healthy recipes

May 1, 2015

My Easy One Bowl Chocolate Cake

Quick & Easy Chocolate Cake

Looking for an easy chocolate cake from scratch? This is it. Oh… and looking for a healthier chocolate cake recipe? This is it too. It’s not a fancy cake but it’s really moist and rich tasting even thought it’s made without eggs or butter. I make it with extra-light olive oil but my frosting does have two tablespoons of butter. If you use my frosting, that means each slice would have 3/4 teaspoon of butter. I can manage that. But you can also skip the frosting, make it a vegan chocolate cake, and just dust it with some powdered sugar.

For baking with chocolate I always use Dutch-processed cocoa for a beautiful dark color and it’s also less bitter than the regular one. It can be hard to find but World Market carries my brand (Droste), which I used in this recipe. This is the perfect cake to make last minute since there is no butter to soften and no eggs to warm up to room temperature. I often put it together before dinner and by the time we eat, the cake is cooled and then I whip up some frosting and… we have dessert.

This easy chocolate cake from scratch is perfect for Sunday family dinner… everyone does have a Sunday family dinner, don’t they? For the frosted version, click here for the recipe. For my chocolate cake with no butter recipe, click here. – Jenny Jones

Apr 29, 2015

Pie & Cake for Dinner

Homemade Chicken Pot PieIf you haven’t tried my chicken pot pie you’re missing something really good… and really easy. I haven’t had it for a while and when I made it today, I had forgotten how quick and easy it is and how absolutely delicious it is too! I use white meat chicken breast, carrots, celery and peas so it has lean protein, some vegetables, and I top it with my easy oil crust (made with extra-light olive oil) and wow – it was awesome! Here’s the recipe. I also made a salad (I make one just about every day) – this one had baby lettuce, cabbage, green onion, garbanzo beans, and a cherry vinegar dressing. And for dessert, I made chocolate cake.

Chocolate Cake1200_2279But this is not just any chocolate cake. It’s the easiest and one of the healthiest cakes ever. It’s an easy one-bowl cake made without eggs or butter so only the frosting has butter and that’s only two tablespoons. But if someone wants to avoid butter completely, you could skip the frosting and just dust it with some powdered sugar. I don’t know why I haven’t posted the recipe. I think it’s because I just frost it in the pan and it’s not very fancy looking. But it’s so good, I will be posting the recipe. I make it all the time here at home.

We were just negotiating over the size of the servings. In order to avoid any hurt feeling, I try not to make my slice any bigger than his. It’s just easier that way. So that’s what I cooked today. …just sharing… – Jenny Jones

Apr 25, 2015

Polish food for dinner

Best Polish Cabbage Rolls

I’ve been craving cabbage rolls for days so I made them yesterday but I’m eating them today. They always taste better the next day so I like to make them the day before. This time the cabbage was a little small so it made twenty little bundles of goodness filled with ground sirloin, rice, tomato, and mushrooms. The mushrooms are optional but I think they add a nice extra flavor. And I like to use different liquids to pour over the rolls for baking. This time I used some tomato but other times I just use water from boiling the cabbage. I’ve even topped them with sauerkraut and its juice for baking and they were great.

When my dad made these we always had them with sour cream so today I browned them in a little olive oil (my dad used butter) and had them with reduced fat sour cream and yummmmm!!!! I remember my mother used to make cabbage rolls (golabki) and she even liked them cold – just stick one on a fork and there’s your snack. Polish cabbage rolls is one of my most viewed videos – I never expected that. Here’s the recipe.

