Soups/Salads

Jan 9, 2017

Make Caesar Salad at Home

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Caesar salad! Now I don’t have to go to a fancy restaurant to get a classic Caesar salad. It was always a mystery to me because I thought I had to use whole anchovies but for me, anchovy paste is perfect and it’s also easy to use. It takes just minutes to make this dressing but you need the right ingredients. You just shake it all up in a jar and it’s done.

Traditional Caesar salad is made with romaine lettuce and for me, hearts of romaine make the best presentation, not to mention homemade croutons. I usually make croutons with slices of my faster no knead bread and my recipe is super easy too. Click here to see how to make homemade croutons.

I encourage everyone to eat a salad every day and now you can make one of those salads a classic Caesar. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Nov 3, 2016

Easy Potato Soup

easy_potato_soupEven when it’s not cold outside, I still make my potato soup. Russet potatoes are best for this creamy comfort food and it only takes 1/2 hour to make. Cutting the potatoes into small 1/2-inch pieces helps it cook quickly and I always have my homemade chicken stock in the freezer for soups and stews. You don’t need cream to thicken this soup, only a little flour is all it takes.

Another thing I always have on hand is my (low fat) sour cream. Don’t all Polish people have sour cream at home? It seems like we eat everything with sour cream… cabbage rolls, pierogi, borscht, and potato soup. I always stir sour cream into this soup just before eating and if you want the full Polish experience (zupa ziemniaczana ~ but we called it zupa kartoflana) top it with a little freshly chopped dill. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Oct 13, 2016

Cancer Fighting Soup

cancer_fighting_soupEvery single ingredient in this healthy cancer-fighting soup is there for a reason. These are the vegetables that researchers believe contain powerful anti cancer compounds. So I put them all into one delicious, nutritious, easy to make soup. And when you make it with homemade chicken stock, you increase the health-promoting properties even more. Here’s what’s in it and why:

Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower – These are cruciferous vegetables, the most widely recommended food group to eat to protect against cancer.

Carrots – Orange colored vegetables are believed to help against many types of cancer.

Kale – Dark greens like kale and spinach are key to cancer and disease protection. If you use spinach, stir it in just at the end when the soup is done.

Tomato – Red tomatoes are a must for anyone concerned about prostate cancer. They are a good source of lycopene, especially prepared and canned tomatoes (even ketchup and tomato sauce or paste) but they need a little fat to be absorbed, so that’s why you must include the olive oil. I use canned tomatoes because canned are a better source of lycopene than fresh.

Garlic & Onion – They both have strong anti-inflammatory properties and it’s believed they can help slow down the growth of cancer cells.

So if you are looking to protect your health in the future or trying to prevent a recurrence of cancer, research tells us that eating these vegetables can help.  Or if you just want to be as healthy as possible, you will love this quick and easy homemade vegetable soup. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Sep 21, 2016

Soup That Heals

wound_healing_soup_vegetablesIf you know anyone recovering from an injury or surgery, make them soup using these vegetables: carrot, potato, sweet potato, red pepper, broccoli, spinach and add some lima beans. By researching, I learned that there are certain nutrients that can help heal the body from an injury, a wound, or surgery. The most essential are vitamins A, C, and E along with zinc, calcium, potassium, and protein. So I created this recipe using ingredients highest in these nutrients for a powerful healing soup. It’s also a delicious vegetable soup and any vegetable soup will have health benefits, but using these specific ingredients provide the best concentrate of what is needed by the body to heal.

I make this soup using my own homemade chicken broth. Chicken broth has its own health benefits and it’s the best liquid to use. Vegetable broth is also a good choice but even if you use plain water, all the wound healing benefits will still be there. If someone is not able to eat due to a closed jaw or dental surgery, this soup can be pureed to drink, or pureed and thinned to drink with a straw.

One more food with excellent healing enzymes is fresh pineapple (not canned – only fresh has enzymes). So the most beneficial meal to help recover would be a big bowl of wound healing soup with some fresh pineapple for dessert.

By the way, even if you’re not trying to heal, this is an incredibly healthy vegetable soup full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. If you want to use my chicken soup as a base, click here for the recipe. You can make the stock the day before and after it’s refrigerated, remove the fat from the top and proceed with this vegetable soup. Once you have the stock, my wound healing vegetable soup takes just 30 minutes to make. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 23, 2016

Eat a Salad Every Day

dinner_saladEvery meal I have starts with a salad. And this is a typical salad that I make every day, full of health-building antioxidants. It’s probably part of the reason I simply never get sick. I have not had a cold or flu in over half a century. Anyone can make a salad, I thought, but I’m sharing a photo of my typical salad to motivate more people to include salads with every meal. It doesn’t have to be this one but eat those vegetables if you want a long and healthy life.

