Like most people, I’m often short on time to cook dinner and a stir fry is usually my solution. Last night I made my quick & easy orange sesame chicken. You should see the reaction I get when I serve it to company. “How did you make this?” “Is this takeout?” “It must take forever to make a sauce like this!”
Actually, it takes 20 minutes… not just to make the sauce but to make the whole meal. That’s why I love to cook Chinese for dinner. Making it at home is always fast and it’s never deep fried, at least not the way I make it. The chicken is briefly marinated and then lightly sauteed and the sauce is so simple you won’t believe it. I make it with…
– fresh orange juice – rice vinegar – soy sauce – garlic – sugar & salt. It’s thickened with cornstarch and once it cooks you drizzle on some toasted sesame oil at the end. Wow! Make sure you use toasted sesame oil and not plain because the flavor when it’s toasted is intense. Then a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and you have something so much better than takeout and so delicious, it might be your newest 20-minute meal.
By the way, some steamed broccoli on the side goes perfectly with this. I love it! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Here is my easy one bowl recipe for a healthier banana nut bread made without butter and using whole wheat flour. You’ll need two medium size very ripe bananas (the riper, the sweeter) and some dark chocolate chips. I also add lots of toasted nuts and since I can never decide, I use both walnuts and pecans. I love baking without butter so I use oil in this quick bread. I prefer extra light olive oil but you can use any vegetable oil or canola oil.
I use a standard size loaf pan and it’s the best size for this quick bread to rise up in the oven. Mine is 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches and even though it’s non stick, I still grease it. You’ll get the best result with this size pan.
The prep is super easy and it bakes in less than an hour. What you get is a moist and yummy banana bread with nuts and chocolate chips. The chocolate chips are optional but… com’on… everything’s better with chocolate chips! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
It’s hard for me to keep up with questions so before asking please look for answers to commonly asked questions using the “Questions” link at the top. If the answer is not there, please go to the specific recipe page and post your question or comment there. To see the FAQs click here. – Jenny Jones
BEFORE ASKING A QUESTION… please see the links below on the most commonly asked questions. I am not always able to keep up with questions so please also look through the recipe comments from other cooks, or maybe you can research your question online.
Here’s another super easy, healthy bread recipe and it’s by popular demand. My first “simple whole wheat bread” has been hugely popular but a lot of people have asked if they can eliminate the egg or add honey. YES and YES. This easy honey wheat bread has no egg and it’s made with… you guessed it: honey. The interior is nice and soft and it tastes really good.
It takes a little longer to make than my other whole wheat bread (the one with the egg) and it doesn’t rise quite as tall so if you want it taller or faster, try my Simple Whole Wheat Bread. But if honey-wheat bread is your preference, this recipe only takes a few minutes longer. And it works with either honey or sugar, and any kind of vegetable oil you like. I mostly use extra light olive oil.
Having a warm spot to rise your dough helps it grow faster and I’m lucky to have a warming drawer in my kitchen but I have some other ideas on where you can rise dough in my blog. I hope the bread industry isn’t mad at me because so many people have said, “I don’t buy bread any more,” and that includes me. Between my no knead breads and whole wheat loaves, I always bake my own bread and I’m saving money… and spending it on spatulas! I hope you’ll try my honey wheat bread and somebody send me a picture! Click herefor the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Guess what? I just made a Boston cream pie without no butter at all. And it’s awesome! The cake is super easy (it’s my easy one-bowl yellow cake), the creamy custard filling takes about 5 minutes to make, and the chocolate glaze comes together in minutes. Put them all together and you have a luscious dessert that looks fancy but you can make it at home.
But this is not a pie. They should call it Boston cream cake. Whatever you call it, I call it delicious. It starts with my easy yellow cake made in a 9-inch round pan. It’s best to line the pan with parchment paper and for convenience, I buy pre-cut parchment paper that’s sold in 8 and 9-inch rounds, but you can always cut your own.
I grease the pan (it’s non-stick but I always grease it for cakes), put in the paper, and grease the paper. When you do that, cake removal is a breeze. The reason I spread the custard filling onto a dinner plate is just to help it cool faster but you can also put it into a bowl to cool. If you leave it in the saucepan, it will take a lot longer to cool down. One other thing I highly recommend is the use of a cake strip. You will never have overdone and dry edges when you bake using one of these strips. Here’s more on cake strips. And finally, always be sure to aerate your flour before measuring. Here’s more on that.
One of my favorite desserts (which I avoid) is a chocolate eclair but I can get my fix with this Boston cream pie because it tastes just like a chocolate eclair. And it has no butter at all! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Here’s a new addition to my 30 Minutes or Less dinner category. It’s lean white meat chicken, bow tie pasta and asparagus in a creamy, low fat Alfredo sauce. It’s super easy, quick, and yummy. The whole meal takes just 25 minutes to make and it also works with broccoli.
The only difference if you use broccoli is you add a little pasta water to the broccoli when you saute it. This recipe was in my cookbook but that version used butter. My new way does not use butter and it’s much easier to make. In fact, almost any recipe I made ten years ago is not the same today. I’m always finding ways to make things simpler, easier, and faster.
The creamy sauce is my version of alfredo sauce. Did you know they call fettucini alfredo a “heart attack on a plate?” That’s because alfredo sauce is traditionally made with all cream and butter. I will never do that. Mine uses no cream or butter. I use 1% milk and I get a creamy, satisfying comfort meal that I can feel good about eating. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Do you miss Fettuccine Alfredo? Avoiding it because you don’t want to die? My Alfredo sauce has no heavy cream and no butter, in fact it’s made with 1% milk and it’s deeelish. And you can be eating it in five minutes. That’s how long it takes to make the easiest Fettuccine Alfredo ever, and the healthiest too.
This is the same sauce I use in my Creamy Chicken Asparagus Bow Ties recipe but if you just want pasta alone with a creamy, easy sauce, this is it. Alfredo sauce is traditionally served with fettuccine but today, I’m making Bow Ties Alfredo. Put it on bow ties, elbows, or any pasta shape you like. You won’t feel weighed down after this light sauce… or tired from all that 5 minutes of work! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Brown sugar gets hard when its moisture escapes. The best way to keep brown sugar soft is to use a small clay disc and it works really well. Here’s an example below… It costs less than $5 and you just soak the disc in water for 15 minutes and then put it into a fresh bag of brown sugar. Seal up the bag tightly and you’re done. Mine stays soft until I finish the bag. You can even use a piece of broken clay from a pot as long as it’s unglazed.