Olives are a great food that tend to get a bad rap sometimes. There are many people who do not like them (despite there being hundreds of different types that they haven’t even tried), but let’s face it: the health benefits of olives simply cannot be denied. For one thing, they do an outstanding job of protecting against skin cancer along with colon and breast cancer. See? They’re already starting to look better, aren’t they? They also contain monounsaturated fatty acids, along with oleic acid, both of which have been proven to reduce excessive inflammation. The compounds work side by wage war on free radicals within your cells.
Did you know that olive oil is good for the heart? Containing biophenols, it is capable of suppressing bad cholesterol, also known as LDL, and is also key in reducing blood pressure. Finally, olives are known to reduce chronic pain from diseases like arthritis. Adding a bowl of olives to your daily routine can be very beneficial, and may even go so far as to save your life. They will certainly serve to make your quality of life better, especially if you deal with any of the above issues.
The vegetable that so many see as just a condiment, or perhaps something to be ignored, is one of nature’s greatest gifts to us, and quite frankly, we think that it should be used everywhere. You already know that they can be used on salads, and you probably order them with your pizza, but what you might not now is that they can be used to make a number of different meals. Let’s cover three of them below and you’ll be on your way to becoming a gourmet olive chef.
The Olive Chicken Dish
Chicken is without a doubt the harbinger of the most popular meals on the planet, but you can make it even more interesting by creating an olive marinade. All you need is:
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Olive Oil
- Seasoning (your choice)
After slicing the olives, you can use these ingredients to create a marinade, and then coat your chicken thighs (or breasts if you would rather) before placing them in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. If you want to spice it up a little, feel free to serve with lemon slices.
The Tart Dish
This is a quick dish and a great snack for summer time. You will need:
- Puff Pastry Tray
- Caramelized Onions
- Roasted Red Peppers
You will start by cutting circles from the sheet of puff pastry, as many as you need. Cover it with the ingredients, and top with olives. Add any other ingredients you want, we strongly recommend anchovy fillets, and then cook in the oven for fifteen minutes at 350 degrees.
Olive Stuffed Tomatoes
This can be used as either an appetizer, or simply as a light lunch. You just need to scoop out a few tomatoes and stuff them with cooked rice, minced garlic, chopped tomato, herbs, lemon juice, and of course, green olives. Bake in the oven for five minutes at 350 degrees and serve.