Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Live Gourmet Twist

May 4, 2016 | post a comment

 

Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo isn’t Mexico’s Independence Day nor is it National Margarita Day. It actually commemorates the infamous Battle of Puebla where the Mexican army defeated the French in 1862.

An intrinsic part of many people’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations is traditional Mexican food. Yet, the taco that many Americans have grown to adore — ground beef, iceberg lettuce and cheddar cheese stuffed into a hard shell — isn’t authentic Mexican fare at all.

The first iteration of the taco is thought to have been invented by Mexican miners in the eighteenth century. Many traditional tacos, which are still made today, are prepared with soft white corn tortillas and can be filled with spit-roasted meats, fish, or even exotic protein like grasshoppers, reports Serious Eats. These tacos are often small and easy to eat on-the-go, hence the name “street taco.”

This week in honor of Cinco de Mayo, we’re featuring a twist on the classic street taco by substituting corn tortillas with our living butter lettuce. This variation is both Paleo-friendly and gluten free.

Fed and Fit’s Paleo Street Taco (serves 3-4)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 package of reduced fat ground turkey
  2. 3 carrots cut into 1/8” discs
  3. 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  4. 1 cup fresh salsa
  5. 3 limes (2 for cooking and 1 for garnish)
  6. 1 cup chopped cilantro
  7. 1 head of Live Gourmet or Grower Pete’s Organic Living Butter Lettuce
  8. ¼ cup of diced purple onion
  9. 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  10. Guacamole for toppings
  11. Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the ground turkey, carrots, cumin and about ½ cup of the salsa. Stir the mixture together – making sure to crumble the turkey meat as it cooks.
  2. For complete directions go to: http://fedandfit.com/2011/07/11/paleo-street-tacos/
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Labels: Butter Lettuce Recipes, Holidays by Hollandia Produce

Simply Nourished’s Jessica Beacom Shares Kid-Friendly Foods and Tips With Live Gourmet

April 27, 2016 | post a comment

 

This week is Every Kid Healthy Week, promoting sound nutrition, regular physical activity and health-awareness programs in schools. The initiative comes at a critical time. Today, nearly 40% of children’s diets come from added sugars and unhealthy fats. And only 21% of youth age 6-19 eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day, according to the Prevention Institute.

52 Field

Jessica Beacom

In honor of Every Kid Healthy Week, we’ve asked Jessica Beacom, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Co-Founder of Simply Nourished , to share her tips on healthy eating habits for kids and families.

Live Gourmet: As a dietitian, what is the biggest challenge to get kids to eat healthy? 

Jessica Beacom: In households where there is access to less healthy snack and meal options in addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, the former will almost always win which is frustrating for parents who want their kids to eat healthy. 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. 

LG: Most families are constantly on-the-go. What are some easy ways parents can continue to offer healthy options despite busy schedules?

JB: Taking time each week to wash, chop and package vegetables, fruits and salads in containers that can be easily tossed into purses, backpacks or coolers for on-the-go snacking makes healthy eating on-the-go so much easier. Adding small packages of nuts, jerky, single-serve nut or seed butter, dried coconut flakes, deli meat and organic cheese or yogurt for protein and healthy fats is easy to do and can save you from meltdowns and decreases the temptation to turn to fast food meals or less healthful pre-packaged snacks. 

Simply Nourished's Asian Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Simply Nourished’s Asian Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

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

JB: Don’t force anything. Implementing a “No, thank you” bite policy is key because it means your kids need to try everything at least once. If they don’t like it, don’t sweat it. Don’t bat an eye and don’t make a fuss about it. Often this is what kids want from us…a reaction. A hungry kid will eventually find something they like and eat it up. And it’s okay if they eat just broccoli at dinner because over the course of the week their food choices will balance out. Another benefit of the “No, thank you” bite is that you can prepare foods you like (but know your kids won’t be crazy about) provided you also offer something that you know they’ll like better (provided they’re still great choices). This is a great way to introduce your kids to more exotic meals like curry, stir fry, chili, new vegetables, salads, etc.

Simply Nourished's Curry Chicken Salad on a white long plate

Simply Nourished’s Curry Chicken Salad

Here are a few family-friendly Simply Nourished recipes picked especially for our Live Gourmet followers by Jessica. They even include one of our favorite ingredients: butter lettuce!

Asian Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps 

One Dish Chicken Fajita Bake 

Curry Chicken Salad 

Pomegranate Mixed Greens Salad 

Labels: Eat Your Greens Recipes for Kids, Fresh Eating Tips

Getting Back to the ‘Roots’ of Earth Day with Live Gourmet

April 20, 2016 | post a comment

 

Earth Day 16Did you know Earth Day, the largest secular observance in the world, began a stone’s throw away in Santa Barbara? In 1969 , the largest oil spill the country had ever seen transpired off the coast of the city, resulting in the loss of thousands of birds and marine life. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, emboldened by the community’s outrage of the spill and witnessing its devastating aftermath, Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin wanted to rally a collective consciousness about the environment. This prompted him to create an annual Earth Day (April 22) in 1970.

