Category Archives: vegan

Lassen's+Natural+Foods, 2018+Expo+East, 2018+Natural+Products+Expo+East, Expo+East, Cauliflower+Bites, Delicious+Healthy+foods

Finding New Products at Expo East!

We’re on the Hunt for Great New Products!

September has brought us to Baltimore for the Natural Products Expo East Trade Show. We love attending seminars and meeting producers — it’s exciting to see the creativity and great new products!  Here are some of the fun and delicious things we’ve see at this show!

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I love DEET-free repellents!

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There are a lot of great new entrants in the drink category — this watermelon was delicious!

lassens+natural+foods, 2018+Natural+products+expo+east, Expo+East, 2018+Expo+East

Tasty new dressings!

lassens+natural+foods, 2018+Natural+products+expo+east, Expo+East, 2018+Expo+East

This brand has new offerings — Yum!

lassens+natural+foods, 2018+Natural+products+expo+east, Expo+East, 2018+Expo+East

New offerings in the Chip Aisle

lassens+natural+foods, 2018+Natural+products+expo+east, Expo+East, 2018+Expo+East

Apple Cider Vinegar Drinks are a lot of fun — and healthy, too!

lassens+natural+foods, 2018+Natural+products+expo+east, Expo+East, 2018+Expo+East

This company had these biodegradable cloths — one towel replaces 15 rolls of paper towels. And they biodegrade in less than 3 months!

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Want an easy side dish? Craving Tater Tots? Try these Cauliflower bites. From Freezer to oven to table. We are definitely bringing these into Lassen’s!

lassens+natural+foods, 2018+Natural+products+expo+east, Expo+East, 2018+Expo+East

Grain-free offerings were abundant at Expo East, and this one was tasty, for sure.

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Hu Chocolates’ new products feature cashews, almonds, and dried fruit. Delicious.

lassens+natural+foods, 2018+Natural+products+expo+east, Expo+East, 2018+Expo+East

Dahlicious has new Cashew drinkable yogurt, and their almond yogurts are smooth and creamy.

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This French Yogurt was very tasty — I liked the Pressed Lemon in the ceramic container. The flavors were very subtile and the creamy texture was divine.

Watch for the new products coming up soon at a Lassen’s near you! I didn’t get a photo of Justin’s new Cashew Cup, but it should arrive soon in the stores. It is delicious!

Love,

Lassen’s

 

 

 

Amy's+Kitchen, Organic+Prepared+Foods, Healthy+Frozen+Foods, Non+GMO, Amy's+Organics

Amy’s — a Natural Foods Staple for 30 Years!

Amy’s is a California Original!

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+Kitchen, Organic+Prepared+Foods, Healthy+Frozen+Foods, Non+GMO, Amy's+Organics

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+kitchen, amys+kitchen

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.

Amy's+Kitchen, Organic+Prepared+Foods, Healthy+Frozen+Foods, Non+GMO, Amy's+Organics

They have delicious burgers, fries, shakes, pizza, burritos, and much more. I hope they bring their Drive Thru to Southern California!

Amy's+Kitchen, Organic+Prepared+Foods, Healthy+Frozen+Foods, Non+GMO, Amy's+Organics
yummmmm… Chili Fries!

I love visiting the producers of our amazing products! Thanks, Amy’s for hosting us!

Love,

Lassen’s

Amy's+Kitchen, Organic+Prepared+Foods, Healthy+Frozen+Foods, Non+GMO, Amy's+Organics

Amy's+Kitchen, Organic+Prepared+Foods, Healthy+Frozen+Foods, Non+GMO, Amy's+Organics

 

danish+cucumber+salad, danish+cucumber+salad+recipe, cucumber+salad+recipe, cucumber+salad, easy+recipes, healthy+cucumber+recipes

Danish Cucumber Salad

Salad, Side Dish, Appetizer, Sandwich Topping — You Will Love this Simple and Easy Recipe!

danish+cucumber+salad, danish+cucumber+salad+recipe, cucumber+salad+recipe, cucumber+salad, easy+recipes, healthy+cucumber+recipes

If you have enjoyed a Danish Smörgåsbord (or Swedish, for that matter) you have probably noticed a multitude of small serving dishes with little pickles of all kinds, red cabbage (rødkål, see Oda’s recipe here), peas and carrots, cucumbers, pickled beets, and other items. These can be enjoyed as toppings for open-faced sandwiches (smørrebrød), or as a small side dish. The Danes use them as  Americans use cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving. These tasty sides are not reserved for holidays, but are everyday kind of dishes. They add such a pop of color and taste to many meals, and I love them!

