Long ago, when I still ate meat, my favorite restaurant was a little hole in the wall called the Pita House. It was owned by an Israeli couple, and they specialized in Middle Eastern dishes. The specialty was Chicken Shawarma, and Alan and I loved it so much that we not only ate there once a week, we brought home leftovers to have for lunch the next day. I will honestly say that Morty’s chicken shawarma is the only dish that I really miss since becoming vegan (the restaurant actually closed years before that, so I missed his shawarma even before I became a vegetarian).
I have made many attempts over the years to recreate the dish, first with real chicken, then fake, and now most frequently with seitan. I have had some success, I think (Alan thinks so too, he says he loves my shawarma). I’ve posted several recipes, including this, my favorite. This one, from Vegan MoFo a few years ago, uses Gardein chick’n. And this Gyro Spiced Seitan Bowl is reminiscent of shawarma, served in a bowl with quinoa and veggies.
This salad started as a way to use the leftover seitan from the last time I made shawarma. I made a dressing with hummus, tahini, and lemon, used a variety of veggies, and tossed in some quinoa. I honestly think that, with the seasoned seitan, it was one of the best salads that I have ever made. It will always be on the menu the day after I make shawarma.
Of course you don’t have to wait for leftovers to make Shawarma Salad. And feel free to use your favorite vegetables.
- One package (or one cup if homemade) seitan or chicken substitute, cut into strips
- One Tablespoon lemon juice
- One teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon Cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup soy yogurt
- One Tablespoon Malt Vinegar
- Two Cloves Garlic, minced
- Salad greens
- Veggies of choice. I used onion, yellow pepper, radishes, grape tomatoes, and cucumber
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions and cooled.
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/2 cup hummus
- 1/4 cup tahini sauce
- 1/8 cup white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Follow the directions to season and cook the seitan [url href="http://livefromlaquinta.com/2012/03/28/recipe-vegan-shawarma/" target="_blank"]here[/url].
- Toss the greens, vegetables, quinoa, and seitan together with the Hummus Dressing.
- Hummus Dressing: In a blender, combine hummus, tahini, vinegar, lemon, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
Do you have a favorite restaurant dish that you’ve tried to re-create at home? Were you successful?