The New Way I'm Using Greek Yogurt in the Kitchen

Kitchen Diaries: Kate in New York City

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I'll admit it, I'm pretty obsessed with Greek yogurt. I have a serious preference for two brands readily available at the typical grocery store, a borderline obsession with a few that are more obscure or local, and a serious case of "meh" for the regular ole' yogurt I ate as a kid. Typically, I've viewed yogurt as a solo item — a meal in and of itself when topped with fruit, honey, and/or granola. That is, until recently.

Wait a second. Can I talk a little more about why I love Greek yogurt so much more than the drippy regular stuff? Besides the tart, refreshing flavor and creamy texture, I'm a fan of how much protein a scoop of the Greek variety packs. I already love dairy. A lot. Having that extra nutritional benefit takes this from a ok-for-me snack, to something much more substantial that quells hunger for hours.

→ Learn more about the difference between regular and Greek yogurt: What's The Difference Between Regular and Greek Yogurt?

Back to the point: A while back I bought a huge tub of Greek yogurt pretty much only because it was on sale and then promptly forgot about it in the back of the fridge. Fearing the worst (spoiled food is my enemy!), I set out to put Greek yogurt on practically anything. Chocolate chip cookies, pasta, ok, I'm just kidding. Really though, I started to frame my meals around what I could do with this yogurt, rather than just top it with honey and granola. I had just eaten at one of my favorite Greek restaurants in Queens, where I insisted on eating tzatziki by the spoonful, so I was feeling pretty inspired about yogurt in a savory context.

Still on my pile-of-vegetable quest, I made a gigantic Greek salad with cucumber, grape tomatoes, chickpeas, tons of herbs, and a yogurt-tahini dressing. Herbed and roasted chicken got a dip in cool yogurt, with a squeeze of lemon juice. Somewhere in there, I may or may not have just slathered yogurt straight onto a warmed wheat pita with hummus, and there was definitely an instance of sour cream substitution on taco salad.

Using Greek yogurt as an accompaniment to salads was great, as it not only added a cool flavor but contributed a little protein to an otherwise vegetable heavy meal. I was such a fan of dipping roasted chicken in the yogurt, and am keen to explore more interesting flavor profiles with this. Maybe something spicy or smoky?

What are your favorite ways to use yogurt that are a little less obvious?

(Image credits: Anjali Prasertong)

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