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Vegetarian Recipes

Tzatziki

https://www.loveandlemons.com/tzatziki-sauce/

Break out the pita, it’s tzatziki time! On Monday, I posted my favorite Greek salad, and now I’m following it up with another Greek essential: this cool, refreshing cucumber tzatziki sauce.

One of the best parts of summer is that dinner suddenly becomes easy. My favorite ingredients – fresh fruits and veggies – are at their peak. Tomatoes are sweeter and juicier, berries are plumper, peppers are snappier, and our backyard herbs are at their most potent.

Sometimes, when I want to put these peak-season veggies front and center, making dinner just means prepping a sauce to dress them up. This tzatziki sauce is a great recipe for showcasing summer produce – it’s rich & creamy, bright, and packed with fresh herbs. So mix it up, serve it with a big platter of pita and your favorite summer veggies, and call it dinner!


Tzatziki Recipe

What is tzatziki?

Tzatziki is a salted yogurt and cucumber dip that’s made of strained yogurt, shredded cucumber, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and herbs. Authentic Greek tzatziki is most often made with sheep or goat yogurt, but my tzatziki recipe calls for regular full-fat Greek yogurt. It’s easier to find in the store, and it still has the creamy, thick consistency you want in tzatziki sauce. Along with the other traditional ingredients, I stir in fresh mint and dill for a bright, summery finish.

How to Make Tzatziki Sauce

I first started eating tzatziki sauce at Greek restaurants, but I’ve since learned that it’s incredibly easy to whip up at home. Now, along with pesto, it’s one of my must-make summer sauces. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Start by grating the cucumber. I use the largest holes on a box grater to give my final sauce texture and plenty of green flecks.
  2. Next, squeeze the water out of the grated cucumber. This step is essential for making a creamy tzatziki – if you skip it, the water from the cucumber will cause your sauce to separate. Squeeze the cucumber directly over the sink, or press it lightly between kitchen or paper towels.
  3. Then, stir everything together! Mix the squeezed cucumber with the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, and herbs, and chill until you’re ready to use.

That’s it!

How to Use Tzatziki Sauce

Once you’ve mixed your tzatziki sauce together, there are endless ways to use it. Most simply, I enjoy it as a snack with fresh veggies and pita or crackers. Try it this way, or add it to your next crudité platter. Your guests will love it!

You could also slather it onto sandwiches like these pita wraps, serve it alongside a Mediterranean salad like tabbouleh or couscous salad, or top it onto falafel, falafel burgers, or a flatbread.

And last but not least, serve it with pita and lots of grilled veggies for a delicious, easy summer dinner.

If you love this tzatziki recipe…

Try my chipotle sauce, cilantro lime dressing, pico de gallo, tomatillo salsa, or guacamole next!

Tzatziki Sauce

Author: Jeanine Donofrio

Recipe type: Appetizer

  • ½ cup finely grated cucumber
  • 1 cup thick whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint, optional
  1. Place the cucumber on a towel and gently squeeze out a bit of the excess water.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber, yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, dill, and mint, if using. Chill until ready to use.

 

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Vegetarian Recipes

CAULIFLOWER BOLOGNESE

“I want you to come watch the movie with us ON the couch, not be in the kitchen!”

I’ve been filling out this one-question-a-day journals for moms that I received for Christmas. It records a little thought or memory over the last year, and then starts again, so you can see how your answers change over a few years. One of the recent ones, prompted me to jot notes about what I am learning as a mom, and I found the question so general I was basically annoyed. I am a romantic, and also wildly pragmatic. In the span of a day I can tear up over the depths of love I feel for my kids, and also wish for them to have a mute button. We all have worlds within us; mothering pushing me into the corners of myself I am sometimes proud of or other corners ashamed of, but am I learning? Yes, every single day. Sometimes in the moment and other times after a particular season. But in 2021, my answer in the bullet journal was that I see my kids are wanting me to play with them. They aren’t registering all the service and shuttling and laundry and what it takes to pull off a week, they just want to play WITH me. It’s natural for me to move within lists and tasks and responsibilities and hustling, but playing is something I have to pay attention to. For them and for me. We usually do a family movie on Friday nights and my son (6.5), see quote above, pointed out that I don’t actually watch the movie, I tinker in the kitchen and he wants me in the couch cuddle. Flattered, and found out that I’d rather make granola than watch The Croods 🙂 So from annoyed, to passing on the question to fellow parents, what are you learning? Try not to be annoyed. Maybe circle back to it.

I published this recipe over on SKCC a few weeks ago and wanted it to live here. We’re trying to find more family-friendly vegetarian recipes (it’s easy for me to fill up on roasted veggies and big salads, not so much for the kids). This batch lasts us two meals – once with noodles, maybe half zoodles, and the second round on toast or english muffins with cheese melted on top, like a pizza sort of thing? It freezes well and is great to deliver to new parents.

CAULIFLOWER BOLOGNESE

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion – roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic
sea salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 head of cauliflower (about ¾ lb. or 12 oz. riced)
1/2 cup of raw walnuts pieces
1/2 tsp. of Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. of fennel seeds – crushed
2 Tbsp. of tomato paste
2 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of red wine (or broth of any sort, and double the vinegar to mimic the wine’s acidity)
28 oz. of canned, crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup of red lentils
red pepper flake to taste

For serving

12 oz. of pasta or choice, zoodles, etc.
parmesan
fresh, torn basil

Directions

In a large Dutch-oven or stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium low heat.

In a food processor, pulse the onion and garlic into smaller bits. Add them to the pot with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté to soften, about 3 minutes.

Pulse up the cauliflower florets to get a rice-like texture. Add the riced-cauliflower to the pot and sauté to soften, about 5 minutes.

Pulse the walnuts in the processor and add those to the pot along with the Italian seasoning, fennel seed, another few generous pinches of salt and pepper, tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. Sauté until fragrant.

Add the red wine, cook about 3 minutes, then add the crushed tomatoes, ½ cup water, lentils, pinch of pepper flakes and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low, put the cover ajar and let it simmer gently for 30-35 minutes. Turn off the heat, taste for seasoning and adjust.

Cook your pasta or zoodles according to instructions. Top with cauli Bolognese, grated cheese, fresh basil and enjoy!

The Bolognese will keep in the fridge for a week and can be frozen for a few months.

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