Must Try Salad Dressings Under 100 Calories

January 20, 2015 | post a comment

In  keeping with a healthy start to the New Year, be careful not to undue all your healthy goodness with a heavy, calorie-laden dressing. Keep your salad  healthy, light and tasty with these easy to make salad dressings, all under 100 calories.

Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette

A Vinaigrette Salad Dressing   (25 calories per serving)

1 Tsp. rosemary and garlic seasoning

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 Tsp. garlic

Blend all the ingredients on high into a blender for 30 seconds.  Pour and serve.

 

Vinaigrette Dressing   (45 calories per serving)  from Dani Spies:

Mix together:

2 Tbs of white wine vinegar

2 Tbs of extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbs of honey

Add a dash of salt and a pinch of pepper.

Whisk up the dressing and pour it over your salad.

 

A  Maple Vinaigrette   (70 calories per serving) This simple and delicious recipe comes from allrecipes.com

mix together and pour over the salad.

Lemon Hony Vinaigrette ¼ cup of white balsamic vinegar

¼ cup of maple syrup

¼ cup of grape seed oil

A dash of salt

 

 

Soy Lime Vinaigrette (from shape.com)

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 Tbsp. lime juice

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Whisk all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl to combine.

 

Lemon Honey Vinaigrette (from fatsecret.com)

¼ Tsp. garlic and herb seasoning blend

¼ Tsp. minced garlic

1 Tbsp. vinegar

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

¼ Tbsp. clover honey

Mix all the ingredients and serve chilled.

 

Labels: Butter Lettuce salad dressing, low calorie salad dressing recipes, olive oil salad dressing recipes, salad dressing recipes, Uncategorized, vinaigrette salad dressing recipes, watercress salad dressing recipe

Top 5 Superfoods for a New Year/New You

January 14, 2015 | post a comment

If you’ve resolved to create a “new” you this New Year, we applaud you. While self-improvement involves many areas, improving your diet and health, will invariably impact most other aspects of your life.2015 Goals

According to a study that looked at the highest concentrations of 17 nutrients considered important for public health and published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following are the top five powerhouse vegetables considered the most nutrient-dense foods available today. We recommend you begin your New Year/New You resolution by incorporating these top five super foods into your daily meal planning.

1. Watercress: Based on its nutrient-to-calorie ratio, watercress ranked highest on the nutrient scale. This versatile leafy green is loaded with phytonutrients, cancer fighting antioxidants, and essential vitamins. In fact, one serving of this peppery flavored veggie contains as much vitamin C as an orange, more calcium than a glass of milk, and tons of fiber. Also, it contains high levels of magnesium, lutein, phosphorous, potassium, iron, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, B1, B6, K and E.

iStock_000054910914_Large2. Chinese Cabbage: This cruciferous vegetable contains natural chemical compounds that may help prevent cancer. It’s also extremely high in vitamin C, a great source of fiber; and rich in vitamin K, which is linked to slowing bone loss and promoting faster bone healing. Cabbage is also low in calories, sodium and cholesterol and fat free!

3. Chard: Chard is a relative of the beet family that includes Swiss chard, leaf beet, spinach beet, silver beet, seakale beet, and white beet. Chard contains large, tender, and mild tasting leaves. Swiss chard produces beautifully colorful stems, ranging from green to orange, pink, red and yellow. Also fat- cholesterol-free, this veggie is best known for being a great source of magnesium and vitamins A, C and K.

red swiss chard 4. Beet Greens: Beet greens are the leaves of the very nutritious beet plant. While beets themselves are loaded with nutrients, it may be surprising that beet greens have even higher levels of essential nutrients including, vitamins A and C, potassium, and magnesium. These dark greens, which can be eaten raw or cooked, are also chock-full of calcium, iron, and copper!

