Homemade Chicken Shawarma with Yogurt Sauce

I’ve been craving chicken shawarma ever since I first saw The Avengers movie (years ago!)  Since I’m in NY, and the city wasn’t really broken like in the movie, I even looked up the place where the last scene was filmed (when they were all sitting around eating shawarma).  But somehow, I never managed to get there.  I was re-watching the movie again recently and had the same craving again. Then I thought, wait, I know how to cook! Why go out and schlep all the way to midtown when I can make homemade chicken shawarma instead?

So, instead of going out, I went to the Internet and found a NY Times recipe.  This dish is traditionally made on a spit or a rotisserie, but who has a roasting spit in their home? Not me, and certainly not in my tiny kitchen.  The oven works just fine.  If you want, you can roast the chicken first, and then fry it in a pan to make it crispier.  I prefer my chicken moist and tender, so I skipped that step.

You make this dish in two stages. First marinate the chicken, make the yogurt sauce, and let both sit in the fridge. It’s best if it sits overnight, but allow at least an hour so that the flavors have time to blend together.

I put the chicken and the marinade ingredients in a plastic zip lock bag, shook it all up, and rubbed the sauce into the meat.  One less bowl to clean! The yogurt sauce went into a small ramekin.

There are hundreds of different ways to make the sauce: with za’atar or sumac, with dill, mint, basil, mostly mayo, yogurt/mayo, and on and on and on.  I’ve listed several different variations, just pick the one that suits your tastes and the ingredients you have on hand.

I could use za’atar and sumac, but I left them out of the instructions since they are a bit exotic in the US and I try to stick to ingredients that are readily accessible. The lemon zest, salt, and pepper that are in the recipe are a decent substitute for the sumac.  You can combine thyme, sesame seeds, sumac (or lemon pepper), plus salt and make your own za’atar substitute.

If you like, combine the dry ingredients for the marinade together and keep them in a spice jar.  Then, you just have to add fresh lemon juice and you’re ready to cook.

Serve this with a Greek salad, rice, olives, feta, or even (gasp) French fries. Fried or roasted eggplant would be great too.

Homemade Chicken Shawarma

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: Middle Eastern

one serving

Homemade Chicken Shawarma

Get takeout flavor right in your own kitchen. Homemade chicken shawarma is a meal all by itself.

Ingredients

  • Homemade Shawarma Marinade
  • 1/2 small lemon, juiced (divided, about 2-3 T total; use 2T for the marinade and one for the sauce)
  • 2 T plus 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • generous pinch turmeric (about 1/8 tsp)
  • pinch cinnamon
  • red pepper flakes
  • Chicken
  • 1 chicken thigh (bone-in)
  • 1/2 onion, cut in quarters
  • One pita bread
  • Yogurt Sauce
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 T mayonnaise
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • grating of lemon zest (healthy pinch)
  • small clove minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional Sauce ingredients
  • minced mint
  • z'aatar
  • sumac
  • minced dill
  • tahini
  • chopped cucumber

Instructions

  1. Marinade
  2. Start by making the marinade for the chicken. Pour all the marinade ingredients into a plastic zip lock bag. Mix it all up with a spoon.
  3. Chicken
  4. Add the chicken, close the bag, and shake it, and rub the marinade into the meat. Set in the fridge for at least an hour (preferably overnight).
  5. Sauce
  6. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl or ramekin. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour (or overnight).
  7. Preheat the toaster oven to 425 degrees.
  8. Take the chicken out of the fridge, open the bag, and add the onion. Close the bag and shake to mix it all up.
  9. Grease the toaster oven tray (or a small rimmed baking pan) with the remaining oil. Pour the chicken and marinade onto the pan.
  10. Cook for 30-40 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it sit for a minute or two until it's cool enough to handle. Cut the chicken up (save the bone for soup), and place on the pita.
  11. Drizzle the sauce over the meat and serve.

Notes

Note, the prep time on this includes an hour of marinating time. You don't actually have to work that long!




 

Homemade Chicken Shawarma Substitutions and Variations

  • Serve with Persian or English cucumbers and fresh tomatoes
  • Top with feta cheese
  • Add chopped dill or mint to the sauce
  • Put za’atar or sumac in the sauce
  • Make the sauce with tahini
  • Serve with a Greek salad (olives, feta, tomatoes, and cucumber)

More Middle Eastern Recipes

Shakshouka for One

Vegetarian Eggplant Sandwich for One Person

Chopped Israeli Salad for One Person

Easy Lentils and Rice Recipe

Tools and Ingredients for Homemade Chicken Shawarma

norpro porcelain ramekinsNorpro 4oz/120ml Porcelain Ramekins, Set of 6norpro porcelain ramekins

These little ramekins are super-handy in the kitchen. I use them for dips, sauces, mixing up a quick salad dressing, nuts, slices of lemon to squeeze on fish, and olives. Use one for the olives, and another to hold the pits (works for cherries too). Or, you can even use them for spare change.

zaatar seasoning
USimply Season Za’atar

If you want try try actual za’atar, make sure to look carefully at the ingredients. Some of them have wheat (?!?) in them, and others are just thyme (which is the English translation). You want a mixture of sesame seeds, thyme, oregano or marjoram, and sumac. This one delivers what it should. Use it for the yogurt sauce, add it to roasted vegetables or fish, or sprinkle it into olive oil and serve with pita bread.

ground sumac
USimplySeason Sumac

Sumac adds a pop of bright red color, as well as a citrusy, lemon flavor to food. It’s great with hummus, over fish, mixed in salads, or on potatoes. There’s no additives, salt, or other fillers in this jar, just sumac.

 



 

Indian Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

The beauty of this Indian royal chicken cooked in yogurt recipe is that it’s delicious and can be made fairly quickly.  You can just serve it with naan or make some rice to help soak up the sauce.  I have adapted this from Madhur Joffrey’s recipe.  Her recipe is for four people, my version is dinner for one person.

I made a few other minor changes as well.  The original recipe calls for both dried and fresh coriander.  I don’t generally have fresh coriander (and if I did, it would spoil), so I used a bit more dried instead. 

She also says to use cardamon pods.  I keep thinking about buying them, but then I remember they  break my “no hard to get ingredients” rule.  So, I leave them out.  One day, I will have to try it with the cardamon, though! If you can get them easily and want to use them, you’ll need two. Add them with the cloves and cinnamon. Make sure to remove all of the whole spices before serving. You don’t want to crunch down on a clove.

Finally, I used black raisins instead of golden raisins, because that’s what I had.

I had sliced almonds, but you can substitute slivered, or blanched if that’s easier.  You might even use whole ones, or throw them in the mini-chopper to chop them up.

There’s also a fun bit of chemistry here.  When you add the raisins to the hot pan, they plump up and revert back to grapes!




Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Indian

one serving

Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • pinch salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander, plus a generous pinch
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 chicken thigh
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/4 inch stick cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 tsp blanched, slivered almonds
  • 1 1/2 tsp raisins

Instructions

  1. Put the yogurt in a small bowl.  Add the salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, and cayenne.  Mix that all up until it’s smooth and set it aside while you prepare the chicken and the rest of the recipe.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper
  3. Turn the heat on a burner to medium-high.  Add the oil to a large skillet and heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the cloves, cinnamon, (cardamon pods if using) and the bay leaf.  Stir that together.  Add the chicken thigh and brown it on both sides for about 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Once it’s brown, remove the chicken and place it in a small bowl.
  5. Now add the almonds and raisins to the pan and stir them up.  Keep an eye on it because the almonds will turn brown quickly and the raisins will magically transform back into grapes. Once they do, add the chicken back to the pan along with the yogurt mixture.
  6. Stir that to combine everything.  Increase the heat and bring the chicken/yogurt mixture to a simmer (not quite boiling).  Stir when you add the chicken and yogurt and again after about 10 minutes. Cover, turn the the heat down to low and cook for another 10 minutes (twenty minutes total).
  7. Take the cover off, increase the heat slightly, and cook down the sauce until it thickens.  Remove the whole spices (cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamon pods if you used them, and bay leaf) and discard them before serving.

