Feb 2, 2010
Greek to Me
Now to the real post. Today, Oscar nominations came out. Which naturally got me thinking about Greek yogurt. Have you tried this stuff? I'm serious. As part of my new approach to food and health, I have been on a very regimented diet. For over two weeks now, I have not had soda, sugar, cheese, bread, starches. For breakfast I have plain lowfat yogurt with fruit. Lunch is meat (turkey, chicken, beef) with fruit and spinach - usually some sort of salad concoction. Dinner is meat with spinach or other veggie. Snacks are fruit and nuts. I've lost twenty pounds in two weeks. And, more importantly, I'm actually breaking my dependence on certain foods. (This is all documented in great detail on my Darth Fatso Must Die blog if you are interested.)
It was a lot thicker and a little more tart than my usual plain yogurt. Now, plain yogurt as a rule is kind of weird. There isn't any sugar in it, so it isn't that sweet desserty taste you may be used to. But it was almost like a sour cream. In fact, it was a LOT like sour cream. But the thing that is crazy about it is that it is fat free. Huh? It has the thickness and taste similar to a really good sour cream, except with a little more tang like a yogurt would have. How is this possible. Looking at the nutritional info on the side yielded more interesting discoveries. One cup of the stuff has 130 calories - only 20 more than normal lowfat plain yogurt. It has 0 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbs, and 23 grams of protein. That's right. 23 GRAMS per cup. That is the same as FOUR EGGS.
It is kind of baffling. I guess that Greek yogurt has an extra straining process that removes the whey, which then leaves the yogurt denser and creamier. I think it must be some kind of Greek magic - maybe something sent down from Olympus or that they got from the Oracle. "You must go to the western edge of the great disc, battle monsters of enormous size, lose what you want most, and strain your yogurt twice."
So, I had a thought while I was making lunch. I was sauteeing some chicken tenderloins with Italian seasoning in some olive oil, along with some spinach and tomatoes. Basically, I was bringing it - making my usual awesome chicken. I thought, man, that yogurt would make a good dipping sauce. So I took some of it and mixed it with garlic powder and some of that bread dipping seasoning (you know the stuff, has four flavors in it that you dump in oil). I was pretty generous with the garlic and seasoning. Mixed it all up and good gravy, that was awesome. I dipped my chicken in it - so did Heather and my sister. My mom said, "That tastes like something you'd buy at a restaurant." I was snickering to myself. It was so easy and actually good for you. (I finished the sauce up that night dipping my london broil in it - just as good, I'll have you know.)
So I got a flash of brilliance. This yogurt could easily sub in for sour cream. What an awesome veggie dip - to mix in the ranch seasoning packet in with the yogurt instead. You could make up a tzatziki sauce (that stuff you put on gyros) by adding cucumbers and garlic. You could add lemon juice and dill. What an awesome option. At the same time, I had discovered Boathouse Farms' dressings. They use yogurt to make ranch dressing and other creamy dressings. They have fewer calories, fat, and carbs than even Lite dressings. And they taste like regular dressings. So, there you have it. Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt. Give it a try.
This post was not a paid advertisement by the Greek Yogurt producers of America. However, if the GYA wants to pay me to advertise, I am not above shilling myself. For the right price, I'll make my van look like a big tub of yogurt. Shoot, I would dress up like a gyro if they wanted me to. All in the effort for full disclosure.