Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Q: Does wine vinegar have any alcohol?

A: No, the product "wine vinegar" only states the source of the vinegar, which is wine. All alcohol in the wine is converted to vinegar by fermentation.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cooking for Kids - Spanish Tortilla

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Comfort in a bowl -

Comfort in a bowl -
Special to The Star

Michael Smith’s Lentil and Parmesan Soup
Executive chef Michael Smith, owner of restaurants Extra Virgin and Michael Smith, enhances the humble flavor of lentils with Parmesan cheese. He suggests serving this soup piping hot with a sprinkling of Parmesan and a drizzle of good-quality olive oil on top, plus garlic-Parmesan crostinis.

Note that the Parmesan broth requires advance preparation time. Combine 4 ounces Parmesan cheese with 2 quarts water or chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Simmer for two hours. Strain the broth and reserve.

Peel and dice 1 yellow onion, 1 medium carrot and 1 parsnip into 1/4-inch cubes. Add 4 tablespoons olive oil to a large pot and heat over high flame until the oil starts to smoke.

Add diced vegetables and cook 5-7 minutes until vegetables start to soften. Add 1 clove minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add 2 cups rinsed brown or green lentils, 2 bay leaves, 2 sprigs fresh thyme and 1 teaspoon tomato paste. Stir for one minute. Add reserved Parmesan broth and bring to a boil.

Simmer slowly until lentils soften. Season with salt and pepper to taste, adding water as necessary. The lentils will absorb most of it as they cook. Take out the bay leaves and thyme before serving.

The soup as shown here is garnished with a jicama-cucumber-tomato relish, parsley and homemade potato crisps.

Pete Dulin is a freelance writer in Kansas City.

Read more:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Q: Are your products gluten-free?

A: The following products are gluten-free: Olive oil, Wine vinegar, Green Olives, Greek Pepperoncini, Capers, Onions, Balsamic and Rice Vinegar, Marinated and Water Packed Artichokes, Artichoke Salad, Piquillo Peppers, Green Asparagus, Mushrooms and Sun-dried Tomatoes
Thursday, January 20, 2011

Making the Most of Olive Oil in the Kitchen

Original article by Slate Stone

Olive oil is considered to be healthy. It is a monounsaturated fat, which means it helps lower bad cholesterol. But even better than that is how wonderful olive oil tastes and how it can be used so many ways in the kitchen to create marvelous meals, salads, dipping sauces, marinades, baked goods and so much more. Olive oil has been a key and favorite ingredient of bakers and bread makers for centuries. If you have ever visited one of the Mediterranean countries, you will see how every kitchen has olive oil in its pantry and large bottles. In fact, here in the United States, we have so many oils to choose from you wouldn't know what household uses which oil or oils for cooking, but in the Mediterranean countries, most home cooks use olive oil, and that's it. It keeps life simple and simplicity can be a good thing, especially when olive oil can be so good for you. Olive oil is versatile and flavorful and that's why it's a European favorite from frying fish to dressing vegetables to dipping crusty breads to creating tantalizing pasta dishes and so much more.

Let's take a look at tips to making the most of Olive Oil in your kitchen.
1. Olive oil is not just for baking in bread recipes, it can be used for most baked good recipes that call for oil. You don't have to worry about having a strong olive oil taste in baked sweets and treats if you use Light olive oil. Light olive oil is perfect for baking cakes and sweet rolls and flavored breads.
2. Use olive oil in your marinade recipes for meat, fish, and poultry. The texture and flavor it adds is pleasant and healthy.
3. You can reduce fat in baking by using olive oil instead of butter A general rule is to use about 25 % less when replacing butter with olive oil. So, for example, if a cake recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, use 3/4 cup of Light Olive oil instead. If a recipe calls for 1/3 cup of butter use 1/4 cup of Light Olive oil instead.
4. Use olive oil for roasting vegetables. You can add seasonings you like and cover in foil. The vegetables are enhanced and retain their natural juices.
5. Olive oil drizzled over a whole bulb of garlic, then roasted in foil with some ground black pepper makes for a great spread over hot bread and garlic bread. You can sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the soft garlic spread for even more kick.
6. Store olive oil upright and in a cool, dark place. Although it can be refrigerated, it is better not to. Containers should be sealed tightly. It is better not to transfer the olive oil into plastic or metal jars or decanters because it transforms the oil and breaks down some of the flavor as well as its shelf life. Unused olive oil should be kept in its original jar, and olive oil you use to make salad dressings should be kept in glass jars with tightly fitting lids. Use your olive oil within a year of purchase.
7. Toss steamed vegetables with a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder and ground black pepper or crushed red pepper for great flavored vegetables.
8. Brush olive oil over grilled meat, poultry, or seafood right before serving. They will be tender and delicious.
9. Buy olive oil in the largest bottle you can afford, consistent with your usage. The olive oil in the larger bottles ages slower because there is less oxygen per ounce of liquid.
10. Olive oil heated and mixed with sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese makes an excellent simple, tasty and healthy dressing for cooked pasta.
11. Tossing cooked pasta with just a teaspoon of olive oil right after the pasta is drained, not only enhances the flavor, but it prevents pasta from clumping.
12. Extra Virgin Olive oil makes great dipping oil for hot crusty Italian bread or other hearty artisan breads. It can be used plain or you can create your own exotic flavor by blending some of your favorite spices and herbs.
13. A little olive oil added to butter in the frying pan, helps prevent the butter from burning.
14. Using olive oil with red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar and a dash of black pepper and garlic powder makes a great salad dressing over salad greens. You can also make a tasty and nutritious marinated cold vegetable salad, such as three-bean salad, or mushroom chickpea salad, by blending vegetables and beans with some olive oil and red vinegar and salt and black pepper.
15. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over thinly sliced ripe tomatoes and mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with fresh basil and ground black pepper for a light and tasty Italian salad.
16. Olive oil is great for frying. It can take high temperatures and doesn't break down and form toxic compounds like other oils used for frying. As a result, olive oil can be re-used for frying up to four times if you filter it.
17. If you are sensitive to spicy foods, then adding extra virgin olive oil to food that is too spice will help make the flavor milder.
18. Extra virgin and virgin olive oil which is more expensive than just "olive oil" makes for better finishing oils - - the oil you use to drizzle over salad or pasta or bread.
19. Try using olive oil instead of butter on baked potatoes and mashed potatoes. It is healthy and makes for a silky texture.
20. Make your own Tabouli by using couscous and adding olive oil, chopped tomatoes, black pepper, lemon juice and scallions. Tabouli is a Middle Eastern salad dish eaten cold and often sold in the deli department of your grocery store or natural food store. But you can save money by making this simple dish at home. For a couple of versions of easy Tabouli visit these links for recipes:
To learn more about olive oil visit these links

