Dips and Dressing! Part 2- Yogurts.

This time around I would like to share some of my favorite Persian dips that are usually a staple with most meals. Let me begin by saying Persian’s love yogurt and it served as a side dish to all Persian meals.  It doesn’t matter if it is plain, mixed with different vegetables and spices to make a dip, or made into a traditional Persian drink called doogh. If it hasn’t become apparent yet, Persian’s love flavor and the same goes for their yogurt. Usually, the traditional Persian yogurt used is called Labne Kefir Cheese. It is made from whole milk and strained creating a thick, creamy texture that tastes like dessert! Unfortunately, as delicious as the yogurt may be it contains 60 calories for every two tablespoons and no one, I repeat NO ONE can ever have only 2 tablespoons! Not to mention it has 4 grams of Saturated Fat and 6 grams of total fat making it a unhealthy choice especially with every meal! Yogurt however is a great source of calcium and can have many health benefits if the right yogurt is selected! Growing up with a LOVE for yogurt that was instilled in me since I could eat I couldn’t give up my beloved dips and yogurt drinks!

Finding a solution to my problem I discovered FAGE TOTAL 0% Nonfat Yogurt which only had 90 calories for 12 tablespoons where Labne yogurt had 360 calories for the same serving size and far more fat! Of coarse, the taste of the nonfat yogurt was more bland than the Labne but with the right ingredients delicious yogurt dips could be created with 1/4 of the calories! Below are two of my FAVORITE yogurt recipes that could be used alone or on chicken, kabob’s, vegetables or as substitute for mayonnaise and sour creams.

For a full list of way’s to use yogurt to substitute fats check out this great  post: art://www.ehow.com/how_5778412_use-yogurt-recipes-fat-substitute.html

labne              FAGE

mast

Mast-O-Khiar Yogurt Dip

A quick and easy dip meaning yogurt with cucumber

Serving size: 1 Total Calories: 110

Ingredients 

  • 1 6 oz. cup of Fage 0% nonfat yogurt
  • 1 Persian cucumbers (mini cucumbers) peeled and diced
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped dry mint
  • 1 tbsp crushed dried rose petals- can be purchased at Persian or Mediterranean markets
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • LoSalt- if needed to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Directions: 

In a small bowl mix diced cucumber and yogurt. Next, add garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and crushed up mint leaves and stir the dip. The last step is to sprinkle the rose petals on top of the yogurt. Voila! Delicious low calorie yogurt cucumber dip!

bor

Persian Spinach and Yogurt dip (Borani)

Ingredients 

  • 1 package fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/3 cup  finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minched
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lo Salt
  • 1 cup plain fat-free greek yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon butter

Preparation 

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add fresh spinach, and cook for 1 minute. Drain well. Place spinach on several layers of paper towels and squeeze until barley moist. Next, melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and remove from heat. Spin in chopped spinach and salt. Let cool to room temperature. Combine spinach, non-fat greek yogurt, and pepper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

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