I’ll admit it. A few years ago, when I created my Vervana Olive Oil Dipping Spice 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 bread dipping oil 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 up with a blend of dipping spices that I was proud to call my own.
See, as a cardiologist, I caution people against eating too much bread. It is considered a higher-glycemic food, and can raise blood sugar when eaten in excess. Since I’m a huge fan of olive oil, and try to eat at least 4 Tbsp a day of it, I wanted to find other, healthier ways to enjoy olive oil with dipping spices. So I experimented… and I found that my dipping spices utterly transformed the following 6 foods – from foods I ate for a reason into dishes I now eat because I crave them!
Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower –my cruciferous veggie go-tos – are full of all sorts of natural plant compounds that keep us healthy. The key is to not overcook veggies, just steam them until tender, or al denté – not soft or mushy… Drizzle 4 Tbsp cold-pressed olive oil into a serving bowl and add ½ to 1 Tbsp Olive Oil Dipping Blend. Drain the veggies, then toss them in the dipping oil blend mixture, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Green beans are another favorite pairing with this dipping blend and olive oil. I swear, you’ll never see vegetables as a “chore” food again! As an optional garnish, add fresh, grated Parmesan cheese, and voila – a mouthwatering, nutrient-powerhouse meal!
A few teaspoons of my Dipping Spices blend in olive oil also makes a terrific raw veggie dip that’s healthier than ranch or blue cheese dressing!
Deviled Eggs + Dipping Spices = Sinfully Good!
One of nature’s perfect proteins, eggs make a great meal or snack no matter what time of day it is. Spice up scrambled or fried eggs, and even omelets, with a pinch or few of my dipping oil spice blend. You can also use it to season egg salad, or make deviled eggs that people will ask you what your secret is: hard boil 6 to 8 eggs, and when cool, mash the yokes with organic mayo or jalepeño garlic olive oil and 1-2 teaspoons of dipping spices, then scoop the filling into the halved whites. Be sure to choose eggs that are organic or from a farm that lets the chickens roam outside – it’s the surest way to avoid the gmos, pesticides, and antibiotics found in conventional chicken feed.
Shrimp + Dipping Spices = Heavenly!
That’s right, whether as a side dish or as a pasta topping, my dipping spices and shrimp are a match made in Heaven. Sauté the shrimp in 4 Tbsp olive oil over low-medium heat with 2 to 4 teaspoons of my dipping spices until the shrimp are cooked through. Add marinara sauce for a delicious shrimp fra diavolo or simply go for a scampi, sans red sauce. Mmmm!
Tomatoes + Dipping Spices = A Saucy Duo
Just made pasta and realized you’re out of tomato sauce? No problem, just grab a can or box of crushed tomatoes from your cabinet and heat it in a pan with ½ to 1 tsp dipping blend spice (to taste). Serve over pasta, veggies, you name it – this super quick and easy spicy tomato sauce will make your taste buds sing.
Chicken + Dipping Spices = Who Needs Bread Crumbs?
I like chicken as a protein source because it contains tyrosine, a brain-boosting amino acid, and offers vitamins B6 and B3 to support energy metabolism. As with eggs, just go with organic or free range chicken for the best vibration energy. And forget bread crumbs – sprinkle this dipping spice blend over your chicken and either bake in the oven at 350F with olive oil or butter, or sauté on medium heat in olive oil. You’ll get savory flavor with a chili kick – awesome paired with pasta, veggies, or spinach salad.
When I go out for Italian, I always order a side of garlic spinach or broccoli rabe. Now, I make a version that I think is even better at home! Sauté the kale or spinach in a few tablespoons of olive oil or garlic olive oil with a teaspoon of dipping blend and you’ll fall in love with these leafy greens.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love to enjoy bread in moderation… but I definitely love veggies and all these other healthier foods more with my dipping spices, and think you will too – Mangiare!
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