Yearly Archives: 2013

Holiday Traditions from Our Voskos® Friends

Every year, we visit all of our family members between New Year’s and January 6th, which is Christmas on the Orthodox calendar, as part of our family’s holiday tradition. While the elderly stay home awaiting visits, younger family members are out and about, paying visits, bearing gifts. It’s a great way to make sure no one feels lonely during the holidays.

When we asked our Facebook fans to share their own family holiday traditions, we were deeply moved by the responses. Our wonderful fans shared stories of having fun together, savoring old recipes, exchanging meaningful gifts, helping the needy, and – above all – spending time together with family, which is really what the holidays are all about.

Here are some of their beautiful stories:

Special Christmas Eve Gift Surprise
“We have a gift under the tree for my son, specifically to open on Christmas Eve night. It contains a movie, hot cocoa mix, some snacks, a pair of new Christmas pajamas, and A little package of reindeer food (bird seed) to sprinkle before we go to sleep. After dinner we spend the night as a family until our eyes get heavy waiting for Santa.”
–Shawna M.

Christmas Performances for the Family
“Every year we have a Christmas Eve Party at my Grandma’s house and we practice a play and perform it. My grandma has a sunken-in living room, and the stairs that lead to the main floor make a prefect stage. We also sing Christmas solos and my uncle gives a presentation on a projection screen. The food is great! It is also the perfect opportunity to exchange all our gifts for the next day.”
–Heather G.

Gathering Generations for Christmas
“My entire Family gathers here, we are now four generations ages five to seventy-nine. This year, we are so fortunate to once again be around little ones as they discover Santa’s gifts. The house will be filled will laughter, love, Christmas Spirit and pure joy.”
–Kimberly S.

Spending Christmas Visiting Our Family
“Our holiday tradition is to spend it together. We do Christmas Eve with my husband’s family, then we open up presents on Christmas morning at our house, lastly we head to my in-laws for breakfast and presents. Then on to my mom and dad’s house for Christmas day. I love having a big family! Pure chaos but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. We host New Year’s Eve for friends and the kids and always leave the tree up for Orthodox Christmas. We will be remembering my mother-in-law this year as well.”
–Serena S.

Treats for Santa’s Reindeer and A Christmas Story
“On Christmas Eve we make “reindeer food” and sprinkle it on the lawn. Then we sit down and watch the first running of the 24 hours of A Christmas Story on TBS. While the movie is on, we allow the kids to open one gift each.”
–Shari M.

Find the Christmas Pickle!
“We have a pickle ornament that doesn’t get put on the tree until Christmas Eve. The first child who finds the ornament on Christmas morning gets a special present. My mother said it was a German holiday tradition.”
–Cloi R.

A Christmas Story and Yummy Christmas Casserole
“We always watch The Christmas Story while decorating the tree, make a breakfast casserole for Christmas morning, and not sure if it is tradition or coincidence, but we pass out under the tree in the morning because we wake up so early (5:30am)!”
–Claire S.

Magic Christmas Lights!
“My kids use their Christmas “magic” by saying Christmas things to turn our Christmas lights on every night (which is done by a remote control switch) and they have to say something extra special for the lights to turn on, which is nice because some nights they fight over who will have the most magic, and other nights the Christmas magic happens and they allow each other a first turn.”
–Davis P.

Starting Our Own Traditions
“We moved away from our families four years ago and our baby will turn one three days after Christmas, so we are still figuring out what family traditions we want to start with her. One of my own personal traditions is to always hang a stocking ornament with the name “Major” on it nearest the star at the top because Major was the dog I spent my first ten years of life with, and I will always miss and love him.”
–Renee R.

Fun Fondue Christmas Dinner
“We’ve replaced the traditional Christmas dinner with fondue. It’s a great way to get the family together around the table, eating and laughing. We mix it up with hot oil for meats and vegetables, then a dessert fondue follows.”
–Rhonda E.

Working on Puzzles as a Family and Other Traditions
puzzle-traditionWe have unique New Year’s Eve traditions that came from my house growing up and we now do with our family. Important components are: build a puzzle together as a group, eat pot pies, (English) crackers to pop and share jokes, wear hats, watch movies, and spend the time together as a family rather than out at parties. Here’s a picture of me working on the puzzle last year!
–Anne L.

Volunteering on Christmas
“We volunteer at the soup kitchen. Makes a very different Christmas experience.”
–Hanna O.

Holiday Goodies
“Every year I invite family over to enjoy homemade posole and tamales for dinner, and send them off with fresh baked goodie trays of homemade biscochitos, fudge and banana bread mini loaves!”
–Cipriana S.

Keeping Christmas Going
“We try to make the holiday season last as long as possible. On Christmas day, we choose one present to “save” until New Years Eve. Exactly at midnight we all open our gifts. I’ve been doing this since I was little and it’s a fun way to keep the holiday cheer going.”
–Dayna K.

South American Holiday Traditions
“We make tamales, which are originally from Venezuela – it’s a South American holiday tradition and we love to prepare them together as a family. They are delicious!”
–Anthony Y.

Calling Family on Christmas
“My family is all over the wor
ld – Germany, England, Australia, Costa Rica… the list goes on. I call all of them to wish them a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I prefer calling rather than sending a card because I love hearing their voices and news.”
–Violet D.

Our Christmas Parranda
“Every year my dad plays his congas to Spanish music. In Puerto Rico that was a tradition that was done with all of our families, neighbors and friends (called a Parranda) as they would come from house to house with songs. We now do it smaller, but still do it.”
–Jamie K.

Focusing on Giving During Christmas
“Instead of buying a lot of gifts, we purchase items through Samaritan’s purse gift catalog and give livestock, food and medicines to those in need, and give in honor of our family members.”
–Katie B.

Teaching the Children
“To help my children (when they were younger) grasp the concept of not being ‘greedy’ about gifts, we had them prepare a ‘wish list’ from which we chose to purchase 3 gifts. We taught them that Jesus was given 3 gifts from the Magi–they never argued. They also received a stocking full of treats and small items.”
–Susan J.

Christmas Coffee Cake with a Surprise!
“Every year, my sister bakes THE best coffee cake for Christmas Day breakfast. The person who finishes a slice with a number 1 on the bottom of their plate, is the first to get to open a present!”
–Jo R.

Celebrating Different Cultural Holiday Traditions
“Living in multicultural Los Angeles, I celebrate Christmas the night of Dec 24th with my Catholic friends, and my wife’s family the night of Jan 5th. Two rounds of gifts for me – and 2 rounds of gift giving of course!”
–William C.

Orthodox Christmas Traditions
“I’m Armenian, so I celebrate Orthodox Christmas, with a special dinner the night of the 5th – salty smoked fish and spinach/parsley/cilantro quiche with rice. Yum!”
–Artemis D.

Traditional Kieflies Cookies
“For my husband, Christmas is about eating kieflies. They are a very labor and time-intensive cookie, and when his grandmother got too old to make them, we took over. For the past ten years or so we set aside one weekend in December to make them and give as gifts to the rest of the family.”
–Lisa F.

Favorite Movie and Caroling
“I like to watch the film ‘Love Actually’ and spend time with my Rotary club friends. The holidays are a great time to serve others too – we like to go caroling at the local retirement home. The residents are so amazing and it is so fun to sing!”
–Jack R.

Remembering Simpler Christmases
“When we first got married, money was really tight. All of our gifts were homemade and a few things from the $1 store. 20+ years later and we still make at least one homemade gift and we still buy each other a gift from the dollar store. :)”
–Lori C.

Christmas Dinner with the Local Officers
“Every year we have a Christmas Party for our children on December 23rd. My stepdaughter is married to a police officer. Every year we invite all officers on duty to stop by on their dinner break and have dinner with us. It is something they look forward to every year.”
–Kaye N.

Giving to Another Family During the Holidays
“Our holiday tradition is to adopt a needy family each year and make their Christmas special. Giving is the best feeling ever!”
–Susan Q.

Neighborhood Sidewalk Luminaries
holiday decorationsOur holiday tradition is to set up luminaries along the curbs and sidewalks in the neighborhood. It looks beautiful, and neighbors gather on Christmas Eve to light the candles and mingle.
–Danny W.