 5. Spinach: Like watercress, this well-known super food is available year-round and its mild flavor and texture make it a versatile recipe ingredient. Spinach is also rich in magnesium, folate and iron, nutrients that are necessary for energy and healthy red blood cell production. And, like our other leafy green it’s high in vitamins A, C, and K.

Start your year on the right track by planning well-rounded meals for you and your family. Keep in mind, no single fruit or veggie can give you all of your necessary nutrients, so incorporate a large variety throughout the day, and you’ll be well on your way to creating that healthier new you this new year.

 

Labels: Eat Leafy Greens for Nutrition, Fresh Eating Tips, Healthy Eating Tips, Organic Watercress

A “Green” Bloody Mary and Smoked Salmon Wraps: A Healthy Twist on Two New Year’s Day Brunch Classics

January 1, 2015 | post a comment

It’s hard to believe another year has passed. But what better way to ring in 2015, than hosting a New Year’s brunch? To support and encourage your guests who’ve resolved to eat healthier in the New Year, here are some healthier twists to everyone’s classic brunch menu.

First, toast the New Year with this Spicy BLT “Green” Bloody Mary recipe courtesy of Heather Cristo. We suggest replacing the parsley with watercress to increase the nutritional value and to add a peppery flavor profile. Next, pair your “Green Mary” with this Smoked Salmon Mousse Wrap, which is lower in fat than most traditional brunch foods.

Spicy BLT Green Bloody Mary

Spicy-Green-BLT-Bloody-Marys

Photo courtesy of Heather Cristo

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 cups of tomatillos

2 tablespoons of parsley (or Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress or Grower Pete’s Certified Organic Watercress)

2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar

½ cup of English Cucumber cut into chunks

Juice of 2 limes

2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 jalapeno cut into quarters

2 teaspoons of horseradish

8 ounces of vodka (or amount upon preference)

Ice

A pinch of Kosher Salt (or more upon preference)

 

Garnishes

4 romaine lettuce leaf hearts (or 4 leaves Living Butter Lettuce from Live Gourmet® or Grower Pete’s Organic)

4 strips of bacon cooked crispy

Cherry tomatoes

Lemon Wedges

Directions

Combine the tomatillos, parsley (or watercress), vinegar, cucumber chunks, lime juice, Worcestershire Sauce, and the jalapeno in a blender, and blend until juice like. Once the mixture is blended well, stir in the horseradish and vodka, and then season with salt. Next, pour into four, tall glasses filled with ice and garnish with preferred lettuce leaves, bacon, tomatoes and lemon wedges.

 

Smoked Salmon Mousse in Lettuce Cups

 Butter Lettuce Recipe

Ingredients

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

6 oz. sour cream

4 ounces smoked salmon (1 store bought package)

Juice of 2 lemons

1 teaspoon of Horseradish (optional)

Several sprigs of fresh dill, or dry dill

Salt and pepper, to taste

Leaves of 1 head of Live Gourmet® Living Butter Lettuce or Grower Pete’s Organic Living Butter Lettuce

Drained capers, amount upon preference

Directions

Mix the cream cheese, sour cream, salmon, lemon juice, horseradish, dill and salt and pepper in a food processor until smooth. Next spoon the mousse into lettuce leaf cups. Sprinkle with Capers and dill sprigs. And as a bonus this spread will save and is also a delicious spread on crackers or bagels.

 

Labels: Butter Lettuce, Butter Lettuce Recipes, Fresh Eating Tips, Fresh Home Recipes, Lettuce Be Fresh, Uncategorized, Upland Cress Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes

Spice Up Your Holiday with this Festive Watercress Casserole

December 22, 2014 | post a comment

The cool weather and holiday spirit calls for warm comfort foods, which is why we are providing you with this toasty watercress casserole. This festive dish is the perfect addition to any holiday meal. It’s even rich and decadent enough to present to your guests for Christmas dinner. We recommend pairing it with mashed potatoes, salad, and roasted chicken, turkey or even prime rib for the ideal holiday meal. We want to wish you the happiest of holidays and hope you and your family thoroughly enjoys this merry recipe.

