Mediterranean Wrap with Greek Olives & Tzatziki Sauce

Mediterranean Wrap by Produce with Amy“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 

Since I try to fully embrace a healthy lifestyle, I do wait until the beginning of month to start new if I have slipped up. I truly believe that each day presents an opportunity for a fresh start (or as one of my Weight Watchers members always says – when it  comes to food – each meal). I think that the healthy routines that I have in place help me brush myself off when I stumble and fall.

November started strong but some of my healthy goals fell to the wayside (exercise, tracking, sleep) due to massive snowfall, rescheduled parent teacher conferences, and major stress in my personal life. However, I still managed to maintain a four pound loss. I attribute this to my obsessive food prep and the fact that I eat clean, plant-based foods. Even when my life feels “out of control” I make sure to nourish my body with the proper foods.
November GoalsFor December I decided to continue my November goals and will add in a daily green smoothie. I commit to a minimum of three days at the gym (two of the day attending a Strong Bodies group exercise class) and two other days of formal activity. Even though I was not able to meet my goals in November each week, I still feel it is realistic to do so in December.

Last week I had some personal stresses that made me feel completely out of control with my life and everything was turned upside down. I am thankful for Thanksgiving break to pause, breathe deep, and allow things to settle and seek balance again. I have had a lot of time to think about what I want to happen in the next few months and I am sending out positive vibes. The cardinals in this collage represent the angels in my life – I believe. I have witnessed and felt the fluttering of wings.

December Goals by Produce with AmyWhat are your healthy goals for December? If you are having a hard time setting or keeping goals, check out my post Fall Forward Healthy Lifestyle Challenge for some ideas.

In my last post, Layered Greek Dip with Hummus & Tzatziki Sauce, I shared my recipe for homemade Tzatziki Sauce. Today I thought I would share another recipe that incorporates the sauce.

Seeding the cucumbers by running a spoon down the middle will keep the sauce from getting runny.

Seeding the cucumbers by running a spoon down the middle will keep the sauce from getting runny.

This wrap is one of my husband Mike’s favorite and I make his with chicken breast. Since I do not eat meat, I add a veggie burger patty or white or garbanzo beans, or hummus for myself. If I am using whole beans, and not hummus, I mash the beans and lightly saute with garlic, oregano, and lemon juice. While I try to avoid processed food, I sometimes buy store bought veggie burgers. For this wrap I used MorningStar Farms Roasted Garlic and Quinoa Burger. 

MEDITERRANEAN WRAPS WITH GREEK OLIVES & TZATZIKI SAUCE

  • Med Wrap Tortilla
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Tzatziki Sauce
  • Tomato (I used 6 grape tomatoes)
  • Handful of spinach
  • 6 chopped Kalamata olives
  • Veggie burger (hummus, beans, or protein of choice)
  • *optional – herbed tofu or feta cheese if you eat dairy

Lightly heat tortilla on griddle until it starts to brown. Layer with ingredients and wrap tightly.

Today I prepped extra ingredients and stored in the refrigerator. This will be our go-to dinner for the week.

Pin this post HERE.

Med Wrap I also made a large batch of Greek potatoes. I scrubbed the potatoes well, sliced, and drizzled with olive oil, minced garlic, finely chopped onion, dried dill, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. I roasted at 400 for 40 minutes (tossing at 20 minutes). I heat them up and squeeze fresh lemon on them before serving.

Thank you for stopping by my blog and I look forward to sharing more healthy and plant-based recipes with you.   I encourage you to sign up for email updates, stop by my Facebook page, and check out my other social networking links at the right hand side of the page. I love being part of a healthy community and together we can maximize our potential. May December be a wonderful month and let me know what your healthy goals are. I would love to keep each other accountable.

Mediterranean Wrap by Produce with Amy

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Layered Greek Dip with Hummus & Tzatziki Sauce

Layered Greek Dip with Hummus & Tzatziki by Produce with Amy“Variety in your diet is health in your life.”
― Toni Sorenson

One of the reasons that I started this blog in January of 2013 was to challenge myself to come up with new recipes so I could avoid a food rut. Instead of being limited by a plant-based diet, I wanted to branch out and find new ways to incorporate fruit and vegetables and share my ideas with others.

To save both money and time, I am committed to prepping my lunches at home on the weekends. It is the healthiest routine that I have established for myself since I joined Weight Watchers in 2006 and one way that I help keep myself on track. I plan my menu and shopping list on Wednesday or Thursday, shop on Friday night or Saturday after my WW meeting, and prep on Saturday and/or Sunday.

A few weeks ago I found myself not thrilled about the lunches that I was transporting to work. With the cooler weather my salads felt a bit lackluster and I decided to make something that felt a little more special. I contemplated making my Layered Refried Bean and Guacamole Dip recipe, but instead decided to create a new version. I thought that a Greek dip that combined a plant-based tzatziki sauce and hummus would give my lunches a little sparkle.
Layered Greek Dip
Years ago I purchased three cup Pyrex glass containers with lids and I have found them perfect for portion control. I have over a dozen and they have held up well. Pint sized Mason jars would also work for these individual dips.

I made seven individual dips – five for me and two for my husband Mike. I cut up raw vegetables to scoop up the dip.  Mike loved his so much that he ate one straight out of the container with a spoon.

Before I started following a plant based diet, feta cheese was one of my favorites. I really crave feta so I was THRILLED when I discovered Jackie Soban’s blog, Vegan Yak Attack, and her recipe for  Herbed Tofu. I added a bit more vinegar to the recipe and also added dried dill. Because of this recipe I discovered Raw Coconut Vinegar (I bought it at our local food co-op) and I LOVE it. Thank you, Jackie!

Make sure you check out Jackie’s other recipes and follow her on Facebook and other social media. Her meal ideas are phenomenal and she incorporates stunning photography into all her posts. Doesn’t her photo of Herbed Tofu Tomato Salad make you drool? Trust me, you need some of this herbed tofu in your life.


LAYERED GREEK DIP WITH HUMMUS & TZATZIKI SAUCE

Layer the following in your containers. You can decide how much of each ingredient you want to add. I added 1/4 cup of hummus into each dish and divided the tzatziki sauce up between the seven containers.

*Note – next time I will add a little more hummus and less of the tzatziki sauce as the tofu based sour cream was very rich. 

*Hummus (recipe to follow. Store bought would work as well)
* Tzatziki sauce
(recipe to follow)
*Chopped romaine lettuce
(amount depends on how much you want to use. I used approximately three cups)
*Chopped green bell pepper
(I used one medium pepper)
*Chopped kalamata olives (I used approximately 1 cup)
*1 pint of halved grape tomatoes
*Pepperoncini peppers
(I used a couple of Tablespoons per individual dip)
*Vegan Yack Attack’s Herbed Tofu (I used half of her recipe divided between the dips)
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Layered Greek Dip by Produce with Amy

My Vitamix blender is one of my favorite kitchen tools.

My Vitamix blender is one of my favorite kitchen tools.

 

 

HUMMUS
*2 cups of cooked garbanzo beans
*1/8 cup of tahini
*1/8 cup of extra virgin olive oil
*1 clove of garlic
*Cumin to taste (I used close to a teaspoon)
*Salt to taste
(You can add a little water to blend)

 

 

Seeding the cucumbers by running a spoon down the middle will keep the sauce from getting runny.

Seeding the cucumbers by running a spoon down the middle will keep the sauce from getting runny.

TZATZIKI SAUCE

*2 seeded and finely chopped cucumbers
*1 container of Tofutti Dairy Free Sour Cream 12 ounces (if you eat dairy you could substitute plain fat-free Greek yogurt. I recommend the Greek Gods brand)
*1/4 cup of fresh chopped dill
(could substitute a couple teaspoons of dried)
*1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
*1 clove of finely minced garlic
*1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
*1 Tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce (Vegan recipe)
*Salt and pepper to taste

Make sure that you cut up a lot of raw veggies for dipping. I used carrots, cucumbers, celery, and colored bell peppers. Pita chips, tortilla chips, and pretzels would also be great for dipping.

Printable recipe: LAYERED GREEK DIP WITH HUMMUS & TZATZIKI SAUCE

Pin it HERE

The dip stayed fresh throughout the week and was exactly what I hoped it would be. I know that it sounds like a lot of work, but trust me, it is worth it when you taste how fantastic it is. I plan on making a large platter of this dip to bring to my mom’s house for Christmas. The ingredients for this dip also make a wonderful wrap.

If you are like me, variety truly is the spice of life and rotating my meal choices keeps me reaching for healthy food. Thank you for stopping by and make sure you check out all my other recipes. I love being able to share my passion for healthy cooking with you!

Athena, the sweetest little photo bomber.

Athena, the sweetest little photo bomber.

Rustic Fruit Sauce – Slow Cooked & Sweetener Free

Rustic Slow Cooked Fruit Sauce by Produce with Amy“I believe that food can be a profound means of communication, allowing me to express myself in a way that seems much deeper and more sincere than words.”
~Jenni Ferrari-Adler

Unwinding, relaxing, and resting is how I have spent my past two days. In the midst of a hectic school year, suddenly all activity came to screeching halt. If you have been watching the news, or the weather to be more exact, you know that there has been a massive winter storm pounding northern states. In fact, the town of Negaunee where I live, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, received over three feet of snow. Yes, you read that correctly – THREE feet of snow and I have photos to prove it.

Mike: Baqubah, Iraq - 2003

Mike: Baqubah, Iraq – 2003

My husband, Mike, who is an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran — spent his Veterans Day removing snow from our yard.

The snow was wet and heavy and I appreciate all of his labor.

Today we woke up to several more inches of snow and he again had to dedicate the afternoon to snow removal. On the news they are reporting that lake effect snow will continue. Thank you, Lake Superior.

Mike - still smiling even though the snow is reaching beyond the snow blower.

Mike – still smiling even though the snow is reaching beyond the snow blower.

Mike carved a path leading to our backyard.

Mike carved a path leading to our backyard.

A couple of weeks ago we decided to leave the bird baths in our yard up since the birds were still frolicking around and using their basins to drink and bathe. Now the same bird baths have been swallowed up by the snow.

Yes the bottom picture is of the same bird baths in the top of the photo.

Yes the bottom picture is of the same bird baths in the top of the photo.

This was our driveway this morning with fresh snow piled up.

This was our driveway this morning with fresh snow piled up.

Today’s snow day gives me the perfect opportunity to share one of the recipes that I have been enjoying for the last couple weeks. When I started Weight Watchers in 2006, I ate a bowl of oatmeal every morning for breakfast. While I know that oatmeal is filling and carries many health benefits, I burnt myself out of oatmeal and for several years have only eaten oatmeal on occasion. As the weather has grown more cool, I decided that I would try to revisit oatmeal for breakfast and I decided that a rustic apple sauce topping would help me look forward to eating oatmeal again. It has done the trick.

Apples & PumpkinThe recipe that I am sharing today is versatile and you can add your favorite fruit – fresh or frozen – or whatever you have on hand. I do not have a strong sweet tooth so this recipe tend to be on the tart side. You could add brown sugar or a drizzle of maple syrup if you prefer it sweeter. It would also make a phenomenal topping for ice cream, or if you are dairy free, a topping for “nice” cream.

This recipe is inspired from a previous post that I have shared: Sweet & Tart Slow Cooker Apples with Cranberries, Pumpkin, and Oatmeal

 

Our cat Pandora is a lovely photo-bomber.

Our cat Pandora is a lovely photo-bomber.

RUSTIC SLOW COOKER FRUIT SAUCE

*2 sliced green apples
*2 sliced red apples
*2 sliced pears
*2 cups of frozen peaches
*1 can of pumpkin
*1 can of water
*1 bag of cranberries
*1 teaspoon of nutmeg
*1 Tablespoon of cinnamon
(you can add more if you like extra cinnamon)

Add all ingredients, except for the pears and peaches, to slow cooker. Set to low for 5 and 1/2 hours. In the last 1/2 hour add the pears and peaches so they retain their shape and are not reduced to sauce. This recipe freezes well.

Printable recipe: RUSTIC SLOW COOKER FRUIT SAUCE by Produce with Amy

Pin recipe HERE.
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Sorry for the blurry photo. I snapped it when it was hot and steaming.

Sorry for the blurry photo. I snapped it when it was hot and steaming.

Rustic Slow Cooker FruitThis fruit sauce is simple to make and I love that it does not require any sweeteners. Not to mention the added benefit of making your house smell incredible. It is the perfect healthy comfort food and does not need to only be consumed for breakfast. At night if you crave something sweet it is the perfect snack on its own. If I have the taste for something a bit sweeter, this sauce is wonderful warmed up and topped with a few raisins or a drizzle of local maple syrup. I imagine it would also be lovely served over pancakes, waffles, or French toast. I might have to whip up a batch of pancakes this weekend for Mike – he did after all earn something special with all his work removing the snow in our yard.

Thank you for stopping by my blog and I encourage you to sign up for email updates and stop by my Facebook page and give it a like. Make sure you check out all my social networking links on the right side of the page. I look forward to sharing more healthy and plant-based recipes with you. Together we can incorporate more fruit and vegetables into our meal plan. Stay warm and safe to my friends in cold climates. For those that life in sunny locations, please send some sunshine our way!