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My Big Fat Greek Pita

Perk Up Your Summer Outing with These Picnic-Ready Recipes

Now that summer is here, we’ve been hard at work in the Jeff’s Naturals kitchen creating new dishes perfect for outdoor entertaining, potlucks and best of all, PICNICS!

The perfect picnic dish should be simple, easy to transport and taste delicious once you’ve arrived at your destination. Just in case you need a refresher, we put together some practical tips for picnicking here:

The Jeff’s Naturals Guide to Perfect Picnics

Whatever your next excursion is, whether it’s a day at the beach or the pool, an evening at an outdoor concert, or a just a relaxing afternoon at the park, these three new picnic-ready recipes will all but guarantee that you will pack the perfect picnic basket and savor the outdoors!

Here are a few of our favorite picnic-ready recipes:

Picnic Ready Recipe #1: My Big Fat Greek Pita
My Big Fat Greek Pita
Stuff all of the goodness of delicious Greek Salad with a simple dressing combined with Feta, Greek Peperoncini, Kalamata Olives, Roasted Red Pepper Strips and Capers into a fresh pita and you’ve got the perfect meal on-the-go!

Prep Time: 20 min. Total Time: 20 min. Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 c. tomatoes, diced
6 c. spinach leaves
1 1/2 c. cucumber, thinly sliced
1 c. feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 c. Jeff’s Naturals Organic Sliced Greek Kalamata Olives, sliced
1/4 c. Jeff’s Naturals Sliced Golden Greek Peperoncini
1/4 c. Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Pepper Strips
1 Tbsp. Jeff’s Naturals Imported Non-Pareil Capers
1/4 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp. dried oregano
5 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. crushed garlic
4 pita breads, about 6 inches diameter

PREPARATION
In a mixing bowl combine the tomatoes, spinach, cucumber, feta, olives, peperoncini’s, roasted bell pepper strips and capers.

In a separate bowl whisk together the olive oil, oregano, lemon juice, and crushed garlic.

Once ready to serve, toss the dressing with the vegetables. Cut the pita rounds in half and divide the mixture evenly among the 8 pita rounds.

Serve and enjoy.

Pic-Nic Ready Recipe #2: Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad with Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes
Broccoli Cauliflower SaladPrep Time: 15 mins. Total Time: 20 mins.
Serves: 4-6

INGREDIENTS
2 ½ cups broccoli florets, small diced
2 ½ cups cauliflower florets, small diced
¾ cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
¾ cup chopped Jeff’s Naturals Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes, drained
½ cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons Apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

PREPARATION

In a large mixing bowl, add the broccoli, cauliflower, cranberries, sunflower seeds and sundried tomatoes.

In a small mixing bowl, stir the yogurt and vinegar together well.

Add the yogurt mixture and olive oil to the broccoli salad ingredients. Stir to combine all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Pic-Nic Ready Recipe #3: Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Roasted Red Pepper HummusPrep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 8-10

INGREDIENTS
1- 19 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained with some liquid reserved
3 Tbsp. tahini paste
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 c.Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, drained
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp. crushed garlic
Cumin, Salt & Pepper to taste

PREPARATION
In a food processor, combine all ingredients and puree until smooth. If mixture is too think, use some of the reserved garbanzo liquid to thin it out.

Serve with some pita wedges and a side of olives drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and garnished with a pinch of chili flake for a dressed up appetizer at your next picnic or bbq.

You can also perfect your picnic game by bringing along these classic creations found on our Recipe Page.

Napa Style Hero Sandwich

Baja Fruit Salad

Peperoncini Potato Salad

 

Mexican Marinated Salad

Orzo Salad With Artichoke Hearts & Kalamata Olives

Peperoncini Potato Salad

Spinach and Feta Olive Turnovers

Watermelon, Olive, Jalapeño and Feta Salad

A Delicious Quiche for Mother’s Day Brunch

Want to really “WOW” Mom on Mother’s Day this year? You can never go wrong with breakfast in bed or a delightful brunch!

The chefs have been hard at work in the Jeff’s Naturals test kitchen creating new ways to enjoy our delicious all-natural line of olives, peppers, artichoke hearts, capers and sun-dried tomatoes.

Here’s a delicious quiche you can make this Mother’s Day with our Roasted Bell Pepper Strips and our new Marinated Artichoke Hearts! As an added bonus, Mom will love the fact this quiche is made with our certified non-GMO ingredients with no preservatives, additives, sulfites, artificial colors or flavors. Just pure & delicious food for the woman who deserves it the most!

Serve this with a tasty fruit salad and a flavorful Bloody Mary for a knock-out Mother’s Day Brunch she’ll appreciate for years to come.

Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Artichoke Quiche

Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Artichoke Quiche

Prep Time: 30 min.
Total Time: 1 hr. 40 min.
Serves: 6-8

2 ready-made pie crusts
1/2 jar Jeff’s Naturals Marinated Artichoke Hearts
1/2 jar Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Pepper Strips
8 large eggs
1 shallot, grated
2 Tbsp. crushed garlic
1/2 c. whole milk
1/2 c. Mascarpone cheese, softened (here’s a quick recipe to substitute if you can’t find it in your store)
1 c. Fontina cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 c. Mozzarella cheese, grated

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake pie crusts for 12 minutes.

