I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions.  Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.  While I certainly wish the pandemic and lifestyle changes had never occurred, there are silver linings to the pandemic.  One of those I mentioned previously is that so many events have gone online, making them more accessible to everyone.  Recently, I had the chance to attend a Flavor Your Life Virtual Influencer Event, which I appreciated doing from the comfort of my own home.  I was able to learn more about European olive oil and watch an Italian chef make risotto three different ways, one of which I recreated at home to the delight of my family!

Presentation by Chef Riccardo Zanni

My favorite part of the presentation was watching Chef Riccardo Zanni prepare risotto and rice three different ways:

  • Saffron Risotto with Extra Virgin Olive Oil,
  • Italian Sausage and Broccoli Risotto, and
  • Rice Salad with Zucchini, Cottage Cheese, and Cherry Tomatoes

For some reason, I had it in my head that we could no longer have risotto because we’re gluten free, but we can because it’s made with arborio rice.  So, after watching the chef, I made risotto for the first time in about 10 years!

The Italian Sausage and Broccoli Risotto only required five ingredients, all of which I already had at home.  (The olive oil and rice were complements of the Flavor Your Life Campaign.)

Since we’re dairy free, I did have to make one change to the recipe.  Instead of Parmesan cheese, I had to use our Daiya mozzarella cheese.  Even with this change, my family devoured this dish and told me repeatedly how good it was.  Let me tell you, they don’t normally rave about my cooking.  🙂

We definitely plan to make this again!

Presentation by Alissa Mattei, Olive Oil Expert

Thanks to several food intolerances, I have always used olive oil almost exclusively in my diet.  Still, I know very little about the process of making olive oil.  That changed when I watched olive oil expert, Alissa Mattei as part of this presentation.

I learned that once planted, an olive tree takes two to three years to produce its first fruit, and that the fruit is harvested in October when the olives turn from green to reddish brown.

When the olives are processed into olive oil, only mechanical and physical means are used–not chemical.  The olives are ground to a paste and then the oil is extracted along with water.  A centrefuge separates out the olive oil, which is comprised of 98% fat.

Overall, I learned a lot about the process of making olive oil, which I hadn’t really even wondered about before.

Final Thoughts

After eating the risotto, my husband tried the Le Stagioni d’ Italia’s Olive Oil that we received on a piece of bread like a true Italian.  We loved the flavor, and my daughter can’t wait for me to mix it with garlic and make our homemade, dairy free garlic bread.

Thanks to Flavor Your Life for allowing me to attend this campaign, learn more about olive oil, find a great new recipe, and try the olive oil and rice.

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