Make Ahead Strawberry Lassi

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It has to be my Greek upbringing and the fact I only drank milk from birth to four years old, but I love yogurt. Fage was a household staple long before it helped launch a national Greek yogurt obsession.

Aside from straight up yogurt, I love tangy yogurt based beverages, like kefir and lassis. I have previously talked about how I also love smoothies, and a good lassi is essentially that. With summer coming near an end I have been stocking up on berries at the local farmers market. I usually freeze them but I decided to try something new with some of the fresh.

  
I prepped everything for the lassi, so I just have to dump it in the blender with some ice. Some recipes I have seen call for buttermilk, so I decided to try adding some apple cider vinegar, both for health benefits and some added tang.

In a jar, I placed about 3/4 cup of fresh halved strawberries, about 1-2 teaspoons of maple sugar, a dash of vanilla extract, 3/4 cup Greek yogurt, and about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. I loosely mixed it and let time do its thing, breaking down the strawberries and adding more zing to that yogurt.

  
When ready to blend I emptied out the contents of the jar into my vitamix, added about 5 large ice cubes and blended away.

  
The lassi was cool and refreshing after a gym workout. The maple sugar added a hint of sweetness and the apple cider vinegar gave the drink a nearly effervescent feel.

Oil-Free Chicken Tetrazzini

what's cooking

For some reason I have several varieties of mustard in my home and in significant quantity. I decided I wanted to make a mustard flavored sauce, and then I remembered how my mom used to make turkey tetrazzini on occasion. Her recipe was light and used grain mustard. I researched a few recipes, but did not quite find what I was looking for, especially as most of the recipes had a lot of cream and were baked in a casserole. So I decided to experiment and was quite happy with the results.

As I started cooking I took things a step further and did not use any oil in the recipe. When necessary, I substituted water or broth.

The dish is made in three parts, utilizing a large saute pan in all three steps – chicken, then spinach, then sauce. Serve over egg noodles or your favorite pasta.

OIL-FREE CHICKEN TETRAZZINI

CHICKEN:
1 pound chicken breast, pounded thin and cut into two-bite pieces
salt and pepper

SPINACH:
2 or 3 10-ounce packages baby spinach
1/2 small onion, finely chopped

SAUCE:
2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup grain mustard
2 tablespoons flour, mixed well with water
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup Greek yogurt
3/4 cup finely shredded Jarlsberg or Swiss cheese

  1. Heat a large nonstick pan (only use nonstick) and add chicken ( you may need to two this in 2-3 batches). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on each side about 2-3 minutes. If chicken sticks to pan, add about a tablespoon of water. When cooked through, remove from pan (do not overcook, if chicken is slightly pink in the middle it is ok) and set aside.
  2. Using same pan, add onions. There should be a little chicken fat in the pan. Saute, add a little water, and cover for two minutes until onions soften. Add spinach and cover again for about 30 seconds to wilt spinach. Cook the spinach about one more minute, and remove from pan. Set aside with chicken.
  3. Deglaze pan with chicken broth. Add mustard and bring mixture to a boil.
  4. Add flour mixture and reduce heat to low. Simmer the sauce for about five minutes, stirring frequently to ensure no lumps – sauce will thicken and become slightly opaque.
  5. Add nutmeg and yogurt. Once yogurt is mixed in thoroughly, add cheese. Cook sauce about two more minutes – taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  6. Add chicken and spinach back to the pan and mix thoroughly with sauce. Cook all ingredients together about two more minutes (this will ensure chicken is cooked through without overcooking it). Remove from heat, and serve immediately, or reserve for later.

Sauce can be cooled and reheated.

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