Substitutions and Variations for Indian Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

  • try it with ghee (clarified butter) instead of oil, sliced onions, and ginger paste (full recipe here)
  • add potatoes, curry leaves, tamarind paste, and coconut milk (recipe here)
  • make it Hyderabadi style with tomatoes, cashews, red chilis, saffron and turmeric

More Chicken Recipes for One Person

Easy Chicken Curry Recipe

Chili Garlic Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

Crispy Lemon Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

Quick Chicken Mango Stir Fry Recipe

 




Greek Yogurt Chocolate Cake

This Greek Yogurt Chocolate Cake has got everything a cake needs: chocolate, chocolate chips, and a gooey chocolate center. I would have left it at that, but then I remembered my local bakery’s chocolate blackout cupcakes. Those cupcakes have chocolate cake, a chocolate icing center, and then more icing on top! Yes! If it’s good enough for cupcakes, it’s definitely good enough for cake.

I found this recipe on dessert for two.  Since it’s already a small portion, I didn’t change it much, but I did make a few tweaks.

Because I don’t use cooking spray, I prepared my mini baking pan with butter and a dusting of flour. 

Keep Your Cake From Sticking

Just rub the butter over the bottom and sides of the pan, then sprinkle flour over it and spread it around with a butter knife.




Also, I didn’t have chocolate chips, so I cut up part of a bar of chocolate with a large knife (a mini-chopper would work too). Since I was going to add the icing, I cut the amount of “chips” to 1/4 cup.  I don’t like espresso powder, particularly not with chocolate, so I left that out.

Finally, I topped it all with a ganache topping, which is simply equal parts chocolate bar and butter.  Just combine 2 oz. of chocolate with 2 oz. of butter and melt that gently in a small saucepan.  Let it cool for fifteen minutes (or it will just soak in to your cake and disappear) and then and spread it over the top of your cake. If you want, you can add a splash of vanilla extract to the mixture.

Since this is a small cake, you don’t need to use your mixer.  You can easily make the whole thing by hand in a single medium-size bowl.

Greek Yogurt Chocolate Cake

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Category: dessert

Cuisine: American

one cake

Greek Yogurt Chocolate Cake

There's not one, not two, but three kinds of chocolate in this Greek yogurt chocolate cake. Yum!

Ingredients

  • Cake Ingredients
  • 1/2 C white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 C plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 5 T plain cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 C chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • Ganache Ingredients
  • 2 oz dark chocolate
  • 2 oz (2 T) unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Cake
  2. Preheat your toaster oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a mini baking pan (6 inches).
  3. Add the sugar, vanilla extract, yogurt, and eggs to a medium size bowl. Whisk thoroughly until the mixture becomes smooth. It should be a pale, lemony color.
  4. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Whisk that all together thoroughly. It should now look dark, smooth, and fudgy.
  5. Fold in the chips/chopped chocolate.
  6. Pour the batter into the baking pan, scraping it out with a rubber spatula.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The usual toothpick test won’t work here (it will still be gooey inside when it’s done), but the top of the cake will be solid and start to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  8. Let cool a few minutes, then top with the ganache.
  9. Ganache
  10. While the cake is baking, melt 2 oz of chocolate and 2 oz of butter in a small saucepan. Let stand for fifteen minutes, and then spread over the cooled cake with a spatula.

More Chocolate Dessert Recipes

Easy Chocolate Mousse

Small Batch Brownies with Cocoa Powder

Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce and Ice Cream

Tools and Ingredients for Greek Yogurt Chocolate Cake

HIC Porcelain Square Baking Dish 6.5- by 6.5- by 1-inch

This dish is the perfect size for this cake, a small coffee cake, brownies, or apple bread.  It cleans up easily and you can put it in the dishwasher if you like. It’s also microwave safe.

Cadbury Bourneville Cocoa

This cocoa is far richer and more full-flavored than the usual American cocoa. It’s darker chocolate and has no added sugar or fillers. Just plain cocoa.

Silicone Spatula Set

It’s getting harder and harder to find these in the stores. They’re all too wide: fine for turning fish or an egg, but useless for scraping cake batter out of your mixing bowl or spreading icing. Since they are silicone, they’re more heat-resistant than rubber would be. They’re also dishwasher safe and have built-in holes for hanging.

