Category Archives: nuts

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Pears to the Rescue!

Simple, Delicious, Nutritious!

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I have always love Bartlett Pears.  They are sweet and the texture is just right.  We would eat them by the dozens when I was growing up.  But when I left home for college I learned that some people did not love them like I did!  
 
Maybe you are one of those who haven’t yet learned to appreciate the humble pear.  So here are some great facts about them!
 
A medium pear has about 100 calories, and no fat, cholesterol, or sodium.  They are nutrient dense; high in Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.  A single pear has almost 25% of the recommended daily amount of fiber!   Here is a brochure with pear facts and more recipes.
 
Pears are one of the few fruits that do not ripen on the tree.  They are mature, but still green, when they are harvested.  If you leave the green fruit in a bowl for a few days, you’ll see them begin to lighten to a nice yellow color.  Eat them before they get too yellow or start to brown.  Delicious!

Pears are Wonderful in Many Recipes! 

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Many times when I am going out to eat I will find a spinach salad on the menu that appeals to me.  I often order it, and I’m always happy with my choice (I have no menu envy when I do!)
 
When I noticed that these salads often only have four or five ingredients, I realized that I could make them myself, and now I do–a lot!  
 
So instead of spending upwards of $15 for a spinach salad, make it yourself!  This recipe serves 3-4 (2 for a main dish salad).

Spinach Pear Gorgonzola Salad

 

You’ll Need:

  • 1 package of washed, organic, baby spinach 
  • 2 TBP organic raw sugar (optional)
  • 1/4 cup organic raw pecans
  • 1/4 cup crumbled organic gorgonzola cheese
  • 2 ripe organic Bartlett pears
  • Organic Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil, or your choice of Organic Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Optional — Candied Pecans

If you’d like, you can candy your pecans.  I think it adds a nice crunchy sweetness to the salad, but it is optional.  If you want to do it, here’s how.

 

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In heavy-bottomed dry pan, pour 2 TBSP sugar.  Shake the pan to spread the sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan.  Turn the heat to medium and watch the sugar as it heats.  Be careful to not let the sugar burn on the sides, where the pan may be thinner.  You can stir it around.

 

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The sugar will melt.  Right when the sugar crystals have all melted, turn off the heat and sprinkle the pecans over the top.  

 

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Using a spatula, turn the nuts over.  You have to move quickly to coat the nuts with the sugar.

 

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Turn the nuts onto a plate to cool.  I try to separate them as much as possible as I get them onto the plate.
 
While the nuts cool, assemble the salad.  

 

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Place the spinach on a plate, core and slice the pears, sprinkle the cheese and nuts over the top of the salad.

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I twisted a few grinds of fresh pepper over the top.  
 
Then just choose your dressing!  Lassen’s carries a large variety of delicious balsamic vinaigrette dressings!  I like the Newman’s Own brand, but sometimes I just like to use plain Extra-Virgin Organic Olive Oil and Organic Balsamic Vinegar with some freshly ground salt on top.

 

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And there you have it!  A restaurant quality salad with your own, gorgeous organic ingredients, including the humble and delicious Bartlett pear!
 
Happy eating!
 
Love,
 
Lassen’s
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!

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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.

 

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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
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Procedure:

Chop the apples and the celery.

 

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Slice the grapes.  

 
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Mix together

 

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

 

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Make the Dressing

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

 

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

 

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

 
love,
 
Lassen’s
chopped+salad+recipe, chopped+salad, healthy+salad+recipe, hemp+seeds, hemp+seed+recipes, delicious+salad+recipes, delicious+salads

Hemp Seeds–What are They Good For?

They Sound Kind of Hippie… Really They’re Not.

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But They are Groovy!

Have you tried Hemp Seeds?  They are full of nutrition:

Protein–There are 11 grams of protein in just 3 TBSP!
Anti-inflammatory Omegas!
Phytonutrients and anti-oxidants!
All kinds of minerals!
Essential fatty acids!

So How Do I Use Them?

Hemp Seeds are so easy to add to smoothies, soups, and hot cereals, and to sprinkle on salads and vegetables.  They have a mild taste similar to sunflower seeds or pine nuts, so won’t overpower the flavor of any dish, and are smaller than sesame seeds.  I really like them!

Here’s the first recipe in which I ever used Hemp Seeds.  I found it in the LA Times Foods section (October 13, 2011, adapted from a recipe from BLD in LA).  When I want a filling yet healthy and light salad, I reach for this recipe.  I’ve changed it a little, but I think you’ll love it!

Chopped Vegetable Salad with Hemp Seeds

 

You’ll Need:

For the Dressing:

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  • 1 1/2 tsp grated organic fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp coarsely chopped organic shallot
  • 1 1/2 tsp coarsely chopped organic fresh rosemary
  • 2 TBSP organic tamari sauce
  • 2 TBSP organic honey
  • 3 TBSP sweet rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP fresh organic lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil 
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In a food processor grind the ginger, shallot, and rosemary until fine.

 

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Add the tamari sauce, honey, vinegar and lemon juice to the ginger mix and process until fairly smooth.

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Add the oil a little at a time and process until blended well.

For the Salad:

  • 10 oz package of organic Cascadian Farms frozen, thawed shelled edamame beans 
  • 2 ears raw fresh organic yellow corn, cut from cob 
  • 1 cup diced organic turnip or organic jicama 
  • 1 1/2 cup organic green beans, blanched, shocked, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced roasted and peeled organic red bell pepper
  • 2/3 cup diced organic avocado
  • 2/3 cup toasted, salted organic cashews

For Garnish:

  • 1/4 cup organic hemp seeds
  • 1 bunch organic watercress
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Roast the pepper by spearing with a large serving fork and holding it over the flame of the stove.  
 
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The pepper skin will blister and pop.  Allow to cool and then peel and chop.
 
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To prepare the green beans, drop the trimmed beans into boiling water.  After about 2 minutes, lift out of the pan with a slotted spoon and drop into ice water.

 

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When cooled (it will happen quickly), chop the green beans.

Roast the cashews in a hot oven–watch them carefully, since they burn easily.  Salt as desired.

 
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Slice the corn off of the cob, chop the turnip (or jicama) and avocado, then throw all of the vegetables and the cashews in a large bowl and toss gently.

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Pour about 1/2 cup of the dressing over the salad and gently blend.  Taste the salad to see if you’d like to add more dressing or salt.  (The leftover dressing will keep in the refrigerator for several days)

Divide the salad into 4-8 serving plates (this recipe makes about 8 cups of salad), then garnish the salad by sprinkling with hemp seeds (about 1 1/2 tsp per cup of salad) and a few watercress sprigs.

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Enjoy this wonderful salad for a delightfully nutritious summer lunch!

And for more details on how hemp seeds are a great addition your healthy life, click here.

Love,

Lassen’s

Should you get on the Paleo bandwagon?

Eatin’ Like a Caveman… or Woman…

There has been a lot of chatter about the Paleo Diet lately.  Have you wondered what it is all about?
 
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Well, it is basically eating what our cave ancestors in the Paleolithic Age ate.  

Meat

 
 
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Free-range or grass-fed beef, pork, lamb, poulty, fish and other seafood, eggs, and game meats.  According to the Paleo Diet, our diet should be comprised of between 20-35% of calories provided by protein, instead of the 15% that the Western Diet has now.  There are many vitamins and minerals in meats as well.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

 
 
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Non-starchy, low-glycemic fresh fruits and vegetables provide much more fiber than other (grain based) carbohydrates.  They are slowly digested and absorbed, unlike refined carbohydrates.  And of course we know that fresh fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamins and minerals essential for good health.
 
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Nuts and Seeds

 
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These provide healthy fats as well as protein and fiber.

Healthy Oils

 
 
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Olive, coconut, walnut, flaxseed, avocado, and macadamia.  These fats provide healthy monosaturated and Omega-3 fats.

A diet of the the above foods will provide a balance between acid-producing and alkaline-producing foods, which helps prevent conditions that thrive in an acid environoment.

This website says that a “lifetime of excessive dietary acid may promote bone and muscle loss, high blood pressure and increased risk for kidney stones and may aggravate asthma and excercise-induced asthma.”  This diet balances acid and alkaline.

The Paleo Diet also increases the dietary intake of potassium and lowers the intake of sodium.

Our hearts, kidneys and other organs depend on potassium to function properly.  When sodium intake is higher and potassium intake is lower, we are at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes.

 

What Should I Not Eat?

Dairy Products, Cereal Grains, Refined Sugars, Legumes (including peanuts), Starchy Vegetables such as Potatoes, Salt, Refined Oil, and Processed Foods.

There is a lot that makes sense in the Paleo Diet.  We do have a lot of diseases and conditions that are caused by our modern diet and lifestyle.  And eliminating refined foods certainly would help our overall health.  
 
Following the paleo diet is healthy and nutritious, and there are lots of ways that you can combine foods to make delicious breakfasts. They don’t all involve eggs, either! Here are just 10 paleo diet-friendly recipes to try out for your breakfasts.
 
Here is a fun chart to help you understand how to know if a food complies with the Paleo Plan.
 
 
I’m not sure I agree with the “That crap will kill you,” but this chart does help clarify what is Paleo and what isn’t!

Have You Tried the Paleo Diet?

Please comment if you have tried the Paleo Diet and let us know what you think.  Is it hard to eat the Paleo way?

Lassen’s carries everything you need to eat on the Paleo Diet!

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In upcoming posts I will share some recipes that comply with the Paleo Diet Plan!

 
Love,
 
Lassen’s