When we visited Northern Califoria this year, we were excited to tour Amy’s Kitchen in Petaluma. We were surprised and impressed with their hands-on approach. I expected floor to ceiling stainless steel machinery doing all the work, but what we saw was hundreds of dedicated workers hand making and packaging Amy’s products.
More than 30 years ago, Rachel and Andy were expecting a baby, and there wasn’t anything in the store to satisfy the need for healthy, convenient, ready-made meals. With Rachel on bed rest, they realized that there were likely many others in the same boat. Once their baby was born, they started making their first recipe, Pot Pie, to sell locally. Their daughter Amy and Amy’s Kitchen were born in the same year!
They launched their company, thinking that they would just make those delicious Pot Pies, but requests for more variety started coming in. They started adding other products, from Pizza to Canned Soups. They heard about people with allergies, food sensitivities, and special diets, so Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten-Free offerings were created. Since Organic is also non-GMO, Amy’s is also committed to GMO-free ingredients.
Amy’s has always been passionate and committed to organically grown produce, even in the beginning when there was no Organic Certification. They work closely with their farmers to make sure they have the best ingredients possible.
And now, thirty years later, Amy’s is a household name. You can read more of Amy’s story by clicking here.
When I had busy and active kids at home, we almost always had Amy’s Burritos in the refrigerator for a quick snack before gymnastics or soccer. The cheese enchiladas were also a favorite, and it’s fun to see my grandchildren enjoying the same products!
Amy’s has a desire to change the face of fast food, and in 2015 they opened Amy’s Drive Through in Rohnart Park. It’s a sustainability model, with solar panels and a living roof.
They have delicious burgers, fries, shakes, pizza, burritos, and much more. I hope they bring their Drive Thru to Southern California!
I love visiting the producers of our amazing products! Thanks, Amy’s for hosting us!
Our motto at Lassen’s is The Best of Everything Good. And one way we live that motto is in the products that we bring into our communities. As we celebrate Earth Day this month, as well as during our Earth Day Events on April 20-21, here’s how we live The Best of Everything Good every day — not just on Earth Day — at Lassen’s.
It goes without saying that we at Lassen’s love our earth. Nutritious, healthy food is something good, and it depends on healthy soil, water, and air. That’s one big reason why we are committed to 100% Organic Produce in our produce department. That’s the best. When our crops are grown without toxic herbicides and pesticides in rich, healthy, organic soil, the whole ecosystem benefits. We’ve been singing the praises of organic food for a long time — almost 47 years! I wrote this post nearly four years ago about organic. Studies showing the benefits of eating organic are piling up! There is some skepticism about what organic means in the USA today, so I wrote a follow-up article clearing things up. Read it by clicking here.
Eating locally grown produce is another good thing! Lassen’s loves to search out and support our local organic farmers as well — that’s how we bring you the best of that good organic produce! Some of our farmers that we have featured here on the blog are Nojoqui Farms in Buellton, Green Gold Farms in San Luis Obispo, Rock Front Ranch east of Santa Maria, Chas Farms Blueberries in Oxnard, Forbidden Fruit Blueberries between Buellton and Lompoc, Las Palmalitas Avocados in Carpinteria, Ojai Olive Oil in Ojai, and many others. (Just search “Local” on the website and you’ll see what I mean!) As we support organic farming, the farmers are encouraged to continue organic farming and to even expand. More organic farming means better soil. This blog post outlines some ways that farming organically may be a way to save family farms and push back the tide of huge Agro-businesses sweeping the nation.
We also support organic ranchers and egg producers. Burroughs Family Farm just north of Fresno produces Almonds, Beef, Cheese, Dairy, and Eggs, and Lassen’s carries most of their products. Healthy soil is their passion, and everything that they do in all of their endeavors contributes to that goal. To them it’s not enough to produce good productes. They want the best outcome for the environment as well. You have to try their delicious eggs! Diestel Family Farm raises organic Turkeys humanely with access to pasture and open air, and we are proud to carry their luncheon meats year-round, as well as their holiday turkeys. When you buy our Lassen’s brand honey (also produced in Ventura County!), we donate to Honey Love in LA, and Central Coast Beekeepers’ Alliance in the San Luis Obispo area. These organizations support beekeepers in the LA and Central Coast areas. Click here to learn more. Chino Valley Ranchers is another company that is passionate about humane and ethical treatment of their birds, and the quality of their eggs show that care. Smart Chicken is an amazing company that has developed best practices for healthier and tastier chicken, as well as humane animal treatment. There are many more ranchers, fishermen, and other producers that we love to support, and they have the same commitment that we at Lassen’s do — to take care of Mother Earth.
