Take A Cue on Father’s Day from Pete’s Living Greens’ Pete Overgaag

 

Scrambling on how to celebrate your pops this Father’s Day? You’re in luck. Our very own Pete Overgaag shares his favorite recipes. 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 Pete’s Living Greens Butter Lettuce or Watercress. Both are rich in vitamins and nutrients. In fact, our Upland Cress and 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 

  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 Butter Lettuce balances the heat, resulting in an ideal summery dish. For the recipe click here.

Live Gourmet to the Rescue with Healthy Post-Holiday Meal Ideas

 

The holiday season is often a whirlwind with gift wrapping, cocktail parties and spreading good cheer in the community. If you’re hosting dinner over the holidays, you most likely won’t have a chance to relax until after Christmas Day.  To help you recharge, we’ve compiled a few simple post-holidays meals.

Holiday Leftovers InstagramAfter noshing on copious amounts of egg nog and cookies, you may be in search of something green. Look no further than this walnut gorgonzola butter lettuce salad —compliments of our very own Sam Overgaag. The toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, living butter lettuce, upland cress and gorgonzola cheese make a flavorful combination while our greens provide ample amounts of vitamins A and C and calcium. Add a hard-boiled egg for a boost of protein.

To make use of your leftover bird, add white meat to these Asian-inspired lettuce cups. Just substitute the ground turkey for shredded. The finger food also makes a great hors d’oeuvre for a New Year’s party!

Did you prepare pork tenderloin, chicken breast or even fish for a gathering and have extra? Use this Eating Well recipe, made originally with grilled filet mignon, as a source of inspiration to try something new with your leftover entrée. The delicious herb butter is versatile and is great on just about any kind of protein and even on veggies.

With a bit of ingenuity and remaining dishes from your holiday feast, you can whip up a healthy, satisfying meal without missing out on quality time with your loved ones. 

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.

 

Hollandia Produce, L.P. Celebrates Earth Day Year-Round

 

Here at Hollandia Produce, L.P., we believe that Earth Day is more than a day-long observation or celebration but a conscious commitment practiced year-round. This is especially true now that water conservation has become a critical priority for all of us living and working in California.

Earlier this month, Governor Jerry Brown announced that the State Water Resources Control Board must immediately cut consumption by 25%. Cities across the Golden State are coming up with a multitude of ways in which their citizens can save water. One way is by using “smart meters,” which track home and business water use every five minutes and send usage reports in real time. According to National Public Radio (NPR), this effort has helped some homeowners’ in Long Beach cut usage by 80%.

we use a continuous-flow-hydroponic system known as nutrient film technique (NFT), where a very shallow stream of water containing all the dissolved nutrients required for plant growth is recirculated. This hydroponic growing technique recycles water while also limiting water loss due to evaporation.

As the water scarcity in California continues, the adoption of water-conservation methods is increasingly important. That’s why we use a continuous-flow-hydroponic system known as nutrient film technique (NFT), where a very shallow stream of water containing all the dissolved nutrients required for plant growth is recirculated. This hydroponic growing technique recycles water while also limiting water loss due to evaporation.  Moreover, our method produces nearly four times the yield per acre while using up to 84% less water than  if our lettuce were field-grown (exact figures depend upon the region, soil structure, time of year and irrigation method used).

Paper RECYCLE signIn addition to being water conscious, Hollandia Produce, L.P. also practices sustainability by using 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. (PET is a safe, recyclable material that does not contain Biosphenol A. (BPA)). We also reduced the amount of plastic needed to manufacture these clamshells by 15% in recent years.

A seed starter made with plastic clamshell
Photo: mylittlehomestead.com

If you and your family are looking for a creative way to celebrate Earth Day, you can repurpose the plastic clamshell that houses our Live Gourmet® Living Butter Lettuce or Living 3-n-1 Lettuce as a seed starter. All you need is a bit of soil and a seed packet of your choice. Simply line the vessel with soil and follow directions on the seed packaging. The containers also make great organizers for office supplies, your children’s crayons, and as a holder for your hair accessories.

greenhouse with logoInnovative and creative sustainability practices are an integral part of our business ethos. We are dedicated to practicing conservation methods and learning new techniques so that generations to come can enjoy Hollandia Produce, L.P. products.

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!

Celebrating Revolutionary Women in Food

 

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 (http://www.chezpanisse.com/)

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.

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

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: foodnavigator-usa.com]

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.

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

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.

FNV, PREPARE TO BE MARKETED TO from Team FNV on Vimeo.

https://vimeo.com/120688660

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

 

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
Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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.