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Healthy Living: Frozen


Frozen Vegetables

The Disney movie, “Frozen,” is an undisputed hit and so is the chilly aisle in your local Brookshire’s.

I didn’t even know vegetables and other foods came in a can until I was an adult out living on my own. Luckily, my mom knew what we hope you know, too: frozen produce is a heck of a lot healthier than canned goods.

Freezing is a natural preservative that upholds quality, prolongs shelf life and retains nutritional value by immediately locking in freshness. There’s no added salt or sugar. Produce and other quality items don’t sit around; they’re frozen at the peak of freshness after they’re picked, harvested or prepared. So many quality frozen products are chef-prepared fresh then flash frozen to seal in quality and flavor.

In addition, many frozen foods have far fewer calories, fat and sodium than restaurant options and offer an additional benefit of portion control. It’s easy to reheat one burrito instead of going through the drive through.

Frozen foods are economical and practical for a family of any size. I can buy a 5-lb bag of frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts and take out three if I want to grill for my whole family or just one if I’m home alone. For single servings or large parties, frozen foods can be the easy way to go.

So, take a stroll down that icy aisle today and see what kinds of treats you can find. 

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Posted in: Frozen


Product Talk: Boca Soy Breakfast Links


Breakfast LinksI was strolling down the frozen food aisle at Brookshire’s recently, looking for something, and came across an old friend.

Boca products were a staple of my diet when I was a die-hard Weight Watchers chick. Now, I’m not. Ahem. I need to go back, so I started my journey by picking up a few Boca products that help cut calories while still satisfying my cravings.

The first thing I dug into was Boca Soy Breakfast Links. I love breakfast; it’s my favorite meal of the day, so I don’t skimp on first-thing foods.

I loved these! Besides being delicious (you cannot tell that they are not a pork product, I promise), they have 8 grams of protein in each link and zero cholesterol or fat. They’re 70 calories a pop.

So, for breakfast now I enjoy one hard boiled egg, one sausage link and a piece of fruit or a veggie. It’s a great way to start the day.



Dine In: Brandon’s Whiskey Marinated Steak with Grilled Avocado


Not too longMarinated Steak ago, I had the privilege of having dinner with my boyfriend, the older of his two adult sons and his stepfather. One thing definitely stuck out from that night: like father, like son.

All three of them have larger-than-life personalities and a big sense of humor, and the gift of gab didn’t get watered down through the generations.

Brandon, a student at a local university, kept me laughing all night. When he ordered his meal, a steak, he asked for it with a side of avocado. I couldn’t believe how brilliant that was and why I’d never thought of it before. A velvety avocado would be the perfect accompaniment to a rich, juicy steak.

I experimented with a few versions of this and ended up with a delicious recipe that pays homage to Brandon. Thank you for the inspiration!

Brandon’s Whiskey Marinated Steak with Grilled Avocado

Ingredients:
1 (16 to 20 oz) rib-eye steak
2 avocados
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Marinade:
2 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
2 Tbsp steak sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp Louisiana hot sauce
4 to 5 oz whiskey

Directions:
Combine marinade ingredients and whisk well. Place steak in marinade; refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.
Prepare grill to high heat.
Remove steak from marinade; let excess drip off. Sear steak over high heat on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Lower heat to medium and complete cooking until steak has reached desired doneness, preferably medium-rare to medium.
While steak is cooking, slice avocado in half and remove pit. Scoop out flesh, leaving it intact. Brush with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. *Note, if avocado is not firm enough, leave in peel and remove after grilling.
Remove steak to platter to rest. Place avocado, cut side down, onto grill and leave for 2-3 minutes until grill marks appear. Carefully flip avocado and grill another 2-3 minutes.
Slice steak across the grain; serve immediately with avocado.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 734, Calories from Fat: 490, Fat: 55 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (17 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 94 mg, Sodium: 575 mg, Potassium: 670 mg, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 6 g, Protein: 28 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.



Shop the Sale: Easter Ham


Stuffed HamEaster is this weekend, and traditionally, I always cook a ham. I use a friend’s recipe, slathering the spiral sliced ham with a good maple syrup then packing it in brown sugar, wrapping it all in foil and slow roasting it until the syrup and sugar marry in complete ham happiness.

