Real Fresh, Real Delicious: Crawfish Boil

17 Pro Tips, Creative Fixins, Nutritional Fun Facts & More

 
Crawfish season is here! I love that a crawfish boil brings people together in an old-fashioned "food ritual” where everyone participates in the cooking before joining together to eat. The community part of it is almost as much fun as the eating!
 
My husband is from south Louisiana, and he can work through a pile of crawfish in short order. PRO TIP: For veteran crawfish eaters, plan for 4-5 pounds of live crawfish per person. For crawfish-eating amateurs, estimated 2-3 pounds and have plenty of fixins for filling tummies. 
 
A graphic feature with a blue-brick background as well as crawfish and fixins pictured in the corners. The text reads "Live Louisiana Crawfish. Bring on the boil!"
See your local Brookshire Brothers about ordering live Louisiana crawfish!
 
While eating crawfish is mostly about having fun, they're pretty nutritious too! DID YOU KNOW these little critters are rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals? Specifically, mudbugs provide B vitamins, folate, vitamin E, and other minerals such as selenium (an antioxidant mineral).
 
Getting creative with the “fixins” can be a wonderful way to make the meal more filling, delicious, colorful, and nutritious. The boiling liquid makes a tasty “stock” that can be used to flavorfully cook a variety of sides. Mesh bags are available for keeping veggies and other sides separated from the crawfish in the boil. Some pros use frozen corn to help cool the water down and allow the crawfish to cook gently.
 
Need some inspiration for the fixins? Try some of these options for a fun and festive crawfish feast. Just remember to add sturdier sides with potatoes at the beginning of the boil and add more delicate veggies later in the cooking process.
 A southern crawfish boil with potatoes, sausage, corn, and other fixins in a large pot.
    • Sausage, especially smoked or andouille varieties
    • Potatoes
    • Garlic bulbs, cut in half
    • Corn on the cob
    • Onions, sliced in half
    • Celery
    • Lemons, cut in half
    • Asparagus
    • Mushrooms
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Cauliflower
    • Broccoli
    • Fresh green beans
    • Carrots
Don't forget to check your weekly ad or the latest digital coupons for extra savings on ingredients & more!
 
Let the good times roll! Or, as the Louisiana French migh say "Laissez les bons temps rouler!"
 

First crawfish boil? Here is everything you need to know!

 
Cooking crawfish is an art with many questions: How long do you boil crawfish? How much water do you need? How many pounds of crawfish do you need per person? We're here to help with this guide featuring the Nothing to Mix – Just Pour and Boil recipe from our vendor partner Louisiana Fish FryWith just the right amount of the finest garlic, onion, paprika, and lemon, this powdered boil guarantees a perfect result every time.
 
Before you begin, keep your crawfish fresh in a cooler full of ice. When you're ready to start cooking, rinse them with fresh water.
 
A 16oz packet of Louisiana Fish Fry Crawfish, Shrimp, & Crab Boil SeasoningDIRECTIONS
  • Fill a large pot with enough water to cover seafood. We recommend cooking (and eating) outside using a 19-quart stockpot with an interior basket; alternatively, you can cook smaller batches on the stovetop instead.
  • Add LA Fish Fry Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil and any other fixins. Stir well and bring to a rolling boil.
  • Add crawfish. Return to a rolling boil, and boil for 5 minutes.
  • Turn fire or stove off and let the crawfish soak for 15-25 minutes. NOTE: The longer seafood soaks, the spicier it will be.
  • Serve drained crawfish & fixins over a large table covered in newspapers. Keep paper towels handy and use an extra plate or bucket to dispose of the shells.
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers to get cookin' today! 
 

 

Angela Larson

Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas. 

 
Real Fresh, Real Delicious: Spice It Up
As seen in Charm East Texas
 
Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492, and it's time to commemorate the occasion this Columbus Day! When Columbus set sail, one of his primary aims was to locate the "spice islands" along the Asian coast; exotic spices were rare and valuable commodities in those days. Columbus may have missed the mark in his search for the spice islands (landing on Cuba instead!), but in its place he discovered a whole new world where culinary inspiration awaited.
 
Spices are a quintessential component in the diversity of food and culture all around the world. In honor of Columbus Day this year, let's do a little of our own exploring and celebrate the diverse world of spices with all their delicious culinary magic.  They were magical enough to make Columbus sail across the ocean to find them, but luckily they are as easy to find as a quick trip to your neighborhood Brookshire Brothers.  
 
Cinnamon sticks with cinnamon powder on wooden background
 

15 Flavorful Facts On Spices 

  • All spices are rich in various types of antioxidants, making them a tasty way to bolster the body’s defenses against different diseases and illnesses.  
  • Those living in hot climates tend to cook with more spices because the spices inhibit spoilage.  Taste preferences are passed on genetically, and those who eat the most seasoned food tend to be healthiest, live longer, and have more offspring. 
  • Herbs come from the leaves of plants while spices are produced from other parts (bark, buds, roots, seeds, etc).  Some herbs and spices with very different flavors can come from the same plant, such as cilantro leaves and coriander seeds.
Charred Chile & Corn Salsa Recipe: Who doesn’t love cilantro?
 
