Tag Archives: meat substitue

Vegetarian Gyros


Vegetarian Gyro

Vegetarian Gyro with Homemade Tzatziki

Every word I type right now is one less word that is going into my research paper.  This blog is a lot of things for me – an outlet, a collection, an experiment – but it’s also an excellent tool for procrastination, alongside my guitar, my dog and the rest of the internet.

I bounce between them in order to stretch my homework in to the early morning hours, which is something I regularly do, but wouldn’t recommend.  It’s difficult going back and forth, too.  As I typed that last sentence, I questioned whether I should be writing this post in AP style or APA format, which is probably as depressing to read as it was to type.

Grad school isn’t for the faint of heart, I guess.  It’s Saturday afternoon, and I’ve got another 15-2o pages of research paper to knock out before Tuesday at 5 p.m., and all I can think about is making a milkshake.

So, here I am, boring you and unclogging my writer’s block.

Brave New Food, ever a bountiful source for good ideas, recently sent me a link to a post about vegetarian gyros at Curvy Carrot.

CC’s recipe looked good, so I stuck to it pretty close, with the exception of two pretty big diffs.  I made my own tzatziki sauce and instead of seitan, which I had none of, I used Gardein brand fake chicken breasts (which, for the record, taste pretty much like whatever you season them with – and they’re BOGO at Publix this week).

Traditional gyros use lamb, but if you’re veggie, seitan or any other meat sub would work nicely.  Also, I know of those who make them with broccoli, instead of a meat-less sub.

Wanna complete the deal with homemade pita?  Check out My Diverse Kitchen’s recipe here.

Without further ado.

Tzatziki Ingredients

Easier to make than it is to spell - Tzatziki

Here’s what you need (for the tzatziki): (makes more than you will use for two gyros, by the way)

 

  • 8 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Here’s what you need (for the gyros):

  • 2 warm pitas
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • lettuce
  • 2 fake chicken breasts, or 1 package of seitan strips, or 2 cups of broccolli
  • 1/4 red onion, diced or cut into strips
  • Cumin (two shakes)
  • Cinnamon (one shake)
  • Cayenne pepper (one shake)
  • Nutmeg (a pinch)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Here’s what to do:

Step 1) To make the tzatziki, peel and seed (scoop out the seed junk with a spoon) the cucumber.  If you don’t seed the cucumber, your tzatziki will be unecessarily runny.  Once prepared, dice the cucumber into pieces roughly the size of peanut M&M’s (that’s the best I’ve got today)

Scoop those seeds out!

Step 2) Mix the cucumber into the Greek yogurt, and add in two to three minced cloves of garlic, depending on how spicy you like things.  Add in the olive oil, most of the juice from half a medium sized lemon, and some salt and pepper.  Fold it all together, but don’t beat it to hard or the yogurt can begin to break down.

Step 3) Place the tzatziki in the fridge for a while, so it is nice and chilled when it’s time to serve.  Oh, and don’t leave the cucumber out for too long after it’s been peeled.  It’ll start browning like an apple.

Step 4) Place your fake chicken/seitan strips in a pan with a little evoo and cook according to package directions (plus a few minutes if you like it a little crispy like me).  Once it is cooked through, season with the cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, nutmeg and salt and pepper.  Let the flavors cook in for a minute or two, then remove.

Step 5) Place the chicken/seitan in a warm pita, and top with diced tomatoes, onions, lettuce and a generous helping of tzatziki sauce.  Wrap it up in foil like they do on the mean streets of Greece.

Fake Chicken Gyros

If you’ve got leftover tzatziki sauce, which you will unless you are a tzatziki glutton, try them out as a topping on these Greek-inspired homemade spinach veggie burgers.


Spicy Chick’n Quesadillas


spicy chicken quesadilla

Spicy Chick'n Quesadilla | Photo by Healhyandlazy

For some reason, meatless chicken has always been a little weird to me.

I like some meatless sausages, especially when they are cooked into a pasta or casserole.  I use fake bacon in a carbonara and love it.  Still, chicken remains mysterious.

I’ve had the frozen, breaded vegetarian chicken patties (not that good) and the MorningStar buffalo chicken nuggets (really not that good).  So I was a little skeptical when I set out to make quesadillas with some fake chicken strips.

I used the MorningStar frozen strips, which come seasoned but not breaded, and cooked them in a pan with some veggies until they were well done (by fake meat standards).  The cooking directions on the bag suggests you just heat them through, but I let them get a little brown and crispy.  They turned out great.  And with quesadillas, how can you go wrong?  Crispy, cheesy and melty – served with some cold salsa and sour cream.  Yum.

Here’s what you need (to make two quesadillas):

  • 4 large flour tortillas
  • 8-12 frozen chick’n strips
  • 1/8 cup jarred jalapenos
  • 1/4 sweet onion, diced or in strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup of of pepper jack/cheddar/Mexican cheese
  • Fajita seasoning (optional, but I like it when I’m in a hurry)
  • Sour cream
  • Your favorite salsa

    Ingredients

    Better than I expected | Photo by Healthyandlazy

Here’s what to do:

Step 1) Place the onion, jalapenos and bell pepper in a large pan with some olive oil and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Step 2) Add the chick’n strips and cook with veggies until edges of chick’n are getting crispy.

cooking chick'n

Not done yet... | Photo by Healthyandlazy

Step 3) Remove veggie/chicken mixture, wipe out pan, and lay down tortilla.  Top with cheese, veggies and chick’n.  Lay on the other tortilla.

Step 4) Peek inside every minute or so.  When the cheese looks melty, it’s probably time to flip and toast the other side.

Step 5) When both sides have lightly browned, remove from pan, slice and plate with sour cream, salsa and guac if you’ve got it.

In unrelated news, I’m headed to New Orleans this weekend for some food, fun and good music (Jazz Fest!!).  I’ve been around the country quite a bit, but never to NOLA.  Any suggestions of good things to do/places to eat?


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