Summer is coming to Minnesota one of these days (I hope) which gets me thinking about traditional summer salads. You know, all those mayo-based salads that everyone is always afraid of at picnics. Well, when we know better, we do better. And by doing better, I mean Greek-ify’ing them – Happy Dairy Month!
Enter Greek yogurt as a replacement for those mayo-laden dressings. Less calories, less fat, more calcium, more protein than it’s mayonnaise opponent. It’s a refreshing, lighter dressing for your salads. Check out the stats:
- Save 392 calories when you swap out 1 cup of sour cream for 1 cup of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt.
- Save 710 calories when you swap out 8 ounces of cream cheese for 1 cup of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt.
- Save 789 calories when you swap out 2 sticks of butter for 1 stick of butter + 1/4 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt.
Even more interesting:
- Save 1334 calories when you swap out 1 cup of mayonnaise for 1 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt.
- And the big kahuna: Save 1852 calories when you swap out 1 cup of oil for 3/4 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt.
Being a dietitian, I have tried a lot of yogurt. New products, new changes, lots of opportunities. But one brand stands out to me. Yes, they have great tasting yogurt, but there is so much more.
- Commitment to a high quality product.
- Commitment to education and transparency.
- Commitment to authenticity.
That’s why I love Chobani brand.
What makes their yogurt special?
It’s simple and authentic. Don’t we all crave simplicity and genuineness in everything we do and people we interact with? Chobani keeps it simple by using milk and cultures and authentically straining it to result in thick, creamy yogurt with twice the protein compared to regular yogurt.
They use natural ingredients including real fruit, no preservatives or artificial flavors or thickeners. (It’s naturally thick because of the straining process – the way it is supposed to be).
Another thing I love, is that they are transparent about the process:
So I was doing a little experimenting with some favorite salad recipes that tend to be laden with mayonnaise, heavy whipping cream and the like. Here is what I came up with:
Chobani Fruit Salad
1 can (15 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup blueberries
2 cups quartered strawberries
1 cup light frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (6 ounce) carton Chobani strawberry Greek yogurt
1. Combine mandarin oranges, blueberries and strawberries in a large bowl.
2. In a separate small bowl, combine whipped topping and strawberry Greek yogurt. Mix well.
3. Stir yogurt mixture into fruit mixture. Serve as a side dish or dessert.
Chobani Cucumber Salad
1 cup sliced cucumbers
1/4 cup plain nonfat Chobani Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
Pinch of dill weed
Pinch of salt
Pinch of garlic powder
1. Place cucumbers in small bowl. Set aside.
2. In a separate small bowl, stir together Greek yogurt, sugar, vinegar, dill weed, salt and garlic powder. Whisk well.
3. Pour yogurt mixture over cucumbers. Chill for one hour, then serve. Or eat immediately if you can’t wait!
Fruit and Pasta Toss
Adapted from a recipe I love from my friends at Midwest Dairy.
8 ounces whole-wheat spiral pasta, uncooked (about 2-3/4 cups dry)
1-1/2 cups cubed cantaloupe
1-1/2 cups cubed pineapple
1-1/2 cups diced strawberries
1 cup halved red grapes
1 cup cubed Havarti cheese
1 cup diced, cooked chicken breast (optional)
12 ounces mango Chobani yogurt (or strawberry is delicious too!)
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and cool. Spray with non-stick cooking spray to allow noodles not to stick, toss and cool.
2. While pasta is cooking, add fruit, cheese and chicken (if using) to large bowl and gently toss. Add pasta (once cooled). Gently stir in yogurt. Chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Disclosure: Chobani provided the yogurt for these recipes, but I was not paid to write this post. All opinions and creations are my own.
And for a bonus – here’s why my 8-year-old wants you to drink milk. Dairy is delicious.
Which one is your favorite?