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3 Thing to Make This Weekend

Finally—it’s Friday again! Anything exciting on the agenda?

Halloween Costumes from the Kitchn

This Sunday, I’m looking forward to co-hosting an event with Farmigo in New Jersey. You can email info(at)jessicacordingnutrition(dot)com for more details.

Since I’ll be traveling to the ‘burbs, the only cooking happening will be at my mom’s house, but here are a few bits and bites that caught my eye this week online:

Halloween is coming! Next weekend! This actually means nothing to me except, well, how did  it get to be the end of October?

What are you looking forward to this weekend? What are you being for Halloween? 



Thinking Out Loud: Giveaway Winners!

Hey guys, happy Thursday! Thanks again for entering the Maple Hill Creamery Yogurt Giveaway! Let’s jump right in. Here are the winners who will be receiving a coupon for a free yogurt:

  • Caitlin
  • Jenn
  • Alyssa
  • Rosie

yogurt with maple If you all could send me an email at info(at)jessicacordingnutrition(dot)com with your mailing address I’ll get that out in the mail to you! If there are any unclaimed prizes by next Thursday, I’ll select new winners. Enjoy your yogurt!

Also, for any of my readers in Northern New Jersey, I’m doing an event this Sunday morning with Farm-to-Neighborhood company, Farmigo from 11-1. We’ll be talking about foods to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder and sampling foods from local farms. For more info, you can email me at the address above.

Have a great day : )

Check out more Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party, where stream-of-consciousness is the name of the game! Thanks to Amanda for hosting!

What I Ate Wednesday #185: Making Strides Weekend

Happy What I Ate Wednesday! How’s your week going? This is my second week in a row doing Monday-Friday at the hospital, and I have to say, it’s been kind of nice to be in some sort of regular rhythm. I plan to enjoy that while it lasts. This past weekend I enjoyed 2 days off in a row. It was wonderful—perfect for sharing in this weekly food-photo link-up.

Saturday I went to yoga, relaxed at home, and cooked. In the evening, I went to see The Tempest at La MaMa and actually stayed up past my bedtime.

Sunday was the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Central Park. It ended up just being me, my mom, and my sister, but we had a great time. Our team raised over $1600! Thanks to everyone who contributed.

Before my mom and sister came over, I had a bowl of oatmeal to get me through the five-mile walk. I’d made a double batch—so glad I’d thought ahead. It was a total lifesaver.pumpkin apple oats

After the walk, we enjoyed some tasty brunch at The Smith. We ordered some potato chips that had fontina and blue cheese.smith chip

I had a few, but it wasn’t really my thing. I totally devoured my steak salad, though—plus almost all the crispy brussel sprouts we’d ordered for the table. We also had some maple chicken sauce for the table that was okay.  smith steak salad

I made the mistake of taking a too-long nap in the afternoon and woke up ravenous and spacey. Some plain yogurt with maple syrup, flax, cinnamon, and a sprinkle of granola got me through some cleaning and errand-running, though.

yogurt with maple

For dinner I ate a bowl of a recipe I was testing for RedPack Tomatoes (coming soon!). rustic chicken

I also had a side of toast with hummus but completely forgot to take a picture. For dessert, I had one of these dark chocolate pumpkin fudge balls that’d I’d made the day before:

PS: One more day to enter my Maple Hill Creamery Giveaway! I’ll announce the winner tomorrow.

To see more WIAW from other bloggers, visit founder Jenn’s blog Peas & Crayons.

Skinny Comfort Food: Creamy Parsnip Puree

parsnip pureeOMG, I totally just broke my rule about adding “skinny” to recipe titles. On a cynical nerdy level, I’m curious to see if my analytics shows me anything interesting in terms of whether words like “skinny” impact clicks per post.

Really, though I just wanted to share one of my favorite quick-and-easy recipes for fall that just so happens to be of the “sticks to your ribs but not your thighs” variety. That is a saying, right? If not, I just made one up.

Parsnips are one of those veggies  it’s easy to overlook, but this humble root veggie (looks like a white carrot) is packed with fiber, folate, vitamin C, and potassium. You can cut it into cubes and roast it or try it pureed—it’s a lot like mashed potatoes.