  • The best all-around anti-microbial spices are thyme, cinnamon, tarragon, and cumin.  Spicy chilies and hot peppers kill up to 75% of bacteria, while black pepper, ginger, celery seed, and lemon juice kill about 25% of bacteria.  
  • Some spices—especially cinnamon and garlic—appear to have a pronounced beneficial effect on blood lipids, making them a good choice for heart health.  
  • Nutmeg and mace come from the same seed, but nutmeg is the seed while mace is the lacy reddish covering on the seed. Mace has a similar flavor to nutmeg but is slightly more pungent.
Get cooking: Fall in love with this winter squash recipe—featuring nutmeg and other herbs!
 
  • Fenugreek can safely help increase milk supply in nursing mothers.  
  • Saffron threads are stigmas from flowers cultivated in the Middle East. The flowers bloom for only one week of the year, and each flower produces only three threads that must be hand-harvested; it’s no wonder that saffron is expensive!  Saffron has a unique flavor that adds a distinctive and sophisticated touch to dishes. 
  • Oregano has strong anti-microbial properties, improves blood sugar, kills cancer cells, and can even function as a powerful antiseptic used in food packaging and the medical industry.
Wooden Spoon with shredded Oregano
Feelin’ chili: Oregano puts the comfort in this cold-weather recipe
 
  • Researchers in Brazil found an antioxidant in parsley, thyme, chamomile, and red pepper that improves neuron formation and strengthens the connections between brain cells.
  • Historically, spices were a valuable currency for trade. They were prized for not just food seasoning, but also medical purposes.  Many modern pharmaceuticals are based on compounds originally found in spices and plants.
  • Cinnamon has many benefits including blood sugar management, anti-microbial properties, heart benefits, cancer prevention, and even brain-boosting properties.
Think cinnamon: ‘Tis the season for apple butter!
 
  • Cayenne and other spicy peppers have been shown to increase metabolic rate and aid weight loss. Spicy peppers also aid digestion and have been shown to cut cancer risk.   
  • Turmeric contains powerful antioxidants that work well as an anti-inflammatory and can even act as an alternative to traditional over-the-counter pain relievers. With a slightly pungent and sweet flavor, Tumeric is very popular in Indian cuisine.  Its vibrant golden hue works well as a natural alternative to food coloring—you might just see it in organic macaroni and cheese! 
  • Foods that are well-seasoned can be more palatable with less salt.  Before reaching for the saltshaker, see first that your food is seasoned well with herbs, spices, and something sour such as vinegar or lemon juice. These alternatives can enhance a salty flavor without adding more salt.  
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers to find your spice!
 

 
Angela Larson
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas. 
 
Real Fresh, Real Delicious Charred Chile and Corn Salsa
In the mood for something sweet, salty, and a little spicy?  I have just the thing to satisfy cravings for all things fresh, simple, and delicious—Charred Chile and Corn Salsa! Whether you’re tailgating with friends or enjoying #TacoTuesday with family, this corn salsa is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Plus, it’s easy and quick to prepare, and it’s a great way to enjoy seasonal produce!
 

Charred Chile and Corn Salsa

A hand reaching into a clear bowl of salsa
 
Ingredients
2 ears fresh corn, husked
1 poblano or hatch chile - Catch more hatch chile recipes on the blog!
2 large tomatoes or 3 medium, cored and chopped
1 fresh jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, chopped fine (optional)
½ red onion, chopped fine
½ teaspoon of salt, plus more to taste
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
2 tbs fresh lime juice
Pepper to taste
Tortilla chips for serving
 
Salsa ingredients on a wooden background (corn, hatch chile, cilantro, tomatoes, onion, and lime)
Don't forget to check your weekly ad or the latest digital coupons for extra savings on the ingredients!
 
Directions
  • Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of salt over chopped tomatoes and place in a fine mesh strainer to drain excess juice while preparing the rest of the recipe.
  • Place the fresh ears of corn and whole chile in a large cast iron or stainless skillet over high heat, turning occasionally until corn is charred in places and chile is blistered all over, about 10-14 minutes.  Reduce heat as needed to prevent scorching.  
  • Allow corn and chile to cool for a few minutes, then slice corn kernels off the cob with a sharp knife.  Remove the stem, core, and seeds from the chile, and roughly chop.  
  • Discard tomato juice.  In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, corn, chile, and all remaining ingredients (except chips) and stir gently to mix.  Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers for all your real fresh, real delicious ingredients!
 

