Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Olivio Giveaway and My Top Ten Olivio Recipes!

Free Giveaway details below!!

When Olivio asked me to feature ten of my recipes on their website, I was flattered but hesitant.

I had never used Olivio much less any other butter substitutes. 

Why would a self-proclaimed purist like me use anything but butter or olive oil?

I asked them to send me some of their samples so I could try Olivio for myself.  I warned them if I didn't like the product, I would have to decline their invitation.  If it didn't taste good and react well under cooking, it didn't matter how much I appreciated their obvious pride in their olive oil heritage, their commitment to philanthropy and health described as "spreading the good," and the appeal that they are a scrappy little company competing against products with better name recognition and bigger marketing budgets.

When I received their product line -- Olivio Premium Spread, Olivio Light Spread, Olivio Spreadable Butter, and Olivio Buttery Spray, I got to work.  I spread Olivio on a piece of toasted bread.  I sauted some vegetables.  I scrambled some eggs.

My conclusion?  The spreads tasted great on bread, the Olivio Spreadable Butter was effective as a topping and also for cooking, and the Olivio Buttery Spray was super for spritzing.  I particularly liked the Olivio Spreadable Butter, because it's like butter and olive oil rolled into one convenient package.

You can cook with all the products, but I personally thought the Olivio Spreadable Butter worked the best for cooking, along with the spray.

I'll explain why I developed the ten recipes below, but before I do that, I asked Olivio if I could do a giveaway so that you as readers could do the taste test yourselves! 

If you're using a competitor product, this is your chance to find out once and for all which is better.  If you're a purist but have thought about cutting back on your cholesterol, Olivio is definitely worth a try.  If you're not using these products and are not worried about your cholesterol, then this giveaway falls under the "why not, it's free?" category.

Indeed, why not?

In other words, you all should participate in this giveaway!

To participate, comment on this blog entry or become a fan on my Facebook page and comment there.

I'd love to hear what you think and how you would use Olivio in your favorite recipes.

Tuscan Grilled Chicken Panini

My kids love panini, and the Olivio Buttery Spray made for fast, healthy, flavorful grilling of the bread. Instead of slathering both sides of the bread with cholesterol-laden butter, I just spritzed each side a few times and was done. As for the insides, grilled or rotisserie chicken, jarred roasted red peppers, jarred pesto, and Rondole cheese made for the quickest assembly ever. Of course, you can make all of these ingredients from scratch, but as a busy mother trying to get a weeknight dinner on the table, I was willing to take some shortcuts and buy things pre-made at the store (as long as those pre-made ingredients were all natural, such as those from Trader Joe's). 

Chicken Chili Verde

I would have never thought of developing a chicken chili verde recipe if Olivio hadn't asked me to do recipes for their website.  We're big beef eaters (right now, you should feel like pounding your chest and grunting).  I make an award-winning beef chili, but the beef and bacon are not good options for people watching their cholesterol.  I switched to chicken, sauteing it with onions, poblano pepper and Olivio Spreadable Butter, and adding salsa verde and chicken broth as the sauce base.  I was pleasantly surprised!  This chili could stand up proudly against my beef chili. I'm even thinking to submit this in next year's chili cook-off. 


My husband doesn't eat carbs, so having colorful, appetizing non-carb dishes is a plus in my house.  I thought "zucchini pasta" would be pretty, healthful, simple and a good way to use Olivio Spreadable Butter.

When I was thinking about Olivio, I was thinking "healthy."  And no one epitomizes the word "healthy" more than my sister-in-law Tina.  Tina loves spaghetti squash, so it just had to be in my Olivio Top Ten.

Asian BBQ Shrimp

Olive oil and butter, the foundation for Olivio's favor profile, automatically make me think of Western Europe and the Mediterranean, so my recipes are mostly in that vein.  But then I thought, "What about those who like Asian food?"  Olivio Buttery Spray works great with these pan-seared hoisin-glazed shrimp.

