Tag Archives: dawn elyse warden

Chobani Greek yogurt wants to get in your belly

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(But not only at breakfast.)

For the past month, the team at Chobani has been having all kinds of fun connecting with bloggers on different campaigns to raise awareness for this fan-favorite brand of Greek yogurt’s health and culinary assets. Since my fridge (and my own belly) is always well-stocked with Chobani varieties, it seemed like a no-brainer to throw out some late-game recipes. The campaign is wrapping up, but you can share this and any other related post you see with the hashtag #madewithchobani. And feel free to leave a Chobani Greek Yogurt-inspired recipe here as a comment as well. 

Looking for last-minute ideas for your Labor Day barbecue? Take a page out of Chobani’s (and my) summertime cookbook. These recipes are ridiculously easy and unlike the rest of the (delicious) “junk” you’re likely to be ingesting, are also pretty healthy. The smoothie will make a great breakfast since you’ll be on the go all day, either hosting or attending a backyard party, and with a little luck, you might even coerce the kids (well, maybe your teens), into trying a few sips.

And speaking of healthy, just in case you forgot exactly why yogurt is showing up in all forms on your and restaurants’ tables, is that it is packed with protein, low- or fat-free, and is filled with probiotics that will help regulate your intestinal motility (yes, that is thing). So why not swap in yogurt and protein and slash both calories and fat.

The perfect late-summer on-the-go breakfast.

The perfect late-summer on-the-go breakfast.

Orange-Ginger Smoothie

  • 1 5.3 oz container of plain, vanilla, mango passion, peach or Chobani Greek yogurt
  • Juice from 2 oranges
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 3/4 cup almond vanilla milk
  • 1/2 inch of freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoons of honey
  • 6-8 ice cubes

Place all ingredients into blender and process until smooth. (For a thicker smoothie, add more ice and blend again until smooth.)

Pour into chilled glass, garnish with orange slice and serve immediately.

Rosemary-Roasted Garlic Yogurt Smashed Potatoes

  • 6-8 yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/3 cup plain Chobani Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup roasted garlic cloves (you can find pre-roasted at specialty markets or roast at home with olive oil. Can be roasted as a whole bulb, in foil, or as peeled cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh or dried rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash with skins on, then combine with yogurt and roasted garlic. “Smash” to incorporate garlic, then using a fork, mix in the rosemary. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve alongside a piping hot, medium-rare grilled ribeye, NY strip or juicy hamburger topped with this:


Smoky-Creamy Steak or Burger Yogurt-aise

One of the easiest recipes I have ever made (think Staples Easy button), this never fails to get raves for the boost it gives a grilled ribeye, NY  strip or burger. It’s so easy, your kids can help with the prep:

  • 1/3 cup of plain Chobani Greek yogurt
  • chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of liquid from a small-sized can of chipotle peppers
  • 2 tablespoons of minced cilantro
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of lime juice
  • pinch of salt

In a bowl, combine yogurt with generous pinch of chipotle chili powder, plus strained chipotle liquid. To this, add minced cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

With the fall’s hectic pace upon us, having some easy-breezy recipes to turn to at the end of the day is definitely going to be helpful. Click here for more creative ways to cut calories and fat, add a bit of silkiness and put some pizazz into mealtime. Cheers to Greek yogurt and 365 days of #madewithchobani eats.

Smart Women Who Do Stupid Things (like drink and dial)

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There's just no way you haven't been there... from the movie Swingers.

This post was inspired by my own dumb moves, a very funny conversation with my girlfriends and one even funnier guy with a great ability to make me laugh. You can thank him for the Swingers video clip. Ladies, we need to wise up STAT. 

It’s been eight months since I got the memo that my husband was “moving out and moving on.” That’s a full spring and summer, and a good chunk of fall, full of rollercoaster days trying to “keep on trucking” with style and grace.