 
Angela Larson
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas. 
 
 
 
Real Fresh, Real Brilliant Breakfast Ideas

• 11 Kid-Friendly Healthy Options for the Morning Menu • 

 
As summer winds down and schedules start filling up again, a fresh rotation of healthy breakfast ideas can make a great start to everybody’s day. Here are some of my favorite choices for keeping energy levels up and spirits high with the early mornings and busy days ahead.
 
Back to school items laid out flat in a ring around a banana.
 

Cereal

If you’re a fan of breakfast cereal, look for options that are low in sugar. You can always sweeten it with healthier alternatives, such as honey and fresh fruit mixed with plain Cheerios. Granola-style cereals are another filling and nutritious option with plenty of flavor combinations to mix it up.  
 

Bacon, Sausage, and Biscuits

Need a little down-home southern style breakfast to lift your spirits?  There’s a great selection of bacon, sausage, and biscuits at your neighborhood Brookshire Brothers to help you create a breakfast feast that is sure to please. I like to make little breakfast sandwiches with bacon, egg, cheese, and a biscuit; they're portable and delicious!
 

Breakfast Tacos 

Everybody loves breakfast tacos. With so many different options for fillings, you’re sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. Refried beans, cooked potatoes, shredded cheese, tomatoes, salsa, chorizo, sausage, or bacon—there’s no shortage of fillings (or happy feelings).
 
Banana muffins on a cooling rack
 

Eggs

Eggs are the quintessential breakfast superstar—and for good reason! Whether scrambled, fried, poached, boiled, or even baked, they are packed with protein, heaps of vitamins and minerals, and healthy fats to keep your energy levels steady throughout the day. Not to mention, they’re carb-free! Even better, eating eggs provides a great opportunity to get some greens into your morning routine; eggs pair well with a wide range of veggies including chiles, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, avocados, and more. In particular, one of the easiest way to add veggies to your eggs is to keep some salsa hand for a flavorful combination on the ready! Lastly, if there's only time for a grab-and-go breakfast, boiled eggs are a great option.
 

Easy Oatmeal

Oatmeal is another filling and nutritious breakfast option! I cook mine with milk for more rib-sticking power. Try this basic recipe:
 
Use twice the amount of milk as oatmeal (for example, ½ cup oatmeal and 1 cup milk), a pinch of salt, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a handful of raisins, and a a drizzle of real maple syrup to sweeten. Put on the stove over medium heat until it simmers, turn it off for a minute or two, and eat!  For a decadent finish, try a splash of heavy cream for some healthy fat to help fill tummies for long busy days.  
 

Grits

For a savory hot breakfast cereal, try some delicious cooked grits with a pat of butter, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of shredded cheese. That’s as real fresh, real simple, and real delicious as it gets! 
 

Muffins

If you’re in need of more portable breakfast options, a big batch of muffins can be just the ticket. Muffins freeze well too, so make extra and keep a stash in the freezer for busy days ahead. Try my favorite banana nut muffin recipe for the ultimate portable breakfast.
 

A green smoothie in a mason jarSmoothies

Smoothies are one of the most versatile breakfast options since so many different things can work in a smoothie. Keep a variety of frozen and fresh fruit on hand. Freeze overripe bananas for an ever-ready smoothie ingredient. For the liquid component, I like options with protein such as milk, nut milk, yogurt, and even kefir (a dairy-based probiotic drink). Extra flourishes can be added like coconut oil, coconut flakes, chia or flax seeds. For more veggie power, check out this green smoothie recipe
 

Toast

If you enjoy toast, focus on fun combinations like peanut butter with banana, butter with cinnamon, or avocado with egg.
 

Waffles

I always keep a stock of frozen waffles on hand as a quick option that can be popped in the toaster and ready in minutes. My neighborhood Brookshire Brothers has a great selection of frozen waffles to make shopping easy. Some of my family’s favorites are Nature’s Path Organic and Van’s gluten-free waffles. You can also prepare an extra batch of homemade waffles (and pancakes!) to freeze and reheat another morning. Keep real maple syrup and butter on hand for wholesome and delicious finishing touches!
 

Yogurt

Yogurt is a fantastic all-in-one food that has a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat to keep energy levels stable, not to mention the healthy probiotic bacteria that's wonderful for digestion as well! Keep big tubs of plain yogurt and toppings on hand such as fresh or dried fruit, nuts and seeds (like pumpkin or sunflower seeds), dried coconut, granola, muesli, chia or flax seeds for healthy omega-3 fats, and honey to sweeten it up.  
 
And to celebrate both breakfast and the arrival of Hatch Chile season, try this family favorite recipe for ooey-gooey cheesy baked egg goodness with a little Hatch Chile flair.
 

