comfort food recipes

Mar 5, 2014

Easy Chicken Stew

Chicken Vegetable Stew

This creamy chicken stew cooks in just 25 minutes. And I love it so much! Don’t be surprised if it becomes a family favorite at your house too. It’s really a chicken-vegetable stew with lots of health-building veggies: potatoes, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and broccoli so it’s a complete meal, all in one bowl. The mushrooms add so much flavor but they aren’t really vegetables, are they? This chicken stew may look too rich to eat but wait until you see how light it is. There’s no butter here, no cream, or even milk. I use a touch of olive oil, lean boneless chicken breast, and lots of vegetables.

To make this a quick dinner, I usually use store-bought chicken stock (Swanson’s unsalted) but if you use a salted stock, be sure to taste for salt before adding any at all.  This creamy and delicious dish comes together quickly, almost like a stir-fry so make sure you have everything prepped before you start. The last time I made this chicken stew, it only took 35 minutes but I’m a fast peeler and slicer/dicer.

If you like comfort food, you will love this easy, healthy recipe. Mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D and broccoli is one of the best defenders against cancer. So here’s the bottom line: It’s easy. It’s healthy. It’s low fat. And it’s awesome! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Dec 27, 2013

Easy Pot Roast

Easy Pot Roast RecipeWhy do I love my pot roast? 1) It’s easy to make. 2) It all cooks in one pot.  3) It’s a complete meal. 4) It’s comfort food squared!

Old fashioned pot roast is a crowd pleaser and takes very little work. It’s mostly cooking time. Who doesn’t love meat that’s moist and tender with potatoes full of flavor? Okay, maybe your vegetarian friend. But meals like this pot roast are my favorite Sunday suppers. While it’s simmering in the oven, I have time to make a salad and dessert.

If you make pot roast, here are a few tips: Browning the meat is crucial for developing the best flavor. As for the liquid, I have made it with both beef stock and chicken stock (I usually make my own but I’ve also used unsalted store-bought stock). And the cooking time is very flexible. Feel free to cook it even longer depending on the cut of meat and how tender it’s becoming. Finally, adding salt is not always necessary.  It depends on  your stock and how much sodium it has, so test it near the end of cooking before adding salt. If you add too much, there’s no way to fix it.

Then there’s the leftovers! You can use the leftover meat in soup, a burrito, shepherd’s pie, nachos, Italian beef sandwiches, or just eat more pot roast! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Dec 12, 2013

Old Fashioned Beef Stew – Updated Recipe

Homemade Beef Stew RecipeI never thought I could improve my old fashioned beef stew recipe but it’s winter and that’s beef stew season. I’ve been making it a lot lately and decided to try and simplify the process and it’s now just as delicious and even easier to make. And by increasing the cooking time by just 1/2 hour the beef is so tender I just eat it with a spoon. So here’s what I changed:

First, I always make my own beef stock which I use in my stew but realizing that not everyone will make homemade stock, I decided to try the store-bought beef stock. I do not recommend it at all. It was way too strong and pungent and ruined the stew for me. So I decided to try store-bought chicken stock and it worked perfectly. I got Swanson’s Unsalted Chicken Stock and it was the perfect choice for beef stew.

And I used to dredge the meat before browning but it really isn’t necessary so that step is now eliminated. And I added 30 minutes to the cooking time and what a difference it makes in the fork-tender meat. It was tender before but now, it’s so tender you have to stir the pot carefully so the meat doesn’t fall apart! So it’s less work and an extra 1/2 hour but wait ’til you see the difference!

In working on these changes I also did some research on which meat to use since I always bought packaged stew meat. I saw that chuck roast was always the meat of choice so I bought one to try, cut in into cubes myself, and No, No, No! It had way too much fat and my recipe does not need it. The regular packaged stew meat is much leaner and there is never any grease floating on the top, because that’s what I got with the chuck roast.

So I’m staying with the packaged stew meat, which is much leaner, and I just cut off any visible fat. So now it’s even easier to make this all time favorite comfort food for the cold winter nights. It’s low fat, easy to make, and you can eat it with a spoon.  For the new recipe and video, click here.Jenny Jones

Mar 20, 2013

Homemade potato gnocchi

 How To Make Potato GnocchiIt only takes three ingredients to make soft and tender potato gnocchi. My Polish dad was the cook in our family and he used to make them and called them kluski which I later learned are the same as Italian gnocchi. In Poland they are called kopytka and the Polish way to serve them is with fried bacon and onions but nobody needs to do that any more! I prefer gnocchi Italian style as a side dish with red sauce or as a main dish topped with my homemade bolognese sauce. Anything you can do with pasta, you can do with gnocchi and it’s a pretty simple recipe. Plus they freeze beautifully. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones