Ahhh, the cucumber, when picked from the garden by the bushels one often wonders, “besides sandwiches, what do I do with all these green squash looking things?” My grandma resolves to pickling the be-jeebers out of them (we’re talking vats and vats of pickles here folks). Which are good, but one can only consume so many pickles in a lifetime. Solution #2, my Greek chicken salad pita pockets, a refreshing use for this member of the gourd family.
Another easy use for cucumbers ~ spa cucumber-lemon water. Slice fresh cucumbers and lemons, add to a pitcher of filtered water and voila!
Red ripe tomatoes, salty Kalamata olives, sweet sun-dried tomatoes and creamy chickpeas tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette with fresh herbs and baked chicken, wow, no pickling needed. One glorious step further, stuff all this in a wheat pita pocket and you’ve got hand-held cucumber-tomatoey-feta cheese Greek goodness. GREEK CHICKEN SALAD PITA POCKETS
- 1 lb CHICKEN BREASTS, BONELESS, SKINLESS
- SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
- 1 CUCUMBER , deseeded & chopped
- 2 RIPE TOMATOES, chopped
- 1 small RED ONION, diced
- 2-3 JALAPENO PEPPERS, diced (or to taste – I used 3)
- 15 oz GARBANZO BEANS (CHICKPEA), rinsed & drained
- 1/3 cup TOMATO, SUN DRIED, PACKED IN OIL*
- 1/2 cup WHOLE KALAMATA OLIVES, pitted, chopped
- 1 tbsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN
- 2 tbsp BALSAMIC VINEGAR
- ½ LEMON, juiced
- 3 cloves GARLIC, minced
- 2 tsp MUSTARD, DIJON*
- 4 oz FETA CHEESE, crumbled*
- 1 tbsp FRESH PARSLEY, chopped
- 9 or 10 FRESH BASIL LEAVES, chiffonade or chopped
- 8 tbsp ROASTED RED PEPPER HUMMUS (optional)
- 8 WHOLE WHEAT PITA BREAD ROUNDS, cut in half
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Sprinkle both sides of chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then place in prepared pan, cover and cook 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through. Let cool and slice (this step may be done ahead of time or use leftover chicken).
2. While chicken bakes make the dressing. In a large bowl whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic. 3. Chop cucumber (if not using seedless, remove seeds – see below), tomato, jalapeno, sun dried tomatoes in oil, onion, olives and add to the vinaigrette. Fold in chickpeas and crumbled feta cheese.
4. Chop parsley and chiffonade (slice) basil. to basil chiffonade…..stack a few basil leavesroll them up like a cigarthen slice diagonally down the roll with a sharp knife (sorry I don’t have 3 hands to accurate show this step)
5. Stir herbs into salad, just until combined. Cut each pita bread round in half. Spread 1/2 T. roasted red pepper hummus (optional), about 2 ounces sliced chicken (hot or cold) and 1/2 cup Greek salad in each pita half. Serving size: 2 Greek stuffed pita halves.look for the healthy bargains: these were on special for $1.00! (just needed to be used ASAP)
NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING (w/ hummus): 385 calories, 10g fat, 3g sat fat, 40mg cholesterol, 50g carb, 10g fiber, 3g sugar, 24g protein
cucumber image source: http://www.ecblendflavors.com/cucumber-eliquid-flavor/