Category Archives: yogurt

Chicken, Spinach, and Noodle Casserole

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Last night was a great night. Spur of the moment my kiddos (my son and his girlfriend) decided to pop by. It was happy for one because we needed his help moving my china hutch. But mostly because ever since we all got our own places I miss the crap out of them! It is funny, we all knew that we needed to move on and get places of our own. But dang it is so had to be away from them, at least for me.
It is funny, I spent a lot of the day on Monday unpacking boxes and putting things away in my dining room. We are having about 15 people here for Thanksgiving so I figured it might be a good idea to finally unpack the boxes that have been sitting there for a couple of months. Once I had the boxes unpacked and all of my china and crystal on my dining room table I started to look around at the room and decided I wanted to change how it was arranged. 
Now it was no surprise to my son, or would it be to anyone that has known me for a long time, but Kevin was kind of hit out of the blue with it. I move furniture all of the time. I have to get a “feel” for the room, and until it feels right I am constantly rearranging. He tried arguing with me about the need to move the hutch, but he eventually backed down. My son could have saved him the time, you will never convince me it doesn’t need to be moved if I think it does!

But due to my dining room table be covered with dishes and such, and the days getting so short that it is pitch dark by 5:30 PM here. I am having a heck of a time getting any pictures of my food. Kevin even went to Home Depot last night to pick up some under the counter lights just to help me in the kitchen. As you can see by the pictures, the lights help for cooking, but not so much for picture taking. Oh well, I will figure something out.
Now on to the dish. I found this recipe on the internet quite some time ago. I loved it because I love spinach and chicken and, well who doesn’t love a good casserole? They can be great comfort food and remind me of growing up because my Mom was the casserole Queen. But in those days it was the canned condensed soups that were used as the base. This one didn’t use the soup, but it called for whole milk and sour cream and tons of butter. I knew I could make is so much healthier!
The kids and Kevin loved it. I of course am always harder on myself than anyone else. I loved it but felt it didn’t have that “Wow” factor. Kevin pointed out to me that every dish doesn’t have to blow you off your seat, and my son said that he loved it because it was warm and creamy, it was just plain comfort food. We all agreed that if you like a bit of zing you could add some crushed red pepper to it. But it was a great meal for a cold Washington night. We sat in the living room, with the fireplace going, and enjoyed some nice comfort food together. That can never be wrong!!
Chicken, Spinach, and Noodle Casserole
Adapted from a recipe found on Real Simple
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 8 ounces egg noodles (I used No Yolk noodles)
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 to 3 cups shredded cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken (I used the whole rotisserie chicken)
  • 5 ounces baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • Butter flavored cooking spray

Heat oven to 400° F. 

In a large pot boil water for noodles, salt the water before adding the noodles and cook the noodles according to the package directions; drain and return them to the pot.

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until foamy, 1 to 2 minutes (do not let the mixture darken). Add the white wine and whisk for a minute to cook off the alcohol, then slowly add the chicken stock, whisking as you go. 

Bring to a simmer and cook, whisking often, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the yogurt and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the sauce, chicken, and spinach to the noodles and toss to combine. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch or some other 3-quart baking dish, sprinkle with the bread crumbs, and spray the top with butter spray to dampen the crumbs.

Bake until the bread crumbs are golden and the filling is bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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ENJOY!!!

Shared at The Lady 8 Home

Roasted Ranch Potatoes

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Do you sometimes get stumped about what to make for a side dish? I know I sure do. I always defer to potatoes or rice when that happens. But potatoes and rice can get pretty boring right? Sometimes I come up with ideas right off the top of my head, other times I head to my good old standby Pintrest!! I have a TON of things pinned so there is plenty of things to choose from. This was one of the times my creative juices were just not flowing. I fired up the computer, popped on to Pintrest, and found this dish that I had saved as one I wanted to work on.
When I say “work on” I mean I find dishes that sounds awesome to me but I want to lighten them up maybe, or use some different ingredients. This was one I wanted to lighten up. I was a bit nervous about taking out all of the “good stuff”. I thought maybe it would lose the flavor. But boy was I wrong! There is the familiar zip of Ranch dressing but a lighter version. YAY!!! A winner!

I know these aren’t the best pictures. I am trying to figure out my photo situation with it getting dark so early now. But at least you can see all the crispy and creamy goodness!!

Roasted Ranch Potatoes
Adapted from a recipe on My Gourmet Connection

  • 1-1/2 lbs baby yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives,chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray a shallow baking pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking pan and roast until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375°F.

While the potatoes roast, whisk the buttermilk, yogurt, vinegar, thyme, and chives together in a bowl.

Spray an ovenproof casserole with nonstick spray. Add the roasted potatoes to the bowl with the buttermilk mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to the casserole, return to the oven and bake until bubbly, 10 to 15 minutes.

ENJOY!!

Mexican Grilled Corn

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I was making my Mexican Style Slow Cooker Chicken and couldn’t decide on a side dish until I remembered this fantastic corn I used to have all of the time at the Del Mar Fair in San Diego. You can get some wacky food at the fair, but I past up the deep fried Twinkies and cheesecake to head straight for this grilled corn. It is sweet and salty all at once. It is the perfect balance! But as much as I loved it, this again was another recipe I had never tried at home.
I really hate it when I underestimate myself. Sometimes I make things seem so much more difficult that they are in my head. Once I sat down and really thought about the flavors in the corn the wheels started turning in my head (no smoke came out I promise). I knew there a fantastic combo of flavor. After trying it a few times and not coming up with exactly what I was looking for I tried this and BAM there it was, the wonderful flavors I was looking for. I had flash backs of all of my years at the fair and it was wonderful. The family may not have had the flood of memories but I can promise you there will be memories from now on!!

Mexican Grilled Corn
  • 4 ears corn
  • 1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups fat free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup freshly grated cotija cheese 
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Red chili powder, to taste

Remove the husks of the corn but leave the core attached at the end so you have something to hold onto. Grill the corn on a hot grill or cast iron griddle pan until slightly charred. Turn it so it gets cooked evenly all over. Mix the yogurt, sour cream and cilantro together. Grate the cotija cheese in another bowl. While the corn is still warm slather with yogurt mix. Squeeze lime juice over the corn, Season with chili powder and generously coat with the cheese. 

ENJOY!!

Chicken Kabobs with Greek Salad

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I have gone through a bit of obsession with Greek food lately. I don’t know if anyone else does it but I will get hooked on a certain type of food (Greek, Italian, Mexican, fish and seafood, veggies, etc.) and want it just about everyday. Not the same food, but the flavors. It kind of drives my family a little batty at time. OH well, I do the cooking so I guess what I decide goes right? Although I do try to give you all a variety of recipes during the week. I don’t to make you just as crazy as my family!
I did a Greek Burger back for #SundaySupper’s Father’s Day post and it was soooo good. I think that was when my little mind started cranking out ideas for recipes. Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with recipes flying through your head to the point that you just have to get up and start writing them down? Oh, maybe that is just my weird thing, but I seriously get some of my best ideas in the middle of the night! Last night I had to fight the urge to get up and start canning dilled green beans! Wacko!!

My friends, this was a meal that made them stop complaining though. My son isn’t a huge feta fan (strange but true) so I wondered if he would like this, but he did. Kevin’s son eats anything I make as fast as I put it in front of him, which I haven’t quite decided if it is a testament to how good my food is or just being a 20 year old boy that is happy someone else is cooking for him and he doesn’t have to eat McDonald’s every night. I have decided to believe the first idea.
This is a great summertime meal. Sitting outside by the grill enjoying the tangy kabobs along with the salad? So good! You could also make these kabobs with some rice pilaf. Toss a little bit of feta in after the pilaf is cooked along with some lemon, mmmmmm heaven!!

