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Healthy Living: Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins


Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato SkinsI remember, back around the time I was in college, when potato skins were the big thing.

Maybe they still are, but I don’t see them around like I did then, on every restaurant appetizer menu and well-stocked in the frozen food section of the grocery store. However, I still like a good potato skin. Sadly, my metabolism isn’t the same as it was when I was in college, and the thought of eating something laden with cheese and bacon makes me gain weight.

This version with sweet potatoes contains two “super foods” that are tremendously healthy and that help our bodies ward off diseases. Spinach and sweet potatoes provide so many vitamins and nutrients your body needs to stay strong, like vitamins A, B, C, D, E and B-12, along with iron, potassium and magnesium. The chicken provides lean protein, and you can always skip the cheese if you’re really wanting to be super-healthy. I love the flavors of the chipotle peppers and the sweet potatoes together. Delish!

Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins
Serves 6

Ingredients:
3 medium sweet potatoes
3/4 lb (about 2 small) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
3 whole chipotle peppers, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper
2 cups spinach
5 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
chopped cilantro, for garnish
Greek yogurt, for serving

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Wash the sweet potatoes and prick all over with a fork. Place in the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until fork tender. Place the chicken in a baking dish and rub with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the oven with the potatoes and bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool and shred the chicken with a fork or your hands. When the sweet potatoes are done, cut in half and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the remaining olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chipotle peppers, oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat and wilt the spinach (this can also be done in the microwave). Toss the spinach and shredded chicken together; set aside and keep warm.

Turn the oven up to 400° F. Scrape the sweet potatoes out of the peeling, leaving a medium-sized layer of flesh inside with the peeling so that it can stand up on its own (I reserved the remaining flesh for another use). Place potatoes in a baking dish. Brush the skins with a little of the chipotle sauce and bake for 5 to 10 minutes until nice and crisp. While the skins bake, mix the spinach, chicken and chipotle sauce together.

Remove skins from the oven and stuff with the chicken mixture. Top with shredded cheese and bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the skins are hot and crisp. Serve with fresh chopped cilantro and Greek yogurt, if desired.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 549, Calories from Fat: 171, Fat: 19 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 73 mg, Sodium: 341 mg, Potassium: 2105 mg, Carbohydrates: 68 g, Fiber: 11 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 29 g

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



Family Matters: Gerber Bitty Bites


Gerber Bitty BitesToddlers love to snack, and it’s good for them, too! The average toddler should eat about two snacks a day, and Gerber Bitty Bites provide good nutrition that can easily be enjoyed at home or on the go.

Gerber Bitty Bites come in great flavors like blueberry and strawberry. They are made with a whole-grain blend of corn, sorghum, millet, brown rice, teff, amaranth, quinoa and wheat bran, providing five grams of whole-grains per serving. They are also a good source of vitamin E, iron and zinc.

Bitty Bites are easy to pick up and great for toddlers to feed themselves. There are no artificial flavors or sweeteners and best of all, no mess!

Perfect for toddlers 15 months and older, these snacks are kid-tested and mom-approved.

 

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Posted in: Baby, Kids, Nutrition


Healthy Living: Blackberries


BlackberriesBlackberry season makes me happy.

I love these luscious fruits, juicy and bursting with flavor.

Besides being delicious, they’re really good for you, too. In addition, you can buy all you can carry this summer and freeze them for use in the winter. Just make sure they’re washed and COMPLETELY dried, then pop them into a freezer bag and break out again to beat the winter blues in January.

The health benefits of blackberries are myriad, according to the Huffington Post:

“Much like spinach, raisins, apples, plums and grapes, blackberries are rich in bioflavonoids and vitamin C, but other nutritional benefits include a very low sodium count and having only 62 calories to a cup.

Their dark blue color shows that blackberries have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruits. Antioxidants lower the risk of cancers if the berries are eaten in their natural state.

Eating blackberries is said to promote the healthy tightening of tissue, which is a great non-surgical procedure to make skin look younger.

The high tannin content of blackberries provides a number of benefits to reduce intestinal inflammation, alleviate hemorrhoids and soothe the effects of diarrhea.

The leaves of blackberries, which are consumable, have been used to treat mild inflammation of the gums and sometimes even sore throats.

