Chicken Souvlaki Kabobs with Tzatziki Sauce & Positive Thinking

Sorry there wasn’t a post yesterday but I had serious computer problems! My laptop kept shutting itself down! I started this post yesterday morning but lost my window of opportunity to post it and had to move on with my day. Now this morning the laptop is working just fine!

The BBQ has been fired up at our house a lot lately! I love the simple clean it up after a meal cooked on the grill. The prep for kabobs is a little time consuming, cutting the meat and marinating it. This super simple marinade calls for fresh lemon juice, fresh oregano, olive oil, salt and minced garlic.Then cutting veggies into bite size pieces and artfully arranging them on the skewers. Once that work is done the actual cooking only takes about 10 minutes! A little rice or your favorite grain on the side and you have a tasty complete meal. This Greek inspired recipe came from Cooking Light and as usual I added more veggies to the kabobs and tweaked the Tzatsiki sauce with some fresh dill. Also, I doubled the recipe! It’s a visual treat for your eyes and after taking their first bite Katy and David exclaimed at how flavorful it was! I was grinning from ear to ear! This will be a recipe that goes into our regular rotation for sure.

Tzatziki sauce is a simple mixture of shredded cucumber, yogurt, lemon juice, salt, garlic and we like it with a little fresh dill as well. It’s cool and refreshing! If you have any kabobs left over use them in a pita bread or flat bread with the sauce and some shredded lettuce for a fabulous sandwich the next day!

Use the vegetables you like for the kabobs. I went with red, green and yellow peppers, zucchini squash and red onions. You could also use parboiled new potatoes, mushrooms, yellow squash and cherry tomatoes. I might make these again this weekend – yep-they were so delicious we could eat them twice this week!

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce


  • • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • • 1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • • 1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into (1/2-inch-thick) slices
  • red onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • red, green and yellow bell peppers cut into 1 inch pieces
  • • Cooking spray

Tzatziki Sauce:

  • • 1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and shredded
  • • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 sprig of fresh dill, chopped


To prepare souvlaki, combine the first 5 ingredients in a zip-top plastic bag; seal and shake to combine. Add chicken to bag; seal and shake to coat. Marinate chicken in refrigerator for 30 minutes, turning once. * I marinated it for 2 hours.

Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Thread the chicken and vegetables, alternately onto each of 4 (8-inch) skewers.

Heat a grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add skewers; cook 8 minutes or until chicken is done, turning once. Hubby Tom grilled these on the outdoor gas grill for about 10 minutes, turning a few times.

To prepare tzatziki sauce, combine cucumber, yogurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 garlic clove, stirring well, add chopped fresh dill if desired. Serve the tzatziki sauce with souvlaki.

I doubled this recipe when I made it and next time I will make even more!

Yield: 2 Servings

Nutritional Information

Calories 219; fat 4.7g; protein 30.9g; carbs 12.3g; fiber 2.4g; sodium 705mg.  WWPP 5

Adapted from Cooking Light

Nutmeg Notes

Earlier this week I was reading Helens Blog at Doing a 180 and I loved what she wrote, “I have a tendency to get into thought patterns that lead me into not living and enjoying my life NOW.  As I sat at the beach basking in the gorgeous day a sense of resolve came over me and I feel like a corner has been turned. I’m done with that.  I’m tired of having a pale blue life.  I want to live a hot pink life! I may not like my job, the extra weight I’m carrying or circumstances in general, but I am no longer going to allow those things to weigh me down.  I am making the choice to celebrate who I am and where I am right this very moment. (Hence, I’m rocking a two piece bathing suit!) Something tells me I’m getting ready to have the best years of my life!” I love your wonderful positive attitude! You can read the rest of her amazing post here.

I also happened to see Roni’s post about being at the beach with her son over at Roni’s Weigh and it was just as inspiring! Got take a look and I bet it will inspire you as well.

All of this positive thinking is contagious!

Are you Listening?

Who’s voice do you listen to the most through out the day? If you said “yourself” you are right! Pay attention to what you are saying to yourself because that internal dialogue is powerful. What you believe about yourself and what you tell yourself becomes your truth. It changes your behavior either giving yourself a boost to move forward or it can drag you down.

Vocab Rehab

I was reading an article by Martha Beck in the August, 2011 Oprah magazine,where Beck said; “Studies have shown that after focusing on words having to do with aging people walk more slowly; when they see words associated with anger, they’re more likely to be rude! This phenomenon is called effective priming, but it works both ways. You can use it to connect with your inner wisdom by changing every stressful word in your self-description to something more freeing, relaxing, or exhilarating.” Words are so powerful!

