If you’ve hung around here for a long enough, you know that every once in a while I’ll do a product review. While I wouldn’t ever want this little bit of real estate to become solely review-centric, it is fun to get a package in the mail, use what’s inside and then tell you about it.
But, before any of that happens, there are a few hoops that have to be jumped through.
The first is that I have to know the company and the product. And I have to like it. So if you’re hoping that someday I’ll review a brand of tofu, don’t hold your breath. So not a fan. In fact, if I receive a product, try it and don’t like it, I’ll let the company know that I can’t do a review for them. That’s happened a time or two, unfortunately.
Even if I do like whatever I’m trying, there’s one more hoop remaining before I’ll review it. The company has to be willing to provide another sample for a giveaway. My friends, if you’re willing to sit through a product review, you should have the chance to get something out of it.
Except today. There’s an exception to every rule, and unfortunately, this is one of them.
I forgot. Totally and utterly forgot.
You see, I received the e-mail requesting I review Karoun Dairy products sometime back in April. I’d never heard of them. They’re located in California, on the other side of the country, so there’s no way I’d ever tried their product before.
But, this line in the e-mail sparked my interest.
‘…award-winning, natural and lower-fat Mediterranean line of quality cheeses and yogurts.’
Mediterranean??? I clicked on the link and started exploring Karoun’s website. I started getting an inkling when I saw the string cheeses. I grew up eating string cheese. Yogurt drink? They sell yogurt drink. I grew up drinking yogurt drink. It’s called ‘tan’ (short a sound) in Armenian.
When I read this line, I just about peed my pants.
‘Karoun Dairies Awarded 2011 Business of the Year by the Armenian American Chamber of Commerce’
They’re Armenian. I’m Armenian. I hit ‘reply’ without thinking twice. I begged to be able to review the cheeses and yogurt. I totally forgot to ask about a second set of product goodies for a giveaway.
That’s what happens when I get excited.
This month, The Saturday Evening Post’s recipe section is provided by Chef Ellie Krieger, a queen of healthy cooking and food. The salads she shares are all amazing and it was very hard for me to choose which to make first.
I went with the pasta salad because it called for Greek-style yogurt and I had a container of Karoun’s Mediterranean Non Fat Yogurt sitting in the fridge.
Preparation was simple. The only cooking required is the pasta, which is done in about ten minutes. Other than that, it’s a easy matter to mix together the dressing ingredients, mince the scallions and skin and bone the salmon.
It took me 20 minutes to prepare from start to finish.
Hubby and Dudette aren’t pasta salad fans, but I could finish this off in one sitting. Fortunately, it’s healthy enough that the damages wouldn’t be as disastrous as otherwise. Even so, I’ll be taking the salad with me to a picnic dinner tonight so I can share it with everyone.
It’s delicious. The creamy yogurt sauce is phenomenal. It’s tangy, yet smooth and rich. The burst of sweetness from the peas is perfect, as is the dill and scallion flavor. I’m loving this as a summer dish.
As far as the Karoun yogurt, it’s everything I hoped for and more. The flavor reminds me of the yogurt that my mom made when I was young. It makes my heart happy.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
I’d use fresh cooked salmon instead of canned. I still can’t get over the grossness of cleaning slimy skin and those nasty vertebrae from something that’s been sitting in a can for who knows how long.
- ⅔ cup plain Greek-style nonfat yogurt
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh dill, or 2 teaspoons dried
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (14-ounce) can wild red salmon, drained, skinned and boned, and cut into chunks
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, defrosted
- ½ pound bow tie or corkscrew pasta, cooked according to package directions and cooled
- 2 scallions (white and green parts), minced (about ¼ cup)
- 8 cups chopped red-leaf lettuce
- Combine yogurt, lemon juice, mayonnaise, lemon zest, dill, salt, and pepper in bowl and whisk to incorporate.
- Add salmon, peas, pasta, and scallions and toss to incorporate.
- Pasta salad will keep up to 2 days in an airtight container in refrigerator.
- To serve, mound 2 cups of lettuce onto each plate or into to-go containers and scoop about 1¾ cups of pasta salad on top.
Don’t worry. I am going to go back and ask the company if they’d be willing to provide more Karoun products so I can host a giveaway for you guys. I hope they say yes because I so want you to taste the cheeses and yogurt they make. I’ll let you know.