Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tzatziki w/ Quinoa & Beans

Tzatziki is a Greek yogurt sauce with cucumbers. I never buy cucumbers, but some neighbors brought me some from their garden. So I had to use cucumbers somehow. I also had some Greek yogurt in the fridge (can't remember why) and some feta cheese (not a tzatziki ingredient, but still Greek). So I made tzatziki. But then what?

What ... what ... what ...

The thing is, tzatziki usually goes on gyros or something similar with sliced lamb. But I don't buy meat, so what's a semi-vegetarian girl to do with tzatziki?? Rice? Nah. *think think think* Quinoa! (Another ingredient I hardly ever use, but I try to keep it on hand.) And although quinoa is pretty packed with protein, I didn't want to just eat basically rice with yogurt for dinner. So when you don't eat meat, a great substitute is beans. I thought cannellini beans would go well. And even though this was a what-I-had-on-hand, no-measurements kind of dinner, I'll try to gestimate what the measurements were in case anyone wants to recreate it.

Oh, and it was really good (which is why I'm posting it).

Serves 2

1 cucumber
1 roma tomato (also not a tzatziki ingredient, but it paired well)
1 container Greek yogurt (about 5 oz.)
1 container feta cheese (about 4 oz.)
1-2 tsp white vinegar
2? tsp dill
1-2 tsp chopped garlic (I use the jarred minced garlic)
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. quinoa
2 c. water
garlic powder
1 (15-oz.) can cannellini (white) beans - NOT the same as Great Northern beans

-Make tzatziki first so its flavors can marry while quinoa cooks. In a bowl, grate cucumber with skin on. Dice tomato and add to bowl. It'll be fairly liquidy from the cucumbers, but the feta will help with that. Also to bowl, add yogurt, feta, vinegar, dill, garlic, and salt. Taste to see if it needs more vinegar, dill, garlic, or salt. Set aside. Make quinoa acc. to pkg directions. I.E.: In a med saucepot, add quinoa, water, and a dash or two of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, COVERED until all water is absorbed (about 10-15 min). Meanwhile, in a small saucepot, warm the beans over med-low, covered. Once quinoa is cooked, add a little more salt and a dash or two of garlic powder; fluff/stir with a fork. To assemble: quinoa first, topped with some warm beans, topped with cool tzatziki! This was seriously yummy.

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