 




Indian Fish Fillet in Yogurt Sauce

This week’s recipe was going to be something else, but then I realized I hadn’t defrosted it.  Oops. No matter, this  Indian fish fillet in yogurt sauce recipe will do quite nicely instead.  You’ll just have to wait for the other recipe!

This is adapted from The Wednesday Chef , who in turn adapted it from Madhur Joffrey.  Since the amounts are smaller, you don’t have to heat up the oven. You can make this in the toaster oven instead. It heats up more quickly and it’s easier to clean too!

All you have to do is lightly fry some onions, pour them onto a tray, season and mix the yogurt, and then pour all of that over the fish.

It’s maybe ten minutes of prep, and 20 minutes of baking.  While it bakes, pour yourself a glass of wine or a beer or make some rice to go with it. Or both.

You end up with a rich, creamy sauce that tastes indulgent (but isn’t, since it’s yogurt, not cream).   So no need to feel guilty after the holidays.

The garam masala, ginger, and cumin add a bit of bite, but not too much (unless you want it spicier, of course). It’s pretty easy and approachable for Indian food.




Fish Fillets in Yogurt Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Indian

one serving

Fish Fillets in Yogurt Sauce

Fish Fillets in Yogurt Sauce, creamy indulgence without any guilt.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 pound cod (or haddock or halibut) fillet
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp  lemon juice
  • pinch sugar
  • salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • generous pinch garam masala
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger*
  • 1 T butter (optional)

Instructions

  1. Remove the tray from your toaster oven. Start by preheating the toaster oven to 350.  While that’s warming up, heat the oil in a small skillet.  Then add the sliced onion.  Cook that until you can see through the slices.  This should take about five minutes or so.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Remove the onions from the pan and scatter them over the toaster oven tray.  Cut the fish into small pieces (about 2 inches) and arrange the pieces over the onions on the tray.
  3. Take a small bowl and mix together the remaining ingredients (except the butter). If the mixture is too thick, thin it out with a teaspoon or two of water. Pour that over the fish and the onions and stir it around to cover the fish completely on both sides.
  4. Cover the tray with foil, place it in the hot toaster oven and cook for about 20 minutes.  The fish is done when it’s white and flakes easily with a fork.
  5. If you want a thicker sauce, pour the sauce from the tray into a small saucepan, heat it to boiling, and then slowly add the butter.

Notes

* I grated the ginger using my microplane. If you don't have one, just use a cheese grater.

Substitutions and Variations for Indian Fish Fillet in Yogurt Sauce

  • Add some curry to the sauce for more kick
  • Try pan frying the fish (about three-five minutes per side); add the yogurt sauce at the end, off the heat so it doesn’t curdle
  • Add half a hot chile pepper

More Fish Recipes

Easy Canned Tuna Curry

Greek Fish with Lemon and Tomatoes

Pan Fried Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce

Salmon with Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce

 




Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake Recipe for One

I was in the mood for something sweet with my morning coffee one weekend. After some thought, I settled on a Greek yogurt coffee cake.  The trouble was, I didn’t have a recipe I liked, and most of the small batch recipes for coffee cake I found were the sort of thing you make in a mug, which I didn’t want.

I have tried a few of those and did not like them. I wanted something made from scratch, in a real pan, in the oven.  That way, the flavors have time to meld, and the flour/sugar/fat can work their magic.

I found a great recipe for sour cream coffee cake muffins (for two), but that required a muffin pan. I got rid of mine because I never used it and it was taking up valuable kitchen space.  The funny thing is, she said she decided to make the recipe as muffins instead of a cake since most people have muffin tins. So, I had to revert to her original plan and make a single small batch dessert coffee cake instead!

I made a few other changes too.  The topping sounded delicious, but much too sweet for me, so I decided to cut the sugar she called for in half.





Next, since I have a Kitchenaid mixer, I only mixed the oil and sugar for two minutes, rather than four. Because I usually have Greek yogurt in the fridge, but not sour cream, or heavy cream, I used that instead. You can use the traditional sour cream if you prefer.