 casserole plated

Watercress Casserole Ingredients:

 

1.5 pounds (24 oz. or 6 bags) of Grower Pete’s Organic Living Watercress or Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress ‘

1.5 pounds (24 oz.) of defrosted frozen spinach leaves

1 large, chopped yellow onion (4 cups)

4 large garlic cloves

5 tablespoons of butter

¼ cup of flour

1 cup of heavy cream

2 cups of milk

1/8 teaspoon of grated nutmeg

1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup of grated Gruyere cheese

1 tablespoon of kosher salt

1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions:

 

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a Pyrex baking pan with 1 tablespoon of butter. Next, melt the remaining butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add in chopped onions and sauté until softened. Add in garlic cloves and cook for 2 more minutes. Add in the flour and nutmeg and stir for an additional 2 minutes. mixing bowl

Next, fold in heavy cream and milk and cook until the mixture until thickened. Then aduncookedd in ½ cup of Parmesan and mix together. Pour entire mixture into the greased baking pan.

Next remove watercress (or Upland Cress) roots, rinse and pat dry. Strain the defrosted spinach removing as much water as possible. Then, add the greens, salt, and pepper into the baking dish and mix together with the onion mixture. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan and the Gruyere on top and bake for 20 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbling. Serve this rich comfort food hot, along side of your favorite holiday dishes to complete the meal!

 

Labels: Fresh Eating Tips, Fresh Home Recipes, Live Gourmet News, Uncategorized, Upland Cress Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes

Hollandia Produce: The Best of 2014

December 17, 2014 | post a comment

As 2014 winds down, we’re reminded of how far we’ve come and how much further we hope go. Yet, before we rush into a whirlwind of New Year’s goals, let’s first acknowledge the seasonal milestones that our staff, customers and consumers have helped us to achieve.

Winter –Sowing the Seeds of Distinction

stacks_image_50While January is always a busy month, we started this year on a particularly high note. All of our living lettuce and living cress products became Non-GMO Project verified! With our ongoing commitment to using only all-natural ingredients in the production of our crops, whether conventional or organic, we were very pleased to receive thisWatercress and Upland Cress Named Superfoods distinction.

Additionally, our Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress and Grower Pete’s Organic Living Watercress products became Antioxidant Super Food Certified by SCS Global Services. Both products contain 127% higher antioxidant density than the USDA reported averages and high levels of magnesium, lutein, phosphorous, potassium, iron, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, B1, B6, C, E and K.

Spring – Food Safety First

In March, we demonstrated our commitment to food safety when we earned 100 percent compliance in all three key areas of our Primus GFS certification audit. These included: Food Safety Management, Good Agriculture Practices (GAP)/Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).

salad bar dedicationThe following month, we participated in one of our most gratifying initiatives. As supporters of the United Fresh Foundation’s “Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools” campaign, we donated two salad bars to the Conejo Valley Unified School District. This effort helped to provide children better access to healthy lunches and, hopefully, influence their families to make healthier food choices overall and increase their intake of fruits and vegetables.

Summer — On the Road… Again

By mid-year, we were busy traversing the country as an exhibitor at some of our industry’s most important trade events, including United Fresh and the Midwest Produce Expo, both held in Chicago and, the trendsetting PMA Food Service show held in annually in Monterey, CA.

Autumn — Planning for the Future

In October, we experienced record attendance at the year’s most prominent event: The PMA Fresh Summit. Here, we gave key customers a sneak peak at new product plans, and met with a variety of companies to explore strategic partnerships and opportunities to leverage upcoming trends.

Yet, through it all, we continued to push forward on our biggest accomplishment to date: our facility expansion in Oxnard, CA. Recently, the entire Hollandia Produce staff toured the property and witnessed prolific progress being made including new grow houses and other technological innovations. It was truly an exciting day.

Thematically, 2014 could be described as the year of the “shun”, not as in exclusion, but rather the appreciation for our certification, verification, expansion, and most, importantly, the lasting impression these efforts have had on all of us as we bid farewell to another year!

Labels: Butter Lettuce, Eat Leafy Greens for Nutrition, Hollandia Produce Clean Farming, Hollandia Produce Team, Organic Watercress

Holiday Party Watercress Cocktail

December 2, 2014 | post a comment

Picture from Hemispheres Magazine of recipe creator: Austin Carson

Picture from Hemispheres Magazine of recipe creator: Austin Carson

Have you ever heard of a “croptail?” Neither had we, until we found this watercress cocktail recipe from Hemispheres Magazine. A “croptail” is a vegetable-based cocktail, such as a Bloody Mary. Austin Carson, from Denver’s Mizuna restaurant, wanted to venture beyond the usual concoctions, so he created the Prudence and Hammersmith.

Despite its alcohol content, the Prudence and Hammersmith is packed with essential vitamins and nutrients, including cancer-fighting antioxidants. After all, watercress is the world’s most nutrient-dense superfood.

Why not wow your guests with this unexpected, vibrant green cocktail? With our added festive garnish of pomegranate arils, this drink perfectly complements any holiday event.

Ingredients

1 Package of Grower Pete’s Organic Living Watercress or Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress

3/8 oz. of simple syrup

2 oz. of dry gin

1 splash of ginger beer (of choice)

¾ oz. of fresh squeezed lime juice

Ice

Optional: pomegranate arils (since the drink is thick thinly cut strawberries would also work) and or a lime peel wheel

Directions 

Remove the watercress or upland cress roots and stems, then wash and dry the leaves thoroughly. Next, muddle the watercress in a cocktail shaker. Add the fresh lime juice and simple syrup and shake well. Add the gin, ginger beer and ice and shake everything together well. Using a strainer, pour mixture into a cocktail or wine glass of choice. Top with a lime peel wheel or pomegranate seeds to add festive holiday color. Toast the holidays!

Labels: Fresh Home Recipes, Holidays by Hollandia Produce, Live Gourmet Products, Organic Watercress, Organic Watercress Recipes, Upland Cress Recipes, Vegan Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes

Sautéed Watercress with Cranberries, Pine Nuts and Raisins for Thanksgiving

November 25, 2014 | post a comment

live-gourmet-thanksgiving-watercress-recipe

Thanksgiving week is finally here! To show our thanks, we wanted to share a recipe that
not only complements the seasonal flavors of this classic holiday meal, but also is packed with flavor and nutrition. Best of all, this scrumptious superfood recipe is quick and easy to prepare.

Ingredients

(Serves 4)

3 bags of Grower Pete’s Organic Living Watercress or Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress

¼ cup of golden raisins

¼ cup of dried, sweetened cranberries  live-gourmet-thanksgiving-watercress-recipe

2 large cloves of garlic

1 and ½ tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup of pine nuts

Salt and pepper

Directions

Soak the cranberries and raisins in a small bowl filled with hot water, and set aside while you prepare the rest of the meal. Tear off the roots of the watercress or upland cress, rinse the greens thoroughly, dry and set aside.  live-gourmet-living-upland-cress

Next, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Finely chop up the garlic cloves and sauté in the hot olive oil until golden brown. Then add in the pine nuts for a minute or two stirring constantly. Strain your raisins and cranberries and then add them to the skillet. Fold in cress and cook until the greens are wilted. Season this dish to taste with salt and pepper spice, and serve! That’s all it takes to make the perfect, nutritional holiday side!

 

Labels: Holidays by Hollandia Produce, Organic Watercress, Organic Watercress Recipes, Upland Cress Recipes, Vegan Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes

Spicy Tofu Butter Lettuce Wraps for Vegan Month

November 18, 2014 | post a comment

Nowadays, people become vegan for many reasons. It may be as a stance against animal cruelty, to reduce their carbon footprint, or simply as a healthy lifestyle choice. While we don’t purport to be anti-meat or dairy, as you may have gathered from our previous recipe posts, we do agree that a diet filled with fruits and vegetables is extremely beneficial.

In fact, a plant-based diet is rich in vitamins and minerals, and tends to be high-fiber and low-fat. According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarians and vegans are generally at a lower risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and several forms of cancer. Yet, to prevent any kind of chronic disease, vegetarians and vegans, as well as meat-eaters, need to consume a well-balanced diet to stay healthy.

That’s why we’re honoring National Vegan Month with this vegan recipe from Tablespoon.com that, we believe, will please any palate.

Spicy Tofu Butter Lettuce Wrap Ingredients 

Photo by Girl Versus Dough from tablespoon.com

Photo by Girl Versus Dough from tablespoon.com

4 Tsp vegetable oil

3 Tbsp. Soy sauce

1 block (12 oz.) of extra-firm tofu, patted dry and cut into 1-inch squares

2 Tsp minced garlic

2 c. Cole slaw mix

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 or 2 inch stripes

1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger

½ Tsp red pepper flakes (can be modified to reduce or increase heat)

2 Tbsp. plum sauce

1 head Live Gourmet® Living Butter Lettuce or Grower Pete’s Organic Living Butter Lettuce

½ Tsp. Sriracha hot sauce (can be modified to reduce or increase heat)

2 thinly sliced green onions

2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

Directions

Heat two teaspoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add in tofu and cook for 10 minutes or until evenly browned on both sides. Next, add in one tablespoon of soy sauce and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently. Remove tofu and set aside.

Next, heat remaining vegetable oil over medium heat. Add in bell peppers, Cole slaw, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes and Sriracha sauce, upon preference. Cook for 5 – 10 minutes or until the bell peppers are slightly soft, stirring occasionally. After, add in the remaining soy sauce and heat for 3 more minutes. Fold in plum sauce and tofu and gently mix together.

Finally, remove butter lettuce leaves, rinse and pat dry. Spoon the tofu mixture into the individual leaves, and sprinkle with green onions and cilantro. Next, enjoy the healthy goodness!

Labels: Butter Lettuce, Butter Lettuce Recipes, Eat Leafy Greens for Nutrition, Eating "Butter", Grower Pete's Organic Living Butter Lettuce, Vegan Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes

Butter, Boston, and Bibb lettuce: What’s the Difference?

November 12, 2014 | post a comment

What’s the difference between Butter, Boston and Bibb lettuce? Why do these varieties all look the same? Why do recipes and food guides use their names interchangeably? If you have asked any of these questions, you’re not alone. Many consumers today find the naming scheme of this variety very confusing.  Live-Gourmet-Butter-Lettuce

The fact is, with its appearance, texture and taste nearly indistinguishable, Butter, Boston and Bibb lettuce is ostensibly the same variety known under the category moniker: Butterhead. Bibb, however, is a slightly smaller version of the variety and is the first of this cultivar to be grown in the U.S.

To understand the nomenclature and how these varieties became co-mingled, let’s briefly examine the history of lettuce through the ages. Lettuce originated in Egypt, with some of the earliest recordings of this vegetable dating back to 2680 B.C. The vegetable then spread to Greece, Rome and later throughout Europe.

There are three main types of lettuce that we know of today.

  1. Head lettuce – This comprises Crisphead, more commonly known as Iceberg, named for the way it was transported on ice in the early 1920s, and Butterhead. This variety most resembles cabbage for its lighter green leaves and tightly formed heads.
  2. Romaine or Cos — This is named for its darker green leaves and elongated heads. Romaine lettuce was first grown in the Papal gardens in Rome, giving this variety its present day name of Romaine. The Greeks called this variety Cos from the Greek Island of Kos where it was grown.
  3. Leaf lettuce — This is known for its very loosely formed heads, often grown in rich shades of green, reddish purple and/or a combination of the two.

