Tag Archives: Greek yogurt

Yogurt with Mixed Berries, Walnuts, and Dark Chocolate

This is such an easy and healthy recipe for breakfast, a snack, or dessert! it’s from a new book called The SirtFood Diet. Before I received my review copy, I had never heart of “Sirtfoods.” In a nutshell, what I read in this book was that polyphenol nutrients from certain plants are good for us. And plants that have “noteworthy amounts” of sirtuin-activating polyphenols are called “Sirtfoods.” I know this sounds pretty technical, but the book gives a good explanation about all this. It also provides information about the top 20 Sirtfoods, along with other foods that are beneficial. I found that I actually like a lot of these foods, which include Arugula, Garlic, Green Tea, and even Cocoa!

This book explains that Sirtfoods, rich in special nutrients that help activate the same “skinny genes” in our bodies that fasting triggers, can help in effective weight loss–and so the Sirtfood Diet was created by nutritionists Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten. I haven’t tried the diet, so I can’t endorse it, but I’m sharing what the book says about it. The diet includes a plan for losing 7 pounds in seven days, along with keeping the weight off. There’s a recipe section that includes a good variety of healthy dishes–some even include chicken and beef. The authors also recommend having a good juicer to get the most benefits from this diet.

After looking through the recipe section, I decided to try this yogurt recipe because I loved all the ingredients and it was so simple to make. Simple as it is though, I actually made this recipe the wrong way! I put the berries over the yogurt instead of the yogurt over the berries! it does work better to put the yogurt over the berries as the recipe says, so be sure to layer the ingredients right! Even though I made this wrong, it does look pretty, doesn’t it? 🙂

YOGURT WITH MIXED BERRIES, CHOPPED WALNUTS, AND DARK CHOCOLATE from the SirtFood Diet

Makes 1 serving

  • 1 1/3 cups mixed berries (I used some organic fresh strawberries and frozen blueberries)
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (or vegan alternative, such as soy or coconut yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons dark chocolate (85 percent cocoa solids), grated

Add the mixed berries to a bowl and top with the yogurt. Sprinkle with the walnuts and chocolate.

That’s all there is to it! I’m so glad dark chocolate is good for you, even if it’s the 85% cocoa solid kind; I actually like the really, really dark chocolate better than the sweeter varieties.

Are you a healthy eater and have you heart of Sirtfoods?

Sharing at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday, Full Plate Thursday.

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Creamy Navy Bean Soup

Creamy Navy Bean Soup @ NancyCRosemary is one of my favorite herbs. Unfortunately, my big outdoor rosemary plant did not make it through the winter, so I have a new small one growing inside right now. I’ll put it outside soon, hoping it will grow into another big plant! I used some of the rosemary from this little plant in this Creamy Navy Bean Soup recipe.

I made this soup several weeks ago on a chilly day. Even though the weather has warmed up, this is still a great recipe for any time of year if you are a soup-lover! Creamy soups usually call for heavy cream as an ingredient, but I used plain Greek yogurt in this soup–I thought the tangy yogurt would give the soup a nice flavor, and it really did! The rosemary gives it a great flavor, too. You’ll want to use fresh rosemary if you have it, but dried rosemary also works.

CREAMY NAVY BEAN SOUP by NancyC

Makes about four servings

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 1/2 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans Navy Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Additional fresh or dried rosemary for garnish

In a  4-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, add olive oil and heat for 1-2 minutes, then add garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, and onions; cook until onions start to get tender and a little translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add in the broth and beans, heat to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let soup cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

Place half of the soup mixture in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour this mixture into a large bowl, then blend the remaining soup mixture and add to the large bowl.

Stir the plain Greek yogurt into the pureed soup mixture, blending well (if the yogurt is lumpy, use a hand better or immersion blender to smooth the mixture). Pour the soup mixture back into the saucepan and cook on medium heat for 5 additional minutes.

Pour into 4 serving bowls and top with a garnish of fresh or dried rosemary, if desired, and serve.

In addition to rosemary, I also like to grow basil in a pot every summer–that’s another favorite herb of mine. Do you grow your own herbs, too, and what are your favorites?

Sharing this recipe at Fiesta Friday. Weekend Potluck, Full Plate Thursday, Meal Plan Monday, Inspire Me Monday.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Shake

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Chocolate for breakfast? Yes, please. Especially when it’s a healthier way to have chocolate. This may not sound very healthy, but don’t let the words “chocolate” or “shake” fool you. There’s lots of good-for-you ingredients in this–banana, peanut butter, honey, unsweetened cocoa powder, Greek yogurt, and low-fat milk (you can sub non-dairy products in this, too). This shake has a super-rich chocolatey taste with a hint of peanut butter and banana and it’s so smooth and creamy!

If you like having chocolate in the morning, make this for breakfast. Or drink it for an afternoon snack…or have it as a dinner dessert–it’s great any time of day! One thing to remember is that you do have to plan ahead a little–you need to cut a banana into chunks and put in the freezer so it’s frozen when you make your shake–I usually do this the night before I’m going to make it.

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BREAKFAST SHAKE by NancyC

Makes 1 (10-ounce) serving

  • 1 medium banana, cut into chunks and frozen (do this the day before you’re making it, or at least several hours ahead of time)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt or soy yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low fat milk, soy milk, or almond milk

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Pour in a glass and serve immediately.

This shake is a real treat and while it’s great for breakfast, I really like making it in the afternoon–that’s when I tend to crave chocolate. When would you make this?

Linked to Wow Me Wednesday, Wonderful Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Let’s Get Real Friday, Foodie Friday, Inspire Me Monday.

Low Fat Buttermilk Ranch Dressing and Dip

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Homemade salad dressings are so good–I’ve made a few of them, but have never made one of my favorites–Ranch!  I usually use low fat dressings on my salads, so I decided to try making a low fat Ranch. I adapted a recipe from Allrecipes.com, adjusting the amounts of some of the ingredients slightly. Since I didn’t have fresh herbs, I used dried–and the taste still turned out great! But I’m sure it would be even better with fresh herbs, which I plan on using when I make another batch.

This dressing is thick and creamy compared to most dressings–it’s hard to tell it’s made with low fat ingredients! And because it’s on the thicker side, it makes a great dip for fresh veggies, too. The only downside is, it’s best the day it’s made–you can store it in the fridge for several days, but the consistency gets thinner and runny.

I love the way it tastes, but it’s an easy recipe to adjust if you want to add a little more or less of any of the herbs and spices. Enjoy this homemade dressing on your favorite salad or as a dip with your favorite raw veggies!

LOW FAT BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING AND DIP adapted from Allrecipes

Makes 1 3/4 cups

  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup low fat sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill weed or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In medium size bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, and sour cream or yogurt. Stir in garlic and onion powders, chives, dill, parsley, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. You can store any unused dressing in the refrigerator for several days, but the consistency will get thinner and more runny, so it’s best not stored too long.

I think this homemade salad dressing tastes so much better than bottled dressing. It’s worth making your own if you have a little extra time. Do you make your own homemade salad dressings?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Fresh Mango Smoothie

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Since many of us are trying to eat a little healthier after the holidays, I thought I’d share this recipe for a Fresh Mango Smoothie I made the other day. Mangos happened to be half price the last time I went to the grocery store, so I thought they would be great for a smoothie! I usually use plain or vanilla Greek yogurt in my smoothies and I like sweetening them with honey. I added a little ground flaxseed in this for extra fiber, too. This smoothie is so thick and creamy! It’s perfect when you want something that tastes dessert-like but is really good for you!

FRESH MANGO SMOOTHIE by NancyC

Makes 1 (12-ounce) serving

  • 1 cup chopped ripe mango
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup skim or low-fat milk
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 2 to 3 ice cubes

Place chopped mango, yogurt, milk, honey, flaxseed and ice cubes in blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately. Makes about 12 ounces, enough for 1 large or 2 small servings.

I need to make a note to myself to buy mangos more often–I really like them, but I forget to buy them when I’m at the store! Do you use mangos much in your recipes?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy, Show and Share at Coastal Charm and Let’s Get Real Friday at Joy Love Food.

Chocolate Chip Muffins

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I realized that it’s been awhile since I made anything with chocolate in it, so I thought it would be a great time to make some Chocolate Chip Muffins! These are nice and cake-y, with lots of chocolate chips in every bite! In fact, it’s so chocolatey, you don’t need a glaze on this muffin because it’s plenty sweet all on its own. The muffin tops do brown around the edges, as you can see in the photo–so be sure not to over-bake, or the whole muffin top will get brown as well and the muffins will be on the dry side. If you like chocolate for breakfast or brunch, these are perfect…and they make a great afternoon snack, too!

CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS by NancyC

Makes 21 muffins

  • 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup non-GMO Canola oil or light olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk or light cream (Half & Half)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 (12-ounce) package semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line 2 standard-size muffin pans with 21 paper liners; set aside.

In large bowl, blend flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In medium bowl, mix oil, eggs, milk or light cream (Half & Half), and vanilla, blending well. Blend in the Greek yogurt, mixing well.

Pour liquid mixture into flour/sugar mixture and mix until just combined–do not overmix! Fold in the chocolate chips, blending evenly into the batter.

Spoon batter into the lined muffin cups, filling slightly more than 3/4 full. Bake at 375˚F for 16 to 17 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely (or go ahead and eat them warm!).

Now that the weather has cooled off  a little, I’ve been enjoying doing more baking. What have you been baking lately?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Chilled Cucumber Soup

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Chilled soups are perfect for summer! And if you like cucumbers, you’ll want to try this one! It has Greek yogurt, green onions, fresh dill, and parsley in it. Some lemon juice and salt give the flavor a little punch and I also added some garlic powder to the original recipe. The croutons on top are a nice touch, too! It’s a great summery soup to serve for a light lunch or dinner.

CHILLED CUCUMBER SOUP by NancyC, slightly adapted from Country Living

Makes 6 servings, 135 calories each

  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 English cucumbers, peeled, diced, and divided (divide amount in half to add in recipe at different times)
  • 4 green onions, sliced and divided (divide amount in half to add in recipe at different times)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or a little more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • a bag of your favorite croutons
  • more chopped fresh dill for garnish

In a large bowl, combine yogurt and vegetable broth, blending well; set aside.

In a food processor, puree 1 peeled, diced English cucumber, 2 sliced green onions, chopped fresh dill, and chopped fresh parsley. Add this cucumber mixture, along with the lemon juice and salt, to the yogurt mixture in the large bowl; whisk to combine. (Note: if you do not have a food processor, you can put the above ingredients in a blender and puree them all together–your blender will be pretty full, so you may want to blend it in 2 batches; after blending, pour mixture back into your large bowl).

Stir in the other peeled, diced English cucumber and the other 2 diced sliced green onions, mixing well to evenly distribute ingredients. Refrigerate for 1 hour, then serve in bowls and garnish with chopped fresh dill and croutons.

Light summer meals like this are perfect for those really hot days. You can use regular cucumbers in this recipe, too, if you’re growing them in your garden–it would be a great way to use them! I would think maybe 4-6 small or 3-4 medium cukes would be equivalent to 2 English cucumbers–that’s just an estimate!

What types of lighter foods do you like to eat during the summer?

Dark Chocolate-Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake

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The title read, A Cake You Can Eat for Breakfast and Dessert.” Well, that got my attention! The Yahoo Food article also said “A cup of coffee will disguise this treat as breakfast, and a scoop of ice cream transforms it into dessert.” Perfect! I always love recipes that give you that kind of flexibility! 🙂

So of course I had to try this coffee cake. I used more dark chocolate, added a little more cinnamon, and used pecans instead of hazelnuts. Yum! This coffee cake has a thick batter that bakes into a dense yet cakey chocolate-cinnamon treat. I found that my baking time was less than what the original recipe recommended, and you do want to be careful not to overbake this, or it will be a little dry.

This coffee cake is great for morning or anytime–especially if you are a fan of dark chocolate!

DARK CHOCOLATE-CINNAMON PECAN COFFEE CAKE by NancyCreative, adapted from Bon Appetit

Makes 9-12 servings in an 8 x 8″ pan

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing pan
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) dark chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain whole Greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter 8” square baking pan; set aside.

Toss pecans, chocolate chips, cinnamon, and ¼ cup of the sugar in a small bowl; set aside.

In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and remaining ¾ cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. With mixer on low speed, add dry flour mixture ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with yogurt in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. You’ll end up with a nice thick batter.

