Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Zucchini Noodle Salad

This recipe was based on a recipe by Joy of Kosher.  We loved the idea of using zucchini in place of noodle.
Zucchini Noodle Salad
2 med zucchini (1 1/4 pounds total)
2 tbsp Star California Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 to 3 mini onions, sliced into thin rings
1 garlic clove, sliced thinly
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced
6.5 oz. jar Cara Mia Marinated Artichokes, drained and chopped
grated Parmesan for garnish, if desired
Salt & Pepper as needed

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Peel the zucchini and trim the ends. Using a vegetable peeler, cut the zucchini into long strands that look like flat noodles. Keep peeling strands until you have about 1/2 in of zucchini remaining in the center.  Discard the center.

Lay the zucchini strands in one even layer over double paper towel.  Allow zucchini to sit and dry out for an hour.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the STAR California Extra Virgin Olive Oil over medium heat. Satué the zucchini strands until just heated through and coated with oil, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

In the same pan, add the remaining olive oil and satué the onions and garlic until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté another 3 minutes. Then add the grape tomatoes and Cara Mia Artichokes for 1 minute. Season with Salt and pepper to taste and top with grated Parmesan.

Serve at room temperature
Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Picnicking Tips from STAR

We love this time of year; great weather, lots of fresh produce and plenty of outdoor fun. Here is a list of tips to help you get ready for your next picnic:
  • Everyone likes to lounge on a picnic blanket but sometimes the ground is wet or the picnic table is dirty. Bring along a vinyl tablecloth. They are water resistant and reusable!
  • Make picnic foods interesting and easy to eat – think finger foods. STAR Olive Pouches travel easily and are resealable!
  • Every order on will get a free set of STAR miniature EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar, perfect for lunches and picnics!
  • Put small bottles of water or juice in the freezer for a few hours before the picnic. These can then double-up as chiller-blocks to keep food cool and when you reach your picnic spot, the drinks will still be cold.
  • Stick a first aid kit in the car and leave it there all summer including sunscreen in the kit. You never know when you might need it!
  • Don't forget a trash bag to keep your area clean and for easy disposal.
Monday, May 21, 2012

Vegetarian Quinoa Risotto with Kale and Parmesan

It is Monday, and we are so excited to share this Vegetarian recipe for those doing Meatless Mondays.  This recipe makes an amazing meal but can also be ate as a side dish.

Quinoa is a pale ivory seeds cook to translucent little orbs ringed with a tiny white germ thread. This cherished ancient grain is one nature’s most nutritious foods. Lower in carbohydrates than grains, it contains all the amino acids to make a complete protein. This adaptable and amazing grain can replace rice making this risotto higher in protein than traditional recipes.
Vegetarian Quinoa Risotto with Kale and Parmesan
1 Tbsp STAR Original Olive Oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
2 1/4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups chopped baby kale
1 small carrot, peeled and shredded
1 cup thinly sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms (you can also use dried ones that have been soaked 15 minutes)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper as needed

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In a large saucepan, heat the STAR Original Olive Oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft and translucent about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and quinoa and cook for about 1 minute, stirring occasional, not letting the garlic brown.

Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the quinoa is almost tender to the bite but slightly hard in the center, about 14 minutes. The mixture will be brothy.

Stir in the kale, carrot and mushrooms and simmer until the quinoa grains have turned from whit to translucent, about 2-4 minutes longer.

Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Watch our CEO/President Jeff Freeman on ABC30, here in California’s Central Valley and get a glimpse of where our STAR California EVOO is made!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

World Hypertension Day

World Hypertension Day is May 17th. The Day has been established to highlight the preventable stroke, heart and kidney diseases caused by high blood pressure and to communicate to the public information on prevention, detection and treatment. What is Hypertension? Hypertension is most commonly known as High Blood Pressure. It is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure is elevated. Many people have high blood pressure for years without knowing it. Most of the time, there are no symptoms, but when high blood pressure goes untreated, it damages arteries and vital organs throughout the body. That’s why high blood pressure is often called the “silent killer”.
The Mediterranean Diet

Some Dietetic recommendations to reduce hypertension include:
  • Increase consumption of Fruit and vegetables
  • Drink milk and low-fat milk derivatives
  • Limit red meat consumption and replace with poultry or fish
  • Eat whole-grain bread, cereal and rice
  • Eat nuts 3-7 days a week
  • Reduce salt intake by seasoning dishes with herbs, spices, lemon, vinegar, garlic and onion
  • Limit consumption of caffeinated beverages
  • Dress dishes and cook with Olive Oil
  • Exercise 

In a study posted on the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition it was written, "Olive oil intake per se may be as important as fruit and vegetable intakes in the apparent beneficial effect of the Mediterranean diet in the context of arterial blood pressure control." The Mediterranean Diet serves as a great example for people watching their blood pressure.

For more information on Hypertension you can visit The International Society of Hypertension.  ( 
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What The Heck Are You Eating? Olive Oil

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rosemary Infused Brown Rice

Rosemary Infused Brown Rice
We are loving our new Family Reserve Olive Oil with Fresh Rosemary!  We have been experimenting with it and discovered that adding it to rice replacing any butter you might add gives the rice a wonderful infusion of rosemary.  This side dish goes great with chicken, fish, pork or beef.


1 cup  Lundberg® short grain brown rice
2 cups water or broth
1 tbsp. STAR Family Reserve Olive Oil with Fresh Rosemary

Put all ingredients in a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 50 minutes. Do not remove lid. Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. A rice cooker may be used with the same water-to-rice ratio. Yield: 3 cups.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Bacon and Mint

Spring is here and the farmers market had these beautiful Sugar Snap Peas!  We love the combination of lemon, bacon and mint this recipe has.  Great as a side salad or even as an entree.

Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Bacon and Mint
1 pound sugar snap peas
2 tablespoons STAR California Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 sprig fresh mint for garnish, if desired
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled

Wash the sugar snap peas and de-string them if necessary, snapping the tip and removing the fibrous strand running lengthwise. If the snap peas are young though, you won’t have to do this. Drop the sugar snap peas into the pot of boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes, then strain out and drop them into an ice bath.

Whisk the STAR California EVOO, lemon juice, mint, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl then add the bacon.  Once the snap peas are cooled, strain them out and add them to the bowl.  Toss with the vinaigrette and place on serving dish.

Garnish with fresh mint if desired.
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