These three main categories have been formally acknowledged in horticulture since the late 1500s, when Joachim Camerarius published one of the earliest herbals. Between 1586 and the early 18th century many of the basic types of heirloom lettuces that we know of today began to advance in France, Italy, and Holland.

Lettuce seeds were later brought to the U.S., where they continued to evolve and progress. However, seedsmen did not record lettuce seeds as well as other vegetables, so it has been difficult to distinguish the histories of some of the most popular varieties today. This fact has added to the confusion of the Butterhead variety.

Bibb lettuce is believed to have originated in Frankfort, Kentucky between 1865 and 1870 by Major John “Jack” Bibb, an amateur horticulturist who grew this variety in a greenhouse in his yard. Around 1870, he began sharing his variety with the town’s people who coined it Bibb’s lettuce. Thirty-five years later, the lettuce was cultivated conventionally and began to gain widespread popularity, especially during the 1950s. Later, around 1980, this lettuce began to gain favor as a preferred variety for hydroponic greenhouse growers.

Modern day Butter lettuce, like ours, seems to have originated from the old lettuce known as Silesia. This variety dates as far back as 1744, when an 18th century work called Adam’s Luxury and Eve’s Cookery published a list of lettuce varieties, including this one. It didn’t receive its modern Butter lettuce name until much later, when a company called Slazers began selling it by the deceptive name German Butter lettuce, denoting it was a new variety to increase its sales.

Butter-Lettuce-Warps While it’s difficult to corroborate the accuracy of these historical accounts as they apply to modern day Butterhead lettuce, we can say for certain that Butter, Boston and Bibb lettuce can be used interchangeably, given their similar textures and flavor profiles. We also know that given its smooth, tender, yet strong leaves, and mildly sweet flavor, Butterhead lettuce is an ideal ingredient for almost any meal, including salads, sandwiches, soups, smoothies and wraps. And, unlike Iceberg, it’s packed with essential nutrients and vitamins, particularly A, C and K.

At Hollandia Produce, all of our living butter lettuce products, including our certified organic brand known as Grower Pete’s, are hydroponically greenhouse-grown. This method allows us to maintain a clean growing environment and minimize external factors that could otherwise affect our crops. Additionally, our products are Non-GMO Project Verified and free of pesticide residue and field debris, and packaged in clear, plastic, protective shells that function as mini greenhouses. We also package our lettuce with their roots still attached. This ensures our butter lettuce products stay fresher, longer than other varieties. Grower-Pete's-Organic-Butter-Lettuce

Whether you call it, Butter, Boston or Bibb lettuce, we encourage you to pick up some today, and tell us how you enjoy this versatile variety!

Labels: Butter Lettuce, Lettuce Teach You Something, Live Gourmet Products, Organic Butter Lettuce

Hollandia Produce Sponsors Walk for Hope

November 2, 2014 | post a comment

At Hollandia Produce, we believe a diet rich in healthy fruits and vegetables and regular exercise are fruit-and-veggieskeys to better health and cancer prevention. That’s why we are proud to sponsor today’s Walk for Hope on November 2, 2014 and help support the City of Hope in its efforts to raise awareness and funds to fight these sometimes fatal diseases.

Every year, far too many women must battle breast and gynecologic cancers. These are the women we love: our mothers, our wives, our sisters and our friends. Walk for Hope is a movement that unites survivors and supporters — women, men and children — in the fight against women’s cancers.

walk-for-hope

Hope is on the horizon, and your commitment can make a difference. If you would like to join us in this effort, you can set your fitness goal, or simply donate what you can. Together, we can build a world without women’s cancers.

 

Labels: Eat Leafy Greens for Nutrition, Hollandia Produce Sponsorships