Do you have a unique family holiday tradition? Please share it in the comments.

3 Favorite Healthy Holiday Dessert Recipes

It can be so easy to splurge during the holidays, especially when it comes to desserts! You can save on precious holiday calories by preparing healthier versions of your favorite holiday sweets with VOSKOS® Greek Yogurt. Did you know that most of the VOSKOS® Greek Yogurt products are fat free? This makes it a delicious, and health-conscious addition to your favorite recipes. Check out our 3 favorite healthier holiday dessert recipes this season. You’ll be able to enjoy yourself without that extra guilt that comes after the holidays.

Greek Yogurt Vanilla Cupcakes – Bring these delicious cupcakes to family gatherings or your office potluck and you will be very popular! These tasty cupcakes are made with whole-wheat flour and VOSKOS® Vanilla Greek Yogurt. They offer plenty of sweet, delectable flavor and have only 5.6 g of fat per cupcake thanks in part to the fat free yogurt. Decorate with red and green sprinkles, and your holiday dessert creation is done!

VOSKOS® Pumpkin Cheesecake – Let’s face it, anything pumpkin-flavored during the holidays is always a huge hit and our recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake does not disappoint. All you need is a pre-made pie crust (or you can even use individual molds), nonfat cream cheese, VOSKOS® Plain Greek Yogurt and canned pumpkin pie filling. This cheesecake is incredibly easy to make and weighs in at only 152 calories per serving.

Honey-Pumpkin French Toast – If you are planning a Christmas brunch or traditionally make a special Christmas breakfast, then this Honey-Pumpkin French Toast is the perfect thing. This recipe is so rich in flavor and wonderfully sweet it’s like dessert for breakfast–without the hefty calories. It’s also very simple to make, all you need is a ½ cup of nonfat VOSKOS® Honey Greek Yogurt, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons honey and pumpkin pie spice—that’s it! All you have to do is mix the ingredients and make as you would regular French toast. Rich honey and spiced pumpkin make the perfect holiday flavor pair.

With these desserts, you don’t have to miss out on all of the holiday food and fun—we’ve taken the hard work out of eating healthy. Your family and friends will love the sweet-tasting decadence of these healthier holiday versions, and so will you. Happy holidays from our kitchen to yours!

45 Ways to Use Leftover Turkey

Many thanks to our wonderful Facebook fans for coming up with these yummy ideas for using – and enjoying – leftover turkey!

1. We have turkey sandwiches with the leftover sides for dinner, but for breakfast and lunch, it’s back to eating healthy.

2. Old school turkey sandwiches – just meat, bun and cheese.

3. Sliced chunk sized turkey meat with a side of plain Voskos Greek Yogurt mixed with a good spicy Dijon mustard.

4. Cranberry Sauce, turkey and brie cheese on gluten-free bread.

5. I love to make turkey noodle soup.

6. I’ll make soup but today just snaking on it cold!

7. I made a Turkey sandwich with stuffing and cranberry sauce in it and it was Delicious!

8. Freeze it for turkey casserole next week (avoid turkey burn out).

9. I love to make turkey soup with leftover turkey and fresh veggies, plus brown rice or noodles. Delicious!

10. Turkey sandwich and a slice of pie while decorating the Christmas tree!

11. Simple: heat it up and make a burrito out of it!

12. I like to make turkey wrapped into a spinach wrap with zucchini.

13. Minced turkey with mixed vegetables casserole.

14. Turkey meat tacos–fix it yourself “taco bar” – I pan grill authentic mexican corn tortillas with all the trimmings, fresh cilantro, onion, cheese, salsa, red bell peppers, black beans, corn and we use Voskos Greek yogurt instead of sour cream! So yummy and refreshing after the previous day’s heavier fare.

15. My favorite way to enjoy leftover turkey is by making Ground Turkey and Quinoa Patties with Mint, Cumin, and Voskos Greek Yogurt . So flavorful and packed with protein. It is very possible to eat yummy food this time of year and still stay healthy.

16. A yummy Cranberry and Turkey Casserole made with Turkey, Cranberry Sauce, Stuffing, and Mashed Potato, Mozzarella Cheese and Plain Yogurt!

17. I make turkey stacked with stuffing and topped with gravy and put between 2 slices of bread. It’s the best for turkey leftovers.

18. I like having a whole second thanksgiving meal. Just one meal of turkey and delicious sides is not enough!

19. Turkey, wine and ham creamy mushroom pie.

20. My absolute favorite way to enjoy leftover turkey is a plain cold turkey sandwich with mayo. I’ve enjoyed this ever since I was a little kid. I actually look forward to that most of all.

21. Leftover turkey on toasted sourdough bread, provolone cheese, (a little but of) spicy brown mustard, lettuce, spinach, avocado, sea salt, & fresh ground pepper. With a side of homemade potato chips.

22. Turkey with Dijon mustard and mayo sauce on sourdough bread.

23. Turkey pot pie and turkey tetrazzini …or instead of homemade chicken and dumplings, I make turkey dumplings.

24. Turkey omelette with lots of cheese for breakfast, and turkey sandwiches for dinner! That’s about all the turkey we can handle after that!

25. Hummus, pineapple, and turkey wrap.

26. Turkey and gravy over biscuits.

27. I make a turkey bowl – turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, Brussels sprouts, green beans and gravy – mix it all together.

28. Turkey salad using Voskos Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise . Tasty! High in protein!

29. This year, I’m making individual Turkey-n-The-Kitchen-Sink-Wellingtons: puff pastry wrapped around diced turkey, leftover roasted Brussels sprouts, sausage stuffing, and gravy.

30. I like to mix Voskos plain yogurt with left over cranberry sauce and use it as a dip for my turkey.

31. The absolute best way to enjoy leftover turkey is turkey noodle soup with grilled cheese.

32. Leftover Turkey Chili.

33. I had a Turkey Holiday Hash served over Roasted Garlic Buttermilk Smashed Potatoes with a Fried Egg on top!

34. Turkey and bacon club sandwiches.

35. Turkey and stuffing enchiladas!

36. I chop up the left overs and mix it with some plain Voskos Greek yogurt, add in chopped celery, chopped apple, and a little curry powder. Then I’ll put the turkey salad on some of the left over sour dough dinner rolls (I live near San Francisco so sour dough is the way to go!) with some cranberry sauce. Delicious!

37. We deep fried our turkey this year since we’ve had it previous years and it honestly is the best way to get a juicy, flavorful turkey! My favorite way to enjoy leftover turkey is for breakfast and make a couple of over easy eggs, then lay it on top of the turkey and stuffing with a small side of our maple glazed ham. Nothing like breaking open those yolks like gravy! Paired with a nice hot cup coffee, yummers!

38. I have a recipe for a salad that calls for cubed turkey, dried cranberries, goat cheese and pistachios. It’s a healthy meal to follow a not-so-light Thanksgiving meal.

39. We take the bits & pieces of the turkey left and make a Mediterranean Turkey burger in a pita.

40. Chop it, add egg, roll in panko bread crumb, pat out in burger, bake and top with a salsa and Voskos, ENJOY!

41. Turkey noodle casserole with cheese.

42. Pulled Turkey and cranberry BBQ sandwich.

43. Turkey and bean burrito w/homemade fresh blended salsa.

44. Scrambled egg, left over turkey, slice of pepper jack cheese and a little mayo on whole wheat bread.

45. I like to spice things up & make turkey and pepperjack cheese quesadillas in my quesadilla maker! I sauté’ peppers & onions and add them to the quesadilla before grilling. Then I make the dip! I add chipolte seasoning to plain Voskos Greek Yogurt (instead of sour cream) to make a great dip for the quesadillas!

10 Healthy Sandwich Ideas

In our last blog post, we featured healthy lunch ideas, and said that there’s really nothing wrong with having a sandwich for lunch – you just need to make sure it’s a healthy sandwich, and – to avoid boredom – prepare something more interesting than the all-favorite peanut butter and jelly.

