Monday, July 18, 2016

Vegan Tzatziki with Tofu

We LOVE greek food. We did our honeymoon in Greece consuming copious amounts of hummus and tzatziki but at the time, we were pretty much vegetarian, so the dairy wasn't an issue. To keep the momentum going, we made lots of falafel and tzatziki at home using sour cream as a base and I seriously could not get enough of it.

Fast forward a few years later, and I made the call to go vegan. I wasn't sure I could do it. There was pizza and a serious cheese addiction that I wasn't sure would just go away on its own. I forgot about things like tzatziki. Once I realized I didn't have a sub for tzatziki, I stopped even bothering to make all the greek food I loved. We opted for Mexican, Italian, and Asian style meals instead.

This year, we are spending a good deal of time in Japan and we happened upon a Halal store that had these really good frozen falafel (I know, I know, I need to learn how to make these too... all in good time and jeez, I barely have any time at all!) We keep buying the frozen falafel and it is delicious but of course, it was missing something...

I started to think, I've had dips, desserts, and a ton of other things made out of tofu, and I know a great natural foods store where you can buy the organic stuff. A quick search online proved my suspicion. YES. You CAN make tzatziki out of tofu. I adapted a recipe I found and tested it. I admit, I was a little skeptical. I've thrown a few recipes straight into the trash in my time, so I was not going to get my hopes up. I seriously was blown away.

You know who the ULTIMATE food tester in my house is??? My picky eater husband. He loves tzatziki and I was fully expecting him to make the face... the one that he really isn't supposed to make if he wants to be kind but can't help it. I braced myself... he tried it... he LOVED it!

This is a serious win, folks. He really doesn't like things. There are some foods like my vegan cheeses that I can't get enough of and he wants NO part of whatsoever, even the ones I think are the best.

So, this means that this recipe is a keeper. It may look a little ugly, but I think that is because I used a lot of cucumber and didn't liquefy it. I really don't want it liquefied but I think that is the way some people may do it. Maybe if you want it to look smooth you liquefy, but it is really your call how aggressive you get with the food processor.

What you need:
1 cucumber peeled and seeded and cut in to chunks
1-2 garlic cloves
1 block silken tofu (12 ounces)
2 Tbsp lemon juice (I prefer fresh)
1 Tbsp White wine vinegar
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp dill (I like fresh but you can use dried)
A few dashes of pepper

What you do:
Chop your garlic in your food processor. Then chop your cucumber in the food processor. Add your tofu, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, and salt and blend.

Remove from food processor and place mixture in bowl that has a fitting lid. Stir in dill and dashes of pepper.

Refrigerate for 1-3 hours.

Serve with pita bread or veggies. I like to make rice, falafel, potatoes, quinoa, lentils, salad - all of those things (and more) can go with tzatziki!

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