Tag Archives: Greek yogurt

Clean(er) flourless brownies with fudge frosting.

Gluten-free | Mostly clean eating | Soy-free | Nut-free | Egg-free | Dairy-free option | Vegan option

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If you’re looking for a healthier treat (maybe for Valentine’s Day?) that still tastes just as rich as sinful, these might just be it. They’re moist and fudgy (especially with the fudge frosting!), without all the butter, flour and (most of the) refined sugar (depending on which brand of yogurt you use; more on that later).

Now, I will say that these are not something I would make when I’m having a spur-of-the-moment chocolate craving because they require a lot more planning and time than my one-bowl delicious brownies, but when you’ve got a chocolate craving AND you’re trying to work around dietary restrictions, the little bit of extra work makes it worth it. Plus I don’t feel like a total blob after eating a couple of these–and it’s much easier to stop at one or two with these than with my usual go-to recipe because they’re so much richer. So wins all around!

As for the brand of yogurt, this is important: You need to find a vanilla Greek yogurt that’s pretty thick. I like Oikos Triple Zero, but wound up using an organic variety that happened to have refined sugar in it instead of the stevia because I wanted a truer flavor; either way, you usually need two of the small cups to make this recipe. If you’re going dairy-free, you can try a coconut yogurt, but your ordinarily-very-thick batter will be thinner, which may affect baking time, so keep an eye on it. Borderline underdone is better than the alternative. If you do try the coconut yogurt, please let me know how it goes! I just couldn’t do coconut yogurt when I was dairy-free: not enough protein to warrant the expense and all the sugars. But when that’s what you’ve got to work with, I totally get it, and I would love nothing more than for these to work for you!

Cleaner Flourless Brownies

Adapted from here

  • 1 1/2 cups Enjoy Life semisweet mini chocolate chips, or similar, divided
  • 3 fl oz (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp) melted virgin coconut oil (measure after melting)
  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt (see note above about brand)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cups oat flour (blend or process regular oats in a blender or food processor until fine)
  • Fudge Frosting (below)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a square baking dish–8×8 or 9×9–with parchment, then lightly spray with soy-free cooking spray.
  2. Place melted coconut oil and 1 cup of the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until chips are melted. (Should take only 2 or 3 rounds in the microwave.)
  3. Pour melted chocolate into a medium mixing bowl and add yogurt; mix well. Stir in vanilla, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Stir in oat flour until incorporated, then fold in remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
  5. Spread mixture (it will be quite thick) evenly in prepared pan, then bake 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in pan, then frost with Fudge Frosting (below).
  7. Frosted brownies will keep on the counter in a sealed container up to a week.

Fudge Frosting

Adapted from the more time-intensive version I made here

  • 1/2 bag Enjoy Life semisweet mini chocolate chips
  • 2-4 Tbsp coconut cream,* or similar amount of yogurt used above, or combination

*Coconut cream: refrigerate a can of coconut milk several hours, until it separates. Remove the can very carefully, without shaking it, and open it without disturbing the cream. Carefully spoon the cream from the top of the can, reserving the coconut water at the bottom for later use in a smoothie or something.

  1. Place chips and coconut cream or yogurt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat while stirring constantly, until melted and incorporated.
  2. Add more cream or yogurt until the mixture reaches a smooth, medium consistency. You want it to be not too thin but still spreadable. I started with a couple tablespoons of coconut cream because that’s all I had, then added yogurt a tablespoon at a time.
  3. Pour into a bowl and chill in the refrigerator a few minutes until just set, then remove, stir, and spread evenly over the cooled brownies.
  4. Allow to set–may take up to an hour–and then cut brownies into 16 squares and enjoy!
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Legendary NYC Street-Cart-Style Chicken and Rice–Clean!

Clean | Gluten-free | Soy-free | Nut-free | Dairy-free option

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EDITED 5/31/17 to add weeknight shortcut and include the option of using a combination of chicken breasts and thighs.

Half a decade ago, we lived just outside New York City, which meant we were just minutes from some of the most delicious and diverse food options in the world. When we moved to Tampa, I needed to learn to cook some of our favorites myself, and it wasn’t until just weeks ago that I found this gem. Finally our cravings for street cart chicken with yellow rice and yogurt sauce can be satiated!

