Real Fresh, Real Delicious July 4th Broccoli Salad
The 4th of July is such a relaxed holiday, and one of my favorite parts of every holiday is of course, the food.  Picnic fare is what the 4th is famous for, and I can’t say I’m mad about it.  Picnic food should be simple, portable, fun, and most of all, delicious.  That’s where my broccoli salad comes in.  Once upon a time, I whipped this salad up on a whim and my kids gobbled it up in a day.  Better yet, this salad is so easy to adjust to fit your style.  There’s really no way to get this wrong.  Best of all, this dish will be the hit of the picnic as it makes the perfect accompaniment to almost anything.  And I wouldn’t blame you one bit if you sneaked a bowl for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 
Happy Fourth!
Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad

Ingredients
Pickled Shallots
      • 2 shallots, sliced thinly
      • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
      • ½ teaspoon salt
      • ½ teaspoon sugar
Dressing
      • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (I like Fage best)
      • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
      • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
      • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
      • 1 tablespoon honey
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • ½ teaspoon black pepper
Salad
      • One 12-ounce bag of pre-washed broccoli florets, chopped into small bite-sized pieces
      • ¾ cup pecans, chopped and toasted
      • ½ cup dried cranberries
      • ½ cup raisins (I like golden raisins)
      • 1 cup purple grapes, sliced in half
      • 6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped roughly
Directions
      • Stir salt and sugar into red wine vinegar until dissolved. 
      • Add shallots and stir to combine. 
      • Set aside for at least 10 minutes while preparing other salad ingredients. 
      • Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. 
      • If a thinner dressing is desired, add additional applesauce. 
      • Add all salad ingredients to the bowl with the dressing and toss to combine. 
      • Discard pickling liquid and add pickled shallots. 
      • Toss to combine and serve. 
 *Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s “Broccoli Slaw.”
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers for all your real fresh, real delicious ingredients!

Angela Larson

Angela Larson is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods.  Delicious food is her passion, so she loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of health and nutrition.  When Angela isn't working with Brookshire Brothers, she's a mostly stay-at-home mom who loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors with her husband, Austin, and their two daughters.

Summer Fruit: A Delicious Problem

Every year it happens. I’m blissfully enjoying the spring bounty of strawberries when the delicious summer grapes and blackberries show up. I immediately load my grocery cart up with more fruit than I can fit in my fridge. Next, the watermelon, peaches, and blueberries appear, and my already crowded refrigerator space takes another hit. The weather continues to get warmer, and my fridge continues to get fuller until finally, the cherries arrive. Oh, the glorious, shiny, dark red cherries – they beckon me with their perfectly juicy balance of sweet and tart. At this point, my refrigerator is about to explode with the amazing summer bounty of fruit, and the next problem occurs. Now, when I open the fridge doors, how do I choose what to feast on? My solution is to eat all of it, all the time, all at once, and all day long. Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but massive fruit salads of every variety occur regularly in my kitchen. A perfect companion to all this fruit is a big container of plain full-fat Greek yogurt (my favorite brand is Fage) and a drizzle of honey to make a delicious protein-rich breakfast or an easy evening dessert option. Summer fruit is a wonderful, hydrating, and refreshing snack option too, so I’d venture to guess that if you keep your fridge full of fruit, you might be less tempted to dig into those less healthy options lurking in the pantry. If you get carried away and buy too much, most summer fruits freeze well for later use. 

Summer Fruit Cut Bowl

If I don’t already have you dreaming of a summer fruit salad, let’s highlight the nutritional merits of a few of the most delicious summer fruit options:

  • Strawberries: These juicy red delights are packed with vitamin C – around a cup of berries has enough vitamin C for the whole day.
  • Grapes: Green and red varieties are a great source of B vitamins, and are full of a special type of antioxidant called polyphenols, which is fancy speak for cancer-fighting superhero.
  • Blackberries: One of the lesser-known qualities of blackberries is that they are a good source of folate.  Folate is good for more than just pregnancy.  Folate helps prevent heart disease and is good for the brain too.
  • Blueberries: These little round globes of blue yumminess are well known for having one of the highest levels of antioxidants in the fruit world.  They also have a healthy dose of fiber and are low in calories.
  • Watermelon: Water is the keyword, as watermelon is wonderfully hydrating for the summer heat since it’s full of… water!  (Duh.)  It’s also a super source of the antioxidant lycopene (great for prostate cancer prevention) and other carotenoids.
  • Peaches: Peaches have got it all.  They have a little bit of everything, nutritionally speaking - B vitamins, vitamin C, minerals, fiber.  Plus they make a killer peach cobbler.
  • Cherries: Blood pressure lowering, sleep aid, arthritis benefit, cancer prevention, pie filling – cherries can do it all.  

