Friday, January 29, 2010

Chicken Shawarma

This was a more involved meal, that took some time, but in the end I definitely thought it was worth it! I had a bag of lentils since a disasterous attempt at a crockpot lentil concoction, and finally felt like I could attempt them again after seeing this recipe.


Everything went together so well, and the spicy tomato sauce was fantastic.  I wished I had more to cover everything in it.  :-)   I opted to shift the ratio of quinoa to lentils, since I was still a little afraid they were going to be gross, but ultimately I thought the lentil stew would be great in its intended ratios.  The chicken was moist and had a great complex flavor from the myriad of spices. 

Kushari with Chicken Shawarma
Source: Clean Eating Magazine, May/June 2009
(Makes 6 Servings)

Ingredients: Lentil Stew and Caramelized Onions
3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup lentils, cleaned and rinsed
1/2 cup quinoa
1 oz whole-wheat spaghetti or vermicelli (about 1/2 cup), broken into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

Ingredients: Spicy Tomato Sauce
1 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups tomatoes, crushed
1/2 tsp red bell pepper, crushed (assume this is 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper)
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Lentil Stew: Heat stock and 3 cups water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until it comes to a roiling boil. Add lentils, lower heat to simmer and cover. Cook for 25 minutes, until lentils are tender but not completely soft. Mix in quinoa, let cook for about 6 minutes. Then add spaghetti, cook for another 6-8 minutes. If the mixture seems dry, add another 1/2 cup water. Cover and set aside. (Tip: To break up spaghetti, simply wrap it in a clean dish towel and holding the towel by each end, carefully run pasta over the edge of a counter or table a few times).

Caramelized Onions: While lentils are cooking, heat 1/2 tsp oil in a small saute pan over low heat. Place onion in pan and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until onion is soft and beginning to brown.

Spicy Tomato Sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Mash garlic with salt together in a small bowl to form a paste, then add to oil in saucepan and cook until soft and lightly brown, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and bell pepper, mixing occasionally until sauce reduces and thickens, about 5-10 minutes. Add vinegar, cumin, and black pepper. Continue cooking until sauce thickens again, about 10-15 minutes. Prepare chicken shawarma.

To Assemble: Place 1 cup lentil stew in a bowl, pour 1/4 cup tomato sauce over top, then add 2 oz chicken shawarma and add 1 Tbsp caramelized onions.

Chicken Shawarma
Clean Eating Magazine, May/June 2009
(Makes 6 Servings)

3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp onion powder
12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into paper-thin strips

In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients except chicken. Then add chicken. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 3 hours. Cook in non-stick pan over medium heat until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. (Time-saving Tip: To make slicing easier, freeze chicken for 20 minutes beforehand).

Nutrients per serving: (1 cup lentils, 1/4 cup tomato sauce, 1 Tbsp caramelized onions and 2 oz chicken): Calories: 310, Total Fat: 5g, Sat Fat: 5g, Carbs: 40g, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 8g, Protein: 27g, Sodium: 440mg, Cholesterol: 35mg.


  1. I love chicken shawarma! This looks very tasty.

  2. Looks pretty I wanna try this

  3. I would love to try this one. I always have the beef shawarma. This is something new for me.