This week has been tough. I haven’t worked a “standard” full time job in, well, ever. A year ago I did a year of full time teaching, which was an intense combination of teaching, grading, and office work. The demands associated with teaching 4 courses, grading 80+ papers in continuous cycles, and keeping up with the daily chores meant that I was one tuckered cookie. However, a perk of the job is what’s called clustering. I was lucky enough to get all of my courses clustered onto 3 days of the week so therefore I was “off” two days (technically I was off but realistically I was grading, meeting with students and planning so it wasn’t really an “off” day).
While grading and teaching zap your energy in complex and multi-layered ways, I have never had the
pleasure opportunity to work a typical 9-5 job. Until now. And I barely made it. I feel like I’ve been run over, beaten up like a limp pillow and then sat on again.
And to top it all off, I eat my lunch with owls.
And not those cute, adorable owls that you know and love. No, these are creepy, unblinking owls.
The place I work at has these freaky owls sitting around the trees on poles to keep away geese. I like to sit outside to eat my lunch, but it’s a bit disconcerting with a row of these owls bobbing in the wind.
(my own adaptation of) Andrea’s Baked Falafel with Lemon Tahini Sauce a week or so ago and it was delicious. Not only was it simple, but it had the perfect balance of flavors and textures. I was so excited by the results, that I couldn’t wait to try out her Lemon Chicken Gyros recipe (not to mention my Otria Cucumber Dill Feta Dip needed using up). And, with my job making my mind feel like over-cooked grits, I wanted a recipe that was brainless and quick.
So, I went to my recipe bookmarks and printed our her Gyros recipe only to note that it held a few “surprises” that I had to work around (these wouldn’t have been surprises if it weren’t for my soggy brain).
- The recipe calls for chicken – this wasn’t really a surprise, but I substituted 1 cup of Quorn Chik’n Tenders
- The marinade required 1/4 cup of lemon juice – this seemed like a lot to me. In fact, after reading over the recipe, I noticed that the marinade seemed to make more than I would need for the amount of Quorn I was going to be using. So, I simply used 1 frozen ice cube of lemon juice (1 tbsp? 2 tbsp?) and halved the rest of the marinade ingredients.
- It had pita/flatbread – I only had flour (taco sized) tortillas.
- I didn’t have cucumber or feta – but I did have my dip (woot!)
- It had parsley listed as a green – I don’t really care for parsley either way, so I substituted a few leaves (about 5?) of spinach.
- The biggy – It says to marinate the “chicken” for 1 hour. Darn. Being too tired and impatient, I skipped this entirely (and they still came out wonderful!).
Even though what I came up with was a bit different from the original recipe, I can honestly say that I was in Gyro heaven. The lemon and herbs exploded in my mouth and mingled so happily with the spinach, tomato, dip and quorn. The recipe also gave me 2 nice sized gyros and leftovers! I bet I can make 2 more for another meal. This is definitely a recipe that I’ll be making again.
Lemon Quorn Gyros with Cucumber Dill Feta Dip
(Adapted from the original by Andrea that you can find here.)
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp – 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp – 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp oil
Mix ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- 5 spinach leaves, torn into pieces
- diced tomato
- diced red onion
- 1 tbsp Cucumber Dill Feta Dip per gyro
Cook 1 cup of Quorn Chik’n tenders in a small frying pan until hot (medium heat). Add marinade. Cook until slightly browned (a couple of minutes).
Heat tortilla and layer fillings with marinated Chik’n tenders. Inhale. Repeat.