I’m baaaaaaack! Did you miss me? Well, first, I guess I should ask, did anyone notice I’ve been gone? I haven’t actually been gone, just so busy with school, a nutrition internship, parenting, wife-ing, friend-ing, and hosting a house concert and dinner for 40 people (more on that in a future post) that there has been zero time left in the recent past for blogging–blogging of any kind of quality, anyway–if I wanted to, like, sleep and eat. But all that’s changed now! Okay, the parenting, wife-ing, and friend-ing will probably continue. But the school is mostly over for the next month, the hospital internship is definitely done, and the house concert is checked off the list until my husband decides on which weird musician he wants to invite to perform at our house next.
With all that behind me, I actually have time to post a recipe! A really good recipe at that! For some reason I’ve been on a Greek/Mediterranean kick lately. Could be because of attending the 2016 Nutrition and Health Conference last month, where the primary takeaway from Dr. Andrew Weil and other distinguished presenters always seems to come down to “stick with the Mediterranean diet.” Or it could be that in my nutrition internship at the hospital, I ate lunch with a group of dietitians every day and felt a wee bit of peer pressure to bring healthy lunches. Those ladies are the High Queens of Salad Land, I tell you. Or it could just be that Mediterranean ingredients like olive oil, lemon juice, feta cheese, and tomatoes are the John, Paul, George, and Ringo of flavors–destined for greatness together.
This chicken souvlaki really lets those flavors shine…like the Rubber Soul of Mediterranean food. (Taking the analogy too far? Sorry.) It turns out that in Greece, “souvlaki” refers to meat that has been grilled on a skewer, but this version calls for searing the chicken on the stovetop before serving it on warm pita, smothered in a fresh tomato-feta salad and garnished with cool tzatziki sauce. I could eat meals like this for days. In fact, I have been eating meals like this for days, or maybe weeks now.
So, since I’m done with all the responsibilities of the semester…when do we leave for Greece?
(Adapted from Real Simple)
2 medium tomatoes, diced, or 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 c. feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 c. sliced black olives (or halved kalamata olives)
5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar, divided
1 Tbsp. + 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, divided
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
1/4 c. cucumber, finely chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh dill, minced (or 1 1/2 tsp. dried)
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
4 pieces naan, flatbread, or pita, warmed or toasted
- In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, feta, red onion, and olives.
- In a large bowl, whisk together 4 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, oregano, and black pepper until well combined. Pour 2 1/2 Tbsp. of this vinaigrette over the tomato salad and toss.
- Season the chicken pieces with salt and add them to remaining vinaigrette, tossing to coat. (You can leave the chicken in the vinaigrette to marinate for a few hours for deeper flavor, if desired.)
- Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces (but not the marinade) to the skillet and cook until golden brown and cooked through.
- Meanwhile, make the tzatziki sauce: in a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt, cucumber, dill, garlic salt, remaining 1 tsp. red wine vinegar, and remaining 1/2 tsp. lemon juice.
- Assemble: warm pita + chicken + tomato salad + tzatziki, any which way you like!