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Dine In: Mediterranean Sandwiches

“Mediterranean cuisine” has been a buzzword for years, but it is kind of hard to pin down exactly what it is.

Essentially, it’s the foods of countries that ring the Mediterranean Sea, like Greece, Italy, France and Spain. But the cuisines of those countries are so varied that “Mediterranean” is often really used just as a shorthand for healthy, simple foods with lots of fresh vegetables, herbs, and bright flavors.

This sandwich uses a lot of the typical Mediterranean ingredients and flavors: plain yogurt, pita bread, cumin and citrus. However, I used ground beef instead of the lamb that’s often featured in this type of Greek/Mediterranean sandwich. That’s because ground beef is more affordable, much easier to find, and has broader appeal. In fact, you can even pass these off as a new kind of hamburger to the kids. 

Serves 4 


Beef  Patties
4 rounds (8-inch) pita bread
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons vegetable oil 

Yogurt Sauce
1 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic , minced
Salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Juice of about 4 limes
3 cups romaine lettuce, rough chopped

For the Beef Patties: Cut 1/2-inch piece from top of each pita round. Chop these pita scraps finely, then mash them into yogurt and set aside to soften for 5 minutes. Mix beef, cilantro, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, cayenne, and yogurt mixture together thoroughly with your hands. Form meat mixture into six 2” wide patties. Place patties on plate and put plate in freezer until patties are firm, about 5 minutes.

For Yogurt Sauce: Meanwhile, combine yogurt, cilantro, and garlic in small bowl and season with salt, cayenne, and lime juice to taste. Refrigerate until needed.

Heat oil in 12” nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook until well browned, about 2 minutes. Flip patties over, reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook until well browned on second side, about 6 minutes. Transfer patties to paper-towel-lined plate and let drain for several minutes.

Put 3 patties into each pita round with some lettuce and a spoonful of yogurt sauce.

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Family Matters: Safe diets for dogs

Those big brown eyes, that puppy dog gaze. Even if your dog isn’t usually a beggar, it can be tempting to want to “reward” him or her with the occasional people-food treat.

But in trying to reward your dog, you can actually do it harm. Some common foods can actually be poisonous to your pet.

You have probably heard that you’re never supposed to feed chocolate to your dog, but there’s actually a much-longer list of foods that can be dangerous.

Even a small amount of some of these foods can harm your dog.

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Raisins
  • Grapes
  • Macadamia nuts (and many other nuts, including walnuts)
  • Alcohol
  • Rhubarb
  • Avocados

Just avoiding that list, however, isn’t enough to keep your pet healthy. Hidden ingredients like garlic, onion powder and extra salt can lurk in many prepared foods. And most dogs do not need the extra fat and salt that’s present in many “table scraps” that you may be tempted to offer. Too much fat in a dog’s diet can lead to obesity, heart problems and other health problems just like in a human. And because most dogs are so much smaller than the average person, it doesn’t take much of the bad stuff to cause illness or obesity.

That’s because dogs, like people, have specific needs when it comes to calories and nutrients. Commercial pet foods tailor these formulas specifically to these needs, and in the past few years, have increasingly created specialized foods for the different stages of a dog’s life.

While puppy food, for instance, has long been available, you can now also buy foods especially for older dogs,  for those that need to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, or formulas made from all-natural ingredients.

If you still want to give your dog the occasional treat, consult your veterinarian for recommendations on vet-approved, made-for-dogs snacks. However, it’s generally considered safest to keep any “people food” to a minimum, and limited to simply cooked, lean foods like chicken, beef and plain white rice. Since your dog can’t exactly make his own lunch, you owe it to them to give them the food they need to thrive.

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Posted in: Family Matters

Shop the Sale: School spirit on sale!

Fall means football games, school carnivals, band competitions – all kinds of occasions where you want to show your school spirit.

Whether you’re a student, the parent or grandparent of a student, or just a proud alumnus, the simplest way to do this? Wearing your school colors, of course.

So we’re helping you support your hometown school  – in more ways than one. Now at most Brookshire’s and Super 1 stores, you can buy apparel and accessories touting your hometown school colors and mascot. And for each qualifying purchase, we’ll make a donation directly to your school!

These are quality products in the latest styles. The selection will vary, depending on individual school  preferences and product availability, but you’ll find popular, sought-after items such as mesh shorts, performance T-shirts, cheerleading shorts, caps, hoodies, jersies, polo shirts, and “pomchies” (ponytail holders that look like pom-poms, and which can also be worn as bracelets.) And, of course, you’ll find all kinds of T-shirts, from classic school colors to tie-dyed and crazy.

For each product sold, the associated school will receive a $1 donation. Last year, your purchases made possible a donation of more than $40,000 to our area schools.

That’s a lot of school spirit!

But hurry in, These products are available for a limited time only, and Homecoming will be here before you know it.

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Posted in: Shop the Sale

Healthy Living: Healthy Roasted Potatoes

For some reason, potatoes often get a bad rap, nutritionally. (Maybe because we so often like to eat them fried, or topped with lots of butter and cheese.)

But, properly prepared, potatoes are actually a really nutritious food that can, and should, be part of most people’s diets.

Just look at some of the benefits:

  • Potatoes are a naturally gluten free food and sometimes can take the place of a gluten-containing product in a recipe.
  • They’re an excellent source of vitamin C, providing 45% of the recommended daily value. (Citrus fruits provide even more Vitamin C, but potatoes are more commonly consumed.) Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps prevent cellular damage, aids in collagen production, and aids in the absorption of iron.
  • Potatoes are a top source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure. Sweet potatoes are one of the best sources of potassium, followed by baked potatoes. Potassium plays an important role in helping lower blood pressure. Research indicates a diet high in potassium and low in sodium will help lower blood pressure.
  • They don’t have as many calories as you may think! A medium, plain baked potato has about 160 calories.

So if you want to enjoy a potato, skip the salty fries. Instead, for a quick and easy meal, just wrap a potato in a damp cloth and microwave until tender. Or, try this easy roasted potato dish, good on its own or as a side dish for your favorite chicken, pork, or beef main course. 

Roasted Potatoes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time:  40 minutes
Serves: 6

1 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into wedges
1 Tbs Food Club Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Food Club Salt
1/4 tsp Food Club Ground Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 425° F. In a large bowl combine potato wedges and olive oil; toss. Add seasonings to potatoes; toss until evenly coated. Add potatoes to a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

Nutritional Information: Calories per Serving: 130, Fat: 3 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 206 mg, Carbohydrates: 25 g, Fiber: 3 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: Healthy Living

Dine In: Grilled salmon

If you’re new to grilling fish, you should try salmon. Because salmon filets are thick and are usually cooked with skin on one side, they are easier to keep moist on the grill than other, more delicate fish. And the firm, meaty texture of salmon makes it one of the most popular fish in America, a healthy, lighter alternative to a good steak.

This simple Asian-inspired marinade is my favorite way to grill salmon. (Most of the ingredients can be found in Asian foods section of the supermarket.) It gives the fish a bright, fresh taste that doesn’t overpower it. I like to serve this dish is atop a bed of fresh wilted spinach – healthy, delicious and colorful. It’s also great with steamed brown rice.

And, if you are not a salmon fan, the marinade also complements mahi mahi ( a milder, but also firm-textured fish), or even chicken or pork.

Chef Sam’s Favorite Grilled Salmon

4 Tbs Hoisin Sauce
2 Tbs Tamari Sauce  (you can substitute regular soy sauce if you cannot find this specialized soy sauce)
2 Tbs Mirin (a kind of Japanese cooking wine)
1 Tbs Rice wine Vinegar
3 Tbs Vegetable Oil
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs fresh ginger (minced)
1 Tbs fresh garlic (minced)
1 tsp wasabi
1 Tbs honey
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
4 salmon filets, 6-8 ounces each
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a dish except for salmon and sesame seeds and mix well.

Add salmon and marinate for 2-4 hours.

Heat grill and spray with nonstick spray.  Grill for about 6-7 minutes on each side until desired doneness.  Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

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Posted in: Dine In

Family Matters: Hammock Days

Do you remember going out in the backyard and lying in the hammock for hours back in the “good old days?”  Well, with all the hot temperatures this summer, even late at night, lying in the hammock is not the place you want to be.

I took a week of vacation to spend time with my family prior to school starting back. We had been wanting a hammock, so we decided to just splurge and get one during this time. We put the hammock together in the middle of the living room (it was just too hot outside) and funny thing, once we got it put together we decided to just leave it, since it was cool inside. Who wants to be outside in the heat?

My week of vacation was spent lying in the hammock in the middle of my living room with my children – watching television and movies, playing Nintendo and computer games, taking naps and most of all, talking about things happening in their lives. I can honestly say it was one of the most relaxing and rewarding weeks I have spent with my children. We laughed and played and everyone fussed over whose turn it was to lie in that hammock.

