Kid-friendly Great Greek Tasty-Tofu Gyros + Fabulous Feta Tzatziki + Grecian Lemon Fizz Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
over 1,000 kid-approved recipes coming soon! save your flavorites
Recipes
/
Family Meal Plan: Great Greek Tasty-Tofu Gyros + Fabulous Feta Tzatziki + Grecian Lemon Fizz

Family Meal Plan: Great Greek Tasty-Tofu Gyros + Fabulous Feta Tzatziki + Grecian Lemon Fizz

Great Greek Tasty-Tofu Gyros + Fabulous Feta Tzatziki + Grecian Lemon Fizz

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Dylan Sabuco
prep time
20 minutes
cook time
20 minutes
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

Skip to recipe

Great Greek Tasty-Tofu Gyros

One of my absolute favorite memories was traveling to Greece and tasting the legendary gyro for the first time. The lively streets, the beautiful aromas, and the sound of laughter all around made the experience unforgettable. I want to share a piece of that magic with you! 

Gyros traditionally feature meat that's slow-roasted over a spit. Since we don't all have a giant rotisserie at home (I wish!), we're swapping out the meat for something equally delicious—tofu! And not just any tofu, but tofu marinated in a medley of spices like curry, cumin, and Italian seasoning! Trust me, one taste, and you'll be wondering, "Is that really tofu in my gyro?"

So, channel your inner Greek hero (cape optional!), and let's get started!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief
scale
1X
2X
3X
4X
5X
6X
7X

Shopping List

  • FRESH
  • 1 pkg extra firm tofu **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1 tomato, optional for topping
  • 1 red onion, optional for topping
  • 1 C chopped romaine lettuce, optional for topping
  • 1 cucumber, optional for topping
  • 2 small handfuls fresh mint, optional
  • 1 lemon
  • DAIRY
  • 3/4 C plain Greek yogurt **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1 C feta cheese (1/2 C optional for topping) **(see allergy subs below)**
  • PANTRY
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube (or 1 tsp bouillon powder/paste)
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil **
  • 6 small pita breads
  • 1/2 C pitted Kalamata olives, optional for topping
  • 3 C sparkling water
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • HAVE ON HAND
  • 2 1/4 C water
  • parchment paper (if using baking sheet)

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • bake :

    to cook food with dry heat, as in an oven.

  • knife skills :

    Bear Claw (growl), Pinch, Plank, and Bridge (look out for trolls)

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • pour :

    to cause liquid, granules, or powder to stream from one container into another.

  • sauté :

    to cook or brown food in a pan containing a small quantity of butter, oil, or other fat.

  • season :

    to add flavor to food with spices, herbs, and salt.

  • slice :

    to cut into thin pieces using a sawing motion with your knife.

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

Equipment Checklist

  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Fork (optional)
  • Measuring spoons
  • Whisk
  • Blender (or pitcher + immersion blender)
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Strainer
  • Wooden spoon
  • Oven
  • Large sauté pan or skillet
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Large mixing bowl
scale
1X
2X
3X
4X
5X
6X
7X

Ingredients

Great Greek Tasty-Tofu Gyros

  • 1 pkg extra firm tofu **(for SOY ALLERGY sub 2 to 4 portobello mushrooms)**
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube (or 1 tsp bouillon powder/paste) **(Check label for possible allergens, like gluten, soy, or nightshade, and omit if necessary)**
  • 2 T water
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil **
  • 6 small pita bread **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free pita bread)**
  • Optional topping ingredients:
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 C chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 C feta cheese **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub 1/4 C nutritional yeast)**
  • 1/2 C Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 small handful of mint, chopped

Fabulous Feta Tzatziki

  • 3/4 C plain Greek yogurt **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub soy or coconut milk-based plain Greek yogurt)**
  • 1/3 C feta cheese **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub 1/4 C nutritional yeast)**
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 T water
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 handful fresh mint, optional

Grecian Lemon Fizz

  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1/4 C plain Greek yogurt **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub soy or coconut milk-based plain Greek yogurt)**
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 2 C water
  • 2 C sparkling water

Food Allergen Substitutions

Great Greek Tasty-Tofu Gyros

  • Soy: For 1 pkg extra firm tofu, substitute 2 to 4 portobello mushrooms. Substitute canola oil or other nut-free high-smoking point oil for vegetable oil, which usually contains soy.
  • Gluten/Soy/Nightshade: Check vegetable bouillon cube ingredients listed on label and, if necessary, omit from recipe.
  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free/nut-free pita bread.
  • Dairy: For optional 1/2 C feta cheese topping, substitute 1/4 C nutritional yeast.

