Tag Archives: Gluten Free

Eat Healthy with the Incomparable Vegetarian Mamma!

Vegetarian cooking can sometimes be a daunting task to people trying it for the first time; “how can it be tasty without meat,” they ask. Well, Vegetarian Mamma has shown just how fun and easy-to-prepare vegetarian dishes can be. Through her website, blog, and cookbooks, Cindy Gordon provides a bounty of recipes and techniques that the whole family can enjoy.

Photo Source: Vegetarian Mamma
Photo Source: Vegetarian Mamma

We’re proud to say that many of these mouth-watering meals make use of our very own Jeff’s Naturals line of all-natural non-GMO products, such as this Mediterranean Rice Bowl recipe (seen above) and a Roasted Tomato Sauce Pasta (see below- yummy!!).

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Trust us, you have to try these recipes for yourself.

All recipes featured on Vegetarian Mamma’s site are vegetarian, and the site offers giveaways of gluten-free, allergy-friendly products so you can test the delicious products she uses!

If you’re looking for a good place to pick up some vegetarian-friendly recipes, Vegetarian Mamma’s recipe page is of course the natural place to start. But why stop there? When you enter our 2017 Fresh Start Sweepstakes, you can win a copy of Vegetarian Mamma’s cookbook Gluten Free Fork!

Photo Source Vegetarian Mamma
Photo Source Vegetarian Mamma

Vegetarian Mamma strives to create an atmosphere of positivity and helpfulness to welcome anyone looking to improve their diet. She says it best herself:

This website is meant for everybody! If you are seeking information on recipes, products or just want to be part of a community, this site is for YOU! While we do share some humor within our posts, we try to keep it classy and supportive of all who visit. We try to stay encouraging and welcoming. While some recipes and products may not fit for some, they may be perfect fits for others. At Vegetarian Mamma, we are here to encourage one another and to keep things positive.  We are not here to try to dictate what you should and shouldn’t consume. You know your body, you know your beliefs and you can act upon them.

Cooking is, at its core about love, both for the food itself and the people you are cooking for. This guiding principal is clear in Vegetarian Mamma’s site, blog, book, and recipes. The amount of care and consideration, both for the meal itself and the eater, is palpable and most importantly tasted in the recipes she provides. Be sure to visit her website often for the latest and best in vegetarian recipes and giveaways!

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.

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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

Try Samples of Jeff’s Naturals Olives at PCC Natural Markets this Month!

Nourish Everyone Around Your Table With Wholesome Foods from PCC Natural Markets

Photo courtesy of PCC Natural Markets - Fremont
Photo courtesy of PCC Natural Markets – Fremont


Businesses that are owned and operated by a group of individuals for their mutual benefit, a.k.a. co­‐ops, are commonly recognized as a force for positive economic and social change throughout the world. We are proud that consumers can find Jeff’s Naturals products in food cooperatives across the United States,  including PCC Natural Markets.

Puget Consumers’ Co-op (PCC) is a certified organic co-op with 10 stores in the Seattle and Puget Sound area, specializing in all-natural foods. As the demand for natural foods continues to increase, organizations like PCC continue to evolve to accommodate more families.  In fact, what began as a small food-buying club in 1953 has grown into the largest consumer-owned natural food retail co-operative in the United States.

PCC Natural Markets is more than just a business. It is a growing group of individuals who strive to educate its members about food and environmental issues, and create a marketplace for organically grown foods.

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.

This month, PCC Natural Markets has been offering taste samples to shoppers in various stores to try our stuffed Olives. If you are in the greater Seattle area, we hope you will stop by these locations to try them out for yourself!

Greenlake Aurora PCC 2/17 11:30-3:30
View Ridge 2/24 11:30-3:30


Featured Natural Foods Store: Lamb’s Nature’s Choice Market

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We know that everyone loves to find a great sale or bargain, so we are happy to let you know that Jeff’s Naturals is part of the It’s Only Natural sale at Lamb’s Nature’s Choice Market stores during the month of February!

That means that this is the perfect time for consumers to stock up and save up to 25% off of their favorite Jeff’s Naturals items at all Lamb’s Markets!

Jeff's Naturals
This is the time to stock up on Jeff’s Naturals!

Castelvetrano Olives

Lamb’s Nature’s Choice Market operates a number of independently managed food stores in the Pacific Northwest including

  • Nature’s Choice Market in Lake Oswego, OR
  • Garden Home in Portland, OR
  • Stroheckers in Portland, OR
  • Nature’s Choice Market in Wilsonville, OR

Our all-natural line of Mediterranean pantry staples can be found in all the above Lamb’s Market stores and in addition to Cutsforth Marketplace Thriftway in Canby, OR and Shop n Kart in Chehalis, WA.