Spoon half of the batter into prepared pan and smooth top; top with half of the chocolate/pecan mixture. Spoon remaining batter over this and smooth top; top with remaining chocolate/pecan mixture. Bake cake until top of cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes (be careful not to overbake, or it will be dry! I recommend checking it after it has baked about 35 to 37 minutes). Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cake cool in pan before cutting into squares, and serve (if you want to eat it warm, let it cool about 10 minutes before cutting). I think this coffee cake tastes best warm myself!

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It’s been awhile since I’ve made a coffee cake, so this hit the spot! I have a few other coffee cake recipes I’ve been wanting to try. Have you made any good ones lately?

Linked to Thursday Favorite Things,  Foodie Friday, I’m Lovin’ It, Tickled Pink.

Frozen Berry Smoothie

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Now that the weather out my way is warming up a little, it feels like spring is just around the corner–and I love having smoothies for breakfast during the spring and summer! So to celebrate the warmer weather, I decided to make this smoothie. Maybe I’m jumping ahead of the winter season a little, but I’m just so ready for spring!

You use frozen berries in this smoothie, which makes it convenient because you don’t have to worry about having fresh berries on hand in your fridge–just pop them out of the freezer whenever you want to make this! Use one kind of berry or use a variety of berries to equal 1 1/2 cups (I used a mix of strawberries and blueberries in this smoothie). This also is sweetened with honey, but you could use whatever kind of sweetener you like best. It’s a great way to start the day!

FROZEN BERRY SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative

  • 3/4 cup orange juice or grapefruit juice
  • 1 medium banana, sliced into smaller chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen berries–strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and/or blueberries
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

Add all ingredients in your blender; cover and blend until mixture is smooth and creamy. Serve immediately. Makes 2 (10-ounce) servings.

I’m linking this recipe up to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Yogurt with Strawberries, Honey, and Pistachios

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Did you know that February is National Heart Health Month? It’s a great reminder about eating foods that are good for your heart. Like nuts, for example. They have lots of vitamins, minerals, protein and omega-3 ncSunRidgenutsfatty acids–all things that your heart loves! There’s even some research that shows that eating just one ounce of nuts a day can reduce your risk of heart disease. So, in honor of National Heart Health Month, I recently received some product samples of nuts to try from SunRidge Farms–they offer a great variety of organic and natural non-GMO nuts (and other healthy snacks like seeds, dried fruits, and trail mixes). They sent me some of their Organic Walnuts, Supreme Almonds, Roasted Tamari Almonds, and Jumbo Pistachios roasted with Sea Salt–yum! I like all different kinds of nuts and I eat them roasted and unroasted, salted and unsalted, and I thought all these SunRidge Farms nuts were really good and very fresh. I had never had Tamari Almonds before–these are whole roasted almonds with a tamari shoyu (soy sauce) coating, which adds a slightly tart and zingy flavor–and I loved those!

Of course, nuts are great add-ins when you’re baking breads or cakes, and I also like to sprinkle them on salads. I’ve also sprinkled them, along with dried or fresh fruit, on my morning oatmeal. When I was deciding what to make with some of these SunRidge Farm nuts, I remembered this recipe from Martha Stewart –a healthy, quick and easy recipe with Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries and pistachios. So I decided to use the SunRidge Farms Jumbo Pistachios in this!

The original recipe calls for plain Greek yogurt, which works well because it has a nice thick and creamy consistency. Vanilla or strawberry Greek yogurt could work in this recipe too, if you aren’t crazy about using plain yogurt, but I like the plain yogurt with the honey–the honey drizzled on top makes it sweet enough for me. I’ve made this with salted or unsalted pistachios, and like it both ways. If you don’t have any pistachios on hand, try using chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, or even granola cereal instead. As you can see, this recipe is very versatile! 🙂

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YOGURT WITH STRAWBERRIES, HONEY, AND PISTACHIOS slightly adapted from MarthaStewart.com

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 large container (16-oz.) plain Greek yogurt (or use vanilla or strawberry)
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, stemmed if desired (you can also slice them or cut them into chunks, depending on what works best with the type of bowls you are using–I used glass teacups)
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 cup shelled unsalted or salted roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped (or substitute chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds–or granola cereal)

Divide yogurt and strawberries among 4 salad/soup bowls. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with pistachios (or other chopped nuts or granola cereal).

This is great to make for a quick, healthy breakfast or even a healthy snack or dessert! I really like the strawberry-pistachio combination. Do you use pistachios often in your recipes?