Category Archives: Food

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

Can Fats be Healthy? Yes!

Times Have Changed!

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

It wasn’t that long ago that fat was a dirty word. I recall attending a gym class where the teacher advised choosing all-sugar treats (such as Starburst or Skittles) over treats with any fat at all.  Many were excited to see no-fat products on the market — cookies and cakes made without fat. It was easy to get caught up in the no-fat craze.

But just a few days of unnaturally cutting fats completely out of your diet leaves you feeling hungry, tired, and grumpy and, frankly, unhealthy.  The fats in those products were generally replaced with a real dietary villain — sugar — as well as other refined carbohydrates. So you ended up with the spikes and dips in energy that come with a high sugar diet. Not a happy place to be.

And it’s true, there are unhealthy fats — Transfats (fats that have been hydrogenated) can increase the risk of several chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, among others.) We want to avoid those, such as refined fats and oils (think margarine and corn oil).

There are also very serious possible effects of eating no fat. This article from Dr. Axe mentions poor brain function, compromised heart health, hormone imbalances (including fertility issues), overeating and weight gain, among other problems. I knew a young woman who desperately wanted to get pregnant, but had stopped menstruating when she turned to a practically no-fat diet in order to control her weight. Yes, things went this extreme.

Fortunately, the pendulum has swung away from that craziness, and we are in a much healthier place as it relates to dietary fat. In 2015 the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee sent recommendations to the Government that advised against restricting dietary fat, and had no upper limit on total fat intake.

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

And that’s good news, because including healthy fats in your diet will help reduce hunger and cravings, help you feel satiated (satisfied), as well as help with energy and brain function. The supplements that you take will be better absorbed, as well as the nutrients in the food that you eat — all fat-soluble vitamin as well as calcium. Your liver will be protected from damage. Your “good” cholesterol will go up and your “bad” cholesterol will go down. You will even burn fat more efficiently! These reason and more are why the ketogenic diet has become so popular lately.

But we all have to careful about which fats to choose. The fats from raw dairy products, coconut oil, grass-fed beef, nuts, avocados, and much more are beneficial to our health. Here are some healthy fats to choose.

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Butter (especially raw, but from grass-fed cows as well), Ghee (clarified butter), and Coconut Oil. The Danes have been right all along. Butter and Ghee contain healthy Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential, and our bodies don’t produce them; we have to get them from our diets. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, high in antioxidants, is great for brain and cognitive function, and even lowering blood pressure. Make sure you choose Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, since processing can eliminate many of the healthy benefits.

Avocados, Full-fat Dairy, and Eggs. One of my favorite lunch go-tos is a half of an avocado, chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, topped with a squeeze of lime and Mexican spices. If I’m extra hungry I’ll add some full-fat cottage cheese. If you prefer, add a hard-boiled free-range organic egg for even more protein! This lunch will keep me satisfied for the whole afternoon. An avocado has the advantage of being high in protein, as well as vitamin E, folate, and of course healthy monosaturated fat.

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

Nuts, Seeds, and Dark Chocolate. A handful of nuts is full of super nutrients, including healthy fats. Add a chunk of dark chocolate — at least 70% cacao (to reduce the amount of sugar) and you have an energy-boosting snack.

Omega-3s from Seafood, and Grass-fed Beef. Make sure you choose wild-caught, sustainable varieties, and Grass-fed, Organic beef for the best nutritional punch. Both are higher in Omega-3 fatty acids, and high in protein as well.

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

Lassen’s carries many healthy fats in many forms and varieties — including brands such as Bulletproof, which are formulated to take advantage of the nutritional strengths of these fats. This is not a new bandwagon for us — Lassen’s has carried these nutritious and healthy (as well as delicious!) products since day one in 1971!  Come see our selection!

Love,

Lassen’s

St. Patty’s Recipe

It’s fun to celebrate holidays! This recipe is easy, low-carb, and frankly… delicious! We hope you enjoy this little St. Patty’s recipe special, even though it really can be made anytime your heart is craving corned beef or want an simple and easy recipe.

