Here are easy ways you can put yogurt to good use. Use yogurt as a tangy marinade for chicken. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to one cup of low-fat plain yogurt, plus 1 tsp minced garlic and a tablespoon of curry powder. Stir together and add chicken (breasts and or thighs). Marinate in a bowl (or zip-top bag) up to 24 hours and then cook using your favorite cooking method. Mix yogurt with shredded cucumber, garlic, and herbs for an easy dip. Make a delicious low-fat smoothie with yogurt, your favorite fruit and crushed ice.
Stir up a tangy salad dressing for chicken, tuna or potatoes by simply adding yogurt, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and some fresh herbs. Make breakfast fancy with a low-fat parfait. Layer yogurt with berries and whole-grain cereal or granola. For a fancy twist, do multiple layers in a classic glass parfait cup. Make your baked potato toppings a little healthier. Simply swap sour cream for yogurt next time you are topping a baked potato.
For healthier baking, replace the butter or oil in muffins and quick breads with the same amount of yogurt. Be sure to add a 1/2 tsp. of baking soda per cup of yogurt. For a tangy kick, scoop a dollop of yogurt on top of chilled soups for a creamy texture and extra flavor. Use yogurt in stews, chilis, stroganoffs as a replacement for cream, milk, or sour cream. Be sure to add at the end of cooking and reduce your hot dish to a gentle heat to avoid curdling. Another option is to stabilize the yogurt by stirring in a tsp. of cornstarch before adding it to the hot food.
Yogurt cheese is a great alternative to cream cheese and very easy to make. Drain the yogurt over a bowl for two hours in the refrigerator in a sieve lined with cheesecloth or layers of paper towels. The end result is a thick and tangy spread that works well on whole-wheat toast and bagels.