New recipes

Vegan Mediterranean Pita Pockets


Vegan Mediterranean Pita Pockets

One of my resolutions this year was to start eating more vegetables in the raw. And I don't mean a bland house salad or a platter of veggies encircling a tub of onion dip. I wanted a main course — high in protein, rich in vitamins, and smashingly tasteful. And as it turns out, this final product happens to be vegan as well.

Vegan Mediterranean pita pockets are a taste bud-tickling meal for any health-conscious citizen who wants to feel full and doesn't have a whole lot of time on their hands. It also has the ability to transport you to a seaside café in Mykonos... if you close your eyes and turn on an oscillating fan.

Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 orange bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato, cut into thin wedges
  • 8 Ounces hummus
  • 2 meat-free chicken breasts, such as Quorn or Gardein
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon oregano
  • Pinch of rosemary
  • Dash of cayenne (optional)
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 4-6 whole-wheat pitas
  • 2 Cups fresh spinach

Mediterranean Pocket

Share this

Join Vegetarian Times

Create a personalized feed and bookmark your favorites.

Join Vegetarian Times

Create a personalized feed and bookmark your favorites.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sliced green-leaf lettuce
  • 2 Tbs. chopped pitted green olives
  • 2 tsp. Basic Dressing
  • 1 6-inch whole-wheat pita pocket
  • 1/4 avocado, thinly sliced

Preparation

1. In small bowl, mix together lettuce, olives, and Basic Dressing.

2. Cut pita crosswise in half, and stuff with lettuce mixture. Tuck in avocado and tomato slices, and serve.


Health Benefits of Pita Pockets with Roasted Veggies and Hummus

Pita bread

It is surely healthier than toast bread and brings a nice diversity to the usual diet.

High in carbs necessary for a busy day, fiber (especially if you use whole wheat pita bread!), vitamins and minerals like magnesium, selenium and calcium, pita is a good choice to be a part of your or your kids&rsquo lunch menu. Bonus point if you use whole grain pita.

Roasted veggies

Eggplants, bell peppers, carrots. Roasting is one of the healthiest ways to cook your veggies and you know that they are good for you, right?

Hummus

Quality store-bought or homemade hummus is a healthy choice for your lunch meal. It&rsquos rich in protein and fiber, as well as healthy fats and carbs.

Since it&rsquos usually made of chickpeas, garlic, tahini paste, olive oil, lemon juice and salt, it has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as unique supply of antioxidants. It lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, while decreasing cardiovascular risks and digestive problems.

Make sure there are no additives in your store-bought hummus. I make mine myself but it&rsquos perfectly fine to buy good quality hummus once in a while! I like to add extra spices to it like cumin, turmeric, paprika and Ras-el-Hanout. That&rsquos why it looks yellow on my pictures 🙂

Other ingredients include raw baby spinach, pomegranate seeds and parsley (the last two are optional, however recommendable for the best taste).


Paprika Cauliflower Pita Pockets

Share this

Join Vegetarian Times

Create a personalized feed and bookmark your favorites.

Join Vegetarian Times

Create a personalized feed and bookmark your favorites.

Photo by Dasha Wright

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower (2 lb.), cut into bite-size florets
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 small red onion, diced (1 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 4 pita bread rounds, halved and warmed

Preparation

1. Steam cauliflower 7 to 9 minutes, or until tender.

2. Heat oil, paprika, pepper, and salt in nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, 2 minutes, or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add onion and garlic, and sauté 2 minutes more. Stir in broth and cauliflower, and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in lemon juice. Serve with pita halves.


The Softest Pita Pocket Recipe: The Oven Method

Homemade pita pockets are superior to any store-bought variety. They're soft, fluffy, aromatic, and the most delicious pita that you will ever eat. Pita dough is the easiest to make and very inexpensive. This recipe makes 10 pitas to use for filling with your favorite things: gyro, chicken, falafel, and even tuna fish. Set them out alongside dips and veggies and enjoy!

Ingredients

  • The Dry Ingredients:
  • • 4 and ¼ cups (648 g) all-purpose flour
  • • 2 teaspoons salt
  • The Wet Ingredients:
  • • 1 cup (250 ml) lukewarm water
  • • 1 cup (250 ml) lukewarm whole milk
  • • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a tabletop mixer that is fitted with the dough hook attachment, add all of the wet ingredients except for the olive oil. Allow the yeast to activate for 8 minutes. As soon as a puffy cloud forms at the top of the mixture, the yeast is active.
  3. Add the olive oil along with all of the dry ingredients and knead on low speed for 12 minutes.
  4. Lightly grease a large bowl with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and transfer the dough to the bowl. Toss to coat in oil and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in the warmest room of your home to rise until doubled in volume. About 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 525 °F, 270 °C.
  6. Cut the dough into 10 equal portions.
  7. Lightly flour your work surface and roll each portion of dough out into about 6-7-inch circles. Keep their thickness even. Use as much flour as needed to roll them out evenly.
  8. Line 3 baking trays with parchment paper and sprinkle some semolina flour on top if desired.
  9. Place 3 pitas on each baking tray.
  10. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and allow it to rise for 30 minutes.
  11. Bake the trays in the preheated oven for approximately 4 minutes or until the pockets are formed.
  12. Transfer the pitas to a plate and serve immediately.
  13. Leftover pitas can be stored in an airtight bag or container and kept in the freezer or the refrigerator until ready to use.

Notes

To make whole wheat pitas, substitute 2 cups of whole wheat flour for 2 cups of all-purpose flour. This dough can be kneaded by hand. Knead it until it is no longer sticky. It should stay soft and tacky.


Greek Pita Pockets

Quick and easy, these flavorful greek pita pockets are the perfect lunch or dinner! Packed with crunchy greek salad veggies, creamy hummus and fresh spinach, this simple meal will be on repeat all year long. Vegetarian with dairy free / vegan option.

It’s Friday. It’s Friday. It’s Friday!!

Someone is excited huh? I have a hot date with my couch tonight and frankly it’s never looked better.

My husband has been home for the last week recovering from surgery and he’s built this “nest” as we’ve been calling it on the couch.

And honestly it’s sort of the best thing ever – tons of blankets and pillows – like an awesome cocoon of soft fluffy goodness.

I may have plans to steal it for a bit this evening. Would that make me a bad wife?

But before I park myself in the pile of blankets that is calling my name, we must do dinner.

A quick and easy dinner to be exact. Like that transition? I’m so smooth.

Because we need to talk about food for at least a few minutes. It’s meals like this that have been getting me through the last few days. Simple, delicious and plenty of leftovers for lunch.

Chop up a few greek salad-esq veggies, add in a light dressing and then spoon it into a pita pocket with some hummus and fresh spinach.

You can’t go wrong with that.

Additional Greek Recipes You Might Enjoy:

Did you make this recipe? Rate and review it down below! I’d love to hear from you.


How To Serve?

  • As pita pockets – i.e., stuffed with falafels, tahini sauce, and salad or even this Vegan Shawarma Kebab.
  • Use leftovers of this gluten-free pita for traditional Lebanese and Middle Eastern dishes like fattoush salad.
  • Cut and bake into pita chips for dips – like this Vegan French Onion Dip or Easy Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip.
  • Use as a makeshift gluten-free flatbread ‘pizza’. This is a great way to use any that don’t puff up as much as you’d like). Top with your toppings of choice and stick under the broiler for a few minutes. You could also oven-bake them for 10 mins or so until the toppings are warm/melted.
  • Make pita pocket versions of your favorite taco/enchilada fillings. Like these Chickpea Tacos, Oven-Baked Spinach Tacos, or Enchiladas With Lentils.
  • Use with burgers, as an alternative to burger buns.


Is Pita Bread Gluten Free?

Traditionally, no—most pita bread is NOT gluten free because it’s made with wheat flour. If you’ve enjoyed the light, pillowy texture of a classic pita bread, that’s all thanks to the gluten in the wheat. At some stores, you may be able to find a gluten free pita bread option, but they tend to be rare or nonexistent.

Thankfully, we can make our own homemade gluten free pita instead! Of course, just bear in mind that our homemade version will inevitably be a bit different without the gluten.

What Happens to Bread without Gluten

Glutenis a stretchy protein found in wheat that adds elasticity to a dough—giving the bread a light, fluffy texture. So, naturally, without gluten’s magical stretchy properties, many gluten free breads turn out dense, crumbly, or downright cardboard-like.

For this reason, gluten free bread-making requires plenty of creativity and lots of recipe testing. Without the gluten, we need to incorporate other sources of stretchiness into our dough—like yogurt, eggs, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, and so on. (This is why you’ll see some of these ingredients in most gluten free flour brands!)

How Yeast Free Rice Flour Pita Bread is Different from Traditional

Unlike traditional pita bread made with wheat flour and yeast to help it rise, this gluten free pita recipe is made with a rice flour blend, as well as baking powder and soda in lieu of yeast. My personal choice of gluten free flour is Cup4Cup Multipurpose Flour, but I’ve also used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour in this recipe. In addition, I’ve added yogurt to give the dough more stretchiness, and to keep the end result softer and fluffier.

Altogether, this makes for a bread that’s like a blend between a pita bread and a naan bread. Soft and bread-y like a pita, but a bit heartier and with no pita pocket, like naan. Pita pocket or not, this gluten free pita bread has a similar flavor and can serve a similar purpose to any classic pita—perfect for dipping and snacking!

How Do I Make a Vegan Gluten Free Pita Bread Recipe

Over the years, I’ve tried several different versions of this gluten free pita recipe, and the initial version was both gluten free and vegan. So, if you’d like to give this a try, have at it! Simply omit the ½ cup of plain yogurt, and instead use a full 1 cup of milk of choice. Myself and others have found success with this recipe for vegan gluten free pita bread in the past.

However, just keep in mind that some folks reported an issue with their pitas turning out too dense or hard, which is why I adjusted the recipe to add yogurt to the dough. Do whatever works best for you and your lifestyle!


Pita Pockets

Pita bread, with its empty center, seems to await a wide range of fillings, simple or sophisticated, for the lunchbox, party, or supper.

Pita bread is a flat, circular bread that has its origins in the Mediterranean lands of the Middle East. Here, the pita is often sold individually, but in the United States, these pita pockets are generally packaged and labeled: peeta, pitah, pitta, or "pocket bread." The word "pita" is derived from the classical Greek term, "to cook." The pockets formed during the baking process are suited to be filled with any of an infinite variety of stuffings. Your imagination is the only limit.

All these recipes fill four 7- or 8-inch pita pockets and are easy to double or triple in quantity.

Magic in Your Pockets

A no-cook pita pocket pleasure.

  • 1-½ cups fresh avocado
  • 4 heaping Tablespoons crumbled tofu
  • 2.25-ounce can chopped black olives
  • ½ cup minced fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini
  • Salt or salt substitute and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cut four pita pockets in half. Lightly mash all ingredients and seasonings with a fork. Pack each pocket with filling and serve at once.

Total calories per ¼ filling: 167 Fat: 15 grams
Carbohydrates: 7 grams Protein: 4 grams
Sodium: 155 milligrams Fiber: 4 grams

Roasted Veggie Power Pack

There's no cleanup after preparing this delightful filling.

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup chopped turnips
  • ½ cup well cleaned, chopped leeks
  • 1 cup unpeeled chopped red potatoes
  • Low-sodium soy sauce, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a double layer of foil and cover with carrots, turnips, leeks, and potatoes. Splash mixture with a few drops of soy sauce, and seal tightly. Bake for about 40 minutes. If the vegetables aren't soft enough yet, continue cooking until they are easily mashed with a fork. Let cool until you can handle foil.

Open packet, mash contents to a soft pulp, and stir in parsley. Let cool a bit, then pack your pockets.

Total calories per ¼ filling: 77 Fat: 4 grams
Carbohydrates: 11 grams Protein: 1 gram
Sodium: 159 milligrams Fiber: 2 grams

Herbed Walnut-Mushroom "Caviar"

Pack your pockets with a delightful treat that makes elegant party fare.

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ pound chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup wheat germ
  • One pinch dried basil
  • One pinch dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • &frac13-½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup shredded fresh spinach leaves

In a pan or skillet with lid, sauté garlic and onions in oil until they are soft. Add mushrooms and soy sauce. Cook until all ingredients are soft and well-mixed. Add wheat germ, herbs, and nuts. Mix well, cover at once, then set aside, and let cool.

