Hummus Bowls with Chicken, Veggies and Za'atar Pita
I love Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food. There are wonderful and varied types of salads, vegetables, spices, and dips. I find myself cooking this style of food often, as it is a way to eat healthy, fit in a lot of veggies, and makes great leftovers. Just about any protein or vegetable can be used in this recipe and added to these filling and tasty Hummus Bowls.
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- Cutting Board
- 2 Baking Trays or dishes
- Mixing Bowl
- Food processor or high-speed blender
- Serving bowls
- Mama Milly’s Mojo Garlic Sauce
- White Pepper
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Cauliflower or vegetable of choice
- Chickpeas (one can, or dried beans soaked overnight)
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs (can substitute for any cut you like)
- Pita (of your choice- I am using store bought for efficiency, as you need time to rise for fresh dough)
- Optional: chopped mint, cilantro, dill, parsley for garnish
- In a mixing bowl, coat chicken with 2-3 tablespoons of mojo garlic sauce, 1 tablespoon of cumin, 1 tablespoon of sumac, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of onion powder, 1 teaspoon of white pepper.
- Place on a baking tray or dish- a fun way to do this is use half of an onion as a base, stick 3 skewers into it, and stack the chicken thighs on top, forming a tower. If you choose this method, cook for about 45-60 minutes on 375 degrees.
- If on a tray or dish, bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until done (juices run clear).
- Cut and core cauliflower, breaking into florets. Wash and dry.
- In a mixing bowl, coat cauliflower with 3-4 tablespoons of mojo garlic sauce, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper.
- Evenly space the cauliflower on a lined or greased baking sheet; bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
- Brush mojo garlic sauce on top of pitas.
- Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of za’atar.
- Toast or bake for 5-7 minutes until crispy and warmed through.
Note: If you don’t have time to soak dried beans, use a can. The key here is making sure you have a high-speed blender or processor to really break the beans down and get a super smooth texture. If you don’t, you will have a chunkier texture- peeling the chickpeas from that clear shell will give you a smooth consistency as well- time consuming, but worth it if you don’t have a high-speed option.
- In a food processor or blender, add chickpeas (one can or equivalent), ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of tahini, juice of half a lemon, 1 teaspoon of mojo garlic sauce, 1 teaspoon cumin.
- Blend on the highest setting until you get a smooth consistency. You can also drizzle in olive oil (a few tablespoons should do it), until you get the consistency you like.
Building the hummus bowl:
- Take a big spoon and place a few dollops in the center of the bowl. Take the spoon and swoop, moving the bowl in a circle to create a well. (You can also drizzle with olive oil and sumac or za’atar to serve like this). Layer veggies and meat on top of the hummus, and finish with a garnish of fresh herbs.
Other ingredients to build hummus bowls:
- Quinoa: Quinoa makes these bowls nice and filling. You could also use another grain like couscous, brown rice or farro.
- Tomatoes: I like to use sweet and ripe cherry tomatoes, but plum tomatoes will also work well.
- Cucumbers: Cucumbers add a great freshness. I like to use Persian cucumbers, but you can use English cucumbers if that’s what you have.
- Red onions: Red onions are more mild than white and make a great addition to salads.
- Spinach: I like to get some leafy greens into my salad bowls. Baby spinach has a mild flavor and is a great source of iron but you an also add lettuce, arugula or kale.
- Olives: Olives add a great saltiness and really compliments the other ingredients.
- Feta style- cheese: Find a sheep’s milk cheese that is a block in brine. This adds a nice creamy and slightly salty addition, but you can skip to keep this vegan.
- Other topping ideas: sun-dried tomatoes, bell peppers, pine nuts, tabbouleh, toasted pita chips, farro, couscous or rice pilaf.
Tips for making hummus bowls with salad greens:
- Assemble the salads just before serving. This way the hummus doesn’t add too much moisture to the other fresh ingredients, keeping everything more crisp and presentable.
- Don’t add any dressing. You might be tempted to add dressing, but I recommend keeping the focus on the hummus, which acts like a thick dressing. I would definitely recommend adding olive oil, lemon, and a sprinkle of sumac or za’atar.
- Cut the salad ingredients into similar sized pieces so that they are easy to eat.
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