Have you tried the blindfold taste test? It’s a great way to learn to like new foods. Try different versions of the same food—such as canned, fresh and frozen green beans—and see which you prefer. Or try new fruits or grains that are new—and with a blindfold, the fun is intensified. The only way to know if you like it is to try it!
If there was a Top Five list of foods kids love, surely peanut butter would be on it. Moms love it too, because it’s a non-meat source of protein, it’s cholesterol free, and has heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Peanut butter doesn’t need refrigeration, has natural sweetness, and is a lunch box’s best friend. It just might be one of those perfect foods! You can get peanut butter several different ways: creamy or chunky; regular or natural (where the oils will separate and need to be stirred); and reduced-fat (note: there are more sugars in this type). You can even make your own! Just put a cup or two of peanuts (or other nut, for that matter) in a food processor and turn on. The nuts will chop, then turn to dust and then gradually turn to a paste. When it’s smooth enough, it’s done! You can add salt, oil or honey if you like, but plain is just fine.
What else to do with peanut butter? How about a smoothie? Combine 1 cup milk, 1 cut-up ripe banana (frozen), and 2 Tbs peanut butter in a blender until smooth. Or maybe peanutty pops: blend 1/2 cup peanut butter, 2 cups milk and 1 small package instant chocolate pudding. Spoon into 4-oz paper cups, insert an ice cream stick in the center and freeze 4 hours. Try Dandy Candy Peanut Butter Balls: equal parts peanut butter and powdered sugar. Squish together in a plastic bag until blended. Add enough honey or powdered sugar to make it yummy. Roll into balls or cut into bars.
Amandine is French for “with almonds” and balsamic vinegar is a great way to add a sweet/tart flavor.
Put them together and you have Balsamic Broccoli Amandine—an elegant and easy side dish for those evenings when you want to add a bit of flair to dinner.
Balsamic Broccoli Amandine
Prep time: 5 minutes; Cook time: 8 minutes
2 cups (about a pound) broccoli florets *
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter
2 shallots, finely chopped*
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup sliced onions
•Broccoli florets are the flower portion of fresh broccoli.
•Shallots are very mild onions. Use 1/4 cup chopped onion if you can’t find shallots.
In a large microwaveable bowl, combine broccoli and water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave until broccoli is tender, about 3 minutes. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, add the shallots and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add vinegar
It’s been this way for ages: kids love boxes. Ever noticed on Christmas morning that the gifts are great, but the boxes are even better?
Kids like simple things and you can help them. If you ever get a new appliance or other large item, save the box! Depending on the size and shape, you can cut a door and windows for a great little house, or flip it over to make a car or boat. Tape on some fabric for curtains or make a couple of peepholes. Kids will really enjoy playing peek-a-boo with Mom and Dad, and they’ll fill their boxes with teddy bears, dolls and whatever else suits their fancy. This type of activity encourages creativity and the boxes are generally free. If you don’t have a big purchase planned, ask at the appliance store and they may have an extra box you can have.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes, plus chilling
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup Splenda® No Calorie Sweetener, granulated
6 Tbs butter, melted
1 (12 oz) pkg reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup liquid egg substitute (or 2 eggs)
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Dole Frozen Blueberries, thawed and mashed with a fork
1/4 cup reduced-sugar apple jelly
Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray an eight-inch square pan with cooking spray and set aside.Combine graham cracker crumbs, 1 Tbs Splenda® and melted butter.
Press mixture evenly in the bottom of the baking pan to create a crust. Bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in remaining Splenda® and beat until smooth. Add egg substitute. When smooth, blend in the sour cream and vanilla. Pour this mixture over the crust. Spoon the blueberries over top and blend in several knife strokes to create a marbled effect.
Bake 35 minutes or until firm. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, and chill 2 hours. Place the apple jelly in a cup. Microwave briefly to melt the jam. Stir and spread over the filling. Cut into 16 bars.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 165, Fat: 12 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 36 mg, Sodium: 156 mg, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 4 g
© 2010, Brookshire Grocery Co. Nutrient counts are rounded to the nearest whole number. All dietary and lifestyle changes should be supervised by a physician. All recipe ingredients should be cooked to a safe internal temperature according to USDA guidelines. After preparing a recipe, please store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Mission® Extra Thin Chips
1 cup canned black beans, drained
1/2 cup chopped mango (fresh or from a jar), with 2 Tbs juice reserved
2 Tbs red onion, finely chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbs chopped cilantro
2 tsp lime juice
Mash black beans with a fork. Add mango, mango juice, onion, cumin, cilantro and lime juice; combine evenly. Serve cold with chips.
Recipe and image courtesy Mission
Calories Per 1/4-cup dip Serving: 47, Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 2 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 2 g
All recipe ingredients should be cooked to a safe internal temperature according to USDA guidelines. After preparing a recipe, please store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
It’s the eternal dilemma: which is best, sausage or bacon? We even ran an unofficial poll on the subject and the answer wasn’t conclusive. But you can try both and save money, as well. This week we have big 3-pound packages of bacon and sausage on sale at Brookshire’s. I think it’s time for a brunch taste test!
Beans are very high in fiber, and that may help control weight and help prevent or manage diabetes. Beans can also protect against colon cancer and heart disease. The National Institute of Medicine recommends 25 to 38 grams of fiber every day and most Americans get only 4 to 11 grams. One cup of beans provides about 15 grams. Go beans!!
Popeye was right! Spinach is a super food that really helps your body grow and be strong. And if babies start out eating spinach, they will learn to enjoy it for the rest of their lives. When they’re very young, babies may have a bit of trouble with spinach, because it’s full of fiber—and chewing. So you can start with jarred baby food! Spinach is full of iron, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. As your child gets older, steam or cook spinach and blend or stir it into just about anything—oatmeal, scrambled eggs, spaghetti sauce—it’s the perfect camouflage veggie. As years pass, use spinach in place of lettuce for salads and in sandwiches. Add a few leaves to quesadillas and pizzas, try cream of spinach soup….and you get the idea.
If you had a hard time liking spinach in your life, it could be because you had bad spinach. Boiled and squishy spinach can be hard for anyone to enjoy! Instead, get a big handful of leaves and steam them very briefly—just enough to wilt. You can put them in the microwave with a spoonful of water and cover with plastic wrap. Cook 1 or 2 minutes and that’s it! Lightly steamed spinach is amazingly better than the soggy stuff.
Take a delicious fish and add an international twist!
Tilapia is one of America’s favorite fish varieties, perhaps because of its extra-mild flavor and easy preparation. This recipe for Greek-Style Tilapia gives you one more way to serve this versatile, healthy fish!
Prep time: 6 minutes; Cook time: 18 minutes
1 to 2 lemons
1 1/2 lbs tilapia fillets (about 4)
1 Tbs chopped oregano leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
8 oz orzo (or any other type) pasta
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Juice the lemons to get 1/4 cup juice, and grate 1/2 tsp of the peel.
Arrange the fish fillets in a 12 x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the fish with lemon juice and peel, chopped oregano, salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes to the baking dish around the tilapia. Cover with foil and bake 16 to 18 minutes, or until fish is done.
While fish cooks, cook the pasta in water. Serve the pasta and fish with the juices from the baking dish.
Calories Per Serving: 395, Fat: 6 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 25 mg, Sodium: 310 mg, Carbohydrates: 45 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 36 g.
© 2010, Brookshire Grocery Co. Nutrient counts are rounded to the nearest whole number. All dietary and lifestyle changes should be supervised by a physician.
Each Monday we feature a new or interesting product.
Tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, every Tuesday.
On Wednesdays, get a tip or idea on using an item in the circular.
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