Jessica Goldman Foung

After Lupus caused her kidneys to fail, Jessica Goldman Foung refocused her life and work to study food, health, and the many ways they interact. In 2009, she started the blog Sodium Girl and has written two cookbooks, Low-So Good (Chronicle Books 2016) and Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook (HMH 2012). Jessica serves as a low-sodium and special diet expert, appearing in print and broadcast media. She spent the past year leaning into homeschooling and support-teaching her two children. And she runs primarily on commas, cardboard creations, and coffee.
10 More Ways to Use Up Leftover Coconut Milk
When a recipe calls for coconut milk, you often end up with a little left over, which leads to the question of how to use the extras. The good news is that whether you freeze it in an ice cube tray for future smoothies, spritzers, and curries, or use it throughout the week, there are endless ways to work this non-dairy milk into your sweet and savory dishes alike. And often, even a little splash will prove enough to transform the flavor profile (and texture!) of a dish.
Sep 19, 2022
7 Rules for Cooking a Multi-Course Meal with Confidence
In the past few months, we’ve covered several common cooking fears — from food safety to pressure cookers — that keep people from attempting recipes in the kitchen. But today let’s talk about something that happens once you get comfortable in the kitchen and actually start cooking a meal; a full meal, made of multiple dishes.
May 12, 2022
5 Small, Easy Snacks from an Avocado
In case you haven’t heard, avocados taste great. And whether you use them to make guacamole or the ever-popular avocado toast, they also make a great snack. Which is why, today, I want to look deeper into avocado’s bag of tricks and show you what else this fruit can do — beyond getting smashed into a creamy spread. Almost all of these bites are raw and don’t require cooking or heat (hooray!
May 12, 2022
6 Tips for Traveling With Dietary Restrictions
Whether it is a much-needed vacation or a last-minute flight for work, every trip requires preparation. And for those with special diets, the packing list has a few extra items to consider. Mainly, food. But dietary limitations don’t have to take the spontaneity or flavor out of your adventures. Or keep you at home. With these tips, anyone with any dietary needs can stay full (and healthy) no matter where the journey takes them. Prepare for food emergencies.
May 24, 2019
Why You Shouldn’t Throw Away the Liquid from Cooking Lentils
For many home cooks, lentils have officially crossed over from the world of unfamiliar legume to common pantry staple, earning a coveted spot on the shelf between rice and beans. Red or green, tender or toothy, hot or cold — lentils can be used in an endless variety of dishes. And no matter how you plan to eat them, they usually start with a simple boil and drain. But here’s a tip: Don’t toss that cooking liquid.
May 1, 2019
5 Easy Ways to Snack on Tortillas
While some people always have a loaf of bread in the fridge, I keep a package of tortillas on hand at all times. I have found them truly indispensable when it comes to staying full and satisfied throughout the day. And before you think tortillas are only good for quesadillas, think again; these floppy round disks of dough are destined for way more. Pleasing to the eye and mouth, pinwheels make a super easy snack, for kids and adults alike.
May 1, 2019
The Secret Ingredient for Dairy-Free Ricotta
Thanks to non-dairy geniuses, we already know that puréed nuts are a great substitute in recipes that call for creamy cheese sauces. But if you’re craving something less runny, a little firmer, and more ricotta-esque, then here’s a new trick. Add steamed cauliflower to that nut blend. While creamed nuts provide a velvety base, the steamed cauliflower give the mixture thickness, body, and a bumpy, ricotta-like texture.
May 1, 2019
5 Ways to Make a Meal Out of Frozen Hash Browns
Of all the ingredients in all the world, potatoes happen to be my favorite. Fried, mashed, and nestled under a roasting chicken, I love them no matter the preparation. I even love them frozen. And that’s because, when it comes to making a quick, filling snack, there’s no better item to have on hand than shredded hash browns. Frozen hash browns have chameleon-like properties. When fried or baked, they add a surprising pop of crunch to an otherwise texture-less dish.
