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Halloumi Pita Pockets



Turning Fiber into 5 Flavorful Balanced Dinner Recipes

Recipe #2: Halloumi Pita Pockets


The reason behind this series: 95% of Americans do not obtain the recommended dietary amount for fiber, which is at least 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. Fiber is an essential nutrient that is found in most plant-based foods like grains, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruits. They are key for proper brain health, heart health, and most importantly digestive (gut) health. Increasing your fiber intake daily is going to improve your daily life in so many ways. Studies show that with an increased fiber intake, the healthier our gut bacteria is, which is linked to an increase in our serotonin (happy hormone) levels. So, fiber basically makes us happier and better humans!


The second recipe in my "Turning Fiber into 5 Flavorful Balanced Dinner Recipes" series is my Halloumi Pita Pockets. The more plants we can get into our bodies, the more diverse our gut microbiome will be, aka the healthier we will be. Here, I am including the easiest to use and most versatile veggies; cucumber, tomato, onion, and arugula. I mean let's be real, you could do so much with just those four veggies together and making a GOOD pita pocket with them sounded about right.


Here's the thing - they individually do not contain as much fiber as one would think. Besides one onion being roughly 2-3 grams of fiber, cucumber/tomato/arugula are between 0.5-2 grams of fiber. So Jasmin, why did you make a series about fiber, with foods with such little fiber? Because - addition is a thing. Enjoying those foods along with the pita bread gets you roughly 9 grams of fiber, which is already 40% of your daily requirement!


Also, sometimes having a lot of fiber at once (like 15g or more) can cause some certain IBS symptoms. So, I wanted to show you that you can eat fiber in a lighter manner, while still eating a satiating meal.


To add more flavor to the pita pockets I included tahini dressing along the insides of the pita, dash of salt, and fresh dill. You're going to love how flavorful this recipe is and also love how meal-prep-friendly it is too. Let's get to the recipe!


Yields: 1

Portion: 1 pita


Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes


This recipe is vegetarian.

 

Ingredients:


½ cucumber, thinly sliced

½ tomato, sliced into half moons


Marinated Sumac Onions

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tbsp sumac (you can add more if you like)

¼ tsp Aleppo pepper

¼ tsp salt (salt to taste if needed)


8 pieces halloumi cheese (bought from Whole Foods)

1 pita pocket (bought from Whole Foods)

1 tbsp tahini

Arugula

Pinch of salt

Fresh dill to garnish

 

Instructions:


1. Prep the veggies: have the arugula on the side and prep the tomato and cucumber. For the onions, prep and place the thin strips of red onion into a serving bowl of choice. Add the olive oil, sumac, Aleppo pepper, and salt to the onions. Toss and allow onions to be coated evenly. Allow onions to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before adding to food (you also don't have to if you're in a rush).


2. Sear halloumi: grab a frying pan and add the halloumi slices onto the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes on medium-high heat until golden brown. Then flip and cook the other side for 1-2 more minutes.


3. Serve: slice the pita pocket in ½ and gently open up the middles of both pieces. Use a butter knife to add the tahini to the insides of the pockets. Coat the inside well. Add arugula to both. Add 4 pieces of halloumi into each pocket. Top with cucumber, tomato, and onion - this may be difficult, be gentle. Garnish with salt and fresh dill. Enjoy!



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