Live Gourmet Chef Spotlight: Jill Silverman Hough

Chef Jill Silverman Hough is a food writer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor whose specialty is making food and cooking simple, special, and satisfying. 

“A recipe doesn’t have to be complicated to be indulgent,” she says. “Sprinkle a roast chicken with lavender, substitute dried cherries for raisins in a batch of oatmeal cookies, serve grilled salmon on a bed of arugula—all these things take almost no effort, yet they’ll make your otherwise ordinary dishes taste and feel like fancy food.”  With a fresh, friendly, and encouraging voice and recipes that quickly and easily deliver casual elegance, Chef Hough makes creativity in the kitchen and delight at the table totally accessible to home chefs.

Her work has appeared in Bon Appétit, Cooking Light, Fine Cooking, Country Home, Clean Eating, and Napa Sonoma magazines. Her recent cookbook, “100 Perfect Pairings: Main Dishes to Enjoy with Wines You Love” was published in April 2011.  Chef Hough also loves cooking with Live Gourmet lettuce and leafy greens, please enjoy her delicious recipe for Mini Butter Lettuce Taco Salads below.

Mini Butter Lettuce Taco Salads Recipe

    •    2 6- to-7-inch yellow corn tortillas
    •    1/2 cup canola or other flavorless oil
    •    Salt
    •    1 head Live Gourmet Living Butter Lettuce
    •    1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
    •    8 ounces cooked chicken, shredded or cut into 1/2-inch dice
    •    1 cup salsa
    •    3 ounces queso fresco, crumbled (see note)
    •    2 scallions, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced

Instructions: Cut tortillas into 1/4-by-1 1/2-inch strips. In a 10-inch skillet over high heat, heat oil until a tortilla strip added to the skillet immediately sizzles. Add remaining strips and cook 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or until golden and crisp (use a slotted spoon to turn occasionally). Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and generously sprinkle with salt. Set aside to cool.

Remove 4 large outer leaves from Live Gourmet Butter Lettuce and arrange on plates to resemble taco “shells.” Shred remaining lettuce, dividing it among plates. Top lettuce with beans, chicken, salsa, queso fresco, scallions, and tortilla strips, dividing ingredients evenly. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 as an appetizer.

Note: These first-course salads are topped with homemade tortilla strips. If you’re short on time, substitute crumbled chips. Queso fresco is a fresh, mild Mexican cheese. If you can’t find it at your supermarket, try a Latin market or substitute shredded Jack.

You can follow Chef Hough on Twitter: @JillSHough or get Facebook updates on her page: “100 Perfect Pairings” cookbook.

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A Healthy Appetite: Burger Recipe

At Live Gourmet we love our leafy greens but we also like a great burger too!  A burger is a tasty way to get your daily veggie intake with added lean protein.  This week we’re featuring a recipe that’s perfect for Summer!

California Grillin’
Burger Recipe
    • Fresh Hamburger Buns – Cibatta, Sourdough, Sprouted Wheat.  We recommend hitting your local bakery or grocery store.
    • Freshly Ground Sirloin, Turkey, Veggie, or Soy Burger Patties.
    • Fresh tomato – We suggest trying an organic brand for maximum flavor.
    • Live Gourmet Butter Lettuce or Red Butter Lettuce.  Our Living Butter Lettuce makes a colorful addition to your burger or sandwich.  It’s packed full of calcium and Vitamins A & C. 
    • Grilled onions.

    • Cheese of Choice: Tofutti Soy Cheese, Tillamook Cheddar and Wisconsin.
    • Secret sauce – Vegenaise + Balsamic Vinegar mixed together well then smeared on both buns.

      The final steps are easy: 
      #1. Grill your Burger Patty #2. Assemble veggies, cheese, secret sauce #3. Take a Bite!

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      A Raw Deal: Living Greens

      At Live Gourmet we like to keep up with the latest recipes and health food trends.  We specialize in growing living leafy greens and have found ways to explore the recent buzz over the term “raw food”.  This week we give you the raw deal on having a plant based diet with plenty of options for you!
      Cooking? It’s so last season
      This diet is all the rage in Hollywood but what is it exactly?  Raw Foodism or Rawism is the practice of eating foods that are uncooked, unprocessed, seasonal, organic, local and fresh!

       Got Leafy Greens? 

      Leafy Greens are the most ideal vegetable that people can eat.  They are low in calories and packed with vitamins and minerals.  Below is a list to help you get started on your raw foods diet.

