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Healthy Living: Grilled Peaches


Grilled PeachesOne of my favorite healthy treats in the summertime is grilled peaches.

They’re a perfect summertime dessert or a healthy snack. Peaches are about 50 calories per fruit and have zero fat. They’re full of antioxidants and phytochemicals. They have lots of vitamins A and C, which are good for your skin. Peaches are also said to reduce anxiety! They have a diuretic effect, which is good for the kidneys and bladder.

Plus, they’re super-easy to grill.

Grilling a peach caramelizes it beautifully, bringing out all its natural sugars. If you use local honey, you get added sweetness and a crisp crust on your peach.

Slice your peach in half. Remove the stone. Brush cut-side with local honey. Place on grill, cut-side up, over medium heat; grill until it begins to soften. Flip over to cut-side, and grill until there are char marks and the honey has caramelized.

Serve immediately.



Healthy Living: Greek Chicken Pita


Greek Chicken PitaFueled by the introduction of two new restaurants in my city recently (one Greek and one Mediterranean), I’ve been cooking with lots of fresh flavors this summer.

Lots of cucumbers, fresh tomatoes, basil from my garden, lemon, red onion and meals that are more “small bites” instead of heavy feasts.

It reminds me of my visits to the Amalfi Coast of Italy. The air is clean, the water is clear, the views are stunning and the food is some of the best in the world, in my opinion. Breakfast one morning was figs drizzled in local honey with whole-grain bread, freshly baked of course, and a selection of local cheeses. Then, lunch was a platter of olives, cured meats, cheeses, grapes and crostini. But dinner! Oh my! Dinner was a roasted chicken, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers with just-picked oregano leaves, a block of feta cheese topped with slivered onions and drizzled with olive oil and lemons picked from the trees in the grove next to the hotel. It was sublime.

This dish reminds me of that meal, and even better, you can pack it for lunch.

Greek Chicken Pita

Ingredients:
1 (6 1/2-inch) whole-wheat pita, cut in half to make pockets
3 oz cooked chicken breast, boneless, skinless and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup cucumbers, chopped
1 Tbs red onions, chopped
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup romaine lettuce, shredded
2 Tbs crumbled feta cheese (about 1/2 oz)

Directions:
Combine chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions in a large bowl. Whisk olive oil and lemon juice to combine. Add oregano and stir. Fold into chicken mixture and gently add cheese. Stuff into pita halves with romaine lettuce. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 245, Calories from Fat: 99, Fat: 11 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 43 mg, Sodium: 302 mg, Potassium: 269 mg, Carbohydrates: 20 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 18 g.

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



Product Talk: Special K with Red Berries


Special K with Red BerriesSchool has started and that means making sure my kids are getting a nutritious breakfast in the mornings. They’ve never been cereal types…until now, that is.

This year, I introduced them to one of MY favorite cereals, Special K with Red Berries.

They love how the red berries, dehydrated strawberries, plump up when they add milk, but they mostly love the taste!

Special K with Red Berries is a great source of fiber. It’s made with whole-grains including rice and wheat, and does not contain high-fructose corn syrup. At 110 calories per serving, it does not have any fat, and provides a lot of the vitamins and minerals kids need to get going every morning.



Healthy Living: Sweet Potato Slices


Sweet Potato SlicesI’m a sucker for any recipe that promises a secret ingredient.

Case in point, this sweet potato recipe.

If I’m browsing online, I have to click the link to find out what the secret ingredient might be. Call it a compulsion, but I have to do it.

In addition, sweet potatoes are one of those foods I know I SHOULD love, but I haven’t quite made it that far. That ambivalence fuels my determination to find the ultimate sweet potato recipe as well.

When I clicked on this link, I discovered the secret ingredient was kettle corn seasoning! Brilliant! That perfect balance of salty and sweet on a potato that needs both salty and sweet, in my opinion. I loved the result even more because sweet potatoes are SO GOOD FOR YOU. They are oozing with vitamins and nutrients, low in fat, high in potassium and often called “the perfect food.”

I’ll make this one again.

Sweet Potato Slices
Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 to 3 large sweet potatoes, about 1 1/2 lb
nonstick cooking spray
2 Tbs kettle corn seasoning
1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Wash potatoes and slice into 1/2-inch rounds. Lay flat on a baking sheet covered with tin foil or parchment paper. Spritz with nonstick cooking spray, and sprinkle with kettle corn seasoning and cinnamon. Bake for 12 minutes or until tender on the inside and crisp on the outside. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 123, Calories from Fat: 2, Fat: 0 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 41 mg, Potassium: 540 mg, Carbohydrates: 28 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 11 g, Protein: 2 g.

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



Product Talk: Planters Spicy Nuts & Cajun Sticks Trail Mix


Planters Spicy Nuts & Cajun Sticks Trail MixI’m sitting here on my couch on a Sunday afternoon, and my stomach is rumbling. I ate breakfast HOURS ago. I know I’m eating an early dinner, but I still need a little something to carry me through until the next meal.

I look over at my sweet boyfriend who is sitting next to me and reading me funny things from the Internet while I write these blogs. We seemed to have the same thought at the same time, and I jumped up to grab the bag of Planters Spicy Nuts & Cajun Sticks Trail Mix we bought yesterday.

