YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Snap Peas & Yogurt

If you’re looking for an alternative to the rows and rows of sweet, fruit-flavored yogurty products at the supermarket, you have way more options than you even realized!

Have you ever tried mixing yogurt with a combination of vegetables, herbs, and/or aromatics like garlic and scallions? It was my father who taught me how to create a major flavor celebration by mixing plain yogurt into fresh, finely chopped cucumbers and tomatoes, sometimes with a bit of green scallion. Seriously delicious. Whether it’s handfuls of chive flowers at the beginning of the growing season, or cubes of cooked pumpkin with cinnamon toward the end, veggies and yogurt are a largely untapped treasure trove of flavor and joy.

So, speaking of vegetables and yogurt, here’s a very special recipe that could serve equally as an inspired appetizer or as a meal all by itself, and it is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, no matter what the time of day.

Note: If dairy is not your cup of tea, feel free to use a thick (Greek style) soy- or nut-based yogurt.

3/4 cup Greek yogurt
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 shallot, chopped fine
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped coarsely
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
1/2 tsp. black pepper, fresh ground
3 Tbsp. raw, unsalted almonds, chopped coarsely

Stir together the yogurt, lemon juice, shallot, mint, and salt, and use the mixture to coat the bottom of a medium-sized serving bowl.

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat until a light sprinkle of water from your fingers sizzles away within seconds. Add the almonds to the dry skillet, and stir or shake frequently for just a minute or two until the nuts become fragrant and their creamy inner color begins to turn light brown. [Do not look away — once you add the nuts to the pan you are committed!] Remove almonds from heat to a small plate, and set aside.

Return the skillet to the stove, add olive oil, and heat over medium-high heat until oil is fragrant and swirling. Add snap peas and toss well until fully coated in oil. Add the black pepper and cook for approximately 3 minutes, tossing often, until peas turn bright green and begin to lose their raw crispness. Pour snap peas into the serving bowl, over the yogurt mixture. Sprinkle with cooled almonds and serve.

Thank you to Cleveland Clinic Wellness and Sara Quessenberry for a prior version of this recipe.



Should I Be Drinking Whole Milk?

After medical school, my friend Brian moved to Baltimore and became a pain management specialist. He wrote to ask my opinion about the newly re-constituted controversy about whole milk vs. skim milk. In Brian’s pain management practice, he has noticed that diabetic and pre-diabetic patients seem to struggle with more pain and arthritis than patients without these diagnoses.  

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