Consumers with food sensitivities and allergies will appreciate “Free From” at Lamb’s, an Allergen Awareness Program developed to help their customers find appropriate foods for their special dietary needs. The store even offers a Gluten Free store tours with a local Gluten Free Lifestyle expert who offers suggestions for replacing old favorites with new ones. For more information on Lamb’s Market, please visit www.lambsmarkets.net.

Jeff’s Naturals can be found in natural food stores all over the country. To find a store near you, try our new store locator.  You never know when you’ll find a great sale! Happy Shopping!

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10 Original Holiday Appetizer Ideas

Holiday OlivesCall it a hunch, but we have a sneaking suspicion that you have a lot on your plate these days. It can be easy to get overwhelmed this time of year between holiday gatherings, shopping, overnight guests, school getting out, etc.

While we can’t help with everything, we CAN help uncomplicate holiday entertaining for you! From handstuffing olives with feta, blue cheese or locally grown garlic to roasting red peppers, we have already have done much the work for you right here in Napa Valley.

All you have to do is pick up a your favorite Jeff’s Naturals products at your local food store (or order online), crack open a jar and get creative by pairing our olives and peppers with your favorite appetizers and dishes.

Holiday Antipasto PlatterYou can also follow some of these simple ideas to make a statement at your holiday gathering:

1. Serve Spicy Italian Olive Antipasto with feta cheese, hummus and warm pita triangles.

2. Mix Diced Tamed™ Jalapeños with fresh cilantro and garlic. Blend with a stick of softened butter and spread it on crusty bread for a delicious snack!

3. Cube your favorite cheese and serve with a combination of Castelvetrano Olives, Organic Pitted Whole Greek Kalamata Olives, Feta Cheese Stuffed Olives, olive oil and a few shavings of citrus peel for an easy party appetizer.

4. Arrange sliced Roasted Bell Pepper Strips on a serving plate with sliced fresh mozzarella and julienned fresh basil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

5. Roughly chop Organic Sliced Greek Kalamata Olives and toss with olive oil and capers. Spoon mixture over a block goat cheese and serve with pita chips.

6. Combine Garlic Stuffed Olives in a food processor with anchovy filets, Capers, lemon juice and olive oil for a terrific tapenade. Spread it on fish or chicken or serve it as an appetizer.

7. Chop Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives and/or Feta Cheese Stuffed Olives and sprinkle on hummus. Use as a dip for crudité.

8. Make an olive tapenade by putting Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives and/or Feta Cheese Stuffed Olives into a food processor with some of the olive brine and olive oil.

9. Serve Castelvetrano Olives as a quick and addictive snack by themselves or alongside Spanish Marcona almonds and Manchego cheese.

10. Create an antipasto platter using Garlic Stuffed Olives and Marinated Artichoke Hearts, Roasted Red Bell Peppers and assorted meats and cheeses.

We’ve added new appetizers, cocktails and side dish recipes to our recipe page for your enjoyment like Creamy Jalapeño Dip Supreme Artichoke Dip , Deep Dish Party Pizzas and more.

Roasted Red Bell Peppers

8 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Red Bell Peppers

Roasted Red Bell Peppers

November is National “Capsicum annum” month, or as most of us call it, National Pepper Month! With their sweet, robust flavor and bright colors, roasted bell peppers are common ingredients in Mediterranean dishes, pizzas, salads, sauces and appetizers.

Over the years we have worked with local family farms in Northern California to bring our consumers the freshest bell pepper products available. Our locally grown peppers are roasted and packed in water with sea salt for a light smoky flavor within twenty-four hours of harvest.

Roasted Red Bell Peppers

Here are some fun facts* about red bell peppers you may not have known!

  1. Red bell peppers are simply green bell peppers that have been left on the vine to continue to ripen.
  2. Peppers are actually fruits because they are produced from a flowering plant and contain seeds-most people think of them as vegetables.
  3. Red bell peppers are sweeter than green ones because bell peppers sweeten as they ripen.
  4. Red bell peppers have more than twice the vitamin C of a green pepper.
  5. Bell peppers are a good source of Vitamin A.
  6. The scientific name for bell peppers is Capsicum annum.
  7. Peppers were named by Spanish explorers searching for peppercorn plants to produce black pepper.
  8. Capsicums are what peppers are called in Australia.

