If you ever need fast comfort food, this is it. Today I made my quick and easy mac & cheese and it was ready in 20 minutes. With only four ingredients, it’s pretty hard to mess up, and I use low fat milk and cheese so I don’t feel guilty about enjoying this American classic. Plus I always serve it with a green vegetable on the side. Sometimes this simple mac & cheese becomes a side dish to some chicken and salad. Even though it’s a quick stovetop recipe, you can also bake it in the oven for a crispy top. Here’s how I do it:
While I prepare the recipe on the stove I preheat the oven to 375. Once the stovetop version is done I stir in some chopped & drained fresh tomato (this is optional) and I transfer it all to a greased 3-quart casserole dish. I top it with a cup of fresh breadcrumbs and bake for 20-25 minutes for a golden, crispy top. You make fresh breadcrumbs by processing a couple of slices of white or soft whole wheat bread in a food processor.
Whether you need a quick 20 minute recipe or you prefer a creamy mac & cheese with a crispy top, either way you’ll get a much healthier version of almost everyone’s favorite comfort food… macaroni and cheese. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I made bran muffins today and was going to have one for breakfast. I had two. I’ve never been able to eat just one even thought they have a lot of fiber. There’s something so tasty about the combination of molasses, cinnamon, and vanilla, especially with a glass of cold milk. There are a lot of reasons to eat fiber. It can reduce blood pressure and inflammation, as well as the risk of type 2 diabetes. Fiber protects your heart, prevents constipation, and it keeps you feeling full so it helps with weight loss too.
But the best reason to eat these muffins is they are really delicious and easy to make. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
My mother used to slice up leftover potato pancakes and scramble them with eggs for breakfast. It’s still one of my favorite things to eat so I made it today. I had made the potato pancakes (placki in Polish) on Monday and had plenty left over so I treated myself to this delicious breakfast. I have actually made the pancakes just to use for this breakfast – that’s how much I love this dish.
Here’s a closeup of my Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are big! These are the ones made with 100% whole grains and no butter. Before baking you press them flat with a fork and they spread even more when they bake and come out super thin and crispy. I made them last night and the recipe makes twelve. There are five left. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Sunday morning breakfast becomes Sunday brunch when I make my beloved no knead fruit & nut bread. I used the overnight method because I wanted it ready sooner than later this morning. There were two kinds of raisins in the pantry to so I mixed red and yellow ones and the nuts were toasted walnuts. The oven should be preheated to 450 and then reduced to 400 for baking because the sugar in the dough can cause the bottom to burn. So I tried something new this time and after the 30 minutes when you remove the lid and parchment paper to finish baking, I lifted out the bread and pushed down the parchment paper into the bottom of the pot. Then I placed the loaf back on the pile of parchment and finished the baking process for another 12-13 minutes. This was the best bottom crust I have made yet. And this is truly the best fruit & nut bread I have ever had. And it’s whole wheat! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
This may be the easiest cookie recipe ever. No mixer, no flour, no butter, and only five ingredients. Well… make that six. It’s my peanut butter cookie recipe but this time I added chocolate chips. Wow! They were so good I made them twice this week. It’s a winning combination: peanut butter and chocolate, and even healthier by using dark chocolate chips so I just had to share my “new” recipe.
This recipe is so flexible that next time I might add some extra chopped peanuts too. This simple recipe is so easy, even if you don’t bake, you can make these cookies. – plain or with chocolate chips. 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
They are 100% whole wheat and low in sugar with as many diced apples as I could squeeze in. The top is the best part because I sprinkle it with a little cinnamon & sugar before baking. I used a mix of Granny Smith and gala apples and I was out of buttermilk so I used a mixture of milk and plain yogurt (about 1/2 & 1/2) and it worked great.
There’s no butter in these lightly sweet, delicious muffins, but they don’t need it. Anything baked with apples is always going to be good. It’s apples! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Blueberries were on sale yesterday so I made muffins. These are part whole wheat, part white, and I followed my lemon-blueberry muffin recipe but without the lemon. (I forgot to buy a lemon!) So no lemon peel and no lemon glaze and instead of the glaze I just sprinkled the tops with a little sugar for a nice, sweet, crispy top. Oh, and I was out of buttermilk so I mixed up some milk and yogurt, about 1/2 and 1/2 and it worked great. Imagine if I had some lemon yogurt!
We had these delicious whole wheat blueberry muffins as part of our breakfast and I’m planning another one for dessert after my beef stew. Blueberries are called “brain food” for all the antioxidant benefits they provide to help protect against Alzheimer’s and other diseases. So while they’re still affordable, I recommend eating blueberries any way you can… like my blueberry pancakes, coffee cake, or my fancy lemon-blueberry bundt cake. To make these easy whole wheat muffins or the lemon-blueberry muffins, click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I made one of my top ten favorite recipes today: Orange Sesame Chicken. It’s fast, healthy, and so much better than restaurant orange chicken, which is usually batter fried. My lean chicken is stir fried in 2 teaspoons of oil and made with freshly squeezed orange juice and toasted sesame oil. If you haven’t tasted (and smelled!) toasted sesame oil, it’s unbelievably fragrant. And bonus: this recipe takes 20 minutes. But that’s not even why I like it so much. It is deeeelicous!
If you’re wondering, here is the entire top ten list of my own personal favorite recipes, the ones I make the most:
Chicken Pot Pie
Multigrain No Knead Bread
Giant Breakfast Cookies
Orange Sesame Chicken
Spaghetti & Meatballs
Pork Loin Dinner
Happy Labor Day weekend to everyone and if you want to try my orange sesame chicken, click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones