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Product Talk: Parsnips


Parsnip Fries with RosemaryParsnips might be one of those vegetables you overlook in the store or you’re not quite sure how to prepare it. So you slide by it in the produce section, trying not to make eye contact.

But parsnips, a root vegetable, shouldn’t be passed over. They’re related to the carrot, but much paler in color and have a sweeter taste, especially when you cook them (I’m not a fan of the raw parsnip myself).

They can be boiled, roasted or used in stews, soups and casseroles.

In some cases, the parsnip is boiled and the solid portions are removed from the soup or stew, leaving behind a more subtle flavor than the whole root, and starch to thicken the dish.


Find these in season in your local Brookshire’s right now!

Parsnip Fries with Rosemary
Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 1/2 lbs parsnips or carrots, peeled, cut into about three 1/2 inch strips
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus 5 sprigs rosemary
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 Tbs olive oil
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp (or more) ground cumin

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450° F. Mix parsnips, chopped rosemary, garlic, and oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread out in a single layer. Scatter rosemary sprigs over.

Roast for 10 minutes; turn parsnips and roast until parsnips are tender and browned in spots, 10-15 minutes longer. Crumble leaves from rosemary sprigs over; discard stems and toss to coat. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon cumin. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more cumin, if desired.

Nutritional information: Calories: 180, Calories from Fat: 55, Fat: 11 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg,Carbohydrates: 20 g,Dietary Fiber: 6 g, Sugars: 10 g, Protein:  2 g, Sodium: 140 mg

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



Shop the Sale: Beef Kabobs


PHEW! Made it through the holiday season.

Yes, it was a time of great joy, great celebration and great reflection on the real reason we celebrate the birth of Christ, but it was also exhausting.

I might not speak for you, Dear Reader, but I know that for me and most of my friends, the holiday season was fairly draining.

I’m so blessed to have close friends, a precious family, the world’s most amazing children and I have so many things to be thankful for and look forward to in this new year.

But I’m tired.  The halls were decked then undecked. Cookies made and gobbled up. Feasts prepared then cleaned up. You know the routine. So now it’s time to simplify for awhile.

This easy recipe marinates overnight and then grills quickly. Plus, Boneless Top Sirloin Steak is on sale at Brookshire’s this week.

Enjoy! 

Beef Kabobs
Serves 8 

MARINADE:
Ingredients:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
3 Tbs thinly sliced green onions
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs honey
1 Tbs sesame seeds
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp minced garlic

SKEWERS:
Ingredients:
1 (3 lb) lean boneless beef top round or sirloin steak, cut in about twelve 1/2 inch thick pieces (about 30)
Fresh or canned pineapple chunks
2 large green peppers (seeded and each cut in sixteen 1-1/2 inch chunks)
2 large red peppers (same as above)
16 small mushrooms
4 onions, cut in chunks
8 (12 inch) metal skewers

Directions:
Mix all marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add beef; cover and marinate in refrigerator overnight or up to 8 hours, stirring several times. Drain beef; reserve marinade for basting.

Alternately thread pineapple, beef, and vegetables on each skewer. Grill or broil 4 inches from heat source, turning and brushing with reserved marinade until vegetables are tender and beef is cooked to desired doneness, about 8 minutes for medium.

Nutritional Information:  Calories: 500, Calories from Fat: 105, Total Fat: 12 g, Cholesterol: 151 mg, Sodium: 1020 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 43 g, Dietary Fiber: 6 g, Sugars: 30 g, Protein: 56 g



Product Talk: Passion for Pomegranates


Pomegranates are considered one of nature’s “super foods,” thanks to the cancer- and disease-fighting properties of their juicy seeds. And this time of year, pomegranates make a powerful, delicious addition to your wintertime diet – whether you drink the juice or enjoy a snack of pomegranate seeds (which are completely edible).

A ripe pomegranate feels fairly heavy when you pick it up. You want to choose one that is not pale in color; Look for dark or bright red firm skin. And be sure to eat it as soon as you open the pomegranate. It’s easy for this super fruit to dry out, which won’t taste the way it’s meant to be enjoyed.

One of my favorite pomegranate recipes pairs the taste (and nutrition) of the fruit with toasted walnuts in a wonderful winter salad. It’s colorful and beautiful on your plate, not to mention great tasting and great for you!

Enjoy!

