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.

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!

 

Spicy Tofu Butter Lettuce Wraps for Vegan Month

Nowadays, people become vegan for many reasons. It may be as a stance against animal cruelty, to reduce their carbon footprint, or simply as a healthy lifestyle choice. While we don’t purport to be anti-meat or dairy, as you may have gathered from our previous recipe posts, we do agree that a diet filled with fruits and vegetables is extremely beneficial.

In fact, a plant-based diet is rich in vitamins and minerals, and tends to be high-fiber and low-fat. According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarians and vegans are generally at a lower risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and several forms of cancer. Yet, to prevent any kind of chronic disease, vegetarians and vegans, as well as meat-eaters, need to consume a well-balanced diet to stay healthy.

That’s why we’re honoring National Vegan Month with this vegan recipe from Tablespoon.com that, we believe, will please any palate.

Spicy Tofu Butter Lettuce Wrap Ingredients 

Photo by Girl Versus Dough from tablespoon.com
Photo by Girl Versus Dough from tablespoon.com

4 Tsp vegetable oil

3 Tbsp. Soy sauce

1 block (12 oz.) of extra-firm tofu, patted dry and cut into 1-inch squares

2 Tsp minced garlic

2 c. Cole slaw mix

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 or 2 inch stripes

1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger

½ Tsp red pepper flakes (can be modified to reduce or increase heat)

2 Tbsp. plum sauce

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

½ Tsp. Sriracha hot sauce (can be modified to reduce or increase heat)

2 thinly sliced green onions

2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

Directions

Heat two teaspoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add in tofu and cook for 10 minutes or until evenly browned on both sides. Next, add in one tablespoon of soy sauce and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently. Remove tofu and set aside.

Next, heat remaining vegetable oil over medium heat. Add in bell peppers, Cole slaw, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes and Sriracha sauce, upon preference. Cook for 5 – 10 minutes or until the bell peppers are slightly soft, stirring occasionally. After, add in the remaining soy sauce and heat for 3 more minutes. Fold in plum sauce and tofu and gently mix together.

Finally, remove butter lettuce leaves, rinse and pat dry. Spoon the tofu mixture into the individual leaves, and sprinkle with green onions and cilantro. Next, enjoy the healthy goodness!

Green Smoothie with Upland Cress

Oh the joys of smoothies. They are easy to make and super nutritious. This green smoothie recipe was inspired by Carrie on Vegan.  Her green smoothie had watercress which we substituted with upland cress.  The flavor of upland cress is close to watercress with a mild flavor with a delicate sharpness.  The flavor of upland cress in the smoothie adds a refreshing kick and distinction and you can’t beat additional Vitamin A and C!  This smoothie also contains flax meal and chia seeds for added fiber.

So what are you waiting for?! Get those ingredients ready and blend it up!

Green Smoothie with Upland Cress
*makes two servings

  • 2 cups unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1/2 to 1 bunch of Living Upland Cress, washed
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen blackberries (you can substitute blueberries if you prefer)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon flax meal
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon carob powder
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple

Simply blend the ingredients and enjoy!

 

Best Lettuce Recipe: Vegan Tempeh Tacos

Tempeh Tacos Photo
Tempeh Tacos Photo taken by Katherine L. Garcia

Today’s recipe is a hot seller in our home and was created by our wonderful friend, Melissa Costello, who is a vegan chef in the Santa Barbara community. These tempeh tacos are loaded with protein and taste incredible. For those who are new to tempeh, it is a mixture of barley, soybeans, and other grains which are fermented and made into a veggie patty. They are high in fiber and are a great substitute for meat.

This original recipe calls for tortillas, but instead we will be serving our tempeh using Living Butter Lettuce to make it a fresh, summer meal for you. Feel free to top it off with avocados, salsa, or our favorite, hot sauce!

Here’s what you’ll need to make this popular dish:

  • Korean Style Tempeh Tacos with Dijon Slaw
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil
  • 1 8-ounce package tempeh, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or raw dark blue agave nectar
  • 4 to 6 pieces of Living Butter Lettuce
  • Coleslaw
  • ½ small head red cabbage, finely shredded
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • Dijon Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

For the complete instructions, click here: http://tinyurl.com/m3spva9