Plain yogurt — the real deal, not the artificially flavored sugary junk — is a tangy, versatile, high-protein way to add creaminess and flavor to foods without the calories and fat of sour cream or mayonnaise. The HungryPelican, for example, loves to put plain yogurt instead of sour cream on tacos and baked potatoes. (The USDA has a handy research site where you can check out the nutritional information for hundreds of foods. Expect to react with shock and horror to what you find there about some of your favorite foods — just right for this time of year!)
My favorite use of plain yogurt lately has been as a dip for raw vegetables. Here’s what I do: I put a few tablespoonfuls of yogurt in a teacup, squeeze in about a teaspoon of sriracha sauce (also known in some circles as “rooster sauce”), and mix the two until I get a nice, evenly rosy concoction. It’s cold and spicy and creamy and ideal for celery, carrots, green beans, broccoli, you name it. My version is fairly spicy; be sure to adjust the amount of sriracha to suit your own palate.