clean eating

Oct 10, 2022

Plain Chicken Jambalaya

plain_chicken_jambalay_jenny_can_cookNEW RECIPE: Finally! A new recipe! I know!👨‍🍳 I hesitated to post this Chicken Jambalaya recipe because it’s not authentic and it’s sort of plain but I love it so much I’m posting it anyway. I’ve been making it a lot lately because it’s fast, healthy, and not spicy since I use my own homemade seasoning mix. The whole thing takes 45 minutes to make and I sometimes include shrimp, so there is a variation for that in the recipe. Most people use Andouille sausage in Jambalaya but I don’t care much for sausage yet this jambalaya still has plenty of flavor. These days I’m always looking to my one-pan meals when I’m busy and this is my newest addition to that list. For a Creole recipe that’s quick and easy, and healthy, and not spicy, give it a try. Click here for the recipe.

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 3/4 pound of tomatoes.

Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones