June, 2013

Jun 29, 2013

Paper-thin onion slices

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Use a vegetable peeler to get those nice, even paper-thin onion slices or other vegetables. – Jenny Jones

Jun 29, 2013

Lemon Brownie News

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I’m happy to report that my “Easiest Lemon Brownies” is one of the three most popular recipes on this website. The other two are my Pork Loin Dinner (I’m not surprised!) and Fresh Strawberry Cake (have you seen the picture!?). I’m always trying something new and baking is my favorite thing to do so today I tried making my lemon brownies with a different oil and they came out great. The original recipe called for canola oil but this time I used extra light olive oil and they were perfect. So if anyone wants to try it, you can make these brownies using olive oil with no olive taste whatsoever. But make sure it’s “extra light” which is very mild tasting and smelling. I use it in my healthy brownies, too. That’s just part of my news.

Someone asked about making my lemon brownies without the baking soda for a chewy brownie. I did that and it turned out okay but I would call it more dense than chewy. I still prefer the original recipe but they both still have a great lemon flavor. Click here for the original recipe.

IMG_1409Here’s a picture of the one I made today without the baking soda. – Jenny Jones

Jun 29, 2013

Does sugar cause cancer?

Joanelle asks… Jenny:  You have a wonderful site and personality…however, I am confused….Please forgive this question, but may I ask how often you eat sweets….I don’t dare eat sugar  …….more than twice a week…I don’t have sugar, but they say that it causes cancer…Tumors feed on sugar…so they say on the vegan site…You said you bake a lot , so concerned and how do you stay so thin ..when you bake all the time….SMILE and thank you…

My Response…

I eat sweets every day but always in moderation. Plus I bake all my own with less sugar and calories than store-bought. As for staying healthy, it may be the way I eat them that keeps me in good health. I’ll get to that in a moment. But first, the idea that sugar causes cancer would be terrifying if it were true. I will tell you what my research has shown: Our bodies need glucose, or simple sugar, for energy. The cells in our body grow, divide, die, and are replaced as part of a natural process. Sugar feeds every cell in our body — even cancer cells. If you were to cut every bit of sugar out of your diet, your body would make sugar from other sources, such as protein and fat, for survival. Starving all of your cells of sugar won’t kill or prevent cancer, but it will deprive your healthy cells of a necessary source of energy. I think part of the confusion is about sugar and obesity. Research shows that eating sugar doesn’t necessarily lead to cancer but it can lead to obesity and that is a risk factor for several cancers.

The other issue with sugar is insulin. While sugar does not “feed” cancer cells, a lot of sugar can cause our bodies to produce too much insulin, and insulin can rev up cell growth including cancer cells. Too much insulin also causes inflammation, which can lead to other health problems. Knowing all that, it’s smart not to over indulge in sweets and to know when and how to eat them. When you eat sugar and carbs, there are three things that can help reduce the amount of insulin produced by the body  – they are protein, fat, and fiber.

I primarily eat sweets right after a meal, which will always contain protein, fat, and fiber. I never eat sweets by themselves, not even an apple between meals, without also having fat, protein, or fiber with it (usually a few nuts – they contain all three!). Besides having sweets in moderation, here are the other ways I manage having sugar:

  1. No sweets on an empty stomach.
  2. No fruit juice first thing in the morning. In fact, I rarely drink fruit juice and when I do, I dilute it with water. In the morning, I opt for green tea followed by a breakfast with protein, fiber, and healthy fat.
  3. No commercial soft drinks. I occasionally get China Cola (no HFCS) and always dilute it with Perrier. A four-pak of China Cola lasts me one or two months.
  4. Sweets only after a meal or with added fat & protein.
  5. I never eat store-bought sweets or pastries.
  6. I always bake my own with less sugar, often adding whole grains and nuts so there’s already some fat, fiber, and protein there.
  7. When presented with a decadent dessert, I either share or have 2-3 bites to savor and leave the rest.
  8. Cookies and milk is my favorite dessert… my own healthy cookies with 1% milk! (fat & protein)

Back to the sugar/cancer issue… I’m not a medical expert but I do a lot of research and I cannot find any qualified authority that says sugar causes cancer. Dr. Timothy Moynihan, a cancer specialist at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, debunked this popular misconception in a recent article, saying, “Sugar doesn’t make cancer grow faster. All cells, including cancer cells, depend on blood sugar (glucose) for energy. But giving more sugar to cancer cells doesn’t speed their growth. Likewise, depriving cancer cells of sugar doesn’t slow their growth.”

Jun 25, 2013

Marble Loaf Cake

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Whenever I have a taste for something a little sweet, this is it. There’s no butter in my healthy version of an old fashioned marble cake – I use heart-healthy olive oil so there’s no guilt when I eat it. And that’s good because whenever I make it, I can’t stop eating it!  It’s light and moist and goes perfectly with a cup of my green tea. I’ve made it without the orange zest when I didn’t have an orange but I can tell you it’s definitely better with the orange (or even tangerine!).

It’s a pretty easy recipe if you’re looking for a healthy dessert. It’s sweet enough for dessert but also perfect for afternoon tea. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jun 24, 2013

How many peas were in the pods?

IMG_0992I ate all the peas in the bowl and they were super sweet. Of course I counted along the way and there were 25 pods in the bowl for a total of 148 peas.

The closest guess was 144 peas by Jackie Kersten.

Jackie5Congratulations, Jackie! You just won a free cookbook by yours truly. (Jackie sent us her photo and says she’s from Citrus Heights, California and is a Rec Aide at an elementary school.)

Thanks, everyone, for playing… let’s do it again.

Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next contest. 🙂

Filed Under: General
4 Comments
Jun 21, 2013

Another cookbook giveaway

Peas_0646_RevisedIt’s summer! There are so many reasons I like summer, especially for all the healthy fresh fruit that’s available, like peaches and watermelon and strawberries. It’s also a great time to get fresh vegetables, especially green peas, which are super sweet this time of year. Green peas are high in folic acid, iron, vitamin K for bones, and they have anti-inflammatory properties. My favorite way to eat them is raw, right out of the shell. And sometimes I wash them, eat the peas out of the shell and then peel away the inside membrane and then eat the shell! Is that a Polish thing or does anyone else do that? Oh, I almost forgot… my contest. Guess how many little round peas are inside the pods in this 6-inch bowl. Remember, it’s not how many pea-pods, but how many peas are INSIDE the pods (say that five times in a row!). Take a guess and whoever comes closest will win a free copy of my cookbook.

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One guess per person ~ Winner will be posted Monday morning. Good luck!!

Filed Under: General
12 Comments
Jun 18, 2013

Polish Pierogi

Pierogi are one of the two best Polish food there are to eat (in my humble opinion) with the other one being cabbage rolls. I used to be anxious about making potato and cheese pierogi but now that I have a simple recipe and a technique that works, I make them all the time. And oh, yes… I eat them all the time. It’s one of the meals I grew up on and I remember helping my dad make Polish pierogi with a potato-cheese filling. That’s my favorite filling, although they are also good with a mushroom-sauerkraut filling, and a lot of people fill them with fruit. Once you make the easy dough, you can fill them with just about anything but I’m telling you, potato-cheese rocks!

There are two ways to serve pierogi and I like them both. One is just to boil and serve them right out of the water and they are super soft and you can cut them with a fork. The other is to boil and then brown them in a little olive oil, like in the picture. That’s a good way to have the pierogies that have been frozen. Yes, they freeze beautifully. Growing up, we always had pierogies with crisp bacon bits and sour cream but no more of that! I suggest no bacon bits and using reduced fat sour cream. A little side of sautéed onions also works well with these healthy pierogi.  By the way, pierogi is plural for more than one. One would be a pierog… but try eating just one! Click here for the recipe.
Filed Under: Videos 3 Comments
Jun 15, 2013

Food Network Star

Nina asks… Hi Jenny. Have you thought about trying out for Food Network Star??? I think you should. You have a great point of view, and I think we “older folks” with our dietary challenges and weight limits should be represented in their line-up. With your TV experience you’re a shoe-in. What do you think?

My Response…

Thank you for the vote of confidence but I would not enjoy the rigid schedule that I know would be necessary to do this kind of show. I know what it takes to work on TV and I prefer to cook at my own pace, stress-free, and I don’t have to wear spanx!  – Jenny Jones

Jun 13, 2013

Rainbow Bean Salad

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Bean salad is already good for you but when you add all these stunning colored peppers, you boost the health benefits even more. Beans are a good way to add fiber to your diet and fiber is good for stabilizing blood sugar. Beans are also high in minerals so their calcium is good for bones.

And each of these beautiful colored peppers comes with its own special group of antioxidants that benefit everything from your brain, heart, eyes, joints, lungs, and may protect you against cancer. What’s good to note is that every single ingredient in this easy recipe has health benefits, right down to the heart-healthy olive oil.

It takes just minutes to put together but the health benefits will last a lifetime. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jun 11, 2013

Easy Chocolate Brownies

Does anyone really need a video for such a simple recipe? Yes. I think once you see how easy it is to make healthy chocolate brownies, you will ditch your old “melted butter” version and choose a healthier brownie made with oil to add to your dessert recipes. I’m constantly challenging myself to find healthy desserts I can bake without butter and this simple, easy recipe is a winner. It’s a whole grain brownie made with no butter, heart-healthy dark chocolate, lots of toasted nuts, and trust me, it does not taste like health food. What you get is a fudgey, chewy, delicious chocolate brownie… that just happens to be good for you. This is the only chocolate brownie I will ever make.

p.s. This could be a nice healthy treat for your dad on Father’s Day… Click here for a printable recipe.

Filed Under: Videos 1 Comment
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