Grilled Chicken Shawarma

Replace the hummus in my Middle Eastern Vegetarian Wrap recipe for a meat lovers version and you will have a wonderful smoky Grilled Chicken Shawarma Wrap that will having everyone asking for more!

Grilled Chicken Shawarma

Grilling is something as a Wisconsinite I do in my winter coat and boots. Nothing sounds and smells better than the sizzle of meat hitting the hot grill as it smokes it way to deliciousness. I love Middle Eastern food and Chicken Shawarma is one of my favorites. Chicken thighs have so much more flavor than chicken breasts and usually half the cost. Of course. if you are a dark meat hater this can be made with white meat but it is not traditionally made that way. Marinate the chicken over night and grill the next day. I have made these in the oven and using the last few minutes of cooking to a safe temperature, I broil them to get a nice and crusty brown
Course Main Course
Cuisine middle eastern
Keyword Chicken, Grilled Chicken, Chicken Shawarma, Grilled Chicken Shawarma
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • Grill


  • 1 1/2 pound boneless chicken thighs
  • 4 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 medium white onion sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cayenne or curry powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masala or Josh Rogan Spice (Penzey's Spice)
  • 1 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/2 slice lemon juiced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper California Pepper (Penzey's Spice)



  • Mix all spices, oil, bouillon, lemon juice in large ziploc bag with sliced onion.
  • Clean and pat dry chicken and place in a Ziploc bag with marinade mixture and mix well to coat chicken.
  • Place sealed Ziploc bag in refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight

Heat Grill

  • Grill chicken thighs on well oiled grill grates for approximately 6-8 minutes per side or until internal temperature of thickest part of thigh reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Save Marinade with onions.
  • Optional: Bake chicken thighs in lightly oiled casserole dish at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Raise oven grate to broil position and place chicken on lightly oiled cookie sheet spreading out evenly and broil for approximate 5 -10 minutes until thickest part of thigh reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit and starts to form dark crispy edges.

Cook Marinade

  • In small saucepan, on medium high heat, cook marinade with onions until mixture comes to a rolling boil and onions become translucent and caramelized. Add extra olive oil in pan if needed to accomplish.
  • Remove chicken from grill or oven. Slice chicken into thin slices and add to cooked onions.
  • Prepare my Middle Eastern Salad and Tzatziki Sauce from my Middle Eastern Vegetarian Wrap recipe and use the grilled chicken in replacement for the hummus .


I’m a big fan of Penzey Spices and have a wonderful collection of spices I use in all my recipes.  But if you can’t find Josh Rogan or California Pepper for this recipe, no worries.
Just add a little extra curry powder or garam masala spice and use your own pepper blend.  Or be creative and experiment with other middle eastern spices from your favorite spice or super market store.  
The biggest advice I can give you is that “fresh is best”.  So, check those expiration dates on your spices.  Ground spices lose their flavor after 2-3 years and whole spices in 3-4 years. 
Spices can be very expensive and as a minimalist that cooks and bakes almost everyday. I have a small but elaborate spice collection.  However, if you find out you just cleaned out your spice cabinet and threw out half of your spices, then I recommend keeping a nice collection of your favorite (10) savory spices and (5) sweet spices you use regularly and only buy a new spice for a special occasion recipe or know you will be using it up in the next couple of years.

Middle Eastern Vegetarian Wrap

Middle Eastern Vegetarian Wrap

I always crave Middle Eastern food when I am home in Northern Wisconsin. Multicultural fusion vegetarian restaurants are rarely found in the state, let alone in Northern Wisconsin; which is better known for fish frys, gastropub and supper club food. Spread your favorite hummus on a low carb pita or tortilla, then add a layer of my quick instant pot turmeric and curry rice, garnish with the cool and refreshing Persian mini cuke and tomato salad, and top with a generous portion of garlic tzatziki sauce. This wrap will have your taste buds jumping for joy and satisfying any vegetarian foodie like myself. Make some homemade falafels or chickpea shawarma to replace the hummus, and you can have a hearty protein-nutrient rich healthy wrap that will fuel your day.
Note: I use mini Persian cukes or English cucumbers instead of regular cucumbers due to the low water content and I do not need to deseed or peel them. I recommend not using regular cucumbers in this particular recipe.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, middle eastern
Keyword Curry Rice,, Easy and Simple Recipe, Fusion Wrap, Healthy, Low Carb, Lunch Recipes, Salad wrap, Simple Recipe, Turmeric Rice,, Vegetarian, wrap
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • Instant Pot


