With fall in full tint, the kids engaged in middle school, and summer sighing behind us, we're actually in the kitchen cooking again. We've had our eye out for fresh, vibrant choices and thought we'd share how a simple standby is the beloved basis of tasty meals and good health in our homes.
That favorite ingredient is olive oil of course, and specifically "evoo," as Rachel Ray affectionately refers to extra virgin olive oil. It's more than an impressive cooking fad or skin moisturizer. You can swing by the We Olive store on Second Street or the local farmer's markets for a quick education and taste of flavors and nuances among a variety of fabulous choices. Michelle recently made a purchase from the www.sanfelipeoliveco.com at the Sunset Farmer's Market.
But we mentioned that olive oil is MORE impressive than that... did you know that consuming two tablespoons a day provides your body with essential fatty acids like Oleic Acid and Lipoic Acid, as well as other vital nutrition? Health expert Morning Wolf, DRM, author of Nature's Recipe for Peak Health, recommends enjoying olive oil and avocados every day, that's two tablespoons of evoo and half an avocado for optimal health. Don't be worried about calories, eat up, because those are just her MINIMUM suggested servings. She writes that these "fats are the basis for the entire process of detoxification in the liver, and for boosting the defense mechanism against invaders such as artificial chemicals, viruses, and bacteria of the immune system."
Now, suppose your Wiki-wise family members have searched oleic acid and have expressed concerns about the fact that when it is "emitted by the decaying corpses of a number of insects, including bees, it triggers the instincts of living workers to remove the dead bodies from the hive..." and that if a "live bee is daubed with oleic acid, it is dragged off for disposal as if it were dead..." Just comfort them with the fact that the local hive still needs all homework and chores completed so no bodies will be prematurely removed.
With all those health benefits waiting in the wings, Stephanie offers some ways to sneak olive oil into daily food routines. For instance, she and her husband drink two tablespoons of oil in their morning glasses of water. You grow accustomed to it and that's it for the entire day. For the kids, try adding a small amount into their blended smoothies or even into their ice cream milkshakes. Rest assured it blends in and is almost flavorless if you don't overdo it.
Michelle prefers a fresh veggie sauté or homemade salad dressing with evoo, both so easy and delicious. Check out this recipe crafted by one of Stephanie's dear Cuban friends, Maria. It's the "go anywhere party dressing" because it makes every party salad a hit, and is perfect on weeknight dinner salads too:
Maria's Party Dressing
3/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c vinegar (try Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 or 2 pressed cloves of garlic
Sea Salt to taste (try Redmond's Real)
Pepper to taste
Optional: Add a spritz of Bragg's liquid amino acids (aids digestion)
Shake well and let the flavors permeate and chill before tossing into salad.
Stephanie Mendoza and Michelle Wells are two Belmont Shore parents, Type A Volunteers, as well as small businesswomen who are interested in finding healthy food and healthy choices for their families and friends.