Greens Abound in Easter and Passover Meals

March 31, 2015 | post a comment

This week all over the world, families and friends will gather to celebrate Passover (April 3-11) and Easter (April 5). Cooking a special meal for your loved ones can be stressful, but with a bit of planning, you can calmly create delectable dishes that your guests will remember for years to come.

One of the Passover traditions is the Seder dinner. The word Seder means order in Hebrew, which refers to 15 rituals that are Greens dipped in salted water as part of the Seder Dinner ritualperformed during the Passover Seder meal. One of those rituals is the dipping of a green such as watercress in a dish of salt water before eating. These greens symbolize the coming of spring and suggest the perpetual renewal of life.

Food Network’s Butternut Squash and Watercress Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette


Watercress serves as an excellent side dish to the traditional Seder brisket. Try Food Network’s Butternut Squash and Watercress Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette; it will add color and crunch to the dinner. Or, if you’re a garlic lover, try Six Burner Sue’s Wilted Watercress with Garlic Chips.

Rack of Lamb with Watercress

Cooking channel Recipes: Michael-Symon

The Christian holiday also has an abundance of symbols and rituals, one of the most popular being the lamb. In past centuries, it was considered a lucky omen to meet a lamb, especially at Easter time. Ironically, not so fortunate for the lamb, as it’s become a traditional staple of the holiday meal. We recommend this Rack of Lamb with Watercress, featured last month on our Lettuce Be Fresh Blog.

If you have little ones, you’re sure to have a visit from the Easter Bunny who may be able to sway your youngsters into eating more vegetables–at least for the holiday. Hop into the kitchen and whip up this nutritious salad that will have your children cheering for more.

Easter Bunny Salad (Originally on the Lettuce be Fresh Blog in March 2011)

(6 Servings)
• 3 cups cottage cheese
• 2 to 3 tbsp. lemon juice
• 1/4 cup raisins
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
• 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
• 2 granny smith apples, diced
• 1 to 2 tbsp. honey
Combine everything and chill. Serve over a bed of Living Butter Lettuce

Happy Easter and Passover from Hollandia Produce L.P.




Wishing you a wonderful spring holiday season from our family to yours! Share your holiday meal photos with us via Instagram and Twitter @livegourmet

Labels: Butter Lettuce, Eat Your Greens Recipes for Kids, Eating "Butter", Healthy Salad Recipes, Holidays by Hollandia Produce, Live Gourmet Products, Organic Butter Lettuce, Organic Watercress, Organic Watercress Recipes, Upland Cress Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes

Spring Renewal: Greens Meet Grains

March 24, 2015 | post a comment

Now that spring is here and our surrounding flora and fauna are emerging from their winter slumbers, we too can experience a renewal. One way we can achieve this is by consciously eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

According to a article, fresh produce and grains, like brown rice and multigrain bread, are some of the best sources of fiber. The essential carbohydrate regulates blood sugar and cholesterol levels and helps us feel full longer. While distinguishing itself from other starches and sugars, fiber doesn’t negatively contribute to your caloric intake.

Avocado, radish, upland cress, sea salt are arranged on a table

Click here to view a Flipagram video of assembling Avocado Toast with Upland Cress

Leafy greens like watercress and upland cress also provide servings of fiber. Together with an organic grain, watercress can complete the ultimate hearty meal. We’ve dreamt up two unconventional dishes that include high levels of fiber that you can eat morning, noon or night. Bonus: They also require little preparation and clean-up time.

Want to shake up your morning routine? Try Avocado toast with Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress or Grower Pete’s Organic Living Watercress. Toast a piece of organic whole grain bread to your desired doneness, layer with thinly sliced avocado and radish (which is also high in fiber), top with a cup of watercress, a pinch of sea salt and cayenne pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lime. Don’t forget to snap a photo of the colorful toast, which will be the envy of your Instagram foodie followers.

Savory Oatmeal with upland cress and root vegetables is a twist on breakfast for dinner. It’s even vegetarian! All you need is a whole grain like rolled oats, parmesan cheese, root vegetables (we used carrots and parsnip) and Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress or Grower Pete’s Organic Living Watercress.

Ingredients, including watercress, parsnip and rolled oat

Click here to view a Flipagram video of preparing Savory Oatmeal with Watercress

To prepare: Cook the oats according to packaging instructions while you roast the root vegetables in the oven at 400 degrees. Once vegetables are tender, add them to the oats and mix in a ¼ cup of cheese. Last but not least, add a mountain of upland cress or watercress for a subtle spicy bite.

Continue to experiment this spring by combining fruits, vegetable and whole grains to create your own unique, vitamin-rich meals. Once summer hits, you’ll have developed eating habits that make you feel energized and healthier. You may even not eye last year’s swimsuit with your usual wariness.

Labels: Eat Leafy Greens for Nutrition, Fresh Eating Tips, Healthy Eating Tips, Organic Watercress, Organic Watercress Recipes, Uncategorized, Upland Cress Recipes, Vegan Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes

Get your Green on this St. Patrick’s Day!

March 16, 2015 | post a comment

Ring in this St. Patrick’s Day by getting your green on! There’s no need to sacrifice taste for nutrition during this sometimes raucous holiday.

! Start your day off right by tossing a handful of Grower Pete's certified Organic Living Watercress or Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress into your AM smoothie. This Live Gourmet recipe inspired by Carrie on Vegan will keep you going during the long day of festivities.


Top o’ the morning to you! Start your day off right by tossing a handful of Grower Pete’s certified Organic Living Watercress or Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress into your AM smoothie. This Live Gourmet recipe inspired by Carrie on Vegan will keep you going during the long day of festivities. Plus, watercress and upland cress contain high levels of vitamin C, helping keep your immune system strong whether you brave the brisk air during a parade or party into the wee hours.

If your proclivity is a bit stronger, prepare Watercress Soup with Whiskey Cream from Food Network. Who said leafy greens and libations don’t go together?


If you are planning a tame evening with friends, take a cue from the Irish for your dinner menu. Guinness Risotto with Shrimp and Watercress from is a sophisticated dish that balances the iconic Irish brew with the emerald, peppery superfood. If your proclivity is a bit stronger, prepare Watercress Soup with Whiskey Cream from Food Network. Who said leafy greens and libations don’t go together?

Try this twist on corned beef and cabbage by using butter lettuce as the roll


For a kid-friendly affair, try a twist on Food Network’s Corned-Beef-and-Cabbage-Rolls. As the Irish Proverb says, “It’s no use boiling your cabbage twice,” you might as well swap the pale veggie for Live Gourmet® brand butter lettuce or Grower Pete’s Certified Organic Living Butter Lettuce. You’ll be finished preparing this no-fuss meal before the grown-ups can say “sláinte” (pronounced “slaan-sha” and Gaelic for “good health”) as they clink glasses of Guinness. After dinner, have the family reuse the Live Gourmet® plastic clamshells that hold living butter lettuce to make homemade St. Patty’s Day stencils. Go to and Enchanted Learning for a few pointers and simple shamrock templates. May the luck of the Irish be with you as you prepare delicious and nutritious fare for your loved ones!

Labels: Butter Lettuce Recipes, Eat Your Greens Recipes for Kids, Green Smoothie, Holidays by Hollandia Produce, Live Gourmet Products, Organic Watercress, Organic Watercress Recipes, Uncategorized, Upland Cress Recipes

Celebrating Revolutionary Woman in the Realm of Food

March 10, 2015 | post a comment

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating females who have revolutionized the way we eat and think about food.

Where would American cooking be without the late, gregarious Julia Child? In 1999, the famed chef and co-author of the iconic Mastering the Art of French Cooking visited the Hollandia Produce, L.P. facilities to see how its Live Gourmet® brand Living Butter Lettuce was grown. Though the jolly food enthusiast may be best known for her adoption of French cuisine such as her infamously rich Beef Bourguignon, Child also was a proponent of eating

Julia Childs with Hollandia Produce, L.P. Founder Art Overgaag.

Julia Childs with Hollandia Produce, L.P. Founder Art Overgaag.

seasonally and locally-sourced produce. She once said: “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces—just good food from fresh ingredients.” Up until her death in 2004, Child lived in Montecito where she was a supporter of the area’s culinary and produce scene. In remembrance of Child, try her Casserole Roasted Chicken with Garlic, Lemon and Watercress Salad.

Like her culinary predecessor, Alice Waters, founder of the eminent farm-to-table establishment Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA, is devoted to using fresh, local food in addition to advocating sustainable agriculture and the organic food movement. A forward-thinker, the James Beard-awarded chef has educated a generation of food lovers and even founded gardening programs in public schools that instill, “the knowledge and values we need to build a humane and sustainable future.” In the spirit of Waters’ locavore-driven fare, prepare her Watercress and Sorrel Soup.

Chez Panisse owner and chef Alice Waters

Alice Waters (

There are countless women who have contributed to make what our vibrant food culture is today. Many of these individuals can be found right in our own home—our mothers and grandmothers. Every day, these women nourish our bellies while trying to satisfy our taste buds—albeit some succeed in this category more than others! Laud these unsung heroes of the kitchen this month by preparing a dish in their honor. Check out Live Gourmet’s recipe section for nutritious ideas that the whole family will love.

Labels: Celebrity Chef Recipes, Uncategorized

Super what!?: From Natural to Organic, Deciphering Those Ubiquitous Food Labels

March 4, 2015 | post a comment

This week, Hollandia Produce, L.P. showcases its Grower Pete’s line of certified organic Living Butter Lettuce and Living Watercress at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, the world’s largest event devoted to natural and specialty food. With over 2,600 exhibiting companies, Expo West will be buzzing with terms that describe food – grass-fed, locally-sourced, Non-GMO, superfood, to name a few.  Foods with labels “organic” and “natural” often are seen in grocery stores across the country yet the terms can be confusing to differentiate.

Here’s a sneak peak at the Hollandia Produce tradeshow booth being launched at Expo West #5050. The new messaging aims to complement its living wall of lettuce and showcase the company’s upcoming consumer merchandising campaign.

Here’s a sneak peak at the Hollandia Produce tradeshow booth being launched at Expo West #5050. The new messaging aims to complement its living wall of lettuce and showcase the company’s upcoming consumer merchandising campaign.

Their differences are considerable. 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). Natural products, on the other hand, are minimally processed and contain little to no preservatives, but are not regulated by a legal or federal entity. Therefore, there is a breadth of products marketed as natural, but in reality, widely range in the amount of additives, synthesized chemicals and dyes that they contain. [Source:]

USDA Organic SealWhat does this mean for you, the consumer? Read your labels thoroughly. If you intend to buy organic items, make sure that the packaging includes the USDA organic seal. Organic Trade Association provides a list of various organic labels on its website.

A number of Hollandia Produce’s products are USDA organic certified. In fact, Grower Pete’s brand of lettuce and leafy greens are 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.

Watercress and Upland Cress Named SuperfoodsLive Gourmet® brand Living Upland Cress and Grower Pete’s Organic brand Living Watercress bear another produce distinction: They’re certified as Antioxidant-rich Superfoods by the SCS. What is a superfood you ask? It contains one of the highest concentrations of nutrients, most notably lutein, considered essential for long-term health.

Hollandia Produce looks forward to sharing its organic Grower Pete’s products with new consumers and industry leaders during Expo West where attendees can learn more about making informed, healthy food choices for themselves and their families.

Labels: Live Gourmet News, Uncategorized

Prepare to be Marketed To: Fruits and Vegetables Take Center Stage

February 27, 2015 | post a comment

Looks like 2015 may have just gotten a whole lot healthier, thanks to a new ad campaign called: FNV, the cool, new way to refer to fruits and vegetables. Here, at Hollandia Produce, we couldn’t be happier. As farmers ourselves and longtime supporters of Produce for Better Health, we’ve been promoting healthy eating and the benefits FNV for years!fnv logo

Boulder, Colorado-based ad agency Victors & Spoils, whose client list includes juggernauts Coca-Cola and General Mills, just put America on notice with their in-your-face “Prepare to be marketed to” campaign video teaser.

green healthy foodThe pro-healthy eating campaign will start primarily on social media networks like Twitter, posting short videos featuring actress Jessica Alba and NFL quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton. Additional videos will be released in coming days starring Curry, New York Giant Victor Cruz, actress Kristen Bell, and others.

Replete with its own fashionable logo, the FNV campaign is the brainchild of Partnership for a Healthier America, that was created in conjunction with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to get families to eat better and exercise more.

Michael Jacobson, Executive Director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest noted that an advertising campaign for fruits and vegetables may be powerful in influencing eating decisions, but that its effectiveness will depend on how much support the campaign receives. What do you think? Will athletes and actors purporting the benefits of FNV be enough? Only time will tell; stay tuned!

In the meantime, feed your curiosity and your body with this delicious superfood salad and this entertaining video clip.



Labels: Celebrity vegetables, Eat Leafy Greens for Nutrition, Fresh Eating Tips, Healthy Living Quotes, Hollandia Produce Sponsorships, Lettuce Be Green, Lettuce Teach You Something, Uncategorized

Ring in the Chinese New Year with these Watercress-based Recipes

February 19, 2015 | post a comment

Watercress has long been a popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine. So what better way to celebrate the world’s most nutrient dense food than to feature it in a traditional Asian Watercress Salad? And, since today is the beginning of The Chinese New Year, we thought we’d add a little goat cheese to the recipe for flavor, added protein, and, most of all, to honor The Year of the Goat.

Unknown-6Traditional Chinese recipes are integral to the Chinese New Year celebration. All family members gather together to eat these special foods throughout this festival time. Chinese Dumplings, Fish, Spring Rolls, and Nian Gao are a few samples of the traditional dishes enjoyed during this celebration. So, if you’d like to celebrate The Chinese New Year in traditional style, try this Asian Watercress Salad. Or, for a less formal gathering, also try our Upland Cress & Roast Beef Summer Rolls with Hoisin Dipping Sauce.

Asian Watercress Salad
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp finely shredded fresh mint
1 package Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress
1 carrot, shredded                                         1768_l
1 cup bean sprouts
Goat cheese

1. Toss sesame seeds in a frying pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until toasted.
2. Whisk together the fish sauce, lime juice, sweet chili sauce and ginger in a bowl. Add in the mint, stir to combine.
3. Place Upland Cress, carrot shreds, and bean sprouts in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle the dressing over the salad and gently mix. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and goat cheese.

Wear your reds today, as the Chinese believe that by wearing red during New Year’s will bring you luck and ward off evil spirits. Eat your greens daily to stay healthy, combining it with goat cheese to ring in the Year of the Goat.

Labels: Uncategorized

Cooking with love … Romantic, Healthy Valentine’s Day Recipes

February 11, 2015 | post a comment

Why not show your love this Valentine’s Day with a heartfelt meal made from scratch? This uniquCutlery set with decorative heartse entrée and salad recipe may just have your loved one feeling as if he/she is dining at a five-star restaurant. Add a little romance and a glass of heart healthy, fine red wine, and you’ve got a recipe for a very Happy Valentine’s Day!



Cooking channel Recipes: Michael-Symon

Rack of Lamb with Oranges, Almonds, Watercress, Skordalia
(This recipe takes 24 hours of prep time)  Ingredients for the lamb:
4 racks of lamb
Zest of 2 lemons
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and roughly chopped
Pinch of sugar
1/4 cup blended oil


To make the lamb:
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, chopped rosemary, salt (to taste), and sugar. Season the racks on both sides with this mixture and marinate for overnight before grilling. This will add more flavor to the lamb when it’s cooked.

Heat blended oil in an oven-safe sauté pan over medium heat. Add the seasoned racks to the pan, fat cap-side down, and sear until golden brown (about 3 to 5 minutes). Once the fat cap is golden brown, flip and place the whole pan into the oven until and cook until an instant-read thermometer, inserted into the thickest part of the lamb and not touching the bone, reaches 120 to 125 degrees for medium-rare (about 20 to 25 minutes).

It’s best to cook it low and slow to prevent that “bullet” from forming, where the middle is rare and the outside is well done.

When the lamb is done, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting.

Ingredients for the Skordalia:
4 – 5 cups of cubed day-old bread with crusts removed,
2 cups whole milk
2 tbsp. blended oil
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup sliced shallots
1/4 cup sliced garlic
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon

To make the Skordalia:
Toast cubed bread into a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Place the bread in a large bowl and cover with the milk, pressing the bread down to immerse it in milk. Set aside to soak.

Place a sauté pan over medium-high and heat the blended oil. Add the sliced almonds to toast, about 2 minutes. Once slightly toasted, remove about 1/4 cup of the oil and set aside for the salad.

