If you’re looking for a way to use up some of those cucumbers from your summer garden, try making this easy and healthful tzatziki sauce. Tzatziki is a Greek sauce that is made from strained yogurt (usually from goat’s or sheep’s milk), grated or chopped cucumbers, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and fresh dill or mint. If you’ve ever enjoyed a gyro or souvlaki, then you’ve most likely had tzatziki sauce. It a very versatile sauce and can even be served as a dip or spread. This cool sauce is a perfect compliment to a warm summer night and simple to whip up in minutes. I promise, once you’ve made this from scratch you will never go back to a store bought tzatziki sauce again!
TIP: The thicker the yogurt, the thicker the sauce – so if you want to make this as a dip, try using Fage Total or 2% Fage Greek Yogurt. In my recipe, I used 0% Fage Greek Yogurt, which made it a little runny but I added some low fat sour cream to thicken it up and save some calories.
Fairytale Tzatziki Sauce
2 6-oz containers of Fage 0% greek yogurt
½ cup of reduced fat sour cream
1 large cucumber
1/4 cup of chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt + pepper
In a large mixing bowl, combine the yogurt and sour cream. Grate the cucumber (leaving skin on) into the mixture. Mix in the dill, vinegar, and salt and pepper.
Enjoy with whole wheat pita chips, in a flatbread pita with grilled chicken, or as a dip for veggies.
Couscous is a staple of the Middle East but is widely enjoyed all over the world. It is especially popular in Maghreb, a region in North African encompassing the countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libra and Mauritania. This healthful grain is derived from the moistened semolina grain and coated with semolina flour. It is then shaped into small sphere-like beads. The shape of these beads vary and the more processed the couscous, the smaller the bead. Israeli couscous is usually larger in shape but equally delicious and a bit easier to make is the precooked instant couscous sold in boxes at your local grocery store. Since I’ve never been a huge rice lover, I use couscous in many ways: as a side dish alongside a piece of broiled salmon, as a main dish mixed with mushrooms and grilled chicken, or as a snack with feta cheese and kalamata olives.
The name couscous comes from the Maghreb dish “couscoussiere” where the semolina is steamed in the top part of a special pot and chunks of lamb or chicken, vegetables, chickpeas and raisins simmer in the bottom part. This recipe for the perfect summer couscous salad is derived from the idea of this dish. I also added some fresh mint from my garden to give it a fresh flavorful kick.
Fairytale Couscous Salad
1 box of Near East whole wheat couscous
2 large grilled chicken breasts, diced
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup reduced fat feta cheese
½ cup of green or kalamata olives, sliced
1/4 cup of diced red onion
1/4 cup of chopped fresh mint (or 1/8 cup of dried mint)
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 teaspoon of cumin
salt and pepper
juice of 1 ½ lemons
Prepare the couscous according to the directions on the box (usually its 1 ½ cups of boiling water over couscous with a drop or two of olive oil.) Add in the raisins. Remove from heat and let cool. Once it has cooled, add the diced chicken, feta cheese, olives, onion and mint. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper and lemon juice. Pour over the couscous salad and mix well. Enjoy! (Can be made the night before – just chill in refrigerator and reserve the dressing for the next day.)
I am so excited to announce that Fairytale Feasts was mentioned in a recent article in USA TODAY! The article, headlined “Private Journal writing survives Twitter, Facebook, blogs” by Janice Llyod, appeared on the front page of the Life Section. In the article, I discuss how I have spent the vast majority of my life writing in a journal. Of course, my entries to my diary frequently included descriptions of food and how much I loved going out to restaurants. I was quoted as saying I began to write a journal in Disney World when I was 10 years old, and that I journaled about food even then. Indeed, I have descriptions about how much I loved to eat at the Living Seas in Epcot and Cinderella’s Castle. I am so happy to have these memories recorded somewhere and they certainly lead me to believe I did the right thing by starting a food blog to share my love for food. In the article, I also shared two entires straight from my diary from a more difficult period during my life and our nation’s history, September 2001.
I am very happy about this article because I am a firm believer in the power of writing and while I do love to blog (about my fairytale feasts!) I am a firm believer that there will never be a substitute for a pen and a piece of paper!
Click here to read the article in USA TODAY!
A big thank you to my readers for all of their support! <3 As always, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and welcome all comments and suggestions. If there is a recipe you would like me to test, a restaurant you would like me to try, or anything else I can be assistance of that revolves around the greatest thing you’ve ever eaten, please don’t hesitate to contact me!