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While I don’t consider myself much of a cook, I like to take advantage of cooking when time permits. We are a busy family, so easy, healthy meals are a must. Being so busy and not having a lot of patience for cooking, I rely on having essentials in my pantry. This is the time of year that we get outdoors more and there are fresher fruits and veggies. I don’t have a lot of time, so my recipes are generally simple and quick, but flavorful and healthy. I like things like sauteed veggies in a little bit of oil, seasoned with some salt or spices.
We choose high quality ingredients, like a good extra virgin olive oil. This is one of my pantry staples! Extra virgin olive oil has a high smoking point of 400°F, so you can use it for cooking, dressings, etc. It is truly one of those versatile ingredients that I use daily. Flavor Your Life is a great resource on EVOO.
- Made by pressing without heat or chemicals, known as first cold pressed, it’s the freshly pressed juice of olives.
Another tip – choose a European olive oil, as olives have been grown there for thousands of years, and it is the best source of olive oil.
- The greatest impact on taste is the type of olive tree (cultivar), region (which affects climate and soil) and time of harvest. Europe offers a vast array of flavor profiles, so keep a variety of oils in your pantry for different occasions.
One of my favorite homemade recipes is for homemade balsamic dressing. This recipe is so easy! No need to buy balsamic dressing, and this is three simple ingredients – no additives, preservatives, and all the other junk you see on pre-packaged dressings. Be sure to choose a good Extra Virgin Olive Oil that has a robust flavor!
- 1 part balsamic to 3 parts olive oil
- Sprinkle with some fine salt (and pepper, if desired)
- Whisk thoroughly and serve
Here are a few of my other favorite quick and easy healthy dishes that use extra virgin olive oil.
~ Pint of grape tomatoes (I prefer grape tomatoes)
~ 2 Avocados
~ 1 cup corn
~ Lemon juice
~ Extra virgin olive oil
Combine the avocado and vegetables, tossing with a drizzle of lemon juice, olive oil, and salt.
Spinach & Garlic
For this recipe, I simply use fresh spinach, fresh minced garlic, olive oil, and salt.
Saute some garlic and extra virgin olive oil in a pan, quickly adding in fresh spinach. Once the spinach wilts, you can add a little salt or seasonings, and serve!
Another one of my favorite fresh salads is quinoa salad with cucumbers and tomatoes.
~ Quinoa (approx 1 cup dry quinoa)
~ English cucumber (about 1/2)
~ Grape tomatoes (1 pint)
~ Capers (about 1oz)
~ Feta cheese (to top with)
~ Extra virgin olive oil
~ Salt, to taste
~ Optional: cilantro
Prepare the quinoa according to the directions. Allow to cool, then toss with the cucumber, tomatoes, and capers.
Toss with a generous drizzle of olive oil and add salt to taste. Top with Feta cheese as desired.
These are just a few of my favorite recipes that are fresh, and call for extra virgin olive oil. I always keep a jar of it on hand, but stored in a cool pantry. Don’t keep it next to the stove! A cool place is best, and keep it tightly capped – and be sure to consume within 6 months of purchase.
Visit Flavor Your Life at https://flavor-your-life.com/
I will have to try this out! The spinach and garlic sounds really tasty.
The garlic and spinach salad is what I will make today. I love garlic and this salad would go great with the pork chops I will be making tonight.
I wish I had everything on hand to make this right now.
We love cooking with olive oil. We have learned we like a fruity one, which we buy in an Italian grocer.
I love using virgin olive oil for our food. I like the flavor that it adds to food, not to mentions the health benefits brought by olive oil.
I’d definitely want to try your quinoa salad recipe. It looks filling and I know that it’s super healthy.
Thanks for the knowledge, that’s why I love cooking with it.
I use a lot Extra Virgin Olive Oil in my kitchen. Especially in salads and row dishes!
I love using extra virgin olive oil in my foods. It tastes great and is a healthy option.
This is so great information, I usually cook with it but didn’t know any of this.
That looks amazing. I love using olive oil. It’s one of the only oils I’ll use.
Indeed, great quality extra virgin olive oil makes a difference. I discovered the best oil from Greece earlier this year and i now use extra virgin olive oil on everything. With scrambled eggs is the best. Great article.
Those all look delicious! I use EVOO a lot too. In most of the dishes that I prepare, actually.
I love using EVOO in all of my cooking! So beneficial!
I forgot how much I love quinoa salad! I need to get the ingredients and make it this weekend!
Quinoa is the real deal. I will try this recipe and see how it goes
Olive oil and Avocado oil are my faves to use. I want that avocado salad! It looks so perfect for a summer lunch.
Thank you! I am considering switching to extra virgin olive oil for our cooking needs. This info really helps me to choose the best kind, we are trying to have more wholesome homecooked meals. 🙂
Looks like great extra virgin olive oil. I need to check it out. Good Olive Oil is need for salad dressing and pasta.
I will cook with this from now on. Didn’t know extra virgin olive oil made that much difference! Thanks for sharing!
I started cooking and looking for something to try out. I will try to make this out too. I will take note of the olive oil too. Thank for the information.
I’m not much of a cook either but I regularly purchase Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I need to to try a European one as you suggested.
I have recently just bought some extra virgin olive oil. I have cooked with it all week and used it to roast vegetables and also with pasta and salad and it tastes so good
My grandma always told me to use extra virgin olive oil (apart from in cakes, when you should then use veggie oil) and it has been exactly what we’ve been using, always! Good to hear there are so many benefits.
One of the only oils I cook with! SO good
I always use EVOO and you can really tell the different too when you use better oil. I still use cooking oil for frying or cakes sometimes but when it comes to dressings, marinades, even homemade scrubs, olive oil is a my go-to!
These salads sound amazing! Yum! I’ve had plenty of bad olive oil, and a good one does make all the difference.
The quinoa is a great touch. The feta cheese seals the deal. I love the burst of flavor feta cuts.
i love using oliver oil, it is healthy and flavorful
I’m excited to try this. There is nothing like truly good olive oil!
Oh wow! This looks so good and really healthy as well! Thanks for sharing the recipe babe!
we love quinoa salad in our home too and your post reminded me it has been a while
Been trying to eat healthy lately, but still struggling. I do have a bottle of extra virgin olive oil here at home. I’ll check if it’s European. Thanks for the tip!
I use Olive Oil a lot when I cook. It’s light and works great with everything, I just recently bought a sprayer for my olive oil so I can use it easily.
I use olive oil all the time when I cook and in salad dressings. I love the flavor, and it really is so good for you.
I use extra virgin olive oil in almost everything. I especially love dipping bread in it. It’s so good, and it’s so good for you.
Marysa, WOW that salad looks so delicious!
I will add it to my summer salad 🥗 recipe list.
We use extra virgin olive oil in most of our cooking! It gives a delicious taste compared to other types of cooking oil.
I love making my salads with Extra Virgin Olive Oil! It’s so healthy. It’s so easy to use too.
I use EVOO more often than I use any other oil. It is very versatile and I am a huge fan of that and avo oil for my salad dressing recipe.
I honestly just started learning how to cook, and this page has been very helpful!
I love that it’s all-natural and a great way to make salads and meats much more tastier.
I prefer this over other oils. That looks really good!