There’s no question that I owe getting this far to my incomparable support circle of friends and family. And, when I remember to use them, a smile and sense of humor that can match any bad day—two “essentials” for getting over and around the post-breakup hump and back into a little socializing with the opposite sex.

Not like I have any game, but having observed people while working at coffee shops or playing at bars and restaurants, it’s obvious that sending out a smile has a boomerang effect. And since a smiley face emoticon—and text conversation—only goes so far, it’s a lot better to take that smile on the road than to sit at home feeling blue because none of your digital communication devices are delivering what you want. (I mean, how many times can you check Facebook Messenger when you already have alerts set up?)

Along with smiles and wit, being able to laugh at yourself is also a valuable asset. I’ve got this last one down as do most of my friends, which makes Monday morning quarterbacking very lively. You guys can argue, but women are so much better about facing their sorry ass selves than men. On the flipside, we let a lot of things slide that we probably shouldn’t. For example, faux relationships that are grounded in texts and not much else.

There’s a lot of confused conversation going on between men and women because of texting and as much as my friends and I hate to admit it, our cluelessness about what’s really going on makes us a little loco and throws us right back into being 14. It also makes us do some really dumb stuff that we later regret because we’re so damn mind-boggled and can’t think clearly. Smiling is a handy trait, but Smart is where it’s at.

The single women that I know are beautiful, sexy, accomplished, nurturing, generous, brilliant, tough, perseverant and any other nicety you want to toss in. So why is it that they (and yes, me too) devalue their self-worth and put their romantic interests up in lights?

After kibbitzing with a few lady friends recently (because I’m the new kid on the block and need all the help I can get to not f-ck up the dating thing), it rose to the surface pretty quickly, just how susceptible to the siren call of Smart Women Who Do Stupid Things we are.

I’m still trying to break it down, but the big question is why women try so hard with guys that aren’t the best match (even if they are really witty, kind, fun and handsome) and completely overlook those who are more in sync and equally embody all of the above, maybe even more so. I get that we play the safe-scary game, classifying prospects based on projected hurt, but in this text-forward, voice deprived era of dating, it’s pretty easy to get that wrong. (Trust me, the guy that scares you is the one you want to be getting jiggy with; he wants to know the real, not game-playing you.)

Men are definitely not immune to stupid behavior or miscalculation. But women, with their golden retriever nature, try much more thoughtfully (and obsessively) to do and say the right thing, to ignore actions (what red flag?), put too much stock into words and want to right things when really, it’d be OK and probably smart to throw this particular fish back.

Worse, we write stories in our heads about guys that make them seem like rockstars, when a lot of the time they’re not half as fabulous as we are. (#truth)

Instead of seizing the upper hand, we create unnecessary drama (and expend A LOT of energy) and wind up getting ourselves hurt when we might benefit from doing the hurting. I’m not talking about first time out of the gate, botched rebound experiences; those are inevitable for anyone just getting their sea legs. I’m referring to all the actions and reactions to the opposite sex women put on repeat and that lead to a very self-deprecating state even when what went down wasn’t 100% their fault.

A good offense is a good defense. Or maybe it’s reversed. Regardless, sh-t happens and the only way around it, is through it.

Take 24 hours to cry it out and obsess about every thing you shouldn’t have done, then throw on Taylor Swift, put that smile on and Shake It Off. And call out the guy who told you that he didn’t know who Taylor Swift was while doing it. Then thank him for being honest with you and imparting a few life lessons that will prove valuable when you meet the next nice guy, who just might happen to be a better fit. If you’re lucky, you’ll wind up with a new romantic interest and hold onto the other guy as a friend, which in my book is a very sweet deal.

Speaking of male friendships, my ex once told me that men and women can’t be friends because there’s always the question of sex between them. (I don’t think I have to explain that frequent lunches with female business associates made this a bit worrisome.) I disagree.