In the same sauté pan add the shallots, sliced garlic, and season with salt. Toss to combine and allow the shallots and garlic to sweat. Once the shallots and garlic are fragrant, remove them from the heat.

Add the soaking bread to a blender, allowing any excess milk to drip out. Cover with the extra-virgin olive oil and add the toasted shallots, garlic, almonds, lemon juice, and salt, to taste. Blend the mixture until pureed and smooth like a paste. Taste and re-season, if needed

Ingredients for the lamb salad topper:
1 orange supreme, save the extra juice
2 cups trimmed Grower Pete’s watercress
Toasted almonds
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil

In a bowl, toss the orange supremes with the juice (collected when preparing the orange supremes), toasted almonds, salt, black pepper, and watercress. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and toss to combine.

Putting it all together:

Slice the lamb into individual chops. Spoon the skordalia onto a plate. Top with the lamb chops and season each with salt. Garnish the lamb with the salad. Season with freshly ground black pepper and drizzle the plate with extra-virgin olive oil and the orange zest.


A Peachy and Cherry Salad

Peach-and-cherry-watercress-salad Peach-Cherry salad

1 bunch of Grower Pete’s Organic Living Watercress, trimmed
½ cup cherries, pitted & halved
1 peach, sliced
⅓ cup alfalfa sprouts

For dressing:
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. agave
Salt & pepper, to taste

To make:
Arrange watercress, peaches, cherries and sprouts on two plates.
Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, agave, and salt & pepper in a small bowl and drizzle over salad before serving.

We recommend serving with a light-bodied Riesling wine.

Labels: Fresh Home Recipes, olive oil salad dressing recipes, Organic Watercress, Organic Watercress Recipes, Uncategorized, watercress salad dressing recipe

Topic 5 dietary changes to help protect your heart:

February 4, 2015 | post a comment

Knowing the facts about heart disease and how to protect your cardiovascular system is what Heart Health Awareness month is all about. And yet, each year, one in four people die of heart disease. Moreover, today, women are as susceptible as men.


The bottom line…prevention is the best medicine. Most of us know that regular exercise and abstaining from nicotine are straight forward ways to lower our blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce our risk. But what about subtle dietary changes that can have big impacts? We’re glad you asked. Here are five dietary changes that you can implement today.


  1. Supersize your diet with Superfoods. – Next time you make a sandwich, salad, smoothie or side, replace your usual greens with the nature’s leading superfood: watercress. This versatile ingredient, packs a flavorful punch with no caloric impact.upland-cress-roots-attached-live-gourmet One cup or raw watercress contains more vitamin C than an orange, more calcium than a glass of milk and 1900 mcg or lutein, a critical nutrient for cardiovascular health and better vision.
  2. 5-a-Day Keeps the Doctor Away – Keeping your daily portions of fruit and veggies at 5 or more will help protect you against heart disease and cancer. Combine your portions of fruit and veggies into a daily juice. Order a side of salad with your meal instead of fries. Add some fruit, such as strawberries or blueberries to your salad to up your intake of fruit and veggies.
  3. Reduce Your Carbs — Reducing your carbohydrate intake will lower your
    pic from

    pic from

    visceral fat (intra-abdominal fat), which in turn reduces your risk of developing type-2 diabetes, stroke and coronary artery disease. Start replacing your bread and tortillas with butter lettuce leaves. You still enjoy great sandwiches and wraps, minus the extra carbs!

  4. Don’t blow your blood pressure out of control, eat foods low in saturated fats, cholesterol, and high in fiber. Cholesterol Is found in foods that come from animals (red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, along with every other meat and dairy product). Foods from plants do not contain cholesterol. adding some nuts (walnuts, cashews or almonds) to your daily salad greens and keeping your salad dressings light by using olive oil.
  5. Don’t be a Salty Dog — Eating more fresh and raw foods helps to decrease your salt and sodium intake.   Spice up your foods with salt / sodium substitutes, such as fresh garlic, fresh onion, garlic powder, lemon juice, black pepper, and vinegar. Adding these spices to your foods will give it the pep you crave without the salt and sodium intake your body does not need.


Gain control over the health of your heart by eating right. Diet, along with exercise, can help reverse heart disease. Adding watercress and butter lettuce to your daily diet will help you keep your heart beating strong.


Labels: Uncategorized

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

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

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

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