Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's All Greek to Me

I have never been a fan of yogurt. I've tried many brands and flavors, and while I'll eat it sometimes because it is a nice low-calorie option for lunch, I don't enjoy it. So, I had never really got on board the whole Greek yogurt trend that has appeared recently. But, things have changed now that I am trying to eat healthier and lose weight. A friend (thanks, Sara!) clued me in to the great benefits that Greek yogurt has to offer and suggested some ways I could enjoy it. I was definitely skeptical that I would enjoy anything about Greek yogurt, but decided to give it a go because I am much more open to trying new foods in my older more knowledgeable years. ;)

So...I now buy Oikos Organic Greek yogurt...with caramel, to eat for my breakfast. Yeah, I couldn't take the plunge to plain, but thought I might enjoy it with one of my favorite toppings. I must admit that it isn't too bad. I do stir in a bit of cinnamon and also top it with a healthy portion of French Almond Vanilla granola (courtesy of the Fresh Market, of course!), but with those additions, the flavor of the yogurt is tolerable for me. It definitely saves me calories in the morning versus my usual bowl of cereal and it offers much more protein, to help keep me feeling more full until lunch! Yay! I may not be a complete convert yet, but I'm working on it.

In an effort to incorporate more Greek yogurt into our diet, I decided to try it in some dinner recipes too! I have a couple recipes to share today. One sneaks it in, as I used it as a substitute for another less nutritious ingredient and the other is more obvious, but a tasty recipe my sister (thanks, Katie!) shared with me. I have been making this recipe for Salsa Chicken for a couple months now (and actually blogged about it here already) and it is fabulous! Here is the pin and the original recipe comes from "chef in training". Her recipe calls for sour cream, but I decided to try the Greek yogurt to see if you could notice a difference. Good news, you really can't! The yogurt adds the creaminess you need without sacrificing any flavor. Love it! I now make it this way and also with a recipe for homemade taco seasoning (courtesy of Plain Chicken), instead of using a packet. Again, I'm trying to use better, less processed ingredients, so I decided to try making my own taco seasoning instead of relying on Taco Bell for it. ;) So, here is my updated version of...

Healthier Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

  • 2 large, boneless chicken breasts (total weight 1 to 1 1/4 pounds)
  • Homemade taco seasoning
    • 1 Tbsp chili powder
    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp onion powder
    • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (the kids prefer if I leave this out, though)
    • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 16-ounce jar salsa (Fresh Market's medium variety is great)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (I use the 98% fat free version)
  • 1 5-ounce container plain Greek yogurt (I like Oikos' organic variety)

Prepare the taco seasoning by mixing all of ingredients in a small bowl.

Add the chicken to the slow cooker. Sprinkle the taco seasoning on top of the chicken. 

Mix the salsa and cream of chicken soup in a separate bowl and pour over the chicken. 

Cook on high for 1 hour, then switch to low and cook for 4 additional hours, or until chicken is done. Turn the heat to warm or off and stir in the Greek yogurt.

Shred the chicken and serve in a whole wheat tortilla or over brown rice. Both are delicious options. Yum. Hubby likes a bit of shredded cheddar cheese on top of his too. :)

This recipe is a wonderful "diet" food. One serving of the salsa chicken, by itself (no tortilla or rice), yields the following nutritional info: 173 calories, 2.6 g fat, 12.6 g carbs, 27.4 g protein,  4.5 mg cholesterol, 698 mg sodium, 307 mg potassium, and 0.5 g fiber. I split the entire crockpot into just 5 servings, so those are very generous portions! Hubby and I both eat one serving with 2 tortillas for dinner, the boys split a serving, then we each have a serving leftover for lunch the next day too. I like to serve this dish with some steamed, frozen Silverqueen corn that has been very lightly buttered and seasoned with our favorite Cajun seasoning from the Fresh Market. A delicious, healthy meal!

Update: When I fixed this dish most recently, I decided to add one more ingredient when I served it. A drizzle of honey over each portion added the perfect balance of sweet to the spicy that this chicken offers. It was delicious!

The next recipe I tried is pinned here and originates from "Feeding my Temple." I made a few slight changes to her original, so my recipe is listed below.

Melt in Your Mouth Baked Chicken

  • 2 large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced thinly in half (total weight of ~1 pound)
  • 1 5-ounce container plain Greek yogurt (I like Oikos' organic variety)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Adobo seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Combine the yogurt, Parmesan cheese and seasonings in a small bowl.

Place the chicken breasts in the dish and spread the mixture over the chicken.

Bake for 30 minutes, then broil for an additional 5 minutes, to brown the topping. Serve immediately.

This is another great, healthy recipe for dinner. This dish will serve 4 people (1 piece per person). One serving yields the following nutritional info: 262 calories, 8 g fat, 2 g carbs, 43 g protein, 110 mg cholesterol, and 41 g potassium. Sodium will vary depending on spices used. I served each breast with one serving of whole wheat rotini (topped with a little poblano pesto) and a serving of sauteed frozen cut green beans, seasoned with a little EVOO and parmesan seasoning. Delicious! Everyone gobbled this chicken up, so it was immediately put on our "make again" list! :)

Update: Last time I made this I sprinkled a small amount of panko bread crumbs on top before slipping the dish into the oven. They toasted up perfectly and added a wonderful crunch to this meal! I like incorporating multiple textures to food items and "crunchy" was just what this one needed. :)

So, I guess Greek yogurt isn't so bad after all. I would definitely like to try some additional recipes that incorporate it. If you have any tasty ones, please share!


  1. This looks great! Thank you so much for your comments and link back to Feeding My Temple!


    1. Thanks for taking a look, Allison! :) I'm a follower now!


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