Displaying articles for: February 2012
My whole family loves this bread salad. It’s great for an appetizer, or as a side to lunch or dinner! It’s very easy to make, and can be thrown together in about a half hour!
Tuscan Bread Salad
"Bread salad is traditional salad from the region of Tuscany in central Italy. This salad is especially wonderful in the spring and summer, when the tomatoes are sweet and sun-ripened."
4 (1 inch thick) slices Safeway SELECT(TM) Artisan Como Bread
3/4 pound ripe tomatoes, cut into 1- to 2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons O Organics(TM) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Safeway SELECT(TM) Red Wine Vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped pimento-stuffed, Spanish-style green olives
1 1/2 tablespoons drained Safeway SELECT(TM) Non Pareille Capers
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon hot chile flakes
Safeway salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups baby arugula
1/3 cup lightly packed O Organics(TM) Basil leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Tear bread into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces and place in a baking pan. Bake until bread is light golden and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool.
Meanwhile, place tomatoes and any juices in a salad bowl. Stir in olive oil, vinegar, olives, capers, garlic, and chile flakes.
Stir cool bread into tomato mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand just until bread is softened, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add arugula and basil, mix, and serve.
I love chili, especially on cold winter nights, but sometimes tire of my usual tomato, bean and beef version. This white chicken chili is delicious and just enough out of the ordinary. I often use leftover roasted chicken (picked up from the deli department for the previous night’s meal), making this recipe an ideal double-duty dinner option!
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup onions, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon cumin
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles, drained
2 (15 oz) cans great northern or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, divided
2 cups O Organics Low Sodium Chicken Broth
2 cups cooked and shredded or diced chicken
2 Tablespoons lime juice
Optional toppings: Salsa, Lucerne Light Sour Cream, light shredded Mexican cheese, sliced avocado and chopped fresh cilantro
In small bowl, mash ½ cup of beans; set aside. Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, poultry seasoning, chili powder, cumin and green chilies; cook another 5 minutes. Add broth and beans, including mashed beans, to pot. Stir and bring to a simmer for 30 minutes. Add chicken and lime juice; cook until chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve with optional toppings. Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: Calories: 400; Fat: 5 g (Saturated Fat: 1 g); Protein: 35 g; Carbohydrates: 41 g; Fiber: 18 g; Sodium: 530 mg.
What’s your favorite style of chili: red or white?
Max and I bring our lunch to work unless we have a noon meeting or appointment. Healthier, less expensive and much faster since we often don’t have more than 15 minutes to fuel up during the workday. I’m always looking for a variety of options that we can eat quickly and will keep us going until the end of the day. One of my favorites is Open Nature Greek Yogurt. It is 100% all natural, creamy, high in protein, non-fat, and comes in a variety of flavors (my favorite is honey). One six ounce cup along with a couple of pieces of fresh fruit and I’m good to go for the rest of the afternoon. What do you pack for lunch?
One cheese question that plagues shoppers is learning what kind of brie to purchase and how to pick out brie. First of all, what is this brie going to be used for? Entertaining with a cheese board, using in a recipe, or creating your own home-made baked brie? If the brie is for a cheese board, then a wedge of brie is what you want. There are many imported and domestic selections to choose from, the main difference between the two is the milk source. Most brie is made with cow’s milk, and we carry a few goat’s milk varieties as well. Brie is made with single, double or triple crème. This correlates to the amount of fat content in the brie; the higher % of crème, the richer and creamier the brie will be. A cheese will call out “artisan” if it is made in small, handmade batches. One artisan variety we carry is Rouge et Noir.
When you are choosing your brie in the store, look at the cut edges. The paste (center) should not have white mold, and the brie should not smell ammoniated. Hold the brie and gently squeeze the belly of the brie; since brie ripens from the outside, the paste (center) should bulge out slightly. If the center is very firm the brie is too young. If the center is very runny the brie is close to the end and should be consumed right away, this would also be perfect to use in a cooking recipe. If you are making your own baked brie an 8-oz wheel works perfectly. Safeway shoppers will typically find brie starting at eight varieties and up across several domestic and imported selections.
Organic food has become more and more popular everywhere you turn. Many people walk past the organic section of the produce department and wonder what the difference is between those fruits and vegetables and all the other ones in the department. The answer is actually simple: it’s how they are grown. Organically grown produce doesn’t use any chemicals during the growing process. There aren’t any chemical fertilizers to help with growth or herbicides to kill off weeds. Rather, they use natural fertilizers and organic farmers rotate and till crops to keep weeds away. There have been studies done that show organic food isn’t any more nutritious than non-organic. So why purchase organic produce? It’s good for the environment, good for the farmers and their land, and of course, good to eat. Organic food also helps reduce health risks! So really, any organic produce is a great thing to buy and just comes down to a personal preference.