The end of the summer fruit season is such sweet sorrow, so eat them all day long, all summer long, lest you regret it when the fresh summer fruits are gone.  

Visit your local Brookshire Brothers for all your real fresh, real delicious ingredients!

Angela Larson

Angela Larson is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods.  Delicious food is her passion, so she loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of health and nutrition.  When Angela isn't working with Brookshire Brothers, she's a mostly stay-at-home mom who loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors with her husband, Austin, and their two daughters.

Real Fresh, Real Delicious Blueberry Smoothie Bowls
I’m all about blueberries right now.  I always get a little antsy waiting for blueberry season, and when it finally arrives I get a little carried away.  After filling my fridge with the tiny little blue orbs of delight, I realize that I might need to get a little creative to use them all up.  This isn’t a bad problem to have though, because most things blueberry-themed are A-OK in my book.  A favorite easy go-to recipe is always going to be a smoothie.  They are satisfying, easy to make, pretty, and best of all, delicious.  What could possibly be more fun than drinking a smoothie?  I’m glad you asked.  Well, putting it in a bowl and adding toppings turns a plain-Jane smoothie into a full out experience.  Perhaps it’s my childhood daydream of getting all the toppings I could dream of at the ice cream shop, but I’m always looking for an excuse for toppings for most everything I eat.  The toppings make it feel extra special for kids too, and my kids love to get involved in making (or as they call it “decorating”) their own bowls when the toppings are laid out buffet style.  If you make the optional chia seed pudding to put on top, you’ll have an over the top smoothie bowl nirvana-like experience.  I dare you to try it – no, really, double-dog dare you. 
What are you waiting for?  Let’s make smoothies! 
Happy Blueberry Season!

Blueberry Smoothie

Blueberry Smoothie Bowls with All the Toppings

Smoothie Ingredients
      • 4 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, washed and picked over
      • 1 ripe banana, fresh or frozen
      • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
      • 5-6 large ice cubes
      • Additional milk or juice, as needed to thin
Toppings
      • Fresh blueberries (or other types of fruit, as desired) 
      • Nuts and seeds (I love toasted pecans and shelled sunflower seeds)
      • Plain yogurt
      • Honey
      • Chia seed pudding (see recipe below)
Directions
      • Put all smoothie ingredients into blender and blend for 30-60 seconds until smooth. 
      • Thin, as needed with additional milk or juice to desired consistency. 
      • Place smoothie into a bowl and top with desired toppings. 
Chia Seed Pudding
Ingredients
      • 1 can coconut milk
      • 2 Tbs chia seeds
      • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • A pinch of salt
Directions
      • Mix all ingredients and allow to thicken for at least two hours or overnight. 
Note:  Recipe was adapted from “Buddha Smoothie Bowl” as featured in Half-Baked Harvest by Tieghan Gerard.
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers for all your real fresh, real delicious ingredients!

Angela Larson

Angela Larson is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods.  Delicious food is her passion, so she loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of health and nutrition.  When Angela isn't working with Brookshire Brothers, she's a mostly stay-at-home mom who loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors with her husband, Austin, and their two daughters.

Real Fresh, Real Delicious Rice Noodles with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, and Sesame Seeds
Noodle bowl.  Need I say more? 
Okay, I’ll say more.  I always have plenty to say about everything (much to my husband’s dismay).  There are so many options for noodle bowls that makes my heart sing.  Need a place to use up random produce left in the fridge?  Noodle bowl.  Need a quick dinner that’s filling and made with pantry staples?  Noodle bowl.  Have chicken?  Add it.  A random head of broccoli?  Add it.  A half-empty week old jar of baby food?  Don’t add that.  Don’t add that to anything. 
Sorry, I am easily distracted.  But, back to noodles.  I love them.  But, you say, what if I don’t have rice noodles on hand?  This recipe also works great with rice as a starchy stand-in.  Have only half the ingredients on hand?  Just go with it.  That’s how easy it is to not mess up this recipe. 
And, yes, I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but you can totally swap things in as desired or omit things if certain ingredients aren’t available.  As long as you have rice noodles or rice, some kind of vegetable, soy sauce, and some kind of tahini or peanut butter, then you’ve got dinner.  All the other ingredients are just a bonus (and a great opportunity for using up some odds and ends, as outlined above.) 
And did I mention that this dish is totally plant-based?  That is, as long as you don’t decide to add any non-plant-based ingredients.  (If you’re a strict vegan, feel free to omit the honey.)
So, what are you waiting for?  Let’s eat some noodles!
 Rice Noodles

