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Healthy Living: Mediterranean Lettuce Tacos


Mediterranean Lettuce TacosToday is 11/11. You know how people always say to make a wish at 11:11 a.m. or p.m.? Well, I’m going to make a wish on the entire day for recipes that taste great and are good for you.

Luckily, they aren’t hard to find.

We put out many of our own here at Brookshire’s. From this blog to Celebrate Cooking magazine to recipe cards provided in stores, healthy and tasty recipes abound.

This recipe came about one night when I was scrambling for dinner on a “Taco Tuesday.” It’s an adaptation of a Martha Stewart recipe using things I had around the house that particular night. You might not have ready-made tzatziki, but just combine plain Greek yogurt with dill, lemon juice, garlic and chopped cucumber. Voila!

These lettuce tacos are a spin on Asian lettuce wraps using Mediterranean flavors. My boys like the filling in corn tortillas, but obviously eating them in lettuce is better for you.

Mediterranean Lettuce Tacos

Ingredients:
12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 4-inch-long, 1-inch-thick strips
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
4 romaine lettuce leaves, shredded
1 Tbs red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup red wine vinaigrette (or red wine vinegar)
12 butter lettuce leaves
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
12 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1 tsp parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano

Directions:
Preheat a grill pan over high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and place on grill. Cook, basting with balsamic vinaigrette and turning once, until cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from grill; set aside.
Place shredded romaine lettuce and red onions in a medium bowl; drizzle with red wine vinaigrette and toss to combine. Divide mixture evenly among butter lettuce leaves, and drizzle each with 1 teaspoon tzatziki.

Top each taco with 1 piece of chicken, and garnish with chopped tomatoes, feta cheese and olives. Season with parsley, basil and oregano; serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 320, Calories from Fat: 169, Fat: 19 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 85 mg, Sodium: 646 mg, Potassium: 557 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 28 g.

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

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: Krusteaz Pumpkin Pie Bar


Krusteaz Pumpkin Pie BarEvery holiday season, I tell myself I’m going to plan in advance, prepare foods in advance and get plenty done in plenty of time so I can make everything homemade and fresh from scratch.

Who am I kidding?

While I do try to prepare everything homemade and fresh, sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.

Thank goodness there are products like Krusteaz Pumpkin Pie Bar mix that makes life easier for me.

This mix, found on the baking aisle, lets me whip up a delicious and interesting dessert in a matter of minutes.

With a gingersnap crust and a creamy filling, all the ingredients you’d need to add to this mix are probably already in your refrigerator: eggs, butter and water.

With about five minutes of prep time and 30 minutes to bake, your friends and family won’t think twice about this being homemade.

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Dine In: Stuffed Pepper Soup


ChimineaA few years ago, I bought an iron chiminea.

Chimineas, by design, are made of a hard, baked clay to keep the heat in but without being scorching to the touch.

I, however, got a black, cast-iron chiminea, and once I finally wrangled it from the car to the backyard (a feat that left me sore for days, thank you very much), it earned a place of honor on the patio (where it hasn’t moved in two years.) It gets fiercely hot, and the fire that blazes from the belly of the black beast is intense.

My very favorite thing to do on Friday nights all fall and winter (and a large portion of the spring) is to sit on the back patio with the fire blazing. I’ve finally mastered the art of the chiminea fire (and cursed myself for never having been a Girl Scout); the secret is the pyramid shape of the logs. The other secret is having VERY dry logs, which my dog makes difficult because he likes to drag the wood from the wood pile out into the backyard. The other secret, which I read somewhere online and finally tried this year, is the humble dryer lint fire starter. Don’t laugh; it works. Collect dryer lint and stuff inside an empty toilet paper roll. Once you have enough lint to fill the roll (about two days worth in my house), the fire starter is ready to use. It will ignite almost immediately.

But back to the back porch. I love sitting outside with a good fire and good friends while enjoying a good meal. On chillier nights, soup tastes wonderful while watching the fire. This is a new favorite!

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Ingredients:
1 lb lean ground beef
2 Tbs olive oil, divided
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small yellow onion, chopped (1 cup)
3/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped (a little over 1/2 of a medium pepper)
3/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5) can beef broth
2 1/2 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish)
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 cup uncooked long grain white or brown rice
cheddar or mozzarella cheese, for serving (optional)

Directions:
In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add beef to pot, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, stirring occasionally while breaking up beef. Drain beef and pour onto a plate lined with paper towels; set aside.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in pot then add onions, red bell pepper and green bell pepper. Sauté 3 minutes. Then, add garlic and sauté 30 seconds longer. Pour in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and beef broth. Add parsley, basil, oregano and cooked beef, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring just to a light boil, and then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While soup simmers, prepare rice according to directions listed on package. Once soup is done simmering, stir in desired amount of cooked rice into soup. Serve warm topped with optional cheese and garnish with fresh parsley.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 437, Calories from Fat: 123, Fat: 14 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 51 mg, Sodium: 3742 mg, Potassium: 1675 mg, Carbohydrates: 32 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 10 g, Protein: 43 g.

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

 

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Posted in: Dine In


Family Matters: Picky Eaters


Picky EatersBoth of my boys went through a picky-eating phase.

When my older son turned about one, he stopped eating anything that was remotely nutritious. He was the kid who ate pureed Brussels sprouts, for goodness sake, and then he just stopped eating. His diet consisted largely of cheese toast, applesauce, bananas and milk.

I had to get sneaky. Did you know cooked and pureed broccoli and carrots are GREAT in pancakes? They sure are. Pumpkin is delightful mixed into oatmeal and sweet potatoes pass as french fries.

Now, a lot of toddler food comes in easy-to-handle, delicious pouches in a variety of flavors and combinations, so parents have a lot more choices for their toddlers without having to resort to stealth tactics.

From peas to potatoes and carrots and everything in between, pouch foods offer parents an excellent option for on-the-go nutrition or just a sit-down dinner at home.

You can also sneak veggies into pasta sauce, like this:

Chock Full o’ Veggies Pasta Sauce

Ingredients:
1 (32 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini squash, diced
1 Tbs dried oregano
1 Tbs dried basil
1 Tbs garlic salt

Directions:
Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté all vegetables until tender. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, oregano, basil and garlic salt. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer for about an hour. Serve over pasta. To put this sauce into stealth mode, puree the sauce in a food processor immediately after it comes to a boil, then return to pan to let simmer.



Family Matters: Baby Skin Care


Baby Skin CareWhen my little guy was an infant, I had a very hard time taking care of his skin.

First, he had baby eczema, which is totally normal. Then, it dried out and he had cradle cap. Then, the eczema flared up again.

With his sensitive skin, there weren’t any products I found that wouldn’t irritate it even further, until I found Aquaphor.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment is perfect for a newborn’s skin because it is fragrance-free and preservative-free.

You can use it to help heal AND prevent diaper rash. Luke had diaper rash so frequently that his bottom would bleed, until I began applying a preventative layer of Aquaphor at each diaper change.

I also used it on his eczema. It was the perfect balance of soothing, healing and moisturizing, so the eczema cleared up and stayed away.

When he started teething, you’d have thought he rubbed sand paper on his chin because it became so irritated by the constant drool. Aquaphor to the rescue again!

Along with the Healing Ointment, Aquaphor makes a shampoo and baby wash as well.

(P.S. The Healing Ointment is also extraordinary for nursing moms!)



Family Matters: Many Uses for Baby Wipes


Many Uses for Baby WipesI’ll admit, even LONG after my babies have grown, I still stock a great supply of baby wipes.

Why?

Because you can use them for so much more than just cleaning a bottom.

For example, you can use Tippy Toes Baby Wipes to clean off eye makeup.

A recent report shows that 57 percent of us have used them as toilet paper. Camping, anyone?

You can use a baby wipe to clean the interior of your car. All that dust and french fry residue will be gone in a flash.

Keep them in your picnic basket or cooler for easy hand cleanup.

Soothe hemorrhoids during pregnancy.

You can use baby wipes to dust off the leaves of your houseplants or use on a dry mop in place of the brand-name cleaning pad.

Baby wipes remove pen, crayon, pencil and paint from most surfaces, including skin. They get deodorant stains out of clothes and pet hair off of furniture.

They clean hairspray goo off of any surface, and they polish shoes.

You can use them to wipe off the screens on your electronics and temporarily tame flyaway hair.

Oh, did we mention you can use them to clean baby’s bottom?

Reading Books



Shop the Sale: Asian Marinated Pork Chops


Asian Marinated Pork ChopsI’ve been on this Asian food kick ever since yet another one of my friends took a trip overseas.

One of my friends, Jon, retired early so he could sell everything and travel, and that’s exactly what he did. He’s over in Thailand right now, posting pictures and writing blogs about the amazing experiences and the even more marvelous-looking food.

Another set of friends is traveling through Vietnam right now. She is also posting pictures of interesting cultural differences and of all the delicious dishes they are eating.

I love Asian flavors, especially anything with ginger which is also a digestive aide. If you want, swap out the ground ginger for fresh minced ginger in this recipe for a bolder flavor.

I decided to take my own trip to the Orient while boneless pork chops were on sale this week at Brookshire’s. I love pork with Asian flavors and this recipe did not disappoint.

Asian Marinated Pork Chops

Ingredients:
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbs ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
6 boneless pork chops

Directions:
Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, cumin and chili powder in a large plastic zipper bag or bowl with a lid until sugar is dissolved. Place pork chops in the marinade and seal securely. Let marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours. After marinating, preheat a grill or skillet to medium-high heat. Place pork chops onto preheated grill or skillet, and cook for 5-7 minutes per side until the meat is no longer pink inside (or reaches an internal temperature of 145° F).