Lassen’s is passionate about more than just healthy food. Beauty care products, supplements, herbs, and home care products can all be produced in sustainable and environmentally friendly ways. Lassen’s searches out these producers as well. The Seaweed Bath Company is one such company. They produce a really good, clean product, but they are the best at harvesting their seaweed in a manner that encourages continued growth and rejuvenation — thus caring about the health of our oceans. Essential Oils are a big part of many people’s lives, and Aura Cacia pays close attention to every step of their manufacturing process, from seed to bottle.
Lassen’s believes in something else that is good — nourishing our bodies with great supplements. But what makes us carry the best is that we are committed to high quality herbs and supplements. That’s why you won’t see bargain brands on our shelves. We carry only those brands that test and verify the purity and strength of their products. That’s the best of everything good. One such brand is Mega Food. They manufacture their supplements from whole foods, and when we visited a few months ago, we got to see — and photograph — their whole process. That’s real transparency — something definitely in the best category!
I could go on and on about our amazing producers and what we are doing at Lassen’s to go from good to best. Lassen’s buyers hold our standards high, and work hard to find the producers who are as passionate about those standards and about the environment as we are.
So Earth Day, to Lassen’s, is more than just a once-per-year homage to Mother Earth. It’s a deep commitment to sustainable and responsible environmental practices every day of the year. It’s bringing The Best of Everything Good to our communities. Yes, we love to throw a big celebration at our Events, but that commitment to our beautiful earth is who we are.
So come into Lassen’s and join in our quest to preserve and improve our environment!
OUR GOODNESS GOES BACK TO THE TURN OF THE CENTURY. WE’RE TALKING TWO TURNS AGO.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
The year was 1913. Jean Demakes had just emigrated from Greece to join her husband Thomas in the United States. And the foundation for a family business was inspired by four little words:
“I can do better.”
That’s what Jean said to her husband after he brought home the “best Greek sausage in Boston.” She knew she could do better, and when Thomas gladly accepted her challenge, a far better sausage is exactly what Jean made.
It was so good, in fact, they began selling it to nearby stores. And over time, their four sons helped them grow sales, expand their product line and give back to their community.
Four generations have passed and we still own and operate our family business in Lynn, Massachusetts. More importantly, doing better is still the foundation of everything we do.
It’s what inspires us to always take the time to do things right. To never cut corners for the sake of higher profits. And to build personal relationships with farmers so we know where our ingredients come from.
Food with such integrity isn’t the easy way, it’s the right way. The way we’ve been doing things for over 100 years.
WE GIVE BACK
Our commitment to giving back has been around since the very beginning. Thomas Demakes believed it was important to do more for those who have less – to share and give back, even if that meant giving away a Thanksgiving turkey to a family in need.
Yes, Thomas believed a dinner of vegetables, beans and no meat for his own family was a fair sacrifice. He was always one to lead by example and share his good fortune with others. And that tradition is still alive and well in how we do things today.
We will always embrace our responsibility to help others in our community, whether it means donating food to local pantries, charities and outreach programs or offering support to YMCAs, Girls Inc., boys’ and girls’ clubs and other organizations in our area.
After all, we have children. We know the importance of nurturing young minds and teaching the meaning of teamwork, developing friendships and imparting values that will last a lifetime.
At Waterhill Naturals & Organics, we’ve made the commitment to treating your customers to quality foods that ﬁt their healthier lifestyles — so we’ve created the ﬁrst truly premium quality line of all-natural and organic, antibiotic-free sliced deli meats . . .
Never any antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones
Produced from animals that are fed a 100% vegetarian diet with no animalby-products
Nitrite and nitratefree
Nopreservatives or artiﬁcial ingredients
No high-fructose cornsyrup
Our Organic line is 100% USDA certiﬁed — Sourced from Organic FamilyFarms
Nonie products are Healthy Food for the Skin! Our product line is easy to use – simply cleanse, tone, and select the Nonie moisturizer appropriate for your skin type. All Nonie moisturizers contain AHAs – Alpha Hydroxy Acids from extracts of Bilberry, Sugar Cane, Maple Cane, Orange and Lemon Oils. AHAs gently exfoliate the skin by loosening built-up dead skin, improve skin tone and texture, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, increase cell renewal and help lighten age spots. Using our Cleanser, Tonic and Moisturizer, there’s no need for a separate make-up remover, eye cream or scrub. The Nonie line does not contain any animal products and is never tested on animals, so it is excellent for vegans and vegetarians!
