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Healthy Living: Sweet Potato Power Bowl


Sweet Potato Power BowlBetween two family birthdays and a trip out of town, I feel like I’ve done nothing but eat rich, decadent foods for days on end.

I don’t just feel that way; it’s pretty much reality.

Time to get back on the healthy bandwagon!

I’ve been on a sweet potato kick.

I’ve also been on a “bowl” kick. (you know, when you can fit your meal into one, healthy bowl?)

So, this recipe looked like a perfect way to incorporate both of my current favorite things.

I added some black beans to the original recipe for protein. You’re getting lots of healthy ingredients and a lot of vitamins and nutrients with very little fat or anything else artificial!

Sweet Potato Power Bowl

Ingredients:
1 large sweet potato, diced
4 oz Brussels sprouts, halved
4 oz cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 cup red onion, diced
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp red pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Toss sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and tomatoes with olive oil. Spread onto a baking sheet. Roast for 50 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and red pepper. Toss with black beans. Serve immediately.

Serves 2

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 670, Calories from Fat: 85, Fat: 9 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1279 mg, Carbohydrates: 123 g, Fiber: 28 g, Sugar: 25 g, Protein: 30 g.

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Dine In: Parmesan Rosemary Potato Chips


Parmesan Rosemary Potato ChipsOver the weekend, I took a trip to a small, historic city about 90 minutes away from where I live.

I stayed in a beautiful bed and breakfast there, with the most delightful owners. When I checked in on Friday night, the lady of the house assured me that breakfast would be bountiful and would start with dessert.

She wasn’t kidding.

She brought out a deep-dish French toast topped with a peach compote, a dollop of homemade whipped cream and a sprinkle of freshly grated cinnamon.
The next course was an Italian quiche served with a grilled melon salad and parmesan rosemary potatoes.

It was delicious.

When I got home, I searched for recipes similar to what she’d served at that first breakfast, and I found a recipe for Parmesan Rosemary Potato Chips and knew I had to try them.

While I didn’t eat these for breakfast at that charming little inn, these chips were definitely inspired by the lady with the huge smile and miles of hospitality.

Parmesan Rosemary Potato Chips

Ingredients:
1 large russet potato
1 1/2 Tbs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 cup parmesan, finely granted
sea salt, to taste
canola oil, for frying

Directions:

Slice potatoes thinly using a mandolin. Submerge potatoes in an ice water bath while you work, to keep them from browning. Heat about 3 inches of oil in a large stockpot, fryer or wok to 350° F. Dry potatoes with a clean towel.

Drop about 8 to 10 slices into the oil, and fry until golden-brown, about 2 minutes. Drain well with a slotted spoon, and place into a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt, rosemary and parmesan. Repeat with remaining potatoes. Serve immediately.

Serves 3 to 4 (as a side dish)

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 165, Calories from Fat: 76, Fat: 8 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 27 mg, Sodium: 355 mg, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 13 g.

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Shop the Sale: Asparagus and Shrimp Stir-Fry


Asparagus and Shrimp Stir-FryYou know it’s spring when fresh, bright, firm stalks of asparagus are on the shelves at Brookshire’s.

These green stalks, standing tall, are a delicious and nutritious way to welcome warmer weather.

Asparagus is full of vitamin K, more than 100 percent of the daily recommended allowance for vitamin K as a matter of fact. It’s also very high in folate, copper and vitamin B1.

Asparagus has significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, too.

Asparagus stalks should be rounded and not twisted. The buds on top can have purple striations, but they should be closed and tightly firm. To serve asparagus, break the stalk from the woody stem – you’ll feel where the natural give is – and remove the tough part. If the stalks are ripened, the stems may be firm and you will choose to peel it. It’s not necessary, though.

Asparagus and Shrimp Stir-Fry

Ingredients:
4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed
1 lb asparagus
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 Tbs low sodium soy sauce

Directions:
In a wok or other large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until oil is fragrant and shimmering. Add the shrimp; season with salt and red pepper. Sauté until the shrimp is pink, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan; set aside.

Heat 2 more tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add asparagus, ginger, garlic and the other half of the salt. Sauté until asparagus is crisp tender, about 4 minutes. Add the shrimp back to the asparagus. Pour in soy sauce. Stir until well-combined and heat through. Add lemon juice, and serve immediately with rice.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 287, Calories from Fat: 145, Fat: 16 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 239 mg, Sodium: 1086 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 29 g.

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Healthy Living: Sinus Allergy Relief Drink


Sinus Allergy Relief DrinkIt’s allergy season in the South, and it feels like it came back a little sooner this year than most.

Allergies are a histamine reaction to things in the air this time of year, like grass, pollen, ragweed, mold and any other host of things that are blooming nearby.

You might need to see your doctor about combatting seasonal allergies, but there are natural home remedies you can also use to alleviate symptoms, such as a stuffy nose and sinus congestion.

One of them is this drink.

