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.

 

Juicing with Grace McGuire, A Vegan Super Mom and Health Blogger

 

Grace McGuire is a passionate mother of two based in Allen, TX. A vegan since she was 22-years-old, McGuire often shares her nutrient-dense juices on Instagram and will share her foodie wisdom on her soon-to-be blog Nourish with Whole Foods.

We recently had the pleasure to speak with McGuire on her secret to leading a healthy lifestyle while raising a family. This is an excerpt from our conversation.

Grace4Pete’s Living Greens: How did you initially become interested in healthy eating and Veganism?

Grace McGuire: I have been a vegan since I was 22-years-old. I was having a lot of stomach issues and the doctor suggested I go on a rabbit diet (leafy greens and vegetables) for a few weeks to regulate my stomach cramping and give my digestive system a little break from all the meat and processed fast foods I was consuming.

In the meantime, my oldest sister was in need of a kidney transplant and needed her siblings to get tested to see if we were a match. I started doing more research into how I could help get my body ready for the journey ahead and for all of the testing. I came across Veganism and how amazing it was at healing the body of inflammation and toxicity. I became a vegan shortly after. Although no one in our family was a match, by God’s grace, my sister was able to get a kidney from a family who donated their son’s kidney. We are so grateful to them and their enormous generosity to give life after losing their son.

grace1PLG: How do you maintain healthy lifestyle while juggling work, your kids and personal life?

GM: I have two little boys and one of the many things I want to teach them is to live a healthy lifestyle. I always prep and plan ahead. For example, I soak oats, quinoa flakes with nut milk and chia seeds for breakfast. I also always have quinoa and legumes on hand for protein. I keep my pantry and fridge stocked with seasonal organic fruits and vegetables. I also use a lot of dry herbs as well as fresh herbs to give my plant based cooking some flavor and added nutrients.

PLG: What advice do you have for mothers who are looking to make changes in their family’s eating habits but don’t have a lot of time to prepare meals?

GM: I know a lot of moms who don’t have a lot of time. With the little time they do have, they don’t want to spend it in the kitchen. My advice is to plan ahead and keep it simple. My mom is an excellent example. She doesn’t have time on the weekdays to cook with her job. I advised her to make quinoa and add frozen peas, corn, lemon juice, olive oil, kale, spinach and watercress for a simple and nutritious meal on-the-go. It doesn’t need to be heated and she can put it in a jar and have it in her purse whenever she gets hungry.

Grace 2PLG: Any advice on how to get kids to eat their vegetables?

GM: If you have a desire to eat avocados so will your little one! Kids tend to mimic everything we do, including what we put in our bodies. They might not be hungry, but if they
see you eating an apple, [chances are] they then will want a bite. Teaching our kids healthy food habits at a young age prepares them for food choices they make in their future.


 

Grace3Grace’s Anti-Inflammatory Juice with Pete’s Living Greens Watercress:

Ingredients:

1 Pineapple

1 cabbage

2-3 handfuls of spinach

1 bunch of Pete’s Living Greens  Organic Watercress or Conventional Upland Cress

1 lime (peeled)

2 celery stalks

Add all the ingredients to your juicer according to the manufacturer’s setting and enjoy over ice.

Did you know?: Drink Grace’s signature juice before hitting the gym. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition reports that eating a small amount of watercress each day raised levels of key antioxidants that fend of DNA damage caused by exercise.

 

Greens Abound in Easter and Passover Meals

 

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
Photo: foodnetwork.com

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 TV.com 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

Spring Renewal: Greens Meet Grains

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 Harvard.edu 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.

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

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.
Photo: carrieonliving.com

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?
Photo: foodnetwork.com

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 Atlantic.com 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
Photo: foodnetwork.com

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 about.com 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!

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.

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!

Sautéed Watercress with Cranberries, Pine Nuts and Raisins for Thanksgiving

live-gourmet-thanksgiving-watercress-recipe

Thanksgiving week is finally here! To show our thanks, we wanted to share a recipe that
not only complements the seasonal flavors of this classic holiday meal, but also is packed with flavor and nutrition. Best of all, this scrumptious superfood recipe is quick and easy to prepare.

Ingredients

(Serves 4)

3 bags of Grower Pete’s Organic Living Watercress or Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress

¼ cup of golden raisins

¼ cup of dried, sweetened cranberries  live-gourmet-thanksgiving-watercress-recipe

2 large cloves of garlic

1 and ½ tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup of pine nuts

Salt and pepper

Directions

Soak the cranberries and raisins in a small bowl filled with hot water, and set aside while you prepare the rest of the meal. Tear off the roots of the watercress or upland cress, rinse the greens thoroughly, dry and set aside.  live-gourmet-living-upland-cress

Next, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Finely chop up the garlic cloves and sauté in the hot olive oil until golden brown. Then add in the pine nuts for a minute or two stirring constantly. Strain your raisins and cranberries and then add them to the skillet. Fold in cress and cook until the greens are wilted. Season this dish to taste with salt and pepper spice, and serve! That’s all it takes to make the perfect, nutritional holiday side!