All posts by Lassen

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Cage Free, and the Living is Easy!

Chino Valley Ranchers Organic Eggs

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Chris shows us his mad chicken-whisperer skills!


Chris Nichols went off and did his own thing for a few years, but his grandfather’s business drew him back. Now he leads the crew at Chino Valley Ranch, where Organic is in their DNA. Some of us at Lassen’s got to drive out to see Chris and his Egg operation, and it was a treat!

When we visited Chino Valley, we were able to see some of the flocks. We started by seeing a new flock of chicks, just about 11 days old.  They get about 31,000 at a time from certified growers, and at 5 days old.

Chino+Valley+Ranchers+Eggs, Organic+Eggs, Healthy+Eggs, Cage+Free+Eggs,
These chicks, in a flock of about 31,000, are about 12 days old!

The first building was full of the fluffy little bodies, and they were not quite used to people walking around them. They skittered away from us, some to go out the doors to the outside. But it was a hot day, and most preferred to stay in the shade.

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Free to wander… but still like the shade and company!

After World War II, Charles Burton came to California from Iowa, and he needed a job. He worked for a Dutchman delivering eggs and milk. He did such a good job that he ended up buying the route. He soon realized that he could make more money selling eggs, so he started a small backyard flock in Arcadia. Well, it depends on your definition of small, but that first flock had about 300 birds. Charles built up the business, doing everything by hand. His son was a machinist, but when Charles suddenly died at age 63, he ended up taking over the business.

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Peter holds a little fluff-ball chick!

In 1988, Nichols Ranch bought Chino Valley Ranches, and the “hippies” who ran it pushed him to establish a cage free and organic operation. After attending a Natural Foods Trade show in the early 1990s, they saw the direction that they wanted to go.  With encouragement from Alta Dena Dairy, they started to produced fertile eggs, too. 

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Here’s a look at the special, nutritionist-designed organic feed for the birds.

The Natural, Cage-free, and Organic eggs just “took off.”  Equipment was purchased, the Ranch was expanded, and Chino Hills Ranch became an organic powerhouse in the egg industry.  

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Yup, these are full of the organic ingredients for the special feed!

Now with the third generation of Nichols in the business, Chino Valley has their own Nutritionist, to make sure the feed is nutritionally balanced, as well as organic. Every batch of feed is sourced specifically for their Ranch, and milled in-house to have maximum control. Chino Valley Ranchers also tests every batch of feed to make sure it is 100% organic.  It takes 4 lbs of feed to produce 1 dozen eggs, so they want to make sure every bit of feed is the highest quality possible!

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This is a tasty blend! These are 6-week-old chicks
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At six weeks they aren’t as nervous around people

Next we saw 6-week old chicks, then some at 14 weeks. The older they got, the more used they were to people coming into the hen houses.  

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Old enough to lay eggs

We were able to see the older hens as they hopped onto the platforms and went into the laying enclosures to have a little privacy as they laid their eggs. Food, water, space, and training were all carefully managed so that the chickens were treated humanely and healthily.  

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She’s content!
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Hens like a little privacy when they’re laying eggs
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Once the eggs are laid, a conveyor belt takes them to the sorting area

After enjoying the chicks and hens, we drove to the packing plant, which is a marvel of modern machinery. Everything from cleaning and sorting to packing, inspecting, and labelling was handled smoothly and efficiently.

Chino+Valley+Ranchers+Eggs, Organic+Eggs, Healthy+Eggs, Cage+Free+Eggs,
This equipment not only washes the eggs, but aligns them all to have the pointier ends facing the same way

When we asked if there were about a million eggs in the plant, we thought we might be exaggerating, but David, our guide, told us that they had 22 million eggs in the inventory that day! Yes, twenty-two MILLION! They were all headed for distribution, and the eggs go from hen to store shelves in just a matter of days. 

Chino+Valley+Ranchers+Eggs, Organic+Eggs, Healthy+Eggs, Cage+Free+Eggs,
Twenty-two Million Eggs!

Lassen’s is proud to support a local and organic egg producer, particularly one who has been a leader in the organic movement.  Let’s support organic whenever we can!

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We love Chino Valley Ranchers!

Enjoy these delicious Chino Valley Ranchers Eggs — available every day at Lassen’s!, lassensloves, organic+blueberries, local+blueberries, organic+local,, blueberry+growers

These Berries Are Candy Without the Guilt!