To make your sandwich healthy, start by avoiding spongy white bread and choose whole-wheat or sourdough bread. While sweet spreads such as jam and Nutella are tasty, they are not very nutritious, so it’s best to minimize their consumption. Here are a few ideas for delicious, filling, healthy sandwiches:

  1. Egg salad sandwich. A substantial, filling sandwich – in fact, it is filling enough to serve as a dinner on your meatless nights.
  2. Whole-wheat bread spread with a generous amount of hummus, and filled with thinly sliced cucumbers.
  3. Turkey sandwich with yogurt spread – the delicious yogurt spread is made with VOSKOS®, sun dried tomatoes, Parmesan and seasonings.
  4. Whole wheat pita pockets filled with grilled chicken breast, grilled eggplant slices, tomato slices, and feta cheese.
  5. Whole wheat bread, spread with almond butter and filled with banana slices.
  6. Sourdough bread, spread with Dijon mustard and filled with roast beef, sharp cheddar and red pepper slices.
  7. Sourdough bread with pesto sauce, grilled chicken and tomato slices.
  8. Whole-wheat wrap, filled with a mixture of mashed white beans mixed with guacamole and grated sharp cheddar.
  9. Artichoke and egg spread sandwich – a nice alternative to a traditional egg salad sandwich.
  10. Leftover meatloaf sandwich – whole wheat bread with Dijon mustard, thinly sliced meatloaf and pickles.

Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional peanut-butter-and-jelly or cheese-and-ham. But it’s always nice to have alternatives. Remember that leftovers make wonderful sandwich fillings, and this includes meatballs, baked or grilled chicken, even baked salmon (great with Greek yogurt and scallions). Just wrap the sandwich well in cling wrap, and pack it with a cold pack so that it stays fresh.

How to Keep Holiday Meals on a Budget

We all love the holidays – spending time with family and friends over good food is one of life’s pleasures, no doubt – but when you are the host, expenses can add up. Here are a few tried and tested tips from our staff and from VOSKOS® Facebook fans for keeping holiday meal expenses in check:

1. Buy in bulk. Warehouse shopping is not for everyone, but around the holidays, it makes more sense than at any other time during the year. If you buy perishables in bulk, divide them into portions and freeze what you won’t be using immediately.

2. Buy on sale and use coupons. If you’re vigilant, you could end up with products that are almost free, when you combine sales with coupons. Start clipping coupons a couple of weeks before your shopping trip and watch out for sales.

3. Stretch the meal with sides. Veggies and grains are delicious, and generally cost less than meat. By all means roast that turkey, but accompany it with a variety of sides (most can be made in advance and reheated), such as green bean casserole, quinoa pilaf, herbed mashed sweet potatoes and arugula and green bean salad.

4. Ask for help. Thanks to VOSKOS® Facebook fan Mirrissa Purnell for this tip! Mirrissa says, “Everybody brings a dish” – indeed, family and friends will be happy to each bring a dish, so assign a few sides and desserts to guests and focus on the turkey and on just a few sides. This will not just help with the cost of the meal, it will also help reduce your stress, and guests will feel better knowing they took part of the shared meal.

5. Don’t go overboard. A dear friend of mine is a wonderful hostess. She always prepares way too much food (and it’s all delicious!), then at the very last minute she panics, thinking there isn’t enough, and makes a big pot of rice. :) Unless you intentionally want leftovers, resist the temptation to prepare too much food – everyone today is diet-conscious and no one wants to stuff themselves silly anyway.

Remember: the point of holiday meals is spending time with family and friends – not gorging on lots of expensive food.

What Does The Thanksgiving Meal Mean To You?

Today, we asked our Facebook fans to share with us what’s their favorite Thanksgiving dish, and why. The results were so emotional, so moving, that we just had to share them here. They beautifully highlight the fact that Thanksgiving recipes are not just about nourishment, but about loved ones and cherished family memories. Here are some of the best responses we received:

