RECIPES: Dairy Council of Arizona on 'spring cleaning' your diet

The Dairy Council of Arizona is a paid sponsor of Sonoran Living Live

March is National Nutrition Month - Time to Spring Clean Your Diet
With spring comes spring cleaning.  You may have made some resolutions about healthy eating and physical activity a couple of months ago - how are you doing with those?  Not only is it a good time to examine house projects that need some sprucing, it's also a great time to examine your diet and start cleaning it up!  

The latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate encourage people to get more nutrition from their calories by eating nutrient-rich foods. These foods include more whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat and fat-free dairy foods to help supply nutrients Americans need more of in their diets.  Choose a variety of foods from each food group. Look for nutrient-dense foods. They have the most vitamins and minerals and help you get more nutrition from your calories. Build your daily eating plan on a variety of nutrient-rich foods first:
·    Fat-free and low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt
·    Whole, fortified and fiber-rich grain foods
·    Brightly colored fruits and vibrant-colored vegetables
·    Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and nuts for protein

Because of its total nutrient package, milk and other dairy foods improve the overall nutrient density of your diet.  Here are two great recipes that will help you to include those important food groups into your family's meal.

Greek Chicken Wrap with Tzatziki Herb Yogurt Sauce

For the sauce:
2 cups fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1 cup peeled, seeded and diced cucumber
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

For the wrap:
1 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon light Italian dressing
4 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
4 kalamata or black olives, pitted and sliced

For the sauce:
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients until blended. Sauce may be made up to 2 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

For the wrap:
Place chicken breast in a plastic bag and add Italian dressing. Let the chicken marinate for 15 minutes; pound (using a meat pounder or mallet or the bottom of a skillet) and flatten to about 1/2-inch thickness; and remove chicken.

In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook chicken breast about 5 minutes per side or until nicely browned and cooked through. Place chicken on a cutting board and slice thinly against the grain; set aside.

Warm pitas in microwave oven 30 seconds. Place one pita on a plate and spread 1/2 cup of the lettuce and 1/4 of the chicken slices on top. Sprinkle 1/4 each of the tomato, onion, Feta cheese and olives. Spoon some of the tzatziki sauce over top and fold in edges of pita. Wrap sandwich in parchment or waxed paper for plating and serving. Repeat with remaining pitas. Serve immediately with additional sauce on the side.
Recipe created by 3-Every-Day™ of Dairy

Bow Tie Pasta Salad  
1 (8-ounce) box bow tie or other shaped pasta

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste
4 ounces reduced-sodium baked ham or smoked turkey, diced
8 ounces reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, cubed
1/2 medium red pepper, finely chopped
1/2 medium green pepper, finely chopped
2 scallions, green and white parts, minced
1/8 teaspoon paprika

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain. Immediately rinse with cold water, drain well. Meanwhile, whisk together the yogurt, milk, relish, white pepper and pepper sauce in a small bowl; set aside in the refrigerator to chill. Combine the cooled pasta, ham, cheese, pepper and scallions in a large bowl. Stir in the yogurt mixture just before serving. Garnish with paprika.
Recipe created by Cabot Creamery

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Submitted by Terri Verason, MS, RD
Director of Nutrition Education, Dairy Council of Arizona

The Dairy Council of Arizona is a paid sponsor of Sonoran Living Live

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