Hatch Chile Baked EggsA serving of breakfast casserole on a plate

 
Ingredients
6 eggs
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons powdered mustard
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup cottage cheese
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
1 Hatch or poblano chile, peeled, stemmed, seeded, and diced
 
Toppings as desired: salsa, avocado, sour cream
 
 
Don't forget to check your weekly ad or the latest digital coupons for extra savings on the ingredients!
 
 
Directions
    • Preheat oven to 350F.  Lightly grease an 8-inch square casserole dish.  
    • In a large bowl, beat the eggs.  Stir in the flour, mustard, baking powder, and salt.  Stir in all the cheese, butter, and diced chile and mix until incorporated.  
    • Pour the egg mixture into the casserole dish and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until top is lightly browned and the center is firm.  Serve warm with toppings as desired.
Find a nearby Brookshire Brothers to get started today!
 

 
Angela Larson
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas. 
 
Real Fresh, Real Delicious, Really Green Smoothie
With Saint Patrick’s Day around the corner, spring in the air, and the produce section at my neighborhood Brookshire Brothers overflowing with fresh seasonal produce, what better way to celebrate than with a tasty green treat?  No need for artificial food coloring when you can use nature’s pantry to create a delectable green smoothie that will please kids and adults alike. Plus, smoothies are a quick and tasty way to get in your daily fruits and veggies!
 
Healthy Shamrock Smoothie Recipe
 
The art of the smoothie is all about the combination of ingredients. At my local Brookshire Brothers, I spotted plenty of farm fresh produce for inspiration. I decided to blend fresh apples and cucumbers in my recipe, but feel free to swap out ingredients and make it your own. You can sub in fresh oranges, bananas, kiwi, blueberries, strawberries, double the frozen fruit, or whatever you feel inspired to do!
 
Shamrock Smoothie Ingredients: Fresh Kale
 
For a sweeter drink, choose frozen mango or frozen pineapple and use coconut water or 100% juice for the liquid component.  For a mildly sweet lower calorie smoothie, I used an almond/coconut milk blend.  If using the drink as a meal replacement, try using regular milk or half yogurt half milk to boost the protein.
 
DON'T FORGET: Check your weekly ad for special savings on these ingredients!
 
Shamrock Smoothie Ingredients: Coconut Water
 
I added a spoon full of chia seeds for some healthy omega-3 fats, but flax seed works as well or you can skip them all together.  For the green stuff, try hand fulls of fresh spinach, kale, or Swiss chard to make it as beautiful as it is healthy.
 
Healthy Shamrock Smoothie Ingredients
 
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to make your own pot of (green smoothie) gold at the end of the rainbow.  Wishing you good luck and good health!  Enjoy!
 
THIS WEEKEND ONLY: Join our text promotions and get 10% OFF ANY FROZEN FOODS—perfect for adding frozen fruits to your smoothie recipe! To sign up, text JOIN [insert your store number] to 59652.
Don't know your store number? You can use our store locator or shoot us an email at customerexperience@brookshirebros.com
 
 

SHAMROCK SMOOTHIE
 
Healthy Shamrock Smoothie RecipeIngredients
1 cup frozen mango, pineapple, or other frozen fruit of choice
Two small or one large apple, cored and cut into chunks
1/2 cucumber or one mini cucumber cut into chunks
1 cup almond milk, coconut milk, regular milk, yogurt, coconut water, or 100% juice of choice
1 tablespoon of lemon juice (or half a lemon squeezed)
1 Tablespoon of whole chia seeds or flax seeds (optional)
Two big hand fulls (about two cups packed) of fresh spinach, kale, or Swiss chard
 
Find a nearby Brookshire Brothers to pick up any ingredients you don't already have on hand!
 
Directions
Add all ingredients to blender and mix until well blended. Add greens in batches as needed.  
Makes 4 cups (32 ounces)
 
 

 
Angela Larson
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas. 
 
 
Chili: A Cold-Weather Comfort Recipe
A hot pot of chili on a cold winter’s day is one of the most comforting foods in the south—Texas in particular. Chili warms you inside and out, plus it’s filling, easy to make, and nutritious to boot. It really doesn’t get any better than that, does it?
 Hearty and Healthy
 
Everyone has their own homemade version, and mine is a little different from the usual fare of the region with its heavy reliance on bell peppers and tomatoes. I fall on the “no beans” side of the chili aisle, but feel free to change things up and make my recipe your own.
 
Ingredients
 
Even though it’s not vegetarian, my chili recipe definitely has its fair share of vegetables. I like to go heavy on the spices, but the spiciness of the finished dish is easy to adjust. Sour cream is my go-to topping if I’m in the mood for a slightly less spicy dish.
 
After prepping the ingredients, heat up the olive oil to get the party started.
 
Read more: An Ode to Olive Oil (as well as a recipe for an Easy Caprese Salad)
 
Onion and Peppers
When the oil begins to shimmer, add the onions, white parts of the scallions, and all the peppers to the pot. Once they are softened, add the garlic and cook for a minute. Remove the mixture from the pot and set aside before cooking the ground beef. 
 