Print Recipe
Corned Beef Cabbage Rolls
Cuisine Irish
Servings
people
Cuisine Irish
Servings
people
Instructions
  1. Prepare corned beef according to package (if necessary)
  2. Boil the carrot and potato until they easily break apart with a fork.
  3. Drain the water from the pot, add the butter, and mash the carrot and potato. Mix in salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Peel leaves from the head of cabbage and steam them for about 2 minutes until they are tender and easy to roll.
  5. Fill each leaf with a horizontal line of corned beef and the carrot and potato mash. Fold in the right and left sides, tightly fold up the bottom flap and roll the rest up.
  6. Serve while still warm!
Share this Recipe

Baobab & Pistachio Crusted Halibut

Baobab & Pistachio Crusted Halibut

Written by Denae – Graphic Design & Social Media Manager
Recipe & Picture by MRM Superfoods

MRM Superfoods can make up some AMAZING recipes, implementing their pure nutrient rich products. So we decided to start sharing some with you lovely readers, because hey, everybody eats! And even if you’re just looking for a Halibut recipe you can leave out the Eggplant and Zucchini and still have a delicious dish! It’s versatile and definitely ready for you to try it out!

Round of applause for MRM and their tasty recipe mastery! Keep your eyes out for more of them to come. Yuuummmmy!

Love,

Lassens

Print Recipe
Baobab & Pistachio Crusted Halibut
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 20 minutes (for zucchini marinade)
Servings
people
Ingredients
Pistachio & Baobab Crust
Spiced Eggplant Puree
Zucchini Tagliatelle
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 20 minutes (for zucchini marinade)
Servings
people
Ingredients
Pistachio & Baobab Crust
Spiced Eggplant Puree
Zucchini Tagliatelle
Instructions
Pistachio & Baobab Crust
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
Spiced Eggplant Puree
  1. In a small pan, lightly cook the shallots in the olive oil along with the spices for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent over cooking and burning.
  2. Take the cooked eggplant and remove the stalk like head, placing the rest in a blender. Add the cooked shallots and blend on high for 2-3 minutes to create a very smooth puree, adding salt slowly to your preferred taste.
Zucchini Tagliatelle
  1. Slice the zucchini length ways 1/2 cm thick and lay flat on the board.
  2. Cut out the center seeded part of the zucchini leaving the colored outside trimming, tagliatelle (wide ribbon) like.
  3. Place in a bowl and add the olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt.
  4. Mix together and leave to marinate for 20 minutes, toss every 5 minutes or so. Set aside.
  5. To cook the halibut, pre-heat the broiler to high and heat a frying pan on the stove top to high.
  6. When the pan is hot add a splash of olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt on the fish.
  7. Place fish in the pan and leave to cook for 2-2 1/2 minutes until you get a nice golden color. Flip the fish over and sprinkle with the baobab crust.
  8. When the crust is on, place the pan under the broiler for 1 minute or so.
  9. The fish should be in the pan no longer than 5 minutes total.
  10. Place the Halibut, Zucchini Tagliatelle, and Eggplant Puree together in a dish and enjoy!
Share this Recipe

Caprese Grilled Filet Mignon

Caprese Grilled Filet Mignon

Filet Mignon is quite a fancy dish, but did you know it could be so easy to cook? This recipe doesn’t even have to be limited to an entree, you can cut the filet in to smaller pieces and make little appetizer caprese medallions. We hope you enjoy this delicious recipe no matter the occasion!

Love,

Lassens

Print Recipe
Caprese Grilled Filet Mignon
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Instructions
  1. Season filets with salt and pepper and lightly brush with olive oil
  2. Heat grill to high. Place steaks on grill, reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce to low, top with one tomato slice, one basil leaf, one slice mozzarella, another basil leaf, and another slice of tomato. Close the cover and grill for another 3-5 minutes or to desired doneness.
  4. Remove to a platter, let rest for at least 5 minutes, drizzle with olive oil and reduced balsamic vinegar before serving. Enjoy!
Share this Recipe

Grain-Free Banana Coconut Cookies

If you avoid grains but still get a hankering for cookies, then get ready for your life to change. With no added sugar they’re pretty guiltless, too!
We took some liberties with adding peanut butter and chocolate to these cookies, but the banana and coconut base cookie can be used with whatever you dream up. Share whatever delicious varieties you come up with by tagging #lassens on social media and commenting on this post!

