Talk about a spelling-bee nightmare! “Tsah-see-key” is how tzatziki is pronounced, and that’s tricky enough. But the Greek dip’s spelling is even trickier: T-Z-A-T-Z-I-K-I. A zed right after a tee? Twice!?! Now you know why “It’s all Greek to me” means that something is incomprehensible!
As hard as it is to say and spell, this refreshingly tangy and creamy blend of yogurt, cucumbers, garlic and herbs is easy to enjoy with sliced veggies, chicken kebabs and much more. (Keep reading to learn how tzatziki is made — it’s super-easy BTW — as well as for some tasty dipping options.)
Beyond deliciousness, tzatziki has a LOT going for it.
Packed with protein
A two-tablespoon serving of tzatziki contains around 5 grams of protein, or just under 10 percent of what the average guy needs in a day. Plain Greek yogurt, it turns out, can contain double the protein of regular yogurt. Not only that, but the grilled chicken breast and lean pork that goes so well with tzatziki are also protein powerhouses.
This is good news because there are many pros of eating protein. The essential nutrient is great for your skin, hair, bones and heart, it builds muscle, and it provides a longer-lasting energy source than sugary or starchy foods.
More healthy highlights
Tzatziki made from low-fat Greek yogurt checks a lot of other healthy boxes. That two-tablespoon serving contains around 50 calories and 1.7 grams of fat, which is much less than ranch dressing and other creamy dips. There are around 50 milligrams of bone-strengthening calcium in there too, along with zero cholesterol, which is good news for your blood pressure and heart health.
How to make tzatziki
Can you buy tzatziki sauce? You bet: Most supermarkets sell it. That said, mixing up your own tzatziki can be done in just four quick-and-easy steps:
Step 1: Dollup a cup of low-fat Greek yogurt into a bowl.
Step 2: Peel half a large cucumber, dice it up, and dump it in there.
Step 3: Add the juice of one lemon, a minced garlic clove, some chopped dill or mint, and a dash of salt and pepper to the mix.
Step 4: Stir well…and start dipping!
You’ve got your delicious dip, now you need something to dunk! You can’t go wrong with sliced red and green peppers, carrots, celery, broccoli and other dippable veggies, as well as these go-to options:
Cheddar Crunch Sticks: This crowd-pleasing dipper is one of the nutritious and easy-to-make snacks in the new “8 Delicious Recipes for a Healthier Game Day” ebook. Download it for free now!
Jamaican Grilled Chicken Kebabs: Cool and creamy tzatziki complements the jalapeno-fuelled spiciness of this BBQ favourite.
Turkey burgers: You’ll love leftovers even more when you spread tzatziki on these juicy burgers.
Kolokithokeftedes: Yes, these zucchini fritters are great for dipping. Plus, now you know a Greek word that’s harder to spell than tzatziki!
Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader’s Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN, MSN Canada, and DontChangeMuch.ca. Visit Adam’s website for more details on his award winning work.