Chop artichoke hearts and brown lightly in a pan on medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool. Cut roasted red bell peppers into ¼ inch by 1 inch long slices. Set aside.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add shallot, garlic, milk, Mascarpone, Fontina, salt and pepper. Add spinach and artichokes. Mix well.

Pour mixture carefully into pie pans. Sprinkle red peppers into mixture, then top with Mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 55 minutes. Center will seem slightly underdone, but will continue cooking as it cools. Cool quiche for 20 minutes before serving.

Time Saving Tip: Make the evening before and warm it up the next morning for a delicious and lovely Mother’s Day surprise! When you are ready to re-heat the quiche, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place the quiche in the oven for about 15 -20 minutes or until the center is warmed through.

Spinach & Artichoke Mac 'n Cheese

Oh My Goodness Spinach & Artichoke Mac ‘n Cheese

Is it even possible to make homemade Mac-n-Cheese even better? We think so! Our second featured recipe this month is a great way to enjoy our new Marinated Artichoke Hearts while adding a delicious Mediterranean twist to classic comfort food! Makes a perfect side dish to your Easter Sunday or any night of the week! Not to mention, it’s O.M.G. kind of good!


Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6-8

INGREDIENTS
¾ lb. elbow macaroni, cooked to package instructions
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
3 c. whole milk
2 c. Italian Blend shredded cheese, divided
2 c. white sharp cheddar, divided
3 Tbsp. Garlic & Parmesan Everything Spread
1 tsp. salt
Cracked black pepper
2 c. fresh baby spinach, packed
2 jars Jeff’s Naturals Marinated Artichoke Hearts, roughly chopped

Topping:
¾ c. panko breadcrumbs mixed with 2 Tbsp. melted butter

PREPARATION
Preheat oven on broiler.

In a medium sauce pan, on medium high heat, add butter and flour, and stir until for 2-3 minutes while mixture bubbles. Slowly whisk in milk until fully incorporated. Whisk and cook mixture for about 7 minutes, until it thickens and bubbles.

Turn heat off; stir in Garlic Spread, 1 c. each cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour over cooked macaroni, stir in spinach,artichokes, and remaining shredded cheese.
Place into a baking dish and sprinkle panko topping on top. Place under broiler for a few minutes until breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Two New Recipes to Chase Away the Winter Blues

New Recipes from Jeff’s Naturals: Sweet Potato Lentil Stew & Jalapeno Cornbread

Since January is National Soup Month, we thought this would be a great time to introduce 2 new recipes just for soup lovers:

Sweet Potato Lentil Stew

Sweet-Potato-Lentil-Stew-HP_1

This healthy, hearty Indian-inspired stew makes great use of dried lentils, a staple in kitchens all over the world. Add in the sweet and smokey flavor of Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Pepper Strips and sweet potatoes, and you’ve got yourself the perfect antidote to a cold winter’s night.

For a fast weeknight meal or great lunches, make it ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This stew is a meal by itself, but it’s outstanding when paired with a light salad and Garlic Pepper Toast or our other new recipe this month, Jalapeno Cornbread (recipe below).

Prep Time: 10 mins.Total Time: 40 mins. Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small yellow onion, small diced
1 stalk celery, small diced
1 carrot, peeled and small diced
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 cup green lentils, rinsed well
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
1 sweet potato or yam, cut into ½” pieces
1 cup chopped kale, remove stems prior to chopping
½ cup Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, drained and rough chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large stock pot, on medium-high heat, add the olive oil, onion, celery and carrot. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender and onions are translucent. Add the garam masala and stir for about 1 minute. Add the lentils and stock, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

Cover the top of the stock pot with the lid slightly off. Cook the lentils halfway, about 10 minutes, and add the sweet potato, kale and roasted peppers. Cook another 5-7 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

Jalapeño Cornbread
Jalapeno Cornbread

Our Diced Tamed™ Jalapeño Peppers add a tasty kick to this traditional cornbread recipe! Not only is it delicious, it’s so easy to make, even a kitchen novice can pull it off! This pairs with everything from Chicken Soup to Game Day Chili!

Prep Time: 10 min.Total Time: 25 min.Serves: 8

INGREDIENTS
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. whole milk
4 tsp. butter, melted
2/3 c. Jeff’s Naturals Diced Tamed™ Jalapeño Peppers, drained
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. corn meal
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. salt

PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 425°F. In one bowl, mix eggs, buttermilk, milk and butter. Stir in jalapeños.
In another bowl, mix flour, corn meal, baking powder, baking soda, cilantro and salt.
Fold wet mixture into dry mixture. Pour into a buttered baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes.
Rest and allow corn bread to cool. Cut into squares or wedges and serve with butter or a black pepper-flavored honey.

For more delicious recipes using Jeff’s Naturals line of specialty olives, peppers and vegetables, please visit our Recipe Page.

Bagel and Capers

Jeff’s Naturals Makes Breakfast Even Better

This recent headline certainly caught our attention: More Than Half of Americans Skip Breakfast at Least Once a Week, Study Says

How can this be? Doesn’t everybody know that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day? Hasn’t everybody heard the old saying “Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince and Dine like a Pauper”?

There are countless reasons to take a few minutes in the morning to enjoy a healthy breakfast, but overall health and wellness tops the list. This recent Consumer Reports article states “Breakfast eaters tend to have better diets overall, consuming more fruit, vegetables, milk, and whole grains than non-breakfast eaters.”

Therefore, in celebration of National Breakfast Month, let us please remind our readers to eat a healthy breakfast. Not only will you feel better, you’ll be more productive and your body will thank you. Here are some ideas we found to make your first meal of the best.

Jeff's Naturals for Breakfast

Omelets & Eggs
For an out of this world scramble, add diced Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes or Roasted Bell Pepper Strips and grated Parmesan cheese to your morning eggs.

Try giving your morning omelet a Mediterranean flavor by adding a few of these ingredients:

Quiches & Fritatas
Add about 4 oz of diced Jeff’s Naturals Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes to liven up your favorite quiche recipe.

Add Jeff’s Naturals™ Roasted Bell Pepper Strips in your quiche, fritatta, or scrambled eggs

Bloody Marys
Use Jeff’s Naturals™ Jalapeño Stuffed OlivesPeperoncini or Spicy Italian Olive Antipasto to spice up your favorite Bloody Mary (on the weekends of course)!

Bagels
Bagels with lox and cream cheese are event better topped with sliced onions Capers & Roasted Bell Pepper Strips.

Bagel and Capers

JN
smoked_salmon_caper_crepe_web

INGREDIENTS
Crêpe Batter:
1 c. flour
2 eggs
6 Tbsp. melted butter (plus more for coating pan)
1 ½ c. whole milk

Filling:
½ c. ricotta cheese
¾ c. whipped cream cheese1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
8 oz. smoked salmon
4 oz. Jeff’s Naturals Imported Non-Pareil Capers
½ sm. Red onion, thinly sliced

Directions:
Add all crepe ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. In a large non-stick sauté pan on medium-high heat, add just enough butter to coat the pan. Slowly pour in crepe batter while holding pan off the heat and swirling the crepe batter in a circular motion to get a thin layer of batter on the bottom of the sauté pan. Cook for about 1 ½ minutes or until loosened from the bottom of the pan and lightly browned. Flip the crepe and cook another minute until lightly browned. Remove from pan and place on plate and continue process until batter is gone.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, cream cheese, lemon juice and zest, and dill. Season with cracked pepper.

To assemble the crepes, spread a small amount of the cheese and dill mixture over one half of the crepe. Add a thin layer of smoked salmon on top of half of the cheese, generously sprinkle with capers, add thinly sliced onion and fold crepe into quarters and serve.

Capture
breakfast_sandwich_web
INGREDIENTS
4 slices pancetta
2 eggs, cooked over easy
2 tablespoons Pesto
½ cup Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Red Peppers, drained and patted dry
2/3 cup arugula

PREPARATION
Preheat panini press.
Place pancetta slices in panini press and cook about 3 minutes or until crispy. Remove from press and set aside.
To assemble the paninis, add a tablespoon of pesto on the top inside slice of each sandwich. Add the eggs to the bottom slice of bread. Top the egg with arugula, pancetta, and a layer of roasted red pepper. Top the sandwich with the pesto bread slice and place into the panini press for about 5 minutes or until slightly crispy and golden.

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breakfast_burrito

INGREDIENTS
6 eggs
1/4 c. milk
2 c. frozen Potatoes O’Brien hash browns
Oil to coat pan for frying
6 oz. raw breakfast sausage
½ c. Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Red Peppers, chopped
½ c. shredded cheese
1 avocado
Jeff’s Naturals Diced Tamed™ Jalapeño Peppers to top
4-6 tortillas
Optional: Sour cream, salsa and sliced green onion to top

PREPARATION
Crack eggs into a mixing bowl add milk, a pinch of salt and fresh cracked black pepper and whisk.

In a large sauté pan on medium high heat, add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add hash browns and fry for about 5 minutes until slightly golden in color. Add breakfast sausage into the pan, break up with a wooden spoon and cook another 7 minutes or until sausage is done. Add egg mixture and chopped roasted red peppers and stir occasionally, lower heat to medium while cooking the eggs for about 6 minutes or until eggs are done. Turn heat off, sprinkle cheese on top to melt.

Assemble the burritos with the egg and hash brown mixture, top with your desired toppings and add the jalapeño peppers for some heat and crunch.

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Zucchini and Olive Breakfast Cake, French-Style on the kitchn

Frittata with Avocado, Roasted Peppers, Olives and Feta

photo credit: feministjulie via photopin cc

Back to School Recipe Round Up

Collage
JN back to school headline

Let’s face it, it’s never easy to say goodbye to summer and hello to a new school year. Between settling into a new routine, packing lunches, shopping for back to school clothing and supplies, sifting through homework assignments and permission slips, and attending new school meetings, it can be easy for busy parents to neglect the dinner table!

That’s where we come in. Because we’ve done the hard work for you, our all natural olives, peppers and other gourmet pantry staples will save you time and energy. Not to mention, we use only the freshest ingredients available without artificial preservatives so you can keep on creating healthy meals and snacks to fuel active bodies and minds!

Here’s a quick round up of recipes perfect for the busy Back to School season using wholesome Jeff’s Naturals ingredients.

Afterschool Snacks

Black Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Salsa

Black Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Salsa
Black Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Salsa

Refuel young bodies after a long day of learning with this vitamin and fiber friendly salsa made with black beans, Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, cilantro and Sliced Tamed Jalapeños (don’t worry, we tamed them so they are not too spicy).

