I will be the first to admit this recipe takes some work. But, mannnnnnnnnn it is SO worth it!
I never, ever, ever thought I’d be able to recreate one of my favorite dishes as a former meat-eater, but folks – this is it. It’s got all the right flavors and textures, and is definitely carnivore-approved.
I mean, just look at these layers of flavor and texture!
There’s the toasted, buttery pita, then the cashew tzatziki that is oh so tangy and fresh, then some peppery arugula, and then the star – tender, flavorful gyro with crisp, burnt ends, topped with pickled onions for that sharp, sour bite to round it all off.
Could it be more perfect?
Not gonna lie, I definitely topped this with some Chili Garlic Sauce. It was…beyond words.
Now, this is by no means a complicated recipe, it simply takes a little patience and some variety of ingredients. You definitely need to prep this the night before. The condiments are what make this dish, so let the onions pickle overnight rather than just a few hours. The tzatziki is cashew based. To get the authentic texture, you’ll need to soak the cashews overnight as well so they blend up all creamy. The gyro can be ready in little over an hour so you can whip them up hot and fresh. I highly recommend making these right before you’re ready to serve. Soggy, limp gyro is no fun at all.
NOTE: If you are allergic to gluten, please DO NOT eat this. The main ingredient here is vital wheat gluten, and if you suffer from celiac disease or have a gluten-sensitivity, this dish is NOT your friend.
Best of luck! When you make these, be sure to tag me @spiritplate or #spiritplate, so I can see your creations!
- 1 to 1 1/2 cup cultured cashew cream**
- 3 tbsp onion, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup cucumber, finely diced
- 3 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Add all the ingredients together in a bowl, mix together and taste for seasoning. You may need to add water to the cultured cashew cream if it is too thick.
- **To make cashew cream, soak 1 cup cashews in 1 1/4 cup water overnight. In the morning, drain the cashews and place in high-speed blender or food processor with 1/2-3/4 cup fresh water and 1 tsp probiotic powder. This is about 8 capsules of the probiotic pills you can find at any health food store. Blend until smooth, adding more or less water as necessary. Pour into wide bowl and place a paper towel or cheesecloth on top and let sit overnight again in a warm place (like microwave or cupboard near the oven). In the morning the mixture will be cultured. Continue with above directions. This gives the most authentic tzatziki flavor. However if you're in a pinch, use store-bought plain, unsweetened soy, almond, or coconut yogurt instead.
- 6 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 serrano pepper, sliced thinly
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 4 whole allspice
- 4 whole cloves
- 8 whole, black peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 4 small red onions, sliced thinly
- Combine liquid ingredients in a large sealable container.
- Add the salt and sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Toast the spices lightly in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant. Remove from heat and add to the marinade.
- Add all other ingredients including onions and toss well to combine.
- Seal container and place in fridge overnight to pickle.
- These onions keep well for up to a week in the fridge. Use on sandwiches, shawarma, burgers, etc.
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 onion, diced*
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
- 1 tablespoon full flavor olive oil
- 2 teaspoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon olive juice from olive jar
- 3⁄4 cup water
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 1⁄8 cups vital wheat gluten
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Blend all the ingredients except for the water and vital wheat gluten in a food processor. Add the water and blend until smooth.
- Put the gluten in a large bowl, and add the blended liquid. Stir well and knead for a few minutes. Add more gluten if it seems too wet - you're aiming for a barely dry surface that is not sticky to the touch.
- Form into a log and wrap tightly with aluminum foil, twisting at the ends. You may end up with two logs - that is totally fine! Bake for 60 minutes, flipping half way through.
- Once done baking, let it cool completely.
- Slice thinly with a sharp knife and a careful hold (The seitan will be slippery on a flat surface).
- Pan fry the thin slices on each side in a little olive oil until deep golden brown.**
- Serve immediately on hot pita with arugula, pickled onions, and tzatziki.
- *For added flavor, sweat the onions and garlic in a little broth until the broth has evaporated and onions are translucent. Then add the onions and garlic to the blender/food processor and continue with the rest of the steps.
- **The oil will be absorbed into the seitan leaving a crispy outer crust and dense interior. This frying is essential to build the correct texture of the gyro, otherwise you'll be left with an unpleasantly chewy dough.