Too hot to cook? Try these chicken pita pockets

For a quick, healthy dinner that’s ideal for warm nights, prepare a roasted chicken pita pocket with tomato and corn salsa and pair it with a Greek summer salad.Tribune News Service

A refreshing roasted chicken pita pocket garnished with a tomato and corn salsa makes a cool dinner for a warm summer evening.

Let the supermarket do the work. Make the fresh salsa using diced tomatoes and onions found in the produce section or at the salad bar, and add some defrosted frozen corn. You can also use fresh corn; just cut the kernels off the ear and microwave on high for 1 minute.

Look for large pita bread. I find the whole wheat bread has more texture and flavor than the plain. If you can only find small pitas, use two per serving.

For the Greek salad side dish, doctor up washed, ready-to-eat lettuce with sliced bell peppers and cucumbers from the salad bar. Add oregano to a bottled salad dressing, and toss olives into the salad.

If you have a few extra minutes, use fresh oregano. It has an aromatic and pungent flavor that can add depth to the salad. It is easy to find and worth the effort. But if you do use dried, make sure your bottle is less than 6 months old.


Servings: 2

1 cup frozen corn kernels

1 cup diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons diced onion

1 tablespoon diced jalapeño pepper

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro

11/2 teaspoons ground cumin

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 large whole-wheat pita breads

3/4 pound boneless, roasted chicken breast, skin removed, cut into strips

Place the corn in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on high for 2 minutes to defrost.

Mix the tomatoes, onion, jalapeño and cilantro with the corn. Add the cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Add the lime juice, and toss well.

Toast the pita bread in a toaster oven to warm slightly. Do not let it get too crisp.

Cut pita breads in half, and open pockets. Spoon half the salsa into the pockets. Add the chicken, and finish with the remaining salsa.

Nutrition information per serving: 475 calories; 7.4 g fat (1.4 g saturated, 1.8 g monounsaturated); 126 mg cholesterol; 48.3 g protein; 58 g carbohydrates; 8.9 g fiber; 374 mg sodium.


Servings: 2

2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons reduced-fat vinaigrette dressing

2 cups washed, ready-to-eat lettuce

2 cups peeled and sliced cucumbers

2 cups sliced green bell peppers

10 pitted black olives

Mix the oregano and vinaigrette dressing in a medium-size salad bowl. Add the lettuce, cucumbers, peppers and olives. Toss.

Nutrition information per serving: 78 calories; 3.8 g fat (0.5 g saturated, 2.1 g monounsaturated); 1 mg cholesterol; 2.4 g protein; 10.8 g carbohydrates; 4.1 g fiber; 173 mg sodium.

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