The astringent tannins are effective in oral hygiene when used as a gargle or mouthwash.”

So, run, don’t walk, out to get some blackberries now!



Dine In: Chili-Lime Cod


Chili-Lime CodMy doctor told me to eat a low-fat diet.

Of course, when I hear “low-fat,” I translate that to “low-flavor.”

However, that isn’t remotely true.

You can eat low-fat with loads of flavor, and this fish is the perfect example. I was tired of eating lean pork and chicken. I love fish, so I decided to give this a whirl.

The lime and spices brighten up this fish so much that you totally forget you’re eating low-fat, plus it’s really high in protein.

My family has not always been receptive to eating fish, but they loved this recipe. White fish isn’t too “fishy” for them, and the spices remind them of their favorite Mexican meals. Plus, I got to eat low-fat with big flavor, so this recipe was winning all around!

I left out the butter in this recipe, but you certainly don’t have to!

Chili-Lime Cod

Ingredients:
2 lbs fresh cod fillets
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried parsley or 1/2 tsp dried cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs butter
1/4 tsp cumin
1 lime, juiced

Directions:
Heat oven to 450° F. Coat oven-safe pan with oil or cooking spray. Place cod in pan. Sprinkle chili powder, herb and salt. Roast 5 to 7 minutes or until opaque. Melt butter in small saucepan. Add cumin and lime juice; cook for 1 more minute. Before serving, drizzle butter mixture over cod.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 485.6, Calories from Fat: 133, Fat: 15 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 226 mg, Sugar: 0.4 g, Sodium: 951.4 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Fiber: 0.6 g, Sugar: 0.4 g, Protein: 81 g

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Healthy Living: LouAna Coconut Oil


Chicken with Tomatoes and OkraThere is a difference between good fats and bad fats.

For example, you could eat a deep-fried Twinkie OR you could scramble some egg whites in a bit of coconut oil.

Obviously, one is healthier.

LouAna Coconut Oil is 100 percent pure. It contains zero grams of trans fats per serving, and it is a cholesterol-free food that contains non-hydrogenated fats.

Coconut oil is a non-GMO derived food, and it is great for sautéing, baking, cooking and making popcorn.

If you’re like me, the first thought you had about coconut oil was, “I don’t really like coconut.” I promise you, there is no flavor and no aroma of coconut with this oil. Coconut oil can be substituted in recipes for butter, margarine or shortening.

To me, it has a lighter flavor without the heavy oil taste. It comes in a solid form at room temperature (makes for easy measuring) and becomes liquid very quickly when heated.

Chicken with Tomatoes and Okra
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1/3 cup LouAna Coconut Oil
8 bone-in chicken thighs
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (1/2 inch-thick) sliced okra
1 (14.5 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and crushed
1 Tbs white vinegar
1 Tbs flour
1/2 tsp sugar

Directions:
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Season chicken evenly with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes on each side or until browned.

Remove chicken from pan. Add okra to pan; cook 2 minutes. Stir in okra, broth, tomatoes and sugar; bring to a boil.

Gently place chicken in tomato mixture. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring occasionally.

Remove about 1/4 cup hot broth from pan; stir vinegar and flour into broth mixture.

Return broth mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until sauce is slightly thickened.

Recipe from LouAna

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 682, Calories from Fat: 475, Fat: 53 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (26 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 190 mg, Sodium: 1193 mg, Potassium: 120 mg, Carbohydrates: 9 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 42 g.

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



Healthy Living: Summer Water


Summer WaterI’ll admit it: I have a hard time drinking water (except carbonated water, which is a whole other blog post).

So, to entice myself to drink more water, I like to flavor it, especially in the summertime.

You can flavor your water with just about any fruit or vegetable under the sun. It’s a natural and healthy way to boost your water without adding sugar or extra calories.

My favorite combination is cucumber, lime and mint.

I just add it to the jug of water I keep in the fridge, let it sit overnight and the water is deliciously infused the next morning. Cucumber lime mint is tangy; it helps your system detox and is incredibly refreshing.

Try it with watermelon, strawberries, mangos, kiwis and lemons. You can also use celery, kale, spinach, basil or squash.

My kids even drink it up quickly!