The Lassen family loves to have dinners together, and when we make the assignment list,  Cucumber Salad is nearly always included.  This is one of my favorite Danish recipes, and also one of the simplest. It adds a great flair and pop of flavor to basic meals and fancy ones alike. Oda, our founder, taught me how to make this salad, and when she and Hilmar downsized their living space, I inherited her Bosch Mixer with the slicing and grating attachments. I used it to slice the cucumbers for this post!

danish+cucumber+salad, danish+cucumber+salad+recipe, cucumber+salad+recipe, cucumber+salad, easy+recipes, healthy+cucumber+recipes

Oda’s Danish Cucumber Salad

Serves 4

You’ll Need:

  • 1 organic English Cucumber, or 4 Persian Cucumbers (please see *note for special instructions if only regular cucumbers are available)
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup unbleached sugar — you could also use agave syrup, or any other sweetener if desired
  • 3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

danish+cucumber+salad, danish+cucumber+salad+recipe, cucumber+salad+recipe, cucumber+salad, easy+recipes, healthy+cucumber+recipes

Instructions:

  • Wash and dry the cucumbers. English and Persian cucumbers do not need to be peeled.
  • *Regular cucumbers have thicker skins. When that’s all that’s available, I partially peel the cucumbers so that a little bit of skin remains. This adds great color and a bit more crunch. If the regular cucumbers have tough seeds, I cut them in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
  • Slice the cucumbers very thinly. If you do not have a food processor or other tool, you can use the side of a box grater — there’s a handy slicer there.
  • Place the slices in a strainer over a bowl, and then sprinkle generously with salt.
  • Stir the cucumbers so that the salt is blended in.
  • Mix the sugar and vinegar in a small bowl, and stir to dissolve.
  • Let sit for about 15 minutes. You’ll see lots of juice under the strainer

danish+cucumber+salad, danish+cucumber+salad+recipe, cucumber+salad+recipe, cucumber+salad, easy+recipes, healthy+cucumber+recipes

  • With clean hands, squeeze as much moisture as possible out of the cucumbers.
  • Drain and wipe the bowl, then return the cucumbers
  • Pour the sugar and vinegar over the cucumbers, and stir to coat. 
  • Let the salad sit for another 10 minutes or so, mixing occassionally. 
  • Add pepper and salt to taste
  • Serve! We like to provide small dishes on the side of each plate for this salad, since there is a lot of juice.

danish+cucumber+salad, danish+cucumber+salad+recipe, cucumber+salad+recipe, cucumber+salad, easy+recipes, healthy+cucumber+recipes

This salad will last several days in the refrigerator. 

Enjoy this taste of Denmark, straight from the Lassen home!

danish+cucumber+salad, danish+cucumber+salad+recipe, cucumber+salad+recipe, cucumber+salad, easy+recipes, healthy+cucumber+recipes

Love,

Lassen’s

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.
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Build a Salad Worth Eating!

Build a Salad Worth Eating!

Written by Denae

There are a lot of ways to make a kickin’ salad. Leftovers can be a salad go-to if you want to make sure they don’t go to waste. I’ve used baked chicken, fajita veggies, and fruit on it’s last leg to make sure I’m not throwing away food. Don’t be scared of a few bruises, my husband always says, “The uglier the fruit, the more delicious it’ll taste.”

Below I’m whipped up a lovely infographic to help you whip up a legit salad. A filling dinner doesn’t always have to take a long time to prepare.  

