Posted on

Cucumber Salad with creamy Greek vinaigrette

Cucumber Salad with creamy Greek vinaigrette

Loaded with fresh herbs, this easy cucumber salad with creamy Greek vinaigrette is light and refreshing and perfect for your next picnic or bbq.

Jump to Recipe

Cucumber Salad with creamy Greek vinaigrette

It’s that time of year when backyard BBQs are in full swing and I’m always looking for a side dish that’s not only delicious, but that travels well. Something that’s cool and refreshing and not loaded down with mayo. Enter this crisp, light, and creamy cucumber salad. Farmers market cucumbers, lots of fresh herbs like dill, mint and parsley, some chickpeas for added protein and some red onion for bite and crunch. It all gets tossed in a healthy yogurt-based dressing that is so easy thanks to our Gaga for Greek Seasoning. If you’re looking for a summer side dish that goes just as well with juicy burgers as it does with grilled salmon, you’ll definitely wanna try this recipe.

What you need to make Cucumber Salad with creamy Greek vinaigrette.

Here’s what you need to make this salad

  • Cucumbers – obviously you can’t make cucumber salad without cucumbers, but what kind of cucumbers should you use? We like to use English cucumbers because they have fewer seeds and the skin is nice and thin, meaning you don’t have to peel them. That being said, you can make this salad with pretty much any cucumber you have on hand. If you want to use garden cucumbers you’ll just want to peel them first and scoop out the seeds so that the salad doesn’t become watery.
  • Fresh herbs – most garden fresh herbs will work in this salad, but stick to the soft leafy variety like dill, mint, parsley or cilantro. Save the woodier ones like sage and rosemary for cooking. Just rinse them clean, pat them dry and then pull the leaves from the stems and toss them in whole.
  • Red Onion – Thinly sliced red onion gives some bite to this salad, but if you find raw onions a bit too strong you can soak them in cold water for a few minutes to soften their flavour.
  • Chickpeas – This is totally optional, but we like to add a little protein. You could totally swap this for fresh summer corn, or leave them out altogether.
  • Greek Yogurt – Bright and tangy, Greek yogurt gives the dressing some creaminess, but keeps it light and healthy.
  • Gaga for Greek Seasoning – Next to the cucumbers this is the real star of the show. Our Gaga for Greek Seasoning makes is super easy to whip up this yummy Greek Vinaigrette. It’s also great rubbed on a chicken breast, and brings instant flavour to Greek potatoes.
  • Olive Oil & Lemon Juice – just to round out the dressing and give it a bit more punch.
How to make Cucumber Salad with creamy Greek vinaigrette

How to make this Greek Cucumber Salad

  1. This salad takes a bit of prep. If you have a mandolin it really comes in handy for thinly slicing all the cucumbers, but not to worry and good sharp knife is really all you need. You’ll want to slice the cucumbers about 1/4 of an inch thick, then pat them dry with a paper towel. Add them to a large bowl along with the red onions, chickpeas and roughly chopped herbs.
  2. For the dressing, simply mix together the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil and Gaga for Greek Seasoning. You can use an immersion blender, or just whisk it together in a small bowl.
  3. Toss it all together and serve right away, or put it in the fridge to chill for an hour.
Cucumber Salad with creamy Greek vinaigrette

Cucumber Salad with creamy Greek vinaigrette

Loaded with fresh herbs, this easy cucumber salad with creamy Greek vinaigrette is light and refreshing and perfect for your next picnic or bbq.
Prep Time15 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 2 long English cucumbers
  • 1/2 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill chopped

For the Dressing

  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp Taste of the Okanagan Gaga for Greek Seasoning


  • Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, thinly slicing all the cucumbers about 1/4 of an inch thick, then pat them dry with a paper towel. Add them to a large bowl along with the red onions, chickpeas and roughly chopped herbs.
  • For the dressing, simply mix together the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil and Gaga for Greek Seasoning. You can use an immersion blender, or just whisk it together in a small bowl.
  • Toss it all together and serve right away, or put it in the fridge to chill for an hour.

