Live Gourmet’s Favorite Hearty Meals in Honor of National Grain Month

September 21, 2016 | post a comment

greens-meet-grainsWondering how to incorporate whole grains, like quinoa, millet and farro, in your daily diet? They’re actually quite versatile! To help you get started and since it’s National Grain Month, we’ve picked our favorite meals that combine healthy ancient grains with our favorite superfood watercress. Stop by your local supermarket to pick up our Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress or Grower Pete’s Living Watercress to get started.

A Few Facts and Resources

According to a article, whole grains and fresh produce are some of the best sources of fiber. The essential carbohydrate regulates blood sugar and cholesterol levels and helps us feel full longer. While distinguishing itself from other starches and sugars, fiber doesn’t negatively contribute to your caloric intake.

Leafy greens like watercress and upland cress also provide servings of fiber. Together with an organic grain, watercress can complete the ultimate hearty meal.

For a complete list of whole grains, click here.

Our Favorite Grain and Watercress Recipes 

1. By now, you’re familiar with the popular (especially on Instagram!) avocado toast. Want to shake the popular breakfast confection? Try it here with Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress or Grower Pete’s Organic Living Watercress and whole grain toast.  

2. Savory Oatmeal with our Living Upland Cress and root vegetables is a twist on breakfast for dinner. It’s even vegetarian! 

3. Bring Joy’s roasted sweet potato, quinoa, & watercress salad conjures feelings of fall.

4. Live Gourmet’s Cressto sauce with whole grain pasta will go over well with the entire family, including your little ones.

5. Love and Lemon’s Watercress Feta and Farro Salad balances brightness, crunch and chewiness all in one bowl.

Labels: watercress recipes

Food Safety Month: A Throwback Thursday Refresher

September 15, 2016 | post a comment


Did you know? Approximately 48 million people get sick annually from foodborne illnesses, according to the CDC. To start the school year off on the right foot and in light of Food Safety Month, we’d like to take the time to refresh our followers of important food safety tips.

Allegheny County Health Dept reminder to Wash Your HandsWash your hands frequently, especially before and after handling food, after using the restroom, blowing your nose, caring for a sick person, changing a diaper or handling an animal. For all you teachers and parents out there, the Allegheny County Health Department headed an effective Literary Classics Handwashing Awareness Campaign – a clever way to get your students’ attention! 

Cleanliness starts in the kitchen. Packing lunches before heading out the door can be difficult when time is of the essence. Though it’s tempting to save clean-up for later, it’s important to sanitize the kitchen immediately following use. Also, during preparation, follow the Partnership for Food Safety Education’s simple mantra: clean, separate, cook and chill.

The Fight Bac campaign's, as part of Food Safety Month, manta is chill, clean, separate and cook.Smart Packing. If you’re including any perishable food items such as deli meats, cheese, or yogurt in your child’s lunch, include at least one ice pack in an insulated bag. The FDA recommends that these types of foods should not be outside of the fridge more than 2 hours. If a meal should be served hot, prepare it in an insulated thermos (first, fill the container with hot water, let stand for a few minutes then empty and add the desired food).

We hope these quick Food Safety tips help as you and your family transition back into the school. Follow us @LiveGourmet for more food safety tips throughout the month on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.  


Labels: Lettuce Teach You Something

Live Gourmet Celebrates Family Meals Month – You Can Too!

September 8, 2016 | post a comment


In 2015, the FMI Foundation launched the family meals movement to help American families achieve the goal of sharing one more family meal each week at home with items from the grocery store. 

The family meals movement culminates this September with National Family Meals Month™, and we invite you to join us in celebrating! Tell us or show us with a photo what’s for dinner at your family table on social media (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) and tag us @livegourmet and use the hashtag #Familymealsmonth.

This initiative hits close to home for our Vice President of Sales Brian Cook. We’ve asked him along with his family to share why eating together is important to them.

Top: The Cook Family; Bottom Right: Cauliflower Tabbouleh Living Butter Lettuce Cups by

Top: The Cook Family; Bottom Right: Cauliflower Tabbouleh Living Butter Lettuce Cups by

Brian: Since the kids were little we always had dinner together. It was one of the unbroken rules at the house. Everyone was to be home for dinner and if someone was at practice or other extracurricular activity, we waited, at least until they became teenagers. I loved that no one really ever complained either. Since we started the tradition so young they knew what to expect and if it was going to be a late dinner, we would have a snack.

The outcome? We all continue to be really close. Well, as close as we could be. My son, Saige, and daughter, Peyton, are on their own and away. We miss them dearly around the dinner table. I pray that they will keep the tradition when they start their families, which I hope is not too soon.

Dinners changed as the kids grew and frankly, we got older. Our young, very active family was happy with mac and cheese and pasta. But as they got older and didn’t want us hovering at practice, we began making more in-depth meals such as enchilada casserole, tacos and other comfort food since we had more time. Now, we enjoy a healthy eating lifestyle and have stayed very active together: walking and hiking together regularly. Dinner comes in the form of increased fruits and vegetables with smaller portions of protein. I threw a fit at first but feel much better since we’ve move to this route.

I love having dinner with the family because it is the one time things are still and many laughs are had. I asked the family their reasons for enjoying dinner and have shared those with you below. Wishing you all the very best and a great dinner….TOGETHER.

Jeanette (Mom) – I love to eat dinner with the family so we can stay connected.

Alynna (Daughter, 20) – Food and family are very important to me (she’s a chef) and it’s cool that they can come together.

Peyton (Daughter, 19) – I enjoyed talking about what’s happening in everyone’s life while enjoying a good meal.

Savannah (Daughter, 16) – Feels that eating together makes food taste that much better. 😉

The Cook Family can’t wait to try our new Cauliflower Tabbouleh Lettuce Cups During Family Meals Month!

Cauliflower Tabbouleh in Living Butter Lettuce Cups
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  1. 1 Head Cauliflower (or 2 bags florets)
  2. 2 Large Tomatoes, chopped
  3. 1 Cup Chopped Parsley
  4. ¼ Cup Chopped Mint
  5. 3 TB Lemon Juice
  6. ¼ Cup EVOO
  7. Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  8. 1 Head of Live Gourmet Living Butter Lettuce or Grower Pete's Organic Brand of Living Butter Lettuce
  1. Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor, or chop them by hand, until they are small bits resembling grains.
  2. Toss with chopped tomatoes, chopped parsley and mint, lemon juice and olive oil.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Spoon into the butter lettuce cups and serve.
Live Gourmet Blog

Labels: Healthy Living

The Ultimate Power Salad for Fruits & Vegetables—More Matters Month

August 31, 2016 | post a comment


September is upon us and, though summer is technically not over, many of us are jumping back into routine. One way to help with the transition is by amping up your produce intake this September, which happens to be Fruits and Vegetables—More Matters Month. The health initiative encourages Americans to include more fruits and vegetables in every meal, including snacks, for better health.

In addition to giving you plenty vitamins and minerals, eating more produce provides fiber (keeping you fuller longer) and may reduce your risk for certain diseases. Not to mention, they add a delicious, new dimension to your meals!

To celebrate the wonderful memories you’ve made this summer while ushering in the new season, try our Toasted Walnut and Raspberry Salad with Goat Cheese. Summery raspberries commingle with our Living Red Butter Lettuce, the crisp root veggie jicama, crunchy sugar snap peas and refreshing cucumbers. Rounding out the dish, walnuts (the ultimate brain food) and creamy goat cheese complement the diverse fresh ingredients resulting in the ultimate power salad.

Toasted Walnut & Raspberry Salad with Goat Cheese  
Yields 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
  1. Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette
  2. 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, measured after they are pureed and deseeded or ⅔ cup seedless raspberry preserves
  3. ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  4. 2 tablespoons honey
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. ¼ teaspoon pepper
  7. ½ cup toasted walnut oil
  8. Salad
  9. 2 heads Live Gourmet Red Butter Lettuce, torn into pieces
  10. 2 Persian cucumbers or ½ an English cucumber, thinly sliced
  11. ½ medium jicama, cut into matchstick slices
  12. 1 cup sugar snap peas, string removed
  13. 1 cup fresh raspberries
  14. ½ cup goat cheese, crumbled
  15. ½ cup walnuts, toasted
  1. Puree raspberries in a blender. Pour into a fine mesh sieve and use the back of a spoon to gently coax the puree through into a measuring cup with a spout. Discard the seeds left in the sieve. If using raspberry preserves, warm in the microwave to liquefy. Add vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper and whisk together. Slowly drizzle in walnut oil while continuing to whisk.
  2. Mix all salad ingredients and serve with dressing.
  1. Sugar spiced walnuts are a great alternative to toasted walnuts.
Live Gourmet Blog

Labels: Butter Lettuce Recipes

Eat Right after a Summer of Fun in the Sun with Help from Michelle Stern

August 24, 2016 | post a comment


Back-to-school is upon us. Between stocking up on supplies, adjusting to a new schedule and after-school activities,  it can be challenging to maintain a wel- balanced diet. Not to mention, a summer of vacationing, camp and barbecues doesn’t always support the healthiest of eating choices. To help you and your youngsters start the school year off right, we’ve asked Michelle Stern, founder of What’s Cooking with Kids and author of The Whole Family Cookbook, to lend her expertise on tips for families to eat healthy any day of the year.


What's Cooking with Kids Founder Michelle Stern

Michelle Stern

Live Gourmet: How do you recommend bringing more balanced healthy meals back into your family’s routine?

Michelle Stern: We love to bring healthy snacks with us when we are on-the-go.  Carrots and hummus, bags of English peas, and dried fruit are part of our regular snacking routine — and with the appropriate waste-free food containers, they are easy to take with us.  But when we get home, I try to get the kids to help me plan some menus for the week. When they are invested in family meals, they are more eager to eat the fruits of their labor, so to speak.

LG: As an educator, what do you think is the biggest challenge to get kids to eat healthy?

MS: I think that many kids simply aren’t regularly exposed to healthy choices.  For families on a budget, they may worry that spending money on new veggies is too risky, and so they stick with tried-and-true foods. By exposing kids to fruits and vegetables IN an educational setting, educators can assume some of that risk and the kids will come home from school ready and eager to try the new foods and help the family make good food choices.

LG: Do you have any favorite back-to-school lunch ideas?

Eat homemade healthy cup of noodles

A healthy alternative lunch idea from Michelle Stern. Recipe can be found at

MS: In my recent blog post on Waste-Free lunch essentials, I have a free downloadable Lunch Menu planner to make packing lunches easier for families.  Kids can get tired of sandwiches so it’s fun to mix things up a bit.  Try using tortilla rollups filled with cream cheese and jam, or hummus and cucumbers!  Or mini frittatas made in muffin tins pack a huge protein punch and can be easily customized to suit each child’s tastes.

LG: What is your advice to families who have picky eaters?

MS: Keep trying! It takes 8-12 exposures of a new food before it’s often accepted. It’s important that you don’t give up. Don’t pressure kids to eat certain foods. Instead, be sure there is something on the table that they will eat and then let them make choices.  Eating is one of the few times that kids can exercise control in their lives….and it can easily become a battleground if we add too much pressure.

To learn about What’s Cooking With Kids go to and follow: ; Facebook:; Instagram: @whatscookingwithkids

Labels: Fresh Eating Tips

You Put Greens in THAT? Unique Recipes That Rock.

August 17, 2016 | post a comment


Different varieties of lettuce and watercress are displayed on a purple backgroundThough crisp lettuce leaves elevate the simplest of salads, greens also make unexpected yet delicious additions to a number of dishes. There are a plethora of reasons to include our varieties of Living Greens from breakfast to even dessert. 

Here are a few:

Not only are they tasty and add satisfying texture, our Living Greens include a number of health benefits. Romaine lettuce has more vitamin A than a carrot, and is a rich source of vitamin K (a key role in helping blood clot). Butter lettuce also contains significant amounts of Vitamin K and folate. While adding watercress to your diet can help improve your skin. In a study reported by the Daily Mail, “10 out of 11 female volunteers experienced visible improvements to their skin after just four weeks of adding one bag of watercress a day to their diet.”

To receive green’s maximum health benefits while testing your culinary creativity, try a few of our favorite non-traditional recipes. 

Our favorites:

  1. Food 52’s Squid with Watercress Salsa Verde. Fresh sauted squid is a healthier alternative than its breaded and fried calamari counterpart. Not to mention, superfood watercress boosts the dish’s nutritional value.
  2. Andrew Zimmer’s Artichoke, Peas, Fava & Lettuce Stew. Simple yet  flavorful, the veggie one  pot dish is the perfect August supper.
  3. Filmore and Union’s Watercress Banana Homemade Ice Cream. Before your bananas turn to mush in the heat, combine them with peppery watercress to create a uniquely flavored summer treat.

For more ideas, go to our Pinterest board You Put Greens in That.

Labels: Lettuce Recipe

Live Gourmet’s Vietnamese Flank Steak Lettuce Wraps

August 10, 2016 | post a comment


Our lettuce varieties can be used in cuisines from around the world. Both nutritious and delicious, our Live Gourmet Red Butter Lettuce serves as a crisp, refreshing wrap to our latest Vietnamese inspired dish. Fusing elements of traditional spring rolls and trendy lettuce wraps, Vietnamese Flank Steak Wraps makes an excellent dish for your next get together. 

Before you get started, familiarize yourself with the eclectic tastes and smells of Vietnamese Food. 

Foodie Facts about Vietnamese Food

Vietnamese cuisine includes an array of noodles from Pho (there are more than 20 uses for this type!), vermicelli, egg, grass noodle to rice (as used in our recipe).

Spring roll is the most popular dish in Vietnam. Though, Vietnam Online reports, “they are barely seen in everyday meal – mostly in a family gathering or anniversary dinner.”

As many as 70 different kinds of herbs appear in dishes, which are viewed as a vital part of the meal. Popular herbs include coriander, perilla, mint, and several variations of basil. David Tanis of Bon Appétit  likens them to, “seriously curated Vietnamese mesclun, meant to be added to every bowl of soup or wrapped roll, nibbled at random for the sheer clean pleasure of it.”

Chúc ngon miệng

(Bon Appétit! )

Live Gourmet’s Vietnamese Flank Steak Wraps with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce
Yields 4
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Prep Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Marinade for Flank Steak
  1. ¼ cup vegetable oil
  2. ⅓ cup soy sauce
  3. ¼ cup dry sherry
  4. 2 tablespoons catsup
  5. 1½ tablespoons fresh ginger, finely minced
  6. 1 tablespoon black bean garlic sauce (available in the Asian section of most grocery stores)
  7. 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  8. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  9. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  10. 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  11. 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  12. 1 pound flank steak, cut into ½-inch strips
  13. 1 tablespoon canola or peanut oil, reserve to sauté steak
  1. 4 ounces dry thin rice noodles, cooked per package instructions
  2. ½ cup peanuts, chopped
  3. 1 cup English cucumber, chopped
  4. 1 cup bean sprouts
  5. 1 red bell pepper, cut into narrow strips
  6. 3 heads Live Gourmet Red Butter Lettuce, separated into
  7. individual leaves
  8. 1 cup of Thai basil leaves (optional)
Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce
  1. ⅓ cup peanut butter
  2. 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  3. 1 small clove garlic, minced
  4. ¼ cup warm water
  5. 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  6. ½ tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  7. 1 teaspoon sugar
  8. ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Combine marinade ingredients and mix well. Add beef and place in a large plastic bag or non-metallic container and marinate overnight.
  2. Prepare wrap ingredients and refrigerate.
  3. Blend all ingredients for Spicy Peanut Dip and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. To prepare flank steak, heat oil in a medium frying pan or wok over medium-high heat.
  5. Add steak strips and cook for about 5 minutes for rare, 7 to 8 minutes for medium rare.
  6. To serve, place lettuce and other ingredients in individual bowls or arrange on large platter.
  7. Serve with Spicy Peanut Dip.
Live Gourmet Blog

Labels: Red Butter Lettuce

Watercress: From Stem to Leaf

August 4, 2016 | post a comment


Photos of watercress on a cutting board, a plate of paste with cressto pesto and ingredients to make a salad on a kitchen counterHave you heard that watercress is the most nutrient dense vegetable around? You may have thought it was kale but both highly touted nutrient density reports from Patterson University and Dr. Joel Furhman’s ANDI score have Watercress on top, not ubiquitous kale. This versatile leafy green is loaded with phytonutrients, cancer-fighting antioxidants, and essential vitamins. One serving contains as much vitamin C as an orange and more calcium than a glass of milk.

To get the most available nutrients from our Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress and Grower Pete’s Organic Brand of Living Watercress, you can use the entire cress from stem to leaf. You’ll also be minimizing food waste by eating it in its entirety.

Here are a few facts and pointers on storing and eating our Living Upland Cress and Watercress from stem to leaf.

Why are the roots attached?

Our Live Gourmet brand and certified organic Grower Pete’s brand of Living greens are harvested with their roots attached. This allows them to preserve freshness (usually 5-7 days longer) than conventionally grown greens.

A bonus about our certified organic Grower Pete’s brand: they’re organic all the way to their root balls unlike other hydroponic produce providers who also harvest with the roots attached. Additionally, Grower Pete’s brand complies with the most recent USDA’s NOP ruling and is naturally compostable.

How to Store

Store our cress products in an air tight container (such as a Ziploc® or Tupperware®) with their roots still attached. Refrigerate your greens as soon as possible. Produce needs to be stored below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Cress products should be kept in the crisper section.

How to Prepare

Remove the amount of leaves and stems from the root ball that is necessary for your recipe, rinse and pat dry. Return any unused cress with roots and all to your refrigerator and place in the crisper section.

Not sure how incorporate stems and all?

Three recipes that you can include watercress from stem to leaf:

  1. Live Gourmet Cressto Pesto Sauce 
  2. The Detox Specialist’s Tropical Watercress Detox Smoothie 
  3. Watercress soup any way 



Labels: Lettuce Teach You Something

Acai Bowls originated in Brazil…What?!

July 27, 2016 | post a comment


Though acai bowls have been popularized by US juice and smoothie establishments in recent years, the trendy dish actually originated in Brazil. The main component of the bowl is acai, which is a berry that comes from tall palm trees native to Central and South America (most notably in the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil).

According to Wedmd, “Some studies show that the fruit pulp has a very high antioxidant capacity with even more antioxidant content than the pulp of the cranberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry or blueberry.”

Grace McGuire of Nourish with Whole Foods combines acai powder with a variety of vitamin rich fruits and vegetables, including our very own watercress. In fact, our Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress and Grower Pete’s Brand of Living Organic Watercress are certified antioxidant greens and are superfoods like the delicious berries. What’s a superfood you ask? It’s an extremely nutrient-dense food that is very beneficial for maintaining good health.

Acai bowls make a great breakfast and will keep you going throughout the day! Pick up your favorite fruits along with our Living Watercress and acai powder to make your own unique bowl. Take a cue from Grace’s recipe to get started. Don’t forget to share photos of your creations with us by tagging us @LiveGourmet on social media.

Nourish with Whole Food’s Acai Bowl with Living Watercress
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  1. 1/4 cup of raw coconut water
  2. 2 handfuls of organic spinach
  3. 1 handful of Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress OR Grower Pete’s Brand of Living Organic Watercress
  4. 1 cup or 4 frozen organic strawberries
  5. 1/2 cup of frozen organic blueberries
  6. 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  7. 1-2 tsp of Acai powder
  8. 1 sliced (frozen) banana
  9. 1 scoop of Amazing Grass Green Superfood (optional)
  1. Blend on high and serve. Top with your favorite nuts, seeds, granola, dried fruit, coconut flakes or nut butter (pictured here).
Live Gourmet Blog

Labels: watercress recipes

8 Reasons to Eat Our Living Greens

July 21, 2016 | post a comment


Eight reasons to eat our Living Greens. Hollandia Produce varieties are brightly displayed.You’ve probably heard eating your greens, like our Living greens, is good for your waistband, but did you know they provide a number of health benefits? According to the USDA, “Because of their high content of antioxidants, green leafy vegetables may be one of the best cancer-preventing foods… [And] these same antioxidants have also been proven to decrease the risk of heart disease.” 

Here at Hollandia Produce, our Living greens not only provide essential vitamins and antioxidants but they’re rooted in freshness and alive with flavor. Need more convincing?

Here are eight reasons to eat our Living greens.

  1. They have ample amounts of vitamins and minerals. Watercress and Upland Cress have as much vitamin C as an orange and more calcium than milk. Romaine Lettuce has more vitamin A than a carrot, and Butter Lettuce contains significant amounts of Vitamin K.
  1. Watercress helps the body recover from exercise-related oxidative stress. A study found that subjects who consumed watercress daily before working out, experienced less DNA damage than their non-consuming watercress counterparts.
  1. They keep your stress levels down. Researcher Joe Hibbeln says in a NPR article about stress and diet , “omega-3s [can help] make your stress system more flexible.” By consuming a head of Romaine lettuce, like our Living Baby Romaine, you’ll receive an ample amount of your recommended daily amount of Omega-3 essential fats
  1. They’re a great low-carb option. Use Living Butter Lettuce in place of sandwich bread, taco shells and wraps.
  1. Cress protects your eyes and skin. In addition to its vitamin A and C power, Watercress and Upland Cress contain lutein — an antioxidant found most notably in dark green leafy vegetables that supports eye health and vision. 
  1. Our Hydroponic growing system uses less water than conventional farming. It recycles water while limiting water loss due to evaporation. Moreover, our method produces nearly four times the yield per acre while using up to 84% less water than if our lettuce were field-grown (exact figures depend upon the region, soil structure, time of year and irrigation method used).
  1. They’re versatile! Add them to a diverse array of dishes, including trendy Acai bowls, grain bowls, juices and more.
  1. They’re the freshest greens you can buy. Living Baby Romaine, Butter Lettuce, Watercress and Upland Cress are sold with their roots attached to preserve maximum freshness.

Labels: Eat Leafy Greens for Nutrition