I’m not sure if I have ever had so much fun testing a recipe as I did with this one. It’s because we all have that “one thing” we are living without that we wish we could live with. In my case, that something is Greek food; more specifically, traditional Greek salads and gyro sandwiches. Knowing what’s in a gyro, but never having made my own gyro meat, I really had no idea where to start.
I began researching recipes for traditional gyro meat, which is most often made with a mixture of lamb and beef. Everything else wasn’t too far off the SlimGenics STEP Program Integrated Food List and I was surprised at how easy it was to make a loaf of healthy gyro meat from lean ground lamb. Now, that I know how easy this is, I’m a little irritated for never trying it sooner! Trust me – follow the specific instructions to get that dense loaf consistency, and you’re off to a great start.
The pita was my second challenge. But then I went to the store and found this awesome product called Flat Out – to my surprise, it was soft, squishy and very much like the kind of pita you want to use for a healthy gyro. Flat Out’s pita bread is called Fold It Artisan Flat Bread and has 90 calories per piece of flat bread, making it count as two starch servings. But for a classic gyro, it was worth it to use both of my starch servings in one meal.
Finally, the toppings! Certain things were out of the question with the old Food List, like red onion, but with the updated Integrated Food List, red onion can be used and everything else is adaptable. I made a homemade tzatziki sauce by lightly straining Greek yogurt and adding cucumber, mint, and vinegar.
Now, go look at that finished sandwich. It’s HUGE, delicious, and pretty darn near the authentic Greek taste that I adore.
I ate this for dinner, licked my fingers, and was happy, happy, happy.
Healthy Gyro Recipe and Ingredients
- 12 oz. Greek yogurt
- 1/2 C. tomato slices
- 15 green onions, coarsely chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, divided
- 24 oz. ground lamb loin
- 1 Tbsp. dried marjoram
- 1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
- 1 tsp. Morton® Lite Salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium English cucumber, peeled, seeded and shredded
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 6 mint leaves, finely minced
- 6 FoldIt Artisan Flat Breads
- 4 1/2 C. shredded lettuce
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Place four layers of paper towels in a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl. Add yogurt to paper towel in strainer. Place bowl in refrigerator to drain for one hour.
Place the green onions and six of the garlic cloves in a food processor. Process until finely minced. Scrape sides of processor. Add ground lamb, marjoram, rosemary, lite salt and pepper. Process until mixture is well combined and paste-like, scraping sides of processor as needed.
Place the mixture into a loaf pan coated with a thin layer of olive oil. Spread the mixture all the way to the sides of the pan. To make this easier, rub a few drops of olive oil on your hand so the meat mixture does not stick to your fingers. Place the loaf pan into a water bath and bake for one hour. Remove from oven. Using two forks, remove hot loaf from pan and place on a cutting board. Place a foil-wrapped brick or something similarly heavy on top of the loaf and let sit for 15-20 minutes.
While lamb is resting, finely mince the remaining two cloves of garlic. Place the shredded cucumber in a clean tea towel and squeeze to remove the liquid. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the drained yogurt with cucumber, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and mint leaves. Mix well. This is the tzatziki sauce for your healthy gyros.
Slice lamb loaf and serve on FoldIt bread with tzatziki sauce, chopped green onion, shredded lettuce and tomatoes.
Makes 6 servings