Winter Salad with Walnuts and Pomegranates

For the vinaigrette

Ingredients:
2 tsp shallots, chopped
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp thyme, chopped
3/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For the salad
Ingredients:
2 lbs mixed salad greens
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and julienned
1/4 lb blue cheese
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Directions:
To prepare the vinaigrette, place the shallot, vinegar, mustard and thyme in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Place salad greens, apples and blue cheese in a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. Add half the pomegranate seeds and walnuts, then toss again. Sprinkle the remaining seeds and walnuts over the salad. Serves 6.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 529, Fat: 40 g, Sodium: 347 mg, Carbohydrates: 35 g, Protein: 0 g, Fiber: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 g

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



Healthy Living: Roasted Brussel Sprouts


Although it’s only early December, we probably all have a few more big meals under our belts than we’d want to.

I am also guessing that most of us are already thinking about New Year’s resolutions, and getting healthier, blah, blah, blah. Pass the shortbread.  But in all seriousness, there are so many delicious foods that are good for you, too.  And healthy.

Brussel sprouts are one of them.

NO! COME BACK! DO NOT NAVIGATE AWAY FROM THIS PAGE.

I’m being serious.

Brussel sprouts get a bad rep.

I’m not really sure how, to be honest, although they can be a little chewy if cooked improperly. Never fear, it’s time to make peace with this miniature member of the cabbage family.

Brussel sprouts, as with broccoli, contain sulforaphane, a chemical believed to have potent anticancer properties. Although boiling reduces the level of the anticancer compounds, steaming, microwaving, and stir frying do not result in significant loss.

Brussel sprouts and other brassicas are also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells.

They are loaded in vitamin K.

So eat some.

Now.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Serves 4

Ingredients:
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
Dash salt and pepper, to taste
3 Tbs olive oil
2-3 cups brussels sprouts, sliced in half 

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 375° F.

Whisk together the vinegar, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Slowly incorporate the olive oil until a dressing is formed.

Place the brussel sprouts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle the oil and vinegar over the sprouts and gently toss to coat.

Bake for 25 minutes, turning once. Sprouts are done when they are lightly browned.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 44, Calories from Fat: 32,Total Fat: 4 g, Cholesterol: l0 mg,Sodium: 6 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 3 g, Dietary Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 1 g



Ask Leigh


Question:  Do you have any interesting recipes for avocadoes that are not just guacamole?

Answer:  The avocado is power-packed with more than 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E and folic acid. They are also packed with fat, but at least it’s the good kind. A really good, buttery avocado doesn’t need much adornment, but I do like this Blue Cheese Avocado Dip recipe a friend gave to me years ago.  Just combine 2 tablespoons chopped white onion and 2 ripe avocadoes with 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, 1 ½ cups sour cream and ¼ cup blue cheese. Puree it all together and add salt and pepper to taste. Chill for one hour before serving with Fritos or raw vegetables.

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Posted in: Produce


Healthy Living: Orange and Kiwi Ambrosia


Orange you glad you read this blog today?

Bad puns from childhood aside, I’ve been a little obsessed with oranges lately.

Not only are they bursting into season with their juicy deliciousness, but they’re really good for you too. Oranges are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. They are also a good source of thiamin, folate and potassium, and a very good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C. In fact, one orange supplies 160 percent of the US recommended daily allowance for vitamin C.

So maybe it’s not an apple a day that keeps the doctor away!

Orange Kiwi Ambrosia
Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 oranges, peeled, cut in cartwheel slices
1 Kiwi (or banana), peeled, thinly sliced
1/2 orange, grated zest
1 orange, juiced
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup whole almonds
2 Tbs shredded coconut, toasted 

Directions:
In bowl, arrange orange and kiwi slices. Combine orange zest, juice and juice. Pour over fruit mixture, chill. Spoon onto individual dessert dishes, sprinkle with almonds and coconut.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 68 g,Calories from Fat: 14 g,Total Fat: 2 g,Cholesterol: 0 mg,Sodium: 1 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 14 g,Dietary Fiber: 2 g,Sugars: 10 g,Protein: 1 g



Product Talk: Cranberries


Jalapeno Cranberry SalsaIt’s cranberry season, and it’s time to try something new with these deliciously healthy berries! Most of us stick to our tried-and-true cranberry sauces and relishes for holiday meals, but this delicious Jalapeno Cranberry Salsa combines some of the best flavors I know to make a wonderful chunky salsa. You could easily use it as the relish for your turkey and dressing too!

And if you want to feel even better about adding real cranberries to your diet, scientific research shows that cranberries and cranberry products contain significant amounts of antioxidants and other phytonutrients that may help protect against heart disease, cancer and other diseases.

Enjoy!

Jalapeno Cranberry Salsa
Makes 8 appetizer servings

Ingredients:
3 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 medium red onion, quartered
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and halved (use less for milder flavor)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
Dash kosher salt

Directions:
Place all ingredients in food processor. Pulse 8 times, until coarsely chopped. Scrape sides of bowl midway through pulses. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Tastes great served with sweet potato chips!

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 86, Total Fat: 0 g, Sodium 114 mg, Carbohydrates 23 g, Protein: 0 g

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



Ask Leigh


Questions:   Do you have a foolproof method for roasting vegetables?

Answers:   Cool weather is the perfect time to try your hand at roasting vegetables. Winter  produce – such as butternut squash, sweet potatoes, onions and carrots – are perfect for roasting in the oven. The high temperature intensifies the flavors  and sweetness.  Roasting is a great seasonal alternative to steaming your side dishes.  First of all, you have to use high, dry heat, so preheat your oven to 450°F. Make sure it is preheated all the way before you put the vegetables in the oven or they won’t turn out the way you expect.

Another key step is to make sure your vegetables are all relatively the same size so they will cook evenly. And I always coat my vegetables lightly with olive oil, but I also have friends that use an olive-oil nonstick cooking spray to save a few calories. This works as well.

Make sure you spread the veggies out on a cookie sheet in one layer. You don’t want to overcrowd them or they won’t caramelize and brown properly.

Roast for 20 minutes and check with a fork for tenderness. Toss veggies carefully and continue roasting up to 45 minutes depending on desired doneness. Sprinkle with kosher salt if you want. Delicious and works with all kinds of vegetables – even broccoli!

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Posted in: Cooking, Produce


Healthy Living: Spinach Parmesan Muffins


If you’re like me, eating healthy gets a little bit harder during the winter months. I’m a summer fruit fanatic, so there’s never a shortage of healthy options in my house during the hot months. Winter is a bit more of a struggle for me. There are still plenty of healthy choices, but I tend to lean more toward comfort food when the days shorten and there’s a chill in the air. 

These ‘muffins’ are the best of both worlds. You get more than a day’s worth of vitamin A in one muffin and quite a bit of folate and vitamin C as well. Not only do they freeze well, but I eat them for breakfast with a scrambled egg white. 

You can use mature or ‘baby’ spinach in this recipe. If you use frozen spinach, make sure to thaw it completely and wring as much moisture out of it as possible before using. The pinch of nutmeg really brightens the greens in this recipe, too, so don’t leave it out. 

Spinach Parmesan Muffins
Makes 12

Ingredients:
12 oz fresh spinach
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, or low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
2 large eggs, beaten
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper 

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Pulse spinach in three batches in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add ricotta (or cottage cheese), Parmesan, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper; stir to combine. Coat 8 cups of the muffin pan with cooking spray. Divide the spinach mixture among the 8 cups (they will be very full). Bake the spinach cakes until set, about 20 minutes. Let stand in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn out onto a clean cutting board or large plate. Serve warm, sprinkled with more Parmesan, if desired. 

Nutritional Information:  Calories Per Serving: 141; Fat: 8 g, Cholesterol: 123 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Protein: 13 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sodium: 456 mg, Potassium: 560 mg.



Ask Leigh


Question: I have seen spaghetti squash in the produce section at Brookshire’s, but I have no idea what to do with it. Is it really like pasta? Could you give me a suggestion? 

Answer:  My mother used to cook spaghetti squash for us growing up. She used it in place of pasta during those times she and my father would go on various lower-carb diets.

I think it’s delicious, and really, the hardest part about cooking with spaghetti squash is cutting it in half to cook! 

This recipe is from my mother, and it’s a family favorite of my own now. 

Herbed Spaghetti Squash 

Ingredients:
1 (2 to 2 1/2 lb) spaghetti squash
3 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs chopped basil
1 Tbs chopped chives
1 Tbs chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise and place, cut side down, in a baking dish. Add enough water to come 1/2-inch up the sides of the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes, until the squash is easily pierced with a paring knife. Turn squash over and cover with foil again and continue to cook another 15 minutes, until the squash is very tender.

Remove from the oven, uncover, and allow to cool slightly. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and discard. Using a fork, gently pull the strands of squash away from the peel and place the squash strands into a mixing bowl. Heat a skillet. Add the butter, spaghetti squash, herbs, salt and pepper and toss thoroughly but gently to heat and combine. Serve immediately or cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

NOTE: Also great with 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled over. Serves 4.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 161 g, Total Fat:  11.8 g, Sodium  39 mg, Carbohydrates 15.8 g, Protein: 1.5 g

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Posted in: Produce


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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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