doner kebab, kebab stand, gyro When I lived in England, there were Doner Kebab (Gyro) stands everywhere. They were almost as common as the Fish & Chips shops – sometimes they were the fish & chip shops!  Once I returned to the U.S., I could never find a restaurant that matched the flavor. Even the gyro stands at fairs didn’t seem to match up. When I had a Gyro at a Greek restaurant that used caesar salad dressing instead of Taziki, I was really disappointed. I’ve found that Americans aren’t as eager to prepare the Taziki (dressing) with a yogurt base as it should be. So for years, I looked for a recipe that would allow me to make these wonderful creations at home in the United States. I finally found a basic recipe and managed to tweak it to the point where the flavor was perfect. After many, many hours of experimenting and tasting, here it is:

Taziki (Gyro Dressing)
1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 Seedless Cucumber
3/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Crushed Garlic
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 tsp Black Pepper

Chop cucumber finely and place in bowl. Add yogurt and remaining ingredients. Mix well, cover and refrigerate while preparing meat.

Doner Kebab (Gyro)
1 pound ground meat (they use mutton in the Middle East because it is so common.  I’ve found ground turkey works perfectly.)
1/2 cup onion
2 teaspoons fresh crushed garlic
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Place onion, garlic, salt, marjoram, rosemary and pepper into blender (or chopper) and puree until there are no chunks of onion. Mix this well with the meat.
Press firmly into a greased baking pan and cook at 325 for 1 hour. Once cooked, drain fat and let the meat cool slightly before slicing. Slice into thin strips.

Preparing the Kebab (Gyro)
Pita Pockets or Flatbread
Shredded Lettuce
Sliced onion
Sliced Tomato

Place your choice of vegetables into pita pocket (or on flatbread) along with sliced meat. Spoon Taziki (Dressing) over vegetables & meat and enjoy!

This recipe makes a complete meal (protein, dairy, carbohydrates). It makes a great low-carbohydrate meal that is compliant with Atkins, Zone and South Beach Diets if prepared with a low-carb wrap or flatberad instead of a pita.

Another option is to make a salad with the vegetables, top it with sliced meat and then dress with taziki.

Personally, I love this stuff and find it beats the heck out of hamburgers or unseasoned turkey burgers (GAKK!) so I like to mix up the seasoning in bulk.  I reuse those big spice containers you get at Sam’s Club but any airtight container will do.

Bulk Recipe for meat seasoning:

½ C Onion powder

½ C Garlic powder

¾ C Sea salt

2 Tbsp Marjoram

½ C Rosemary

¼ C black pepper

Use 3 teaspoons per pound of ground meat

This week I made up one pound of turkey and two pounds of beef.  Tonight, I’m having a salad with the seasoned, baked ground turkey on it and it is excellent!

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