People always ask me why I never get sick. How do I get such glowing skin? Am I really seventy years old? It’s because I cook every day and the meal always includes a salad and at least one cooked vegetable. Certain vegetables, like spinach or carrots, have more health benefits when cooked so have both raw and cooked veggies every day.

Romaine lettuce is considered the healthiest choice for salads with more nutrients than iceberg, but I sometimes use red leaf or butter lettuce. I always add some cabbage for its many health benefits and colored peppers. A mix of colors will provide the biggest variety of antioxidants so if I use red tomatoes, I use yellow or orange peppers. If I use yellow tomatoes, then red peppers. Red onions add a nice kick but that’s not why I add them. Onions and garlic a loaded with immune-boosting elements. Garbanzo beans add fiber and calcium but I sometimes use red kidney beans.

If I haven’t convinced you yet,  just look at why I make this particular salad the most – and these are only some of the health benefits since there are too many to mention:

Romaine Lettuce contains lutein for protect against vision loss, fiber, vitamins A, C, K, and folic acid.

Green Cabbage can protect against cancer & heart disease and boost your immune system.

Bell Peppers have more vitamin C than oranges and they support eye and lung health. Red peppers have more vitamins A and C than green.

Tomatoes can protect against heart disease as well as breast and prostate cancer.

Garbanzo beans are full of protein, fiber, magnesium, potassium, and iron.

Red onions help strengthen collagen, support bone health, prevents cell damage, and supports a strong immune system.

Oh… one more thing: No bottled dressing! Just look at the ingredients. Olive oil is the best and only choice for a healthy salad. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jul 16, 2015

Authentic Greek salad

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Give me a giant Greek salad and a big fork and watch me go! I love Greek salad! I love all Greek food.  My stepmom is Greek and I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy her cooking and as well as all the fabulous foods at those Greek festivals we go to. The Greeks love to dance and they know how to eat. Opa!

The main vegetables in my Greek salad are romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion. Romaine lettuce also happens to be the healthiest lettuce to eat, so use lots. My favorite cucumbers for salad are Persian – the skins are so thin you don’t even have to peel them, but you can if you like. The red onions can be sliced super thin or cut into bigger pieces. Tomatoes can be any kind – cherry, grape, big, small, red, yellow, heirloom… whatever floats your boat. Keep in mind that tomatoes should not be refrigerated so if you want to prepare the salad ingredients in advance and refrigerate them, leave the tomatoes out and add them later, when you add the dressing.

That’s also when I add the kalamata olives and feta cheese – after the dressing is on. And try to buy a piece of feta cheese and not the one that’s already crumbled. Fresh feta cheese is better tasting with more moisture and it’s so easy to crumble. You just break off a piece of feta and crumble it easily with your fingers.

Greek salad dressing is easy to make and it’s fast too. I just put everything into a jar, shake it up, and it’s done. But try to make the dressing in advance so the flavors can blend. My Greek salad dressing recipe makes about 3/4 cup of dressing – enough for many salads so use just enough to coat your vegetebles and save the rest. It will keep indefinitely so keep it refrigerated and you can have Greek salad any time with a well-seasoned dressing.

Greek or not, try to have a salad at every meal. I do. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Mar 27, 2015

How to Make Beef Stock

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Due to the overwhelming popularity of my beef stew recipe, which I make with homemade beef stock, I thought I would share my recipe for beef stock. I only make this stock every few months because I freeze it for later use, like when I make the stew or some of my soups like beef-barley or minestrone. By the way, my beef stew recipe got so many pins (123,000 so far plus tens of thousands more shared through pinterest) that we had to increase the space for pins on the page!

Keep in mind that a stock like this is very flexible and you may have to adjust the recipe to accommodate the size of your pot. Mine is an 8-quart (7.5 litre) so after I put in all the bones and vegetables, it will still hold 5 1/2 quarts of water. If your pot is smaller, just use less of everything. But make sure you cook it for three hours because time is what gives it such a rich flavor. And be sure to use marrow bones because they are the best ones to use for soups. I’m making it right now and it smells amazing!!

If you haven’t made my stew, you’re really missing it.
Just look at the comments – no one is dissing it.
If you make my stew and you want it to rock,
Get veggies and bones and make your own stock.

Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Dec 18, 2014

Simple Bean Soup

simple-bean-soupTo make the best bean soup start with dried beans. They cook up meaty and satisfying and with my recipe, almost no work at all. My simple bean soup is exactly that. In fact, it’s so simple I was afraid it wouldn’t have enough flavor but wow! I was really surprised how much flavor the beans got just from a piece of carrot and celery and a clove of garlic.

There is no chopping to do. The best thing about this easy bean soup is you just put a piece of carrot and a piece of celery in with the beans, along with a whole clove of garlic, and by the time the beans are done, they have absorbed all that great flavor. Then remove the three flavoring pieces and after that, all you need is salt. I like a thick, hearty, stick-to-the-ribs soup so I thicken it at the end with a little flour. If you don’t like it my way, you can omit the flour at the end.

You may notice that I do not soak the beans first. Well, you can do that and it will reduce the cooking time but to me, the beans taste better without soaking. I experimented with soaking the beans overnight and doing the quick soak where you bring them to a boil and let stand for an hour. In both cases, you are supposed to discard the soaking water and cook with fresh water but then you’re also discarding some of the flavor and nutrients. To me the soaked beans were not as meaty or tasty as the no-soak method.

As for starting with hot water that, too, surprised me at how much more flavor the beans took on by starting in hot water. I don’t know why but it’s the only way I make my bean soup now. Here are some reasons to eat beans: They have calcium, iron, potassium, protein, soluble fiber to help lower cholesterol, and just like vegetables beans have antioxidants to protect against heart disease and cancer. They also provide a slow, steady release of glucose making bean soup a good choice for diabetics.

When it’s cold outside, you will love my simple bean soup. Actually, it’s 75 degrees today in California but it’s cold somewhere! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Oct 27, 2014

French Canadian Pea Soup

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No ham hocks here. This soup is traditionally made with ham hocks but I think it’s best to avoid the saturated fat and nitrates they contain so I don’t use them. But my French Canadian pea soup is still plenty delicious. In fact, I don’t even use stock… just plain water. This recipe is simple and uses ingredients it’s easy to keep on hand plus my soup cooks in about 45 minutes instead of two to three hours that some recipes take.

Although I grew up in Canada, I had never heard of French Canadian pea soup. I come from Ontario and this soup is a Quebec specialty. I discovered it during a cruise we were taking through the maritime provinces of Canada. Our last stop was Quebec City and that’s where I first discovered this hearty, delicious soup. I had been enjoying the cruise around the islands but not the food on the luxury ship. It was too fancy for me and not healthy at all with lots of flambeed things and sauces I didn’t want. I missed my own cooking so much. I just wanted a big bowl of soup. I love soup.

While exploring Quebec City we found a small family restaurant with homemade soup on the menu and their specialty was pea soup. I couldn’t get inside fast enough. I ordered the soup and as soon as I took the first bite I knew I had to make this when I got home. No truffle oil. No “foie de” whatever! It’s peasant food. I love simple peasant food. It’s what I think most people really enjoy eating and why I think so many seem to like my recipes.

Now that autumn is here, a thick and filling soup like this is perfect. Sometimes, it’s all we have for a light dinner. And every time I make it, I remember that little restaurant in Quebec City with the homemade soup. As for any future cruises, I will only go when I can have a cabin with my own kitchen! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jun 18, 2014

Simple Egg Salad

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I could live on egg salad! And that’s easy because it takes me five minutes to make my low fat, easy egg salad. I prefer it simple with just yellow mustard and light mayo but I know a lot of people like to add extras like pickle relish, onion, celery, olives, etc. So go ahead. Use my simple, healthy recipe as a starter and then make it your own. But for me, plain old egg salad on some whole grain bread with lots of lettuce and tomato – it’s the perfect breakfast, and a perfect lunch.

For a while people were avoiding eggs because they contain cholesterol but all the latest research indicates that they may contain cholesterol but they do not raise serum cholesterol. This is good news because eggs have so many nutrients including complete protein; lutein for your eyes; and choline (in the yolk) for your brain and to reduce inflammation. They also contain sulphur to give you beautiful hair & skin, and strong nails. Here’s a link to some of the latest research on eggs: http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/latest-research-health-benefits-eggs

Now that eggs are back, you can enjoy this easy and healthy egg salad. But even my delicious egg salad is no fun if it takes ten minutes to peel a boiled egg. So to make things even easier, I can show you how to make perfect, easy-to-peel hard boiled eggs.

For the video on how to boil eggs, click here.

For my blog post with even more info on boiling eggs, click here.

For the latest research on eggs, click here.

And for my Simple Egg Salad Recipe click here.

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