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Dine In: Feta Spinach Grilled Cheese


Feta Spinach Grilled CheeseWe used to have pizza almost every Friday night for dinner, but this summer, we’ve largely gotten away from that habit.

We’ve replaced pizza with sandwiches. We’ve done make-your-own subs, meatball and provolone subs, steak sandwiches, grilled chicken sandwiches with bacon and avocado, flatbreads, gyros, veggie pita pockets and all manners of grilled cheese.

I won’t lie: this recipe was a hard sell for my two boys. It has spinach and WHITE cheese, not some of the yellow cheeses we were accustomed to using in our grilled masterpieces, like cheddar. However, after tasting these, which I literally cooked on the grill, they’ve been hooked. I’ve also made this recipe adding one ounce of goat cheese in addition to the feta and mozzarella. Delicious.

Feta Spinach Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:
1/2 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/4 lb frozen cut spinach
pinch of salt and pepper
2 ciabatta rolls
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 oz feta cheese
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s warm and gives off an aroma, add garlic and stir for one minute. Add spinach, salt and pepper; sauté until spinach is just wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Combine feta cheese, mozzarella cheese and red pepper flakes. Stir in spinach and combine well. Spread between ciabatta rolls.
Reheat skillet and toast sandwiches, about 2 minutes per side until golden-brown and cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 343, Calories from Fat: 165, Fat: 18 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (9 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 43 mg, Sodium: 582 mg, Potassium: 68 mg, Carbohydrates: 20 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 23 g.

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Posted in: Dine In


Family Matters: Back to School


Back to SchoolIt’s inevitable that summer vacation draws to an end and a new school year begins. It’s also inevitable that I spend the last week of summer vacation wistfully thinking about the passage of time and what we accomplished – or didn’t – over summer break.

In the “win” column for this summer is the 100-Mile Challenge. We have a 1.2 mile loop in our neighborhood that I’d deemed safe enough for the boys to ride their bikes, or walk or jog around. They had to complete approximately 83 revolutions to finish 100 miles this summer. They did it!

Another win is the Summer Story book. In May, I wrote a paragraph in a spiral-bound notebook and handed it to my older son. He added a paragraph, continuing the story I’d started, and he passed it to the younger son who contributed his part. It came back to me and we continued that all summer, ending up with a hilarious short story penned in our own handwriting.

The Mystery Bag was another fun summer game. Every Wednesday, I left a project of sorts in a large gift bag on the kitchen table for the boys to find when they woke up. One week, it was an experiment on what happens when you put Ivory soap in the microwave. Another week, it was materials for each boy to construct their own board game. They loved to see what Wednesdays were going to hold.

Now in the “fail” category: I logged onto the middle school website two weeks before school began to print out the school supply list. Looking for the school supply list, I found a PDF file called “Summer Reading List.” Uh, we hadn’t DONE any summer reading, nor did I even know about it until right that minute. When I told my son he had to read two books – and summarize each chapter – before school began, the meltdown that ensued was of epic proportions. I’d like to report he finished two books. He didn’t. He didn’t even make it through the first one, although he read and journaled diligently every day. It just didn’t work out. Next year, I’ll know to look early.

All in all, it was a great summer and we’re all ready for the new school year. 



Shop the Sale: Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats


Buffalo Chicken Zucchini BoatsHow do you get your kids to eat more veggies? If they’re like mine, sometimes I have to sneak them into meals.

My boys love broccoli and cauliflower, but they’re hit or miss with almost anything else.

This summer, I found that if I thinly slice zucchini lengthwise and grill it, they’ll eat that up. I became emboldened to try other zucchini recipes, as I love them!

I also love buffalo chicken, a fact that regular readers of this blog should know!

I’d never thought to put buffalo chicken with zucchini, but I’m glad I did because the outcome was outstanding.

These are super easy to make with the boneless chicken breasts or tenders on sale this week at Brookshire’s. You can cook them almost anyway you like, baked, poached or grilled (I did grilled).

Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats

Ingredients:
2 zucchinis
1 lb chicken breast or chicken breast tenders, cooked and diced
2 Tbs flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 carrot, shredded
1 rib of celery, diced
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup bleu cheese crumbles (optional)
3 Tbs buffalo sauce
3 Tbs bleu cheese (or ranch) dressing

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking oil. Set aside.

Cut each zucchini in half horizontally. Then, with a melon baller (or spoon), carefully scoop out the center of the zucchinis. Reserve 1/2 cup of the center and dice it up for your filling.

In a bowl, mix together chicken, flour, salt, pepper, carrot, celery, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, bleu cheese crumbles (optional), buffalo sauce and dressing.

Place zucchinis, hollow side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Fill the boats with your buffalo chicken filling. The filling should be heaping. Sprinkle with the remaining cheddar cheese.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until the zucchinis have achieved desired softness.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 392, Calories from Fat: 173, Fat: 19 g, Trans Fat: 0.1 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 130 mg, Sodium: 805 mg, Potassium: 652 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 45 g.

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

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Posted in: Shop the Sale


Healthy Living: Nature Made Fish Oil


Nature Made Fish OilI first heard of fish oil back when my older son, Curt, was being diagnosed with autism. You’ve heard that eating fish is “brain food?” Well, taking fish oil supplements from Nature Made is brain food in a capsule.

I gave fish oil to my son because the fish oil helps brain function by closing the synapses in brain neurons, helping your mind work more efficiently. Fish oil is often used as a supplement for people with autism spectrum disorders and for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Fish oil is also used for a healthy heart.

September is National Cholesterol Month, and fish oil can play a key role in lowering cholesterol naturally. Fish Oil provides omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, and research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Nature Made Fish Oil is a convenient and safe way to get your omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in one easy dose. Nature Made Fish Oil capsules are effective, pure and natural. Nature Made uses only the oil from wild, deep-ocean fish, which are processed by state-of-the-art technology to purify the fish oil to remove mercury and to ensure high levels of purity and concentration.

Nature Made Fish Oil supplements come in different dosages in gummy or soft-gel form.

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: Nutri-Grain Fruit Crunch Bars


Nutri-Grain Fruit Crunch BarsI’ve loved Nutri-Grain bars forever. My boys love them, too.

Not too long ago, I discovered Nutri-Grain Fruit Crunch Bars in the apple cobbler flavor. With 20 grams of whole grains per serving (one serving equals two bars), these portable treats contain only 190 calories and 7 grams of fat. They also provide 10 percent of the recommended daily allowance for calcium and come in at 3 grams of fiber.

Nutri-Grain Fruit Crunch Bars are made with whole-grain oats, dried apples, honey and cinnamon. At five pouches to a box, they are perfect for after-school snacks or school lunches. 

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Lemon Orzo Chicken Salad


Lemon Orzo Chicken SaladFamily vacation at the beach entails 19 people in one house under one roof for a week. We love it, but let’s face it: even the closest of families can be so confined.

This year at the beach, it’s rained almost every day, further compounding our “togetherness.” We’ve played games, taken a trip to the local aquarium, had a dance off, played hide-and-seek with the kids (which ended badly with a downed shower curtain rod), watched movies and made T-shirts. There have been funny moments, and there have been a few tense moments.

However, there is always harmony during mealtime. Prep time constitutes happy hour. Then, we feed the kids. After the kids are full, they are dispatched to the “kids’ room” for Legos, pool or Toss Across while the adults eat.

The adults have taken to eating on the porch if the weather is conducive. This summer salad has the perfect, beachy flavors. Salty air, optional.

Lemon Orzo Chicken Salad

Ingredients:
1/4 cup orzo, uncooked
3 cups grilled chicken breast, chopped
1 1/2 cups baby spinach
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup pre-chopped red onion
2 Tbs fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
6 Tbs (1 1/2 oz) goat cheese, crumbled

Directions:
Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well.

Combine orzo, chicken and the next 6 ingredients (through oregano) in a large bowl; toss well.

Combine vinegar, oil, salt and black pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle vinegar mixture over pasta mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 274, Calories from Fat: 71, Fat: 8 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 96 mg, Sodium: 215 mg, Potassium: 488 mg, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 38 g.

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

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Posted in: Dine In, Produce


Family Matters: Walk the Talk


Treadmill

As a parent with children, we at times tell our kids how to act or what to do, and we later find ourselves not doing the same. Over the years, I have talked to my kids about overeating or eating healthy but not followed suit. Well, as I have gotten older, I have gained weight, and with my family history of heart problems and high blood pressure, that is not healthy. So, I went out and purchased a treadmill and starting walking every day.

I finally hit my tipping point a few months ago and realized that I needed to get in shape, not only for my own health but for my husband and four daughters. I want to be around to see my children have a family of their own (and some grandkids!). I now get up 30 minutes early every morning and walk one mile before work, and when I get home, I walk another mile. Two miles may not seem like a lot, but for someone who has not exercised in 20 years, it is a big deal. I started watching what I eat, and within two weeks, I can truly feel the difference and my family is proud of me. My goal is to increase my distance of course, but at least I have started in the right direction.

I say all this to tell you that as I have finally made the commitment to change my life for the better, I came home last week to find one of my children running on the treadmill. I was surprised and even more surprised to find out that the other three had been doing the same but none of them had mentioned it to me. Now, we take turns as a family working out on the treadmill. Not only am I now getting my money’s worth out of the machine, but my entire family is in the process of living a healthier life.

Remember: “walk the talk” in all that you do. This is so very important in our Christian lives especially. Let us all reflect Him daily in our actions and words, that His name may be glorified. Count your blessings daily and give thanks for the time you have with your family.

 



Shop the Sale: Slow Cooker Smoked Chicken


Slow Cooker Smoked ChickenOnce upon a time, I had no idea what to do with a whole fryer chicken. I didn’t really want to fry it. I didn’t know how to butcher it, and I certainly had no concept of what it meant to butterfly it.
Then, someone told me to just plop it in the slow cooker and cook it that way.

Brilliant.

The slow cooker is one of my favorite ways to make dinner and a whole fryer chicken comes out so well after a long, slow simmer in the slow cooker. Smoked paprika almost imparts a cooked-on-the-grill flavor, but you could really use any spice or spice combination that you like. There’s no need to add any liquid to this recipe to end up with a juicy bird. Try this while whole fryers are on sale at Brookshire’s and buy a few extra to freeze. Just be sure to thaw chicken entirely before cooking this recipe.

Slow Cooker Smoked Chicken

Ingredients:
4-5 lb whole fryer chicken
4 Tbs smoked paprika
2 cups white onions, chopped

Directions:
Rinse chicken and place in slow cooker, breast side up. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and top with chopped onions. Cook on low heat setting for 8 hours.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 471, Calories from Fat: 245, Fat: 27 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 227 mg, Sodium: 590 mg, Potassium: 164 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 52 g.

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

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Posted in: Shop the Sale


Mi Blog Hispano: Deliciosa Receta de Coctel Mariscos


Coctel MariscosEstuve recientemente en una celebración en la casa de unos amigos quienes prepararon un delicioso Coctel de Mariscos llamado por ellos “Vuelve a la Vida”, así que me encantó y les pedí la receta y hace unos días me aventuré a prepararlo y déjenme decirles que me quedó para chuparse los dedos, así que hoy voy a compartir con ustedes esta gran receta que aprendí.

Coctel Mariscos

Ingredientes:
1 litro de agua
1 cucharada de aceite de oliva
300 g. de camarones crudos
300 g. de pulpa de jaiba
300 g. de ostiones
300 g. de pulpo, cocido y en cubos pequeños
½ taza de salsa de tomate cátchup
3 cucharadas de vinagre blanco
1 chile manzano picado muy finito
1 chile guajillo
1 cucharadita de aceite
1 aguacate
Sal y pimienta al gusto

Preparación:
Calienta el agua con aceite de oliva y una pizca de sal. Agrega los camarones y deja que se cocinen por 10 minutos Luego coloque en la misma agua la pulpa de la jaiba y hierva durante cuatro minutos más, cuélelos y guarde una taza del caldo. Quite la piel de los camarones y mezcle con la pulpa de la jaiba, los ostiones y el pulpo picado en trozos si es muy grande. Agréguele la salsa de tomate, el vinagre blanco y el chile manzano, junto al chile guajillo cortado en rodajas y freído en aceite previamente. Revuelva todos los ingredientes y sirva frio en copas grandes que puedes decorar con trocitos de aguacate y acompañar con galletas saladas o tostadas.

En nuestras tiendas puedes encontrar todos estos ingredientes con una excelente calidad y frescura y además a precios muy convenientes. ¡Que lo disfruten!

Para 4 personas.



Healthy Living: Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa, Corn and Feta


Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa, Corn and FetaWith the bounty of available summer produce, I could really go meatless all during the hot months.

Quinoa, a complex grain, provides protein and corn provides a carbohydrate in this dish, giving you a balanced meal. The feta cheese adds tang to this dish, and the jalapeño peppers make it spicy and give great flavor to the grains.

Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa, Corn and Feta 

Ingredients:
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup quinoa
2 Tbs olive oil
1 bunch scallions, including 2 inches of the greens, thinly sliced
2 jalapeño peppers, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
4 ears worth of corn kernels (about 2 cups)
1 bunch spinach, leaves only
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 lb feta cheese, cut into small cubes
2 large red onions, thinly sliced into rounds
1/2 cup veggie broth or white wine
4 bell peppers

Directions:
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, then the quinoa. Give it a stir, then cover. Simmer over low heat until the grains are tender and reveal their spiraled germ, about 15 minutes.
Warm half the oil in a wide skillet. Add the scallions and jalapeño peppers. Cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, then add the garlic, cumin, corn and spinach, along with 2 tablespoons water. When the spinach is wilted, add the cilantro, quinoa and feta; remove from heat. Toss everything together. Taste for salt and season with pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wide skillet. When hot, add the onions and sauté, stirring frequently, until they start to color around the edges after several minutes. Pour in the broth or wine; deglaze the pan, giving the onions a stir as you do. Season with salt and pepper, and distribute in a baking dish large enough to hold the bell peppers.

Slice the bell peppers in half lengthwise. Cut out the membranes and seeds. Simmer in salted water until tender to the touch of a knife but not overly soft, about 4-5 minutes. Remove. Fill them with quinoa mix and set them in the baking dish.

Preheat oven to 400° F. Bake the peppers until heated through, about 20 to 30 minutes. Switch the heat to broil and brown the tops. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 405, Calories from Fat: 149, Fat: 17 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 25 mg, Sodium: 374 mg, Potassium: 862 mg, Carbohydrates: 54 g, Fiber: 9 g, Sugar: 10 g, Protein: 14 g.

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



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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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