Click Here for Recipe

Queso Dip

Spicy Queso Dip
Queso Dip

This tasty after school treat comes together quickly by melting shredded Mexican blend cheese, Diced Tamed Jalapeño Peppers and Roasted Bell Pepper Strips over a stop top oven.  Perfect for study groups or days when the whole gang unexpectedly drops by after practice.

Click Here for Recipe

Baja Fruit Salad

Baja Fruit Salad
Baja Fruit Salad

Roasted Bell Pepper Strips gives this tropical fruit salad an unexpected kick!  Made with pineapple,  mandarin oranges,  jicama, cilantro and coconut, this healthy snack will give your young learner a taste of summer while restoring energy.  Goes great with school lunches!
Click Here for Recipe

Now, let’s talk about dinner!  Here are some easy meals that can be put together in no time at all!

Easy school night dinners

Roasted Red Pepper, Goat Cheese and Baby Arugula Panini

Roasted Red Pepper, Goat Cheese and Baby Arugula Panini
Roasted Red Pepper, Goat Cheese and Baby Arugula Panini

Feed a family of 4 in under 10 minutes?  Yes please!  This simple panini recipe made with Roasted Red Bell Peppers, Sliced Golden Greek Peperoncini and Sliced Kalamata Olives is a fantastic meatless option that is sure to satisfy.

Click Here for Recipe

Autumn Apricot & Turkey Panini

Autumn Apricot & Turkey Panini
Autumn Apricot & Turkey Panini

Sweet dried apricots, Jeff’s Naturals™ Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes and brown sugar transform an ordinary turkey sandwich into something quite extraordinary the whole family will enjoy in  35 minutes flat.
Click Here for Recipe

Grilled Pizza with Bacon, Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onion

Grilled Pizza with Bacon, Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onion
Grilled Pizza with Bacon, Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onion

Bacon, Blue Cheese and Jeff’s Naturals™ Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions– what’s to love?  This grilled pizza comes together in 10 minutes flat- It could not be easier!

Click Here for Recipe

Greek Antipasto Platter

antipasto platter
Even the pickiest eaters can find a healthy treat when you set out a plentiful antipasto platter with our Whole Golden Greek Peperoncini, Kalamata Olives, marinated Artichoke Hearts, Roasted Bell Pepper Strips and assorted meats and cheeses!

Click Here for Recipe

 

Top Image Credits-

school bus photo credit: First Student #292 via photopin (license)
apple photo credit: Project 52: Week 10 – I made it. via photopin (license)
classroom photo credit: college students via photopin (license)

Fresh New Recipes Featuring Jeff’s Naturals Capers

Capers

Our featured recipes this month showcase what we believe to be the unsung heroes of the culinary world, Non-Pareil Capers. These flavorful nuggets of deliciousness often go unnoticed, yet they add so much to just about any dish whether it’s fish or poultry, appetizers, main courses, and more!

We source our capers from Turkey where they are picked by hand as soon as they reach the desired size, then dried in the hot Mediterranean sun before they are pickled in a brine of vinegar. Here are three fresh ideas for you to enjoy:

Jeff’s Naturals Imported Non-PareilCapers

#1 Smoked Salmon & Caper Crepes

The salty, slightly briny flavor our our Capers pairs perfectly with smoked salmon and dill. This gourmet dish is simple to create for brunch or dinner.

smoked_salmon_caper_crepe_webINGREDIENTS
Crepe Batter:
1 c. flour
2 eggs
6 Tbsp. melted butter (plus more for coating pan)
1 ½ c. whole milk
½ c. ricotta
¾ c. whipped cream cheese1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
8 oz. smoked salmon
4 oz. Jeff’s Naturals Imported Non-Pareil Capers
½ sm. Red onion, thinly sliced

PREPARATION
Add all crepe ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. In a large non-stick sauté pan on medium-high heat, add just enough butter to coat the pan. Slowly pour in crepe batter while holding pan off the heat and swirling the crepe batter in a circular motion to get a thin layer of batter on the bottom of the sauté pan. Cook for about 1 ½ minutes or until loosened from the bottom of the pan and lightly browned. Flip the crepe and cook another minute until lightly browned. Remove from pan and place on plate and continue process until batter is gone.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, cream cheese, lemon juice and zest, and dill. Season with cracked pepper.

To assemble the crepes, spread a small amount of the cheese and dill mixture over one half of the crepe. Add a thin layer of smoked salmon on top of half of the cheese, generously sprinkle with capers, add thinly sliced onion and fold crepe into quarters and serve.

#2 Baked Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Capers, and Mozzarella

Combine Jeff’s Naturals capers and sundried tomatoes with chicken and mozzarella for 25 minutes for a quick weeknight meal the whole family will love.

baked_chicken_with_sundried_tomatoes_and_artichoke_riceINGREDIENTS
2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1/4 c. Jeff’s Naturals Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes, julienned
1/2 Tbsp. Crushed Garlic
1/4 c. Jeff’s Naturals Imported Non-Pareil Capers
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese, grated
1 c. bread crumbs, seasoned

PREPERATION
Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap and gently pound them with a bottom of a skillet until thin. Layer the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and capers along the center of the breasts and top with the mozzarella. Fold one side of the breast over the filling and roll into a long tube, secure with a toothpick.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and coat with the bread crumbs and bake in an oven-proof dish for 20 to 25 minutes at 350°F; cook until the chicken is no longer pink. Allow the chicken to cool for 2 to 3 minutes before slicing or cutting in half.