Rice Noodles with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, and Sesame Seeds

Equipment Needed
      • Medium mixing bowl
      • 1 large sheet pan
      • Parchment paper
      • Extra-wide aluminum foil
      • 1 medium saucepan
      • Food processor or blender
Ingredients
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
      • 5 small sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into ½ inch thick rounds
      • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
      • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
      • 1 tablespoon honey
Sauce
      • 3-inch section of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped (Alternately 1 teaspoon of ginger powder can be used.)
      • 2 cloves of fresh garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
      • ½ cup tahini (or creamy peanut butter, if preferred)
      • ½ cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari
      • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
      • 3 tablespoons honey
      • 1 tablespoon of red chili paste (I used Thai chili paste)
      • Zest of 1 lime
      • Juice of 1 lime
      • Water, as needed to thin consistency
      • ½ cup of a combination of fresh cilantro and fresh basil leaves (use more or less of either depending on availability and taste)
Noodles
      • 8 ounces of rice noodles
      • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
Optional Toppings (mix and match as desired)
      • Toasted sesame seeds
      • Peanuts
      • Cucumber, sliced
      • Sweet bell pepper, cut into strips
      • Sliced green onions
Instructions
For the sweet potatoes:
      • Cover a large sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper.
      • Toss sweet potatoes in a medium bowl with olive oil, sesame seeds, salt, and red pepper flakes.
      • Spread sweet potatoes out on the prepared baking sheet, making sure that the flat side is down and none are touching. 
      • Cover the sheet pan tightly with extra-wide aluminum foil.  Place oven rack at top position and place sheet pan with sweet potatoes in the cold oven.
      • Turn on oven to 425 degrees and cook for 20 minutes.
      • Remove foil after 20 minutes and return to the top rack of the oven, roasting for an additional 25-30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through (drizzle the 1 tablespoon honey on potatoes when rotating pan).
      • Cook until golden brown around the top and bottom edges.
      • If top edges are not caramelized, turn the broiler on high for 2 minutes until browned, and watch carefully to prevent burning.
      • Remove from the oven and set aside. 
For the sauce:
      • Add fresh ginger and garlic (if using) to the food processor or blender, and pulse several times until chopped finely.
      • Add all other ingredients except fresh herbs to the blender, and blend until sauce is smooth and uniform in appearance (about 30 seconds).
      • Thin with water as needed to achieve the right consistency (should drizzle off a spoon).
      • Add fresh herbs and pulse 7-8 times until coarsely chopped within the sauce.
      • Set sauce aside. 
For the noodles: 
      • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
      • Cook the rice noodles according to package directions.
      • Add spinach to pot with noodles during last 1 minute of cooking time.
      • Drain noodles and spinach in a colander and set aside.  (If noodles stick together after cooking, rinse gently with cool water to separate before serving.) 
To serve:
      • Plate spinach and noodles, drizzle with sauce as desired, and top with roasted sweet potatoes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
      • Finish with optional toppings. 
Recipe adapted from Half-Baked Harvest “Saucy tahini noodles with honey’d sweet potatoes” and America Test Kitchen’s “Roasted Sweet Potatoes.” 
 
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers for all your real fresh, real delicious ingredients!

Angela Larson

Angela Larson is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods.  Delicious food is her passion, so she loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of health and nutrition.  When Angela isn't working with Brookshire Brothers, she's a mostly stay-at-home mom who loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors with her husband, Austin, and their two daughters.

