13 July 2009

Mediterranean Pasta Salad Made with Love, Enter to Win & Last Week's Winners

When at our local Choices market a few weeks ago I came across a local British Columbian company that was marketing their 100% natural products. Occasionally I review products on this blog that have a focus on either sustainability or are a healthy choice and a bonus would be if they are environmentally friendly as well. This is in keeping with my life style choices to create as little carbon imprint on this planet as possible.

Made with Love is a family run business with a back to basics focus on integrity, insight and simplicity. At Made with Love they choose their packaging consciously with our planet’s health in mind, opting for materials which are natural, reusable, recyclable or biodegradable.

Their Spice Blends are hand-crafted, 100% natural blends of spices, herbs and vegetables designed to make everyday cooking and eating simple, healthy and tasty. All of their Spice Blends combine Whole Super Food Nutrition with a focus on antioxidant properties in flavours that are deliciously addictive!!! The bonus is we get super yummy healthy food we really want to eat with nothing to feel guilty about! Every Spice Blend can be used to make dips, spreads, dressings, marinades, sauces, pasta, stirfry, meats, eggs, tofu, beans, soups, chili, veggies, breads, appetizers ...the possibilities are endless to make EVERYTHING taste great!!!!! I tried their Prima Vera Spice Blend in my favourite Primavera Alfredo and was hooked!!!! Since then I have been experimenting with their Spice Blends in many of my dishes.

I contacted Alex and Colin and an idea was born!!!

For the last 2 weeks Shelby of The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch and I have been alternately cooking up some recipes using our collection of Made with Love Eco-friendly Spice Blends. Each week we have been giving away a different couplet or trio of Spice Blends Gift Sets to you our readers generously supplied by Made with Love. Simply find the weeks chosen "search and find image" and enter to win!!!

To win:

1) Visit their web site http://www.madewithlove.ca/ and find the image/photo "The Fire" for this weeks entry and enter to win.

2) Leave a comment at madewithlovecontest(AT)gmail(DOT)com where you found the image/photo"The Fire". Please let us know your blog URL so that we can post the names of the winners on our sites with a link back to you!!!

3) You will be automatically entered to win a Made With Love Eco-friendly Spice Blends Gift Set worth $40!!! This weeks winners will receive one of two Earth-Friendly Gift Set Trios of Jalapeno Roots, Red Pepper and Aztec Chocolate Medi-Size Spice Blends.

4) Visit either Shelby at The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch or here at More Than Burnt Toast at the beginning of each week for a delicious recipe and a new chance to win!!!

5) The lucky winners who receive their Trio of Spice Blends will create a recipe using their products, blog about it with a link to http://www.madewithlove.ca/ . All of the recipe creations will be posted as a roundup on The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch and here on More Than Burnt Toast. Your recipe may even be on the Made with Love website!!!!

Their flavour combinations are somewhat unusual and take flavours to new heights.

Prima Vera Spice Blend is a wonderful blend of sun-dried tomato, sweet pepper and Italian spices. Try this blend for creamy, red or clear pasta sauces, in cream cheese on a bagel it is heavenly and as a Spanish-style rice side dish.

Crimson Love Spice Blend is a garlic lover’s blend with a strong essence of rosemary in a dried beet base with hints of nori and fresh greens. Wonderful for dips, dressings or pretty pink pasta!

Jalapeno Roots Spice Blend is a rich blend of jalapeno with garlic, onions, sweet peppers and lime in a dried carrot base. Creamy dips & pasta are gorgeous. Spice up your guacamole, veggies, meats or salsa.
Garden Curry Spice Blend is a mild curry blend with a mix of garden vegetables. Blended in cream cheese, pasta or yogurt dip it creates a mild, rich and flavourful sunshine cream!

Country Onion Spice Blend is a traditional mix of fresh garden herbs, caramelized onions and chives. An extremely versatile blend, great on poultry, meats or eggs, fabulous for potatoes and herbed rice.

Pesto Garlic Spice Blend is their dried rendition of its namesake. Not fresh pesto but an easy instant version that is extremely versatile. No pinenuts or cheese here so safe for vegans or nut’free, just a beautiful blend of the herb flavours traditionally recognised as pesto. Great for pasta, meats or salad.

Daring Dill Spice Blend is truly their most sophisticated blend full of great dill flavour followed by a hint of fresh tomato and a hot mustard finish. Lovely on veggies, chicken or fish. Excellent for vinaigrette dressings and creamy sauces. Delightful!

Aztec Chocolate Spice Blend is a complex blend of Real Cacao, Coffee and Vanilla Beans with pungent sweet and spicy peppers. Aztec Chocolate is a traditional savoury flavour mix for Mexican and Latin American cuisine, led by the ancient Aztec and Mayan peoples of the region. Try it on meat dishes, beans, tofu or salad dressings this amazing sweet and spicy combo is great for everyday cooking. Also decadently fabulous for our desert dip.

