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Healthy Living: Fresh Express Spinach

Rustic Grilled CheeseI was one of those rare kids who loved spinach from the get-go. When my mom would ask what vegetable I wanted with dinner, my answer was always an enthusiastic “spinach!” I still love it to this day and always, always have a bag of Fresh Express Spinach in my refrigerator. In fact, most days I eat it up to three times a day! I start at breakfast by adding fresh baby spinach leaves to an egg white scramble. Then at lunch, I use it in place of lettuce on my sandwich. At dinner, I mix spinach into butter or romaine lettuce for a salad. I love fresh spinach as a side dish to any meal. I gently sauté it until just wilted with a clove of freshly chopped garlic and finish it with a spritz of fresh lemon juice as soon as I take it off the heat. I LOVE this recipe idea from Fresh Express, as it combines so many of my favorite things!

Rustic Grilled Cheese

8 slices rustic country sourdough bread
4 Tbs Dijon mustard
4 Tbs honey
24 baby spinach leaves from one bag of Fresh Express Baby Spinach
8 slices prosciutto, thinly shaved
8 slices Baby Swiss cheese, thinly sliced

Heat panini press to medium heat, and spray with cooking spray (or you can use a grill pan on medium heat). Spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard on 4 slices of bread. On remaining undressed slices of bread, spread a thin layer of honey. Place 2 slices of Baby Swiss, 2 slices of prosciutto and 6 baby spinach leaves on 4 slices of bread. (Make sure each slice of cheese is on the side with the bread so it acts as the “glue” to holding the sandwich together.) Place the remaining slices of bread on the sandwiches. Grill the sandwiches until the bread is golden and cheese is melted.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 393, Calories from Fat: 103, Fat: 11 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 40 mg, Sodium: 978 mg, Potassium: 272 mg, Carbohydrates: 55 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 21 g, Protein: 21 g

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Product Talk: StarKist Solid White Albacore Tuna

StarKist Solid White Albacore TunaI go through phases with tuna.

I love it, or I avoid it like the plague.

I only avoid it because, let’s be honest, it is rather aromatic and not the best choice to bring for lunch in a small, enclosed office space with multiple co-workers. Hey, I’m perfectly fine with it, but after my desk buddy asked several times what it was I had for lunch, I got the hint.

However, I love tuna.

StarKist Solid White Albacore Tuna is one of my favorite things to eat for lunch.

Each can is two servings (or one, if you’re me) and contains 100 calories, 10 grams of fat, 300 milligrams of potassium, no carbohydrates and 24 grams of protein.

You have to admit, that trumps the fragrance.

I don’t mix my tuna with anything; I just drain the can and pile it on top of raw baby spinach leaves with cucumbers, tomatoes, green olives and pine nuts.

Crazy delicious.

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Posted in: Product Talk

Dine In: Italian Sausage Sliders

Italian Sausage SlidersWe’re about to go on our annual beach vacation: one week of fun, family and food. The food is important. My whole family stays together in a beach house, and we all take a turn cooking.

This year, it’s very important to my younger son that he is an integral part of the process. From choosing the menu to helping with prep work and cooking, he has been talking about what we’re going to make for our meal for weeks now (he is MY son, after all).

We talked about it for a long time last night. It’s not easy to plan a meal that will satisfy 20 people, not take forever to cook or clean up (because who wants to spend all vacation cleaning up when there’s “Night Beach” to be had?), and doesn’t cost a fortune (it’s not cheap to feed 20 people).

We knew that we wanted to grill on our night to provide a meal. No one else was planning a grill night, and goodness knows grilled food tastes great after a day on the beach, plus it smells great mingled with sea air.

We vetoed the idea of doing ribs. It’s a great idea, except for the fact that I like to cook them on low heat in the oven for hours and finish them on the grill. Ain’t nobody got time for that kind of maintenance when there’s boogie boarding, sand volleyball and sunning to do. Luke then suggested sliders, and we all loved the idea. We can do a variety of different kinds with different condiments. He approved this recipe, which sounds a little different from your basic burger.

Italian Sausage Sliders

2 lb Johnsonville® All Natural Ground Sausage (or links removed from casings)
1 lb ground beef
16 small slider buns or mini sandwich rolls
condiments, including provolone cheese, marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, sliced tomatoes, giardiniera (marinated chopped vegetables and olives), sautéed onions, roasted red peppers, sautéed mushrooms and cheddar cheese

In a large bowl, combine sausage and beef. Using your hands, blend the two meats together and form into one large ball. Use a spoon or a small measuring cup to gather up  3-ounce balls and press into patties.

Prepare grill to medium-high heat. Cook for about 3 minutes then flip; continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Test for doneness. Internal temperature should be 160° F.

Slice the buns and top the sliders with your favorite condiments.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 248, Calories from Fat: 76, Fat: 8 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 42 mg, Sodium: 643 mg, Potassium: 114 mg, Carbohydrates: 23 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 20 g

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In

Mi Blog Hispano: Receta de Chuletas de Puerco con Queso

Cena con la familiaQuiero compartir con ustedes esta riquísima receta que preparé para mi familia y todos quedaron súper contentos. Cada domingo luego de ir a la iglesia aprovechamos de pasar tiempo juntos ya sea visitando un restaurant que nos guste o comiendo juntos en la casa. Cuando comemos en la casa trato de experimentar con platillos nuevos y este último que probé fue muy fácil de preparar y además muy sabroso. Espero que les guste y recuerden que lo mejor de este platillo es disfrutarlo en familia…Ese es el ingrediente principal.

Receta de Chuletas de Puerco con Queso

6 Chuletas de Puerco
Sal y Pimienta
2 Dientes de Ajo Picados
¼ de Cebolla Picada
1 Taza de Champiñones
1 Taza de vino Blanco Seco
1 Taza de salsa roja
200 g de Queso Oaxaca deshebrado

Espolvoree las chuletas con sal y Pimienta. Fríalas hasta que doren por ambos lados. Retírelas y colóquelas en un refractario. En la misma grasa,  fría el ajo, cebolla y champiñones hasta que se doren, luego agregue el vino y deje que se evapore. Incorpore el guiso y deje cocinar por alrededor de 8 minutos. Agregue este guiso a las chuletas y colóquele el queso por encima. Coloque en el horno precalentado a 200 grados solo para que el queso se derrita. ¡Buen Provecho!

Shop the Sale: Jalapeño Popper Sliders

Jalapeño Popper SlidersI wrote recently about going to the beach with my family. As I sit and write this, there are 23 of us crowded around two big breakfast tables, from my six-month-old niece and nephew to my parents, the patriarch and matriarch of this big, crazy, loud family.

I also mentioned that we all take turns making dinner. When it was our turn, my son Luke suggested that we make sliders, so we made a version that combined Italian sausage with ground beef. They were so delicious that my nephew Ben said it was the best meal we’d had all week, and that’s a pretty tall compliment.

No one was assigned dinner tonight, so we’re going with sliders again, by popular demand. My nieces and nephews are adventurous eaters, as are their parents, so we’re going to spice things up a bit with jalapeño popper sliders.

When you have to feed a crowd, a 3-pound chuck chub from Brookshire’s, on sale this week, is the perfect way to get the job done.

Jalapeño Popper Sliders

3 lb chuck chub
2 Tbs seasoned salt
1 jar pickled jalapeño slices
8 oz cream cheese, cut into 24 cubes
12 slices cheddar cheese
24 slider or dinner rolls

Mix meat with seasoned salt and 2 tablespoons juice from the jar of pickled jalapeños. Combine well. Form into 24 slider burgers. Insert 1 cube of cream cheese into the center of each slider, covering it with meat. Grill until desired doneness. Immediately top with a half slice of cheddar cheese and more jalapeños. Serve on slider rolls.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 502, Calories from Fat: 226, Fat: 25.1 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (6.2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 29 mg, Sodium: 1002 mg, Potassium: 145 mg, Carbohydrates: 45.2 g, Fiber: 1.7 g, Sugar: 4.9 g

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Healthy Living: Watermelon Basil Popsicles

Watermelon Basil PopsiclesSummer is certainly a great time for frozen treats, but when you’re eating something like ice cream, you have to beware of the fat and calories you’re consuming. However, when you eat fruit, you can be a little more liberal with your portions and frequency.

These fun treats are frosty AND healthy, combining watermelon (which has tons of vitamins A and C) with fresh basil and lime juice. Then, you just pop them in the freezer.

As a working mom, I’m not home all day to monitor what my kids eat. I’d feel good about leaving these popsicles home unattended with two growing boys.

They’re quick and easy to make, too.

Watermelon Basil Popsicles

1/4 cup water
3 Tbs honey
8 basil leaves, plus more for garnish
4 cups watermelon, cubed
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
10-count (3 oz) popsicle mold
10 wooden popsicle sticks

In a saucepan, bring water and honey to a boil; stir to dissolve the honey. Remove from heat and add basil; allow to cool, then remove the basil.

In a blender, combine the basil simple syrup (the water and honey combo), watermelon and lime juice; puree until smooth.

Equally pour the mixture into popsicle molds, and insert an additional basil leaf or two for garnish. Next, cover with the top and insert popsicle sticks. Placing paperclips on the top end of the popsicle sticks will help them stay in place. Transfer to the freezer and freeze for 4 hours or overnight. Once frozen, remove the popsicles by running water over the molds and gently pulling on the sticks. Wrap in wax paper and store in the freezer for up to a month.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 38, Calories from Fat: 1, Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1 mg, Potassium: 72 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Sugar: 9 g, Protein: 0.4 g

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Product Talk: Noonday Onions

Grilled Noonday Onion “Steaks”The Brookshire’s headquarters has the distinction of being very near the (very) small city where the world’s best onions are grown.

Noonday, Texas, population 798, must have magic soil or something because these are the only onions in the universe that I actually seek out.

I’m a bit ambivalent about onions, if I’m honest. I like them as a flavor base to some things, mostly soups and stews, but I don’t want them as a garnish, on my burger or in my salad.

However, Noonday onions are the exception to all of this. They are sweet and mild, and they give dishes a complementary flavor without being overpowering. I love them.

Last night, we decided to do something different with onions. You know how it’s popular to make cauliflower “steaks,” thick slices of grilled cauliflower? Well, we decided to do the same with Noonday onions.

I bought four large onions and two of us almost ate them all.

Grilled Noonday Onion “Steaks”

4 Noonday onions, cut into 3/4-inch slices (so the onion holds together)
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

Cut onions into thick slices with all rings together. Drizzle with olive oil on both sides; sprinkle with seasoned salt or seasonings of your choice (fresh rosemary is also delicious).

Preheat grill to medium-low. Oil grill grates well so the onions won’t stick. Place onions on grill and cook for about 7 minutes on the first side. Flip only once; continue cooking until onions are caramelized and browned.

It’s helpful to have a wide spatula or wide tongs to flip the onions, as they tend to shrink a tiny bit and come apart during the grilling process.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 106, Calories from Fat: 64, Fat: 7 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 5 mg, Potassium: 168 mg, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 1 g

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Dine In: S’mores Bites

S’mores BitesMy friend Leslie is one of the greatest people I know. She’s smart, thoughtful, hilarious, hardworking, dedicated, strong and brave. She’s a great mom and a great friend, and she has a true servant’s heart.

She also goes bonkers over s’mores. One of my favorite Leslie experiences was one night on my back porch when I think we were enjoying a Girls’ Night In. We’d made dinner, lit a fire in my chiminea and were going to roast marshmallows for traditional s’mores. Leslie finished preparing hers first and dug right into the chocolaty, gooey, crunchy treat; the look of complete ecstasy sent us into gales of laughter.

Since then, we’ve swapped recipes for anything s’mores related that we can find!

This is one I’ve found recently and can’t wait to try.

S’mores Bites

7 whole graham crackers (equals 1 cup)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
6 Tbs butter, melted
2 (1.5 5 oz) milk chocolate candy bars (like Hershey’s)
12 large marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Finely crush the graham crackers into crumbs, using whatever method you want. I used my slap chop, but a food processor would work or putting them in a plastic bag and smashing.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and melted butter into a small bowl.

