Mediterranean Chicken Pita Sandwiches

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For the first time in this food blogging journey I have a collection of recipes photographed but not yet written. You have probably guessed this by now, but I kinda fly by the seat of my pants with this whole blogging thing. I started this blog with a loving nudge from my husband following six months of talking about starting a food blog as a way to share recipes with my family and create a sort of “cookbook” that I could never afford to publish otherwise. Hard to believe that was over two years ago now…

Typically there’s a yellow sticky note of recipe ideas in my purse, scribbled during my lunch break, that I try to develop, photograph, write, and share on the weekends or after work. Sometimes they turn out great, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes I prepare the recipe and forget to photograph the process. Sometimes I make the recipe, photograph it, and never share because the photographs are embarrassingly bad (editing can only go so far and I am still learning). With the exception of advanced placement English classes and a couple literature classes in college I have no formal writing education. I have minimally researched how to make a blog successful, not because I don’t want to be successful with blogging, but because I honestly feel inadequate compared to the plethora of talented food bloggers out there. They are truly amazing and inspiring. Nevertheless, I love this whole food blog thing and I constantly think about how to improve and what to include. Days may go by without posts but I promise I’m still thinking about you guys and wish I could give every single person who reads this blog a hug for the support. I am hoping to catch up over the next week or so….too many ideas and not enough time!

Anyway, Mediterranean pita sandwiches. Gracing the sticky note brainstorm list since 2013. During my vegetarian days I was obsessed with falafel. Okay, I still <3 falafel but I don’t make it at home quite as much since reintroducing meat to my diet. Originally this pita held falafel, veggies, arugula, and homemade tzatziki (yes, I Googled to double check the spelling). But chicken has been my go-to this summer, thanks to our awesome grill, so it seemed like a naturally delicious decision. Side note: tzatziki might be the most delicious homemade sauce/dip/spread that I have ever made!

Okay, enough catching up…let’s get to the recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1-1 1/2 lb.) thin cut chicken breast
  • 1 lemon; zest and juice
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 medium whole wheat pitas (I like Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 1 c. arugula
  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
  • salt/pepper, to taste

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1 1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt; I used 2% milkfat but whole or 0% would work too
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon; zest and juice
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and grated
  • pinch ground cumin (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh dill
  • salt/pepper, to taste

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In a zip-top bag combine ingredients for the marinade: zest and juice of one lemon, oregano, cumin, coriander, and olive oil. Add the chicken to the bag then season with salt/pepper. Close the zipper and toss around to help the marinade coat each piece of chicken; set in the refrigerator for ~30 minutes to marinate.

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Next, make the tzatziki sauce. Spoon yogurt into a bowl; add olive oil, garlic, and lemon zest/juice.

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Grate the cucumber on the large side of a box grater and squeeze in a kitchen towel to remove excess moisture. Add grated cucumber and cumin (if using) to the yogurt mixture and stir to combine.

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Add minced dill, salt/pepper to taste, and stir well to combine. This is great as a veggie dip, chip dip, and anything else you can think of to dip.

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Cracker anyone? Sometimes I get hungry while I’m making dinner.

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Heat an indoor or outdoor grill over medium heat. Add the chicken and grill 4-5 minutes, flip, and cook and addition 3-4 minutes on the other side until fully cooked. The thin cut breasts are great because they cook super quickly without drying out on the grill. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes and get the toppings ready.

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Place the carrots, tomato, cucumber, and arugula in small bowls so each person can top their pita.

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Cut pita down the middle to create a pocket for the fillings.

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Spread tzatziki on one side of the pita then add the chicken and veggies of your choice. I love the colors and textures of this sandwich; so many healthy things crammed into one pita bread. So good! This is my idea of the perfect weeknight dinner; you can make the tzatziki the day before to save time, too! I served the pita sandwiches with vegetable chips for extra crunch. Enjoy!

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