However, this year I’m trying something new, or at least, I’m trying something in addition to the old favorite. I came across this ham recipe at work one day and decided I’d try it for Easter Sunday. I’m having a big crowd over, so two hams should do the trick.

Hormel spiral-sliced ham is on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so you can plan your holiday meal to perfection.

Glazed Sweet Potato-Stuffed Ham

Ingredients:
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
1 (7 to 9 lb) Hormel spiral-cut ham
1 (10 oz) jar apricot preserves
1 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:
Heat the oven to 350° F.
Using a mandoline, slice the sweet potatoes very thinly. Place the ham, cut side down, in a roasting pan.
Carefully separating the layers of the ham, insert slices of sweet potato into each layer. Repeat this until every layer of the ham has been filled.
In a small bowl, stir together the apricot preserves and the black pepper; spread the mixture all over the surface of the ham. Bake for 2 to 3 hours, or until the ham is heated to 160° F at the center and the potatoes are tender. Allow the ham to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Serves 16

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 400, Calories from Fat: 200 Fat: 23 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 110 mg, Carbohydrates: 19 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 11 g, Protein: 31 g, Sodium: 1860 mg.

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.



Healthy Living: Berry Avocado Salad


Berry Avocado SaladIt’s officially springtime and time to lighten up our eating.

I can eat avocado in almost anything. The beauty of this power-packed fruit is that it takes on the flavor of almost anything you serve it with, kind of like tofu but better.

This salad packs in vitamins and antioxidants from the fruit, and you get good fats and protein from the avocado. I usually swap the iceberg lettuce for spinach, but you can do it either way. Just remember iceberg lettuce, while giving a crunchy contrast texture, doesn’t add much in the way of nutrition.

Berry Avocado Salad

Ingredients:
1/4 wedge iceberg lettuce, chopped or whole (or baby spinach)
6 strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup fresh mozzarella chunks
1 avocado, sliced

For the Dressing:
1 lime, juiced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions:
Place lettuce in a salad bowl.
Add strawberries, blueberries, mozzarella and avocado slices.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Pour over salad and gently mix it all together.
Serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 687, Calories from Fat: 535, Fat: 60 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (14 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 15 mg, Sodium: 477 mg, Potassium: 1335 mg, Carbohydrates: 36 g, Fiber: 21 g, Sugar: 12 g, Protein: 13 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.



Product Talk: Self-Rising Cornmeal


Self Rising Corn MealI’d heard of self-rising flour before, but I’d never heard of self-rising cornmeal until I saw it in Brookshire’s the other day. I was shopping for regular cornmeal when I noticed the self-rising variety. It fit my recipe, so I decided to give it a try.

Self-rising corn meal has a leavening agent, usually baking soda and salt, and is often enriched with B vitamins. It does not contain flour. It’s perfect for cornbread or casseroles that contain cornbread mix, basically saving you a step.  

You can’t use it in place of regular cornmeal in recipes without reducing the leavening and salt in whatever recipe you’re using, but you can use this where recipes call for cornmeal, salt and some leavening agent. You just might have to experiment a little with the proportions. 

Self-rising cornmeal has the same sweet tasty and gritty texture as regular cornmeal. Make it a staple in your pantry today.



Dine In: Crawfish Cornbread


Crawfish CornbreadSome Friday nights are just made for comfort food.

Last night was one of them.

One of my best friends has had a run of bad luck recently. He doesn’t love his new job. He and his girlfriend broke up. And, he was in a car accident yesterday. (He wasn’t hurt, thank goodness). So it’s not a stretch to say that he hasn’t been in the best of moods lately.

The car accident was the straw that broke the camel’s proverbial back. This called for comfort food, and I was happy to oblige because I think cooking is my love language. He loves anything Cajun and he really loves crawfish, but I wasn’t dumping pounds of mudbugs all over my kitchen table in the middle of a booming thunderstorm and tornado watch, so crawfish cornbread it was! It meets all my requirements for comfort food: warm, cheesy and casserole-like. He loved it, especially with the brownies I made for dessert.

I found frozen crawfish tails in the freezer section of Brookshire’s. Saved me a ton of work!

Crawfish Cornbread

Ingredients:
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (4 oz) jar diced pimentos, drained
1/3 cup vegetable oil 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 (15 oz) can cream-style corn
1/3 cup chopped jalapeño peppers
1 lb peeled crawfish tails
1 pinch seasoned salt, or to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 pinch garlic powder, or to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F, and grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Stir together cornmeal, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat together the eggs, onion, green pepper, pimentos, vegetable oil, cheddar cheese, cream-style corn, jalapeño peppers, crawfish tails, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper and garlic powder until the mixture is well combined. Pour the crawfish mixture into the cornmeal mixture, and stir together. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Bake in the preheated oven until the cornbread is lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 209, Fat: 10.8 g, Cholesterol: 86 mg, Sodium: 534 mg, Carbohydrates: 18.6 g, Fiber: 1.5 g, Protein: 10.4 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.

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Posted in: Dine In, Seafood


Family Matters: Pets


Washing the DogMy friend lives in a beautiful home in the country where her four big Labrador retrievers have plenty of space to run and roam.

They take full advantage of it, coming home sweaty and more than a little stinky most times. But there’s nothing worse than when they encounter a certain black and white adversary on their adventures.

This happened not too long ago, and all four dogs came home “skunked,” that is, sprayed by their furry foe as it tried to protect itself.

Luckily, she knew exactly what to do.

She kept the dogs outside while she prepped the anti-skunk wash.

Then she mixed together:

  • 1 quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 tsp liquid dishwashing soap

Of course, she had to make four times this much.

Wearing rubber gloves, she washed the dogs with this solution, being careful not to get it into the dogs’ eyes. She rubbed it in, but don’t let it sit too long as it can bleach their coat. Then she rinsed each dog with the garden hose (luckily it was warm outside).

After that, she shampooed the dogs with regular shampoo and left them outside in the sun to dry completely. By that night, they were ready to come back into the house, stench-free.



Shop the Sale: Bell Peppers


ShopSale_BellPepperSlaw_228x173

My mom used to grow the most magnificent garden.

I say this in past tense, but she really she still grows a garden, I just don’t live close enough to benefit from it.

I remember summers spent going out to her garden to harvest fresh green beans, cucumbers, corn and bell peppers for dinner. I don’t think I can choose a favorite, but her stuffed bell peppers made from fresh produce straight out of our back yard was pretty delicious.

I have loved bell peppers ever since. I love the earthy flavor of the green ones and the sweet flavor of red, yellow and orange varieties. I make stuffed peppers frequently, but I also found this slaw recipe last summer. I’m not a huge coleslaw fan, but this side dish is positively delicious! Bell peppers are on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so try this today.

Bell Pepper Slaw

Ingredients:
1 (10 oz) bag angel-hair slaw mix
1 large red bell pepper, julienned
1 large green bell pepper, julienned
1 large yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 large red bell pepper, julienned
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano

Directions:
Place slaw mix, peppers and tomatoes in a large glass jar with lid. Shake to combine; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, basil and oregano, whisking well. Pour mixture over peppers. Close lid and shake well to coat.

Serve slaw from jar, if desired. Store covered in the refrigerator. Slaw is best when made a day before serving.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 242, Calories from Fat: 157, Fat: 17 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 490 mg, Potassium: 595 mg, Carbohydrates: 20 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 14 g, Protein: 3 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.



Healthy Living: Cinnamon Pecan Oatmeal


OatmealI’ve been eating a lot of eggs for breakfast recently.

Recently, as in, oh, the past year or so. I love eggs. They’re good for you, but variety is the spice of life and the key to good health.

So, I searched for other recipes that are easy, healthy and delicious.

This recipe for oatmeal is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. It doesn’t take too much time, and it will fill your belly all morning long. The whole grains and the fruits are delicious together. 

Cinnamon Pecan Oatmeal

Ingredients:
2 cups purified water
2 cups rice milk
1 cup steel-cut oats
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup pecans
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 Tbsp raisins
2 Tbsp cacao nibs
1 Tbsp flax seeds, ground
Pinch of sea salt

Directions:
In a medium pot on the stovetop, bring water and rice milk to a boil. Add oats; cook over medium heat until oats are tender, approximately 20 minutes. Add in remaining ingredients and reduce heat to low. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Remove from heat; transfer to four bowls. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 205, Fat: 10.4 g, Sodium: 103 mg, Carbohydrates: 25.8 g, Fiber: 6.7 g, Sugar: 8.8 g, Protein: 9.6 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.

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Posted in: Healthy Living


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The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

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