Klunker's gyros

 Klunker's gyros 

A while back, I had a request to make gyros plant based.  There are a few recipes out there, most are made with some form of saitan (made from vital wheat gluten) or chickpea flour.  I am here to tell you now, I cannot stand the taste of either.  I know it is probably all in my head, but I just cannot stomach the aftertaste of either.  So, I knew I was not going to even attempt this recipe unless I could find a solution.  This meant that I would have to really spend some time writing this recipe.  

I already have the delicious pillows, the bread of this sandwich, my very own pita recipe. You will need that or your very own recipe.  Mine can be found here
You will also need some delicious tzatziki sauce.  I will include that at the end of this recipe.
The main part of this recipe is the "meat".  It has lots of ingredients and requires some time and effort.  I get many people who tell me they will not make a recipe because there are too many steps.  I hope that does not keep you from this recipe.  Once you make it and store it in the fridge, the rest is easy.  

OK, lets go with the recipe for the gyro "meat"


1/2 cup dry, red lentils
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
10 sundried tomatoes (dry)
1/2 cup oats (GF if needed)

2 tablespoons ground flax seed
2 tablespoons tapioca starch or corn starch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon cumin 

10 medium mushrooms
2 green onions, cleaned
1/2 medium onion
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas 
1/2 cup aquafaba
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce 

OK, to start, you need to make all of the dry ingredients into powder.  That means taking the lentils, sun dried tomatoes, oats, flax seed and put into a blender and blend until a fine powder.  I did each one individually.

I then placed each one into a large bowl (illustration).  Then I took a whisk and whisk it all together.

Next, you want to put all of your wet/other ingredients into a food processor or blender.

Blend until a smooth paste.  It takes a good minute to really blend well.
Now, pour the smooth paste into the dry mix.

With a spoon, combine it all together and mix until smooth.

Now, pour the mix into a 9x9 silicone pan.  If you don't have silicone, line a metal 9x9 pan with parchment paper and pour into that.  Smooth it out with a spatula.

Let sit for 10 minutes.  While it is sitting, heat the oven to 375°.
After 10 minutes, place into the oven and set the timer to 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove from the oven and let cool to room temp.
Remove from the pan by turning over.  Make sure to run a knife along the edges.  I turned mine on to a cutting board.  Cut into 4 even pieces.  
Place into a zip top bag, and let chill for at least 2 hours, overnight is better.
While that is chilling lets make some tzatziki sauce.


1/2 block extra firm silken tofu
1 large cucumber, peeled and shredded.   Place into a paper towel and squeeze all the liquid out of it
Juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon onion powder
3 teaspoons crushed garlic 
1-2 teaspoons dried dill
salt and pepper to taste.

Place all but the cucumber in a blender and blend well.  Add to the cucumber and mix well in a bowl.  Place in the fridge and chill.  You can blend the cucumber into tofu if you want, it will give you a smooth sauce.  I like mine chunky.  

Now, back to the gyro meat.
After it has chilled (I did mine overnight) take out and cut thinly on the diagonal.

Place the pieces into a dry frying pan and heat up on both sides.  I like to add just a little bit of brown to it.

To assemble:

Place one pita down.  Schmear it with the tzatziki sauce, add sliced tomatoes, lettuce and any other yummy thing you want.  I like avocado.  Then, pile on the "meat" you just worked so hard on.  
Now, there is only one thing left.  EAT THAT SUCKER!!

 I hope you make this recipe.  I know it is labor intensive.  But then again, we are talking about good food here..;)

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  1. Hi there! I come across your recipes from the McDougall FB page. I was wondering if you have an idea for a substitution for the mushrooms in the gyro "meat"? My husband is allergic. Thanks so much and thanks for all the great recipes.

    1. Hi, instead of mushrooms, add another 1/2 cup of chickpeas. I hope that helps. :)

  2. I am making this now. It smells awesome and the idea of using red lentils as a flour is brilliant. Just wondering why you recommend pulverizing the dry ingredients separately -- I am lazy so I did them altogether and it seems fine. Also if I end up loving this I might mix up the dry in large quantity to store and save time at some point in the future. :-)

    1. I did that completely for the reason of this post. If you can blend it all together, I encourage it. :)

  3. Hi. One more question. When you say 10 sun dried tomatoes, are those tomato halves dried or whole tomatoes dried. I am having the hardest time finding sun dried tomatoes that are actually dry. LOL

    1. Half dried. I get a big bag of them at Costco. No oil, just dried. :)


  4. It looks tasty but I cannot eat if I don't know what there are in food, because I have an allergy. This problem is very vivid nowadays, you can make sure from http://stopallergyguide.com/ but I'd like to note that this information helped me with my problem :)

  5. Are there any general substitutes for vital wheat gluten for individuals who cannot have gluten? Would Xanthan Gum and Guar Gum work? I see a lot of recipes with using it and would like to find a substitute.

  6. I made this and it was great. Swapped the 2T tapioca starch for 1/4C chickpea flour and left out the liquid smoke. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  7. I have been looking at this forever and finally tried it today. It was a definitely worth the work and a hit in this house!! Thanks!


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