Love, 
Lassens

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Vegan Apple Crisp

Vegan & Grain-Free Apple Crisp

Written by Denae

Warm, fall-infused, comforting, vegan, and grain-free. These all make the perfect combination for a delicious apple crisp.

My favorite apples for apple crisp are the classic tart Granny Smith, and the juicy sweet Honeycrisp. Since they are both firm and crisp apples, they don’t become mush when they’re baked. 

The topping is another vital part. Since trying to stay away from grains, I’ve had to experiment with toppings while I make recipes. Originally I started with purely nuts, then threw in coconut, then I found quinoa flakes from Ancient Harvest. These flakes have changed how I make meatballs, crumbles, oatmeal, the list goes on. 

Enjoy this warm and sweet dessert,

Lassens

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Print Recipe
Vegan & Grain-Free Apple Crisp
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Prep Time 20-30 minutes
Cook Time 45-60 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Topping
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Prep Time 20-30 minutes
Cook Time 45-60 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Peel and slice apples in lengthwise pieces.
  3. Combine the remaining filling ingredient in a bowl. Add the apples and mix together. Add to an 8x8 or 9x13 dish (depending how thick you want the dessert).
  4. After combining all the topping ingredients in a bowl, sprinkle over the apple mixture.
  5. Bake uncovered for 45-60 minutes; or until the apples are easily pierced with a fork and the topping is golden brown.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes. Can be served alone, with whipped cream or ice cream.
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vegan+zucchini+lasagne, vegan+lasagne, zucchini+recipes, healthy+lasagne

Vegan Zucchini Lasagna

A True Labor of Love

…and there’s so much love!

Vegan+Zucchini+Lasagne 

Most of the good things in life are at least a little labor intensive.
Building a house, painting a mural, planting a garden…
but the outcome is always oh, so nice and oh, so worth it.
As Stephanie, our Lassen’s Ventura Sample Captain confessed, such was the case with this recipe for Vegan Zucchini Lasagna. It’s just a lot of chopping and dicing, which can all be done ahead of time and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to bake. Paleo, Vegan and Gluten-Free! Oh yeah, and the taste is fantastic!

You’ll Need:

Vegan+Zucchini+Lasagne
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 Tb oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
  • 8 zucchini squashes (cut into thin strips)
  • 3 tsp thyme
  • 1 bunch black kale
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 lemons (juiced – save peels for zesting)
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce (25 oz)
  • 4Tb extra virgin olive oil
Vegan+Zucchini+Lasagne

 

 
Cucina Antica Garlic Marinara is now sale this month (May, 2013)!
 
Instructions:
Preheat Oven to 450
Dice eggplant, red onions, bell peppers and garlic. Place in a saucepan on medium heat with zest from lemon, olive oil, thyme and oregano. Stir constantly for 10 minutes or until eggplant is tender. Add kale and lemon juice and simmer for another 2 minutes. 
Set Kale mix aside in a bowl.
 
On medium heat simmer zucchini strips for 8 minutes – flip regularly. Place 1 layer of zucchini strips on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. With a spoon, evenly spread half of the kale mixture over the zucchini strips, covering it completely. Pour 1 cup marinara sauce evenly over the top of the kale mixture.Top with another layer of zucchini strips followed by the kale mixture and then one more zucchini layer. Pour the rest of the marinara evenly over the final zucchini layer. Sprinkle the top with Nutritional yeast and walnuts.
Bake for 30 minutes.
 
Vegan+Zucchini+Lasagne
 
love,
 
Lassen’s
forks+over+knives, documentary+review, vegan+diet, healthy+eating, earth+friendly+eating, earth+friendly+diet

Documentary Review–Forks Over Knives

Look at all of those gorgeous fruits and vegetables!

organic+produce
Just in time for Spring and lots of gorgeous produce, I watched the documentary, “Forks Over Knives.”
 

 

This was a compelling and convincing argument for changing our diet–especially the highly processed animal-based diet of the average American–to a whole-food, plant-based diet.  
organic+produce

 

Of course the documentary begins with all of the scary statistics about the American diet–the change in the last 60 years that has brought a health crisis with Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and obesity.  This doesn’t even begin to mention the billions of dollars spent on drugs, drugs, and more drugs.