This parsnip puree is a great accompaniment to salmon, roasted veggies, or heartier items like meat loaf. I especially love it with this pumpkin turkey meatloaf. My computer’s autocorrect keeps trying to write “meat load.” Oh dear.

Anyway, this dish is super-satisfying and easy to make. Make it one of your weeknight staples this fall!


  • 1 lb parsnips, peeled
  • Water or low-sodium veggie broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Boil parsnips in water or broth until fork tender.
  2. Puree in a blender with a little of the cooking liquid until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


A Small Collection of Joyous Things

Happy Sunday! Hope you’ve been having a great week. Every Sunday, I like to take a second to hit the Pause button and take stock of the small good things from the past seven days.

Mercury retrograde, which is going to continue until October 25th, can be a real pain in the ass because it screws with communication, technology, and travel. You might find it hard to make—and-keep plans because things keep coming up you need to address or be flexible about. However, there can be an upside to this.  In fact, it’s actually worked in my favor a few times this week. For example:

*Wednesday night I was supposed to go to a cooking class with a colleague. It got canceled at the last minute, and all the participants were told we’d be getting a refund. A couple of us girls popped into a nearby cafe for a much-needed glass of wine. Taking a chance in the middle of the workweek to gab about work, boys, and the Future was exactly what I needed.

*Thursday night I went to a much-needed yoga class and ran into a friend there. It was so nice to see her!

A few non-Mercury-related highlights:

*First things first: There is nothing like a nice, warm bowl of oatmeal in the fall. This concoction had pumpkin, apple, egg whites, chia, and flax seeds cooked in, and then I topped with with some crunchy PB & flax and chia and a big spoonful for homemade cranberry sauce. It was such a treat to enjoy before diving into my Saturday morning. pumpkin apple oats

*Gorgeous weather on Friday. I took a nice walk on my lunch break. I also had a little spare time between my shift and the hospital and a meeting downtown, so I got to walk around the Union Square Farmers Market and stock up on plenty of gorgeous fall produce!

* Speaking of produce, Trader Joe’s finally has raw beets! It’s the little things…Trader Joe's Beets

*I have a fun video project in the works and I can’t wait to share it with you guys.

* On Saturday, I avoided the news in favor of another yoga class and a day spent reading and cooking (and maybe binge-watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix—aka having it on in the background while I did stuff). I also made Chocolate Covered Katie’s Pumpkin Fudge Balls.

Today I’m participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk with my mom, sister, and aunt. It’s a little bit of an emotional event, as my grandmother battled breast and ovarian cancer for many years before succumbing to the latter in 1999 at the way-too-young age of 61. Sometimes I wonder what things would be like if she were still alive—What kind of relationship would we have? How would I be different as a person if I’d had her influence in my life as a teenager and twenty-something woman? What would be the same?

As I’ve written before, my grandmother’s medical issues were such a central part of my life as a child that it would have taken a lot for me not to go into some sort of “helping” profession. Even though I’m far from perfect, I like to hope my efforts make a small, positive difference to someone.

What are you grateful for this week?

PS: Have you entered my Maple Hill Creamery yogurt giveaway yet?

3 Things to Make This Weekend

Irving Farm cappucinoGood morning. Happy Friday! How’s your week been? If you haven’t entered my Maple Hill Creamery giveaway, leave a comment on yesterday’s post to be entered in the drawing!

I’m looking forward to an actual 2-day weekend. It’s been a while, and I’m looking forward to recharging (maybe some yoga, avoiding the news) and to joining my family in this year’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on Sunday. If you want to make a donation to my team, you can do so on the event homepage. We’re The Jeanne Team : )

Depending how I feel Saturday, I might even try a new recipe. Here are a few I saw this week that looked great!

What are you looking forward to this weekend? 

Why I Love Yogurt + A Giveaway!

This week’s Thinking Out Loud post is all about the number-one reason I will never be vegan:  For about as long as I can remember, yogurt has been one of my staple foods.

As a kid, I was all about the Yoplait Thick & Creamy French vanilla yogurt with the foil top. Then in the mid 1990′s after my grandmother ‘s cancer diagnosis, the fridge was stocked with the Stonyfield Farms fruit juice-sweetened stuff. Brown Cow’s whole-milk maple yogurt also made an appearance at times. I’m ashamed to admit I ate a lot of Yoplait Light & Fit in high school and even into college, but there was also some Fage plain Greek yogurt around, which eventually led me to abandon the sugar-free bullshit stuff entirely.

