Tsatsiki / Tzatziki (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, nut-free, low-carb, low-fat, paleo, vegan, vegetarian)

Tsatsiki / Tzatziki Substitute Made with Cashews (photo)

Tsatsiki / Tzatziki made with Cashews (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, egg-free, tomato-free, paleo, low-carb, vegetarian, vegan).

Tsatsiki is a wonderful sauce to serve with many dishes. I like it with vegetables, or with lamb or chicken. Below are two variations on tzatziki recipes. You can use either mint or dill, depending on your preference in flavors, and vary the amount of cucumber you want to use, depending on your own personal preferences. One recipe is low-amine and dairy-free, and the other is vegan (nut-based).
Grated Cucumber for Tzatziki (photo)

Grated Cucumber for Tzatziki. It's better with larger shreds, but I don't have a less-fine grater.

1 C plain yogurt
1/4 C English cucumber, grated
1 1/2 tsp mint or dill
1/4 tsp salt
4-6 medium cloves garlic, pressed
Ascorbic acid, to taste
  • Squeeze water out of cucumber.
  • Mix together all ingredients and let flavors mingle for a bit. Serve cold.
3/4 C raw cashews
1/2 C water
1/4 C English cucumber, grated
1 1/2 tsp mint or dill
1/4 tsp salt
4-6 medium cloves garlic, pressed
1 1/2 tsp ascorbic acid

  • Soak cashews in warm water. Let sit for at least two hours.
  • Drain cashews, and blend them in a food processor with garlic.
  • Add a little bit of water at a time, stopping to scrape down sides. Process until very smooth and all the water has been added (it should reach the consistency of a slightly thin yogurt – if it has reached this point without adding all the water, stop adding water).
  • Squeeze liquid out of cucumber.
  • Add cucumber, dill/mint, salt, and ascorbic acid. Mix well.
  • Chill in the fridge for at least a half hour.
Very Low Amine: cucumber, mint, dill, salt, garlic, ascorbic acid, water
Low Amine: yogurt, cashews

Yogurt-Marinated Chicken (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, low-fat, low-carb)

Yogurt Marinated Chicken (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, fish-free, tomato-free, low-fat) photo

Garlic, "Lemon," Mint, & Yogurt Marinated Chicken

Chicken is one of those love-hate meals for me. When it’s well marinated, I love it. But otherwise it’s just a bit boring for my tastes. I decided rather than a short-marinade, I’d let the chicken marinate in the yogurt sauce for almost 24 hours. It was definitely the right choice. They turned out succulent and had a nice “lemon” kick to it from the ascorbic acid.

2 chicken breasts & legs with thighs (all skinless)

1 1/2 C plain yogurt

1 C chopped mint

1 Tbsp cumin

8 large cloves garlic, pressed

2 Tbsp onion powder

1 tsp salt

2 tsp ascorbic acid

  • Mix all ingredients together in a Ziplock bag, and ensure chicken is well coated.
  • Press all air out of the bag, and leave it in the fridge to marinate, flipping over halfway through if possible. Marinate for 24 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees on the middle rack.
Chicken covered in low-amine marinade of yogurt, mint, garlic, and ascorbic acid (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, fish-free, tomato-free) photo

Chicken covered in low-amine marinade of yogurt, mint, garlic, & ascorbic acid.

  • Cover chicken and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Raise rack to the highest possible. Uncover chicken, baste well, and broil for 3 minutes.
Baked and broiled yogurt-marinated low-amine chicken (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, fish-free, tomato-free) photo

Baked and broiled yogurt-marinated low-amine chicken, ready for plating. Legs/thighs can be plated as is. Breast should be sliced on a diagonal into pieces.

  • Serve chicken plated with juices.
Very Low Amine: mint, cumin, salt, ascorbic acid
Low Amine: skinless chicken, garlic, onion powder
Moderate Amine: yogurt
Related Articles

Garlic Dill Asparagus

A friend of mine is doing an “Around the World” food tour, taking on a 4.5 year commitment to cook foods from different countries and regions. It’s a beautiful idea, and she’s had great success with it so far. Sadly, there are few dishes that I can eat, due to my amine allergy. But my lovely friend found a country and dishes that were mostly low amine, and we were able to substitute out the things that weren’t amine allergy friendly.

Of the three dishes we picked, the simplest was, by far, my favorite. It was supposed to be green beans we used, but we went with asparagus instead.

Asparagus in a Garlic Dill Low Amine Vinaigrette.

Asparagus in a Garlic Dill Low Amine Vinaigrette.

1 large bundle asparagus

7 medium cloves garlic, pressed

2 Tbsp safflower oil

3 Tbsp blueberry or pomegranate juice

1 Tbsp vodka

1 1/4 tsp ascorbic acid

3/4 tsp loosely packed brown sugar

A few sprigs fresh dill

Pinch salt

4 Tbsp plain yogurt

  • Wash asparagus and snap off tough ends (it will naturally snap clean where it should. You can reserve these for making homemade vegetable stock.)
  • Boil water and add about 2 Tbsp salt to water. When water is boiling, add asparagus. Boil for about 5 minutes.
  • While asparagus is cooking, mix together everything but the yogurt and dill. Mix until all ascorbic acid is well dissolved.
  • Drain asparagus and cool down immediately under running ice cold water.
  • Once asparagus is fully chilled, drop into the marinade (in a flat bottomed tupperware, or Ziplock, etc.) and ensure they’re all well coated.
  • Marinate for 2 – 4 hours if possible. We were only able to marinate for about 30 minutes, and it still turned out good, but I think longer would be better.
  • Serve, sprinkled with finely chopped dill and a scoop of yogurt.


Very Low Amine: asparagus, garlic, dill, salt, pomegranate juice, ascorbic acid

Low Amine: yogurt, vodka, brown sugar, safflower oil

High Amine: blueberry juice (low in tyramines, high in histamines)

Original Recipe:

Sarımsaqla göy lobya – Green beans with garlic

400 g/1 lb green beans (runner beans or French beans)

25 g/1 oz garlic

2 tbsp vegetable oil

75 g/3 oz grape vinegar

a few sprigs of dill


a few spoonfuls of plain yoghurt (optional)

Preparation: Cook the green beans in salted water for 6 to 10 minutes. Strain and set aside to cool. When chilled, add the crushed garlic, vinegar and vegetable and mix thoroughly. leave for 2 to 4 hours for the flavours to penetrate the beans. Sprinkle with finely chopped dill. Serve with plain yoghurt (optional).


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