Vegan Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce & Tabbouleh
Growing up in the Detroit-metro area, I was able to experience a wide variety of foods due to the diversity of restaurants and grocery store owners from many different cultures. One of my favorite cuisines is Greek. Whether it be Stuffed Grape Leaves, Hummus, Keftethes, Moussaka, Pastitsio or Saganaki, I love them all. However, my all time favorite Greek dish is the traditional Gyro.
In Greek, the word gyro or γύρο (pronounced YEE-roh) means "turn or revolution," and that's just what this amazing cone of meat does as it's cooked on a vertical rotisserie. Lamb is the most common meat used but pork and chicken are often used as well.
Once the meat is cooked, it is sliced thinly off the rotisserie, seasoned and stacked on a lightly grilled piece of pita, rolled up with tomatoes, onions, sometimes Tabbouleh and also Tzatziki sauce. You may also see some recipes adding french fries to this delicious sandwich too!
When we changed our dietary lifestyle to Ovo-Vegetarian (which allows for the consumption of eggs but no dairy products and no meat), I was scared I would never be able to enjoy many of the dishes I once loved, especially the Gyro. Until I discovered Seitan. #GameChanger
You're probably thinking, what the heck is Seitan and how do you pronounce it? My first thought was, "Please don't tell me I'm going to have to say I'm having Satan for dinner..." 🤦♀️ Have no fear, the correct way to pronounce Seitan is say-TAN, where you emphasize the TAN. I know, still sounds a bit like Satan, but hey, work with me here!
Seitan is a vegan meat substitute made from vital wheat gluten. It is produced by kneading the wheat flour with water to develop a sticky dough of gluten protein. It can be seasoned, cooked and used in dishes as a substitute for meat. The consistency when cooked is very similar to cooked ground beef, in my opinion. So this seemed like the perfect substitute for the meat used in Gyro sandwiches!
I had a difficult time finding vital wheat gluten in our town but found it easily on Amazon and it arrived in 2 business days. However, at first, I when I realized I could not find it locally, I had posted in the Savannah Veggies and Vegans Facebook group, asking for recommendations on where to buy it. I was blown away by the actions of one of the group members who happened to live in my small town. She was visiting Savannah (about 45 minutes away from our town) and picked up a bag of Bob's Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten for me! WHAT?!? People are good and people are amazing!
I assembled my vegan Gyro by taking a lightly grilled pita and topping it with my Vegan Tzatziki sauce, then placing 3-4 thinly sliced Seitan strips on top, followed by my homemade Tabbouleh and then sliced tomatoes. Served with a side of air fryer rosemary, salt & pepper fries. This is definitely my go-to recipe for vegan gyros from now on, however, I would love to know your thoughts on this recipe and if you have any suggestions of your own. Hope you enjoy!
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