Fabulous Feta Tzatziki

  • Dairy: Substitute soy or coconut milk-based plain Greek yogurt. For 1/3 C feta cheese, substitute 1/4 C nutritional yeast.

Grecian Lemon Fizz

  • Dairy: Substitute soy or coconut milk-based plain Greek yogurt.

Instructions

Great Greek Tasty-Tofu Gyros

1.
intro

"Γεια σας" (YAH sahs) or "Hello" in Greek! Gyros (YEE-ros) is a handheld Greek dish that combines stacks of slowly spit-roasted pork, lamb, or beef with creamy Greek yogurt, sour feta, and tons of refreshing vegetables. The result is an ultimate street food that is popular not only in Greece but all over the world. Our Sticky Fingers Cooking version assumes you don't have a spit for slow roasting, so we will use our stovetops. Also, save the meat for another meal because this gyro will be made with tofu. By the end, you and your family will be scratching your heads, saying, "Is that really tofu?"

2.
slice + season + count

First, open your tofu and drain as much liquid as possible. Then, slice the tofu into long, rough pieces. Toss the sliced tofu into a large mixing bowl. In a liquid measuring cup, measure 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 vegetable bouillon cube, 2 tablespoons water, and 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Mix the seasonings thoroughly before pouring the mixture over the tofu. Count to five in Greek while mixing: 1 ένα (eh-nah), 2 δύο (thee-ow), 3 τρία(tree-ah), 4 τέσσερα (tes-seh-rah), 5 πέντε (pen-de).

3.
recipe note

When mixing the tofu and seasoning mixture, don’t worry about breaking the tofu into small pieces. The "gyros meat" will be super tasty whether you have big or small pieces. Also, be sure to regulate how much liquid is in your mixture. Drain the tofu as much as possible using paper towels if necessary. If the mixture is still wet after cooking for the full cooking time, increase the heat during the final 5 minutes of cooking time.

4.
preheat + sauté + bake

Preheat the oven to 375 F. While the oven preheats, place a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Pour the tofu into the pan and spread it as thinly as possible. Cook the tofu "gyro meat" for 10 minutes, stirring as often as you like. After 10 minutes of cooking, transfer the tofu to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven for 10 minutes.

5.
chop + stuff + munch

While the tofu "gyro meat" is baking, chop all your chosen topping ingredients. Also, pita bread is always more tasty after you toast it. Take a minute to toast or microwave your pita bread to warm it up. Test your tofu for doneness. It should have absorbed all the ingredients and be slightly crisp on the edges. When the tofu and the toppings are ready, stuff heaping scoops of everything into your pita pocket. It might be messy, but it sure is a tasty Mediterranean snack! "Kalí órexi" or "Enjoy" in Greek with Fabulous Feta Tzatziki (see recipe) and extra napkins!

Fabulous Feta Tzatziki

1.
crumble + tear

In a medium mixing bowl, crumble 1/3 cup of feta cheese as finely as possible with a fork or your fingers. Also, tear 1 handful of fresh mint (optional) and toss that into the same bowl.

2.
measure + whisk

Measure 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 pinch of salt, and 1 pinch of black pepper, 1 tablespoon water, and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning into the mixing bowl with the feta and mint. Whisk all the ingredients until a light and tangy sauce is formed. Drizzle this sauce over your Great Greek Tasty Tofu Gyros (see recipe)!

Grecian Lemon Fizz

1.
measure + peel + mash

In a blender or large pitcher (if using an immersion blender), measure 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt. Then, peel 1 lemon and place the pulp into a strainer over the blender. Using a wooden spoon, mash the lemon gently. You want to get as much juice into the blender as you can. Then, discard all the seeds and add the remaining lemon pulp to the blender.

2.
blend + stir + pour

While blending the mixture, pour in 2 cups of water and blend as thoroughly as possible. Finally, pour in 2 cups of sparkling water. Once everything is mixed up, pour into cups and enjoy. "Yamas" or "Cheers" in Greek!

Surprise Ingredient: Tofu!

back to recipe
Photo by KatMoy/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I'm Tofu!

"I'm also called "bean curd" because Tofu (TOH-foo) is made from soybeans. I'm a great substitute for meat and eggs in many recipes, while my spongy texture absorbs the flavors of a dish's marinade, sauce, or seasoning!"