Nurture Your Mind

On page 96 of The Ultimate Weight Solution book Dr Phil says;”If you are thinking rationally positive thoughts, your body and brain are energized and primed for success. Scientists have been studying this mind-body connection for years, and their research consistently shows that the thoughts we have can maximize performance in nearly every aspect of life. Musicians perform with fewer errors when they hold self affirming thoughts. Salespeople increase their sales quotas. Athletes increase their speed and accuracy.”

Do you want to root out the self defeating thinking that holds you back and incorporate rational, balanced,and productive dialogue into your thinking? Doing this means that you must have a new conversation with yourself.

Focus on the Positive

Whatever it is in life that we focus on seems to become bigger. If we focus on our short comings, failures and disappointments it soon seems as if that’s all we have. To change that takes just a little effort.

This is a little awkward at first but like anything the more you do it the easier it becomes.

  • Write yourself positive affirmations on sticky notes and place them around the house where you can bump into them.
  • Tell yourself something positive every time you see yourself in the mirror.
  • Give yourself a pep talk each morning reaffirming how you are going to make healthy choices that day.
  • Treat yourself the way you would treat your best friend, using kind words of encouragement and praise.
  • Focus on what you are doing right!

In regards to weight loss and living healthy, at the end of the day we can decide to see all the good things that happened, the healthy choices we made, the positive forward moving events or we can dwell on the negative.

When my kids were in grade school they had a teacher who would reward her students when they were “caught being good!” Oh the power of positive reinforcement!

We can do the same for ourselves by jotting down 3 things each day that we are grateful for or 3 healthy choices we made. Now I must admit that someday’s its difficult to come up with 3 things but do it and see what a difference it can make in how you feel. Build on that each day and see how it changes your internal dialogue.

Case In Point

Yesterday I got out the door later than usual for my morning walk and it was already getting hot, the sun was blasting me in the face! I was trudging up my first hill thinking, my legs feel heavy, it’s too hot, I’m too tired, the sun is too bright it’s late- maybe I will take the short route today.

Then I thought about this post I had already started about positive thinking and right then and there I changed my inner dialgoue. I started saying you can do this, I’ll cross the street up ahead and walk in the shade. I’m powerful and strong, (don’t laugh – it worked) I’m going to burn my thigh fat!!! Hows that for motivation?

Before I knew it I was up to my normal fast pace, my legs felt lighter and my attitude improved. Yes, it was still hot out, the sun was still bright, but my attitude shift made my walk seem like less effort. Just thinking about my thigh fat burning and melting away motivated me to keep going! I was so happy that I hadn’t caved and taken the shorter route! By the time I was finished with my 3 miles I was dripping with sweat, felt fabulous and I rode that wave of positive thinking the rest of the day.

We can talk ourselves into doing something positive or negative. You know that old saying “If you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”

Are you listening?


Add Your Thoughts

What is your internal dialogue like these days?

Are you as kind to yourself as you are to your best friend?

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  1. Ellen says:

    There is so much good information in this post, I’m not sure what to comment on first. Well, first of course is the salivating I’m doing over the kabobs. How absolutely pretty they are.
    There must be something going around within the blogosphere lately. Whatever it is, I’m glad it’s catching. Helen’s post echoes a lot of the same things I’ve been feeling, lately. What a wonderful attitude.
    I continue to move forward (in teensy, tiny steps) towards a more satisfying life and the little things I’m doing right now, like trying to maintain a quiet mind, sure helps.
    Wonderful post, Tami. Thank you.

    1. Tami says:

      Ellen I too am happy to see so many positive, forward moving, motivating posts in the blog sphere lately! Maybe its the summer weather, people are active and spending more time outside getting their Vitamin D and happiness hormones abound! The positive momentum is catching on and it helps us all to be a part of it!
      Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

  2. Cammy@TippyToeDiet says:

    Good stuff! As I’ve blogged about before, our actions are all too often a case of “seeing what we believe.” If we believe we’re capable, we’ll see evidence of it everywhere. (I know it’s not just me.:))

    1. Tami says:

      You are so right Cammy!

  3. Biz says:

    I love your kabobs – I used to make tzatziki at home until my store started selling it for only .99 for 16 ounces – score!

    Loved reading this post – attitude is everything! 😀 Hugs!

    1. Tami says:

      Biz that is some cheap dip you can buy! Attitude is everything! 🙂

  4. Karen@WaistingTime says:

    Well, I still talk in my head a lot about food:(

  5. Gina (The Candid RD) says:

    First of all, the kabobs look AMAZING! Yum. And so colorful. Thanks for the recipe!

    As for the positive thoughts, I’ve been trying very hard to block out any negative thoughts that go through my mind. Sadly, it’s a habit of mine to think negative things about myself. I know this is true of many people, but it’s so important to halt this trend. When I feel good, and think positively, I DO feel better. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Tami says:

      Gina I think a lot of us tend to go negative with our thoughts about ourselves, we are not alone!

      Have a fantastic weekend! 🙂

  6. Linda says:

    I joined Weight Watchers 7 weeks ago and I have lost 17 lbs. I found your post through WW and just love it! I have found most of my recipes for myself and family through your post and want to thank you for the great un-boring recipes and motivation!!! My kids are going to love this one!

    1. Tami says:

      Linda thank you for posting and for the lovely comments! Congrats on 17 pounds down -that is awesome!

      It makes me so happy to know you are enjoying the recipes I post, thanks for the feedback! I wish you much more success and I hope you become a regular poster here on blog. Enjoy your weekend. 🙂

  7. Roz says:

    Hi Tami, great post. I think I’m going to have to quote and link to you on my upcoming “Operation Silence the Inner Critic” page. The bit about jotting down 3 things a day, focus on the positive and gratitude part is EXACTLY what I’m wanting to highlight!!! May I??

    1. Tami says:

      Yes, Of course Roz! We are so on the same wave length. I think its awesome that you are spreading the word and creating a movement to rid ourselves of negative self talk! Go for it!

  8. Dr. J says:

    Those kabobs look great!!

    That internal dialog is something, isn’t it? I’m ambivalent about it all, myself because I’ve read opinions on both positive and negative self talk both having a useful function. I do know that a personal mantra can be helpful from my own experiences, especially in dealing with fear!

    1. Tami says:

      A personal mantra is a great idea Dr J. I should have one for my upcoming surgery!

  9. Kristen @ Swanky Dietitian says:

    This looks amazing! I love tzatziki sauce, but have never made it myself. Don’t know why, since it’s so simple!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    1. Tami says:

      Thanks Kristen! You have to make the tzatzki sauce – there is nothing to it but yet it has tons of flavor!
      Have a wonderful weekend.

  10. renee@mykitchenadventures says:

    Loving this post Tami…it’s so true. I just was reading about Roz’s Operation Silence the Inner Critic and then read your post that pretty much says the same as hers. Positivity is positively contagious…just like negativity. But I would rather catch the positive wave, ya know?

    Inner balance is a very difficult thing to achieve. I think both internal positive and negative thoughts have their place…it’s just finding that right balance so that you can love yourself yet still be humble and true about your shortcomings.

    chicken souvlaki has been in my must try file for sometime now….and tzatziki…what can I say? I can slather that stuff on rocks and eat it I love it so much! lol

    1. Tami says:

      Renee I agree with you about finding the right balance and still being true about our short comings. It’s not about denying when we need to change things up but rather its about not beating ourselves up about those short comings. It’s a learning curve for sure!

  11. SunshineMama says:

    What a good message. Can I do positive thinking with homeschooling the kids and taking care of the family too? Sometimes I feel overwhelmed. I think I’ll try it.

    1. Tami says:

      Sunshine Mama you really need positive thinking! That’s a lot to deal with everyday-my hats off to you my dear!

  12. Lori says:

    I try very hard to stay positive in my thoughts to myself. It really makes such a huge difference in my outlook on everything if I start by being nice to myself.

    1. Tami says:

      Lori it seems to be so much easier to be nice to everyone else first before being nice to ourselves. It can be a difficult lesson to learn but once we do it’s so worth while! Have a great weekend!

  13. Fred Greenwood says:

    Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce is yummy! Lol….it makes me hungry. 😉

  14. Jody - Fit at 53 says:

    Really great post Tami – lots to think about & yes, I know that inner talk has been a prob for me! THX!

    1. Tami says:

      I think that inner voice is a tough hurdle for many of us to overcome! You do a great job of keeping on track though so your inner voice is saying something right!

  15. Deb Willbefree says:

    Hi, Tami! I just stopped over to say, “Hey!” and thank you for the kind comments you’ve left on my posts. I don’t visit here much because the food pics make me want food!

    Your blog is lovely, tho. And full of great info and thoughts.


    1. Tami says:

      Deb thank you so much for your kinds words. I am sorry you can’t visit the blog more often because of the food photos! Boo on that but I understand that it can be a trigger for some folks. The power of suggestion is strong! I do enjoy your blog and the wisdom you share. Thanks again! 🙂

  16. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    Yes, a positive attitude makes a huge difference!!! In all aspects of life. I like your suggestions for focusing on the positive in our lives!

  1. Tandoori Chicken Platter With Raita & Naan » Nutmeg Notebook says:

    […] with cucumber and mint. I actually didn’t get the Raita made so we used the Tzatsiki from the Greek Chicken Souvlaki Kabobs we had and it worked perfectly. […]

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