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.

 
Real Fresh, Real Delicious Crockpot Salmon with Fresh Herb Caper Relish
Need a dinner that’s delicious, healthy, and comes together in flash?  Try this simple and flavorful crockpot recipe for braised salmon!  While the fish is cooking, there’s plenty of time to throw together some tasty side dishes to round out the meal.  This dish pairs nicely with all kinds of sides, so I chose to make mashed potatoes and roasted mixed vegetables.  The accompanying herb caper relish is a flavor explosion with the perfect blend of sour, salty, and sweet making a harmonious combination that goes wonderfully with the salmon. 
I was inspired to make this meal after spotting some beautiful Alaskan Sockeye Salmon in the seafood case at my neighborhood Brookshire Brothers.  I love that I can have fish custom cut for me in the store to get just the right amount for my family.  Any type of fresh salmon will work in this recipe, as long as the pieces are fairly thick.  Frozen salmon fillets would also work here, but they should be thawed in advance for even cooking. 
And can we just talk for a moment about how amazingly healthy salmon is?  Salmon is a major superstar when it comes to getting omega-3 fatty acids into the diet, which are essential for preventing inflammation and supporting good health.  Wild-caught fish naturally have the highest omega-3 and vitamin D levels, but farmed salmon still have plenty of the same good stuff to go around.  Even better, salmon is always low in mercury, making it a great everyday choice for anyone including pregnant women and children.  The most recently published Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults eat at least 8 ounces of seafood each week, especially types that are lowest in mercury and highest in omega-3s, like salmon. 
So give this winner-winner salmon dinner a try, with a simple crockpot recipe that’s as easy as 1-2-3!
Crockpot Salmon with Fresh Herb Caper Relish