Chas Blueberries, lassensloves, organic+blueberries, local+blueberries, organic+local,
Lassen’s has found a wonderful local blueberry grower right here in our back yard!

And last week I got to tour their farm on the Oxnard Plain!

Organic+Blueberries, locally+grown,

Born in Hawthorn to a farming family, Chas grew up down dirt roads and in the midst of acres of tomato plants. He  started farming in the San Gabriel Valley, and has been a berry grower in Ventura County since 1982.

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When he came to Ventura County, he grew conventional strawberries.  Ten years ago the strawberry market started turning mostly to the huge producers, so Chas and his son Rick transitioned into blueberries.  About three years ago, he decided that he wanted to go “instantly organic” by planting young blueberry bushes in organic peat moss. He has mastered the intricacies of growing organically — keeping down weeds and pests with mats and hand-weeding, as well as using vinegars and soaps. Everything from planting to harvesting and packing is done with great care, and strictly to Certified Organic standards.

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And they grow their berries in Hoop Houses so they can manage the elements, as well as keep the birds away. Those birds love the blueberries as much as we do! 

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One thing that I found absolutely fascinating is the science of blueberry pollination. Blueberry blossoms are very small and long, and a regular honeybee’s body doesn’t catch and move the pollen very well. So Chas and Rick use a variety of bumblebee that has dense hairy bodies that pick up and distribute the pollen.  The Hoop Houses also keep the bumblebees contained. No swarming bees here!

Organic+Blueberries, locally+grown,

Chas and Rick grow two varieties of blueberries — Emerald is the early producer, and now we have Jewel. Both are incredibly sweet and just the right texture. I am looking forward to having Chas’s berries for the whole season next year, but in the meantime, I’m eating more than I thought possible. 

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We love our local farmers and producers!

Thanks, Chas and Rick for a great tour!

Organic+Blueberries, locally+grown,

national+nutrition+month, healthy+eating

National Nutrition Month®!

Celebrate March: National Nutrition Month®!

Written by Denae and Mykey

It’s likely that we all have roughly the same thing in mind when we consider what we see as “the ideal healthy lifestyle” — Able to wake up in the morning refreshed, fully energized to hit the gym BEFORE work, every meal having the perfect balance of vegetables, grains, proteins, and fruits, and always satisfied with what the scale reads. I believe the root of a lot of problems — especially with things like fatigue, fluctuating weight, and digestive issues — leads back to poor nutrition. 

If you remember, like I do, there was a time when the very foundation of the food pyramid was bread, pasta, & grains. My school cafeteria door had a poster similar to this picture reminding all of us how to eat. So as we loaded up our school lunch plate with cheese pizza, a cookie, and chopped iceberg lettuce, we thought we were good to go! 

Now-a-days there is a slightly different way of eating, just like there will probably be a different way in 20 years from now. Let’s not focus on that just yet; check back in in 2037!

Here is a more modern version of the pyramid we see today. With fitness at the heart and fruits & veggies following shortly behind, it’s a strong foundation for a strong body! 

This model is much better, but in no way is it perfect. The truth is that everybody and every body is different. This is unavoidably apparent today with so many special dietary needs and restrictions: gluten free, dairy free, soy free, animal free, sugar free, etc. That’s not even figuring into account preference and taste. It can be a real challenge to do what’s best for you and your family, especially since a lot of commercial products are still loaded with preservatives, artificial additives, and hidden ingredients.

If I could I would go back in time and slap that “strawberry” frosted  Pop-Tart out of my 2nd grade hand and give myself a slice of apple dipped in peanut butter…. Time travel is still just a wonderful dream, right?

   The good news is that we’re getting better. There seems to be a recent awareness of the importance of health and nutrition. This is causing many to take their health and the health of their loved ones into their own hands.  They are working to create households, neighborhoods and communities of caring, encouraging folks who are determined to control the length and quality of their lives through good nutrition. 

Maybe you’re wondering how you can improve your diet, one bite at a time, when there are so many different options out there. Start with these tips as you embark on your better nutrition journey.

1. Incorporate at least one vegetable into every meal, or at least try!

By including one or more vegetables per meal, you’re consuming vitamins and nutrients with every single meal, including dessert. Those vegetables don’t always have to be your basic steamed veggies or a salad, although those are some mighty fine options! Alternative options can be: 

Replace pasta & noodles with squash: spaghetti squash conveniently and seamlessly replaces spaghetti’s higher calories and excess carbohydrates. Spiralized zucchini can also be a low-carb alternative to spaghetti noodles.  Sliced zucchini or eggplant are excellent in place of lasagna noodles.

