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Family Matters: Eating Right Through the Holidays


The holiday season is a time for indulging in your favorite festive foods, from grandma’s stuffing at Thanksgiving all the way to your sweet neighbor’s warm, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookies at Christmas. Many of us feel that once the holiday season starts, nutrition is out the door. With the help of NuVal Nutritional Scoring System, however, you can take some of your favorite holiday foods and “trade them up” for a more nutritious product.

NuVal is a Nutritional Scoring System that is in place at Brookshire’s. NuVal rates foods on a scale of 1 to 100; the higher the score the better the nutrition. All you have to do is look right at the price tag to find the score. It really is as easy as that!

Look how easy it is to make holiday meals just a little healthier:

  • When eating that holiday turkey this year, skip the drumstick and go for the skinless turkey breast. This little trade-up increases the NuVal score from a 30 to a 48.
  • We all love our grandmother’s stuffing! Nothing feels more like home than when you see the steam rising from the stuffing and the kitchen filling up with the smell of sage. This holiday season, add a few nutritious ingredients to that traditional recipe. My personal favorite is adding chopped apples (NuVal 96) or diced pears (NuVal 96). Other fruit options are apricots (NuVal 100) or cranberries (NuVal 100). Winter squash is another nutritious added-in to your grandmother’s stuffing. Acorn squash scores a 99 and butternut squash has a perfect score of 100. Vegetables like collard greens (NuVal 100) or kale (NuVal 99) add a lot of nutrients too! I also like a little crunch, like nuts, in my dressing.  I love adding pecans (NuVal 65) or walnuts (NuVal 82) for that little crunch.
  • Side dishes are my favorite at dinner time! English peas, green beans and mashed potatoes are always my request when the family gets together. Sometimes when we have a lot to cook, we don’t really like preparing all things fresh. The good news is you can find canned and frozen vegetables that have almost as high, if not the same score, as fresh produce score. For example, if someone has requested a green bean casserole, you can use fresh, canned or frozen green beans. Del Monte Fresh Cut Canned Green Beans and Food Club Frozen Green Beans both score a perfect 100.

With the NuVal Scoring System, finding nutritious products in the grocery store is not hard at all. I hope you and your family have a great and nutritious holiday season!



Shop the sale: Bake-at-home breads


Warm, fresh-from-the-oven bread is a sure way to turn an everyday meal into something special.

But who has time to bake their own bread, especially on a weeknight and with the holiday season right around the corner?

Our Tasty Bakery tear & share breads – on sale starting today – are the easy answer.  These breads are as good as you’d get in an upscale bakery or a specialty restaurant, but they’re designed for you to finish off in just minutes in your own oven.

Available in cheese and garlic & herb varieties, our tear & share breads come in their own disposable, bakeable tray, so you don’t even have a baking dish to wash. Just remove the wrapper and pop them in a hot oven for 8-10 minutes; then serve in a bread basket and let guests simply pull apart their portion at the table. They’re perfect alongside pasta, meat, fish or chicken.

You can also try our Tasty Bakery flat breads, available in garlic and herb, sweet tomato and cheese, and basil pesto. These are sold fully baked, but they’re best reheated for 8-10 minutes in a hot oven. Serve with soup or salad, make them into an Italian Panini with salami, ham and cheese, or even use them as personal pizza crusts. (The sweet tomato and cheese is especially good as a pizza.)

All these breads are all-natural, vegetarian-friendly, and contain no trans-fat. Just like you’d bake them yourself – if you only had a few extra hours in your day.



Macaroni and Cheese Cups


Macaroni and Cheese Cups
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 24

Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup Food Club All-Purpose Flour
3 cups Full Circle Fat Free Milk
1 lb shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 lb mozzarella cheese
1 lb elbow macaroni noodles, cooked and drained
1/2 tsp Food Club Salt
1/2 tsp Food Club Ground Black Pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan melt butter. Add flour to saucepan, stir constantly for about 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and continue until thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted.

In a large bowl add noodles and cheese mixture; mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of macaroni mixture into each cup of mini muffin pan. Bake macaroni and cheese for 15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 207, Fat: 10 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 31 mg, Sodium: 245 mg, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 11 g

© 2011, Brookshire Grocery Co.  Nutrient counts are rounded to the nearest whole number.  All dietary and lifestyle changes should be supervised by a physician.

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Posted in: Entertaining


Healthy Living: Avoiding holiday weight gain


During the roughly six-week winter holiday season, which begins right about now, the average American gains from 1 to 7 pounds, depending on which source you believe.

But the really bad news? Most of us never get around to losing that extra holiday weight, according to a widely cited study published in the respected The New England Journal of Medicine. So, even if you gain on the low end of that spread, you could easily be carting around five or ten extra unwanted pounds in just a few years.

The trick, obviously, is keeping the pounds off in the first place. Easier said than done.  And most “tips” about avoiding holiday weight gain are, frankly, sort of hard to follow. Who really wants to just eat carrot sticks instead of Christmas cookies at the office Christmas party? And that often-repeated tip about eating a full meal before heading to a holiday gathering – well, won’t most people just end up eating twice as much?

Instead, here are a few simpler ideas for minimizing your holiday weight gain:

Don’t tempt yourself at home. Since the office and every holiday gathering will be well-stocked with sweets and snacks, cut back in the environment you can control – your house. For instance, stop buying chips, and skip the chocolate-chip cookie you often enjoy after dinner.  If you receive gifts of nuts or candy, consider taking them to work to spread the enjoyment – and the potential weight gain – among your colleagues. And if you are baking treats for a party or friends, don’t make extras; try a cookie or two just to make sure they’re good enough to give away, but then package up the whole batch and get them out of your house.

Indulge in one or two treats per party – not the whole buffet. When you arrive at a holiday party, size up the offerings and eat only your favorites. Station yourself in a room far from the buffet table if you are easily tempted or prone to mindless eating while chatting.

Limit the alcohol. Especially if you don’t drink that often, a few alcoholic drinks can quickly add up to a bunch of empty, unexpected calories, and may also make you more apt to pig out at the buffet later. So go ahead and have that glass of champagne – one. Then switch to sparkling water with a slice of citrus.

Eat lightly the day of a big party, but don’t skip meals. If you know you’re going to be over-indulging in the evening, eat about one-third less than you might normally eat at breakfast and lunch, so you “save” some calories. If you skip meals and starve all day, you’re that much more likely to overeat as soon as you see the cocktail wienies. Along the same line, it’s often recommended to eat a healthy, protein-heavy snack right before heading to a party – so that you’re not as hungry. However, if you know that won’t stop you from eating just as much once you arrive at the party, skip the snack and save those calories.

Make your own party treats healthy: If you’re bringing goodies to a potluck, take something healthy, so you know there will be at least one lower-calorie offering to fill up on. Magazines like Cooking Light are filled with delicious, but lighter, holiday ideas this time of year.

Moderation in all things, even moderation:  Choose one or two events  – maybe Thanksgiving dinner and your neighborhood potluck – where you eat whatever you want, guilt-free. It will make it easier to limit your eating the rest of the season. The rest of the time, strive for moderation. If you do overeat at a party, don’t feel guilty or, worse, let it spiral into weeks of over-indulging. Shake it off, spend an extra 30 minutes at the gym, eat a salad for lunch, and then go about your holidays – hopefully, without any extra pounds in tow.



Product talk: Eggnog: A BGC tradition


Nobody’s really sure who invented eggnog. The holiday tradition is usually credited to the English, but some food historians seem to think it’s just a modernized version of a milk-based toddy that has been enjoyed in the winter since the Middle Ages.

What I do know is this: We make some pretty fine eggnog right here at Brookshire’s.

Our Food Club eggnog, made locally, is now in stores, carrying on a tradition that has now been going on for nearly 20 years.

The recipe for our rich, fragrant eggnog was developed in 1992 in our own BGC Dairy. It uses a secret blend of spices and vanilla, and fresh whole milk that comes to us from family dairy farmers in the nearby countryside.

And it’s part of an even bigger dairy tradition that dates back to 1927, when the first working dairy was founded on the site of the current BGC plant in Tyler, Texas.  The dairy changed hands several times before Brookshire’s purchased it in 1990 in order to bring its own fresh milk products to customers.

We’re proud of our dairy’s strong history of quality. In spring 2005 the dairy became the first dairy in Texas certified to process organic milk. And we’ve won the All Star Dairy Association’s “Best Fluid Plant” Award the last 5 out of 7 years.

At the dairy, we gear up to make eggnog just in the fall, in time for all those holiday parties. It’s available by the quart, perfect for enjoying yourself, or the half-gallon, enough for the whole family or special holiday parties. Dust it with ground cinnamon or nutmeg, top it with real whipped cream, or even spike it with a little brandy or rum, if you are so inclined.

Just make sure you enjoy it while you can; at the end of the holidays, it will disappear again from our stores, not to return until the 2012 winter holiday season.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Family Matters: Cold-weather flea protection


True or false: Pet owners don’t need to worry about fleas in the winter.

False! While this may have once been commonly accepted, we now know that fleas can and do survive in colder weather – especially indoors, and especially in the milder climates of the southern U.S.

In fact, fleas may even be a bigger threat in the cooler months, as many pet owners slack off on the preventative measures for dogs and cats in the fall and winter – meaning more fleas are breeding and just itching to get into your home and onto your pet.

So, to keep fleas at bay, veterinarians and pet experts advise that pet owners treat their four-legged friends all year long. Otherwise, you’ll risk flea infestations, which can lead to more than just nasty little fleas on the carpet and annoying flea bites. Flea bites can cause allergies, infections, and skin disorders. They can also spread tapeworms, tularemia (a disease spread by fleas and ticks that causes headache, fever, and fatigue), and even Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a potentially fatal illness that can affect both dogs and humans.

These flea-prevention tips are courtesy our friends at Sergeant’s, which makes many effective flea- and tick-control products for pet and home.

Prevention goes a long way: Follow your veterinarian’s advice and treat every pet in your household every month, all year long. If you keep fleas from getting a foothold in your home in the first place, you won’t have the more-difficult task of getting rid of them later.

Treat each pet monthly – preferably on the same date so you don’t forget a dose. Bathe your pet to remove dirt and as a first step in treating flea or tick infestations. A flea comb removes flea dirt (flea feces) and dead fleas.

Treat the home, too. Regularly wash pet bedding. If you have or suspect an infestation, wash pet bedding again, then vacuum carpets, and treat your home with a household spray, powder or fogger.

Don’t forget the yard. Spray your yard and your home’s foundation, to kill fleas lurking outside.

Use an effective anti-flea treatment. Squeeze-on, topical treatments are easy to use and very well tolerated by pets. You can now purchase topical treatments at grocery stores and other retailers, eliminating an extra trip to the veterinarian’s office. For instance, Sergeant’s™ Flea and Tick Squeeze-On protects pets against adult fleas and ticks and prevents eggs and larvae from developing into adults. It contains Bitrex, a bittering agent, to help prevent ingestion. Sergeant’s Evolve™ Flea and Tick Squeeze-On is specifically formulated for the weight of your pet, both in dosage and active ingredients. It not only protects against adult fleas, but also prevents infestation and protects against flea eggs and larvae for up to nine weeks.



Buttermilk Biscuits


Buttermilk Biscuits
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Serves: 10

Ingredients:
2 cups Food Club All-Purpose Flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Food Club Salt
3 tsp Food Club Sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
2/3 cup buttermilk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar; mix well. Cut butter into mixture, until dough is crumbly and pale yellow. Make a well in dough and pour in buttermilk; mix well.

On a floured surface roll out dough to about 1/2-inch thick. With a round cookie cutter or glass cut dough into 2-inch circles. Combine remaining dough and cut more biscuits. Place biscuits on baking sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Serve with butter and honey.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 186, Fat: 10 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 25 mg, Sodium: 317 mg, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 3 g

© 2011, Brookshire Grocery Co.  Nutrient counts are rounded to the nearest whole number.  All dietary and lifestyle changes should be supervised by a physician.

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Posted in: Cooking


Healthy Living: NuVal News


One of the great things about NuVal, the at-a-glance system for figuring out a food’s nutritional value, is that the NuVal people constantly update their information. So, as products change their formulation, and new products enter the market, you can be sure you are getting new, current information about the foods you are feeding your family. In the NuVal system, food gets a score from 1 to 100. The higher the score, the better the overall nutrition of that product.

Each month, I receive a report with changes in NuVal scores. Scores can go up or down depending on how a product has been reformulated. With the addition of fiber or the removal of trans fats the score can increase. If fiber is removed or sugar is added the score can decrease.

I am always pleased to see how manufactures strive to have a more nutritious product and sad when one of my favorite product’s score has declined. Here are a few items that have recently had a score change.

  • Dannon Strawberry, Blueberry and Vanilla Greek Yogurt all had a score increase due to the fortification of Vitamin D. Fortification is adding a micronutrient (like vitamins and minerals) to a product that was not there before. Dannon Strawberry Greek Yogurt went from a 27 to a 43, blueberry went from 28 to a 40, and vanilla went from a 28 to a 38.
  • Dole Fruit Cups had the syrup in the product replaced with 100% juice. Diced pears went from a score of 5 to a 24, cherry mixed fruit went from a 6 to a 24 and mandarin oranges went from a 7 to a 23.
  • Kellogg Peaches and Berries Special K Bars had a score increase from a 3 to a 24. The product’s reformulation resulted in more fiber and less sugar and trans fat.
  • The Taco Bell Dinner Kit had the removal of partially hydrogenated soybean oil, a trans fat, resulting in a score increase from 8 to 20.

If you have any questions about NuVal or why a scored changed feel free to e-mail me at askbrooke@brookshires.com .



Product Talk: New Charter Reserve deli meats


Coming this week to selected stores: Great new choices in deli meats.

We are introducing Charter Reserve, a line of premium deli meats, giving you 18 new flavors of deli turkey, ham, beef and chicken to try.

Charter Reserve is high-quality, all-natural meat – providing great taste at affordable prices. But even though it’s budget friendly, they do not skimp on the quality or the preparation:

  •  This is whole-muscle meat, with no binders or fillers.
  •  No MSG or trans fats.
  •  Every variety is gluten-free.
  •  They’re all oven-roasted, and seasoned with fine ingredients and spices.
  •  Several varieties are even certified by the American Heart Association, meaning they meet the association’s guidelines for heart-healthy food.

No matter your deli meat of choice, Charter Reserve probably offers it. The line includes seven kinds of turkey (including cracked pepper, mesquite roasted, and honey-baked) and five kinds of ham (brown sugar, Virginia ham and Black Forest among them.) It also includes four kinds of choice Angus beef and two flavors of roasted chicken.

Charter Reserve should be arriving in selected stores with delis this week. Don’t be shy – ask for a taste!



Dine-In: German Beef Rolls


A lot of people think that German food is just schnitzel, sausage and beer.  But there’s so much more to it than that. Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite German dishes, beef rouladen.

Rouladen is a very traditional dish of thinly sliced beef, rolled around a filling of bacon, onions, pickles and hearty German mustard, and slowly braised until it is tender. After the beef is cooked, you make a nice thick gravy, and serve that over the rouladen.

Because it uses inexpensive cuts of beef, this was originally a workingman’s dish. But now, it is popular throughout Germany, and in fact, you usually see it at holidays, festivals or in restaurants. Over there, beer or wine is often added to the beef stock to bring out a richer flavor.

To make it really traditional, you should serve it with cooked red cabbage and either spatzle (a type of German egg noodle), potato dumplings, or boiled potatoes. But it is also good with mashed potatoes and roasted winter vegetables, like squash, Brussels sprouts or carrots. 

Rouladen
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs. flank steak
1/2 lb. thick-sliced bacon
2 large onions, sliced
10 German pickles (Gundelsheim is the best) sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup German mustard
2 tsp corn starch

Directions:
Cut the flank steak into thin filets; about 1/4” thick and 3 inches wide.

Generously spread one side of each filet with mustard to taste. Place bacon, onions and pickle slices on each filet and form into a roll. Use string or toothpicks to hold the roll together.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and melt butter. Place the rolls in the butter and sauté until browned.

Once browned, pour broth over rolls, cover and simmer for an hour or until tender. When beef is tender, remove from skillet and keep warm.

Place corn starch in small mixing bowl and add enough water to make a slurry. Be sure to dissolve corn starch well for a smooth sauce. Add this mixture to the skillet and bring to boil. Once sauce is thickened, return rouladen to pan, cover with sauce and serve.



Copyright © 2010-2014, Brookshire’s. All rights reserved.
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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