All produce has a different shelf life. Most fruits and vegetables are guaranteed to last a maximum of 10-20 days, but there are rarities, like apples, that can last up to 3 months. Shelf life is influenced by light, heat, transmission of gases (produce contains varying levels of ethylene gas that can affect their ripeness) and contamination. Its best to do a little research before you go shopping or you can simply ask the produce department associates at Safeway for their best advice on shelf life with a certain piece of produce.
Whether or not you’re concerned about heart disease, eating a heart-healthy diet just makes smart nutrition sense. That’s because the basic nutrition recommendations are the same for heart health as they are for overall good health. Here are three strategies to get your eating habits on a good nutrition track, according to the American Heart Association:
Look for the Well and Good section in our ad this week for some heart-healthy items at great prices. Consider adding them to your cart for good health!
Weekday breakfasts are tough – getting everyone off to work and school on time leaves 10-15 minutes for breakfast. We have a pretty standard rotation on weekdays with cereal, oatmeal or bagels. We’ll vary the flavors or toppings to keep it interesting for the girls and sometimes if we have an extra 5 minutes we’ll microwave a scrambled egg but that’s rare. Peanut butter and apples or bananas is another quick fix, particularly for our pickiest eater. What are your favorite quick breakfasts?
Are you an aspiring chef? We’re on the search across the nation for talented chefs to compete for a job with the Safeway Culinary Kitchens team. The state-of-the-art Safeway Culinary Kitchens develops innovative food products tailored to its shoppers who are seeking simple, healthier and convenient meals.
Submit your resume and original all-natural skillet meal to join the competition, which will culminate in a final cook-off at the Safeway Culinary Kitchens in Pleasanton, Ca. where chefs will cook their original, delicious and nutritious skillet meals. Executive Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli, who appears on Food Network’s “Chopped” and “Iron Chef,” will join an experienced judging panel of Safeway chefs and executives to select the winning chef who will join the culinary team.
The winner will be awarded a full-time position at the Safeway Culinary Kitchens, and the winning recipe will be included in the Open Nature™ product line sold in stores nationwide.
Update as of 3/8/12:
The submissions for our Search for Our Next Chef are now closed. Thank you to all the Chefs for submitting your applications and recipes to the Safeway Culinary Kitchens Chef Search Competition!
Our fans love the Safeway Open Nature™ products. You can love them too -- for a year -- for FREE! Enter for a chance to win a year's worth of 100% all-natural Open Nature™ products today! What's your favorite Open Nature product?
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Our family celebration is pretty simple given it’s a school/work night - a typical weeknight dinner and “special” dessert. The girls decided on heart shaped brownies with ice cream which I plan on picking up on my way home tonight – I love the Safeway bakery brownies! What are your plans?
Tomorrow, of course, is the most “lovely” day of the year. In case you haven’t found a gift for your loved ones yet, look no further than Safeway. Now you can find gorgeous giftable candles, rose arrangements and so much more right in the floral department. Check out our previous blog for details.
My favorite sweet idea to get the whole family to focus on love is as simple as setting up a Valentine Candy Bar at your kitchen or dining table. This is easy as 1, 2, 3.
1. Place several Illusion vases in varying heights on your table and fill alternating vases with pink and red candies (in your family’s favorite varieties of course – we love Cherry Gum Drops and Cinnamon Gumballs and the funny, updated “text me, LOL” Conversation Hearts in our house).
2. Always adding in layers of detail, tie looped pink ribbons to the vases for a pop of color, and votive candles around to add interest to the design.
3. Fill the large center vase with love notes or “love coupons” on colored paper for your family to grab, read, and enjoy.
This activity is fun to set up with your kids, gathered together around the table spending quality time, or as a surprise when everyone gets home from school. Not only does it add seasonal, themed, loving décor, but it also brings the family together to enjoy the sweet treats, love notes and special time together.
What other Valentine activities do you plan to share with your family?
Find our debi lilly design™ collection of floral arrangements, bouquets, contemporary scented candles, home décor and other gift items in the Floral department.
If you’re a chocolate lover like I am, this news couldn’t be sweeter: research shows that certain compounds in cocoa (the main ingredient in chocolate) may keep blood vessels healthy. Healthy blood vessels promote healthy blood circulation, which in turn provides a steady supply of oxygenated blood and nutrients to muscles, organs and body tissue. It plays an important role in everything from heart health to mental cognition and more.
These compounds in cocoa, called flavanols, lend cocoa its strong, pungent taste, along with its healthy blood vessels benefit. Dark chocolate has a higher percentage (about 70 percent) of cocoa solids and less sugar compared to milk chocolate, so it typically contains a higher amount of flavanols. But current research suggests that the amount of flavanols is also very dependent on processing methods. Fortunately, most major processors are developing techniques to keep flavanols in their chocolate.
Another reason to indulge? The specific types of saturated fat most prevalent in chocolate, stearic and palmitic acids, don’t appear to significantly affect blood cholesterol levels as other types of saturated fat do.
All this good news is not license to eat every piece in the heart-shaped box, though. Researchers aren’t sure what amount of chocolate may provide health benefits. An ounce of plain chocolate contains 140 to 150 calories, so savor a small piece and indulge occasionally.
My favorite? Safeway SELECT 78% Cacao Dark Chocolate Bar. I love its decadent taste and its bargain price for such a treat! It’s what I use in this chocolate cluster recipe. How do you like to treat yourself to chocolate?
Keeping school lunches interesting for the girls sometimes requires some “out of the box” thinking. The same foods that they “love” one week are suddenly out of favor the next. Applesauce cups are the latest example, a sure thing when I run out of fresh fruit late in the week, but then I noticed they were coming home uneaten. When I asked the girls the excuses were flimsy so I decided to try one of our new squeeze pouches – and they love it! A little more expensive per serving than the cups but worth it as the kids look forward to their lunches again.
Love is in the air. Why go out to dinner and spend over $100 when you can make a wonderful dinner at home for about a third of the cost? Now, what to make for your loved one? You can’t go wrong with a Rancher’s Reserve Beef Tenderloin Steak, also referred to as Filet Mignon, and found in your local Safeway’s meat department. Rancher’s Reserve Beef is 100% Guaranteed Tender and 100% Delicious. If you’re looking to save additional money, you can buy a beef tenderloin whole in the bag and Safeway will slice it for free; anyway you like it – roasts, steaks…your choice.
Filet Mignon Dinner for Two
1. Place oven rack in highest position – set oven to Broil.
2. Brush both sides of steak with olive oil and apply rub to both sides of each steak.
3. Wrap one slice of bacon around the edge of each steak and secure with toothpick.
4. Place steaks on broiler pan; broil 5-7 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. Allow steaks to rest a few minutes before serving so juices can return to the edges; enjoy.
For a few simple sides add potatoes and steamed broccoli. Don’t forget dessert – chocolate dipped strawberries are easy to make and wonderful to eat. Happy Valentine’s Day to all.
Well it is almost here...Valentine’s Day! Unlike other holidays, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on the same day all over the world. Roses are the most gifted item on this day, but you don’t have to give roses, you can choose any flower which suits your needs best. I personally love tulips! Tulips come in a variety of colors and they look good with any other flower. Tulips are very fascinating to me because they will continue to grow right out of the vase. They will grow at least an inch or more, it’s really fun to watch! But do you notice that sometimes your tulips seem to droop after being in the vase for a while? Well here is a simple little tip that you can do to help your tulips stand up just a little bit straighter in the vase. Using a small paring knife, simply make a small cut in the stem just below the head of the tulip. Make sure to not cut all the way thru the stem, only make a small incision with the knife. Do this to all your tulips, and they will then stay straight in the vase. As you are reaching for roses on Valentine’s Day, don’t forget the Tulips! And if you are not sure if your sweetheart will prefer tulips over roses, have our floral designer mix the two together for a spectacular Valentine bouquet.
Be sure to stop by the Safeway Floral Department this Valentine’s Day and pick up some tulips to take to your sweetheart!
My son Tim is a football fanatic and he’s invited friends over to watch the big game this weekend. He’s planned everything for his party, from the decorations to the food he’s serving. Of course, as a dietitian, I’ve insisted that he throw at least a few nutritious items into the menu mix. Together, we figured out ways to make those healthier choices fun and delicious, so his guests won’t suspect a thing:
After some negotiation, Tim also agreed to let me put out a bowl of Satsuma oranges and a platter of baby carrots with reduced fat ranch dip before everyone arrives, so long as I promised to not utter a single word to his friends about how delicious they are or how everyone should try them (apparently, I’ve done that to him in the past). I pinky-promised that I wouldn’t because I’ve learned my lesson: silence is golden. Putting out healthy foods and then quietly walking away results in kids eating them more often than when I “suggest” trying them. Along with this nutritious fare, Tim is also offering a make-your-own-sundae bar. I may try to sneak sliced bananas into the bar. I can always plead ignorance, saying that I thought his guests might want banana splits!
What’s a must-have favorite at your football party?
Transfer your prescription from another pharmacy by March 31st, 2012 and you’ll receive a $25 reward coupon good on your next shopping trip of $50 or more! Whether you are part of the Express Scripts network and recently lost the ability to fill your prescriptions at Walgreens, or are just looking for a friendly, convenient, reliable pharmacy to take care of all your prescription needs, this is a great offer to take advantage of.