#3 Rigatoni with Savory Puttanesca Sauce

Capers and red wine bring out the natural flavors of tomatoes and artichoke hearts and herbs in this classic Mediterranean recipe.
Rigatoni_with_Puttanesca_Sauce_croppedINGREDIENTS
12 oz. rigatoni, uncooked
1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. crushed garlic
1 Tbsp. oregano
2 jars (6.5 oz. each) Artichoke Hearts, drained
1 tsp. anchovy paste
2 c. (28 oz. can) tomatoes
2 Tbsp. Jeff’s Naturals Imported Non-PareilCapers
1/2 c. dry red wine
1/2 c. Jeff’s Naturals Organic Sliced Greek Kalamata Olives
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. parsley, chopped (optional)

PREPARATION
Cook rigatoni in boiling water for 10 minutes or until tender. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook until the onion is tender. Add oregano and artichoke hearts and anchovy paste, stir for one minute. Add tomatoes, capers and red wine and stir to break up the tomatoes into large pieces. Bring to boil, and then reduce heat to simmer.

Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Add olives and red pepper flakes. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes more.

Can’t get enough caper recipes? Pin or print out some of these!

photo credit: bagel and lox with capers : castro, san francisco (2014) via photopin (license)

Garlic

From Local Farms to Your Table- The Story Behind Jeff’s Naturals Garlic Stuffed Olives

Garlic
April is National Garlic Month!

Throughout history, garlic has been utilized all over the world for its medicinal purposes and unique flavor. It’s versatility makes it a staple in everything from Asian to Mediterranean to Southwestern cuisine. In honor of National Garlic Month, we thought this would be a great time to give our garlic some due recognition.

If you have ever tried one of our Garlic Stuffed Olives, you’d understand why it’s a favorite among our consumers. The quality, consistency and addictive nature of these large, buttery olives hand stuffed with plump and savory cloves of garlic are simply unrivaled.

They can be enjoyed as a snack right out of the jar or used to garnish a bountiful Bloody Mary,  add flavor to your salad,  perk up a morning omelet and so much more!

From Farm to Table- The Story of Our Garlic

Garlic-Stuffed-OlivesWhere does our garlic come from?
The garlic used in Jeff’s Naturals Garlic Stuffed Olives is sourced from local family run farms in Gilroy (also known as the “Garlic Capitol of the World”) and Bakersfield, California.

Why do we only use locally grown California garlic?
Garlic from California is simply better. The mild climate near the coast in California is perfect for growing garlic (preferable over the garlic from China), and our consumers get a much fresher product with more flavor.

How many pounds of garlic does Jeff’s Naturals use every year?
Our materials manager estimates we currently use about 15,000 pounds of garlic each year, and hope to double that number in the coming years!

When is the garlic harvested?
The garlic harvest season is July through September.

What happens to the garlic once it is harvested?
Since we harvest during the hot summer months, the garlic is brought in to special cooling rooms immediately after harvesting in the field (garlic needs to be cooled or else it will spoil in the heat). Once the garlic is cooled, it is peeled and placed in boxes before it is loaded onto refrigerated trucks where it stays fresh as it is transported to our Napa Valley production facility.

How long does will it take to make our Garlic Stuffed Olives?
The entire process usually happens within 48 hours of harvest. Once the garlic arrives, we almost immediately begin the process of handstuffing stuffing the olives (sourced from family farms in the Mediterranean) before we put them into jars and ship them to your local natural foods store for you enjoy.

Jeff's Naturals Garlic

Now that you know the story behind our fresh garlic, click here for simple serving ideas to help you enjoy Jeff’s Naturals Garlic Stuffed Olives and Spicy Italian Olive Antipasto even more!

photo credit: garlic via photopin (license)

photo credit: IMG_8297 viphotopa in (license)

Easter Entertaining

Easter Entertaining Made Easy!

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Everyone has their own way of celebrating spring holiday traditions such as Easter and Passover, but when it comes to holiday gatherings, we can all agree that delicious food is a must!

Jeff’s Naturals wants to help simplify your springtime holiday entertaining! If you are celebrating Passover, the following products are manufactured under stringent kosher supervision and are  KSA Kosher certified:

Jeff’s Naturals™ Roasted Bell Pepper Strips
Jeff’s Naturals™ Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions
Jeff’s Naturals™ Sliced Hot Cherry Peppers
Jeff’s Naturals™ Diced Tamed™ Jalapeño Peppers
Jeff’s Naturals™ Sliced Tamed™ Jalapeños
Jeff’s Naturals™ Sliced Golden Greek Peperoncini
Jeff’s Naturals™ Whole Golden Greek Peperoncini
Jeff’s Naturals™ Imported Non-Pareil Capers
Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes

Here are some helpful tips and serving ideas for easy Easter Sunday celebrations.
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Easter Sunday Brunch

Amazing Appetizers

Easter Dinner Sides

photo credit: 10/365 – Easter Dinner at McKenna’s via photopin (license)

photo credit: yum deviled eggs via photopin (license)

Game Day

What’s On Your Game Day Menu?

