January 11, 2012

Potato Feta Gyros

potato feta gyros

I lived as a vegetarian for 2 1/2 years during my college career; it was the dorm food that sealed the deal. For the first year of my vegetarianism, I was more of a cheese-atarian. I lived in Oregon and it was Tillamook EVERYTHING. My roommate and I ate cheese, pizza, french fries, hummus and stir fry like there was no tomorrow. For a college student, it was all about convenience. Having our own fridge with our OWN food (not managed by parents) was really an exciting thing. That’s why I gained a Sophomore 15 (I managed to avoid it Freshman year due to the crappy food). I clearly needed help!

A few months ago during the busy holiday season, I had the opportunity to meet cookbook author/cool mom Pam Anderson & catch up with her daughter Maggy at a fabulous dinner for her latest cookbook, Cook without a Book: Meatless Meals: Recipes and Techniques for Part-Time and Full-Time Vegetarians. Let me tell you, these two are as good as it gets! I know that if they lived closer, Maggy & I would be tied at the hip. Both these fine ladies have a tremendous amount of love to give and their passion for food and helping others is downright contagious!

What I love Pam’s new cookbook is that it’s vegetarian home cooking in an easily digestible format. Pam covers many cooking basics and gives a tremendous amount of tricks & tips for the aspiring vegetarian cook. She’s basically teaching you how to cook without a book! Each recipe has Pam’s suggestions to change things up a bit. For example, there’s a bran muffin section where she shows you the muffin base and then lists add-ins & extras so you can build your own flavor profile. Her suggestions will keep your brain turning with ideas! I love it. Reading through this book is like having a cool mom teach you how to cook and fend for yourself in a vegetarian world. It would have made my college years as a vegetarian a BREEZE!

potato feta gyros

As a part time Vegetarian, I fell in love with this Potato Feta Gyro recipe. I made it earlier this week and boy was it incredibly satisfying and simple to execute. The mashed potatoes are flavor packed due to the feta & roasted garlic and the cucumber yogurt sauce is straight up ADDICTIVE. If only I had this recipe in college!

Here’s the deal!

I have an extra copy of this book that I want to give one to a lucky reader!

Please leave a comment below and you’ll be entered to win!

Giveaway ends on Friday January 13th (ooh creepy!).


And we’re off!

Ingredient gathering!

potato feta gyros

First up- cucumber yogurt sauce! Grate the cucumber.

potato feta gyros

Squeeze out all the extra water from the cucumber. Now add the cucumber to a bowl of yogurt, garlic & lemon juice.

potato feta gyros

Add in a little olive oil and stir! Cucumber yogurt sauce is DONE.

potato feta gyros

Time to brown the garlic. This garlic & oil will become garlic oil and it will be a beautiful thing!

potato feta gyros

See what I mean? At this point the potatoes should be boiling on the stove in a huge pot of water.

potato feta gyros

Chop up the lettuce, tomatoes and red onion. Add a little salt on those tomatoes. Set aside.

potato feta gyros

When the potatoes are cooking reserve a bit of potato water. Drain the tators and add in the feta, garlic & garlic oil.

potato feta gyros

Pop the pita in the oven to warm them up. Cover them in foil.

potato feta gyros

Let’s mash those potatoes! Add a little bit of the reserved potato water to lube them up.

potato feta gyros

Don’t forget the red onion. I almost did!

potato feta gyros

Now it’s ASSEMBLY LINE time!

potato feta gyros

A little bit of yogurt on the bottom of a hot pita.

potato feta gyros

Add a little bit of lettuce & tomato.

potato feta gyros

Plop some of the potato mixture on top!

potato feta gyros

And dig in!

potato feta gyros

If you don’t have pita, that’s totally cool. Put it all in a bowl and go to town! Amazing.

Potato Feta Gyros

Serves 4

(recipe from Pam Anderson’s Cook without a Book: Meatless Meals)

  • 1 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt (I used 0%)
  • 1 medium hothouse (seedless) cucumber, grated and squeezed dry
  • 9 clove garlic–8 whole, 1 minced
  • 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 3/4 lb small red potatoes
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 4 pita breads, preferably pocketless
  • 2 cup shredded romaine lettuce hearts
  • 1 cup finely diced tomatoes, lightly salted

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine the yogurt, cucumber, minced garlic, 2 teaspoons of the oil, the lemon juice, and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper in a medium bowl; set aside.

Combine the potatoes with water to cover in a large saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the remaining 8 garlic cloves and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a small skillet. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook the garlic, turning, until golden, about 5 minutes.

Drain the potatoes, reserving 1/4 cup of the potato cooking water, and return the potatoes to the pot. Add the garlic and its oil, the cheese, and onion and mash with a fork, adding some of the reserved potato water if necessary, to make lumpy mashed potatoes. Cover and keep warm.

Wrap the pitas in foil and heat in the oven until warm, about 10 minutes.

To assemble, spread each pita with about 2 tablespoons of cucumber-yogurt sauce. Divide half the lettuce and tomatoes among the sandwiches and top each with one-fourth of the potato mixture. Divide the remaining yogurt sauce, lettuce, and tomatoes among the sandwiches. Wrap and serve.

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  • Lindsey

    Hi Tracy! I’m picking up my very first CSA share on Friday & I would love to cook without a book :)

    PS- Thanks for sharing this gyro recipe, my boyfriend is going to freak when I make these for him!

  • Betsy Wray

    Mashed potato feta gyro! Genius. Need to get this cookbook.

  • Jules

    Hi Tracy, this cookbook is right up my alley. My husband loves meat, but enjoys when I get creative with vegetarian dishes. I am really working on becoming a more diverse vegetarian cook, but at times get “stuck in a rut”. We’ve recently relocated to Northern CA and have space/sunshine (farewell beautiful but chilly/crowded Chicago!) and I am also working on creating the best vegetable garden I can to help motivate my vegetarian desires in the kitchen :) Happy 2012!

