January, 2014

Jan 30, 2014

Caramelized Onion-Roasted Red Pepper Dip

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Are you ready for Super Bowl Sunday? I’m pretty sure it’s a football game but I just watch for the commercials, then I leave the room when the  ball-throwing starts. If you’re looking for healthy snack ideas for this weekend, here’s one you’ll love. It’s my Caramelized Onion-Roasted Red Pepper Dip and this combination of richly caramelized sweet onions and roasted red pepper makes a unique, delicious, intensely flavored dip that may sound complicated but it’s really easy to make. I use bottled roasted red peppers. You could roast your own peppers… but I don’t. Jarred ones are ideal for a dip so the only work is to caramelize the onions – that’s something you can’t buy. Serve this amazing dip and I promise you everyone will love it and probably ask for the recipe.

It’s easy. First you caramelize the onions (which you can do the day before) and then you put them and everything else in a food processor. It’s that simple. In fact, the dip will taste even better if you make it all the day before. So…. let’s see…. you can cook the onions tomorrow, finish the dip on Saturday, and let it marinate in the fridge until Sunday. This delicious recipe raises the dip bar from the old days when we all made onion dip with a package of onion soup mix and sour cream.

This dip is not only tastier, it’s way healthier too. Red onions are full of anti-aging compounds that reduce inflammation and may protect you against cancer, stroke, and memory loss. By using reduced fat sour cream and fat free yogurt, you’ll have a low-fat and healthy dip to serve with crudite or maybe some nice reduced fat chips. Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jan 29, 2014

Substitute Turkey in Meatloaf

Lisa asks… Love this site!  I was searching for a website like this for a while.  You have great recipes and I’m constantly checking for new ones. I was wondering if I can substitute the lean ground beef with ground turkey for the meatloaf, leaving everything else the same.
Thanks.

My response…  If you use ground white turkey meat I’m not sure you would like the result because it is extremely lean and does not have a lot of flavor so with my recipe, the meatloaf might be dry and not as tasty.  You could try using regular ground turkey but since I never have, I’m not able to tell you if any other changes should be made to the ingredients. You might be better off looking for a recipe that is created specifically for turkey. By the way, according to Cooking Light,  regular ground turkey contains more saturated fat than ground sirloin.

Jan 28, 2014

How To Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

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I make a lot of hard boiled eggs.  A lot. There are some in my fridge right now… perfect, easy to peel, no green ring, hard boiled eggs for snacking, breakfast, deviled eggs, and egg salad. I’ve learned a few things about how to make foolproof hard boiled eggs so here’s what I know…

1) Really fresh eggs will be harder to peel so use your older eggs for boiling.

2) Place eggs in a pot and cover completely with cold water.

3) Do not crowd too many eggs in the pot or they may not cook.

4) If you see a stream of bubbles coming out of an egg in the cold water that means it’s cracked. Remove the cracked egg and save it for cooking.

5) Add ½ teaspoon of baking soda to the water. If you don’t have baking soda, use salt.

6) Bring the water to a full, rolling boil.

7) Cover the pot and turn off the heat, leaving the pot on the warm burner.

8) Set a timer for 17 minutes. Prepare a bowl of ice water.

10) After 17 minutes remove the eggs from the hot water using a slotted spoon and place them in the ice water for 2 minutes. They will still be warm inside after two minutes.

11) Serve immediately or keep refrigerated.

11) Freshly boiled, warm eggs will be easier to peel than cold ones.

12) Peeling them under running water makes peeling easier.

13) Start to peel at the fat end of the egg for easier peeling.

So that’s all I know about making perfect hard-boiled eggs. Now here is why I eat them: Eggs are a great source of….

~Protein, B vitamins, and minerals.

~Choline, which reduces inflammation, protects against breast cancer, and supports brain health.

~Lutein and Zeaxanthin to ward off macular degeneration.

~Sulphur for shiny hair, strong nails, and glowing skin.

~New research tells us that egg yolks contain dietary cholesterol but they do not raise blood cholesterol. For the latest research on eggs from Prevention Magazine, click here.

So that’s everything I know about making perfect, easy to peel, no green ring hard boiled eggs. Now here’s as quiz: Q: Why do brown eggs cost more than white ones? A: Because the hens are bigger and it costs more to feed them. Nutritionally, there is no difference.

Jan 24, 2014

Choose Red Onions

RedOnionsAlmost every dinner I cook starts out with onions and garlic. But the taste isn’t the only reason to eat them. There are lots of health benefits from both onions and garlic but when buying onions, there are more reasons to choose red ones.

Cancer protection: Red onions have 30% more cancer fighting compounds than white.

Brain boost: Red onions provide quercetin, a flavonoid that helps keep your memory sharp and fights free radicals.

Inflammation: Red onions have twice the antioxidants of white onions to help reduce inflammation.

NOTE: Most of the flavonoids are concentrated in the outer layers of the onion so peel as little off the outer skin as possible to get the most benefits.

