Go on a Moroccan Culinary Journey with our Lamb Couscous Salad

 

Take your family on a culinary journey this week to Morocco. The North African country is home to a vibrant culture with influences from Spain to Senegal to Portugal and beyond. Filled with an abundance of delicate spices and aromas, Moroccan cuisine satisfies a variety of palates from savory to sweet. Luckily you won’t have to make the journey to Tangier or Marrakesh in search of authentic fare with our Lamb Couscous salad. 

In addition to broadening your family’s horizons, this dish features vitamin-rich Bouquet  Lettuce, Upland Cress and lamb — a healthy and lean alternative to red meat. According to the American Lamb Council, “A 3-ounce serving of lamb provides nearly five times the essential omega-3 fatty acids and alpha linoleic acid of a 3-ounce serving of beef.”

Lamb also contains an average of 40% of monounsaturated fat, which is the same kind of fat found in olive oil. “Monounsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. They also provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells. Oils rich in monounsaturated fats also contribute vitamin E to the diet, an antioxidant vitamin most Americans need more of,” says the American Heart Association.

Serve the meal with a signature cup of Moroccan mint tea and close your eyes. You’ll swear that you’re right in the thick of a busy Moroccan Square taking in its sights and of course its bites.

Moroccan Lamb Couscous Salad
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. Meatballs
  2. 1 pound ground lamb
  3. ¼ cup bread crumbs
  4. ¼ cup red onion, minced
  5. 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  6. 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  7. 1 clove garlic, minced
  8. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  9. ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  10. ½ teaspoon cumin
  11. ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  12. ¼ teaspoon pepper
  13. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  14. Salad
  15. 1 head Pete's Living Greens Bouquet Lettuce, torn into pieces
  16. 1 cup Pete's Living Greens Living Upland Cress
  17. ¼ cup raisins
  18. ½ cup dried apricots, sliced
  19. 2 Persian or ½ English cucumber, cut into half moons
  20. 1 cup cooked couscous)
  21. Creamy Mint Dressing
  22. 1 ½ cup whole milk Greek yogurt
  23. 2 clove garlic, minced
  24. 1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
  25. 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
  26. 1 teaspoons lime zest
  27. ¼ teaspoon salt
  28. Freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400⁰ and line a baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil.
  2. To make the meatballs, combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Shape mixture into 1 ½-inch meatballs. Place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet and bake uncovered 18 to 20 minutes or until no longer pink in center. Drain on paper towels.
  3. While meatballs are baking, combine salad ingredients.
  4. To prepare dressing, combine all ingredients and whisk until blended.
  5. Top salad with meatballs and drizzle with dressing.
Pete's Living Greens Blog http://www.livegourmet.com/wordpress/

Live Gourmet Zests up Greens for Fall

 

When we happened on Whole Food’s Fall Greens Salad with Pumpkin Seeds and Asiago, we couldn’t believe our eyes. Butter lettuce and watercress together in one dish? We had to try it for ourselves. What we found was nothing short of culinary bliss. The sharp watercress and velvety butter lettuce create an interesting amalgam of flavors; while the pumpkin seeds add a bit of crunch — not to mention they’re the quintessential autumnal food.

IMG_1377The main ingredients are not only delicious, but they’re also loaded with vitamins and minerals. Pumpkin seeds are a significant source of iron, and have a high amount of natural chlorophyll, “which alkalizes and naturally cleanses the body,” reports greenplanet.org. Though lettuce may not be the first green that comes to mind as the most vitamin-rich, our living butter variety packs a punch. It’s chock full of vitamins like vitamin A, iron, and calcium. The vibrant lettuce joins forces with the reining supreme nutrient-dense vegetable, watercress. Did you know that our living watercress and upland cress are certified as Antioxidant-rich Superfoods? This is based on a laboratory analysis of their antioxidants levels, especially lutein, an antioxidant known to fight cancer-causing free radical compounds.

IMG_1380By combining these highly nutritional and tasty whole foods, you can prepare this healthy, seasonal meal as a side or main in under thirty minutes. If you’d like to make it heartier, try adding omega-3 rich salmon like in celebrity chef Nigella Lawson’s recipe. Or, simply put an egg on it. “Researchers at Purdue University found that eating cooked whole eggs with raw vegetables increased absorption of carotenoid,” says Health.com. The antioxidant helps lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and aids in eye health. 

So what are you waiting for? Add Live Gourmet® or Grower Pete’s brand of Living Butter Lettuce and Watercress to Fall Greens Salad with Pumpkin Seeds and Asiago. Go to Whole Food’s website for the complete recipe today!

Say Thanks to Mom by Hosting a Mother’s Day Brunch

 

This Sunday, give your mom or grandma a day off from the kitchen and create a festive seasonal brunch. There’s no need to plan multi-courses–just a tasty meal with simple, fresh ingredients that can be enjoyed indoors or al fresco.

A variety of ingredients are displayed in colorful bowls
Click on the image to see how these baked eggs come together!

Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress and certified organic Grower Pete’s Living Watercress are versatile ingredients for any springtime recipe. These greens add a peppery bite and a vibrant hue to the classic French Oeufs en Cocotte (a.k.a. baked eggs). Add tomatoes for even more color and flavor. In some states, heirloom varieties are beginning to pop up at local farmer’s markets, but grocery store cherry tomatoes work well too. As for nutrition, this dish packs a punch. Both watercress (a nutrient-dense superfood) and tomatoes are rich in antioxidants and provide ample amounts of vitamin K, a key component for maintaining strong bones.

A martini glass filled with Watercress Elderflower cocktail
Watercress & Elderflower Martini by Robert Merjavy, Chester, UK. Photo: Gazregan.com

Round out your meal and sop up those delectable eggs with slices of fresh French bread. And, remember to raise your glass (a Robert Merjavy’s Elderflower Watercress Martini perhaps?) and toast your special matriarch! After all, she did bring you into this world. Happy Mother’s Day!


 

Baked Eggs with Watercress, Tomatoes and Pancetta (for four)

Ingredients:

8 eggs

4 pats of butter

½ bunch of watercress

1 large heirloom tomato (or a handful of cherry tomatoes)

4 slices of pancetta

4 tsp cream

4 tsp Parmesan

Salt & pepper

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Smear the pats of butter on the inside of four large-size ramekins or small oven-proof shallow bowls.
  3. Sauté the pancetta to crisp over medium heat (approximately 5 minutes). Set aside.
  4. Shred the parmesan.
  5. Chop the watercress into bite-size pieces and slice the tomatoes.
  6. Lay a small handful of watercress at the bottom of the ramekin, creating a cradle for the eggs.
  7. Break two eggs each in each ramekin.
  8. Add 1 tsp of cream to each ramekin.
  9. Lay slices of tomatoes on top of the eggs
  10. Divide the pancetta and parmesan and sprinkle both ingredients on the top of each egg mixture.
  11. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and cook for 10-15 minutes. The whites of the eggs should be set while the yolks should be runny.

 

Commit to Healthier Eating Habits during Stress Awareness Month

Stress RelaxIn an age where over-scheduling and an “I can do it all” mentality are commonplace, Americans are feeling more stressed than ever before. According to a 2013 research report by Carnegie Mellon University, Americans’ stress levels have increased 10-30% over the last three decades. Furthermore, individuals experiencing high stress levels over extended periods of time are at a higher risk for autoimmune disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. Since April is Stress Awareness Month, we’re sharing solutions for better managing fluctuating stress levels.

Salmon with dark greens
Salmon with dark leafy greens

 

One way you can keep stress levels in check is by practicing healthier eating habits. Refined sugars and complex carbohydrates have been found to intensify stress. While fish, like salmon and sardines, eggs, pumpkin seeds and dark leafy greens, including watercress, can assist the body in minimizing inflammation–which can be onset by both emotional and physical stressors. Researcher Joe Hibbeln of the National Institutes of Health in a NPR article about stress and diet says, “You can either be good at weathering stress or you can be brittle. And omega-3s [can help] make your stress system more flexible.”

Despite how insurmountable making dramatic lifestyle changes to combat stress while working, raising a family or running a household may seem, small steps can make a big impact and improve your overall health. Start with a bit of planning.

Watercress, sardine and orange salad.
Watercress, sardine and orange salad

Instead of reaching for convenient, sugary treats and preservative-laden fast food when you’re on the go, prepare and store nutrient dense, omega-3-rich meals in advance and store in tote-able containers. We recommend Whole Living’s Watercress Salad with Sardines, Oranges and Pepitas and Bon Appetit’s Pan-Seared Sausage with Lady Apples and Watercress, brimming with foods that contribute to a healthy immune system. Bonus: Olive oil-packed fish like sardines are affordable alternatives to their more expensive wild-caught cousins while offering similar health benefits.

Lastly, don’t forget to add Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress and Grower Pete’s Organic Living Watercress; they’re rich in phytonutrients, antioxidants and key vitamins and minerals!

For more stress-management tips, read “Healthy Eating to Decrease Stress” on WebMD.

 

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

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!

 

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Cooking channel TV.com 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
Salt
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
Salt
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
Salt
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
Feastie.com Peach-Cherry salad

Ingredients:
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.

