Berry Refreshing


Skip the mimosas and try this delightful cooler for Easter brunch. But why wait until Easter – it’s the weekend!

Berry Champagne Slush
Prep: 10 minutes, Chill: overnight, Serves: 8

1 (6-oz.) package fresh raspberries
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar*
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 cup POM Wonderful Pomegranate Cherry or Blueberry Juice
1 (750-ml.) bottle champagne or sparkling water

1. Puree raspberries, sugar and ginger in a blender. Stir in juice and pour into a large container; freeze overnight.

2. Stir well with a fork until light and fluffy and freeze again until ready to serve. (TIP: Any larger chunks may be crushed with a potato masher.)

3. Spoon into small glasses and pour champagne over the top.

*Amount of sugar will vary depending on the sweetness of the berries. If you’re opposed to seeds, press pureed raspberries through a fine mesh sieve before freezing.

Nutritional Information
143 calories, 1 g protein, 0 g total fat (0 g sat., 0 g trans), 18 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 mg sodium, 2 points

Eat Your Spinach


It’s National Spinach Day, so what better time to celebrate with 20 recipes featuring this nutritional powerhouse?

1. Basil Linguine with Tomatoes and Spinach

2. Vegetarian Ramen Noodle Soup with Soft Egg

3. Spinach, Bacon and Egg Panzanella Salad

4. Skillet Spinach Salad with Warm Chutney Dressing

5. Fire Roasted Tomato and Mixed Bean Soup

6. Spinach, Cheese and Roasted Pepper Tamales

7. Spinach Dip

8. Veggie and Egg Stuffed Portabellas

9. Middle Eastern Style American Lamb Sliders

10. Spinach-Avocado Smoothie with Grapefruit

11. Fried Black Rice with Ginger Tofu and Spinach

12. Spinach and Cheese Cups

13. Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup

14. Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Polenta

15. California Avocado Chicken Pita Pocket with Quinoa Salad and Yogurt Mint Dressing

16. Stubb’s Serrano Pepper Cheese Spinach

17. Spinach Tabbouleh

18. Saag Paneer: Spinach with Indian Cheese

19. Italian Vegetable Grain Stew

20. Chicken and Spinach Alfredo

A Very Greek Easter






Anastasia Sotiropulos
Learn more about what makes Anastasia an expert.

Growing up in a Greek-American house means that every occasion is centered around food, whether it’s a birthday, a baptism, a wedding or even a funeral. And there is no bigger holiday than Easter in our culture. Traditionally, we fast from meat for the 40 days of Lent, and then celebrate on Easter with a huge barbecue of fresh sausage, prime rib, ham and usually at least one whole lamb roasted on a spit for hours over open coals.

Though meat might be the focus for this holiday for us, we wouldn’t be real Greeks if we didn’t put just as much of an emphasis on sweets. Of course we have our traditional items like baklava (a flaky layered dessert with nuts and honey) and kourambiedes (our extra-buttery version of a Mexican wedding cookie), but I like turning something traditional into a more modern, less sugary dessert.

We make an Easter bread called “tsoureki”; it is a dense, lightly sweet egg bread, braided beautifully and decorated with a dyed red egg and sesame seeds. It’s like a challah loaf, but a little heavier. My favorite thing to use this tsoureki for is in place of pound cake – I lightly toast it and serve it with sliced strawberries and fresh whipped cream. It is a perfectly refreshing end to a heavy meal.

The point of all that is, I love taking something simple and transforming it into something unique and delicious. Think about the things that you normally make for your Easter meal and how you might be able to transform it into something your family and friends will be pleasantly surprised by. I’ve listed some suggestions below:

  • Seasonal marshmallows (the ones that look like little birdies) + Raley’s graham crackers + dark chocolate = best spring s’mores ever
  • Slice Raley’s Bakery chocolate chip muffins through the top and the bottom, then brush with espresso and fill them with mascarpone for a simple version of tiramisu.
  • Cut Raley’s Bakery angel food cake into cubes and toast in the oven. Layer the cooled angel food cake in mason jars or cups with chocolate pudding, fresh raspberries and top with whipped cream for an individual trifle.
  • Cut Artisan Pugliese bread into slices, then top with fresh ricotta or crème fraiche. Soak a mixture of blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and kiwi in sugar and mint for an hour. Spoon the berry mixture on top of the ricotta or crème fraiche and serve!

New Options for Allergy Sufferers

Dave Fluitt




Dave Fluitt, Pharmacy Supervisor, Raley’s
Learn more about what makes Dave an expert.

Allergy experts warn us this may be a banner year for allergy sufferers with the combination of a mild winter and the early arrival of spring. All of the beautiful flowering trees around us translates into watery, itchy noses and eyes for some of us. For some it can be even more debilitating and troublesome.

Fortunately for that 8-10% of our population, we have some great options to help control these symptoms. Flonase Allergy Relief now gives us a second option of a steroid nasal spray available over-the-counter (OTC) without a prescription. We also have Nasacort Allergy 24 Hr. Both of these drugs, previously available only by prescription, provide distinct advantages over our typical arsenal of antihistamines, nasal decongestant sprays, eye drops and nasal washes. This class of medications, known as nasal steroids, apply a very small amount of steroid where we need it the most to control the complete cascade of allergy symptoms. They are considered “first-line” treatment by doctors and pharmacists because of their high level of effectiveness and the convenience of once-a-day dosing.

Nasal steroids allow us to treat allergy symptoms without the pesky side effects often seen with products such as antihistamines and decongestants, which can be problematic for the older population and those with other conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, glaucoma and diabetes. Our Raley’s, Bel Air and Nob Hill Pharmacists are ready to help you. Whether you want to understand how these newer drugs can be included in your battle against seasonal and perennial allergies or how they may take the place of some of the products you are currently using, our Pharmacists want to help you manage your allergies.

Frozen Fantastic


Frozen Foods Month is coming to a close, but we’ve got one more way to spice up your frozen favorites.

Indian Potatoes, Spinach and Cauliflower
Prep: 15 minutes, Cook: 20 minutes, Serves: 6

1 (20-oz.) bag frozen Earthbound Farm Roasted Red Potatoes, thawed
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces fresh cauliflower
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 (.4-oz.) packet Sukhi’s Gobi Aloo Complete Spice Mix
2 (10-oz.) packages frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
1 (12.5-oz.) jar Maya Kaimal Tikka Masala or Butter Masala Simmer Sauce
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss potatoes, cauliflower, olive oil and spice mix together in a large bowl. Spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice.

2. Five minutes before potatoes are done, squeeze excess water from spinach and place in an 8-inch baking dish. Stir in simmer sauce; cover and microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes or until hot. Top with crisp potatoes and cauliflower. Sprinkle with parsley, if you like.

Coco for Coconut


Tropical fruit is our March fruit of the month, but our Produce Department isn’t the only place to go “coco.” Make the most of coconut milk with our sweet idea.

Coconut Cherry Muffins
Prep: 10 minutes, Cook: 15 to 18 minutes, Makes: 12

1 cup Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Vanilla Almond Coconut Blend
1/2 cup cherry preserves
3 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. almond extract
1 egg
2 cups prepared baking mix (such as Bisquick)
2/3 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Raley’s Dried Red Tart Cherries
1/2 cup almonds, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 400°F and spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper wrappers.

2. Whisk together Coconut Breeze, preserves, butter, extract and egg in a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened; spoon into prepared muffin cups (they will be very full).

3. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Nutritional Information:
256 calories, 3 g protein, 11 g total fat (4 g sat., 1 g trans), 39 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 23 g sugar, 23 mg cholesterol, 280 mg sodium, 7 points

Poultry Power


It’s National Poultry Day and we think that’s a great time to celebrate the taste of turkey and the creativity of chicken. Both allow you to explore your culinary skill while packing in nutrition.

You may know that chicken is a staple of low-fat and/or high-protein diets, since one 3.5-oz. serving of chicken has 190 calories, 29 g protein, 7 g fat and 0 g carbohydrates. But did you also know it’s an excellent source of niacin, phosphorous, selenium and vitamin B6? It’s also a good source of riboflavin and zinc.

Turkey is also low in calories and fat, while high in protein, with many of the same nutrient and vitamin benefits. One difference? Turkey is a squidge lower in fat and calories (170 calories, 5 g fat) and is a good source of iron rather than zinc.

Ready to celebrate? Try this pair of tasty dishes.

Sweet and Spicy Turkey Tenderloin
Prep: 5 minutes, Cook: 20 minutes, Serves: 4

1 to 1½ lb. turkey tenderloins
1 tbsp. jerk seasoning
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup orange juice concentrate
Hot cooked couscous (optional)

1. Rinse turkey and pat dry. Combine jerk seasoning, allspice and cinnamon in a small bowl; rub onto both sides of turkey.

2. Place on an oiled grill over medium heat and cook, basting with juice concentrate occasionally. Grill for about 10 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 165˚F.

3. Slice thinly and serve over hot cooked couscous, if you like.

Nutritional Information:
210 calories, 34 g protein, 2 g total fat (0.5 g sat.), 14 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 70 mg cholesterol, 75 mg sodium

Chicken Guajillo
Prep: 15 minutes, Cook: 30 minutes, Serves: 4

3 dried guajillo peppers (in Mexican foods section), stems and seeds removed
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup onion chopped
1/2 cup Swanson Natural Goodness Chicken Broth
2 cloves garlic
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets
2 tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. garlic salt

1. Tear guajillo peppers into 1-inch pieces; puree in blender with tomatoes, onion, broth and garlic until peppers are in tiny pieces. Transfer to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, rinse chicken and pat dry. Squeeze lime juice over surface and sprinkle with garlic salt. Grill for about 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through, brushing liberally with sauce.

3. Remove from grill and place on a platter; pour remaining sauce over the top.

Nutritional Information:
270 calories, 32 g protein, 3.5 g total fat (1 g sat., 0 g trans), 23 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 75 mg cholesterol, 540 mg sodium, 5 points


Water of Life


We’ve given you the 101 on whiskey, but what makes Irish whiskey different than other whiskey?

Generally, it comes down to three things:

  1. Irish whiskey is dried with hot air rather than the peat that’s used for Scotch.
  2. Irish whiskey is triple distilled, rather than double distilled like Scotch.
  3. It must be distilled in Ireland and it must mature in wooden casks in Ireland for at least three years.

However, the first two are generalizations. There is Irish whiskey that uses peat and Scotch that doesn’t. There is triple-distilled Scotch and there is double-distilled Irish whiskey.

But for the majority of Irish whiskey, particularly the most popular brands like Jameson, Tullamore Dew or Bushmills, the first two are true.

Irish whiskey is like other whiskey (like Scotch) insomuch that it begins with malted barley. Some may also add unmalted barley. In Ireland, the barley is dried with hot air, where traditional Scotches are dried over a peat fire, which gives many of them their distinctive smoky flavor.

The dried barley is then ground to become the grist. The grist is mixed with hot water to create the mash in the mash tun. Once it’s mixed, it creates a sweet liquid, or wort. The sugar in the wort helps create the alcohol.

Yeast is added to the wort in giant vats to begin fermentation (or turning those sugars into alcohol). Once fermented, the resulting liquid, or wash, is now ready for distillation.

The wash is very delicate and only about 8% alcohol. It’s carefully pumped into copper stills for its triple distillation process. The alcohol is boiled so that vapors rise out of the neck of the still and through a condenser to return back into a liquid. After this happens three times, the alcohol by volume is 80 to 85%. Most Scotches distill twice, so this longer distillation time helps give Irish whiskies their smoother, sweeter flavors.

But it’s still not whiskey! That happens when this triple distilled alcohol goes into oak casks to age for 3 years, just like a wine. Like wine, whiskey is distilled in oak barrels, and sometimes uses old port or rum barrels to impart additional flavors.

Once the whiskey is aged, it is then blended from different casks until it reaches the optimal flavor. Then it’s bottled and shipped out to stores like ours!

Simply St. Pat’s


It’s time for corned beef, cabbage and Guinness – it’s nearly St. Patrick’s Day!

We have two tasty ways to celebrate:

1. Check out our handy list of our favorite St. Pat’s recipes.
2. Try out our newest recipe for Irish Corned Beef and Vegetable Pot Pie:

Irish Corned Beef and Vegetable Pot Pie
Prep: 30 minutes, Cook: about 3 hours, 40 minutes (mostly unattended), Serves: 8

1 uncooked corned beef round or brisket
3 cups shredded green cabbage
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
4 baby Honey Gold potatoes
2 stalks celery, cut into 3-inch pieces
1 large onion, quartered
3/4 cup thawed, well-drained pearl onions
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
3 cups cooking liquid from corned beef
1 tsp. dried thyme
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 refrigerated pie crust dough
1/3 cup coarsely shredded Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese (in our Deli)
1/2 tbsp. instant potato flakes

1. Place corned beef in a large pot and add water to cover. Cook, covered, for 2 hours. Add vegetables and cook for 1 hour more. Remove corned beef and vegetables to a large bowl.

2. Coarsely shred 3 cups corned beef, save remaining for another use. Slice carrots and cut potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes. Discard all other cooked vegetables. Pour cooking liquid into a large glass measuring cup or bowl. Measure 3 cups and freeze remaining for another use.*

3. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in corned beef stock. Stir in corned beef, potatoes, carrots, pearl onions and thyme. Season with pepper and transfer to a deep dish pie plate.

4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cover corned beef mixture with pie dough and sprinkle with cheese and potato flakes. Make several slits in dough to vent. Bake for 30 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.

*Corned beef stock has a fantastic flavor. Use any leftover stock in place of chicken or beef stock in your favorite recipes.

Nutritional Information:
428 calories, 15 g protein, 26 g total fat (11 g sat.), 34 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 80 mg cholesterol, 1044 mg sodium, 12 points

Cold Snap


Warm weather + Frozen Foods Month? Time for a cooldown!

Cranberry Lemon Spritzer
It was originally a holiday recipe, but we think it’s good any time of year. What’s frozen in this recipe? A can of lemonade concentrate.

Miami Nice
A Miami Vice is a cocktail that combines strawberry daiquiri mix and piña colada mix with rum. Leave out the rum and you have this family-friendly variation. What’s frozen? The strawberry daiquiri mix and piña colada mix.

Peach Cobbler Shake
This tasty recipe can use frozen or fresh peaches. What’s frozen? The peaches and the fro yo.

Strawberry Mint Lemonade
We like the texture frozen strawberries gives this warm weather cooler. What’s frozen? The strawberries.

Icy Blackberry Mint Tea
Don’t stop with the frozen fruit – try this minty tea variation. What’s frozen? The blackberries.

Lemon Sparkle
Love an ice cream float? Try this distinctive adult version. What’s frozen? Sorbet.

Fudgy Jalapeño Shake
It’s sweet, it’s spicy, it’s yumtastic. What’s frozen? Vanilla ice cream.