Ok, scratch this- figured out what happened. Will explain here in case it happens to someone else... simple- I had accidentally saved an assembly as a template and it was using this as the basis when I opened up the new Parasolid (etc).
So I just had to go in and edit the assembly template to take out those parts and I was good again. FYI my file was here: C:\ProgramData\SOLIDWORKS\SOLIDWORKS 2015\templates\Assembly.asmdot
But you can find out where it is by going to: options> system options> default templates.
I don't normally use templates so it never dawned on me that this might be a problem.
So there you go...