AARP Wellness Wednesdays

AARP is committed to helping people take control of their health as they age. We want to empower adults 50+ to know that prevention is possible. Making better food choices that focus on improving your nutrition is achievable at every economic level and can have a profound and lasting effect on your overall health. We’re happy to sponsor Wellness Wednesdays in partnership with Tulane University’s Goldring Center of Culinary Medicine to move individuals toward positive health goals by adapting their cooking and eating habits.


Welcome to the webpage for the AARP Wellness Wednesdays Online Cooking Classes with the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine! This is where you will find the recipes for each month’s session, along with a shopping and equipment list so you can plan to cook along with us during the class. We include information on dietary restrictions and food allergens (see the shopping & equipment list), but please feel free to reach out directly to Chef Heather or Chef Amber with any questions on ingredient substitutions or suggestions to make accommodations that fit your needs: or 


Click HERE for Video Recordings of our past AARP Wellness Wednesday Classes! 


December 15, 2021: Holiday Appetizers 

This month is one that will hopefully be full of gatherings and dinners with family and friends and we’ve got some fun ideas for you to share with your loved ones before you sit down for the main course. When you get asked to bring an appetizer to your next gathering, we’ve got you covered with some quick and make ahead, crowd-pleasing options! We’ll be starting with a lightened up, creamy and cheesy spinach and artichoke dip that is both savory and satisfying. We’ll also show you how to create a caramelized onion jam (with a little bacon!) that can be gifted in a jar and used in multiple ways throughout the holidays. Last up is a sweet and spicy maple coated nut recipe to satisfy those crunchy snackers in your family. In this class, we’ll be using the dip, the jam, and the nuts to fill our Mix & Match Mini Tarts along with other filling ideas to please all your guests’ tastebuds. Have you ever wondered how to create a beautiful, crave worthy platter of cheeses, meats, and all the trimmings without spending all day assembling and arranging? In our “Ask the Chef” segment this month, we’ll take a look at some tips and tricks to making cheese and charcuterie boards without too much effort, allowing you to enjoy all the holiday fun!   


Class Recipes & Resources:

Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Onion Bacon Jam

Maple Rosemary Spiced Nuts

Mix & Match Mini Tarts

AARP 12/15/21 Prep & Equipment List


November 17, 2021: Thanksgiving Side Dishes 

This month it’s all about the big food celebration day, Thanksgiving! Many of us will be returning to more traditional gatherings with our family and friends this year and while it will be wonderful to return to some of our old favorite menu items, it can also be a good time to make a new tradition with a fun, new side dish. In this class, we will build on last month’s theme of festive fall flavors with a spaghetti squash dish that would be a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving menu and can also be used throughout the season as a low-calorie, flavor-packed veggie side. We’re also taking our lightened-up cornbread muffins and turning them into a savory dressing. We’ve got multiple variations to please everyone’s taste preferences including a seasonal sausage, pecan and cranberry version and a Creole shrimp option for seafood lovers. In our “Ask the Chef” segment, we’ll take a look at the spices that go into a poultry seasoning blend and discuss different methods of brining your turkey. We’ll also share some tips and tricks to make your holiday meal prep stress-free and as an added bonus, we are sharing some additional recipes you could consider adding to your holiday menus!


Class Recipes & Resources: 

Caramelized Fennel Spaghetti Squash

Cornbread Dressing

Reference Recipes: Homemade Cornbread Muffins | Salt-Free Creole Seasoning

11/17/21 Shopping, Prep & Equipment List


Additional BONUS Resource Recipes:

Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheese

Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Casserole

Lemon Roasted Asparagus

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Winter Vegetables



October 20, 2021: Festive Fall Flavors

For our October cooking class, we are sharing two recipes featuring different ways to use the classic fall staple, canned pumpkin! We’ll be whipping up lighter pumpkin spice lattes with a easy cheat for creating the perfect foamed milk topper. We’ve also got a unique take on a hearty fall chili using lean ground turkey, white beans, and pumpkin seasoned with a balance of smoky, sweet, and spicy flavors. We’re pairing our chili with a light and fluffy cornbread muffin from scratch that you can customize to your liking with cheddar and jalapeno, frozen corn, or pumpkin spice – we have all your taste cravings covered! During our ask the chef segment, we’ll be looking at seasonal fall vegetables and different ways to cook and enjoy them. We’ll also create our own pumpkin pie spice blend using spices in our pantry to save money and make just the amount you need to get you through all your fall cooking and baking needs.


Recipes & Resources: 

Turkey & White Bean Chili with Fall Vegetables

Homemade Cornbread Muffins

Pumpkin Spice Latte

10/20/21 Shopping & Equipment List


Beginner’s Guide to Fall Squashes

Popular Spice Blends



September 15, 2021: Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

For September’s cooking class, we’ll be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with a menu of inspired dishes that help you bring some of the flavors of Mexico, Central America, and South America into your home kitchen. In our “Ask the Chef” portion of the class, we’ll be discussing spice blends and different ways you can use them to add bold flavor to many dishes. We’ll also take a look at some of the ingredients used in these regions that you may have seen or heard about, but aren’t sure how to incorporate them into your cooking. We’ll be leading you through healthy recipes for a Build-your-Own Chicken Fajita Bowl made with a base of Cilantro Lime Brown Rice and topping options, so you can create a personalized bowl that’s full of your favorite flavors, colors, and textures. We’ll also make a light and crisp, Sweet & Spicy Apple Cabbage Slaw to top your bowl with extra veggie & fruit goodness. Lastly, we’ll be finishing off our meal with a tangy and refreshing Pineapple Mango Margarita Mocktail, complete with a sugar rimmed glass!


Recipes & Resources:

Build Your Own Chicken Fajita Bowl

Cilantro Lime Brown Rice

Salt-Free Taco Seasoning

Sweet & Spicy Apple Cabbage Slaw

Tropical Frozen Margarita Mocktail

9/15/21 Shopping & Equipment List



August 18, 2021: Satisfying Summer Salads

As we approach the end of summer, we are looking to transition from super light meals to ones that are a little more hearty. In this class, we will make components and show you how to mix and match them during the week to make meals that won’t leave your tastebuds bored. Often when people think about eating more salads, they end up hungry and unhappy because they haven’t considered what ingredients to include to make sure their salad is both filling and delicious. Along with that advice, during our “Ask the Chef” segment, we’ll show you how to make delicious infused olive oil which can save you money while adding a flavorful boost to many dishes. We’ll review the best practices you need to know to make sure your oil stores safely so you can enjoy it for a few weeks. We’ll then show you two different homemade dressings that you can whip up in no time and have on hand for adding fresh flavor to your favorite salads and heartier grain bowls. Whether you prefer a vinaigrette style dressing or something thick and creamy, we’ve got what you’re craving! Making your own dressing is the first step to creating salads that are satisfying and healthy, but we won’t stop there. We’ll be making roasted veggies, a simple quinoa, spiced chicken, and a cold vegetable and legume salad that you can cross utlitize throughout your week with a few extra goodies thrown in, to make a salad and grain bowl that are packed with summer flavor and good nutrition.   


Recipes & Resources: 

Infused Oil

Green Goddess Dressing

Greek Cucumber & Chickpea Salad

Simple Lemon & Parsely Quinoa

Simple Roasted Vegetables

Spiced Chicken Thighs

8/18/21 Menu, Shopping, & Equipment List 


July 21, 2021: Kids in the Kitchen

For the month of July, we are bringing the kids into the kitchen with us as we create healthy, delicous snacks that everyone can enjoy. No kids? No problem – these snacks are great no matter your age! Whatever your snack cravings, we’ve got you covered. For our savory snackers, we’ll be making crispy baked chicken tenders and broccoli bites with two different dipping sauce options. For those who like it spicy, we’ve got a lightened-up buffalo sauce and we’ve put our healthy twist on everyone’s favorite: Ranch dressing. We’re also baking up a batch of our zucchini muffins which are full of veggie goodness, whole grains, and nuts, making them a comforting breakfast or snack you can feel good about. For a frosty dessert, we’ll whip up a simple strawberry banana sorbet that’s made entirely of fruit and top it with our homemade crispy chocolate magic shell for an extra special treat.  During our “Ask the Chef” segment, we’ll be discussing safety concerns for working in the kitchen with kids including knife and appliance safety and tools that can help increase safety for little ones. We’ll also explore how to choose satifying snacks that provide energy along with vitamins and minerals, to make sure you’re giving your body the good stuff it needs to be healthy at any age. 


Recipes & Resources:

Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders & Broccoli Bites

Buttermilk Ranch & Buffalo Dipping Sauces

Zucchini Muffins

Strawberry Banana Sorbet

Chocolate Magic Shell

7/21/21 Class Shopping & Equipment List


June 16, 2021: Juneteenth Celebration 

For the month of June, we are celebrating Juneteenth with a menu of lightened-up Southern comfort food classics. We’ll be showing you a simple, flavor-packed oven-fried chicken recipe that can also be made in an air fryer. If you’re looking for more ways to use this trendy gadget, this is the recipe for you! Our sides feature a rich and creamy mac n’ cheese with a secrect veggie add-in and quick cooked, tangy braised greens. We’re also whipping up a refreshing watermelon cooler that will cool you down on hot Summer days and is a great switch up from sugar sweetened beverages. You’ll get all of the fizzy, fruity deliciousness without the added calories and sugar. We’ll also be discussing shoping and cooking considerations for bone-in, skin-on vs. boneless, skinless chicken and how you can save time in the kitchen by prepping and storing your produce in advance. 


Recipes & Resources:

Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken

Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheese

Simple Savory Greens

Bubbly Watermelon Cooler

Salt-Free Creole Seasoning

6/16/21 Class Shopping & Equipment List


May 19, 2021: Asian American Heritage Month Celebration

This month we are celebrating Asian American Heritage Month with a quick and easy stir-fry dish full of lots of vegetables and a savory sauce that will satisfy any take-out cravings while keeping nutrition in mind. We’re serving our stir fry over a delicious whole grain blend and finishing the meal with a simple fruit sorbet to cool you off and satisfy your sweet tooth without any added sugar.  In this class, we’ll talk about buying shrimp and what to look out for at the store as well as break down the different types of whole grains you can add to your diet and discuss why they are so great for your health! 


Recipes & Resources:

Teriyaki Shrimp & Vegetable Stir-Fry

Simmered Quinoa & Brown Rice

Mango & Banana Sorbet

5/19/21 Class Shopping & Equipment List