clean eating

Oct 28, 2019

Homemade Pecan Pie Bars

Easy Pecan Pie BarsWhat can I say? This is not a dessert to have every day but for holiday baking, pecan pie is a must. But I prefer pecan pie bars because the bars can be cut into smaller pieces than a round pie and no one should eat big pieces of pecan pie! I always use an oil crust and my oil of choice is cold pressed avocado oil. I tried using maple syrup in the filling but did not like the result so I went with the traditional corn syrup, which, by the way, is not the same a high fructose corn syrup.

I only make pecan pie or pecan pie bars twice a year for Thanksgiving and Christmas and it’s a good thing because holiday recipes can be dangerous to have around. This recipe is really simple with just the basic ingredients so it comes together quickly. What I can’t figure out is why my pecans sometimes rise to the top and sometimes don’t, but these easy pecan pie bars are always so gooey and sweet and delicious. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Oct 1, 2019

I Should Have Called Them Breakfast Bars

Crispy Top Oatmeal BarsEvery time I run out of these delicious crispy top oatmeal bars, I need to make more. They are one of my all time favorites and for lots of reasons. There is no white flour, lots of dark chocolate chunks, and the recipe is easy to put together. The crispy top is the best part, made with pecans, brown sugar, and coconut. I have made the top with avocado oil and with melted butter and there’s not much difference to me.

I like something sweet after every meal, even breakfast, and this is my favorite breakfast dessert. Well, between the fig bars and these oat bars, maybe it’s the fig bars, no,,, the oat bars… oh well. I just love sweets so I have to keep finding  ways to make them healthier. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 25, 2019

Easy One Pan Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes

Easy Spaghetti With Cherry TomatoesSome days, the faster I can make dinner the better. Today is one of those days and this easy one pan spaghetti with cherry tomatoes and broccoli takes 18 minutes, including prep. I mean it. I’ve even made it in 16 minutes!

This is one of my easy one pan meals where everything cooks in one pan, including the spaghetti. I use thin spaghetti because it cooks in 9 minutes but if you use regular spaghetti you will have to add a little extra time. Stirring is important to keep the spaghetti from sticking so stir it vigorously to separate the strands.

I rarely drain pasta any more. I’m making more and more one pan meals and besides being less work, there’s less cleanup – Bonus! Cherry tomatoes and fresh broccoli are always available so if you keep them on hand, you can always make an easy, healthy dinner in less than 20 minutes.

Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jun 12, 2019

Easy Cucumber Salad

Simple Cucumber SaladThis is such a refreshing salad to serve in the summer and now is the best time to get crisp, fresh Persian cucumbers. If you can find organic cucumbers, you can just scrub them and leave the peel on. If they’re not organic, it’s best to peel them for this salad.

I slice the cucumbers very thinly, no more than 1/8 of an inch thick, and for the onion, the thinner the better as well. The dressing uses a good amount of sugar but remember that most of the dressing is not eaten. You serve this salad with a slotted spoon and leave the liquid behind so don’t fret about using a tablespoon of sugar.

If you serve this cucumber salad right away it will be quite crisp, and if you refrigerate it for an hour or more, the cucumber slices will soften and absorb a little more dressing. They are good either way but it’s best to serve this salad on the same day.

I wish everyone a fun summer with lots of good, healthy, homemade food, including this cool and crisp, cucumber salad. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jan 22, 2019

Pasta Fagioli Soup

Quick Easy Pasta Fagioli SoupIt takes less than 30 minutes and just a few basic ingredients to make this easy pasta fagioli soup from scratch. Cannellini beans and ditalini pasta are traditional  for this popular Italian soup. I use canned cannellini beans but I can never find ditalini so I use a different small pasta, DeCecco small elbows (no. 81).

For the tomato, I use Pomi Strained tomatoes that come in a box. Once opened, I freeze 1/2 cup portions specifically to have on hand for this delicious soup. One box gives me six 1/2 cup portions. I also use my own homemade chicken stock (there’s always some in the freezer) but you can use store bought stock.

I thicken the soup by dividing the beans in half and mashing one half with a fork, which takes less than a minute and I focus on the broken ones for mashing (the whole ones look better for serving).

