garden woes and dinner wow's!

I hope everyone had a wonderful (and warm!) weekend! Dallas got 2 inches of snow!!  And upon returning to Tulsa I found my garden in this state of destruction:

Snow drifts over my precious garden!!!!!!! 🙁 🙁 🙁 I hope it rebounds well. We’re supposed to have 65 degree weather by Tuesday. If not, 2 1/2 weeks of time wasted, but I’ll just uproot and re-plant. I must say, this experience made me very sensitive to farmers who lose thousands of dollars in yield due to such unexpected weather. Puts my little garden woes into perspective 😉

And a huge thanks to Stephanie of Juicy Fresh Bites for that guest post yesterday. What wonderful insight on how to healthy-up creamy soup recipe. I hope you all learned something, I know I did!

We rolled in to Tulsa around 5:30pm and I was off to the grocery store after quickly planning this week’s meals. I had time for just a quick meal before a 9:15pm hockey game last night (hate starting the week sleep-deprived!!). And this quick meal…yum! I hate to toot my own Cooking Light’s horn too much…but, TOOT TOOT! This meal was amazing! Sushma’s blog, Authentic Food Delights, always leaves me craving Indian and Middle Eastern spices and flavors…but I am rather intimidated by her intricate recipes, so this recipe seemed much more so up my “ability alley”. 😉

Spicy Chicken Shawarma slightly adapted from Cooking Light

2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground coriander
5 Tbsp plain low-fat non-fat Greek yogurt, divided
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves, thinly slices
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp tahini
4 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas, halved
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup chopped plum tomato
1/4 cup red onion, chopped

Directions:

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl stir in 1 tablespoon yogurt, 1 tablespoon juice, and 2 garlic cloves. Add chicken; toss to coat. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture to pan; saute 6 minutes or until browned and done, stirring frequently.

While chicken cooks, combine remaining 1/4 cup yogurt, remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, remaining 1 garlic clove, and tahini, stirring well. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons tahini mixture inside each pita halfl divide chicken evenly among pita halves. Fill each pita half with 1 cucumber, tomato, and onion. Yield: 4 servings (2 pita halves per serving)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 402 calories; 8.7 g. fat (1.9 g. saturated fat, 5.6 g. monounsaturated fat, 1 g. polyunsaturated fat); 36.4 g. protein; 40 g. carbohydrate; 4.1 g. fiber; 67 mg. cholesterol; 4.1 mg. iron; 541 mg. sodium; 93 mg. calcium

Mr. Prevention’s take: It looks just like the picture in Cooking Light!

Biggest. Compliment. Ever!! 😀

Question #1: Have you heard of a “tomato shortage” in the US? Scary!

Question #2: Do you like Indian food or Middle Eastern food? What do you usually order or make?

Looking forward to catching up with everyone this week! I feel so behind in Blogland after 2 weekends of travel!

Happy Monday! Have a healthy, happy week!

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45 Comments

  1. March 22, 2010 / 5:06 am

    oh wow what a co incidence nicole, loved your shawarma as well..Nice recipe,will try your way of doing as well…thanks for sharing…and thanks for giving a link to my blog..

  2. lessonstolearn
    March 22, 2010 / 6:03 am

    I’ll be crossing my fingers fro your garden. Those freak spring storms are the worst!

  3. March 22, 2010 / 7:02 am

    MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD has my heart 100% my father is israeli so I grew up eating this stuff! I love it, isreal is the BEST plcae to have it (obv) haha but I love making it and trying to make it taste like the original! thanks for the recipe, Nicole 🙂

  4. March 22, 2010 / 8:39 am

    Oh your poor garden!!
    On the bright side- your chicken shawarma looks out of this world delicious! I like middle eastern food. Especially falafel, hummus, and anything with tahini!

  5. March 22, 2010 / 9:21 am

    I am starting to LOVE Indian food – especially curry! Your dish looks amazing – I may steal that for one of my lunches this week – my hubby wouldn’t touch it!

    My fingers are still crossed for your garden!

  6. March 22, 2010 / 9:49 am

    Headed to India next week and should get some good food. My rule of thumb is always order meat. I like meat and there’s not much you can do to make it go wrong – unless it’s like a chicken foot or pig’s ear or something :). Your shawarma looks great.

    Sorry about the garden 🙁 I really hope it was deep enough that it stayed warm!! A blanket of snow may actually be a blessing. Keep it nice and cozy rather than open to the elements. Fingers crossed for you.

  7. March 22, 2010 / 9:49 am

    🙁 sad face for your garden, I hope it recovers! My Brussels sprouts have died before even making it from the pot to the ground… Dang kitty for messing with it!
    I hadn’t heard of a tomato shortage? That’s no good, I hope my tomatoes make it so that our house doesn’t have a tomato shortage.

  8. March 22, 2010 / 10:41 am

    Wow, I wouldn’t have thought about the farmers who lose everything by unexpected storms, but you’re right!
    I have not heard of a tomato shortage. I was much more frightened by the pumpkin shortage of ’09
    And I’m just now discovering Indian food, and it’s spectacular. Of course, I’m judging off of Whole Foods salad bar items

  9. March 22, 2010 / 10:48 am

    Nicole,
    I was thinking of you and your garden when I heard snow in OK. Who would have ever thought that it would be 70 in CT. I hope your plants are okay.

    I was thinking that I wanted to make that recipe from Cooking Light. Glad it got a great review from your husband.

  10. March 22, 2010 / 10:57 am

    I have a lot of farmers in my family, so I’ve always been sympathetic to the fact that their success depends so heavily on the weather, which is completely beyond their control. I hope your garden rebounds!!!

  11. March 22, 2010 / 11:01 am

    I hope your garden rebounds! Darn the unpredictable weather.
    I do love indian and middle eastern food but have never attempted it at home. There is always a first.
    Have a great Monday!

  12. March 22, 2010 / 11:02 am

    haha that’s Tulsa for you.. I lived there until I was 19 and one day it could be in the 70’s and the next the weatherman is predicting snow.. It’s completely normal for this time of year. Have you been through tornado season yet? It’s fun and the sky looks green.. I guess only an Oklahoman would refer to tornado season as fun 😉 lol

    I love Indian food but i am too intimidated to cook it for myself. Your recipe seems simple and authentic. Yum! xoxo

  13. March 22, 2010 / 11:02 am

    Ugh that sucks about the snow on your garden…I hope it did not do too mych damage.

    Yup I heard about the shortage…my sister told me that if you go to a certain fast food burger chain they wont give you a tomato in your burger, unless you ask for it lol

  14. March 22, 2010 / 11:11 am

    Oh no, your garden! Hopefully it rebounds with a little TLC. I heard about a tomato shortage last summer, but I’m hoping it won’t happen again. I grew my own last summer and they were so much better. So no shortage plus better tomatoes!

  15. March 22, 2010 / 11:44 am

    I know it has been cold here as well… I can’t believe we are in spring and it is still in the 30s and 40s

  16. March 22, 2010 / 11:50 am

    I LOVE Indian and Middle Eastern food! Sometimes I find myself cooking it way too much — I crave it all the time! Plus it is so easy to make 🙂 Great meal, and love your picture!

  17. March 22, 2010 / 11:55 am

    My fingers are crossed for your garden, I got these awesome teepee looking things you fill with water and they supposedly will keep your plants safe even in an unexpected snow, might be worth getting for next spring for the most sensitive, they warm up during the day and give the heat to the plant at night, even if the water freezes… I have never tried in snow but they do make the soil warm for sure.

    The shawarma looks amazing I’ll have to try it, I love middle eastern food, I have a great souvlaki recipe that I like for lunches (I need to put it up on my site)

    I did know there was a tomato shortage but it should be coming to an end, you can blame the frosts in florida for it, but here on the west coast most of our tomatoes are out of Mexico and there still seem to be plenty if a bit more expensive. To be honest winter tomatoes just don’t do it for me, I’m a tomato snob. I only buy cherry tomatoes in winter and enjoy the real thing from the garden or farmers market in summer, freeze what I can and live on canned because canned tastes better than barely pink winter tomatoes trucked thousands of miles(yes, I know I really am a tomato snob).

  18. March 22, 2010 / 12:12 pm

    so sorry about your garden 🙁
    no i have not heard of the tomatoe shortage!
    i never know what to order at a middle eastern restaurant and that is why I do not go!

  19. March 22, 2010 / 12:12 pm

    Every single year my dad would plant too early (and this was in Florida) and he’d have to replant about half of the garden after an unexpected cold snap! I bet yours will be okay since it’s going to warm up so much. (At least I hope so!)

  20. March 22, 2010 / 12:34 pm

    Indian and Middle Eastern are my fave cuisines. I even worked in an Egyptian restaurant for 6 years on and off because I liked the food so much. I love all things vegetarian in both types of cuisines.

    I am so sorry about your garden. I hope if is alright after the snow clears. Some may be hearty enough to survive.

  21. March 22, 2010 / 12:39 pm

    I can’t believe this crazy weather! We’ve been having 60 degree weather up in PA, but my parents got snow in Louisiana! I really hope your garden bounces back okay!

  22. March 22, 2010 / 1:54 pm

    Wasn’t that snow crazy?! My inlaws live in Dallas and my mother -in-law actually got enough snow to make a snowman!! CRAZY!

  23. March 22, 2010 / 2:12 pm

    Oh no!! Your poor garden!! Who would’ve thought you’d be getting snow right now???

  24. March 22, 2010 / 2:44 pm

    Oh, no! Hopefully since the weather is supposed to warm up so quickly, it will be okay. I know – I really don’t know how farmers do it. I’d be a HOT mess! Keeping my fingers crossed for you. 🙂

    There is a tomato shortage right now?? I guess I don’t “love” tomatoes, but I do used diced toms in MANY recipes when I cook. First pumpkin, now tomatoes?!

    I’ve only had Indian food once, and it was a frozen dinner – I’d love to try the “real” stuff sometime! I need less picky (eater) friends.

  25. March 22, 2010 / 3:03 pm

    Oh my gosh Nicole! I can’t believe you got snow! ha! Hope some of the garden survived:))

  26. March 22, 2010 / 3:24 pm

    Sad about your garden! Hopefully it will pull through. My boyfriend told me about the tomato shortage. No wonder they’ve gotten so pricey!

  27. March 22, 2010 / 4:01 pm

    Oh! Hope you can have your garden back…as for the chicken shawarma, sure sounds and looks yummie…tomato shortage? Haven’t heard of it…and between Indian and Middle Eastern food that is a hard to choose since we like both 🙂

  28. March 22, 2010 / 5:11 pm

    Aw, your poor garden! I had no idea you guys had snow. Guess I’ve been hiding under a rock. I also had no idea there was a tomato shortage.

  29. March 22, 2010 / 5:58 pm

    So sorry about the garden. Just when you think we’re done with snow. 🙁
    That recipe really looks good. I think I would leave out the cumin – not a fan. It seems to hang around my mouth too long after dinner is done. weird.

  30. March 22, 2010 / 6:02 pm

    The shawarma looks fantastic! I love both Indian and Middle Eastern food, and am just getting into experimenting with these regional cuisines in my own kitchen. I made saag paneer, which totally flopped, but I also made a coconut chicken curry that was delicious!

  31. March 22, 2010 / 7:33 pm

    Welcome back!! I am so sorry to see the state of your jardin!! Yes, you will re-plant and reap a wonderful harvest. We can’t wait to hear details of round two. Your chicken Shawarma came out looking mighty fine 🙂
    Middle Eastern or Indian…..both, love ’em!

  32. March 22, 2010 / 8:32 pm

    Gosh, isn’t the weather total craziness?! One day it’s 60+ here and another day, it’s bitter cold and raining. Ick! We were supposed to get snow this weekend but we didn’t. Phew!

    I’m so ready for the yucky weather to go away – I have veggies to grow!!!! 😀

    And I love Mexican food most. Gotta have some spice!!!

    Hugs,
    Michele

  33. March 22, 2010 / 11:25 pm

    Wow! I can’t believe the snow…

    Your dinner looks fabulous! Great job cooking after a trip and then playing hockey! You go! 🙂

  34. March 22, 2010 / 11:50 pm

    i loooove indian and middle eastern food. ghee and curry. yum.

  35. March 23, 2010 / 5:27 am

    Isn’t this weather insane! Hopefully your garden will rebound…survival of the fittest-style.

    That shawarma looks delicious! I am a huge fan of Middle Eastern and Indian food. I love falafel…and anything with cinnamon. And all curries. And naan. You can never forget the naan.

    Don’t say the phrase tomato shortage to me. It makes me feel vaguely ill.

  36. March 23, 2010 / 8:43 am

    Oh no your poor garden! I can’t believe that you got snow again.. I’d scream and cry if winter would hit us again. 🙁

  37. March 23, 2010 / 8:45 am

    The shawarma looks fantastic. I enjoy Mediterranean food – though sometimes the loads of garlic upsets my stomach. I usually order hummus and veggies and a salad of some sort. Never tried Indian food, would love to though!

  38. March 23, 2010 / 1:15 pm

    Ahh hope your garden is okay!!!

  39. March 23, 2010 / 4:16 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about your garden! I’m glad you’ll have some nice warm weather coming your way!

    This meal is right up my alley…I love both Indian and Middle Eastern food! 🙂 My #1 favorite meal is an Indian dish I make called chicken makhani.

  40. March 23, 2010 / 7:40 pm

    Oh, I actually have that recipe saved on my computer at work.

  41. March 24, 2010 / 6:00 am

    Snow during spring–not cool in my book! Haha

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