Enjoy 🙂

Print Recipe
Grain-Free Banana Coconut Cookies
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Breakfast, Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
Cookies
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Breakfast, Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
Cookies
Instructions
Toppings
  1. After cooling for about 5 minutes, apply a dollop of peanut butter to the top of each cookie. Place in the freezer. While the cookies are cooling, melt the chocolate.
  2. Dip the bottom of each cookie in chocolate and place on a piece of parchment paper. If desired, drizzle any leftover chocolate over the top of the cookies. Once the chocolate has solidified these cookies are ready to eat! The cookies last in a sealed container for a few days... if they make it that long.
Share this Recipe

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Protein Rolls

I know, it’s a mouthful to get through that title. But it’s worth it to taste this recipe! These are great for a quick little snack post-workout. 


Print Recipe
Peanut Butter & Chocolate Protein Rolls
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Breakfast, Dessert
Servings
rolls
Ingredients
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Breakfast, Dessert
Servings
rolls
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lay the dough triangles on a cookie sheet. Spread peanut butter over the dough. Sprinkle with chopped GoMacro Protein Pleasure bar, chocolate shavings, and brown sugar. Carefully roll the crescent dough.
  2. Bake the rolls between 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown.
  3. Eat up! They're best served warm!
Share this Recipe
waldorf+salad+recipe, waldorf+salad, apple+salad, grape+salads, easy+salads, easy+waldorf

Grapes–Those Little Orbs of Happiness!

I’ve Been Making this Salad for Years!

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, waldorf+salad, grapes, apples, salad
 
I grew up in the Apple Capital of the World–Yakima Valley, Washington.  So I love my apples! (When they are good — I will reject a mushy apple with one bite, and there are varieties that I won’t touch.  Yes, I’m that spoiled.)
 
And putting them in recipes with other fruits is a real treat.  The summer grapes are so wonderful right now, so pairing them with apples makes perfect, fresh, delicious sense.  Grapes can be used in so many ways!  For a recipe of how to make your own grape soda, see this post from lassensloves.com.
 
Here’s a recipe that has been around for years, and I’ve been making it for a long time, too!

Waldorf Salad

 
 

 

This recipe was created in the late 1800s by the chef at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City.  Traditionally made with apples, celery and walnuts, it now has many variations.  Here’s mine, which serves 8-10.

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, waldorf+salad, grapes, apples, salad
 

You’ll Need:

  • 4 crisp organic apples, cored and chopped in bite-sized pieces.  I used two Granny Smiths and two Pink Ladies
  • 4 stalks of organic celery, chopped
  • 2 cups of organic red grapes, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cup organic pecans, toasted lightly
  • 1/2 cup organic yogurt (I used Fage Greek Yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup organic mayonnaise (I used Spectrum Organic)
  • 2 TBSP fresh-squeezed organic lemon juice
  • a couple of twists of fresh-cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp organic nutmeg
lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, waldorf+salad, grapes, apples, salad
 

Procedure:

Chop the apples and the celery.

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, waldorf+salad, grapes, apples, salad

Slice the grapes.  

 
lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, waldorf+salad, grapes, apples, salad
 
Mix together

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, waldorf salad, grapes, apples, salad

Toast the pecans lightly in the oven or in a dry pan over medium heat on the stove, and set aside.

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, waldorf+salad, grapes, apples, salad
 

Make the Dressing

Mix the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, pepper, and nutmeg together until smooth.

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, waldorf+salad, grapes, apples, salad

When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the cut apples, celery and grapes.  Stir to coat, then add the toasted pecans and stir.

