August, 2013

Aug 30, 2013

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Fingers

Sweet&SpicyChicken Fingers_600

Just try to make enough of my sweet and spicy chicken fingers! They’ll disappear as fast as you make them.  They’re oven-baked with a crispy brown sugar crust and moist, spicy chicken inside. And I use whole wheat breadcrumbs for some added fiber. I like my fingers plain but you can serve them with your favorite dipping sauce. What a great healthy snack for this long weekend. OMG! Is it Labor Day already? I need more summer!

By the way, skinless chicken breast is a healthy, lean protein but it is also a fat-burning food loaded with minerals including selenium for a strong immune system and phosphorus for  teeth and bones. So it doesn’t have to be a long weekend to make healthy chicken fingers. They also make a kid-friendly dinner served with a vegetable. Here are some ideas to serve with my sweet & spicy chicken fingers: Cole slaw and potato salad; Mac & cheese; green salad and baked beans; roasted vegetables; Mashed potatoes and green beans; or my recipe for Roasted Brussels sprouts & potatoes.

Well, have a happy and healthy Labor Day, everyone! 🙂 Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 28, 2013

A better way to make popcorn

PopCorn_600

Yes, there is a better way to make popcorn. It’s fast. It’s cheap. It’s easy. And it’s as healthy as you can make it. Forget the packaged microwave stuff with unhealthy fats and additives, and forget the stove-top way – it’s too much work. All you need is a paper lunch bag and a stapler. Yes, you CAN put staples in the microwave – watch my video. It takes all of three minutes to make popcorn this way and you can do it with no fat at all or you can add a little oil into the bag before popping.

Popcorn is a healthy snack that provides fiber, some protein, and I just learned that the hulls have antioxidants so as long as you don’t load it with butter, you can enjoy a big bowl of popcorn guilt-free. Make sure to use plain popping corn with nothing added. This is the only way I make popcorn these days.

I’ve been a popcorn lover all my life. Here are all the different ways I have made it:

In the 60’s – Shaking the pot on the stove.

In the 70’s – Jiffy Pop that came in a foil pan that ballooned up when you popped it.

In the 80’s – Air popper.

In the 90’s – Whirley Pop, the big silver pot with the crank handle.

In the 2000’s – An electric appliance that didn’t work so I returned it.

In the 2010’s – Paper bag microwave popcorn! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 19, 2013

How To Keep Cookies Crisp

To keep crisp cookies crisp all you need is a stapler, a coffee filter, some baking soda, and an air-tight container. I can explain. The baking soda absorbs moisture and the coffee filter is made of a porous material full of tiny holes that lets the air  circulate easily and allows the baking soda to absorb any moisture.

How to Keep Cookies CrispPut about 1/3 cup of fresh baking soda into a coffee filter and staple it closed with two staples, allowing the open edge to get as much air as possible. Stapling the baking soda inside the filter keeps it from spilling onto the cookies. A couple of staples is all you need. Also, make sure the freshly baked cookies are completely cooled before storing.

How to Store Crispy CookiesPlace the stapled coffee filter in an air-tight container (in any position, upright or laying down) with your cookies and you will find them just as crispy the next day. Here are some other tips for keeping cookies crisp:

  • Cool cookies completely before storing.
  • Do not store soft cookies together with crispy cookies.
  • Glass containers are good for storing crispy cookies.
  • Do not store in plastic bags but use a covered container.
  • Refrigerating cookies will help keep them crisp.
  • If you freeze cookies they will be crispy if you eat them frozen.
  • Cookies that have softened will be never become crispy when stored no matter what tricks you use.
  • Cookies can be re-crisped in a 300 degree F oven for 5-10 minutes.
Aug 18, 2013

Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

CrispyCrunOatCk_600Baking without butter is a priority around here because I am not living without cookies. When I’m not having my lemon brownies, doughnuts, marble loaf, or apple bars (all made without butter) there is always a cookie on my dessert plate. I haven’t had a store-bought cookie in decades. Why would I when healthy cookies are so easy to make. We eat a few and I freeze a few, so there are always a variety of cookies in the freezer.

Crispy cookies like this one can be eaten still frozen – talk about crunchy! This healthy cookie can be made with extra light olive oil or canola and it’s 100% whole grain, made with oats and whole wheat pastry flour with crisp rice cereal added for even more crunch. You’ll see I added some mini chocolate chips although you can omit those… but I wouldn’t. 🙂 Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

To see how to keep cookies crisp click here.

Aug 15, 2013

Roasted Vegetables

RoastedVegetables_600I don’t need to tell you why you have to eat your vegetables. Okay, maybe I do. Your mother probably told you they provide vitamins, which your body can not produce so you need to get them from food. But back in the day we didn’t know about the recently discovered antioxidants and phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables, with each different color providing its own specific anti-aging and protective nutrients.  And the more intense their color, the more benefits. Many of these phytonutrients (with names I can’t pronounce) cannot be found in any other food groups.

Bottom line: Vegetables can help prevent certain diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Vegetables are also some of the richest sources of fiber that exist. So if you want to look great and feel great with a strong immune system, do what I do and eat vegetables every single day. I have a salad with every meal and then one or two cooked vegetables as well. Roasting is my favorite way to cook vegetables. Roasting brings out the natural sugars in vegetables and it’s the easiest way I know to cook them and to eat more than one color at a time.

Even a novice cook can make these super easy roasted veggies. Click here for my new recipe. – Jenny Jones

Filed Under: Sides
1 Comment
Aug 13, 2013

Easy Potato Pancakes

By popular demand, here is a new video showing how I make my easy potato pancakes. Using a food processor makes this healthy recipe incredibly easy to do but you can also shred the potatoes the old-fashioned way using a box grater. Even then it’s still an easy recipe. After years of ordering potato pancakes in restaurants to have them bring me a greasy, practically deep-fried mass of mush, I decided I had to learn to make my own. And it was a labor of love because I love my potatoes!

The best potato pancakes need a thick batter and the trick I am sharing in this video is how to drain the potatoes of their juice but keep the starch and that takes just five minutes, but it’s a must-do for these delicious little patties. My dad used to make potato pancakes all the time and serve them with sour cream – lots of sour cream –  but now I use less of it, and the reduced fat kind. Oh, and my mother would slice up leftover potato pancakes and stir them into scrambled eggs. I still love that for breakfast! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Filed Under: Videos Leave a Comment
Aug 8, 2013

Easy Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon_Blueberry_Muffin_2

Note to self: “Pick up two lemons at the grocery today… and some buttermilk… and oh yes: blueberries!” That combination will make the most delicious lemon blueberry muffins you’ve ever had. I’m a big fan of muffins because they’re quick and easy to make and you also have a portable snack. I takes just 30 minutes to make these healthy muffins made with lots of fresh lemon peel and that well known brain food… blueberries.

Blueberries are one of the top antioxidant-rich super foods so I put lots of them in this easy muffin recipe. Then I boosted the health benefits even more by using whole wheat flour and heart-healthy olive oil. Yes! I do lots of baking now with extra light olive oil but you can also use canola or another oil of your choice. There’s no butter in this healthy recipe since I’m always working on baking without butter.

Now that berries are in season (and you don’t need a loan to buy them!) is the best time to try these easy and healthy muffins. Have them as part of a healthy breakfast or a mid-day snack with a cup of green tea. They are really, really good! Click here for the recipe.

Aug 5, 2013

Make the best pizza dough ever!

Hey, pan pizza lovers! Foolproof pizza dough has never been easier. And my video is proof that anyone can make easy and healthy pan pizza at home. I was so excited about this recipe, I could hardly wait to make a video because once you actually see it done (or not done – because there is nothing to do) you’ll see how this easy pizza dough rises all by itself overnight so all you have to do is put the stuff in a bowl… and it’s no-kneading, no-working, no-kidding!

Healthy pan pizza is my new favorite pizza because I’m a bread person and I like it crispy. Wait until you see (and hear) the crispy crust you get with a cast iron pan. You’ll never find pan pizza as good as this in any store so I hope this easy recipe motivates you to make your own healthy pan pizza at home. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Filed Under: Videos 4 Comments