Because my mini baking pan is porcelain, and I didn’t want the batter to stick, buttered and floured it before I added the cake mixture.

Since I was baking a single, solid small cake instead of muffins, I also reduced the cooking temperature and increased the baking time slightly.

The result was a delicious, not too sweet, crumbly, cinnamony cake that was just perfect for a weekend treat.

Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake Recipe for One

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Category: dessert

Cuisine: American

two servings

Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake Recipe for One

A small serving coffee crumb cake that's great for a weekend morning treat.

Ingredients

  • Crumb Topping
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons. white sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sweet butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • Cake
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil (I used canola, but vegetable oil is fine)
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt (or you can use sour cream)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •  

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter for the crumb topping in a small saucepan or in the microwave.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (you can use your toaster oven for this, since the pan is small)
  3. Once the butter is melted, pour it into a small bowl and add the rest of the topping ingredients. Stir it with a fork until it gets crumbly.
  4. If you have a Kitchenaid, add the oil and sugar to the mixing bowl and beat on speed two for two minutes. If you have a standard mixer, or a hand mixer, beat for four minutes.
  5. Then, add the salt, egg, yogurt and vanilla and beat that for a few seconds (Kitchenaid), or fifteen seconds (hand mixer).
  6. Add the remainder of the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg) to the mixture and stir just enough to combine.
  7. Prepare the baking pan by greasing it with butter and then sprinkling flour along the bottom and sides (this will stop the batter from sticking to the pan).
  8. Pour the batter into the pan and top with the crumb mixture you made earlier.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean.
  10. Eat!

Tools and Ingredients for Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake


Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 5/8-Quart Butter Warmer

This mini saucepan is great for melting butter, making a single cup of cocoa, or for filling in (in a pinch) when you’ve broken your French coffee press again (oy!).

 

HIC Porcelain Square Baking Dish 6.5- by 6.5- by 1-inch

I have been using this dish quite a lot. It’s great for this cake, for my small batch brownies, and a single serving of apple crisp. And, it’s dishwasher safe, if you have one. If there’s any leftover cake, the dish can also go in the microwave, if you want to reheat it.

More Single Serving and Small Batch Dessert Recipes

Easy Pear Crepe Dessert Recipe for One Person

Small Batch Brownies with Cocoa Powder

Cinnamon Sugar Bananas with Brandy




Salmon with Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce

Salmon with Greek yogurt dill sauce is a great combination.  The piquancy of the Greek yogurt complements the rich flavor of the fish beautifully. A pinch of mustard gives it a bit of a bite, without overwhelming the rest of the dish.

The other great thing about this dinner is that it’s quick and easy to make.  Just mix a few simple ingredients for the sauce (which uses ingredients you probably already have, so no need for a special trip to the grocery store), season the salmon, and put the fish in the oven while the sauce flavors combine.

I’ve written the recipe for a toaster oven (since I don’t want to heat up the whole apartment), but you can make this in a standard oven too. Or, if you’re really pressed for time (or very hungry), you can cook it in your microwave.  If you do, once the sauce is made and the fish is seasoned, you can have dinner in 6 minutes.

It’s a quick meal that looks (and tastes) like you cooked for hours. And, it’s easy to scale this up and serve it when you have company.

If you have the time, do let the sauce sit for a while before you cook everything else.  It really does improve the flavor.

I served the salmon with some jasmine rice (which is my new favorite rice), the rest of the cucumber I used for the sauce (fresh from the farmer’s market), and some beautiful, ripe Jersey tomatoes.

It’s a great summer meal because it’s light, doesn’t require a lot of fussing, and it’s ready in a few minutes. And, since you’re cooking the dish in foil, there’s one less thing to wash when you’re finished (which is always a bonus, as far as I’m concerned).


Salmon with Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: American

one serving

Salmon with Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce

An easy salmon dinner with a yogurt dill sauce.