When this film was made, the healthcare cost in America was $2.2 trillion, and yet Americans are sicker than ever, and the rate of chronic diseases is ever increasing.

So, the question is posed, “What is the solution?”  “Not another pill.”

 

The film centered on the life-long research and experience of Dr. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.  They both have spent their professional lives making connections between food and health. 

“Let Food Be Thy Medicine”  (Hippocrates)

 
 

Several other doctors were involved in the film, as well as patients whose lives had been changed.  One of those who changed their diets completely was Lee Fulkerson.  The film followed his journey as he learned of this movement.  He went to see Dr. Matthew Lederman and Dr. Alona Pulde, a husband/wife team. 

 

 

Yikes!

Lee was shocked to see how unhealthy his bloodwork numbers were, especially since he had considered himself generally healthy.  He had an alarmingly high risk factor number for heart disease.
 
 

 

Lee took this very seriously and changed his diet completely to eat only whole-food, plant-based foods.

organic+produce

 

Lee was taken step-by step, from shopping to preparing to eating a whole-food plant-based diet.  Within a few months, his health was vastly improved, and not just by the numbers, but by how he felt.  The documentary also followed several others who have changed their lives and found incredible health benefits.  There was even one woman who was told that she should just go home and prepare to die because of her heart disease.  Instead, she met Dr. Esselstyn and changed the way she ate.  The film was made twenty years after that diagnosis, and she looks younger than she did when she was told to go home and get ready for her demise.

If you’d like to read more, and watch the trailer or the entire film, go to their official website.  They also have recipes and more help to make the switch.

organic+produce

 

I know we feel better when we eat more fruits and vegetables, and cut back on the animal products.  In the coming weeks we will feature recipes and tips to eat better, as well as featured produce.  We have some really beautiful produce at Lassen’s, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised as how affordable it is!

Love,

Lassen’s

healthy+desserts, raw+desserts, raw+cheesecake, strawberry+cheesecake, vegan+cheesecake

Raw & Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake

A decadent dessert that’s good for you? Whaaaa…?

Our Sample Captain Stephanie strikes again!
We’ve come to expect nothing but the best from this gal!
 
And with the spring season so close at hand, this creation couldn’t have happened soon enough!
Lo and behold… 

Raw & Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake

Raw+Vegan, Strawberry+Cheesecake
  
 You’ll Need:
Crust
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup organic dates
  • pinch of Himalayan pink salt
 
Filling (the pink layer)
2 cups raw cashews (soaked overnight in water)
4 tsp raw agave
1 1/2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
3 lemons (juiced)
1 1/2 cup packed sliced strawberries
 
Topping

1 cup cashews (soaked overnight in water)
1/4 cup water
2 Tbs raw agave
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
1/4 cup organic coconut oil

raw+vegan, Strawberry+Cheesecake
 
 
raw+vegan, strawberry+cheesecake
 
 
raw+vegan, strawberry+cheesecake
 
Instructions: 
  • Soak cranberries & cashews (separately) for 30 minutes (until cashews are soft) and drain.
  • Place all ingredients for crust in processor or blender -blend well.
  • Place in separate bowl and refrigerate.
  • Repeat process for filling and topping (rinse and towel dry food processor in between blendings).
  • Line crust evenly into a pie pan, pressing down edges to make a flat surface.
  • Pour filling over crust (repeat smoothing process) followed by topping.
  • Put in freezer until hard and serve.
  • For extra flavor and presentation, top with thinly sliced strawberries and fresh mint!
 

Thanks Stephanie, you mad woman you! 🙂

raw+vegan, strawberry+cheesecake

 

Love,
 
Lassens
natural+hydration, vega+sport

Another company “does the right thing”

Just a TOUCH of sarcasm, here…

Remember when I told you about Electro-Mix?  One of my objections to most popular sports drinks is that they contain many artificial coloring, flavorings, and chemicals.