I wanted to see how Olivio performed in a flour-based recipe such as pancakes. My friend Andy Pforzheimer, who owns the very successful Barcelona Wine Bar restaurant group, shared his healthy pancakes with whole wheat and mashed bananas with me on Facebook. It wasn't really a recipe but a "way" of making pancakes. I followed his general directions and came out with flat crepe-like pancakes (the problem wasn’t the recipe but with me as I'm a mediocre baker). I modified his recipe to include baking powder and baking soda, so I could get the rise I wanted, and I took out the mashed bananas to reduce heaviness in the batter. I told him about my crepe-y pancakes, and then he had to pull out his ingredients and make his pancakes at home as I was making my own version of his pancakes at my home. We even traded pictures on Facebook to check how our pancakes looked ... so funny! So while this is not exactly Andy's recipe, it's Andy-inspired and so good! And the Olivio Spreadable Butter added moisture to the batter and crispness to the pancakes' exterior edges as I melted Olivio on the grill to cook the pancakes

When I went to the competitor websites to check out their recipes, they didn't appeal to me.  I admit that I wanted to simplify my own recipes for the Olivio website, as I understand that most people may not be as fussy about cooking as I am.  That said, there is something to be said for not stripping dishes of their personalities.  This Bolognese sauce stays true to its roots, simmering the meat in milk to create a silky, soft texture.  The soul-lifting harmony of beef, pork, veal, pancetta, milk, tomato, and parmigiano reggiano in the sauce always reminds me of my time living in Tuscany and the region's deserved reputation for the bounty of its fields and powerhouse culinary heritage.

Salsa Chicken Skewers

Who doesn't love skewers?  I had to include this in the Top Ten because it's easy peasy, inspired by my friend Julia's recipe (with her permission), who puts out awesome food from her sailboat's galley kitchen. It can be served hot or cold -- a great make-ahead dish for parties.

I didn't create this recipe specifically for Olivio, but this dish is exactly what I mean by "big," "bold," and "beautiful" food.  It's one of my favorite things to make, because it's so easy and bursting with flavor.  Olivio's buttery taste only adds to what was a stellar dish to begin with.

And last but not least is a little added benefit of reading this entry is that my 10th recipe is NOT on the Olivio website yet.  Here it is!
Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips

I imagined healthy eaters are people who would like Olivio.  I thought cinnamon sugar pita chips were a nice alternative for Olivio users who wanted a little sweetness without all the fat and calories.  And can you get more economical than pita bread, a little cinnamon and sugar, and a few spritzes of  Olivio Buttery Spray? 

I hope you try Olivio through the giveaway and try my recipes.  Enjoy!


La Table De Nana said... really tested their products.Good job..You've been very busy!

Julia said...

I've always been a fan of Olivio--these give me some great new ideas on how to use the product!

genovesej said...

Your receipes & photos make even me ...a non lover of cooking want to cook & bake! Sounds like a great product & I would love to try it. I am also a fan of butters great taste and will also need to evaluate it at our dinner table!

Trissa said...

I like the fact that you tested your products. I know that I can trust your review!

Claudia said...

I recently subscribed to your site and love it. Your photos are so appealing and your writing style just great. Would love to try Olivio products as my husband and I do need to watch our cholesterol, and then we will work our way through your yummy looking recipes. So glad to hear your endorsement of a product we wanted to try but were hesitant to do so. said...

These recipes look absolutely wonderful. I can't wait to try them. You did a great job with the testing and I've no doubt they'll taste as good as they look!

Laura said...

I've been using all of the Olivio products since they came out a while back. I think they're fantastic! I use them because they taste great, and have O% cholesterol. Your recipes look absolutely delicious - can't wait to try them! Thank you.


Jim said...

All the recipes look (and probably taste) great! I'll have to try Olivo some time.

lin said...

Squash Marinara sauce
looks great and colourful . It attracting for my attention. Took my breath away for a moment.
keeps up the good works.
Fantastic awersome

Joy said...

I always try to find new butter subsitute. I would probably use it for mashed potatoes or even homemade mac and cheese.

zurin said...

It s good that u tested the products Ninette! your food all look so good with or without the olivio!

Jen said...

You know, I've never thought about cooking with Olivio before (but I agree, I'm sure I would love it spread on fresh bread). I have a feeling it would work well in piccata sauce though, or really in any dish where you need to melt butter in the pan first. I love the spray butter/pita chip idea - I'm a sucker for pita chips!