clean eating

Nov 7, 2020

Quick & Easy Pumpkin Bars

Quick & Easy Pumpkin BarsTry to eat just one of these light and delicious bars! They seem to melt in your mouth. This is a quick recipe that uses less sugar than most and even less butter and cream cheese in the frosting. There’s only one ounce of cream cheese and one tablespoon of butter in the frosting.

I can never seem to get the top smooth but it doesn’t matter since they’re frosted anyway. Plus, you can always frost them upside down. My oil of choice for baking is avocado oil but they’re not all the same. Look for one that is light colored and flavorless. (see my brand under “Products I Use”). I line my pan with foil for easy cleanup and I frost these bars right in the pan.

Some days I crave pumpkin pie but don’t want to work that hard. These fragrant bars are the next best thing. (My husband calls them pumpkin brownies – sounds like a ploy for me to put in some chocolate chips ? – maybe next time.)  Click here for the recipe  – Jenny Jones

Filed Under: Sweets
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Sep 26, 2020

Fast Vegetable-Bean Chili

Fast Vegetable Bean ChiliHow many healthy vegetables can you add to a pot of chili? Six! Celery, carrots, bell peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, and fresh spinach. If you count the onions and garlic, you have eight! That’s a lot of vitamins right there. Vegetables are a lifeline to good health so this meatless chili is a good way to get a variety of veggies in one delicious meal. Then there are two kinds of beans for plenty of protein and fiber. Whip out a couple of my no knead crusty rolls and dig in!! ????

We don’t like spicy food and I cannot find a mild chili powder so I make my own mixture and it’s not spicy at all. My chili powder recipe uses paprika, cumin, oregano, garlic & onion powder, allspice, and cloves.

Homemade Chili Powder MildI don’t use cayenne at all but you can add a little if you like. Click here for my chili powder recipe.

A couple of notes on this chili: This is a fast recipe so the veggies must be cut small so they cook through nice and soft. Cut them all in 1/4-inch pieces. To save time, prep only the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery to start. Prep the rest while the chili cooks. You may have to adjust the amount of chili powder to your taste. Chili is a good meal to make in advance because it’s even better the next day. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jul 19, 2020

Cracked Wheat No Knead Bread

Cracked Wheat No Knead BreadHere’s another no knead bread that I love. It’s crunchy on the outside and on the inside too! I make it with two kinds of flour (whole wheat and white) and then I add a half cup of cracked wheat to the dough. The result is a fabulous high-fiber bread with a golden crust and a delicious nutty interior with lots of crunch.

Cracked wheat is made by milling raw wheat berries into smaller pieces, preserving the nutrient and fiber rich bran and germ layers. So this delicious loaf has extra fiber and protein, and cracked wheat is also a good source of iron.

If you like hearty, farm-style bread with extra crunch, you will love this recipe. I have never been able to find cracked wheat at the  store so I order it online, solely to make this recipe. Cracked wheat is a series of uncooked, hard, dry pieces and looks like this:

Cracked WheatI have also made the same recipe with steel-cut oats but it does not have the flavor or texture that this one does.  I use the overnight version to allow the uncooked cracked wheat time to soften. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

May 24, 2020

I Made Apple Pie

Apple Pie Jenny Can CookIt’s just so good! I wanted something special for the holiday weekend and decided on my homemade apple pie. I bought six large Granny Smith apples and this time I cut the slices a little smaller, about 3/4-inch thick. Someone had mentioned that the apples weren’t cooked enough so slightly smaller pieces worked out just fine. And of course, I always use my easy oil crust, using avocado oil.

Most of the time I brush the crust with milk but I had whipping cream on hand and used that before sprinkling the top with sugar. I didn’t see much difference from using milk. You can’t buy an apple pie anywhere that even comes close to homemade. Serve an apple pie and you’ll find you have more friends & family than you realized! ? Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Apr 30, 2020

Fudgy, Chewy, Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Brownies

Fudgy Chewy Gluten Free BrowniesI like these brownies just as much as my regular and very popular chocolate brownies. I was surprised how well gluten free flour works in brownies, both my lemon brownies and these dark chocolate ones. I think it makes them even more fudgy and chewy. The only gluten free flour I could find was Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free baking flour and it works really well. I’m hoping if someone makes this recipe with a different gluten free flour, they will report back on the result.