Fill each pocket equally with spinach and the "caviar." For party food, cut pita pockets into eight wedges.

Total calories per ¼ filling: 164 Fat: 13 grams
Carbohydrates: 13 grams Protein: 6 grams
Sodium: 114 milligrams Fiber: 3 grams

Peanutty Filling for School Lunch Pockets

An easy-to-fix, easy-to-eat treat for the lunchbox set.

  • ½ cup finely shredded fresh carrots
  • ½ cup organic peanut butter
  • ¼ cup crushed peanuts
  • ¼ cup wheat germ
  • 4 heaping Tablespoons chopped fresh bean sprouts

Mix all ingredients, pack pockets equally, wrap, and set in lunchbox with some fresh fruit for dessert.

Total calories per ¼ filling: 275 Fat: 21 grams
Carbohydrates: 13 grams Protein: 12 grams
Sodium: 86 milligrams Fiber: 4 grams

Fiesta Filling for the Pockets

The cuisine of the Southwest offers a healthy filling for a pita pocket.

  • ½ cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • One pinch garlic powder
  • One pinch ground black pepper
  • One pinch red chili powder
  • 1 cup shredded roasted red pepper, from a jar or your oven
  • ¾ cup cooked and finely mashed pinto beans
  • ½ cup chopped avocado
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup shredded lettuce

Purée tomatoes, lime juice, garlic powder, black pepper, chili powder, and red pepper in a blender. Scrape into bowl, and mix in beans, avocado, and cilantro. Chill for 1 hour.

Pack each pocket equally with lettuce and filling.

Total calories per ¼ filling: 96 Fat: 4 grams
Carbohydrates: 13 grams Protein: 3 grams
Sodium: 287 milligrams Fiber: 5 grams

Tamari and Tofu Pita Pocket Centers

Try a new taste treat inside your pita bread.

  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 green scallions (green onions), trimmed and minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup crumbled tofu
  • 2 Tablespoons tamari
  • 1 cup finely chopped, drained, and cooked greens (kale, spinach, broccoli, etc.)
  • One pinch salt
  • One pinch ground white pepper
  • One pinch paprika

Sauté onions and scallions in oil. Remove from heat and stir in tofu along with tamari. Add greens and seasonings. Cover for a few minutes. If the mixture gets too dry, add a few drops of vegetable broth or water. Pack pita pockets and serve warm.

Total calories per ¼ filling: 136 Fat: 10 grams
Carbohydrates: 7 grams Protein: 7 grams
Sodium: 517 milligrams Fiber: 2 grams

Jacqueline Dunnington is a freelancewriter from Santa Fe, NM, and a frequent contributor to the Vegetarian Journal.

© 1996-2021 The Vegetarian Resource Group, PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203. (410) 366-8343. Email:

The contents of this website and our other publications, including Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient information from company statements. It is impossible to be 100% sure about a statement, info can change, people have different views, and mistakes can be made. Please use your best judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.


Perfect Pita Pockets

Such an easy recipe for homemade pita bread. Make big or small pitas, they taste just delish!

Ingredients

  • 1-⅛ cup Hot Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1-½ teaspoon Sugar
  • 1-½ teaspoon Active Yeast

Preparation

1.Place all ingredients in the bread pan of your bread machine, select Dough setting and start. When dough has risen long enough, machine will beep.

2.Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently roll and stretch dough into a 18-20 inch rope. With a sharp knife, divide dough into 10-12 pieces. Roll each into a smooth ball. With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 6 to 7 inch circle. Set aside on a lightly floured countertop. Cover with a towel. Let pitas rise about 30 minutes until slightly puffy.

3.Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). Place 2 or 3 pitas on a wire cake rack. Place cake rack directly on the oven rack. Bake pitas 4 to 5 minutes until puffed and tops begin to brown. Remove from the oven and immediately place pitas in a sealed brown paper bag or cover them with a damp kitchen towel until soft. Once pitas are softened, either cut in half or split the top edge for half or whole pitas. They can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for 1 or 2 months.