Look at this beautiful spaghetti! It’s not just beautiful but it’s delicious and healthy too, full of brain boosting beets. And wait until you see how easy this pasta dish is. Everything cooks in one pan. No draining the spaghetti and no extra pots to wash. I am loving my new one-pan and one-pot recipes and this one makes a dramatic presentation. (anyone thinking Christmas?)
The ingredients are so simple: garlic, beets, spaghetti, and Parmesan cheese. You’ll need a pan at least 8 inches across so the spaghetti can fit, but you still have to break the spaghetti in half. These days, whenever I sauté garlic, I add it before the oil gets hot. This way there is no chance it can burn and the garlic flavor infuses the oil as well.
Beets are red… very red. Do not wear white clothing when handling beets and remember they can also stain white or wood utensils. I use the big holes on a box grater like this to shred the beets:Beets are full of fiber and nutrients and are good for lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, supporting brain health, and they have anti-cancer properties. So besides the stunning presentation, there are may reasons to make this easy and healthy side dish. Keep in mind it’s important to stir the spaghetti well and often so it doesn’t stick. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Potatoes are my friend – boiled, mashed, roasted, hash browned, I love them every way, and in the summer, potato salad is my favorite. I tried for years to make a good potato salad without mayo but was never happy with the result. It was always too dry and if I added more oil, it was too oily.
This time I decided to try something different. I added some of the potato cooking water to my dressing and it was better but still not good enough. Then I tried something crazy. I mashed a little bit of potato and added that to the dressing along with the water. Bingo! It was great. The potato salad was creamy, tangy, and delicious.
So now I’m sharing this recipe for creamy potato salad no mayo, just in time for summer. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I don’t make plain rice any more. Why would I when it’s so easy to add a vegetable to rice while it cooks? And Brussels sprouts make a really good (and healthy) addition. They are a cruciferous vegetable that can protect you against cancer and heart disease. They also benefit your eyes and provide lots of minerals, vitamin C, fiber, and even protein!
My rice of choice is Uncle Ben’s converted rice, which cooks beautifully in 20 minutes, just enough time for the Brussels sprouts to turn soft and tender, and kind of sweet.
There is no meal in this house without at least one cooked vegetable, and always a salad, and this is an easy way to get people who may not like steamed and cooked vegetables to have them mixed into a tasty rice. This easy side dish goes really well with my salmon patties or lemon chicken cutlets. This is a really easy, simple recipe that anyone can make. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I 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
Roasting 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…
This 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 is one of the leanest meats you can find, and so delicious! 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
I love Greek spinach pie so much I had to come up with an easier way to make it – and I have. The old way meant washing spinach about five times to get the sand out, cooking the spinach, draining the spinach, etc., etc., and then brushing the phyllo with oil and having it stick to the brush and break into pieces. And cutting it in the pan was never easy.
But oh… I have a much easier way to make this incredibly delicious Greek treat. Here’s what you won’t have to do:
No washing of spinach.
No cooking of spinach.
No draining of spinach.
No struggling to cut it in the pan after it’s cooked.
With the traditional method, a pastry brush is used to grease each layer of phyllo but using an oil mister makes the job easier. A mister is easier, faster, and it also keeps the delicate phyllo sheets from breaking. (my mister is made by Prepara) And using parchment paper means you just lift the whole thing out onto a cutting board for easy slicing.
My recipe uses pre-washed packaged baby spinach and I use it fresh, without pre-cooking because it cooks quickly inside the pie. Most spinach pies have a dense spinach filling from either pre-cooking or even worse using frozen spinach. Using fresh baby spinach is less work and it makes a less dense filling with a delicious light texture.
You must plan ahead if you’re going to make this recipe because the phyllo comes frozen and you need to thaw it overnight in the fridge and then bring it to room temperature before using. I forgot to thaw it once and just placed it on the counter top for a few hours and it did thaw, but it kept breaking into pieces.
The reason I make Greek spanakopita is because once I tasted my own with the fresh filling and the flaky layers of phyllo, I can never buy it anywhere again. Nothing comes close. If you like Greek food, you must try this recipe. I won’t say it’s easy but it’s definitely easier than most and the pie is so incredibly light, I’ve been known to eat four as a snack. Yes… four. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I admit I’m not a fan of cooked spinach when it sits alone in a big glob, but when it’s cooked in with rice and some onions, garlic, and dill, Greek style… I love it. With baby spinach available pre-washed and ready to go, this is a quick and healthy side dish. It’s what I usually have with my lemon chicken cutlets – they sound kind of Greek too.
This recipe is also in my cookbook but I’ve simplified the process a little to encourage everyone to try it. Spinach is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients and when it’s cooked, those benefits are even greater with a long list of vitamins, protein, iron, calcium, folate, and it has more potassium than bananas. Eating spinach will benefit your eyes, skin, and hair, support bone health, help protect against cancer & asthma, and it’s even good for your brain. This is a true superfood!
And this is an easy recipe. Everything cooks in one pot while you prepare the rest of your meal. I highly recommend the lemon chicken cutlets because they only take 20 minutes, the same time it takes the rice to cook. Oh, and the quick & easy broiled salmon – that goes great with Greek spinach rice too. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Why cook plain rice when you can cook rice that makes a difference? Kale is called the “Queen of Greens” because it’s one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. Even spinach doesn’t compare. Kale contains a lot of beneficial minerals and some powerful antioxidants with huge amounts of vitamins A, C, and K. It can help protect you against cancer, heart disease, and inflammation. It’s good for your eyes, your skin and hair, I mean really! Eat some kale!
I prefer Dino kale (also called Lacinto kale) because it’s easier to clean and cut and it’s not so curly. But any kale is a super food so use whatever you can find.
Lately, I never cook plain rice any more. Rice is the perfect vehicle for transporting health-building veggies into your body, but of all the other veggies I have added to rice, kale and broccoli are the most beneficial. As for the rice, I often use brown rice in this recipe but honestly, brown rice is not pretty to photograph and I didn’t want to post an unflattering photo that might not motivate you to make this healthy recipe. So I made it with Uncle Ben’s converted rice for this photo. It is quicker to make the white rice but it’s definitely healthier with brown rice, which has more fiber but it also takes longer to cook. So if time permits, use brown rice but either way, this is a delicious and healthy side dish. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
It’s 100 degrees outside! That’s potato salad time! And barbeque time! I don’t think I’ve ever made my “fall-off-the-bone” ribs without potato salad. Naturally, I make mine as healthy and low fat as possible and that’s easy to do. I use light mayo in the dressing (Best Foods brand, which is called Hellman’s east of the Rockies) along with low-fat buttermilk. The mayo makes it nice and creamy and the buttermilk gives it some extra tang, and less calories.
My special trick is to soak the still hot potatoes with vinegar and salt before adding the creamy dressing. This quickly infuses the potatoes with extra flavor and just takes a minute to do. I always use red potatoes for my potato salad but other waxy varieties like yellow finn and yukon gold will work too. They hold up better than Russets. When you boil potatoes, try not to over-test them for doneness. And don’t use a fork. It’s best to test a potato with a skinny knife, which won’t allow too much moisture to penetrate the potato and make it waterlogged.
Just a note about celery: to me there is a big difference in the taste of celery hearts and the outside stalks. The hearts are sweeter than the outside parts so try to use the inside hearts of the celery and save the outside bitter stalks for other cooking or making soup. I even chop up some of the tender yellow celery leaves from the very inside, which add some pretty color, too. I’ll be making my lightened-up potato salad all through the summer and I hope it becomes your favorite too. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones