Tag Archives: Tips

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!


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

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

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

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

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!


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.

9 Simple Ways to Start a Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle

pic_Italian-Summer-Palette-SaladIf your goal is to improve your overall health and lifestyle in 2014, we want to help! Last month, we shared five reasons to follow the Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean lifestyle is not a fad nor does it have a catchy title. It is simply a common sense approach to eating and living that has been shown to improve well-being and quality of life. The best part is, the Mediterranean diet does not ban any major food groups and is not difficult or expensive to follow.

Health organizations like Oldways are a great place to begin. The organization provides resources to help consumers understand what the Mediterranean Diet is, why it is good for you, and how to shop for and cook healthy Mediterranean meals. For more information Download their 8 simple steps you can start following a Mediterranean Diet today.

Here are some additional suggestions on how to get to started. You may find these simple steps to be easier and more manageable than you thought.

1. Print out a copy of the Mediterranean diet pyramid and post in your kitchen.

It helps to visually to compare and contrast the Mediterranean diet pyramid to the USDA Food Pyramid we are all used to.  In a nutshell the Mediterranean diet pyramid emphasizes fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and flavorful herbs and spices; eating fish and seafood at least a couple of times a week; enjoying poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt in moderation.

Compared to the USDA, the Mediterranean Pyramid contains much smaller amounts of red meat, sweets (fruits are eaten as sweets) and dairy but allows for more in-take of healthy fats and oils.

Another difference is that the Mediterranean Food pyramid is structured to demonstrate what is recommended on a monthy, weekly and daily basis while the USDA just describes the daily intake.


2. Eat breakfast every day no matter how busy you are.

You have heard it before but breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The reasons to eat breakfast every day are seemingly endless. Studies have linked a healthy breakfast with lower rates of obesity, more energy throughout the day, and better productivity. A breakfast packed with fruits, whole grains, and other fiber-rich foods are a great way to start your day, just do it.

3. Understand the difference between healthy fats and unhealthy fats.

Monounsaturated fats found in ingredients such as extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, sunflower seeds, olives, and avocados and polyunsaturated fats found in sunflower, safflower, soybean, and corn oil are known as the “good fats” because they are good for your heart, your cholesterol, and your overall health.

Overconsumption of saturated fats and trans fats can increase your risk of disease and elevate cholesterol, so consume these in moderation. Click here to learn more about the differences in fats.

Join the millions who have adopted “Meatless Mondays” into our weekly meal planning or simply pick a day where you build meals around beans, whole grains, and vegetables. Once you are comfortable with making vegetarian meals, try two nights a week. Don’t substitute cheese for meat- this defeats the purpose!

5. Pack in as many vegetables as possible into your meals.

Load up sandwiches, omelets, soups, pizza, etc with fresh herbs and vegetables. Look for recipes packed with vegetables like this Italian Farro Minestrone soup made with our Roasted Red Peppers and Caramelized Onions, or Indian Summer Palette Salad with mixed greens, red onion, basil, Kalamata Olives, Garlic Stuffed Olives, and Roma tomatoes.

6. Reduce your meat intake. 

Numerous reports have shown that Americans eat more meat than any other nation. In fact, Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)  says the average every America consumes nearly 200 pounds of meat each year.

We are not saying NO MEAT, but reducing the amount of saturated fats and trans fats found in meat products could have a positive impact on your health.  The Mediterranean diet allows you to have meat, but it encourages smaller amounts and leaner cuts. Save the red meat for special occasions.

7. Eat seafood twice a week.

Fish such as tuna, salmon, herring, and sardines are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and shellfish like mussels, oysters, and clams have similar benefits for brain and heart health. Try new fish recipes like this one for Encrusted Salmon with Olive Pesto using our Kalamata Olives.

8. Make it a goal to sit down at the family table for dinner on a consistent basis.

In most cultures, meal time is a pleasurable experience with good foods and drinks, well prepared and consumed with pleasure, in the company of family and friends.

For many of us, the demands of our schedule make it difficult if not impossible to enjoy regular family meals together.…however it is important for our health and the health of your children. In recent years, researchers have linked regular family dinners with lower the rates of obesity and eating disorders in children and adolescents, lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy and depression, as well as higher grade-point averages and self-esteem.   Visit thefamilydinnerproject.org for tips on how to bring your family  back to the table for dinner.


Go for a walk even if it just around the block.  Play with your kids, go dancing, do yoga, go for a run, do a zumba class, go hiking, ride a bicycle, lift weights…whatever your exercise preference is..DO IT!  Commit yourself to getting at least 20-30 minutes a day!  Get off the couch or the computer and move!

Mediterranean products that have been enjoyed for generations are now available in an all-natural line. We, at Jeff’s Naturals, have been working for years striving to perfect this product line and we finally have it. We are pleased to offer a line free of preservatives, stablilizers, artificial colors, flavors and sulfites. Browse our collection of recipes created exclusively to highlight our all natural line of products. Some are old family favorites and others are modern takes on Mediterranean classics. Jeff’s Naturals products are convenient and add color and loads of flavor to any meal.

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