If you’ve ever been to either Ottawa or Montreal in Canada, you’ll know what I mean when I say Shawarma restaurants are one of the most popular food joints in town. These restaurants are usually open until 3am and serve a variety of dishes. They’re most commonly known for their chicken or beef Shawarma and their famous garlic sauce. I used to live just behind Shawarma King in Ottawa and I loved going there. They also served falafel, kebabs, shish taouk, roasted potatoes, fried rice and tahini sauce. My favourite go-to sandwich was the chicken shawarma. I always chose tomatoes, lettuce, pickled turnips, chicken and garlic sauce as the toppings when I got a quick lunch or dinner.
I haven’t eaten a shawarma sandwich in over 3 years and was really craving one. Obviously since I changed my eating habits and lifestyle, I changed the normal ingredients that normally go in the chicken shawarma to healthier options that are good for me. I used my paleo wraps for this recipe instead of wheat pita bread, but you can also use a large swiss chard leaf if you’d like to cut some carbs! I then used the pickled turnips that I made a week before. If you live in North America, I’m sure you can find jarred pickled turnips, but since they aren’t a thing in Japan, I had to make my own. Shawarma is usually accompanied by garlic sauce. Now if you’ve ever eaten Lebanese garlic sauce, you’ll know that it taste amazing. However, it is made with LOTS and LOTS of canola oil, which is a big no no. So I decided to use my avocado basil pesto instead! This pesto is great because it’s very garlicky so it almost seems like it’s the real thing! As for the chicken, I made a simple dairy-free marinade that they usually use in Lebanese grocery stores for their marinated shish taouk that you can buy. They usually use yogurt, but I find using almond milk gave the same results and it tasted quite good!!
Paleo Chicken Shawarma
- Peel and mince the garlic. Slice the chicken thighs into thick slices. In a large bowl, add the chicken, garlic, lemon juice, almond milk, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Let marinate for 30 minutes-1 day.
- In a cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the chicken with all of the marinade and cook on medium-heat for about 5-10 minutes until cooked through. Turn off heat.
- Slice the lettuce leaves and tomato. Slice the tomato slices in half.
- Roll the wrap and enjoy!
Buy the equipment used here:
Lodge L8SK3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet, 10.25-inch