Healthy habits are more sustainable when you enjoy them!

The challenge:

I was recently challenged to develop a recipe using Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt, along with three other “secret ingredients” – just like the TV show “Chopped”.  

I have partnered with Dannon® Light & Fit® to share simple, new and inspirational ideas for including yogurt in your daily life. I have been compensated for my time commitment. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

The goal:

Share simple, new and inspirational ideas for including yogurt in your daily life.

The philosophy:

Dannon’s “Do What Fits You” philosophy means that healthy habits are more sustainable when you enjoy them, which is an amazing fit with my Guilt-Free RD® philosophy!

The truth:

I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous about this challenge because I’m not a very ‘culinary’ dietitian, or to put a finer point on it, a ‘recipe developer’. But, I do love yogurt and I know what flavors and textures I enjoy. So, I accepted the challenge!

The facts:

Did you know that calcium and vitamin D are two out of the four ‘nutrients of concern’ in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans? Yogurt is nutrient-dense and many yogurts are a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D. The 2015 DGAs recommend increasing intake of nutrient-dense foods, such as fat-free or low-fat dairy products, like yogurt.

The inspiration:

Two of the ingredients immediately inspired me – cannellini beans and roasted red peppers. I love adding them to salads! The yogurt could be a base for the salad dressing. And then I would have to figure out how to work in one more secret ingredient. Left to choose from were black rice, lavender, and dried cranberries. I tried making a lavender infused yogurt vinaigrette but I did not like it at all! So I went for the dried cranberries…

I tested a few recipes with different flavors of yogurt, white wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil and decided on my favorite.

The (delicious) result:

Melissa’s Light & Fit Protein-Packed Salad with Lime Greek Yogurt Vinaigrette

Romaine lettuce, chopped
Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Roasted red peppers
Dried cranberries
Walnuts, chopped
Grilled chicken (optional)

Lime Greek Yogurt Vinaigrette Dressing
Whisk all ingredients together:

5.3 oz container of Dannon Light & Fit Lime Greek Yogurt
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ Tsp salt

Keeping with the “Do What Fits You” philosophy:

I love salads that are:

  1. easy to assemble,
  2. have protein,
  3. have texture (crunchy and/or chewy) and
  4. have great flavor (of course).

Having said that, this salad hits the spot! Canned beans are easy, versatile and nutrient-rich – did you know they provide protein, fiber, and potassium? Roasted red peppers are a good source of vitamin A and an excellent source of vitamin C. Dried cranberries provide some fiber – not quite a “good source” of fiber (2.5 grams per serving) but very close at 2 grams per serving. As for the yogurt, Dannon Light & Fit offers a delicious variety of yogurt products to fit any eating occasion. For this recipe, I used Key Lime Light & Fit Greek Nonfat Yogurt which contains 80 calories and 12 grams of protein per 5.3 oz. serving.

Are YOU up for a recipe challenge? What would YOU have done with the black rice or the lavender? I’m so curious!! Let me know – leave a comment or post on social media and tag me and #LIghtandFitRD  #DoWhatFitsYOU



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