Ingredients

    Sauce!
  • 2T plain Greek yogurt
  • 1T mayo
  • 1/2 tsp cucumber (finely chopped), divided
  • 1/tsp onion (finely chopped)
  • pinch dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • salt and pepper
    Salmon!
  • 1 salmon fillet
  • 1 T white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Make the sauce first.
  2. Add all the sauce ingredients (using half the cucumber) to a small bowl and mix together. It's best if it sits for an hour or two so that the flavors blend together. If you don't have the time (or you're really hungry), just let it sit while you cook the salmon.
  3. If you're letting the sauce marinate, wait forty minutes and then start the salmon. If not, then start once you've finished mixing the sauce.
  4. Heat your toaster oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Place the salmon skin side down on a sheet of aluminum foil. Pour the wine over the fish, add the bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the fish in the foil and place it on the toaster oven's baking tray. Cook for 20-25 minutes, depending on how thick your salmon fillet is. The fish is done when it's an even pale pink color.
  6. Serve with the sauce and top with the remaining cucumber.

Notes

If you're in a hurry, you can also cook the salmon in a microwave. Place the fish on a microwave proof plate. Add the wine, bay leaf, and salt and pepper. Microwave 4-6 minutes.

If you don't have an open bottle of white wine, you can use chicken stock instead.

More Fish Recipes

Indian Fish Fillet in Yogurt Sauce

Greek Fish with Lemon and Tomatoes

Easy Mediterranean Fish Stew

Pan-Fried Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce


Chicken Salad Recipe with Greek Yogurt and Dried Currants

Making chicken salad with leftover chicken certainly isn’t a new idea, but this recipe is a bit different.  I usually follow (mostly) a chicken salad recipe from the The Silver Palate Cookbooksilver palate cookbook which calls for sour cream, walnuts, and tarragon. Incidentally, that is one of my favorite cookbooks.  I’m on my second copy, and I think I’m almost ready for a third.

The Silver Palate recipe is very good, but yesterday I felt like something different.  I didn’t have all of those ingredients, but I did have some Greek yogurt, black currants and a bit of leftover red  bell pepper.

It’s common to use celery in this sort of salad, but not being a big celery fan, I never have any in the fridge.  I thought that the currants would add sweetness and the bell pepper would give the salad a bit more color as well as some extra sweetness and a satisfying crunch (without any celery!).

This chicken salad is a bit lighter than most chicken salads because it uses Greek yogurt instead of mayo. Much as I love rich and creamy foods, I somehow happen to prefer chicken salad that’s a little less “mayonnaisy.”  The yogurt adds a bit of tanginess that contrasts with the creaminess of the mayonnaise. Use about three parts mayonnaise to one part yogurt.

It was easy, quick, tasty, and great for a hot day when I didn’t feel like cooking or fussing in the kitchen.



Chicken Salad with Currants and Yogurt

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Category: lunch

Cuisine: American

one serving

Chicken Salad with Currants and Yogurt

An easy chicken salad recipe with currants, yogurt (for a bit of tang), and dried currants.

Ingredients

  • one cooked chicken thigh
  • 1T mayonnaise
  • 1t Plain Greek yogurt
  • 1t dried currants
  • 1/4 small red bell pepper, julienned (about 1 -1 1/2 tablespoons

Instructions

  1. Shred the chicken into a small bowl.
  2. Add the mayonnaise and yogurt and stir to combine.
  3. Sprinkle the currants on top and add the red pepper.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve on whole wheat bread.

Notes

If you don't have currants, you can use raisins.

I seasoned the chicken thigh with dried lemon peel, tarragon, salt, and pepper when I cooked it.

(I cooked two kinds of chicken at the same time, so I'd only have to heat the oven once).

Chicken Salad with Greek Yogurt and Dried Currants Substitutions and Variations

  • If you don’t have dried currants, use grapes or raisins instead; particularly a raisin mixture (Trader Joe’s has a great one)
  • Top with spinach or lettuce for extra color and crunch
  • If you don’t have yogurt, substitute sour cream
  • Try cranberries instead of the currants

More Chicken or Yogurt Recipes

Indian Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

Easy Chicken Curry Recipe

Indian Fish Fillet in Yogurt Sauce

 




Cottage Cheese Yogurt and Fruit Salad

Summer is in full swing. It’s hot, it’s sticky, and I really wasn’t terribly motivated to cook the other day (gasp). I wanted something quick, refreshing, and truly easy to make.  I looked in the fridge and saw that I had some cottage cheese, yogurt, and a container of fresh mango.

