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Thinking Out Loud: Soup and Other Stuff

Happy Thursday. Hope the week is treating you well. This is the day where I usually post a bunch of randomness so let’s jump in.

Start with the bad news first: General Mills had to recall certain boxes of their gluten-free Cheerios after finding the product contained some gluten. The company is working on the issue, but if you know of anyone with gluten sensitivities, this would be helpful to share.

Now for some better stuff:

#soup weather is here! #lentils w/ roasted butternut squash & #apple is perfect for a fall #MeatlessMonday #whatadietitianeats

A photo posted by Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN (@jesscording) on

Soup is one of my favorite parts of fall. I have a recipe coming your way soon, so stay tuned!

*This chicken chili from How Sweet It Is sounds delicious—and it involves pumpkin beer biscuits. I don’t love beer, but I think I would really dig this. I don’t have the occasion for which to make it (Is that proper grammar?How much do I care?) but I still want to.

*I put pumpkin in a green smoothie the other day and decided I need to do that more often. So good!

*It’s that time of year again where we start playing the “is it a cold or allergies” game? About 4 years ago, I started drinking warm water with lemon every morning, and whether it’s the placebo effect or legit, I really feel like it’s part of what helps keep my immune system strong. Turns out Elle Macpherson does the same. Nice to know I’m in good company.

What’s on your mind today? 
This post has been part of another Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party, where randomness is the name of the game. Thanks to Amanda for hosting.

A Small Collection of Joyous Things

Sunday again. It’s dreary here in New York with a little high-anxiety energy thrown in around the weather, so all the more reason for my weekly gratitude-list post.

*First off: I want to take a second to wish a Happy Birthday weekend to my sister—yesterday was the big day. I was lucky enough to get to see her and the rest of the fam (fur children included) twice over the past week. I was out there again Thursday, and enjoyed a lovely late breakfast with the birthday girl on Friday morning at an adorable local cafe. It was so nice to start the day with girl talk and a non-desk breakfast for a change! empty omelet plate

(clearly, I hated my florentine omelet)

*Part of the reason for my second trip: I had to go to my eye doctor—I’m in the process of transitioning to a new contact lens brand and Rx, and it’s been a bit of a process. Accepting that my eyes have gotten worse this year after a long time of no changes was tough, but I got new lenses, and I can read signs again! I had no idea how much signage I’d been missing out on.

*Disney Princesses Reimagined as Hot Dogs. Yes, this is a thing, and it is wonderful.

(Lucky Peach)

Which Disney Princess did you identify with, growing up? I think Ariel from the Little Mermaid would have to be my vote—always going off exploring, longing to be part of the big world…collecting random objects was totally something I did when I was little too.

*This post from the Kitchn on their instant oatmeal taste test was awesome. As the weather cools down, I’ve been craving hearty grain-based breakfasts, and I could stand to try some new-to-me brands.

*I know it’s barely October, but I couldn’t resist using a discount code to buy some super-cute wintery leggings from White Plum. I got these.

White Plum

*On my work-from-home days (and nights) I’ve been binge-watching 30 Rock, since I never saw the beginning of the series. By binge “watch” I basically mean having it on in the background. That’s about as close as I’ll probably ever get to being able to watch TV. Still. It’s so good! Not-so-guilty pleasure. Tina Fey is my hero. And Liz Lemon might be my spirit animal?

*It probably says something about me that I routinely burn my mouth on coffee and hot soup, but hey. Pros and cons of being a fire sign. Sagittarius with Sagittarius rising = basically f***ed in the patience/heat-sensitivity department.

*Speaking of soup, I’m looking forward to making some soon. I’m thinking red lentil & apple with caramelized onion and kabocha squash, since I still have a gazillion apples to use up…

Have a great Sunday!

What’s on your list of small, good things this week? 


Pumpkin Ravioli Soup

I know it’s not technically fall yet, but when I got home from my trip the other night, all I could think about was making soup. Maybe it’s premature, but I am all into the fall flavors already, and when I saw this pumpkin ravioli in the freezer, I knew what had to happen. Trader Joe's Pumpkin Ravioli

So here, I made you some pumpkin ravioli soup for Meatless Monday. It’s great with grated or shaved parmesan on top, but I also had leftovers with a poached egg for lunch the next day after I made it. My motto in life these days apparently is #putaneggonit pumpkin ravioli soup with egg

It was the bomb, as the kids say. They still say that, right? If not, I am old. Someone fetch grandma her slippers and a little whiskey for this here teacup.

Anyway. Happy Monday!

Ingredients :

  • Olive oil
  • Small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 oz shredded Brussels sprouts
  • 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1 cup red lentils, dry
  • 1 package pumpkin ravioli
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Grated or shaved Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat oil in a large stock pot. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add Brussels sprouts. Cook until soft. Add broth and red lentils bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer about 10 minutes.
  3. Bring soup back to a boil and add ravioli. Cook according to directions or package.
  4. To serve, top with grated Parmesan. You could also top with a poached egg.Serves 6

What’s your favorite soup? Are you getting into Fall flavors yet or not quite ready? 

What to Make this Weekend: Peace. And cookies. Or soup.

I never know what to write on September 11th. This year marks the 14th anniversary of the attacks, and once again, I’m at a loss. It just feels wrong to chatter about healthy recipes and the like.

cafe campanille Milan

I just returned from a week in Milan, Italy, where I was visiting the World Expo and spending some time exploring the city, and though I’m happy to be home, some time away can certainly give a sense of perspective. I spend so much time in my hectic New York bubble, and it was quite the eye opener to take a step back and observe myself in a place that is, well, not New York. Suddenly, my quick pace and habitual watch-glancing made me self-conscious, like my obvious, pointless rush might give me away. That said, a lot of people I encountered assumed I was from the UK—until I opened my mouth, of course—which gave me a laugh.

I got home last night after an almost 16-hour trip and was so stressed out by all the stuff on my to-do list, I felt paralyzed. Instead of crawling into bed, I threw some laundry into the machine, bought some groceries, and made soup. Just the act of doing these little human things made me feel calm and settled and capable.

pumpkin ravioli soup

pumpkin ravioli soup

But to backtrack a bit, this rush. Why? In remembering a day when so many people likely rushed to work, only to get there on time to lose their lives, I’m acutely aware of how much time we waste focused on getting to the next thing instead of looking around and appreciating where we are. Last week gave me a chance to catch myself in the act of hurrying up to wait or lamenting a perceived delay and to instead take the opportunity to practice patience and observe my surroundings and myself more fully.

I don’t handle the concept of unfinished business very well. One of the things that makes me angriest is when I see a life cut short—whether that be by accident, illness, murder, suicide. Unfortunately, the nature of my work brings me very close to people who pass away, and this is always one of the hardest parts. It can be so hard to accept.

That afternoon 14 years ago, when my sister and I were both home from school, my mom surprised me by taking out mixing bowls and flour, sugar, eggs, chocolate and butterscotch chips. We were not going to hide in the f***ing basement—we were going to make cookies. And we did, and they were delicious.

I was in high school on September 11, 2001, and one of the things that came out of that day for me was a commitment to living my life in a way that allows me to go to sleep each day feeling like I’ve done my best to make a positive impact, feeling satisfied with or at least understanding of where I am in that moment, if not always happy.

I also learned that when I’m scared, the best way to deal is to do something. Put one foot in front of the other in whatever way makes the most sense.

This September 11th, what I want to focus on is making peace: peace with others, peace with yourself, peace with where you are and what you’re dealing with. I want to focus on taking a chance to look around and take in the moment. It’s the kind of gift only we can give to ourselves but which we let others take from us so easily.

And failing that, make cookies. Or soup.

What to make this weekend

Happy Friday. This week has flown by. I don’t want even to think about the sheer number of words that have come out of my mouth while talking with patients or that I’ve written or typed in the past few days. I’m ready for a little downtime.

red lentil soup with hemp seedsSaturday I’m going to be helping set up for the International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York and then indulging in a little karaoke silliness—and hopefully Korean BBQ. Sunday plans include a half-shift at the hospital and hopefully some yoga.  I did a lot of cooking on Thursday so won’t be doing much food prep or recipe-testing over the weekend. I plan to enjoy a lot of soup and toast. Fancy, I know.

For those of you who plan to spend some time in the kitchen, what’s on the agenda? Any fun experiments you’d been meaning to try? Here are a few things that caught my eye this week:

I love the idea of making my own fermented foods at home, but I’m such a scaredy-cat. Some years ago, my then-boyfriend made cashew cheese that spent a week wrapped in a towel in a cabinet, and after I ate some, I laid awake for hours waiting for botulism-related eye twitches to set in. Still, this recipe for homemade sauerkraut (in a mason jar, no less) sounds pretty badass.

A bunch of clicking around led me to this 2010 post for an egg baked into a sweet potato on The Daily Balance. Um, I need this in my life.