Game Day FoodThe “Big Game” is coming up, are you ready? Millions of us will gather with family and friends on Sunday February 1st to watch a (hopefully) suspense-filled football game while enjoying tasty snacks and appetizers. If you are hosting, delicious appetizers are a must.

Chef Natalie, our “Chef in Residence” has been hard at working creating tasty party recipes using only the best ingredients. Click here to see our growing recipe collection of salads, soups, appetizers and entrees to delight your taste buds.

Score major points with these crowd pleasing appetizer dishes for your big bash using Jeff’s Naturals™ non-GMO products:

Spicy Queso Dip

¼ c. butter
¼ c. flour
2 c. whole milk
4 c. shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 c. Jeff’s Naturals Diced Tamed Jalapeño Peppers, drained with brine reserved
1 c. Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, drained and rough chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the roux is pale yellow and frothy, about 1-2 minutes. Do not allow the roux to brown.

Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens and comes to a boil, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cheese, one cup at a time, and whisk until melted. Next, stir in the jalapenos and roasted peppers. If the sauce seems too thick, thin with some of the jalapeno brine or milk until you achieve the desired consistency.

Great dip with chips or drizzled over broccoli or baked potatoes.

Creamy Jalapeño Dip

1/4 c. mayo
1/2 c. cream cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 c. Jeff’s Naturals™ Diced Tamed Jalapeños, add brine to taste as well
1/2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together. Serve warm or cold with crackers or a sliced baguette.

Grilled Pizza with Bacon, Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onion

1 favorite store bought frozen pizza dough (makes 2 small pizzas)
¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
½ c. Jeff’s Naturals™ Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions
1 jar pizza sauce
½ c. bacon crumbles or cooked Italian sausage crumbles
½ c. blue cheese crumbles

Heat grill on high heat. When grill is heated, brush olive oil on grill grates, use half the pizza dough and roll out and stretch until desired thickness is achieved. Carefully lay dough onto oiled grill. Dough will start to bubble and char. After about 2-3 minutes, flip dough over and spoon on some pizza sauce. Evenly distribute peppers and onions. Sprinkle blue cheese and bacon crumbles on top. If adding olives, add those as well. Grill for about 2-3 minutes and slice and serve hot.

Cheese Stuffed Fried Green Olives

1 wedge of manchego cheese, or your favorite cheese
1 jar Jeff’s Naturals™ Whole Castelvetrano Olives, drained & pitted
1 c. flour
3 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 c. panko bread crumbs, ground finely
Vegetable or canola oil for frying

Cut the manchego cheese into small rectangle pieces so they’ll fill the hole of the olive. Place one cheese plug into the center of each olive. Prepare the breading station with 3 separate shallow bowls. Use one for flour, one for eggs, last one for panko. Drop the stuffed olives into the flour first, remove and gently shake off any excess, place into beaten eggs to coat, then drop into panko and roll around until fully covered with breadcrumbs.

Heat a few inches of oil in a saucepan to 350º F. Fry olives in small batches until golden brown in color. Remove with a slotted spoon and place olives onto a plate with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Let sit for 5-10 minutes and serve warm.

Supreme Artichoke Dip

1 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ c. parmesan cheese, shredded
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ c. mayonnaise
2 jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and rough chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
½ Tbsp. Jeff’s Naturals™ Tamed Diced Jalapeno Peppers
¼ c. Jeff’s Naturals™ Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, drained and diced
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400º F. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients. Place into an 8×8 baking dish. Bake for about 15 minutes or until bubbly around the edges. Serve hot with pita chips or bread cubes for dipping.

Baked Jalapeño Stuffed Olive Cheddar Puffs

4 oz. butter (softened)
1 c. all purpose flour
2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1 Tbs water
1 jar Jeff’s Naturals® Jalapeno Stuffed Olives (drained)

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for several minutes. Add in the flour, cheese and spices. Mix for one minute, add the hot sauce and water and mix until combined. Transfer the dough to a piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk. Chill in the refrigerator for one hour.

Once the dough is chilled, scoop one tablespoon at a time. Press the dough flat in the palm of your hand. Place an olive in the center and wrap the dough around the olive and roll into a ball shape. Once wrapped, chill the balls for 10 minutes in the freezer.

In the meantime, preheat your oven to 400º F. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve this appetizer warm.

photo credit: runneralan2004 via photopin cc

Rules for T-Shirt Tuesday

Official Rules for Jeff’s Naturals T-Shirt Tuesday Promotion

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS PROMOTION. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING A PRIZE. ODDS OF WINNING WILL DEPEND ON THE TOTAL NUMBER OF ENTRIES RECEIVED. VOID IN PUERTO-RICO, ALL U.S. TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. BY ENTERING THE PROMOTION, YOU, (“PARTICIPANT”) AGREE TO THESE OFFICIAL RULES, WHICH FORM A CONTRACT. WITHOUT LIMITATION, THIS CONTRACT INCLUDES INDEMNITY OBLIGATIONS ON THE PART OF PARTICIPANT AND A LIMITATION OF PARTICIPANT’S RIGHTS AND REMEDIES.

