Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Greek Turkey Meatball Gyros

I don't know if you've ever had an authentic Greek Gyro, but they're AH-mazing.  I'm a really big fan of Greek food, it's very acidic and flavorful with tons of herbs and spices.

They're actually not all that unhealthy as they are, but you want to make sure you don't get a ton of salt and the pitas that you get at restaurants can be thick and chewy.  (And so yummy).  In my opinion, especially when you're watching what you eat or how much you spend, it's always a better option to make it at home.  These meatball gyros are FULL of flavor, and surprisingly easy to put together.   There are a few components, but you can use store bought items, or just leave some out and make it your own!

I started with the pickled onions.  If you've never had pickled onions, GET ON IT.  They are SO easy to make, and add such bold flavor to dishes along with a nice crunch. They also last forever in the fridge.  I used a recipe that I found online after searching on my phone, and I cannot for the life of me find it now.  I wish I could, so I could give the author credit but here's what I did:

Pickled Onions: 

1 large onion, sliced thin
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
1/2 tsp pink sea salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tbsp honey

Place the sliced onions in a mason jar.  Heat the rest of the ingredients, just to a boil on the stove and pour over the onions.  I pushed the onions down to make sure they're in the brine.  Refrigerate and allow to rest for at least 24 hours.

(Now, pickled onions are life and SO good on these gyros but you don't need 'em.)

The second component was the tzatziki. It's a delightfully cool, refreshing, tangy sauce that makes gyros more then just a heavy sandwich.  You can use store bought if you have a favorite but it's delicious and better for you if you make it yourself.

Homemade Tzatziki

Two cups Greek Yogurt  (I like Fage)
2 garlic cloves FINELY minced or mashed
1 large cucumber
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp fresh dill
1 tbsp fresh parsley

Peel the cucumber, slice in half and remove the seeds with a spoon.  Place a paper towel in a large bowl, grate cucumber into a the bowl, or run through a food processor and pulse a few times til it's nice and chopped up and place on top of the paper towel (you want to try to get most of the liquid out).

Add Greek Yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, sea salt, dill and parsley to a bowl.  Add the grated cucumber and stir to combine.  Refrigerate.

Now, for the meatballs.  They're not unlike my usual recipe for turkey meatballs but with a few twists.

Greek Turkey Meatballs

One lb. ground turkey (94% fat free)
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup whole grain bread crumbs
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp paprika

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place a piece of parchment paper or tin foil on a rimmed baking sheet.  Stir all ingredients to combine.  Form into about 1/8-1/4 cup sized balls and drop onto the baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes. (Broil for the last minute to get them nice and brown on top).

Those are all the components, now for the assembly.  I use these amazing pita breads from Joseph's.  They're made with oat bran, flax and whole wheat.  Only 60 calories, and 8 grams of carbs for the WHOLE THING!  I warmed them up over the toaster, flipped on both sides for about a minute and placed on a plate.  On goes the meatballs, then the tzatziki, then some shredded lettuce and those amazing pickled onions!

It's a great summer dish, and a great low calorie option! I hope you enjoy it!
(I served with zucchini chips, here's the recipe:

Tips:  Make these with lamb!  Or you can grill up some delicious marinated chicken!  Go nuts!

(21 Day Fixers:  For the gyro, I counted 4 small meatballs for a red, the pita was 1 yellow (if you use a different brand, I would cut it in half and use it that way for 1 yellow or just count 2).  Green for the lettuce, and red for the tzatziki. I didn't count the feta because I used 1 blue for the entire pound of turkey!)

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