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Healthy Living: Cauliflower Poppers


Today is my younger son’s birthday. And in honor of the day, I asked him what his favorite healthy food was.

I expected him to try to rationalize how deep-dish-pepperoni-double-cheese pizza was his healthy favorite.

To my surprise, he did not.

He named his favorite vegetable: cauliflower.

I should have known as cauliflower is one of MY favorite vegetables and I steamed and pureed it for him, as a baby, by the pound.

Cauliflower only contains about 26 calories per cup and is very low in fat and contains no cholesterol. One cup contains two grams of dietary fiber and several anti cancer phyto-chemicals like sulforaphane and plant sterols such as indole-3-carbinol which appears to function as an anti-estrogen agent. Together these compounds fight against prostate, breast, cervical, colon, ovarian cancers .

Fresh cauliflower is excellent source of vitamin C; and contains good amounts of many essential B-complex group of vitamins such as folates, vitamin B5, B8,B1 and B3 as well as vitamin K. It is also good source of minerals such as manganese, copper, iron, calcium and potassium. 

Luke’s Favorite Balsamic and Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
Serves 4

Ingredients:
8 cups 1-inch-thick slices cauliflower florets, (about 1 large head)
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 F.

Toss cauliflower, oil, marjoram, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast until starting to soften and brown on the bottom, 15 to 20 minutes. Toss the cauliflower with vinegar and sprinkle with cheese. Return to the oven and roast until the cheese is melted and any moisture has evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes more.

Nutritional Information: Calories 149; Fat 10g; Cholesterol 7mg; Carbohydrates 10 g; Protein 7g; Fiber 4g; Sodium 364 mg; Potassium 490 mg



Product Talk: Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream


Today is Labor Day, the last official holiday of the summer.

What better way to celebrate than with a batch of homemade ice cream you don’t even need any special equipment to make? Just remember to start this recipe a day ahead to give it time to freeze.

This ice cream is made with Food Club Sweetened Condensed Milk.

Sweetened condensed milk is cow’s milk from which the water has been removed, with sugar added. Sweetened condensed milk is a very thick, sweet product which, when canned, can last for years without refrigeration if unopened.

Use Food Club Sweetened Condensed Milk to make this tasty holiday treat today.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
Serves 8

Ingredients:
8 oz Food Club cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz) Food Club Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/3 cup Food Club heavy whipping cream
2 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
3 Food Club honey graham crackers, coarsely chopped

Directions:
Mix first four ingredients with mixer until blended. Freeze 4 hours or until almost solid.

Beat the cream cheese mixture until smooth and creamy. Blend strawberries in a blender until s mooth. Add to cream cheese mixture with chopped graham crackers. Mix well. Freeze 8 hours until firm.

Remove dessert from freezer 15 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information: Calories 382; Calories from Fat 153; Total Fat 17g; Cholesterol 63mg; Sodium 220mg; Total Carbohydrates 51g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Sugars 47g; Protein 9g

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Dine-In: Meatloaf and Meaningful Conversation


Miniature Meat LoavesIf you’ve made plans for your family to stay home tonight and enjoy a little time together away from the rush of the real world, the family dinner table is a great place for meaningful, yet still relaxed, conversation.

But sometimes (with two teenage boys), I need help to get the conversation past “yes” or “no” answers! I don’t want to force anyone into a conversation, but I’ve learned that if I can indirectly get the talking flowing, then everything else seems to ease into place naturally.

Along with a yummy miniature meatloaf recipe for your Dine-In Friday night, here are a few questions and ideas to help your slow time flow even better:

Tell us one thing that happened today that made you feel silly (happy, loved, smart, etc.).

Tell us one thing that really happened to you today, and make up another thing that did not really happen. Let us guess which one is true.

Do you have a hero? Mine is…because…

One thing I want to learn to do that I can’t do now is…

What is the very first thing you can remember about your life?

If you could have picked your own name, what would it be? Why?

God made each of us with our own special gifts and talents. What do you think is one of your gifts or talents? Let each family member also share about the other family members.

People always talk about being “successful.” What do you want in life to feel like you are a success?

Would you rather be a professional athlete, president of your country, or a movie star? Why?