Tomato and Cuke Salad

  • 3-4 each persian mini cukes may substitute English cuke
  • 1/2 cup red onion slice small
  • 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes halve
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp zatar seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp pepper

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1 1/4 Cup Plain Full Fat Greek Yogurt I prefer Chobani yogurt
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 lemon juiced and seeds removed
  • 1/2 persian mini cuke mince
  • 3 leaves mint washed, chevron and thinly slice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Turmeric and Curry Rice

  • 1 cup jasmine or basmati rice rinse rice until water runs clear, drain
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Additional Ingredients

  • 1 container Roasted Garlic or Red Pepper Hummus your favorite store brand ( I use Sabra) or you can make your own
  • 1 pkg Flax, Oat Bran and Whole Wheat Wraps Joseph's Middle East Bakery Brand or any low carb pita or tortilla wraps
  • 1 bunch cilantro (chopped) optional


Make Persian Cuke and Tomato Salad

  • Combine oil, vinegar, lemon juice and spices in a small bowl until well blended. Add cut up cukes, red onion and cherry tomatoes and mix thoroughly. Sit aside in refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight to self marinade.

Make Tzatziki Sauce

  • Mix all ingredients in a separate bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. You can strain your greek yogurt if it is watery. I prefer Chobani yogurt and do not strain it.

Make Rice

  • Combine all ingredients in instant pot and stir until well mixed. Cook in Instant Pot for 4 minutes on HIGH pressure with a 10 minute natural release.
  • Gently stir and fluff rice

Assemble Wraps

  • Layer wrap or tortilla with 1-3 tbsp hummus, 1/4 cup cooked rice, 1-3 tbsp cuke/tomato salad, dollop of tzatziki sauce on top and sprinkle with cilantro (optional). Fold pita in half or fold tortilla like a burrito and Enjoy! I usually serve with a more tzatziki sauce on the side for dipping.


I like to make a non-vegetarian version of this wrap with Grilled Chicken Shawarma.  You can find this separate recipe under Recipe/Main Dish called Chicken Shawarma Tacos.

Edible Flowered Chèvre

As a nature lover and foodie fanatic, I have a great respect and love for foraging for wild edibles.

I grew up on wild mushrooms, asparagus, berries, vintages of elderberry and dandelion wines, all of which were gathered and prepared by master foragers.

When my children were young, I would pay them one penny for every dandelion blossom, to rid my yard of the so called “weed”. I then would make dandelion jelly from the tender blossom petals, referred to as dandelion honey for it’s sweet honey like taste…that is, if you have the right recipe. Why would I know this? Because it was the 1990’s and I had no internet, computer nor access to social media services like Pinterest. I lived in a small Midwestern town, far away from the cool, hip organic communities of the East and West Coasts, so our town library only had a handful of herbal and forging recipe books for reference.

Often the children and I would head to the forest for hikes and we would gather wild berries for jams and jellies. Sometimes we would find teaberry, and the children would chew the stiff, waxy leaves, sampling the cool refreshing taste of wintergreen.

When working in New Hampshire, I bought foraged wild ramps, also known as wild garlic from a local farmer’s market and learned how to make wild ramp pesto. I froze leftovers in ice cube trays since I was told the picking season was very short. I found fiddlehead ferns packaged in clear bags at the grocery store that I took home cleaned well, sauteed in butter and garlic, surprised how much they tasted like asparagus.

Wild asparagus patches around the homestead is still watched carefully by other neighbors and sometimes picked in the middle of the night before others can get to them.

Foraging skills use to be a way of life and every day our land is being flashed forested, bulldozed for more housing and concrete jungles. So, if you find yourself out hiking more these days and appreciating what mother nature provides us. Why not learn more about how to grow or forage to make some very delicious recipes much like my Edible Flowered Chèvre.


