Dairy-Free Tzatziki Sauce, Is It Possible?

180240Last night was an “oh sheister, what are we having for dinner” night. (Sheister is a new word I use to avoid having my son’s first word be S-H-I-T. Have I mentioned I don’t prefer foul language?). This is pretty rare in our house because as my Healthy Mamas clients know, I have menu planning down pat. Luckily, a pre-vacation trip to Trader Joe’s included some whole food-based frozen food items I wanted to test for my busy mamas. (TJ’s is key because they commit to no artificial ingredients, no msg, no transfat & no GMOs.)Wild Salmon burgers it is!

Now, I’m thinking a salmon burger on top of a super easy “arugula, avocado & lemon smash salad” will fit the bill. But, have I mentioned my husband is a seafood marketer? He couldn’t possibly enjoy a plain salmon burger. To him, it’s like spaghetti without meatballs, Thanksgiving without turkey, Easter without the bunny. (Just kidding we don’t eat rabbit ON Easter, that would be a little creepy, right?)

Being the savvy hubby he is, he says “Oooo. Wouldn’t a tzatziki sauce be yummy on the burger? (Pause) Oh shoot, but we’re dairy free now (this is new for him, he’s 4 weeks in). Is it possible to make a dairy-free tzatziki?” Hmmmm… I smelled a challenge but one that needed a little mama alone time. Suddenly, he scooped our son up & disappeared into the house for what he called “male bonding time.”  Our son is 8 months old, so male-bonding time consists of a diaper change & some jamming on his wooden piano. Regardless, I took the hint & got right to it because well, dairy-free tzatziki would be freaking delish on the salmon burgers.

Fast-forward 20 minutes & lo’ and behold we have a winner, people! There are a few food staples I often turn to when turning cheese-like items into a dairy-free version: coconut milk yogurt, coconut cream, coconut oil, cashews, tofu, nutritional yeast, etc.  I settled on cashews for this one because, frankly, I was out of the other options that would make sense in this recipe.  I hope you enjoy!

1365698161Dairy-Free Tzatziki Sauce
Use atop burgers, falafel, salads, potatoes
1 C cashews
1 ¼ C hot water
2 large cloves garlic
Juice from 2/3 lemon
1 medium cucumber, peeled
1 tsp fine sea salt (I prefer Himalayan pink salt for the mineral content)
¼ C parsley leaves
1-2 pinches lemon zest

Boil cashews for 15 minutes in about 4 C water. Rinse & drain. Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until creamy, but slightly chunky from the cucumber. Add more hot water 1 TSB at a time until desired consistency. It should be creamy, but not liquidy.

Ever transform a cheesy recipe into a dairy-free one? Was it a hit or a dud?

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