I’ve created a special recipe for Yogurt Week (19-25 May), an event created by The Yogurt Council to blow the horn about one of the UK’s favourite foods.
Brits eat enough yogurt every week to fill more than 3.5 Olympic size swimming pools – that’s the same in weight as 737 double decker buses. That is a whole lot of yogurt.
There are over 400 yogurt flavours for sale in the UK, and the most popular is strawberry. I prefer it plain – one of my favourite summer breakfasts is Greek style yogurt dolloped onto a bowl of fresh melon and strawberries and drizzled with honey and a scattering of granola too. Dreamy.
Yogurt and other fermented milk products were discovered accidentally centuries ago as a result of milk being stored by primitive methods in warm climates.
The word ‘yogurt’ is believed to derive from the Turkish verb ‘yoǧurt’ that means “to be curdled or coagulated; to thicken.”
Medieval Turkish writers have often referred to yogurt as being a type of health food and according to them, it was reputed to cure diarrhoea and sooth sunburnt skin.
Today its health benefits are widely recognised, as it contains a range of nutrients important in a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle including B vitamins, calcium, iodine, phosphorus, potassium and protein.
It’s a great healthy dessert option to feed your kids. My two boys loved it when they were babies, and Sam my eldest (aka The Pudding King) still adores tucking into a pot or two from the fridge after he’s eaten his dinner.
Cooking with yogurt
It’s not just a dessert though. Yogurt is a truly versatile ingredient which many of us use in our baking and also to make savoury dishes like delicious creamy curries, tangy sauces and dips. Now the summer months are approaching I’ll definitely be getting stuck into some home made tzatziki.
Yogurt is one of the most effective marinades for meat as its mildly acidic properties and calcium break down the tough fibres and you’re left with a delicious soft texture. So that’s why I’ve created a special yogurt marinade recipe for you guys to try the next time you’ve got a BBQ planned.
You do need to think ahead and let the meat marinade for a good six hours to let the yogurt work its magic, so it’s not a recipe you can decide to throw together when you’ve got in from a busy day. But it only takes a minute to mix the ingredients together, pour over the meat and pop in the fridge, so you could feasibly do it in the morning before you go to work for the day and come back later and cook it in a griddle pan.
It’s a super healthy recipe, so if you’re trying to keep your diet light in time for the summer months then this is definitely one to add to your meal plan for the week.
Thai spiced griddled pork in a yogurt marinade with butternut and feta salad
Prep time: 20 mins plus 6 hrs marinating
Cooking time: 50 mins
For the Thai Spiced Pork
8 x thin cut pork loin steaks, fat trimmed
500g Greek Style Yogurt (I used fat free, but you don’t have to)
2 tbsp Thai Green Curry Paste
3 tsp Fresh Ginger
Handful coriander leaves, chopped
Juice and zest of half a lime
For the Salad
1 small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2cm cubes
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp Dukkah
150g Feta cheese cubes
1. Place the pork loin steaks in a large dish and season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl mix the yogurt, curry paste, ginger, coriander leaves with the lime zest and juice. Pour this mixture over the pork and then turn the steaks so they get a full coating, smooth over the top of the dish to make sure the meat is all covered in marinade. Cover with cling film and then pop in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight to marinate.
2. Pre-heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Pop the butternut squash cubes into a bowl and toss with the oil and dukkah spices and a pinch of sea salt flakes. Turn out onto a baking sheet and roast for 30-40 mins until it starts to turn golden at the edges and is soft and squidgy inside.
3. Put your salad leaves into a large serving dish and lightly toss with the butternut squash and feta cubes.
4. You can either cook the pork on a BBQ or simply use a griddle pan on the hob. Take the pork loin steaks out of their marinading dish still coated in a little yoghurt, but not excessive amounts and cook for 2-3 minutes each side.
5. Serve 2 steaks per person with a generous portion of salad on the side for a light but very tasty meal.
Tips: Dukkah are Egyptian Style Spices, which you can get hold of from http://www.olivesetal.co.uk/. If you haven’t got them to hand try using a pinch of cumin seeds when roasting the butternut squash instead.
For more information about Yogurt Week visit loveyogurt.org and follow loveyogurtuk on Facebook and Twitter
For more yogurt recipe inspiration check out:
Helen’s White Loaf made using yogurt
Jan’s Low Fat – Greek-style Baked Yogurt Tomatoes Peppers Onions and Chilli
Michelle’s Rich Chocolate Cake
Disclosure: I have been compensated for the time I have spent creating, cooking and photographing this recipe and sharing this blog post with you on my website and social media outlets. All views are my own and I was more than happy to create this piece as I’m a genuinely big fan of yogurt.