Greenhouse Growing Throughout the Winter

February 22, 2017 | post a comment

 

Greenhouse growing goes back three generations beginning in Holland for the Overgaag Family, founders of Hollandia Produce. The family’s tradition, now passed on to the employee owners, of greenhouse hydroponic growing allows us to grow your favorite LIVE GOURMET® and GROWER PETE’S® products with consistent uniformity year-round.

Inside Hollandia Produce's Greenhouse Growing Practices

How do we do this?

For most farms, the colder temperatures and shorter winter days marks a shift in crop production. However, for us this is not the case. While our growing cycle is mildly affected by seasonal changes, all of our greens are produced hydroponically in state-of-the-art greenhouses where we control light, pests, temperature, humidity, and nutrients. Hydroponics, “is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil.” 

In addition to sustainable greenhouse growing practices, Live Gourmet has updated fleet tracks like this one that uses cleaner energy

Though we may not face some of the same challenges as other growers, we still are mindful of our company’s carbon footprint. One way we’ve accomplished this is by updating our fleet trucks. They are designed to be aerodynamic in order to reduce fuel consumption, which consists of cleaner burning natural gas. Our fleet’s refrigeration units, that keep our greens fresh, are hybrid-electric, releasing less CO2 into our atmosphere.

From growing to delivery, we continue to find ways in which we can become an increasingly sustainable business. And whether it be rain, shine, snow or sleet, we provide excellent and quality products to our consumers while utilizing environmentally-friendly practices.

Labels: Hollandia Produce Clean Farming

Live Gourmet Salutes U.S. Presidents and their Food

February 15, 2017 | post a comment

American Flag blows in the wind amongst a blue sky.In honor of President’s Day on Monday, February 20, we’re sharing #FunkyFacts about U.S. presidents and their food proclivities. And if you’re looking for culinary inspiration to celebrate on Monday, read “FOOD52’s 17 Presidents’ Favorite Foods for Presidents’ Day.”


 

  • Every other Thursday at 4pm sharp, President George Washington and his wife Martha hosted a dinner for legislators. In Ron Chernow’s biography of the inaugural leader, Washington would then explain curtly [if guests were even five minutes late] that the cook was governed by the clock and not by the company. His dentures may have been the source of his persnickety remark. “By the time he was elected, Washington only had one tooth remaining and had to rely on dentures, which not only restricted his diet to soft foods, but made public speaking extremely difficult,” writes Smithsonian Magazine.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama wasn’t the first White House resident to plant a vegetable garden. The tradition goes back to 1800 where President John Adams and First Lady Abigail Adams cultivated a plot of land for vegetables and fruit that the first family would eat.
  • When President Theodore Roosevelt toured the American Northwest in 1902, the avid outdoorsmen noshed on foods that we see on many farm-to-table menus today. Broiled trout, lettuce salad, Roquefort cheese and roasted duck all made appearances on the menu, which you can view here.
  • According to a 1969 article in the Reading Eagle, President Richard Nixon made a regular habit of eating cottage cheese with a healthy douse of ketchup. Why? The 37th president said he ate the diet staple for health reasons but disliked the taste, hence the sweet condiment.
  • Did you know that we’ve never had a vegetarian president? The closest would be President Bill Clinton who turned vegan diet after his tenure when he was diagnosed with heart disease. But while he was in the White House, he was a notorious fast-food lover — so much so that Saturday Night Live parodied his eating habits.
  • According to Food & Wine Magazine, President George W. Bush (2001-2009) loved cheeseburger pizza for dinner, which is literally a margarita pizza topped with cheeseburger ingredients.

For more President food history, check out this CNN.com article.

Labels: Holidays by Hollandia Produce

Live Gourmet Celebrates American Heart Month with Healthy Recipes

February 8, 2017 | post a comment

 

Copy of Heart healthy monthAs we enter the month of February, decorative hearts and cupids occupy neighborhood storefronts. Decadent boxes of chocolates and candies inscribed with “LUV” and “Be Mine” tantalize in the aisles of the grocery store. But before you reach for a few truffles, read this cardiovascular wellness post during American Heart Month.

According to the CDC,  about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year – that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. Though genetics can play a role, there are several ways that you can thwart your chances of developing cardiovascular disease. One way is through diet. A variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans and nuts is essential to maintaining a heart healthy lifestyle. Within a heart healthy diet, The American Heart Association recommends including dark leafy greens daily. Kale, collard greens and varieties like our own Living Watercress and Living Baby Romaine are packed with nutrients and minerals. “[Green veggies] are high in carotenoids, which act as antioxidants and free your body of potentially harmful compounds. They’re also high in fiber and contain tons of vitamins and minerals,” says health.com.