      • Butter Lettuce – This variety of loose leaf head lettuce has a delicate mild to sweet flavor with a firm crisp texture.
      • Cos or Romaine – It has a long, oval head of tightly packed crisp leaves.
      • Iceberg – A pale, round, tightly packed lettuce which has crisp leaves with a refreshing flavor. 
      • 3 In 1 Lettuce – A mixed salad of Lollo Rossa, Lollo Bionda, and Red Oak Leaf grown together.

      Live Gourmet is locally grown, pesticide free and still alive – making it a perfect choice of produce for your raw food plan.  We sell all of our products with the roots attached so you and your family are buying the freshest lettuce and leafy greens available!

      Our living produce can be found at your local produce store
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      A Lunch Recipe that Stays Fresh! Chickpea Salad


      At Live Gourmet, customer feedback means everything to us.  We love sharing recipes to help you and your family eat fresh and live healthy.  It’s easy to get stuck with making the same sandwich or salad for your mid-day meal.  This recipe is in response to the busy activity filled schedules many parents and children have.  Our Living Butter Lettuce can actually help your lunch stay fresher longer because the roots are still attached – our protective packaging ensures this freshness.  This week, learn how to break free from your lunch rut with a noontime salad that is healthy and stays fresh.  We dare you not to get wrapped up in this recipe!


      Chickpea Salad in Butter Lettuce Wraps
      (makes 6-8 wraps; salad keeps fresh 2-3 days)


      •1 cup of canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
      •1 ripe avocado, roughly chopped
      •1 large tomato, chopped
      •3/4 tsp. ground cumin
      •1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
      •1/4 cup chopped cilantro
      •1 tbsp. chopped chives
      •1/2 tsp. salt
       •2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
      •1/2 lemon, juiced
      •6-8 lettuce leaves (Butter Lettuce or Red Butter Lettuce)
      In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and incorporate well.  Pack butter lettuce separately; when ready to eat, spoon mixture onto the leaves.



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      The Tip of the Iceberg: Lettuce Nutrition Facts

      At Live Gourmet we have a saying when it comes to adding our fresh lettuce to your meals, “It’s better with butter – butter lettuce that is.”  Salad Bar favorites such as Iceberg Lettuce or Romaine Lettuce contain less vitamins and nutrients in comparison to these leafy greens.  Did you know that Butter Lettuce is rich in calcium and a good source of iron, vitamins A and C? 

      Some bunny loves lettuce!

      When you buy our Living Butter Lettuce you’ll notice that the roots are still attached – this is because it’s a living plant.  We use hydroponic growing methods which help reduce contamination and dirt, bringing you cleaner and fresher produce.  In addition to Butter Lettuce we grow Upland Cress, Red Butter Lettuce and Arugula.

      This week we’ll examine each of these types of greens to get the nutrition facts straight.  Read these tips before you reach for the Iceberg!

      Butter Lettuce
      Flavor: Delicate, buttery, sweet
      Texture: Firm, crisp
      Nutrients: A single serving of Butter Lettuce contains 29 milligrams of calcium, about 4% of the daily recommended requirement.
      Vitamins: Butter Lettuce contains vitamin A and vitamin C.  A daily dose of your recommended intake.
      Calories: A single serving of Butter Lettuce is 15 calories total.  But don’t worry because this butter is fat-free!
      Fresh Tip: Use Butter Lettuce leaves as wraps and fill with chickpeas, tomato and avocado for a combination that’s protein rich.  
      Red Butter Lettuce
      Flavor: Sweet, buttery
      Texture: Tender, soft
      Nutrients: Rich in calcium and iron.
      Vitamins: High in vitamins A and C.
      Calories: It’s like butter – melt in your mouth flavor without all the worry over calories.  Only 5 calories from fat in one serving size of Red Butter Lettuce.

      Fresh Tip: Serve with a side of fruit and add goat cheese, cottage cheese or ricotta for extra calcium. 
      Upland Cress
      Flavor: A member of the mustard family, sharp, spicy
      Nutrients: High in phyto-nutrients 
      Vitamins: Contains the antioxidants, vitamin C and A.  Upland Cress has 3 times the amount of vitamin C as oranges, and twice the amount of vitamin A as broccoli.
      Calories: 15 per serving – zero fat!

      Fresh Tip: Add a little zing to your soup or salad and complement your vegetable dish with a hand full of Upland Cress.


      Flavor: nutty, mildly sweet, peppery

      Nutrients: Arugula has many vital phyto-nutrients, and antioxidants that can immensely benefit health. It contains the minerals copper and iron.  It’s also a great source for folic acid.

      Vitamins:  Contains vitamin K – great for bones, vitamin A – great for skin and vitamin C – fights infection.

