24 Aug, 2009
Raw Gyros for Everyday (a Raw Vegan Recipe)
There are just soooo may ways I can think of creating a raw vegan gyro, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. And I may have to eventually call this “Raw Vegan Gyro #1″ as I begin to bring out the other, more complex, perhaps “meatier” versions I’ve already envisioned creating.
But as I’ve received two request for raw gyros over the past week alone, I decided that the very first recipe I put out for a gyro should be both 1) quick and 2) easy to prepare from very simple ingredients. No dehydration of a raw vegan “pita bread”. No straining of cucumbers for an authentically thick tzatziki. No dehydration of some kind of “gyro meat”. Just simple ingredients and no fussy preparation. I guarantee you can have this dish on the table very quickly, any day of the week.
The challenge of creating a raw gyro recipe is three-fold:
- One can’t utilize yogurt or any other dairy product to create the tzatziki (cucumber/garlic/yogurt sauce).
- One must have some kind of “holder” of the gyro, such as the pita bread normally used.
- And then there’s the seasoned meat which comprises the heart of the sandwich.
In addition, in Greece an additional ingredient is french fries, which adds so much in the way of texture and flavor.
I’ve whipped this recipe up very quickly, while enjoying a glass of wine with a friend, with the ingredients depicted in the photo below, so you can see how simple my approach is. And what you get is something fresh, flavorful, messy/drippy (as any authentic gyro should ever be…), and truly grounding and satisfying enough to serve as a main meal.
Although there are a few different components to the dish, they are all extremely easy & quick to prepare. Just set out a few separate bowls, fill them up, and you’ll be done before you’ve finished that first glass of wine.
Recipe for: Raw Gyros for Everyday (a Raw Vegan Recipe)
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped tomato
- 1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil
- a few good slices of red onion (the more the merrier here)
- 1/4 teaspoon quality natural salt (such as Himalayan Crystal salt)
- fresh ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients and toss in a bowl.
Raw Vegan Tzatziki
This recipe is designed to be quickly blended up for immediate consumption. You can go heavier on the garlic if you want. Just don’t go out dancing after eating this stuff. *grin*
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled
- 1 avocado
- 1 tablespoon avocado
- 1 large or 2 medium garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon quality natural salt
- 2-3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Blend all ingredients until smooth in blender or food processor. Consider adding some fresh dill if you have it handy.
Salted Cumin Walnuts
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1 teaspoon cold-pressed olive oil
- 1/4 teaspooon quality natural salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
Combine ingredients well in a bowl.
Raw Zucchini “French Fries”
Okay, I’m so *not* into all the recipes that depict raw vegan versions of “mashed potatoes” and “hamburgers” when they can’t remotely mimic such a thing with raw ingredients. My opinion is, if you really have a hankering for such things, go get the real deal, enjoy every bite, and don’t whine about having “given in” as if somehow you’re less “pure” for having done so.
However… these french-fry-shaped strips of zucchini do look the part and, since they are the only heated ingredient in the dish, also serve as a very comforting element in the dish… so I’ll succumb and give them the moniker “french fries”.
- 1 yellow zucchini, peeled and cut into narrow french fry-shaped pieces
- 1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon quality natural salt
Toss all ingredients in a bowl and put into oven on lowest setting (I place on a dish first, then onto a pan to absorb the heat gently) until they come to a few degrees above room temperature. Remove from oven and construct the gyros.
Raw Vegan “Pita Bread”
The gist of this dish is quick and easy, so I’ve used leaves of romaine lettuce for the bread holding these gyros together. But if you’re having a “raw-ish” meal, use toasted Ezekiel bread to create a “Raw Sandwich”, and I guarantee you’ll have a great, very satisfying almost-raw meal.
- leaves of romaine lettuce
- The cumin walnuts
- The tomato-onion salad
- The zucchini “french fries”
- Then top with the avocado “tzatziki”.
And do yourself a favor and make sure you have plenty of napkins around when you dig in!