Immunity Boosting Foods
We are all concerned about keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe from sickness. Did you know that what you eat can have a profound impact on your susceptibility to catching things that are going around? Many foods influence the workings of the immune system, but some foods have special immune enhancing effects. Certain foods can increase the number of natural killer cells in the body, which help to destroy viruses. Others help enhance the part of the immune system that forms antibodies. Antibodies are like the immune system’s memory helping us not to catch the same viral sickness twice. Let’s explore some delicious and powerful foods that can help ward off all kinds of germy invaders and keep our bodies well. 
Immunity Boosting Foods
      • Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is rich in a special substance called monolaurin which is a germ fighting powerhouse. Refined coconut oil is clean and flavorless, making a perfect stand-in for vegetable oil in dishes or for cooking. Virgin coconut oil has a pronounced coconut flavor which adds flair to many dishes. 
      • Garlic – Garlic doesn’t just ward off vampires -- it’s also great for preventing sickness. Garlic is most effective when it’s consumed raw within an hour of being cut or crushed. Try raw garlic in a delicious homemade yogurt-based tzatziki sauce, which is great for dipping veggies or in wraps. 
      • Herbs and spices – Many herbs and spices have medicinal qualities that have made them valuable for centuries. Notably, turmeric, common in Indian cuisine, and oregano, both have potent antimicrobial properties. Try a delicious Indian Tikka Masala or make golden tea with turmeric. Oregano tastes great in a wide variety of dishes, especially Italian and Mexican cuisines.
      • Citrus – Citrus fruits have long been heralded the kings of the vitamin C kingdom. Vitamin C is a well-known friend to the immune system. While vitamin C supplements are popular, nothing can beat the real thing in its natural form found only in foods. In food, vitamin C contains special components called “co-factors” which helps it do its many important jobs in the body. Fresh citrus is crucial because vitamin C is prone to breakdown, so eat or juice oranges promptly after cutting, or squeeze a lemon or lime into your water daily. Other great non-citrus sources of vitamin C are sweet raw bell peppers, tropical fruits, and broccoli. 
      • Seafood – Zinc plays a crucial role in immune function, and some of us may not be eating enough. Seafood is one of the best sourcirtces of zinc, especially oysters, crab, and lobster. Omega-3 fatty acids, found abundantly in salmon and even sardines are also important for dampening inflammation and supporting immunity. Check out the seafood selection at your local Brookshire Brothers – fresh, frozen, and packaged seafood options all work well. 
      • Cruciferous Veggies – Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, most greens (except spinach), and cabbages are part of the family of cruciferous veggies. These veggies are extra special because they have high levels of all kinds of immune-enhancing goodies. Of particular importance are sulforaphanes, which are sulfur-containing compounds that help boost natural killer cell function to stop viruses in their tracks. Cruciferous veggies are also jam-packed with vitamin C and other awesome immune-enhancing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, so make them part of your daily routine. 
      • Bone Broth – Why do we eat chicken noodle soup when we’re sick? This wise practice stems from the healing properties of rich, gelatinous bone broth. Chicken and beef stocks that are traditionally prepared are rich in gelatin and an important amino acid called glycine. Glycine is needed to help fight off infection and keep the body in tip-top shape. Gelatin-rich foods are also soothing to the stomach and help promote gut health. So buy chicken with bones and skin (cooked rotisserie chicken scraps work too), simmer gently for 12 to 24 hours in the crockpot, and you’ve got yourself nourishing homemade bone broth. Ready-made varieties of high protein bone broth are available in many Brookshire Brothers locations as well. Don’t see them at your store? Make a product request! 
      • Green Tea and Honey – Catechins aren’t a derogatory nickname for your neighbor’s crazy cat. Instead, catechins are compounds found in green tea which fight off viruses and increase overall immune function. And what goes better with green tea than honey? Honey has its own set of super powers, including antimicrobial properties and great effectiveness as a natural cough suppressant. (Just remember not to give honey to children under the age of one.)
      • Whole Milk, Butter, Cheese, Egg Yolks, and Liver – What do these foods have in common? They are all great sources of the active-form of vitamin A. Active-form vitamin A is found in animal-based foods containing fat, such as dairy products and liver. Vitamin A is crucial for the immune system to function at full capacity, and deficiency can make you prone to infections. Eating red, orange, and green leafy veggies can also help boost vitamin A status because they contain beta-carotene, but beta-carotene must be converted to active vitamin A within the body. Some people have difficulty making this conversion. So aim to include both animal sources of vitamin A as well as leafy vegetables to help keep your vitamin A levels optimum and ward off sickness.  
      • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – Olive oil contains many wonderful substances that support health. Two compounds in the polyphenol class of antioxidants are known to be potent inhibitors of viruses. Try using fresh extra-virgin olive oil in homemade salad dressing, or add a drizzle to your favorite savory dishes. Toss veggies in olive oil before roasting and pan sautéing.
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers for all of your real fresh, real delicious immunity boosting ingredients!

Angela Larson
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods. Delicious food is her passion, so she loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of health and nutrition. When Angela isn't working with Brookshire Brothers, she's a mostly stay-at-home mom who loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors with her husband, Austin, and their two daughters.
 
Real Fresh, Real Delicious Pot Roast with Tomatoes and Rosemary
Everyone should have an easy pot roast recipe up their sleeve. Okay, not literally up their sleeve, because that would just be weird. Or perhaps, it would be genius. But back to the topic at hand, a yummy pot roast recipe is seriously one of the easiest, yet most satisfying savory crowd-pleasers that exist. This is my absolute favorite pot roast recipe that I’ve made many times for my family over the years.  The tomatoes add a wonderful sweet acidity to the dish that brings all the flavors together. The mushrooms are like juicy little flavor bombs and add a wonderful texture to the dish. Turnips or parsnips can easily be swapped out for the potatoes for a lower carb version. The slow cooker can be used as well to make this an easy weeknight dinner.
Pot Roast with Tomatoes and Rosemary

My Favorite Pot Roast with Tomatoes and Rosemary

Ingredients
      • 1 boneless chuck roast, about 3 ½ pounds
      • Salt and pepper
      • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
      • 1 medium onion, chopped medium
      • 12 ounces petite baby carrots
      • 1 rib celery, chopped
      • 10 ounces white mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
      • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
      • ½ cup low sodium chicken stock
      • ½ cup low sodium beef stock
      • ½ cup dry red wine (or additional beef/chicken stock if wine isn’t your thing)
      • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
      • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
      • 1 ¾ cups water or additional chicken stock
      • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
      • 1 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into ¾” dice
Directions
      • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Thoroughly pat roast dry with paper towels; sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
      • Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Brown roast thoroughly on all sides, reducing heat if fat begins to smoke, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer roast to large plate; set aside. Reduce heat to medium; add onion, carrot, celery, and mushrooms to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and beef broths, dry red wine, dried thyme, and diced tomatoes, with juice, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Return roast and any accumulated juices to pot; add enough water or chicken stock to come halfway up sides of roast. Bring liquid to simmer over medium heat, then place large piece of foil over pot and cover tightly with lid; transfer pot to oven. Cook, turning roast every 30 minutes, until fully tender and meat fork or sharp knife easily slips in and out of meat, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.  (Alternately, place in the slow cooker on low heat for 4-6 hours.)  About 1 hour before roast is finished, add diced red potatoes to the cooking liquid.  
      • Transfer roast to carving board; tent with foil to keep warm. Allow liquid in pot to settle about 5 minutes, then use wide spoon to skim fat off surface. Add sprig of fresh rosemary and boil liquid over high heat until reduced to 1 1/2 cups; discard rosemary and thyme sprigs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
      • Using chef’s or carving knife, cut meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices, or pull apart into large pieces; transfer meat to warmed serving platter or bowl, pour sauce and vegetables over meat, and serve.
*My family likes this dish served alongside steamed brown rice.
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers for all your real fresh, real delicious ingredients!

Angela Larson
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods.  Delicious food is her passion, so she loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of health and nutrition.  When Angela isn't working with Brookshire Brothers, she's a mostly stay-at-home mom who loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors with her husband, Austin, and their two daughters.
Real Fresh, Real Delicious Chicken Pot Pie
Pot pie - the humblest of titles, but it is so much more than it sounds.  Creamy filling studded with vegetables and chicken topped with savory crust – it is the ultimate one-pot dinner.  I have always enjoyed pot pie, but shied away from making it because I thought it would be complicated to prepare at home.  I’m so glad I gave it a go because I was wrong.  It was so easy and delicious that this recipe will definitely be part of my regular dinner rotation.  This recipe is a little “fancier” than your typical pot pie, but this only means it has more amazing flavor but without any extra fuss.  The vegetables can easily be swapped out for your favorites to use whatever you have on hand.  I also love it with roasted cherry tomatoes or cauliflower, or you could go with the traditional favorites, peas and carrots.  Give homemade pot pie a try, and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Chicken Pot Pie with Roasted Vegetables and Sage

