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

Live Gourmet’s Greek Shrimp and Watermelon Stack Salad

July 13, 2016 | post a comment


Looking to share a new recipe at your next summer gathering? Look no further than our Greek Shrimp and Watermelon Stack salad. It comes at the perfect time — National Watermelon Month.

Did you know? Watermelon didn’t always have its reddish hue. According to National Geographic that “due to selective breeding, the watermelon’s flesh slowly changed color. The gene for the color red is paired with the gene that determines the sugar content… As watermelons were bred to become even sweeter, their interior gradually changed color.”

Our inventive dish pairs the delicious, refreshing fruit (once compared to “what the angels eat” by Mark Twain) with our Live Gourmet Living 3-in-1 Lettuce. This variety includes three distinct lettuces, Lollo Rossa, Lollo Bionda, and Red Oak Leaf, which are grown together and harvested with their roots intact to provide you with the freshest mixed green salad you can buy.

Bright and delightfully fresh, Greek Shrimp and Watermelon Stack salad exudes summer. This month, wow your guests by preparing this unique dish!

Greek Shrimp & Watermelon Stack Salad
Yields 4
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Prep Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
  1. ½ seedless watermelon, peeled, sliced into 1 inch slices, then sliced in half, or cut into circles with a 3-4-inch cookie cutter
  2. 8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  3. 1 head Live Gourmet 3-in-1 Lettuce, torn
  4. ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled, about 4 ounces
  5. ¼ cup seedless Kalamata olives
  6. ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  1. ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  2. 1 clove garlic, chopped
  3. ½ teaspoon dried oregano or 1 teaspoon fresh
  4. ½ teaspoon salt
  5. ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  6. ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  7. 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (good quality)
  1. Place watermelon slices on individual plates.
  2. Prepare dressing by whisking together lemon juice, garlic, oregano, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Divide mixture in half.
  3. Marinate the shrimp in ½ of the dressing for about 30 minutes. Sauté shrimp over medium-high heat until pink, 3 to 3 ½ minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool.
  4. Top watermelon slices with lettuce, shrimp, feta, and olives. Drizzle with the reserved dressing and sprinkle with pine nuts.
Live Gourmet Blog


Where to find Live Gourmet Living 3-in-1 Lettuce:

  • Albertsons
  • AWG (Oklahoma)
  • The Berry Man
  • Brooks H., and Company
  • Coosemans LA
  • Dekalb Farmers Market
  • Franzella
  • FreshPoint South Texas
  • FreshPoint Southern California
  • Growers Express
  • H.E. Butt Grocery
  • Hardie’s
  • Kroger
  • LA Specilaty
  • Lund Food Holdings
  • Magnolia
  • Mollie Stones
  • Nor-Cal Produce
  • O.K Produce
  • Raley’s
  • Robinson Fresh
  • Rocky Produce
  • Vons
  • Stater Brothers
  • United Supermarkets
  • Western Mixers

Labels: Healthy Salad Recipes

Throwback Thursday: Living Watercress Plays a Key Role in UV Safety Month

July 7, 2016 | post a comment

Watercress SunglassesLast year we wrote about the importance of UV Safety Month and this July is no different. As our patrons and their families spend increasing time outdoors this season, we feel it’s vital to revisit this informative post.

While we gather with friends and family for barbecues, travel to vacation houses and head to the beach, it’s important to protect our skin. Long-term sun exposure not only causes sunburn but it can also lead to a number of vision complications, including Photokeratitis (corneal sunburn that can result in temporary vision loss), corneas, and even skin cancer around the eyelids.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology says wearing hats, avoiding staring at the sun, checking medication side effects and driving with sunglasses are excellent ways to protect your eyes.

In addition to these precautions, including certain fruits and vegetables, like our Living Watercress, in your diet also promotes eye health. Medical News Today says that two cups of watercress contains 48% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C and 44% of vitamin A. According to the American Optometric Association, “scientific evidence suggests vitamin C lowers the risk of developing cataracts, and when taken in combination with other essential nutrients, can slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and visual acuity loss.”

“Your eye also needs vitamin A to nourish other parts of your eye, including the cornea… Without enough vitamin A, your eyes cannot produce enough moisture to keep them properly lubricated,” reports the American Academy of Opthalmology.

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. Lutein has been found to support eye health and vision.  And it’s crucial to eye health because it protects against UV damage before it can damage the sensitive part of the retina that is vital to detailed sight. [Bausch + Lomb]

Incorporating our Living Watercress or Upland Cress into your summer bites is simple. Add it in your sandwich or mix a handful of it into your lunchtime salad. Begin taking care of your eyes and skin this summer by picking up Live Gourmet brand Living Upland Cress and Grower Pete’s Organic brand Living Watercress!

Labels: Healthy Living

Celebrate Fourth of July with a Red, White and Blue Salad made with our Live Gourmet Living Red Butter Lettuce

June 29, 2016 | post a comment


FullSizeRender (3)What would Fourth of July be without hot dogs grilled on the barbecue, your aunt’s famous cherry pie and creamy potato salad? Though these ubiquitous summer dishes are tasty, it doesn’t hurt to add fruits and veggies to your spread.

A red, white and blue salad made with our Living Red Butter Lettuce will be a colorful tasty addition—not to mention it will boost your vitamin and mineral intake for the day. Did you know? “Red-leaf varieties of butter lettuce [like ours] feature leaves that are similar to green-leaf varieties but have distinctive edges, swirls or speckles of red on the foliage,” says the SF Gate.

Butter Lettuces have the softest leaves among all lettuce varieties and are tender with cup shaped leaves that create a loosely formed head. They often resemble a flowering rose. Red Butter Lettuce is rich in calcium and a good source of iron, vitamins A and C.

Pick up our Live Gourmet Living Red Butter Lettuce in your local grocer’s fresh produce section and get cookin’!

Red, White and Blue Salad with Live Gourmet’s Living Red Butter Lettuce
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  1. 1 Head of Live Gourmet’s Living Red Butter Lettuce
  2. ½ cup cherries halved and pitted
  3. ½ cup raspberries
  4. 1 cup blueberries
  5. 1 apple peeled and diced
  1. 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  2. 1 tablespoon grain mustard
  3. 2 teaspoons honey
  4. ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  5. pinch of Cayenne pepper
  6. ½ cup of olive oil
  1. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients together except for the olive oil. Once the ingredients have been mixed well, slowly add the olive oil into the mixture. Whisk until smooth.
  2. Wash all of the salad ingredients and tear the Living Red Butter Lettuce into bite size pieces.
  3. Peel and dice the apple
  4. Combine all of the salad ingredients together in a bowl and drizzle the dressing on top
Live Gourmet Blog

Labels: Butter Lettuce, Holidays by Hollandia Produce

Take A Cue on Father’s Day from Hollandia Produce CEO Pete Overgaag

June 15, 2016 | post a comment


Scrambling on how to celebrate your pops this Father’s Day? You’re in luck. Hollandia Produce CEO Pete Overgaag shared his favorite recipes featured on our Lettuce Be Fresh blog. Choose one (or all three) to prepare for your dad as a light entree or as sides if you’re expecting a lively bunch for dinner.

Each recipe features our Living Butter Lettuce or Watercress. Both are rich in vitamins and nutrients. In fact, our Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress and Grower Pete’s Brand of Living Organic Watercress are certified antioxidant superfoods. What’s a superfood you ask? It’s an extremely nutrient-dense food that, when eaten, is considered to be very beneficial for maintaining good health. Our cress products also contain as much vitamin C as an orange, more calcium than milk, and of course, high levels of magnesium, lutein, phosphorous, potassium, iron, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, B1, B6, K, and E! Our Living Butter Lettuce is no slouch either. It’s an excellent source of iron, vitamins A and C. 

What are you waiting for? Pick up our products in your grocer’s fresh produce section and get cooking this Sunday in honor of Father’s Day!

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Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups

Pete Overgaag’s Favorite Recipes Featured on the Lettuce Be Fresh Blog

  1. This Asian salad inspired by Eating Well  features peppery watercress, sugar snap peas and a warm sesame shallot vinaigrette with caramelized onions. Now that its summer, a lightly grilled white fish or salmon would make a tasty protein-rich addition to the meal.  For the recipe click here.
  2. Perfect for this time of year, our Strawberry, Goat Cheese and Toasted Hazelnut Salad exudes bright color and perfect texture. The homemade dressing, infused with garlic and honey, makes this salad even more appealing. Don’t be surprised if your guests leave impressed. For the recipe click here

  3. If your dad is one to douse his food in Sriracha or hot sauce then these Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups are for him. But don’t worry you won’t alienate your less adventurous guests. Our mild, velvety-textured Living Butter Lettuce balances the heat, resulting in an ideal summery dish. For the recipe click here.

Labels: Uncategorized