Monday, May 3, 2010

Recipe: Probiotic Chocolate Yogurt Pudding

I have been craving mangos lately.  Lucky for me the Chinese grocery store sells 3 mangos for a $1.00!

While fruit is great for you, it is always better to combine it with protein so you feel fuller for longer. Strained Greek-styled yogurt is high in protein and low in carbs. So I thought, why not combine mango with strained yogurt!

Since I use plain Astro 0% Fat yogurt (my very favourite yogurt) to make Greek-styled yogurt, flavour needs to be added. There are so many possibilities when it comes to flavour: vanilla, cinnamon, maple, lemon... I had cocoa powder on hand, so the yogurt was reborn as chocolate yogurt.

What a fun combination this turned out to be! The yogurt had the taste and consistency of chocolate pudding and complimented my beloved mango perfectly.

Prepare to drool!

3 simple ingredients needed: strained yogurt (I love my Astro yogurt), cocoa and agave syrup

The Greek-styled strained yogurt
1 heaping tablespoon of cocoa

1 heaping tablespoon of agave syrup

Mixing everything together
Fruit medley with loads of mango!

Probiotic Chocolate Yogurt Pudding for 2!

Probiotic Chocolate Yogurt Pudding Recipe
1 cup of Greek-styled strained yogurt
1 heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder
1 heaping tablespoon of agave syrup
2 cups of chopped fruit like mango, strawberries, kiwi, blackberries, whatever your heart desires

1. Mix yogurt, cocoa powder and agave syrup until blended
2. Plate chopped fruit in 2 bowls
3. Top fruit with a heaping amount of chocolate yogurt pudding

Many thanks to AC for your creativity and for inspiring for me daily!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Recipe: More Baking With Whey

Sunday evening's dinner was Curried Cauliflower Soup with Spiced Chickpeas. This soup is flavourful, filling, low in calories but high in antioxidants and takes on a lovely yellow hue. I have made this soup a few times now and anyone who has had the pleasure to eat it has absolutely loved it.

I love eating corn bread with thick soups and chili. Because of it's subtle and nutty flavour, it is a perfect accompaniment to anything spicy. Naturally, I had to use whey as a replacement for milk!

The best cornmeal

The dry ingredients

The wet ingredients

Need one cup of whey

Mixing the dry ingredients with the wet

The finished product: it was a mad dash to get everything to the dinner table that I forgot to take a picture of the cornbread before I cut into it!

My serving of cornbread - don't forget the butter

Cornbread recipe
1 cup of whole grain cornmeal
1 cup of white flour
1/2 tsp of salt
4 tsp of baking powder
1 egg
1 cup of whey
1/4 cup of butter

1. Preheat oven to 425F
2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl
3. In a separate bowl, whisk egg, add whey and butter
4. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 1 minute. Do NOT over mix
5. Bake in a greased square pan (8 inch) for 20-25 minutes 

Now pictures of the soup!

My favourite part of making soup, basic sofrito: onions, carrots and celery

Adding the star of the show - cauliflower

Something is missing.....

...the chickpeas, now I am ready to eat

Curried Cauliflower Soup with Spiced Chickpeas recipe

The Soup
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 cup of sweet onion
1/2 cup of carrots
1/2 cup of celery
11/2 tsp ground turmeric
11/2 tsp ground cardamom
11/2 tsp ground coriander
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
3 cloves of garlic
1 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 cups of chicken-stock
1 lemon freshly squeezed
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil in large soup pan and add onion, carrots and celery plus the pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Cook until softened about 2-3 minutes. Add turmeric, cardamom and coriander and stir for a minute.
2. Add garlic, cauliflower, chicken-stock, Dijon and 2 cups of water. Stir well and bring to boil. Once the soup is boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 1 hour. You will know the soup is ready when the cauliflower becomes soft and tender.
3. Use a hand-held mixer, a blender or food processor to blend the soup. Once the soup has been blended, add the juice of one freshly squeezed lemon, salt and pepper and stir.
4. Ladle into soup bowls and add 2 tablespoons of Spiced Chickpeas.

The Spiced Chickpeas
1 cup of canned chickpeas
1/2 tsp of coriander
1/2 tsp of turmeric
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp of freshly grated ginger
1 tbsp of olive oil
1/2 freshly squeezed lemon
1/4 cup of cilantro finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix first 8 ingredients together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add 2 tablespoons of Spiced Chickpeas for each bowl of Curried Cauliflower soup.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

What to do with all the leftover whey?

