Mediterranean Bean Salad and Greek Chicken Gyros

This is a post about bean salad. A Mediterranean bean salad I made back in June. It has taken me this long to share it, but that’s because I had some other sharing I was obligated to do. It’s a post about Greek seasoning on chicken. It’s a post about stuffing it all together in a pita, serving it with tzatziki to make a chicken gyro and having a wonderful meal with your family and your friends and your neighbors. It’s a post about food.

This is a post about the food I feed to my family.

I made bean salad. I’d had some at Costco, of all places, and I was instantly drawn in. Beans, barley, peppers, sauce. Simple, understated and bursting with flavor. Ole was not convinced as I cooked and drained beans and barley and stashed them away in the fridge to cool. Note: I had originally planned to use three bell peppers in this recipe. That is, of course, until Ole used one of them for something else. Flexibility is key to a happy marriage.

I then made a pretty simple sun-dried tomato pesto using sun-dried tomatoes, basil and parsley from our garden, garlic cloves and oil.

Mix the pesto, the beans and barley, the peppers, a bit of vinegar to pull it all together and a Mediterranean bean salad you shall have to be eaten on pitas or with pita chips or scooped up with a spoon and a fork. And I was happy with it. I packed it up, placed it in the fridge and told Ole to make it a meal with some cucumbers and tomatoes from the garden while I was gone, but he was skeptical. He did not trust me. Turns out, I was right, but he made the chicken anyway.

A Greek-seasoned, dry-rubbed chicken, grilled and thinly sliced. This is what happens when you stock your pantry, meals become feasts in a matter of minutes. In fact, I shared that same sentiment just today how making impromptu meals from your pantry is so much easier when you stock that pantry.

He also paired it with homemade tzatziki, which is easy to make and is so much better when you make it fresh. It’s bright and lively, and it pairs nicely with said Greek-seasoned chicken.

And he put the salad on the side (except the kids and I still put it inside) and made a gyro. I do have to say it looks like a meal I’d love to eat. Ole even called to let me know the bean salad was a new favorite with the kids, and they’d begged to eat it for lunch the next day too.

The moral of the story is that my husband knows not how barley and beans can be mind-blowing. In fact, our dinner guests last month asked specifically for the recipe. My kids cheered when it showed up on the table for a third time this summer. I cried inside when everyone ate it all because it meant I couldn’t eat it for lunch the next day.

And the chicken gyro? Well, it’s pretty fantastic, and so is the man who made it.

Ole is gone, gone gone this week(end) motorcycling in the UP, and I am attempting to remain sane by taking the kids on short jaunts around the neighborhood. We already hit Conny’s Creamy Cone, and I think we’re going to attempt the beach sometime this weekend too. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

1 1/3 cups cooked barley
1 1/3 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1 1/3 cups cooked white beans
3 bell peppers of various colors (orange, yellow, red), chopped
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup packed fresh parsley
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together barley, garbanzo beans, white beans and chopped peppers. In a food processor place the sun-dried tomatoes, basil, parsley, garlic and olive oil. Pulse until it it turns to a chunky paste. You should still be able to see the different colors from green herbs to the red tomatoes.

Add the pesto to the beans, barley and peppers along with the white vinegar and the lemon juice. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Makes 6-8 servings.
Food for My Family

Greek Seasoning:
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Mix together and store in the freezer until ready to use.

Chicken Gyros:
2-3 chicken breasts
1/4 cup Greek seasoning (above)
1 cup tzatziki
fresh oregano
fresh parsley
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
3 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
6-8 pitas

Rub chicken breasts with seasoning and grill, 5-7 minutes on each side until juices run clear. Remove from grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Finely chop a tablespoon or two of the fresh herbs and sprinkle over the onions and tomatoes. Slice and serve on pitas with tzatziki, tomato slices and onion.

Makes 6-8 gyro sandwiches.
Food for My Family
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  1. This looks amazing!! I tried to make gyros here recently, and they came out good, but not exactly how I wanted them. I am definitely going to have to try this, Thanks so much

  2. Our kind of meal, Shaina!
    BTW, the light in these photos is stunning. I can tell you’ve been practicing.

    Hang in there while Ole is gone. You guys are going to have fun!

  3. Your family is very lucky that they have you serving delicious foods for them.

  4. That salad looks really great and healthy.

    I can understand what you meant when you said you cried inside when your kids ate all the food and there’d be none left for lunch. I hate when that happens.

  5. This looks great! I don’t think my hubby would have eaten it while I was gone without some convincing. If I was home, he wouldn’t have given it a second chance. Kind of funny like that.Love the last photo with the foil around the gyro.

  6. I liked your writing for sure we share the same humor. I liked the “stocked” pantry theory, as it makes as much sense as the saying of a merchant cannot sell merchandise out of an empty wagon. YOu have to have something to work with, I am not a shopper I buy sales and stock the items found. Saves huge bucks over the year as well as time in the store. Sounds like your husband is a pleasant chore for you > I followed your recipe it was very good; as it hits on all my taste senses. The gyro I make is a “strange” tzatziki, I added cuccumber and avacado to the mix along with dill weed for sure. The grilled chicken breasts were for great stuffing the gyro delight. thanks for the recipe.

  7. Wonderful, hope you don’t mind that I blogged about this tonight! I included a link to your post.

  8. Why does the Greek seasoning need to be frozen? I’m interested in making some to have premade. Also what’s the purpose of the cornstarch as I’d like to skip it. Thanks

  9. I want to try your Greek Seasoning on some thinly sliced round steak to make beef gyros. I am hoping that I can get something close to what a Greek restaurant here in my town makes. I listed this in my Friday Finds and shared the list over at Finding Joy in My Kitchen today.

  10. Michelle says:

    Wait, “1 1/3 cup _____, cooked” or “1 1/3 cup cooked _________”? By my estimation if it is “1 1/3 cup beans, cooked” then this salad has like 8 cups of beans and 2+ cups of barley. Is that right? That feels like a huge quantity to me (but I don’t have any kids to feed so maybe it is right).

  11. Ashley DeMazza says:

    Oh my gosh these look soooo good! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Ashley DeMazza
    Falls Village, CT

  12. Printed recipe of Mediterranean salad has a glitch. The Olive oil is left off.


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