It has been weeks now and the hammock still remains in the living room. It is occupied daily after school with the kids reading their books, taking catnaps or talking to each other about how their day went. I am not sure when we will remove the hammock from the inside of the house. Our living room is not large – you have to push the hammock to the side to get to the couch-  but it doesn’t seem to matter. This is a time I know they will never forget. (And neither will their friends who have been over and laughed in disbelief at the sight of it.) It is the small things that can make the largest impact in the life of your family.

Set aside some quality time this week for your own family.  Count your blessings daily and give thanks for the time you share with them.

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Posted in: Family Matters

Ham & Cheese Frittata

Ham & Cheese Frittata
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 6

12 large eggs
3 Tbs half-and-half
1/2 tsp Food Club Salt
1/4 tsp Food Club Ground
Black Pepper
1/4 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
1 cup asparagus, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 oz deli style baked ham (thick sliced), chopped small
1/4 cup chopped green onion

Set oven to broil and adjust rack about 5 inches from broiler. In a large bowl whisk eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper together. Stir in cheese. Add asparagus, chopped ham and green onions. Pour egg mixture into oven safe baking dishes.

Bake ham and eggs 30 to 35 minutes, or until set.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 207, Fat: 14 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 441 mg, Sodium: 593 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 18 g

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Posted in: Cooking, Kids

Chicken with Pomegranate

Chicken with Pomegranate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 8

2 Tbs Food Club Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp Food Club Salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp Food Club Ground Black
Pepper, or to taste
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
1 small yellow onion, julienne
1 poblano pepper, julienne
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cups Greek yogurt
2 Tbs Food Club All-Purpose Flour
1 pomegranate, seeds removed and separated
1 Tbs cilantro, roughly chopped

Heat oil in a saucepan. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add chicken and chicken stock to skillet; brown chicken on both sides. Once chicken
is nicely browned, remove from pan.

Add onions and poblano pepper to pan; cook until golden. Stir in the cumin; cook for 1 minute. Cover and cook, on low heat, for 10 minutes. The liquid
will reduce slightly.

Mix yogurt with flour. Add yogurt to saucepan; mix well. Gently heat throughout.  Remove from heat and add pomegranate seeds and cilantro to sauce. Drizzle sauce over chicken.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 343, Fat: 10 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 146 mg, Sodium: 443 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 54 g

Shop the Sale: Best barbecue cuts

Labor Day comes along at just the right time for a party: The kids have been back in school for a week or two and need a break; the temperature might finally stay under 100 degrees; and it’s a great time for a breather before the run-up to the holidays.  Since Labor Day is traditionally the last hurrah of summer, a cookout is just the thing. So we’ve got you covered, with great sale prices on just about anything you might want to put on your grill or in the smoker.

Check your neighborhood store starting today for special offers on whole trimmed certified Angus beef brisket; Brookshire’s Best boneless Angus ribeye steak; ground chuck patties; Hormel pork baby back ribs; Johnsonville brats or hot links; and T-bone or bone-in rib-eye steaks.  For the kiddos, we’ve even got a special buy-one, get-one offer on Ball Park franks.

To make your barbecue stand out, why not brighten up your favorite prepared BBQ sauce with a few extra flavors? It takes just a little work but it really pays off with intense flavor.

  • First, to help concentrate the flavors, heat up a bottle or two of sauce over low heat, and keep at a low simmer.
  • Next, to help bring out both acidity and sweetness, you should add both an acidic ingredient and a sweet one. I like adding the fresh-squeezed juice of a couple of lemons, and a couple tablespoons of brown sugar OR molasses. (The heat will melt the sugar, keeping the sauce smooth.)
  • Next, add a dash of Worcestershire  sauce, to provide a little bit of depth and complexity.
  • Finally, add a couple of tablespoons of butter, stirring in as it melts. This will thicken the sauce slightly and give it a nice buttery richness.
  • Taste! Too sweet? Add a bit more lemon juice, some mustard or a dash of vinegar. Too acidic? Hit it with a little more sugar or honey.
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Posted in: Shop the Sale

Product Talk: New, improved Food Club Soda Sweepstakes – Win $50 loaded to your Thank You Card!

Each week during August, beginning August 3, 2011 through 11:59 p.m. CDT, August 30, 2011 we are randomly giving away $50 to be loaded to your Brookshire’s Thank You Card.

Customers who email their name, phone number, and Brookshire’s Thank You Card number to will be entered for a chance to win the Brookshire’s Food Club Soda Sweepstakes (“Sweepstakes”). Not responsible for lost, late, or misdirected entries not received in time for the random drawings, faulty machinery or other mechanical error, or information entered incorrectly. Limit one (1) entry per Thank You Card number per week. Entries must be received by 11:59PM CDT, 08/30/11.

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Posted in: Product Talk

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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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