asian kale & squash salad

This time of year, there is probably something we can all use a little more of.

And it isn’t cookies.

Sorry. Always the bearer of bad nutrition news….

Our Thanksgiving celebration included a number of amazing dishes (think scallop chowder and shiitake stuffing) but also had TWO kale dishes! I came armed with creamed kale and there was a delicious kale & sweet potato salad with an asian dressing. I loved it and I’m happy to report that MORE than half of my plate was filled with veggies that night. What can I say, Nutritionists tend to be high-acheivers. ;)

Turns out it is pretty easy to make which means it can and should be on your plate soon!

You can switch up the kind of kale, depending on preference and use sweet potato, squash or whatever you have on-hand. You could also use a pre-made dressing like Annie’s Shiitake Sesame if you are short on time.


Asian Kale Salad with Squash

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 10 min

Keywords: side salad gluten-free high fiber vegan vegetarian kale

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1 bunch kale (I used dino kale)
  • 1 cup cubed roasted squash
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed (or canola) oil
  • 1/8 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced (white part only)


Wash kale and slice as thinly as you can.

Prepare dressing.

Whisk together oil, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, vinegar and green onion.

Toss dressing with kale.

Top with cubed squash.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.

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sour cream cookies

It’s no secret that I don’t bake.

This is what happens when I do.

Please tell me thats normal. This neat freak was in a slight panic.

And even though I’ve got one of those handy dough scoopers, my cookies still aren’t uniform or in a row. What is wrong with me?!

When Rachel from The Avid Appetite decided to host a cookie swap, I had purpose and I had to bake! Check out the other goodies here: Virtual Cookie Swap Party! 

Thankfully, even though they weren’t uniform on the pan, these sour cream cookies still turned out. (Baking success!) They are a cakey cookie, and while I thought they’d be perfect with a smear of buttercream or chocolate frosting, the Taster was all about the plain vanilla flavor.

The recipe comes from my beloved Congressional Club Recipe book and is straight from North Dakota. (More to come on this book.) I’m not sure if this recipe is a classic, retro or what, but it definitely has a sugar cookie vibe.

Sour Cream Cookies

by Emily Dingmann (Mrs. John M Baer)

Prep Time: 5 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Keywords: dessert Christmas cookie

Vanilla, cakey textured cookies. A favorite with kids!

Ingredients (about 40 cookies)

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar.

Add eggs well beaten and one teaspoon soda in one tablespoon hot water.

Mix one rounded teaspoon baking powder with four cups sifted flour.

Add to dough with one cup sour cream.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes.

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If you are the sort of baker who has sprinkles and fun decorations, you could easily jazz them up a bit for the holidays, but clearly I’m not. :)

2011 gift ideas

I absolutely love shopping and buying things for others this time of year! (Ok, I also like buying things for myself.) It’s especially great when you find the right gift for those on your list. I did most of my shopping online this year and am pretty much finished with the exception of a few things. I like to give an assortment of things, experiences and donations in someones name.

Here are some of the gift ideas for 2011 that have caught my eye! eat sign – from terrain – how adorable would this be in a kitchen or dining room?

mushroom growing kit – from uncommon goods (also seen at Whole Foods) – a constant supply of mushrooms!

a goat! – from heifer - they provide nutritious milk to a family  :)

glass water bottle – from lifefactory – everyone needs one, hydrate!

ariel tank – lululemon – because it’s cute and not skin tight on the belly :)

exotic spice set – gilt taste – for the avid cook in your life!

painted amaryllis measuring cups – anthropologie -

donate to haiti – give a gift that gives to others! 

What’s on your list this year??

daily eats: 11.30.11 {blog style}

Hi Friends!

Today’s daily eats post is all things blog-world related! From breakfast and lunch to an event at night, this is blog living at its best!


 Breakfast: Lindsay’s (Pinch of Yum) Powered Up Pumpkin Oatmeal. Um, yes this was definitely a yum. I was missing a few ingredients (who doesn’t have brown sugar?!) so mine consisted of:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • toppings: 1 Tbsp coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg & toasted pecans
This was SO filling! I literally had to take a break half-way though. Brown sugar would have really made this taste like a treat, I wished we had some, but I’ll definitely be eating it again!
Mid-morning, I was off to Whole Foods for job #2. I had some green tea to keep me from freezing! (do you know how cold stores are? brr!)
Lunches have been a bit tricky lately. One of my jobs has me doing product demos at Whole Foods and they are typically scheduled from 11am – 2pm. Too early to eat lunch before hand, and hard to wait until after so I’ve been eating a lot of Whole Foods salad/hot bar food.
Today though, I planned ahead and made something that has been on my list for a while. Holly’s (The Healthy Everythingtarian) Chickpea Chopped Sandwich. I had it in the form of lettuce wraps because I needed food asap when I got home at 2:30 – it was amazing! I’m so glad I have leftovers in the fridge.
It contained:
  • chickpeas
  • artichokes
  • roasted red pepper
  • sauce: olive oil, touch of mayo and feta cheese
After “lunch,” I had some more work on job #1 and then it was time to get ready for the Paleta event that I attended last night. I was hoping to fit in a workout this afternoon, but I just couldn’t make it happen. Sometimes life gets in the way!
I snacked on some dried pineapple and mango while working. (Like our stocking??)
The Paleta Holiday Party was a lot of fun, fave LA blogger Lynn (The Actor’s Diet) was in attendance and I also met a number of very interesting people, it was great!  {Paleta is a Los Angeles Organic Gourmet Meal Delivery Service, offering various meal plans and cleanses.}
Throughout the evening I enjoyed a few drinks (starting with champagne + mango coconut water),
and snacked on cheese and crackers,
before making our way to the gorgeous table, filled with a great variety of food.
(How cute are these napkins?!)

I tried a taste of most of the items – the Cod was absolutely delicious and I loved the Curried Quinoa Salad and Caramelized Rainbow Carrots. The food served at the dinner are the actual foods they send out to clients, which was really surprising to me. Everything was really good and tasted like homemade food.
On our way home we broke into the goody bag and split the pumpkin bar. I’m only sharing the picture because I want you to see my hilarious, chubby hands. I don’t know how it is possible, but I managed to have about 18 hand rolls…
I’m snacking on a few triscuits now, before heading to bed. It’s been a long day!