Need a few weeknight #hearthealthy dinner ideas? We’ve got you covered!

Food52’s Sardine, Avocado and Radish Salad with Upland Cress – This recipe is covered head-to-toe in hearty nutritional goodness. Sardines are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which, research has shown, can decrease risk of arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats). Rich in the monounsaturated fats, avocadoes may lower heart disease risk factors. To round out the dish, cruciferous veggies upland cress and radishes pack a punch with cancer-fighting properties.

Whole Food’s Watercress Salad with Pears and Pomegranates – “Pomegranates contains numerous antioxidants, including heart-promoting polyphenols and anthocyanins which may help stave off hardening of the arteries,” reports health.com. Additionally, the luminous fruit and peppery watercress both possess an ample amount of vitamin c.

Brown Sugar’s Romaine Lettuce Chicken Salad Wraps – Romaine lettuce is a versatile green. With more more vitamin A than a carrot, the hearty lettuce makes an excellent stand in for a wrap or sandwich bread in this recipe. In this rendition of chicken salad, Brown Sugar includes walnuts. In a 2011 study, findings suggested that walnuts may be the top nut for heart health. What are you waiting for? Get crackin’!

For more heart healthy recipe ideas, check out our latest Pinterest board.

Labels: Healthy Living

Live Gourmet’s Snack Ideas for your Super Bowl Party

January 31, 2017 | post a comment

StockSnap_FB2D66688CSuper Bowl Sunday may not be an official American holiday, but in many circles it’s treated as such. Did you know? “Roughly 60% of the take out ordered on Super Bowl Sunday is pizza. And about 28,000,000 pounds of chips, 1.25 billion chicken wings, and 8,000,000 pounds of guacamole are consumed,” writes Wikipedia.

If you’re counting down the hours until you and your friends can watch the Patriots and Falcons face off, consider serving a variety of finger foods and snacks that will satisfy your guests’ ranging palates and diets. To add some balance to your football feast, we’ve found a few healthy(ish) snacks to throw into the mix. 

Here are a few of our favorites:

A Calculated Whisk’s Slow Cooker Carnitas Lettuce Wraps: Try this twist on barbecue at your upcoming shin-dig and serve with our Living Butter Lettuce.

Bon Appetit’s Grilled Flat Bread with Zucchini and Ricotta: We love this less greasy take on pizza. We recommend adding our Living Watercress for a subtle peppery bite and jolt of nutrition. By adding the “peppery” plant to a variety of meals, studies show it can significantly reduce DNA damage caused by free radicals — important in preventing cancer.

Eating Well’s Buffalo Cauliflower Bites: As One of the biggest food trends of 2016, the demand of cauliflower doesn’t seem to slowing in the New Year. And rightfully so, as a cruciferous cousin to our Living Watercress, it contains significant sources of vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Even meat lovers will enjoy these flavorful alternatives to spicy chicken wings.

As a bonus, we’ve included a recipe of our very own: Live Gourmet’s Cressto Pesto with Crudite.

Live Gourmet’s Cressto Pesto with Crudite
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Garlic Clove
  2. 2 TB Tahini
  3. 1 TB Lemon Juice
  4. 2 – 3 Cups Grower Pete’s Living Watercress or Live Gourmet Upland Cress, packed
  5. ¼ Cup Chopped Parsley
  6. ½ Cup Chopped Toasted Walnuts or Almonds
  7. 1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  8. Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. Place the garlic, tahini and lemon juice in the food processor bowl and whiz until pureed.
  2. Add the walnuts and cress and pulse to blend. With the machine running, pour the olive oil in a steady stream into the bowl, process until smooth.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with crudité like carrots, grape tomatoes, radishes and broccoli florets.
Live Gourmet Blog http://www.livegourmet.com/wordpress/

Labels: Lettuce Recipe

Try Ribollita with Living Watercress This Winter

January 25, 2017 | Comments Off on Try Ribollita with Living Watercress This Winter

 

The Tuscan comfort food Ribollita is a thick vegetable soup that is traditionally served throughout one week; its flavors deepening and consistency thickening with each day. In some households, they even fry the remaining bit like a pancake. Regardless how you decide to serve your Ribollita, you are bound to satisfy everyone, from vegetarians to those who are dairy free. At Live Gourmet, we used Chef Mario Batali’s, of the Chew and Moltissimo, rendition as a point of departure. Putting our own spin on the recipe, we added our Living Watercress, used store-bought tomato sauce instead of homemade and canned beans in lieu of dry. (Shh! We won’t tell if you don’t.) These minor alterations won’t sacrifice the taste, but will save you time on a busy weeknight.

The dish is already a low-fat and vitamin-rich meal, but Living Watercress gives it extra oomph. Watercress is high in phytonutrients as well as antioxidants, vitamins C and A. Based on its nutrient-to-calorie ratio, it’s the highest ranked vegetable on the nutrient scale. It even has as much vitamin C as oranges and other citrus. Vitamin C helps the body fight against immune system deficiencies and the common cold. All the more reason to add the Living Watercress to your potage this winter!

Riobillita with Watercress
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Ingredients
  1. A can of white cannellini beans
  2. Extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1 medium red onion, chopped
  4. 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  5. 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  6. 2 medium red potatoes, cubed
  7. 1 cup tomato sauce
  8. 1 bunch of Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress or Grower Pete's Living Watercress
  9. 1 bunch rainbow chard, chopped
  10. 1 bunch Tuscan kale, chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Add onion and sauté until translucent.
  2. Add potatoes, carrots and garlic and sauté for five minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add four cups of water and tomato sauce. Stir and let it come to boil.
  4. Stir in greens and undrained beans.
  5. Turn burner down and let it simmer for 1-1.5 hours.
Notes
  1. To serve: Salt and pepper to taste and add red flakes if you like a bit of heat. You can toast thick pieces of fresh bread in the broiler. Once you remove the slices, add one to a bottom of a bowl and ladle the Ribollita on top of it. Mangia!
Live Gourmet Blog http://www.livegourmet.com/wordpress/

Labels: watercress recipes

Warm up this Winter with Live Gourmet’s Favorite Spicy Recipes

January 18, 2017 | Comments Off on Warm up this Winter with Live Gourmet’s Favorite Spicy Recipes

 

SpicySpice up your winter with foods that have a touch of heat. Adding herbs and spices can triple the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power to a meal says ClevelandClinicWellness.com.

Hot peppers, for example, contain capsaicin, which can help relieve minor aches and pains. A new study found that when ingested in pill form, it could help fight breast cancer. Together with a vitamin-powered green like our Living Watercress, Romaine or Butter Lettuce, your spiced-up meal will keep you toasty and healthy all winter. Check out a few of our favorites!

  1. Spicy Avocado Dressing – Drizzle this zingy dressing on a bed of fresh greens and a lean protein such as salmon or chicken.
  2. Spicy Tofu Taco Lettuce Wraps – This vegetarian recipe is great for #TacoTuesday. It also contains cumin, which is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that may help stop tumor growth.
  3. Spicy Soba Noodles with Wilted Watercress – For a quick weeknight dinner, this dairy and gluten-free dish is perfect with a touch of garlic. #DYK? Garlic helps reduce the hardening of arteries.
  4. Spicy Shrimp with Pan-Seared Romaine and Chickpea Puree – Impress your dinner guests with this restaurant-quality meal, which has the right amount of zest and zip.
  5. Lemony Yogurt Smoothie – Combined with cruciferous veggies cauliflower and (our personal fav) watercress, this smoothie is all sorts of nutritious. It even includes turmeric that may help fight infections and some cancers, reduce inflammation, and treat digestive problems.

Labels: Eat Leafy Greens for Nutrition

Eat Healthy in 2017 with Tips from Live Gourmet

January 11, 2017 | Comments Off on Eat Healthy in 2017 with Tips from Live Gourmet

 

Veggies and fruits arranged in lettuce cups, on platters and as a smoothieAfter a busy holiday season, many of our waistbands and wallets could use a break. Why don’t you and your family see this January as a renewal period for healthy eating? We know that it can be challenging to form new habits. But Forbes reports that repetition is intrinsic to habit formation, and it helps to have a partner in the process.

To get started on the road to nutrition, grab your family and check out these 2017 healthy eating tips from some of our expert friends. And for vitamin-rich recipe ideas, don’t forget to peruse our blog archives.

  1. Nutritionist Barbara Ruhs MS, RDN suggests at lunch and dinner to use the “half of your plate” rule; filling your plate with fruits and vegetables to maintain a nutritious balance. 
  2. Jessica Beacom, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Co-Founder of Simply Nourished says, “Take time each week to wash, chop and package vegetables, fruits and salads in containers that can be easily tossed into purses, backpacks or coolers. This makes on-the-go healthy snacking much easier. It can save you from meltdowns, and decreases the temptation to turn to fast food meals or less healthy pre-packaged snacks.”
  3. Michelle Stern, founder of What’s Cooking with Kids and author of The Whole Family Cookbook, says, “Kids [and even grown-ups!] 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 person’s tastes.”
  4. Beacom says, “Gradually removing the processed and packaged foods from the home (and not bringing them back in with the next shopping trip) decreases the number of choices available for snacking so that healthier foods can take the main stage.”
  5. Eat a salad or green a day. According to Elaine Magee, MPH, RD via webmd, eating salads is a satisfying low calorie meal, they contain lots of fiber and you’ll likely have higher blood levels of a host of powerful antioxidants. Need more reasons? Check out 8 reasons to eat our Living Greens.

