Top Five O...M...G... part 3

So there is this new-ish Paleo diet out there right now.  Basically, its lots of veggies, protein, nuts- super clean eating- and no dairy, grains, or refined sugars.  I could totally almost do it.  Whatever about the grains or refined sugars, but the dairy thing...that's the one keeping me from taking the plunge.  I could even scale my milk and cheese way back, but the one that is stopping me?  The one that I have to have like a drug?  

Greek Yogurt

I eat it every day.  It is my 10:30 go to food when I am crashing mid morning.  There is at least one container of Greek Yogurt in my fridge at all times.  Usually two- one doctored and one plain.  It is the perfect substitute for all sorts of things from sour cream to cream cheese to heavy cream.  I don't want to live without it.  

The first recipe up is the very best breakfast yogurt you have ever eaten. EVER. It is every single thing that you want yogurt to be; bright from the citrus zest, sweet from the honey with a depth of flavor from the vanilla. If you add the nuts and dried fruit, well...that's just ridiculous good. I will also say that this is the best granola recipe I have ever eaten and it is super easy to make. Dump it in a pan and bake it til golden brown. Together they are magical. They are elemental and satisfying and filling and the protein and complex carbs are long lasting, carrying you into your later-than-I-planned-but-I-got-busy lunch time. Also fresh blueberries (or bananas, or raspberries, or strawberries, or peaches...) are so good in there.

adapted from The Barefoot Contessa

1 large container Lowfat Plain Greek Yogurt (I prefer Fage, but pick your poison)
1/3 Cup Local Honey
1 Tsp (or to taste) Orange Zest (or lemon is yummy too)
2 Teaspoon Vanilla
Dried Cherries or raisins

Add honey, vanilla, and zest to yogurt and mix well. Add dried fruit. 


4 Cups Organic Oats
1 Cup Sliced Almonds
1 Cup Chopped Pecans
2 Cups Shredded Coconut
1/2 Cup Local Honey
3/4 Cup Oil (I really like organic coconut oil for this, but any veg oil works)
1 cup dried fruit (raisins/cherries/cranberries)

Mix all ingredients together except dried fruit. Spread onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through. When you remove granola from oven, stir in the dried fruit. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Photo courtesy Devouring DC
This recipe happened one night in January a couple of years ago when I was ready to cry from just how WINTER it was and the week had been 392 days long and we needed some sunshine so we had a fiesta.  It was just what the doctor ordered and this fish taco recipe became my very favorite.  I could drink the yogurt sauce.   It has been tweaked a bit since then.

Fish Tacos

1/2 pound white fish of any kind. I would have used anything I had, including tuna, swordfish, talapia, etc. It all works.
2 Tablespoons Olive oil plus 2 more for the pan
1 cup chopped tomatoes
Flour tortillas


1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon (to taste) ground Cayenne

Yogurt Dressing Slaw

1/2 pound shredded cabbage (red or green or both)
1 cup plain yogurt
Juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
handful of chopped cilantro (about 1/4 cup or to taste
handful of chopped flat leaf parsley (about 1/4 cup)
salt and pepper to taste

Rub fish with olive oil and mix rub ingredients together in a bowl. Apply rub to fish on all sides. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in the fridge. 

Next make yogurt dressing by mixing all ingredients except cabbage together. It will taste very tart by itself. Add shredded cabbage and mix well. Let sit while fish cooks.

Heat oil in pan and place fish in pan. Cook just through (I prefer my fish medium well for this. It flakes easier but is not too dry). This could be about 3 minutes per side but it all depends on how thick the fish is. Flake fish into a bowl and serve with the yogurt slaw and tomato garnish inside tortilla.

Last up for the yogurt love is a favorite veggie dip/salad dressing/what-else-do-I-have-that-I-can-pour-this-on called Green Goddess Dip.  This is not your granny's Green Goddess dip.  That runny, over-mayo'd crap just needs to go.  This has enough dairy to hold it all together, but the primary flavor is bright and herb-y with a little bite from the garlic and anchovy paste.

2/3 cup 1% lowfat cottage cheese
1/4 cup boiling water
1 cup lowfat Greek Yogurt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup chopped basil
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
2 tsp anchovy paste
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh chives

Process the cottage cheese and boiling water together in a food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the yogurt, oil, lemon juice, basil, parsley, tarragon, anchovy paste, garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper and continue to process until combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the chives. Cover and refrigerate until the flavors have blended, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Serve with anything you would like.  Blanched haricot vert (french green beans- smaller that regular pole beans), blanched asparagus, peppers, any veggies, salad greens, any of it works.

That's it for the Yogurt.  I am now craving Green Goddess dip...and with no fresh herbs in the garden this could be a problem.  Two more in the Top Five series!  Look for them this week!

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  1. Are you making your own Greek yogurt? I'll never go back to store bought! Well maybe Fage' ambrosia!
    Favorite dessert, make an angel food cake. Tear pieces of the cake into very pretty glasses spoon frozen strawberries, or peaches or whatever you put up last summer, even lemon curd will work if thinned a bit. Layer with Greek yogurt, parfait style. Serve with Presseco! I usually serve this after a pasta dinner or lasagna or hell breakfast! :)