Breakfast scrambles: fast, easy & filled with vegetables. On a healthy day, my breakfast looks more like a salad than an egg dish. There are so many options here it makes it hard to know where to start sometimes. Not only can you find a breakfast scramble recipe here, but you can just make your own with last night’s leftover veggies!

Veggies for dessert? Try organic kale braised in vegetable broth and topped with brown sugar, cranberries and pecans as a sweet and ultra satisfying way to enjoy a vegetable for dessert. Does that sound a little too much like worlds colliding? Try our recipe for Maple Sweet Potato Bites and see if that doesn’t sooth your gnashing sweet tooth. You can always opt for the classic Zucchini Bread too!

2. Start the day with an apple and a TALL glass of water  

The list of apples’ wonderful properties goes on and on, including high fiber, low-calorie nutrition detail and heart-health benefits.
Here is a neat little comprehensive list of 6 Serious Heath Benefits of Apples. And here is another list All About Apples; how to use them and their taste profile. One Apple counts as 1 serving of fruit and makes me feel less hungry when paired with that glass of water, helping me make a better breakfast decision. 

Finally…. (let the dramatic music crescendo…)

3. When it comes to dessert, I give myself one sugar-fest per week!
This is my favorite rule.
I tell myself each week, “Okay self, you get immunity for a sweet treat one time this week.” 

Because I know I only have one shot, it makes me evaluate if I really want that donut someone brought in to work, or if a handful of blueberries will suffice until the next occasion arises. I always want to wait for the weekend because that’s when all the fun stuff happens, but if I make it through the week without picking something I pat myself on the back for a whole week without sweets. This doesn’t work like roll-over minutes where you can save up a whole bunch and blow it on a week long dessert disaster, though! This rule is to help your body lower its cravings for sweets, or be satiated with the natural sugars from your daily fruits.   

The reason this works so well is that it gives semi-strict guidelines, but it also gives room to make a choice to eat sort of junky. 
It’s not about making yourself  feel bad for eating a piece of  cake. The worst thing people can do is get down on themselves for eating something that they probably shouldn’t. Hey, We’re human! And thanks to the culinary captains (as I like to call them) of the health food world, there are many options at Lassen’s to choose from so we don’t have to fall so hard when we take a dip in the dessert pool.

The best part of this rule is that when you’re face-to-face with the chocolate gooeyness that you’ve been holding out for all week, there’s no guilt if you do decide you want it.So you can really enjoy it without the words, “I shouldn’t be eating this” chanting in your head.

This is how I attempt to get my plate into shape for National Nutrition Month®, but what’s your secret?
We want to know what you’ve done to reach optimum nutrition for you and your loved ones.
Post on our wall on Facebook or Instagram and tell us what your rules are! 

We hope today finds you in excellent health and happiness!


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DIY Gifts for Your Favorite Foodies!

Dipping Oils and Flavored Vinegar

Written by Gayle

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!

Flavored Vinegar

easy+DIY+gifts, holiday+gifts, homemade+gifts, flavored+vinegar

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.
easy+DIY+gifts, holiday+gifts, homemade+gifts, flavored+vinegar
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

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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.

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Happy gift-giving from Lassen’s!

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noodle+bowls, easy+meals, easy+recipes, tasty+noodles

Noodle Bowls

Make it Your Way!

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One of the easiest — and most fun — meals is a Noodle Bowl. Popular in many different varieties, I love to make and eat them. I also love the way I can toss just about anything that I have in my refrigerator into my noodle bowl and change the experience! This recipe is more savory than some that I have eaten, but I like the kick of the lime juice and vinegar. If you want to cut down on the acid, just leave out the vinegar and add an extra teaspoon of agave nectar.

If you are looking for a great entertaining menu, a Noodle Bowl Bar could satisfy all of your friends or family! So let’s get cooking!