Male friendships are the bomb in my book, and I have very happily met some pretty wonderful guys while navigating the single life. Not only do I appreciate a male perspective on both sexes, just like your girlfriends’, the menfolk’s sense of humor and subtle ball-busting is sure to make you feel a little less stupid for well, being stupid. And at least coming from my guy friends, the hugs rock. Platonic can be a very lovely place to be. Especially when you’re climbing down from the hot-crazy ledge.

Circling back to smiles, chalk one up for the boomerang effect: I just sent mine out into the universe and was rewarded with a big smile-making text from one Mr. Nice Guy. I’m going to call that, very well-timed—and a sign that I’m getting a few things right even when I feel like I just did a face plant off of a too-big ski mogul and landed with my skis, poles, arms and legs crossed in four directions.

I realize that I am greener than a Christmas tree, but here’s what I am slowly learning: We can play it smart without playing games and with shit-eating grins across our faces. There are plenty of fish in the sea, and a lot of really nice guys who are just as happy to have girl “friends” as we are to have them.

Now get out there and swing playa playa sistas. Just keep the drinking and dialing to a minimum.

Lean and Green (and Meatless) in Philly

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                        MeatlessMondays_Posters_12_12_FINAL_HrZ_Page_2lean and green potato #meatlessmondayMeatlessMondays_Posters_12_12_FINAL_HrZ_Page_1

Philadelphia’s schools up the ante—and nutritional value of school lunches—on Meatless Monday with its brand new Lean and Green initiative.

We all know the deal: protein is good for you, saturated fat, not so much—a primary factor in meat’s demise in popularity among nutrition experts. Sure, meat has its dietary upside, but unless you’re pescatarian, vegetarian or vegan, chances are you’re eating too much. And, so are your children.

Recent numbers show that Americans consume approximately 185 pounds of chicken, turkey, pork, lamb and beef annually. While that doesn’t seem like much over the course of 12 months, overconsumption (more than 18 ounces per week of red meat, in particular) can clog your arteries and increase the risk of colon cancer. That’s the “not so (good) much” part.

Now that summer is behind us, and for us carnivores, its abundance of grilled burgers, ribs, hot dogs and chicken, sticking to the guidelines should be a lot easier. And though I did make it through the first Monday of September with nary a bite of meat, I suspect many others did not. The good news, is that you’ve got another 51 (+/-) chances to jump on the Meatless Monday bandwagon. And, to help spread the word about its next school cafeteria rendition: Lean and Green.

If you haven’t heard about this initiative yet, it’s an effort by Philadelphia Public Schools to tastefully tempt students to eat more meat-free meals—not just on Mondays. While menus are still being played with, students can expect more plant-based foods and hearty, but healthy complex carb-protein-veggie combinations such as bean burritos, pasta with marinara sauce and vegetable calzones (yum!).

Health isn’t the only benefit of decreasing consumption (and preparation) of meat, it’s also an effective means of reducing schools’ carbon footprints, positively impacting animal welfare (as it relates to factory farming), and helping more families discover alternatives to foods that lead to chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes.

As you might expect, this is welcome news to The Humane League, most significantly, its Philadelphia Director Rachel Atcheson who’s been busy shouting the news from the rooftops (and through the media) since the program was announced in late May. The Humane League has been proactive in reducing meat consumption, animal cruelty and environmental damage with its once-a-week meat “vacation,” also adhered to by Philadelphia’s schools. In the City of Brotherly Love, and across the country, #MeatlessMonday has become a weekly habit and spurred a lot of recipe sharing between vegetarians and carnivores. Just throw that hashtag in your browser, and in seconds you’ll have more Lean and Green recipes than time to make them.

“Encouraging students to take a holiday from meat one day a week with Lean and Green Days will do wonders for their health and academic performance.” —Rachel Atcheson, Philadelphia Director, The Humane League.

To get in the mood at home, here are a few recipes for you and the kids. The charred tomato soup is a great way to use up this summer’s final harvest.

Happy (green) eating! (Click on the photos to get to the recipes.)

               baked_zucchini_fries-2-225x175        charred_tomato_soup-149x150DSC_0807-225x175