For dessert I made my apple pie bars.

apple pie bars_1708

It’s less work than apple pie but just as tasty, made with 2 pounds of Granny Smith apples and my healthier and easier oil crust. It’s the same crust I use for all my pies, including chicken pot pie. Ooooh, chicken pot pie sounds so good – I may have to make it tomorrow. Back to my apple pie bars. There’s an ongoing debate in this house about whether these are apple pie bars or a square apple pie. I don’t care what we call it as long as we get to eat it. Here’s the recipe and that’s what I cooked today.  …just sharing… – Jenny Jones 

Apr 23, 2015

Quick & Easy Salmon

Best Way To Cook SalmonIt’s so simple and so healthy. Simple because my easy broiled salmon only takes 15 minutes to make – all you need is a lemon and some olive oil. And healthy because salmon is good for your heart….  and your eyes, and your brain, and your joints, and etc., etc..  Salmon is always on the list of foods with the most health benefits and it’s easier to cook than you think.

Wild caught salmon is the best choice and of course getting it fresh is important when it comes to fish. It’s always good to know what day they deliver fish at the market and that’s the day to go get it. There are lots of ways to cook salmon (most of them too fancy for me) so I keep it simple – just lemon, oil, salt and pepper. Of course you can add other spices if you like but this simple recipe is really good.

Every oven is different and every broiler is too so your fish may take less time to cook, or more depending on a few things.
1) How strong is your broiler?
2) What is the distance between your oven rack and the broiler?
3) How thick is your salmon?
4) How do you like it cooked?

In my kitchen, the broiler has two setting, high and medium. I cook it on the high setting. I place the rack one below the top, which puts my oven rack around 5 1/2 to 6 inches below the heat. The salmon I find at my store is usually about an inch thick but depending on the thickness of the fish, you would cook it about 10 minutes per inch. I prefer my fish cooked all the way through but if you want it less done inside, cook it for a little less time.

A recipe for broiling is different from baking. Baking is more exact but broiling depends on all kinds of variables so just use your common sense and keep an eye on it. As for what to serve with this beautiful fish, I always make something on the stove top since the oven is occupied, so I often make rice and a steamed vegetable or my rice with kale. I also like salmon with my spaghetti with chard. Oh, and sometimes, just some peeled, chopped, and seamed sweet potato goes great with this simple broiled salmon. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Apr 18, 2015

Double Chocolate Cookies

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are three ways to make these cookies depending on the amount of flour you use. You can make them more chunky and firm or softer and spreadable.  My original recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour. But you can use less flour for a softer cookie. See my examples below:

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

You can never go wrong with a chocolate dessert. I always use Dutch processed cocoa for two reasons. One, it’s less bitter than regular cocoa and two, it produces a rich dark color as you can see. It’s not always easy to find but right now my store carries Droste brand cocoa so that’s what I use. Always looking for ways to reduce saturated fat, I reduced it even more today. Instead of 1/4 cup of butter I used 3 tablespoons and then I increased the oil from 1/2 cup to 1/3 of a cup. No matter how good something sweet looks, if the butter is measured in sticks, I always pass. I know from experience that you can make delicious, healthier desserts with very little and many times, no butter at all. For dinner I made a salad and my vegetable-bean pasta and cookies for dessert. Did I say cookies? I meant “a cookie” for dessert. That’s right. One cookie. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. ?

I usually add toasted walnuts and pecans to my cookies. The reason for the mixed nuts is I can never decide, plus using both nuts seems to add even more flavors but I always toast the nuts first. In fact, I toast a whole bag of nuts and then keep them refrigerated for all my baking. To learn how to toast nuts, see the “How To” section of my blog. You’ll be glad you toasted the nuts for these delicious cookies. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Apr 12, 2015

Family Eats

Healthier Mac & Cheese with Veggies

My sister is in town visiting from Canada so I made something quick and easy for dinner. Since we’re both grown up now, I made my grown up mac & cheese. It only takes 30 minutes so we had more time to hang out. You can add different vegetables but I stuck with my original combination of purple cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, and tomato. (here’s the recipe)

Breakfast Cookies

Then yesterday I made my giant breakfast cookies and besides breakfast, they came in handy as a snack during the day. Sis said she’s going to make them when she gets home. It’s probably the recipe I make the most because I know how important it is to eat fiber and these have 4 grams of fiber each! (here’s the recipe)

So that’s what I cooked today. …just sharing… – Jenny Jones 

Apr 10, 2015

Oatmeal Banana Breakfast Brownies

Oatmeal Banana Breakfast Bars

What’s wrong with a few chocolate chips for breakfast? It’s okay with me if you’re getting whole grains, oats, banana and walnuts in a delicious breakfast brownie. This new recipe replaces my old breakfast brownie because this one uses ingredients that are more available to everyone.

