Middle Eastern Beef and Hummus Pita Rounds
Hummus with Lahmeh (spiced meat) at one of my favorite restaurants inspired these Middle Eastern Beef and Hummus Pita Rounds. I used My Favorite Low-Carb Pita Bread to make this a carb-conscious dish, and it’s low-glycemic, and dairy-free. Use the Recipes-by-Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
These Middle Eastern Beef and Hummus Pita Rounds were 100% inspired by an appetizer I had recently at Mazza in Salt Lake, where I met up with a few Utah food bloggers who gathered to have lunch with our friend Dara from Cookin’ Canuck who’s moving to Seattle. This group of blogging friends has enjoyed quite a few lunches at Mazza, and this time we shared some appetizers that included hummus with spicy meat (Lahmeh) scooped up with pita bread. I kept thinking about how good that combination was, and a few days later my creative cooking brain transformed it into a meal.
I love Joseph’s Low-Carb Pita Bread so much that I order it online, so Kara and I toasted some of that as the base for these middle eastern pita rounds. We cooked ground beef and onions and seasoned them with cumin, coriander, dried oregano, and dried parsley, and when the meat was browned we mixed in chopped parsley, mint, and cilantro, plus a little lemon juice. Then we topped the hot toasted pita with a thin layer of hummus, piled some spicy meat on top, and sprinkled the pita rounds with finely chopped cucumber, tomatoes, and pine nuts. Oh yes, this was amazing.
And I’m happy that my friend Dara and her family are going to have new opportunities and adventures in Seattle, but I sure am going to miss them here! I’ve featured quite a few great recipes from Dara on this site, so if you’ve enjoyed one of those recipes from Cookin’ Canuck, head over there and wish her well in her new adventure.
Chop the fresh herbs, cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion and have the hummus and pine nuts ready when you start to cook the meat. We ground together spice mixture in a mortar and pestle. Then we browned the beef in a little olive oil, pushed it to the side and cooked the onions, adding the spices after the onions started to soften, mixed the browned meat and onions, added the water, and simmered until the water had evaporated. Then we stirred in the chopped parsley, mint, and cilantro and a little lemon juice. (Use whatever herbs you have available if you don’t want to buy all three.)
While the meat is browning, preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Lightly mist or brush the pita breads with olive oil and toast them in the hot oven just until they start to brown. (I use My Favorite Low-Carb Pita Bread.) This won’t take more than 3-5 minutes; watch them carefully.
Spread the warm pita with hummus and top with one-fourth of the ground beef mixture. Then sprinkle with finely chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, and pine nuts or slivered almonds. You could also sprinkle them with Sumac or Za’atar if you have some.
Serve right away while the pita bread and ground beef are still warm. I’m guessing you could save some of the meat in the fridge and reheat it later with a freshly toasted pita bread if you don’t eat all four of these, although I haven’t tried that yet.
More Tasty Ideas with Hummus:
Mediterranean Tostadas with Hummus, Feta, and Kalamata Olives ~ KalynsKitchen
Roasted Asparagus Hummus ~ The Perfect Pantry
Hummus and Cucumber Appetizer Bites ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Baked Hummus and Feta Cauliflower Bites ~ Cookin’ Canuck
Mediterranean Salad with Hummus Dressing ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Middle Eastern Beef and Hummus Pita Rounds
Hummus with Lahmeh (spiced meat) inspired these Middle Eastern Beef and Hummus Pita Rounds.
Spice Mix Ingredients
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried mint (probably optional, but good)
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 2 tsp. olive oil, divided, plus a little more for misting the pita bread with oil
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup each finely chopped fresh parsley, mint, and cilantro
(use one cup of whichever herbs you have on hand if you don’t want to buy all three)
- 2 T lemon juice
- 4 low-carb or whole wheat pita bread rounds (see notes)
- 1/2 cup hummus (I used purchased hummus from Costco.)
- 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup finely chopped cucumbers
- 2 T pine nuts (Slivered almonds will also be good; nuts are definitely optional.)
- Sumac or Za’atar to sprinkle on the finished pita rounds if desired (see notes)
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
- Finely chop the fresh parsley, fresh mint, and fresh cilantro (or whatever fresh herbs you’re using.)
- Chop the cucumbers and tomatoes.
- Have the pine nuts (or other nuts) and hummus ready, as well as the Sumac or Za’atar if you’re using it.
- Use a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to grind together the spice mixture if you have one of those; if not you can use the individual spices without grinding them.
- Heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. (I used my favorite Green Pan.)
- Crumble in the ground beef and cook over medium-high heat, breaking apart with a turner, until the meat is nicely browned.
- Push meat to the side of the pan, add the other teaspoon of olive oil.
- Add the onions, and cook until the onions are starting to soften.
- Add the spice mixture to the onions and cook a minute or so longer.
- Then mix the onions and browned ground beef, and add the water, scrape any browned bits from the bottom or the pan, and turn the heat to medium-low.
- Let the meat simmer for a few minutes until all the water is evaporated.
- Turn off heat and stir in the chopped herbs and lemon juice.
- While the ground beef browns, mist or brush the pita bread on both sides with a little olive oil.
- Place the pita bread on the rack in the heated oven and toast just until the pita bread is browned and slightly crisp. This will only take about 3-5 minutes; watch it carefully.
- Spread a thin layer of hummus on each of the toasted pita bread rounds.
- Sprinkle one-fourth of the ground beef and herb mixture over the hummus.
- Sprinkle each one with a few tablespoons each of chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, sprinkle with some pine nuts or almonds, and sprinkle with Sumac or Za’atar if using.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Recipe created by Kalyn and inspired by Hummus with Lahmeh at Mazza in Salt Lake.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Hummus in small amounts is approved for all phases of the South Beach Diet, but South Beach would consider this phase two because of the pita bread. However, the low-carb pita bread I used has only 9 carbs (and 4 grams of that is fiber, so only 5 net carbs) per serving, so I’d still consider this a pretty low-carb meal.
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