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Healthy Living: Eating Your Vegetables

We all know that eating fruits and vegetables will lead to a healthy lifestyle. If someone asked you, “Do you eat your recommended amount of fruits and vegetables?” You would probably say, “Well of course I eat my fruits and vegetables…well at least all my fruit.” Fruits are easy to eat because they are sweet and that is what we like as humans, sweet foods, but vegetables on the other hand can be harder to eat. 

When picking a vegetable, pick one that is easy to prepare. For example, baby carrots and celery can be eaten as a snack but if you have to do a lot of work to a vegetable, chances are you end up not eating it. Just remember, keep it simple. 

When coming home from the grocery store, do not hide your vegetables in drawers put them at eye level. If you want to keep your vegetables fresh, you can place them in a glass jar; that way you will be able to see them.  

Dine-In: Asparagus and Fettuccine

Asparagus and Fettuccine
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 8

1 (16 oz) pkg Food Club fettuccine noodles
2 Tbs Food Club olive oil
4 chicken breast, boneless, skinless, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese
1 (12 oz) bag Food Club Steamn’ Easy Asparagus spears

In a pot of boiling water, add fettuccine; cook until al dente. Microwave asparagus according to package instructions. In a skillet, add olive oil and sliced chicken; cook until chicken is no longer pink. Add garlic and tomatoes to skillet. Place noodles on each plate and top with chicken, tomatoes, asparagus, and parmesan cheese.

Nutritional Information:Calories per Serving: 375, Fat: 10 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 120 mg, Sodium: 176 mg, Carbohydrates: 34 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 37 g

Product Talk: Pomegranates

In the last few years, pomegranates have become increasingly popular with all the new information about their health benefits. One of the most talked about health benefit of pomegranates is their high content of antioxidants.  Pomegranates are good source of fiber and folate and are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. The NuVal score of a pomegranate is a 91.

If you have never eaten a pomegranate before, they may look kind of scary when you first open them. Place the pomegranate in a bowl of water and remove the arils (pomegranate’s seeds) from the flesh of the pomegranate. Then place the arils in a bowl and enjoy! Be careful when eating the seeds because they can stain your clothing. Pomegranates are delicious to eat raw or add them to a salad.

Shop the Sale: Honeycrisp Apples

Honeycrisp apples are my favorite apples; when fall rolls around I am always looking for them in the store. Honeycrisp apples are sweet but yet a little tart too. They make the perfect apple for slicing for a salad or using to bake. Honeycrisp apples are on sale at Brookshire’s!

In Season

Thank goodness for winter squash:
Just when the runs of most summer vegetables are petering out, along comes the winter squash harvest, giving us new reasons to eat our veggies.

Dozens of varieties of squash come into season from now through early winter, and they all have a few things in common.

• They keep a long time: Kept in a cool, dry place – ideally around 50 degrees, with humidity between 50 and 70 percent – most squash varieties will stay fresh for up to two months. (It’s best to leave stems on, if possible.)

• Unlike summer varieties like zucchini, these have a hard rind that can’t be eaten, and they must be cooked before serving.

• They have a distinctive, hearty flavor that lends itself especially well in soups, stews, purees and casseroles that are naturals in cooler weather.

• Winter squash are relatively high in fiber (3-6 grams per one-cup serving) and deliver good amounts of vitamins A, C and the various Bs. Though naturally low-fat, varieties like butternut and acorn provide omega-3 fatty acids, linked to heart health.

Compact and dark green, these have a tough rind that can be difficult to cut. But they couldn’t be easier to cook: Simply slice in half and bake. For extra richness, fill each half with a little butter, brown sugar or real maple syrup.

The pale-beige, bell-shaped butternut squash has a sweet, nutty flavor that’s especially good in soups, because it purees beautifully, without being stringy. Its rind is thin and can be removed with a sturdy vegetable peeler.

