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Friday, January 14, 2011

Recipe! Gyro-Style Chicken Over Quinoa

Photo by Carole Liston

This is one of those great dinners that can (mostly) be prepared ahead of time, ready to throw together at the last second on a busy weekday night. The flavors are fresh and delicious, the ingredients are whole and healthy, and the dish is highly nutritious and low in calories. A great dinner for those watching their caloric intake or just wanting some great flavors.

Gyro's have been popular street food for some time...though they are often made with white-flour pitas and lamb meat. Personally, I love lamb...but it's expensive in this part of the country, and not overly easy to come by. So I took a recipe from the Whole Foods website and adapted it to fit our budget (and easily accessible pantry items). Quinoa provides a whole grain, unprocessed alternative to that pita, and the spices and flavors meld together deliciously in the end results.

I will say, when it comes to thinly slicing chicken, you will have a MUCH easier time if it is at least partially frozen. Your fingers will be cold, but trust's so worth it.

The original recipe calls for red peppers, which would be an excellent addition (along with the onions...I think the onions are totally necessary!) Just chop them small. I put the cucumber sauce through a food processor to make it creamier as was delicious, but a little thin. I might grate the cucumber with a fine grater next time instead. The taste-testers loved this, although one of them said that he wanted the whole thing, quinoa and all, on a pita. I don't know if that's a good thing or not.

Anyway, enjoy!

Gyro-Style Chicken Over Quinoa

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
1 1/2 T oregano
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or put through a press
2 t salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
3 T lemon juice, divided
2 T EVOO, divided
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cucumber, seeded and grated
8 cups cooked Quinoa
2 onions, cut into half-circles

1. Mix chicken, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, and 2 T lemon juice well in a large bowl. Cook half the chicken in one T of olive oil until finished, then repeat to cook the rest. Set aside. While the chicken is cooking, in a separate skillet, cook the onions with EVOO, oregano, salt, and pepper until browning/caramelizing. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Mix cucumber, yogurt, 1 T lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Stir well.

3. Assemble plates with quinoa, chicken, onions, and finely, cucumber sauce. Enjoy!

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