Monthly Archives: May 2015


How to Build A Super Salad

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If you’re like most people, chances are you could use more veggies in your diet. Eating a healthy, nutrient rich, low-cal salad is not only good for you, it can be completely satisfying if you add the right ingredients. In honor of National Salad month, we encourage you to punch it up and wake up your palette with these healthy salad tips.

Be inspired and be healthy!

Step One: More Leafy Greens Please!

Today show nutritionist Joy Bauer says to choose a base for your salad that provides important nutrients like folic acid and lutein. “Give up the iceberg for mesclun greens, baby spinach, or a spring mix that includes a variety of dark green lettuces”, she says in her post, 5 Tips for Building a Healthier Salad.

Instead of adding cheese, add sliced peperonicnis or jalapeño stuffed olives.

Step Two: Get colorful and creative with fruits, vegetables and herbs!

Pile on as many vegetables as possible. The more seasonal and local your vegetables are, the better (think Farmers Markets). Summer is the perfect time to indulge in a multitude of fresh seasonal fruits, veggies and herbs. When making your salad, go for different textures and tastes. You can also use leftovers you find in the fridge (like grilled veggies- YUM) and many pantry staples like olives, peppers, artichoke hearts, and more.


Step Three: Add Protein

In her post, Joy Bauer also recommends adding protein to your salad for a satisfying meal.

“If you’re opting for animal protein, select one lean source (or two if you’re extra-hungry), such as four egg whites or three ounces of skinless chicken or turkey breast, water-packed chunk light tuna, wild salmon, or lean sirloin steak. If you’re vegetarian or just want to mix it up, choose half a cup of cubed tofu or three-quarters of a cup of chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans, or other legumes”.

Step Four: Add some additional toppings for extra flavor!

Greek Salad
These are the items that can take your salad to the next level, but have the potential to pack in too much fat and calories if you aren’t careful. Toppings like chopped nuts, seeds, shredded cheese, croutons, dried cranberries or raisins, and salad dressings are fantastic on salads, but should be used sparingly. For less fat and more flavor in your meals, think about adding something spicy to your salad.

Here are some more salad tips to inspire you:

  • Toss Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes with chilled cooked pasta, sliced Kalamata Olives and Marinated Artichoke Hearts for a colorful and delicious pasta salad.
  • Toss pitted Castelvetrano Olives with mixed baby greens, orange sections, shaved fennel and a light lemon vinaigrette for a beautiful and refreshing salad.
  • For a tangy vegetarian version of a classic Caesar salad, use Capers in place of the traditional anchovies.
  • Toss Spicy Italian Olive Antipasto, along with its marinade, with romaine lettuce and tomato wedges. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and top with crumbled feta cheese for a super quick and delicious salad.
  • Toss pitted Kalamata Olives with feta cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, olive oil and red wine vinegar for a refreshing Greek salad.
  • Add diced Jalapeño Stuffed Olives to a Southwestern black bean salad.
  • Toss Sliced Pepperoncini into a mixed green salad for an extra punch of flavor.
  • Add Sliced Hot Cherry Peppers to salads for a boost of color and flavor.
  • Arrange Roasted Bell Pepper Strips on a serving plate along with sliced fresh mozzarella and julienned fresh basil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

photo credit: Pear Dried Cranberries and Candied Pecan Salad via photopin (license)

Top  photo by @veggielovingmom on Instagram

Fresh New Recipes Featuring Jeff’s Naturals 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.

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

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.

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

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.
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)

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)