Amazing 20% Line Drive during May!
SKIN CLEANSER: A gentle cleansing lotion for all skin types which leaves the skin clean, soft and moist with closed pores. Is also an excellent eye and make-up remover. For best results, use without water! Apply to dry face and neck using cotton pads. Repeat until the cotton appears absolutely clean. Follow with AHA! Skin Tonic & Moisturizer. Continued use produces a more youthful appearing skin. Will not burn eyes and safe to use for contact lens wearers. Can also be used as a gentle shaving lotion.
SKIN TONIC: A dewy fluid that refreshes and tightens the pores, giving a smooth texture to the skin. The main ingredient is Hamamelis water, which is a refined witch hazel. We only use grapefruit seed extract as the natural preservative. After cleansing the skin, apply to face and neck using cotton pads. Is also an effective and soothing, non-stinging aftershave. Contains built-in natural bacterial protection to aid in preventing infections from nicks and cuts. The light lemony scent is not a perfume but a combination of five different essential oils of citrus, so the scent will not linger.
BRILLIANT MOISTURIZER: This moisturizer is excellent for normal and combination skin . . . equally effective for the oily areas (i.e., T-Zone) as well as other areas. It contains 5% AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) in a moisturizing base of coconut oil, almond oil, and gluten-free wheat germ oil. Gentle enough to use around the delicate eye area. Use day and night.
PROTEIN MOISTURIZER: This moisturizer is wonderful for dry skin, mature skin, and vegans. It contains 5% AHA. This moisturizer also contains orchid oil, which acts as a buffer for the skin to absorb the AHA’s. Sometimes people with dry or mature skin are more sensitive, so the orchid oil helps soothe the skin. This cream is called Protein because of the protein from organic, non-GMO soy milk we use. It contains more gluten-free wheat germ oil, so it is richer but not heavier than the Brilliant Moisturizer. Gentle enough to use around the delicate eye area. Use day and night.
NEW CONDITION: This moisturizer is great for those with oily or problem skin that is prone to breakouts. It has many essential oils beneficial to oily skin care such as tea tree, peppermint and eucalyptus. It contains 5% AHA. This cream can also be used around the eye area. Don’t let the tea tree oil scare you…. this also is a very gentle cream. The combination of the oil of seed of grapefruit and the essential oils help in clearing up breakouts and the AHA’s exfoliate the dead skin cells gently and microscopically without leaving any scars, which can happen if you use heavy scrubs on skin with breakouts. Use day and night.
BODY LOTION: You’ll find orchid oil in this fantastic body lotion. Easily absorbs into the skin imparting a wonderful sheen without being greasy. A little bit goes a long way. Has a light, lemony scent from the natural citrus oils that does not linger. Use after bathing or anytime your skin is feeling dry. Excellent on feet, hands and the entire body! Contains less than 2% AHA naturally forming from fruits so it is excellent for the entire family. Can also be used on the face.
8 SPF MOISTURIZER: This is the same formula as our Brilliant Moisturizer, with the addition of orchid oil and micronized Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. They are natural, physical sun blockers.
15 SPF MOISTURIZER: This is the same as our Body Lotion with the addition of orchid oil and micronized Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. They are natural, physical sun blockers.
10% AHA:This moisturizer is same formula as the Brilliant Moisturizer, with the addition of orchid oil and 10% AHA instead of 5%. The 10% AHA! should be used by those who have already been using Alpha Hydroxy Acids or receiving professional facial treatments.
HIS! Shave Cream: A non-foaming cream that provides a close, comfortable shave for men and women! Contains built-in natural bacterial protection from Hamamelis water, Tea Tree, and Grapefruit Seed Extract to aid in preventing infections from nicks and cuts. Gives a smooth texture to the skin. Refreshes and tightens the pores. Will not burn or sting and can be used around the eyes.
Have you wanted to take the plunge from conventional deodorants but every time you try you just stink yourself out?EO Products, a wonderful organic & natural company, has dedicated their 2017 to helping everyone willing to take the challenge! Not only have they provided enlightening information like, “…there can be a transition period (up to 30 days) where body odor can actually increase…? but they have even perfected the list of must-have’s as you begin your transition.
