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Product Talk: Spicy Pumpkin Seeds


When picking your pumpkin for Halloween, you might want to select one that is just as delicious to eat as it is scary on your porch! Not surprising, the “Jack-O-Lantern” pumpkin is the perfect one for carving, and if you save the seeds, you can make these delicious Spicy Pumpkin Seeds!

Now I admit, it’s a lot of work to clean and shell those seeds, so you can just as easily pick them up at Brookshire’s – already ready to go!

Another helpful hint for cooking with pumpkins: Look for the “Sugar Pie” pumpkin to make the most delicious bread and pies this holiday season!

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

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:
1 tsp Food Club salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbs Food Club olive oil
2 cups unsalted shelled raw pumpkin seeds
1 Tbs Food Club sugar

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix together salt and cayenne pepper; set aside. In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat oil. Add pumpkin seeds and cook for 5 minutes, or until evenly toasted. Seeds should pop. Sprinkle seeds evenly with sugar, salt mix and pepper; mix well. Transfer pumpkin seeds to baking sheet to cool. Serves 4.

Nutritional Information: Calories per serving:  417, Fat: 35 g, Cholesterol, 0 g, Sodium 594 mg, Carbohydrates 16 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 17 g.



Shop the Sale: Mushroom Risotto


Once upon a time, I was too scared to attempt to make risotto. 

The Italian rice dish of my dreams was supposed to be creamy, complex and time consuming. 

Admittedly, it is creamy. It is complex in its developed flavors and it does take some time to reduce the cooking liquids into a delicious bath of thick broth. But actually risotto is an amazingly simple dish with spectacular results. 

Harvest Club White Mushrooms are on sale at Brookshire’s this week. The addition of this simple ingredient elevates the flavors of risotto to angels-singing-at-the-gates-of-heaven proportions. While you do have to give yourself some time to bring this dish together, the minutes will be well spent. I promise. 

No fear involved. 

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

Mushroom Risotto
Serves 6 

Ingredients:
6 cups chicken broth, divided
3 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 lb portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 lb white mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 shallots, diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 Tbs finely chopped chives
4 Tbs butter
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.

Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, butter, chives, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutritional Information: Calories 654; Calories from Fat 176;Total Fat 20 g;Cholesterol 25 mg; Sodium 966 mg;Total Carbohydrates 85 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 2 g; Protein 29 g



Product Talk: Deli and Produce Platters


What do you get when 12 of your closest friends decide to move the football party to your house because the previous hostess had a plumbing leak?

Panic. That’s what you get. Sheer panic.

I know because this happened to me not too long ago.  Luckily, I had about 48 hours advance notice. Unluckily, about 46.5 of those hours were already committed to things other than party preparation.  That’s where Brookshire’s comes in. Let’s be honest: that’s where Brookshire’s saved my sanity.

A quick call to the closest store and I was not only in business, but would be proclaimed the hostess with the mostess after my friends saw the spread.  My secret? Deli and produce platters from your nearest Brookshire’s store.

I ordered the Fruit and Cheese explosion, a beautifully decorated platter chock full of baby Swiss, cheddar, Jackby and Muenster cheeses, green and red grapes, cantaloupe, pineapple and strawberries. It has a little something for everyone.

I also got the Drum Drums, where spicy chicken wing drumettes and crispy celery sticks are lined up and ready to be dipped in creamy ranch dressing.

To round off the meal, I ordered the Rounders, a tray piled high with slightly-sweet Hawaiian rolls filled with turkey breast, cooked ham, roast beef and yellow American cheese.

I could have also chosen from platters of fried chicken, rotisserie chicken, finger sandwiches, sandwiches on buttery croissants, snack wraps, salads, just meats and more. The options are endless and your deli staff can even work with you to create a custom offering.

“How did you pull this off?” my friends wondered.

Easy. Brookshire’s. 



Healthy Living: Back to School Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip


School has started and once again I face the annual challenge of reading, writing and arithmetic with my kids, plus the added test of providing them with a healthy, hearty lunch every day. 

I don’t know if your kids are like mine, but they’d eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every single day if I let them. Not that there’s anything wrong with peanut butter – it’s chock full of protein to keep their tummies full throughout the day, and it’s a good choice served on a whole grain bread – but honestly, I get bored making the same lunches day after day after day. I’ve started to swap out whole grain bread for whole grain pita pockets. The boys love ham and cheese in a pita pocket with mustard and they even make ‘mini’ pitas now so my boys don’t waste food (and there’s no crust on a pita so Luke can’t refuse to eat it!). They also like ‘mini meatball subs,’ meatballs and marinara with slices of provolone cheese in a whole grain bun. They don’t mind if they’re served cold. Sometimes we make our own “Lunchables” with whole grain crackers, slices of cheddar cheese and chunks of roasted chicken I have left over from a dinner. 

Getting a serving of fruit or vegetables into a lunch box is one of the most important parts of the meal, to me. My boys love bananas, clementine’s, grapes, strawberries, carrot sticks with hummus and, of course, apples. 

Last year I tried this delicious dip for apple slices, which soon became a big hit around our house – and in their lunch kits. 

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

Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip

One serving is about two ounces of dip and 1/2 cup fresh fruit

Ingredients:
4 oz honey flavored Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tbs honey (use local honey if possible – it’s said to reduce histamines which cause allergy flare-ups)
2 Tbs of peanut butter
2 oz fat-free cream cheese, softened

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Chill in the refrigerator for 15+ minutes or serve immediately. Store in the refrigerator. 

Nutritional Information: Calories 145; Calories from Fat 86; Total Fat 10g; Cholesterol 17mg; Sodium 88mg; Total Carbohydrates 10g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Sugars 9g; Protein 6g



Shop the Sale: Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers


I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for the fall. 

Cooler, crisp weather. Football games. Leaves crinkling underfoot. Delicious aromas wafting through the house after a day spent outside hiking. 

This recipe reminds me exactly of that. 

I love using ground turkey in slow cooked dishes. It stays a bit more tender than ground beef and positively melts in your mouth after a day in the slow cooker. The fall-colored peppers are even on sale this week, so you can stock up and freeze extras for another day. 

Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers (for the slow cooker)
Serves 4 

Ingredients:
4 hothouse grown bell peppers (red, gold or orange) tops removed and seeded
1/2 cup brown rice

20 oz lean ground turkey
1/2 cup black beans
1 cup flash frozen corn kernels
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbs cumin
28 oz canned tomatoes, divided and crushed 

Directions:
Remove tops from bell peppers, core and seed.  Cook rice according to package directions. Let cool slightly.  Combine turkey, beans, rice, corn, garlic and cumin. Mix with about 3/4 cup of the tomatoes. Stuff turkey mixture into peppers (you’ll probably have a bit extra). Place peppers in slow cooker. Top with rest of tomatoes. Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. 

Nutritional Information: Calories: 614; Calories from fat: 189; Total Fat: 21 g; Cholesterol: 145 mg; Sodium: 172 mg; Total Carbohydrates: 57 g; Dietary Fiber: 11 g; Sugars: 12 g; Protein: 50 g. 



Shop the Sale: Pork and Apple Tagine


I’ve been breaking my former rule of ‘no fruit and meat together’ more and more frequently these days and let me just tell you, it’s quite liberating. Why did I resist the delicious combination of fruits and meats for so long? 

I’ve been making up for lost time and this recipe, which combines two items on sale at Brookshire’s this week: Hormel Boneless Pork Tenderloin Roast and Royal Gala Apples. 

As soon as I read this recipe, I knew I had to try it. It reminds me of fall and is perfect for back-to-school. Don’t be intimidated by the word “tagine,” either. A tagine is simply an earthenware vessel popular in Africa and used to cook stews such as this one. Don’t worry if you don’t have one. I don’t either. I simply used a large stock pot. 

