of Cooking Light.
What you need:
Chicken marinade, below
Garlic sauce, below
Lettuce and tomatoes, optional
Juice of one juicy lemon
1 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
2 tsp. olive oil
Add lemon juice, curry powder, 2 tsp. olive oil, salt, cumin and garlic in a zip top bag.
If chicken is frozen, allow to thaw just a bit so you can slice nice thin strips of chicken. If your chicken is already thawed, put it in the freezer for 15 minutes or so until it’s frozen enough to make nice thin strips.
Add chicken to marinade, and let marinate for 20 to 30 minutes.
Heat nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken mixture and saute. It won’t take the chicken much time to cook, but continue cooking until all liquid as cooked off and the chicken begins to get a crispy brown crust.
1/2 c. plain yogurt
2 TBSP tahini
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
Take a warm pita, put chicken, garlic sauce and any toppings on (pickles, lettuce, and/or tomatoes). Enjoy!
Falafel is so darn good, and these are really delicious. Don’t fear the ingredient list…even though there are a lot of ingredients, it is not hard to prepare these. We did find it much easier to fry them as discs instead of balls. The recipe is adapted from Marlena Spieler’s Complete Guide to Traditional Jewish Cooking.
One of the best Middle Eastern restaurants I have ever been to is Fadi’s in Houston, and that’s where I learned that pickles are absolutely yummy on a falafel sandwich and a schwarma sandwich. Trust me it’s good…go on and give it a try!
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl then top falafel
Place chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with water; let soak overnight.
Drain chickpeas and grind in a food processor. Put ground chickpeas in a bowl and stir in bulgar, onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, ground cumin and coriander, baking powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper, and curry powder. Add the water and let stand for about 45 minutes.
Stir the flour into the falafel batter (add more flour if too thin and add more water if too thick).
Heat oil in a deep pot for frying the falafel.
Using wet hands shape falafel into discs. Add the falafel to the hot oil in small batches (no more than 2 to 3 in the pot) for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the cooked falafel and let drain on paper towels.
Take a pita bread, place falafel in pita, add some pickles and Grecian Sauce.
We make a hummus recipe that is super tasty, but you definitely have to plan ahead. The dried chick peas have to soak over night and then they cook for nearly 2 hours. I was wanting hummus last night, but I wanted to make a super fast hummus. It turned out quite tasty.
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
1/3 c. tahini
Juice of 2 lemons
2 garlic cloves
4 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP parsley
Salt to taste
Olive oil for drizzle
1/4 tsp. sumac
Combine garbanzo beans through salt in a food processor until all ingredients are combined and the hummus is creamy.
Put hummus into a bowl, drizzle some olive oil on top, and sprinkle the top with sumac.
By far the finest Middle Eastern cuisine is Fadi’s in Houston. When we lived in Houston we ate there quite often. We have yet to find any restaurant anywhere that even comes close to the taste and quality at Fadi’s.
Two of my most favorite items there are vegetarian stuffed grape leaves and chicken kebabs. The chicken kebabs and sandwiches come with this delicious garlic sauce…kind of like a super garlicky mayo.
Last night we prepared some Middle Eastern food for dinner. We didn’t have the time to make proper kebabs, so we just grilled up some chicken, and I made some garlic dip, and a super fast hummus.
Chop the garlic, add the salt to the garlic and with the back of your knife, make a paste by adding pressure to the knife as you run the knife over the garlic. The salt acts as an abrasive and helps the garlic turn into a nice paste.
Whisk the egg in a mixing bowl and then add the garlic paste. Stir in the lemon juice, then slowly whisk int he olive oil; then add the yogurt.
Use the garlic sauce as a dip for grilled chicken.