Sunday, August 26, 2012

Considering Going GREEK This Fall?

For some people, being part of a fraternity or sorority is a major part of their college identity. Like most things in life, Going Greek can be a mixed bag.

There are several considerations to being involved in Greek life:

1. Cost: This isn't something people give much thought too beforehand, but joining Greek life comes with some built-in expenses. Some costs include a recruitment fee, house fees and dues, a sorority pin, and social functions for both student and family. Many of these are optional, of course, but some are definitely not.

2. Alcohol use: Excessive and underage drinking is a common problem on college campuses in general, but peer pressure to drink can be even higher within the Greek system. This is something that many students deal with when they go to college, and certainly is something worth considering before deciding to join a fraternity or sorority.

3. Limitations: It's easy to let the Greek system become your entire world. Living in a fraternity or sorority gives you a place to belong at college, but it can become limiting as well. Remember to be involved outside of your sorority too.

4. Connections: Greek life is not the only way to meet new people, but it is one of the easiest ways. Being a part of a fraternity or sorority gives you an instant connection with a large group of people, and that network will continue to grow.

5. Events: Being in a sorority or fraternity provides many opportunities to engage in all kinds of events and activities, such as Homecoming Week, themed parties, serenades, philanthropy events, and theatrical productions. If these sound up your alley, definitely consider going Greek. Keep in mind, however, that some of these things can become major time commitments.

6. Belonging: It sounds cheesy, but a sorority or fraternity can become a home away from home, just as a dorm, group of friends, or campus organization can. Especially if moving into the house, my sorority sisters or brothers become the ones with whom you share everything—failed tests, lazy Sundays, new jobs, broken hearts, and game days, to name a few.

Before you go through recruitment, however, consider whether you will be comfortable living in a house with 70 other women or men. It is definitely a new experience, especially if you didn't grow up with siblings.

7. Stereotypes: It is undeniable that there are certain stereotypes associated with Greek life. There are people who will judge you for being in a sorority, or for which house you join. The important thing to remember is that each house has all types of students, so you shouldn't put too much stock in those who make assumptions about fraternity men or sorority women. This is another reason to be involved outside of your sorority. It can be just as rewarding to participate in activities that have to do with your academic focus or other interests.

Ziziki’s would be pleased to have you and your brothers or sisters come to dinner one night to celebrate. Remember - It’s fun to GO GREEK!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Recipe Week: Greek Yogurt Chocolate Truffles

Last week we gave you some great info on Greek yogurt. How about trying your hand at a treat made with that nutritious and delicious staple?

This truffle recipe gets rave reviews by everyone who tries it. They simply melt in your mouth. These are quite rich. Just one is sure to cure that chocolate craving.

- 4 teaspoons of fat-reduced cocoa powder + some extra cocoa to roll the truffles
- 1 tablespoon of fat free Greek yogurt
- 5 tablespoons of powdered skim milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 5 drops of butter flavoring
- 3 teaspoons of artificial sweetener

Mix everything together. Add extra powdered skim milk if necessary until the paste reaches a firm consistency. Put aside in the fridge for a few hours. Before serving them, roll the balls in cocoa powder.

If you try this recipe, be sure to tell us about it in the comments. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Greek Yogurt: Better than Regular Yogurt?

Move over, regular yogurt. Going Greek is in! This exotic option has elbowed its way onto refrigerator shelves everywhere. Most give a big thumbs up to its taste—tangier and less sweet, as well as creamier—but is it healthier than its conventional counterpart?

Both Greek and regular yogurt, in their plain, nonfat or low-fat forms, can be part of a healthful diet. They're low in calories and packed with calcium and live bacterial cultures. But our Mediterranean friend—which is strained extensively to remove much of the liquid whey, lactose, and sugar, giving it its thick consistency—does have an undeniable edge. In roughly the same amount of calories, it can pack up to double the protein, while cutting sugar content by half. 

For someone who wants the creamier texture, a little bit of a protein edge, and a sugar decrease, going Greek is definitely not all hype. And it's really got a following: In the past five years, Greek yogurt sales nationwide have skyrocketed.

Here's a closer look at how the two stack up nutrition-wise.

Protein. Greek yogurt is high in protein, which helps promote fullness. A typical 6-ounce serving contains 15 to 20 grams, the amount in 2 to 3 ounces of lean meat. That makes it particularly appealing to vegetarians, who sometimes struggle to get enough of the nutrient. An identical serving of regular yogurt, on the other hand, provides just 9 grams.

Carbohydrates. Going Greek is a smart choice for low-carb dieters. It contains roughly half the carbs as the regular kind—5 to 8 grams per serving compared with 13 to 17. Plus, the straining process removes some of the milk sugar, and lactose. 

Fat. Be wary of Greek yogurt's fat content. In just 7 ounces, Fage's full-fat Greek yogurt packs 16 grams of saturated fat—or 80 percent of your total daily allowance if you're on a 2,000-calorie diet. Dannon's regular full-fat yogurt has 5 grams of saturated fat in an 8-ounce serving. If you're going Greek, stick to low-fat and fat-free versions.

Sodium. A serving of Greek yogurt averages 50 milligrams of sodium—about half the amount in most brands of the regular kind. 

Calcium. Regular yogurt provides 30 percent of the federal government's recommended daily amount. Greek yogurt loses some of its calcium through the straining process, but still packs a wallop. A 6-ounce cup typically supplies about 20 percent of the daily recommendation. 

Most experts agree that Greek yogurt has a nutritional edge. The key is sticking to plain, nonfat, or low-fat varieties.

When you do opt for Greek yogurt, take advantage of its versatility. Mix it with seasonings like garlic, dill, and parsley to create a unique dip for carrots, celery sticks, or cucumber slices. Toss in some berries or high-fiber granola. You can also substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream on tacos, for example, or for the eggs and oil in baked goods. It's an acceptable replacement for fatty ingredients like cream cheese, mayonnaise, and butter.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Thanks to Dallas News's Eats Blog!

If you keep up with the Eats Blog over at Dallas News, you probably know a little inside information about a little something we're working on here at Zizikis.

Wait, you haven't heard of Eats Blog? This is where the Dallas Morning News Restaurant Critic Leslie Brenner, Morning News Taste writers and arts staffers share news, updates and reviews from the Dallas dining scene. If you're a foodie living in DFW, you'll want to make their blog one of your frequent stops on the web.

Last month, Leslie wrote about The Commissary closing it's doors. In the same post she writes 'Costa and Mary Arabatzis, owners of Ziziki’s Restaurants, plan to open a Greek place, Meze, in the space in September.'

So there you have it...our surprise is out! We hope you're as excited as we are!