Chicken Olive Kabobs

One major thing I took away from my 6 year stint in the processed food industry, is that there are tons of hidden ingredients lurking in processed foods. It’s unfortunately far too easy to not even realize the fact that that can of olives has more ingredients inside than just olives…

Ferrous gluconate is a compound thats often added to canned olives as a color stabilizer. Olives actually don’t start off black, but the color changes during the curing process, and sometimes they don’t turn out to be that shiny black color that we’re all used to when we think of olives after the process is all said and done. Manufacturers add ferrous gluconate in order to make sure those olives are shiny and black. 

Is ferrous gluconate going to kill you? It’s naturally occurring, so probably not. But what I saw first hand as a food scientist, is that just because something starts off natural, it doesn’t really seem so natural after the intense processing it goes through, in order to be used as a food additive. 

The bottom line is that I think it’s best to avoid all of these things whenever possible. You don’t need to freak out about it, but personally, I’m always looking for the cleanest and simplest products that I can feel good about, and that’s why I’m super excited to partner up with Natural Value for this recipe! 

Natural Value makes all kinds of clean, simple products, and they don’t use any of the sketchy “natural” additives that you find in many canned and jarred foods. What’s even more exciting (at least for me) is that they make all kinds of products I use on a daily basis. Chickpeas, Sriracha, olives, and canned tomatoes are all staples in my house, and with Natural Value, I never have to question the quality. At an affordable price point for organic and natural products, these are EXACTLY the types of ingredients I like to purchase, and they’re exactly what I steer my clients towards as well. 

If you’d like to learn more about Natural Value click here, and please enjoy the recipe with these delicious Natural Value olives, and make sure to check out the news footage below from my healthy grilling segment on FOX40 news!

Healthy Grilling Part 1

Healthy Grilling Part 2


Chicken Olive Kabobs

Servings: 6-8


1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tsp Natural Value Organic Sriracha

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1” pieces 

1 (6 oz.) can Natural Value Large or Extra-Large Olives

1-2 small zucchinis, sliced into 1/2” thick rounds

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 


  1. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill over medium heat. Place lemon juice, olive oil, Sriracha, and parsley in a large bowl. Add chicken, and toss to coat. Let marinate for 20 minutes, up to 24 hours.

  2. Thread the marinated chicken onto skewers, alternating with olives and zucchini slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Grill the skewers over medium heat, until the meat is firm and the juices run clear, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once or twice. Remove from the grill and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Want to learn more about Natural Value? Click here!

Ben Mastracco