History & Etymology

  • Sources disagree on when the making of tofu began. Some say it was discovered about 2,000 years ago in China during the Han dynasty, and some say it was closer to 1,000 years ago. Legend says that Prince Liu An found the process for making tofu during the Han dynasty. Whether he did or the invention was just attributed to him, the Han dynasty tofu may not have resembled what we have now.
  • Another theory for tofu's discovery is ascribed to the addition of impure sea salt to a boiled soybean mixture that caused the concoction to curdle. Some also believe the credit goes to borrowed milk-curdling techniques from the Mongolians or East Indians.
  • Zen Buddhist monks introduced "Chinese tofu" to Japan in the late 8th century, where it was used as a replacement for meat and fish. Chinese immigrants brought tofu to Southeast Asia sometime between the 10th and 11th centuries. 
  • In the United States, tofu was first mentioned by Benjamin Franklin in letters written to two different people. He had tried it in London and referred to it as Chinese "cheese" made from soybeans.
  • The first tofu factory in the United States was established in 1878. The oldest currently running tofu company is Ota Tofu in Portland, Oregon, founded in 1911. 
  • The word "tofu" comes from the Japanese "tōfu," from the Chinese "dòufu," from "dòu" ("beans") and fŭ ("rot").

How to Select & Eat

  • The types of tofu you can buy are silken or soft, medium (regular or medium-firm), firm, and extra firm. 
  • Silken or soft tofu has not been pressed and has a higher moisture content than firmer tofu. It is similar to yogurt or pudding or a soft, early cheese. You can use it to make smoothies or as a replacement for eggs.
  • Medium tofu is a popular type, referred to as just "tofu" on some labels. It has a porous texture that is good for mopping up sauces. 
  • Firm tofu has been drained and pressed but still has a high moisture content. Its outside texture is similar to raw meat, and when you press it, it will bounce back. The inside is similar to a firm custard. Firm tofu is versatile to cook and can be pan-fried, deep-fried, or stir-fried. 
  • Extra-firm tofu has had a larger amount of liquid pressed out, and its texture is closer to fully-cooked meat. Therefore, it is a suitable replacement for meat and can be pan-fried, deep-fried, or stir-fried. You can also serve it cold or add it to soup. Extra-firm tofu does not absorb liquid as well as firm tofu, so if you use a marinade, choose medium or firm tofu. 
  • Tofu benefits from being frozen before cooking. Freezing tofu removes more of the liquid and gives it a stronger, firmer, and more meat-like texture. When you cook with frozen tofu, it will not fall apart as easily. Freezing also helps tofu to last longer, and it works with most forms but may be more difficult with the silken type.
  • To freeze tofu, drain the liquid from the package, then remove the block and gently squeeze out any remaining liquid with a paper or kitchen towel (you do not need to press it). Cut it into the size needed for your recipe. If you will be using a portion of a tofu block, separate what you are using, then put the pieces, not touching, on a tray covered with plastic wrap. After the tofu freezes, in about five hours or overnight, you can transfer it to a freezer-safe airtight container or bag. Frozen tofu may not need to be thawed before cooking, depending on your recipe. If you want to thaw it first, let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight, or if needed more quickly, run warm water over it.

Nutrition

  • Tofu is high in protein, which makes it a great meat substitute. Firm tofu has more protein than silken or soft tofu. It also has a higher fat content. 
  • Tofu is considered a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids.
  • Tofu has a good amount of calcium, iron, potassium, and manganese. It can help strengthen bones, lower cholesterol, and prevent coronary heart disease.  
  • People allergic to soy should not consume tofu, which is made from soybeans.

What are Gyros?

Photo by rawf8/Shutterstock.com
  • Gyros (YEE-ros) is seasoned meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie, sliced off in thin slices, and placed in pita bread with vegetables and condiments such as tomatoes, onions, fried potatoes, lettuce, and tzatziki (a sauce or dip). 
  • The dish is prepared by stacking slices of meat on a vertical, cone-shaped spit or rotisserie, which turns in front of a heat source. As the meat slowly cooks, the juices from the meat on the upper part of the spit drip down onto the lower slices. As the meat finishes cooking, thin slices are shaved off to be stuffed into a pita.
  • Gyros is the Greek version of Turkey's "doner kebab," lamb cooked on a vertical rotisserie created in the 19th century Ottoman Empire. In Greece, they use pork and sometimes chicken. Other countries may use beef and lamb.