Evenly divide crumb mixture into each cup of a 24-cup mini muffin pan, greased slightly before using. Press crumbs down to form shallow cups.

Bake 4 to 5 minutes or until edges are bubbling.

While that’s baking, break the candy bars into the divided rectangle pieces. Also, cut the marshmallows in half using a pair of scissors that has been sitting in cold water.

Remove the pan from the oven and place one chocolate rectangle into each cup.

Place one marshmallow half, cut-side down, into each cup.

Return to oven for 2 to 4 minutes or until marshmallows are just slightly softened.

If you’d like the tops to be brown, turn the oven to broil, and broil the s’mores bites for 1 to 2 minutes.

Cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before carefully removing them from the pan.

Do not freeze; preferably eat within 3 days of making.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 234, Calories from Fat: 106, Fat: 12 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 15 mg, Sodium: 76 mg, Potassium: 6 mg, Carbohydrates: 32 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 25 g, Protein: 3 g

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In

Family Matters: I LOVE cooking!

Texas CaviarI love cooking for my family. Although, I can only use the word LOVE when I truly have the time to cook. Otherwise, if I do not have time to cook, like the five days a week I am working, I cannot use the word LOVE. I don’t even know if I can use the word LIKE! I do know, however, that having a sit down meal every night is very important to my family’s lifestyle, and I try to meet this goal the best I can. It’s not always pretty, but we make it happen.

Over the Fourth of July holiday, I had my parents over for lunch. This was a time that I LOVED cooking because I had the extra time to prepare. I started the night before preparing the side dishes to go along with a traditional smoked brisket. I decided on making Texas caviar. I had never made this, but I recently had it at a friend’s and really liked it. The best part about this dish is that the longer you let it sit, the better it gets. So, making it the night before gives it time to marinate, making it oh so yummy!

This recipe is easily adjustable to your own tastes and very forgiving, which makes me LOVE it!

Texas Caviar
Serves: 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus marinating

1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15.8 oz) can black-eyed peas, drained
1 (15.25) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
2 fresh jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
5 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup red onions, diced
1 cup cilantro, stems removed and chopped
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1 Tbs lime juice
salt, to taste
tortilla chips

Combine all vegetables. Pour dressing and lime juice over mixture; mix together.

Season with salt. Cover and marinate at least 2 hours in refrigerator before serving.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Calories Per Serving: 186, Fat: 6 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 10 mg, Sodium: 310 mg, Carbohydrates: 30 g, Fiber: 6 g, Protein: 7 g

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Shop the Sale: Stir-Fried Pork Spare Ribs

Stir-Fried Pork Spare RibsRibs are a staple of summer, but I rarely run across recipes that call for anything but grilling or baking.

Then, I found this one, which calls for stir-frying the ribs. Sounds different, doesn’t it? It also sounded delicious.

The quick fry gives these ribs a beautifully caramelized exterior, sort of crispy, with a juicy interior. My boys could eat ribs 10 times a week and twice on Sundays, so I had to try this version. I was a little leery of how they’d like the fish sauce and oyster sauce, but they didn’t realize it was anything other than “barbecue” sauce and ate it right up!

Pork spare ribs are on sale this week, so it’s a good time to give this recipe a try!

Stir-Fried Pork Spare Ribs

2 lb pork spare ribs

For the marinade:
1 Tbs oyster sauce
1 Tbs fish sauce
2 Tbs water
1 Tbs palm sugar (or white granulated sugar)
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 cloves garlic, chopped
peanut oil or vegetable oil, for frying

Wash the spare ribs, and then pat them dry with a paper towel. Cut them into 1-inch pieces and place them into a bowl.

Make the marinade, and then pour it over the ribs. Allow them to marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Into a hot skillet (on medium-high heat), add in the ribs and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, cover and let simmer for 5 more minutes.

Remove lid, stir and then turn heat up to medium-high. Continue to cook until all the liquid has evaporated and sugar has caramelized. Stir frequently to prevent burning.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 434, Calories from Fat: 255, Fat: 28 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 111 mg, Sodium: 882 mg, Potassium: 32 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Protein: 41 g

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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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