Spaghetti Squash
This long, oval squash gets its name from its unusual flesh: After cooking, the yellow interior separates into long, thin ribbons that look like noodles. As for taste – no, it won’t pass for pasta. But because it’s milder and not as sweet as other varieties, steamed spaghetti squash pairs nicely with tomato-and-mushroom pasta sauce for a satisfying vegetarian entrée.

Sugar pumpkins
Sometimes called pie pumpkins, these are the much smaller cousin of the giant jack-o-lantern pumpkins traditional at Halloween. (And yes, all pumpkins are a variety of squash.) You can eat either kind, but the diminutive, round sugar pumpkins provide more flesh relative to their size, and they have a sweeter, richer taste and smoother texture than the larger variety. Use them in pies, soups, purees and exotic stews.

Roasted Autumn Vegetables

Roasted Autumn Vegetables

2 small butternut squash
8 medium new red potatoes, well scrubbed and quartered
1 red onion peeled and cut into wedges
1 pound of carrots (6 to 8 medium) halved lengthwise if thick, and cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths
2 Tbs Leigh Oliver’s Bistro Herb Blend Seasoning
4 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 450° F.  Place vegetables on a large baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle Leigh Oliver’s Bistro Herb Blend and salt over the vegetables. Toss to combine. Roast vegetables in oven until tender and beginning to brown, about 45 minutes. Toss vegetables and rotate the sheet halfway through cooking.

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Product Talk: Spaghetti Squash

There are many different kinds of winter squash but one of my favorites is spaghetti squash. I personally like spaghetti squash very simple with just a little bit of butter. Most people eat spaghetti squash like they were eating actually spaghetti with a little tomato sauce. Spaghetti squash makes a very simple meal, but if you bake it, it is not a quick meal.

If you have time to cook it, all you have to do is slice the squash, remove the seeds, place the squash in a baking dish with water, and bake for 1 hour or until tender. With a fork rake out the flesh of the squash and it should resemble spaghetti and then top it off with your favorite tomato sauce. Spaghetti squash is low in fat and cholesterol while being a good source of fiber and vitamin C.

Flavors of Squash!

Chili Baked Squash
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves: 4

2 medium acorn squash
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup 2% cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (15 oz) can turkey chili
2 slices turkey bacon, cooked, crumbled
2 Tbs green onions
1 cup fat-free sour cream
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350° F. Poke squash with a fork and place in the microwave for 5 minutes or until tender enough to cut. Halve squashes lengthwise and remove seeds. In a large baking dish, pour water into dish until 1/4 full and place squash cut side down; bake for 50 minutes. While squash is cooking and almost done, sauté bell pepper, garlic and onion in olive oil until vegetables are tender. Once squash is tender remove from oven and scoop out inside. In a large bowl, combine squash, vegetables and cheese. Pour water out of baking dish, place squash right side up in dish and return to oven for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. While squash is in the oven, heat chili as instructed on can. Take squash out of the oven and top with chili, bacon, green onions and sour cream. Salt and pepper, to taste.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 302, Fat: 15 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 44 mg, Sodium: 770 mg, Carbohydrates: 29 g, Fiber: 6 g, Protein: 16 g

Product Talk: Kale

You often see kale used as a garnish on restaurant plates and salad bars, but really, it’s a healthy green member of the cabbage family. It’s full of vitamin C, calcium, antioxidants and other healthy nutrition.

So give kale a try: at the store, choose heads with small leaves—the smaller ones are more tender. Check the stems and look for ones that are moist and plump. At home, wrap in a damp paper towel and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To cook, sauté it in a teaspoon or two of olive oil, or stir into soups a few minutes before the end of cooking.

Shop the Sale: Spaghetti Squash

Have you tried a Fall Squash yet? Today is the first day of fall so pick up either a butternut squash, acorn squash, or spaghetti squash. My favorite is spaghetti squash.

To cook the squash, pre-heat your oven to 375°F, cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, place the squash in a baking dish with water, and bake for 1 hour. Rake the squash out of the skin with a fork and add a little butter and salt. It’s easy, delicious, and low in calories. One cup of cooked spaghetti squash has 42 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, and 1 gram of protein. Pick up any fall squash while they are on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

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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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