Posted on

Best Before Dates vs. Expiry Dates

Everything you assume about ‘best before’ dates is probably wrong. There are two vital facts to know about ‘best before dates’ on foods in Canada: They’re not standardized, and they have nothing to do with food safety.

Best before dates, what do they really mean in Canada?

Most of us are guilty… every so often we go through the fridge, checking labels and throwing out anything that’s passed the date on the bottom. Maybe you stop to sniff, or take a second look, but more likely than not, you just figure it’s expired and into the garbage it goes.  

We all know on some intellectual level that throwing away food is wrong, but this habit is so ingrained in us that we don’t even stop to check. I mean surely the date on the bottom is more accurate than the good ol’ smell test… or is it?

What does the date on the bottom really mean? Do you know the difference between ‘Best Before’ dates and ‘Expiry’ dates? While they may seem similar at first, a ‘best before’ date is not the same as an ‘expiry’ date.

These labels cause a lot of confusion for Canadian families. People see these labels and incorrectly assume that any food near or just past the ‘best before’ date is expired and no longer edible. This simply isn’t true.  

 ‘Expiration Dates’ refer to FOOD SAFETY while ‘Best Before’ refers to QUALITY.

You’ll only find ‘Expiration Dates’ on products like meal replacements, infant formula, and nutritional supplements, and you should not eat them past their expiry date. [1]

 ‘Best Before’ dates are only required on packaged foods that have a shelf life of 90 days or less, such as milk, yogurt, and bread. They do not guarantee product safety; but rather when your food will be at its peak freshness, taste and nutritional value. Ie. When it’s BEST before.

What does this mean? Well, basically it means that after the best before date has passed, food may lose some freshness and flavour, and the texture or colour may change. That chip might not be as crisp, that sauce might not be as bright, but it does not mean that it is unsafe to eat.

Also remember that best before dates only apply to unopened food. The minute you open that jug of milk or pack of cheese the best before date is irrelevant.

Unfortunately, Canada doesn’t have any standards around determining best before dates, and many products have them that don’t even need them. Most companies arbitrarily determine a date that they feel their product is ‘best before’. There are no regulations or data required to help determine the date.  This confusion means that a lot of perfectly good food ends up in the garbage. And I mean A LOT! Canada is one of the biggest contributors to food waste in the world. It may not seem like a big deal but research estimates the average Canadian household wastes 140 kilograms of food per year – at a cost of more than $1,300 per year! [2]

Why we don’t use best before dates

This is just one of the reasons you will not find ‘Best Before’ dates on our products. Over the years we’ve tried both ‘Best Before’ dates and ‘Packaged on’ dates, and inevitably customers still mistake them for ‘Expiration Dates’ and end up throwing out perfectly good food. Instead, on the bottom of our jars you will find a sticker with it’s Batch Number. This is a unique code we use to track when a product was made and which batch it came from. The code does not resemble a date so as not to be mistaken for an expiry date.

So, what does this mean for you? Well, if you have forgotten about a jar in the back of your cupboard and are unsure, open it. If it smells funky or looks off, throw it out. Use your best judgment, but remember, that little sticker on the bottom was never going to tell you if a product had gone off anyway, it’s only going to tell you when it was ‘Best Before’. If you’re still unsure feel free to contact us with your batch number and we will be happy to look it up for you.



Posted on Leave a comment

Olive Tapenade Pasta Salad

Olive Tapenade Pasta Salad

Now that the weather is heating up, it’s the perfect time to whip up a big batch of pasta salad. This Olive Tapenade Pasta Salad is almost no-cook which is perfect this time of year, and it comes together so quick and easy you’ll want to make it all the time. What’s the secret? It’s as simple as opening a jar!

Jump to Recipe
Olive Tapenade Pasta Salad

Our Olive Tapenade is not only a delicious dip or spread it works wonderfully with pasta. Swap out your jar of marinara for our Olive Tapenade and you’ve got yourself an easy dressing/sauce that works with both hot, or in this case cold, pasta.  Throw in a few accompaniments like veggies, nuts, herbs, or cheese and put it on repeat all summer long.

How to make Olive Tapenade Pasta Salad

The ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need:

The Pasta – Short cut pasta works best in pasta salad. You want a shape that has lots of nooks and crannies to catch all the dressing. Think farfalle, fusilli or rotini.

The Dressing – This really is the easy part. Simply mix a jar of our Olive Tapenade with some Red Wine Vinegar and olive oil for a simple and tasty dressing. You can pick some up at the Kelowna Farmer’s Market or select wineries and specialty food shops throughout Western Canada. Or of course you can always order online.

The Accompaniments – This is where you get to mix it up and have a little fun. Use what you have in the fridge or play around with different add-ins every time you make it. Today we’re using cherry tomatoes, mixed olives, marinated artichoke hearts, cucumber, pine nuts and marinated bocconcini. We even reused the olive oil from the bocconcini to make the dressing.  If you wanted to make it a little heartier, you could add in grilled chicken, tuna, or even chickpeas would be great.

The ingredients for Olive Tapenade Pasta Salad. - Tomatoes, olives, shallots, artichokes, pinenuts, basil, and mozzarealla

Tips for cooking the pasta

  • Cook it in extra-salty water. Serving food cold tends to mute its flavors, so you want to make sure your pasta is well-seasoned as it cooks.
  • Cook the pasta a little longer. Since you’re not cooking it in sauce and serving it warm, cook the pasta a minute longer than you normally would, but don’t let it get mushy. Pasta gets hard and chewy as it cools, so this extra cooking time will keep it moist.
  • Add the dressing while it’s still warm. If you toss the pasta with the dressing while it’s still a little warm, it’ll absorb the dressing better and be more flavorful.

To make the pasta Salad

Start off by cooking your pasta according to the package instructions. Remember to cook it about one minute longer

While the pasta is cooking you can prep your other ingredients. Mix the tapenade with the red wine vinegar and olive oil. Chop your cucumber, shallots and tomatoes. Toast your pine nuts and tear some pieces of basil so they’re bite sized.

Once your pasta is cooked and drained, combine everything together in a big bowl, toss with tapenade and either serve immediately, or place in the fridge, covered, until you’re ready to eat it.

This is a nice recipe for prepping ahead of time for parties or even work lunches. The pasta holds up really well in the fridge and would be great to make on a Sunday for the week ahead. It actually takes on even more flavor as the salad sits!

How to make Olive Tapenade Pasta Salad
Olive Tapenade Pasta Salad

Olive Tapenade Pasta Salad

Now thatthe weather is heating up, it’s the perfect time to whip up a big batch of pastasalad. This Olive Tapenade Pasta Salad is almost no-cook which is perfect thistime of year, and it comes together so quick and easy you’ll want to make itall the time. What’s the secret? It’s as simple as opening a jar!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Servings 8


  • 500 g Short Cut Pasta
  • 1 jar Taste of the Okanagan Olive Tapenade
  • 2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 Shallots finely diced
  • 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes halved
  • 1 Cucumber diced
  • 1 jar Marinated Artichoke Hearts
  • 2 cups Mozzaralla Balls I like the marinated ones
  • 1/3 cup Toasted Pine Nuts
  • 3/4 cup Mixed Greek Olives pitted
  • 4 Pepperoncini Peppers thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Basil Leaves


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta 1 minute longer than the package directions. 
  • Mix Taste of the Okanagan Olive Tapenade with Red Wine Vinegar, Olive Oil and Salt & Pepper.
  • Add the cooked and drained pasta to a large bowl. Add all the other ingredients and pour over the dressing. Toss while it's still warm.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Posted on

Fiesta Shrimp Dip

Fiesta Shrimp Dip - the perfect dip for easy entertaining

If you’ve been following along here for a while, you might be familiar with our Fiesta Shrimp Dip recipe. It’s definitely a fan favourite and the number one request whenever I’m asked to bring a dish to any sort of function. We’ve shared the recipe a few times, but given everything going on this year, I thought it might be fun to reimagine it in a more Covid friendly way. Not only do the layers look super pretty in the individual glasses, but now you don’t have to share! 


