Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WDW- Tzatziki

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I had to take some antibiotics last week (yukky ones, too) and a friend reminded me to "eat my yogurt." Antibiotics kill not only harmful bacteria in your body; they also kill the healthy ones in the intestines. The live bacterial cultures in yogurt can help replenish the intestines with helpful bacteria before the harmful ones take over. I read that a daily dose of 8 oz. yogurt while a person is taking antibiotics and for two weeks thereafter is very beneficial. So, it's yogurt for me!

I happened to have a container of Trader Joe's Greek yogurt on hand (I love the stuff).
I use the 0% fat one, and can't taste the difference. When the farm box arrived this morning, and I saw that I had a cucumber, I knew exactly what lunch would be - Tzatziki!

Tzatziki is a refreshing yogurt dip and is very versitile. I love it spooned over a gyro, and it's a great dip for fresh veggies or crackers. And it's a snap to make with the Greek Yogurt. If you get regular yogurt, you will need to strain it before you make this (regular yogurt will separate and be watery).

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I peeled and finely chopped the cucumber and chopped up about 4 Tbsp. fresh mint from my garden. The mint is a must. I then stirred in the whole container of yogurt and seasoned with salt and a lot of fresh pepper. You can add fresh garlic if you like. That's it!

I was going to serve it with veggies from my farm box, when I remembered I had something else that would be perfect with it too....

A few weeks ago, my sweet (8 months pregnant) friend, Alik invited Emma and I over to her home for a traditional Armenian breakfast. I cannot tell you the proper names of all that we ate, but I do know it was all delicious. There was a wonderful fava bean soup with condiments to stir in, which was so comforting, lebni (kind of like tzatziki without the cucumbers/mint) and a grilled bread that Alik made. We watched her make the bread and definitely wanted to be able to make it sometime at home. Alik kindly offered to give me a package of the herb seasoning (Zattar mix)that she used, and I picked up the rest of the ingredients at Costco. I found Naan Bread and Halloumi cheese, two things I didn't even know Costco carried. You can use any mid- eastern type bread that is soft, but not a pita, it's not soft enough.

The bread is simple, tasty, and is kind of like pizza. Armenian pizza, maybe? Here's how you make it:

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Grab yourself some naan. Be sure to get the "healthy" kind like I did. You know, the one that says "white flour" as the first ingredient.

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Get ahold of some Zattar mix. Found at mid-eastern markets.

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Mix the Zattar mix with some olive oil to form a thick paste. Zattar mix is basically dried herbs (primarily oregano)and sesame seeds.


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Spread the herb paste liberally on the bread.

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Add some of the Halloumi cheese (you could also use "frying cheese" and I have used queso fresco from TJ's as well) and place bread cheese side up in a lightly greased non-stick skillet. Cook on medium until the cheese starts to stick to the bread and the bottom of the bread starts to brown up a little.

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Carefully flip the bread so that the cheese is now face down. I say carefully or you will have Zattar mix in places you don't really care to have it (trust me, I know). Continue to cook about 2 more minutes until the cheese releases easily from the pan and is nicely browned. Invert onto a plate and cut into wedges for easy eating. Delish.

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Thanks Alik, and anytime you get lonely at breakfast time, let us know. :-)

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2 comments:

The Mom said...

Oh my goodness, I love this kind of sauce (can't even remember how to spell it :o)...but I've never tried to make it myself! If my tummy weren't so queezy all the time I probably would make it this week :o) But, I'll probably have to wait until my tummy is okay with food prep again.

Carly Jean Brannon said...

This looks so yummy! I need to use the cucumber in my farm box! Thanks for the recipe.