Greek cuisine is one my favorites. And New York City has no shortage of amazing Greek establishments. But, for health's sake, I can't exactly go out to eat every night, so it's time to get resourceful.
I fancy myself a capable home-cook. But, some foods really should be left to the professionals. Sous vide anything? Never in my home. Whole roasted pig on a spit? Absolutely not. But, tzatziki? That I can do. And so can you!
There are few spices I love a much as garlic. I've truly never met a dish that's too garlicky. When paired with freshly squeezed lemon juice and fresh dill, this recipe is a knockout.
16oz low fat Greek yogurt (I use plain 2% Chobani or Fage)
3/4 of 1 medium hot-house cucumber, peeled and grated
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt to taste
1. Empty one 16oz container of Greek yogurt into a fine mesh strainer fit over a bowl, cover, and refrigerate at least 2 hours
2. Place grated cucumber into another fine mesh strainer fit over a bowl, cover the cucumber with a folded paper towel, and place a weight on it to press out excess liquid, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours
3. Periodically check on the cucumber, changing the covering and pushing on it to help release more liquid
4. After 2 hours, remove yogurt and cucumber from the refrigerator
5. Chop dill and garlic, set aside
6. In a large mixing bowl, combine yogurt, cucumber, garlic and dill
7. Juice a lemon over the yogurt mixture and stir to combine**
8. Taste and season with sea salt
*By "weight" in step 2, I mean something heavy enough to press out the water, but not too heavy that the strainer goes askew and falls off the bowl.
** Need a juicing refresher? Check here for a post on my favorite way to juice a lemon.
what you'll need
strained, grated cucumbers
my very technical method of weighing down the cucumbers -- csa acorn squash
minced garlic and dill
the liquid from cucumbers
cucumber, garlic and dill with the strained Greek yogurt
our finished product
serving up our tzatziki with triscuits
salmon, tzatziki and cauliflower rice
salmon, tzatziki over mixed greens with lemon vinaigrette
We like this best with oven-roasted salmon, or as a dip with pita chips or crackers.
A note on low-fat dairy: in this recipe, 2% yogurt produces a significantly richer taste and texture than 0%. A little milk fat goes a long way here. With respect to fat in dairy products I choose skim milk, low fat yogurt and cottage cheese (unless the yogurt is sweetened, then opting for 0% makes sense), and full fat cheese. I don't usually waiver from this. 2% yogurt could be swapped for 0% or even full fat (though that would produce a significantly more caloric version).
Have you ever made a yogurt based dip? Do you prefer low fat or full fat dairy? I'd love to hear from you if you try this recipe. Hope you enjoy...
Fall is my season. Not in a creepy, delusional, possessive way like I think I actually own fall. I mean, if I owned fall, I would also own 37 Birkins. Ugh, I need to figure out how that's going to work out. Boo?
I really love fall because of the cashmere/boots/leather jackets/layering bounty of produce that's readily available. I can get my paws on so many goodies. Including...apples! Honeycrisp, gala, jazz, granny smith. Apples are easily one of my favorite fruits.
As a newly minted Registered Dietitian, I am eager to provide Boo with healthy, balanced meals. Enter: donuts. Here's my rationale...the ratio of batter to apples greatly favors the apples. So, really -- we are eating fruit for a snack! Fabulosity. Obviously totally kidding. These are a treat, not a serving of fruit. But come on, live a little!
These donuts are like a softer version of candy apples (which were always my treat of choice when we would go to fairs). Others opted for fried dough with confectioners' sugar. But when this lady Wolf was a cub, she would make a bee line for the candy apple stall -- caramel version...I couldn't stand the red candy apples. Tangent, sorry again.
Ingredients for 12 donuts: 1 cup whole wheat flour 2/3 cup sugar 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1 whole egg 1/2C milk (I used skim) 1 tbsp butter, melted 1 tsp vanilla 2 apples, peeled diced (I used granny smith)
Directions: 1. Combine dry ingredients 2. Combine wet ingredients 3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees 4. Peel and dice apples 5. Combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients, then fold in apples 6. Grease the donut pan 7. Gently pour the apple batter into each donut cavity, being careful not to over-fill them (clean the center piece if there is overrun) 8. Bake for 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the side of the donut comes out clean 9. Invert donuts onto a cooling rack, and repeat steps 6-8 until all the batter has been used 10. Glaze the donuts with caramel sauce, eat immediately Donut pan:
Glazed and ready to go:
Breakfast of champions:
No fork necessary:
Side note: Good non-stick pans are worth their weight in gold/diamonds/Redskins RG III gear/however you measure worth. Mediocre non-stick pans, while cheap, don't even come close to high-quality pans. Trust me, invest in this Wilton brand pan if you want to make donuts. The donuts bake crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. And just popped right out of the pan, it is so slick! Works really well. And it's coupon eligible at Bed Bath and Beyond. Yeehaw!
I'd love to hear from you if you make these donuts! Did you also make yesterday's caramel sauce? How did you serve them? Hope you enjoy...
xx, The Future Mrs. Wolf
This is not hyperbole. It really is so easy. And uses skim milk! We are getting skinnier already.
Lately, I've been experimenting with this sauce: adding sea salt, vanilla beans and coffee. And bourbon! But, this is a perfectly easy, basic recipe on its own. Plus it can be tweaked exactly to your tastes...
Ingredients for 4 servings:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp skim milk
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat sugar and milk over medium-low heat until until the sugar begins to brown and the sauce begins to thicken, about 10-12 minutes
2. If the caramel sauce is getting too thick, but not yet brown enough, add 2 tbsp skim milk, stir well (but gently) to combine the milk, cook about 2 minutes 3. Add vanilla, stir to combine (if you added this at the beginning, the vanilla flavor could burn off, so be sure to do this at the end) 4. Serve immediately
I find this sauce is best when used right away. Many caramel sauces can sit in a glass mason jar in the refrigerator until you need it. But, since this recipe calls for skim milk, it just seems to work best when it's used right away. You can see the color progress as the sauce cooks longer:
What's your favorite way to use caramel sauce? Hope you enjoy...
My mother is responsible for my obsession with squash. We always blame Mum!! Just kidding, my mum is #1, and this is a good blame. Even as a little girl, my favorite dish on Thanksgiving was her butternut squash. Oh, and her whole-berry, tart cranberry sauce. Oh, and her cornbread stuffing. Okay, I have a lot of favorites. But really, the butternut squash is beyond. Creamy and sweet.
And now, I can't stop making this version of butternut squash! It is so good on its own, and in other dishes. Hot. Cold. Room temperature. Scorching your tongue because you can't wait for it to come out of the oven. All perfectly acceptable methods of consumption. And it screams hearty comfort. It's a big bear hug kind of food. Plus, it's so much work to clean the squash, it's totally appropriate to count the prep work as cardio. Hallelujah!
1 large butternut squash, peeled, cored and diced
5-7 cloves garlic, minced
4 sprigs rosemary, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 and grease a baking sheet
2. In a food processor, pulse garlic and rosemary until well chopped*
3. Toss butternut squash with garlic, rosemary and sea salt, spread in one layer over a baking sheet
4. Bake for 25 minutes, flip and bake another 20 minutes or until the butternut squash is cooked (tender on the inside)
*this can, of course, be done by hand...but why? you just put in so much time at "the gym".
Smells like Christmas:
Into the oven:
Our finished product:
Served in a romaine salad with cipollini onions and blue cheese:
How do you prepare butternut squash? Hope you enjoy...
MY PEOPLE! I need to apologize. Things have been so busy here at the Wolf den. I am back in school full-time to finish my Masters degree, after completing my Dietetic Internship. Then there is wedding planning. Plus, I've been studying for my licensing exam like a lunatic fueled on coffee and garbage salads. But, I am so happy to report that I passed! And I am officially a Registered Dietitian. Yippee!
::jumping up and down::
Selfless promotion: holler at your girl if you are looking for a nutritionist. I'm your woman.
But I have no ego, I know why you are here...and it's not to hear about my schedule. So...without further ado, here is a banging recipe for some sweet apple muffins.
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 whole eggs
1 cup low fat sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
1/4 stick of butter, melted 1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 - 2 cups apple, peeled and finely chopped* (about 1-2 apples depending on size)
*I used granny smith because they are tart (and my favorite apple of all time)
3 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
1. Combine dry ingredients
2. Combine wet ingredients
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
4. Prepare apples (if you do this too soon, they will oxidize and turn brown...while it won't hurt the flavor, it's not as pretty)
5. Mix wet and dry ingredients together until just combined
6. Add apples and stir
7. Evenly distribute on a muffin pan, about 2/3 full**
8. Make the streusel topping by cutting the butter into the dry ingredients
9. Top each muffin with about 1 tsp of the streusel mixture, pressing it gently into the batter
10. Bake for 18-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean
** this makes about 1-1/2 dozen, depending on the size of your muffin pan and the amount of apple you use
I made a few swaps on a traditional muffin recipe, namely whole wheat flour and low-fat sour cream. Whole wheat flour adds fiber and wholesomeness. I used low-fat sour cream instead of oil...because we had in the house, but also because it keeps things light and lively. And who doesn't want a light and lively muffin? I thought you did.