Fiesta Shrimp Dip


  • 12-16 shrimp cleaned and deveined
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 Jar Taste of the Okanagan Fiesta Pear Salsa
  • 150 g shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 125 g Cream Cheese softened
  • 125 g Sour Cream
  • 2 tbsp Taste of the Okanagan South of the Border Seasoning
  • 1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped (sub parsley if preferred)
  • 2-3 green onions chopped


  • Melt butter & garlic in a pan and sauté shrimp until cooked through.
  • While shrimp are cooking mix softened cream cheese with sour cream and seasoning mix. Spread evenly on the bottom of your serving dish. This will be your first layer.
  • Next, layer the jar of Fiesta Pear Salsa, on top of the cream cheese layer.
  • When shrimp is cooked, rough chop into small pieces, and layer on top of the salsa. Top shrimp with shredded cheese, and then top cheese with the chopped cilantro and green onions.
  • Serve with tortilla chips.
Posted on

Apple Cabbage Slaw

Apple Cabbage Slaw - Top your pulled pork sandwiches or tacos

This fresh take on coleslaw makes a great side dish to cozy fall dinners… but we especially love it on top of our pulled pork sandwiches (see yesterday’s post). Apples and pork are an age-old combination and we love how the tartness from fresh apples mixed with our flavourful Apple Chutney helps cut through the richness of the pork. Plus it’s super easy!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
You can shred your own cabbage & carrots or do what I do and just grab a bag of coleslaw mix from the grocery store. Then just cut a granny smith apple into matchstick pieces and chop up some parsley or cilantro. For the dressing mix 2 parts of Taste of the Okanagan’s Apple Chutney with 1 part Olive Oil and 1 Part Apple Cider Vinegar.


Apple Cabbage Slaw


  • 2 cups Coleslaw Mix⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple cut into matchstick size pieces⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley or cilantro⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil


  • Mix the coleslaw mix, chopped apple and chopped parsley or cilantro together in a large bow. In a separate bowl mix the TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN APPLE CHUTNEY with the apple cider vinegar and olive oil and then drizzle over the slaw and toss to dress.
Posted on

Easy Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork Sauce for easy pulled pork sandwiches in your slow cooker

This cooler weather has us craving comfort foods. Those easy dishes you can just throw in the slow cooker and forget about. Pulled pork is one of our go-to’s! Make this easy pulled pork in your slowcooker or oven. Simply add our Pulled Pork Sauce to your pork butt and you’ll have dinner ready when you get home.

And don’t forget about our quick Apple Cabbage Slaw… the perfect way to top off these sandwiches.


Pulled Pork


  • 1 boneless pork shoulder (about 4-5lbs)
  • 1 bottle Taste of the Okanagan’s Pulled Pork Sauce
  • Buns
  • Apple Coleslaw (Stay tuned for the recipe)


  • Season the pork shoulder with salt & pepper and place in your slow cooker.
  • Dump the bottle of Taste of the Okanagan Pulled Pork Sauce on top.
  • Cover and cook until the pork is fork tender, about 6 to 8 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.
  • Remove the roast from the slow cooker, and shred the meat using two forks.
  • Skim the fat from the liquid left in the slow cooker. Return the shredded pork and stir the meat into the juices.
  • Add pork to toasted buns and top with Apple Coleslaw (Stay tuned for the recipe)
Posted on

Cranberry Cheese Log

Cranberry Cheese Log for easy holiday entertaining - with Cranberry Jalapeno Jelly

Can you believe Thanksgiving is this weekend? Cooking for the main event can take all day so I like to have a little something on hand to keep hangry guests at bay — like this festive Cranberry Cheese Log!