Onions and peppers are rich in immune system boosting antioxidants and vitamin C, so my chili doesn’t just warm you up, it can keep you well too!
 
DON'T FORGET: Check your weekly ad for special savings on these ingredients!
 
Ground Beef
 
After the pot is empty, add the ground beef and two teaspoons of salt to the pot. 
 
I prefer 85/15 ground beef because the finished result tastes beefier and is tender. Beef is rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, not the least of which is iron.  If you prefer to go the vegetarian route, just sub in your favorite variety of canned beans.
 
P.S. - You can get $5 OFF on a $50 purchase of meat with this week's Member Monday offer (01/15). Not a member? Sign up TODAY
 
Spices Toasting
Once the beef is cooked through and broken up, add the onions back to the pot. Create a little well in the center of the pot before adding the spices. Toasting the spices briefly in the well helps brighten the flavors. 
 
Spices are one of the richest sources of antioxidants for your diet. I like to add a little chipotle chili powder for a smoky kick. 
 
Spices Stirred In
 
Now it’s starting to look like chili.    
 
Tomatoes Stirred In
 
Stir in the tomatoes. They add a bright punch of sweetness and acidity to balance out the flavors.
 
THIS WEEKEND ONLY: We're sending out a text offer for $5 off on a $75 purchase of groceries! To sign up, text JOIN [insert your store number] to 59652.
Don't know your store number? You can use our store locator or shoot us an email at customerexperience@brookshirebros.com
 
Completed with cilantro
 
Add water until the right consistency is reached and then let it simmer a while for the flavors to meld.  When it’s finished cooking, add the chopped cilantro. 
 
I love the flavor and color cilantro brings to the dish, but if you lean more towards the “cilantro tastes like soap” side, feel free to skip it. 
 
Choose Your Toppings
 
Top with your favorites and enjoy!
 
Read more: Consider turning your chili into a neighborhood supper! 
 
INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, diced medium
4 scallions, white parts minced and green tops sliced thin for toppings
1 large green bell pepper, diced medium
1 large yellow or orange bell pepper, diced medium
2 medium jalapenos, chopped fine
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 pounds 85/15 ground beef
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup chili powder
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder (optional)
1 can crushed tomatoes (23 oz)
2 cups filtered water
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
 
Find a nearby Brookshire Brothers to pick up any ingredients you don't already have on hand!
 
TOPPINGS
Shredded cheese
Corn chips or tortilla chips
Sour cream
Sliced green onions
 
INSTRUCTIONS
1. After prepping all ingredients, heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. 
2. Add the onions, white part of the scallions, and peppers to the pot with the olive oil and cook for 6-8 minutes until softened.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant about 1 minute, stirring constantly.
3. Remove onions from the pot and set aside.  Add ground beef and salt.  Cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until beef is no longer pink and cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes. 
4.  Add the cooked onion mixture back to the pot and stir it in. 
5.  Make a well in the middle of the ground beef mixture and add all the spices and cook for thirty seconds before stirring into the beef mixture (toasting the spices briefly in a dry pan helps to bloom the flavors).
6.  Stir in the entire can of crushed tomatoes.  Add water until the correct consistency is achieved (about two cups) and adjust seasoning. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let the chili simmer gently until the meat is tender and flavors have melded (about 20 to 30 minutes). Add additional water as needed to adjust consistency. Turn off heat, stir in chopped cilantro.  
7. Serve with desired toppings.
 

Need some more fast recipes to keep warm with? Check these out:

 
Real Fresh, Real Delicious: Fall in Love with this Winter Squash Recipe
Butternut squash is a seasonal favorite because of its delicious buttery undertones, plus it’s oh-so-nutritious! Check out the recipe from registered dietitian Angela Larson.
 
Turnips are a delicious low-carb alternative to potatoes with less than half the calories and carbs. Furthermore, they're rich in minerals, B vitamins, vitamin C, and—most importantly—in flavor.
 
Cooking with Kate: It's Always Soup Weather
Check out Kate's favorite recipes for #NationalSoupMonth: White Chicken Chili and Tuscan Bean & Kale Soup!
 

 
Angela Larson
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas. 
 
 
Good Foods, Good Moods: Holiday Stress
 ‘Tis the season to be jolly, except sometimes it’s hard to keep up the merry spirit. Hectic holiday schedules, colder weather, shorter days, and time spent indoors can lead to a dispirited Christmas.  The holiday blues aren’t imaginary – seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is the official medical term for winter-induced depression.  Luckily, one of the easiest ways to combat the winter-time blues is a quick trip to your neighborhood Brookshire Brothers grocery store.  To keep your spirits merry and bright, focus on foods rich in the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, and K, arachidonic acid (found in animal fats), omega-3 fats, calcium, and B vitamins. Here’s a list of ten mood-boosters to help you keep the holidays happy.
  