There are lots of reasons to eat bananas. They’re a good source of vitamins C & B6, manganese, potassium, fiber, biotin, and copper. And the riper the banana, the sweeter it is and the easier it’ll be to mix into the batter. Walnuts provide heart-healthy fats and protein but for the best flavor they really should be toasted first. I toast a bunch at a time and keep them available, refrigerated, for baking. To toast nuts spread on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Oats are breakfast superstars – high in soluble fiber, which is known for lowering cholesterol and keeping things moving. I use regular Quaker rolled oats in this recipe and extra light olive oil but you can use another oil of your choice like canola. So this is my new Breakfast Brownie and I hope you like it. I’m not saying it should BE breakfast, but I am saying why not dessert AFTER breakfast? Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

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Apr 2, 2015

Healthier Canadian Butter Tarts

Healthier Canadian Butter TartsButter tarts are a distinctly Canadian treat and anyone who grew up in Canada like I did has probably had a butter tart, or two, or three. They don’t exist in the U.S., which is probably a good thing because they are so good. Every once in a while I just have to have a butter tart so of course, I had to find a way to make it a little healthier. But let’s be clear: There is nothing healthy about a butter tart. The best I could do is make the crust without butter, using oil instead.

So there you have it. Now we Canadians can have our occasional fix and the rest of the world can try something new. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Mar 23, 2015

Grown Up Mac & Cheese

Healthy Veggie Mac & Cheese Recipe

I LOVE this dish. I’ll say it again. I LOVE this dish!!! It’s easy to make, lower in fat than most, it has four vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, and tomato) and everything is coated in a light creamy, cheesy sauce. It’s mac & cheese for grownups but don’t you think kids would like this too? If they’re picky, use white cauliflower and they’ll never even see it. It’s soft and blends right in with the pasta. If  you make it, let me know if it passes the kid test.

It’s important to do all your prep first because everything cooks quickly. It won’t take long if you buy the already-cut vegetables but I cut all of the veggies myself and I also inspect the baby spinach for any bad leaves or thick stems, which I remove.  The prep includes cutting the vegetables, checking over the spinach, shredding the cheese or slicing it really thin. Hey, you’ll be cutting the cheese!

Speaking of cheese, please don’t buy pre-shredded cheese. It has an additive and will never melt as well as a block of cheese and I always use reduced fat (I use Tilamook brand). With reduced fat cheese and 1% milk, and all these vegetables… somebody needs to make this today. And send me a picture to post. (YourPhotos@JennyCanCook.com).

This recipe is similar to my Quick & Easy Mac & Cheese but with less pasta and added vegetables but it’s still a quick and easy dinner. I wasn’t sure what to call it… veggie mac & cheese or mac & cheese with vegetables or maybe rainbow mac & cheese. I decided on “Grown Up” because we grownups know how important it is to eat vegetables at every meal. And if they’re surrounded by my delicious low fat mac & cheese, it’s a win-win. Click here for the recipe.  – Jenny Jones 

Mar 7, 2015

Weekend bread

Jenny's Simple Whole Wheat BreadThis morning I baked my simple whole wheat bread and I forgot just how easy it is. It’s only one rise and the whole thing, start-to-finish, takes just an hour and a half. It’s a soft loaf, perfect for French toast. That’s what I plan to make with it tomorrow. Today I just sliced it while it was still warm and put a little butter on it and had it with scrambled eggs.

I love homemade bread… the smell… and the taste… you just can’t buy it anywhere. I also made homemade tortillas (they disappear quickly around here) and I also worked on my Polish bigos recipe. … just sharing… – Jenny Jones