Are Jet Stream Ovens Healthier?

Jet stream or simply jet ovens have made a big impact on the culinary world.  They cook with any combination of infrared, fans, steam, and can even be used for hot air frying by using next to no oil.  There is no doubt that all of these are healthy choices, especially the hot air frying.  Here is some detailed information about jet ovens ranging from small countertop appliances for home use all the way to commercial grade models that can easily run $30,000-$40,000

The Technology

Jet ovens have food ready with the speed of a microwave but delivers the same results you would get in a traditional oven by quickly cooking, baking, and even browning food while preserving freshness and flavors.  The technology utilizes pressurized hot air that impacts food up and down on each side to directly transfer the heat energy thus cooks food two to four times faster than a traditional oven.  All functions and adjustments can be made on the oven’s control panel which gives you time, heat, and fan speed settings.  Most ovens have stackable, adjustable racks and steaming functionality can be added with an optional boiler.  Most jet ovens offer different levels of steam power in order for the optimal cooking of a variety of foods.  Steaming is an extremely healthy way of preparing food which is yet another mark for these versatile appliances.  And with the adjustable racks a small, countertop jet oven is a great option for people who don’t have a lot of space or need additional cooking options but cannot install another oven in their kitchen.

Jet Stream Ovens

 

Available Options

When it comes to consumer-grade small countertop jet stream ovens the market seems to belong to Nesco.  Infomercials have made this a wildly popular item but it is also a very well-constructed appliance that not only offers great customer support, an overwhelming number of consumers report they are very happy with the item and would purchase it again.  With its halogen heat and convection fan, the Nesco Jet Stream 2 touts the ability to air fry, bake, broil, grill, roast, or steam food.  That can definitely be considered a multi-tasking appliance and note all of these are very healthy cooking methods that use little to no oil.  Plus it is one small device that can be used in place of or in conjunction with your other kitchen equipment.

If you are looking for the same technology but the next sizes up, you might want to consider the Fujimak stainless steel FGJOA5 jet oven that looks remarkably like a grill and is made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel.  Its mechanical elements are housed in separate compartments so the cooking cabinet is a cinch to wash.  For those who want to use healthy and efficient jet stream technology in commercial ovens, the Doyon JA28 electric convection oven features the patented Jet Air System which is ideal for quickly baking cakes and pastries in addition to reducing the cooking times for meat and vegetables.  If one looks at the speed and efficiency jet ovens offer then add the benefits of cooking with little to no oil or fat, it can be accurately stated that jet ovens are in fact a very healthy way of cooking.

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A Quick and Easy Weekday Meal for the Whole Family

As temperatures are beginning to dip, more and more people are reaching for their favorite comfort foods; the rich, hearty, stick-to-your-bones kind of food that you want to eat while curled under a blanket with your loved ones as a fire roars in front of you. Unfortunately, most people do not have the time or the energy after a long day of work for of preparation and cooking involved in making that kind of food. If you are one of those that craves homey-goodness but needs to get dinner on the table quickly, this budget-friendly recipe is for you.

Shepherd’s pie comes to us from England and is simple, filling and delicious. While it is traditionally made with minced lamb (hence the “shepherd” in “Shepherd’s pie”) this recipe calls for the cheaper and typically more accessible ground beef. You could substitute ground turkey, chicken, lamb or pork, depending on what you have on hand. As a shortcut, frozen mixed vegetables are used in lieu of washing, chopping and preparing fresh vegetables.

Ingredients: (Serves 6)

  • Three large potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1-inch chunks
  • 2T sour cream
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 stick (1/4 cup or 8T) of butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn)
  • 1 ½ lbs ground beef
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • 1t Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: Shredded cheese

A Quick and Easy Weekday Meal for the Whole Family

Preparation:

