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Tempeh Gyros with Cashew Tzatziki Sauce

tempeh gyros1

As a foodie, I’m constantly seeking creative ways to enjoy delicious, nutritionally balanced plant-based meals. And when you love Greek food as much as I do, you have to turn up your creativity dial a notch or two. Can I really make a meat-free gyro that tastes as good as the original? You bet I can! After a few test trials in my kitchen, I was ready to roll out this recipe for last Saturday’s class. I’m thrilled to report it was a hit. The Gyros were simple to make, the texture and flavor did not disappoint, and the tzatziki sauce, oh the tzatziki sauce…

Here’s how it’s done… Tempeh is my go-to staple whenever I’m craving a meat dish. Not only is it high in protein, but its texture is beefy and easily adaptable to many flavors and seasonings.

 

sliced tempeh

 

The trick to mimicking the flavors of a traditional gyro is allowing the tempeh to soak in a rich marinade full of Greek herbs and savory seasonings. Vegetable broth and Nama Shoyu worked beautifully as the base of the marinade, and of course, oregano, lots of oregano. I also added thyme, dried onions, garlic and white wine vinegar. However, feel free to add a variety of your favorite seasonings. I’m thinking dried basil would make a nice addition.

 

tempeh marinade

 

The recipe calls for marinating the tempeh for only a few hours, but feel free to marinate for longer or overnight.

 

tzatziki sauce
What makes these gyros extra special is the CASHEW TZATZIKI SAUCE. Like holy cow! It’s unbelievably creamy, with the perfect zing I was looking for. I couldn’t get over how similar it tasted to tradition Tzatziki Sauce. It never ceases to amaze me how adaptable Cashew cream can be. Starting with cashews and water as the base, it can be used as a simple substitute for most dairy-based creams. Honestly, you can virtually make any kind of cream sauce you want, you just need to know what to add.  In this case, I was aiming to mimic traditional tzatziki sauce which is made with Greek yogurt, white wine vinegar, dill, and cucumbers. And while this is absolutely delicious, I added a few extra herbs and seasonings to make it even more flavorful and totally nailed it! You’re really going to love this sauce…

 

Tempeh Gyros with Cashew Tzatziki Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Be sure to use Organic when possible!
Ingredients
Tempeh Marinade:
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried onion flakes
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ C veggie broth
  • 3 T Nama Shoyu or Coconut Aminos
  • 2 tsp. rice vinegar (or more for an extra zing)
  • juice of 1 lemon
Gyros:
  • 8 oz. organic Tempeh, sliced ¼" thick
  • pittas (organic and gluten-free preferred)
  • sliced tomatoes, red onion and cucumbers (or your favorite veggies of choice)
Tzatziki Sauce
  • 1 C cashews
  • 2 C cucumber, peeled and diced small
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 T white wine vinegar
  • 2 T dill, finely chopped
  • 2-3 mint leaves
  • 1-2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Himalayan salt to taste
  • ¼ - ¾ C water
Instructions
Making the tzatzki sauce:
  1. Combine all ingredients except for the dill and cucumber to your Vitamix with ¼ C water. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. The sauce will be thick, so add more water until you find the right consistency. Personally, I like the sauce on the thick side.
  2. In a bowl, combine the sauce with the chopped dill and diced cucumber.
  3. Add more seasonings if you like.
For the Gyros:
  1. Whisk together the marinade ingredients in a shallow dish. Add the tempeh slices and marinate for a couple of hours, tossing the tempeh from time to time.
  2. Once finished marinating, add the tempeh and the marinade to a skillet and gently heat each side for 5 minutes. Add a little veg broth and Nama Shoyu if the tempeh starts sticking to the pan. You want the tempeh browned with much of the sauce reduced. Depending on your skillet, you may need to cook for a little longer. I don't recommend cooking with high heat, as much of the sauce will reduce quickly and the seasonings may burn.
  3. Scoop out the tempeh along with any bits of seasoning and juice left in the skillet.
  4. Assemble your gyros with the tempeh and veggies of your choice and top with tzatziki sauce.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2-3 Gyros

 

tempeh gyros4
I’m sure this meat-free gyro recipe will become one of your favorites, however, one word of caution. Before you devour them, find an adult bib and procure a lot of napkins, because they are a delicious mess to eat! No way around it… What are your thoughts about Tempeh Gyros? Share below, and be sure to use the #yogitrition if you recreated this lovely recipe.

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2 Comments

  1. Kim this looks so good I’m going to cook next week!

    • Ah, one of my favorite recipes. I promise you will thoroughly enjoy every bite!

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