Friday, May 20, 2011

Vegan Tzatziki Heaven

I have had too many balls in the air to blog lately.  But I am never too busy to prepare food and eat !
This is for all you Tzatziki fans who have had to live without it since you chose the vegan path....Your ship has come in!  This is as good as you remember the old dairy version!
(Tzatziki is traditionally a Greek yogurt and cucumber sauce...this vegan version creates a whole new tradition...compassionate Tzatziki)
Makes about 3 1/2 cups. 

-3 cups WHOLE SOY UNSWEETENED Yogurt (DO NOT try to substitute other non-dairy yogurts or any sweetened plain non-dairy yogurt.  Only Whole Soy is smooth enough and tasty enough and only unsweetened will work)
-Juice of one lemon (about 3 T)
-1 or 2garlic cloves, minced fine
-2 medium cucumbers, seeded and diced (I do not seed or peel mine)
-About 1 T  salt for salting cucumbers if you choose to do that step
-2 T finely chopped fresh dill (can substitute mint leaves for a slightly different version)
-Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
I am including the traditional Greek steps here and then letting you know when I do it differently.  

You can peel the cucumbers (I don't), then cut in half lengthwise and take a small spoon and scrape out seeds (I use the seeds). Discard seeds. (If you use the small seedless or European cucumbers with few seeds or you like seeds like I do, you can skip that step.) Slice cucumbers, then put in a colander, sprinkle on 1 T salt, and let stand for 30 minutes to draw out water (I don't do this step either :). Drain well and wipe dry with paper towel. 

Greek style: In food processor with steel blade, add cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill, and black pepper. Process until well blended, then stir this mixture into the yogurt. Taste before adding any extra salt, then salt if needed. Place in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving so flavors can blend. (This resting time is very important.)
My version: Just slice or cube the cukes and put all the ingredients together.  


This will keep for a few days or more in the refrigerator, but you will need to drain off any water and stir each time you use it.