Friday, July 13, 2012

Fitness Friday – A Staple in my Kitchen

The other day I had a craving for pasta, pasta with vodka sauce
Now this is strange for me because
1. I don't really like pasta ( yes, it's true!)
2. I never order this in restaurants
But sometimes, SOMETIMES I get these random cravings for foods
( I think most people understand...)

I stood in the supermarket aisle for a good 10 minutes and kept going back to the pasta section thinking...should I?'s just a craving. Leave it be. I walked back, eventually I left the store.
Usually cravings only last 20 minutes, so if you can be strong for 20 minutes you can usually get through it.

Fast forward two hours later, me in PJ's, and not feeling like going back outside to buy pasta sauce... but dreaming of this...

Then I decided to have it. (Googling images of pasta did not help! ) but I made it under my own terms.

Something I ALWAYS have in my kitchen is Fage 2 percent Greek yogurt. I go through one of the mega tubs alone in about a week and a half

I have tried all the super market brands (pass) I have tried a few Greek brands that are available to me (again pass)
Fage is my favorite. It has the most thick consistency and was an absolute staple when I was once dieting. I stuck it in everything. Originally, I was not yet used to Greek Yogurt. I was very accustomed to the sugary stuff in colorful packaging most super markets hold.

If you never had Greek yogurt, it's super thick in consistency. If you flip it upside down, it really shouldn't too move from the tub. It also has no sweetness, it's sour, it actually reminded me of sour cream *light bulb eureka moment*
I started to substitute dressings and toppings for Greek Yogurt and have never looked back.

So here is my basic steps and tips on how to make a healthier version of Penne al la Vodka.

1. Use whole wheat penne, and while it's still uncooked place the amount you would normally eat in a bowl.

Now take half out.

Once it's fully cooked it will expand to double it's size.
Since I don't like and also try to avoid pasta, I just want to have this 1 meal, to remove my craving. If you like pasta, keep full 1 bowl uncooked but once it's finished cooking put half away for another day. (1 bowl uncooked, will be 2 portions)
Just try to stick to half a bowl if it's dinner where you want to eat a bit lighter.

2. Try to use a low sodium tomato sauce. I am not the kind of woman who makes her own sauce I'm quite happy buying it from a jar. Usually I will just buy a can of crushed tomatoes and add garlic, oregano, chili, and basil. Simple!

3. Once the pasta is cooked set it aside and create the sauce.
Add garlic, onions, whatever you want! Once the tomato sauce is bubbling add in a good scoop of Greek yogurt. Instead of cream this will replace it, while still giving it a rich taste.
Sometimes if the tomato sauce is too acidic I add in a bit of Truvia sugar, but again personal taste.

Bring together the pasta and sauce to have a healthier portion and recipe for Penne al la Vodka!
Skip the cheese topping (you don't need it)

Looks like this in the end.
Sorry about the picture, I ate about half before I decided to post!

But moving on back to Greek yogurt, it's a complete staple.
I eat it often for breakfast with honey, fruit, and almonds but it can be used in many more ways!

If I make taco's (I like fish) I add in veggies, hot sauce, guacamole, and Greek yogurt in place of sour cream! try it! you won' taste the difference!

Greek yogurt is also a great filler in smoothies

Add oats, raisins, almonds, and honey to yogurt before bed, and stick it in the fridge. In the AM you can have home made museli!

A perfect snack between meals (amazing with pineapple, honey, and slivered almonds!)
(the 2 percent makes you feel fuller than 0 percent due to the fat)

It is also amazing in curry. It adds richness and fat. If you ever make your curry too spicy for your taste, instead of adding water add yogurt. It adds creaminess and brings down the spice level a notch.
(This creaminess will not work as well with 0 percent, as the fat content is needed)

Lastly, linked here, is a post on how to use yogurt for beauty!

So, this is one of my absolute staples of my diet, and everyday life.
It took me a bit of getting used to in the beginning, but now I just have it pretty much every day!
If you have never tried Greek yogurt before, do give it a go!
Additional links on why Greek Yogurt is something to try the next time you are in the super market!
Health is not about conquering everything in 1 day but about gradual and acceptable changes you can take in and live by


  1. it took me a while to get used to greek yogurt too but now i really enjoy it. need to try it out in pasta!

  2. Amazing ideas, thank you! I love Fage yogurt too. There's a great recipe for turkey burgers using this on Dani Spies website--she's one of my favourite healthy food bloggers--great youtube channel too.

  3. yummy! you inspired me for cooking tonight ))

  4. Fage is definitely the best! I tried their ones with an acai berry compote attached and it was amazinggg. But I agree, you can customize it with nuts, honey, fruit...delicious ! I will have to try your penne a la vodka that dish being Italian xx

  5. this is my favorite yogurt too! I love it with honey (esp since I forget to have fruits around half the time!) I think your idea with the pasta is awesome! I'm gonna have the bf make it for me next time i want pasta! :)

  6. yes it's a nice twist to the fruit and honey route ( which is amazing btw) Fage seriously is the BEST

  7. hope it worked out to be something yummy!

  8. thanks for the AMAZING rec!!! turkey burgers are something i LOVE with yogurt and dill spread!

  9. i hope you do, and meets your taste test!

  10. Hello from Greece. I love your blog. Fage is also very popular in Greece ,there is also version of 0% 5% 10% of fat.If you interest about the recipe of Tzatziki i will happy to send .Pronounce tza-tzi-ki the voice pointed the tzi.Amalia

  11. Great ideas with greek yogurt and it's good for your guts/digestion too!


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