Here are some of the reasons I enjoy yogurt (and/or kefir) almost every day:

  • Protein: Yogurt is full of satiating protein. An 8-ounce cup of yogurt has 12 grams of protein. Greek yogurt packs even more, usually around 20 grams per cup. That “water” in the container is actually whey, so stir it in to get all that protein.
  • Probiotics: Many yogurts are made with “good” bacteria that fight the good fight in the GI tract to promote good digestion and immune system function.
  • Bone Health: Yogurt is a great source of calcium and vitamin D to help build and maintain strong, healthy bones. It also has a lot of magnesium, and potassium. The vitamin B-12 in yogurt is helpful for pretty much all the things so that’s another plus.
  • Convenience: You can find yogurt in pretty much any grocery or convenience store. Even some gas stations and drugstores stock it. It can be enjoyed plain, mixed with various toppings, or on top of foods like waffles, pancakes, or grilled fruit. It can also be cooked into all kinds of dishes, from sweet baked goods to savory soups and sauces.

A few things to keep in mind when choosing yogurt:

  • Stay away from excess sugar. Even better, go for plain and flavor it yourself.
  • Look for probiotics and active cultures.
  • Opt for organic whenever possible.

Maple Hill Creamery recently contacted me about trying some of their grass-fed yogurt products. The company makes their yogurt from a local supply of milk from 100% grass-fed certified organic small farms near Stuyvesant, NY. They don’t homogenize, strain, or skim their milk. They also keep the sweeteners natural and to a minimum: think fruit purees and scant amounts of real maple syrup, authentic extracts, and organic sugar. A slower culturing process allows them to do without thickeners, and they don’t add any colors or preservatives.

Their yogurt has a smooth, creamy texture and a tart, barely-sweet taste. For anyone freaking out about the fact that this is whole-milk yogurt, bear in mind that fact that we need some fat to absorb the vitamins A and D in milk. Additionally, the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio in milk from grass-fed cows is higher than in those from cows fed hay, grains, and corn, so it actually has a more heart-healthy fatty acid profile more beneficial to humans. Also of note: one 6-oz container of plain yogurt has 120 calories-hardly something to be “afraid” of. I also want to point out that fat is digested more slowly than other nutrients, so it helps you stay full for longer. Oh, and then there’s that thing called “mouth feel.” Bonus.  

Maple Hill Creamery wants to give you the chance to try their yogurt too! 4 readers will get a coupon for a free container of grass-fed yogurt. All you have to do to enter the giveaway is to leave a comment below. Next week I will randomly select and announce a winner, so stay tuned!  

Check out more random thoughts from other bloggers at the Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party, where stream-of-consciousness is the name of the game! Thanks to Amanda for hosting!

What I Ate Wednesday #184

I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already. I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of work-related What I Ate Wednesday posts lately, but this week’s installment actually features some meals with friends, family and not consisting entirely of items purchased from Trader Joe’s (gasp).

WIAW 184 Saturday started early and ended late. Breakfast and lunch were fairly standard desk-meal items: pumpkin cheesecake dip with cereal for crunch and a warm kale salad later on that had leftover grass-fed steak from the farmer’s market (!) and miso-tahini dressing. I munched on an apple for lunch “dessert” and to give me some carbs to balance out the meal. I made the mistake (if a genius one) of taking a two-hour nap after my shift so I could make it through a coffee date and late dinner with a friend visiting from out of town. Because I always wake up ravenous after long naps, a Greek yogurt mess was basically inevitable. Between Point A and Point B of my evening plans, I had a glass of wine at a Hells Kitchen wine bar and chatted with the bartender about puppies. It was kind of a perfect evening.

Sunday I had brunch plans (aka lunch where you top things with eggs and can drink booze if you like) with the fam, but of course woke up early and hungry. I made a bowl of savory oats with leftover roasted veggies and egg whites to tide me over after a little gym & laundry action. By the time my parents, sister, and I met up with my cousin and his wife at Barrio47, though, I was freaking starving again. I ordered the shakshuka and was not disappointed. I’d never had it with burratta cheese in it, and it was fan-f***ing-tastic. Instead of booze, we all had coffee drinks.
BARRIO47 ShakshukaI was pleasantly surprised at how long my meal held me over, but I was more than ready to dig into a bowl of (more) leftover roasted veggies with pumpkin-spice roasted chickpeas (toss chickpeas with pumpkin pie spice & a teaspoon of olive oil, bake until crispy) over parsnip puree. It held me over pretty well through an event, though I definitely was ready to eat a little something before bed. Once again: a sliced banana with peanut butter. It’s just too easy…

What’s your favorite brunch dish? 

