Tzatziki

TzatzikiTzatziki is a wonderfully creamy yogurt sauce made primarily from Greek yogurt, cucumber and fresh dill. Normally white, creamy foods are full of empty calories (think ranch dressing, sour cream, etc.) but since the main ingredient in tzatziki is Greek yogurt, it is lower calorie, lower fat and packs in protein. Coupled with the fact that tzatziki is a great sauce for roasted chicken, dip for veggies and pita, and even makes a great dressing for a Greek salad, it’s guilt free and completely delicious!

 

I use an English cucumber in this recipe because they aren’t very seedy. The seedy part of a cucumber has a lot of water in it, which can make tzatziki runny. If you use a seeded variety, hollow out the core before grating.

Ingredients:
1 cup Greek yogurt
½ English cucumber, grated
Zest of and juice of ½ lemon
1 clove garlic, grated
2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
1 tsp. sea salt, or to taste
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. olive oil, optional

Tzatziki 2Using the small side of a cheese grater, grate cucumber into a bowl. Gently press to release liquids, discarding any residual liquid. Zest ½ lemon and 1 clove garlic into the cucumber. Combine yogurt, lemon juice, chopped dill, sea salt and pepper into the cucumber mixture. The tzatziki can be served immediately, but will be even better if you pop it in the refrigerator for an hour to let all the flavors meld together. Drizzle a little olive oil on top before serving as a dip for veggies to give a little richness and depth to the flavors.

Enjoy!

Creole Sauce

shrimp and grits with creole sauceI love this Creole Sauce, and I use it often.  I love heat, and this makes a savory, spicy addition to any dish, whether you are making blackened chicken with rice or  a savory Shrimp and Grits recipe.  I usually make a big batch when I make Shrimp and Grits and there is enough left to freeze 4 or 5 pint size containers.  This freezes really well and makes weeknight meals really easy.  My husband also loves it on fried eggs for breakfast!

 

 

Creole ingredientsIngredients:

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
5 ribs of celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 quart carton chicken broth (32 oz.)
creole spices1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz.)
½ tsp. each of: cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, garlic powder, oregano, crushed red pepper
¼ tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. butter

Over medium heat, add olive oil to large pot and sauté onions, bell peppers, jalapeno, celery, garlic and green onions, for approximately 5 minutes, or until starting to soften.  Add chicken broth, tomatoes and spices and bring to a simmer.  Let simmer approximately 20 minutes until vegetables are soft and spices are blended.  Remove from heat and whisk in butter.  Serve over shrimp and grits, blackened chicken or something delicious.

Enjoy!Shrimp and grits with creole