Jan 23, 2014

Flaxseed Muffins

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How do I love this muffin? Let me count the ways…

1)  Fiber. Lots and lots of fiber to keep you full longer and help with weight loss.

2)  Heart-healthy olive oil. Who makes muffins with olive oil? I do!

3)  Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids to protect the heart.

4)  Flaxseeds are rich in lignans, which protect against breast and prostate cancer.

5)  Flaxseeds reduce inflammation.

6)  Flaxseeds have lots of antioxidants.

7)  Super easy recipe.

Even if they didn’t have this many health benefits, I would still eat these flaxseed muffins because… well they are darn tasty. – Jenny Jones

Click here for the recipe.

Jan 22, 2014

Reduce The Wine

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Jan 21, 2014

Roasted Tomato Soup

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What a difference it makes to roast fresh tomatoes to make soup. Roasting brings out a richer tomato flavor and that makes the best soup. This combination of roasted tomatoes and boxed ones (Pomi) cooks into a delicious and easy tomato soup.

While the tomatoes roast in the oven, you get the soup going on the stove. Then combine everything, add fresh basil, puree, and you have some amazing tomato soup. And if you like cream of tomato soup, it only takes a teaspoon of whipping cream to turn a bowl of tomato soup into a bowl of cream of tomato soup.

Tomatoes, especially cooked tomatoes contain lycopene, a well known defender against prostate cancer. But don’t skip the olive oil because they need a little added fat for better absorption of the lycopene. My favorite way to serve this healthy tomato soup is over cooked rice for a warming bowl of tomato-rice soup. I swear I can eat three bowls in one sitting! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jan 20, 2014

Brown spots on biscuits

Patrizia asks… I made your buttermilk biscuits, they are fantastic. I would like to kow why the outside of the biscuits have little brown dots. I cut the butter into the flour and I put the mixture in the kicthen robot to knead.Also I would like to know how to re-heat the biscuits once I freeze them (I cut them in half), do I have to thaw them out or put them in the oven frozen and at what temperature. Thank you !

My response… I sometimes get spots on my biscuits too but it doesn’t affect the taste. I suspect it may be from over-working the dough so you could try just kneading it gently by hand 8 or 10 turns and not using the robot. The less that biscuit dough is handled, the better. You can reheat frozen biscuits by wrapping them in foil and place in a preheated 300 F degree oven for about 20 minutes. (I sometimes remove the foil at the end and leave them on the rack for a couple more minutes to crisp up the top and bottom)

Jan 17, 2014

Red Beans & Brown Rice

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The best thing about this simple meal is that every single ingredients has health benefits. Brown rice has fiber and lots of minerals including  selenium, which has been shown to protect against cancer. Beans also have soluble fiber to lower cholesterol as well as calcium for bones. And don’t get me started about all the antioxidants in colored peppers! So here is an easy vegetarian recipe that’s super healthy. It’s high in protein and fiber and oh yes… flavor!

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By the way, high fiber meals keep you feeling full longer and that helps with weight loss. This is a recipe you can easily make your own with more jalapeno pepper for added heat, toss in your favorite extra spices,  or use a different kind of bean. I really like red beans in this dish but I can never find canned red beans at the grocery store. Whole Foods carries one by Westbrae that I prefer so if you can find it, I think you’ll like the meaty texture of these beans.

But a close second would be red kidney beans and even black beans would work. By the way, black beans are the highest in antioxidants of all beans. Basically you can’t go wrong with any kind of canned beans in this heart-healthy, easy recipe.

Let’s talk about rice for a minute. Brown rice has more nutrients and fiber than white rice but if you’re short on time, you can make this dish with converted rice (I like Uncle Ben’s). You won’t get as much fiber but you’ll still get protein, iron, and folate from converted rice and all the benefits (including fiber) of the beans and peppers. Both brown and white rice are gluten free.

Next meatless Monday, try this simple vegetarian one-pan meal. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jan 15, 2014

Greek Walnut Cake

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There’s no butter in this moist and sweet walnut cake. The Greeks call it karithopita and what makes it so moist is that you soak it in a spicy syrup made with cinnamon, lemon peel, and cloves. Just poke a few holes around the top of the cake and pour over a warm, sweet syrup. A lot of Greek desserts use a syrup – baklava is a great example.

I always feel better when I can bake something sweet for dessert without butter. This cake uses oil and since it’s a Greek cake, I use heart-healthy olive oil. Both olive oil and walnuts are considered heart-healthy. Any time I bake with nuts, I always toast them first and I suggest doing it for this cake, especially because there are a LOT of walnuts in the recipe and toasted walnuts always make a cake or cookies taste better.

My stepmother is Greek so I have grown to love Greek food (and her, too). She is the one who told me to poke holes in the cake before pouring on the syrup since not all recipes use holes but it really helps soak the cake beautifully. My Greek walnut cake can be served warm or cold. Make it for your next party. Opa! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

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