My husband and I have a special place in our heart for greek food. In fact, during one period of our lives, we frequented the local greek restaurant at least once a week (or one made the other one pick it up as take out on the way home). Sadly, our beloved greek restaurant vanished one day. The good news is it didn’t close; it had only moved to a new location. The bad news is that location was a little farther than we are able to go on a weekly basis. So alas, our greek food fixes do not occur very often anymore without a 45 minute drive north.
Recently when I was planning out our lunches for the following week, I got a little craving for something greek. But it needed to be easy to throw in a bag in the morning, so after giving it a little thought (while still drooling over the prospect of eating something greek very soon) the Chicken Greek skewers were born. They combine a great spice combination with a new twist on the usual dairy based Tzatziki sauce. These skewers are lean, dairy free and packed with a nice little protein punch! As with many of my recipes, I make these in bulk, and freeze out portions so I can grab and go in the morning. They make a great lunch and an even better afternoon snack!! Nothing like a little mid-day protein to power your brain so you are ready to conquer the second half of the day
What you’ll need:
For the skewers-
1 tsp black pepepr
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pink himalayan salt (or sea salt)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 medium cage free chicken breasts ( I use Harvestland)
2 large zucchini
1 container cherry tomatoes
1 jar kalamata olives
For the sauce-
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup water
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 of a cucumber
6-8 mint leaves
1/2 tsp salt
Food processor, Ninja, magic bullet, or coffee grinder
2 baking sheets lined with foil
aluminum foil and freezer bags for storage
Soak 25 skewers for at least 30 minutes before starting to bake so that the wood doesn’t splinter when you are eating it (ouch!). If you are soaking them for more than 4 hours, make sure they aren’t becoming too flexible under the water.
Pre-heat the oven to 350°. Put all spices (black pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt) in food processor and blend for 20 seconds to grind all the ingredients together.
Place ground spices in a small bowl.
Add 1/4 cup olive oil and mix well.
Take out chicken and place on a large plate.
Coat chicken well with all the spice marinade. This works best if you use your hands. Set chicken aside.
Cut zucchini into 3/4 inch slices and then cut each slice again into 4 pieces. Place in a bowl and set aside.
After zucchini is diced, cut chicken breasts into bite size pieces and place in a bowl. Set remaining marinade aside for later.
Rinse the tomatoes and leave them in the container they came in. Place kalamata olives in a bowl (for easy handling) and set out all 4 skewering ingredients next to each other: chicken, tomatoes, zucchini and olives.
Drain skewers. Put skewering items on the stick one at a time, making sure you have done one of each item before rotating another layer. Depending on how close you put them together, you should be able to get 2 or 3 of each item on one skewer. If you run out of one item, just use more of the other items until you have run out of ingredients. You can mix and match what you place on your skewers as well if you have someone that doesn’t like one of the ingredients that you do.
Set all skewers to where the ends are resting on the long sides of the baking trays. If the baking sheets are too large for this, spray the foil with olive oil and place the skewers directly on the trays. Fill up both trays and space skewers out evenly.
Brush skewers with remaining marinade.
Place baking sheets in the middle of the oven side by side and bake at 350° for about 20-25 min or until chicken is cooked through and zucchini is soft.
While skewers are cooking, place 1/2 cup cashews and 1/2 cup water in food processor and blend for 2 minutes until creamy.
Add lemon, cucumber, mint leaves and salt to cashew mixture and blend for 1 minute.
When skewers are done, take out of oven and let cool for a few minutes before eating. The tomatoes are extremely hot!!! It’s like liquid fire inside that little red ball!
Serve skewers 2 at a time with a little bowl of tzatziki sauce
Wrap up the remaining skewers using aluminum foil. Place 2 skewers in a sheet of aluminum foil and wrap up tightly, concentrating on the ends so that the skewers don’t poke through the foil.
Or you can just keep eating them instead…
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