To see more WIAW from other bloggers, visit founder Jenn’s blog Peas & Crayons.

5 Ways to Eat Kabocha Squash

In October of 2011, when I found myself single again after several years of cohabitation with another Sagittarius (one day I’ll learn…) cooking for one again was kind of challenging. I’d gotten used to making huge batches of stuff or at least not scrambling to come up with different ways to use up leftovers. Though I’d like to tell you I eventually changed my ways, I would be totally full of s*** if I said that. It’s hard to go back after living with a well-stocked fridge. Gone are the days of a fridge consisting only of cheese, white wine, and guava preserves (don’t ask).

One advantage to cooking for one is that it’s easier to anticipate how much you’ll need to buy, since you’re the only one who’s going to be eating xyz. There are some items that are easy to buy in smaller quantities, but for certain things like whole fruits and veggies or certain cuts of meal or fish, it’s not always doable. Take, for example, the much-loved kabocha squash. I like to think of kabocha as pumpkin’s sweet yet sassy little cousin. The Hip One at the (adult) Kids’ Tablee very Thanksgiving.

If pumpkin is

: )

Kabocha is

; )

kale saladAnyway. There’s really no getting around a whole squash. Sometimes a single gal will luck out and find a cute little one that’s good for a couple servings, but more often than not, when you buy one of these, you’re looking at a five-day commitment. And orange palms when it’s all over, thanks to the mega beta-carotene load. Some things are totally worth it, though, such as kabocha.

I like to start off with a simple steamed kabocha squash. I just prick the outside with a fork a few times and cook in the microwave for ~10 minutes at a time until it’s soft enough to slice open and scoop the seeds from. Then I just peel and cut the flesh (insides/squash-meat) into cubes for later use. You can totally do slices or chunks instead of cubes—I just hate the word “chunks.”

So now you’re got all this f***ing squash to use up. Awesome. Let’s chat on Day 3. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1.)  As is, with roasted Brussels sprouts & pork chops (or tofu or fish or whatever)

2.)  Cut up and tossed into salad. I highly recommend warm kale salad for this one, but it’s also fantastic with arugula and goat cheese.

3.) In a smoothie. Add pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and a date or 1 tsp maple syrup to milk and yogurt. Blend with ice.

4.)  In risotto. The kabocha sort of melts in as you cook it—nice!

5.) In oatmeal. Similar to the risotto, the squash blends right in. Add some spices, top with your favorite nut butter, and you’re good to go!


How do you deal with leftovers? 

A Small Collection of Joyous Things

Happy Sunday, and welcome to my weekly gratitude list, a series I started to focus on the joyful things in my life.

It’s been a busy week, but full of lots of small, good things.

1.) I went to visit Eli and my parents Monday. The little guy finally got a haircut. I miss him so much, but he’s having a ball out in NJ right now, so I’m happy about that. Jess and Eli October 6

2.) Thursday I went on a “Cook’s Tour of Chinatown,” which I’d signed up for through the 92nd Street Y. I was the youngest one there by decades, but it was so cool to visit different markets and get the lowdown on what to buy where. Can’t wait to go back and buy some odd meats and vegetables to play with. Of course, the only food pic I managed to take was of this black chicken: black chicken

The “BIG SILKY” is a little disconcerting, though.

I took a picture of this place too: foot hheaven

3.) I actually had time to make oats on the stovetop one morning this week. It was glorious. pumpkin oats with figs

4.) I also made cranberry sauce. Finally used up that bag in the freezer. cranberry sauce

5.) I actually found the energy to (gasp) socialize with other humans two nights in a row this week—what a concept.

6.) Lots of interesting projects have me in a positive groove about work.

7.) I’m seeing my family today, including some cousins I haven’t seen since…? Can’t wait!

8.) I have a giveaway coming your way soon!

What’s brought you joy this week? 

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