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

Live Gourmet’s Snacking Tips during Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month

June 8, 2016 | post a comment


 Summer is just about here. Where will you be heading during these warm weather months? Whether you’re taking a road trip to the lake, spending time in the backyard or carpooling to soccer camp, Live Gourmet offers smart snacking tips for active families on-the-go.

F8B73CPSBKJune is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable month which is all the more reason to pack more brightly colored produce amongst your summer treats. The USDA recommends we eat about five servings of fresh produce every day. Yet most of us don’t nearly reach that amount.

How can we improve on this?

Jessica Beacom, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Co-Founder of Simply Nourished, recommends setting aside 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 much easier.

But if you find yourself in a pinch while on the road with mostly fast-food options, choose a beverage like water, low-fat milk or unsweetened tea to go with your meal suggests Choose Your Plate. You’ll stay hydrated and will keep unwanted calories from creeping in.

If camping is on the docket, bring canned produce, dried fruit and vegetables and 100% juices to eat with your campfire fare. They still count towards your daily fruit and vegetable intake!

For an afternoon at the pool, prepare healthy snacks in a fun, creative way. Produce for Kids offers a number of great ideas from ladybug strawberry snacks to peanut butter snails on their Pinterest page.

By integrating more fruits and vegetables into your daily snacks and meals, you can help shape better eating habits for your whole family. For more summer recipe ideas with leafy greens, peruse our Live Gourmet Lettuce Be Fresh blog. Happy snacking!

Labels: Fresh Eating Tips

Hollandia Produce Continues to #KeepSavingCA

June 2, 2016 | post a comment


Though our state of California has made significant water conservation progress since Governor Jerry Brown issued the 25% water conservation mandate, it’s still important for Californians to keep saving our water

As we head into the hot summer months, we’d like to revisit a few tips our employees shared last year on how they conserve water at home.

Hollandia Produce Employees’ Water Saving Tips:

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 8.59.35 AMCharlene Rodriguez has gone to the extent of removing all of the grass from her family’s backyard and replaced it with a more water conscious choice – gravel. Her backyard transformation is a perfect example of how Charlene and her family have committed to such state campaigns like, #KeepSavingCA and “gold is the new green” campaign.


Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 8.59.58 AMCharles Hemphill said: “I installed rotor sprinklers on my back hill for ground cover and drip system for all of my trees. I was able to reduce my water usage on my lawn by 30% by mowing at the highest setting on my lawn mower. Higher grass provides more shading at the base and helps promote more soil absorption. Cutting grass too short in the heat of summer causes grass shock due to lack of water and it may brown it out in areas. Early morning watering at 5:30am also helps in allowing more water to get deeper into the soil and cutting down on evaporation from the sun and wind.”

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 9.06.14 AMAnne Fortuna pitched in by recycling the water from her laundry when bleach wasn’t used. She and her husband simply rerouted the water drainage hose from their washer machine and into a collection barrel. The water is then repurposed by watering their backyard plants.




We are continuously inspired by our employees’ commitment to sustainability. At Hollandia Produce, we too are committed to conserving water with every crop. Our hydroponics growing techniques (visual above) help recycle precious water resources, reduce overall water use, limit water loss due to evaporation, and stop soil erosion.

Together, we are not only providing you and your family the freshest lettuce and leafy greens possible, but we are conserving water, one drop at a time.

Labels: Lettuce Be Green

Celebrate National Salad Month with Living Butter Lettuce

May 26, 2016 | post a comment


Last spring we hosted the Better Butter Lettuce Recipe Contest. From main course to salad recipes, we received an abundance of groundbreaking recipes made with our Living Butter Lettuce.

In celebration of National Salad Month, we’re throwing it back to our first place salad category winner Josee Lanzi’s Deconstructed Salmon Sushi Roll Salad.

This salad may look completely different from the basic greens with salted vinegar and oil that ancient Romans and Greeks once enjoyed. Yet we’re pleased to report that it adheres to Merriam-Webster’s definition of salad: a mixture of small pieces of raw or cooked food (such as pasta, meat, fruit, eggs, or vegetables) combined usually with a dressing and served cold.

Flex your creative culinary muscle with this one-of-a-kind salad recipe made with our Living Butter Lettuce!

Deconstructed Salmon Sushi Roll Salad
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  1. 4 cups butter lettuce chopped
  2. 4 ounces salmon filet
  3. 2 ounces cream cheese
  4. 1/4 English cucumber
  5. 2/3 cup brown rice cooked
  6. 1/2 cup Japanese shrimp and steak sauce
  7. 4 teaspoons wasabi paste
  1. Cut the salmon lengthwise in 4 equal pieces.
  2. Do the same with the brick of cream cheese.
  3. Peel and cut the cucumber in match pieces.
  4. To assemble the sushi rolls, press the salmon, cucumber and rice on each side of the cream cheese to hold the rolls together.
  5. Cut each rolls in 5 pieces.
  6. Top 1 cup of Live Gourmet or Grower Pete’s Certified Organic brands Living Butter Lettuce with 5 pieces of sushi
  7. Drizzle with Japanese sauce and serve with wasabi
  1. Note: Japanese sauce can go by shrimp or steak sauce and is sometimes referred to as Yum Yum sauce, which is a popular brand.
Live Gourmet Blog http://www.livegourmet.com/wordpress/

Labels: Butter Lettuce Recipes, Eating "Butter"

Hollandia Produce Named 2016 FABI Winner by NRA

May 18, 2016 | post a comment


Living Baby Butter Lettuce (1)Live Gourmet® and our certified organic Grower Pete’s brands of living lettuce and leafy greens have been popular national sellers for years. Yet, what many of our patrons don’t know is that we’re found on many restaurant menus. That’s why this week we’re heading to the National Restaurant Association’s NRA Show, an annual trade show and convention, taking place from May 21-24 in Chicago. 

Supplying food service purveyors and commercial kitchens requires a different approach than grocery retail, where most consumers are used to seeing our produce. In this environment, we must stay abreast of food and nutritional trends, chefs’ demands, as well as changing food safety and packaging requirements.

Our newest foodservice product, Grower Pete’s Organic Living Baby Butter Lettuce, has been awarded the National Restaurant Association’s coveted Food and Beverage Innovation (FABI) award. Of the hundreds of food and beverage manufacturers that are introducing new products at the NRA show, only 26 products received FABI awards. Honorees are selected based on achievements in taste, marketability, creativity and profitability potential in foodservice operations. We’re thrilled to be showcasing FABI Award-winning Grower Pete’s Organic Living Baby Butter Lettuce in booth 10736 at the 2016 NRA Show.

Whether it’s found on a fine dining establishment or a casual cafe menu, Grower Pete’s Organic Living Baby Butter Lettuce makes for a stand-out ingredient in a variety of meals. Rich in vitamins A, C and K, this lettuce is redefining classic salads like the Cobb and Wedge to give diners more nutritionally charged options. Like other offerings from Hollandia Produce, this organic variety is hydroponically greenhouse-grown and harvested with its roots attached for longer shelf-life and turgidity.

Live Gourmet® and our certified organic Grower Pete’s brands of living lettuce and leafy greens are versatile, healthy ingredients for food service establishments and individuals alike. Whether you’re a farm-to-table proprietor, a cook in a school or you’re your family’s resident chef, you can count on our products being flavorful additions to any number of meals.

Labels: Butter Lettuce, Live Gourmet News

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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  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
  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 | 2 Comments


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.


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