Tag Archives: Non GMO Ingredients

How to Prepare the Perfect Pasta Dish

Mama Mia! Since October is National Pasta Month, we wanted to give a salute to one of America’s favorite foods! In recent years, pasta has gotten a bad rap (think no carb diets) but we think that pasta dishes can actually be a healthy and filling meal, especially with some help from Jeff’s Naturals all natural line of olives, peppers, capers and sun ripened tomatoes.

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What’s the secret to pasta perfection? It begins with cooking pasta itself. The National Pasta Association recommends the following steps to cook pasta perfectly every time:

1. Boil 4 to 6 quarts of water for one pound of dry pasta. (You can divide this recipe depending on how much pasta you are cooking.)

2. Add the pasta with a stir and return the water to a boil.

3. Stir the pasta occasionally during cooking.

4. Follow the package directions for cooking times. If the pasta is to be used as part of a dish that requires further cooking, undercook the pasta by 1/3 of the cooking time specified on the package.

5. Taste the pasta to determine if it is done. Perfectly cooked pasta should be “al dente,” or firm to the bite, yet cooked through.

6. Drain pasta immediately and follow the rest of the recipe.

Reheating Pasta

To reheat cooked pasta, portion out the amount you need and place in boiling water. For extra-easy draining, you can place the pasta in a stainless steel colander or strainer and then submerge in boiling water. Count 40 to 60 seconds of re-heating time for a four-ounce serving. Drain the pasta well, toss with sauce and serve immediately. Pasta can also be reheated in the microwave oven. Reheat single servings on high for 45 seconds at a time, checking between intervals for doneness.

To create the perfect pasta dish, you must also pair it with the right sauce. The National Pasta Association recommends pairing thin, delicate pastas (like angel hair or thin spaghetti)are better served with lighter, thin sauces. If it’s a heavier sauce you crave, it’s better to stick with thicker pasta shapes, like fettuccine. Pasta shapes with holes or ridges, like mostaccioli or radiatore, are perfect for chunkier sauces.

Now that you know the basics, grab a fork and dig into our newest pasta recipe using Jeff’s Naturals!

Jeff’s Naturals Mediterranean Pasta

Prep Time: 5 min.Total Time: 10 min.Serves: 4

mediterranean-pasta-jeffs-naturals
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts, sliced diagonally
1 cup Jeff’s Naturals Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes, drained, julienned
2 Tablespoons crushed garlic
1 pound angel hair pasta, fresh
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 jar (6.5 ounces) Artichoke Hearts, drained
1/2 cup Jeff’s Naturals Organic Sliced Greek Kalamata Olives, drained
6 ounce crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
PREPARATION

Boil water for pasta. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken strips until no longer pink in the middle, about 3 minutes on each side. Add sun dried tomatoes and crushed garlic to skillet. Sauté for 2 minutes. In the meantime, add the fresh pasta to the boiling water, cook until al dente, about 5 minutes.

Add the basil, artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese to the skillet. Sauté 1 minute. Stir in cream. Strain pasta and transfer to a large pasta bowl. Add the chicken sauté to the pasta and toss.

Season with oregano, salt and pepper before serving.

Visit National Pasta Association to see these and other great pasta cooking tips!

No Cook

Try Our “No Cook” Recipes On Those Hot Summer Days

You know what they say, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out off the kitchen”! Nothing could be truer on a sweltering summer day.  But you still have to eat!  What to do?

Not to worry, we have you covered. Anyone can prepare delicious dishes using Jeff’s Naturals all-natural line of olives, peppers, capers and sun-dried tomatoes. Our recipe catalog is chock full of ideas you can use to prepare meals that are not only delicious and refreshing, they come together effortlessly without the heat!

Here are some “no cook” recipes to dash up delicious meals without having to turn on the stove!

New! Stuffed Greek Pita

StuffedGreekPita

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

Ingredients

Preparation

In a mixing bowl combine the tomatoes, spinach, cucumber, feta, olives, peperoncinis, sweet 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.

Delicious! Watermelon, Olive, Jalapeño and Feta Salad

WatermelonSalad

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

Ingredients

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl add all ingredients and gently mix.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Chill for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Served chilled.

Chef’s note: A refreshing salad, perfect side dish for any meal. Great with grilled dishes and sandwiches.

Refreshing! Cold Peperoncini and Cucumber Yogurt Soup

Recipe: Cold Peperoncini and Cucumber Yogurt Soup

Prep Time: 10 min | Total Time: 10 min | Serves: 4

Ingredients

Directions:

Strain yogurt through cheesecloth to remove excess water and milk.

Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Chill and serve cold.

Chef’s Note: Serve as shooters for a small appetizer, as a summer soup, or as a sauce for a light and healthy fish dish.

New! Muffuletta Sandwich

Muffuletta_Sandwich_cropped

Prep Time: 15 min. | Total Time: 15 min. | Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

Olive Salad:

Bread:

  • Hollow out 1 loaf round Italian bread

Cheese, Meats, Garnishes:

  • 6 oz. provolone cheese, sliced
  • 2 oz. capicollo, thinly sliced
  • 2 oz. Genoa salami, thinly sliced
  • 2 oz. ham, thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • Romaine lettuce

*Calculated ingredients may not always be as accurate as the original recipe.

Directions

Finely chop the vegetables and olives for the olive salad. Combine all salad ingredients; set aside.

Cut the loaf of bread in half crosswise. Use a small, serrated knife to score the inside of both halves about 1″ from the crust. Hollow the bread halves by pulling out the insides with your hands. Leave shells about 1″ thick. Save the bread chunks for other uses.

Spoon salad into bottom half of loaf. Layer 2 oz. cheese over the salad. Top with one type of meat; repeat.

Finish layering with last of cheese and meat. Top with tomato and lettuce.

Use an electric knife to cut the sandwich into four wedges. If you don’t have one, use a very sharp serrated knife. Just saw carefully and don’t press too hard–or you might squish the entire filling out.

Muffulettas can be served hot or cold.

Farro Salad

Five “Farr-Out” Reasons to Love Farro + Three Great Recipes to Try!

Farro Recipes Jeff's Naturals

As you plan your next meal, why not try cooking with farro, the ancient grain with tremendous health benefits?

Farro is a whole grain wheat, larger than barley grain and possessing a similar taste. It’s very simple to cook on a stovetop, also great when prepared in a rice maker or a pressure cooker. It’s often used as an alternative to rice or pasta for all the nutritious qualities it contains.

Interested yet? Check out our top five reasons to love farro:

#1 Great Way to Up Your Vitamin B3 & Magnesium Intake
Farro is an excellent source of Vitamin B3, instrumental in improving your body’s metabolism. It’s also a great choice for your daily dose of Magnesium, which strengthens your blood pressure, bone strength, and overall cardiac health.

#2- This Supergrain is Rich in Anti-Oxidants
The anti-oxidants present in farro help prevent degenerative diseases and general cardiovascular problems.

#3 Great Source of Protein
Yes, it’s true! Farro contains about 15% protein, with 7 grams of protein found in a single serving!

#4 Cholesterol-Free
Not only is farro cholesterol-free, a full bowl has 8 grams of cholesterol-lowering fiber in it! An excellent choice for anyone watching their weight.

#5 Contains Complex Carbohydrates
The complex carbohydrates present in farro extend its digestion time, thus leaving you with more energy throughout the day.

So now you know why you should be cooking with farro but you may be wondering how to cook with it?

Consider these easy-to-make recipes below using Jeff’s Naturals line of certified non-GMO olives & peppers as an entry point into the delicious world of farro.

Farr-Out Recipe #1: Italian Farro Minestrone

Recipe: Italian Farro Minestrone
Prep Time: 15 min | Total Time: 45 min | Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • ¾ c. farro
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, or ½ small onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
  • 1/3 c. parsley, fine chopped
  • 1-14 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¾ c. Marinara Sauce
  • ¾ c. Jeff’s Naturals™ Roasted Red Peppers and Caramelized Onions, drained and rough chopped
  • 6-8 c. chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated parmesan to garnish

Directions:

In a large saucepan, bring salted water to a boil. Add farro and cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.

In a soup stockpot on medium heat, add olive oil, chopped shallot, carrot, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes until vegetables start to soften. Next add thyme sprigs, crushed garlic and kale. Stir for 2 minutes to wilt kale. Add the remaining ingredients with the reserved farro and let soup simmer 30 minutes.
Serve hot with parmesan cheese on top and enjoy.

Farr-Out Recipe #2: Castelvetrano Spring Farro Salad

Recipe: Castelvetrano Spring Farro Salad
Prep Time: 10 min   Total Time: 25 min   Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 c. farro
  • 1 c. shelled edamame
  • 1 c. peas, (we used frozen)
  • 1 c. broccolini, blanched and chopped
  • ¼ c. green onions, thin sliced
  • ½ c. Jeff’s Naturals™ Whole Castelvetrano Olives, cut off pit with paring knife
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. tarragon, fine chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. parsley, fine chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil.  Add farro and cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until tender to bite.  Farro has a natural bite and chewiness to it when it’s cooked through. Drain farro in a colander and set aside until slightly cooled.

In the meantime, in a large mixing bowl, add the edamame, peas, broccolini, green onions, olives, olive oil, lemon juice and zest.

Add farro to large mixing bowl and toss all ingredients together.  Add the herbs, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve!

Chefs Note:  Feel free to play with this recipe and use any vegetable or herb in season.  Asparagus, green beans, thyme or basil would all be wonderful. It will taste the best when the produce is the freshest!

Farr-Out Recipe #3: Farro Salad with Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives

Farro Salad with Blue Cheese-Stuffed Olives, Apples and Roasted Garlic
Prep Time: 5 min | Total Time: 20 min | Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 c. farro
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 ½ Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 ½ Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • ½. dried cranberries or cherries
  • ½ c. Jeff’s Naturals™ Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives, sliced
  • 1/3 c. slivered almonds, toasted
  • ½ c. roasted garlic cloves (can purchase in most specialty food stores)
  • 1 apple, diced and coated with lemon juice to prevent oxidization
  • ½ c. smoked mozzarella, cut into small cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil and add farro. Let cook about 10 minutes until tender to bite. Drain farro in a colander and set aside.

While faro is cooking, add the minced shallot, balsamic, olive oil, parsley with some salt and pepper to taste, in a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked faro and mix to coat. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.

Great served room temp or cold.

For more delicious and healthy recipes head on over to our Recipes page.

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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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

Big News About Jeff’s Naturals Feta and Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives…..

Cheese Stuffed OlivesNo more canola oil!

We, at Jeff’s Naturals, are passionate about good health and offering consumers products with ingredients that are free of preservatives, stablilizers, artificial colors, flavors, sulfites and GMOs.

In addition, we are always striving for excellence and believe one of the best ways to get better is to listen to our consumers.

Our Cheese Stuffed Olives, packed right here in the Napa Valley, are one of our most popular items in natural food stores.  However, many of you have contacted us via email and social media to let us know that you prefer not to include canola oil in your diet, even if it is non GMO.  This prompted us to make a change.

While it’s necessary to use oil when packing cheese stuffed olives (otherwise the cheese begins to degrade), we have opted to use expeller pressed sunflower oil, a lighter alternative to canola oil. We think you’ll agree that this makes our Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives and Feta Cheese Stuffed Olives  even more appealing!

Price Reduction!

We would also like to share that we have been able to reduce the price on these two olives—you should soon see these two cheese stuffed olives being line priced with our other delicious Jeff’s Naturals olives!

This means you can stock up on all of your favorite Jeff’s Naturals olives, at the same price! Whether you try them in a Caesar salad, sprinkled over a pizza, in a martini, an antipasto platter or tossed into your favorite pasta dish, you can’t go wrong!

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Here are a few ideas to enjoy our new and (if we do say so) improved cheese stuffed olives:

  • Make an olive tapenade by putting Jeff’s Naturals Feta Cheese Stuffed Olives into a food processor with some of the olive brine and olive oil.
  • Sauté Jeff’s Naturals Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives with ground meat, tomato sauce, raisins and herbs for a quick skillet picadillo. Serve over rice for a satisfying meal.
  • Add chopped Jeff’s Naturals Feta Cheese Stuffed Olives to some couscous, with diced tomato, minced onion and drizzle with some olive oil and olive juice and garnish with basil. You’ll have a 5 minute dish to take to your next picnic.

For more inspiration, visit our recipe page and search for recipes featuring our Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives and Feta Cheese Stuffed Olives!

Do you have any feedback about our ingredients?  Feel free to share it with us on Facebook or our contact page.

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