I make them with avocado oil but you can also used melted butter. Surprisingly, I prefer the ones made with oil and saw no improvement in flavor using butter. That may be because there is so much rich chocolate flavor in these decadent brownies. I use a whole 3-ounce dark chocolate bar and Dutch process cocoa, which is very rich and dark. I also use dark chocolate chips so that would make them triple chocolate brownies that just happen to be gluten free. Click here for the recipe – Jenny Jones

Mar 1, 2020

Easy Crispy Focaccia Bread

Easy Crispy Focaccia Bread RecipeThis is no ordinary focaccia. It’s not the soft kind that you bake in a pan. This is focaccia the way I like it: thin and crispy. It’s like a slice of pizza without the pizza stuff. I have only been able to accomplish this using a baking stone and a pizza peel, and a very hot oven. That’s how they make those great pizzas at Italian restaurants. They use very hot ovens, and slide the pizzas in using a wooden peel like this.

Parchment paper is a must for two reasons. One, it makes pressing the dough into a circle easier because the dough sticks to the paper. And two, it makes it a breeze to slide the dough onto the hot baking stone. The parchment will turn dark from the high heat as you can see in the recipe photo. My focaccia recipe is quicker than most, taking only 90 minutes start-to-finish. As long as I don’t need my oven for cooking dinner, I can make this incredible focaccia and time it to be ready to eat with our salad.

You can make traditional rosemary focaccia or use a store-bought blend of Italian herbs. I actually use both. I mix them into the dough for lots of Italian flavor, and then put a little more on top. Some of the  spices on top fall off but the dough has enough flavor inside to make up for any of that. I like the result better with bread flour so that’s the only one I use.

Another good thing is that if you don’t eat it all (what are the chances, really?) you can re-crisp it the next day directly on the oven rack at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. It has never taken me more than 90 minutes to make this fabulous crispy Italian focaccia. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Feb 28, 2020

I Made My Favorite Chocolate Cake

Sweet Potato Chocolate CakeI realize that my “Quick & Easy” chocolate cake is the most popular and I often make it when I need cake fast. Some days, we just need cake fast! But sweet potato chocolate cake is still my favorite. It starts with a whole sweet potato, which I cook and mash with a fork. I used to boil it but now I chop and steam the sweet potato. This way it retains more vitamins and I like that this is a dessert with some nutrition. And because sweet potatoes are so sweet, this recipe uses less sugar.

This chocolate cake always turns out moist and delicious. I frost most of my cakes right in the pan, only on the top. If you want to try my favorite recipe for sweet potato chocolate cake and get a little vitamin A in each slice, click here.

Feb 12, 2020

I’m Always Learning

Jenny Can Cook Best RecipesThese are just some of the recipes that I have either improved or simplified since they were originally posted. I’m always learning and improving my skills so if anyone is using a recipe that was posted a while ago or if you printed it some time ago, please check the “Recipe Changes/Fixes” category in my blog.

So far I have made changes to about 100 recipes but many of the changes are minor, like increasing salt or reducing sugar but others, like my 15-Minute Veggie Pasta, now use an easier, faster, all-in-one-pan method. I’m always looking for ways to make something healthier or faster or to simplify the process so every time I cook, if I try a better way and it works, I adjust the recipe and share the exact changes I made in the blog.

I encourage all of my regular cooks to occasionally check the “Recipe Changes” category here in my blog to make sure you are using the newest and best version of each recipe. As I evolve as a better (& simpler) cook, I will continue to occasionally update my recipes. To see if any changes were made to your favorite recipes, click here.

Jan 31, 2020

Healthy Mexican Black Bean Casserole

Healthy Mexican Black Bean CasseroleI love casseroles. Cook once / eat twice /or three times. And casseroles are always flexible: a little more of this, a little less of that, and they still turn out. This is a little like my Spicy Mexican Casserole but made not spicy using an Anaheim pepper, with corn tortillas and added vegetables. I always try to include as many vegetables as possible in every meal, besides the salads I make every day.

Vegetables are the key to good health so besides lots of fresh tomatoes, I include antioxidant-rich bell pepper along with the Anaheim green chili pepper. Anaheim peppers (also called long peppers) are green and measure about 7 inches long.These peppers are great for anyone not liking anything too spicy but who does like a flavorful pepper. Of course you can use Jalapeño peppers instead but the Anaheim pepper is perfect for me.

This recipe is high in fiber from the black beans and corn tortillas. All corn tortillas are not the same, in fact they can be very different. I tried Whole Foods 365 brand and they were dry and disappointing. My preference is Guerrero brand if you can find them.

You can make lots of variations with this recipe, using cheddar cheese instead of monterey jack, pinto beans instead of black beans, and you can add spices if you like, but I do recommend staying with the fresh tomatoes. They add moisture and fresh taste to this easy casserole.

UPDATE June 3, 2020: I found myself using less and less tomatoes in this recipe and I now prefer it that way. It also means less chopping! ? I suggest trying it with only about 1/2 pound of tomatoes.

Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jan 4, 2020

Your Photos/My Recipes (January)

How exciting to see that my recipes are being made all over the world! I appreciate it when someone takes the time to send a photo and I love knowing where you are from. Please send your photo to: YourPhotos@JennyCanCook.com

“ANONYMOUS” MADE MY NO KNEAD BREAD

“Wholesome goodness from your easiest bread recipe.”

~ That loaf looks great. Thank you for your terrific photo. ~ jennyJenny Can Cook No Knead Bread

KARYN (from Arizona) MADE MY NO KNEAD CRUSTY ROLLS

 “Hi Jenny, This is not the greatest photo, but I had to get a photo of the rolls right when I took them out of the oven…. just in case I had messed something up and they deflated or exploded or something lol. They are perfect, well they were perfect. They are all gone now and my poor hubby who has to deal with my baking disasters is actually all smiles now. I just wanted to say Hi and Thank you from Prescott, Arizona. We are up in the mountains and are high elevation, but I didn’t make any changes to your recipe and the rolls were perfect. I am going to tackle a few more recipes this week and I am totally confident they will be amazing.  Warmly, Karyn.”

~ Your photo is great. That’s exactly how mine look when they’re done. I’m so glad they were a hit. ~ jennyNo Knead Crusty Rolls Jenny Can Cook

RYAN MADE MY BUTTERMILK BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

 “Hi Jenny, Found you the other day and have made 4 recipes so far: No Knead Bread (stayed a bit dense) Mac & Cheese (burnt the milk a bit) Lemon Brownies (excellent results) and these wonderful pancakes. I did triple the recipe for my big family and they were a huge hit!! I look forward to making many additional meals from your site and channel. Thanks, Ryan.”

~ Thank you for the photo. They look perfect and it’s good to know you can triple the recipe.~ jennyBlueberry Pancakes Jenny Can Cook

MJ MADE MY MARBLE LOAF CAKE

 “Jenny, I just had to let your fans know what an amazing cake this is! I used a 7” angel food cake pan (odd size I know but perfect for loaf cakes!). I made the cake exactly as instructed with the addition of orange zest as you suggested. I covered it with chocolate ganache made with chocolate chips and evaporated milk instead of cream – oh – ONE CHANGE – the chocolate swirl was 1/3 cup melted chocolate chips + batter. The cake rose beautifully and it is so tender and moist with a delicate crumb. THANK YOU!”

~ I agree that orange zest is a great addition to this cake and that ganache topping looks yummy.~ jennyJenny Can Cook Marble Loaf

MICHELLE (from Virginia) MADE MY NO KNEAD BREAD

 “Jenny, Thank you so much for all your recipes on Youtube- I made this bread tonight and it was a hit with me and my husband. Gonna make your cinnamon rolls this weekend. Thank you for making it not so scary to bake! I usually burn rolls – so it was a double celebration when I didn’t burn this bread! PS- you might want to do a quick video on YouTube and just direct everyone to your website, I thought you had stopped doing videos and was so sad- but saw someone else say they wished you would start your channel back up and another commented that you had your website! So glad I re-found you!! ? thank you again- from Virginia- Michelle.”

~ Thanks so much for your photos. I can almost taste that slice with the butter! ?~ jennyFast No Knead Bread Jenny JonesFaster No Knead Bread Jenny Can Cook

LARRY (from Illinois) MADE MY CARROT CAKE

 “Greetings from (K) Larry in Illinois. First cake I’ve ever made and it came out great! I’ve made quite a few of your recipes now and was getting a little over confidant. I tried a few from other sites and failed! Thank You ……..yours are well thought out, clearly explained and proven. This has been a fun journey for an old guy! Yours have only failed because of me having a “senior moment” !!!! ~ Larry.”

~ Your cake looks great. Thank you for the photo. “Senior moment” huh? I know all about those. ?~ jennyJenny Can Cook Carrot Cake

JERI MADE MY NO KNEAD BREAD & CINNAMON ROLLS

 “Love your recipes. I made both your No Knead bread and your Cinnamon Roll recipes. They are both wonderful thank you. I love your cheerful videos for them also. So upbeat. Thank you. ~ Jeri.”

~ Thank you so much for you photos. They will surely inspire many more bakers. ~ jennyJenny Can Cook No Knead BreadJenny Can Cook Cinnamon Rolls

KRISTI MADE MY DARK CHOCOLATE FUDGE BROWNIES

 “Jenny another marvelous recipe ‼️ ?Kristi Ham ?”