Noodle Bowls

Serves 3-4

You’ll Need:

  • 1 lb rice or other noodles, cooked per package directions, drained and rinsed in cool water. Set aside.
  • Sauce — whisk all until blended, set aside:
    • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed organic lime juice
    • 2 TBSP sesame oil
    • 2 TBSP fish sauce
    • 2 TBSP rice wine vinegar
    • 1 tsp agave nectar (optional)
    • 1 tsp sriracha sauce, or to taste (optional)
    • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

noodle+bowls, easy+meals, easy+recipes, tasty+noodles

  • Toppings — choose as much as you’d like of any or all of the following:
    • shredded roasted or poached chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp
    • diced tofu
    • diced organic cucumber
    • diced organic tomato
    • shredded organic carrots
    • chopped organic jalapeño pepper
    • slivered organic green onion
    • chopped organic cilantro
    • chopped organic romaine lettuce
    • sautéed organic sugar snap peas
    • chopped roasted and salted peanuts

noodle+bowls, easy+meals, easy+recipes, tasty+noodles


  • Cook the noodles and blend the sauce
  • Pour the sauce over the cold noodles, toss to coat and then set aside
  • Prepare the toppings as desired
  • Place the noodles in 3-4 bowls, then top with desired toppings.
  • Garnish with lime wedges and sesame seeds,  and serve with additional sriracha sauce

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Don’t forget the chopsticks!

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Quick Breakfast!

Looking for a Way to Hurry up Your Morning?

Do you have the morning rush going on at your house? Here’s a make-ahead breakfast that will stay with you all morning!– Chia pudding! Yup, you read that right. Make a batch of this and breakfast prep is cut down to size. There are lots of options with this one, so everyone in your household can be happy!

chia +pudding, easy+breakfast, healthy+snacks, quick+breakfast

Chia Pudding

You’ll Need:

  • 1 can coconut milk — full or reduced fat (you can also substitute cashew milk, almond milk, soy milk, half milk and half yogurt, or any other liquid you’d like)
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • Optional: 1/2 cup organic rolled oats (note — add an extra 1/2 cup of liquid if you add the rolled oats)
  • 1 TBSP agave nectar (or to taste)
  • Toppings:
    • organic berries
    • other organic fruit — bananas, peaches, mangoes, apples, etc
    • nuts (I used organic raw slivered almonds)
    • shredded coconut
    • hemp seeds
    • raisins, dried cranberries, or other dried fruit
    • Use your imagination!

chia+recipes, chia+pudding, easy+breakfast, healthy+snacks, quick+breakfast


  • Pour the liquid into a container with a tight-fitting lid
  • Add the chia seeds and agave nectar (and rolled oats, if using)
  • Mix well, then refrigerate overnight.
  • Stir to blend, and then place in bowl and top with fruit, nuts and other toppings as desired

This is a breakfast that keeps me humming all morning! You could also layer the pudding with fruit to take as a quick and filling lunch!


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Enjoy! Love,


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Melon+salad, summer+salad, healthy+fruit+salad, summer+fruit,

Sweet Late Summer Fruit!

Hang on as Long as You Can!

Melon+salad, summer+salad, healthy+fruit+salad

We have mostly sent our kids back to school — my college girl goes next week — but since the warm weather still continues, I want to hang on to it as long as possible! Today I kept the taste of summer alive with this amazing sweet fruit salad. Yum!

Cantaloupe Feta Salad

You’ll Need:

  • 1 medium organic cantaloupe, cubed or use a melon baller
  • 1 cup organic green grapes
  • 4 oz organic raspberries
  • 4 oz organic blueberries
  • 3 TBSP crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • 3 large organic basil leaves, slivered, plus a sprig for garnish
  • Balsamic Vinegar reduction

Melon+salad, summer+salad, healthy+fruit+salad, summer+fruit,


  • Toss the fruit and basil slivers in a medium bowl
  • Sprinkle the cheese crumbles on top
  • Drizzle with balsamic vinegar
  • Garnish with a small basil sprig
  • Serve immediately

Don’t say goodbye to summer quite yet!

Melon+salad, summer+salad, healthy+fruit+salad, cantaloupe+recipes



Melon+salad, summer+salad, healthy+fruit+salad, feta+cheese, cantaloupe+recipes, lassens, lassen's, hamburger+recipes, sliders, healthy+sliders, summer+grilling, grilled+peaches, grilled+sliders

These Aren’t Ordinary Sliders!

