everything trader joe's gyros.

yaaaaaaaaas. 

excited to share this one! pete & i love to make gyros at home - and we've made them in several different ways using ALL items you can buy at trader joe's!

all for $22! and you can use these ingredients to make either a whole bunch of gyros at once, or stretch them out to have them in 2-4 sittings, depending how many people are eating and how many gyros you'll have. i usually eat 1 if we're using the naan bread; if we're using the thinner flatbreads i might have 2. anyhoo you can stretch these out and have gyros for several meals!

and you can have this done in less than 20 minutes! very excite!

i LUHUHUHHHHVE gyros. & greek food in general. even though these are considered the hot dog of greek food, me no give a hoot. i proudly enjoy hot dogs too, so there. 

so the meat component in here is meatballs -- not lamb + beef. but, i find that the italian meatballs at TJ's do a great job at mimicking gyro meat flavor. especially when you crispify them.

here's what we use!

italian style meatballs ($3.99), tomatoes ($2.29), cucumbers ($1.99), green bell pepper ($0.69), spinach ($1.99), red onion ($0.89), feta cheese ($2.69), tzatziki ($3.49), and naan ($3.69) or flatbreads. 

you can use other colors of bell peppers or other veggies you like, these are just the basics of what i normally go for, flavor-wise. it doesn't matter what type of tomatoes or cucumbers you get - they have a few varieties.

also, i prefer to make tzatziki homemade. but they've got it at TJ's, too!

the naan bread is super fluffy and has a great texture, but they're an odd shape to fit stuff in. i'll get the middle eastern flatbreads at TJ's most of the time. pitas work, too.

i've tried using TJ's turkey meatballs in these gyros, but the regular italian style are just way better tasting.  way mo fat & calz though. i actually barely use two meatballs on my gyro because i'll slice them up and crisp up the interior in the pan. and they're pretty rich. one meatball goes a long way for me. pete just goes whole meatball style; he doesn't know what calz are. 

dice up the tomatoes, cucumbers, green pepper, some red onion, add a few shakes of salt & pepper, and gently toss with a spoon. i like to chill this while i'm waiting for the meatballs to cook. 

we kicked our microwave to tha curb, so i like to thaw the meatballs a little bit before putting them in the pan. i add a little water and cover the pan to steam it up for about 5 minutes, then uncover and turn them to crisp. then i'll cut them in half or slice each meatball into 4 and crisp up those innards on low while i'm getting everything else ready.

if you do have a microwave, heat them in there for a few minutes and then brown them in a pan for about 5 minutes.

warm the naan, flatbreads, or pitas on a pan til they're easy to fold, then build your gyro!

i like to bulk it up and add extra greens like spinach, then layers of tzatziki, veggies, meatball slices, feta, and more veggies on top! 

sriracha is also amazing on gyros.

hey! you could also use the extra veggies & such to make a chunky greek salad on the side! 

we love you TJ's! and obviously while you're there you'll probably get a cheap bottle of wine and some sort of delish seasonal cookies or fabulous chocolate treat. because that's just what happens in that place. 

 

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homemade greek tzatziki.

learning how to make simple sauces or foods that you'd normally think to only be store-bought is verrrrrrrry exciting. and liberating, in a way! it helps you to think more creatively about anything else you might be able to make yourself.

i'll probably never go back to buying certain things since i've been teaching myself how to make lots of foods at home. add this delicious tzatziki recipe to that list, along with nut butters, chimichurri, pesto, chicken pot pie, pizza, tortillas, pickled things, etc.

i love love greek food. mmm mmm!

i was studying abroad in greece this time 7 years ago. i can't believe that was  s e v e n years ago. i think about all the fun times probably once every day! 

would highly recommend visiting greek islands. they're so amazing. 10/10.

SEEEEEEE???? i wanna be there NOW.

ohhh, woe to me. (0:20) 

back to ze tzatziki!

first of alllllll, i've got a bone to pick with folks who call this "ta-zee-key." this stuff is "ZAT-zee-key," whereas "ta zee key" sounds like they're going for "tahini" which is a sesame spread. different thangs. 

ZAT ZEE KEY, y'all.

it's soooo easy!

if i remembered any greek words i would be sprinkling them throughout here..but all i can come up with is spanish. greek is a hard language, man. all i know is that the words for 'yes' and 'no' sound totally backwards to me. but i can [slowly] read greek!! now dat is krayziki.

i'm a lovah of plain greek yogurt, specifically fage brand. FAH-YAY. although i probably called it fage-like-page for a long time. i use this brand o greek yogurt for sooo many thingsssss! in sweet thingssavory things, all the things. its thick and tart and hearty.

a note on the garlic cloves: for this recipe or anything that's going to contain uncooked raw garlic, i would recommend chopping the cloves and quickly tossing them in a teaspoon of olive oil in a hot pan for a couple minutes. it just takes that sharp edge off the garlic and it will not be soo linger-y. because ya know. garrrrrlic will be garlic.

also, don't these cherry tomatoes just look  b e a u tiful!? they're kind of out-shining the star of this post, mista ZAT ZEE KEY!

Greek Tzatziki Sauce

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Keep refrigerated

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Fage 2% - I use this brand of Greek yogurt for everything)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice - if some lemon pulp comes out while squeezing the lemon, use that too!
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1/2 of a medium-sized cucumber
  • 1 tsp. dill (I used dehydrated here - works the same as when I've used fresh dill)
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (I used 1/4 tsp. garlic salt and 1/4 tsp. sea salt)

Instructions-

In a small food processor or blender, pulse the garlic cloves, olive oil, lemon juice and Greek yogurt until the garlic is chopped up and you can taste that its incorporated. 

Add the cucumber, dill, salt and pepper and blend/pulse until everything is well combined. 

Enjoy with fresh veggies for dipping, as a dressing on a salad, on gyros, meat & veggie kabobs, burgers, sandwiches, etc!

 

 

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