  • 4 – 8 ounces of fresh goat cheese (optional-blue cheese or cream cheese)
  • Variety of edible flowers and herbs*
  • I used dill sprigs, wild pansies/violets, and clover blossom

*NOT EVERY FLOWER/PLANT IS EDIBLE and you should always refer to a medical or plant forage professional. NEVER use flowers from roadsides or any plant that may have come in contact with pesticides or other chemicals.

Identify the flower or plant exactly and eat only the edible parts of the flower or parts.

Use flowers sparingly in your recipes as they may cause digestive complications.


  1. Soften cheese to room temperature. Using small ramekins for each 4 ounces of cheese. Line the ramekin with cling-wrap or parchment. Press softened cheese into the ramekin firmly.
  2. Unmold the cheese on a small decorative plate and remove wrap or paper. Decorate by gently pressing edible flowers or herbs into the cheese making a pretty design or pattern.
  3. Serve immediately with crusty bread or crackers.
  4. You may wrap tightly in cling-wrap and refrigerate up to 3-4 days.

Great for Garden Parties, Spring or Summer Picnics, or a Simple and Easy Appetizer served with your best bottle of wine!

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Cauliflower Shepard’s Pie Casserole

Are you craving comfort foods like crazy, right now, but want to eat something that won’t put weight on while self-distancing and “staying safer at home” during the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic?

Then this nutrient rich casserole is a great way of boosting your immune system with a beautiful array of rainbow-colored veggies and a few simple ingredients that you probably have hanging out in your freezer, refrigerator and/or pantry right now.


Did you know Shepard’s pie originated in Britain in the mid-1800’s as an affordable way to use up all the leftover cooked meat and originally had a crust made of potatoes that were plentiful to the pheasants? Or, that is was once called the “cottage pie” and made with lamb meat? Many of the impoverished lived in humble homes called cottages and lowly shepherds look after sheep. Hence, the name Shepard’s Pie.

Yes, this a very brief summary and there is a lot more you could learn about the history of the Shepard’s Pie. But I hope I piqued your interest and you will look up more interesting facts of it’s origin and the different versions. Remember, this can spark some interesting dinner conversation with the kiddo’s around the family table.

I use garlic mashed cauliflower to replace potatoes to keep it lower in carbs and calories. I find this casserole a great way of not wasting all those little leftovers from meals throughout the week while re-creating something purely delicious that even the “pickiest eaters” and “leftover haters” will enjoy. Not to mention being frugal to help stretch the household budget without sacrificing flavor.

So, let the casserole revolution begin!! Can you imagine the possibilities?!

Call your parents, call your grandparents if you are still lucky to have them. Tell them you love’um. Ask if there were any favorite casserole dishes they use to make or eat when growing up. Write the recipe(s) down and then think of ways you could adapt them with healthier ingredients. Or have a “Pantry Challenge” and create your own casserole recipe just as if you were a participant on Food Network’s cooking show Chopped.

This recipe is very adaptable for anyone practicing Vegetarianism or Veganism and I will provide suggestions at the end of the recipe in the notes section on how you can make this wonderfully delicious casserole that will surely please you and/or family any night of the week.

Cauliflower Shepard’s Pie Casserole

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Casserole, Cauliflower, Comfort Food, Dairy-free, Dinner, Easy, Freezer Meal, Gluten-free, Ground Beef, Guilt-free, Healthy, Keto, Low Calorie, Low Carb, Make Ahead Meal, Quick, Shepard’s Pie, Supper, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin or chuck beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 med-large head of cauliflower washed, core removed and cut into 1 1/2" pieces
  • 1 cup beef, chicken or vegetable broth low sodium
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 1-2 tsp crushed garlic to taste
  • 4 Tbsp butter or vegan substitute*
  • 10 ounces frozen mixed vegetables optional: may substitute canned version/drained
  • 1 cup favorite cheese or Vegan Cheese* shredded
  • 3 cups fresh mushrooms* optional (protein substitute) thinly sliced
  • 2 bulb green onion stalks chopped


