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Top Chef All-Star Winner Richard Blais Trims Down Thanksgiving Dinner

If only we could get Blais to cook dinner for us every night. Sigh. (Photo courtesy of Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt)

While Thanksgiving is one of the most delicious meals of the year, it's also usually the heaviest. Instead of chowing down on foods filled with oil, butter and mayonnaise, we searched for lighter fare that was still super tasty. What (or who) did we find? Bravo's Top Chef All-Star winner, Richard Blais. We met the cooking extraordinaire at a recent Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt event, where he wined and dined us with dishes that left us feeling full and satisfied, without the "oh my gosh I need to go run 10 miles" feeling.

So what's Blais' big secret? Aside from the fact that he's a top-notch chef who blows our aprons out of the water, he subbed the aforementioned ingredients with Dannon's Oikos Greek nonfat yogurt. We didn't miss any of the heavy-calorie items, and got to keep all the flavor. Win-win for us!

It wouldn't be right to brag about the decadent meal this marathoner whipped up without nabbing some recipes, though. Check out the appetizer and dessert dishes below, then use them to start and end a perfect Thanksgiving meal in your own home.

Malted Panna Cotta

Serves: 4


  • 5 fl. oz. heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup Dannon Oikos vanilla Greek nonfat yogurt (or use a 5.3 oz. single-serve container)
  • 1 oz. sugar
  • 1 oz. malted barley
  • 1 gelatin sheet
  • Clementine slices for garnish
  • Candied ginger for garnish
  • Chocolate dusted almonds for garnish


  • Heat the heavy cream and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Remove liquid from the heat and add malted barley. Let steep for 1 hour.
  • Strain mixture into a clean pot and stir in Greek yogurt.
  • Bloom gelatin in an ice bath. Meanwhile, bring strained mixture to a simmer.
  • Remove strained mixture from heat and add gelatin.
  • Pour liquid into four small containers. Let chill for 2 hour or until panna cottas have set.
  • Garnish each with a few slices of clementine, a scattering of candied ginger and chocolate dusted almonds.
Decadent taste without the heavy calories! (Photo courtesy of Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt)

Acorn Squash Soup

Serves: 4-6


  • 1 whole acorn squash
  • 1/4 white onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp celery, chopped
  • 1 1/2 quart chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup Dannon Oikos plain Greek nonfat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup whipped yogurt (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chorizo, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp cranberry canned jelly
  • 3 leaves cilantro
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Pomegranate seeds for garnish
  • Lime for garnish


  • In a pot, cook the onion, bay leaf, garlic and celery in some olive oil until garlic releases aroma.
  • Add chopped acorn squash and chicken stock, then let simmer. When squash is cooked, swirl in Dannon Oikos plain Greek nonfat yogurt and remove from heat.
  • In a separate pan, cook chorizo and paprika.
  • When squash is cooked thoroughly, puree soup.
  • Garnish with crumbled chorizo, cilantro, pomegranate seeds and a squirt of lime. Cover with whipped yogurt, or add a dolop of Dannon Oikos plain Greek nonfat yogurt.

Now you tell us: What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish?


Samantha Lefave

Samantha is a writer who is living, eating and sweating her way through NYC. You can find her running half-marathons like it's her job, Instagramming her favorite food and fitness finds or, let's be honest, eating peanut butter straight from the jar.

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