Lemony Chicken with Homemade Pita and Tzatziki Salad: #198 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

June means summer is almost here, and the weather is good enough to fire up the barbecue. How about a tangy lemon garlic marinade and a bright cucumber mint salad to go with your freshly baked pita bread? Sounds good to me! You’re all invited for dinner. 🙂

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($23 total)

Chicken and marinade:
2 pounds organic chicken breast – $11.98
6 tbsp olive oil – $0.60
3 tbsp soy ginger sauce or teriyaki sauce – $0.46
1 tsp garlic powder – $0.28
2 tbsp cumin – $1.40
2 lemons, juiced – $0.40

Salad:
2 cucumbers, diced – $2.58
2 tomatoes, diced – $1.98
1/4 cup yogurt (unsweetened almond milk yogurt works great) – $0.31
5-7 leaves mint, chopped up – $0.96
1 lemon, juiced – $0.20
1/2 tsp garlic powder – $0.14
Salt and pepper to taste

Pita:
1 tbsp active dry yeast – $0.50
1 tsp brown sugar – $0.01
1 cup hottest tap water – free
1/4 cup whole wheat flour – $0.04
2 1/2 cups flour – $0.40
1 tsp salt – $0.05
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20

Directions

1. Arrange the chicken breasts in a glass dish and pour all the marinade ingredients over top. Turn the chicken breasts over a few times to coat evenly, then cover and let the chicken rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Put all the salad ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine. Cover and let rest in the fridge until ready to serve.

2. Make the dough: in a small non-metal bowl, gently mix the yeast, brown sugar, and water. Let it sit for 5 minutes to form a thick foam on top – this is how you know the yeast is active and ready to go.

Then mix in the whole wheat flour and 1/4 cup of the white flour, and stir well. Let it sit uncovered in a warm place for about 15 minutes. It will get nice and frothy.

Add the rest of the flour, salt, and olive oil, and stir with a wooden spoon to bring it together into a ball of dough. Knead well for 5 minutes until the dough gets nice and smooth. Only add more flour if it gets so sticky that it won’t come off your fingers.

Put the dough in a large metal bowl, cover with cling wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour until it has doubled.

After it has risen, punch down the dough and divide it into 8 balls. Roll each ball out on a lightly floured surface, and cook it like a pancake on an un-greased frying pan over medium heat. When the first side has nice bubbles on it (2-3 minutes), flip the pita over with a spatula and cook the other side for 2-3 more minutes until it has nice brown spots all over it. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough.

3. Store your pitas on a plate wrapped in a clean dish towel to keep them warm and fresh. Meanwhile, BBQ the chicken breasts at 350F, turning occasionally, until you can slice through them and there is no more pink inside.

Serve the pita with 1/2 chicken breast and a refreshing bowl of salad on the side. Feel free to dip the pita in the salad juices for an extra treat. Hope you enjoy this delicious, Greek-inspired dinner!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact (chicken)
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 14/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Spanakopita Roll: #44 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

I made this for a family picnic on the weekend. It was tricky to get the puff pastry to cook all the way through in a roll format, so I’d probably use phyllo dough if I make this again. But hey, that’s why we experiment! Tasty filling though. 🙂

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($9.50 total)

1 package puff pastry – $3.99
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
1/2 onion, chopped – $0.25
4 garlic cloves, minced – $0.15
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch chard, chopped – $2.99
1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp dill – $0.84
1 egg, beaten – $0.29
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled into bits – $0.75

Directions

1. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the chopped onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until it’s soft and translucent. Stir frequently. Add the garlic, chard, spices, salt and pepper, and cook for a few more minutes until the greens have wilted. Continue to stir frequently. When it has all come together nicely into a cooked bunch of veggies, transfer it to a bowl, cool for 5 minutes, then mix in the feta and egg. If it’s too hot it will scramble the egg.

2.  Spread out the puff pastry into a long rectangle on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then spread the filling in a long line down the middle of the pastry. Leave a nice border around the side. Fold the sides in towards the middle, then roll the whole thing towards you and pinch along the top to seal the edge. Mine got pretty messy when I was doing it, so maybe use less filling if you want a neater seal.

3. Bake at 375F for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Let it sit for 10 minutes before cutting into it, then enjoy warm. It will be nice and crusty on the outside with a soft cheesy filling. 

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  3 = >6 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 1 = inedible (dough was still raw inside)
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 14/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!