Greek(ish) gyro salad with tzatziki dressing

gyro-inspired salad

This sort-of-Greek salad was inspired by a gyro wrap: it has all the contents of a gyro, minus the pita wrap, with a modified tzatziki dressing. Gyro is a Greek dish featuring meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie, and usually served wrapped in pita bread, with cucumber, tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce. Tzatziki is traditionally made using yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and dill, mint, or parsley. Sometimes they’re also served with french fries stuffed inside.authentic-gyro-280x230

My salad is making no claims about being authentic to either a gyro or a Greek salad: just inspired by them.

While the dressing contains some dairy, the dish is completely gluten-free and grain-free, so it is “primal.” If you’re strict Paleo or Whole30, you could certainly substitute a non-dairy sour cream or yogurt.

In a real gyro, the meat is most often lamb, but can also be beef, pork, or chicken, and it’s carved off the rotisserie in thin slices. For my quick-and-easy version, I just use ground meat. (“Mince,” for the Aussies.) I use either pork breakfast sausage or seasoned ground beef — whichever I had on hand — but you could use ground lamb, turkey or chicken, too. If using a plain meat (not sausage), season it generously with oregano, as well as some onion and garlic. Fresh parsley if you have it. Maybe some paprika. Salt and pepper to taste.

Tzatziki salad dressing recipe

Makes one or two servings. Scale up as you wish.

2 T. finely diced cucumber

1/4 cup sour cream or whole-milk Greek yogurt

2 T. mayo (homemade if you have it)

1 t. garlic-infused olive oil

OR 1/2 clove garlic, microwaved for 30 seconds and minced fine)

3/4 t. dill (my preference, but you can use parsley or mint, or a combo)

pinch of coarse salt


Dice the cucumber to 1/4″ or smaller.

Spread it out on the cutting board. Sprinkle lightly with salt and let sit for at least 10 or 15 minutes. Press over it with paper towels a few times to remove most of the excess moisture. (Note: If you’ll be using all of the dressing right away, you may skip this step. It keeps the sauce from getting too watery in storage.)

Combine with all remaining ingredients, taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Use immediately or store for up to two days. (Maybe more. It’s gone before then in my house.)


Other salad ingredients:

Romaine lettuce – chopped for salad, or use whole leaves as a wrap

ground beef or other meat of your choice, 2 – 4 oz. per person

chopped tomatoes

chopped or very thinly sliced onion

chopped cucumber


Toss all ingredient except dressing; drizzle generously with dressing and serve.


I often make this easy gyro-inspired salad for myself for lunch, but it makes a great throw-together dinner, too! Almost Paleo, grain-free, gluten-free, sugar-free.

Crustless make-ahead quiche – easy grain-free breakfast!

make-ahead quiche - grain-free, gluten-free, paleo, whole30

This crustless quiche makes an easy primal/low-carb/gluten-free breakfast! It’s also a great way to use up leftover cooked meats and vegetables. And sneak some veggies into your diet. (It’s Paleo except for the sour cream/yogurt.)

It also reheats beautifully. One thing I don’t like about a lot of make-ahead-and-reheat egg dishes is they get kind of tough in the microwave. Not so with this recipe!

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5 Minute Magic Green Sauce

avocado, cilantro, lime, pistachio dip, sauce, spread, dressing

This recipe originally comes from Pinch of Yum, and it instantly became one of my favorite easy dips/sauces.

What makes it magic? It’s easy, it’s healthy, it’s versatile, it’s delicious!

Use it as a veggie or cracker dip. Smear it on just-cooked fish, chicken, or burgers. Use the thinner version to drizzle over fresh tomatoes, or roasted vegetables. I bet it would be amazing blended into twice-baked potatoes — or twice-baked cauliflower!


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How emotional eating keeps you stuck

today, me will live in the moment. unless the moment is unpleasant, then me will eat a cookie.

Yesterday morning, I was doing a writing exercise that asked me to think about painful places I don’t want to return to, and how that relates to my current writing. As I mulled over possibilities, one that came back to me was late 2009, when my dad was dying. At the same time, my mom was slipping deeper into the grip of Alzheimer’s, and our kids were either away at college or soon to be there.

So many exits, all at once. All that loss brought out something in me I hadn’t experienced since my teenage years: eating because I just wanted to stop hurting — even if it was just for 30 minutes.

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Easy summer meal: Fish tacos

fish tacos - easy summer meal

I love fish tacos because:

  • They taste great!
  • They’re easy to prep ahead of time, leaving you just a couple easy things to do at the last minute.
  • They’re so customizable. Depending on what ingredients you provide, they can be gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo, Whole30, nightshade-free — pretty much whatever! If you have a vegetarian in the crowd, they can even leave off the fish and still have a nice variety of flavors to fill their taco with.

Find my original post here. It explains how to make the spicy crema sauce, and how to prep and set things up for a fish taco bar — great for a party, or a big picky family!