Clean NYC Street-Cart-Style Chicken and Yellow Rice

Adapted from here

Chicken:

  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or combo of thighs and breasts)
  • juice of 1 lemon (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Yogurt sauce: (you only need half of what’s below if not everyone loves it with the sauce; omit for dairy-free)

  • 1 cup plain lowfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • juice of 1 lemon (1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Rice:

  • 2 Tbsp. butter, olive oil, or dairy-free buttery spread
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 2 cups basmati, jasmine, or brown (for clean) rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • optional: additional water for jasmine or brown rice (see instructions below)
  1. Toss together chicken marinade ingredients with chicken; marinate an hour. Weeknight shortcut: my friend Chrissy found that cutting up the chicken breasts and thighs into 1-2 inch pieces prior to marinating saves a ton of time during both marinating and cooking, so that’s the only way I do it now!
  2. Whisk together yogurt sauce ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Heat a large saucepan on high heat with enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom. Add chicken pieces and cook in batches until done, making sure you get a good sear. Remove to a plate and keep warm.
  4. If there are burned bits of garlic in the bottom of the pan, remove those. Then in the same pan, add butter, rice, and spices. Stir to coat and cook on medium-high 1-2 minutes to toast the spices.
  5. Add chicken stock, and water if needed. Basmati: no additional water. Jasmine: 1 1/2 cups water. Brown: 2 1/2 cups water.
  6. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat down to low. Cook 15 minutes for basmati and jasmine; 45 for brown rice. Fluff when finished and remove from heat.
  7. When rice is done, dice chicken.
  8. Serve chicken atop yellow rice and drizzle with yogurt sauce. Sprinkle with harissa, sriracha, or other hot sauce if desired.

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(Mostly clean) Honey Greek Yogurt Blueberry Muffins.

Soy-free | Nut-free | Mostly clean

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It’s blueberry season in Florida! We went picking on Wednesday at a farm just 15 minutes up the road. We were there less than an hour and came home with 4 pounds of blueberries, 2 pounds of the season’s first peaches and nectarines, and a pint of blackberries for good measure. So much amazing local fruit!

So needless to say, there will be some blueberry recipes popping up in the near future.

loooove blueberry muffins. They’ve always been my favorite, but usually they are so laden with butter and refined carbs that they can hardly be called breakfast. So I was so excited to find this recipe! I love the added protein from the Greek yogurt and whole-wheat flour. It still does have some refined sugar, but after much testing it’s really the only way to keep them both palatable and the right consistency.

Honey Greek Yogurt Blueberry Muffins

Original recipe here

  • 3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour*
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp. brown sugar**
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • heaping 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup lowfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk (any percentage but skim)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup mild-tasting olive oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried well
  • optional: cinnamon-sugar for sprinkling

*Whole-wheat pastry flour is more finely sifted than regular whole-wheat flour, so it more closely approximates all-purpose flour in texture. You can sub in up to a cup of regular whole-wheat flour, but more than that and your muffins will end up too dense.
**I did sub in coconut sugar for those extra 3 Tbsp. and it didn’t affect the taste.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 (400 if you’re using a silicone muffin tin) and line your tin(s) with about 18 paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together liquid ingredients until well blended.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just incorporated.
  5. Fold in blueberries.
  6. Scoop 1/4 cupfuls into each well of the muffin tin. Optional: sprinkle each with a little cinnamon-sugar.
  7. Bake 18 minutes. (For a silicone pan, decrease oven temp to 375 after 9 minutes of baking.)
  8. Let cool a few minutes in the pan before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

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Skinny Chicken Broccoli Alfredo, turned green for St. Patrick’s Day.

Clean eating | Soy-free | Nut-free | Gluten-free option

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When we visited Rome last year, my friend told us about the original Alfredo’s, where lore has it that the owner created the original Fettucine Alfredo–to satisfy his wife’s pregnancy cravings.

So of course we had to visit. They brought out a huge platter of steaming fettucine piled high with three mounds of cheeses, and proceeded to mix it all together at astonishing speed. Then we ate at astonishing speed–until we felt sick. It sat like a rock in our stomachs. We were very glad that our apartment was only a 10-minute walk away.

This Alfredo-inspired sauce brings back those memories without weighing us down. Instead of 3 piles of cheeses, you get the creaminess with a bit of bite from the Greek yogurt and fresh-grated (or not fresh-grated) Parmesan. Today, for St. Patrick’s Day, I turned the sauce green, and the girls said they liked it even better than usual!

Skinny Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

Original recipe here

  • 2 chicken breasts, seasoned, cooked, and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 8-10 oz. whole-wheat (or gluten-free) pasta, such as rotini
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2-3 (I use 3) garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 2 Tbsp. whole-wheat pastry flour (or gluten-free flour of choice)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • optional: handful spinach
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use 2%)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup fresh-grated Parmesan
  1. Cook pasta as directed, adding frozen broccoli for last 2 minutes of cooking time. Reserve up to 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.
  2. If you’re turning your sauce green: add chicken broth and spinach to your blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Make the roux: Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add garlic and stir constantly 1 minute, until fragrant. Sprinkle in flour and whisk to cook for 1 more minute. Slowly whisk in chicken broth, then milk, until bubbling.
  4. Whisk in Greek yogurt, then season generously with salt and pepper. Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer 2-3 minutes, until thickened. (If there is spinach in the sauce, it will take longer and will not thicken as much.)
  5. Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan until well incorporated, then stir in chicken.
  6. Combine sauce with pasta mixture; add small amounts of pasta water until sauce is your desired consistency.