Streusel is like that happy friend you just want to squeeze every time you see her. It's easy and tasty and sweet and crunchy and doesn't shame you when you by mistake on purpose eat the whole tray of muffins in one sitting. It is so good. Plus my really good friend, Boo is obsessed with streusel. So, it's a win-win.
In the interest of research, I filled the muffin pan normally, but still had some leftover batter. It only seemed appropriate to test this recipe in a donut pan. Success! Apple Cinnamon Sugar Streusel...Baked Donuts! Yes!
What you'll need:
Awaiting baking, be sure to take your rings off for this step -- it can be a little messy:
Streusel close up:
If you make this recipe yourself, I'd love to hear what you think. Did you use Greek yogurt or sour cream? What's your favorite apple to bake with?
This is my new favorite food. Seriously, what took me so long?! I'm almost mad at myself for waiting until now to try pickling! Anyway, now that I've done it, I can't stop. Truly, I've been pickling anything I can get my paws on. Watch out, Boo. Sort of Totally kidding...
I made these recently for our shrimp tacos. Remember this tomatillo salsa? Together they make one pungent bite! It is so good...
1 C water
1/2 C vinegar (apple cider, if using white onion, or red wine, if using red onion)
It's confession time here on The Domesticated Wolf: I love carbohydrates. Low-carb diets be damned, I can't pass up good bread.
Our local farmers market offers a lovely selections of artisanal products.
I recently bought plush multigrain rolls for veggie burgers and had two leftover. More sandwiches! Goodie goodie...
Ingredients for two sandwiches:
1/2 eggplant, sliced
1/2 zucchini, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 whole tomato, sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 oz good blue cheese
Salt + cracked black pepper
2 doughy sandwich rolls
1. Preheat oven to 400
2. Slice eggplant, onion and zucchini and peel the garlic
3. Salt eggplant, set aside and let sweat 15 minutes
4. In a heavy-bottomed, cast-iron skillet coated with olive oil, caramelize the onions over medium-low heat, remove from heat when finished
5. With a damp paper towel, remove the liquid and any residual salt from the eggplant
6. With a pastry brush, coat both sides of each eggplant and zucchini round with olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper
7. Place the eggplant on a greased baking sheet, cook for 15 minutes in the oven, then flip, cook another 15 minutes
8. When the eggplant has cooked on one side, place zucchini in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until well roasted (zucchini can cook down very quickly, so be mindful)
9. With 10 minutes left on the zucchini timer, place whole garlic cloves on the same baking sheet as the vegetables and allow to cook until soft
10. With 3 minutes left on the zucchini timer, evenly distribute blue cheese on the zucchini, allow to melt
11. Toast the bread
12. Slice the tomato
13. Remove all roasted vegetables from the oven
14. On a plate, smash the garlic into a spreadable paste
15. On one side of the bread evenly spread the avocado, on the other evenly spread the roasted garlic paste
16. Finish building the sandwiches: eggplant, blue cheese zucchini and sliced tomato, top with caramelized onions
Some of what you'll need:
Blue cheese zucchini:
Starting to stack:
Someone Boo called me crazy for making a sandwich with so many moving pieces. Until he tried it! The combination of cooked and raw foods is the bomb - in least dangerous way possible (safety first!). Plus who can argue with any excuse for garlic, avocado and caramelized onions (my favorite foods!) in one bite? Wham, bam, thank you ma'am.
Are you guys sick of banana bread yet? Oh good, neither are we. Remember this version? Well, this one is jazzed up. And near vegan. That's probably not a real thing -- it either is or it isn't. But I will call this almost-vegan. And it can be made fully-vegan quite easily. Or amped up with even more animal products. To each her own...
Ingredients for one loaf:
1C whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
3 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1C)
1C zucchini, grated
2 tbsp coconut oil (or butter), melted
1 tsp vanilla
1/2C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large bowl, mash bananas and mix with sugar, egg, coconut oil and vanilla, set aside
3. Measure the other dry ingredients and combine in a medium sized bowl
4. Grate the zucchini with a box grater, add to banana mixture
5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and incorporate
6. Fold in the chocolate chips
7. Grease a loaf pan, pour in batter and cook for 60 minutes (cook time with depend on the size and ripeness of bananas)
What you'll need:
Zucchini and banana mixture:
Close up on splitsies:
Whole wheat flour and zucchini give this loaf a bit more body than a traditional banana bread. Extra nutrition, similar taste and chocolate? We're in.
Plus, with only a little fat added to the recipe, there's more room for heavenly toppings -- whipped cream cheese, sea-salt butter, ricotta cheese, homemade frosting, caramel. Okay, maybe not caramel. But it's something I've been itching to make. And really, what doesn't work with caramel?
Have you ever baked with zucchini? Hope you enjoy...