Product Talk: Brown Cow


Brown CowI don’t know why I like the Brown Cow company packaging but I do. It makes me smile every time I go into Brookshire’s.

I think maybe it’s because my mom used to have this ceramic creamer in the shape of a brown cow. She’d sometimes fill it with milk and let us serve ourselves from it on weekend mornings. We’d fight over who got to use the cow first, of course, and we’d fight over who the cow got to “sit” next to at the kitchen table.

So, the Brown Cow makes me happy.

Brown Cow also makes yogurt lovers happy.

According to the Brown Cow website, “Back in 1973, two self-proclaimed hippies in Ithaca, New York, embraced the idea of “homesteading” and bought a Jersey cow to provide milk for their family. Like all Jerseys, this brown cow, named Lily, made extra-rich and creamy milk. From that milk, her family began making small batches of extra-rich and creamy yogurt, which they shared and sold. And so, Brown Cow Yogurt was born.”

The website also states that “by 1983, Brown Cow had grown a lot and was making its yogurt in both Ithaca, NY and Petaluma, Calif. In 1989, the Ford family bought the company and moved all of its operations to Antioch, California. By 2003, the Fords sold the company that year to the New Hampshire-based yogurt maker Stonyfield Farm. Like Brown Cow, Stonyfield had a long history of environmental stewardship, promoting family farms and making wholesome, delicious yogurts.”

Brown Cow Yogurt is non-GMO, gluten-free, kosher and made with live-active cultures.

Try them all today – my favorite is the pomegranate berry!



Family Matters: Self-Feeding Snacks


Self-Feeding SnacksBy now, your baby has acquired some mad fine motor skills and wants to put them to use at all times, especially when they’re eating.

My son used to slap my hand away when he saw the long-handled silver baby spoon coming his way. He’d much rather painstakingly pick up morsels from the tray of his high chair than have me feed it to him.

There are plenty of snacks your baby can enjoy and exert some independence by feeding himself. Gerber Graduates Yogurt Melts are one of those.

Yogurt Melts are little bite-sized yogurt nuggets, freeze-dried and easy for snacking at home or on the go. They are a good source of vitamins A, C and E, and they are made with real fruit and yogurt. They are easy to chew with no mess! Yogurt Melts are made with live and active cultures, and contain no preservatives, artificial sweeteners or flavors.

Whole-grain cereals, like Cheerios, are another tried and true favorite. Baby can pick them up, enjoy their whole-grain taste, and either chew or gum them, all by themselves.

Small bits of banana, slightly smashed peas, avocado, toast and cheese are also great snacks for baby to pick up and eat by himself.



Product Talk: Food Club +H20


Food Club +H20Drink more water!

We all know we should, but if you’re like me, you don’t really get all the water you need.

A common recommendation is to drink six or eight 8-ounce glasses of water or other fluids every day. Some adults may need more or less, depending on how healthy they are, how much they exercise, and how hot and dry the climate is.

One thing that makes getting all your water easier is Food Club +H20. It’s a flavoring you can add to your glass of water to give it flavor without adding a lot of extra stuff that negates the health benefits of drinking water.

At five calories per serving, six packets of drink mix makes 12 quarts of water.

It comes in flavors such as Lemonade, Pink Lemonade, Cherry Limeade, Tea, Peach Tea and more!

Just a quick stir and your water is transformed into a yummy beverage, but it still counts as water!



Product Talk: Nature Valley Nut Crisp Bars


Nature Valley Nut Crisp BarsI ran into Brookshire’s on my way to work this morning to get a few items. I was out of town all weekend and didn’t have the chance to do my big, weekly grocery shopping on Saturday.

I needed something for breakfast, and I was out of snacks at my office.

I try to choose fruits or vegetables for snacks, but let’s face it: sometimes during the work day, you just need something quick and shelf stable!

These Nature Valley Nut Crisp Bars hit the spot.

I got the Almond Dark Chocolate flavor (two of my favorite things). New from Nature Valley, these bars are deliciously crispy, and full of nuts and seeds. They have two grams of dietary fiber and three grams of protein for 130 calories. The bars include almond pieces, roasted peanuts, roasted sunflower seeds, flax seed and barley.

They are the perfect mid-afternoon snack to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner.



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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

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Tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, every Tuesday.

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