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Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Whether for warm weather picnicking, or hunkering in with a hearty winter salad, this piquant Mediterranean pasta salad recipe is a high-protein home run. Featuring organic, gluten-free red lentil pasta and cold-pressed oregano olive oil, it’s healthier than traditional white pasta salad with mayo, and I think it tastes amazing too! Dr. Sinatra’s Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe We all like things our own way (plus, I don’t really measure my ingredients), which is why I’ve listed varying amounts of Mediterranean pasta salad ingredients. If you’re unsure of how much to use, start with lesser amounts, then taste the dish and... Continue Reading

Easy Caprese Salad

A simple combination of fresh mozzarella cheese and juicy, ripe tomatoes, Caprese salad is a classic Italian appetizer ("Insalata Caprese") that's not only delicious, but really easy to make! There are several ways to make an Easy Caprese Salad...In the video below, I make it with traditional tomatoes, dress it with cold-pressed basil olive oil, and finish it with freshly ground Natural Salt Blend and Pepper and Juniper Blend - it's a super quick and easy recipe. If you like, you can make it instead with extra virgin olive oil and get that sweet, basil flavor by actually layering fresh... Continue Reading

Love Flavored Olive Oil? Our Cold Pressed Is Still Best

As a lover of olive oil, it does my heart good to see so many people embracing it as a flavorful and healthy way to eat. There’s nothing better, in my book, for both the taste buds and…well… every other part of your body!One look at store shelves will tell you just how big olive oil is becoming. At the store where my wife Jan and I usually shop, we’ve gone from having a handful of choices to a dozen or more. Olive oil makers—including us here at Vervana—are bringing even more product options to the table, too. Flavored olive... Continue Reading

Going Beyond Bread with Bread Dipping Spices

I’ll admit it. A few years ago, when I created my Vervana Olive Oil Spices Blend, I had bread on the brain. I just love fresh sourdough bread, especially as a means of soaking up velvety-smooth and peppery-delicious extra virgin olive oil (or, as I like to call it, “liquid gold”). But I wanted to take olive oil bread dipping spices to the next level, and elevate an already satisfying experience to truly amazing. So I set out to create the perfect herb and spice blend for olive oil dipping. I tasted and tweaked, tasted and tweaked, and finally came... Continue Reading

Dr. Sinatra’s Grass-Fed Beef Taco Recipe

Dr. Sinatra's Grass-Fed Beef Taco Recipe *Choose organic meats and produce whenever possible* 1 pound grass-fed organic ground beef 1-3 Tbsp EVOO or spicy jalapeño flavored olive oil Mexican Spice Blend Seasoning, 1 to 3 Tbsp, or to taste 1-2 cups shredded red or green cabbage 1-2 cups shredded carrots Natural salt blend, to taste  1-2 avocados for guacamole 12 stone ground whole grain organic corn tortillas - or for a lower carb version, lay your taco meat over a bed greens of your choice (shredded lettuce or cabbage, baby greens, baby spinach, or kale are some options - 6 cups) Optional herbs... Continue Reading

Is Your Pasta Sauce Healthy? Here are 5 Ways to Tell

I’ve never been shy when it comes to sharing stories about my Italian heritage and my love of traditional Italian food. But once I get specific about my favorites, a lot of people are surprised that I regularly include pasta and red sauce on my menu. Sometimes I’ll have the sauce as much as 2-3 times a week! “Doc, don’t you worry about all the sugar and additives?” It’s a fair question. I’ve made a career out of advising folks to stay away from foods that digest quickly and raise blood sugar (like many pastas), and to choose whole foods... Continue Reading

Short on Time? Try this Simple Chicken Soup Recipe

You’ve been working long hours and/or caring for children, temps outside are frigid, and your loved ones are under the weather. Nothing sounds better than hot chicken soup for dinner, but you want something healthy and fresh – not from a can. And a good, healthy chicken soup takes significant time and energy to make…Or does it? Skip to Easy Chicken Soup Recipe Is Chicken Soup from Scratch Healthier than a Soup Made with Shortcuts? I’ll be the first to admit, the bone broth you get from simmering a whole chicken for a few hours is the ideal base for... Continue Reading

Spiced Winter Tea

When winter sets in, I love to warm up with a cup of Spiced Winter Tea. While you can make it with black, ginger or green tea, I like to use green tea because it offers more health benefits than almost any other tea.  Loaded with inflammation-fighting antioxidants, green tea is especially good for the heart (which is why it holds a special place in mine).  Fresh orange and lemon juices contribute some immune-boosting vitamin C to this winter warmer, and a little raw honey adds a touch of sweetness....and even some trace vitamins, minerals, and amino acids (raw honey... Continue Reading

Guilt-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm not a big proponent of sugary desserts, and generally advise that sweets be eaten in strict moderation. Even so, a sweet tooth will strike from time to time for us all, and I do believe that there are ways to indulge without throwing all caution to the wind. There is a middle ground where you can make a delicious treat, with high quality, wholesome ingredients, and even pack in some fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, protein, and more! These cookies are wonderful example of doing just that. Hearty, rich and satisfying, these healthy chocolate chip cookies are made with... Continue Reading

COOC-Certified EVOO – The Difference that Matters

As a cardiologist and nutritionist who grew up in an Italian household, I make no secret of my love for extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). It’s as close to the perfect “superfood” as you can get, with its antioxidant phenol content and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. This is why, for years, it’s been the cornerstone of my Pan Asian Modified Mediterranean (PAMM) diet. But in the past decade or so, olive oil hit a bit of a rough patch with consumers here in the US. It started in 2010 with a couple of reports released from the University of California, Davis.... Continue Reading

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