~ They look really good! Thank you for the photo. ~ jennyJenny Can Cook Fudge Brownies

LOANNE MADE MY NO KNEAD BREAD

~ Thank you for the great photos. ~ jennyFaster No Knead Bread Recipe

Best No Knead Bread

LARRY (from Illinois) MADE MY APPLE PIE BARS & PACZKI

 “Greetings from Illinois. Made the apple pie bars the other day. Tasted great! and only have 1 piece left. …….used a round pan and mine looked more like a pie.  Thanks for the recipe! and I got 2 thumbs up from 2 really good cooks! ~ Larry”

~ Thank you for your photos and I’m glad you’re having fun. Thumbs up from me, too – I love these bars (aka pie!). ~ jenny

Jenny Can Cook Apple Pie Bars

“Greetings from Illinois! Just finished another batch of PP. Turned out great again. And I am really having FUN! I over filled  one of the doughnut molds (on purpose) with the Pączki dough and it looked almost like a muffin with a small hole on top. Filled a silicone sphere ice cube mold with the dough (just a little too much) and apple butter…….it was almost round. It started to push the 2 molds apart and come out the top. These shot glass molds were frozen/ a mix of oats and ground coffee. Tried to bake them later but they slumped. (but didn’t blow up) Haven’t tried the PP dough in the shot glass molds yet,but I did try the red velvet cup cakes (tasted great!) but couldn’t get them out of the mold in one piece. ~ (K) Larry

Jenny Can Cook Polish Paczki

KRISTI MADE MY BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

 “Loved these biscuits… Jenny can I cut them and freeze the dough ? ?Kristi Ham ?”

~ They look perfect. I have only frozen mine after baking but you could look online for a better answer. Thank you for the great photo. ~ jennyJenny Can Cook Buttermilk Biscuits

IAN (from Canada) MADE MY NO KNEAD BREAD

 “Great bread, even better with homemade strawberry jam. Even we older men (76) can make this. Ottawa, Canada.”

~ Now that is a handsome loaf of bread right there. Thanks from a fellow Canuck (73). ??  ~ jennyJenny Can Cook No Knead Bread

JAMIE (from Texas) MADE MY NO KNEAD BREAD

 “No Knead Bread … that I really need. ? Thank you, Jenny, for this recipe! This is my second loaf, and I have the dough for a third one sitting in a bowl on my counter. It seems to be becoming part of my nightly routine to take 5 minutes, if that, to prep the dough for dinner the next day. It’s so easy; I’m almost embarrassed for myself that I was hesitant and uncertain about whether I could make a delicious loaf of bread or not. I don’t have a Dutch oven, so I cook mine in one of my metal pots that can go into the oven as well, and with fantastic results. So yummy!” All the best, Jamie from Texas.”

~ Thanks for the photo and especially for the helpful detail about your pot. ~ jennyFaster No Knead Bread

PATTY MADE MY MEATLOAF

“Absolutely the best ever. Will be making this monthly. So moist and melts in your mouth. Thanks Jenny!”

~ I’m glad you like it and thank you for your terrific photo. ~ jennyJenny Can Cook Meatloaf

LARRY (from Illinois) MADE MY POLISH PACZKI INTO DOUGHNUTS

“Greetings from Illinois! Just finished my second batch of PP. Turned out great again. The dough is very forgiving…..they looked  “rough” going into the oven. I just got my silicone doughnut molds a couple days  ago and put some dough in one to try them out. I only filled it with apple butter on one side. It was a little thick, but I have been using a heat lamp with the fast rise yeast and getting  good results. Just did the deep dish pizza (12 hour)  start to finish in 3 hours. ~ Larry.”

~ It’s great for everyone to know that this dough works in a mold as well. Thank you for sharing this. ~ jennyJenny Can Cook Polish Donuts

LARRY (from Illinois) MADE MY POLISH PACZKI

“Greetings from Il! This was my first attempt at Pączki. Turned out great! Good enough to give away a few. ~ Larry”

~ They look fantastic. Thank you very much for your photo. ~ jenny

Jenny Can Cook Paczki

Digital Camera

TABITHA (from North Carolina) MADE MY GRANOLA

“Happy New Year Jenny, I just made your granola recipe to bag up to take to work for snacking. ❤️ Tabitha from NC.”

~ Happy New Year back to you and thanks so much for starting it of with a great photo. ~ jennyJenny Can Cook Homemade Granola