 

Labels: Fresh Eating Tips

Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season with Live Gourmet

January 4, 2017 | Comments Off on Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season with Live Gourmet

 

Handwashing, tea steeping, someone meditating and a woman sleeping in a bedDid you know? The influenza virus may survive better in colder, drier climates, and therefore be able to infect more people in the winter reports Harvard University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences blog. 

With the holidays behind us and a long winter ahead, it’s important to protect yourself and family against the nasty flu and pesky cold. To help, we’ve come up with a few tips to stay healthy.

  1. Add watercress to your daily diet as a vitamin booster. Based on its nutrient-to-calorie ratio, watercress is ranked highest on the nutrient scale. It even has as much vitamin C as an orange. Vitamin C helps the body fight again against immune system deficiencies and the common cold.
  2. Stay hydrated. “Your mucous membranes and the immune cells in their secretions defend against cold viruses, and they can’t work as well if you’re dehydrated,” says Dr. Jamey Wallace, MD, chief medical officer at Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle in Prevention. Herbal tea on a chilly day is a great way to stay hydrated. Try our Trifecta Tea made with our Living Watercress here
  3. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap frequently. According to waterandhealth.org, “It is important to dry hands thoroughly after washing because some bacteria remain on hands after washing, and these bacteria are more easily spread via wet hands than dry ones.”
  4. Get enough sleep. When you don’t get a sufficient amount of sleep (7-9 hours of quality sleep is recommended for adults) it makes it more challenging for your body to stave off an infection. In fact researchers of one study found that exposed subjects to a common cold virus and those who slept less than 6 hours a night during the prior week were 4 times more likely to get a cold.
  5. Meditate and exercise. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin – Madison found that individuals, “involved in mindfulness training can reduce the incidence, duration or severity of acute respiratory infections (ARI) by 40 to 50 percent and the use of exercise can reduce symptoms by 30 to 40 percent.” Need helping getting started? Our very own Charlene Rodriguez, a wellness and fitness expert, shares a few exercising and mindfulness tips here. 

Labels: Healthy Living

Eat Healthy After the Holidays with Live Gourmet’s Thai Salad

December 28, 2016 | Comments Off on Eat Healthy After the Holidays with Live Gourmet’s Thai Salad

 

To help bring some back balance to your diet, after weeks of filling ourselves with eggnog, cocktail appetizers and cookies, try our Thai-inspired salad with ginger dressing. The flavorful dish features our Live Gourmet Living 3-in-1 Lettuce— a good source of Vitamin A which is key to fight infection and supports healthy vision. The dish also includes cabbage. Often referred to as a superfood, the cruciferous vegetable contains glucosinolates (also found in our own Living Watercress). “The Harvard School of Public Health reports that people who regularly consume the nutrients in fresh produce like cabbage may be less likely to develop a wide variety of chronic diseases,” writes SFGate.

With a bit of pre-planning, a healthy diet with a few indulgences here and there can easily be achieved!

Enjoy!

Thai Salad with Ginger Dressing 
Serves 6
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Creamy Ginger Dressing
  1. 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  2. 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 tablespoon sugar
  5. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  6. ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  7. ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 
1 cup canned reduced fat coconut milk
Salad
  1. 2 heads Live Gourmet 3 in 1 Lettuce, torn
  2. 2 cups Napa cabbage, shredded  
1 cup Live Gourmet watercress
  3. 12 ounces snow peas, thinly sliced (about 1 ½ cup)
  4. 5 - 6 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
  5. 1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced (about 8 to 10 radishes)
  6. 1 cup cilantro, whole leaves, lightly packed
  7. 2/3 cups slivered almonds, toasted
To make dressing
  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except coconut milk. Stir until sugar dissolves. Gradually whisk in coconut milk, stirring until blended.
  2. In a large bowl combine all ingredients except almonds.
  3. Gently toss with dressing and sprinkle on almonds.
Notes
  1. To serve as an entrée salad, add sliced chicken, beef or shrimp.
Live Gourmet Blog http://www.livegourmet.com/wordpress/

Labels: 3-In-1 Lettuce

Throwing a Stress-Free Holiday Party with Nancy Waldeck

December 19, 2016 | Comments Off on Throwing a Stress-Free Holiday Party with Nancy Waldeck

 

Nancy Waldeck is a Healthy Chef Partyologist who helps people make food that tastes so good it doesn’t even taste healthy! (And she often pairs fun wine with it too.) A cancer survivor and thriver, she shares the message of better-for-you food with learners at cancer centers, cooking schools, businesses and on Atlanta and Company (NBC 11) twice a month.

We’ve asked Nancy to share a few tips and secrets on how to throw a successful, stress-free holiday party. Cheers!


Live Gourmet: As a chef and entertainment expert who has organized large events and parties, what is some advice you can give to someone who is hosting a holiday party this season? How do you stay organized?

Nancy Waldeck: Plan, Plan, Plan. By planning ahead you can enjoy your own party! Planning ahead allows you to carefully choose what you are going to make. My goal is always to make food that tastes great, looks beautiful and makes people happy by being a little better-for-you too! 

Begin the party planning by choosing 3 to 4 appetizers that can be made ahead of time, and served at room temperature. For instance, a tapenade/hummus and fresh bite-sized veggie board, dates stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped with prosciutto, lettuce wraps filled with not-your-average chicken salad, roasted nuts, jerk skewers, jumbo shrimp with Asian Remoulade. If you’re having lots of folks you can always add in a cheese board, (almost everyone loves cheese!) and fill it with not only cheese, but fresh and dried fruit, too. 

LG: You’re also a wine expert. What are your go-to wines when hosting your own holiday gathering?

NW: I specialize in serving wines under $20, so they are perfect for sharing!

Always a sparkling – refreshing and festive. I choose Cava, delicious, crisp and made in the same method as champagne – only from Spain. I hand people a glass as they walk in the door. A fizzy way to get the party started!

White – Unoaked Chardonnay from California is my go-to. If I have a little more adventurous crowd, I’ll stock up on Albarino or Torrontes, from Spain and Argentina, respectively. Both are crisp, aromatic, and super food friendly. 

Rose – Fruity and pretty pink wine is not just for summer, or sissies! Rose is a great pairing with appetizers that are salty, cheesy or savory. If you choose one from Provence, you’re almost always guaranteed to pick a winner. You’ll be surprised how many people will select it from a lineup.

Red – Cotes du Rhone is a easy to drink, easy to love red wine from France. Made from a variety of grapes, but mostly Grenache and Syrah, you’ll be hard pressed to come up with a bigger crowd favorite. Spans the gap from lighter to heavier reds.

LG: Which recipe are you most excited to make this holiday season?

NW: I’m going to make a trio of beautiful hummus (recipe below). Bold Orange Pumpkin, Bright Red Beet and Vivid Green Watercress hummus, all using the same basic white bean recipe. I’m going to serve it up with lots of fresh veggies, lettuce wraps and homemade nut crackers.

LG: For a host who is trying to serve healthy yet tasty options at their upcoming gathering, what would you suggest?

NW: Think color! Make it pretty. Incorporate fruits and veggies along with your cheese and meat heavy appetizers. Instead of serving lots of breads, crackers or chips include romaine lettuce as a scooper. Use nutrition super stars like arugula in pesto and tapenade. It will add lots of flavor and bright color to your food.

White Bean Hummus (with Beets, Pumpkin or Living Watercress )
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Garlic Cloves
  2. 2 Cans Cannellini (white kidney beans) drained and well rinsed
  3. ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  4. Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste
  5. 1 Tsp Cumin
  6. 1 Tsp Turmeric
  7. 1 TB Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  8. ¼ Tsp Cayenne Pepper, optional
  9. Chopped Herbs or Pumpkin Seeds or Goat Cheese for Garnish
Instructions
  1. Step One
  2. Place the garlic cloves in the processor and finely chop. Add the beans, ¼ Cup Oil, ½ Cup Beets, Pumpkin or Watercress, salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, lemon juice and cayenne to the food processor and process until smooth. (You may need a little more oil to make it the consistency that you like.)
  3. Step Two
  4. Taste for seasoning and adjust with additional salt and pepper if desired. Garnish with your selected garnish and a drizzle of olive oil if you desire. Serve the hummus with lettuce wraps, fresh veggies, pita chips or breads.
Notes
  1. *Add ½ Cup Chopped Beets, Canned Pumpkin or Watercress when processing the hummus to make it colorful – and taste great!
Live Gourmet Blog http://www.livegourmet.com/wordpress/

Labels: Holidays by Hollandia Produce