Do you have a best friend? What do you like about him or her?

Miniature Meat Loaves
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 Tbs olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs tomato paste
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup ketchup

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add the onions, green pepper, salt and pepper and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are softened. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, onion and green pepper mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs, and mix by hand until the ingredients are well distributed. Place foil liners into a 12-cup muffin pan and shape individual portions of meatloaf to fit each muffin cup. Spread about a tablespoon of ketchup on the top of each portion. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the internal temperature is 155-160°. And the meatloaves are cooked through. Serve hot.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 293, Total Fat: 11.2 g, Saturated Fat: 3.6 g, Sodium 776 mg, Carbohydrates 9.4 g, Protein: 37.4 g



Family Matters: Family Road Trip


We all hear people reminisce about family trips they have taken over the years and what a great time it was for their family to bond.  It is funny to hear someone talk about it and then to sit and recall some of your own family road trips – or adventures, we call them.  There are a lot of fun times that come out of a road trip, but for some reason we seem to always forget (or block out) the rest of the road trip.

As a mother of four teenage daughters I can tell you first hand that a seven hour road trip is an adventure.  Oh, it was fun and we laughed a lot but what about having to stop every hour (or more) because they can’t all seem to need to make a bathroom stop at the same time.  Or, everyone seems to have lost or broke their charger for the electronic devices they are glued to, so you have six people sharing one or two chargers…you can hear the laughter right…

I was really surprised our air conditioner did not burn up from the multiple times I heard it was too cold or too hot and had to adjust it.  Finally after a few hours of that, the cold natured girls were given blankets to cover up with…that took care of that.  What about the four things of snacks you open up and pass back and forth (sharing, that is nice) and then someone ends up spilling the box or bag of goodies all over the car…laughing again?  After eating the snacks they are all thirsty…and yes, time for another pit stop.  You would be amazed at the great souvenirs you find in truck stops.

Don’t get me wrong, after you return these things are really funny when you look back but at the time you feel like you want to pull your hair out or take a vacation by yourself.  You love your children but honestly there are times they make you want to trade them in or tie them to the top of the car for a little peace and quiet.  This does not mean you don’t love your kids it just means that you are human and that things do seem to overwhelm us sometimes, but in the end what great memories we do make and what funny stories about family road trips we will have to share with our grandchildren.

Count your blessings daily and give thanks for the time you have to share with your family…on and off the road!



Shop the Sale: White Beans and Ham


I was cleaning out my freezer recently and I found leftover ham. From Easter.

I promptly defrosted it, diced up the leftovers and served it baked into macaroni and cheese.

I also promised myself I wouldn’t cook ham only at Easter any more. It’s so versatile and there are always great ways to repurpose leftovers.

I was excited this week to see that Double-G Brands Ham Portions are on sale at Brookshire’s. I have just the recipe waiting for the succulent and smoky ham! I also love using my slow cooker during the summer because it doesn’t heat up my entire kitchen.

White Beans and Ham for the Slow Cooker
Serves 8

Ingredients:
1 (10 oz) bag dried Great Northern Beans
1 to 2 lbs Double-G Brands Ham Portions, Bone In
1 white onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbs pepper
1 Tbs dried thyme
1 Tbs rosemary
1 tsp ground cumin
water

Directions:
Wash beans carefully and place in slow cooker.

Remove ham from bone and dice. Place in slow cooker with beans.

Add ham bone, carrots, celery, onion and spices to the slow cooker and cover with water about an inch higher than ingredients.

Cook on high heat 6 to 8 hour or low 8 to 10 hours.

Note: Monitor the water level when cooking as beans will absorb much of the liquid.

Nutritional Information: Calories 195; Calories from Fat 24; Total Fat 3g; Cholesterol 27mg; Sodium 708mg; Total Carbohydrates 26g; Dietary Fiber 8g; Sugars 2g; Protein 18g

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



Healthy Living: Salad Club


I absolutely love salads. I love salads so much my brother often refers to me as a rabbit.  Whether I’m eating at a restaurant or having a light lunch at home, I’m very much content with a big bowl of fresh greens drizzled with an oil and vinegar mixture, topped with fresh in-season fruit and walnuts.

The other day I was reading one of my favorite blogs, “A Better Bag of Groceries,” which discusses NuVal scores. It talked about starting a salad club. With my love for salads, I quickly e-mailed a few ladies around the office to see if anyone would be interested in participating in a salad club. I had a few replies of people who would be interested.

Once you’ve found a group of people who are interested in starting a salad club, start a sign-up sheet for different toppings each person will bring. Have each person bring their favorite salad green and a topping. Toppings can be fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, etc.

Strawberries: NuVal Score of 100
Blueberries: NuVal Score of 100
Oranges: NuVal Score of 100
Apples: NuVal Score of 96
Pears: NuVal Score of 96
Grapes: NuVal Score of 91
Tomatoes: NuVal Score of 96
Avocados: NuVal Score of 89
Cucumbers: NuVal Score of 93
Carrots: NuVal Score of 99
Mushrooms: NuVal Score of 96
Walnuts: NuVal Score of 82
Almonds: NuVal Score of 81

Pick a day of the week everyone can participate in Salad Club. Have a place you can store all of the Salad Club’s salad dressing and toppings each person can use from week to week. The first week of the Salad Club, ask each person to bring a salad dressing they would like to share with the group. Salad dressing NuVal scores can range from 1 to 24 with the average being a 5. The scores can vary depending on the amount of added sugar, type of fat, and the vitamins the salad dressing.

Food Club Italian Dressing: NuVal Score of 18
Wish-Bone Italian Spritzer: NuVal Score of 16
Full Circle Organic Vinaigrette Dressing: NuVal Score of 14
Food Club Zesty Italian Dressing: NuVal Score of 12
Kraft Zesty Italian: NuVal Score of 11
Food Club Lite Italian Dressing: NuVal Score of 11
Full Circle Organic Honey Mustard Dressing: NuVal Score of 9
Newman’s Own Honey Mustard: NuVal Score of 7
Kraft Light Creamy Caesar Dressing: NuVal Score of 7
Food Club Fat Free Ranch: NuVal Score of 4
Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch: NuVal Score of 4
Kraft French Salad Dressing: NuVal Score of 3
Food Club Blue Cheese: NuVal Score of 3

Have fun each week experimenting with different salad mixtures!



Product Talk: Turkey Roll Ups


Turkey lunchmeat always reminds me of school lunches.

My mom would make the best turkey sandwiches for my Holly Hobbie metal lunchbox. I don’t really know if putting lunchmeat on white bread with mustard constitutes making a great sandwich, but I do know it was always one of my favorites.

Turkey sandwiches remain my favorite to this day. I’ve discovered the quality of the turkey lunchmeat you buy definitely does make for a better sandwich. I love Brookshire’s Hickory Smoked turkey breast. The flavor of the tender lunch meat is enhanced by the hickory smoke.

I don’t always take a turkey sandwich with me to work (and I don’t carry a Holly Hobbie lunch kit any more either) but I love to use turkey in these delicious roll-ups for dinners. Leftovers ARE great for lunches!

Turkey Roll Ups
Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 burrito-sized flour tortillas
1 lb Brookshire’s Hickory Smoked turkey breast
8 Tbs Food Club cream cheese, flavored with onions and chive
8 strips bacon, cooked crisp
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 Tbs olive oil

Directions:
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion. Cook over medium heat until onion begins carmelizes, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Spread each tortilla with 2 tablespoons of cream cheese, top with one-fourth of the turkey breast, two strips of bacon and one-fourth of the carmelized onions.

Roll up and enjoy!

Nutritional Information: Calories 614; Calories from Fat 299; Total Fat 33g; Cholesterol 100mg; Sodium 2493mg; Total Carbohydrates ; 39g; Dietary Fiber 2g; Sugars 3g; Protein 35g

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



Dine In: Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza


Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza in the Cast Iron SkilletI’ve told you before that Friday night in our house is Pizza Party Night.

Depending on the day, and the work week, I alternate between making pizza homemade, buying the yummy Brookshire’s take-and-bake pizzas or sometimes breaking down and ordering delivery pizza.

So you can say I’ve eaten a lot of pizza in my day.

But this one takes the cake. Or in this case, the (pizza) pie. I laid in bed last night trying to wax poetic about the nirvana that was this pizza, but came up short of the perfect words to describe this heavenly creation.

Earlier in the week, I’d seen a recipe for a deep dish, Chicago-style pizza…baked in a cast iron skillet.

Was there any doubt this girl would be trying that recipe, as soon as humanly possible?

Nope. As soon as Friday came around, there was pizza preparation going on in my house.

Now two things are critical about pizza, in my humble opinion: the sauce and the crust.

Really great pizza starts with a really great crust. I will admit I was a bit leery of this Chicago style pizza; in my experience with imitations (because this recipe is now the gold standard), the crust is soggy and limp. You need to eat it with a fork (or in some cases, a small shovel).

But this crust…oh this crust…held up to four layers of cheese and pepperoni.  I was, at first, a bit skeptical of the corn meal. I’ve used it ON a pizza stone, to keep the crust from sticking, but never incorporated it in the dough. But it’s delicious. Furthermore, it was my first time to assemble the dough in my food processor. Super simple and quick. (But alas, I still managed to splatter flour everywhere).

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza in the Cast Iron Skillet
Serves 8

Ingredients:
Crust:
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 pkg dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 TBS water
3 Tbs olive oil
1 (14 oz) jar pizza/tomato sauce
2 cups combined Parmesan, asiago, mozzarella, provolone and romano cheeses
8 oz pepperoni
(toppings of your choice)

Directions:
Place all of the dry ingredients, including the yeast into a standard sized food processor.

Pulse the dry ingredients to combine and then pour the combined wet ingredients through the feed tube in a stream.

When the dough forms a ball, let the dough process for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, enough heat is generated to activate the yeast.

Put the dough into a non-reactive container, cover and let rise.

If you don’t have a food processor, assemble the crust ingredients as you would any yeast dough, and let it rise once.

Into an oiled 10 1/2-inch cast iron skillet, pat or roll the dough out dough to cover the bottom, and about 1 and 1/2 inches up the sides. If the sides of the dough don’t want stay up, and they tend to shrink back down, don’t worry. As the topping ingredients fill the pizza during assembly, it is easy to push the sides back up, by pressing down into the “corners” of the skillet. The filled pizza will keep the sides in tact.

Spread sauce over crust.

Next a layer of a blend of five Italian cheeses: Parmesan, asiago, mozzarella, provolone and romano.

Top with a layer of pepperoni.  Then more cheese.  And more pepperoni. Four layers worth. (yes, you read that correctly. This pizza is worth the Monday morning trip to the cardiologist. I promise.)

The miracle crust comes in how you bake this pizza, I think.

When you have the pizza topped to your heart’s content, place the cast iron skillet in a COLD oven. Preheat to 475 degrees. When the oven reaches that temperature, turn it down to 375 and bake for 30 minutes.

Let sit for 5 minutes after you take it out of the oven. Slice and enjoy.

Nutritional Information: Calories 414; Calories from Fat 217; Total Fat 24 g; Cholesterol 45mg; Sodium 958mg; Total Carbohydrates 31g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 2g; Protein18g

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: A Greek Twist on Pizza Night


Pizza is one of my boys’ favorite foods, but it’s not one of mine. I enjoy a slice or two maybe a few times a year, but it’s not something I crave or make very often – until a friend recently made me her Greek Hummus Pizza. These flavors combine to make one of the most delicious, and healthiest, pizzas I’ve ever enjoyed.

Yes, I know nothing beats a greasy pepperoni and mushroom on a Friday night, but for a quick weeknight family dinner, this Greek Hummus Pizza has become one of our favorites.

If you aren’t familiar with hummus, it’s a very popular Middle Eastern dip usually made with chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini (sesame paste), garlic, salt and olive oil. It’s quite versatile, as you can easily find flavored hummus on the Brookshire’s aisles now, from roasted red pepper and pine nut to southwestern and roasted garlic.

It’s so easy to change up the ingredients of this pizza to make it your own as well. It tastes delicious with ANY flavor of hummus you like – from roasted red pepper to roasted garlic or even spicy jalapeno! The amount of cheese called for in the recipe might not seem like enough, as we all like to pile on the toppings, but it’s plenty – and healthier too.  Sometimes I mix in a handful of feta cheese with the mozzarella if I happen to have some on hand.

Most of you know that I’d rather be cooking with kids than most anyone else, and that’s another reason I have made this pizza a family favorite. You start with a purchased refrigerated pizza crust and purchased hummus, making it so easy for any young cook to enjoy success on the first try. In fact, my boys (ages 15 and 13) don’t really need me to help with this anymore; they can make this all on their own!

Greek Hummus Pizza
Serves: 8

Ingredients:
1 (10-oz) tube refrigerated pizza dough
1 (7-oz) container hummus, any flavor
1/2 cup chopped ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
3 slices red onion, separated into rings
1/3 cup sliced, pitted black olives
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450

Roll pizza crust dough into a large oval. Spread hummus over the crust; top with remaining ingredients. Bake pizza for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is browned.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving:  257; Fat: 12.9 g; Cholesterol: 25 mg; Sodium: 508 mg; Carbohydrates: 22.8 g; Fiber: 2.9g ; Protein: 14.1 g

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



Shop the Sale: Chicken Broccoli Calzones


During my college years in a small city in Virginia, I often escaped dorm life – and dorm food – for the weekend by going home with a dear friend. She lived in an even smaller town about an hour away from where we went to school, but her mother would pamper us and her house was like a second home to me.

It was on one of these weekend trips that she took me to this little hole-in-the-wall pizza joint, because “joint” is really the only word to describe this establishment with the cracked linoleum countertops, the torn vinyl seating and the scratched tile floors.

But the aromas in this mom-and-pop Italian restaurant made you instantly forget the décor. If I remember correctly, the proprietor’s name was Joe. His father’s name was Joe and his son’s name was Joe.  He had a dark-haired, fiery Italian mama who worked the counter and stirred the red sauce and he had a little daughter (who, as I reflect back on that restaurant and our times there, is probably grown by now). And they served up the best calzones I’ve ever had. The crust was crispy and you had to eat them with a knife and fork to make sure you got every bit of the cheesy, saucy goodness.

Since then, I’ve loved making my own calzones. The only difference is that mine aren’t quite as messy. I’ve also tried to make them a little more healthy.  With items on sale at Brookshire’s this week, like Brookshire’s Fresh Chicken, fresh broccoli browns, tomatoes on the vine, yellow onions and refrigerated Pillsbury Pizza Crust, you can make this delicious calzone as a quick weeknight dinner or a delicious weekend treat – no travelling required.

Chicken Broccoli Calzones
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 tube refrigerated Pillsbury Pizza Crust
3 large Brookshire’s Fresh Chicken Breasts
1/2 lb fresh broccoli crowns
3 large tomatoes on the vine, cored and chopped
1 large yellow or white onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
4 Tbs olive oil, divided

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400. Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces. Heat 2 TBS olive oil in a large skillet.

Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add chicken, broccoli crowns and garlic. Saute until chicken is cooked through and golden brown. Add seasoning and chopped tomatoes and cook until tomatoes begin to release their juices. Cover and set aside.

Remove pizza dough from tube. Divide into four equal pieces. Gently flatten pizza crust into four rounds. Divide filling into four parts. Place filling on half the dough rounds, fold over into a half moon. Crimp edges together so the filling won’t leak.

Place on a large baking sheet or cooking stone. Brush with remaining  2 TBS olive oil. Bake at 400 until crusts are golden.

Nutritional Information: Calories 316; Calories from Fat 159; Total Fat 18g; Cholesterol 51mg; Sodium 274mg; Total Carbohydrates 18g; Dietary Fiber 3g; Sugars 4g; Protein 21g

View this recipe to print or add items to your 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.

Product Talk

Each Monday we feature a new or interesting product.

Healthy Living

Tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, every Tuesday.

Shop the Sale

On Wednesdays, get a tip or idea on using an item in the circular.

Family Matters

Ideas for the whole family come to you every Thursday.

Dine In

Stop fighting the crowds, save money and dine in, every Friday.

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