  • Morgan

    I just moved an lugged waaaay too many cookbooks up many flights of stairs… But I still want more!! Plus this recipe looks awesome!

  • Tagati

    What a great recipe! I’m mostly vegetarian and eat waay too much cheese. I luv how the feta and garlic spice up the potatoes without using a ton of butter and heavy cream!

    Great giveaway!

  • Rachel

    The book looks amazing! Thanks for the giveaway.

  • alana

    as a full-time vegetarian, who needs A LOT of help in the kitchen, this would be great to own… cheers!

  • Rebecca

    Those gyros look delicious :)

  • Holly

    I’ve been a vegetarian for 15 years, and have been learning to cook without a book for the past 5. Thank you for this opportunity :)

  • Lara

    Hi Tracy,
    Thanks for the recipe. My 11 year old daughter has decided to be vegetarian a few months ago and I need to figure out how to help her get all the nutrition she needs on this diet. The book would be a great start. Thanks for your blog and it is always fun listening to you on the podcast!

  • Olivia

    Lucky you! I gained the Freshman 15 (+)!!!! gahh!!

    i have recently taken up running, I’m running my first full marathon in march (OAKLAND MARATHON WOOHHHOOO!!). Now that I am running more, I am trying to eat healthy! This book would be a great guide!

  • Abby

    A good gyro veggie or not is hard to pass up! Can’t wait to try this out.

  • Foodiebia

    This recipe looks amazing, and something I never considered! I love how many great vegetarian cookbooks are out there now.

  • Gillian

    I have most of the ingredients to make these and I think I’m going to make them this weekend. Looks REALLY good!! Pam’s vegetarian cook book looks great too. :)

  • Amie Gramo

    Seems like an ah-mazing cookbook!!!

  • Cena Rae

    oohh! this looks tasty, im going to have to make this soon! it would be so lovely to win this book!

  • Cali

    This post made me suuuuuper ready for dinner!

  • Mary

    I would love to get this book! I cook primarily veggie at home anyway and am feeling like I’m stuck in a rut. Great giveaway!

  • Mandy

    Love the blog…. and the post for Potato Feta Gyros. I have started making my own pita/ tortillas and cant wait to try them with your recipe.

  • Lisa Waszkiewicz

    I was sucked in as soon as I saw “feta”

  • Torrey

    These look so good! I was a little skeptical when I saw the name, but it’s so unique. Will definitely have to try these!

  • Lindsay

    These look so good! Great giveaway!

  • Rachel (De Ma Cuisine)

    I’m starving and that sounds amazing!!!

  • Anna

    Dude, feta in mashed potatoes sounds amazing and so does this recipe! I kind of want to turn it into a taco.

    Also that cookbook looks super great, I too became a vegetarian in college partially because of dorm food (so gross) and am now part time vegetarian, or as one of friends calls me, a “bad vegetarian”… woo!

  • Laura R

    Mmmmmm! These look fantastic! My guy and I mostly eat vegetarian and I’m always challenged by coming up with something new, but also simple after a long day at work. I will definitely be checking out this book!

  • Stacy

    I just discovered your blog recently and I am so happy for such a wonderful resource! And there are giveaways too?! Sign me up!

  • Johnna

    love your website! i make that killer garlic bread ALL THE TIME. probably too much! i’d love to make some more vegetarian stuff – i’ll definitely be looking for this book!

  • Beth

    Yum! always looking for meatless options! And, as always, great photos and snappy narration!

  • Cherie

    easily digestible format! That’s a good one! :>)

  • Dawn

    Wow, those gyros look amazing! I hope that I win this book!

  • Sarah L

    I’ve never thought of using potatoes in a gyro. They look great!

  • Darcee

    Another tasty looking recipe!!

  • Annalise

    This recipe looks great! I’d love to try this cookbook out!!

  • helen

    i was a veg for about 2 years awhile back. i still enjoy having veggie lunches and about one vegetarian dinner/week. sometimes i struggle with what to have, though. would love to try the recipes in this book!

  • Faye

    Those gyros look super tasty! I love cookbooks that are guides to cooking without the recipes. yay variety!

  • Mer Windham

    yum! looks delicious and healthy, thanks for the giveaway!

  • Jayne

    This is such an easy way to avoid meat sometimes and yet still feel full up (say that 3 times faster!) Sometimes meat feels too much… this is perfect!

  • olga_s

    I would love to win this book! I really hope this is an international giveaway!

  • Clarissa

    I need this book!

  • Madelyn

    A twitter friend of mine recommended your site, and I’m so glad that I’ve found it. I became a vegetarian early (I was 10!) and lost my mom a few years later (when I as 16), so I’ve spent almost 20 years trying to figure out how to cook/eat right. I’ve recently joined a CSA and now that I am approaching my 30th birthday in May, am spending more and more time reading about nutrition and trying new recipes. I’m not the best cook, but I’m trying!

  • Adri

    I made this recipe last night, with a few tweaks/additions of my own, and I just wanted to say HOLY DELICIOUS THANK YOU YUMNESS. I’ve been a vegetarian for 7 years now, and I would have never thought of putting potato into a gyro/pita. It was heaven.

  • Daisy

    These look delicious! Will definitely have to try them. Please enter me into the contest for that wonderful book! :-)

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  • Jen

    Looks yummy. I was disappointed to find out feta is NOT vegetarian, as I love it. Any suggestions for rennet-free feta?

    • Tracy

      Oooooh. It’s not?! They make tofu feta that might work? You need a tangy bite- or you could just omit it?

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