jenny jones

Oct 8, 2013

Sweet & Sour Chicken

Sweet & Sour Chicken

Yes, it tastes as good as it looks – but only if you use fresh pineapple. I promise that if you use fresh pineapple in this delicious meal, you will never use canned again. It makes all the difference… well, most of the difference. Different colors of peppers add more complexity to this dish as well as a variety of antioxidants. Each color brings its own anti-aging benefits.

Stir frying is great for weeknight dinners because by the time your rice is cooked, dinner is ready. This one cooks in less than ten minutes. Homemade Chinese will always be healthier because you can use less oil and add more vegetables. The day I decided to create my own healthier sweet & sour chicken was the last time I ordered it in a restaurant. I got the chicken (and too much sauce) with two pieces of green pepper and one red one. Seriously. Three pieces of peppers. And canned pineapple! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Oct 4, 2013

I ate the whole thing!

Best Rice Pudding Ever

I just posted my 100th recipe and there are still so many more to come. But no one has ever asked me what MY favorite is. So what is my favorite recipe of all one hundred? Up until yesterday, I might have had to think about my answer because if I didn’t love something, I wouldn’t be making it, right? But last night, it became clear. It’s my delicious, yummy, creamy rice pudding.

As comfort foods go, especially when you feel stressed out, rice pudding is hard to beat. It’s creamy, sweet, and when served warm… it could help avoid some expensive psychotherapy! My low fat version is made with the only rice you should ever use for pudding – Arborio. So last night after dinner, I ran out of those peanut butter cookies so I made some rice pudding. It only takes 30 minutes so as soon as it was done, I transferred it to my orange bowl, planning to have a small serving and keep the rest for tomorrow. I failed.

I started by skimming spoonfuls off the top (it was still pretty warm – actually, it may have still been cooking) and before I knew it, there was hardly any left. I transferred it to a smaller container to refrigerate, tasting as I went along. I went to cover the container and realized there wasn’t even one serving left. I decided it wouldn’t be fair to the next person (me) who’d be eating it.

So I ate the whole thing. It’s not something I’m proud of but I feel I need to share. Keeping it a secret was causing me stress and stress makes us crave comfort foods, and well… it’s a vicious cycle, my friends. So I’ve cleared my conscience, just like I cleared out that orange bowl.

The next time you’re craving some comfort, click here for the recipe.

Oct 1, 2013

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

Wow! I love this incredibly easy recipe. It’s so simple. One bowl. No mixer. No shaping. And no cleanup if you use parchment paper. There is no butter and no flour is this simple cookie recipe. And my version has less sugar than most. Wait ’til you try one – the taste is out of this world!

Even the most amateur cook can’t mess this up. Here are the steps: 1) Mix ingredients together in a bowl. 2) Drop on sheet and bake. 3) Done.

I’ve always used natural peanut butter, like Laura Scudder’s or Santa Cruz organic, but always chunky. You can use smooth… but why? With chunky peanut butter, you get some nice peanuty crunch with every bite. When cookies are this easy to make, anyone can make cookies from scratch – in 15 minutes.  Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Sep 27, 2013

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Homemade Cinnamon BunsThis is one of my prize recipes! I worked hard to make the healthiest cinnamon rolls possible (so I can eat more of them) but they had to be soft and gooey and delicious.  This is it. I tried using some whole wheat flour but they never turned out soft enough so it’s all-purpose flour but the good  news is the entire recipe uses only two tablespoons of butter. Two. And now I have even better news: I usually make them with no butter at all. There’s so much flavor in the cinnamon and brown sugar filling that I often use a trans-fat free margarine and I defy anyone to tell the difference between that and the one with butter.

Make it either way. If you are concerned about saturated fat I promise that you will love these delicious buns without butter. If you use butter, it’s only 2 tablespoons so each roll has as little butter as a slice of toast.  Two tablespoons divided by eight rolls equals 3/4 of a teaspoon of butter in each cinnamon roll.

Did you know that all cinnamon is not the same? The most popular kind is Ceylon cinnamon, which is what most stores sell but they usually also have Saigon cinnamon which I LOVE! It’s much more potent and fragrant, in fact I usually use less because it’s so powerful. If you use Saigon cinnamon, reduce the amount in the filling from 2 teaspoons to 1 1/2 teaspoons. It’s amazing cinnamon and really worth looking for. My store carries Spice Islands brand…

spice-island-cinnamon

Now let’s talk about frosting. You can frost them in the baking pan but I like to transfer them first to a plate or pie pan before frosting so the sides also get some of that gooey frosting. Here’s how: After the 10-minute cooling period place a dinner plate on top and flip them over onto the plate. Then take another plate or pie pan and flip them back again and they will be right side up and still warm and ready to frost… all sides!

You don’t have to give up cinnamon rolls. Make your own with my healthy recipe and if you want,  you can do the prep the night before, refrigerate overnight, then let them rise in the morning and bake. There’s no reason not to enjoy one of the best things in the world to bake. Your whole house will be filled with the intoxicating aroma of cinnamon!  Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Sep 27, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip MuffinsHere’s an easy recipe for my pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. Even without the chocolate chips, they are still a great tasting snack. My recipe includes toasted walnuts and trust me, toasting the nuts first will send their flavor into overdrive. I use walnuts and pecans in lots of baking so I just toast a bunch of each one in the oven (see my video) and keep them in the fridge for baking.

It doesn’t have to be pumpkin season to make these yummy muffins, in fact canned pumpkin has more antioxidants than fresh. Orange and yellow vegetables like pumpkin, sweet potato, and carrots have lots of betacarotene which is good for your lungs and eyes and will give you healthy hair and skin.

