Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Vegan MoFo Day 18!

Sorry for the few day delay friends!! We were both swamped this weekend: Alex with her 2nd City Internship & sound editing for MacBeth where she is trying her hat at Stage Managing (?!) and Joe with grading math homework for 3 courses! It was a busy and not very restful weekend! But on to the recipe...

For Day 18 we are cooking and eating up some of our favorite blogger The Vegan Dad's recipe for Vegan Gyros! We have made this recipe many times, and we have included our changes/tips. The original idea is from the Vegan Dad, of course. We are so obsessed with this blog & in particular a few of his recipes (like this one)!

tempeh gyro:
1, 8.5oz block of tempeh
1 onion
1tsp garlic powder
1tbsp marjoram
1tsp ground rosemary
1/2tsp basil
1/2tsp thyme
1/2tsp sage
1/4tsp salt
2tbsp finely chopped parsley
2tbsp soy sauce
freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup flour

vegan tzatziki sauce:
1 container Tofutti Sour Cream
juice from 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic minced
2tbsp canola oil
1tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
2-3 tbsp fresh dill (Joe: we always use fresh dill, since Alex being Polish has a dill obsession & it's always in our fridge. Alex: Um, you're welcome.)
pinch cayenne
1 cup peeled grated cucumber (I think a whole, normal sized cucumber)
1/2 cup peeled and diced cucumber (half a cucumber)
2tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Make the tzatzki sauce first. Grate the cumcumber into small pieces and place in a piece of cheese cloth, or a clean kitchen towel (I have tried paper towels, but it does not work very well). Add salt to the cucumbers an let sit over a colander for at least an hour.
This is to remove most of the water in the cucumbers. Combine the rest of the ingredients, EXCEPT the diced cucumber, in a bowl and mix well. After the hour, squeeze the grated cucumbers to remove as much water as possible. (Alex: I like to use the juice to make Cucumber Cocktails!). Add both types of prepared cucumber. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. The sauce should taste tangy, refreshing and with a distinct flavor of dill. I also added some Vegenaise (like 2 tbsp) to help with the sauce some.

In a food processor (or a box grater), grate the onion and tempeh.

Add spices, including parsley, and soy sauce and mix well with your hands. Add flour and knead together for a minute. Wrap into a log using plastic wrap, about 2 inches in diameter.
Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, or until ready to use. This will help keep the "meat" together when you cook it.

Unwrap the "meat", slice into 10-12 pieces and shape and flatten to resemble gyro meat. The slices should be no more that 1/4" thick and 2 by 5 inch rectangular shapes.

Fry the slices in batches (We can usually fit 4 a time with a 10" skillet) in a skillet with a small layer of oil heated over medium-high heat. Fry for 2 minutes per side, flipping once or until golden brown on both sides.

Serve with tzatziki, red onions, lettuce and tomatoes in a warm piece of pita (or better yet, TJ's Middle Eastern Flatbread!)!


Joe: Best thing since sliced bread! I actually used the Vital Wheat Gluten flour as the original recipe calls for this time, and I didn't like it as much! I found the regular (AP) flour helped things stay together better.

Alex: I think this recipe is fantastic. I used to work in a Greek fast food joint in college and would eat gyros until I would explode and after going vegan really found myself craving that taste of spices & tzatziki so when I stumbled upon this recipe I did a jig of joy! This flavor combo just hits the spot for me and curbs my college tummy cravings! :D


  1. I'm so intrigued by this recipe! I've never tried to make faux meat at home, but I think you've inspired me to finally give it a try! Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. YAY! Give it a whirl and tell me what you think (I fell in love). Thanks to the Vegan Dad for inspiring us to finally try to make our own, we were a bit freaked out but he convinced us with this recipe to go for it & now we're not looking back! :D