Feb 19, 2016
6 Ways to Become a Fearless Improviser in the Kitchen
Becoming a master in the kitchen doesn’t simply mean memorizing recipes from cookbooks or making a successful soufflé. It also means being able to look in the pantry and fridge and use what’s on hand to make a meal, replace a missing ingredient, or add something unexpected (and unlisted) to an existing recipe. In other words, you must be able to improvise. If this idea scares the living daylights out of you, here’s the trick: practice.
Dec 16, 2015
8 Ways to Turn Citrus Peels into Gifts
During the winter, citrus becomes a staple in my kitchen: tangerines in the lunch box, lemon in tea, and lime in everything from chicken tortilla soup to sugar cookies. Just a little squeeze brightens up the heaviest dishes of the season — not to mention, my holiday mood. But there’s one part we often forget about, or get rid of altogether — the peel — which has just as much to give as the rest of the fruit.
Dec 9, 2015
6 Tips to Reduce Stress from the Mess That Cooking Makes
True confession: I avoid certain recipes because of the messes they create, which in my world means anything fried or anything that demands the use of a cast iron skillet. So no matter how amazing a recipe looks, the extra work of dealing with hot oil or a seasoned skillet is often enough to make me pass. And I doubt I’m alone here.
Nov 23, 2015
Why You Should Save Meat Juices and Drippings
Today I want to talk about cooking with animal fats — the juicy drippings that pool beneath your roasted chicken; the savory oils left in the skillet after you brown some ground pork; and of course, all that good grease from freshly sizzled bacon — all of which usually get washed out or tossed away. Until today, that is.
Nov 4, 2015
5 Easy Ways to Snack on Apples
Fall means pumpkin spice lattes, decorative gourds, and my personal favorite, apples. Loads of apples that come in all sorts of colors and flavors. And whether you grab them from the store or an annual trip to the orchard, the next few months mean bushels of apples to play around with — from snacks to soups to scrumptious pie. So here are a few quick ideas, savory and sweet, to keep you snacking on apples.
Oct 29, 2015
My Favorite Nut-Free Alternative to Peanut Butter
As someone with severe nut allergies and a child in a nut-free preschool, I am over-the-moon happy about all the peanut butter alternatives available these days, from store-bought tahini and sunflower butter to homemade pumpkin seed spread (and pumpkin seed butter cups). But even with these satisfactory PB-replacements, I think we can still look at other options, beyond tree nuts and seeds. Because, with an open mind, one ingredient limitation often leads to another ingredient revelation.
Oct 21, 2015
5 Surprising Ways to Snack on Lasagna Noodles
Lasagna is my kitchen superhero. When faced with a busy Tuesday or an unexpected table of 20, this dish always saves the day. With simple staple items on hand (noodles, canned sauce, cheese), you can throw together a satisfying meal with very little time or effort. Keep it totally vegetarian or add meat, spice as desired, and then let the oven finish the job. But guess what?
Oct 14, 2015
Try Jicama for a Twist on French Fries
If I had to pick one food to eat for the rest of my life, it would be French fries. I love everything about them — the crisp crunch, the shape, and, most importantly, the “dip-ability.” But as I’m sure you already know, French fries aren’t exactly on the top of the superfood list.
Sep 30, 2015
8 Ways to Get Over Your Fear of Baking
I grew up in an icebox cake family. On birthdays, my mother made the traditional treat, or what she lovingly called, “the birthday log,” which consisted of whipped cream and chocolate wafers, carefully pressed together to form — you guessed it — a log shape. This was the extent of my baking exposure, which involved no baking at all.
Sep 22, 2015
5 Ways to Snack on Zucchini
As a kid, I mistakenly called zucchinis “bikinis” — and that was pretty much the extent of my relationship with them for the past 30 years. My mother, on the other hand, could and would eat steamed zucchini for every meal of the day, which just goes to show the polarizing nature of this vegetable. Some people enjoy zucchini raw, while others need a load of butter and the threat of no dessert to choke them down.
Aug 26, 2015
Make Everything Egg Muffins for a Grain-Free, Low-Sodium Bagel Fix
There aren’t many foods I miss since going on a low-sodium diet, but I must confess, the thought of a toasted everything bagel, slathered with melting cream cheese and a glistening pink curl of smoked salmon still sends my heart racing. And maybe a tiny tear from my eye. Don’t call me crazy, but I have a fix for you. No, it’s not a New York-style bagel but it may just address your low-sodium bagel longings.
Aug 19, 2015
Take the Guesswork out of Cooking Meat with This Guide
Like anything in the kitchen, learning to cook meat to the correct “doneness” comes with time and practice. Eventually, after preparing enough pork loins and whole turkeys, testing for internal temperature will feel less scientific and more second-nature. At some point, you might even able to know if a steak is medium-rare with a just press of a finger.
Aug 12, 2015
Why You Shouldn’t Throw Away Corn Husks
My brother and I used to fight over shucking duties. Sitting out on the front porch with a paper bag between our legs, the lucky one got to rip the leaves off the cob, freeing wisps of corn silk confetti into the air — and all over our steps. (I wonder now if my parents fought over post-corn shucking cleanup with equal enthusiasm.) The naked corn would then get submerged in a pot of boiling water or milk before being paired with a plate of crab or artichokes or something equally summery.
Aug 5, 2015
Use Coconut Flakes for a Meat-Free Bacon Bit
The salads of my youth were nothing like the salads I eat today — they rarely included a mix of vegetables or a single whole grain, nor a dressing from anything other than a bottle — and that’s because, as a kid, my salad of choice was a classic wedge salad. In my house, the wedge salad consisted of a crescent-shaped chunk of iceberg lettuce (or what I like to call “crunchy water leaves”), topped with an avalanche of ranch dressing, and a hailstorm of bacon bits.
Jul 15, 2015
7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Throw Away Herb Stems
I’m a huge fan of fresh herbs, and I’m an even bigger fan of using the entire store-bought bunch before any of the leaves get wilted and slimy. To achieve this, every week I buy a single type of herb and put it in as many dishes as possible. By the end, a barren bouquet of stems marks the finish line in my race against time, and I proudly toss all the non-leafy leftovers in the compost, feeling like a total master of efficient herb usage. But wait — what about the stems?
Jul 1, 2015
5 Easy Ways to Turn Cherry Tomatoes into Summer Appetizers
Along with milk and eggs, cherry tomatoes have a permanent spot on my shoppig list. For one, my kid eats them by the fistful. For two, I snack on them constantly while I cook. And for three, they act as a secret weapon when a dish needs a little extra color or flavor boost — because, in case you didn’t know, tomatoes are bursting with natural umami.
Jun 24, 2015
Peaches Are My Totally Awesome Substitute for Bacon (Yes, Really!)
For most of my youth, I preferred eggs scrambled or in omelette form. And by the time my taste buds understood and appreciated the delicacy that was eggs Benedict, it was too late. I was on a strict low-sodium diet and could no longer eat the salty layer of Canadian bacon, nor the buttered English muffin. Meaning I was destined for a life of two-not-three-layered Benedicts (poached eggs with hollandaise).
Jun 17, 2015
5 Cooking Fears and How to Face Them
For the most part, the greatest risk one takes when cooking a recipe is producing an inedible meal. That being said, cooking usually involves heat or fire, knives, and hot metal — all things that can potentially be dangerous. And whether you’ve experienced it yourself or heard tales from others, burns, cuts, and trips to the ER do happen. This causes, for some, a real fear of certain equipment or cooking methods, and in turn, the refusal to use them.