Chicken Pot Pie with Roasted Vegetables and Sage

Adapted from Half-Baked Harvest – Super Simple by Tieghan Gerard

Ingredients

      • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
      • 12 ounces petite baby carrots
      • 2 cups of broccoli florets, washed and chopped in bite-sized pieces
      • 2 stalks of celery, diced (optional)
      • 1 ¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken tenders (or 1 ½ cups cooked rotisserie chicken shredded)
      • 3 tablespoons butter
      • 2 shallots, chopped fine
      • 2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, chopped, plus whole leaves for serving
      • 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme leaves
      • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
      • 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock (I prefer high protein type)
      • 1 cup whole milk
      • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
      • 1 frozen or refrigerated prepared roll-out style pie crust, thawed
Directions
      • Move oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. 
      • Cover a large rimmed baking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil and toss carrots, broccoli, and celery with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spread in an even layer on baking sheet.
      • Roast vegetables in the oven until they are lightly browned and beginning to get tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.  When finished, remove from oven, reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees, and set vegetables aside while preparing filling. 
      • (If using shredded rotisserie chicken, skip to step 5.)  While vegetables roast, heat a large 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium high heat.  After pan is hot, add chicken tenders to dry pan and cook without moving for 3-4 minutes.  When they are well browned, they will release easily from the pan and then flipped to cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.  Remove chicken from the pan and set aside to cool slightly before chopping into bite sized pieces.
      • Reduce heat to medium and add butter to skillet.  After butter has melted add shallots, chopped sage, and thyme.  Cook, stirring often, until shallot is fragrant and butter is lightly browned with a nutty aroma, about 3-5 minutes. 
      • Add flour to pan, and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Gradually whisk in broth and milk.  Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to medium-low.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. 
      • Remove skillet from the heat and add chopped chicken, roasted vegetables, and chopped parsley.  Stir to combine.
      • Roll out prepared pie crust until it is large enough to cover filling in pan, and lay over the top of the filling in the skillet.  Cut a few slits in the top of the crust.  Brush with a little bit of melted butter or whole milk, if desired. 
      • Bake until pastry is golden brown, 40-45 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes, sprinkle with remaining fresh sage leaves, and serve. 
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers for all your real fresh, real delicious ingredients!

Angela Larson
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods.  Delicious food is her passion, so she loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of health and nutrition.  When Angela isn't working with Brookshire Brothers, she's a mostly stay-at-home mom who loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors with her husband, Austin, and their two daughters.
Reset for Better Living: 7 Healthy Habits to Start in the New Year
We want to help you achieve your resolutions for the New Year! Check out this list of 7 Healthy Habits to Start in the New Year from Angela Larson, RD.
A man and a woman hiking
  1. Go outside. I don’t need to quote studies to tell you that going outside is good for your well-being.  There are so many things that make it great – plenty of opportunities to move, sunshine to help set your circadian rhythm and make vitamin D, and even just being around plants and trees has been shown to improve mood and increase longevity.  So find an excuse and go outside every chance you get. 
  2. Makeover your beverage choices. Beverages are an easy place to make changes that will have a lasting impact on your health.  Most people assume there’s nothing healthy to drink if you’d like anything other than plain ol’ water, but there are plenty of options to wet your whistle while boosting your health.  Awesome beverage options are green tea, herbal teas, kombucha, cold-pressed juices and smoothies, coconut water, aloe vera juice, nut milks, and good old fashioned cow’s milk.  Check out your neighborhood Brookshire Brothers for plenty of beverage inspiration for the coming year.  
  3. Share meals. Eating together with loved ones and friends is a wonderful habit to work toward for the good of everyone involved.  Sharing family meals teaches children to eat well and provides a place of connection where the day pauses and everyone is engaged with one another.  Work toward sharing more meals with loved ones this year, and take the time to really enjoy the food and the company.  
  4. Revamp your breakfast routine. One of the most frequently missed opportunities to bolster a healthier diet is at breakfast.  Breakfast is a great time to get healthy proteins and nutrient-rich foods into your daily routine, but many people get stuck in a breakfast rut with the same old choices day after day.  Try some healthier options in the coming year like homemade oatmeal, plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, fresh fruit, homemade smoothies, or my favorite – eggs.  Don’t miss the opportunity to nourish your body well at the start of the day.  In a hurry?  Check out some of the great new breakfast options available that are less carb-centric at your neighborhood Brookshire Brothers.  I’ve seen protein packed options like egg sandwiches sans the bread in my local refrigerated and freezer cases. 
  5. Take walks. Walking is a great way to connect with nature, friends, and family.  It’s also a foundational human movement that we often neglect as being essential to good health.  Strive to walk three to five miles a day like most of humankind has over the course of history – our bodies are made to walk.  Include a walk – short, long, or anywhere in-between -- as part of your daily routine as often as possible. 
  6. Eat plants. Most of us aren’t eating enough wholesome plant foods.  Including a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet is a no-brainer, but don’t neglect the other plant food superstars like nuts, seeds, lentils, beans, peas, and a variety of whole grains other than wheat.  Plant foods are always a great choice, so when you reach for a snack and plan a meal, remember to aim to include whole plant foods more often and skip the processed stuff as much as possible.  
  7.  Get bored. I am a big believer in staring out the window, without a phone or any other distraction in hand.  Allow your mind to wander and drift without being beckoned by the many distractions and forms of entertainment we tend to gravitate toward.  Take a couple minutes each day to hit the pause button without any form of entertainment or distractions and just “be.”
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers for all your real fresh, real delicious ingredients!