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

Pork and Apple Tagine
Serves 4

Source:  Recipe from Aussie Apples 

Ingredients:
400 g Hormel Boneless Pork Tenderloin
1 Tbs plain flour
2 tsp olive oil
2 red onions, cut into 6 wedges
1 bunch baby (or Dutch) carrots, trimmed and scrubbed
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp allspice
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
1 1/2 cups low salt vegetable stock
2  Granny Smith apples
2 Royal Gala apples 

Directions:
Cut the pork fillet into strips. Place flour in a shallow dish. Season with salt and pepper. Dip the pork into the flour, so it’s lightly coated. Shake off any excess flour. Heat olive oil in a flameproof casserole dish, over a medium-high heat. Once heated, add the pork in small batches and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, until browned on all sides. Transfer browned pork to a plate and set aside.

Turn the heat down to medium – low. Add the onions and carrots to the pan and cook gently for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pork and spices to the pan and cook for a further 30 seconds, until all the ingredients are coated with the spices. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down, place the lid on top and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Cut the apples into quarters and remove the core (leave the skin on). Add apple to the pork and vegetables. Stir gently and then replace the lid. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes, until the pork is cooked through.

Remove the cloves and cinnamon stick. Serve the apple and pork tagine with a large green salad and couscous.

Nutritional Information: Calories 250; Calories from Fat: 54; Total Fat: 6.0 g; Cholesterol: 54 mg; Sodium: 571 mg; Total Carbohydrates: 33 g; Dietary Fiber: 7 g; Sugars: 21 g; Protein: 21 g



Healthy Living: Cauliflower Poppers


Today is my younger son’s birthday. And in honor of the day, I asked him what his favorite healthy food was.

I expected him to try to rationalize how deep-dish-pepperoni-double-cheese pizza was his healthy favorite.

To my surprise, he did not.

He named his favorite vegetable: cauliflower.

I should have known as cauliflower is one of MY favorite vegetables and I steamed and pureed it for him, as a baby, by the pound.

Cauliflower only contains about 26 calories per cup and is very low in fat and contains no cholesterol. One cup contains two grams of dietary fiber and several anti cancer phyto-chemicals like sulforaphane and plant sterols such as indole-3-carbinol which appears to function as an anti-estrogen agent. Together these compounds fight against prostate, breast, cervical, colon, ovarian cancers .

Fresh cauliflower is excellent source of vitamin C; and contains good amounts of many essential B-complex group of vitamins such as folates, vitamin B5, B8,B1 and B3 as well as vitamin K. It is also good source of minerals such as manganese, copper, iron, calcium and potassium. 

Luke’s Favorite Balsamic and Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
Serves 4

Ingredients:
8 cups 1-inch-thick slices cauliflower florets, (about 1 large head)
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 F.

Toss cauliflower, oil, marjoram, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast until starting to soften and brown on the bottom, 15 to 20 minutes. Toss the cauliflower with vinegar and sprinkle with cheese. Return to the oven and roast until the cheese is melted and any moisture has evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes more.

Nutritional Information: Calories 149; Fat 10g; Cholesterol 7mg; Carbohydrates 10 g; Protein 7g; Fiber 4g; Sodium 364 mg; Potassium 490 mg.



Healthy Living: Fatoush


Back in the late 1990s, when I lived in Germany, one of my very best friends there was from Lebanon. We were part of a close-knit group who spent more time together than apart.

Once a month we had a supper club at someone’s apartment. I always loved it when Paula hosted because she’d make the most exotic foods. Creamy baba ganoush, sweet and savory ma’amoul, dishes full of roasted nuts, decadent baklava and my favorite, fatoush. The names of the dishes would roll off her tongue as perfectly as the food tasted.

Fatoush is a wonderfully light and flavorful salad whose ingredients celebrate the end of summer. Serve this for an exotic twist at your next backyard barbecue. It’s also a great answer to “eat more vegetables.”

