I started trying to change the words to “My Favorite Things” to include chicken shawarma and tahini instead of whiskers on kittens, but let’s just say it was falling really flat. So, in a very non-sing-songy way I would like to tell you: here are a few of my favorite things. All in one bowl.
This is sort of a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean take on your standard Chipotle-esque bowl. Just like that one, it has a protein, beans, rice, and something that…sort of resembles salsa? Personally, I like to mix everything together or take bites of a couple things at once (folded up in a pita is optional but encouraged). My kid is more interested in eating things separately and then drinking tahini sauce as though it’s a shot. Bottoms up? It’s your call.
Although there are a few components to this meal, they all come together quickly and you really shouldn’t have a problem making this as a weeknight meal (assuming, of course, you had time to marinate the chicken in the morning or night prior). It’s healthy, filling without feeling heavy, and it just plain tastes good. Also,it includes about a million cloves of garlic and tons of tahini, so what are you waiting for?
Chicken Shawarma Bowls
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 small to medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup vermicelli or broken spaghetti
3/4 cup rice (preferably basmati/long grain)
1-2/3 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup water
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, pressed or crushed (optional)
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 large cucumber, diced
3 Tbsp. parsley, minced
vinegar and oil (optional), to taste
To make the pilaf: In a saucepan over medium heat, toast the almonds, tossing frequently, until lightly browned and fragrant. Set aside. Melt the butter and oil in the same pan, and then saute the onion until translucent. Stir in the 2 cloves minced garlic, vermicelli/spaghetti, and rice. Toast, stirring constantly, until rice is opaque, a few minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and simmer until cooked, about 15 minutes for white rice or 45 minutes for brown rice. Top with toasted almonds.
To make the tahini sauce: whisk together tahini, water, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and pressed garlic clove, if using.
For the salad: Combine the tomatoes, cucumbers and parsley. Add a couple tablespoons of the tahini sauce or dress the salad with vinegar and oil.
Arrange chicken, hummus, pilaf, and tomato-cucumber salad in individual bowls. Serve or drizzle with tahini sauce.
Chicken Shawarma Bowls. Or Middle Eastern Bowls. Or My Favorite Things in One Bowl.