We love Astro Yogourt in The Urban Daddy household. It’s natural, contains no gelatin and is kosher and for quite a few years now, Stewie would have a bowl of plain 1% or 2% Organic Astro Yogourt with either some sugar-free apple sauce in it, or plain with some sunflower seeds and fresh or frozen fruit. “Yogourt and seeds” was then and still is now a potential breakfast, lunch and / or dinner. For many days in that time frame, it was all three.
We went through so much yogourt it was hilarious. We would buy 4-5 of the large containers a week to keep him fed.
So it only made sense when the amazing folks at Fleishman-Hillard (www.fleishman.ca) reached out to see if myself and a guest wanted to join them for a morning at Nella Cucina (www.nellacucina.ca) in mid-town Toronto for an event called #CookingWithAstro.
Not being the best cook in the entire world but more than capable to read and follow a recipe or directions (ahem: baking class in high-school) I went to the Astro Yogourt website (www.astro.ca) to choose three recipes to prepare in our two-hour alloted time slot. I wisely enlisted the services of my wife, to assist me in planning a feast, since she thankfully does all the mealplanning and cooking in our household.
The three dishes we chose from the Astro website were;
Nearly No Fat Fudge Brownies – http://www.astro.ca/recipes/nearly_no_fat_fudge_brownies
Shrimp Corn Chowder – http://www.astro.ca/recipes/shrimp_corn_chowder
Tandoori Roasted Salmon with Biryani Vegetables and Coconut Curry Sauce – http://www.astro.ca/recipes/tandoori_roasted_salmon_with_biryani_vegetables_and_coconut_curry_sauce
Being kosher at home and my wife a vegetarian and well on her way to becoming a holistic nutritionist, she altered the recipes to make them more family-friendly for us. For the brownies, we removed the water and added orange juice. For the shrimp corn chowder, we removed the bacon, shrimp and clam juice and we used low sodium vegetable broth and tofu and a lot of colourful peppers instead, and for the tandoori salmon, the only thing we did was replace some of the heavy cream with yogourt.
So on the day of the event, we headed over to Nella Cucina - a high-end kitchen supply store with absolutely everything you could ever want or dream of having in a kitchen in stock and went upstairs to their professional teaching kitchen on the top floor. There, we were greated by folks from Fleishman Hillard, Nella Cucina and of course, Astro Yogourt.
We chose our cooking station in the middle of the room, received a quick tour of the facilities from Nella Cucini’s Elyse Glaser and Professional Chef Mary Catherine Anderson @mc_cooks (http://marycatherineanderson.com/) . We then wasted no time in getting into the recipes, starting with the brownies first.
We sifted, mixed, stirred, cooked, roasted, chopped and zested away on our three recipes far longer than the 2 hours we were scheduled for. We actually finished these fabulous dishes in just under 3 hours which meant a couple of trips downstairs to the parking meter, and a whole new appreciation for the fantastic meals that my wife cooks for the family at night. After the three hours I was exhausted! My wife was still motoring through the dishes, offering up her tofu corn chowder for sampling to everyone still around.
I was chatting with @SympaticoLife and Cynthia from http://www.delectablychic.com/ @DelectablyChic among others to see what fantastic creations they were making. She put up a great post about the event and took some great pictures; http://www.delectablychic.com/2012/07/cooking-with-astro-yogourt/. I wanted to take pictures but clearly underestimated the length of time needed to cook the dishes and once I realized I needed pictures of the finished products everyone else was turning over the classroom for the next group and we really needed to leave – not that I felt that way at all, but I know when it’s time to go.
Once all was done, we packed everything up in the Tupperware and cooler that Astro Yogourt so kindly provided us with and headed home with a delicious dinner in hand and smiles on our faces.
Of course we told everyone we knew of this wonderful opportunity to cook with a product we use almost daily, and for the opportunity to have a professional chef available to assist and answer our questions. We thank Astro for reaching out in the community to promote their products and for giving us the time to attend this event together and cook. My wife’s recipes were incredible and we ate so well for the next 2 days. Even 7-year-old Linus loved the Tandoori Salmon. The biryani vegetables were out of this world and now I have a new resource to go to when I’m helping with meal planning. If all the recipes tasted this good, then you should consider bookmarking it too.
I encouraged my wife to head over to the Astro Facebook page and enter her altered (or original) recipes to their “Astro Make it Original” contest site; https://www.facebook.com/#!/astroyogourt. She had to “like” that page, submit the three altered recipes we prepared, submit a picture of the dish with the Astro Original logo and share it with friends or strangers through whatever social media platforms we use. By doing that she, and you, has a chance to win a Culinary Getaway to NYC for 2 courtesy of Astro Yogourt! There are weekly prizes available too.
A huge thank you to the great folks at Fleishman-Hillard who assisted in getting this event rolling and including The Urban Daddy; specifically Megan Johnston, Megan Stoudt, Nare Tutundjian and Jacob Porpossian and to Angela Kanaris the Brand Manager, Astro Original.