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, waldorf+salad, grapes, apples, salad

This is a great salad for those outdoor barbecues and picnics!  Enjoy this fresh taste of summer!  

 
love,
 
Lassen’s
focus+on+local, local+producers, ojai+olive+oil, olive+oil, healthy+fats, organic+olive+oil

Focus on Local–Ojai Olive Oil

Ojai Olive Oil

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Ojai+Olive+Oil, Olive+Oil
 
I sure didn’t appreciate the beauty of the olive tree when I had one in the front yard of our first little house.  It was pretty, but I had no idea what was hiding in those little orbs.  The nutritional value of olive oil is vast.  From this website I learned that olive oil can improve the immune system and protect agains viruses.  Heart disease, cancer, strokes, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and other conditions can be beneficially affected by consuming olive oil.  (Very interesting information!)  Olives are an important part of the Mediterranean Diet — you can learn more at the balance me beautiful website — which is a super healthy way to eat!

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Ojai+Olive+Oil, Olive+Oil

I recently spent an afternoon with Alice Asquith, who showed me around the Ojai Olive Oil company’s olive grove and pressing operation, and learned so much more about the amazing olive.  It was a gorgeous summer day in Ojai, and Alice was kind and gracious.  

A Little History…

Did you know that until the 1780s, there were no olive trees in California?  The Padres from Spain introduced the trees so that they could have their olive oil.  It took over 100 years before California farmers were interested in growing olives.  In fact, there are still not enough olive growers in America to supply America’s olive oil needs.  Only 20% of the olive oil Americans consume is produced in America, even though there are many climates that are suited to olive growing.  

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Ojai+Olive+Oil, Olive+Oil

In 1982, Alice’s husband, Ronald, bought a ten acre orange grove as a retirement project.  They moved to Ojai from metropolitan Los Angeles, and eventually replanted the grove in olives.  In 1998 he bought 36 more acres, where they now have the center of their operation. This grove had been planted in 1880!  The original farmers made oil until 1910, but after that the trees just sat — for 78 years.  No oil was made from the olives–they just fell to the ground and rotted.  Ron began to give them lot of TLC, and after just three years, the trees began to produce beautifully.  In 2001 they made their first olive oil.    The entire grove is now certified organic. 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Ojai+Olive+Oil, Olive+Oil

They started selling their oil–in their signature blue bottles–at farmer’s markets.

Ron decided to plant other varieties, and now they have nine different olive varieties in the groves.  At first they blended all of the varieties into their blended oil, but now they make both pure and blended variety oils.  

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Ojai+Olive+Oil, Olive+Oil

 Three years ago they started suppling their oil to a cosmetic maker, and they have lovely soaps and creams made from their oil.

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Ojai+Olive+Oil, Olive+Oil

Ronald spent many hours studying and learning about olive growing, and he had some wonderful mentors to help him along his way.  The groves now have over 3000 trees, which are thriving, but Alice said that “the weather is the boss.”  From budding to harvest, the trees must be nurtured.

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Ojai+Olive+Oil, Olive+Oil
Photo from Ojai Olive Oil

The olive trees blossom in late April or so, and it takes six months from blossom to first harvest.  The olives will stay green for as long as possible, and then they start to ripen in early October.  During the harvest time they have to constantly watch the olives to make sure they harvest at the right time.  They wait until most of the olives are ripe–have turned color–then they harvest, all by hand.

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Ojai+Olive+Oil, Olive+Oil
Photo from Ojai Olive Oil

It takes sixty pounds of olives to make one gallon of olive oil!  But if the weather has been very hot, the yield will be a little higher.  The olives are taken directly from the groves to be milled the day they are harvested. 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Ojai+Olive+Oil, Olive+Oil

First the olives are washed and the leaves blown off, and then the olives are crushed–chopped and pushed through a sieve. 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Ojai+Olive+Oil, Olive+Oil

You can see how the olives would be crushed as they moved down through this part of the machine and into the next step!  

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Ojai+Olive+Oil, Olive+Oil

Once it moves into the drums, the olives are now the consistency of paste, and looks sort of like oatmeal.