Made with all natural ingredients, a wise, older woman that I know swears by this concoction. She drinks one portion daily and swears that it helps keep her sinuses from becoming inflamed, thus keeping her breathing easily.

Even if it doesn’t have magical, medicinal properties, it IS healthy for you, no matter why you’re drinking it.

If you don’t have a juicer, peel and chop all of your ingredients. Add about 1/2 cup sparkling water, and process in a food processer until desired consistency.

Sinus Allergy Relief Drink

Ingredients:
2 large carrots
2 oranges
1 green apple, cored
1 small piece ginger, peeled

Directions:
Put all ingredients in juicer, and process according to manufacturer’s directions.

Serves 1

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 437, Calories from Fat: 23, Fat: 3 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 95 mg, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Fiber: 21 g, Sugar: 65 g, Protein: 7 g.

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Healthy Living: Healthy Oat Cookies


Healthy Oat CookiesMy 13-year-old son told me he wants to eat healthier.

Big picture, he IS a healthy eater, but that kid can also put away some junk food after school.

We had to come up with a solution that would still let him feel like he was having some of the treats he likes but in a healthier way. Now, after school, he reaches for fresh fruit instead of the little, square, orange crackers he used to favor. I love that he’s doing this, and it’s motivated the rest of us to reach for more fresh fruit and vegetables, too.

Every once in a while, he wants a cookie or something sweet.

These are the perfect solution. Originally they were called “Three-Ingredient Cookies,” but I throw in some extra ingredients!

Healthy Oat Cookies

Ingredients:
2 ripe bananas
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds or nuts, crushed

Directions:
Mash bananas in a large bowl. Stir in oats, raisins, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds or nuts.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Scoop dough into 16 balls, and place evenly around a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

Makes 16

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 60, Calories from Fat: 12, Fat: 1 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1 mg, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 2 g.

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Mi Blog Hispano: Limones, Agua, y Azúcar, ¡Es Todo!


Limones, Agua, y Azúcar, ¡Es Todo!Al tomar limonada durante la primavera me lleva a una tierra muy lejos pero muy cerca de mi corazón. Me lleva a Guerrero, México y a casa de mi abuelita Susana.

Cuando era chica e íbamos a visitar a la familia, mi abuelita siempre tenía limonada fresca y muy sabrosa. Su casa, como varias casas en México, eran dos casas de ladrillo separadas. En una era la cocina, sala, baño y dos recamaras. En la otra era principalmente recamaras y un baño. Allí se hospedaba la familia cuando la visitábamos. En medio de las dos estructuras estaba mi favorita parte que recuerdo con mucho cariño. Era un patio enorme. En una esquina tenía un lugar donde lavaba ropa a mano. En otra esquina mi abuelito tenía un taller donde hacia su carpintería. Recuerdo las gallinas corriendo por doquier. Pero lo más bonito que recuerdo eran los tres arboles de limones y uno de toronjas. Los de limones eran bellos. Me gustaba jugar debajo de ellos y jalar los limones que ya estaban listos. Recuerdo como mi abuelita juntaba los limones para hacernos la limonada.

En una ocasión que ella me estaba sirviendo mi vaso de limonada fresca le pregunte que como se hacía la limonada. Me contesto, “Hijita, es lo más fácil, y lo más rico. Solo exprimes los limones en agua y le agregas azúcar, es todo.” Nos reímos juntas al tomar esa rica y refrescante limonada. Nunca se me olvido esa receta. En años siguientes cuando íbamos a México a visitar otra vez, anhelaba llegar a casa de mi abuelita a tomar su limonada.

No les doy una receta detallada, porque es muy sencillo de hacer. Como dijo mi abuelita, “Limones, agua, y azúcar, es todo.” Yo uso como 10 limones verdes y les quito las semillas antes de exprimirlos. Prefiero los limones verdes porque son los que usa mi abuelita. También uso como una taza de azúcar porque me gusta un poco dulce. Con eso les va a quedar una riquísima y fresca limonada casera. La puede hacer justo en este tiempo para recibir la primavera, ¡mi favorito tiempo del año!



Healthy Living: Pomegranates


PomegranatesPomegranates are one of the healthiest fruits on earth, and they’re still in season now.

Pomegranates are red and are about the size and shape of an apple, but really only their seeds (and the pulp and juices attached) are edible.

One cup of pomegranate arils (seeds) contain 7 grams fiber, 3 grams protein, 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin C, 36 percent for vitamin K, 16 percent for folate and 12 percent for potassium. That’s a lot. Also, one cup contains only 144 calories which is not a lot at all.

Pomegranates contain two compounds other fruits do not: punicalagins and punicic acid.

Punicalagins are the powerful antioxidants found in the juice and peel of a pomegranate, providing three times the antioxidant power of red wine or green tea. Punicic acid, or pomegranate seed oil, is the fatty acid from the arils, which has powerful anti-inflammatory effects.