Next time you pick up a jar of Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, try

Making a delicious Greek omelet with diced Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, sliced Kalamata Olives and feta cheese.

-OR-

Layering Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, Grilled Artichoke Hearts, fresh mozzarella, and arugula on rustic Italian bread for an amazing panini.

-OR-

Puree Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Pepper Strips with fresh basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil and pine nuts for a smoky-sweet roasted red pepper pesto.

You can also try adding drained jar of Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions to fajita-style beef or chicken and serve with flour tortillas, spicy salsa and fresh guacamole.

The possibilities are endless!

*Source: http://fns.dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/fns/pdf/ffvp_fs_bp.pdf

photo credit: smohundro via photopin cc

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.

pic_sausage-smothered-in-peppers-peperoncini-and-onions pic_Italian-Farro-Minestrone

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

When it Comes to Flavor and Fun, a Little Peperoncini Goes a Long Way

“Ugh…Pasta for dinner again?”

Does this sound familiar? If so, may we suggest adding a little twist to your regular quick weeknight dish? Why not throw in some Jeff’s Naturals sliced Golden Greek Peperoncini to liven things up! A little bit goes a long way to bring plenty flavor and fun to the table!

The possibilities are endless, you just have to get creative!

For instance, did you know you could liven up any sandwich or wrap with a hearty helping of our peperoncini? You can also toss peperoncini into a mixed green salad or top it on a pizza for an extra punch of flavor!

Pizza

How about creating a plentiful antipasto platter with our Whole Golden Greek Peperoncini, Kalamata Olives, marinated Artichoke Hearts, Roasted Bell Pepper Strips and assorted meats and cheeses? Or add some peperoncini & feta to your mac ‘n cheese for a spicy kick to the traditional recipe!

Who knew there were so many ways peperoncini can save dinner?

Here are 3 easy recipes that just may become an instant classic for you and your family! And with so little prep or need for a clean up, these dishes also made an ideal weeknight dinner (very helpful as the kids head back to school!).

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Mediterranian Salad

1- 16 oz. package of dried rotelle pasta
8 oz. Jeff’s Naturals sliced Golden Greek Peperoncini, drained & chopped
8 oz. Jeff’s Naturals Organic Sliced Greek Kalamata Olives, drained
8 oz. Jeff’s Naturals Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes, not drained
8 oz. Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, chopped
2 Jars (4 oz) marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper

Preparation
Boil Pasta according to the directions on the package. Rinse under cold water and drain thoroughly. Add pasta to a medium sized bowl along with the remaining ingredients. Blend together. The pasta salad may be served immediately or stored covered in the refrigerator for the following day. Enjoy!

Jeff’s Kickin’ Turkey Meatball Sandwich

Meatball Sandwich

2 c. prepared turkey meatballs
1 jar gourmet pasta sauce, (We like Tomato Basil- YUM!)
1 medium red onion
4 soft sandwich rolls
1 c. Jeff’s Naturals sliced Golden Greek Peperoncini
4 oz. provolone cheese, sliced

Preparation
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Heat 1/4 c. olive oil and prepare turkey meatballs according to package directions. Add pasta sauce and simmer on low. While meatballs are cooking, slice onion and cook in a skillet on medium high heat with remaining olive oil until edges are caramelized.

Open sandwich rolls and place on a baking sheet. Place onions on one side of the sandwich rolls. Place peperoncinis on the other side and top with provolone cheese. Heat in oven for five minutes, or until cheese melts. Remove pan from oven and add turkey meatballs to sandwiches. Serve with remaining sauce.

Best Ever Greek Salad

Greek Salad

1 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 c. white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 c. feta cheese, diced
8 oz. Jeff’s Naturals sliced Golden Greek Peperoncini, drained & chopped
2 jars (15 oz.) Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, drained & sliced
3 green bell peppers, seeds and membranes removed, sliced
3 large cucumbers, preferably seedless, peeled and sliced
1 jar (16 oz.) jar Jeff’s Naturals Organic Sliced Greek Kalamata Olives, drained and roughly chopped
2 large red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1-1/2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preparation
Combine all of the ingredients together in a stainless or non-reactive bowl, and toss together. Allow to marinate 15 minutes. Toss again before serving. Serve on nicely arranged lettuce leaves.

photo credit: mhaithaca via photopin cc

Find Your Favorite Jeff’s Naturals Products & More on Vitacost.com!

Vitacost_Jeffs
Photo Credit (bottom 2): Vegetarianmamma.com

Since we are all about living healthy lifestyles without sacrifice, we’re going to let you in on a little secret:

Wholesome living doesn’t have to be costly or inconvenient.

It’s true!  Having trouble finding your favorite natural foods products in your area code? No problem.  You don’t have to travel miles and miles out of your way just to find a specific brand or product.  Look for your favorite natural brands, like Jeff’s Naturals, on Vitacost.com!

Vitacost.com is a leading online retailer of healthy living products, including dietary supplements such as vitamins, minerals, herbs and other botanicals, amino acids and metabolites, as well as cosmetics, organic body and personal care products, pet products, sports nutrition and health foods.

With more than 40,000 health and wellness essentials from top brands, chances are you will find just what you are looking for and then some! For instance, you can find many of your favorite Jeff’s Naturals products including our Peperoncini, Sliced tamed Jalapenos, Stuffed Olives, Castelvetrano Olives, Peppers, Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes,  Organic Kalamata Olives and Capers!

Here’s the kicker: you won’t spend more when you shop on Vitacost.com, in fact, you just might save money…..AND they deliver them to your door. We aren’t saying not to support your local natural foods retailer (local businesses = better communities), but if this is not an option for you due to distance or lack of time, Vitacost is a great alternative.

The company is celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year and was recently awarded the 2014 Silver Stevie Award for Innovation in Customer Service. Vitacost.com, Inc. strives to offer its customers the broadest selection of healthy living products, while providing superior customer service and timely and accurate delivery.

We love the Vitacost Recipe Center, a great resource for people “on the go” who do not wish to sacrifice the wholesome and clean food they deserve.  Next time you are in a pinch for time or having trouble finding what you are looking for, we encourage you to visit their site and give them a try!

Jeff’s Dinner Inspiration: How to Host a “Make Your Own Pizza” Party

Make your own pizza party

It’s not always easy to come up with a dinner plan that accommodates a group of family or friends, especially if some of them have certain food allergies and/or restrictions. This why a “Make Your Own Pizza” party is an ideal solution! You can accommodate a large group or a small gathering. Got a food allergy? No problem. Your guest can choose what to put on their pizza. Lactose intolerant? Leave off the cheese and load up on the other goodies! Wheat intolerance? There are numerous gluten free pizza dough options out there! Your guests can customize their pizza any way they choose.

Not only are homemade pizzas delicious, making pizza allows your guests to get creative and is great conversation starter! In this post, we will guide you step by step on how to create a fun and delicious no-fuss dinner that will fit every just about any budget and taste.

Pizza

Step 1: Start with pre-made dough.
If you do not have time to make your own dough (and many of us don’t) purchase some pre-made dough. Contact your local pizza parlor and ask if you can purchase pre-made dough (tell them the number of guests you are hosting so they can estimate how much). If this is not an option, many grocery stores will carry pre-made dough. Figure this out in advance so you are not scrambling the day of your party.  

Step Two: Prep your dough in advance of your party.
Follow these dough tips from slice.seriouseats.com (visit this page for more great pizza tips!)

  • Make more than you need: Have at least 1 1/2 times the number of dough balls or shells as you have expected guests. Everybody loves leftovers, and you’re inevitably going to have a botched pie or two that will need to be reworked.
  • Make your dough at least a day in advance. Dough that’s had a three to five day rest in the refrigerator will be tastier and easier to work with than freshly made dough. It also makes set up for you planning simple.
  • Cold dough is impossible to work with. Pull your dough out, portion it into individual size balls, then let them sit on a lightly floured cutting board covered with plastic wrap and a towel for at least a couple hours before your guests arrive so it’ll be in prime condition to stretch.

Step Three: Offer a simple tomato pizza sauce
Start with a basic  homemade pizza sauce If you are feeling adventurous, add in a couple of fun alternative sauces like BBQ Pizza Sauce, Bechamel (white sauce) or Pesto

Step Four: Set out a variety of toppings for your guests to choose from.
Prep these in advance. Start with the basics (cheese, pepperoni) and kick things up with some unexpected ingredients (see below). Let your imagination go wild!

Pizza
Step Five: Let your guests assemble their pizzas.
Depending on the number of guests you have, you can stagger the number of people assembling the pizzas to accommodate your space and your oven.
Bake 2-3 pizzas at a time for 10-12 minutes at 425 degrees. Enjoy and Repeat as necessary!

photo credit: djwtwo via photopin cc

photo credit: ecospc via photopin cc