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

Fatoush
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 cup red bell peppers, sliced into strips
1 cup yellow bell peppers, sliced into strips
1 cup peeled cucumbers, thinly sliced
4 vine ripened tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch wedges
1/2 cup red onions, thinly sliced
3 Tbs finely chopped mint
3 Tbs finely chopped parsley
3 Tbs finely chopped cilantro
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp high quality olive oil
2 tsp lemons, juice of
salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 pita breads, to serve

Directions:
Place the bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, mint, parsley and cilantro in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl combine the garlic with the olive oil and lemon juice.

Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss lightly to mix.

Toast the pita breads in a toaster until crisp and crumble on top of salad. Serve immediately or prepare ahead and add pita right before serving.

Nutritional Information: Calories 154; Calories from Fat 27; Total Fat 3g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 172 mg; Total Carbohydrate 28g; Dietary Fiber 4g; Sugars 7 g; Protein 5g



Shop the Sale: Pear and Walnut Salad


One of my first loves was blue cheese. Strange, I know, for a child to fall in love with stinky cheese. But as soon as I tasted it, I was hooked. One of my all time favorite salads uses blue cheese with walnuts, fresh greens and succulent, ripe pears. The sweet, savory and tangy combines for an amazing umami.

Bartlett pears are in season right now. Buy them when they’re firm and green. As they ripen, their skin will begin to yellow and the flesh begins to soften. I prefer them when they’re somewhere in between. They have to yield to the touch, but not be mushy.

Serve this salad with balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette.

Pear, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 (10-oz) bag Fresh Express Salads
2 medium Bartlett pears, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup blue cheese

Directions:
Toss all salad ingredients. Top with balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette. 

Nutritional Information: Calories 224; Calories from Fat 128; Total Fat 14 g; Cholesterol 13mg; Sodium 287mg; Total Carbohydrates 18g; Dietary Fiber 5g; Sugars 8g; Protein 10g



Shop the Sale: Stuffed Baked Potatoes


A staple meal of my college days and early single life was the baked potato.

I could toss them in the oven or microwave and forget about them while they baked and they’d emerge fluffy, light, steamy and delicious. I’d top them with broccoli and cheese, sour cream and cheese, butter and cheese, or basically anything with cheese.

These days, I still love making baked potatoes a meal, but I try to avoid the cheese. And the sour cream.  And the butter. A baked potato is high in carbohydrates and vitamin C, but I try not to add a lot of extra fat with (admittedly delicious) dairy products.  I also make sure to eat the skin of the potato, which is super-high in potassium, something that helps alleviate the symptoms of my restless leg syndrome and helps your muscles recover more quickly after a workout.

Russet potatoes are on sale at Brookshire’s this week. Stuffed with this vitamin-laden and colorful salsa, they are an easy meal in itself. Almost all the ingredients are on sale, so take advantage of this in-season special this week. The salsa is almost meatless, but the bacon imparts a nice, smoky flavor and adds depth to the meal. You won’t even miss the butter.

Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 large Russet potatoes
4 strips Wrights’s brand smoked bacon, cooked crisp
1 medium yellow squash, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 Hot House orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 Honey Sweet Yellow onion, diced
1 cup Bird’s Eye Steamfresh corn, lightly steamed
3/4 cup Pace Picante Sauce

Directions:
Scrub Russet potatoes. Prick with a sharp knife and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender.

While potatoes are baking, cook bacon. Reserve drippings for another use. Crumble bacon in a large bowl.

Add zucchini, squash, corn, onion, pepper and picante sauce. Stir to mix. Serve on top of the baked potato, fresh out of the oven. 

Nutritional Information: Calories 403; Calories from Fat 64; Total Fat 7.1g; Cholesterol 10mg; Sodium 645mg; Total Carbohydrates 74.9g; Dietary Fiber 12.7g; Sugars 12.6g; Protein 12.0g



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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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