You’ll Totally Want to Fire Up The Grill for this Recipe!

hamburger+recipes, sliders, healthy+sliders, summer+grilling, grilled+peaches, grilled+sliders

There’s nothing like a burger when you want to shout “Summer!” and these are amazingly creative and delicious, to boot! So we give you —

Organic Grilled Peach & Cambozola Grass-Fed Beef Sliders

Makes 4 sliders

You’ll Need:

  • 1 lb. Organic Grass-Fed Ground Beef
  • Champignon Cambozola Cheese
  • Hamburger Slider Buns of Choice
  • Organic Cooking Spray
  • 1 TBSP Majestic Garlic Original Spread
  • 1 Organic Peaches
  • Handful Organic Radicchio
  • Handful Organic Arugula
  • 1-2 Organic Red Onions, sliced
  • 1 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar


  • Roasted Balsamic Onions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees, and lightly coat a shallow baking pan with cooking spray. Arrange the onions in one layer in pan and roast in the middle of the oven, stirring occasionally until golden brown and just tender, about 15 minutes. Drizzle vinegar over the onion and roast until most of the vinegar is evaporated, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, cover and keep warm
  • Grilled Peaches: Cut peaches in half and remove the pit. Brush lightly with olive oil. Heat grill to medium-low heat. Place peaches on grill; cover grill and cook until charred and softened, about 4-5 minutes per side. Set aside and keep warm
  • Burgers: Divide meat into 4 and form patties. Heat grill to medium heat. Season patties with salt and pepper to taste. Grill burgers to desired doneness
  • Toast buns on grill until toasty with clear grill marks
  • Assemble: Bun, Garlic Spread, radicchio and arugula, beef pattie, cheese, peaches, onion and top bun.

These will be the talk of your next barbecue! Enjoy this taste of summer!



hamburger+recipes, sliders, healthy+sliders, summer+grilling, grilled+peaches, grilled+sliders, barbecue+recipes, lassens, lassen's, hamburger+recipes, sliders, healthy+sliders, summer+grilling, grilled+peaches, grilled+sliders

energy+bites, healthy+snacks, nut+and+date+bites, quick+energy+foods

Mini Pops of Power!

Perfect for the Afternoon Blahs!

energy+bites, healthy+snacks, nut+and+date+bites, quick+energy+foods

I’ve heard these little orbs of deliciousness called Energy Bites, but I just call them fantastic. No matter what is on my schedule, these little bites give me what I need to power through until dinner. There are many possible combinations of ingredients, but today I used prunes, nuts, and quinoa. I generally have extra quinoa cooked, ready to add to salads and other dishes, so this was a quick and easy recipe. Make a batch to help you and your family power through your essential tasks (even if that task is basking in the sun at the beach)!

energy+bites, healthy+snacks, nut+and+date+bites, quick+energy+foods

Prune-Quinoa Energy Bites

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup organic almonds
  • 1/2 cup organic cashews
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3-4 organic medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup pitted prunes
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp agave nectar, if desired


  • Pulse the almonds in the food processor until well chopped, but still chunky
  • Add the cashews and do the same.
  • Add the quinoa, dates, prunes, and salt.
  • Pulse in the food processor until well blended, but you should still be able to see chunks of nuts
  • Moisten your hands with water, and then form 1″ balls
  • Place on a waxed paper lined dish, and then refrigerate until firm.
  • This recipe is quite moist, so you may want to roll them in shredded coconut to make them less sticky.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

These are a fantastic protein addition to a light lunch, or all by themselves as a snack!

energy+bites, healthy+snacks, nut+and+date+bites, quick+energy+foods



antibiotics+in+meat, antibiotic+free+meat, antibiotic+free+meats, healthy+meat, barbecue, antibiotic+resistance

Antibiotics in the News Again

But This Time Scarier and More Serious, lassen's, lassens, antibiotic+free+meat, drug+resistant, antibiotic+free+meats, healthy+meat
If you would like this recipe, click on  this link

Scientists have been warning us for some time that our over-use of antibiotics could lead to drug-resistant strains of bacteria. They have been calling for a drastic reduction of the use of antibiotics, particularly in our food system. Unfortunately, many growers have ignored those calls and continued to add antibiotics to the feed of animals intended for our food system. This article in the Washington Post (dated May 27, 2016) announced that an antibiotic resistant “Superbug” has been found in the system of a Pennsylvania woman. This bug in particular is resistant to the antibiotic colistin, which is often the drug of “last resort” for a person infected with bacteria that has proven to be resistant to other antibiotics. These superbugs have the potential to kill up to 50% of those infected. Now that’s alarming!

