Soups/Salads/Side Dishes

Jun 18, 2014

Simple Egg Salad

Simple Egg Salad Recipe

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.

Jun 6, 2014

Greek Avgolemono Soup

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My stepmother was Greek and she showed me how her mother made Greek avgolemono, which is a very popular Greek lemon chicken soup. How do I describe this amazing soup? It’s like the pudding of all soups, thick, creamy, and foamy. The thickness comes from adding egg to the chicken stock and the foaminess is created by beating the egg with an electric hand mixer until it’s thick. And that fabulous lemon flavor comes from fresh lemon juice.

My stepmom, Roula, showed me how she sets up the beater and mixing bowl right next to the chicken stock heating on the stove. This way, once the egg is nice and thick, you can easily and slowly ladle the hot soup into the egg before you add the egg to the soup. You do it this way to “temper” the egg and warm it up so it blends into the hot liquid. If you just poured the beaten egg into the hot soup, you would have scrambled eggs floating in the pot.

Traditionally, avgolemono is served with orzo or rice. Pieces of chicken are always a good addition if you have it and of course, homemade chicken stock will make this soup taste out of this world. I make my own stock and this way I have pieces of chicken to add to the soup.

Oh, by the way, once you have the stock, if takes less than 10 minutes to make this Greek Avgolemono Soup. The Greek paper in the picture came from Greece when my stepmom brought me a handmade table cloth from Athens. Thank you, Roula, for the table cloth and for showing me how to make this amazing soup. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

May 15, 2014

Lightened Up Potato Salad

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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

Apr 18, 2014

Marinated Superfoods

Marinated SuperfoodsBesides being one of the prettiest things you could serve, my marinated superfoods is one of the healthiest. And the fastest! It only takes 15 minutes to put this simple recipe together and it’s such a delicious and easy marinade using fresh lemon juice  – I can’t get enough of it. You can serve it as a side dish or the way I prefer it, which is cold. I like to keep a bowl of this marinated broccoli and cauliflower in the fridge and snack on it throughout the day. To me, it’s better than any vitamin pill.

Both broccoli and cauliflower are cruciferous vegetables, the ones that help protect us against cancer. So here’s the skinny on broccoli: It has calcium for bones, lutein for eyes, and vitamins A, C, and K, as well as sulforaphane, the anti-cancer compound. Cauliflower also has sulforaphane plus lots of B vitamins, potassium, anti-inflammatory properties, brain support and helps detox the liver. Onions are good for the heart, blood pressure, memory, and liver. Red onions have more antioxidants then blueberries. I think I’ve made my point.

I make this dish with white or purple cauliflower. I’m always excited to find the purple one because the color intensifies when you cook it. Even the marinade turns red! It’s beautiful!

Here’s how easy this recipe is. I steam the veggies for 10 minutes. While they steam, I mix up the marinade and slice the onion. Then I pour the marinade over the hot vegetables so they absorb all the flavors, then mix it all up. If you want to stay healthy… make these marinated superfoods… eat them… and make more. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jan 13, 2014

Homemade Chicken Soup

Chickekn Noodle Soup RecipeIt doesn’t take much skill to make delicious homemade chicken soup… just a little patience. The best chicken soup starts with the best homemade stock so I am sharing my recipe for easy chicken soup and stock, which is all the same to me.  And wait ’til you see how easy it is. There’s really not much to do.

ChickenSoup_7389_Edit_600You just put everything into the biggest soup pot you have and cook it. The best flavor comes from chicken parts with a lot of bones, which is why I use backs & necks and wings. Ideally, I get a package of each since there is more meat on the wings. So forget making soup with chicken breasts – you won’t be happy.

Aromatic vegetables are a must and those include onions, carrots, celery, and I like to add a parsnip too. You can put them in whole or chop them up. The main thing is time. I cook mine for three hours and it never fails. After three hours of cooking, there’s not much left of the vegetables so I always discard them. And I pick the meat off the bones and store that separately.

So this recipe is technically a chicken stock and I always make it the night before because once it’s refrigerated, 100% of the fat will rise and solidify on the top for easy removal. It’s saturated fat and we don’t need that. In fact your soup will keep even longer in the fridge if you keep the fat layer on the top, kind of like an airtight lid.

The next day, my stock is ready to use in all of my cooking and just perfect as a soup.  Once the fat layer is discarded if I want chicken noodle soup, I chop some fresh carrots and cook them with the noodles in the stock. I also use the stock to make other soups like vegetable soup, bean soup, chili, and I also drink it as a healing broth. Chicken soup does have healing compounds if you have a cold or flu so this is the perfect time to try my healthy homemade chicken soup recipe.

Sure it’s three hours, but so were the Golden Globes last night — you could have watched it AND made soup. That’s how to multi-task! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jan 9, 2014

Spinach-Walnut Pesto

Spinach Walnut Pesto RecipeStart your pasta water first because this spinach-walnut pesto will be ready long before your spaghetti is cooked. It takes about five minutes to make this super healthy topping for pasta or almost anything else like a chicken breast, fish fillet, or one of my favorites… a chicken pesto sandwich. Traditional pesto uses all basil and pine nuts but by switching some of the basil out with fresh baby spinach and using walnuts instead of pine nuts, this becomes a much healthier sauce.

Spinach can protect you from cancer, heart disease, stroke, macular degeneration and cataracts.  It’s also called “brain food” because it may slow the aging of your brain. And both olive oil and walnuts provide heart-healthy fats to protect your heart. Even the garlic is good for your circulation and blood pressure. There.  That should be enough reasons to try this simple, quick and easy, super-healthy pesto.

It only takes five minutes because I use pre-washed spinach – a whole bag of it! My food processor holds eleven cups and it’s chock full when I put all the ingredients in but it does process down nicely. If yours seems too full, you can start with half the spinach at first, then add the rest of it after the oil. And use more or less of anything: more garlic, less spinach, it won’t matter. Just taste it at the end for salt… and enjoy. Click here for the recipe.

Nov 13, 2013

Beet & Cabbage Borscht

Beet & Cabbage Borscht

I absolutely love my beet & cabbage borscht. It has a complex flavor but is really easy to make. You basically put all the ingredients in a pot and cook. It’s the best soup I know to restore electrolytes and boost your immune system.

Every time I make this soup, I devour it in no time. I think your body knows when it’s getting something super healthy and yesterday I had two big bowls of it for dinner – nothing else. We Polish people usually add a little dollop of sour cream to our borscht. My dad had his own way of eating it. Instead of adding diced potatoes to the soup, he would make a side of mashed potatoes and put some potatoes in his spoon, then dip it in the soup so every bite had mashed potatoes and delicious borscht. Yummm.

Beets alone are an anti-aging powerhouse. They are said to stabilize blood sugar & cholesterol, support the liver & urinary tract, and help fight heart disease and cancer. The rich variety of other vegetables can protect against prostate, lung and other cancers, heart disease, macular degeneration and memory loss.

Winter’s coming and that’s soup season. Try my beet and cabbage borscht on the next cold night but don’t wear white when you’re making it. Beets turn everything red. Even…. well…. you’ll see the next morning. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 15, 2013

Roasted Vegetables

Easy Roasted VegetablesI don’t need to tell you why you have to eat your vegetables. Okay, maybe I do. Your mother probably told you they provide vitamins, which your body can not produce so you need to get them from food. But back in the day we didn’t know about the recently discovered antioxidants and phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables, with each different color providing its own specific anti-aging and protective nutrients.  And the more intense their color, the more benefits. Many of these phytonutrients (with names I can’t pronounce) cannot be found in any other food groups.

Bottom line: Vegetables can help prevent certain diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Vegetables are also some of the richest sources of fiber that exist. So if you want to look great and feel great with a strong immune system, do what I do and eat vegetables every single day. I have a salad with every meal and then one or two cooked vegetables as well. Roasting is my favorite way to cook vegetables. Roasting brings out the natural sugars in vegetables and it’s the easiest way I know to cook them and to eat more than one color at a time.

Even a novice cook can make these super easy roasted veggies. Click here for my new recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jun 13, 2013

Rainbow Bean Salad

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Bean salad is already good for you but when you add all these stunning colored peppers, you boost the health benefits even more. Beans are a good way to add fiber to your diet and fiber is good for stabilizing blood sugar. Beans are also high in minerals so their calcium is good for bones.

And each of these beautiful colored peppers comes with its own special group of antioxidants that benefit everything from your brain, heart, eyes, joints, lungs, and may protect you against cancer. What’s good to note is that every single ingredient in this easy recipe has health benefits, right down to the heart-healthy olive oil.

It takes just minutes to put together but the health benefits will last a lifetime. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

May 19, 2013

Quick Balsamic Peppers

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If I had to choose one vegetable side dish with the most health benefits, it would be balsamic peppers and onions. The vegetables with the deepest colors have the most antioxidants so you can imagine what this stunning combination can do for your health. It looks fancy but this is a simple, easy recipe that cooks in just ten minutes and oh, the fabulous taste. The first time I made it, I wanted to eat only these delicious peppers for my whole meal.

In this quick and healthy recipe, I add just a pinch of sugar to enhance the sweetness of the peppers and if I could have found a sweet Vidalia onion, I would have used that, so if you can find a sweet onion, it would make this dish even better. You can even add a jalapeno if you like things hot. This easy recipe is the perfect side dish for chicken or fish, added to a pita sandwich, on top of a steak, or even part of a healthy breakfast.

Here are just some of the reasons why you should try these green, red, orange, and yellow quick balsamic peppers: Brightly colored fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, which keep the immune system strong. Green vegetables are high in vitamin C (good for bones, teeth, muscles, and skin), red vegetables are high in vitamin A (for eye health) and lycopene (supports prostate health), while yellow & orange ones are high in carotenoids (protect the heart, lungs, and eyes).

Overall, these combined colored peppers may help protect against heart disease, cancer, memory loss, macular degeneration, and by boosting your immune system, might even help prevents colds and flu. Wait, there’s more. Onions have antibacterial properties, help the liver eliminate toxins, and may be better for your heart than red wine!

Whew! There’s your proof that a simple recipe like this can help you live longer! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones