lebanese salad with lemony tahini dressing and za’atar pita chips

Posted by on Aug 8, 2016 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

Lebanese Salad with Lemony Tahini Dressing_main

I actually thought Lebanese food was American food as a kid. I guess that’s what happens when you grow up with a Lebanese mother (who was also a caterer)! When I’m wanting a little taste of comfort, I don’t think first about things like mac ‘n’ cheese; I crave Middle Eastern cuisine. So here’s a salad I created that’s inspired by fattoush, a simple salad that ideally takes advantage of leftover pita bread. But I’ve given it a tasty twist with freshly-baked za’atar pita chips, a tahini-spiked dressing, and plenty of chickpeas. It’s a refreshing luncheon entrée salad (perfect for Meatless Monday!) that’s surprisingly comforting. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Calories saved: 128

Why it’s better for you: Better balance of carbs and protein to fit into more diets, including those with diabetes or pre-diabetes.

lebanese salad with lemony tahini dressing and za’atar pita chips

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 2 cups

lebanese salad with lemony tahini dressing and za’atar pita chips

Ingredients

  • 2 whole-wheat or other whole grain pitas
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons za’atar (or mixture of dried thyme and sesame seeds)
  • 4 packed cups mesclun or mixed baby greens (4 ounces)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can organic chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup thinly sliced Kirby or English cucumber
  • 1 cup heirloom cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh small mint leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 recipe Lemony Tahini Dressing (see below)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush both sides of pitas with the olive oil. Sprinkle one side with za’atar. Cut pitas into 8 wedges each and arrange on a large baking sheet. Bake until brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. (Note: Baking time will vary based on thickness of pita bread.) Set aside on a rack to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together mesclun, chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, mint, and salt.
  3. Transfer to individual plates or bowls, add pita chips, and drizzle with the lemony tahini dressing. Adjust seasoning and serve. (Hint: If desired, sprinkle with some grated lemon zest a pinch of ground sumac for extra zing.)

Notes

Per serving: 360 calories, 18g total fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 590mg sodium, 40g total carbohydrate, 9g dietary fiber, 2g sugars, 12g protein

LEMONY TAHINI DRESSING: Whisk together 1/4 cup tahini, 3 Tbsp. lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. cold unsweetened green tea or water, 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, 1 large minced garlic clove, 1/4 tsp. ground cumin, and 1/8 tsp. each sea salt and ground cayenne pepper. (Hint: Drizzle in a little more tea or water, if needed, for desired consistency.)

http://jackienewgent.com/2016/08/lebanese-salad/

The “Before” Version

Inspired by  Fattoush

Per serving: 488 calories, 32g total fat, 18g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 100mg cholesterol, 32g total carbohydrate, 4g dietary fiber, 1g sugars, 21g protein

Tasteover Tips

  • Add a special touch to a salad by way of freshly-prepared pita chips or croutons (and make them whole grain to make the salad even healthier)
  • Transform a side salad into a satisfying entrée salad with one simple ingredient addition: pulses, like chickpeas, beans, or lentils
  • Don’t just use any salad dressing; make your own whenever you can … it takes just minutes (oh, and try tahini for adding creaminess to a traditional vinaigrette!)

 

#MeatlessMonday

#MeatlessMonday

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