This is the first time that a colistin-resistant bacterium has been found in humans in the United States. Last fall it had been found in pigs and raw pork in China, and then later found in Europe, among other places. CDC Director Tom Frieden is quoted in the Washington Post article as saying, “It basically shows us that the end of the road isn’t very far away for antibiotics – that we may be in a situation where we have patients in our intensive care units, or patients getting urinary-tract infections for which we do not have antibiotics.”

The more that antibiotics are used in livestock animals (or in humans, for that matter), the greater the chance that the bacterium will mutate and develop a resistance to that drug. This is one of the biggest reasons why Lassen’s has long advocated that the practice of using antibiotics in animal feed be stopped. This blog post, from two years ago, spells out why we are so passionate about providing the best grass-fed organic meats.

The antibiotic colistin is widely used in livestock in China. In open air markets that bacterium can easily leap from livestock into the food system through food stalls. Along with other experts, Yohei Doi, an infectious-disease doctor at the University of Pittsburgh is calling for speedier action in curbing the use of antibiotics in livestock. This is not a problem that only the USA needs to tackle – this is a worldwide problem that demands immediate action. If action is not taken soon, we may face a world where infections are untreatable.

As we act locally to support ranchers who do not use antibiotics in feed, and who raise their animals humanely and ethically, we are helping to reduce the amount of antibiotics in our food system. We all need to use our consumer dollars to support policies and practices that protect our health and safety.

antibiotics+in+meat, antibiotic+free+meat, antibiotic+free+meats, healthy+meat, barbecue, antibiotic+resistance

So this summer as you fire up the barbecue, make sure what you’re slapping on the grill is helping your health, the health of society, and the health of the planet. Choose meats free of antibiotics!



avocado+salad, caprese+salad, avocado+caprese+salad

A Salad Fit for Summer!

Avocado Caprese


Yeah, I know it’s not summer yet, but if I close my eyes tightly I can feel the summer vibe! So just to get into the mood, I made this Avocado Caprese for lunch — quick, easy, delicious, and healthy!

You’ll Need:

  • 1 ripe organic ripe avocado
  • 3 TBSP chopped organic tomato
  • 3 TBSP fresh mozzarella cheese, either the very small balls, or chopped
  • 4 small leaves fresh organic basil, sliced
  • 2 tsp organic green onion tops (green part only), sliced
  • balsamic reduction, to drizzle
  • ground fresh salt and pepper


  • Slice the avocado, and remove the pit. Place in a bowl
  • Chop the tomato and cheese, and sprinkle over the avocado halves
  • Top with green onion and basil, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Serve!

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Vegan Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Tarts

Beautiful and Delicious!

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Vegan Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Tarts

Need a delicious and beautiful dessert for Mother’s Day, or just to celebrate this beautiful Spring? Try this vegan cheesecake tart with sweet Meyer Lemons! Prepare this the day before, and you’ll impress everyone! 

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For the Crust:

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 TBSP melted coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP agave nectar or maple syrup
  • pinch salt

For the Cheesecake:

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked overnight *see note below*
  • the juice of 4 organic Meyer lemons
  • Zest from 2 organic Meyer lemons, divided
  • the solid part of a can of coconut milk (put in refrigerator overnight)
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste (or 1 tsp extract)
  • pinch salt
  • raspberries and lemon slices  for garnish

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  • Pulse the almonds in a food processor until roughly chopped, set aside, then do the same with the pepitas, and then the sunflower seeds. The nuts/seeds should be pretty chunky.
  • Melt the coconut oil, and pour over the seeds
  • Add the agave or maple syrup, and blend until well mixed
  • Line the bottom of 8 ramekin cups with waxed paper, and then press the crust mixture on the bottom. You can also use a pie plate or 8″ springform pan
  • Refrigerate until firm — about 30 minutes
  • Drain the nuts and then process in the food processor until smooth. 
  • Add the lemon juice, coconut milk solids, agave or maple syrup, half of the lemon zest, and salt
  • Process at high speed until as smooth as possible.
  • Pour over the chilled crust, and then chill overnight or for at least two hours
  • Remove the cheesecake tarts from the ramekin cups, and garnish before serving

*NOTE* Macadamia nuts are quite hard and will not blend into as smooth of a finished cheesecake as just plain cashews. If you want a really smooth finished dessert, please use cashews only. Here is a link to a knock-out fruit tart recipe from a couple of years ago with an all-cashew cheesecake*

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This recipe will make your brunch really special!