Speaking of vegetables, I loved this article on what a serving of vegetables looks like. A good visual makes all the difference.

Maybe it’s my age, but I feel like all of a sudden I know tons of people who are having babies. These lactation cookies from the Fitnessista would be a great gift for a new mom. Since I am a terrible baker, I’ll just keep sending goodies from Mouth or ordering from the registry, but you can try to make them…

What are you up to this weekend? Any recipes you’re planning to try? 

What to make this Weekend

Happy Friday! How’s your week been? What are you looking forward to this weekend? I’m working at the hospital, so food-wise, we’re looking at a lot of pre-made oatmeal, salads, and the like. Pros and cons.

For people with normal lives/work schedules, weekends are a great time for food-prep and trying new recipes. I’m always on the lookout for great ideas for myself and my clients and loved this round-up I saw on The Kitchn this week. Amanda Hesser’s “Fancy Refrigerator Salad” over on Food 52 sounds pretty dope too. Apparently I say, “dope,” now. Year of Changes, what did I tell you?

Red lentil soup with egg Lately, I’m obsessed with red lentils. As I mentioned the other day, they’re one of my mainstays. Sunday night, I made pan-seared scallops with spinach & pancetta over red lentils (similar to this business from summer, 2013). Tuesday, I made a giant pot of red lentil soup (recipe coming Monday) that I enjoyed in various forms throughout the week.

I think, by far, the strangest was Thursday’s breakfast, which was enjoyed post-yoyga and errands: ~ 6oz (all that was left) of soup with some roasted cauliflower and eggplant, served over steamed kale and topped with hummus, Trader Joe’s eggplant dip, and a little goat cheese. Oh, and a poached egg because, well, duh. I feel like there needs to be a cookbook called, “Yes, you can put an egg on that.” Or “If you liked it then you should have put an egg on it.” Or “Poached Eggs: A love story.”

While we’re on the subject of morning meals, it never hurts to keep in mind that Protein + Fat + Carbs = Breakfast that actually gets you from Point A to Point B, even if you end up staying in your sweaty gym clothes until, like, 1 pm. Ah, the glamor of working from home…

It’s probably a good thing I will not have much cooking time this coming weekend, as my freezer is once again running out of room. And because I need to stop listening to Andrew Bird’s “Lazy Projector,” which has become my comfort-soup-making song as of late. I’ve got it bad, like, “listen to it on repeat” bad. Sorry, neighbors. And by that, I mean #sorrynotsorry. Le sigh, as the kids say.

What are you up to this weekend? Any cooking projects or food prep on the agenda? What song(s) can you not stop listening to? 


What to Make this Weekend

Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend? Any cooking in your near future? Here are a few ideas for things to make over the next few days:

IMG_9134* I made this slow cooker black garlic pork tenderloin the other day and am so glad I did. It’s a recipe from last year I keep going back to—so nice for cold days when you want some umami in your life.

*For whatever reason, I’ve found myself talking a lot about granola lately with Rise clients. While searching for recipes to pass on, I came across this great post from Gimme Some Oven with 15 Granola Recipes. I have a recipe for a chocolate coconut version you can try too.

Side note: I’ve also been on the lookout for helpful portion-control guides, and really liked this one.

Ways to use leftover sweet potatoes from Food 52. Somehow sweet potatoes fell off my radar there for a bit, but they’re finally back. Just the other night, I had some with veggies, sausage, and an egg. Perfect weeknight dinner.

*It’s cold. Soup needs to happen.

What are you up to this weekend? Any recipes you’re looking to try? 

Keep-It-Simple Chicken Soup

chicken quinuoa soupTalking to patients and clients and, you know, being a human, it seems that winter is an intense time for a lot of people. Life gets messy sometimes, feelings get complicated. The weather does not cooperate and our immune systems play with our expectations.

There’s a lot to be said for the benefits of adequate sleep, exercise, and some form of therapy. However, I think soup is also a very important part of the winter survival process. Today I have a simple chicken soup for those weeks when you just want to hide under the covers.

For this recipe, I made my chicken in the slow cooker before I went off for an afternoon at the clinic so it would be ready when I got home. You could also use a rotisserie chicken from a store and remove the meat from the bone and trim off the skin. You could also roast your own or brown the meat and then add the rest of the ingredients—it all depends on your comfort level, time, and kitchen set-up.


