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Chicken Souvlaki Bowls

These Chicken Souvlaki Bowls will help with your mental concentration and energy levels… chicken & coconut… a great combo for body & mind energy…

chicken souvlaki bowls

I don’t know how or when it started, but somewhere along the way my family just assumed they were eating healthy when they ordered in Greek food. I do love Greek food… but really, souvlaki in a pita smothered in sauce (no matter how delicious), is just not a healthy meal. But, thankfully, this recipe for chicken souvlaki bowls is easy to make, healthy, and even more delicious than if it came from your favorite Greek restaurant. This bowl is completely paleo (if you use grain-free pita bread), dairy-free (the yogurt is coconut yogurt), and Whole 30 friendly, so let the healthy eating begin!

And yes, I am one of those people that truly believes that almost everything tastes better in a bowl. Just look at this one. It has all the fixins of traditional souvlaki, but it’s deconstructed in a bowl. You can sauce it yourself, add whatever kind of pita or bread you like (I used some sprouted grain pita), and add whatever veggies you like.

Just as an aside, I used oregano in the marinade for a few reasons.  One: it tastes great. Two: oregano is an awesome germ fighter.  I’ve been experimenting lately with oregano essential oil, and I think the next time I make this, I’m going to put a drop or two into the mix…

I made these awesome chicken souvlaki bowls last week when my son was over for dinner. He’s a big fan of overstuffed Greek pita sandwiches, so I wasn’t sure he would give these bowls a fair shot. This chicken got a huge thumbs up… but, he did take the contents of the bowl and cram it all into the pita… And, much to my chagrin, this meal was consumed while Ryan and Steve watched golf on TV. Oh, how I sometimes long for the days of eating at the table like mannered humans… (OK, so maybe I’m a little happy to sometimes eat in front of a good Netflix marathon…)

For another delicious healing chicken recipe, try my Turmeric Chicken.

chicken souvlaki bowls

Here’s what’s so great about some of the ingredients in this healthy chicken souvlaki bowl:

Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. My absolute favorite coconut yogurt is Anita’s (see recipe below for link).

Oregano is a powerful antioxidant and it is great at fighting bacteria. It’s also known as an herb that brings joy and happiness to people. I even just bought a bottle of oregano essential oil and I put a drop in our smoothies a few weeks ago when Steve had a cold… it’s powerful stuff!

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

chicken souvlaki bowls

Chicken Souvlaki Bowls
Author: 
Recipe type: chicken, Greek, mental and physical energy booster
Cuisine: paleo, whole30
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Greek food sometimes is not the healthiest choice. But this bowl... oh my... it's simple, delicious, and it will actually give you mind and body energy!
Ingredients
  • For chicken:
  • 8 boneless, skinless, organic chicken thighs
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups coconut yogurt (plus extra for serving)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or use as much as you like) Note: please use fresh minced garlic if you have it -- I didn't have any on hand, so I used the powder.
  • 2 Tbs dried minced onion flakes
  • 1 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 med red onion, thinly sliced
  • For bowls:
  • greens of choice
  • tomatoes
  • coconut yogurt (I love Anita's)
  • optional veggies: bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, green beans, broccoli
Instructions
  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place it in a bowl or dish with the coconut yogurt, oil, oregano, almond milk, garlic, minced dried onion, and vinegar. Smoosh it around until the marinade is covering all of the chicken. Refrigerate as long as you can (I put mine in the fridge for about 4 hours).
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F convection setting, or 425°F regular bake setting.
  3. Cover a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper.
  4. Spread the chicken onto the tray in a single layer. Keep the marinade on the chicken.
  5. Lay the red onion slices on top of the chicken.
  6. Bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.
  7. Arrange the chicken in bowls with greens, tomatoes, extra yogurt, and any veggies you like.
  8. Enjoy!

chicken souvlaki bowls

Vegetable Hummus Dip

This vegetable hummus dip make store bought hummus taste incredible!

vegetable hummus dip

I love to entertain. The whole process de-stresses me. I’m not one of those people who sits around ruminating about what to serve and how to present it and how to time everything just right. I just kind of wing it. Easy entertaining is one of the things people ask me about all of the time. Well, this dip is for all of you who want a great easy entertaining recipe to serve your guests while you are getting dinner ready.

This recipe is like a “food hack”. What I mean by that is that it easily takes a store-bought ingredient and turns it into something super awesome. I mean really, really awesome. So-good-that-everyone-will-be-asking-you-for-the-recipe awesome.

The base of this vegetable hummus dip recipe is store-bought hummus. Add then we add a bunch of stuff to it. And we make it pretty. And we spice it up.  And serve it with beautiful crunchy vegetables for dipping. And amazing sprouted grain crackers. And it’s truly incredible.

I saw a version of this dip on one of my favorite blogs (Minimalist Baker) and I took some creative license and made it suit my needs. My guests loved it and I’ve made different versions of it many times since (even when I didn’t have any guests)… it’s really that good. I really feel like I’m spoiling myself when I make this just for my family.

If you are looking for another great use for chickpeas, try my Spicy Chickpea, Turkey, And Tomato Stew. 

vegetable hummus dipvegetable hummus dip

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this vegetable hummus dip:

Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular…

Turmeric is a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Sesame seeds have many great nutritional benefits. They are an anti-aging food. If you have backaches, hair thats graying way too fast, ringing in the ears, weak knees, blurry vision or general weakness, go for the sesame seeds; just sprinkle them on everything. Long ago in China, sesame seeds were ground into honey to form a paste and was taken as a medicine to counter old-age and weakness. Black sesame seeds are a Chinese herb (Hei Zhi Ma). Black foods, in Chinese medicine, are knows as longevity foods. This recipe uses tahini sauce, which is a paste made from sesame seeds and oil (I buy this read-made in a can or a jar).

Parsley has been shown to reduce tumors in the lungs and to neutralize the effects of carcinogens, including cigarette smoke. It is high in vitamins A and C, and is good for your heart. This herb is also a natural breath freshener. So, if you have a chance to use more than a few sprigs as a garnish, go for it.

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

Dill is considered a chemoprotective herb that can help neutralize some carcinogens and it’s also an antibacterial herb.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

vegetable hummus dip

Vegetable Hummus Dip
Author: 
Recipe type: appetizer, dip, easy entertaining, Greek, Mediterranean
Cuisine: Recipe adapted from:Minimalist Baker
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This is the perfect easy-entertaining dip. It takes store-bought hummus to amazing new heights. And it's healing and delicious and so pretty...
Ingredients
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1-tsp for the veg salad topping
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¾ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 10 grinds of black pepper
  • 1 cup store-bought hummus
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • juice of ½ a lemon, plus a bit extra for the veg salad topping
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp minced fresh dill
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 20 grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • hot sauce, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine the chickpeas in a small bowl with the oil, coconut sugar, smoked paprika, cumin, turmeric, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  3. Spread them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Roast in the oven until the chickpeas are beginning to brown and get a bit crispy (mine took about 35 minutes).
  5. Meanwhile, make the sauce: stir together the tahini, lemon juice, almond milk, dill, and garlic. Set aside.
  6. Make the salad for the top: In a small bowl, combine the parsley, tomatoes, scallion, 1-tsp of olive oil and a quick squeeze of lemon juice.
  7. Spread the hummus on a serving platter.
  8. Top with the tahini sauce mixture and the vegetable salad.
  9. Garnish with a bit of hot sauce if you like.
  10. Serve with crackers and/or fresh vegetables to dip.

vegetable hummus dip