Red Pepper Spice Blend is sweet with a mild spicy flavour similar to a pepper jelly. A blend of turbinado sugar with a mix of sweet and hot chilies. Amazing on veggies of any kind and a wonder to sprinkle on chicken, pork or fish. Great in mashed potatoes or melted in your popcorn butter it is absolutely addictive.

This week I used the Pesto Garlic Spice Blend to make a delicious pasta salad perfect for these hot weather days. Check back next week to see what Shelby is cooking up!!!!!!

Now for the 2 winners of last weeks giveaway.......drum roll please..........

Congratulations to Joey at Joe's Place and Brittany of Deckled Edges who are each the winners of the Earth-Friendly Gift Set Trio of Red Pepper, Daring Dill & Country Onion.

Please reply to our e-mail with your address which we will forward on to the company.

**Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Ricotta & Feta**

1/2 large red onion, (about 5 ounces), finely chopped
1/4 cup + 2 T fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons Made with Love Pesto Garlic Spice Blend
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the salad:

1 pound fusilli (corkscrew) or penne pasta
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes (or approximately two dozen), halved
1 English cucumber (about 12 ounces) quartered lengthwise,then sliced crosswise
1/4 inch thick (alternatively, use 2 medium cucumbers, peel and seed them, cut as directed)
1 cup kalamata olives, (about 4 ounces) pitted and halved
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3/4 cup (6 ounces) ricotta cheese
3/4 cup (4 ounces) crumbled Feta cheese
1 ounce crumbled Feta cheese, for garnish

Combine all dressing ingredients except for the oil, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil until it is thoroughly combined with the other ingredients. Let stand for at least 30 minutes to blend the flavours. (Can be made the day before and refrigerated.)

Bring 3 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender but still slightly firm to the bite. Drain (do not rinse) and let cool to room temperature, mixing occasionally. When cool, place in a large bowl and add the dressing. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix until the dressing is well distributed. Add the remaining ingredients except salt and pepper and 1 ounce of Feta for garnish. Let stand for 1/2 hour. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Top with remaining crumbled Feta and serve.

Serves 8

TIP: You may omit the salt depending on the saltiness of your feta
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  1. Oh, ricotta and feta! Sounds like a lovely summer salad. And those spice blends really do sound appealing!

  2. It is totally the perfect weather right now for pasta salad.

  3. On my site, delicious means "laden with calories", but on yours delicious is still healthy, I don't know how you do it!!!

  4. What a delicious summer salad!

  5. A delicious and refreshing salad!



  6. Gorgeous pasta. I love anything Mediterranean. Those spices look very interesting. So much good stuff going on in the organic, earth friendly world today.

    I've just returned from holiday where I didn't have internet access. It's so nice to be back home and visit friends and see what good foods they've been making.

  7. What a nice salad... So light and colorful and so full of Greek flavors !!!

  8. I love this pasta Vall!! love your recipes!xoxoxo Gloria

  9. All of their products sounds so good. I have to make an order. Love your salad Val.

  10. Looks delicious! Congrats to the winners!

  11. What a perfect summer salad, refreshing and tasty :)

  12. your pasta salad looks fantastic

    the spice blends also look very pretty in those decorative bottles

  13. Mmm, that salad is calling my name!

  14. This is one very delicious looking pasta salad Val. I always find myself drooling away on your creations.

  15. You can never go wrong with two cheese in my book! :D Looks delicious.

  16. This is a delicious looking pasta salad...wish I had some of it now!

  17. I love pasta salad, and with all those ingredients must be delicious

  18. The flavours in a pasta salad have to be really pumped up to make them tasty when cold. Feta is great way to do this.

  19. Ricotta and Feta - both terribly expensive here but that combination does look lovely!

  20. Sorry I've been busy & missing Val, but look at what I've been missing here. Whoa...that's a beautiful selection of spices & a delish salad. I've just begun making my own ricotta so this sounds GREAT!!

  21. Beautiful and fresh summer salad!

    The Dill Seasoning Blend sounds really great to me right now! Those are all great actually!

  22. Such a refreshing salad.

  23. You know, it's refreshing to see pasta salads done properly, not drowned in mayo!
    This looks great and fantastic review of the products!

  24. Just reading the combinations of flavors is inspirational. Best wishes for a successful event.

  25. ricotta and feta are a nice combination for a pasta salad--i bet it would be filling and satisfying.

  26. I'm SO happy that I won!!:) Right around my birthday too, July 19th lol

    I have sent in my info couple weeks ago, but I had lost the bookmark to your blog here when I updated to the new Firefox!:(

    It somehow didn't transfer all of my bookmarks...I love your blog!

  27. That sounds like a fabulous way to celebrate your birthday. Glad the 15th was a good one.

  28. Nice post, thanks for sharing this wonderful and useful information with us.

    Green Tea Weight Loss


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