Well, now I have good reason to have been wary of those chemicals.  A recent LA Times story reveals that one popular brand (in fact, they practically invented the whole concept of a sports-drink!) has included brominated vegetable oil.  Doesn’t sound too bad, until you find out that brominated vegetable oil is a synthetic chemical that “has been patented in Europe as a flame retardant.”  Yuck!

Are you SERIOUS???


The chemical is banned in Japan and the European Union.  Studies on mice have shown “reproductive and behavioral problems” in animals that have consumed large doses of the chemical.  This chemical “could be building up in human tissues.”  This additive is used in other popular sports and soft drinks as well.

This chemical is an emulsifier to distribute the coloring in the drink.  The Times article announced that after an online petition with more than 200,000 signatures was sent to the producer of the sports drink, the company will no longer put this chemical in its product.

Now it is going to add another unpronouncable chemical as an emulsifier: sucrose acetate isobutyrate.  And how long will it be before this chemical is found to have negative side effects, too?

REALLY?


Avoiding chemicals has always been a goal of the Natural Foods movement.  It seems that we regularly get news that ingredients in commercial products are not as safe as the manufacturers have claimed.  

So instead of using those chemical-laden products, here are two more to try. 

Vega+Sport, Electrolyte+Hydrator

Vega Sport has a Electrolyte Hydrator that is similar to Alacer’s Electro-Mix.  It is dairy, gluten and soy free, replenishes electrolytes and minerals.

Vega Sport’s products are 100% plant based as well, with no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners.  The packets are so convenient to tuck into a pocket or pack and easy to add to your water for instant electrolyte replacement!

And of course, for many years Lassen’s has carried Recharge, a natural hydration drink, made by the R.W. Knudsen Juice company.  All natural, Recharge is made without added sugar or artificial colors or flavors.

Recharge comes in 6 flavors, including Organic Lemon.

Knudsen+Recharge

Lassen’s carries thousands of products that have no artificial colorings, flavorings, or additives.

Here’s to happy and healthy hydration!

Love,

Lassen’s

sweet+potato+recipes, maple+sweet+potato+bites, yam+recipes, healthy+recipes

MAPLE SWEET POTATO BITES & LASSENS HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE!

Do you have a fiendishly delicious Halloween recipe?
We want to know how you satisfy your sweet tooth during Halloween 
using real, wholesome, organic food!
Enter your screamingly scrumptious recipe into our
REAL FOOD REAL RECIPES HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE!
 

 

The top three recipes will win
a $20.00 Lassens gift card as well as their 
recipes featured as FREE RECIPE CARDS

on our Halloween Display at each Lassens location
and a blog post about the recipe and YOU, its author! 
All other challenge entries will receive a Lassens coupon book with $10 worth of savings.
To share your recipe please visit our Facebook (which you can be directed to by simply clicking on the link at the top of this blog) of the Lassens location nearest you and post your recipe on our Facebook wall.
Please Include any information about yourself
and your dish that you’d like everyone to know and any pictures you’d like us to possibly include. All recipes are due Saturday, October 1st
Get into the spirit, ghost or ghoul this Halloween by sharing the tricks of your holiday treats!
 
And now without further ado,
 
sweet+potato+recipe

Maple Sweet Potato Bites

 
You’ll Need:
  • 8 cups organic sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup organic pure maple syrup (try Cadia organic 100% maple syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons organic butter or margarine
    (try Earth Balance organic vegan butter spread, my favorite!)
  • 1 tablespoon organic lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions:
 
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a 9 x 13 baking dish, arrange sweet potatoes in an even layer.
  • Combine all other ingredients in a small bowl and pour over sweet potatoes; toss to coat.
  • Cover and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring mixture every 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender and starting to brown.
This dish is simple and perfect for fall (which officially strikes TODAY, Friday, the 23rd). It makes a great side dish or, as I discovered, a very satisfying dessert!
 
 
sweet+potato, sweet+potato+recipe
 
 

Don’t forget to check out our October Organic Pumpkin and Halloween Display, 
coming to you October 1st, with recipes, organic chocolate, green bags for trick-or-treating, pumpkin pie, pumpkin scented lotion and more!

Love, Lassen’s