Posted by: thehungryrunner | September 17, 2009

How to Stuff a Wild Pita

Well, if you didn’t catch the cultural reference in the title of this blog (hint:  Annette Funicello), no need to worry, my pita breadhusband didn’t have a clue, either.  Nevertheless, it doesn’t change the fact that there are many ways to create tasty eats with pita bread (even if it’s more tame than wild), and I’ve gathered a few of my personal favorites below.  Try them for yourself, or feel free to use them as fodder to come up with your own ideas (and please tell me about it in the comments section — I’m always up for a new variation!):

  • Peanut Butter, Banana and Apple Pita:  Finely chop a small apple and mix it with 2-3 Tablespoons of peanut butter, enough to coat the apple generously.  Slice a ripe banana into the mixture, and mix gently to avoid pulverizinig the banana.  Stuff in a whole wheat pita for a great post-workout “sport” meal!
  • The Pita That Thinks It’s a (Healthy) Calzone:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare the pita by cutting it in half and stuffing each half with about 1/4 cup (1 oz.) of shredded low-fat Mozzarella.  Set Aside.  In a small saucepan, saute a small amount of chopped onion and diced zucchini (about a 3/4 cup altogether) in a little bit of olive oil, until softened.  Turn the heat down and add about the same amount of your favorite pasta sauce and a sprinkling of dried oregano or Italian seasoning, stirring until well-combined and heated through.  Remove from stove.  Stuff the mixture into each half of the pita, wrap the pita tightly in aluminum foil, and place in the oven for about 5 minutes, to melt the cheese.  Serve hot.
  • Grilled Boca Burger with “The Works” Pita:  Prepare pita by cutting in half and lightly stuffing with lettuce or greens of your choice.  Using a grill pan or outdoor grill (lightly sprayed with cooking spray), grill one or two fat-free Boca Burgers until hot.  Cut into chunks and place inside lettuce-lined pita.  Top with chopped or sliced tomato, dill pickle or dill relish, stoneground mustard and/or ketchup.  Incredibly tasty and filling, and still quite low in calories!
  • Salmon, Cottage Cheese and Cucumber Pita:  Pretty much says it all:  Combine 3-4 ounces of canned (or vaccum-pack) salmon with a cup of low-fat cottage cheese, 1/3 cup finely diced cucumber, and a small sprinkling of dry dill.  Stuff in pita for a simple, moist and tasty sandwich that’s rich with protein and omega-3!
  • Carrot-Raisin-Cashew Salad Pita:  Combine shredded carrot with a container of (honest!) pineapple-flavored yogurt, a handful of raisins (I prefer golden raisins for this one) and 1-2 Tablespoons of crunchy cashew butter (peanut butter will also work).  Stuff in a whole-grain pita.  It sounds like a crazy combination, I know, but it really works well together!
  • Grilled Vegetables and Roasted Red Pepper Pita:  I found this one by accident but it worked out well!  The vegetables I often grill include thinly sliced zucchini, yellow squash, carrot, and red onion:  coat well with olive oil, season to taste with black pepper and (optional) a small amount of salt, and grill in a grill pan (medium heat) until softened and desired grill marks have appeared.  Meanwhile, open a jar of roasted red peppers and slice a few pieces into strips or chunks.  Stuff a pita with both the grilled vegetables and the roasted red pepper chunks, and spoon some of the liquid from the jar of red peppers over the entire mixture.  Healthy and flavorful!
  • Crazy Caprese Pita:  Easy, easy, easy and so good:  Cut a pita in half.  Thinly slice a large, ripe tomato and place inside pita.  Slice 2-3 ounces of fresh Mozzarella (the kind that floats in liquid in its packaging) and place in a small bowl.  Tear up a couple of leaves of fresh basil and add to the bowl with the cheese.  Mince a small amount of sun-dried tomatoes (the kind that come in a jar, packed in oil), and add to the bowl, along with a Tablespoon or 2 of the liquid from the sun-dried tomatoes jar.  Toss gently until the bowl’s contents are combined, and stuff into the pita with the fresh tomatoes.  Buon appetito!
  • Chicken-Avocado-Salsa Salad Pita:  Combine diced cooked chicken with diced avocado, and stuff in pita along with salad greens and (my personal preference, anyway) a fruit-based salsa, such as mango or pineapple salsa.
  • Apple-Yogurt-Sunflower Seeds Breakfast Pita:  Many of you know I’m the queen of quick-prep food, so this one suits me particularly well.  Chop up an apple and combine with plain yogurt, a drizzle of honey, and a little cinnamon.  Mix in a small handful of roasted (shelled) sunflower seeds and stuff in a pita.
  • Baked Pita Chips with Apple-Pumpkin “Dessert Dip”:  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Cut a pita into small pieces, about the size of a tortilla chip each.  Place on cookie sheet that’s been spray lightly with cooking spray.  Bake until crisp, about 6-8 minutes (keep an eye on them as they can burn easily).  While the chips are baking, combine equal amounts of applesauce and pumpkin butter (look for the latter either at farmer’s markets or in the jam/jelly aisle at the grocery store) in a bowl and mix well.  Serve the baked pita chips on a plate with the apple-pumpkin mixture as a dip.  True, this deviates from the theme of STUFFING a pita, but if you taste this easy, guilt-free dessert I think you’ll forgive the transgression!

Now, to come up with my next cringe-worthy cultural reference.  Maybe “Peach Blanket Bingo”?  “Citizen Candy Cane”?  “Wouldn’t You Like to EAT a Pepper, Too”?  Hmmm, on second thought….

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Responses

  1. Wow, I miss eating pita bread so much! I’m gluten free and haven’t found a GF alternative. Your recipes look so good I think I’m salivating.


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