Monthly Archives: August 2014

Simplify Back to School Menu Planning With Easy Wraps & Paninis

Back to School Treats
From Top Left: Greek Garden Lavash Wrap, Autumn Apricot & Turkey Panini, Southwestern Roasted Chicken Jalapeño Wrap, Roasted Red Pepper, Goat Cheese and Baby Arugula Panini

No matter how seasoned you are as a parent, sending the kids back to school is almost always an event. Between settling into a new routine, packing lunches, shopping for back to school clothing and supplies, sifting through homework assignments and permission slips, and attending new school meetings, it can be easy for busy parents to neglect the dinner table!

Even through the next few weeks are probably going to be hectic for many of us, it’s important to make the time to prepare healthy meals and snacks that will fuel active bodies and minds! Wraps and paninis are a great way to put a healthy kid friendly meal on the table in a matter of minutes.

Here are some fast and tasty back to school recipes to “wrap” your head around!

Back to School Recipe #1:  Greek Garden Lavash Wrap

Prep Time: 20 min. Serves: 4

1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese
1/4 c. Middle Eastern yogurt or whole milk Greek-style yogurt
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 medium cucumber, peeled if desired
4 pieces white or whole wheat lavash (Middle Eastern flat bread)
1-1/2 cups Jeff’s Naturals™ Roasted Red Bell Peppers, drained
1 jar (6.5-ounce) marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 c. Jeff’s Naturals™ Sliced Golden Greek Peperoncini, drained
1/2 c. coarsely chopped Jeff’s Naturals™ Sliced Kalamata Olives
2 C. baby spinach leaves

In a small bowl, use a fork to mix the feta, yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, mint, oregano, and ground pepper to make a chunky paste.

Cut a thin slice the length of the cucumber to create a flat surface, then rest it on the flat side and cut the cucumber lengthwise, as thin as possible, into long strips.

Lay out the 4 lavash on a flat work surface with a long side facing you. Spread the feta mixture evenly over the breads, leaving a 1-inch border at the tops and bottoms. Distribute the cucumber slices, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, peperoncini, and olives over the breads. Distribute spinach leaves over the filling.

Fold the border of one lavash from the side closest to you over the filling, then continue to roll tightly until you reach the other side. Repeat to make 4 lavash rolls.

Cut each lavash in half on a bias to make 2 sandwich halves, placing the halves seam-side down on a plate. To make ahead, wrap each roll tightly in plastic film and refrigerate up to 8 hours before cutting and serving.

Back to School Recipe #2: Autumn Apricot & Turkey Panini

Prep Time: 35 min. Total Time: 35 min. Serves: 4
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
6 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. sea salt
4 tsp. crushed garlic
1/2 c. dried apricots, sliced
2/3 c. Jeff’s Naturals Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes, drained
2/3 c. dry white wine
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 loaf herbed focaccia bread
6 oz. roasted turkey, deli-sliced
4 slices provolone cheese
3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Italian Olive Oil
*Calculated ingredients may not always be as accurate as the original recipe.

In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, sauté the onions, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, brown sugar and salt for 20 minutes, or until caramelized. Add the crushed garlic, apricots, sundried tomatoes, white wine, and fennel seeds and sauté for an additional 10 minutes.

While the above mixture sautés, preheat the Panini press, slice the focaccia bread into 4 pieces and cut in half to create a top and bottom. Layer the turkey and provolone on the bread. Evenly divide the apricot mixture between the four sandwiches. Brush the tops of the focaccia bread with olive oil and press the sandwiches in the Panini press for 4-5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted, and serve.

Back to School Recipe #3: Southwestern Roasted Chicken Jalapeño Wrap

Prep Time: 5 min. Total Time: 10 min.
Serves: 6

6 large wraps or tortillas
5 c. rotisserie chicken, shredded
2 c. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded or sliced
Chef Natalie’s Creamy Jalapeño Dip (see recipe below)
½ bu. green onion, sliced thin
2 tomatoes, sliced
6 romaine lettuce leaves

In a large bowl, mix the chicken, cheese and Jalapeño Dip together. To assemble the wraps, divide the chicken mixture on the tortillas, top with green onion, tomatoes and lettuce. Wrap up and enjoy!

Recipe: Chef Natalie’s Creamy Jalapeño Dip

1/4 c. mayo
1/2 c. cream cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 c. Jeff’s Naturals Diced Tamed Jalapeños, add brine to taste
1/2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Serve warm or cold with crackers or a sliced baguette.

Back to School Recipe #4: Roasted Red Pepper, Goat Cheese and Baby Arugula Panini

Prep Time: 5 min   Total Time: 10 min   Serves: 4

8 slices Artisan fresh baked bread (thinly sliced)
1 jar Jeff’s Naturals™ Roasted Red Bell Peppers, drained and diced
Jeff’s Naturals™ Sliced Golden Greek Peperoncini
Jeff’s Naturals™ Sliced Kalamata Olives
1 bag baby arugula
3-4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
8 oz. fresh goat cheese

Generously spread one slice of bread with fresh goat cheese. Add roasted red pepper strips, peperoncini, kalamata olives and baby arugula leaves. Top with second piece of bread and press together.

Brush both sides of bread with olive oil. Use a panini press or skillet to crisp the sandwiches.  Remove when golden brown and the cheese warms and softens

Big News About Jeff’s Naturals Feta and Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives…..

Cheese Stuffed OlivesNo more canola oil!

We, at Jeff’s Naturals, are passionate about good health and offering consumers products with ingredients that are free of preservatives, stablilizers, artificial colors, flavors, sulfites and GMOs.

In addition, we are always striving for excellence and believe one of the best ways to get better is to listen to our consumers.

Our Cheese Stuffed Olives, packed right here in the Napa Valley, are one of our most popular items in natural food stores.  However, many of you have contacted us via email and social media to let us know that you prefer not to include canola oil in your diet, even if it is non GMO.  This prompted us to make a change.

While it’s necessary to use oil when packing cheese stuffed olives (otherwise the cheese begins to degrade), we have opted to use expeller pressed sunflower oil, a lighter alternative to canola oil. We think you’ll agree that this makes our Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives and Feta Cheese Stuffed Olives  even more appealing!

Price Reduction!

We would also like to share that we have been able to reduce the price on these two olives—you should soon see these two cheese stuffed olives being line priced with our other delicious Jeff’s Naturals olives!

This means you can stock up on all of your favorite Jeff’s Naturals olives, at the same price! Whether you try them in a Caesar salad, sprinkled over a pizza, in a martini, an antipasto platter or tossed into your favorite pasta dish, you can’t go wrong!


Here are a few ideas to enjoy our new and (if we do say so) improved cheese stuffed olives:

  • Make an olive tapenade by putting Jeff’s Naturals Feta Cheese Stuffed Olives into a food processor with some of the olive brine and olive oil.
  • Sauté Jeff’s Naturals Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives with ground meat, tomato sauce, raisins and herbs for a quick skillet picadillo. Serve over rice for a satisfying meal.
  • Add chopped Jeff’s Naturals Feta Cheese Stuffed Olives to some couscous, with diced tomato, minced onion and drizzle with some olive oil and olive juice and garnish with basil. You’ll have a 5 minute dish to take to your next picnic.

For more inspiration, visit our recipe page and search for recipes featuring our Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives and Feta Cheese Stuffed Olives!

Do you have any feedback about our ingredients?  Feel free to share it with us on Facebook or our contact page.