It's time for another Recipe ReDux, and this month, members were challenged to come up with a recipe that the family can enjoy and get back into the routine of eating dinner together, after a summer of running every-which-way.
My kids are grown, so the dinner table at my house is pretty quiet these days, no matter what time of year it is. Call me crazy, but I miss those days when the kids were finally home after weekends away with their friends, and summer jobs (and money to spend), and we sat down to eat as a family. It was my favorite part of the day. Strangely, even though I don't "HAVE" to cook much anymore, - there is something about the end of summer and early fall that makes me want to start cooking again, even if it's more for friends than family these days.
Because it's still just a tad hot out here in AZ for a big, oven/stove cooked meal (105 degrees today), my back-to-the-dinner-table recipe is a quick, easy, and and mostly cold one. Sandwiches! Not just any old sandwiches mind you, but one that features my favorite sauce of all time - Tzatziki Sauce. This simple little sauce brightens up everything from raw vegetables, to salmon, to a simple grilled chicken and vegetable sandwich.
I know most people think sandwiches=lunch food, but let's think outside the lunch box. Grilled chicken, lots of colorful, fresh vegetables, warm flatbread - sounds like all the makings of a dinner to me! The best thing about serving hearty sandwiches for dinner is that they're easy, low maintenance, and they allow every member of the family to tailor them to their liking. Plus, no pots or pans to clean! It is, after all, still summer. We don't want to jump in to the cooking thing too quickly.
You know I can't make a meal that doesn't serve multiple purposes too... Any leftover Tzatziki sauce is delightful as a fresh vegetable dip; the leftover flatbread is perfect for grilled pizzas another night, and if you have any leftover grilled chicken and vegetables, toss them with some orzo for my Greek Chicken Orzo Salad.
Greek Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
- ¾ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup cucumber peeled, seeded, and minced
- salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- .75 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 2 cups baby greens
- ½ cup roasted red peppers
- 2 tablespoons pitted black olives
- 1 medium chopped cucumber seeded
- 2 scallions chopped
- 4 medium pita bread
- To make the sauce, pour the Greek yogurt into a cheesecloth, wrap lightly, and place the wrapped yogurt into a strainer over a bowl to catch any whey that drips. Place the bowl and strainer in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or overnight.
- Unwrap the yogurt, which should be significantly thickened, and place it into a clean mixing bowl.
- Add lemon juice, dill, garlic powder, and ¼ cup minced cucumber to the yogurt and stir well to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- To make the chicken, combine lemon juice, olive oil, oregano,salt and pepper in a bowl, and pour over chicken breasts in a freezer bag. Seal the bad and let chicken marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
- Heat a grill to high heat and grill chicken until cooked through and the inside temperature reaches at least 160 degrees. Remove from heat and set aside to cool, and then cut into thin slices or cubes, or shred as desired.
- Combine baby greens, red peppers, olives, and remaining cucumbers in a large bowl, and toss to combine.
- To serve, warm flatbread on the grill or in a microwave until soft and pliable.
- Spread ¼ of tzatziki sauce over each piece of bread.
- Divide the chicken and salad mix among the 4 sandwiches. Place on top of the tzatziki sauce.
- Roll up sandwiches, and wrap the ends in foil to help them hold together.
What brings everyone back to the table at your house?