Then I remembered that there used to be a store near me that sold fresh Greek yogurt with fruit, honey, and vanilla. They had all sorts of combinations: mango, blueberry, peach, and fig.  It was delicious.

Sadly. they’ve closed up and moved away from my neighborhood now, so I can’t get their yogurt without making a special trip.  While  I can’t recreate their yogurt exactly, I can use Fage plain yogurt instead.

Trying to recreate that yogurt salad sounded like a good idea, but I did want something just a bit more substantial than just yogurt and fruit, so I added cottage cheese as well to make a cottage cheese yogurt and fruit salad.

The proportions are about two parts cottage cheese to one part yogurt.



Mango Cottage Cheese Yogurt and Honey

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Category: lunch

Cuisine: American

one serving

Mango Cottage Cheese Yogurt and Honey

A quick easy meal for a hot summer day, this combines cottage cheese, yogurt, and fresh mango.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cottage cheese (I like the Axelrod chunky California style)
  • 1/3 C plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 C sliced fresh mango (or use some defrosted Trader Joe's mango chunks)
  • honey to taste
  • a dash of vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Combine the cottage cheese and yogurt in a bowl.
  2. Add the mango.
  3. Drizzle the honey and vanilla extract over the fruit

Notes

If you don't have mango, it works equally well with other fruit: especially blueberries, strawberries, and peaches.

I’ve put this under “15 minute meals” but it isn’t even that much.  It’s closer to five minutes.  Just dump, mix, and drizzle.  Easy!

Substitutions and Variations

You can, of course, use another fruit. This works with strawberries, blueberries, peaches, figs, blackberries and raspberries. Or use a combination of fruits instead.  It does not work well (in my opinion) with apples or grapes.

More Salad Recipes with Fruit

Chicken Salad Recipe with Greek Yogurt and Dried Currants

Blueberry Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese and Walnuts

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing and Feta Cheese




Banana Smoothie Recipe for One

A banana smoothie certainly isn’t a complete meal, but this recipe makes a delicious, refreshing drink. It’s perfect with a crisp strawberry and spinach salad on a hot day (yes, we’re back to summer again).

The nice thing about smoothies is that they’re easy and quick to make.  It’s also a good way to use up extra bananas.  The bunches of bananas look so good in the store, but you get them home, eat a few, and then watch the rest turn brown if you don’t eat them quickly enough. In the winter, I make banana bread, but in the summer I really don’t want to run the oven that long.

So, I make smoothies instead.  This time I just used banana, but you could add strawberries or blueberries (it will turn purply though) if you want to.

Sometimes, I take the extra bananas, peel them, and pop them in a bag in the freezer.  When you want a quick smoothie,  just take out a frozen banana (and reduce the ice in the recipe a bit).

Or, take your banana and drizzle it with chocolate syrup.  Instant dessert!


Banana Smoothie for One

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Category: drink

Cuisine: American

one serving

Banana Smoothie for One

Banana smoothie with yogurt, nutmeg, and cinnamon

Ingredients

  • 1 banana, preferably overripe, cut into chunks
  • 1 handful of ice cubes (about 6-8 small cubes, use less if you have a large tray)
  • 1/4 C milk
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of Greek yogurt
  • splash vanilla extract
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Combine banana, ice, milk and yogurt in the beaker that comes with your stick blender(if you have one). If not, use a standard blender.
  2. Pulse until ingredients are blended and the mixture is smooth.
  3. Pour into a glass, add vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Notes

If you prefer it without yogurt, add more ice to make it thicker.






 More Banana Recipes and Smoothies

Watermelon Slush

Cinnamon Sugar Bananas with Brandy

This lemon mango banana yogurt recipe isn’t mine, but I’ve tried it and it’s delicious.  One thing, since I don’t have a food processor (only a mini-chopper), blending the frozen banana is a bit tough.  So I did it the other way around (blend first, then freeze).