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Healthy Tzatziki Sauce

I have been obsessed with making sauces or aioli’s lately to bring an average dish to the next level. In college, one of my girlfriends did a study abroad in Greece for the summer. She came back bragging about this amazing cucumber-dill sauce that she ate constantly over there. When she made the tzatziki sauce for us, I COULD NOT stop eating it. We ripped off pieces of French bread and dipped it into this thick, creamy goodness…over and over and over again.  Tzatziki sauce

Although I woke up the next morning breathing fire from the garlic (despite brushing my teeth thoroughly the night before), it was so worth it! Since then, I have made this sauce several times and it is a must-make in the summer, especially with the abundance of cucumbers I have growing in my garden. This sauce pairs beautifully with anything Greek (for obvious reasons), such as a Greek salad, gyros, or just plain old baked chicken breast.

Tzatziki sauce 1

This sauce also makes for a great high-protein, low calorie dip served with vegetables and crackers…perfect for football season right around the corner! The high protein content of the Greek yogurt will help you feel full for longer and keep your grazing in check. This sauce can be made a few minutes before serving but it truly tastes the best if it has had at least an hour or even overnight to let the flavors marinade. The key to avoiding this tzatziki sauce from getting too watery is salting the chopped cucumbers and letting them sit for an hour or two. This extra step pulls water from the cucumbers making the sauce extra creamy instead of watery.

Print this recipe off because you’re going to want to add it to your regular rotation 😉 Enjoy!

Tzatziki Sauce

Course Appetizer
Servings 2 cups
Author Liz Bissell

Ingredients

  • cups plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp sea salt, coarse More as needed to salt the cucumber.
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Peel cucumber and slice lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape the all the seeds of the cucumbers out. Then chop the cucumber.

  2. Cover a baking sheet with paper towel. Spread the cucumber over the paper towel. Sprinkle the cucumber with sea salt and set aside. Allow this to rest for 1-2 hours.

  3. While the cucumber is resting, combine the Greek yogurt, dill, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium size bowl. Cover and refrigerate until cucumbers are ready.

  4. Once the cucumbers are ready, add into the yogurt mixture and stir to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Best if refrigerated for at least an hour before serving.

-EAB

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Not-So Cheesy Dip

Super Bowl 2018 is tomorrow! I love watching a good football game, but who are we kidding, I’m all about the snacks. Super Bowl Sunday is the second biggest food consumption day behind Thanksgiving…yikes! So in my opinion, either you embrace it or hide in a dark hole somewhere. I’ll opt for the first option.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the little piggies in a blanket, wings, and copious amounts of dips. But I’m also a lover of trying to create spins on recipes to make them healthier…without sacrificing flavor.

I know what you’re thinking. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just another dietitian showing up to the party with a “healthy” appetizer. But I kid you not, this not-so cheesy dip will leave you wanting more and gives you a nice antioxidant punch, providing you with a little extra energy to get through the whole game without dozing off. Still no promises over here (I do love my sleep).

The special ingredient to this dip is nutritional yeast. This is my first time using nutritional yeast in cooking and I foresee a lovely relationship blooming 🙂 Nutritional yeast provides a great cheesy flavor without all the saturated fat from full-fat cheese (and all the toots, am I right?).

Nutritional yeast is a nutrition powerhouse. It’s packed with protein, fiber, B vitamins, and folate. Plus, it’s low in calories (only 60 calories per 1/4 cup!), saturated fat, and sugar. The cheesy flavor hints provides a great substitute for all my dairy-free friends.

Between the vitamin A-packed butternut squash and B vitamin-loaded nutritional yeast, this dip passes the nutrition panel with flying colors. Lastly, this dip is seriously so easy to make. You can’t beat 7 ingredients (not counting the water, because well, it’s water) that you throw into a food processor. Voila!

Not-So Cheesy Dip

Course Appetizer
Servings 4 people
Author Elizabeth Weber

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed I roasted a whole butternut squash
  • 1/4 cup Mexican cheese blend, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional yeast
  • 1 Chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, canned
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 6 tbsp. Water
  • 1-2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is heating, peel, seed, and cube the butternut squash. Lightly grease a baking sheet and spread the butternut squash evenly. Drizzle with the olive oil.

  2. Bake the butternut squash for 30 minutes flipping halfway through.

  3. Once the butternut squash is done, combine the squash, chipotle pepper, salt, garlic powder, cheese, nutritional yeast, and water in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add additional water until desired consistency. 

  4. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or refrigerate for later use. 

Recipe Notes

This recipe is for about 4 people (makes 1 1/4 cups), but if you are having a larger get-together, using the whole butternut squash and doubling the other ingredients will work for closer to 8 people. 

Happy noshing!

-EAW