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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.

View our live cooking class for this recipe on our YouTube channel here 

Kitchen Tools:

  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Teaspoon
  • 2 Baking Trays or dishes
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Food processor or high-speed blender
  • Serving bowls

Ingredients:

  • Mama Milly’s Mojo Garlic Sauce
  • Turmeric
  • Sumac
  • Za’atar
  • Cumin
  • White Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Tahini
  • Lemon
  • 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

 


 

Cooking Process:

 

Chicken Thighs:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. If on a tray or dish, bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until done (juices run clear).

 

Cauliflower:

  1. Cut and core cauliflower, breaking into florets. Wash and dry.
  2. 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.
  3. Evenly space the cauliflower on a lined or greased baking sheet; bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Pita:

  1. Brush mojo garlic sauce on top of pitas.
  2. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of za’atar.
  3. Toast or bake for 5-7 minutes until crispy and warmed through.

Hummus:

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Cut the salad ingredients into similar sized pieces so that they are easy to eat. 

 

 

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