Since then, Santa Barbara area citizens and people around the world commemorate the day in a number of ways, including consuming less meat, cutting down on disposable plastic and composting. Many individuals and businesses, like ours, don’t only observe on Earth Day, but practice sustainability year round.

At Hollandia Produce we take environmental issues seriously. Our hydroponic growing technique recycles water while also limiting water loss due to evaporation. Hollandia Produce 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).

In addition to being water conscious, we utilize packaging that is both recycled and recyclable. Our Squircle® clamshells put your empty plastic water bottles to good use by being comprised of nearly 70% polyethylene terephthalate (PET) water bottles. And we’ve reduced the amount of plastic needed to manufacture these clamshells by 15% in recent years.

How will you and your family observe Earth Day this year? For ideas, go to our Earth Day Month Pinterest board.   

Labels: Sustainably Grown Food

Live Gourmet’s Favorite Springtime Watercress Salads

April 13, 2016 | post a comment

 

Spring has graced us with its presence for a number of weeks now. You’ve probably noticed that trees are blooming, more people are frequenting parks and a larger variety of produce is trickling into your neighborhood market. As the weather continues to warm, you may find yourself inclined to cook lighter with more seasonal ingredients.

grower-pete's-organic-watercressWhy not choose from the plethora of spring-inspired salads out there? We’ve picked our favorite ones just for you. What we also found during our search is that watercress proves to be an exemplary salad green.

Its peppery bite gives even the simplest of salads a new dimension. Moreover, it will boost your dish’s vitamin and mineral content. This versatile leafy green is loaded with phytonutrients, cancer-fighting antioxidants, and essential vitamins. One serving contains as much vitamin C as an orange, more calcium than a glass of milk, and tons of fiber.

Though these recipes are inspired by this season, you can still make them at any time in the year with our Living Watercress. Unlike traditional field growing, our greens are grown hydroponically in state-of-the-art greenhouses where we control light, temperature, humidity, and nutrients. While our growing cycle is mildly affected by seasonal changes, our greenhouse growing method allows us to grow your favorite LIVE GOURMET® and GROWER PETE’S® products with consistent uniformity year-round.

Watercress

Delish’s Watercress Salad with Verjus Vinaigrette

Here our Favorite Springtime Salads with our Living Watercress:

Delish’s Watercress Salad with Verjus Vinaigrette – This salad has a secret ingredient, Verjus, a pressed, unfermented juice of unripe grapes, which gives the greens a sweet and slightly acidic taste.

BBC Good Food turns the traditional salad on its head and incorporates watercress in the dressing.

Root vegetables like Chioggia beets and black radishes add a heirloom touch to Love and Lemon’s Spring Root Watercress Salad.

The sumac yogurt dressing gives Saveur’s Kohlrabi, Apple and Watercress Salad a Middle Eastern flair.

In Eating Well’s Asian-inspired salad, a warm sesame shallot vinaigrette is added. Perfect for the early—and perhaps sometimes chilly—days of spring!

Labels: watercress recipes, watercress salad dressing recipe

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

April 7, 2016 | post a comment

 

Grower-Pete's-Organic-Butter-Lettuce According to market research and retail data juggernaut Nielsen, sales for Butter/Boston lettuce is growing three times faster than the entire lettuce category.  Given this enthusiastic demand, we thought now might be a good time to revisit a throw-back blog post and perennial favorite since its debut in 2014:  Butter, Boston, and Bibb lettuce: What’s the Difference?

There’s no doubt these varieties look and taste alike. Ostensibly, they are the same variety known by the category moniker: Butterhead. However, there are a few distinct differences.

Bibb lettuce is a slightly darker and smaller version of the variety. It is believed to have originated in Kentucky sometime between 1865-1870 by Major John “Jack” Bibb. Around 1870, he began sharing his variety with the town’s people who coined it Bibb’s lettuce.

One notable difference between Bibb and Boston are Boston’s leaves are wider and lighter in color than Bibb’s. One would think the eponymous lettuce was first grown in the city of Boston, but there is no record of where it first emerged. Though one source notes that Boston Lettuce has been grown in Florida since the 1920s before it became a prevalent crop across North America.

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, but it didn’t receive its modern Butter lettuce name until much later. A company called Slazers began selling it by the deceptive name German Butter lettuce, alluding it was a new variety to increase sales.

RootsWhile it’s difficult to corroborate the accuracy of these historical accounts, we can say for certain that Butter, Boston and Bibb lettuce can be used interchangeably, given their similar textures and flavor profiles. Possessing smooth, tender yet strong leaves, and a mild sweet flavor, Butterhead lettuce is an ideal ingredient for 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 Grower Pete’s, are hydroponically greenhouse-grown and harvested with their roots intact. This promotes a clean growing environment and longer lasting freshness than field grown varieties.

