Jessica Harlan

Jessica Harlan
I've been writing about food since salsa was America's favorite new condiment. I'm a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education — and a huge fan of seasonal, regional food. You'll find me haunting farmer's markets, food halls and specialty grocers whether I'm on the road or at home. I've recently moved from Brooklyn, New York, to Atlanta, Georgia, and I had a baby in November, in whom I hope I can instill an open-minded and adventurous palate. This summer, I've been exploring the many farmer's markets in metropolitan Atlanta, and eagerly awating Muscadine season. Current culinary obsessions: flaky sea salt on anything (particularly something sweet), truffle oil, tropical fruits!

Rethinking Campfire Food: 15 Healthy, Easy Ideas + 2 Recipes

Jessica Harlan by Jessica Harlan | June 23rd, 2014 | 26 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating

healthy-campfire-food-photo

For me, the best part of camping isn’t the rugged hiking trails, swimming in a pristine lake or sleeping under the stars — it’s the food! It’s easy to get caught up in a junk-food rut when packing for a camping trip — potato chips, over-processed hot dogs and preservative-laden packaged foods. But planning campfire meals that are better for you is easier than you might think.

A recent campfire cookout with my family inspired me to make our next camping menu healthier — but still delicious! Try these ideas and easy-to-prepare camping recipes on your next outing.

6 Ways to Find Eco-Friendly Restaurants

Jessica Harlan by Jessica Harlan | June 4th, 2012 | 3 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating

Serving tasteful food

One of the biggest things you can do to support and encourage responsibly raised food is to vote with your wallet. You may be patronizing CSAs and farmers’ markets for local produce, buying organic brands from your supermarket, and studying nutrition labels for evils like high fructose corn syrup and artificial preservatives. But if you’re eating in restaurants blissfully ignorant of where the food on your plate comes from, then you might be undermining your efforts.

Choose the food you eat in restaurants just as wisely as what you choose to eat at home, and your choices will be more likely to influence the foodservice community to change their ways and offer more environmentally friendly choices on their menus. Plus, with restaurants, being green goes beyond the food they serve — restaurants can, and should, be conservative with energy usage, use eco-responsible construction methods, and treat their staff fairly.

Do a little research on the restaurants in your area, or before you travel to other cities, to find businesses that care about the environment. These tips will help you make the best choices:

Food to Fuel Your Workout

Jessica Harlan by Jessica Harlan | January 6th, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Healthy Eating

Luna Bar

My yoga instructor has warned me not to eat for two hours before my class, but when I find myself fantasizing about doughnuts during Downward Dog and worrying I won’t have the stamina for another breath in Warrior Two, I know I need a little bit of pre-workout sustenance. Something that’s portable, so I can throw it into my gym bag and nosh on the way, and something that has just the right combination of nutrients and ingredients to give me long-lasting energy and endurance. Oh, and if it can taste good too, then I’m sold!

Cool and Quirky Sources for Eco-Friendly Shoppers

Jessica Harlan by Jessica Harlan | February 16th, 2010 | No Comments
topic: Green Living

green shopping cart containing plant

I had an interesting realization last month when I joined my sisters-in-laws on their annual pilgrimage to the mall for some Black Friday consumerism. We all left the mall pretty much empty-handed, and I realized that I just don’t really shop at malls and chain stores anymore, particularly for gifts. Instead, I am trolling the cute indie boutiques for the perfect, unique gift, and searching online for interesting options from fun online retailers. Luckily, when it comes to foodies on my list, there are plenty of options, so shopping’s a breeze. Here are some places to look online for some wonderful cooking-related gifts that have an environmentally friendly focus.

Resolution: An Emptier Freezer

Jessica Harlan by Jessica Harlan | January 6th, 2010 | No Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating

The other day as I was putting groceries away, I made an unpleasant discovery: there was no more room in our freezer. We have one of those drawer freezers in the bottom of our refrigerator, which is supposed to be more energy-efficient than a top freezer. The trouble is, the drawer is so deep that once I put something in it, it seems to sink to the bottom and I forget about it.

Say Cheese!

Jessica Harlan by Jessica Harlan | January 4th, 2010 | No Comments
topic: Healthy Eating

I often wonder if my husband is preparing himself to live off the grid. At one time or another, Chip has taught himself to make beer, root beer, sausage, kombucha (a vile, in my opinion, fermented tea that’s supposed to have all sorts of health benefits), pasta and ice cream. Usually his experiments result in a messy kitchen and an end result that ranges from passably edible to truly delicious. But, his latest homemade craze is something I can really get behind: cheese.

Foods to Keep You Warm

Jessica Harlan by Jessica Harlan | December 23rd, 2009 | No Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating

At this very moment, I am sitting in my mother’s living room in Santa Fe, looking out the window as fat flakes of snow are gently falling. Since I live in Atlanta, this is even more a treat for me: a White Christmas might be the norm for most of the country this year, but it’s looking like Atlanta is in store for a Wet Christmas instead.

Gifts From the Kitchen

Jessica Harlan by Jessica Harlan | December 22nd, 2009 | No Comments
topic: Green Living

Recently I re-read the entire “Little House” series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, books that I was enchanted with as a child. As an adult, there were plenty of things I noticed that had escaped me as a child, from the occasional whiffs of prejudice against Native Americans to Ma’s displeasure at her husband’s wanderlust ways.

Foodie Philanthropy: 5 Charities Fighting Hunger, and How You Can Help

Jessica Harlan by Jessica Harlan | December 16th, 2009 | 2 Comments
topic: Giving Back, Green Living

Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is a great time of year. But as I’m recovering from the glut of presents, the copious amounts of cookies and sweets I’ve consumed, and the amount of credit card debt I’ve racked up buying gifts and decorations, I always resolve that I’ll offset my good fortune in the coming year by finding a few good causes to contribute to not just at the holidays, but throughout the year — when they need it the most.

Soporific Foods

Jessica Harlan by Jessica Harlan | December 3rd, 2009 | No Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating

Not being able to sleep is the worst feeling in the world. I should know, I’ve been experiencing insomnia for the past couple of weeks, lying awake for what seems like hours. I’m loath to try sleeping pills, so of course I’m exploring every other option. Nothing seems to help, not even a few drops of herbal tinctures like Rescue Remedy, or a sachet of lavender tucked into my pillow.