  • Green bean casserole is my favorite. It is just so warm and comforting. It is my must have dish with the winter holidays. – Amber Campbell
  • Homemade Au Gratin potatoes w/ Leeks! It reminds my of my Grandmother. – Meg Tucker
  • My favorite Thanksgiving dish is this wonderful cranberry coffee cake my mom makes. We used to dump a can of congealed cranberry on a plate because cranberries at Thanksgiving was just a tradition and nobody wanted to knock a slice off the old can shaped cranberries, so when I said why don’t we just forgo the tradition of serving and not eating the cranberries this year she decided to kick it up a notch and make something yummy with them instead. They definitely get eaten now! – Angelique Drummond
  • My Mom’s Broccoli Casserole! She has made it every holiday for as long as I can remember & it’s just a comforting food to me! – Angie Newsome
  • The stuffing has always been my favorite….it’s an old family recipe that I’ve never had stuffed in anyone else’s turkey…it’s made with cracker crumbs instead of bread crumbs or cornmeal…..i just love it! it always brings me back to my childhood. – Louise Baloun
  • Lemon meringue pie is my favorite. not made much the rest of the year, it was my grandpa’s favorite. – Lydia Banther
  • The turkey because my husband cooks it perfectly, nice and moist! – Katie Bourret
  • My Mothers stuffing! It’s just a bread stuffing nothing fancy but the tastes brings me back to my childhood Thanksgivings being around the table as a child when my Dad and my oldest sister were still with us. – Donna Armeli
  • Oyster dressing…my Grandmother makes it with love and only on Thanksgiving! – Michele Cupp
  • My great grandmas yeast rolls. They are so good and a family tradition. She passed 8 1/2 years ago and we still make them. – Amy Klinebough
  • Sweet potatoes – Mom makes them like nobody else. They’re just locally grown sweet potatoes, butter, a little salt, and brown sugar. Very simple, & so delicious. Then she tops them with a mix of nuts and yummy stuff that makes this amazing crispy crust on the top. They are, by far, the most delicious part of thanksgiving dinner. – Michele Malone
  • Sweet potato casserole. One of my favorite dishes my mom makes — it always makes me miss home.. but it’s great to be back and brings back so many memories. – Rachael Garfinkle
  • My favorite Thanksgiving dish is my grandmother’s homemade chicken and noodles. She makes the noodles by hand and they are SO much tastier than store-bought noodles! They are very simple to make too- beat 4 eggs together with 2 T water. In a separate large bowl, mix 3 c. flour, 1 t salt, and 1/2 t baking powder. Stir in the eggs and mix until a soft dough forms. Roll out the dough into a very thin layer on a floured surface. Cut into strips and let them dry before cooking. My grandma has been bringing this dish to Thanksgiving dinner ever since I was a young child… yum! – Stacey Amstutz
  • Stuffing, because it is something that my Mom made and I would always help her make it when I was a child. I still follow her recipe, and it has turned into my family’s favorite dish. – Tina Brown
  • Stuffing, because it is a family recipe that has been handed down through generations. It’s delicious! – Dayna Kidle

What’s YOUR favorite Thanksgiving dish and what memories does it bring back? We’d love to know.

10 Ideas for a Better Lunch Box

I used to pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in my kids’ lunch boxes every single day. It was easy; they liked it; and I thought it was healthy. Research over the past couple of years has taught me that the quintessential American lunch box staple is not exactly healthy. Peanuts might contain carcinogens, jelly is basically sugar, and white bread isn’t much better – it’s quickly converted into sugar in the body.

But if peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are not the best option, what is? Here are a few ideas for a better lunch box:

1. Leftovers. Leftovers from last night’s dinner are an easy solution for today’s lunch. A fun way to transform leftovers is to dice some leftover meat and veggies and quickly fry them with leftover rice.

2. Greek yogurt. VOSKOS® Greek Yogurt, plain or flavored is wonderful either as part of lunch, or, if you need to pack a separate snack for your child (both my kids have a snack at 10am and lunch as 12pm), VOSKOS® is the perfect snack – delicious, filling, and high in protein.

3. Ants on a log, made with celery, almond butter and raisins, or with cream cheese and raisins (yes, it’s a yummy combination!)

4. Oatmeal and apple muffins – each of these delicious muffins contains 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein!

5. Tuna salad pockets. A refreshing change from sandwiches, these tasty, filling tuna pita pockets contain 30 grams of protein in each serving.