Making Greek yogurt produces a good amount of whey. I started saving all the leftover whey because I didn't want to throw it away and I knew whey contains vitamins and minerals. I finally had the chance to research how to use leftover whey. 
It turns out that whey is a great substitute for buttermilk or liquid in bread and muffin recipes.

Since I love muffins, some of my whey was used to bake banana ginger muffins!

Banana Ginger muffins fresh out of the oven

The dry ingredients

The wet ingredients

My stock of whey

Recipe calls for one cup of whey

Dry and wet ingredients meeting for the first time

In the oven

Lovely pieces of ginger. I wish the Internet had a scratch and sniff feature.

Best served with peanut butter and nutella!

Banana Ginger Muffins
2 cups of flour (I used 1 cup of white and 1 cup of whole wheat)
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp of ground ginger
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1 tbl finely chopped crystalized ginger
1 cup of whey
2 mashed up bananas
2 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 425F
2. Mix dry ingredients together including finely chopped crystalized ginger
3. Mash bananas with a fork and mix in remaining wet ingredients
4. Mix dry and wet ingredients together
4. Fill a 12-cup muffin tray with each cup 2/3 full 
5. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown
6. Enjoy!

My next baking with whey project: pumpkin scones. Stay tuned....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Comfort Food Recipe: Healthy Perogies with a No-Fat Twist!

After a couple weeks of warmer than usual weather in Toronto, the temperature dipped to 5 degrees yesterday. Cold weather always makes me crave comfort food, a bottle of wine and a hot bath.

I have a number of favourite comfort foods like mac and cheese, french fries, hamburgers, but yesterday I was craving perogies. Who doesn't love potato dumplings packed with cheese and onion, fried until golden brown, topped with sour cream, butter, fried onions and bacon. That is what I love and that is what I made except I substituted the sour cream for thick and heavenly Greek yogurt.

To make the yogurt extra special, I added typical Eastern European flavours to enhance the taste of the perogies. I added chopped dill, one clove of garlic and a sprinkle of paprika. Perfection!

Dill and Garlic Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup of Greek yogurt
1/4 cup of finely chopped dill
1 clove crushed garlic
1 tsp paprika 

Mix the first 3 ingredients together, sprinkle with paprika then serve with perogies.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Yogurt Test

With so many brands of yogurt on the market, I decided to find out if different brands of yogurt produce different results when making Greek yogurt.

This past weekend I tested two brands of yogurt: Olympic Non-Fat Organic & Astro Original 0%.

The tools: 1 layer of cheesecloth, bowl and clips

The Assembly:
  1. Cut cheesecloth to fit the circumference of the bowl you are using
  2. Clip the cheesecloth to the sides of the bowl TIP: mold the cheesecloth against the bowl so it too is in the shape of a bowl but be sure the cloth does not touch the bottom of the bowl (allow 3 inches of clearance)
  3. Gently spoon the yogurt onto the cheesecloth
  4. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil
  5. Place in fridge for 2 days

The Outcome:

Olympic Non-Fat Organic
  • Yogurt became thick
  • The yogurt lost 1/3 of the volume
  • 2 cups of whey strained into the bowl

Astro Original 0%

  • Yogurt became really thick, it was almost cream cheese texture. Definitely much thicker than the Olympic Non-Fat Organic
  • The yogurt lost 1/2 of the volume
  • 1.5 cups of whey strained into the bowl


  • Both the Organic Olympic and the Astro Original turned out nice and thick, just like Greek yogurt should be!
  • But, I have a favourite! Astro Original 0% has officially become my go-to yogurt for making Greek yogurt. 

A Classic

My favourite way to enjoy Greek yogurt is with granola and agave syrup.

My preferred granola is Kashi Go Lean. It is low fat and high protein: 230 calories, 3 g of fat, 9 g of fibre and 10 g of protein for 1 cup serving.

The agave syrup is much sweeter than honey so only a touch is needed.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Greek Yogurt and Mexican Night

When I first discovered Greek yogurt I ate as a post-exercise snack with granola. A perfect combination of creamy, sweet and crunchy. But surely there must be more to Greek yogurt than this?

Now that I have successfully made Greek yogurt, I am inspired.

Since my homemade Greek yogurt has the tang and thickness of sour cream, my first Greek yogurt recipe came to me as the star ingredient for Mexican night!

Mexican night is always fun! I made Mexican turkey mini meatloaf, avocado and tomato rustic salad, nachos with cheese accompanied by Cilantro Coriander Greek yogurt.

Cilantro Coriander Greek yogurt
1 cup of Greek yogurt
1/2 cup of cilantro finely chopped
1 tbl freshly ground coriander (I purchased coriander seeds and ground them in a pepper mill)
1/2 lime squeezed
Salt and pepper to taste