I also grabbed some napkins because this snack is covered in Cajun goodness.
The snack mix hit the spot. A blend of peanuts, corn nuts, crunchy corn kernels, sesame sticks and corn sticks in a Cajun spice mix, this snack will set your lips on fire!

It didn’t take us long to make a dent in the 6-ounce bag.

This snack mix is 150 calories per 1/4 cup with 1.5 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein. You can find it on the aisle with cookies and crackers at your local Brookshire’s.



Healthy Living: Back-to-School Breakfasts


Back to School BreakfastThere’s no disputing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for our kiddos going off to school each morning. Eating breakfast stabilizes blood sugar, revs up the metabolism, and gives the body and mind fuel for the day ahead.

The best breakfasts are the ones that combine protein and a complex carbohydrate.

Here’s a list of breakfast ideas that will get your child powering through the school day:

  • Whole-grain waffles spread with natural peanut butter
  • Steel-cut oats with Greek yogurt and fruit
  • A whole-wheat tortilla filled with scrambled eggs and some cheese
  • A toasted, whole-grain English muffin with Canadian bacon and an egg
  • Scrambled eggs mixed with veggies like onions, peppers and mushrooms
  • An egg white omelet with zucchini, tomatoes and cheese
  • A fruit smoothie with a slice of toasted Ezekiel bread
  • Egg “Muffins.” Mix 6 eggs, 1 cup baby spinach, 1 cup black beans, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese and 4 ounces ham. Pour into muffin tins lined with cupcake liners. Bake at 350° F until set, about 12 minutes.
  • Breakfast roll-ups. Press refrigerated crescent roll dough into triangles. Top with sausage, ham or bacon, and scrambled eggs and cheese. Roll up; bake at 375° F for 8 minutes.
  • Peaches and cream: Slice peaches and top with Greek yogurt. Sprinkle with granola.
  • Oatmeal topped with blueberries and slivered almonds
  • Homemade granola bars
  • Yogurt parfaits. Layer yogurt, fruit and granola in a pretty glass.


Product Talk: Snack Time


Dried SnacksThey were there near the register, calling me like the siren’s song one evening at checkout.

Clear plastic packages of homemade snacks.

There was dried pineapple. Sesame sticks. Snack mix. Dried peas.

And, drum roll please, dried okra.

Holy, beautiful bite of deliciousness, Batman!

While I love all of Brookshire’s Snack Packs, I really, really love the dried okra. I guess they dehydrate it. Or bake it until its crisp. Or both. These little nuggets of happiness are crunchy, crispy and salty, all of my favorite things.

The okra is dried whole, so you can grab a piece just as you would a chip or a cheese puff. I can (and do) eat the whole snack container by myself at one sitting.

There are so many different snack packs at Brookshire’s. If dried okra isn’t your thing, try the dried mango or salty, crunchy peas.

Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong!



Healthy Living: Make-Ahead Snacks and Meals


Make-Ahead Snacks and MealsMy friend, Anthony, has been on an amazing healthy eating journey.

He has a job where his weight is closely scrutinized, and he’ll be the first to tell you that a love of Raising Cane’s chicken was not good for his figure.

So, he set about to eat healthier and make a lifelong change. He started exercising and lifting weights, and he prepares most of his meals and snacks in advance. That way, he has something ready and doesn’t resort to fast-food chicken.

He posts a lot of his ideas on Facebook, and I studied one of the posts lately to get some ideas for myself.

Some ideas for healthy, make-ahead meals and snacks include:

  • Overnight oatmeal.
  • Freezer breakfast sandwiches (whole-grain English muffins, egg whites, Canadian bacon)
  • Breakfast bowls (egg whites, black beans, baby spinach)
  • Sliced apples with a cup of natural peanut butter
  • Sliced pears with a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese
  • Tuna in a baby pita pocket
  • 1/2 cup of granola with dried cranberries
  • String cheese with 1/2 cup grapes
  • Zucchini crisps
  • Mason jar salads
  • Prepared stir-fry bags – slice up meats and veggies; store in serving-size bags (separately) and stir-fry when you get home


Product Talk: Local Produce Salad


Tomato, Cucumber and Onion SaladWe are lucky enough to live in the South, where summer produce is as plentiful as hot days and sultry nights.

Near the Brookshire’s headquarters in Tyler, Texas, we are doubly-blessed to have two of my favorite products on hand all summer: Jacksonville tomatoes and Noonday onions.

Both are sweet, juicy and can almost be eaten straight out of the fields. Jacksonville even hosts a tomato festival each year, with tomato-eating contests, cooking contests, a street dance, vendors and a showcase of the season’s best fruits.

I like combining the two products with a few other fresh ingredients to make a simple, but hugely flavorful, salad.

Tomato, Cucumber and Onion Salad

Ingredients:
4 large local tomatoes, diced
2 large local sweet onions, diced
4 large local cucumbers, sliced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 Tbs red wine vinegar
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
Combine all chopped fruits and vegetables in a large bowl. Whisk red wine vinegar with olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over tomatoes, onions and cucumbers. Refrigerate until chilled.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 90, Calories from Fat: 45, Fat: 5 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (0.7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 397 mg, Potassium: 454 mg, Carbohydrates: 11.1 g, Fiber: 2.7 g, Sugar: 6 g, Protein: 2 g

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

 



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

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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

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



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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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