Holly’s Healthy Hints: Simplifying Home Cooking

Tips to Simplify 

Don’t be overwhelmed by a home-cooked meals. We know that cooking at home is often much better for you than ordering out, but it can be difficult to overcome barriers to get that meal on the table.  50 years ago, people spent 40 hours a week in the kitchen – boy have times changed – now they are spending less than 4!  On average, Americans eat out four times a week, but with my trim and terrific recipes, I want to help turn your home into a drive through window with healthy affordable favorite foods. 

My focus is on providing a healthier lifestyle for the busy person—bringing back cooking! Don’t turn eating into a science project by selecting the “super food of the week” or the “diet of the day” as an immediate solution to good health. Our focus should be on what we can eat, not what we can’t. The idea of a “super food” makes us believe that one certain food should be regarded above the rest, when really, eating healthy should be about enhancing our foods with more of the good stuff – fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

With my quick and easy, healthy recipes, you can pretend your kitchen has that drive through window.  So, don’t think your only option to meet those daily guidelines is by eating five apples a day when a chicken salad like my Chicken Cranberry Pecan Salad from Eating Well to Fight Arthritis cookbook can include apples and assist you in reaching that goal.  

You can easily prepare wholesome foods at home, so you will be able to know what ingredients are in it.  My number one secret to cutting down cooking time is keeping a well-stocked pantry – it’s like having a permanent shopping list – keeping all of your basics on your shelves, such as low sodium broths, canned tomatoes, whole wheat pastas, frozen and canned veggies. This allows you to pull an ingredient out of the pantry and whip up a go-to nutritious meal in minutes without having to stress about what is for dinner.  

Keep nutritious and easy snacks on hand, which are easy to make too. By keeping whole wheat flour, oats, fruit, nuts, and dried berries on hand you can easily whip up on-the-go granola and breakfast bars and muffins – try my delicious Gingerbread Muffins from Eating Well Through Cancer

If you make a soup full of veggies in your own kitchen, like my Chicken Tortilla Soup, you know it is low fat and low sodium, while store bought soup may be loaded with salt and preservatives One of my favorite simple soups to warm you up also makes a great one-pot meal.  You’ll love the ease in preparation and flavors of this hearty home-made chili-style soup for your family.   Remember, cooked hot soups are a great way to include cooked veggies getting extra nutrients, vitamins and fiber.


Tips To Quick Healthy Cooking:

  • Have leftover lean ground meat you didn’t use in a recipe? Shape into patties and pop them into the freezer to pull out for a quick meal in seconds, your family is sure to love! No need to zip through the drive through when you can do it even faster, healthier and still on a budget.
  • Take advantage of the time-saving shortcuts that are available these days. Dislike chopping onions? Now you can buy fresh or frozen white and green onions already chopped – no tears required! You can even buy already cut cabbage, perfect to throw in that coleslaw.
  • If a recipe calls for chicken, use rotisserie or frozen grilled chicken breasts from the store.
  • Double the recipe and place half in the freezer to pull out when we have the urge. 
  • Don’t be afraid to buy a part of a recipe instead of creating it, such as marinara sauce.


Recipes for You

Southwestern Soup
Serves 9
This one is a real family pleaser and stomach filler with meat, salsa, sweet potatoes and southwestern seasonings. It creates a soup that bursts with flavor.
  1. 1 pound ground sirloin
  2. 1 Cup chopped onion
  3. 2 Cups water
  4. 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies
  5. 1 Cup salsa
  6. 2 Cups cubed, peeled, sweet or white potatoes
  7. 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  8. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  9. 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  10. 2 Cups frozen corn
  11. Salt and pepper to taste
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
  1. In large nonstick pot, cook meat and onion over medium heat until meat is done, about 5-7 minutes. Drain excess fat.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, except corn. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, simmer about 30 minutes.
  3. Add corn, continue cooking, covered, 15 minutes.
Adapted from Eating Well Through Cancer
Savor Health http://savorhealth.com/



Chicken Lasagna
Serves 8
This Scrumptious chicken lasagna becomes simple to prepare with the right strategies. Using no-boil noodles and rotisserie chicken, it takes very little time and energy. Have fun adding other ingredients and using different flavored marinara sauces.
  1. 2 (25-ounce) jars marinara sauce
  2. 1 (8-ounce) package no-boil lasagna noodles, divided
  3. 1 (15-ounce) container low-fat ricotta cheese
  4. 2 1/4 Cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  5. 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed, cut into pieces (about 3 Cups)
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
  1. Preheat oven 375˚F. Coat 13x9x2-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Spread about 1 cup marinara sauce on bottom of pan. Top with one-third noodles, all the ricotta cheese, 1 cup mozzarella, half the chicken and 1 cup sauce. Repeat layering with one-third noodles, remaining chicken, and 1 cup mozzarella. Top with remaining noodles and sauce.
  3. Bake, covered with foil, 1 hour. Uncover and top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and continue cooking 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  1. Try adding sliced mushrooms, baby spinach, and black olives to this basic recipe for added flair.
Adapted from Kitchen 101
Adapted from Kitchen 101
Savor Health http://savorhealth.com/


Holly Clegg

With over 1 million cookbooks sold, Holly Clegg has become a culinary expert on easy, healthy and practical recipes through her nationally recognized best-selling trim&TERRIFIC® cookbooks her Eating Well cookbooks, including Eating Well Through Cancer, (English, Spanish and Chinese editions), Eating Well to Fight Arthritis and Diabetic Cooking with the ADA. Clegg who attended the Cordon Bleu Cooking School, has appeared on Fox & Friends, NBC Weekend Today, QVC, The 700 Club, USA Today, Cooking Light Magazine, Web MD, and Huff Post. Visit her YouTube channel and her blog.

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