And the Secret Ingredient Is…

21May08

I’m on the Jared Diet. Also known as the Subway Diet. The reasons are two fold as are the reasons of many Subway goers. I’m broke because I live in New York and getting a foot long sandwich for only $5 provides me with not one, but two lunches (unless someone in the night shift decides to EAT THE OTHER HALF). And it’s the closest thing I will ever get to a detox after a weekend filled with pizzas and take out.

I’m kind of ashamed to be posting this on a food blog. I mean, it’s Subway. But I have to say, if you make it right-it can be pretty darn good (I mean $5 good. Let’s not get out of hand). I’ve gotten my perfect Subway sub down and I’m not going to divulge. Let’s just say it includes feta cheese and no toasting. I like mine extra smushed. It reminds me of elementary school when my favorite snack was ham and American cheese between two pieces of white bread , no crust and extra mayo. And then smashed together with the palm of my hand. I discovered what real food was pretty late in life. Up until college, I thought Jack in the Box’s Sourdough Jack was the best thing on earth (it’s still up there).

To go along with my new “diet”, I’ve been trying to make the rest of my meals healthier. I’ve successfully reduced the amount of bread consumption to less than a loaf a day. And I’ve started to force feed myself fruit whenever I think eating an entire box of donut holes is sane for a midday snack (guilty). Tonight I discovered an amazing trick which I WILL divulge. Flipping through my dusty recipe book, I found a recipe from Self for Spinach Fettuccine with Yogurt-Cream Sauce. The answer to how to eat all your cream-based recipes everyday all day is here folks. Greek Yogurt.

It gives the same creamy texture and taste (use a lot of garlic and salt) as heavy cream, but without the fat! Honestly, you really can’t tell the difference and it’s so much better for you than eating a cream-based sauce (at least when you’re at home by yourself, and not needing to indulge in something that heavy, but you’re kinda craving something that heavy, but feel like you should probably eat something healthy tonight). Greek yogurt is essentially the American yogurt strained to remove the whey, making it thicker and creamier. I don’t know why, but it’s HUGE in NY. Everyone seems to be eating it. It’s all the rage.

I bet you could substitute Greek Yogurt in any of your recipes that asks for heavy cream. I bet it would make a good mac n cheese…

Here’s the recipe if you want to try it for yourself. It’s SUPER easy and a great meal for one on a weeknight. You can swap in any vegetables you have on hand and put in double the amount of garlic like I did. đŸ˜€

Spinach Fettuccine with Yogurt Sauce

(my version adapted from the o.g. Self recipe)

4 oz. spinach fettuccine

chicken broth if you have some

1 tsp olive oil

1 medium yellow squash

1 small red bell pepper thinly sliced*

1/2 red onion thinly sliced

2-3 cloves of garlic

1/3 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt

1/4 cup fresh basil, julienned

2 tbspn Parmesan cheese

S&P to taste

1. Cook your pasta al dente. Save some pasta water.

2. Saute vegetables and garlic til vegetables (2-3 minutes)

3. Add a little bit of chicken broth (or some pasta water) and cook vegetables until tender (3-4 minutes more)

4. Remove from heat and add yogurt, basil, cheese, S&P.

5. Toss and enjoy out of the pan.

6. Save some for lunch the next day. MMM.

Dedicated to Ericabeth. This is for YOU.

* The next time I try this, I’m not including the red pepper. It doesn’t get tender enough for me and gives the pasta a little bit more crunch than I’d like. I’ll definitely be adding cremini mushrooms next time. And as odd as it sounds, I’d like to top it off with some avocado..thoughts?

Approx. 249 calories per serving (2 oz of pasta), 4.9 g fat (1.7 g saturated), 38.9 g carbs , 3.3 g fiber, 13.3 g protein

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4 Responses to “And the Secret Ingredient Is…”

  1. 1 smelly

    My thoughts: that cream can never be replaced by yogurt. how dare you.

  2. 2 Erica

    I’m touched. Truly. But why the shout out? PS…this sounds ericabeth doable. i think I’ll try this in my own backyard.

  3. 3 foodyi

    You just answered your own question Ebeth.

  4. 4 lia

    amy yi. your dorm floor dormmate (what?) here. found your posting on facebook. just wanted to say that yeah, greek yogurt rules and i use it in everything… i never ever use cream. great as sourcream in a burrito…


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