Jun 10, 2015
Why You’ll Never Again Throw Away Vegetable Peels
Warning: You may wish you had a time machine after reading this post. Because what you’ll discover is that, for years, you’ve been missing out on a ridiculously tasty treat — baked vegetable peels. When prepping potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and other root vegetables, it’s common practice to first wash and then remove the outer layer of skin. But the next time you ready these ingredients for a recipe, throw out old habits instead of the scraps.
Jun 3, 2015
5 Easy Ways to Snack on Seeds & Nuts
Walnuts, almonds, pepitas, or pine nuts — most people have a stash of nuts and seeds in the cupboard. And with the help of some other common ingredients, you can transform this simple snack food into something special. Perfect for entertaining guests or just your grumbling stomach. The simplest way to spice up nuts is with, well, spices. Don’t be afraid to get creative here.
May 29, 2015
5 Easy Ways to Snack on Peas
Growing up, my mom always told me tales of the frozen peas her mother served as an after-school snack. I think the story was supposed to make me feel grateful for the apple and cheddar slices I got at home. But now, in my thirties, I realize my mom (and her mom) were really onto something genius.
May 28, 2015
5 Easy Ways to Snack on Eggs
Disclaimer: Eggs as a snack food will require more minutes than, say, mixing nuts with yogurt. That’s because eggs usually require boiling water, a hot skillet, or an oven before you can eat them. But before you discount the egg as a snack food, keep in mind that none of the steps to cooking an egg require too much time or effort. And the results will prove to be major game-changers when it comes to making quick, beautiful, and flavorful bites.
May 26, 2015
5 Quick Snacks with Popcorn
Popcorn is already a pretty common snack; one we often enjoy while watching movies at home or in the theater. And while popcorn drenched in butter has its merits, it’s destined for so much more than that. So whether you pop your own kernels or use a nifty microwave bag, try these popcorn tricks and treats the next time you’re looking to mix up your snack (or movie) routine. One way to boost the flavor of your typical bag of popcorn is by adding unexpected spices.
May 25, 2015
Nori Is My Go-To, Wheat-Free Burrito Wrap
San Francisco may be best known for sourdough, but a few years ago it also became home to a new culinary mash-up: the sushi burrito. A combination of rice and fillings all wrapped — burrito-style — inside a sheet of nori, the sushi burrito is a very welcome solution for wheat-free burrito-lovers, like myself.
May 20, 2015
Nervous About Using New-to-You Ingredients? Find Confidence with These 6 Steps
I always knew my mother as a timid cook. And for a long time, I assumed her lack of enthusiasm for the kitchen came from the time involved or the inevitable cleanup. But really, it was because of a yam. For my mother, a yam was the equivalent of a huge, edible question mark. Not having grown up eating yams, this root vegetable was totally unfamiliar to her. She didn’t know what it looked like or what it tasted like.
May 12, 2015
Why You Shouldn’t Toss the Liquid in Canned Olives & Artichokes
Pickles come in jars filled with briny liquid. After the last dill gets eaten, that liquid usually gets tossed, and the can or jar gets recycled. But, lo and behold, someone genius once saved that leftover briny pickle liquid and used it to make (gasp) more pickles, as well as cocktails, salad dressings, and even pickle-flavored bread. That’s the story of pickle juice.
May 6, 2015
Here Is My Favorite Gluten-Free Way to Thicken a Soup
While some broths are destined to remain thin and wispy, other soups taste best when served thick and creamy. But what do you do when it’s too late to add a slurry to a meaty soup? Or you’re gluten-free and must skip flour and bread? Or are vegan and don’t like the idea of butter in your soup? The answer to all these culinary obstacles lies in white beans. Blended white beans.
Apr 29, 2015
Scared of Food Safety? Don’t Be. Here’s Your Ultimate Guide to Food Safety in the Kitchen
Nothing brings me greater joy than cooking for people I love. But nothing gives me greater fear than feeding someone a meal that makes them sick. Do you share this fear? It’s reasonable to be very cautious about serving safe food. But sometimes that fear can hold us back in the kitchen — worrying unduly, or throwing out perfectly good food.
Apr 23, 2015