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Healthy Living: Grilled Okra


Grilled OkraOkra is definitely a Southern thing.

While I bristle when people accuse me of being from the North (I’m from the capital of the Confederacy, people!), there were some things, like okra and sweet tea, that took some getting used to here in the Deep, Deep South.

Okra and I have progressed in our relationship. I tasted it. Then, I tolerated it. Then, I liked it. Recently, I had it prepared in such a simple, healthy way that I even have come to crave that dish again.

The beauty of summer, and of veggies like okra, is that you don’t need to do much to them to make a delicious, healthy meal. Let the flavor of the vegetable stand out, and don’t overcook it to preserve the nutrients.

Grilled Okra

Ingredients:
1 lb okra, washed
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs Tony Chachere’s seasoning

Directions:
Wash okra. Trim both ends. Toss with olive oil and seasoning.

Prepare grill to medium-high heat. Spray a grill pan with nonstick cooking spray and place okra in the grill pan. Grill, stirring at intervals, until okra is crisp-tender, about 8 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 97, Calories from Fat: 65, Fat: 7 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 8 mg, Potassium: 339 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 2 g.

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



Product Talk: Sushi


Sushi

One of my favorite indulgences in the entire universe is sushi. I love it. I crave it. I can’t get enough.

Let’s face it: restaurant sushi is an expensive habit. It’s delicious, but you’re largely paying for ginger rose garnishes.

Imagine my delight when Brookshire’s stores started serving in-house sushi, prepared right before your eyes and with the same quality sushi and sashimi grade ingredients used in the fancy restaurants with dragons made out of cucumbers.

There might not be any mythical vegetables, but Brookshire’s sushi is a delicious, fresh and affordable treat.

I’m partial to the spicy shrimp roll with fresh shrimp, sticky rice, nori and a special sauce, but I also love getting the rainbow roll, expertly festooned with slivers of avocado, tuna and yellowtail. I introduced my boys to nigiri, a fresh piece of fish atop a wedge of sticky rice. Dipped in a little bit of soy sauce mixed with wasabi (provided in the container with pickled slivers of ginger), this makes a splendid meal or appetizer.

They also make a mean California roll with avocado, cucumber and cream cheese. When I can’t decide, I get a combination platter, sometimes with crab, tuna AND California rolls. The sushi counter also has other treats like octopus, which I’m working up the nerve to try.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Chicken with Buffalo Fettuccine Alfredo


Chicken with Buffalo Fettuccine AlfredoIt’s no secret I love buffalo chicken. Buffalo chicken ANYTHING, that is. I made buffalo chicken breakfast burritos not too long ago. I can trace the affinity to all things spicy back to when I was pregnant with my first son. We’d ordered a pizza one night, and the delivery driver accidentally dropped off chicken bites with buffalo sauce that he claimed he couldn’t take back to the store.

I ate every last one and licked the sauce out of the plastic container. Oh yes, I did.

The love affair is now 13 years in the making and it hasn’t subsided. I don’t think I’ve licked sauce from anything since that moment, but I can’t be certain of that either. Weak moments, you know.

This recipe combines the best of both worlds for me and my kids. They love fettuccine alfredo. I love buffalo. We all win.

Chicken with Buffalo Fettuccine Alfredo

Ingredients:
1 lb fettuccine pasta
2 Tbs olive oil
1 lb chicken tenders
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbs milk
1 1/2 cups Italian-style bread crumbs
2 Tbs butter
1 cup half-and-half
3 oz mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bleu cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, combine egg and milk in a bowl. Add bread crumbs to a separate bowl. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Dredge chicken in egg mixture, followed by bread crumbs. Cook in skillet until evenly browned, about 6-8 minutes per side depending on the thickness of your chicken. Set chicken aside and keep warm.

Melt butter in the same skillet, slowly pour in half-and-half, and stir in mascarpone cheese until it is fully incorporated. Whisk in parmesan cheese, bleu cheese and buffalo wing sauce. Let sauce cook for 1 minute to thicken.

When pasta is ready, drain and combine with buffalo sauce. Serve with chicken tenders.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 660, Calories from Fat: 245, Fat: 27 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 139 mg, Sodium: 929 mg, Potassium: 294 mg, Carbohydrates: 61 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 40 g.

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

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Posted in: Dine In


Family Matters: Pets and Storms


Pets and StormsWe recently adopted a beautiful dog, a two-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, Redbone Coonhoud mix that we named Astro. He’s huge with long, lanky legs like a newborn colt. Weighing in at 85 pounds, we call him the “Big Red Love Machine.”

I found out this week, however, that when 85 pounds of dog become terrified during a thunderstorm, it’s not a pretty sight. To his credit, Astro found my closet, an interior space with no windows or exposure to the outside of the house. He lay inside, shaking like a brittle leaf in a gusty wind, until the storm passed. Even then, he wouldn’t venture outside to use the restroom until the very last drop of rain had seeped off the porch roof into the grass below.

Storm anxiety for pets is a very real phenomenon that can be trigged by lightning, thunder, rain and even changes in barometric pressure, experts say.

Calming, soothing and stroking your dog can help, but you can take a more proactive approach to storm anxiety.

Practice getting your dog to settle on command. Use a special “inside” leash on the dog and practice having your dog lie at your feet while praising the calm behavior.

You can also try distracting your pup by offering his favorite toy, playing fetch, petting it and giving him treats (as long as he remains calm and you don’t upset his stomach. One or two is plenty.)

Let him have a safe place during the storm. For Astro, it was my closet. A bathroom, pantry or under a bed will work, too. Let your pooch pick out the spot he likes, within reason, and let him stay there during the storm if he wants to.

Snug garments, like the trademarked ThunderShirt, can soothe a pet by giving them close, tight, comforting sensory input they need to feel secure in the uncertainty of a storm.

If you want, you can also play recordings of storms when it’s NOT storming to try to desensitize your pet to those noises, as well.



Shop The Sale: New York Strip Steaks


New York Strip Steaks

Sometimes I think, “What more can you write about steaks?,” especially one as flavorful as a New York strip.

Also known as a porterhouse or sirloin strip, the New York strip is part of the short loin and thoroughly marbled. In other words, you get a tender cut of meat with plenty of flavor.

I’m of the mindset that a good cut of meat should speak for itself, like a New York strip can. However, with a few enhancements, you can take this steak from delicious to sublime.

New York Strip Steaks

Ingredients:
2 New York strip steaks (about 1 1/2 lb)
1/2 cup Dale’s Marinade and Seasoning
3 Tbs McCormick’s Grill Mates Steak Rub
2 Tbs butter
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Place steaks in a zipper-locked plastic bag. Pour in Dale’s seasoning. Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes. Remove steak from Dale’s. Sprinkle both sides with McCormick seasoning, salt and pepper.

Prepare grill to high heat.

Sear steaks on both sides, about 2 minutes per side over flame.

For a gas grill, turn heat to medium, or move steaks on a charcoal grill to indirect heat. Top with butter.

Grill until meat reaches desired temperature.

Remove from heat, let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 820, Calories from Fat: 486, Fat: 54 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (24 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 255 mg, Sodium: 1542 mg, Potassium: 3 mg, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Protein: 76 mg.

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



Healthy Living: Cucumber Radish Salad


Cucumber Radish SaladI used to work with a woman who would munch on raw radishes at her desk.

I thought it was gross.

But hey, she was a tri-athlete and in amazing shape and great health.

Maybe I should have munched on radishes, too.

I have to be honest; I never really understood their appeal. I didn’t mind them in small quantities, shaved over a salad, maybe, but I definitely didn’t want to eat one like an apple.

I do love them in this salad. It’s seriously low-cal but full of flavor. Radishes are said to soothe sore throats and aid in digestion, as well as eliminate toxins from the body and help protect against cancer.

Cucumber Radish Salad

Ingredients:

For the salad:
1 English cucumber, washed and cut into thin rounds
10 radishes, washed and thinly sliced

For the dressing:
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbs olive oil
1 garlic, minced
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
fresh ground pepper, or to taste

Directions:
In a salad bowl, combine sliced radishes and cucumbers; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing; taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Add the dressing to the salad; mix well and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 53, Calories from Fat: 33, Fat: 4 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 303 mg, Potassium: 153 mg, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 2 g.

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



Product Talk: Dale’s Seasoning


Dales SeasoningIn the course of my job recently, I ran into a cute “little old lady” (her words, not mine) at a church fundraiser who cornered me to tell me all about a recipe that she wanted to see appear in the newspaper.

She didn’t have it written down, of course, because cute little old church ladies have these recipes locked in their minds like it’s a vault at the U.S. Mint.

The aforementioned recipes usually include measurements such as “a pinch” or “a smidge” or “a shake.”

This one was no different.

Cute church lady was rattling off the list of ingredients and I’m taking notes as fast as my shorthand would allow.

“And add a few splashes of Dale’s…,” she said, moving on to the next direction.

Dale’s? What was that? I wasn’t sure. I tried to ask, but she’d already moved on to a description of the banana pudding you serve AFTER the steaks that contain the Dale’s, whatever that was.

I went back to the office and looked it up.

Dale’s Seasoning is a marinade and seasoning that comes in liquid form. It’s sort of a smoky, Worcestershire-like, acidic deliciousness that blends well with red meat, seafood and poultry. I’ve tried it on steaks and in burgers, and it doesn’t take long for the flavors of Dale’s to permeate the meat. In fact, if you’d usually marinade a steak or roast overnight, give it about 30 minutes in Dale’s to do the trick! It’s that good.

Dale’s comes in regular and low-sodium varieties and is a fabulous all-purpose seasoning.

Now, if I could only find the notebook where I wrote down that recipe…

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp


Skinny Bang Bang ShrimpThere’s a Chinese food place near my house that has a drive-thru. It also has dinner specials. Furthermore, the food is irresistible. I love it.

I can’t control how their food is cooked, with fats and oils, so I try to recreate some of their specials at home to remove some of the temptation of driving through on a Friday night and plopping on the couch, laden with heavy sauces and too much rice.

This shrimp dish is a copy of one of theirs, removing much of the fat and replacing it with flavorful and healthier options like Greek yogurt.
You can make these on a grill or in the oven.

Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp

Ingredients:
1 lb shrimp (about 50 shrimp), cooked or uncooked, shelled and deveined
10 skewer sticks (optional)
3 Tbs plain Greek yogurt
3 Tbs chopped green onion, plus more for garnish
1 1/2 Tbs sweet chili sauce
1/2-3/4 Tbs sriracha sauce

Directions:
If you’re grilling on a grill, be sure to soak wood skewers for about 30 minutes in cold water so they won’t burn easily.

Combine yogurt, onion, sweet chili sauce and sriracha in a bowl and stir well. Set aside.

Place 5 shrimp on each skewer.

If shrimp are raw, grill on each side for 5-8 minutes, or until opaque and cooked through.

If shrimp are pre-cooked, place shrimp skewers on a baking sheet and bake at 350° F for 5-10 minutes, or grill for about 2 minutes on each side over high, direct heat.

Brush each hot skewer liberally with the sauce on both sides. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 156, Calories from Fat: 17, Fat: 2 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (0.6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 239 mg, Sodium: 367 mg, Potassium: 213 mg, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 27 g.

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

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Posted in: Dine In, Seafood


Family Matters: Eating Habbits


CarrotsParents often wonder how much their little ones should be eating.

We all know that serving sizes are becoming larger and larger, contributing to childhood and adult obesity. However, toddlers don’t need super-sized portions. 

The average 1-2 year old needs the following:

Milk/Dairy Servings: 16-20 ounces of milk per day. Whole milk, soy or rice milk are recommended. Other equivalents: 1/2-3/4 ounce of cheese = 4 ounces of milk. 1/4 cup of yogurt = 2 ounces of milk.

Fruit and Veggie Servings: 5 or more per day. Serving size: 1-2 tablespoons. Pureed, mashed or cubed.

Grain Servings: 3-4 per day. Serving sizes: 1/2 slice of bread, 1/4 cup of cooked cereal, 1/4 cup of dry cereal. 1/4 cup of pasta, 2-3 saltine crackers or 1/2 tortilla.

Non-dairy Protein (meat, fish, beans, eggs) Servings: 2 per day. Serving sizes: 1/2 egg, 2-3 tablespoons beans (i.e. black, pinto, edamame, etc.), 1 tablespoon peanut butter or 1 ounce of fish, lean beef, pork or chicken. 



Family Matters: Baby Proofing


Crawling BabyBaby is definitely on the move, whether he’s rolling, scooting, crawling, cruising or taking steps. If you haven’t already, now is the time to baby-proof your home.

About 2.3 million children are accidentally injured every year and more than 2,500 are killed, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s why it’s so important to carefully child-proof your home.

Making your residence safe for a curious explorer involves more than just blocking electrical outlets or putting a baby gate at the top of the stairs. Furniture will need to be anchored and locks will need be put on cabinets, among other things.

One of the best ways to see what might entice your baby is to get down on his level. Get down on your hands and knees, and see how things look from down there. Survey what is within reach, what looks tempting and where baby could go if he could roll, crawl or scoot.

This will help you figure out which cupboards, drawers and other spaces your child might get into. As he starts walking and climbing, you’ll have to reevaluate again, looking higher each time.

In recent years, the process of baby-proofing has really come a long way. There are now eco-friendly and non-toxic products on the market that won’t damage your furniture but will still keep your baby safe.



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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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