      Calories: A serving of fresh leaves totals around 10 calories.

      Fresh Tip: Add smaller leaves to your burger or sandwich.  Cook leaves in a soup, sauce or stew.

      The next time you are tossing together a lunchtime salad or wrapping up a dinner you’ll be able to answer why your leafy greens are better! 

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      Eat Your Colors! A Vegetable Snack

      At Live Gourmet vegetables matter to us. We find different ways to help you have fun with getting your daily vegetable intake. This week we ask if you’ve heard the expression, “Eat your colors”?

      Eating your colors means to vary your vegetables by including more produce that is high in phyto-nutrients, a substance found in plants that are beneficial to people. These nutrients are especially prevalent in brightly colored fruits and leafy vegetables.

      Fresh Eating Tip: Vary your veggies with a container full of primary colors – RED, YELLOW, GREEN! Combine butter lettuce leaves, sliced cucumber, yellow tomatoes and red bell peppers for a dressing-less salad that doesn’t make a mess – makes great finger food for adults and kids alike!
      This fresh snack is perfect for traveling in your car and sharing with your little ones. Kids have fun making mini veggie wraps with the smaller leaves. A grab and go snack of sliced vegetables and butter lettuce leaves is both delicious and nutritious. 

      Fresh Fact: Did you know that Living Butter Lettuce has a delicate mild to sweet flavor with a firm crisp texture? Butter lettuce is truly easy to use with little to no preparation, simply tear the leaves off as needed. Smaller leaves found at the base of the lettuce were used in this snack and have an even sweeter taste that your kids will love!

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      Dressing Up Your Salad Greens

      At Live Gourmet we get asked a LOT about great salad dressing sites.  Since our specialty is growing hydroponic greens but we built our business on customer service, we decided to virtually “grow” some of our favorite recipe resources for healthy salads and salad dressings that you and your family will enjoy!

      Bragg Live Foods
      We’re not one to brag – but this site provides many organic salad dressing options including their new dressing & marinade called Braggberry!  It’s made from a blend of mixed berries and fat-free ingredients.  Pair with our Living Upland Cress for an antioxidant packed meal.

      Brianna’s Fine Salad Dressings
      Find your salad recipe nirvana with Brianna’s.  The recipe page is organized by the flavor of each dressing.  Take a look at the “Super Salad” recipe section for a variety of ways to fix your greens.


      Kraft Foods – Recipes and Tips 
      Recipes for budget conscious and health conscious parents.  There’s even a fun recipe for Turkey Lettuce Wraps that uses Butter Lettuce and takes only 15 minutes to prepare!

      Newman’s Own
      The site feature’s Paul Newman’s “Eat Right, Eat Light” recipe section for salad recipes.  There is a great recipe that pairs Arugula and Newman’s Own® Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing called “Baby Arugula, Pear and Prosciutto Salad” – Yum!

      Julio Petrini’s Italian Salad Dressing of Santa Barbara
      Whether it’s Original Italian, Classic Italian or Italian Ranch this site shares the best of Italian flavored dressings.  You’ll be inspired you to make salads that will have your entire family exclaiming, “Mamma Mia!”

      If you have great salad dressing recipes or butter lettuce recipes to share, Email us at

      Getting Fresh with a Salmon Fillet and Butter Lettuce Recipe

      Salmon Enchanted Evening
      At Live Gourmet we pride ourselves on growing the freshest Living Butter Lettuce.  The best part about growing butter lettuce is hearing from our happy customers.  Lisa Harris of Thousand Oaks, California was making a Sunday dinner with her husband and wanted to show us just how easy it is to make her recipe.
      Best Butter Lettuce Recipe – Salmon Fillet with Veggies and Butter Lettuce Salad (from customer, Lisa Harris of Thousand Oaks, California)
      While my husband was off grilling the salmon, I started the plate with chopped Live Gourmet Butter Lettuce and thinly sliced cucumbers.
      Butter Lettuce Salad with cucumbers
      Then I added sliced Heirloom tomatoes – progress!
      Butter Lettuce, cucumbers and Heirloom tomatoes
      I sauteed up shitake mushrooms in red wine and butter in one pan and zucchini squash with red bell pepper in another pan with white wine and butter.
      Butter Lettuce Salad with Salmon and sauteed Vegetables
      When the salmon was grilled (thanks hubby!) I poured the mushrooms and wine on the salmon and added the veggies to the plate and dressed the salad with Girard’s Salad Dressing in Champagne!
      Girard’s Champagne Salad Dressing helps dress-up this dish
      It was a perfect end to a lovely weekend.  The butter lettuce salad added great freshness!
      Voila! Dinner for Two
      You butter share your lettuce recipes with us too!  
      If you have good eats to share, send us your favorite recipes at 
      We would love to feature you on our Lettuce Be Fresh Blog!

