If you’re trying to get your kids to love vegetables, tomatoes are a great place to start. Nothing is more fun than tiny grape, pear and cherry tomatoes! Dip or skewer on toothpicks and watch them smile! Then you can talk about heirloom tomatoes—how these seeds are from old fashioned tomatoes that grow in crazy sizes, colors and shapes—but have wonderful flavors. Hold a taste testing party and see if you can tell the differences in the varieties!
Avocados are on a great sale this week at Brookshire’s, but you can only eat so much guacamole, right? What else do you do with avocados?
My absolute favorite dish is an avocado salad. Add a bit of cheese and it’s a vegetarian main course, or serve it along with whatever else you’re whipping up this weekend.
But wow, there’s something special about an avocado, isn’t there?? Creamy and rich, yet full of heart-healthy monosaturated fats—you just can’t lose!
Avocado Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing
Prep time: 15 minutes
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 Tbs lime juice
2 Tbs Food Club honey
3 Tbs Food Club olive oil
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and chunked
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1 pint (16 oz.) cherry tomatoes, leave whole
Place cilantro, lime juice and honey in a blender. Take off blender top and while mixing, pour in olive oil from top to create a smooth dressing. Set aside.
Combine the avocados, onion and tomato in a bowl. Gently stir in the dressing. Serve on individual plates, a platter or even mounded in the original avocado shell. Garnish with additional cilantro, if desired.
Kids are just like the rest of us: they learn best in a hands-on atmosphere. So when you’re trying to instill a love of vegetables with your children, maybe the hands-on method will help!
Next time you’re at the store, pick up a variety of tiny tomatoes. Let your kids help pick them out, or just bring home a good selection. Grape and pear tomatoes (shaped just like they sound) are tiny bite-sized bursts of flavor. Cherry tomatoes are just a bit larger, but still small. From there, plum (or Roma) tomatoes are a big larger and egg-shaped. Slicing tomatoes are the full-sized ones.
So what do you do when you get all these tomatoes home? First, everyone washes their hands. Then help your kids identify the different types of tomoatoes. Pear, grape and cherry tomatoes should be easy! Talk about the thin skin that is fragile yet strong enough to hold all the juice and seeds inside.
Then get a knife—plastic or metal, depending on your child’s abilities—and cut one in half from top to bottom. Notice the pretty patterns. Cut another in half from side to side. Wow, there’s a difference, isn’t there? Slice up several more tomatoes, put them in a bowl and sample them. Save the rest for a salad tonight. And you know what? There’s a good chance your children will actually eat some!
If you had to guess the most popular fruit in the grocery store, would you have guessed it was bananas?
They’re the quiet, unsung hero of the produce aisle. And yet, they’re the top sellers….and for good reason!
Top 5 Things We Like About Bananas
1. Portable, non-messy snack
2. High in potassium, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants.
3. A peanut butter and banana sandwich on toast is fantastic!
4. They’re so naturally sweet you never have to add sugar.
5. Rubbing a mosquito bite with the inside of a banana peel helps stop the itching. Really!
Some things have very short seasons, and clementines are a perfect example. They’re like tangerines, only sweeter, seedless and easier to peel.
Clementines are only available in the winter months, though…once they’re gone, they’re gone. If you’ve never tried a Clementine, swing on by Brookshire’s and pick up a few. Jump on the bandwagon of Clementine lovers!
They’re perfect for snacks and lunch boxes, because they’re so easy to peel.
Wintertime isn’t the greatest time to find fresh fruit at its peak of ripeness. If you find yourself craving peaches and blueberries in January, take a look in the frozen foods department. There you’ll find just about any fruit that tickles your fancy!
You can choose from single fruits or bags of fruit blends—ready to thaw and serve, and if you have leftovers? Toss them in the blender with a cup of yogurt and make fruit smoothies! You can’t lose when it comes to fruit!
The poor potato. Low-carb diets have given it a bad reputation, when actually; it’s a healthy, tasty, good vegetable. If you are carb-watching, a medium potato has 37 grams of carbohydrate—and that’s a high number—but it’s not sky high like some other foods.
And if carb-watching isn’t your priority, keep in mind that a medium potato is only 150 calories and fat free. As long as you don’t go crazy with the toppings, potatoes are just fine—and they’re on sale this week at Brookshire’s.
Carrots are a family-favorite vegetable. Stores recognize this, and Brookshire’s is no exception. If you cruise the produce section you’ll find full-sized carrots, baby carrots, petite baby carrots, shredded carrots and raw carrot chips.
Kids and carrots go together well. But have you ever wondered what to do with carrots other than eat them straight from the bag? How about roasted carrots? Toss them lightly in olive oil, season with salt, pepper and cumin and cook in a 350 oven until tender and caramelized. Heat brings out the natural sweetness of carrots! You can also make glazed carrots by cutting up carrots and simmering with butter, sugar, salt and just a bit of water. When carrots are tender, uncover the pan and let the liquid reduce to a syrup.
But if your children only like raw carrots, there’s nothing wrong with that! Carrots are full of antioxidants and raw carrots maintain the vitamin A and other healthy goodness. Here are a couple of ideas that use uncooked carrots:
- Julienned: mix up a vibrant, spicy salad of julienned (shredded) carrots seasoned with an Italian vinaigrette dressing. Toss in a few sliced almonds.
- Sliced: Slice carrots into thin rounds. Serve alongside ranch or other dip, with toothpicks to make the dunking fun.
- Shredded: marinate shredded carrots and dried cranberries in orange juice with a dash of vinegar.
- Carrot-Raisin Salad: toss shredded carrots, raisins and crushed pineapple with enough mayonnaise to moisten. Chill and enjoy.
Taco salad. Easy peasy. Anyone can make it and it tastes just fine. But if you’re going to make taco salad the centerpiece of a homemade dinner, here’s the secret to making AMAZING taco salad: it’s the dressing. The dressing ties it all together and turns it into a salad experience—one you’ll remember and share again and again.
So this weekend, why not try our special Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad? It’s simple to toss together, even after a busy day. But the flavors will transport you…and after that, restaurant taco salad just won’t be good enough. Trust me.
Chipotle Chicken Taco salad
Prep time: 34 minutes
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2/3 cup light sour cream
1 Tbs minced chipotle, canned in adobo sauce*
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbs lime juice
1/8 tsp salt
4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken (about 2 breasts….maybe from a rotisserie chicken?)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup diced avocado
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
1 (8 oz) can corn, drained
*Chipotle chile: If you’ve never used this product before, look in the Mexican foods aisle. It’s in a small can. The sauce is what’s hot and spicy.
To prepare the dressing: combine all ingredients and let stand a few minutes while you prepare the salad. This will blend flavors. Note: if you like hot foods, add some of the adobo sauce from the chilies. Go easy with the adobo: just a bit!
To prepare the salad, combine all ingredients. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss again to coat. Serve immediately.
For a more special salad, place the lettuce on a large plate and arrange the salad ingredients in separate mounts on a plate; then drizzle with the dressing.
Good for diabetic and gluten-free diets (always read product labels to be safe).
Calories Per Serving: 249, Fat: 8 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 50 mg, Sodium: 550 mg, Carbohydrates: 25 g, Fiber: 7 g, Protein:23 g.
© 2009, Brookshire Grocery Co. Nutrient counts are rounded to the nearest whole number. All dietary and lifestyle changes should be supervised by a physician.
Make this adorable Thanksgiving turkey from your kitchen!
The body is a spaghetti squash and the head is a pear.
Make the face with a piece of squash for a beak, raisins for eyes and bell pepper for the waddle.
Cut red bell pepper feet. Use cheese cubes and seedless grapes to make tail feathers, and fill in the gaps with pepper slices. Gobble, gobble!
1 Bosc pear (for the head)
1 spaghetti squash (body and beak)
Cheese cubes (tail feathers)
Red bell pepper (waddle, feet and feathers)
Green and yellow bell pepper (feathers)
Seedless grapes (tail feathers)
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cut a thin slice from the bottom of the squash so that it doesn’t roll. Using a section of bamboo skewer, attach a pear head to the squash body, as shown. Attach a squash triangle beak, raisin eyes and red bell pepper waddle to the head, with sections of toothpicks. Cut red pepper feet and set them in place. Make feathers by skewering cheese cubes and seedless grapes. Insert the skewers near the back of the turkey’s body. Cut side feathers from bell peppers and pin into place with toothpicks.
Each Monday we feature a new or interesting product.
Tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, every Tuesday.
On Wednesdays, get a tip or idea on using an item in the circular.
Ideas for the whole family come to you every Thursday.
Stop fighting the crowds, save money and dine in, every Friday.