Friday, January 14, 2011

Q: What is the difference between Extra Virgin, Originale, and Extra Light Olive Oil?

A: Extra Virgin Olive Oil is cold-pressed with a maximum acidity of 0.8%.

Originale is 100% pure olive oil that is fresh-pressed, with a milder flavor than Extra Virgin and maximum acidity of 2%. 

Extra Light is a mild olive oil that is a blend of refined olive oils with varying amounts of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Thursday, January 13, 2011

Moroccan Chickpea Stew


Moroccan Chickpea Stew Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 small piece of ginger, minced (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger)*
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin*
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric*
  • 1/4 tsp paprika*
  • 1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • pinch saffron (optional), soaked in 1 Tbsp hot water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 apple or pear, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas (about 2 14 oz cans, or 1 1/2 19 oz cans)
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh mint and/or parsley
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds (optional) 
  • *If you don't have individual spices, you can use 1 tsp of your favorite curry or Indian mixed powder, along with the 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.

    Moroccan Chickpea Stew Directions

  • Heat a large soup pot over medium heat until hot. Add the oil and onion, and saute until softened, then add the ginger (if you're using ground ginger, add it with the spices later). Add the carrot and zucchini, stir and cook for 2 minutes, or until they've just started to sweat.
  • Add the cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, paprika, and pepper and saute for a minute or two. Stir in the tomatoes, stock or water, saffron, salt, apple or pear, apricots, lemon zest and juice, and chickpeas. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • You can also saute the vegetables in a small pan, then transfer to a slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients. Turn to high heat until the stew gets to a simmer, then turn to low and leave for about 4 hours.
  • Just before serving, stir in the mint or parsley, spoon into bowls and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Spinach and Olive Oil Help Women Lower Heart Disease Risk

Spinach and Olive Oil Help Women Lower Heart Disease Risk
News by Diet Blog (1 Day Ago) in Health / Dieting

Olive oil and leafy green vegetables, like cooked spinach and salad greens, may help women lower their risk of heart disease, claims a new study.
Green vegetables and olive oil are both rich in antioxidants, which have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and even cancer.
The new study says a salad with a little olive oil-based salad dressing
may be enough to cut heart risks.
In 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated 17.1 million people died from cardiovascular disease worldwide. By 2030, the WHO projects that number will jump to 23.6 million people.
Writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists found women consuming at least one serving of leafy vegetables, and three tablespoons of olive oil per day, reduced the risk of heart disease by over 40%.
Experts reviewed dietary data on 30,000 women (average age 50) taking part in a national health study, and followed the participants for 8 years, noting how many women developed cardiovascular disease.
Data showed 144 women had heart problems, such as heart attacks. But women eating foods like lettuce and spinach had a 46% lower risk of heart disease, and 44% reduced risk for women consuming one ounce of olive oil each day.
Researchers believe the antioxidants in both olive oil and green vegetables are the reason for the reduced risk.
In addition to regular exercise and not smoking, the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends cutting saturated fats and eating more fresh fruits and vegetables to lower your likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease.
Friday, January 7, 2011

The Mediterranean diet

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Potatoes Anna, a great side dish under 200 calories!

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