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

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

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

Spicy BLT Green Bloody Mary

Spicy-Green-BLT-Bloody-Marys
Photo courtesy of Heather Cristo

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 cups of tomatillos

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

2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar

½ cup of English Cucumber cut into chunks

Juice of 2 limes

2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 jalapeno cut into quarters

2 teaspoons of horseradish

8 ounces of vodka (or amount upon preference)

Ice

A pinch of Kosher Salt (or more upon preference)

 

Garnishes

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

4 strips of bacon cooked crispy

Cherry tomatoes

Lemon Wedges

Directions

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

 

Smoked Salmon Mousse in Lettuce Cups

 Butter Lettuce Recipe

Ingredients

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

6 oz. sour cream

4 ounces smoked salmon (1 store bought package)

Juice of 2 lemons

1 teaspoon of Horseradish (optional)

Several sprigs of fresh dill, or dry dill

Salt and pepper, to taste

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

Drained capers, amount upon preference

Directions

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

 

Spice Up Your Holiday with this Festive Watercress Casserole

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

 casserole plated

Watercress Casserole Ingredients:

 

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

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

1 large, chopped yellow onion (4 cups)

4 large garlic cloves

5 tablespoons of butter

¼ cup of flour

1 cup of heavy cream

2 cups of milk

1/8 teaspoon of grated nutmeg

1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup of grated Gruyere cheese

1 tablespoon of kosher salt

1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions:

 

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

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

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

 

Holiday Party Watercress Cocktail

Picture from Hemispheres Magazine of recipe creator: Austin Carson
Picture from Hemispheres Magazine of recipe creator: Austin Carson

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

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

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

Ingredients

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

3/8 oz. of simple syrup

2 oz. of dry gin

1 splash of ginger beer (of choice)

¾ oz. of fresh squeezed lime juice

Ice

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

Directions 

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

Cashew Chicken Butter Lettuce Wraps

Time to get a little nutty. In honor of National Nut Day, here’s a new wholesome and scrumptious gluten-free, Cashew Chicken Butter Lettuce Wrap recipe from shescookin.com. This quick and warm meal is perfect for the autumn weather, and the best part about it is, it’s also ideal for leftovers.

Photo by Priscilla Willis from shescookin.com
Photo by Priscilla Willis from shescookin.com

Ingredients

(Servings: 3)

2 Large chicken breasts

2 green onions

4 beet greens or  Swiss chard leaves and stems

½ cup of low-sodium chicken broth

½ cup of peanut butter

1 teaspoon of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of sunflower oil or peanut oil

¼ cup of cashews

2 tablespoons of coconut aminos

1 tablespoon of sesame seeds

10 Live Gourmet or Grower Pete’s Organic Living Butter Lettuce leaves

Directions

  1. Chop vegetables and chicken breasts into half inch pieces.
  2. Heat sesame and sunflower oils over medium heat. Add chopped veggies and cook for 2 -3 minutes, until wilted. Remove greens from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Stir fry chicken pieces in hot oils for about 8 minutes or until they’re no longer pink. Remove and add the chicken pieces to the cooked greens.
  4. Add peanut butter and coconut aminos to the hot oils and stir together until thickened. Next, add in chicken broth and continue stirring until well mixed. Fold in the cashews, sesame seeds, and chicken and greens mixture. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  5. Remove the butter lettuce leaves from the head. Rinse and pat dry.
  6. Go “nutty’ and create your own wrap!

 

Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups Recipe

Want to add a little spice to your day? Try out these fiery Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups, and celebrate Hot and Spicy Food Day on August 19th! Although they bring heat, the mild, refreshing butter lettuce balances them out, creating an ideal, light and tasty dinner alternative.

Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups Recipe

What you will need;                                                                                            live-gourmet-asian-turkey-wraps

2-3 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger

3 cloves of minced garlic

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (add less or more upon preference)

3 green onions, chopped

1 pound of ground turkey (or Chicken)

¼ cup of soy sauce

¼ cup of rice wine vinegar

Roasted peanuts (optional)

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

Hoisin Sauce (upon preference)

 

How to Cook

First, cook the ginger and garlic on low heat in the sesame and olive oils for one to two minutes. Next, add in the red pepper flakes (if using), and the chopped green onions, and cook for another minute. Next, add the ground turkey or chicken and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Finally, pour in the soy sauce and vinegar and mix everything together.

 

Prepare the Wraps

Remove the amount of lettuce leaves you want to serve. Wash and dry the leaves. Put the cooked turkey or chicken into each lettuce cup.  Sprinkle the meat with the roasted peanuts (if desired), and drizzle the cups with warmed Hoisin Sauce. Voila! A refreshing yet piquant summer dish!