Nicole MacPherson: Meatless Mummy Con Carne


Opa! Greek Lemon Mushroom with Non-Dairy Tzatiki Recipe


Greek Lemon Mushroom with pita and tzatiki

When I was sixteen, I went on a school trip to Europe. The highlight of that trip was our time in Greece. I remember being amazed by the beauty of the white buildings against the backdrop of the impossibly blue sea, by the sandy beaches and the ancient ruins. I also remember my introduction to the cuisine, and how spectacular and tasty the food was. I had never tasted anything like it before: creamy tzatiki drizzled on warm pita bread, alongside the freshest of vegetables. It was the start of a love affair with Greek cuisine that is still torridly alive to this day.

Mediterranean cuisine is among the healthiest in the world — and it is also incredibly delicious. This recipe is modelled after the Greek classic lemon chicken; I just love how the flavours of lemon and garlic work together to meld with crisp, fresh vegetables and chewy, soft pita. One bite of this and you'll be saying "Opa!"

It might just be the start of a love affair for you too.



1-400 mL can coconut milk, chilled for at least 24 hours
1 1/2 tsp plus 1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cucumber, or 2 mini cucumbers
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced


  The coconut milk is chilled in order to separate the liquid from the solid cream. Turn the can upside down, open it, and pour off the liquid (reserve for a smoothie). Scoop out the solid cream and place in a small bowl. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt; allow to sit at room temperature for 5-6 hours. *SHORTCUT* Skip this step and instead use 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt.

  Grate the cucumber and set on a paper or absorbent cloth towel. Sprinkle with salt, allow to sit for 20 minutes. Squeeze off excess liquid and add the cucumber to the coconut milk mixture.

  Stir in the olive oil and garlic. *NOTE* This tzatiki is best if made the day before; the flavours meld together over time. Store in refrigerator until needed.


Greek Lemon Mushroom

6 Portobello mushrooms, sliced into lengths
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cucumber or 2 mini cucumbers, sliced
4 Greek pitas

  Arrange mushroom slices in one layer in a baking pan or casserole dish.

  Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour over mushroom slices and allow to marinate 1-2 hours.

  Saute mushrooms, along with the marinade, in a large wok or frying pan over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until liquid is mostly absorbed. *GRILL OPTION* Using a barbeque-safe griddle, cook on the barbeque over medium-high for about 20 minutes.

  Arrange cooked mushrooms onto a warm pita, top with sliced cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, and drizzle with the tzatiki sauce. Opa!

Yield: 4 servings

Can't get enough Greek? Try my Ode to Joy Greek Salad or my Freekeh Greek-eh Salad. Want some hummus to go with that tzatiki and pita? Try my Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.