Soups/Salads/Side Dishes

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 SoupIf 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

How To Make The Healthiest 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

Jan 8, 2016

Five Minute Alfredo Sauce

Quick & Easy Fetuccini AlfredoDo 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

Jul 16, 2015

Authentic Greek Salad

How To Make Greek Salad

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

Jun 5, 2015

Spanakopita made easier & healthier

 Greek Spinach PieI 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

May 21, 2015

Easy Greek Spinach Rice

Greek Spinach Rice RecipeI 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

Dec 18, 2014

Simple Bean Soup

Simple Bean Soup from Dried White BeansTo 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. I use hot, not boiling water, so it’s the temperature of hot tap water, about 125 °F.

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

French Canadian Pea Soup Recipe

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

Jul 25, 2014

Rice with Kale

Rice With KaleWhy 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.

KaleMangoOrangeSmoothie_leavesLately, 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