Featured Recipe: Tzatziki with Pita Chips

tzatzikiLast month I went to a nice restaurant with my sisters and friends before a play. I ordered a Greek Salad plate. It was delicious, but as I looked at it I thought, “I could make this so easily at home”. The salad was a combination of romaine and other lettuces, cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, red onion, and feta cheese with some pita bread on the side. The dressing looked and tasted just like our Tzatziki recipe which is so simple and inexpensive to make. Just remember, the flavors in the Tzatziki only get better if you make it the day before you plan to use it. It keeps for 4 days in the refrigerator.

Besides using the Tzatziki as a dressing, it is a great dip for vegetables and pita chips. It is so fresh tasting. Homemade pita chips are also super easy to make and allow you to control the amount and type of fat you add to them.

Tzatziki with Pita Chips

Serving Size: 1/4 cup Tzatziki with 6 chips | Serves: 8 (makes 2 1/2 cups) | Cost Per Serving: $.57

Ingredients:

  • 1 unpeeled cucumber, washed and sliced lengthwisetzatziki label
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, peeled and minced (about 1-2 cloves)
  • 2 containers (6 ounces each) plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill and/or fresh mint
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Ingredients for Pita Chips:

  • 6 whole wheat pita pockets (6”)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon spice (choose one or combine dried rosemary, basil, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper)

Instructions: 

  1. Use a spoon to scrape out cucumber seeds. Dice the cucumber into small pieces or shred using a grater.
  2. Spread cucumber on two or three layers of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Roll up the towels and squeeze to remove excess liquid. Transfer dried cucumber to a large bowl.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Cover and refrigerate until served.

Pita Chips:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut pita in 8 wedges, spray with cooking spray, and sprinkle with seasoning.
  3. Toast chips 4-5 minutes, then turn and toast 1-2 minutes more. (Watch carefully at the end because they can quickly turn brown.)

 

After School Hummus

Hummus is an inexpensive treat to make at home, and it is easy, tasty and good for you!  The main ingredient is garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas).   Hummus contains iron, protein and fiber, plus other nutrients depending on the ingredients you include.

Hummus can have many different flavors.  Our After School Hummus recipe does not include tahini (ground sesame seeds), which can be expensive, or oil, which adds calories. Instead, plain yogurt is added to make it light and smooth.  Other tasty ingredients to try in hummus are paprika,  peanut butter, curry powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, ground pepper, chili paste, olives and artichokes.  Roasted red pepper hummus is often sold in delis—you can make this at home by grilling a halved red pepper until blackened, then pulling off the skin and blending the flesh into the hummus.

If you do not have a good food processor, a blender will work.  You will need to turn the blender off and open the top to mix the beans with a spoon inside the blender a couple of times to make sure the hummus is smooth. You may also need to add a little oil or yogurt to thin the hummus.

Hummus can be served with sliced vegetables (carrots, celery, radishes, peppers) as a dip.  It can also be used to fill pitas, eaten on crackers or Pita chips, or spread on bread in place of peanut butter.

After School Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15-ounce) reduced-sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or ¼ teaspoon
  • garlic powder
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup plain nonfat yogurt

Directions:

  1. Use a blender or food processor. Combine garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, oil, and pepper. Blend on low speed until the beans are mashed.
  2. Stir in yogurt with spoon.
  3. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight so the flavors blend.
  4. Serve with pita chips, crackers, or fresh veggies.

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