1. ELIGIBILITY: Jeff’s Naturals T-Shirt Tuesday (the “Promotion”) is open only to legal adult residents of the 50 United States and D.C., who are at least the legal age of majority in the state in which they reside (19 in NE and AL, 21 in MS and 18 in all other states) as of the date of entry. Employees of Jeff’s Naturals (hereinafter “Sponsor/Administrator”) and its parent and affiliate companies, as well as the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings and children) and household members of each such household are not eligible. Participation constitutes Participant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and Sponsor’s/Administrator’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Promotion. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein. 2.

PROMOTION PERIOD: The Promotion begins on or about 12:00 PM PDT October 30, 2015 and ends at 11:59 PM PDT on January 30, 2015 (“Promotional Period”). Administrator’s computer is the official time-keeping device for the Sweepstakes.

3. HOW TO ENTER:.
VIA NEWSLETTER:
Sign up for the Jeff’s Naturals Newsletter by visiting http://bit.ly/1USQbmm.
Instructions on how to enter will be included in each monthly Newsletter.

VIA FACEBOOK:
If you are not already a member of Facebook, you can create an account at www.facebook.com; creating an account is free. Once you have a Facebook account, go to facebook.com/JeffsNaturals

There will be one (1) entry per household, per address. Multiple Participants are not permitted to share the same Facebook profile. Any attempt by any Participant to obtain more than the stated number of orders by using multiple/different profiles, identities, registrations and logins, or any other methods will void that Participant’s entry and that Participant may be disqualified. Use of any automated system to participate is prohibited and will result in disqualification. In the event of a dispute as to any registration, the authorized account holder of the Facebook profile used to register will be deemed to be the Participant. The authorized account holder is the natural person assigned an email address connected with the Facebook profile by an Internet access provider, online service provider or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted address. Each potential recipient may be required to show proof of being the authorized account holder.

4. PRIZE DETAILS: Prizes will vary week to week and will include a Jeff’s Naturals T-Shirt, coupons and other prizes as they are available. Estimated value of each prize is less than $499. Prizes are not exchangeable or transferable; no prize substitutions or alternatives allowed except as provided herein. Sponsor may substitute a prize of equal or greater value if advertised prize becomes unavailable. All prizes will be awarded provided a sufficient number of qualified entries are received. Limit of one (1) Jeff’s Naturals prize may be won per person, per e-mail address or household address per calendar year. Return of any prize or prize notification as undeliverable will result in forfeiture of prize and selection of an alternate winner. Failure to comply with any requirement of the Contest rules may result in forfeiture of prize and selection of an alternate winner. Potential winners will be randomly selected via automated or mechanical process. Prizes are non-transferable and no substitution will be made except as provided herein at the Sponsor’s sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize for one of equal or greater value if the designated prize should become unavailable for any reason. Winner will be notified within 15 days of the drawing via U.S. mail or email at the email address provided at the time of entry by Participant. Potential winners will be required to provide sufficient information to establish eligibility in the Promotion and may be required to execute and return an affidavit of eligibility and a liability release. If Administrator is unable to contact potential winner within a reasonable time period, prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable or potential winner is not in compliance with these Official Rules, any potential prize will be forfeited. Potential winners must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements. In the event that a potential winner is disqualified for any reason, Sponsor will award the applicable prize to an alternate winner by randomly drawing an alternate potential winner from among all remaining eligible entries. Prizes will be fulfilled approximately 3 to 6 weeks after the conclusion of the Promotion and verification of a potential winner’s eligibility.

5. FACEBOOK DISCLAIMER: This Promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. By participating, you hereby release Facebook from any claim, allegation, loss or liability of any kind. All entry information will be held and used in accordance with the Official Rules and the Sponsor’s Privacy Policy.

6. RELEASE: By entering the Giveaway, Participant does hereby release, indemnify and hold harmless Sponsor, Administrator, Facebook and their respective subsidiaries, affiliates, suppliers, distributors, advertising/promotion agencies, and prize suppliers, and each of their respective parent companies and each such company’s officers, directors, employees and agents (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action, including, but not limited to, personal injury, death, or damage to or loss of property, arising out of participation in the Giveaway or receipt or use or misuse of any prize. Entry into this Giveaway and acceptance of prize constitutes permission for Sponsor to use a winner’s first name and first initial of last name and state of residence, for advertising/trade and all other purposes, in any and all media, and all media now or hereafter known worldwide, including the Internet and social networking sites, without further compensation, notification or permission, unless prohibited by law.

7. LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY: The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by Participants, printing errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes; (2) technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; (3) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Sweepstakes; (4) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Sweepstakes or the processing of orders; (5) late, lost, undeliverable, damaged or stolen mail; or (6) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from Participant’s participation in the Sweepstakes or receipt or use or misuse of any prize. No more than the stated number of prizes will be awarded.

8. PUBLICITY: Except where prohibited, participation in the Promotion constitutes Participant’s consent to Sponsor and its subsidiaries, affiliates and agents’ use of Participant’s name, likeness, photograph, voice, opinions and/or hometown and state for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration.

9. GENERAL CONDITIONS: Sponsor reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Sweepstakes, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failures or any other factor beyond its reasonable control impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Sweepstakes, as determined by Administrator in its sole discretion. Sponsor, in conjunction with Administrator, reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Sweepstakes or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or any other promotion or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Sweepstakes may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Headings in this Agreement are for convenience only and shall not be used to construe the terms of this Agreement.