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Whole-wheat blueberry pancakes.

whole wheat blueberry pancakesFriday night has become pancake night at our house. The girls love their pancakes, & it makes my meal planning easier knowing that pancakes will always be that night. But pancake night brings with it 2 challenges: 1) How not to get sick of the same recipe every week, & 2) How to make a carb-heavy meal hearty & healthy. So let’s just say you’ll probably be seeing lots more pancake recipes on here in the future… (If you haven’t seen my banana walnut pancakes yet, go there now. I’ll wait. You can thank me later.)

The base of these whole-wheat blueberry pancakes is remarkably similar to those banana walnut pancakes. It has me thinking that I could probably interchange fruit mix-ins with very little changing of the recipe! Once again, I’ve subbed some Greek yogurt into the original recipe for added protein, & flaxseed for fiber, omega-3s, & general awesomeness. If you still have blueberries in your grocery store, hurry & make these before you have to wait until January for the Chilean ones!

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal (pour into a 1-cup measuring cup, then add flour below)
  • 1 cup (minus 2 Tbsp.) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (make by adding 1 Tbsp. white vinegar to a 4-cup measuring cup & filling with milk to the 1-cup line & waiting 5-10 minutes before adding remaining liquid ingredients)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted & cooled
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • extra milk for thinning batter (about 1/4 cup)
  • blueberries
  1. Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  2. Combine liquid ingredients in a large measuring cup, then pour into dry ingredients & stir gently until just combined (batter will be lumpy). Stir in milk to reach desired consistency.
  3. Heat a griddle on medium to medium-low heat, then spray with cooking spray. Ladle 1/4-cup portions of batter, then sprinkle several berries in each (extra points from your Munchkins for smiley faces). Let cook until bubbles form in the batter & edges are set, then flip & cook on the other side a few more minutes or until golden brown & done in the middle. Because the batter is relatively thick, a lower temperature for longer may be your best bet.
  4. Repeat with remaining batter & berries, spraying the griddle between every batch or two.
  5. Serve immediately as desired (with additional berries & some cream, or just with plain old maple syrup). Extra pancakes can be frozen & reheated in the toaster.

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Healthed-up banana walnut pancakes.

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If you were to ask my 4-year-old what she wants for dinner, you’ll almost always hear one of three things: pizza, spaghetti & meatballs, or pancakes. I try to indulge these requests, but those foods aren’t exactly healthy most of the time, so I try to smarten them up a little. We almost always have ripe bananas & walnuts, so I found this recipe & thought of ways to make it a little more nutritious. Whole-wheat flour, flaxseed, & Greek yogurt add fiber, protein, & omega-3s important for developing bodies.

My little girl was so excited that when she blessed the food that night, she said, “Thank thee that we can have banana walnut pancakes.” Frozen & then defrosted, Eggo-style, in the toaster, these babies just put me in contention for Mom of the Year when I told her she could have pancakes for breakfast on a weekday. They’re even tasty without syrup if you need a quick, hearty, on-the-go breakfast for the kids. I make a few without the walnuts for my 1-year-old so she doesn’t choke, & she prefers them without the syrup.

This is our new go-to pancake recipe; I hope it’ll become yours too!

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (if desired, do 1 cup each of all-purpose & whole wheat)
  • 2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (make this by pouring 1 Tbsp. white vinegar or lemon juice into a large measuring cup, then fill to the 1-cup line with regular milk & let sit 5 minutes)
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted & cooled (I stick it in the freezer a few minutes)
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 small ripe bananas, smashed with fork
  • optional: milk for thinning batter
  • walnuts, roughly chopped
  1. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Make your buttermilk in a large (4-cup or so) measuring cup. Add butter & egg; mix well. Stir in yogurt.
  3. Make a well in your dry ingredients, then pour in the liquid ingredients & stir a couple times. Just before it’s combined, stir in bananas. Batter will be lumpy. Don’t overmix. Optional: add a little milk to thin the batter if desired.
  4. Heat a griddle on medium-low to medium. Spray with nonstick cooking spray & use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to pour batter onto your griddle in 4-inch circles. Then sprinkle walnut pieces onto the pancake batter.pancakes
  5. When large bubbles begin to appear, flip the pancakes & cook until golden on the other side as well. Remove to a warm plate lined with a paper towel & keep warm.
  6. Repeat with remaining batter (don’t put walnuts in all of the pancakes if you have a child under 3), spraying the griddle between every batch or two.
  7. Enjoy with maple syrup, or just plain! Freeze leftovers & toast in the toaster (use the “frozen” setting if you have one) for breakfast!

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