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Ojai+Olive+Oil, Olive+Oil
Photo from Ojai Olive Oil

The paste is stirred up slowly.  No heat or water is added.  It is protected from air to prevent oxidation.   

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Ojai+Olive+Oil, Olive+Oil

The paste begins to separate, and then the centrifuge begins to spin to assist the separation by density and weight.  It takes 90 minutes from start to finish!  They can process up to 800 pounds of olives per hour.  The oil is strained and bottled.

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Ojai+Olive+Oil, Olive+Oil
Photo from Ojai Olive Oil

The International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) has established standards for extra-virgin olive oil.  A sample of every batch of Ojai Olive Oil is sent to a lab for blind testing to make sure it meats the highest standards, and has less than 0.8% acidity.

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Ojai+Olive+Oil, Olive+Oil

This Tuscan is one of the Ojai Olive Oil blends!

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Ojai+Olive+Oil, Olive+Oil
Photo from Ojai Olive Oil

At the end of the process, there is a waste made of pulp, skins, and pits, shown above.  Ojai Olive Oil Company uses this to make compost.  

Some companies will add chemicals and apply heat to the waste so they can extract more of the oil.  However, these oils do not meet the “Extra-virgin” standards, and are often sold under the names, “Pure” or “Extra Light Tasting.”  These oils are about as far away from extra-virgin as can be.  (Do not be fooled by the “pure” label!)  And they do not have the health benefits of extra-virgin olive oil.
 
lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Ojai+Olive+Oil, Olive+Oil

Ojai Olive Oil Company also gives free tours and tastings at their grove.  You can see the machines and taste the oils!  For times and more detailed information about their ranch and story, click here.

If you have a morning or afternoon to stroll through an olive grove and learn about olive oil–not to mention taste some delightful deliciousness–I recommend going to Ojai and take a tour.  But if you don’t have the time, remember that you can find this deliciousness at Lassen’s.  
 
Love, 
 
Lassen’s
fruit +recipes, fruit+desserts, plum+recipes, delicious+side+dishes, delicious+desserts, dessert+recipes, fruit+recipes

Gorgeous Plums–You Can Do More Than Just Eat Them Plain!

A-Meen-O-Mum (I Want a Plum!)

That’s what one of my toddlers said when he wanted to have a plum.  Plums have long been a favorite at our house.  I like the varieties with tart skins and sweet flesh the most.  Peter likes the black plums best. But whatever the variety, when they are in season I always have some in my shopping cart.
 
lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, spiced+baked+plums
 
Recently I was looking for something easy to do with the bag of glorious organic plums that I’d brought home from Lassen’s, and found this recipe.  I made them, with my own changes, for dinner last night, as an accompaniment to baked chicken and roasted red potatoes (along with this recipe for kale and quinoa salad).  They got rave reviews!

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, spiced+baked+plums, organic+plums
 

You’ll Need:

  • 4 organic plums, halved and pitted.  I used the red variety, but the recipe will work with any.
  • 1/3 cup organic orange juice — can use freshly squeezed
  • 1 1/2 TSP packed organic brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp organic ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp organic ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp organic ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp organic ground cardamom

 fruit+recipes, plum+recipes, delicious+side+dishes, delicious+desserts. dessert +recipes

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and spray a shallow baking dish with cooking spray
  • Cut and pit the plums and then place them, cut side up, in the baking dish
  • Mix together the orange juice, the brown sugar and the spices until blended.
lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, spiced+baked+plums, organic+plums
 
  • Pour the mixture over the plums.
lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, spiced+baked+plums, organic+plums
 
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.  The plums will be hot and the sauce bubbly.
  • Serve warm!
lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, spiced+baked+plums, organic+plums

Best Additional Use For This Recipe:

Syrup for Ice Cream.

roasted+plums
Yes.  The spiced plum syrup that was bubbling in the pan was SO delicious that we cracked open the vanilla ice cream and spooned some of the syrup on top.  

It. Was. Fab.

I will definitely make this recipe many many times!  It would be great made with pluots, peaches, cherries, or apricots!  Or a blend of fruits–yum!
 
Enjoy the rest of the stone fruit season!
 
love,
 
Lassen’s
peach+pie, no+fail+pie+crust, indescribable+peach+pie, pie+recipes, peach+pie+recipe, peach+custard+pie

Peaches , Peaches, Peaches!

Is There Anything That Says “Summer” More Than Peaches?

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe
 
When I was a kid in eastern Washington, summer was peach juice dripping off my elbows.  I think our mother just hosed us off at the end of the day!  We all could eat about a dozen peaches in one sitting.  So when peaches show up at the store, I am like a kid in a candy store.  I fill my bags with them!

Delicious and Nutritious!

It’s hard to believe that you might need more reasons than the wonderful taste to eat peaches, but here are some anyway.  Low in calories–about 60 for a medium fruit–peaches are a great source of potassium, vitamin A, C, and also anti-oxidants.  I’m sure you’re convinced!

Here’s a Great Peach Pie Recipe!

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe
 
This is a recipe from another of my amazing sisters–my girls have nicknamed this sister “Aunt Fabulous.”  It’s a perfect summer pie–just one crust and a custard filling.  It perfectly highlights the natural sweetness of the peaches, and doesn’t overwhelm them with extra crust or thick syrup.  And bonus–the no-fail Pie Crust recipe that has been in our family for 4 generations.  I never use any other.

Give it a Try!

You’ll need:

For Grandma Mildred’s No-fail Pie Crust:

Makes two 9″ crusts–enough for two pies.  I use this recipe for all of my pies and quiches!
  • 2 1/4 cups organic unbleached white flour
  • 3/4-1 cup Spectrum Organic All-Vegetable Shortening (on a very dry day you’ll need to use more shortening.)
  • 1/4 cup water, plus 1 TBSP organic white vinegar
  • 1 organic egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe
 
Measure the flour into a medium mixing bowl, add the shortening and then use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the shortening into the flour until it forms course crumbs.

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe

 

Mix the water, vinegar, egg and salt together, then add to the flour mixture.  Stir to combine, but don’t over mix.

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe

 

Turn out onto a floured surface, and then form into two balls.  Roll into rounds, and then place in the pie pan(s), crimping the edges.  Set aside.

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe

Aunt Fabulous’s Indescribable Peach Pie

You’ll Need:

  • 8 organic peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 1/3 to 2 cups organic, unbleached sugar (depends on how sweet the peaches are, and how sweet you like your pie!  I used 1 1/3 cups in my recipe and it was perfect.)
  • 1/4 cup organic unbleached flour
  • 2/3 cup organic melted butter

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe

 

Mix the eggs, sugar, flour, and butter with a beater until thick.  

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe

 

Place the peach slices in the unbaked pie shell, and then pour the egg/flour mixture over the peaches.  You’ll need to spread it all the way to the edge of the pie shell, covering the peaches.

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe

 

Place the pie into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.  (You may want to put the pie pan on a baking sheet to catch any drip-overs.  With the pie this full I didn’t have any dripping, but sometimes it does!)

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe

 

After 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 325 degrees, and bake for an additional 60 minutes.  Check the pie.  It should be golden brown.  Shake the pan a little.  It should not be wet or jiggly, but gently firm.  If it’s still jiggly, bake an additional 10 minutes.

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe,Peach+Pie, Pie+Crust

 

The filling will firm up as the pie cools.  You can serve this pie still warm or cold. 

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe, Peach+Pie, Pie+Crust

 

This pie never fails to delight!

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe, Peach+Pie, Pie+Crust

 

I’ve found this to be a perfect dessert for a barbeque!

Enjoy the Fruits of Summer!

love,
 
Lassen’s

Let’s Kick Off the Summer with Grass-fed, Organic Meats!

 It’s Good For You, Good for the Animals and Good for the Planet!

While many people are choosing to go vegan or vegetarian, many others enjoy eating meat.  And if that includes you, how do you know the best meats for you, the animals, and the planet?  
lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Burroughs+Family+Farm
 
If you are confused by the many terms associated with this topic, you’re not alone.  Here is a short explanation, but for more details, see this Mayo Clinic article.
 
These are USDA terms, and they mean something–
  • Antibiotic Free–must provide documentation, but be careful with this one.  Animals can have antibiotics in their lifetime, but just must have a period of time before slaughter so that there isn’t evidence of the antibiotic in their meat.  Make sure the label says that the animal has never been administered antibiotics.
  • Cage Free–Laying hens are not confined in cages, but typically are in barns or another enclosed area.
  • Chemical Free–this label is not allowed on meats, so beware when you see it.
  • Free Range or Free Roaming–This term is a USDA term (which means poultry are allowed to roam outdoors) but is not a standard term for other meats.  
  • Grain-Fed–The USDA regulates what grains are included in the diet of the animals labeled “Grain Fed.”
  • Grass-Fed–means grass and forage are the feed source for the animals for their lifespan after weaning.
  • Natural–This means the meat has no artificial flavorings, colorings, or preservatives, as well as no synthetic or artificial ingredients.  They must be minimally processed, and the label must outline what is meant by “Natural.”
  • Pasture Raised–This is part of the National Organic Program, and is an assurance that any meat so labeled comes from an animal that has had access to the outdoors year round.
These are Voluntary or Unregulated Terms–
  • Certified Humane–This term is a voluntary label administered by Humane Farm Animal Care.  They have a list of humane practices, including no antibiotics or hormones, and allowing the animals to engage in natural behaviors.
  • Hormone Free–this term is not allowed on meat products, but beef can be labeled with “No Hormones Administered.”
  • Naturally Raised–this term is one that the label must explain what is meant by the term.
  • Vegetarian Fed–Generally used to suggest that the animal is provided with a healthier diet, including no animal by-products.
grass+fed+meats, organic+meats, humanely+raised+meats, free+range+chickens

How are the Animals Raised?

Animals, including domesticated animals, have been living on pasture grasses for thousands of years.  Their physiology has a wonderful system to turn those grasses into protein, which humans can consume  and digest (we have a hard time digesting those same grasses!)  In order to eat enough grasses to grow and thrive, the animals have to be free to roam a large range.
 
But in the last several decades, big production farms have changed the order of meat production.  Typically today, the cattle, lambs, pigs and poultry are confined into small cages, and fed corn and other grains, and do not have the freedom to roam the fields.  Often the beaks of chickens are clipped.
 

These animals, raised in confined spaces, produce high saturated-fat meat.  They also are prone to diseases, since they are close to each other and get little if any fresh air or exercise.  They are stuck living in filthy conditions, unlike this calf we saw at Burroughs Family Farm.

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Burroughs+Family+Farm
 

So Why Should We Eat Grass-fed, Free-Range Meats?

Number One–Better For You:

There is mouting evidence that grass-fed beef is much safer and better for your health than grain-fed beef.  Grass-fed animals are much less likely to have diseases or e-coli than those in confined cages or lots.  Grass-fed beef has less saturated fat, but more healthy Omega-3s and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a nutrient that is generally lacking in our western diet.  CLA is associated with heart health and lowered cancer risk.  Grass-fed, Free Range meats are also leaner.  Meat produced on Factory Farms are generally full of antibiotics–they are used at an alarming rate.  There is a great discussion on NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook, which you can listen to here.  Of course, we all know that over-use of antibiotics renders these amazing drugs much less effective, and encourages antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria to thrive.
 
lassensloves.com
These piglets enjoy rooting around at Highwood Farm

Number Two–Better for the Animals:

Organic, Grass-fed, Free Range animals are allowed (even required!) to be outdoors, foraging for their food, engaging in natural behaviors like spreading their wings (for poultry) and rooting (for pigs) and walking over a large range (beef and lamb).  Factory Farmed animals are packed into small cages or lots, often up to their knees in manure.  Free Range animals are healthier, live longer and are less likely to need medical intervention (sounds like a great benefit for being a “free-range” human!)  When we visited Burroughs Family Farm they told us that their milk cows had a productive life of ten years, where the industry average was only 2 1/2 years!  
 
Also, animals that are fed diets that their bodies are not designed to eat struggle with much less fiber and much more starch.  Because of their unatural diet they are susceptible to parasites and diseases, as well as e-coli.  And this of course, makes their meat healthier for us. 
lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Burroughs+Family+Farm, free+Range+Chickens
 

Number Three–Better for the Planet:

The land and the soil is much healthier with grass-fed, free-range productions.  Factory Farms produce mountains of waste, methane, pollution, and greenhouse-gas emissions.  This article goes so far as to say that eating Free Range, Grass Fed meat can save the planet.  It has some very interesting points, such as small farm, organic, free-range production is beneficial to the grasses and soils (fertilizing and eating a range of plants, which makes the soil healthier and eliminates weeds), and discourages pests and predators.  
 
Factory Farms are environmentally very harmful.  Pollution, run-off, groundwater contamination–those are just a few of the problems with raising thousands of animals in small spaces.  This Time Magazine article (from 2010) exposes many of those problems.
grass+fed+meats, organic+meats, humanely+raised+meats, hormone+free, ethically+raised

How Hard is it to Change to Meat that is Better for Me, the Animals, and the Planet?

Not hard at all.  Lassen’s carries a wide selection of all kinds of meats that are organic, grass-fed, free range, humanely treated meats.  We always have something on sale, and you’ll find that the meat is so delicious and tender.  If you have any questions about the meats that we carry, our friendly meat department can help you.  
 
FullSizeRender
 
If you haven’t tried our delicious meats, the first barbecue of the summer would be a good time to give them a try!  We have everything from ground beef to turkey sausages.  
 
This article has more details on why eating grass-fed meat is beneficial.
 
Have a great summer, and enjoy all of the healthy foods and products that we carry!
 
love,
 
Lassen’s
roasted+vegetables, roasted+tomatoes, slow+roasting, healthy+side+dish, side+dish+recipes, delicious+and+healthy

My Roasting Obsession

This Time It’s S–L–O–W 

roasted+tomatoes

And I Do Mean SLOW

Remember this post about one of my favorite cooking methods, roasting?  I roast vegetables at least 4 times every week.  That why I was so intrigued when I stumbled across this recipe for Slow Roasted Tomatoes in the Cooking Light magazine that I picked up at the Ventura Lassen’s.

Warning:  Start This In The Morning!

Slow Roasting?  Really?  Roasting to me meant very high temperatures and fast cooking.  
 
So I thought I’d try it.  This is adapted from the Cooking Light recipe.

 

roasted+tomatoes

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

 

You’ll Need:

  • 4 lbs (about 16) Roma Tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.  (Yes, you read that right.  Two Hundred.)

 roasted+tomatoes

Prepare the tomatoes by washing, patting dry, and then cutting lengthwise in half.  I also removed the small core.

Combine the oil, spices, and honey.  It will mix together like a paste.  
 
roasted+tomatoes

Add the cut tomatoes and stir with a large spoon until the tomatoes are coated.  The tomatoes will give off some juice and that will help to get the spices on all of the tomatoes. 

roasted+tomatoes

Place the seasoned tomatoes on a large baking sheet.  I hate to waste anything (blame my depression-era parents) so I scooped the spices and juice that were left in the bowl and spooned it over the tomatoes on the pan. 

roasted+tomatoes

Then pop those babies in the oven and let them slow-roast for 7-8 hours.  Yes.  Hours.   

roasted+tomatoes

I just could not resist checking on them periodically throughout the day.  They smelled so yummy!

Voila!

These were SO. GOOD.  The slow-roasting intensified the flavors of the tomatoes and spices.  Awesome.
 
roasted+tomatoes

I served them as a side dish (with spinach and arugula) to soup, but they would be great tossed in pasta, or next to grilled chicken or fish.  And here’s a bonus–This dish is Paleo!  (See this post for more information about the Paleo diet.)

I wonder what else I could roast slowly?
 
Happy (slow) roasting! 
 
Lassen’s