It never fails that come February I am sick and tired of winter. In the beginning of the cold weather I am so excited to curl up in my fuzzy robe to sip on some cocoa or tea, eat some hot soup and just snuggle under a warm blanket. Then Christmas comes and goes, New Years arrives, and February hits me head on! Here in South Carolina, we have been especially cold this second month of the year for several years now (chilly for the deep south, that is). Each time it turns to February 1st I find myself day dreaming of warmer weather. Warm morning jogs, kayaking along the river, hiking up local mountains, outdoor yoga; all things I can’t get out of my head right now. I also start thinking about all the wonderful flavors the warmth brings to my taste buds: Infused water loaded with fruits and cooling herbs like mint, fresh salads drizzled with citrus dressings and colorful veggies. One of my favorite summer dishes is a fresh pita stuffed with falafel, crisp veggies, and smothered in a cool, tangy tzatziki sauce. This is what I present to you today, a little taste of summer in the frozen cold of winter.
This tzatziki sauce base can be made in under 5 minutes! Then you just fold in some classic Mediterranean staples until you have a creamy tzatziki that rivals any dairy filled versions! One of the coolest things about the tzatziki base is it can be used as a base for numerous other recipes. Want to make a chickpea “tuna” salad? Use this as your base instead of a store bought Vegenaise or other dairy free mayo. It is also very good if you want to add herbs and garlic to it to make a flavorful pesto aioli. I will definitely be posting a few more recipes using this dairy free mayo substitute. Why buy expensive jars at the store when you can make it at home for much less money?
While I made this sauce today to uplift my winter trodden spirits, once it warms up a bit it will be pumping out of my kitchen nonstop! In the meantime, try your hand out at it and see if you can perfect it by spring! Impress your friends at your next barbecue with a light and healthy take on an exotic classic!
- For the base:
- ½ c soymilk
- 1¼ c sunflower seed oil (I imagine other oils would work as well)
- 3 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ¼ tsp salt
- Add ins:
- 1½ tsp dried or fresh dill
- ⅛ tsp paprika
- 1 large clove garlic
- Juice of 1 small lemon (or juice of ½ large lemon)
- ¼ c chopped cucumber
- ½ c quartered grape tomotoes
- Add milk to a high powered blender like a Vitamix. Start on low speed. Let run with just the milk in it for 30 seconds or so.
- Very slowly start adding in the oil. This part is important because if you add to quickly it does not firm up like it should.
- Once all oil is in the blender, add the apple cider vinegar and salt.
- Turn blender speed up to a medium speed. Let blend for 1-2 minutes. At this point you should see your mixture thickening up and taking on a cream color.
- If your mixture is not thickening up, increase the speed and let it blend longer.
- Once mixture is relatively thick, like a thin mayonnaise, this part is complete.
- Fold in dill, paprika, garlic, lemon juice, cucumber, and tomato.
- You can serve immediately but it is much better if it can sit for at least 2 hours. Over night is best.