For the chicken:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cooked
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp each rosemary and oregano
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the soup: 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp each rosemary and oregano
  • 8 cups water or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (optional)
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place chicken in slow cooker and top with broth, spices, and lemon zest. Cook on low 4-5 hours.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add celery, carrots, onion, garlic, and spices. Cook until soft.
  3. Add water or broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add quinoa. Cover.
  4. Cook for 15 minutes. Add quick and spinach and simmer another 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

What’s your favorite winter survival tip? 






What to Make this Weekend

Happy Friday! What are you getting into this weekend? I’m working at the hospital and prepping for some upcoming events. Weirdly enough, I’m also really looking forward to sleeping. I have no reason to want to hide under the covers or anything, but I am just obsessed with the many layers of blankets on my bed.

As far as food is concerned, all I want this week is soup and salad. And toast with hummus and roasted eggplant slices on it. I made some chicken soup the other day (recipe coming soon) that paired very nicely with said salad & toast. And some Larry David on the side..Soup and Larry


One of the best things about having TV is watching old Seinfeld reruns. I also loved Curb Your Enthusiasm.

If I were to spend some time cooking this weekend, here’s what would be on the agenda…

Julia Moskin’s Beef Bone Broth. I am so curious to try bone broth, and my mom has been raving about this recipe. Must try soon…

My salmon obsession continues. I’ve been eyeing this BBQ Salmon BLT Salad from Iowa Girl Eats.

Another salad! This gorgeous winter salad from How Sweet It Is makes me want to go buy blood oranges right this minute.

Speaking of salad, this infographic my friend Linda shared with my is awesome! I <3 Lifehacker.

What are you up to this weekend? Any special cooking projects? Thoughts on bone broth? 

What to Make this Weekend

Eli lounging So, this week started out kind of scary, when Eli ate a bunch of rat poison and had to be rushed to the vet. Luckily, he is okay now. They induced vomiting and were, like, “So, Eli ate a bunch of rat poison, but here’s the good news.” My parents didn’t even know they had any rat poison in the house (they’re super-careful about these things and think it may have been put there by the former owner at least before they moved in 13 years ago), and I just so happened to be there and see some weird blue stuff in his crate—likely within a few minutes of him finding and eating it. Now he’s on vitamin K for a month.

First it was the acute kidney failure and the renal diet, now this. Dude has, like, a f***ing posse of guardian angels.

I think all the crying on Sunday knocked down the door to my immune system, and then it got really cold and I got laryngitis. All-night coughing fits will do that, I suppose. That said, despite adequate sleep and my inability to speak above a whisper, I’ve been weirdly peppy. I bounded out of bed at 5 yesterday morning, like, “Hello, world!” Must be the Mucinex? I finally dragged myself to the doctor, where I was prescribed a 3-day course of Things I Would Normally Avoid. I do love the Dr. Evil pictures on the wall at the walk-in place, though. Dr Evil Urgent Care

I’ve actually been doing quite a bit of cooking, as the food demo that was supposed to happen Thursday was canceled by the client, and I have tons of prepped food in the fridge. I am experimenting with freezing cooked quinoa and coming up with ways to use the 3 pounds of beets and 2 pounds of squash I roasted in anticipation of creating recipes in front of strangers. All for the best, though, because they would have had to crowd around me to hear as I tossed seasonal stuff with red quinoa while wearing gloves, croaking about fiber and carotenoids for glowing skin in the dead of winter. Full disclosure: It took me three tries to spell “carotenoids” correctly.

Turns out giant salads with makeshift hash (complete with shredded brussels sprouts, uncured bacon from the freezer, and eggs) are great ways to use up roasted root veggies and the like.

Here are some unrelated food things that sounded good to me as I perused the interwebs between coughing fits and gulping fluids.

*These Apple Peanut Butter “delights” from the Pioneer Woman look delicious. I love that she uses whole wheat English muffins too. You could skip the sugar, though, since apples naturally get sweeter when you cook them.

*This noodle soup from Gena Hemshaw of Choosing Raw sounds very nice to my sore throat. Something to make once I’ve drained my supply of soups (including last week’s lentil soup) from the freezer. I am not allowed to make new soup until I’ve made space for it in there.

*These adorable mini-cakes in mason jars sound like fun and look super-easy to make, even for people like me who do not bake. It’s not exactly picnic weather, but I’m fever-dreaming about Central Park in the summertime.

*This isn’t a recipe, but this Sh*t Juicers Say video totally made my sick-day yesterday. Also love that they use music by Spoon and Belle & Sebastian.

What are you up to this weekend? Any recipes you’re looking to try? 

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