10. DISPUTES: Except where prohibited, Participant agrees that: (1) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Sweepstakes or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively in the Superior Court of California; (2) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Sweepstakes, but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (3) under no circumstances will Participant be permitted to obtain awards for, and Participant hereby waives all rights to claim, indirect, punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the Participant and Sponsor or Administrator in connection with the Sweepstakes, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of California without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether the State of California or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of California. Further, any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with the Sweepstakes, or any prize awarded, will be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action.

11. WINNERS’ LIST: To receive a list of winners, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Jeff’s Naturals Sweepstakes American Canyon, CA 94503

12. OFFICIAL RULES: To receive a copy of the Official Rules, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Jeff’s Naturals Sweepstakes American Canyon, CA 94503

13. SPONSOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Jeff’s Naturals 105 Mezzetta Court American Canyon, CA 94503 Telephone: (707) 266-7444 Email: consumerinfo@jeffsnaturals.com

14. NOT AFFILIATES: Any names or marks of third party products used in association with this Sweepstakes are the property of their respective owner. Third party trademark owners do not endorse, sponsor and are not otherwise affiliated with this Sweepstakes.

12 Ways to Enjoy Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions

Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions

When it comes to gourmet toppings, warm Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions are one of our all time favorites! Nothing perks up a dish quite like the sweet smokey flavor of this dynamic duo, and now you don’t have to roast, slice and caramelize because it’s already done for you!

Jeff  (of Jeff’s Naturals) says he enjoys cooking with Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions and recommends rinsing the peppers and onions in cool water, then lightly sautéing them and enjoying them on top of sandwiches, burgers, steak, etc.

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We recently asked our Facebook fans for their suggestions, and here is what a couple of them had to say:

I have always been an onion lover!!! For me, I would butter and lightly brown a Ciabatta roll on the grill, then add lettuce, a grilled hamburger patty, a slice of cheese, some Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions, and top it off with a dollop of barbecue sauce!!! Now that’s the good life!! –Sue Harp

I would warm them in a saucepan, make some veggie meatballs and brown them in a fry pan. Use a slotted spoon & add the peppers and onions to the meatballs. Take a grinder or a Kaiser roll, fill the roll with the mixture. Top with a bit of provolone cheese, and pop in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes (or until cheese melts. For non-vegetarians, you can use ‘real’ meatballs). -Karen Goodwin Delaney

These are some great suggestions!  Here are 9 more delicious ways to enjoy Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions:

  1. Serve warm Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions on top of a heaping bowl of hot and creamy polenta.
  2. Top a plain cheese pizza with Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions, goat cheese and julienned fresh basil and bake at 400° for 10 minutes (or until cheese is nice and bubbly).
  3. Toss warm Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions with cooked pasta, marinated Artichoke Hearts, sliced Kalamata Olives and red wine vinaigrette for a colorful and satisfying pasta salad.
  4. Add a drained jar of Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions to fajita-style beef or chicken and serve with flour tortillas, spicy salsa and fresh guacamole.
  5. Make a delicious Greek omelet with diced Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions, sliced Kalamata Olives and feta cheese.
  6. For a special soup, add a drained jar of Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions and garlic along with broth and a diced potato. Simmer until potato is soft, puree until smooth, add heavy cream and season to taste.
  7. Use Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions as a gourmet topping for hot dogs.
  8. Combine Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions with farro, kale & cannellini beans make for a rustic minestrone to warm your soul. Click here for our recipe.
  9. Turn spicy Italian Sausage into a meal by topping it with Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions. Click here for our recipe.

Our peppers and onions are locally grown in California, roasted, sautéed and packed within 24-hours of harvest.  Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions can be found in natural food stores across the country and are Certified Kosher, Gluten Free, Non-GMO Project Verified, and Certified Vegan. You can also find them online at VitaCost.com.  Enjoy!

Fajita photo credit: jeffreyw via photopin cc

Find Your Favorite Jeff’s Naturals Products at Sprouts Farmers Market

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It’s no secret there is a growing movement for more natural food alternatives across the country, so it should come as no surprise there is a increasing demand for stores like Sprouts Farmers Market, our featured retailer this month.

We understand why more consumers value the options offered at natural-products stores. Our natural line of olives, peppers and specialty items were developed to meet the needs of health conscious individuals searching for more natural alternatives free of preservatives, sulfites and GMOs.

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Sprouts is a neighborhood grocery store that offers thousands of natural, organic and gluten-free groceries and pantry staples (like Jeff’s Naturals), vitamins and supplements.

Shopping at Sprouts can be described as an experience, not a chore. The natural light, spacious aisles, affordable prices and old fashioned produce displays in field bins, barrels and wooden crates gives them the feel of an old-fashioned farmers market.

The abundance of fresh produce, meat, seafood, baked goods, gourmet cheese, offered at a great value sets them apart from your typical grocery store. Sprouts does not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach, their goal is to offer consumers the right balance between quality ingredients, flavor and price.

There are now more than 170 Sprouts stores in Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah where you can find Jeff’s Naturals along with thousands of other fabulous brands. You can locate your nearest Sprouts store with their store finder; just enter your ZIP or city and state.

We could tell you more, but we’ll let Sprouts CEO, Doug Sanders, take it from here.

Be sure to visit them on Facebook  & Twitter. Tell them we sent you! 😉