Chicken Shawarma

Looking through my blog posts, it is evident that I haven’t posted many (if any) recipes from other countries. As I love eating food from all different places around the world, I was disappointed in the lack of variety on here. Luckily, last week I made this incredible chicken Shawarma that was rated as one of the top recipes for the New York Times in 2015. My great-grandmother, who is still unfamiliar with what a burrito is, was surprisingly impressed with this dish. The strong and smooth flavors in the chicken are so easy to taste yet they come together and form a intense flavor combination. For any Shawarma lovers…. this recipe is definitely for you! ENJOY!




2 lemons, juiced

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

6 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons paprika

½ teaspoon turmeric

A pinch ground cinnamon

Red pepper flakes, to taste

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 large red onion, peeled and quartered

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. To prepare the chicken marinade, combine the lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon and red pepper flakes in a large bowl, then whisk to combine. Add the chicken into the bowl and toss well to coat. Cover and store in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
  2. When you are ready to cook, heat the oven to 425 degrees. Use the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to grease a rimmed sheet pan.
  3. Add the quartered onion to the chicken with the marinade, and toss once to combine. Remove the chicken and onion from the marinade, and spread everything evenly across the pan.
  4. Roast the chicken in the over until it is browned, crisp at the edges and cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let sit for 2 minutes, then slice into bits.
  5. Scatter the parsley over the top and serve with whatever desired (tomatoes, cucumbers, pita, feta, rice etc).



Fall Chicken and Pumpkin Soup

I’m sure that a pattern of “pumpkin” is starting to reveal itself on my blog this year. Pumpkin, being a vital element to the fall spirit, is obviously one of my favorite things right now; not only in cooking and baking. My soap is pumpkin scented, we have pumpkin pie and cinnamon flavored candles all over the place, and my dad just bought pumpkin almond milk and pumpkin Cheerios.

This A-M-A-Z-I-N-G soup is the epitome of the perfect pumpkin dish. It is extremely unique and my dad claimed “its the first dish I can say is better than my Halloween chile!!” (which is a compliment that I never thought I’d here him  say). The flavor of the pumpkin in subtle enough that it doesn’t overshadow the other flavors and ingredients but strong enough to make the soup very warming and interesting. The spices added to the soup give it a sort-of strong eccentric flavor that its very unique. After helping ourselves to our second helping of the soup, despite being full, we decided that this recipe is going to become a fall regular. I hope you enjoy as much as I did!!!




1 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion

2 cloves garlic

5 cups chicken broth

1 large chicken breast (3/4 lb.)

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin pureé

1 (15 oz.) can black beans

½ cup frozen corn kernels

1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1 Tbsp cumin

½ tsp salt

½ bunch fresh cilantro


  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add both to a large soup pot along with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are translucent (3-5 min.)
  2. Add the chicken breast (whole) and chicken broth. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and allow it to come to a full boil. As soon as it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and allow the pot to simmer for 30 minutes. Make sure the pot does not stop simmering after turning down the heat. If it does, increase the heat slightly until it is gently simmering.
  3. After 30 minutes, remove the chicken breast from the broth and use two forks to shred the meat. Return the shredded meat to the pot.
  4. Add the pumpkin purée and stir until the it has mixed into the broth.
  5. Take one or two chipotle peppers from the can (one pepper for a milder soup, two for a spicier soup) and mince them. Add the minced peppers and about a teaspoon of the adobo sauce from the can to the soup.
  6. Rinse the black beans and add them to the soup, along with the frozen corn kernels and cumin. Allow the soup to come up to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes more to allow the flavors to blend.
  7. Taste the soup and add about ½ teaspoon of salt if desired. Roughly chop the cilantro and stir it into the soup just before serving.



I give an immense amount of credit to Budget Bites, for this flavorful and incredible soup (

White Chicken and Bean Chile

Today it was extremely humid and like 1000000 degrees out, so naturally I wanted to cook something fruity and cold.I looked through my collection of cooking magazines to try to find a good recipe and came across this soup. Since I already had most of the ingredients and the rest were relatively easy to find, I decided that I was going to make this chile, despite the heat.

Although cooking and eating the chile did leave me a little sweaty, I am so glad that I decided on this recipe. The spices I added made it very unique and it tasted completely different than what I expected. It’s hard to describe the flavor of the soup in a few sentences, but it was sooo delicious.  I’m definitely making this again (probably on a colder day though). ENJOY!





2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers (1 diced, 1 halved; remove seeds for less heat)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 pounds ground chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 15 -ounce cans white navy beans (do not drain)
1 4 -ounce can chopped green chiles (do not drain)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 corn tortillas, torn, plus more for serving
1 bunch cilantro, leaves roughly chopped
Lime wedges, for serving
1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, both jalapeños, cumin, coriander, oregano and allspice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and the spices are toasted, about 7 minutes.

2. Add the chicken, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until it starts browning, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the beans, canned chiles, chicken broth and 1 1/4 cups water; bring to a boil.

4. Add the torn corn tortillas to the pot; reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 40 minutes.

5. Remove the halved jalapeno from the chili and stir in all but a few tablespoons of the cilantro; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.

6. Serve with assorted toppings, the reserved cilantro and lime slices.

(Courtesy of Food Network Mag.)