Serves 6
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 552, Calories from Fat: 108, Fat: 12 g, Trans Fat: 0.1 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 243 mg, Sodium: 2595 mg, Potassium: 1544 mg, Carbohydrates: 16 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 12 g, Protein: 90 g.

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

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Posted in: Shop the Sale


Healthy Living: Portobellos with Eggs


Portobellos with EggsI’d always heard things go “downhill” after age 40.

Sadly, I’ve found that isn’t as much of an exaggeration as I hoped it would be. It seems like all kinds of health issues started cropping up after I hit the big 4-0.

One of the ways I’m treating these issues is to try to consume as many whole foods as possible with lots of protein and fiber, and without preservatives or a lot of calories.

I also try to keep things simple, especially in the mornings. This dish is packed with protein, and the mushrooms, to me, make it feel substantial without adding a lot of extra calories. This comes together in minutes, and if you set your yolk more firmly, it can be eaten in the car on the way to work. Don’t ask me how I know that.

Portobellos with Eggs

Ingredients:
2 portobello mushrooms, stems cut
2 large eggs
1 Tbs olive oil
fresh dill, rosemary and basil, chopped (to taste)
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Drizzle olive oil on portobellos, and season with salt and pepper. Place them on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle the herbs on top. Crack open the eggs and carefully put one inside each mushroom. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 300° F.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 152, Calories from Fat: 108, Fat: 12 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 186 mg, Sodium: 70 mg, Potassium: 367 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 9 g.

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

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: Dr. Teal’s


Dr. Teal's Epson Salt Soaking SolutionI recently discovered one of those “where-have-you-been-all-my-life” products on the shelves at Brookshire’s.

Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt Soaking Solution Soothe & Sleep with Lavender and Dr. Teal’s Foaming Bath Relax & Relief with Eucalyptus Spearmint came home with me, and I couldn’t wait to try them both. The Epsom salts are perfectly scented with essential oils (they have other scents as well), and I just poured a cupful into a warm bath and soaked myself right to sleep. Almost literally.  The foaming bath is not only therapeutic but extremely relaxing as well. It’s like getting a massage in your very own bathtub.

Dr. Teal’s bath and body products claim to “soothe the senses, relax tense muscles and promote well-being.”

I can attest that they do exactly what they claim to do.

I have sleep issues and horrible restless leg syndrome that I try to treat with natural remedies, and I will make sure that I forever have some Dr. Teal’s stocked in my bathroom cabinets.

When it comes to therapeutic bath products, the doctor is definitely in.

Other scents include Rosemary & Mint to promote reducing tension, Milk & Honey for softening skin, Comfort & Calm to ease your mind (I have to try that one!), and Foaming Vapor Bath for Tension & Fatigue (I could use that one every night).

I can’t wait to see how the others work.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Halloween Treats


Spooky Marshmallow DippersI just had a total breakdown.

As I write this, it’s several weeks before Halloween, and I feel quite accomplished to have procured costumes for my two children.

Then, I made the mistake of logging into my Pinterest account and typing “Halloween” into the search bar.

Holy spiders and slithery things, Batman! I thought I was doing well to have costumes nailed down and fake spider webs up all over my house (a few real ones, too, just saying). Now, according to Pinterest, I have to carve watermelons into brains, make black-light lemonade, serve hot dogs shaped as mummies and a cheese bull formed into a skull, and hand out homemade rice treats that look like candy corn.

I think I’ll hibernate until New Year’s.

Let’s be real: I have two kids, two jobs and a daily two-hour commute. I will not be carving watermelons into brains (although the black-light lemonade was pretty cool).

There are a few treats, however, that would be super simple to make for fun on Halloween night and your kids can even pitch in to help.

This is what we’ll be making for ourselves and close friends (seeing how it’s frowned upon in this day and age to pass out homemade treats to strangers). They’re super easy, super cute and make it look like I spend a lot of time on Pinterest.

Spooky Marshmallow Dippers

Ingredients:
24 large or jumbo marshmallows
12 oz vanilla candy coating/bark
variety Halloween sprinkles
orange food coloring
lollipop sticks or straws
wax paper

Directions:
Lay wax paper all over your work surface. Pierce each marshmallow with a straw or lollipop stick.

Follow the directions on the package to melt the candy coating/bark. Stir in orange food coloring to turn your dipping mixture orange.

Pour sprinkles onto a paper plate. Dip your marshmallows into the melted orange candy coating/bark. Allow the excess dip to drip off for a moment and then dip the still wet marshmallow into the sprinkles. Place on the wax paper to cool.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 135, Calories from Fat: 17, Fat: 2 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 48 mg, Potassium: 1 mg, Carbohydrates: 29 g, Sugar: 19 g, Protein: 0.5 g.

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

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Posted in: Dine In


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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

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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