JennyCanCook

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

Dec 22, 2013

The best homemade gift

Best Homemade Gifts from your Kitchen“Homemade caramel corn?! For me?? I love you!” Caramel corn has to be the best Christmas gift you can make. I’ve baked cookies and breads and they make great gifts but people start asking about my caramel corn in September! “Are you making caramel corn again this year?” Everyone goes crazy over it, probably because there is no place you can buy anything that even comes close. I try to bring it in person when it’s just out of the oven and by the time I get home, I get a phone call saying it’s all gone and asking when I’m going to make more.

If you’re looking for something to bake for Christmas gifts, consider making homemade caramel corn. It’s easier to make than cookies because it uses less ingredients. And it’s pretty quick the way I do it. I pop the corn in a paper lunch bag in the microwave, which takes less than two minutes (see my video). The syrup cooks on the stove in five minutes and the rest is waiting time while the popcorn and nuts get covered with a sweet, delicious caramel coating.

Watch my how-to video (click here) and for the printable recipe (click here). – Jenny Jones

Nov 19, 2013

Lightened Up Pumpkin Cheesecake

Lightened Up Pumpkin Cheesecake

I’m sharing one of my prized recipes just in time for Thanksgiving. This is one people will talk about long after it’s gone and they’ll probably ask for the recipe. My lightened pumpkin cheesecake is made using all reduced fat ingredients so it’s a healthier dessert, perfect after you’ve stuffed yourself senseless with turkey. This lighter cheesecake won’t weigh you down and the recipe is fairly simple but you will need a springform pan.

The crust is just graham crackers sprinkled on the bottom so there’s no heavy butter-laden crust. And the secret to this light and airy cake is to beat the egg whites separately and fold them in at the end. I get the best results using Daisy Brand light sour cream and Philadelphia brand 1/3 less fat cream cheese. I tried neufchatel but didn’t like the result, and I would never use Knudsen reduced fat sour cream for anything!

So if you try this amazing holiday dessert, make sure you have all your ingredients at room temperature and leave enough time to let it cool for at least two hours on the counter and then refrigerate for at least two hours as well. This is my Thanksgiving gift to all you cooks who will soon be stuffing turkeys and faces! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Nov 4, 2013

Simple Garlic Bread

Homemade Garlic BreadIs there anything better to have with a salad than garlic bread? I love it! And since I make my own garlic bread all the time, I keep it simple and fast. What I usually do is preheat the oven (actually, I make mine in a toaster oven), prepare the bread, which takes less than 5 minutes, and I set it aside. Then I make my salad and dinner. When it’s ready for the table, I pop the garlic bread into the oven. Then I warm a plate, line it with a cloth napkin, and bring the fresh warm garlic bread to the table because fresh out of the oven is the best way to have it. And oooh, that smell!

I like to use thick slices of sourdough bread because you get a soft, golden top and nice crispy edges. And any day that I bake a loaf of bread, that’s always a garlic bread day. If you’ve ever had homemade garlic bread on homemade bread, well… I’m pretty sure you had three slices! My easy recipe makes two slices so double it up if you need more. Line your baking sheet with foil and there’s no cleanup.

There are lots of things people add to garlic bread like herbs or fresh parsley but I don’t think it’s needed. Try my version and let me know if you agree. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Oct 24, 2013

Sweet & Salty Popcorn

Homemade Kettle Corn

As if anyone needs it, I just posted a printable recipe for my sweet and salty popcorn, also known as kettle corn. I could eat this every day! I prefer mine just sweet with no salt but I know lots of people crave sweet & salty so you can make it that way too. Either way, it’s ready in 5 minutes. Making your own homemade kettle corn is easy in the microwave and it tastes way better than anything from the store. Click here for the recipe.

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

Jun 5, 2013

Easy Granola

Easy Granola Recipe from JennyCanCook.com

If you make homemade granola just once, you will never buy it in the store again. My easy healthy granola uses only six ingredients and you can put it together in five minutes.  It’s one of my top three most watched youtube videos. And the taste… is downright addictive!  This healthy granola is crunchy with lots of nuts and made with coconut and real maple syrup. Have it as your morning cereal or as a crunchy topping on yogurt. There’s lots of protein and fiber and all those oats are good for lowering cholesterol. It’s such a simple recipe, I hope you’ll try it. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Filed Under: Breakfast
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Apr 11, 2013

Easy Vegetable Bean Pasta

Pasta with Veggies and BeansThis healthy pasta dish is quick & easy and full of green vegetables, known to support your eyes, teeth, and bones and the cannellini beans are a good source of iron, calcium, and protein. Vegetable-bean pasta is one of my favorite go-to meals and only takes about 20 minutes to make. You can vary the vegetables but always try to include broccoli for its cancer protection. I can never get enough of this creamy comforting pasta dish! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones