Main Dishes

Feb 23, 2018

Spaghetti & Spinach Frittata

NEW RECIPE: A frittata for dinner? Made with spaghetti? In 30 minutes? This is my kind of dinner!

Frittatas are usually associated with breakfast because they’re made with eggs, but when you throw in some spaghetti and then add health-building spinach, a little parmesan… that’s a mighty fine dinner right there.  It cooks in 6 minutes on the stove top but you do have to flip it over after 3 minutes. Here’s how I do it:

First, you need to use a fry pan with sloped sides. I slide the frittata from the pan onto a dinner plate, cover that plate with another dinner plate, flip the plates over and then slide the uncooked side back onto the pan. It’s easy, but remember to swirl a little olive oil in the pan before cooking the 2nd side.

I’m trying to eat more vegetarian meals and when it’s an easy one pan meal like this, that’s a bonus. Some recipes use different pasta shapes but I prefer angel hair spaghetti for this recipe, and I like to serve it right away… after a salad of course. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Feb 16, 2018

15 Minute Veggie Pasta

15 Minute Quick Veggie PastaI just found a better and simpler way to make pasta with vegetables. Everything cooks in one pot and you don’t even have to drain the pasta. With a small amount of water the pasta and vegetables all cook in the same pot. I love it.

I make it with two of the most important vegetables for health: broccoli and spinach but it also works with just broccoli. This super fast vegetarian meal takes just 15 minutes and here a couple of tips:

  • Be sure to keep the water boiling (not too high or too much water will boil away).
  • If too much water boils away, you can add a little more water as needed.
  • A timer is really helpful so you can set it for the pasta cooking time and then keep an eye to know when to add the veggies.
  • When you add the broccoli, just open the lid briefly, toss the broccoli on top, and quickly close the lid. The broccoli will steam right on top.
  • Add more or less parmesan. I like it with three tablespoons.

This can be a side dish or main dish. I plan to try it next with whole wheat pasta and will share my results.  Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Dec 10, 2017

One Pan Chicken & Veggies

Easy Chicken and Vegetable DinnerI consider this the healthiest meal I make. My one pan chicken and roasted vegetables is quick and easy and healthy. Vegetables are the lifeline to good health and roasting them brings our their sugars so the browning combined with their sweetness makes them super delicious. Then the chicken is lean and low fat because I use skinless, boneless chicken breast. The chicken provides high quality protein and all those veggies? Well, it’s like taking a vitamin pill only better because vitamins from real food are much better absorbed than any pill.

Every meal I make starts with whatever vegetables I have on hand. That’s because vegetables are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals essential to good health. Each color of veggie has its own set of benefits so when you mix and match the colors, you get a huge array of nutrients. I make roasted vegetables at least once a week, sometimes served with just a can of sardines, sometimes with pork loin, but this is my favorite way to serve them.

The chicken comes out moist and tender every time. I only use oil, salt, and pepper on it but you can add some dried herbs if you like. I just serve the chicken breast whole with a big side of roasted veggies. This may seem like a lot of roasted vegetables for two people but I can tell you that there may occasionally be a piece or two of chicken left over, but by the end of the meal, every single vegetable is gone. And if you roast sweet potatoes, they are so sweet they can even be dessert. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Sep 14, 2017

Easy Chicken & Spaghetti

Best recipe Chicken and SpaghettiChicken breast simmered in marinara sauce turns out so tender you can cut it with a fork. This easy recipe takes less than 10 minutes of prep and the chicken cooks in the sauce unattended while you cook the pasta and make a salad. You do have a salad every day, right?

This recipe started because I wanted to try making chicken cacciatore but after chopping peppers and mushrooms and using chicken thighs, I found there was too much fat and not a lot of big flavor. So I tried simplifying it and came up with a lean and low fat version and now it’s just chicken with spaghetti, but with a lot of flavor but not a lot of work. It’s the simple, easy recipes that I always wind up making again.

Canned plum tomatoes are my go-to for pasta sauce and it’s so easy to make them into a smooth puree with a food processor. If you can find San Marzano tomaotes, that’s even better. You can always add more spices or a bay leaf or some crushed red pepper if you like but this is perfect for me just the way it is. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Apr 26, 2017

Blasted Chicken is So Easy

Simple Easy Roast Chicken RecipeIf you think roasting a whole chicken is a lot of work, I am about to change your mind. Roasting it at a higher temperature for a shorter time produces beautifully tender meat with absolutely no work at all. This method has been around for years, usually called Blasted Chicken, and it is incredibly easy. There is no basting, no trussing, no rubbing with butter or oil, and with me, no spices except salt and pepper, although you can tuck in a piece of lemon, garlic, or your favorite herb if you like.

I don’t even wash the chicken, just bring it to room temperature and pat it dry. I like to make this on Friday so we have leftover chicken to snack on, or for chicken paninis. You can roast this chicken on a baking pan but I prefer a broiler-style pan to draw away the fat and I always use a disposable one. I did not invent this method but I want to make sure everyone has this easy recipe for blasted chicken.

I serve it by removing the skin and then cut or tear the chicken into big pieces. There is no easier way to roast a chicken and my way means no cleanup. Gotta love that! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Apr 11, 2017

Easy Stovetop Mac and Cheese

Easy Healthy Mac & Cheese RecipeIf you ever need fast comfort food, this is it. Today I made my quick and easy mac & cheese and it was ready in 20 minutes. With only four ingredients, it’s pretty hard to mess up, and I use low fat milk and cheese so I don’t feel guilty about enjoying this American classic. Plus I always serve it with a green vegetable on the side. Sometimes this simple mac & cheese becomes a side dish to some chicken and salad. Even though it’s a quick stovetop recipe, you can also bake it in the oven for a crispy top. Here’s how I do it:

While I prepare the recipe on the stove I preheat the oven to 375.  Once the stovetop version is done I stir in some chopped & drained fresh tomato (this is optional) and I transfer it all to a greased 3-quart casserole dish. I top it with a cup of fresh breadcrumbs and bake for 20-25 minutes for a golden, crispy top. You make fresh breadcrumbs by processing a couple of slices of white or soft whole wheat bread in a food processor.

Whether you need a quick 20 minute recipe or you prefer a creamy mac & cheese with a crispy top, either way you’ll get a much healthier version of almost everyone’s favorite comfort food… macaroni and cheese. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Mar 16, 2017

My Mexican Casserole is Easy and Vegetarian.

Easy Mexican Food RecipeI love this simple vegetarian casserole. It’s a healthier, lighter way to enjoy Mexican food because it uses fresh tomatoes, whole wheat tortillas, and reduced fat cheese. I use my own homemade tortillas, the whole wheat version, and they turn nice and soft in this dish. I wanted to try it with store-bought tortillas but could not bring myself to buy them after reading the ingredients. If you make the tortillas ahead of time this meal can be made in about 45 minutes.

If you like things spicy, you can switch from jalapeño pepper to a spicier one like serrano or the super hot habanero. For me, the jalapeño version is perfect – not too spicy at all. And I always say it: don’t use pre-shredded cheese. It will never melt like fresh cheese because they add some type of stabilizer to the pre-shredded kind. It takes less than a minute to shred six ounces of cheese. I always serve this dish with a little sour cream on the side. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Feb 18, 2017

Easy Angel Hair Casserole

Easy Angel Hair CasseroleThis easy casserole just might become your new family favorite. I’ve been making it for years and everyone loves it. And I love it for two reasons. One: it’s delicious. Two: it’s easy to make. It takes just a few simple ingredients and less than an hour for some good homemade comfort food. By using lean ground beef and reduced fat cheese, I never feel stuffed after my second and third helping.

Much of the flavor comes from the sauce and you can use a homemade marinara but I use store-bought sauce. Two that I like, but can’t always find, are Silver Palate Low Sodium Marinara but this time I couldn’t find it so I used Terlato Kitchen Pomodoro, also lower in sodium and it was fantastic. Not all jarred sauces are the same so I encourage everyone to read the label for the least number of ingredients as well as sodium. Even with a low sodium sauce, this recipe doesn’t even need salt or pepper.

And don’t be tempted to use more pasta. It will seem like it’s not enough when you put it together but it’s just the right amount for this easy family casserole. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jan 27, 2017

Veggie Fried Rice

Best Recipe Fried riceThere are three reasons why I love this recipe:

  1. It’s vegetarian.
  2. It has lots of superfood veggies.
  3. It takes less than 20 minutes to make.

This is a light, easy supper that I love to make, depending what I have on hand. My favorite combo is this one with broccoli, baby spinach, bell peppers, and peas. But I have also made it with other vegetables, sometimes broccollini instead of broccoli, Swiss chard instead of spinach, or other subs like asparagus, shredded carrots, bok choy, or Chinese snow peas, so you see it’s just a great way to get a variety of cooked vegetables in one meal. But I always use at least four different veggies.

Cold cooked rice works best so I usually cook the rice the day before, and refrigerate it overnight. Mostly I use Uncle Ben’s converted rice but I have also made it with brown rice. Either way, if your rice is cooked in advance, this is a super-quick meal. Be sure to have everything ready before you start because a stir-fry means you don’t leave the pan once you start and it cooks in less than 10 minutes! So chop everything first and have everything in place before starting. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Sep 29, 2016

Snapshots from Dinner

roasted_vegetables_beforeRoasting vegetables is just about the easiest way to cook them. I love this dish so much, probably because roasting brings out the sugar in vegetables so they are sweeter, and in many cases, have more nutrients than they do raw.  Today I used red potatoes, sweet potatoes, red & yellow peppers, green beans, Brussels sprouts, red onions, and carrots. I added some olive oil, salt & pepper and roasted them at 400 along with my pork tenderloin. Here they are after roasting…

roasted_vegetables_afterThis may look like a lot but between the two of us there was not one piece of vegetable left on this tray. We usually save some of the sweet potato slices for dessert because they are so sweet after roasting. With all these beautiful colors, the antioxidants here are enormous. I have two recipes you might like. One is just the roasted vegetables as a side dish. The other is what I made tonight, my fabulous pork loin dinner. (there’s no pork left either!)

pork_loin_dinnerPork is one of the leanest meats you can find, and so delicious! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

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