Angela Larson

Angela Larson is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods.  Delicious food is her passion, so she loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of health and nutrition.  When Angela isn't working with Brookshire Brothers, she's a mostly stay-at-home mom who loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors with her husband, Austin, and their two daughters.
 
Real Fresh, Real Delicious Popcorn Three Ways – A Perfect Holiday Gift to Make with Kids
Popcorn is the perfect snackable, giftable food with a million possible variations. Kids adore it, and it’s a fun a memorable food to make together during the holidays. When my kids spot the popcorn maker, they always get excited to watch the kernels pop, and they always sneak a few kernels from the bowl before there are even any toppings. Butter and salt and of course our easy default choices, but I’ve been known to put a few fancy spins on popcorn that can make it into a dessert or an awesome savory snack. My kids never even suspect that I’m happy for them to dig into some popcorn, since it’s a great source of fiber. Even better, popcorn can be packed up into cute little airtight containers or bags, and it makes a wonderful holiday gift that’s easy to make in a big batch. You can even add a few festive holiday-colored sprinkles to sweet versions to make it look like a million bucks too.
 
Ready for all things popcorn this season?  Try a few of our family favorite recipes that are easy for kids and so delicious you’ll be fighting over the popcorn bowl.
Savory Cajun-Spiced Popcorn in front of a Christmas Tree

Savory Cajun-Spiced Popcorn

Ingredients
      • 12 cups plain popcorn (about 2/3 cup kernels unpopped)
      • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
      • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
      • ½ teaspoon paprika
      • ½ teaspoon cumin
      • ¼ teaspoon ground thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves)
      • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper or black pepper
      • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
      • Salt to taste
Directions
      • Spread popcorn on a large sheet pan. 
      • Drizzle with olive oil. 
      • Mix all spices together in a small bowl and sprinkle over popcorn. 
      • Season with salt to taste. 
      • Toss to combine and serve.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Drizzle Popcorn

Ingredients
      • 12 cups plain popcorn (about 2/3 cup kernels unpopped)
      • 2/3 cup chocolate chips, semi-sweet or milk chocolate
      • 1 teaspoon coconut oil or other neutral tasting cooking oil
      • 2/3 cup no-stir peanut butter (creamy or crunchy, as desired)
Directions
      • Spread popped popcorn out on a large sheet pan.
      • Warm chocolate chips and oil in a microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute on 50% power.
      • Stir and then warm for an additional 15-30 seconds at a time at 50% power, stirring after each time, until chocolate chips are fully melted.
      • Drizzle chocolate over popcorn with a spoon.
      • Warm peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl until warm enough to drizzle, about 30-60 seconds. Drizzle peanut butter over popcorn.
      • Allow chocolate and peanut butter to cool enough to harden (can be done in the refrigerator), and enjoy!

Cookie Butter Popcorn

Cookie Butter Popcorn

Ingredients
      • 12 cups plain popcorn (about 2/3 cup kernels unpopped)
      • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
      • 2/3 cup Biscoff cookie butter
      • Optional:  Sprinkles for decoration
Directions
      • Spread popped popcorn out on a large sheet pan.
      • Warm white chocolate chips and cookie butter in a microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute on 50% power.
      • Stir and then warm for an additional 15-30 seconds at a time at 50% power, stirring after each time, until mixture is fully melted.
      • Drizzle mixture over popcorn with a spoon.
      • Add sprinkles as desired.
      • Allow topping to cool enough to harden (can be done in the refrigerator), and enjoy! 
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers for all your real fresh, real delicious ingredients!

Angela Larson

Angela Larson is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods.  Delicious food is her passion, so she loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of health and nutrition.  When Angela isn't working with Brookshire Brothers, she's a mostly stay-at-home mom who loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors with her husband, Austin, and their two daughters.

 

 

 

Real Fresh, Real Delicious: Thanksgiving Sides – Color, Texture, and Flavor
Choosing the perfect sides to accompany your Thanksgiving meal can feel like an intimidating task. My favorite approach? Think color, texture, and flavor! Just like any well-composed meal, aim to vary these components with your chosen Thanksgiving sides so that the meal isn’t repetitive or monotonous. A little something colorful, a little something crunchy, and a little something spicy can go a long way toward making your Thanksgiving feast well-balanced, memorable, and most of all, delicious. 
Try one of these delicious recipes to add some color, flavor, and texture inspiration to your Thanksgiving spread this year. 
Happy Thanksgiving!

Crunchy Cabbage, Apple, and Pomegranate Salad

Crunchy Cabbage, Apple, and Pomegranate Salad

(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Brussels sprouts, Apple, and Pomegranate Salad)

Note:  This recipe also works well with well washed and well-shredded kale leaves.  Recipe can be easily doubled to feed a crowd. 
Ingredients
      • ¼ large red onion, diced small
      • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
      • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/8 teaspoon table salt)
      • 3 tbsp. lemon juice (from one lemon)
      • 2 tbsp. honey
      • 3 tbsp. olive oil
      • 5 cups thinly sliced cabbage (10 oz.)
      • 3/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds (from one large pomegranate)
      • 1 large unpeeled apple, cored and diced (any variety desired)
      • 3/4 cup pecans, lightly toasted and chopped coarsely
      • Salt and pepper to taste
      • 1/2  tsp. table salt
Directions
      • Pickle the red onions by combining them with red wine vinegar and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. 
      • Set aside to pickle while preparing the other ingredients (at least 15 minutes). 
      • Combine lemon juice, honey, and olive oil in a well-sealed jar and shake vigorously to combine.  (Alternately, combine in a bowl and whisk well.) 
      • Combine cabbage, pomegranate seeds, and diced apple in a bowl. 
      • Drizzle dressing over the top, add pickled onions and all the pickling liquid, and toss to combine. 
      • Add toasted pecans and salt. 
      • Add black pepper to taste.
      • Serve. 
*Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Brussels sprouts, Apple, and Pomegranate Salad

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Pecorino Romano Cheese

Ingredients
      • 1 head cauliflower, washed and outer leaves trimmed
      • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
      • 2-3 tbsp. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
      • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes (or less if a less spicy dish is desired)
      • Salt and pepper
Directions
      • Position oven racks to top and bottom positions. 
      • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
      • Prepare a large sheet pan.
      • Halve cauliflower through central stem.
      • Cut each half into four equal wedges.
      • Trim bottom of cauliflower stem to remove any tough parts. 
      • Place on sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. 
      • Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper, to taste. 
      • Place cauliflower on bottom rack of oven and roast for 10-12 minutes. 
      • Rotate pan and move to top rack of oven for an additional 10 minutes until cauliflower is tender and edges have browned. 
      • After removing from oven place on serving platter and sprinkle with grated cheese and red pepper flakes. 
      • Serve immediately.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Ingredients
      • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
      • 2 tbsp. half and half
      • ½ tsp. table salt
      • ½ tsp. granulated sugar
      • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
Directions
      • Combine butter, half and half, salt, sugar, and sweet potatoes in a 3 to 4 quart saucepan. 
      • Cook, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until potatoes fall apart when poked with a fork, 35-45 minutes. 
      • Off heat, mash sweet potatoes in saucepan with potato masher. 
      • Stir in pepper and serve immediately.  
*Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers for all your real fresh, real delicious ingredients!

Angela Larson

Angela Larson is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods.  Delicious food is her passion, so she loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of health and nutrition.  When Angela isn't working with Brookshire Brothers, she's a mostly stay-at-home mom who loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors with her husband, Austin, and their two daughters.

 

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