Whether you call it, Butter, Boston or Bibb lettuce, we encourage you to pick up our Living Butter Lettuce at your local grocery store, and include it in your next meal. Snap a photo of your Living Butter Lettuce meal then share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag us @LiveGourmet.

Labels: Butter Lettuce

How to Make Infused Body Oil with Live Gourmet Living Watercress

March 30, 2016 | post a comment

 

You’ve probably heard that our Living Watercress is the most nutrient-dense superfood, and a versatile ingredient to variety of culinary dishes from around the world. But what you may not know is that it’s also an excellent natural skin and hair remedy—it’s been known to even promote hair growth. If you need more convincing, read Leven Rose’s “10 Reasons Watercress Oil will Spice up your Beauty Routine.”

Watercress Infused OilThis week, we’re here to show how to make infused body oil with our Living Watercress (inspired by Grow Forage Cook Ferment and Herbal Academy of New England).

What You’ll Need

Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress or Grower Pete’s Living Watercress

A glass jar with a tight fitting lid

A mortar and pestle

A carrier oil (jojoba, olive, castor or apricot seed oils are great options)

Vitamin E oil, optional

Dark glass bottle with lid

Cheesecloth and strainer

Tip: Make sure your watercress is as dry as possible so that oil doesn’t become rancid during the infusion process. You can dry it out the old fashioned way—upside down in a well-ventilated space out of direct sunshine. But, if you’re short on time, you can put trimmed herbs in the microwave. For instructions, go to Serious Eats.

Instructions

  1. Once your watercress is as dry as possible, grind the greens in a mortar and pestle.
  2. Add approximately one ounce of watercress to ten ounces of oil in a clean, dry jar. Stir the mixture to get rid of any air bubbles which could cause oxidation and screw on lid tightly.
  3. Place the jar in a warm, sunny spot for approximately 4-6 weeks, checking on it every few days.
  4. After 4-6 weeks, strain the mixture with a cheese cloth-lined strainer into a bowl to separate the plant parts from the infused watercress oil.
  5. Transfer the oil into a dark glass bottle, add a few drops of Vitamin E oil (it helps keep the infused oil fresh) and secure with the lid and store in a cool dry place.

Want instant infused oil gratification? Try the slow cooker method as described on Pioneer Settler

Labels: Lettuce Teach You Something

Live Gourmet Heads to Viva Fresh Expo and Shares New Living Baby Romaine Product

March 23, 2016 | post a comment

retailer

On April 2 we’ll be heading to San Antonio, TX to the Viva Fresh Expo. The regional trade show allows exhibitors like Hollandia Produce to network and share their products with retail and foodservice buyers. Additionally, attendees can take part in educational offerings with topics ranging from emerging techniques for growers to the latest trends in produce merchandising.

We’re proud to launch our Living Baby Romaine retail product at the Expo. It’s our newest product in our Live Gourmet® family! The green, like our Living Butter Lettuce, Watercress and Upland Cress, is sold with its roots attached to preserve maximum freshness.

Baby Romaine 2It’s also is non-GMO verified, meaning it doesn’t contain genetic material that has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. The Non-GMO Project offers North America’s only third-party verification for non-GMO food and products. This endorsement represents Hollandia Produce’s ongoing commitment to use all natural ingredients in the production of its products, be it conventional or organic.

Living Baby Romaine is the perfect portion for one to two people, which also helps minimize waste. Why introduce Living Baby Romaine into your diet? The leafy green has more vitamin A than a carrot and is a rich source of vitamin K (a key role in helping blood clot) and omega 3 fatty acids (say goodbye to fish oil supplements!). Live Strong provides more reasons to eat romaine lettuce to maintain a balanced and healthy diet. Living Baby Romaine is a great addition to a variety of wraps, sandwiches and, of course, salads. After all, what would Caesar salad be without romaine?

We look forward to sharing our experience of the Viva Fresh Expo, and stay tuned for news of Live Gourmet® Living Baby Romaine coming soon to a grocery store near you!

 

 

 

Labels: Live Gourmet News, Live Gourmet Products

Power Up Your Traditional St. Patrick’s Day Dinner with our Living Watercress 

March 16, 2016 | post a comment

 

shamrock_01_png_by_clipartcotttage-d7979djGreen beer, leprechaun decorations and corned beef and cabbage are ubiquitous staples for many people on St. Patrick’s Day. But did you many of these customs were adopted in the US as over a million of Irish people emigrated in the mid-19th to early 20th centuries. Prior to then, the Irish customarily ate lamb or bacon on St. Patrick’s Day in their native country. Cattle was primarily for dairy products and beef was too expensive for the average Irishmen. 

If you’re planning a St. Patrick’s Day dinner, deviate from typical corned beef and cabbage main course. And instead, prepare a tasty roasted lamb and add a few vegetable sides to “beef” up the meal’s nutritional factor. 

The most nutrient dense vegetable that you can incorporate is our Living Watercress and Upland Cress varieties. Watercress is a significant source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which support eye health and vision. The green leafy vegetable’s nutritional value doesn’t stop there.  One cup provides 106 percent of DV for vitamin K, 22 percent for vitamin A and 24 percent for vitamin C. 

Photo: YUKI SUGIURA via The Telegraph

Photo: Yuki Sugiura via The Telegraph

Combine a powerhouse side dish like the Telegraph’s baby potatoes with watercress with Martha Stewart’s stout braised lamb for an authentic and well balanced Irish meal. 

Do you have a watercress side that pairs well with your St. Patrick’s Day meal? Snap a photo of your culinary feat then share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag us @LiveGourmet. We will share them with our foodie followers! 

Labels: Holidays by Hollandia Produce

Hollandia Produce Commemorates National Ag Day on March 15

March 9, 2016 | post a comment

 

National-Ag-DayOn March 15, Hollandia Produce will join farmers across America to acknowledge National Ag Day. Established more than 30 years ago, this designation is an opportunity to recognize and honor the hard work, dedication and collective impact of the Ag industry on people’s daily lives. This year’s theme “Agriculture: Stewards of a Healthy Planet” is a befitting tribute to our industry’s focus on improvements in sustainable farming.

As a hydroponic greenhouse farm, we’re proud of the accomplishments of our locally grown Grower Pete’s brand. Under this label, we blend the best of nature and nurture in a naturally rich environment to produce our certified organic, wholesome Living Butter Lettuce and Living Watercress.

RootsTo produce Grower Pete’s brand and Live Gourmet products, Hollandia Produce avidly utilizes environmentally friendly and conservationist practices. That’s why we use a continuous-flow hydroponic system known as nutrient film technique (NFT), where a very shallow stream of water, containing all the dissolved nutrients required for plant growth, is recirculated. This hydroponic growing technique recycles more than 80% of its water use while also limiting water loss due to evaporation. 

We also practice sustainability by using packaging that is both recycled and recyclable. Our Squircle® clamshells put your empty plastic water bottles to good use by being comprised of nearly 70% polyethylene terephthalate (PET) water bottles. (PET is a safe, recyclable material that does not contain Biosphenol A. (BPA)). We reduced the amount of plastic needed to manufacture these clamshells by 15% in recent years.

This Ag Day, Hollandia Produce will band together with the Agriculture Council of America and others to spread the word on the abundance provided by American agriculture.

There are numerous ways you can get involved too!

  1. Join in on the conversation by following @LiveGourmet, @agday and hashtag #agday2016 on Twitter
  2. Find local Ag Day events in your area
  3. Share Ag Day fun facts with your family, friends and students
  4. Find out what’s growing near you on Epicurious and make a farm-to-table meal!
  5. And, if you can, thank a local farmer!

 

 

Labels: Hollandia Produce Clean Farming

Hollandia Produce Returns to Natural Products Expo West

March 2, 2016 | post a comment

 

CEO Pete Overgaag at the Natural Products Expo West (Image courtesy of Natural Products Expo.)

Next week Hollandia Produce will showcase its Grower Pete’s Organic brand of Living Butter Lettuce and Living Watercress as a green exhibitor at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA being held March 11-13, 2016. Projected to be the largest in its 36-year history, the sold out event will play host to more than 3,000 companies and 70,000 attendees.

In addition to exhibiting thousands of natural and organic companies, the conference also offers educational sessions. This year, the sessions will explore themes on trust, vitality and stewardship in relation to business practices.

Here at Hollandia Produce, we continually aim to better serve our customers. One way we do this is by putting our brands to the test. Grower Pete’s Living Butter Lettuce and Living Watercress are USDA certified organic by CCOF and Non-GMO verified. 

What do those terms mean exactly? For food to be deemed organic, it must be grown and processed without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides and certified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). While GMOs are organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering, or GE. The Non-GMO Project offers North America’s only third-party verification for non-GMO food and products. This endorsement represents Hollandia Produce’s ongoing commitment to use all natural ingredients in the production of its products, be it conventional or organic.

Keeping in mind our customers’ best interests, we also are dedicated to food safety. We comply with and exceed all Good Agriculture Practice (GAP) guidelines set forth by the US FDA in the National Food Safety Initiative a set of science based protocols designed to reduce microbial food safety hazards in fresh produce. 

We look forward to sharing our Grower Pete’s Brand with new consumers and industry leaders while gaining new insight into business practices to better serve you and your families!

Labels: Live Gourmet News