  1. Set frozen vegetables out at the beginning of preparation to help defrost. The vegetables do not have to be completely thawed before using.
  2. Preheat over to 400F degrees.
  3. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil and add cubed potatoes, reduce to simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Over medium heat, melt 4T of butter in a large sauté pan. Add chopped onion and garlic and cook about 6-10 minutes until fragrant and tender, stirring frequently. Add ground beef and cook until browned, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  5. Add vegetables, beef broth and Worcestershire sauce to mixture. Bring broth to a simmer and then reduce to low heat.
  6. Keep uncovered and cook about 10 minutes. You may need to add more beef broth to keep mixture from drying out.
  7. Spread the mixture out into the bottom of a large 9x13 baking pan. Allow to cool slightly before adding mashed potatoes.
  8. Once potatoes are tender (a fork can pierce easily), drain water and remove from pot. Combine potatoes with sour cream, heavy cream, and remaining butter, using a fork or potato masher to mix together.
  9. Spoon the mashed potatoes on top of the meat and vegetable mixture, spreading out to cover. Cook in the preheated oven until the top is browned and bubbling, about 30 minutes.
  10. Optional: During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add shredded cheese to the top of the pie for extra deliciousness.
  11. Remove and allow to sit for about 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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How to Make Healthy, Delicious Pizza at Home

Friday night family nights have been a staple in my house for as long as I can remember; growing up my parents insisted on it and it’s a tradition that I have carried on now that I’m in my own home with my own family. I can think of no better food to bring people of all ages together than pizza – delicious, hot, cheesy pizza. The best part is, you can customize pizza to just about anyone’s taste and, with just a few, simple choices it can be as healthy as it is delicious.

The easiest way to enjoy a healthy pizza is to make it at home and the first place to start is the crust. This recipe uses a mix of whole wheat and all purpose flour for a crust that is perfectly chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside. If you and your family are watching calories, roll the dough out thinly for an even crispier, lighter crust.

Yields: About 1lb of pizza dough, or enough for one thick crust or two thin crusts

Ingredients:

  • 1t honey
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 1T active dry yeast
  • 1T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1t kosher salt
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

How to Make Healthy, Delicious Pizza at Home

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, stir honey into warm water until dissolved. Add the yeast and let it sit until a foam develops, about ten minutes.
  2. Stir olive oil and salt into the mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture slowly, stirring until a ball of dough begins to form.
  5. Sprinkle remaining all-purpose flour out over flat surface and place the ball of dough on top. Knead together until all of the flour has been absorbed and the ball of dough is smooth, about 5-10 minutes. To knead the dough, work it with your hands to form into a ball. Press the dough flat and then reform into a ball. You may also punch the dough flat with the heels of your hands and then fold and refold the dough. You want to work the dough until it loses its stickiness.
  6. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and tip the bowl around to coat the surface of the dough with the oil. Cover with a towel and let stand in a warm area for about one hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  7. Tip the dough out until floured surface about and punch the dough down, forming it until a tight ball. Place back into bowl and let it rise for another 45 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  9. Roll the dough out to desired thickness with rolling pin. If making two crusts, split the dough into two balls and roll each other as thinly as possible.
  10. Once the desired shape and size has been reached, place the dough on a well-oiled pizza pan or baking sheet and top with your favorite toppings. Pizza sauce can be purchased or your can make your own. Some healthy topping choices include turkey pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, peppers and spinach, but just about any vegetables will work (starchy vegetables like zucchini or squash may need to be steamed or sautéed first). Use fresh mozzarella cheese sparingly.
  11. Bake for 16-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the crust, until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted and bubbling on top.
  12. Enjoy!

Image Credit: pixabay.com

 

Four Ways to Cook Pasta

The great thing about pasta is it can be cooked and served in so many different ways! Warm, cold, light, or hearty- pasta is an inexpensive and easy meal to prepare on busy weeknights! Be sure to try these four different ways to cook pasta!

Pasta Fajioli Soup

What you will need:

1/2 pound Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed

1 small onion, chopped

1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

2 cups water

1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can chicken broth

3/4 cup uncooked tubetti pasta

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup fresh greens (spinach, kale or Swiss chard)

5 teaspoons Parmesan cheese

Directions:

In a large saucepan, brown sausage over medium heat. Drain and set aside. In the same pan, sauté onion in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and cook for approximately one minute. Add water, beans, tomatoes, broth, tubetti, and pepper to pan. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered until pasta is al dente  (approximately 8 minutes). Stir in meat and greens. Cook until greens are wilted (2-3 minutes). Top with Parmesan cheese.

Pasta Salad

What you will need:

16 oz tri-color rotini pasta

½ medium red onion, chopped

½ cucumber, chopped

½ medium green bell pepper, chopped

½ medium red bell pepper, chopped

½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 bottle zesty Italian dressing

Crumbled feta cheese to garnish

Directions:

Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse well. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta and chopped veggies. Stir in the Italian dressing and mix until combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least six hours. Before serving, top with crumbled feta cheese.

