I’ve been busy the past month and when there’s not much time to cook, I still cook. And tonight I made my veggie fried rice. It’s my go-to dinner when I want a quick and healthy meal. I always have broccoli and peppers on hand I always keep frozen peas in the freezer.
It’s a light meal with protein from the eggs and a bounty of nutrients from the vegetables. This time I used broccoli, spinach, peppers, and peas. We had my peanut butter cookies for dessert.
If you want to try this quick and easy vegetarian fried rice, click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
This morning I was craving my caramelized apple pancake but I am by myself and the recipe makes two servings. I decided to experiment, cutting all the ingredients in half, using one large granny smith apple and I used my 9-inch cast iron pan. It turned out great! I was afraid it would spread out too much and the edges wouldn’t puff up but look – it’s beautiful!
Here it is just out of the oven before I flipped it over onto the plate.
It wasn’t quite as gooey as the big one but I needed to show that you can make this pancake for one. You know that movie, “Gone in 60 Seconds?” So was my pancake. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Quick & easy pierogi? There is no such thing. But if ever a recipe was worth the time, it’s homemade pierogi. I only make potato & cheese pierogi because that’s what I grew up on. My dad taught me how to make them and I’m so glad I shared the recipe because I wasn’t sure if anyone would want to put in the effort. It turns out a lot of people do. There are hundreds of comments and over a million people have watched the video.
There are two things to make: the dough and the filling. The mashed potato filling is easy to make but the dough takes more time and it’s important that the filling stays inside the dough when they are boiled. Before boiling, the pierogi must be kept apart on a floured towel because if they touch each other they will likely stick and create an opening in the dough. That would result in them breaking apart when they’re boiled. I line a baking sheet with a dish towel and sprinkle it with flour and place them on the towel, not touching.
I boil mine in a medium saucepan so I only boil 4 or 5 at a time, making sure at first that they don’t touch each other in the water. Pierogi take about 3-4 minutes to cook and when they’re done I remove them to an oiled baking sheet and put the next few in the boiling water. (By the way, “pierogi” is plural – one is called a “pierog” but people often use “pierogies” as the plural).
Once they’re cooked I still keep them mostly separated. There are two ways to enjoy these Polish treasures. One is to eat them right after boiling when they are soft and tender, served with sour cream and bacon bits. I rarely eat bacon but that rule goes out the window when I make homemade pierogi.
The other way is to pan fry them in a little oil or butter until they’re lightly browned and serve them with (big surprise…) sour cream and bacon bits. They are also often served with fried onions. Well I have to go now. We have leftovers. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
It must be Sunday because I’m making my favorite no knead bread, the one I love having for breakfast. This easy mulitgrain loaf has two kinds of fiber, one from the oats and the other from whole wheat flour. Oats have soluble fiber and whole wheat has insoluble fiber, the perfect combination of whole grains. No knead loaves made with whole grains don’t form the lovely cracks we see in the white versions but they still form a beautifully crunchy crust.
This recipe uses the overnight method with cold water so I put it together last night before bed and baked it this morning. I’ll be saving a couple of slices and freezing the remaining slices that will last me all week, and then next Sunday….. well…. I’ll make it again. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Guess what? You can make healthier hot dog buns at home and it’s super easy. I made soft whole wheat hot dog buns using my Simple Whole Wheat Bread recipe (the popular one that’s soft and delicious and takes 90 minutes) and this takes even less time because they bake in 12 minutes.
I made the dough and instead of shaping it into a loaf, I cut it into 8 pieces. I decided to make 4 sandwich rolls and 4 hot dog buns so I shaped four into circles and four into about 7-inch long rolls. I covered them with a towel and let them rise in a warm spot until doubled (about 35-40 minutes).
Here’s how beautifully they doubled in size.
Then I baked them for 12 minutes at 375° F. If you want to make easy, soft whole wheat hot dog buns that are healthier than any you can buy, click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Sunday is when I stock up on my homemade granola. It seems to disappear quickly around here but it’s no problem because this is one of my simplest, easiest recipes. I dump everything onto a baking pan, mix it up with my hands, and bake it. I stir it a couple of times and I like to bake it until it’s really well toasted and brown. I use thick oats or regular rolled oats if it’s all I have, along with lots of nuts, brown sugar, coconut, and real maple syrup, plus as little oil and that’s it. My oil of choice these days is cold pressed avocado oil. When something is this healthy and this easy, there’s no reason to eat the store bought stuff. Homemade always tastes better. Click herefor the recipe.
Speaking of “homemade tastes better” I also stocked up on my soft & chewy oatmeal raisin cookies. Well, they are usually oatmeal raisin cookies but today I “accidentally” mistook my dark chocolate chunks for raisins so I guess I’m stuck with these soft oatmeal dark chocolate chunk cookies. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 😋 Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I took my treasured oatmeal chocolate chip bars to a new stratosphere today. Besides using chunks of a dark chocolate bar, I added a broiled coconut-pecan topping and all I can say is, “Somebody, please hide them from me!” This hybrid dessert has no white flour, lots of fiber, dark chocolate chunks, and a crispy topping — I love love love it!
All I did was use the topping from my Oatmeal Snacking Cake and put it on my Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars. I broiled it for about a minute and I have a new dessert that is healthier than most and really easy to make. You can use butter or oil in the topping so anyone like me, who prefers baking without butter, will love this too. These healthy bars are so yummy, I froze some because… well I just had to. 😋
I like this so much I added it as a new recipe. For my new Oatmeal Bars With A Crispy Coconut Top, click here– Jenny Jones
For my Christmas dinner I make everything I can in advance and pumpkin pie is a natural because it has to cool and be refrigerated to serve cold anyway. My easy recipe uses an oil crust and I made it with cold pressed avocado oil. The filling is a breeze using canned pumpkin and low fat canned milk so it’s light and low fat. Now you won’t feel too guilty about the whipped cream!
When I make homemade stuffing from scratch, I really mean from scratch. I baked a loaf of white bread yesterday and today I’m drying it into cubes for my simple bread stuffing. This stuffing gets more raves than my turkey! Making things in advance really takes the pressure off of big holiday dinners so today and I’m drying the bread and making the stuffing too. I’ll just reheat it before serving.
There are too many temptations during the holidays! Sweets are everywhere but they don’t all have to be bad for you. My sugar cookies use half the butter, are low in sugar and you can make them using part whole wheat pastry flour. And by the way, I can not tell the difference between the all purpose flour version and the whole wheat version.
Everyone loves these cookies so I make a lot. That’s why I usually use a cookie press because I need lots of cookies and it’s just faster. They’re not as pretty as the cutouts but they taste just as good. One of the best things about these sugar cookies is they keep well and travel well so they are perfect to give as gifts with no worry that they won’t be fresh. They also freeze well.
Either cutouts or cookie pressed, why not make Christmas cookies a little healthier for everyone? Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I can never get enough spaghetti and meatballs. It’s really one of the best comfort foods. Most people think you have to cook sauce for hours but I will never do that when I can make delicious marinara sauce (and meatballs) in half an hour. I always use canned San Marzano plum tomatoes for my sauce.
And people think you have to brown meatballs first before putting them in your sauce but I don’t do that either. By cooking the meatballs totally in the sauce they come out super soft and delicious. We had this tonight with a salad and breadsticks. I made cookies too.
For dessert I made soft & chewy oatmeal raisin cookies – super easy. I’ll be posting that recipe soon. Meantime, if you want to try my quick and easy spaghetti and meatballs recipe, click here. – Jenny Jones