EGG YOLKS

Egg yolks are nature’s multivitamin, and they don’t disappoint in terms of mood-boosting nutrition. In addition to vitamin A, vitamin D, and arachidonic acid, they also contain plenty of B-vitamins to make your days merrier.   
 

MILK

Drinking milk is a simple way to up your vitamin A, D, and calcium intake. Whole milk is even better (who knew?!) since it contains some natural vitamin A as well as arachidonic acid.
 
Girl Drinking Glass of Milk
 

SEAFOOD

Eating a diet with a good balance of omega-3 versus omega-6 fats is a well-established strategy in fighting depression. Omega-3 fats are found in oily fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines.  Better yet, seafood is also rich in vitamins A and D (amongst many other nutrients), so eat a variety of seafood options including shellfish and even fish eggs for maximum benefit.
 

PROBIOTIC FOODS

The brain and the digestive tract are linked through the central nervous system, endocrine system, and immune system.  So what happens in the gut doesn’t stay in the gut! That means the healthier your gut bacteria, the happier you’ll be. Make probiotic rich foods like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and fermented vegetables (such as fermented sauerkraut) a part of your everyday diet.
 
Read more: Kefir, kombucha, fermented sauerkraut—these are three of nine foods you can challenge yourself to try this month!
 

ORGAN MEATS

If there’s one thing that’s the mecca of nutrition, it’s organ meats. In general, organ meats get little glory—but they are gloriously nutritious! Liver in particular is one of the richest sources of nearly every nutrient—ESPECIALLY vitamin A and vitamin D. 
 

DARK CHOCOLATE

Eating chocolate is good for your mood (any surprise?). Specifically, the darker the chocolate, the better. Cocoa powder is another nutritious option. Mix up a cup of hot chocolate with whole milk, a spoonful of cocoa powder and a sweetener of your choice (I like honey) for a delicious mood-boosting treat that will warm you from the inside out.
 
Peanut Butter Cup Smores Dip
Read more: HINT—dark chocolate is also great for s’mores. Check out these five fun ways to fix your favorite campfire treat.
 

BUTTER

If butter doesn’t make you happy, then I can’t help you (kidding). But seriously, butter is the best—and it’s actually good for you! It has the perfect trio of mood boosters: vitamin A, vitamin D, and arachidonic acid. Even better, it’s on sale in this week’s ad!
 

GREEN TEA

Drinking as many as four cups of antioxidant-rich green tea daily has been shown to decrease depression, with the effect increasing for every additional cup!
 
Read more: Did you know that pistachios are also rich in antioxidants—and it’s a distant cousin to mangoes and poison ivy?

CHEESE

Sprinkle a little Gouda cheer over your meal this holiday season. Cheese is rich in vitamin K2, another brain and mood boosting shining star. Some of the best varieties for vitamin K2 content are Jarlsberg, Gouda, Edam, Swiss, Emmental, and Blue Cheese
 

GO OUTSIDE

Going outside gets you exposed to bright outdoor light, even when it’s cloudy. When you’re outside, you typically move around more. And when you move more and get exposed to natural light, you sleep better. Light exposure, movement, and sleep are all closely connected with mood and wellbeing.
 
Dad and boy with kite
 
Merry Christmas and HAPPY Holidays!
 

 
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas. 
 
Nine for November: Try Something New

Nine New Foods and Drinks to Try this Month

What better way to celebrate the changing leaves than by eating something different?  Whether it’s a totally new-to-you food or an old favorite done a new way, challenge yourself to taste nine new things this month to add real fresh, real delicious variety to your life.  Here are nine ideas you can use to get started, but don’t let me limit you – just head to your local Brookshire Brothers grocery store for inspiration.
 

Nine New Foods and Drinks to Try in November 2017

 

KOMBUCHA

This probiotic fermented tea is a totally fresh way to get your daily dose of healthy bacterial goodness. This probiotic bacteria can do beneficial wonders for your gut and immune system. Better yet, kombucha is a perfect alternative to soda because it is bubbly, tangy, low in carbohydrate, and comes in a variety of flavors.

SPROUTED FOODS

These grains and seeds have recently become trendy, but, ironically, their consumption was common before the advent of modern food production.  Because grains are actually just seeds, they can be soaked and sprouted prior to consumption.  Sprouting unleashes a seed’s potential because they keep their nutrition stores locked up until germination—a process that sends a signal to the seed to release the nutrients needed to grow a plant.  Sprouting thus increases digestibility and the availability of nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin C, and even protein. Most of these nutrients are hard to get enough of—especially for those with limited meat intake—which makes sprouts extra beneficial.  These foods—rice, wheat, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, and a variety of others—are “sprouting” up regularly now, so give them a try!

Not seeing some of these items in your local store? Make a product request today!
 

RADISHES

So maybe you tried radishes once or even twice, and you subsequently wrote them off as something on the “don’t like” list.  Please, TRY THEM AGAIN.  You see, radishes are not the kind of thing you should just bite into and decide whether you like them.  Instead, they belong as a beautiful complement to other foods.  Slice radishes thinly and add them to salads for a beautiful pop of color and a zesty crunch with a faintly peppery bite.  Better yet, toss them in with a batch of roasted veggies.  When roasted they lose their peppery bite and become sweet little veggie orbs. Here’s the deal: Olive oil, salt, and pepper + any other roasting veggie of your choice + 425F degrees for about 20 minutes = RADISH MAGIC. You can even throw in the radish leaves with your roasted veggie mashup and they’ll crisp up in the oven to make nicely toasted chips.

TURNIPS

Turnips are cooked like potatoes and have a similar flavor, except they’re very low calorie and extremely nutritious.  Consider shaking your next soup up with turnips in place of potatoes—and don’t toss the turnip greens!  With a little butter, salt, and pepper, sautéed turnip greens make for a delicious side dish. Or, try tossing the greens in your vegetable soup similar to the way you would use spinach.  Delicious, nutritious, and thrifty—turnips have it all.

Read more: Turnip the volume with this real fresh, real delicious Vegetable Beef Soup recipe!
 

FENNEL

Fennel has a surprisingly diverse flavor reminiscent of licorice or anise.  The flavor may sound strange for a vegetable, but it is very complimentary to many foods.  Sliced, raw fennel bulbs make a wonderful addition to salads and even coleslaw.  Fennel also makes for a great soup, sautéed side dish, or roasted accompaniment to chicken or pork.  Moreover, the fronds look similar to dill, making for a lovely garnish.
 

KEFIR

Kefir is a probiotic fermented milk product that is similar in flavor to yogurt, but typically has many more strains of beneficial bacteria and yeast. AKA, it’s great for gut health.  You can find it in a variety of flavors similar to smoothie drinks.  However, be aware that—like yogurt—it often has added sugars, so keep an eye on portion size or choose plain products.  A fun twist on kefir is to make it savory rather than sweet by choosing plain kefir and adding salt to taste.

 
Lentils: Nine New Foods and Drinks to Try in November 2017
 

LENTILS

Lentils are nutrition powerhouses.  They are an excellent source of protein and rich in a variety of nutrients, including folate, vitamin C, iron, zinc, vitamin K, choline, and the other B vitamins. Lentils are most frequently found in soup recipes, but they can also be used in salads, rice dishes, or standalone side dishes.

 

FERMENTED SAUERKRAUT

Sauerkraut may have a funny name, but it’s definitely a star when it comes to adding a salty crunch to sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, or even as a snack.  Fermentation is the simple process of adding salt to the cabbage to create brine; thus, sauerkraut is traditionally made without heat canning.  If the right amount of salt is added, the conditions are perfect for the beneficial bacteria naturally present on the vegetable’s surface to multiply and “cure” the cabbage, creating flavorful compounds. The bacteria even improve the nutritional qualities of the cabbage because it can produce nutrients as the cabbage cures.  Fermented sauerkraut that has never been heated retains its wonderful probiotic qualities, plus it’s crispier than canned or cooked varieties. Better yet, you can even find different flavors, such as my favorite— Farmhouse Cultures Smoked Jalapeno Sauerkraut.

Read more: Don’t forget to see what our Pharmacy recommends for heart healthy nutrition.
 

KERRYGOLD BUTTER

Okay, so most people like butter, so it shouldn’t be a big ask to get you to try a new brand.  Kerrygold butter is worth a try because the flavor is rich and the beautiful golden hue is due to the high beta-carotene content of the premium quality milk. Once you taste it, you’ll never look back.

 
 

 
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas.
 
 
 
6 Nutrition Tips for Surviving Midterms

Healthy suggestions for making the most of your brain when it's needed most

 
It’s that time of the year again. Fall is full-on pumpkin, Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and—dun dun DUN—college midterms are here! For those of you who know a student—or you yourself!—that could use a little extra brainpower during the long study sessions and test taking, I’m here to save the day with my favorite brain-boosting study foods, plus some tips and tricks for acing those exams.
 
(P.S. – While these tips are particularly important during times when the brain is working extra hard—like midterms—they’re also great to keep in mind for your everyday habits!)
 
 
Read more: Brighten a college student’s spirits with a care package during midterms—order one online today!
 

Fatty Fish

You may have heard it before, but I’m telling you again omega-3 fats really are good for the brain. Keep your noggin filled with good vibes by eating at least 3-4 oz each week of fatty fish like salmon or sardines.  Your dorm mates or coworkers don’t appreciate you microwaving a filet of salmon? No problem. Try ready-to-eat foods like canned sardines instead, or—my favorite—packages of wild caught Alaskan salmon. Slap it on some bread with mayo and a little relish, and you’ve got a full-fledged feast that’s on-the-go convenient.  Thank you… your brain says.

Read more: How to grocery shop on a college student budget—the ultimate guide
 

Dark Chocolate

Do I really need to give you an excuse to eat chocolate?  Chocolate is rich in antioxidants and brain-boosting minerals like iron and magnesium.  Best of all, it has a little bit of caffeine to get you through a slow slump, and I would wager that snacking on such a treat would help ease some anxiety (exam-related or otherwise).

 

Nuts and Seeds

Take your snack a step further by pairing the dark chocolate with some nuts and seeds. When you eat a variety of nuts and seeds, you also get a variety of brain boosting benefits.  Case in point: brazil nuts are loaded with the antioxidant selenium; walnuts are rich in omega-3;  almonds are full of vitamin E; and pumpkin seeds are packed with zinc and magnesium.  Mix up some trail mix and munch away.

Read more: Try this Cocoa Almond Trail Mix recipe from our catering coordinator Kate Rudasill! 
 

Mozart

Okay, so not exactly a nutrient, but listening to some calming yet stimulating music can help maintain focus—a particularly useful perk during long study sessions.  Besides, Mozart was pretty smart, so maybe listening to his music will make you smarter by osmosis.

Read more: Music is one way to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Here are six other healthy habits  
 

Coffee or Green Tea

A little caffeine has been shown to improve alertness and mental acuity, so an hour or so before heading into an exam (or, say, a major meeting) have a small cup of coffee or green tea.  Be cautious, however, about using caffeine to stay up late to study or work. It may interfere with your much-needed sleep.

Read more: Don’t forget about breakfast! Check out this recipe for Avocado Toast with Poached or Shirred Eggs.
 

Peppermint

One last trick to use is to pop a peppermint into your mouth before the big event (test, meeting, interview, etc). Studies have show that eating a mint is stimulating and can help improve blood flow to the brain.

 
While these tips will help sharpen your memory and ace that test, they’re also just great way to keep eating real fresh, real delicious. Don’t forget to visit a local Brookshire Brothers to pick up what you need—and good luck!!
 
 

 
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas.
 
 
 
Fall in Love with this Winter Squash Recipe
That first cool front of fall forever brings fresh inspiration to my kitchen. Visions of fall-flavored treats start dancing through my head—all things cinnamon-spiced and pumpkin-orange.  One thing that always makes its way onto my table during the season is winter squash.  What is winter squash exactly? While most people eat it as a vegetable, winter squash is a fruit (yes, it’s a fruit!) of many different colorful types—all of which are great for you and easily found in the produce section of your local Brookshire Brothers.  Butternut squash is one of my favorite winter squash varieties because of its delicious buttery undertones, plus it’s easy to prepare and oh-so-nutritious!  Specifically, this squash is a good source of hard-to-find nutrients such as folate, beta-carotene, several B vitamins, vitamin C, and minerals like potassium, iron, and magnesium.  In honor of all this nutritional goodness—and the start of cooler weather—I’d like to share one of my favorite butternut squash recipes with you!  Happy Fall!!
 
Read more: Consider turning your soup into a neighborhood supper!
 
 

Gingered Winter Squash and Fennel Soup

Adapted from My French Family Table by Beatrice Peltre
Serves 6
 
Ingredients
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil — Read more: An Ode to Olive Oil
2 celery stalks, diced
1 red onion or shallot, diced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 sprig rosemary
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
1 tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 winter squash such as butternut (about 3 lbs), peeled, seeded, and diced (to make about 1 ¾ pounds)
1 fennel bulb, diced, reserving fronds for garnish
1 pinch nutmeg
4 ½ cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
 
For serving
Sour cream
Croutons
Parmesan cheese (grated)
Reserved fennel fronds
 
Read more: Eating healthy squash is only half the fun—don’t miss our fitness tips for the fall too!
 
Instructions
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat; add the olive oil.
 
Add the celery, onion, and ginger and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, without browning.  Add the garlic, rosemary, and oregano and continue to cook, stirring, for 1 minute until fragrant.  Add the tomato and cook for 1 minute.  Add the diced winter squash and cook for 5 minutes.
 
Add the nutmeg and chicken stock, increase heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil.
 
Reduce heat to medium and continue to simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat, discard the sprig of rosemary, and transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.  Add salt and pepper, to taste.
 
Serve with a dollop of sour cream, croutons, grated cheese, and fennel fronds to garnish.
 
 
Read more: Check out “Cooking with Kate” for recipes from our Catering Coordinator as well!
 
 

 
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas.
 
 
 

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