This holiday appetizer is perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas and pretty much everything in between. Throughout the season this recipe is on heavy rotation and I just can’t get enough of it. Not only is it super easy, but you can make it ahead of time, and it travels really well if you’re heading to a pot luck or holiday party. I call that a win-win-win!

Festive Cranberry Cheese Log

Cranberry Cheese Log (Cheeseball)


  • 8 oz Cream Cheese (Softened)
  • 200 g Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 80 g Blue Cheese
  • 200 g Cranberry Trail Mix (or a mix of mix pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds and dried cranberries)


  • In a food processor mix one 8oz block of cream cheese (softened), 200g sharp shredded cheddar, 80g blue cheese and 1/3 cup TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN CRANBERRY JALAPENO JELLY. Process until it’s evenly combined. (If you’re not a fan of blue cheese, just trust us, you won’t even know it’s there)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • *If you don’t have a food processor you can absolutely make this by hand, just make sure your cheeses are nice and soft.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Form the mixture into a log or ball shape and then roll it around in cranberry trail mix to completely coat the outside. (Check your local bulk store for a Cranberry Trail Mix, or mix pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, and dried cranberries together to make your own) I like to toast the trail mix in a dry skillet for a couple of minutes to bring out the nutty flavour. Just remember to let it cool before you roll the cheese in it.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Wrap the cheese log in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.
Posted on

Fall Harvest Salad

Fall Harvest Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

A delicious salad full of autumn flavours. It makes a great accompaniment to your Thanksgiving or Christmas meal and comes together in a snap. Use pre-washed mixed baby greens and our Cranberry Pear Vinaigrette for an easy yet impressive dish.


Fall Harvest Salad


  • 4 cups lightly packed mixed baby greens
  • 1 firm but ripe Bartlett pears do not peel, quartered lengthwise, cored, and cut into long, thin slices
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 140 g soft goat cheese can subsitute blue cheese
  • 1/3 cup toasted or candied walnuts (see below)
  • Taste of the Okanagan Cranberry Pear Vinaigrette

Candied Walnuts

  • 1 cup walnut halves/pieces
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter


For the Candied Walnuts

  • Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat, add 1 cup walnuts, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1 Tbsp butter.
  • Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. When the sugar mixture starts melting, stir constantly until all sugar is melted and nuts are coated.
  • Transfer immediately onto a sheet of parchment paper and separate the nuts right away. Once the coating hardens transfer them to a bowl and set aside for your salad.

For the Salad

  • Place the mixed greens, onions, and pears in a large bowl.
  • Shake the dressing and pour over the salad. Toss to coat evenly.
  • Arrange the salad in a large serving bowl. Scatter the cranberries, nuts and crumbled goats cheese over the top. Serve immediately.
Posted on

Peach Chipotle Chicken with Grilled Peaches

Have you ever grilled your peaches? 🍑 We’re making the most of the last few days of summer, and of course peach season with this easy BBQ recipe!


Peach Chipotle Chicken with Grilled Peaches

Servings 6


  • 3 ripe peaches washed and cut into quarters
  • 1 whole chicken or your fav pieces, eg. Thighs, drumsticks, breasts
  • Taste of the Okanagan Peach Chipotle BBQ Sauce
  • Cilantro
  • Limes


  • Preheat your grill to medium-high
  • Season your chicken pieces with salt and pepper and place on the grill. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, turning once or twice and brushing with Taste of the Okanagan Peach Chipotle BBQ Sauce during the last 2 minutes of grilling.
  • Brush peaches with a little oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill peaches until slightly charred, about 2 minutes per side.
  • Add chicken and peaches to a large serving dish and garnish with cilantro and limes.