  • Saute': In a large frying pan, combine olive oil and chopped onion, cooking on med-high heat stirring frequently until translucent. 3-5 minutes
  • Add choice of meat, salt, pepper and Montreal seasoning: To the pan with the onions, cooking until browned and no longer pink making sure to stir frequently to make a crumble like mixture. Drain excess liquid or grease into a separate heatproof container, cool and discard.
  • Boil the cauliflower: Place cut-up cauliflower in a medium pot, add choice of broth and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until fork tender.
  • Mash the cooked cauliflower: When cauliflower is fork tender, drain liquid, reserving liquid in a separate heat proof bowl.** Add 4 Tbsp of butter to drained cauliflower, mash with potato masher, then and add garlic, salt & pepper to taste.
  • Add: 1/4 Cup of reserved cauliflower broth to meat mixture and stir well. **(Keep remaining cooled broth up to 4-5 days in refrigerator for soup. Or put in a freezer safe bag or container and freeze up to 3 months for future use)
  • Cook frozen mixed vegetables: Follow cooking directions on steamed mixed vegetables package or if using canned version, drain liquid before using.
  • Preheat oven: to 375 degrees
  • Grease: 8 x 13 casserole dish lightly with olive oil or cooking spray
  • Layer: Spread even layers of meat mixture, then top with mixed vegetables. Lightly salt and pepper before adding mashed cauliflower in greased casserole dish. Note: Canned vegetables have plenty of salt, even low sodium varieties so season carefully.
  • Sprinkle cheese: Sprinkle with grated cheese evenly over the top of mashed cauliflower layer.
  • Bake in oven: Place casserole dish uncovered in preheated 375 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes until heated through and cheese is golden brown.
  • Remove from oven: Sprinkle with green onions and serve.

Frozen Meal Suggestion:

  • Prepare casserole as directed in freezer oven safe container. DO NOT BAKE. Cover and seal well with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze up to 3-4 months.
    When ready to use, remove casserole from freezer removing all plastic and aluminum foil. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. DO NOT THAW. Bake frozen casserole until completely warmed through. Approx 1 hour or more depending on oven. Remove and top with shredded cheese, return to oven and broil for 5-10 minutes until browned and bubbly.
    Top with chopped green onions and serve.


*Suggested vegetarian or vegan variations
Saute’ 3 cups of clean and thinly sliced mushrooms in butter substitute and chopped onions. Season with salt, pepper and Montreal steak seasoning.
Use a plant based cheese:  I like Daiya brand Mozzarella style shreds (vegan) This cheese is gluten free, soy and egg free, and void of peanuts, fish and shellfish and melts better than other brands I have tried.
Use vegetable broth when boiling cauliflower.
Use a butter substitute.  I know a lot of people who really like and use Earth Balance brands but I prefer Miyoko’s cultured vegan plant butter. Made with cashew cream fermented with live cultures, this butter is crazy amazing!  A close second would be Artisana Organic Coconut Butter.
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Stay safe and healthy everyone!


Rainbow Oatmeal – Overnight Oats

Rainbow Oatmeal

Eat a Palette of Color Everyday for a Healthier You.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword Breakfast, Colorful Breakfast, Easy and Simple Recipe, Fruit and Oatmeal, Healthy Breakfast, Healthy Oatmeal, Hot Cereal, Mixed Fruit Overnight Oatmeal, Overnight Oatmeal, Simple Recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Servings 4


  • Microwave
  • (Four) microwave safe bowls or pint-sized (glass) mason jars



  • 2 cups Old Fashioned Oatmeal 100% whole grain oats (do not use quick cooking oats)
  • 4 cups Unsweetened Original FlavoredAlmond Milk or any choice of soy or nut milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries fresh or frozen
  • 2 whole bananas sliced
  • 12 whole strawberries fresh or frozen (sliced)
  • 4 whole kiwi peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup sliced toasted almonds or any favorite nut (optional)
  • 4 tbsp chia seeds optional-(overnight oats only)



  • Add 1/2 cup of oatmeal into each bowl or jar
  • Add one cup of Unsweetened Original Almond Milk into each bowl/jar
  • Add 1/4 tsp salt into each of the bowl/jar
  • Add 1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract to each bowl/jar
  • Stir well and place in microwave

Microwave on High for 1-2 minutes

  • Remove bowl or jar from microwave and let set for 1 minute until liquid has been absorded.

