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When Toby Amidor discovered Greek yogurt eleven years ago, she became an immediate fan. Not only did she love the taste but the clinical dietitian in her loved the nutritional profile. As her writing career started to take off, it seemed only natural that she'd eventually write a cookbook focused on one of her favorite ingredients.
The Greek Yogurt Kitchen, out just this week in time for Mother's Day, is a collection of 133 kid-tested, family-friendly recipes that is sure to find a permanent place on your cookbook shelf. Through research and experimentation, Amidor found the perfect proportions for substituting Greek yogurt for part of the fatty ingredients found in recipes from baked goods to sauces and from salads to main dishes.
She also answers the question of why you would want to add Greek yogurt to your recipes. Compared to regular yogurt, common cheeses, oils, butter, and dairy products, Greek yogurt generally has less fat, less lactose, less sugar, fewer artificial ingredients, and more protein. At the same time, however, Amidor is interested in good flavor and thinks food should be as much about enjoyment as it is about health. Thus many of her recipes still call for a little heavy cream or soft cheeses. The Greek yogurt is used to lighten up dishes, not to take away from their deliciousness.
Besides the great range of baked goods (from breakfast scones to carrot cake), the recipes in The Greek Yogurt Kitchen include stuffed acorn squash, fish, sandwiches, and even pizzas. I made the turkey tacos shown here (photo was scanned from the book; it's not mine) and the spinach macaroni. Both dishes were flavorful, easy to make, and pretty on the plate.
As we head toward summer, I'm looking forward to trying the salads and cold soups and plan to make some of the dips for our evening drinks and snacks on the deck with friends. I am also drawn to these recipes because Amidor includes useful nutritional information with each one. Whether you're watching calories, protein, carbs, or sodium, you'll know exactly how much you're consuming with each serving.
The directions are clear and well written, and I predict that pretty much everyone will see success with these recipes. I love the prep and and cooking times, so I can tell at a glance if a recipe will fit into a busy day's schedule or if it's better for a holiday or weekend. In addition, I like the useful tips and hints that are scattered throughout the book. Some of these let you know if a recipe can be made ahead; others offer storage information, advice on techniques, and health data.
Because I always have Greek yogurt in the house and because all the ingredients in The Greek Yogurt Cookbook are readily available, I know I'll use this book often. It's clear that Toby Amidor cooks for real people: Her recipes may be a little lower in fat than your grandmother's but they offer plenty of flavor and retain their appeal to even picky eaters. This is a cookbook you can use every day; your family and your friends are sure to ask for seconds.
Here's a quick dip that Amidor uses with raw veggies, but I think it'd make a great pita filling too, topped with a summer tomato, cucumber, and greens.
White Bean Dip
Prep time: 5 minutes; cook time: 0 minute
- 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon low-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
Published by Hachette Book Group, 2014 (May 6)
Source: Review (see review policy)
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