EO Certified Organic Deodorant Spray
EO Natural Deodorant Wipes
EO Bubble Bath
EO Salt Soak
EO Ageless Moroccan Lava Clay
Those last three – the ones that have nothing to do with armpits, are to help you relax. Detoxing is stressful, especially if you don’t know how your experience will be. However, that added stress can create more body odor, which will turn in to a stinky cycle of stressing about body odor, creating more body odor, creating more stress. So pick up some bath salts and relax a little!
Committing to a detox might sound scary, but hey, at least it’s not a juice cleanse and you get to eat still! When you start your detox adventure, make sure you drink LOTS of water. And although you are eating, here are some foods to stay away from that can increase your body odor:
Cruciferous Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, arugula, etc)
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.
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!
Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
Spiced Eggplant Puree
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.
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.
Slice the zucchini length ways 1/2 cm thick and lay flat on the board.
Cut out the center seeded part of the zucchini leaving the colored outside trimming, tagliatelle (wide ribbon) like.
Place in a bowl and add the olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt.
Mix together and leave to marinate for 20 minutes, toss every 5 minutes or so. Set aside.
To cook the halibut, pre-heat the broiler to high and heat a frying pan on the stove top to high.
When the pan is hot add a splash of olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt on the fish.
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.
When the crust is on, place the pan under the broiler for 1 minute or so.
The fish should be in the pan no longer than 5 minutes total.
Place the Halibut, Zucchini Tagliatelle, and Eggplant Puree together in a dish and enjoy!
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!
Season filets with salt and pepper and lightly brush with olive oil
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.
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.
Remove to a platter, let rest for at least 5 minutes, drizzle with olive oil and reduced balsamic vinegar before serving. Enjoy!
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!
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and gather your ingredients.
Mash the two bananas with a fork, then mix in the shredded coconut.
Grease a cupcake pan (the pan helps the cookies hold shape) with coconut oil. Bake for 25 minutes.
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.
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.
It's so easy you'd think it would taste bad! And although this is a mild taco soup generally; it does take well to adding a little kick if you'd like. We've had this soup during basically any time of year, because it's so delicious! So don't you worry that you're limited to just winter time with this easy recipe.
We all have our favorite snacks from when we were kids. Even if they weren’t allowed in our lunch box, we still pined after that one kid who took out the best fruit snacks and chips! It’s taken a few years to get here, but the health food industry has finally made a more “healthy” alternative to those treats. I put healthy in quotes, because at the end of that day, candy is candy and junk food is junk food (even if it is organic, without GMO’s or preservatives).
Never fear! You can now save any child in your life from the fate of begging “The Great Snack Kids” to trade carrot sticks for cheesy chips. You can also save yourself from trying to pronounce the ingredients on those conventional packages and trust the clean ingredients in these products found at Lassens!
Of course, these are only just a few of the alternatives to junk food that are now available in the health food store industry. If you are getting a hankering for something snacky, you now know where to go!
Enjoy fulfilling those cravings and packing up an awesome lunch box 😉
These gifts for foodies are so much fun to make and give! The vinegar takes about a month for the flavors to “marry”, so be sure to let your loved one know before they pop it open for a tasty salad!
Place your chosen flavorings in a quart-sized jar. For these three, I used
Raspberries and fresh mint leaves (I used champagne vinegar)
Slices of lemon peel, sliced garlic cloves, chopped fresh rosemary (I used white wine vinegar)
Fresh cranberries (I used rice vinegar)
Pour the vinegar over the items into the jars. Cover with a non-metal lid (or put a piece of plastic wrap between the lid and the jar). Refrigerate for about three to four weeks, swirling it around every day.
After a month or so, pour the contents through a strainer and then into your chosen bottles (with a funnel). Add a gift tag (mine were just printable business cards that I got at an office supply store) with a ribbon. Viola!
Italian Sun-Dried Tomato Dipping Oil
I love to use dipping oil on bread when we eat Italian food. Here’s a simple recipe to do it yourself!
1/4 tsp each dried italian herbs–basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary
1 TBSP chopped sun-dried tomato (the kind that is packed in oil)
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly-ground pepper
1/2 TBSP chopped fresh organic parsley
3 TBSP grated organic parmesan cheese
2 cups Organic Extra-virgin Olive Oil
In a small pan, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil. add the herbs and the garlic, and just heat until softened.
Remove from the heat and let cool. Add the rest of the ingredients and the rest of the oil and then blend well. Pour into a bottle and allow to sit for several hours before serving. You can pour into gift bottles and spread a bit of your kitchen magic around to your friends and family! These should be used within about a week, or kept in the refrigerator.