Pomegranates can help fight against heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and obesity. It can also help fight prostate and breast cancers as well as lower blood pressure and fight arthritis. It improves memory, helps fight fungal and bacterial infections and can improve erectile dysfunction. It has also been shown to improve exercise performance.

Whether you eat the seeds or drink the juice, pomegranate packs a mighty punch.



Dine In: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and Panela


Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and PanelaWarning: Wine Country recipes ahead.

I spent last weekend visiting my sister in California, in the heart of wine country. Apparently, there are 43 wineries in the immediate vicinity of her house. Alas, it was only a weekend trip, so we only hit three of them. Luckily, there are more visits to be planned.

Aside from enjoying some seriously valuable sister time, I ate and drank my way through Wine Country, and it was well worth every single calorie.

Our first stop on Saturday was at Oak Mountain Winery, where we had lunch reservations to eat in the Cave Café. The cave clings to the side of the steep hill where the grapes are grown, and it is quite an extensive storage area for casks of wine. It also has an amazing atmosphere for a fine meal.

There were seven of us, so we opted for a bottle of sangiovese and a bottle of zinfandel. We shared a charcuterie board and the most amazing Brussels sprouts that I’ve ever eaten. Their recipe includes a roasted guajillo sauce, but I didn’t recreate that part at home.

If you can’t find panela cheese, use Mexican queso fresco instead.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and Panela

Ingredients:
1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
sea salt and pepper
1/4 cup shallots, minced
3 Tbs garlic, minced
1/4 cup almonds
8 oz panela or queso fresco

Directions:
In a large cast-iron (or other ovenproof skillet) over medium-high heat, warm olive oil until fragrant and shimmering.

Preheat oven to 400° F.

When the oil is ready, sauté shallots and garlic until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Toss in almonds and stir.

Remove from heat; stir in Brussels sprouts and Balsamic vinegar.

Season with salt and pepper.

Place in the oven. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until leaves are browned and Brussels sprouts are crisp outside and tender inside.

Toss with cheese and serve immediately.

Serves 4 (as a side dish)

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 236, Calories from Fat: 136, Fat: 15 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 19 mg, Sodium: 258 mg, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 13 g.

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Healthy Living: Mardi Gras Salsa


Mardi Gras SalsaToday is Fat Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean you have to give in to the excess and temptation that is synonymous with Mardi Gras.

You can eat healthy and still celebrate with family, friends, and a lot of beads and trinkets (necklaces are zero calories, after all).

I love this salsa because it’s the colors of Mardi Gras: gold, purple and green. It combines fresh flavors with a lot of healthy ingredients.

The pineapple is great for vitamin C, potassium, copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, beta-carotene, thiamin, B6 and folate, as well as soluble and insoluble fiber.

Black beans provide protein.

Garlic, limes and onions provide antioxidants.

Serve this with whole-grain pita wedges or other veggies like cucumber rounds or celery.

Mardi Gras Salsa

Ingredients:
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 pineapple, cored, peeled and diced
1 large bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped (to taste)
1 small red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 limes, juiced
1 jalapeño, minced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; toss gently to mix. Refrigerate for several hours while flavors meld. Serve with pita wedges or veggies.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 377, Calories from Fat: 14, Fat: 2 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 7 mg, Carbohydrates: 72 g, Fiber: 16 g, Sugar: 9 g, Protein: 22 g.

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Healthy Living: One-Pan Roasted Sausage and Vegetables


One-Pan Roasted Sausage and VegetablesI was telling my best friend recently that I prefer vegetables to most fruits, and she thought I was crazy.

That’s fine; I’ll take a little crazy.

It’s true, though. I do prefer vegetables to fruits (although I definitely eat fruit, too), and I love roasting veggies for an easy, one-pan, healthy meal.

You can add almost any kind of vegetables to this dish. I often use Brussels sprouts instead of peppers or throw in some cauliflower as well. Make sure to dice the sweet potatoes in small pieces, so they cook as quickly as the rest of the veggies. You could also steam them for a few minutes before you add them to the roasting pan. You could also toss in a few pieces of diced apple for some sweetness.

Chicken sausage doesn’t have much fat, so you do need the olive oil. Although, I don’t usually use all of the six tablespoons.

I love making this one night for dinner then enjoying the leftovers the next day for lunch.

One-Pan Roasted Sausage and Vegetables

Ingredients:
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
3/4 lb fresh green beans
1 large head broccoli, chopped
2 large green bell peppers, chopped
9 oz chicken sausage links
6 Tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbs dried oregano
1 Tbs dried parsley
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil (if using foil, spray with nonstick cooking spray).

Chop all veggies, and add to a large bowl. Slice sausage into bite-sized pieces; add to bowl. Add in spices, and drizzle in olive oil. Toss to coat.

Spread mixture on prepared baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes, and then stir before roasting for 15 more minutes.

Serves 2

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 686, Calories from Fat: 411, Fat: 46 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 15 mg, Sodium: 453 mg, Carbohydrates: 67 g, Fiber: 17 g, Sugar: 8 g, Protein: 12 g.

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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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