dinner recipes

Jun 18, 2014

Simple Egg Salad

Simple Egg Salad Recipe

I could live on egg salad! And that’s easy because it takes me five minutes to make my low fat, easy egg salad. I prefer it simple with just yellow mustard and light mayo but I know a lot of people like to add extras like pickle relish, onion, celery, olives, etc. So go ahead. Use my simple, healthy recipe as a starter and then make it your own. But for me, plain old egg salad on some whole grain bread with lots of lettuce and tomato – it’s the perfect breakfast, and a perfect lunch.

For a while people were avoiding eggs because they contain cholesterol but all the latest research indicates that they may contain cholesterol but they do not raise serum cholesterol. This is good news because eggs have so many nutrients including complete protein; lutein for your eyes; and choline (in the yolk) for your brain and to reduce inflammation. They also contain sulphur to give you beautiful hair & skin, and strong nails. Here’s a link to some of the latest research on eggs: http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/latest-research-health-benefits-eggs

Now that eggs are back, you can enjoy this easy and healthy egg salad. But even my delicious egg salad is no fun if it takes ten minutes to peel a boiled egg. So to make things even easier, I can show you how to make perfect, easy-to-peel hard boiled eggs.

For the video on how to boil eggs, click here.

For my blog post with even more info on boiling eggs, click here.

For the latest research on eggs, click here.

And for my Simple Egg Salad Recipe click here.

May 8, 2014

Vegetable Lo Mein

Homemade Lo Mein Recipe

Chinese food is easy to make at home. And it’s quick. You put the sauce together first, then stir fry your food in a hot pan, add your sauce and it’s chow time! Or is it chow mein time? I love this dish so much, especially because with lo mein, there’s no rice to serve separately. It’s noodles mixed in with the vegetables. Quick and easy one-dish meals are the best – everything in one pan. I use chow mein noodles but if you can’t find them, you can use spaghetti (but it won’t look as pretty and wavy). They always have these noodles at my grocery store:

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Lo mein is great to make when you have some leftover pieces of chicken or shrimp, which you can stir into this dish. Edamame is another way to up the protein a little but I usually serve this just this way — with lots of antioxidant-rich vegetables. I’ve been to lots of Chinese restaurants but I have never had lo mein this good.  For my easy Vegetable Lo Mein recipe, click here.  – Jenny Jones

Apr 30, 2014

Sardine Cakes

Sardine Cakes RecipeNot a fan of sardines? My sardine cakes may just change your mind.  These delicious mashed potato patties are filled with bits of green onions, parsley, and fish, and they can be ready to eat in 30 minutes (make that 10 minutes if you have leftover mashed potatoes). This healthy recipe starts with a big russet potato, which you boil and mash, and then you mix in a few ingredients, shape the patties, pat them into bread crumbs and brown in olive oil. I make my own plain whole wheat crumbs but you can use store-bought either plain or seasoned. I don’t season the crumbs because there is so much flavor in the patties, it’s almost too much.

Let’s talk about why they call them “health food in a can.” Sardines are full of omega-3 fatty acids to protect the heart and are one of the few foods that contain coenzyme-Q10, which also helps prevent heart disease. Besides being a good source of protein, sardines also support bone health by providing calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. But wait… there’s more. They also have iron, selenium,  potassium, zinc, all the B vitamins.

Clearly, sardines are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. And when made into delicious fish cakes like this, one of the tastiest. For my sardine cakes recipe, click here. – Jenny Jones

Apr 18, 2014

Marinated Superfoods

Marinated SuperfoodsBesides being one of the prettiest things you could serve, my marinated superfoods is one of the healthiest. And the fastest! It only takes 15 minutes to put this simple recipe together and it’s such a delicious and easy marinade using fresh lemon juice  – I can’t get enough of it. You can serve it as a side dish or the way I prefer it, which is cold. I like to keep a bowl of this marinated broccoli and cauliflower in the fridge and snack on it throughout the day. To me, it’s better than any vitamin pill.

Both broccoli and cauliflower are cruciferous vegetables, the ones that help protect us against cancer. So here’s the skinny on broccoli: It has calcium for bones, lutein for eyes, and vitamins A, C, and K, as well as sulforaphane, the anti-cancer compound. Cauliflower also has sulforaphane plus lots of B vitamins, potassium, anti-inflammatory properties, brain support and helps detox the liver. Onions are good for the heart, blood pressure, memory, and liver. Red onions have more antioxidants then blueberries. I think I’ve made my point.

I make this dish with white or purple cauliflower. I’m always excited to find the purple one because the color intensifies when you cook it. Even the marinade turns red! It’s beautiful!

Here’s how easy this recipe is. I steam the veggies for 10 minutes. While they steam, I mix up the marinade and slice the onion. Then I pour the marinade over the hot vegetables so they absorb all the flavors, then mix it all up. If you want to stay healthy… make these marinated superfoods… eat them… and make more. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

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

Feb 26, 2014

Quick & Easy Spaghetti Sauce

Easy Recipe Spaghetti Sauce

Why buy a jar of tomato sauce when you can make your own in 20 minutes? Seriously. By the time you boil the water and cook the spaghetti, your delicious, homemade, spaghetti sauce is done. And it tastes way better than the stuff in a jar. If your family likes spaghetti and meatballs, they will LOVE spaghetti and meatballs with this homemade sauce. It just tastes so much better.

You can even make this recipe using fresh tomatoes but it takes a little longer because you’ll need to peel the tomatoes first. I’ve made this sauce many different ways… with fresh peeled tomatoes, with cherry tomatoes (unpeeled) from my garden, I’ve done it with roasted tomatoes, but most of the time I like the quick and easy 20-minute version. I’ll be using it in a recipe I’ll be posting soon… oven-baked chicken parmesan!!!

Did you know that cooked tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, which is a known defender of prostate cancer? But they need a little fat for better absorption so be sure to use the full amount of olive oil (1 tablespoon). Oh, by the way, tomatoes are also believed to protect against heart disease, memory loss, macular degeneration and may even prevent some wrinkles caused by the sun. Click here for the recipe.

Jan 17, 2014

Red Beans & Brown Rice

Easy Recipe Red Beans and Rice

The best thing about this simple meal is that every single ingredients has health benefits. Brown rice has fiber and lots of minerals including  selenium, which has been shown to protect against cancer. Beans also have soluble fiber to lower cholesterol as well as calcium for bones. And don’t get me started about all the antioxidants in colored peppers! So here is an easy vegetarian recipe that’s super healthy. It’s high in protein and fiber and oh yes… flavor!

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By the way, high fiber meals keep you feeling full longer and that helps with weight loss. This is a recipe you can easily make your own with more jalapeno pepper for added heat, toss in your favorite extra spices,  or use a different kind of bean. I really like red beans in this dish but I can never find canned red beans at the grocery store. Whole Foods carries one by Westbrae that I prefer so if you can find it, I think you’ll like the meaty texture of these beans.

But a close second would be red kidney beans and even black beans would work. By the way, black beans are the highest in antioxidants of all beans. Basically you can’t go wrong with any kind of canned beans in this heart-healthy, easy recipe.

Let’s talk about rice for a minute. Brown rice has more nutrients and fiber than white rice but if you’re short on time, you can make this dish with converted rice (I like Uncle Ben’s). You won’t get as much fiber but you’ll still get protein, iron, and folate from converted rice and all the benefits (including fiber) of the beans and peppers. Both brown and white rice are gluten free.

Next meatless Monday, try this simple vegetarian one-pan meal. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jan 13, 2014

Homemade Chicken Soup

Chickekn Noodle Soup RecipeIt doesn’t take much skill to make delicious homemade chicken soup… just a little patience. The best chicken soup starts with the best homemade stock so I am sharing my recipe for easy chicken soup and stock, which is all the same to me.  And wait ’til you see how easy it is. There’s really not much to do.

ChickenSoup_7389_Edit_600You just put everything into the biggest soup pot you have and cook it. The best flavor comes from chicken parts with a lot of bones, which is why I use backs & necks and wings. Ideally, I get a package of each since there is more meat on the wings. So forget making soup with chicken breasts – you won’t be happy.

Aromatic vegetables are a must and those include onions, carrots, celery, and I like to add a parsnip too. You can put them in whole or chop them up. The main thing is time. I cook mine for three hours and it never fails. After three hours of cooking, there’s not much left of the vegetables so I always discard them. And I pick the meat off the bones and store that separately.

So this recipe is technically a chicken stock and I always make it the night before because once it’s refrigerated, 100% of the fat will rise and solidify on the top for easy removal. It’s saturated fat and we don’t need that. In fact your soup will keep even longer in the fridge if you keep the fat layer on the top, kind of like an airtight lid.

The next day, my stock is ready to use in all of my cooking and just perfect as a soup.  Once the fat layer is discarded if I want chicken noodle soup, I chop some fresh carrots and cook them with the noodles in the stock. I also use the stock to make other soups like vegetable soup, bean soup, chili, and I also drink it as a healing broth. Chicken soup does have healing compounds if you have a cold or flu so this is the perfect time to try my healthy homemade chicken soup recipe.

Sure it’s three hours, but so were the Golden Globes last night — you could have watched it AND made soup. That’s how to multi-task! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jan 9, 2014

Spinach-Walnut Pesto

Spinach Walnut Pesto RecipeStart your pasta water first because this spinach-walnut pesto will be ready long before your spaghetti is cooked. It takes about five minutes to make this super healthy topping for pasta or almost anything else like a chicken breast, fish fillet, or one of my favorites… a chicken pesto sandwich. Traditional pesto uses all basil and pine nuts but by switching some of the basil out with fresh baby spinach and using walnuts instead of pine nuts, this becomes a much healthier sauce.

Spinach can protect you from cancer, heart disease, stroke, macular degeneration and cataracts.  It’s also called “brain food” because it may slow the aging of your brain. And both olive oil and walnuts provide heart-healthy fats to protect your heart. Even the garlic is good for your circulation and blood pressure. There.  That should be enough reasons to try this simple, quick and easy, super-healthy pesto.

It only takes five minutes because I use pre-washed spinach – a whole bag of it! My food processor holds eleven cups and it’s chock full when I put all the ingredients in but it does process down nicely. If yours seems too full, you can start with half the spinach at first, then add the rest of it after the oil. And use more or less of anything: more garlic, less spinach, it won’t matter. Just taste it at the end for salt… and enjoy. Click here for the recipe.

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