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Healthy Living: Building a better breakfast

Your mother always told you to eat a good breakfast, and now, here comes one more reason she was right: Eating a healthy, protein-rich breakfast may help you avoid hunger, and over-eating, the rest of the day.

Recent research at the University of Missouri suggested that a healthy breakfast actually signaled the brain to feel more satisfied. Participants in the study who ate a high-protein breakfast even felt less compelled to overeat at lunch or to seek emotional “rewards” by eating.

This isn’t completely new news. Researchers have warned us for a while that if you skip breakfast, you’re setting yourself up to overeat and possibly gain weight. But the new study gives you another reason to not just settle for a morning doughnut.

Even if you’re starved for time in the morning, here are a few ideas to make your breakfast more protein-rich. And yes, they’re all fast:

Yogurt:  An 8-ounce serving of regular yogurt has from 8-12 grams of protein, or about 20 to 25 percent of the average woman’s recommended daily allowance. Greek yogurt is even higher in protein, with about 20 grams, or nearly half what the average woman needs!

Hard-boiled eggs: No time to scramble an egg in the morning? Cook them up the night before. If you don’t like them plain, slice onto a toasted English muffin half, then top with low-fat cheese and melt slightly in the microwave. One large hard-boiled egg has about 6 grams of protein, and about 75 calories.

Flax: Flax seed is high not only in protein but in fiber, so you’ll feel full longer. (Just one little tablespoon has two grams of protein and three grams of fiber.) You can buy ready-to-make oatmeal with flax already added; it’s also in some cold cereals and some commercial whole-grain breads. Or, you can simply sprinkle flax seed atop your favorite cereal or stir it into pancake batter.

Peanut butter: Smear your favorite bagel, bread or English muffin with protein-rich peanut butter; add a little honey if you prefer a sweeter breakfast. You’ll get about 8 grams of protein in a two-tablespoon smear. Almond butter is another alternative; it has only four grams protein in two tablespoons, but slightly less saturated fat than peanut butter.

Canadian bacon: A lower-fat alternative to bacon, sausage, or other traditional breakfast meats, it’s delicious on a muffin or bagel. One slice has about 45 calories, about the same as a medium slice of bacon, but it has more protein (almost six grams per slice, about twice as much as that piece of bacon).

Nonfat milk: If you truly have no time to eat in the morning, at least make time for a glass of nonfat milk. You’ll get just 85 calories and 8 grams of protein. Don’t care for the taste of plain milk? Make your own iced coffee: Brew just one cup of very strong coffee; pour half of it over ice and add one cup nonfat milk. Add sweetener to taste and you’re out the door.

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Posted in: Healthy Living

Product Talk: Yogurt the Greek way

Greek-style yogurt has really exploded in popularity over the last couple of years, as more brands have hit the market and popular U.S. yogurt makers like Dannon and Yoplait have started making it, too. So what’s the big deal? It’s just yogurt, right?

Well, yes and no. Like the standard American-style yogurt you probably already eat,  Greek yogurt is a fermented milk-based product. Both types are good sources of probiotics, healthy bacteria which is thought to help the digestive system.

But Greek yogurt is thicker, creamier, and richer-tasting than most other forms of yogurt, and it can be healthier for you too.

Greek yogurt is traditionally made by straining regular yogurt. This allows whey and liquid to filter out of the yogurt. So, Greek-style yogurt is not just creamier, it’s also more concentrated than traditional yogurts you may be used to eating.

Partially because it’s more concentrated, Greek-style yogurts have about two times as much protein as regular yogurt. Some varieties have as much as 20 grams of protein per serving – that’s almost half the recommended daily allowance for an adult woman. It’s also lower in carbohydrates and lactose than other types of yogurt. So, if you’re diabetic, watching your weight, or lactose-sensitive, Greek yogurt may be a better choice for you.

Many fans, however, like it just for the flavor. You can buy it sweetened with fruit or flavorings, or plain. Some varieties have fat; others don’t. But even if you buy low-fat or no-fat versions, Greek yogurt tastes as rich as sour cream. You can serve it the same way you use regular yogurt – plain or with fruit or granola, blended into a smoothie, or as a dressing for fruit salad.

But this yogurt’s creaminess also makes it great for baking and cooking, because it doesn’t separate. (Just substitute it for buttermilk or sour cream in recipes.) Or, basically, you can substitute plain Greek-style yogurt for anything you might normally use sour cream for. Use it to top baked potatoes or try it in your favorite dip and salad recipes. Finally, you can even use it as a substitute for mayonnaise; try it instead of mayo in your favorite tuna, chicken or potato salad recipe.

Look for Greek yogurt, by popular makers Dannon, Yoplait and Athenos, all in the dairy section of your neighborhood Brookshire’s, right next to the traditional yogurt.