Crockpot Salmon with Fresh Herb Caper Relish

Ingredients for Salmon
      • 1 lemon, sliced ¼ inch thick
      • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, stems removed and reserved
      • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, stems removed and reserved
      • ¼ cup dry white wine (alternately 1 Tbs white vinegar mixed with 3 Tbs water)
      • 4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets, 1 to 1 ½ inches thick
      • Salt and pepper
      • 1 small shallot, minced
      • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and minced
      • 1 tablespoon honey
      • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
      • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Directions for Salmon
      • Fold sheet of aluminum to fit into bottom of the slow cooker with a 1-2 inch lip all around to keep liquids in.
      • Arrange lemon slices in bottom of slow cooker and scatter reserved herb stems over lemon. 
      • Pour wine into slow cooker. 
      • Add water until liquid is level with the top of the lemon slices. 
      • Season salmon with salt and pepper and place skin-side down in the slow cooker on top of the lemon slices. 
      • Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting until salmon is opaque and registers 135F. 
      • Begin checking for doneness after 1 hour. 
      • Salmon may take 1-2 hours to cook, depending on size of the pieces and the slow cooker.
      • After salmon is cooked through, discard cooking liquid and serve immediately with herb caper relish. 
Instructions for Herb Caper Relish
      • While salmon is cooking, mince parsley and dill leaves. 
      • Mix together with minced shallot, capers, honey, vinegar, and olive oil. 
      • Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
      • Cover and allow relish to sit at room temperature until salmon is finished cooking. 
      • Serve with cooked salmon.
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: Family Meal Traditions with Italian Flatbread Pizzas with Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
September is Family Meals Month, which is a great time to pause and reflect on what family means to you.  The term “family meals” often brings up images of special holiday occasions and nostalgia about simpler times. But for many, busy schedules have gotten in the way of making family meals a regular habit.  
Making family meals a priority has more power than you could ever realize.  Connecting as a family around a shared meal or snack creates a pause in the day where the rest of the world is suddenly less important than the connections within that family unit.  Creating a family meal ritual that is predictable and free of distractions is a wonderful way to share delicious food and make memories.  Researchers have found time and time again that families who regularly share meals enjoy many surprising benefits such as lower chance of risky or harmful behaviors in adolescents and better health outcomes for everyone in the family.  
For every family, there are many unique ways that family meals can be made a greater priority. In my family, my girls love to come through the kitchen and grab a taste of things I’m working on prepping.  My two and four year olds also love to help with any cooking tasks they can do safely, and they are getting more competent in the kitchen every time they do.  Almost every day, we sit down together as a family for dinner.  At times, meals with toddlers can be stressful, but because they know what to expect most family meals are pleasant and full of laughter and sweet conversation. My girls love visiting our neighborhood Brookshire Brothers store and helping shop for ingredients, how different foods taste, and discussing what we will be eating that week.  
Try some of these simple ideas to help enrich your own special family meal traditions: 
      • Choose one day a week to always cook and eat together as a family.  Getting your kids involved in cooking is a great way to encourage adventurous and eager eaters.  Give your special meal day a memorable such as “Tasty Tuesday” or “Family Dinner Thursday.” 
      • Involve kids in the process of meal planning and shopping at your neighborhood Brookshire Brothers. 
      • Set goals that work with your schedule.  Based on your schedule, aim to eat particular meals or snacks together for certain meals and days of the week.  
      • Keep the family table distraction-free without technology or reading materials to keep the focus on conversation.
      • Use conversation starter tools or games to help make conversation more exciting and fun.  
      • Plan a special baking project once a month to do with your kids, and enjoy a treat!  
      • Start an after dinner routine of taking a walk or a bike ride after a family dinner to really enrich and make the most of family time.  
      • If you’re children are older, assign certain meals or dishes completely to them, and take the backseat to help them as their sous chef rather than always being in charge of every meal.
      • If evening schedules are busy, try to make breakfast, lunch, or snack time a family meal opportunity whenever possible.  
      • Even if a meal isn’t home-cooked, it can still be enjoyed together.  Try the Brookshire Brothers Deli or some of the frozen or fresh-prepared options in your neighborhood store for easy family dinners.  
Need a fun family dinner idea to help you get started?  Try these tasty flatbread “pizzas” that are fun and easy to assemble with helpers of all ages.  
Flatbread Pizzas with Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Italian Flatbread Pizzas with Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients
      • 4 Stonefire Naan Flatbreads of desired size, or another type of pita or flatbread
      • 1/2 cup pre-made basil pesto
      • 4 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, drained if packed in oil
      • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
      • Salt and pepper to taste
Optional additional toppings:
      • Fresh mozzarella cheese pearls
      • Cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
      • Fresh parsley or basil, roughly chopped or torn
      • Balsamic vinegar, thicker varieties work best
      • Extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions:
      • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
      • Position oven rack in middle of the oven.  
      • To assemble flatbreads, spread basil pesto on each bread, sprinkle sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella on top. 
      • Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
      • Add any optional ingredients of fresh mozzarella or cherry tomatoes as desired.  
      • Bake flatbreads for 9-11 minutes, until cheese is melted and they are heated through and slightly brown on the edges.  
      • After removing from oven, sprinkle optional fresh herbs over flatbreads, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  
      • Serve with a simple garden salad.  
Bon appetit!
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: Roast Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Mint Salad
I love a simple roast chicken recipe that can be left in the fridge to marinade overnight and popped in the oven the next day for an easy entrée. Plus, while the chicken is cooking, you can easily use the extra time to whip up some side dishes and enjoy the smells wafting around the kitchen. This particular Jerk Chicken recipe is Caribbean inspired, but the marinade can be made with common pantry staples. Moreover, you can tame this dish down or make it extra hot, all by just adjusting the amount of spicy pepper added to the marinade. Depending on your preferences, you can either remove or leave the spiciest part of the pepper—the ribs and the seeds—before blending it into the marinade. Removing these parts will make the marinade less spicy; leaving them will be more spicy. Be sure to wear gloves when handling spicy peppers! 
 
Serve with a simple side of steamed rice, spooning the pan drippings over the rice for flavor.  The pineapple mint side salad is not to be missed, and it can be easily pulled together while the chicken is roasting. 
 
So set sail with your taste buds to the Caribbean this week with this easy, flavorful, and healthy dinner. 
 

Roast Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Mint Salad

Roast Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Mint Salad

Ingredients
Chicken and Marinade
      • ½ cup chopped white or yellow onion
      • 5 scallions, trimmed and roughly chopped
      • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
      • 1 (1-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled (or may substitute 1 teaspoon dried ginger)
      • 1 habanero chile (to taste, see note above)
      • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
      • 1 ¾ teaspoons salt
      • 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice (or 3 teaspoons whole allspice)
      • 1 teaspoon black pepper
      • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
      • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves (or ½ teaspoon whole cloves)
      • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
      • 2 teaspoons regular molasses
      • 1 ¼ cups extra virgin olive oil
      • 1 4-pound chicken, cut into pieces (or 4 pounds of desired chicken pieces, bones in and skin on)
      • Lime wedges for serving
Pineapple Mint Salad
      • 1 (3-pound) fresh pineapple, trimmed and chopped into bite sized pieces
      • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
      • 1 teaspoon coarse, flaky, or Kosher salt (or ½ teaspoon regular table salt)
      • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh mint
      • 2 scallions, trimmed and sliced thin
Directions
To prepare marinade:
      • Blend all ingredients except chicken and lime wedges in a blender or food processor until well blended and smooth, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. 
      • Transfer chicken and marinade to a gallon-sized zipper lock bag and seal the bag, pressing out any excess air.
      • Toss chicken inside the bag several times to coat well.
      • Place in the refrigerator for least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. 
To cook chicken:
      • If time allows, remove chicken from refrigerator for up to 1 hour before cooking. 
      • Preheat oven to 425F and place oven rack in middle position. 
      • Arrange chicken pieces in a 9x13 casserole dish or a baking pan with the skin side up and drizzle marinade over the pieces to coat.
      • Roast the chicken for 50 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes, or until chicken breasts reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees or dark meat reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees.
      • Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving, spooning pan drippings over the chicken.
      • Serve with steamed rice and pineapple side salad.   
To prepare pineapple mint salad:
      • Remove mint leaves from stems and coarsely chop.
      • Toss all ingredients together. 
      • Serve with roasted chicken. 
Recipe adapted from The Perfectly Roasted Chicken by Mindy Fox.
 
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: Delightful Watermelon Treats
Watermelon. I don’t think one word conjures up images of hot summer days quite like that one.  Watermelon is one of the most versatile, well-loved, and affordable fruits at your neighborhood Brookshire Brothers. Even better, watermelon is a nutrition workhorse, perfect for anyone’s diet. And at only 90 calories and 22 grams of net carbs per two cups, it is the perfect un-guilty pleasure.
 
Watermelon is loaded with vitamin C, nearly all the B vitamins, and difficult-to-get-enough-of minerals like iron, magnesium, and potassium. Watermelon makes a great workout recovery drink, plus it is exceptionally hydrating on a hot summer day with a makeup of 92% water. It has a perfect balance of natural carbohydrates, electrolytes, and even some proteins that can be helpful for recovery from strenuous activity while also preventing dehydration.
 
One watermelon can feed a crowd, and every part of the watermelon can be consumed with some preparation—even the rinds and the seeds! Although simple slices and chunks are the most popular ways to get a watermelon fix, watermelon is actually incredibly versatile with recipes spanning from breakfast time to dinner time, and everything in between.  For an amazing compilation of recipe ideas and even more delicious watermelon information, check out Watermelon.org for inspiration—including these three recipes below!
 

Fresh Mozarella Salad on a plate

Fruity Fresh Mozzarella Salad

Ingredients
      • 2 cups seeded small watermelon balls
      • 2 cups fresh mozzarella pieces
      • 1 cup chopped fresh basil (purple or green)
      • Bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
      • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
      • Pinch salt and pepper to taste
      • Dash balsamic vinegar as desired
 
Directions
      • Toss together the watermelon, mozzarella, basil, scallions and oil.
      • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
      • Serve over a bed of baby greens with crostini on the sides.
      • Drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar over if desired.

 Watermelon Dippers

Watermelon Dippers
Ingredients
      • 8 ounces sour cream
      • 4 tablespoons sugar
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 1 serving watermelon stix or small wedges
Don't forget to check your weekly ad or the latest digital coupons for extra savings on the ingredients!
 
Directions
      • Blend together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a small serving bowl.
      • Use as a dip for the watermelon.

Watermelon Lemonade

Watermelon Lemonade

Ingredients
      • 1/2 cup lemon juice
      • 2 1/2 cups water
      • 2/3 cups agave syrup
      • 2 cups watermelon chunks
Directions
      • Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
      • Serve over ice. 
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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