Let's Learn About Greece!

Photo by NadyaEugene/Shutterstock.com

Ancient Greece

  • Ancient Greece was a civilization in the northeastern Mediterranean region that existed from about 1100 BCE to 600 CE. Democracy began there in Athens in the 5th century BCE.
  • The first Olympics were dedicated to the Olympian gods and were staged on the plains of Olympia. Ancient Olympic sports included running, chariot racing, mule-cart racing, boxing, discus throw, long jump, wrestling, and pankration, a wild cross between wrestling and boxing with no rules except biting and eye-gouging!
  • A few of the well-known figures from this period were: Alexander the Great, who ruled over the whole empire from 336 to 323 BCE; Hippocrates, a physician referred to as the Father of Medicine; Herodotus, called the Father of History, who wrote his "Histories" about the Greco-Persian wars; Socrates, considered the founder of Western Philosophy; Plato, an author and philosopher who founded the first academy of higher learning in the West; Aristotle, a student of Plato's who also founded a school of philosophy; and Thales, a mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, and one of the Seven Sages of Greece.  

Modern Greece

  • Greece, in Southeast Europe, is officially called the Hellenic Republic. Its government is a unitary parliamentary republic with a president, prime minister, and parliament. The capital and largest city is Athens, and the official language is Greek.
  • Greece declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821 and was recognized as an independent country in 1830. 
  • The size of Greece is about the same as the US state of Alabama but has twice as many people, over 10.5 million. 
  • The country of Greece consists of 6,000 islands, but only 227 are inhabited. Nearly 80 percent of the country is hills and mountains. 
  • About four-fifths of the people live in urban areas in Greece, and almost everyone is literate.
  • Greece has three times the number of annual tourists (about 31 million) as residents. It is one of the most-visited countries.
  • Greece is the third-largest producer of peaches and the fifth-largest producer of olives in the world. 
  • In the past, most Greeks were farmers, and they ate the food that they grew. Since Greece had a mild climate, they could grow many different fruits and vegetables as long as they got enough rain. Vegetables were a considerable part of the Greek diet and still are. Most Greeks eat a Mediterranean diet that includes plenty of olive oil, legumes, fruits, veggies, grains, and fish. They generally consume less dairy and meat.
  • Greek cuisine includes "fasolada" (soup of white beans, olive oil, and veggies), "moussaka" (eggplant or potato dish with ground or minced meat), "souvlaki" (grilled meat on a skewer), and "gyros" (pita bread filled with meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie, veggies, and tzatziki sauce). 

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Greece?

  • Greek kids have three stages of education: primary school for six years, gymnasium (junior high) for three years, and lyceum (senior high) for three years (this stage is not mandatory).
  • Kids may participate in sports such as soccer, basketball, baseball, swimming, and handball. 
  • There are many museums and ancient sites to explore in Greece. Families love being outdoors and enjoy hiking and going to the many beaches. 
  • There are several different sweets that Greek children enjoy. These include "pasteli" (sesame seed candy), "bougatsa" and "galaktoboureko" (phyllo pastries filled with semolina custard), and "baklava" (nut-filled phyllo pastry soaked in a honey syrup).

That's Berry Funny

What did the lemon say to the cake? 

"Sour you doing?"

THYME for a Laugh

Why did the Tofu cross the road? 

To prove he wasn’t chicken!

That's Berry Funny

What did the frustrated cheese say?

I'm feta up!

The Yolk's On You

Why did the lemon stop halfway across the road? 

He ran out of juice!

THYME for a Laugh

What do you give an injured lemon?

Lemon-aid!

Lettuce Joke Around

What is a foots’ favorite food? 

Toe-fu!

That's Berry Funny

Why did the lemon have no friends? 

Because she was a sour-puss!

Shop Our Cookbooks

Now available on Amazon! Our cookbooks feature kid-tested recipes that build confidence in the kitchen. Expand your child's palate and spark a love of healthy foods with a Sticky Fingers Cooking cookbook.
SHOP NOW

Subscribe to the Sticky Fingers Cooking mailing list

Subscribe to our newsletter, The Turnip, to receive exclusive discounts and updates, insider tips + tricks from our awesome team, and instant access to the Sticky Fingers Cooking Starter Kit for free!

"
X
Simply the zest!
Mackenzie from Highlands Ranch just joined a class