6. Greek yogurt breakfast quiche. Quiches are tasty at room temperature, so go ahead and pack a slice of this greek yogurt quiche in your child’s lunch box. Each slice contains 10 grams of protein.

7. Cheese cubes and fruit. Mozzarella sticks are easy, but cubed sharp cheddar is tastier. Forego the “cheese cubes and pretzels” combo and instead, pack the cheese with some grapes or dried fruit. The sweet-salty combination is wonderful.

8. Hardboiled eggs. Hardboiled eggs are healthy, delicious and filling. One of my kids likes them simply salted. For her sister, I spread them with a little spicy mustard or guacamole.

9. Vegetables and fruit. This goes without saying – every lunch box should contain a veggie and a fruit. Celery and carrot sticks with Greek yogurt ranch dressing or hummus for dipping are excellent; in the summer, try packing frozen grapes. In the winter, I often pack apple slices – dip them in orange juice to prevent browning.

10. Whole wheat or sourdough sandwiches. Obviously, sandwiches ARE a convenient lunchbox solution. Try to use whole wheat bread or sourdough bread with no sugar or preservatives, both a healthier option than processed white bread. Stay tuned for our next blog post, where we will feature a list of healthy sandwich ideas!

Award-Winning VOSKOS® Greek Yogurt Now Available in Northeast U.S.

Contact: Bonny Martinez, RIESTER, 310-818-9750,
Leslie Sonnenklar, RIESTER, 602-462-2215,

Greek Yogurt Labeled ‘Super Food,’ Offering Health Benefits And Versatility To Any Meal

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Consumers in the Northeast United States are now able to enjoy the thick, creamy, great taste of VOSKOS® Greek Yogurt. Sun Valley Dairy, producers of the quality and award-winning VOSKOS® Greek Yogurt, has extended its offering to Stop & Shop, Giant Food Stores, Martin’s Food Markets and Peapod in the Northeast United States.

Greek yogurt has been labeled by many as a ‘super food’ due to its health properties and its versatility in the kitchen. Health benefits range from being a valuable source of protein to helping the absorption of other nutrients. Greek yogurt has twice the amount of protein of regular yogurt and an 8-ounce cup contains almost as much protein as 3 ounces of chicken. Other health benefits include fostering a healthy colon, helping boost immunity and aiding in weight loss.

“Protein consumption is important in order to maintain lean muscle mass and overall physiological functions in the body, ” said Nikko Generales, Certified Fitness Trainer and VOSKOS® “What’s Fresh Blog” contributor. “Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein and the perfect snack for pre and post workouts.”

Because of its health benefits, consumers use Greek yogurt as more than just a snack. People can enjoy it with fruit in the morning, use it in a salad dressing for lunch, add it to a smoothie for a healthy snack or use it in recipes instead of sour cream at dinner. There are no limits to its use and can be used as a replacement for other high calorie, high fat items like sour cream, mayonnaise and creams. Consumers can find a variety of healthy and delicious recipes at: //

VOSKOS® Greek Yogurt uses a proprietary ProStrain™ method that yields two times more protein, more probiotics and less lactose than regular yogurt. What does that mean for consumers? That means that they can enjoy a delicious snack that is healthier for them with more protein per sugar serving and less guilt! It is also a great option for people who are lactose intolerant since VOSKOS® Greek Yogurt is made with active and live probiotic cultures, which convert lactose to lactic acid, making it more easily digestible. VOSKOS® has now increased its distribution to include the Northeast United States.

About VOSKOS® Greek Yogurt

Award-winning for its thick, rich taste and nutritional value, VOSKOS® Greek Yogurt is nature’s premium blend of authentic yogurt and is Better Than Good in more ways than one. VOSKOS® Greek Yogurt is hormone-free, gluten-free, and Kosher certified. Through VOSKOS®‘ proprietary ProStrain™ method, VOSKOS® yields two times more protein, more probiotics, less lactose, and a thicker, creamier consistency. Blended with balance, VOSKOS® products have the best protein to sugar ratio on the market. Available nationwide at Kroger, Safeway, Publix, Shoprite, Wakefern, Bi-Lo, Whole Foods, Sprouts, and more. For store locations, visit or Facebook/voskos.greek.yogurt.