Four Ways to Cook Pasta

Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs

What you will need for the meatballs:

1 lb ground beef

1 cup dry breadcrumbs

1 cup parmesan, freshly grated

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 egg, beaten

All-purpose flour for dredging

You will also need:

1 jar prepared spaghetti sauce (or 24 oz homemade sauce)

1 lb spaghetti noodles

¼ cup olive Oil

¼ cup vegetable oil

Directions:

Crumble beef into large mixing bowl. Add breadcrumbs, 1/3 cup parmesan, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and beaten egg. With clean hands gently combine all ingredients. Shape into 1 inch round meatballs. In a shallow dish, lightly dredge meatballs through flour until evenly coated. Set aside. Heat olive oil and vegetable oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Without over crowding, fry each meatball in batches for approximately 6 minutes turning throughout. Place browned meatballs on paper towels to drain excess oil. In a separate saucepan, bring spaghetti sauce to boil. Add meatballs to sauce and cook for about 30 minutes (or until they are cooked through). Prepare spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and serve topped with spaghetti sauce, meatballs and remaining parmesan.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

What you will need:

1 lb elbow macaroni

8 tbsp butter

8 tbsp flour

2 cups milk

2 cups cream

1 tsp salt

Freshly ground black pepper.

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

2 cups Velveeta cheese, cubed

Directions:

Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Prepare macaroni according to package instructions. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Slowly add flour, salt and pepper, whisking continually. Gradually add milk and cream, constantly stirring. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes (still stirring constantly). Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes (stirring throughout). Slowly add cheeses (reserving half cup of cheddar) and simmer until all cheese has melted. Add prepared macaroni to cheese sauce and toss to coat. Transfer to large baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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Chicken Enchilada Pasta

Are you looking to spice up your meal plan with something full of flavor? Chicken Enchilada pasta may be just what you were thinking of, as it is rich in flavor, filling, and delicious. The enchilada sauce gives this pasta something unexpected, while the pasta absorbs the flavor and leaves your dinner guests wanting more. Here is a recipe for chicken enchilada pasta that is quick and easy to make that will help you add to your weekly recipe routine.

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

Serving Information

  • This recipe serves approximately 6 people
  • The total preparation time is about 15 minutes
  • The total time it takes to cook Chicken Enchilada Pasta is 20 minutes
  • The total time to make this meal is about 35 minutes.

What You Will Need To Make Chicken Enchilada Pasta

  • 3 tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 lb. Chicken, boneless and skinless.
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (or you can use sour cream)
  • 1 box pasta, preferably penne, ziti, or rigatoni
  • 2 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese
  • 3 medium sized green onions

How To Make Chicken Enchilada Pasta

  1. Dice the yellow onion
  2. Dice the garlic cloves
  3. Slice the green onions
  4. Add vegetable oil to a frying pan over medium heat
  5. Add onion and garlic to the frying pan
  6. Cut chicken into thin slices.
  7. Cook the chicken in the frying pan for roughly 7 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink.
  8. In a large bowl, add the can of enchilada sauce. Microwave sauce in the microwave safe bowl for 45 seconds to a minute. Once warm, remove from the microwave and add the sour cream to the sauce.
  9. Whisk the sour cream into the sauce and once it is fully mixed, set the sauce aside in the bowl.
  10. In a pot, cook the pasta according to the cooking instructions located on the back of the box. Cook until the pasta is at the desired consistency and then drain the pasta with a strainer.
  11. Add the sauce and chicken to the pasta in the large pot that you used to cook the chicken in. Add salt and pepper here, if you want more flavor.
  12. Add the green onions to the pot. Briefly mixing to scatter the green onions.
  13. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the pasta.
  14. Turn heat on medium and add a lid to the pan to heat and melt the cheese, if needed.
  15. Serve hot and enjoy!

For those looking to add more heat to your chicken enchilada pasta, you can feel free to experiment with different spices and flavors. Some people choose to cook the chicken in enchilada or taco seasoning. Other people will add chili pepper to the sauce for a little extra heat. You add what you like to make this recipe unique and to accommodate your dinner guests’ likings.

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