The most important thing about making muffins is not to over-mix. Just fold the ingredients together gently with a spatula or spoonula – I love those! This recipe was in my first cookbook and I’ve updated it by increasing the whole wheat pastry flour a little and switching from canola to extra light olive oil but you can use any oil of your choice.  I’m posting this recipe by request from a fellow baker (Rori) in Denver who lost the recipe. Here it is, Rori!  Click here for the recipe.

If anyone else has a recipe request, just let me know….

Sep 21, 2013

Salmon Patties

Best Recipe Salmon Patties

Thank goodness for canned salmon. I always keep it on hand so I can make my quick and easy salmon patties. We know how important it is to eat fish, especially salmon, which is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids to protect your heart, and my recipe makes this easy dinner even healthier by adding red pepper, onions, parsley, egg, and my fresh whole wheat bread crumbs for added fiber.

I made these delicious patties last night and served them with my Greek lemon potatoes and some steamed broccoli. There was nothing left on our plates! It seems like the body knows when something is doing you so much good because all of it disappeared in a flash. Another way I serve my salmon patties is with a side of steamed sweet potato, which is loaded with antioxidants and protects your eyes and lungs and boosts your immune system. Just peel, chop, and steam. Dinner is ready in 15 minutes! What an anti-aging combo!

Oh… some more serving ideas…. I’ve also had these salmon patties with my Spaghetti With Greens, Sweet Potato Fries, Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Potatoes, and those awesome Roasted Vegetables. So eat fish often, and with this recipe, you can make a healthy 15-minute meal anytime. Quick. Easy. Healthy. You’re welcome!  Click here for the recipe.

Sep 5, 2013

Homemade Bread Crumbs

Homemade Bread Crumbs

There are many reasons to make your own homemade bread crumbs. First,  you’ll save money. Second, they’ll taste way better than packaged ones. Third, they’ll be healthier. By using whole wheat bread, you’ll be adding beneficial fiber to your meal. And finally, it’s so easy!

Let me clarify: it’s easy if you have a food processor. But even if you don’t, you can still do this. Always start with fresh bread. Nobody wants to eat stale bread so why would you want stale bread crumbs? So fresh bread is a must. You can make crumbs with any kind of bread like white or sourdough, but whole wheat is the healthiest so look for 100% whole wheat bread with 3 grams of fiber per slice. Fiber is your friend.

Some recipes call for dry bread crumbs to make something crispy like breaded cutlets or chicken fingers. Others need soft bread crumbs, like a topping for mac & cheese. My recipe shows how to make both dry and soft crumbs, and also how easy it is to make your own super-crispy Panko crumbs, too!

If you don’t have a food processor, you can finish the dry crumbs in a blender or by putting the dried bread in a plastic bag and rolling with a rolling pan, or even smacking it with a small pan. Soft bread crumbs can be made using the large holes of a grater, but carefully! So whatever kind of breadcrumbs you need, dry ones, seasoned crumbs, fresh or Panko, remember that homemade is always better. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 18, 2013

Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

CrispyCrunOatCk_600Baking without butter is a priority around here because I am not living without cookies. When I’m not having my lemon brownies, doughnuts, marble loaf, or apple bars (all made without butter) there is always a cookie on my dessert plate. I haven’t had a store-bought cookie in decades. Why would I when healthy cookies are so easy to make. We eat a few and I freeze a few, so there are always a variety of cookies in the freezer.

Crispy cookies like this one can be eaten still frozen – talk about crunchy! This healthy cookie can be made with extra light olive oil or canola and it’s 100% whole grain, made with oats and whole wheat pastry flour with crisp rice cereal added for even more crunch. You’ll see I added some mini chocolate chips although you can omit those… but I wouldn’t. 🙂 Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

To see how to keep cookies crisp click here.

Aug 15, 2013

Roasted Vegetables

Easy Roasted VegetablesI don’t need to tell you why you have to eat your vegetables. Okay, maybe I do. Your mother probably told you they provide vitamins, which your body can not produce so you need to get them from food. But back in the day we didn’t know about the recently discovered antioxidants and phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables, with each different color providing its own specific anti-aging and protective nutrients.  And the more intense their color, the more benefits. Many of these phytonutrients (with names I can’t pronounce) cannot be found in any other food groups.

Bottom line: Vegetables can help prevent certain diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Vegetables are also some of the richest sources of fiber that exist. So if you want to look great and feel great with a strong immune system, do what I do and eat vegetables every single day. I have a salad with every meal and then one or two cooked vegetables as well. Roasting is my favorite way to cook vegetables. Roasting brings out the natural sugars in vegetables and it’s the easiest way I know to cook them and to eat more than one color at a time.

Even a novice cook can make these super easy roasted veggies. Click here for my new recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jul 18, 2013

Make cheese blintzes for Sunday brunch

Best Recipe Cheese BlintzesI make my own cheese blintzes because I have to! I love blintzes and every time I’ve ordered them in a restaurant or deli they arrive so greasy it’s almost like they’re deep fried. So now I make my own and there is no comparison. Mine are soft, never greasy, and lightly browned with lots of delicious filling made with farmer’s cheese (I get Friendship brand), reduced fat cream cheese, sugar, and just a hint of vanilla. Farmer’s cheese is a dry and crumbly cheese and it makes the best blintzes. It can be hard to find but it’s worth looking for.

I make 12 blintzes at a time, keep some refrigerated for a few days, and just brown what I need, usually two for breakfast. I’ve had them with every kind of fruit from berries, to cantaloupe, to peaches, papaya or mango. My dad used to make cheese blintzes for dessert sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Okay, sometimes, I have one with fruit for breakfast and the other one with cinnamon & sugar. No matter how you serve these healthy cheese blintzes, once you make them yourself you will never order them in a restaurant again. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

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