Dine In: Picnic Time

As kids, we went on a lot of picnics. I used to think it was because my mom just loved the outdoors, but now that I’m older, I see that she also liked the simplicity of eating lunch at the beach or the park: Not much mess, not much cooking, and no kids dropping crumbs and spilling Kool-Aid on the kitchen floor.

Back then, we usually just took sandwiches or picked up some fried chicken. I’ve been known to do that, too, but I also like the idea of a more grown-up picnic. This light salad is perfect for any outdoor meal, plus it’s easy to make, especially if you start with a rotisserie chicken or another form of pre-cooked chicken. (If you’re also feeding kids who are big salad fans, buy an extra rotisserie chicken or some fried chicken strips  at the deli, and take along some chips – they’ll be happy too!)

If you’re packing this in your cooler to take along, mix the salad ingredients and place in a large plastic zippered bag, and put the dressing in a separate, tightly sealed container. (A large plastic bag works well for this, too.) Then, toss salad just before eating.

Grilled Chicken Salad w/Smoked Chile Vinaigrette
Serves 4


1 cup cooked chicken, shredded or sliced (rotisserie chicken works well)
2 cups iceberg lettuce, chopped, or pre-washed salad mix
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/4 cup roasted and salted pecans
1/4 cup pineapple, diced
1/4 cup red cabbage, julienned
1/4 cup smoked chile vinaigrette (recipe below)
4-6 sprigs cilantro, leaves
1-2 handfuls tortilla chips (lightly crushed)

2 chipotles, canned
1 shallot, peeled
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. salt

For the vinaigrette: place all ingredients except the olive oil in a blender and pulse 2-3 times to slightly liquefy these ingredients. Once liquefied, turn the blender to medium speed and slowly add the olive oil until all ingredients are incorporated and you have a nice emulsified vinaigrette. You can add more salt if necessary.

For the salad: Mix all ingredients together. Toss with dressing. Garnish with cilantro and tortilla chips. Serve.

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In

Family Matters: MyPlate

For the past few years we have referred to MyPyramid as our food guide. Recently, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has transformed the guide from a pyramid to a plate. MyPlate is divided into 4 sections; fruit, vegetables, protein and whole grains. Off to the side is a circle representing dairy. A plate is a better representative of what your meal should look like regularly.

A nutritious meal is made up of a plate half full of vegetables and fruit, with a lean protein, a whole grain and a low fat dairy product. Everyone has their own personal plate based on their age, health and physical activity. Check out to get a personalized plan just for you!


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Posted in: Family Matters

Shop the Sale: House-Roasted Turkey

Our new house-roasted turkey is just what you’d make at home – if you had the time, the energy, and could bear to turn on your oven in this heat.

Now available at every Brookshire’s with a deli department, this turkey is roasted fresh right in the store.

We start with skin-on, whole-muscle turkey breasts. Our original, oven-browned version is minimally seasoned, so the flavor of the turkey really shines. For our Italian herb variety, we roll it before cooking in a custom-made blend of Italian herbs and spices, to give it a deep, aromatic flavor.

Then we slow-roast the turkey breasts in our ovens for more than two hours, until tender, juicy and flavorful. Finally, we slice it daily to your specifications, whether you’re planning to make sandwiches, use it to top a chef salad, or serve it to your family as a hearty main dish.

What’s important to me, aside from the great flavor, is what we don’t use. Just like a homemade bird, this turkey is prepared without any nitrates or nitrates, controversial preservatives that are common in many other commercial lunchmeats. (High consumption of nitrates and nitrites has been linked to some forms of cancer.) And we don’t use any weird artificial flavors or non-turkey additives. This turkey doesn’t need any of that stuff.

If you haven’t given it a try yet, here’s your chance: We’re offering it this week at $4.99 per pound, a $2-per-pound savings! And this Saturday, July 16, a number of Brookshire stores will be offering demos and free samples of this turkey. Check with your neighborhood store to see if they’re participating. And, of course, you can always ask for a sample of this, or any of our products, at your local deli counter. I’m pretty sure you’ll like what you taste.

Home sweet home

Eggs and ham!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 6

6 slices of ham
6 eggs
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1 tsp Food Club Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbs dried rosemary
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray. Place a piece of ham into each muffin cup. Ham should make a bowl in muffin cups. Add an egg to each ham bowl. Add chopped green onion, chopped tomato, black pepper, rosemary and parmesan cheese to eggs. Bake eggs 15 to 17 minutes or until eggs are set. Let cups cool slightly before removing from pan to serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 133, Fat: 8 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 206 mg, Sodium: 519 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 12 g

Want s’more ideas

Make different varieties of s’mores?

• Add peanut butter to your graham cracker
• Use a chocolate graham cracker
• Add toasted coconut to your s’mores
• Use cookies in place of graham cracker
• Add different fruits to your s’mores: banana, strawberry, etc.
• Add pretzels to your s’mores

Healthy Living: Healthy Cooking Tips

We all know that there are tips that can help you fix healthier foods. Have you tried these?

  • Use less oil in baking recipes. If a cake calls for 1 cup of oil, you can get away with using just 2/3 cup.
  • Let soups and stews cool, which allows the fat to rise to the top and solidify. You can easily skim it off with a spoon and then reheat.
  • Decrease the amount of sugar in recipes by 1/4 to 1/2. Try to never use more than 1/4 cup of sweetener per cup of flour. To compensate, cut back on sour flavors and use a bit more of sweeter flavors like vanilla and cinnamon.
  • Season your dishes with herbs, spices, lemon and flavored vinegar instead of high-fat and high-sugar sauces.
  • Add beans, vegetables and fruits to your favorite dishes to boost the nutrition and flavor, as well as stretch out the number of servings.
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Posted in: Healthy Living

Product Talk: Catfish-Beyond the fryer

If, like most of us, you’re trying to eat more healthily, you probably know you should be eating more fish.

Personally, I love just about every kind of seafood, cooked almost any way. But I know  many people who think they only like fried fish, or that they don’t really like fish at all.  So I always like to recommend a widely available fish that almost everybody knows and likes: Catfish.

Sure, you probably grew up thinking the only way to eat it was fried, preferably with hush puppies on the side. But today’s farm-raised catfish is so mild and meaty, it tastes great prepared many ways – grilled, baked, sautéed, poached or just popped under the broiler for a few minutes. And because catfish is so mild, it pairs well with a strongly flavored sauce or lots of herbs, especially dried or fresh dill or spicy, Cajun-style seasonings.

And, if you don’t fry it, catfish is a really good choice for a low-fat, heart-healthy diet. It’s sometimes overlooked because, compared to fattier fish like salmon and mackerel, catfish does not contain as much of the omega-3 fatty acids that are associated with good heart health. However, catfish is relatively low in total fat and saturated fat, and high in protein. And it also has more omega-3s than a comparable serving of hamburger, steak, or chicken.

One more thing – catfish is a relatively sustainable fish. That means, unlike some species that are being overfished in the world’s oceans, lakes and rivers, catfish are responsibly raised by farmers in fresh-water ponds. U.S.-raised catfish, like you’ll find at Brookshire’s, are fed high-quality grain that contribute to their mild flavor. Catfish sold at Brookshire’s come from a plant in Hughes Springs, Texas, which has attained Best Aquaculture Practices certification.

Because they are farmed, not wild-caught, catfish filets have always tended to be more reasonably priced than many other forms of seafood. However, over the past several months, you may have noticed higher prices for catfish. That’s because as more corn has gone into ethanol production, catfish feed prices have risen sharply, causing some catfish farmers to turn to other ventures. That’s created a catfish shortage. However, I’m happy to report that the shortage is easing up; you may already be seeing lower prices.

If you’d like to move beyond the deep-fryer, this easy grilled catfish dish is a great one to start with. The dill sauce adds lots of flavor, but because it calls for low-fat dressing, not a ton of fat. The filets will cook in only about ten minutes.  If you’re uncomfortable putting fish on the grill, you can prepare this recipe according to instructions but then bake it in a 350-degree oven for about 7-10 minutes, or until fish is just starting to flake. (Thinner filets will need slightly less time; thicker pieces will need the maximum.)

Dine In: Spicy Thai Beef Salad

Usually, I’m a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy. Serve me a salad for dinner, and I’ll be looking around, wondering where you hid the main course.

This spicy beef salad is an exception to that rule. It’s one of my absolute favorite Thai dishes, combining spicy, sweet and savory flavors, all in each bite.

I’ve had versions with tomatoes, Chinese long beans, bell peppers, and other vegetables added in. But I like to keep it more traditional and simple, both to highlight the great flavors of the ingredients and to keep it quick to make.

Especially in the summer, this salad makes a light and refreshing dinner, but yet it’s hearty enough that you won’t be left asking where’s the beef. When the weather cools down, I might serve this as a first course, maybe with a Thai curry or soup, for an Asian-inspired soup-and-salad dinner.

Thai beef salad
Serves 3-4


3 limes, juiced
1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce (found in Asian section of grocery)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 small red onion, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno, roughly chopped

1 pound skirt steak
salt and pepper to taste
1 small head butter lettuce, clean and leaves separated
1 medium carrot, julienned
½ cup cucumber, peeled and sliced
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Place dressing ingredients in a food processor and puree until liquid. The dressing should be sweet, sour, salty and spicy. All of these can be adjusted to taste. Set aside.

Season skirt steak with salt and pepper and grill over high heat. Cook to medium rare. When the meat is done, set aside to rest for a few minutes while you make the salad.

Toss the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.

Slice the steaks across the grain into small bite-size pieces and mix with dressing. Save any of the meat juices and mix with the dressing. Combine with the salad while steak is warm.

Arrange salad on plates 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.

Product Talk

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