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3 Things to Make This Weekend

Happy Halloween! Any fun plans this weekend? I’m working at the hospital but going to a pumpkin carving party on Saturday after my shift. If your weekend involves any kitchen-time, here are a few things you might want to try:

mini pumpkinAnything with pumpkin. Well & Good posted a great list this week.

Tortellini soup. Cold temps are on their way, and all I can think about (food-wise, anyway) is warm soup. This is one of my go-to recipes. I made a big pot the other day using porcini tortellini, sliced mushrooms, kale, and herbs de Provence.

One of these leftover-candy creations brought to you by Food 52. I’m personally digging the idea of homemade blended ice cream concoctions a la Dairy Queen Blizzards. I guess if you really want to “healthify” it, you could do with frozen banana soft serve…

What are you up to this Halloween weekend? 

Thinking Out Loud: Farm Freshness and other Things


Some weeks I feel less organized than others when it comes to blogging. Sometimes I remember to give myself a reality check and note that I work full time on a schedule that’s constantly changing. Some Thursdays, all I’ve got for you is a random list of stuff. So:


1.) Lately, I’m obsessed with these Kevita Sparkling Probiotic Drinks. They’re my current favorite pick-me-up treat on the days I work at the hospital. At $2.99 a pop, they’re just that little bit less expensive than my favorite kombucha, which makes me feel justified to buy them several times a week.


2.) A facility I used to volunteer at is closing down, so the other day, my old supervisors rounded up a bunch of former students for a farewell lunch at Sticky Rice, a nearby Thai restaurant. My chili salmon lunchbox was damn good. It was great to catch up with people I used to work with as well as to meet some other nutrition professionals who went through there. Sticky Rice Lunch Box


3.) I signed up for a yoga membership at a new place and am loving it. I feel like I finally found my home base.

4.) A couple weeks ago at the ALS clinic, we were playing “Would You Rather” between Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Nothing like a little gallows humor to keep the day moving. I have both conditions in my family, unfortunately, but after much weighing of pros and cons, I decided on Alzheimer’s. That’s not morbid at all. Ugh. I should not have put that out there—the universe is always listening. Ah, well—sooner or later something’s going to get you.

5.) I just got my first shipment from Farmigo yesterday. I’m so excited!

Farmigo Order 1

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 #186

Happy What I Ate Wednesday! It’s time for another edition of the weekly link-up party where we take a voyeuristic look at what others on the Interwebs are eating. This week, I’m sharing a glimpse of what I ate while out in the suburbs this Saturday.

I woke up early to head out and take Eli to his first training class. Luckily, the timing worked out for a portable (and delicious) oats-in-a-jar breakfast. oats in a jar

The little dude slept through most of the class, despite all the other dogs there. I felt bad because we’d been doing so well with our training before he got sick, and I feel like we’re back at square one. It also doesn’t help that his renal diet food doesn’t exactly count as a “high-value treat,” but we spoke with the instructor about things we can use instead, and I’m optimistic that he’ll be able to relearn what we’d been working on and then some.

After puppy class, my mom and I ran some errands and popped into a local cafe for salads. Mine had greens, beets, cucumber, chicken, and avocado. It was really good! Food Evoluation Salad

I treated myself to a massage at a local place and ran into a girl I’d gone to middle school with. It was really nice to see her, though I felt like an ass for not remembering her name at first. Getting old. Good times. After that, my parents and I had dinner (and a huge glass of wine for me). My mom and I shared some shrimp cocktail…shrimp cocktail

…and we both ordered miso-glazed salmon with spinach and parsnip puree as our main dish. I seriously crave this and hadn’t had it in a long time. So freaking good. I’m proud of myself for sticking to just one giant glass of wine. I knew I had an event the next morning, though (shout out to Farmigo for coming to NJ and spending your Sunday with me), so a hangover on top of a lingering cold did not sound fun. miso salmon

Poor Eli. When we got home, my mom and I dressed up the dude in his dragon Halloween costume. He was actually okay about it, but pouted a little, like, “Mom, why did you put a dragon on my back? You’re so weird.” Eli dragon

He knows I love him, though. We had a lot of snuggle time and walks together this weekend. I always cry a little when I say goodbye to him, but he’s having a blast with my parents and their dogs, and that makes me happy. We’re all just keeping an open mind about the situation and figuring we’ll all kind of know if/when it’s the right time for him to come live with me again. Sometimes I wonder what I’m going to be saying in 5 years about this experience of bringing a dog into my home and then the neighbor drama and then him getting sick and going to stay with my family. What am I supposed to be learning right now? All that really matters, though, is that he’s doing great and seems healthy and is growing and happy. He has this little smile that totally slays me. SO f***ing cute. He’s also shown me some parts of myself that I didn’t even really know were there. He’s certainly softened some of the rough edges. I’d always wondered if that was possible, and it’s been a relief to see that it is.

Anyway, after taking Eli out for his last-call walk, I had a sliced-up apple and some tea with honey, cayenne extract, and a bunch of cold-fighting herbs. I always crave apples when I’m sick, so this totally hit the spot. IMG_7921

Another WIAW that ends with me face-planting. What can I say? I’m firing on all cylinders most of the day, so every night it’s the exact opposite. Family blessing/curse.

What foods do you crave when you’re sick? Do you dress up your pets for Halloween?

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

Rustic Slow Cooker Chicken with RedPack Tomatoes

This post is sponsored by Redpack Tomatoes.

rustic chicken One of my favorite cold-weather foods is a tomato-based soup or sauce packed with veggies. As a kid, I used to eat a cup of my mom’s marinara sauce as a snack. Who are we kidding—I could still do that.

For the first few years I had my slow cooker, I mostly only used it for brown rice. Eventually, though, my curiosity and hunger coaxed me out of my rut, and it has since become one of my favorite kitchen appliances.

As part of their 2-a-Day Crockpot Giveaway, October 22-November 18, RedPack is  giving away 2 slow cookers every day on Facebook ( to help make it easier than ever for you to make comforting meals for your family.

This recipe was adapted from RedPack’s Rustic Italian Chicken.


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 28-ounce can RedPack crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small can sliced black olives
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Add chicken and top with other ingredients.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

I enjoyed mine over steamed kale with a side of crusty bread, but you can totally throw this over pasta, quinoa, or cauliflower rice.

What are your favorite cold-weather meals?  

A Small Collection of Joyous Things

How’s your weekend going? For anyone new to the blog, I like to post a little gratitude list every Sunday. Here are a few things bringing me joy this week:

1.) Spending some time with my family—and Eli!

2.) This card my aunt sent. Hilarious. zombie guy card

3.) In the middle of what might have been a stressful week, I got to see an improv comedy show. Laughter really is the best medicine.

4.) Peanut Butter. I am thankful for peanut butter. This stuff is the bomb. Trader Joes chia PB

5.) Yogurt is now New York’s official State Snack. Love it.

What’s brought you joy this week? 

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?

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