Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Taste of Italy

A Taste of Italy

Each month Young Living offers Essential Rewards promotions. If you spend a certain amount on your Essential Rewards order you get free stuff. Essential Rewards is a program for Premium members. You place an order of at least $50 each month (you can change the items you purchase every month) at the wholesale price, get reduced shipping rates, and earn points to use as product credit toward Young Living products; what's not to love? Then to earn free products on top of that is fantastic!

One of this month's promotions was a free bottle of the Taste of Italy essential oil blend. This is a combination of three types of oregano essential oil and basil essential oil. I was super-excited about this because we use a lot of Italian herbs. In fact, I've never been able to grow enough basil to get us through the winter. I grow organic herbs and freeze them in Ziploc bags. Once you've gotten used to fresh and frozen herbs you'll never go back to dried; they just don't have any flavor. We've been out of basil for months, so I was really happy to get my Taste of Italy. The essential oils have the same vibrant flavor as the fresh herbs and the little bottle certainly takes up less room than bags of frozen herbs. It's easier to use, too.

Oregano and basil are really good for you. Oregano, in fact, has been shown in studies as a more effective antibiotic than penicillin, according to an article I read last year! It just happens I caught a terrible cold from my son the same day my Taste of Italy arrived, so I wanted to make sure I formulated some immunity-boosting recipes with it right away. Yesterday my husband used it in an "immunity bomb" smoothie. You can find that recipe on my Naturally Amanda Facebook page. Tonight I used the Taste of Italy in a yummy recipe I call "Veal Verde". This take on Veal Parmigiana features beans and pureed vegetables rather than pasta and since I don't feel good, a "cheater" doctored-up canned sauce that tastes homemade without day-long simmering. The "verde" is for the extra nutrition boost provided by a pound of green and cruciferous vegetables hidden in the sauce. If you can't find veal patties breaded chicken patties will work just as well.

Veal Verde
Serves 8

8 frozen breaded veal patties
8 1-oz slices whole milk fresh mozzarella cheese
1 24-oz jar prepared marinara sauce
1 15-oz can cannelloni beans
1 16-oz bag frozen mixed Italian vegetables
1/4 cup red wine
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
2 drops Taste of Italy essential oil blend

Cook veal patties according to package directions, placing a mozzarella slice on top of each patty in the last 3-5 minutes of cooking so the cheese melts. Meanwhile, prepare sauce. Thaw and puree the Italian vegetables. Drain and rinse the beans. Combine the beans, the pureed vegetables, and the marinara sauce in a sauce pan and mix well. Add the wine, salt, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer while the veal cooks, about 30 minutes. About two minutes before the veal is ready add the Taste of Italy oil to the sauce. Place a pool of sauce on each plate, top with a veal patty, and drizzle with more sauce. If desired, serve with Italian bread.

While we don't usually eat processed food, I do keep some prepared foods on hand for busy nights or times I don't feel well enough to cook. This meal is reasonably healthy and fast and easy to prepare. I usually make my own sugar-free marinara sauce and freeze it, but we're out right now. Of course, if you can devote a day to making a bunch of sauce you can freeze it so you have healthy and fast homemade meals on hand. As it turned out, Parmesan cheese would have been a better choice than the mozzarella, which was too chewy for those of us wearing braces.

I'd be happy to help you order your own bottle of Taste of Italy or sign up for a Young Living wholesale membership and Essential Rewards. If you'd rather just try out your kit for a while without signing up for Essential Rewards that's totally understandable; just click "No Thanks" in the Essential Rewards section. You can sign up or cancel the Essential Rewards at any time. Contact me or use the link above.

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