      Hollandia Produce gets an “A+” from Primus on their Global Food Safety Audit

      Growing delicious Live Gourmet lettuces and leafy greens is what we are known for at Hollandia Produce, LLC and we accomplish this by focusing on food safety first.  We are so proud to share that this month, we became the first North American greenhouse producer of hydroponic leafy greens to earn the Primus Global Food Safety Audit certification.

      Here is the A+ report card from Primus Global Food Safety Audit certification:
      –       HACCP score of 100% (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points)
      –       Overall superior audit score of 99.21%

      We are very pleased to receive recognition for the food safety policies and procedures that we execute daily to promote fresh safe and wholesome lettuces and leafy greens. The certification was granted March 24th and no other suppliers on the Primus GFS list have hydroponically grown leafy greens.

      Pete Overgaag, Hollandia Produce, LLC’s CEO said: “The organizational investments in food safety training and reinforcement and the accompanying policy and procedure protocols we employ are the foundation of our company’s culture of food safety.”

      “Lettuce” keep our kitchens fresh and enjoy your butter lettuce even more knowing we are the first North American hydroponic leafy greens producer to earn the Primus Global Food Safety Audit certification!

      You’d Butter Believe It – Fresh Recipes with Butter Lettuce


      Put a little “Green” in your step this Spring with quick and easy recipes from Live Gourmet.  The change of the season has us enjoying longer days and our bodies craving fresher food.  Add crisp, absolutely fresh tasting butter lettuce to your diet which can be served in a salad or a wrap.  Each of these recipes include Living Butter Lettuce for your entire family to enjoy!

      Easter Bunny Salad
      (6 Servings)

      Hop into the kitchen for this delicious recipe that will have your children cheering for more.  This nutritious salad keeps them healthy with a rich source of calcium found in both the cottage cheese and butter lettuce.

      • 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

      Spring Asparagus Salad
      (4 Servings)


      Butter Lettuce has a delicate mild to sweet flavor with a firm crisp texture.  Here’s a salad that combines fresh spring asparagus and butter lettuce for a light but elegant luncheon.

      • 1 bunch asparagus (about 1lb.)
      • 2 heads Living Butter Lettuce
      • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
      • 5 tsp. lemon juice
      • 1/4 tsp. of lemon zest
      • 1/2 tsp. each of honey
      • 1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper
      • 1/8 tsp. dry mustard
      • 1/4 lb. perline mozzarella cheese
      • 2 tbsp. pine nuts

      Trim asparagus spears on the diagonal into 1/8-in. slices, leaving tips about 1 inch long.  Tear butter lettuce into bite-size pieces.  Set aside.  In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, honey, salt, pepper and mustard until creamy looking.  In a large bowl, toss butter lettuce with 3 tbsp. dressing.  Divide butter lettuce among salad plates.  Toss asparagus spears with remaining salad dressing and spoon over lettuces.  Sprinkle with perline mozzarella and pine nuts.

      Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps
      (4 Servings)

      Your family and friends will be impressed after feasting on these vegan and vegetarian friendly lettuce wraps.

      • 1 (16-ounce) package water-packed, firm tofu, drained
      • 1/2 cup lime juice
      • 1/2 cup honey
      • 1/4 cup thinly sliced lemongrass
      • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
      • 3/4 tsp. chile paste with garlic
      • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
      • 3 minced garlic cloves
      • 1 head of Living Red Butter Lettuce
      • 1/2 cup of cilantro leaves
      • 3 tbsp. chopped peanuts
      • Handful of mint leaves
      • 4 carrots cut julienne style
      • Handful of basil leaves

      Cut tofu into 12 (1/2-inch) slices.  Arrange tofu in a single layer in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.  Combine juice and next 6 ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil.  Cook 1 minute, stirring until honey dissolves.  Pour over tofu.  Cover and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.  Heat wok or heavy fry pan with cooking spray.  Brown tofu 3 minutes on each side.  Remove 12 large outer leaves from Red Butter Lettuce head.  Place tofu slice on each lettuce leaf.  Top each leaf with 2 tsp. cilantro, 3/4 teaspoon peanuts, 3 mint leaves, 3 carrot strips, and 1 basil leaf.  Wrap leaf around toppings.  Serve with marinade.  (3 lettuce wraps & 1/4 cup sauce)

      That’s a wrap!