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Quick and Easy Easter Brunch Recipes

If you’re looking for Easter brunch menu ideas or just some healthy Sunday brunch recipes to have on hand, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve put together some delicious recipes to kickstart your brunch with vibrant flavor and healthy ingredients….like nutrient-dense eggs and avocado…

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Celebrating Blood Orange Salad

Nature has a way of getting us through the cold and darkness of winter with vibrant fruits and vegetables, and the intensely-colored blood orange is a stand-out among them! Generally available between December and May, blood oranges are aptly named for their jewel-like blend of burgundy wine and orange colors. Citrusy with hints of raspberry sweetness, blood oranges give us another reason to celebrate winter…snacks, salads, desserts and more that feature them are bursting with sunny flavor! Blood Orange Benefits More than a delightfully sweet and colorful fruit, the intriguing blood orange also offers some pretty powerful health benefits. Rich... Continue Reading

Winter Squash Recipes Featuring Flavored Olive Oils

Versatile and vibrantly colored, winter squashes like butternut, acorn, and pumpkin have, for centuries, kept us tided over with veggie nutrition through cold weather scarcities. Harvested in the summer and fall, these stalwart winter squashes simply keep so well that they’re available for most of the year. Besides being hearty and reliable, winter squashes are also super nutritious – rich with orange and yellow pigments, acorn, butternut and other winter squashes are full of antioxidant carotenoids – plant pigments that help protect our bodies from free radical stress. Full of heart-healthy fiber, winter squashes are also great sources of B... Continue Reading

Why Do We Need Protein in Our Diets?

One of the buzzwords in diet circles these days is “protein.” High protein diets, we're told, can help us lose weight and beat the effects of aging. Products on grocery store shelves—from frozen entrees to yogurt—tout their protein content. But what exactly is protein? Why do we need it, and how much is best? Most importantly, what are good sources of protein for maintaining health? These are great questions. Let’s dive in… What Is Protein? Protein, along with fats and carbohydrates, belongs to a class of dietary essentials called macronutrients. Without these nutrients, the body can't function properly. On the... Continue Reading

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... 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