Chicken Kabobs with Greek Salad
For the Kabobs:
8-ounces of plain yogurt (not Greek style, you want it saucier)
1/3 ocup of feta cheese, crumbled well
1/4 cup of sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon of dried Mediterranean oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2  lemon, zested and juiced
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
4 plum tomatoes, cut into wedges (or a container of cherry tomatoes)
Wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
For the Salad:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried Mediterranean oregano
1 head of Romaine lettuce, chopped
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 English cucumber, chopped
1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
3/4 kalamata olives
3/4 cup feta cheese
In a large shallow baking dish, combine the yogurt, feta, sun dried tomatoes, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and lemon zest and juice. Stir to combine well and add the chicken, turning to make sure it is completely coated. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours to overnight.
Remove chicken from the marinade and thread onto skewers, alternating with the onion and tomato wedges. Discard leftover marinade. Grill over medium high heat, turning to assure all sides are cooked, until the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear. 
While chicken is cooking whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, red wine vinegar, and dried oregano in a small bowl. Place the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives and feta in a large salad bowl. Toss with salad dressing. Salt and pepper to taste.
Pile some salad on a plate and top with kabobs.
ENJOY!!!

Greek Turkey "Tacos"

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Ok, so now I am sure it looks like I am obsessed with tacos, which I assure you I am not. However, Rachael Ray is the self professed “Burger Queen” so who knows, maybe I will be come the “Taco Queen”. Seriously anything you put into a burger you could put into a taco. Both are nice hand held food options. Anything that reduces the amount of dishes to wash is alright by me. But I leave the grilling to Kevin so burgers he does, taco’s I can do.

This recipe was actually my answer to a burger patty I saw available at my local grocery store. They have a lot of pre-made dishes you can buy. Chicken Cordon Blue, Steak Pinwheels and burgers. They have bacon and blue cheese burger patties, cheddar burger patties, and they had turkey with feta and spinach patties. I decided that I wanted to make my own patties so I could add the seasoning I wanted. I was discussing the idea with my daughter Jessi and told her that I wanted to use pita bread instead of a burger bun. She felt that a patty on pita would be a bit awkward to eat so, WALA the Greek taco was born!

I did a search on Greek seasoning and Tzatziki recipes. I saw a couple of advertisements for Greek seasoning blends, but I prefer to control the amounts of each seasoning going into my recipes. You can substitute ground lamb for the turkey in this recipe. I opted for a lean turkey (97%) to lower the calories a bit. Pair it up with some rice pilaf and you have a great meal. I use the rice on the as a side but the kids just added it in with the other ingredients.

I hope you give this recipe a try. Oh and make sure you save your extra Tzatziki sause. It is awesome with veggies for a snack! If you don’t want leftover sauce, just cut the recipe in half, but we always love leftovers. Try using the Tzatziki in the place of mayo on sandwiches too!

If you can’t find Greek yogurt strained plain yogurt can be substituted.

Thanks to our local Greek restaurant Ikonos for the donation of the checkered paper to make this look so nice!

Greek Turkey “Tacos”


Ingredients


For the tacos:
1 package ground turkey (approx 1 1/4 pounds)
8 ounces baby spinach (one very large fistful)
1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion
1/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
2 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/4 onion, finely chopped
8 pita

For the Tzatziki:
3 cup Greek Yogurt, strained as described below (low fat can be used)
juice of one lemon
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded and chopped (save 1/4 of one of the cucumber for garnish)
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped (a good handful)
salt and pepper to taste

With a small strainer or coffee filter over a bowl, strain the yogurt for about 2 hours to get as much liquid out as possible.

Peel the cucumbers and then cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrap out the seeds, then dice the cucumber, making sure to reserve half of one half  for garnish. Place the cucumbers in a colander and salt them to draw the liquid out. Let sit for about 30 minutes. Drain them well and pat dry with paper towel.

In the food processor puree the cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill, and fresh ground black pepper. Stir the mixture into the yogurt. Add salt to taste. Place in the refrigerator for about 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add the thyme, basil, marjoram, oregano, minced onion and minced garlic, season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until turkey has been broken up and it browned all over. Add baby spinach and stir to wilt it down into the browned meat, then add 2 ounces of the feta cheese. Stir to combine all ingredients well. Remove from the heat.

Heat pita bread in the microwave approx 30 minutes to soften the bread.

Spoon the turkey mixture into the center of the pita, top with Tzayziki, chopped onion, chopped cucumber, and chopped tomato. Fold like a taco and eat.

Serve with rice pilaf.

Makes 8 tacos


Taco



Gyro Sandwiches



Tzatziki Sauce