Prepare Fruit

  • Wash and cut fruit and arrange on top of oatmeal
  • Optional – sprinkle with toasted almonds


Overnight Oats (version)
You can prepare each pint-sized (glass) mason jar with 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional) 1 cup almond milk, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp vanilla and stir well.  Place screw top on each jar and refrigerate overnight for at least 6 hours.  Wash and cut fruit and place in refrigerator in a separate bowl.
When ready to eat. Place uncovered jar in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, remove and stir well, then let sit for 1 minute.  Place fruit on top and sprinkle with nuts and serve.  This makes a quick, healthy grab and go meal.  Enjoy!

Quick and Easy, Low Carb Wrap

Jump to Recipe

Turkey Cheddar, Sweet & Spicy Low Carb Wrap

Healthy and low NET carb meals have been part of my eating habits for over 4 years. Frequently, I crave my favorite gourmet wraps but don't want all the unhealthy carbs and calories that come with it.
The secret to this recipe is the nutty, sweet and spicy mustard sauce which has tons of flavor and little crunch. You already decided to give up bread. But the thought of eating one more bowl of salad or veggies for lunch leaves you wanting something different.
High-sugar condiments means high carbs and who wants a "dry" and tasteless wrap. The key is reading labels and a little math. The fruit spread I used in this recipe has 12 carbs(carbohydrates) per 1 Tbsp and the mustard has 0 carbs 1 Tbsp finely chopped walnuts has 1 carb. Total carbs equal (13) divide it by 4 servings and you have less than 3 carbs. per serving. Which doesn't break your carb allowance bank for the day.
There are a lot of apps out there to keep track of your daily NET carbs but I generally use google search, which is a quick and easy way to figure out carbs without sacrificing a bunch of personal information just to use their app.
I use Mission's Carb Balance tortillas that are High Fiber, Zero Sugar and low in NET CARBS. I was at the grocery store last week and bought Mission's NEW Carb Balance Spinach Herb Soft Taco Flour Tortilla. I'm really excited to add another layer of flavor into my wrap recipes. Woohoo!
Course Main Course, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4


  • 8-12 slices HillShire Farm Ultra Thin Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
  • 4 Mission Whole Wheat Carb Balance Tortilla Wrap or gluten-free wrap
  • 12 slices Wisconsin Sharp Cheddar
  • 4 Tbsp Dijon Style Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Raspberry-Chipolte Fruit Spread or any spicy jam
  • 1 Tbsp Walnuts finely chopped
  • 1/2 Honey Crisp, Gala or Braeburn Apple thinly sliced
  • 1 pkg Romaine, Spinach or Mixed Greens washed, rinsed and dried


  • Finely chop nuts and combine with Dijon style mustard and sweet and spicy fruit spread in a small bowl. ( I like to use chipolte or jalepeno flavored berry fruit jams)
  • Spread a generous layer of the mustard mixture on your choice of tortilla.
  • Layer with leafy greens, meat, cheddar cheese and top with thinly sliced apple.
  • Roll-up and serve.


Store in air-tight container in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days, if they last that long. Try different meat, cheese and lettuce combinations. Substitute your favorite veggies for the meat. Are you gluten free? Mission also makes a great gluten-free wrap. Combine your favorite sweet and spicy fruit spread with any Dijon style mustard. Add your choice of chopped nuts for added protein and crunch.
As a nurse, when breaks, lunch or supper meals are nearly impossible and/or I’m trying not to binge eat through a 12 hour night shift.  I always pack what I think I will have time to eat, and then one of these wraps for what I may only have time to eat. 
These wraps are a nutritional way to keep hunger at bay, blood sugar levels steady, and preventing unhealthy trips to the vending machine or stops to fast food places.
Kids love these.  Quick and easy to make and great for bento/lunch boxes.  Or just make a bunch ahead and store in the refrigerator as grab-n-go snacks for busy days.

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