And this is good: You’ll only have one pot to wash. Most recipes cook the pasta separately but I cook mine right in the soup. Prep your vegetables first because this easy recipe  comes together quickly. Sometimes, it’s all I need for a meal – just a big bowl of pasta fagioli and a slice of my crusty bread. If it’s all you’re having, this recipe makes two large servings. Otherwise, it will serve three. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jan 13, 2019

Oatmeal Bars With a Crispy Topping

Oatmeal Bars Cripsy Coconut TopI 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. ?

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

I like this so much I added it as a new recipe. For my new Oatmeal Bars With A Crispy Coconut Top, click hereJenny Jones

Oct 15, 2018

I Made Apple Pie

Best Apple Pie Oil Crust

Autumn is here and that means it’s apple pie time. I always make it with an oil crust because if nothing else, it’s just easier. You can pat it into the pan but I find that rolling it between sheets of wax paper is the best way to use an oil crust, especially for the top. My apples of choice are granny smith ? and my thickener of choice is tapioca but flour works too.

Homemade apple pie is something special. We were at a social gathering last night and when desserts were set out, I told some friends I had just made an apple pie and it was cooling on the counter at home. If they wanted to, we could skip the prepared desserts and go to my house for apple pie. “Homemade apple pie? Let’s go!”

That’s the power of homemade apple pie. My husband’s two favorite desserts are my Fresh Strawberry Cake and Homemade Apple Pie. Nothing compares. I love this delicious pie and I must admit I like the power. I think I hear him in the garage right now cleaning things up. ? Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Nov 11, 2017

Swirled Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Easy One Rise Cinnamon Swirl BreadSomebody needs to stop me from eating my third slice of this delicious sweet bread! I’m happy to share my easy recipe for cinnamon swirl raisin bread and there are a few reasons why I think you’ll like it. First, it’s good! Second, it’s easy to make compared to most other recipes. Third, it’s a faster, one-rise recipe so the bread is ready to eat in 90 minutes. I use a mix of yellow and red raisins because I like the two different colors and textures.

Swirled loaves often wind up with gaps inside the loaf and it happens to me too. One day it’s perfectly tight and the next time I make it I get gaps but even with a gap, this cinnamon bread is still fantastic. I made the one below the exact same way as the one above, and it developed some small gaps but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. With or without gaps, it’s the best cinnamon raisin bread I’ve ever had.

Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread GapsIf you’re tempted to spread butter on it before adding the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture, I do not recommend it because when I tried it, the loaf did not hold together as well. In fact, this bread has no butter at all – I make it with extra light olive oil and it’s delicious! I hope you’ll try this recipe, follow it exactly, and let me know how yours turned out. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Oct 20, 2017

Dark Chocolate Loaf Cake

Whole Wheat Chocolate Loaf CakeHere’s a simple chocolate cake recipe that works equally well using whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour. In fact, it’s hard to tell the difference so I prefer making it whole wheat. It’s like a chocolate pound cake but healthier because it’s 100% whole grain but you can make it with all purpose flour if you like. And instead of butter I use extra light olive oil. What sends it over the moon is adding dark chocolate chips and toasted nuts.

The only cocoa I use for my baking is Dutch process because it’s never bitter and the result is a beautiful, dark chocolate cake. I can always find it (Droste brand) at World Market. Pound cakes tend to be heavy and dense but by beating the egg whites separately, it makes the cake lighter and taller. My loaf pan measures 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches.

If you’re a chocolate lover like I am, I hope you like this moist and delicious, easy chocolate loaf cake. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Sep 26, 2017

Today: Simple Chocolate Cake

Best Chocolate Cake Recipe

I love this chocolate cake! Today I made baked ziti for dinner, along with a beautiful salad with two kinds of lettuce, orange pepper, cucumber, garbanzo beans, fresh peas, and red endive tossed with my Greek Salad Dressing. Before starting dinner, I had such a craving for chocolate cake and needed one I could make quickly because it was dessert for today’s dinner so I made my Easy One Bowl Chocolate Cake.

If you haven’t tried it yet, it is really fast and easy to make, uses no eggs, no mixer, and it’s super moist and delicious. You only need one bowl and it’s probably less work than using a mix. I promise you if you try this cake, you will never buy a mix again. I made it and it cooled down just in time to frost after dinner. Whenever I have a piece of this cake I never feel weighed down and always feel like I could have seconds but I don’t. It keeps really well so we will have dessert for days. At the end if there’s only one slice left, I always suggest that we arm wrestle for it!

If you want to make the best and easiest one bowl chocolate cake click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones